Europe fails with German help

July 01, 2022

Source

by Jorge Vilches

Robert Habeck, Vice-Chancellor of Germany and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, jointly with Annalena Baerbock — Germany´s Anglophile Minister of Foreign Affairs — have patronized the world from the German Green Party´s self-proclaimed moral high ground thru their ´we truly care´ and ´superior knowledge´ mantras.

Now, both German officials — quite active in the European War Party led by also German Ursula von der Leyen – are behind NATO´s announced increase of military presence in Europe with US headquarters and troops in Poland… plus a 10-fold enlarged rapid-response force up to 300,000 with yet additional troops in Romania and the Baltic states… plus yet more destroyers and F-35s in Europe´s waters and skies… and now considering itself the “unique, essential and indispensable”(sic) bloc while sweeping under the rug the deep existential crisis it has dug Europeans into with no way out for energy and commodities sourcing security. Ref #1 https://www.rt.com/news/558088-biden-troop-deployments-nato-europe/

C:\Users\Jorge Vilches\Desktop\777.jpgPower Outage. Electricity Symbol in Red Ban Circle with Text Below Stock Vector – Illustration of concept, cable: 151740792

And precisely to address the current self-inflicted energy debacle, German Minister Habeck is compounding this ugly all-inclusive European conundrum in at least 14 different ways and has (1) shut down Germany´s nuclear power plants including the domino impact upon the inter-connected European electrical grid without any foresight or consideration whatsoever (2) banned excellent, cheap Russian hydrocarbons and distilled petroleum products thereof to which Europe´s entire economy and energy infrastructure is uniquely matched and tuned for, including the superb, proven, mostly un-replaceable Russian Urals crude oil blend and the most convenient Russian Druzbha door-to-door pipeline rendering 24x7x365 already vetted exceptional performance (3) shut down and indefinetly cancelled the most-needed NS2 pipeline for delivery of Russian hydrocarbons, with possible partial expropiatory theft yet again beyond bank deposits and other assets (4) fully ignored the very loud Siemens compliance warning regarding the EU ban on return-delivery of NS1 equipment back to Russia under well-known, scheduled and mandatory Canadian maintenance requirements (5) re-introduced the dirtiest of coals, namely brown coal, as feedstock for German and EU coal-fired power plants (6) rationed hot water and fuel consumption including the amount of time that Herr Habeck himself spends in the shower (7) shamefully placed Russia´s Gazprom Germania in a ´trusteeship´ of sorts which will also prove to be a very expensive mistake (8) promoted a fully counter-productive wind-mill expansion program requiring fossil-fueled equipment for the extraction and transportation of thousands of tons of nickel and rare earths that Europe does not have, plus subsequent movement, erection and maintenance of such wind mills with other fossil fueled equipment that Europe has to import, plus additional fossil fuel power-generating equipment always needed as backstop during low wind seasons such as the last several months, plus tons of fossil-fuel powered equipment to eventually de-commission such wind-mills (9) fast-tracked the LNG Acceleration Act to favor in every possible way the construction of fully unnecessary and super-costly Liquefied Natural Gas terminals in detriment of many other much needed infrastructures so as to many months from now eventually buy über-expensive LNG from the USA which is really the Master Pupeteer behind this anti-Europe Master Plan (10) with direct benefit to Russia, the current lower volume of its oil exports at much higher prices thanks to EU sanctions allows the Ruble to become ever stronger while saving Russian oil for sale to others (11) pushed for a naïve buyer´s oil price cap cartel in a seller’s market (!!!) (12) seized Russian LNG tankers (13) crashed German nat-gas giant Uniper now ready for bail-out and Lehman moment (14) launched Germany and the EU in the most nonsensical “firehose” oil & gas policies already explained to death and with excruciating details Ref # 2 https://thesaker.is/herr-habeck-firehoses-oil-gas/ Ref #3 https://www.rt.com/business/558116-germany-seizes-russian-lng-tankers/ Ref # 4 https://www.rt.com/news/558073-nato-adopts-new-strategic-concept-russia/ Ref #5 https://www.rt.com/business/558126-skepticism-russian-oil-price-cap/ Ref #6 https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/uniper-crashes-russian-natgas-supply-crunch-bailout-talks-germany

So, Herr Habeck and Fräulein Baerbock, on behalf of the few future European survivors, please enjoy a loud and clear “bravo, bravissimo, bravo” from your colleague Mario Draghi – Italy´s NATO Prime Minister courtesy of Goldman Sachs – for such creative and successful ´green solutions´ that will have both of you go down in history forever.

Die Grünen: “Regieren ist radikal” | ZEIT ONLINE

Unbeknownst to EU politicians and to these two ignorant dilettantes, Europe´s diesel is now strictly in Russian hands.

I have said it before and I´ll say it yet again: no imagination can ever be creative enough to make this stuff up. No way.

Could it be a deliberate insider attack of the West on the West? Will Joe Six-Pack figure all this out soon enough?

Ref #7 https://www.mondaq.com/germany/oil-gas-electricity/1204198/liquefied-natural-gas-projects-in-germany-the-lng-acceleration-act

Ref #8 https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-economy-minister-on-the-gas-shortage-there-is-a-black-hat-and-putin-is-wearing-it-a-e387bacf-70ce-447f-b7dc-3b48d0ac4178 Ref #9 https://www.rt.com/business/557554-europe-coal-energy-crisis/

Russia rules diesel

European transportation of anything and everything — from people to peanuts to 500,000 metric tons ULCC oil tankers — is 99% diesel-powered. Whomever in Europe wishes or needs to move whatever with whichever vehicle or craft from point A to point B anywhere — either very close or very far away — will need diesel-powered engines somewhere along the line, and sometimes all along the long line. This is a fact, not an opinion. No diesel, no Europe. By the same token – and if so far you´ve only been browsing from now on please focus sharply on every word — less diesel, less Europe… and not enough diesel, no longer Europe as we know it. Furthermore, less diesel necessarily means even far less diesel yet as explained below. But first, let´s recall where diesel comes from.

Diesel comes from distilled crude oil which, as of December 2022 will no longer be from Russia but per the EU sanctions package No.6 from somewhere else yet an unfathomable mystery. Now then, so far nothing to write home about as we all know such circumstances very well and mostly pray and hope for the best right?. Unfortunately, it´s much much worse than that. Why so? Please keep reading, we´ll get there soon enough, in the next couple of paragraphs at the most. Because when we all generically talk about “diesel”, we automatically and exclusively think

of diesel fuel, the beautifully colored liquid we fill up our fuel tanks with. But actually, the problem is three-fold as we have, yes indeed, (1) diesel fuel of course… but also (2) diesel exhaust fluid or DEF + (3) diesel engine lube oil…

and all three are required by diesel engines. And to compound the problem further, the vessels absolutely required for seaborne delivery of non-Russian diesel-refinable crude oil from December 2022 also run on diesel-powered engines. So that´s why above you read “less diesel necessarily means even far less diesel yet ” clear enough?

By the way, other Russian commodities besides their superb Urals blend for diesel distillation are also involved.

(1) diesel fuel

Diesel fuel is required and consumed all along the transportation vectors, from container ships with goods from wherever and the trucks that pick up such goods from European ports and bring them to warehouses and then to homes etc., etc., etc. Same thing for farms that grow food produce and have tractors and vehicles to move stuff around. Trucks, cars, ships, industrial machinery, buses, factories, homes, etc., etc., etc., all require diesel fuel.

(2) diesel exhaust fluid (DEF)

DEF is a solution of urea + de-ionized water required by diesel engines in order to reduce harmful gases released during combustion by catalytic conversion of the nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and steam. In most cases diesel engines will not even start without urea-derived DEF — manufactured as a derivative of natural gas – and normally produced partly in Europe but mostly in Russia and China, the world´s two largest exporters. Europe is now having very serious natural gas supply problems, so no urea — and thus no DEF — will come from Europe. And both China and Russia have stopped exporting urea in order to produce fertilizers for themselves. So without urea anywhere around either of European origin or imported from wherever then no DEF for Europe which means no diesel engines for Europe okay?

(3) diesel engine lube oil

Because of the Ukraine war and previous Covid supply chain problems, key manufacturers of certain additives have curtailed operations, and thus diesel engine lube oil has suffered serious shortage problems worldwide. With foresight, some countries have stockpiled such raw materials for additive manufacturing or improvised new ones. This includes Russia, India, China, and others in Southeast Asia. The additives involved are antioxidants, anti-corrosion agents, dispersing additives, antirust mechanisms, friction modifiers, EP additives, antifoaming agents, antioxidants, and others. Without these additives, traditional manufacturers cannot produce the final oil products for the internal lubrication of diesel engines. Please do remember that all three “diesels” explained above are required by any diesel engine.

Ref #10 http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/a-warning-about-the-coming-shortages-of-diesel-fuel-diesel-exhaust-fluid-and-diesel-engine-oil/

Ref #11 https://www.newsweek.com/diesel-exhaust-fuel-shortage-us-drivers-fuel-prices-russia-ukraine-war-1716503

Ref #12 https://www.motorbiscuit.com/what-could-a-def-shortage-mean-for-diesel/

Ref #13 https://www.naturalnews.com/2022-06-22-red-alert-entire-us-supply-of-diesel-engine-oil-wiped-out.html

Ref #14 https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/summer-preview-rolling-blackouts-higher-gas-prices-natural-gas-rationing-europe

So then, let´s summarize the European crude oil-dependency factors that impact availability of diesel products

(A) Crude oil shortage

Source yet unknown, below please see “what NOT to do” as non-sensical and foolish as it might sound.
Also please see Ref #15 https://thesaker.is/no-fuels-for-europe/

(B) Crude oil seaborne delivery is either poor or has failed

Diesel fueling problems for tankers, so less crude oil delivery means less diesel refined (vicious circle)
Suez limitations + Cape Horn problems + piracy + very long trips from far away with serious issues
Much higher freight costs + much longer distances complicate logistics compliance of batch deliveries.
Tanker problems & port labor union issues re schedule non-compliance both out-bound and in-bound
Tanker size limitations in a very tight batch-delivery quantum-discontinuous system
Tanker availability as 50% of the existing fleet is still fully dedicated to the delivery of Russian oil exports
Please see Ref #16 https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/sovcomflot-has-worked-around-sanctions-to-keep-sailing

(C) Crude oil serious port limitations & compromised loading & unloading capabilities

Port limitations + reforms per the Rostock example at Ref # 17 https://thesaker.is/dear-ursula-you-are-dead-wrong/
(D) Crude oil serious land logistics very limited capabilities

• The Schwedt pipeline example per Ref # 18 https://thesaker.is/germans-schwedt-hard-for-russian-oil/

(E) None (zero) refinery modifications planned for, coordinated, or made for new crude oil- refinement capabilities

European DEF shortage per the description above
European diesel engine lube oil shortage per the description above
European diesel fuel shortage affecting the distribution of diesel fuel per the description above
the sequence

The process starts by defining the desired output, in this case with the focus on much-needed diesel fuel for all-around transportation and industrial machinery up and downstream of every sort which ends up governing everything else.

The process does NOT start by deciding to buy some whatever good or bad or intermediate quality oil at a “fair” price somewhere else wherever with whatever freight & delivery terms from whichever somebody you don´t even know yet. No, it doesn´t work that way. If skeptical, please ask other sources, and then understand, accept, and act accordingly.

Benjamin Franklin once said: “ Experience is an expensive school but fools will learn in no other”. That is humbly true.

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what NOT to do

Reuters – “ France wants to replace Russian oil with oil from Venezuela and Iran ”. Really, do they? First of all, there is the very live and sensitive political memory both in Iran and Venezuela of years-long damaging sanctions and always constant Western aggressions, be it with Soleimani´s brutal in-your-face acknowledged assassination or Guaydo´s now supposed ownership of the Venezuelan gold vaulted in the Bank of England. But beyond the enormous geopolitical obstacles involved now even with Iran officially requesting admission into BRICS, the ignorant fools in charge should be whispered to in their ears that they will NEVER EVER distill the quality and amount of diesel that Europe requires from readily available either Venezuelan or Iranian oils. The reason is that both are heavy (or very heavy) and also ´sour´ meaning with relatively high sulfur content and are thusly very complicated to process into diesel, let alone by European refineries which simply can´t do it no matter what or how hard they try. Very exceptionally some very rare Iranian and Venezuelan blends could possibly be found to be somewhat better adapted to European needs. But the price of such would be ultra-high while constantly available volumes are ultra-low for European requirements or simply non-existent. In sum, not good, forget about those, please do not blow up the refineries (I kid you not) just stick to “the science” as Herr Habeck would have it, and for Heaven´s sake please do hurry up and stop proposing foolish ideas which you should know much better about.

Ref # 20 https://www.rt.com/business/557918-france-replacement-russian-oil/

Ref # 21 https://thesaker.is/europes-mad-ban-on-russian-oil/

Ref # 22 https://thesaker.is/why-russias-oil-ban-is-impossible/

Ref # 23 https://thesaker.is/europe-now-cheats-or-suffers/

Ref # 24 https://thesaker.is/pitchforks-soon-in-europe/

Now please repeat out loud after me, word by word… refineries-are-pretty-much-built-and-later-matched-and-finely-tuned-for-the-feedstock-they-will-use-for-the-rest-of-their-useful-service-lives… and can only be tweaked so far to be able to use even a slightly different feedstock, let alone completely different crudes such as traditional Venezuelan or Iranian oils. That is the reason why crude oil procurement contracts are so difficult to agree upon with a humongous amount of lab data, tests all-around, back & forth, and highly intense negotiations (meaning lots of TIME) which also necessarily require the guarantee of decades-long constant-quality supply. Crude oil blends are always at least slightly different (possibly a lot) but are definitely never fungible, not interchangeable in any way, shape or form. European refineries were built, matched, and mated to the Russian Urals blend to which everybody has become used to in more than one way. Iranian and Venezuelan oils are perfectly good for refining very important petrochemical distillates but are mostly very different from those which Europe now needs. Instead, Europe needs massive amounts of high-quality diesel and they better have lots of it soon enough, or else… What part of this is so hard to understand?

So please stop the wishful-thinking dead in its tracks, right now. Please. Many hundreds of millions of people depend upon a correct judgment nowhere to be seen today. Time is of the essence and in more than one-way time is already up. Once that diesel is defined as the preferential output, then – and only then – you look for the right type of crude oil to be refined ( … not from Iran or Venezuela…) but always delivered in the agreed quality and quantities, means, and terms, including guarantees provided by the right type of reliable vendor. There is a whole LOT to unpack in that last sentence so do not breeze by it lightly. Rather stop and focus on the many key difficult features yet to be found for the Urals substitute which will not happen. It may though possibly be that several different blends are found from different vendors, not a single well-known reliable supplier as Russia, which would complicate the matter tremendously as it would not be a “universal” substitute, but rather many. And finally – and never ever before – all the European refineries would be modified according to a (1) “coordinated plan” which now does not exist and (2) per the specific crude oil to be refined which now does not exist and (3) with the due process for each and only one by one (which does not exist) one at a time, not all simultaneously throughout Europe as these fools have decided without even knowing yet the source crude oil(s) to be refined (!!!!). Do you now understand why I say that it´s impossible to make this stuff up?

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the chicken and the egg

Despite being a clear priority, so far Europeans are acting as if they did not need diesel production as the main desired output of their refineries. Furthermore, the diesel portion extracted from any new non-Russian crude oil – if ever found in the right terms with the delivery of large and continuous quantities and quality – would never be identical to what the Urals blend renders today, no way. At any rate, if the already approved game plan is to change such Russian Urals blend, the modifications to all European refineries would have to be made necessarily after the new crude oil feedstock is precisely known and made available, not a second before. And after decades of constant only-Urals processing, the switchover to whatever is finally found – yet unknown, if ever – is unfathomable. The only way to do it is to close down the distillation process throughout Europe for months. And precisely who, how, and by when will keep on supplying the European market with the quantity and quality required by the all-important diesel and other distillate fuels and petrochemicals, huh? We need an answer for that right now, before messing things up forever, okay?

not a drill

I am listening but can´t hear a single sound, anyone and all please do respond. This is for real, not a drill. If you don´t have the answer to the above question, come December 2022 — unless EU politicians backtrack with a humiliating 180 rewind, something which is definitely in the cards — supposedly the seaborne Russian Urals blend will be fully banned from Europe, meaning that a different non-Russian blend would be its substitute. But until a definition of such is made, nothing can be done, no plans, no bids, no contracts, no modifications, no calibration, no fine-tuning, no certification, no permitting, no commissioning, nothing. And whenever it is finally known, the switch-over sequence will be the hardest trick on planet Earth. The only known procedure is to very gradually stop the inflow of Urals (which takes time) and slowly “purge” the system, then shut down the refineries (not easy to do and yet more time) but always having ready at hand the continuous feed of the new (but yet-unknown) batch-delivered crude oil substitute right there and then – and only then — start with operational trials after lots of lab tests and back & forth until finally the bosses – not technical folks, but the political bosses — feel ´comfortable´ ( I did not say ´sure´) to re-start operations with the traditional comings and goings and – quite frankly – just see what the hell happens until the refinery achieves cruising speed, if ever, and then lock on the operating parameters. A very messy and risky experiment done simultaneously throughout all of Europe´s refineries … and winter is coming… And please do not blow up several European refineries in the process, I beg you because that would perpetuate the problem pretty much forever. Only harebrained fools can plan for this, but the price will still be paid by all Europeans, not only by two German Greens.

Slightly off-topic ( still very much EU energy-related ) per the Financial Times the UK has warned that, if push ever got to shove, it would shut down its nat-gas supply pipeline to Europe. Yes, it will. Meanwhile, a fully unsubstantiated report from Fitch without any details whatsoever, concludes that “it could take the EU more than three years to offset a full loss of Russian gas supply”. No kidding Fitch. How about never ever as it´d had to be mainly through non-existent LNG terminals and non-existent supplies plus hundreds of un-existent pipelines and lots of additional land-logistical infrastructure. And just from where exactly would Europe find the nat-gas required to survive during such “three years or more“? Are only harebrained ´experts´ available or shall we ever get any no-nonsense reporting from the West?

Ref # 25 https://www.rt.com/business/558053-europe-gas-threat-uk/

Ref # 26 https://www.rt.com/business/558048-eu-russia-gas-replacement/

Ref # 27 https://www.rt.com/business/557967-eu-gas-crisis-domino-effect/

You’re either with us or you’re a “systemic challenge”

June 30, 2022

Source

After all we’re deep into the metaverse spectrum, where things are the opposite of what they seem.

By Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted

Fast but not furious, the Global South is revving up. The key takeaway of the BRICS+ summit in Beijing,  held in sharp contrast with the G7 in the Bavarian Alps, is that both West Asia’s Iran and South America’s Argentina officially applied for BRICS membership.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has highlighted how BRICS has “a very creative mechanism with broad aspects”. Tehran – a close partner of both Beijing and Moscow – already had “a series of consultations” about the application: the Iranians are sure that will “add value” to the expanded BRICS.

Talk about China, Russia and Iran being sooooo isolated. Well, after all we’re deep into the metaverse spectrum, where things are the opposite of what they seem.

Moscow’s obstinacy in not following Washington’s Plan A to start a pan-European war is rattling Atlanticist nerves to the core. So right after the G7 summit significantly held at a former Nazi sanatorium, enter NATO’s, in full warmongering regalia.

So welcome to an atrocity exhibition featuring total demonization of Russia, defined as the ultimate “direct threat”; the upgrading of Eastern Europe into “a fort”; a torrent of tears shed about the Russia-China strategic partnership; and as an extra bonus, the branding of China as a “systemic challenge”.

There you go: for the NATO/G7 combo, the leaders of the emerging multipolar world as well as the vast swathes of the Global South that want to join in, are a “systemic challenge”.

Turkiye under the Sultan of Swing – Global South in spirit, tightrope walker in practice – got literally everything it wanted to magnanimously allow Sweden and Finland to clear their paths on the way of being absorbed by NATO.

Bets can be made on what kind of shenanigans NATO navies will come up with in the Baltics against the Russian Baltic Fleet, to be followed by assorted business cards distributed by Mr. Khinzal, Mr. Zircon, Mr. Onyx and Mr. Kalibr, capable of course of annihilating any NATO permutation, including “decision centers”.

So it came as a sort of perverse comic relief when Roscosmos released a set of quite entertaining satellite images pinpointing the coordinates of those “decision centers”.

The “leaders” of NATO and the G7 seem to enjoy performing a brand of lousy cop/clownish cop routine. The NATO summit told coke comedian Elensky (remember, the letter “Z” is verboten) that the Russian combined arms police operation – or war – must be “resolved” militarily. So NATO will continue to help Kiev to fight till the last Ukrainian cannon fodder.

In parallel, at the G7, German Chancellor Scholz was asked to specify what “security guarantees” would be provided to what’s left of Ukraine after the war. Response from the grinning Chancellor: “Yes … I could” (specify). And then he trailed off.

Illiberal Western liberalism

Over 4 months after the start of Operation Z, zombified Western public opinion completely forgot – or willfully ignores – that Moscow spent the last stretch of 2021 demanding a serious discussion on legally binding security guarantees from Washington, with an emphasis on no more NATO eastward expansion and a return to the 1997 status quo.

Diplomacy did fail, as Washington emitted a non-response response. President Putin had stressed the follow-up would be a “military technical” response (that turned out to be Operation Z) even as the Americans warned that would trigger massive sanctions.

Contrary to Divide and Rule wishful thinking, what happened after February 24 only solidified the synergistic Russia-China strategic partnership – and their expanded circle, especially in the context of BRICS and the SCO. As Sergey Karaganov, head of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy noted earlier this year, “China is our strategic cushion (…) We know that in any difficult situation, we can lean on it for military, political and economic support.”

That was outlined in detail for all the Global South to see by the landmark February 4th joint statement for Cooperation Entering a New Era – complete with the accelerated integration of BRI and the EAEU in tandem with military intelligence harmonization under the SCO (including new full member Iran), key foundation stones of multipolarism.

Now compare it with the wet dreams of the Council on Foreign Relations or assorted ravings by armchair strategic “experts” of “the top national security think tank in the world” whose military experience is limited to negotiating a can of beer.

Makes one yearn for those serious analytic days when the late, great Andre Gunder Frank penned ” a paper on the paper tiger” , examining American power at the crossroads of paper dollar and the Pentagon.

The Brits, with better imperial education standards, at least seem to understand, halfway, how Xi Jinping “has embraced a variant of integral nationalism not unlike those that emerged in interwar Europe”, while Putin “skillfully deployed Leninist methods to resurrect an enfeebled Russia as a global power.”

Yet the notion that “ideas and projects originating in the illiberal West continue to shape global politics” is nonsense, as Xi in fact is inspired by Mao as much as Putin is inspired by several Eurasianist theoreticians. What’s relevant is that in the process of the West plunging into a geopolitical abyss, “Western liberalism has itself become illiberal.”

Much worse: it actually became totalitarian.

Holding the Global South hostage

The G7 is essentially offering to most of the Global South a toxic cocktail of massive inflation, rising prices and uncontrolled dollarized debt.

Fabio Vighi has brilliantly outlined how “the purpose of the Ukrainian emergency is to keep the money printer switched on while blaming Putin for worldwide economic downturn. The war serves the opposite aim of what we are told: not to defend Ukraine but to prolong the conflict and nourish inflation in a bid to defuse cataclysmic risk in the debt market, which would spread like wildfire across the whole financial sector.”

And if it can get worse, it will. At the Bavarian Alps, the G7 promised to find “ways to limit the price of Russian oil and gas”: if that doesn’t work according to “market methods”, then “means will be imposed by force”.

A G7 “indulgence” – neo-medievalism in action – would only be possible if a prospective buyer of Russian energy agrees to strike a deal on the price with G7 representatives.

What this means in practice is that the G7 arguably will be creating a new body to “regulate” the price of oil and gas, subordinated to Washington’s whims: for all practical purposes, a major twist of the post-1945 system.

The whole planet, especially the Global South, would be held hostage.

Meanwhile, in real life, Gazprom is on a roll, making as much money from gas exports to the EU as it did in 2021, even though it’s shipping much smaller volumes.

About the only thing this German analyst gets right is that were Gazprom forced to cut off supplies for good, that would represent “the implosion of an economic model that is over-reliant on industrial exports, and therefore on imports of cheap fossil fuels. Industry is responsible for 36% of Germany’s gas use.”

Think, for instance, BASF forced to halt production at the world’s biggest chemicals plant in Ludwigshafen. Or Shell’s CEO stressing it’s absolutely impossible to replace Russian gas supplied to the EU via pipelines with (American) LNG.

This coming implosion is exactly what Washington neocon/neoliberalcon circles want – removing a powerful (Western) economic competitor from the world trading stage. What’s truly astonishing is that Team Scholz can’t even see it coming.

Virtually no one remembers what happened a year ago when the G7 struck a pose of trying to help the Global South. That was branded as Build Back Better World (B3W). “Promising projects” were identified in Senegal and Ghana, there were “visits” to Ecuador, Panama and Colombia. The Crash Test Dummy administration was offering “the full range” of US financial tools: equity stakes, loan guarantees, political insurance, grants, technical expertise on climate, digital technology and gender equality.

The Global South was not impressed. Most of it had already joined BRI. B3W went down with a whimper.

Now the EU is promoting its new “infrastructure” project for the Global South, branded as Global Gateway, officially presented by European Commission (EC) Fuhrer Ursula von der Leyen and – surprise! – coordinated with the floundering B3W. That’s the Western “response” to BRI, demonized as – what else – “a debt trap”.

Global Gateway in theory should be spending 300 billion euros in 5 years; the EC will come up with only 18 billion from the EU budget (that is, financed by EU taxpayers), with the intention of amassing 135 billion euros in private investment. No Eurocrat has been able to explain the gap between the announced 300 billion and the wishful thinking 135 billion.

In parallel, the EC is doubling down on their floundering Green Energy agenda – blaming, what else, gas and coal. EU climate honcho Frans Timmermans has uttered an absolute pearl: “Had we had the green deal five years earlier, we would not be in this position because then we would have less dependency on fossil fuels and natural gas.”

Well, in real life the EU remains stubbornly on the road to become a fully de-industrialized wasteland by 2030. Inefficient solar or wind-based Green Energy is incapable of offering stable, reliable power. No wonder vast swathes of the EU are now Back to Coal.

The right kind of swing

It’s a tough call to establish who’s The Lousiest in the NATO/G7 cop routine. Or the most predictable. This is what I published about the NATO summit . Not now: in 2014, eight years ago. The same old demonization, over and over again.

And once again, if it can get worse, predictably it will. Think of what’s left of Ukraine – mostly eastern Galicia – being annexed to the Polish wet dream: the revamped Intermarium, from the Baltic to the Black Sea, now dubbed as a bland “Three Seas Initiative” (with the added Adriatic) and comprising 12 nation-states.

What that implies long-term is a EU breakdown from within. Opportunist Warsaw just profits financially from the Brussels system’s largesse while holding its own hegemonic designs. Most of the “Three Seas” will end up exiting the EU. Guess who will guarantee their “defense”: Washington, via NATO. What else is new? The revamped Intermarium concept goes back all the way to the late Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski.

So Poland dreams of becoming the Intermarium leader, seconded by the Three Baltic Midgets, enlarged Scandinavia, plus Bulgaria and Romania. Their aim is straight from Comedy Central: reducing Russia into “pariah state” status – and then the whole enchilada: regime change, Putin out, balkanization of the Russian Federation.

Britain, that inconsequential island, still invested in teaching Empire to the American upstarts, will love it. Germany-France-Italy much less. Lost in the wilderness Euro-analysts dream of a European Quad (Spain added), replicating the Indo-Pacific scam, but in the end it will all depend which way Berlin swings.

And then there’s that unpredictable Global South stalwart led by the Sultan of Swing: freshly rebranded Turkiye. Soft neo-Ottomanism seems to be on a roll, still expanding its tentacles from the Balkans and Libya to Syria and Central Asia. Evoking the golden age of the Sublime Porte, Istanbul is the only serious mediator between Moscow and Kiev. And it’s carefully micromanaging the evolving process of Eurasia integration.

The Americans were on the verge of regime-changing the Sultan. Now they have been forced to listen to him. Talk about a serious geopolitical lesson to the whole Global South: it don’t mean a “systemic challenge” thing if you’ve got the right kind of swing.

أميركا تحزم أمرها: نحو عسكرة العالم

الجمعة 1 تموز 2022

 سعيد محمد

أهمّ القرارات الصادرة عن القمة كان زيادة تعداد القوّة الضاربة للحلف في أوروبا من 40 ألف جندي إلى 300 ألف (أ ف ب)

لندن انتهت قمّة «حلف شمال الأطلسي» (الناتو) المنعقدة في مدريد، مع انتصاف نهار أمس، وغادر رؤساء دول وحكومات الغرب إلى بلدانهم، وفي جُعبهم خطط لمزيد من الإنفاق الحربي والتجنيد والتصعيد، فيما تُواجه اقتصاداتهم أزمات تضخّم وركود لم يشهد مثلَها العالم منذ الحرب العالمية الثانية. وبدت الولايات المتحدة، في خلال إعلان مخرجات القمّة، وكأنها ألقت على نفسها رداء العسكرة، وعزمت على أخذ العالم برمّته نحو الحرب، وذلك بعدما بثّت الروح في جسد «الناتو»، وفرضت تضخيم عديده في شرقيّ أوروبا إلى ضِعف حجم الجيش الروسي، وأعادت توجيه بوصلته نحو عدوّ مباشر آنيّ (روسيا)، وتحدّ استراتيجي (الصين)، إضافة إلى تجديد الالتزام بـ«مكافحة الإرهاب» في العالم العربي والساحل

وافق رؤساء دول وحكومات «حلف شمال الأطلسي»، في قمّتهم الطارئة التي عُقدت في العاصمة الإسبانية مدريد، على صياغة جديدة لفلسفة الحلف، تُحدّد استراتيجياته ومهامه الأساسية للعقد المقبل. وفي تحوُّل كبير عن وثيقة الاستراتيجية السابقة (قمّة لشبونة 2010) التي كانت اعتبرت روسيا شريكاً محتملاً، فإن موجز الوثيقة التي تمّ التوافق عليها في مدريد يقول إن روسيا تظلّ «التهديد الأكثر أهمية ومباشرة لأمن الدول الأعضاء وللسلام والاستقرار»، كما يضع الصين، لأوّل مرّة، في خانة «التحدّي الرئيس لأمن الحلفاء ومصالحهم وقيمهم». واعتَبر المجتمعون أن بيئة الأمن الأوروبي تغيّرت كليّاً نتيجة «العدوان» الروسي على أوكرانيا، و«انتهاك المعايير والمبادئ» التي ساهمت في ضمان استقرار تلك البيئة لعقود، ولم يستبعدوا «احتمال شنّ هجوم روسيّ في أيّ وقت ضدّ سيادة الحلفاء وسلامة أراضيهم»، مستشهدين بجهود موسكو لتحديث قوّتها النووية، ورفضها الامتثال للالتزامات الدولية للحدّ من التسلح، وما وصفوه بمحاولاتها «زعزعة استقرار الدول المجاورة على الجناحَين الشرقي والجنوبي للناتو».

كما تعهّدوا بـ«العمل معاً في التصدّي للتحدّيات المنهجية التي تفرضها الصين على الأمن الأوروبي – الأطلسي جرّاء طموحاتها المعلَنة وسياساتها القمعية التي تهدّد مصالح الغرب، ومحاولاتها الحثيثة للسيطرة على التقنيات والصناعات الرئيسة، مع تجاهل القواعد واللوائح الدولية». ومع ذلك، لم ينصّ الاتفاق على وصف الصين بالعدو، بل أكد أن الحلف لا يزال منفتحاً على إمكانية بناء علاقات بنّاءة معها، ربّما في حالة تخلّيها عن شراكتها الاستراتيجيّة مع روسيا، والتي عدّها المجتمعون «طليعة التصدّي الاستبدادي» لقواعد النظام الدولي. وفي الواقع، فإن الشراكة الصينية – الروسية تبدو أخطر تهديد لهيمنة الغرب منذ انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي، وانتهاء الحرب الباردة، إذ نجحت روسيا في عقدَين من حُكم الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين في استعادة حيويتها، فيما تقدّمت الصين بشكل مطّرد لتُنافس الولايات المتحدة اليوم على مكانة أكبر اقتصادات العالم، وهما اليوم تتعاونان في غير مجال، في ما من شأنه التمهيد لنشوء بيئة بديلة لا تخضع لرغبات نُخبة واشنطن، وقادرة على استيعاب شعوب أخرى في الجنوب.

ستتعيّن على ستولتنبرغ متابعةُ الحلفاء للحصول على تعهّدات منهم بالمساهمة بقوات إضافية ومعدّات وتمويل


وبالعودة إلى الوثيقة الصادرة عن القمّة، فإن «الإرهاب لا يزال يشكّل تهديداً مستمرّاً غير متكافئ لأمن الدول الأعضاء» (الثلاثين)، فضلاً عن تغيّرات المناخ، والتكنولوجيات الحديثة المخلّة بالاستقرار، وانتشار الأسلحة. كما شدّد المجتمعون على حق الردّ المسلّح على الهجمات الهجينة (السايبرية وعبر الفضاء) التي قد تستهدف دول الحلف، وعلى دور الأخير في الردع والدفاع ومنع الأزمات وإدارتها، كما التعاون الأمني (الاستخباراتي)، والذي يقتضي استدامة عملياته. وتضمّنت الوثيقة عدّة إشارات إلى شمال أفريقيا والشرق الأوسط ومنطقة الساحل، بحجّة أن أيّ «صراع أو عدم استقرار» في هذه المناطق يمكن أن «يؤثّر بشكل مباشر على أمننا»، وهو ما سيثير ارتياح أعضاء «الناتو» في جنوبي أوروبا، ولا سيما إسبانيا وإيطاليا واليونان التي طالما طالبت بدعمها لمواجهة تدفّق اللاجئين من الجنوب. كذلك، أشار الموجز إلى أن المناطق المذكورة تُواجه «تحدّيات أمنية وديموغرافية واقتصادية وسياسية عميقة ومترابطة ومرشّحة للتفاقم»، مضيفاً أن «هذه الديناميكيات توفّر أرضاً خصبة لانتشار الجماعات المسلحة، بما في ذلك المنظّمات الإرهابية، وتشرّع الأبواب لتدخّلات تزعزع الاستقرار من قِبَل المنافسين الاستراتيجيين» – في إشارة إلى الصين وروسيا -.
إلى جانب ذلك، قرّرت القمّة دعوة فنلندا والسويد، رسمياً، للانضمام إلى «الناتو»، علماً أن التحاقهما به سيعزّز تواجده في بيئة بحر البلطيق، ويسهّل «الدفاع» عن لاتفيا وليتوانيا وإستونيا القابعة تحت هاجس «الغزو» الروسي. لكن أهمّ القرارات الصادرة عن المجتمعين في مدريد، كان زيادة تعداد القوّة الضاربة للحلف في أوروبا من 40 ألف جندي حالياً، إلى 300 ألف، وفق مقترح الأمين العام لـ«الناتو»، ينس ستولتنبرغ. على أن هذا القرار يظلّ مجرّد إطار عمل، فيما ستتعيّن على ستولتنبرغ متابعة الحلفاء للحصول على تعهّدات منهم بالمساهمة بقوات إضافية ومعدّات وتمويل. وقالت ألمانيا إنها ستخصّص 15 ألف جندي لهذه الغاية، وتعهّدت كندا برفع تواجدها الأوروبي من نحو 1375 جندياً حالياً إلى مستوى لواء. لكنّ الاندفاعة الأكبر أتت من الرئيس الأميركي، جو بايدن، الذي أعلن أن بلاده ستُعزّز تواجدها في كلّ أوروبا، وستُخصّص أسلحة ومعدّات متطوّرة لدعم حضور «الناتو» بحراً وبرّاً وجوّاً في مواجهة روسيا. وتشمل الخطط الأميركية المعلَنة مقرّاً دائماً في بولندا، و5000 جندي إضافي في رومانيا، وسربَين من طائرات «إف-35» في المملكة المتّحدة، ومعدّات دفاع جوي متقدّم في إيطاليا وألمانيا، ومدمّرتَين بحريتَين في إسبانيا. وتمتلك الولايات المتحدة وجوداً عسكرياً دائماً في 13 بلداً أوروبياً، ويصل تعداد جنودها في مختلف القطاعات عبر القارّة إلى 70 ألفاً الآن، فيما يمكن أن يبلغ بعد القمّة 100 ألف، وفق تقديرات الخبراء.

من جهتها، أعربت إسبانيا عن راحتها لحصولها على ضمانات من «الناتو» لحماية سبتة ومليلة، وهما مدينتان عربيتان تحتلّهما في شمال أفريقيا. ونُقل عن رئيس هيئة الأركان الإسبانية، تيودورو لوبيز كالديرون، قوله إن التزام الحلف بالدفاع عن «السلامة الإقليمية» للدول الأعضاء يشمل أيضاً ممتلكات إسبانيا في القارة الأفريقية. بريطانياً، أعلن بوريس جونسون، رئيس الوزراء، عن دعم مسلّح إضافي بقيمة مليار جنيه إسترليني لأوكرانيا، وهو ما من شأنه أن يرفع مجموع ما قدّمته لندن لكييف منذ شباط الماضي، إلى 2.3 مليار جنيه إسترليني (2.8 مليار دولار أميركي)، الأمر الذي يجعلها أكبر مموّلي النظام الأوكراني بعد الولايات المتحدة. وتعهّد جونسون، الذي يواجه ضغوطاً داخلية شديدة للاستقالة، بزيادة حجم الإنفاق العسكري لبلاده داخل «الناتو»، إلى 2.5% من مجموع الناتج القومي، أي بزيادة 20% عن الحد الأدنى. لكنّ سخاء الرئيس من جيوب البريطانيين لن يكون من دون عواقب محلّية على الأقل، حيث يشتكي وزير الدفاع من عدم توفّر الاعتمادات الكافية للجيش البريطاني، فيما تملأ الصحفَ التي سيقرأها أثناء رحلة العودة إلى لندن تصريحات محبطة من أندرو بيلي، محافظ بنك إنكلترا (المركزي)، الذي قال في مؤتمر في البرتغال إن المملكة المتحدة – من الناحية الاقتصادية – في أسوأ وضع ممكن -، وتعاني من أزمة طاقة أكثر من بقيّة أوروبا، وقد تعيش حالة تضخّم أعلى لفترة أطول.
وحضرت اليابان – مُمثَّلة برئيس وزرائها فوميو كيشيدا – القمّة، وذلك لأوّل مرّة في تاريخ الحلف الذي تأسّس قبل 73 عاماً. وشارك كيشيدا زعماء الحلف مخاوفهم من صعود الصين، وقلقهم على مستقبل تايوان، لكنّ مراقبين أعربوا عن خشيتهم من أن الأميركيين سيعيدون عسكرة اليابان، كما شرعوا بالفعل في عسكرة ألمانيا، مع كلّ ما يحمله هذا من كوابيس فاشيات القرن العشرين. وحضرت القمّةَ أيضاً مجموعة ممّن تسمّيهم واشنطن شركاء «الناتو»، ومن هؤلاء رؤساء دول وحكومات أستراليا، وأوكرانيا (عن بعد)، وجورجيا، وكوريا (الجنوبية)، فضلاً عن رئيس المجلس الأوروبي ورئيس المفوّضية الأوروبية والسويد وفنلندا. وتَمثّل الأردن وموريتانيا من خلال وزيرَي خارجيّتهما، في حين سُجّل حضور وزير الدفاع في البوسنة والهرسك.

مقالات متعلقة

Sweden and Finland joining NATO precedes an inevitable financial collapse of the current international system

June 29, 2022

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Sweden and Finland joining NATO besides being a provocative act towards Russia, precedes an inevitable financial collapse of the current international system

By Guilherme Wilbert

The Nordic entry into NATO, in the middle of a war, is clearly an act that does not help the peace negotiations that could be underway, but acts as the opposite, putting more wood on the fire for “military-technical” measures (to paraphrase Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister who uses the term when talking about responding to Western provocations).

With the entry of Finland and Sweden barred initially by Turkey, it shows that even a NATO member cares about enemies of its national interests. In Turkey’s case with the PKK, which is a Kurdish political organization seen as terrorist by Ankara and some countries, yet they were (until then) operating freely throughout the Nordic countries with active members of the official Kurdistan party holding protests in public squares in Helsinki and Stockholm.
Just for level of knowledge, Kurdistan is a region that would be home to the Kurdish ethnic group, taking part of Turkish territory up to the North of Iran, which explains Erdogan’s concern with a possible disintegration of Turkish territory if the Kurds were to gain prominence on the battlefields (which in real data would be very difficult since the Turkish army is the strongest in NATO for example).

But this provocation, which will surely be responded to by Moscow, proves the warmongers’ concern with continuing disputes and wars around the world, using Ukraine, which is the most recent case at the moment, as a kind of proxy to weaken Russia, serving only as a spearhead of the American objective, since Zelensky himself and his cabinet acknowledge that they will never join NATO and possibly not even the European Union, if you consider and draw a parallel with the case of Turkey itself, which has been waiting since 1999 for a resolution whether to join the bloc or not.

So, the entrance of the Nordics into NATO does not help Ukraine at all and can even make the situation worse with military-technical measures applied by the Russian Armed Forces perhaps in the decision centers in Brussels or in the Baltics, which would lead us to a nuclear catastrophe since the mentioned countries (Belgium and the Baltics for example) are NATO members and could invoke article 5 of mutual aid in case of “aggression” (See that aggression here is interpreted by Westerners (in an exercise of deduction) as only after the military-technical measure, ignoring what provoked the decision to do so).

Coupled with the desperation to provoke more wars, Western leaders get lost in the real global objective: economic integration and the fight against hunger

While great concern is seen with NATO, with diplomats having used the term “Global NATO” a few times, some primary and more basic goals of the organization’s member nations are put aside to add more gasoline to the fire.

The recent cases of inflation in Western Europe or even in the US precede a global financial collapse that has several causes, with some analysts citing the sanctions on Russia but personally I would go further and cite all of the last 10 years of at least NOTHING-backed dollar printouts that were used to give a supposed liquidity to the economy after the 2008 crash that was a scare felt around the world.

Economics, unlike some sciences, is not as if it can receive arguments and opinions, the theories are very clear and explanatory: by printing too much of your currency, you devalue it. But surely American economists know this and they also know that the coming collapse would affect the entire Globe because unfortunately after World War II, American hegemony was also monetary, with countries to this day using the dollar as an international reserve. In other words, in addition to the overprinting and national devaluation of the currency on American territory, it also devalues in the coffers of the countries that use it as a reserve and this will cause a cascading effect that will further force realpolitik into play and cause more haste in the emerging countries to get rid of the coming bomb.

Unfortunately war-hungry Western leaders are blind to what is coming and is already happening in some parts of the world, either because of irresponsible sanctions or the natural course of the very sequence of American economic mistakes. Because it is very different to sanction Russia compared to sanctioning Iran for example. And this does not mean that Iran deserves to be sanctioned in any way, because I believe that every country should have the right to its nuclear program, at least for peaceful purposes, and this cannot be used as a pretext for sanctions that crush already small economies, such as the example of Iran.

In the case of Russia the conversation is different for numerous reasons, be they military at the nuclear level or at the economic level, because Russia is part of a global production chain which acts as an active player on the macroeconomic stage. For example, the raw material called antimony, which is used in the global defense industry for military equipment of various kinds, is rightly found in excess in Russia and parts of Asia. This is to cite a simple example of an element that is not on the average citizen’s table, for example. In addition to the many important productions that Russia is responsible for.

So, given recent events and the inference for the disastrous future, the international scenario for the Global South forces them towards long term solutions of American de-dollarization and decolonization in the various ways, either by American NGOs that operate in several countries or by the very US culture exporting technologies that function as small fiefdoms of thought, the case of Facebook for example. But the latter is a little more difficult to achieve because it involves a collective societal thought that would require a national unity for the development of regional cultures.

Having said that, a peace agreement between Ukraine and Russia with the Ukrainian loss of the territories that comprise New Russia needs to happen and sanctions against any country need to be lifted for the sake of multipolarity.

The world cannot be guided by one diplomatic corps and one government only because the international scenario is not a movie of one actor, but of several, with several potentials to be developed in different parts of the Globe.


Guilherme Wilbert is a Brazilian Bachelor of Law interested in geopolitics and international law.

Douglas MacGregor: Its collapsed

June 29, 2022

Gonzalo Lira: The Sitzkrieg We’re In

JUNE 28, 2022

Lavrov gets it right by comparing European Union and NATO to Hitler’s old Axis

June 28, 2022

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By Guilherme Wilbert

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on 06/24/2022 that the European Union and NATO appear to be carrying out a military coalition for a war against Russia. The statement was given in Baku in Azerbaijan during an interview.

“They are creating a new coalition for fighting, that is, for war with Russia. We will follow this very closely,” the Minister rightly declared, because that is what has been happening anyway. But first let’s go to the archetypes of the entities mentioned.

The European Union, in its initial design, may have come up with good proposals for the integration of Europeans, with some Balkan countries, for example, applying to be part of the economic and diplomatic bloc, but it so happens that few people pay attention to history, especially during World War II.

Hitler wanted a union of the European countries, what he called a “Pan-European Union”, a form of closer integration between countries that would naturally be against the Soviet Union and communism in general. No wonder Hitler set up puppet governments in some European countries such as Denmark, for example, which was under the tutelage of Nazi Germany during the period August 1943 until May 1945, after the success of Operation Weserübung.

As for NATO for example, it is seen as a super aggressive military alliance that causes barbarism in various parts of the world, especially in the former Yugoslavia, which had its territory balkanized after an intervention in the country in 1999 where some war crimes were committed because those bombs would hit civilian buildings, such as the famous bombing of Serbian TV, which was not a legitimate military target, but turned out to be a Yugoslav “propaganda broadcast” (obviously) at the time.

So it didn’t take much effort on the part of some “non-aligned diplomats” (which is the case of Lavrov) to understand that the European Union and NATO act together to stand up to the former Soviet Union, now Russia.  NATO even characterized the country as an “enemy” several times, emphasized by Vladimir Putin in his speeches.

It’s not as if they left options for today’s Russia, unfortunately

After NATO’s expansions into Eastern European countries, even after a verbal agreement made between Soviet and American diplomats at the time that they would not move “an inch east” in the early 2000s, the opposite was seen and this was stated several times before the start of Operation Z, and was characterized in various ways by Kremlin spokespersons that Ukraine’s entry into NATO was a criminal act. And it was.

And like any criminal act, the police power, even if governed by a country’s Armed Forces, needed to come into effect because after the NATO vs. Russia diplomatic rounds no documentary agreement of truth properly bound by international law was reached. And to make matters worse, Zelensky would state on 02/19/2022 in a speech at the European Security Conference in Munich (just 5 days before the start of Operation Z) that he would no longer ratify the Budapest Memorandum, which is a treaty that denuclearizes Ukraine since 1994.

This would sound an alarm throughout Russia because its door to Europe would be with nuclear missiles possibly aimed at Moscow with orders coming from Washington for provocation after the fall of Putin’s allied government of Yanukovych.

With that said, Lavrov’s comparison of Hitler’s Axis with the current European Union and NATO is once again correct, because the current prejudice against Russians was seen against Jews in Nazi Germany, the attempt at various provocations such as the recent case of the Lithuanian blockade of Kaliningrad (Russian exclave) was seen when Hitler spoke of “vital space” putting countries neighboring Germany on invasion alert, and many more are the parallels.

This is a lost war and Ukraine needs to recognize this or else hardly a resident of Kiev will be able to enjoy the good beaches of the Black Sea.

References: https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2022/06/24/7354408/

Behind the Tin Curtain: BRICS+ vs NATO/G7

June 28, 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

The west is nostalgically caught up with outdated ‘containment’ policies, this time against Global South integration. Unfortunately for them, the rest of the world is moving on, together.

The Cradle

Once upon a time, there existed an Iron Curtain which divided the continent of Europe. Coined by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the term was in reference to the then-Soviet Union’s efforts to create a physical and ideological boundary with the west. The latter, for its part, pursued a policy of containment against the spread and influence of communism.

Fast forward to the contemporary era of techno-feudalism, and there now exists what should be called a Tin Curtain, fabricated by the fearful, clueless, collective west, via G7 and NATO: this time, to essentially contain the integration of the Global South.

BRICS against G7

The most recent and significant example of this integration has been the coming out of BRICS+ at last week’s online summit hosted by Beijing. This went far beyond establishing the lineaments of a ‘new G8,’ let alone an alternative to the G7.

Just look at the interlocutors of the five historical BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa): we find a microcosm of the Global South, encompassing Southeast Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, Africa and South America – truly putting the “Global” in the Global South.

Revealingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s clear messages during the Beijing summit, in sharp contrast to G7 propaganda, were actually addressed to the whole Global South:

– Russia will fulfill its obligations to supply energy and fertilizers.

– Russia expects a good grain harvest – and to supply up to 50 million tons to world markets.

– Russia will ensure passage of grain ships into international waters even as Kiev mined Ukrainian ports.

– The negative situation on Ukrainian grain is artificially inflated.

– The sharp increase in inflation around the world is the result of the irresponsibility of G7 countries, not Operation Z in Ukraine.

– The imbalance of world relations has been brewing for a long time and has become an inevitable result of the erosion of international law.

An alternative system

Putin also directly addressed one of the key themes that the BRICS have been discussing in depth since the 2000s — the design and implementation of an international reserve currency.

“The Russian Financial Messaging System is open for connection with banks of the BRICS countries.”

“The Russian MIR payment system is expanding its presence. We are exploring the possibility of creating an international reserve currency based on the basket of BRICS currencies,” the Russian leader said.

This is inevitable after the hysterical western sanctions post-Operation Z; the total de-dollarization imposed upon Moscow; and increasing trade between BRICS nations. For instance, by 2030, a quarter of the planet’s oil demand will come from China and India, with Russia as the major supplier.

The “RIC” in BRICS simply cannot risk being locked out of a G7-dominated financial system. Even tightrope-walking India is starting to catch the drift.

Who speaks for the ‘international community?’

At its current stage, BRICS represent 40 percent of world population, 25 percent of the global economy, 18 percent of world trade, and contribute over 50 percent for world economic growth. All indicators are on the way up.

Sergey Storchak, CEO of Russian bank VEG, framed it quite diplomatically: “If the voices of emerging markets are not being heard in the coming years, we need to think very seriously about setting up a parallel regional system, or maybe a global system.”

A “parallel regional system” is already being actively discussed between the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and China, coordinated by Minister of Integration and Macroeconomics Sergey Glazyev, who has recently authored a stunning manifesto amplifying his ideas about world economic sovereignty.

Developing the ‘developing world’

What happens in the trans-Eurasian financial front will proceed in parallel with a so far little known Chinese development strategy: the Global Development Initiative (GDI), announced by President Xi Jinping at the UN General Assembly last year.

GDI can be seen as a support mechanism of the overarching strategy – which remains the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), consisting of economic corridors interlinking Eurasia all the way to its western peninsula, Europe.

At the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, part of the BRICS summit, the Global South learned a little more about the GDI, an organization set up in 2015.

In a nutshell, the GDI aims to turbo-charge international development cooperation by supplementing financing to a plethora of bodies, for instance the South-South Cooperation Fund, the International Development Association (IDA), the Asian Development Fund (ADF), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Priorities include “poverty reduction, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines,” industrialization, and digital infrastructure. Subsequently, a Friends of the GDI group was established in early 2022 and has already attracted over 50 nations.

BRI and GDI should be advancing in tandem, even as Xi himself made it clear during the BRICS summit that “some countries are politicizing and marginalizing the developmental agenda by building up walls and slapping crippling sanctions on others.”

Then again, sustainable development is not exactly the G7’s cup of tea, much less NATO’s.

Seven against the world

The avowed top aim of the G7 summit in Schloss Elmau at the Bavarian Alps is to “project unity” – as in the stalwarts of the collective west (Japan included) united in sustainable and indefinite “support” for the irretrievably failed Ukrainian state.

That’s part of the “struggle against Putin’s imperialism,” but then there’s also “the fight against hunger and poverty, health crisis and climate change,” as German chancellor Scholz told the Bundestag.

In Bavaria, Scholz pushed for a Marshall Plan for Ukraine – a ludicrous concept considering Kiev and its environs might as well be reduced to a puny rump state by the end of 2022. The notion that the G7 may work to “prevent a catastrophic famine,” according to Scholz, reaches a paroxysm of ludicrousness, as the looming famine is a direct consequence of the G7-imposed sanctions hysteria.

The fact that Berlin invited India, Indonesia, South Africa and Senegal as add-ons to the G7, served as additional comic relief.

The Tin Curtain is up

It would be futile to expect from the astonishing collection of mediocrities “united” in Bavaria, under de facto leader of the European Commission (EC), Fuehrer Ursula von der Leyen, any substantial analysis about the breakdown of global supply chains and the reasons that forced Moscow to reduce gas flows to Europe. Instead, they blamed Putin and Xi.

Welcome to the Tin Curtain – a 21st century reinvention of the Intermarium from the Baltic to the Black Sea, masterminded by the Empire of Lies, complete with western Ukraine absorbed by Poland, the Three Baltic Midgets: Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Czechia and even NATO-aspiring Sweden and Finland, all of whom will be protected from “the Russian threat.”

An EU out of control

The role of the EU, lording over Germany, France and Italy inside the G7 is particularly instructive, especially now that Britain is back to the status of an inconsequential island-state.

As many as 60 European ‘directives’ are issued every year. They must be imperatively transposed into internal law of each EU member-state. In most cases, there’s no debate whatsoever.

Then there are more than 10,000 European ‘rulings,’ where ‘experts’ at the European Commission (EC) in Brussels issue ‘recommendations’ to every government, straight out of the neoliberal canon, regarding their expenses, their income and ‘reforms’ (on health care, education, pensions) that must be obeyed.

Thus elections in every single EU member-nation are absolutely meaningless. Heads of national governments – Macron, Scholz, Draghi – are mere executants. No democratic debate is allowed: ‘democracy,’ as with ‘EU values,’ are nothing than smokescreens.

The real government is exercised by a bunch of apparatchiks chosen by compromise between executive powers, acting in a supremely opaque manner.

The EC is totally outside of any sort of control. That’s how a stunning mediocrity like Ursula von der Leyen – previously the worst Minister of Defense of modern Germany – was catapulted upwards to become the current EC Fuhrer, dictating their foreign, energy and even economic policy.

What do they stand for?

From the perspective of the west, the Tin Curtain, for all its ominous Cold War 2.0 overtones, is merely a starter before the main course: hardcore confrontation across Asia-Pacific – renamed “Indo-Pacific” – a carbon copy of the Ukraine racket designed to contain China’s BRI and GDI.

As a countercoup, it’s enlightening to observe how the Chinese foreign ministry now highlights in detail the contrast between BRICS – and BRICS+ – and the imperial AUKUS/Quad/IPEF combo.

BRICS stand for de facto multilateralism; focus on global development; cooperation for economic recovery; and improving global governance.

The US-concocted racket on the other hand, stands for Cold War mentality; exploiting developing countries; ganging up to contain China; and an America-first policy that enshrines the monopolistic “rules-based international order.”

It would be misguided to expect those G7 luminaries gathered in Bavaria to understand the absurdity of imposing a price cap on Russian oil and gas exports, for instance. Were that to really happen, Moscow will have no problems fully cutting energy supply to the G7. And if other nations are excluded, the price of the oil and gas they import would drastically increase.

BRICS paving the way forward

So no wonder the future is ominous. In a stunning interview to Belarus state TV, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov summarized how “the west fears honest competition.”

Hence, the apex of cancel culture, and “suppression of everything that contradicts in some way the neoliberal vision and arrangement of the world.” Lavrov also summarized the roadmap ahead, for the benefit of the whole Global South:

“We don’t need a new G8. We already have structures…primarily in Eurasia. The EAEU is actively promoting integration processes with the PRC, aligning China’s Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian integration plans. Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are taking a close look at these plans. A number of them are signing free trade zone agreements with the EAEU. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is also part of these processes… There is one more structure beyond the geographic borders of Eurasia.”

“It is BRICS. This association is relying less and less on the Western style of doing business, and on Western rules for international currency, financial and trade institutions. They prefer more equitable methods that do not make any processes depend on the dominant role of the dollar or some other currency. The G20 fully represents BRICS and five more countries that share the positions of BRICS, while the G7 and its supporters are on the other side of the barricades.”

“This is a serious balance. The G20 may deteriorate if the West uses it for fanning up confrontation. The structures I mentioned (SCO, BRICS, ASEAN, EAEU and CIS) rely on consensus, mutual respect and a balance of interests, rather than a demand to accept unipolar world realities.”

Tin Curtain? More like Torn Curtain.

June 27th This and That

June 27, 2022

Yellow Vest Win: Proving that Western Liberal Democracy is the same old autocracy

June 27, 2022

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

Source

by Ramin Mazaheri

If we say that the Yellow Vests are not socialist revolutionaries even latently, then what are they protesting about?

To put it the most simply: they are protesting the end of European Social Democracy, with the limited protections it provided.

(This is the seventeenth chapter in a new book, France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best ValuesPlease click here for the article which announces this book and explains its goals.)

The Yellow Vests intuited that the pan-European project has ended the era of European Social Democracy (1945-75) and replaced it with elite-driven, free market, winner-take-all Liberalism.

Seeing that their list of 43 demands doesn’t include the word “Europe” once, however, the Yellow Vests don’t really grasp that the European Union represents the organisational assassin of European Social Democracy. The European Union and Eurozone’s response to the Great Recession made it entirely clear: these are institutions which are perfectly hostile to Social Democracy’s minor redistributions and protections which fundamentally embolden the average worker and citizen.

Social Democracy was not born after World War II, just as “neoliberalism” was first on display back in 1871, with what was imposed after the destruction of the Paris Commune. Marx chronicled the birth of European Social Democracy, in 1848, when the Mountain Party (which initially claimed the mantle of neo-Jacobinism) sided with the small-traders in the June Days massacre instead of with the urban proletariat and rural peasantry, as the Jacobins had done in 1789. They went from supporting Socialist Democracy to calling themselves Democratic Socialists (Démocrate-socialistes) and this – and not the downward slope from Napoleon Bonaparte to Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte – should be considered the truest essence of Marx’s famous line of history repeating itself as farce.

“The revolutionary point was thereby broken off from the social demands of the proletariat and a (social) democrat turn given to them….”

That was the birth of Social Democracy: an ideology where the social demands of the recently-feudal masses (decent pay, health care, education, pensions, etc.) get only partially addressed while the political demands of an aristocracy opposing an absolute monarch (free speech, property rights, trial by jury, etc.) are fully met. Liberalism has always sought to limit progressive changes to the political question of how to move on from feudalism, and to stop progressive changes to the social question of how to move on from feudalism. The reformist ideology of Social Democracy has operated within Western Liberal Democracy for nearly 175 years and only partially prevailed for 30 of them.

The sooner the Yellow Vests realise that Social Democracy will never be a harmonious solution to the elitism dominant in Liberalism, the better, as Marx did:

“The peculiar character of Social Democracy is epitomised in the fact that democratic-republican institutions are demanded as the means, not to remove the two extremes – capital and wage-slavery – but in order to weaken the antagonism and transform them into a harmonious whole.”

Putting capital primarily in the hands of the recently-feudal masses so they can provide the broad economic stability and success which would end wage- and debt-slavery has never been a goal of Social Democracy, from the Mountain Party to Leon Blum to Francois Mitterrand to Francois Hollande to the “Democratic Socialists of America” led by Bernie Sanders in the 21st century United States.

Yellow Vest: “We are not beggars! What is 100 euros only given one time? State taxes compose 60% of the price of gasoline, so calling it 100 euros is totally false – the people truly only receive 40 euros. This is election nonsense, but Macron won’t win votes with these crumbs.”

Marx continued in his examination of France and gave us the key to the capitalist culture of both Liberal and Social Democracies: “This substance is the transformation of society along (Social) democratic lines, but a transformation within the boundaries of the small-trader’s class.” One extraneous sentence later: “It believes rather that the special conditions for its own emancipation are the general conditions under which alone modern society can be saved and the class struggle be avoided.”

Trotsky and the Yellow Vests saw that, due to the rise of financial capitalism, a leftist alliance must include the small businessman, but they reject the goal of Social Democracy to elevate their virtues and needs over those of the average worker and citizen.

Thus even when Social Democracy prevails in Liberalist capitalist cultures the virtues of the usually bourgeois-aspiring, individualistic, managerial small-trader class become the highest virtues to be promoted. Everyone must be a self-interested, competitive entrepreneur who aspires to be a boss and a “job creator”. This veneration of the small trader is the most obvious in American culture, and it is American culture which has been imposed on France via the pan-European project: at the alleged “end of history”, with the fall of the USSR, the United States shepherded the pan-European project, which is rightly said to be even more Liberalist (i.e. Bankocratic) than anything which could be created in the United States.

What we see in the modern era, and as this book proves, is that Liberalism, Social Democracy and Fascism have all joined together and “become bourgeois”. This amalgam of 18th century Liberalism, 19th century Social Democracy and 20th century fascism is ultimately not different from the aristocracy of the 17th century and earlier, which which ruled the 99% in an entirely autocratic manner. The extremely modest expansion of wealth and political power from a blood/marriage line to a line of the super-wealthy 1% still results in the exclusion of the recently-feudal masses from policy making, and this is what the Yellow Vests emphatically reminded. Their primary demand was not Socialist revolution but merely to get more public opinion into public policymaking.

The bourgeois bloc continually dangles Social Democracy as a reformist possibility, and thus they secure the loyalty of both the big and the small bosses and owners. However, when the moment of implementation comes, amid the next guaranteed bust in Liberalist capitalism, the response is the anti-Socialist virulence of Liberalism via the ruthless elite domination of a Fascism which has made peace with big capital.

Yellow Vest: “Macron’s repeatedly evaded the main problems. His solutions are not concrete, and it is certain that in a few months we will just be in the same situation. This is why we will keep protesting, for certain.”

Baudelaire wrote, “The most beautiful trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist,” and this is what modern Western Liberal Democracy has done with the elitism, arrogance and autocracy which is the basis of absolute monarchy. Macron’s “Jupiterian” remove has pulled the sheet off of Western Liberal Democracy, again, and reminded that the idea of an autocratic ruler remains the preference of a Western elite which has always been totally opposed to Socialist-inspired measures.

The republican lie of Liberalism

When Western leaders communicate among themselves and with their foreign counterparts they use the language of Liberalism; when they implement policy they use the ruthlessness of Fascism; but when they communicate with the masses they know that republican language is paramount.When Western leaders communicate among themselves and with their foreign counterparts they use the language of Liberalism; when they implement policy they use the ruthlessness of Fascism; but when they communicate with the masses they know that republican language is paramount.

This is especially true in France and the United States, where royalism has been fully discredited from holding public power. Thus, there is a constant emphasis by contemporary French leaders and their mainstream media on maintaining “republican” values.

However, the republicanism of both is an antiquated one as it is based on Liberal and not Socialist Democracy. A perfect example of the inadequacy of their elite-led republicanism is found in the Orwellian name of the group which wages the actual physical repression of the Yellow Vests: the detested CRS riot police (Compagnies républicaines de sécurité – Republican Security Companies.) A woman wearing a full-body bathing suit – a “burkini” (combination of “burqa” and “bikini”) is breathlessly presented as a bigger threat to French republicanism than the repression of the Yellow Vests. Most obviously, there is the mainstream conservative party’s name change shepherded by Nicolas Sarkozy in 2015 – from L’Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP) to les Républicains: the party had so many corruption scandals that a rebranding was deemed unavoidable.

Such is the false republicanism in Liberal Democracies.

The lip service towards republicanism allows the perpetuation of the outdated notion in France that the world still views them as the brightest beacon of progressive politics. They are different than almost all of Northern Europe, where royals still – bewilderingly – remain on thrones which hide mountains of the public’s rightful riches and influence. Indeed, an Iranian can find in France a refuge from the common Western toleration and whitewashing of monarchism.

The elite in the United States uses “freedom”, while monarchies like the UK use “human rights” in the same way – to insist that freedom and human rights for their modern aristocracies still represents the pinnacle of progressivism.

The legacy of 1789 exists in France today only in this constant demand to uphold “republicanism”, even if it is not at all the spirit of 1789 and only mouths its forms. The Yellow Vest repression will remind all of history that the freedoms offered by the republicanism of Western Liberal Democracy with French characteristics are a fantasy – there is only the autocracy of the bourgeois bloc.

France’s 21st century belief that “the republic” must jingoistically unite the French is ultimately a means used to falsely claim the legacy of 1789 while also ensuring that talk for progressive politics ends with this very initial answer to the “political question”, and with no answer to the “social question”, as well.

This also explains why there is so much forced discussion in France about what a huge threat Islam poses to this immoral republicanism: Islam correctly insists on God and morality being the highest allegiance, and certainly not laws forced through by a Fascist-allying, imperialist bourgeois bloc.

Nothing is more Liberalist than the European Union, and thus the ‘Social Fascist’ repression of anti-austerity movements and the Yellow Vests

We have already linked the European Union with the birth of neoliberalism and neo-imperialism, we have established how Fascism was subsumed and its tactics adopted, and we have shown how the goal of the third restoration of Western Liberalism is to roll back the modest gains of Social Democracy.

All that’s needed is to show how Western Liberal Democracy wields the power of the state as autocratically as royal families and their coteries used to – for this we simply have to look to the Yellow Vests.

Western Liberal Democracy and pre-1789 autocracy – there is no real difference.

Whether the form is a parliamentary republic based on Liberalism, or an executive-led republic based on Liberalism, or a constitutional monarchy based on Liberalism – the autocracy has been the same. Only the truly elite have the money to buy Liberalist rights and influence in public policy.

Yellow Vest: “As usual, no prison for the rich – everything goes fine for them, always. They never know hunger or poverty, but put everything on the average person’s back. Benalla should have been treated like anyone else – justice should be equal for everyone.”

Just as the trends of 250 years of Iranian or Chinese history can be summarised so too can the trend of the past 250 years of French and Western history, and this book has aimed to do that. Above all the trend of moving away from an autocratic monarch and towards an empowered people’s republic is discerned. The problem has been Western Liberal Democracy’s conception of a republic: what they have always had is an oligarchic republic, inspired by the English, which aims for perpetual repression of the recently-feudal (to Asian conceptions of time!) Western masses.

The early years of all revolutionary republics are always fraught with missteps and mistakes, but made with the sincere goal of broad societal progress. In 1789 the move away from absolute monarchy was met with great difficulty and international opposition. In 1848 the move away from a limited monarchy was met with great difficulty, also caused by great inexperience. In 1871 the move towards a social republic was met with great difficulty and international opposition, also caused by great inexperience. But inexperience is not the primary difficulty of the people today – they know how to rule, but they still face great international opposition. As Marx wrote:

“The cry of ‘social republic’ with which the February Revolution (of 1848) was ushered in by the Paris proletariat, did but express a vague aspiration after a republic that was not only to supersede the monarchical form of class rule but class rule itself. The Commune (i.e. the first appearance of Socialist Democracy) was the positive form of that republic.”

However, the social republic was annihilated by neoliberalism and would not appear until 1917 in the eastern frontier of Europe – Russia.

The Yellow Vests reminded those in the 21st century who believe that the “end of history” had occurred in 1991 that the people’s desires for a social republic are no longer vague. However the Yellow Vests have had the misfortune of living in the world’s only region – the West – where socialist-inspired revolutionary cultures have never won implantation.

To their great credit, the Yellow Vests created a revolutionary condition for all of France. When it was thwarted by Liberal Democratic politicians, media and unions the Yellow Vests continued to march to keep promoting what may truly turn into a revolutionary culture at the next major uprising over Liberalism’s endemic failures. The Yellow Vests have created a vast and reliable network – there’s no doubt they will spring into action at the next opportunity.

The next political progression for the Yellow Vests is the realisation that the pan-European project only dangled the illusion of mere Social Democracy, but that its “neoliberal” basis is actually Fascist and autocratic to its very core.

The analysis of that splendidly successful revolutionary Bolshevik, Trotsky, must be remembered today if the Yellow Vests are to break with the perpetual illusion of mere Social Democracy:

The program of the Communist International has the following to say on this subject: Side by side with the Social Democracy, which assists the bourgeoisie to stifle the proletariat and to lull its vigilance, Fascism appears.’ The Communist International failed to understand that it is not the mission of Fascism to function side by side with the Social Democracy, but to destroy all the existing workers’ organizations, including the reformist. The task of Fascism, in the words of the program, is to ‘annihilate the Communist strata of the proletariat, and their leading cadres.’ Fascism, then, does not at all threaten the Social Democracy and the reformist trade unions; on the contrary, the Social Democracy itself plays a “Fascist” role to an ever increasing degree. Fascism achieves nothing more than the consummation of the labours of reformism, by functioning ‘side by side with the Social Democracy’.” (Emphasis his)

The Communist Bolsheviks rejected mere Social Democracy and instead used Socialist Democracy as their guiding structure ideology, as do Socialist-inspired countries today, who then adapt its primary economic and political imperatives to local cultures and mores. They saw that Social Democracy and Fascism work together to destroy not just Socialist Democracy-inspired groups, unions, parties, countries, etc, but also groups, unions, parties and countries which attempt Social Democratic reforms of Liberalism. As time goes on the Yellow Vests will realise, thanks to their own repression, that Liberal Democracy and Social Democracy offer them no solution except the destruction of the Yellow Vests.

One sentence later – in which Trotsky expressed his usual disapproval with the Moscow-based Comintern – Trotsky continued:

We have here before us all the basic elements of the theory of social fascism. The leaders of the Communist International failed to understand that capitalism in decay is no longer able to come to terms with the most moderate and most servile Social Democracy, either as a party in power, or as a party in opposition. It is the mission of Fascism to take its place not ‘side by side with the Social Democracy’, but on its bones. Precisely from this there flows the possibility, the need and the urgency for the united front.” (Emphasis his)

(Recall that a united front (joining together in society’s leftist struggles), is not the same as a popular front (an electoral alliance).)

Call it what you want: Social Fascism, Liberalism, autocracy, Fascism, constitutional monarchy, rule by the 1% – it is all the same oligarchic autocracy for the recently-feudal masses. I call it Western Liberal Democracy to properly place it in a geographic and historical context.

As soon as the Yellow Vests stop trying to win back the Social Democratic measures which Nicolas Sarkozy, Francois Hollande and Macron rolled back, the sooner they will realise that Socialist-inspired countries have shown a better way, method and goal. Without a major reformulation of the pan-European project – which seems impossible to get off the ground in a Liberalist-dominated media – the pan-European project’s initial lure of even greater Social Democratic gains should be seen only as a chimera.

The Yellow Vests know enough to reject existing establishment institutions, as well as pathetic PFAXIst (Popular Fronts Against Xenophobia but for Imperialism) electoral strategies – they must realise the monarchist-elitist-reformist-fascist alliance which is Western Liberal Democracy must be rejected in favor of Socialist Democracy.

That, of course, will lead to even more repression.

But their bravery will earn them more and more comrades; their correctness will only increase as the repression accumulates; the guaranteed cycles of failure in capitalism and the clockwork greed of high finance all make the move away from autocratic Liberalism certain.

The combination of royalism, Liberalism and Fascism is doomed, but people must be liberated from the long-outdated and pernicious influence of Liberalism before the next political advancement can take place. Thus the Yellow Vests, and thus this book, which is another humble tally of Liberalism’s failures.

Yellow Vest: “The people I speak with express absolutely no desire to stop the movement and remain very positive. The Yellow Vests are, above all, the French people, and the French people recognize this and this is why the movement will have a second wind.”

So admirably, The Yellow Vests have cleared the path for France: the despairing working poor, middle and lower classes have a fighting force which can never, ever be called Fascistic. France is back to being the West’s leaders of progressive politics.

Marx’s most important passage on France – guiding France from 1789 to 2022 and beyond

Here we have the most important passage in Marx’s writings on France – from his writings on the Paris Commune – because it historically summarises a century of turbulent political and socio-economic changes and pinpoints the establishment of modern Western Liberal Democracy.

The passage covers the vital and obscured history of France for a century after 1789. The short parentheticals are mine and designed to add clarity to Marx’s meaning:

“If the parliamentary republic, as M. Theirs said, ‘divided them least’ (the different factions of the French ruling class in 1850), it opened an abyss between that class and the whole body of society outside their spare ranks. The restraints by which their own divisions had under former regimes still checked the state power were removed by their unionand in view of the threatening upheaval of the proletariat they now used that state power mercilessly and ostentatiously as the national (and imperialist) war engine of capital against labor.

In their uninterrupted crusade against the producing masses they were, however, bound not only to invest the executive with continually increased powers of repressionbut at the same time divest their own parliamentary stronghold – the National Assembly – one by one, of all its own means of defence against the Executive. The Executive, in the person of (President) Louis(-Napoleon) Bonaparte, turned them out. The national offspring of the ‘Party of Order’ (the dominant political party of the 2nd) Republic was the Second Empire (of Emperor Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte).

The (Second) empire, with the coup d’etat for its birth certificate, universal suffrage for its salvation and the sword for its sceptre, professed to rest upon the peasantry – the large mass of producers not directly involved in the struggle of capital and labor. It professed to save the working class by breaking down parliamentarianism and, with it, the undisguised subserviency of government to the propertied classes. It professed to save the propertied classes by upholding their economic supremacy over the working class; and, finally, it professed to unite all classes by reviving for all the chimera of national glory.

In reality it was the only form of government possible, at a time when the bourgeoisie had already lost, and the working class had not yet acquired, the faculty of ruling the nation. (As they would acquire, starting with the Paris Commune and then later the USSR, China, Iran, etc.) It (the 2nd French Empire) was acclaimed throughout the world as the saviour of society. Under its sway bourgeois society, freed from political cares, attained a development unexpected even by itself. Its industry and commerce expanded to colossal dimensions; financial swindling celebrated cosmopolitan orgies (Marx uses this last word literally, per scandals of the time); the misery of the masses was set off by a shameless display of gorgeous, meretricious and debased luxury. The state power, apparently soaring high above society, was at the same time itself the very scandal of that society and the very hotbed of all its corruptions. Its own rottenness, and the rottenness of the society it had saved (i.e. the bourgeois elite of the 2nd Republic), were laid bare by the bayonet of Prussia, herself eagerly bent upon transferring the supreme seat of that regime from Paris to Berlin.”

The globalist descendants of the victors of 1871 would eventually comprise on Brussels instead of Berlin. Belgium – the country fabricated so that France and Germany would have a place to fight their wars, it is often joked – became “the seat of that regime”.

Yellow Vest: “We are not proud, at least not yet, because we have many more victories to accomplish. We insist on having referendums initiated by citizens, in order to democratically give a voice to all of France and to the Yellow Vests. We will keep marching to ensure that our common future is serene and peaceful.”

If we make only minor substitutions in Marx’s passage to include contemporary developments, does this not make an up-to-date history of France and Europe covering over two centuries?

If the pan-European project “divided them least” (the different factions of national ruling classes in Europe) least, it opened an abyss between that class and the whole body of society outside their spare ranks. The restraints by which their own divisions had under former regimes still checked the state power were removed by their union; and in view of the threatening upheaval of the Yellow Vests they now used that state power mercilessly and ostentatiously as the international war engine of capital against labor.

In their uninterrupted crusade against the producing masses they (the pan-European project) were, however, bound not only to invest the national executive branches with continually increased powers of repression, but at the same time divest their own national parliamentary branches, one by one, of all its own means of defence against the Executive. The Executive, in the person of a modern Louis Bonaparte (or something new and revolutionary, perhaps similar to the Supreme Leader branch of government in Iran)could not be allowed to have turned them – Brussels – out. The national offspring of the pan-European project was the neoliberal Empire of the European Union.

The empire, with the fall of the USSR for its birth certificate, denying the national referendums which rejected the European Union and which were based on universal suffrage for its salvation and the sword for its sceptre, professed to rest upon the neo-peasantry – the large mass of producers not directly involved in the struggle of capital and labor and who desired to avoid more intra-European wars, free movement around Europe and the strengthening of a Social Democratic safety net. It also professed to save the working class by breaking down national parliamentarianism and, with it, the undisguised subserviency of government to the propertied classes. It professed to save the propertied classes by upholding their economic supremacy over the working class; and, finally, it professed to unite all classes by reviving for all the chimera of supranational glory via colluding with the United States to enforce Liberalist values worldwide.

In reality it was the only form of government possible, at a time when the bourgeoisie had fully acquired the faculty of ruling the nation, something they had no experience with in 1848. It (the pan-European project) was acclaimed throughout the West as the saviour of European society. Under its sway bourgeois society, freed from political cares, such as the profit drags and democratic nuisances created by the era of Social Democracy, attained a development unexpected even by itself. Its industry and commerce expanded to colossal dimensions; financial swindling celebrated cosmopolitan orgies; the misery of the masses was set off by a shameless display of gorgeous, meretricious and debased luxury. The state power, apparently soaring high above society, was at the same time itself the very scandal of that society and the very hotbed of all its corruptions. Its own rottenness, and the rottenness of the society it had saved – the royals threatened by 1789, the bourgeois threatened by 1848, the colluding Social Democrats threatened by 1917 and the Fascists threatened by 1945 – were laid bare by the bayonet of the Yellow Vests, herself eagerly bent upon transferring the supreme national seat of that regime from Brussels back to Paris.”

France is not Cuba, Iran, China or even Southern Lebanon – it will likely take a civil war for the Yellow Vests to ever use bayonets to finally win political and economic redistribution. However, the Yellow Vests emphatically prove the willingness of Western Liberal Democracy to use violence just as brutally as the autocracies of 1788.

The Yellow Vests also remind that Western Liberal Democracy does not even allow the rights which Liberalism claims to protect – how long can that persist in a country which regularly demands the right to publicly exercise such rights, and whose pens have been freed by the digital era?

If the French elite is not going to permit even the basic rights of Liberalism, then France needs a defensive force which can protect the Liberalist rights of protesters. That is the subject of the next chapter.

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Upcoming chapter list of France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values.

Publication date: July 1, 2022.

Pre-orders of the Kindle version may be made here.

Pre-orders of the French Kindle version may be made here.

Chapter List of the new content

أوروبا دخلت الحرب على التوقيت الأميركيّ فهل تخرج أميركا منها على التوقيت الأوروبيّ؟

 الإثنين 27 حزيران 2022

ناصر قنديل

لم يكن التصعيد الأميركي الأوروبي بوجه إيران وصولاً الى تعليق المفاوضات في فيينا بشروط تعجيزية، واعتماد إجراءات عدائية عبر الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية، معزولاً عن النظرة الأميركية الأوروبية لمفهوم الحرب الواحدة ضد روسيا والصين وإيران، بعد فشل محاولات الفصل بين الملفات، واحتواء أو إغراء أو ترهيب أي من اطراف المثلث الآسيوي الصاعد وصولاً الى تفكيك الحلف الثلاثي الذي يهدد الهيمنة الغربية. ومثل خط الصعود كان خط النزول، فالمبادرة الأوروبية المنسقة أميركياً نحو استئناف المسار التفاوضي بأفكار إيجابية مع إيران، هي تعبير شامل عن الخلاصات التي رسمتها موازين القوى، سواء في جبهة المواجهة مع روسيا أو مع الصين أو مع إيران.

يتباهى الرئيس الأميركي بأنه أسقط 30 سنة من الاستثمار الروسي على العلاقات المميزة مع أوروبا، وأثبت مناعة التحالف الأميركي الأوروبي، ودرجة تماسك حلف الناتو، لكنه لا يستطيع أن يتجاهل أن هذا الإنجاز الذي تجلى بنجاح أميركا في جر أوروبا وراءها وبتوقيتها لدخول الحرب الأوكرانية في مواجهة روسيا، يبقى مؤقتاً طالما أن الحفاظ على هذا التماسك الأميركي الأوروبي يستدعي ضبط إيقاع الخطوات الأميركية على حجم قدرة أوروبا على السير، وطالما أن الاستثمار الروسي على العلاقة مع أوروبا لم يكن حملة علاقات عامة، بل انطلاقاً من حقائق تفرضها الجغرافيا الاقتصادية وفي طليعتها حقيقة أن روسيا القريبة هي أفضل مورد للغاز والنفط لأوروبا، من زاوية المصلحة الأوروبية، وأن النجاح الأميركي أوروبياً مشروط بأحد أمرين: الأول هو الفوز برهان إسقاط روسيا بالضربة المالية القاضية عبر العقوبات، التي صمّمت لدفع الاقتصاد والنظام المالي في روسيا للانهيار، ما يضمن نهاية سريعة للحرب التي لا يمكن الرهان على الجانب العسكري الصرف للفوز بها، وعند الانهيار المالي الروسي يتحقق الخضوع الروسي للشروط الأميركية الأوروبية، كما كانت تقول الخطة المفترضة. والثاني هو النجاح بتأمين بدائل كافية وبأسعار معقولة توفر الطاقة لأوروبا، وجدول زمني مناسب مع تزامن الخروج من مصادر الطاقة الروسية، وعندها تتحضّر أوروبا للتأقلم مع حرب طويلة تستطيع تحمل تداعياتها.

فشل الرهانان الأميركيان، رغم سلاسة الانصياع الأوروبي، واقتربت ساعة الحقيقة، فقد شرعت روسيا بوقف ضخ الغاز، والمخزونات الأوروبية لا تكفي للحد الأدنى من حاجات ومتطلبات الشتاء المقبل، وقد امتلأت الغابات الأوروبية بالعائلات تحول أشجارها الى حطب، واستبدلت في البيوت تجهيزات التدفئة على الغاز بتلك القديمة على الحطب، وعاد الفحم الحجري رغم نسب التلوث المرتفعة التي يتسبّب بها للدخول على الكثير من أوجه الاستخدام الصناعي، والحديث على أعلى المستويات عن تناوب المصانع الكبرى على يومين للعمل في الأسبوع وإقفال صناعات لا تحتاج الأسواق الداخلية منتوجاتها المخصصة للتصدير ويمكن الاستغناء عنها، وبلغ ارتفاع الأسعار نسباً متصاعدة، تتراوح بين 50% و100%، وهي مرشحة للتزايد، ومعها الاضطرابات الاجتماعية والسياسيّة المقبلة، وأول المؤشرات جاءت من الانتخابات الفرنسية.

بالتوازي كشفت كل الاتصالات والمحاولات التجارية والسياسية لتأمين الغاز من مصادر أخرى أن سقف المتاح لا يغطي أكثر من 30% من حجم الغاز الروسي لأوروبا، 10% من أميركا بضعف السعر الرائج، و10% من قطر والجزائر، لكن بعد العام 2024، و10% من غاز شرق المتوسط، ودونه تعقيدات سياسية وأمنية، كحال الغاز المفروض استخراجه وضخه من بحر عكا والمرتبط بمستقبل ترسيم الحدود البحرية مع لبنان، وأمن الاستجرار عبر المتوسط، وكلها بأكلاف عالية والحاجة لاستثمارات ضخمة، وانتظار لشهور او سنوات، بينما لم يعد موضع نقاش أي رهان على تهاوي الاقتصاد الروسي او انهيار النظام المالي للنقد الروسي، فسعر صرف الروبل الذي استعاد مكانته بعد اهتزاز لم يدم لأكثر من ثلاثة ايام، يحقق ارباحاً تتخطى الـ 50% بالقياس لسعره قبل الحرب، عاكساً نهضة اقتصادية داخلية ونمواً متزايداً في قطاعات جديدة وفرتها عملية تشغيل البنى التحتية لمنشآت الشركات الغربية التي غادرت الأسواق الروسية بفعل العقوبات.

ساعة الحقيقة الأميركية هي الاختيار بين المضي قدماً في خيار المواجهة دون أوروبا، التي بدأت علامات الإعياء والإنهاك تظهر عليها، وبدأت الانقسامات تهدد وحدتها، وصارت فرضية انسحاب تدريجيّ لدولها من خيار المواجهة مطروحة على الطاولة. وهذا يعني فقدان زخم المواجهة، في لحظة تعاني هذه المواجهة أصلاً من العجز عن تحقيق تقدم، سواء في المسار العسكري، أو في المسار الاقتصادي، والانفصال الأميركي عن أوروبا يعني منح روسيا ربحاً استراتيجياً بتلقف هذه التشققات الأوروبية والتعامل معها، وتخلي الأميركي عما تباهى به من الحفاظ على تماسك أميركا وأوروبا معا، أو القبول باعتبار الحفاظ على الوحدة مع أوروبا يبقى الأمر الأهم في أولويات المرحلة المقبلة، وهذا يعني أنه كما دخلت أوروبا الحرب على التوقيت الأميركي، فقد آن أوان أن تبدأ أميركا بالاستعداد للخروج منها على التوقيت الأوروبي.

الاستجابة الأميركية للدعوة الأوروبية للعودة الى مسار التفاوض لإنقاذ الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، وقبول تقديم ما يوصف بالتنازلات المؤلمة لتحقيق هذا الهدف، هي تعبير عن مسار سيتكرر على الجبهة الأوكرانية بحديث مواز عن تنازلات مؤلمة على الغرب وأوكرانيا تقديمها، تحت شعار دفع خطر المجاعة عن البشرية، وقد بدأ الترويج لهذا الشعار تمهيداً لنقلات دراماتيكية في مسار الحرب الأوكرانية، والحملة البريطانية التحذيرية من إذلال أوكرانيا ليست إلا استباق لهذا المسار المقبل.

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French vote shows the undemocratic rot of the pan-European project 2/2

June 26, 2022

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. His new book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

by Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with PressTV

Part 1 discussed how a “hung parliament” isn’t going to happen in France. President Emmanuel Macron won enough seats and can find plenty of allies among the mainstream conservatives, as well as the Socialist Party and Green Party. Thus, on all issues involving far-right economics, neoliberalism and the pan-European project Macron will proceed without parliamentary difficulty.

Part 1 ended with my pointing out how Macron’s coalition-building is actually unimportant.

Because the Mainstream Media is fine with his ends, they rarely discuss how Macron often used the 49-3 executive decree in his first term even when he had an absolute majority. Macron bypassed parliament just to avoid public discussion in Parliament on his hugely unpopular austerity “reforms” – i.e. right-wing rollbacks.

And then the guy would actually sign these bills – which were also entirely written by his own coterie – live on television, rubbing it in everyone’s faces! The French, of course, can’t stand this obviously autocratic – and certainly not democratic – behavior. The elite-driven “bourgeois bloc”, however, adored it.

So who cares about the French legislature? Certainly Macron has not.

Francois Hollande used the 49-3 executive decree multiple times as well, so this is clearly a long-running issue of executive branch power grabs.

The MSM doesn’t want to focus on these facts because they so obviously reveal the incredibly low quality of French democracy and of the pan-European project.

Therefore, even if Macron can’t create a majority to pass neoliberal legislation why would he allow parliament to restrain hims now? In the coming years we should expect his rationalisations along the lines of, “We must avoid dysfunction and stagnation, therefore I decree…”.

All the above explains why the democratic absolute majority winner of the legislative vote was “none of the above” – abstention won 54%. The French know that modern autocracy – rule by the 49-3 executive decree and the overruling of national sovereignty by Brussels – rules, thus rendering Europe’s national parliaments a waste of time, breath and attention. Remember Syriza of Greece, or the “bomb” Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, promised Ireland? Many European citizens have not.

Elections at just 46% turnout are a hair’s breadth away from not having democratic credibility, but that must be added with the constant use of the 49-3 executive decree and the certainty of a Brussels’ veto for any legislation they don’t like. It combines to modern autocracy – rule by an oligarchical elite.

When is the broad prosperity and stability which Western Liberal Democracy promises ever going to arrive? When is the broad prosperity and stability of the pan-European project ever going to arrive? Certainly the latter’s short tenure has been marked by nothing but economic disaster and democratic repression.

Because Western Liberal Democracy took the defeated fascists of World War II under their wing they also subsumed many of their ideas. One of them is identity politics: the average Frenchman is now being told to focus on the paltry 15% score of the National Front and not the larger issues presented in the paragraph above. It’s nonsense, and to do that would be to play into the hands of the bourgeois bloc.

All of these realities should be clear to people who cover French politics.

Macron has to actually pay attention to parliament now and work a little harder to win over some votes (but only if he actually feels like it) – I guess that’s democracy, but it’s not much. The MSM and bourgeois bloc elite is worried that “reforms” – i.e. rollbacks to the Social Democratic advances implemented from 1945-75 – won’t get through, but after 13 years here, and over 1,500 2-3 minute television reports for PressTV, which includes over 3,000 soundbites from French people, and hundreds of written columns, I’m worried about the democratic will of the French people.

But it’s been foolish to look for the democratic will in Western Liberal Democratic parliaments and in French parliament ever since 1848, when they did away with unelected monarchy.

France’s parliament is going to get louder, but that’s about it. It’ll be more like the United States in that there will be a lot of grandstanding and big talk, and then the same right-wing conclusions will arrive exactly as predicted. If it somehow doesn’t – Macron will use the executive decree. If Macron somehow doesn’t use the executive decree – Brussels will step in to forbid, sanction or legislate around the democratic will of any member nation.

As time goes on this reality will become clear and clearer. Some in the NUPES alliance and some in the National Front will actually say such things in Parliament. Macron promised to govern in a way to decrease “extremism” – i.e. those who point out the failures of Liberalism – but he clearly achieved the exact opposite.

Macronism is my generation’s type of conservatism, but that doesn’t mean it was ever built to last. The former Rothschild banker was a candidate who was fabricated at the last moment of 2016 by the intensely monied powers who have always governed in Western Liberal Democracy. He’s not as all-powerful as he was in his first term, but how could he be, given his discrediting behavior, his lack of merit and the arrogant elite he chooses to guide him? How could Western Liberal Democracy not keep proving to the masses their lack of concern for the problems of the working poor and middle classes?

However, since 2009 France does not control its currency, prices, budget, laws, rails, skies and obviously much, much else. A major failure of the Yellow Vests was to focus their attention entirely on Macron and on parliament and not on the pan-European project. The Western media tells them deceptive lies, but this column has laid out solid conclusions drawn from close observation. The Yellow Vests have protested every Saturday since October 2021 – you likely haven’t heard about that because the MSM refuses to tell the truth about that, too. When the next inevitable bust period occurs in Liberalism, they are ready to be there.

Will France descend into chaos shortly, as many predict? My God – how can it get more chaotic than every single Saturday from November 2018 through June 2019? All that’s left is for the forces of order to open fire on protesters – massacres!

That would change things – at least I hope it would. The West, ever-grandstanding about their moral superiority, certainly ignored the occasionally-lethal brutality towards the Yellow Vests.

The French elections have ended – major changes were not made. Since the Great Recession, and subsequent undemocratic installation of the pan-European project, the world’s third-largest but weakest and least-sovereign economy has only gotten weaker. After damage so great we don’t even know how bad it is, the coronavirus fog has lifted – remember that it was instituted just weeks after the failure of France’s longest labor movement ever, the general strike of 2019-20. France and the EU are marching to war over the unrest in Ukraine, and also sacrificing their economies for that cause.

Such is France today.

No Bonapartism – either Napoleonic or Louis-Napoleonic – is coming to save them from the autocratic bourgeois bloc. They have no revolutionary “Supreme Leader branch” of government, either – they don’t even want to understand what that term means. The French don’t believe in the goodwill of the leadership of the United States, but they follow them anyway. China, which since 2008 has soared in direct inverse proportion to the demise of Europe, is following an independent path, just as Iran has done since 1979. Now Russia appears to be doing the same after three decades of Liberalism.

The world needn’t worry about the results of French parliament, but they should worry for the French.


Part 1 of 2

Iran After Strong, Sustainable Deal in JCPOA Talks: Shamkhani

June, 26, 2022

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani reaffirmed Tehran’s push for a strong, sustainable and reliable agreement in the talks for saving the 2015 nuclear deal and lifting the anti-Iranian sanctions.

In a meeting with the European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, held in Tehran on Saturday, Shamkhani slammed Europe’s inaction and the US’s lack of commitment to its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Iran’s remedial measures in the nuclear sector are merely a legal and rational reaction to US unilateralism and Europe’s inaction and will continue as long as the West’s illegal practices persist,” he stated.

Shamkhani noted that the illegal withdrawal of the US from the HCPOA has caused the Iranian nation to lose trust in the West and Washington.

“We have fulfilled all our commitments under the JCPOA and have never left the negotiating table and we are still looking for a strong, lasting and reliable agreement,” the top security official said.

Shamkhani emphasized that the removal of illegal sanctions and full and lasting realization of the economic benefits of the JCPOA are Iran’s main objectives in engaging in the talks with the P4+1 group of countries.

“Iran does not favor an agreement that fails to meet the two above-mentioned principles in providing a reliable guarantee from the US and Europe,” he said.

He emphasized that the participants in the Vienna talks failed to reach a final agreement on the JCPOA revival because of the US’ contradictory behavior and its sticking to threats and sanctions.

“The language of force cannot be used in addressing a country that has overcome the most difficult conditions of sanctions with vigorous resistance and the sympathy and support of its people,” the SNSC secretary said, Press TV reported.

The senior EU diplomat, for his part, said the possible JCPOA revival under the current global circumstances can be regarded as a very important security achievement in the international system.

Borrell criticized Trump for pulling the United States out of the multilateral agreement and said all the parties to the JCPOA must look ahead to the future to reach a good final deal.

Pointing to his talks with US officials before traveling to Tehran, he added that the administration of Joe Biden is keen to reach an agreement on the JCPOA revival.

Negotiations have been held in the Austrian capital of Vienna since April last year to restore the JCPOA, which was ditched by former US president Donald Trump in May 2018.

In quitting the agreement, Trump unleashed what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign to bring Iran to its knees. Tehran maintains that the policy has failed dismally. The Biden administration agrees, yet it has not taken any tangible steps to deliver on its promise of repealing the policy.

Related Articles

French vote shows the undemocratic rot of the pan-European project 1/2

June 25, 2022

by Ramin Mazaheri and cross-posted with PressTV

France’s election season finally got interesting, but only marginally.

Even though his brutal repression of the Yellow Vests should disqualify him from being a public servant ever again, Emmanuel Macron was re-elected president, incredibly. However, he has finally been reprimanded at the voting booth – his parliamentary coalition just lost its absolute majority.

The Yellow Vests can claim wresting yet another concession. Unfortunately – like most of their concessions – it’s rather minor.

The Mainstream Media is in a tizzy over an allegedly “hung parliament”, but don’t they always do that when the working-poor class rebels against Western Liberalist diktats?

The man initially hailed as the “new leader of the free world” by Politico (how badly does that hold up four years later?), and who then obviously became a “liberal strongman”, now has to actually acknowledge the National Assembly’s existence after ruling by executive order for five years.

This is such a bad thing? The entire start of modern global politics, in 1789, was the move away from absolute monarchy via the demand for a parliament – a representative body which can, finally, exert some influence over the policy-making of the executive branch.

To the Western elite: yes, this is a very bad thing.

They don’t want absolute autocracy anymore, but they certainly don’t want the poor, working-poor and middle classes exerting any influence over policy-making. They are continually appalled at how the French masses – from the Yellow Vests, to the 2005 “No” vote on the European Constitution, to the election of anti-austerity candidates like Francois Hollande and Francois Mitterrand – keep rejecting the “bourgeois bloc’s” insistence that neoliberalism is the greatest thing since pockets.

The dominant analysis in France now is that it is divided into three blocs: the far-right of Le Pen, a left wing (represented by the NUPES “popular front”, which just over-promised and under-delivered) and a “center” of Macronistas. This is wrong. The best description of French divisions is between a bourgeois bloc (the 25% which supports Macron) and everyone else (the 75% which supported the Yellow Vests/the 70% which didn’t want Macron to have another absolute majority in parliament).

The bourgeois bloc is obviously full of pro-elite, pro-privilege, right-wing ideas – neo-imperialism, free market economics, perpetual austerity, a poor social safety net, regressive taxes on the average person but tax evasion for the rich and corporations, the idea that citizens should vote once every 4 or 5 years for elite politicians and then stop being involved in politics – but what it is actually presented as is “radical centrism”. Much like the idea of the “bourgeois bloc”, such terms are gaining popularity in recent years.

“Radical centrism” is the idea that mainstream Western thought is the only “right” way to view reality. The ideology of Liberalism is “centrist”, or so they allege, but they definitely make this claim with a virulence that is truly radical.

This started post-1991 with TINA – There Is No Alternative. The great unsaid to that popular phrase is that There Is No Alternative to Neoliberalism and Neo-imperialism. Radical centrism has become – to them – “the truth”. Criticise their policies – such as the false benevolence, and certainly the false success, of the pan-European project – and you are classified as “disinformation”. Affirm these policies and you’re a blue-checked “expert” and “independent”.

It’s all nonsense of course, but ever since 1789 created a bourgeois bloc they have always been out of touch with the average person’s experiences and beliefs.

This brings us back to the legislative vote: the Western MSM, owned by the bourgeois bloc in a West which eschews state media, is now worried that without an absolute majority Macron won’t be able to force through his “radical centrist” policies as easily as he did for the past five years.

The Western MSM is, of course, totally unconcerned about the fact that Macron forced through his policies only on top of the broken bones, lost eyes and blood of the Yellow Vests. They only worry about protesters in right-wing places like Hong Kong, or Ukraine, or the MKO, etc.

The intellectual state of France has now been established – are the MSM’s worries justified? Does the vote signify a huge change?

No, but not for the reasons expected by people who don’t closely follow French politics.

Firstly, ignore the usual French drama: Of course newspapers want to sell papers by inflaming the results. The far-right’s Marine Le Pen wants to act like 15% is a parliamentary majority, leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon wants to believe that 25% of seats earns him the prime minister post, and the mainstream conservative Republicans are talking about “still being an opposition party” but these are all lies, exaggerations and self-delusions.

The biggest delusion outside of France since 2017 is that Macron was ever a “centrist”. His subsequent legalisation of Islamophobia and the state of emergency, his far-right economic policies and his authoritarian style all disproved that indisputably.

Macron was always a mainstream conservative, just with a new logo and of his generation. Somehow this eluded many commentators, and I attribute this – among the misled older commentators – to a generation gap.

Macron’s generation was raised to be entirely pro-Europhile, and also to reject xenophobia. Some in the mainstream conservative party are pro-globalisation and some aren’t so much, and some in the mainstream conservative party are Islamophobic and some aren’t so much, but those in les Républicains haven’t joined the National Front (now the National Rally) for a reason, and that reason is: these are not their main issues.

So we should add together the seats of Macron’s coalition and those of the mainstream conservatives – and we get an absolute majority of 53%. Thus, on all issues involving far-right economics, neoliberalism and the pan-European project Macron will proceed without parliamentary difficulty.

People are acting like Les Républicains haven’t been going along with pan-European project diktats since Nicolas Sarkozy? It’s crazy. He’s the one who engineered the passage of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, which was rejected in that 2005 vote mentioned above, and which put the installation of the European Union in the hands of national parliaments (run by the bourgeois bloc) and not in the hands of voters.

Macron’s coalition won enough seats to avoid a crisis. He’ll be able to win over just 2/3rds of Republicans (or 44 seats) for a majority on anything of economic and political importance to conservatives (and to pan-Euroepans).

However, one must realise that Macron will also win over many in the Socialist Party and the Green Party, as well! They are plenty of them who are totally on board with neoliberalism and the pan-European project. The NUPES left-green alliance is already fracturing.

Allow me a short victory lap: in already-published chapters of my new book (France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values – out July 1) I predicted the formation of AND the failure of the NUPES “popular front”. I understand Western fake-leftism – what can I say? This electoral alliance was always just that – to win votes – and it’s already breaking apart. Many in NUPES only put away their Europhilia to keep their seat, after all.

This certainly cannot be argued with, as well: There simply has not been a huge influx of parliamentarians who are anti-EU, anti-Liberalist, anti-austerity and anti-bourgeois bloc, and certainly not any majority. It will be business as usual in Western Liberal Democracy.

However, all of these facts are entirely moot!

You haven’t wasted your time, however, but you do need to please read Part 2 of this column, out soon.


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. His new book is ‘France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values’. He is also the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

Herr Habeck firehoses oil & gas

June 25, 2022

Source

by Jorge Vilche

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck is now getting very cold feet because the strategy of madly firehosing the excellent oil & gas sourcing that Europe had with Russia until recently to his personal dismay is now fully defeating both the EU´s purpose and Germany´s needs. Ref #1 https://www.rt.com/business/557729-gas-shortage-industry-halt-germany/

So the plan seems to be to steal yet more per Ref #2 https://www.rt.com/business/557731-germany-seeking-nationalize-nord-stream2/

Still, Robert Habeck is realizing that — no matter how thirsty — nobody can ever drink water from a firehose, not even Germans, let alone Europeans. And don´t you dare to try it. If you did, chances are you´d end up with dark-purple lips and ice-cold water pressing deeply inside your sinus cavities, probably knocked-down, blood-shot eyes popping and hurting beyond belief, and possible random injuries elsewhere. Police forces worldwide know all about this so they invented the water-cannon to rapidly disperse confronting defiant crowds. Of course, you could not ever drink from a firehose water jet, but the impact could have you hospitalized. A bit late, Habeck now foresees all of this, and beyond. And it clearly does not end well, not for Germany, nor for Europe either, and winter is coming. Unless Herr Habeck were a member not of the German Green Party but rather of the European War Party, a truly losing proposition.

https://dxczjjuegupb.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/word-image-2-2.jpg

Firehoses many times are also difficult to hold steady even by brutish strong hands and arms of young, well-trained, heavy-booted firemen. Obviously enough, thirst can only be satisfied by drinking one sip at a time no matter how thirsty you might be, most preferably from a cup or glass. And, of course, tremendous thirst cannot be quenched with tremendous amounts of water dispensed from a high pressure firehose jet. Unfortunately, the “firehose” analogies #1 + #2 presented herein are exactly what Robert Habeck is doing per the EU-approved ban on Russian oil by December 2022. Meanwhile, as explained below, China and India instead take full advantage of the nicely discounted price by “sipping” down Russian crude oil gradually and – per the analogy — from an imaginary glass, not a firehose water jet.

Apparently, both of these “firehose strategies” #1 and #2 do not show up on the radar screen of neither European engineers, nor supposed chemical ´experts´, or trade associations, scientific societies, think tanks and/or labor unions. Quite on the contrary, they and many others have remained solemnly silent just watching how a few unelected and improvised groupie politicians that know jack about technical requirements gain political traction and MSM coverage for their foolish ´firehose approach´ as if it were doable and convenient for the best interests of Europeans. But by banning Russia they´ll never quench the EU´s enormous thirst for crude oil, processed and refined products thereof, and natural gas. Rather they will bring the European energy sourcing matrix down on its knees, something which has finally dawned in the mind of Herr Habeck and that by now is most probably already shared by the average European.

firehose #1 per oil

This most self-destructive nonsensical idea consists in simultaneously running throughout the key upstream refinery and petrochemical sector many dozens (if not hundreds) of still undefined and truly challenging parallel reconversion projects of different sorts – all tightly-packed within the same timeframe — requiring currently non-existing resources of different types ( HR + IT hard/soft/firmware + not-yet-designed equipment plus installation and commissioning thereof, etc. etc. etc., etc., etc. ) throughout the European continent and all of them with an identical 6-month deadline for execution and delivery. This most expensive idea starts by banning imported, perfect-from-every-sense-except-politics Russian oil at half the price and without any pay-back cost as nothing other than already existing resources are required. Only a bunch of fools would thus negatively affect the livelihoods of 800 million of their own people that will necessarily suffer the irreversible consequences of this mis-management of their self-made crisis. By December 2022 in 6 short months all that Europeans will have is freezing cold and a horrible, un-rewindable blowback in their hands.

The current course of action officially approved by the EU necessarily calls for the 2022 execution of hundreds of projects related to the Russian oil ban which would supposedly allow for non-Russian oil imports refinement and processing in Europe. Imagine this “firehose” approach trying to adapt all refineries, processing plants, ports, docks, pipelines, logistics infrastructure, etc., etc. to a new mix of yet unknown oils to replace the Russian Urals blend which would therefore require yet unknown modifications and corresponding fine tuning. This impossible re-vamping and retrofitting of absolutely everything will consume humongous amounts of euros, human resources, expertise, trials & errors, risk and lots of hard work and lots and lots of time. The Schwedt refinery alone will require 11 major projects at the very least per Ref.#21 below. All in all, we are talking hundreds of billions of euros that Europe does not have — and should not print — with 40-50 years payback long after (supposedly) fossil fuels have been phased out of the EU and no bank willing to finance the madness. So far nothing has been announced, no feasibility studies, no bid forms issued or trans-European call for bids, no joint-ventures, no engineering firms, plans or specs, no guidelines, no oil vendors, bidding documents, no schedules, no consultants or commissions, no bid opening and contract award dates: plain nothing.

China & India

Readers frequently ask how is it that China and India are readily importing and successfully processing Russian oils while European refineries would supposedly have tremendous trouble processing other “good” oils (ha!). Some readers go far beyond and assure other fellow posters without batting an eyelash that necessarily, of course, if China and India can successfully process and refine Russian oils well obviously enough Europe can readily and easily do the same with yet unknown oil blends from yet unknown vendors blah blah yadda yadda. Well, the short answer is a flat “NO”, the slightly longer answer is “you better know what you are saying and doing” and the longest answer I dare to publish is that “history will not be kind to anyone directly or indirectly involved in what you are saying or proposing”. The more elaborate answer includes that China and India since years ago have already carefully designed, tested, vetted, certified, and commissioned the required modifications for processing Russian Urals blend. But neither China nor India has been stupid and ignorant enough to adopt the European nonsensical and ruinous ´nuclear option´ of the firehose flood-everything-out strategy. First they went slow on solid footing, and then only later speeded-up with their experience on firm ground and with the advantage of the constant Russian Urals that Europe doesn´t have any more

3 differences 3

There are 3 main differences between China & India and the European firehose approach (more on that later). The No. 1 difference is that China & India had plenty of time to slowly study and carefully modify only a limited handful of refineries. So both had many years for the specific modification of only very few refineries later to be easily carbon-copied per the always constant Russian Urals blend feedstock. So China & India fine tuned their processes always responding to a single homogenous constant excellent Russian Urals blend, while Europe does not yet even have the faintest idea of what in glorious cold-freezing hell it has to fine-tune to… or even if it will ever find any blend to fine-tune for … so that its refineries render humongous amounts only of diesel fuel, not anything else, which matters a lot. Difference No. 3 is that Europe will not find a single oil mix to substitute for Russia´s Urals blend feedstock and will end up having to import several variable yet unknown mixes sourced from yet unknown vendors, if any. Very messy.

What both China and India did years ago is to import small amounts of Russia´s Urals blend and comfortably tuned up a small handfull of refineries to process it at a “small scale” like drinking from a glass of water one sip at a time. Now that Russia is offering its Urals blend at a great discount very close to 30%, both China and India are ramping up their purchases while also further enlarging their refining capacity so as to process ever growing amounts of excellent, now super-cheap, abundant, homogenous Russian Urals blend. Anyone, such as Europe, attempting instead a “firehose” strategy with unknown blends will fail miserably as explained to death and in depth in the 21 references linked below. In view of the above, China & India and others too will most probably build brand new refineries ad hoc from scratch only to process Russian Urals blend feedstocks just like Europe was doing a short while ago before going bananas. And once that pipelines from Russia to Asia are concluded in 3 years time the Western world will play second fiddle.

Ref #3 http://www.rt.com/business/557463-russia-china-top-oil-supplier/

Ref #4 http://www.rt.com/business/557403-india-increase-russian-oil/

Ref #5 http://www.rt.com/business/557091-india-russia-import-oil/

Ref #6 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Russia-Overtakes-Saudi-Arabia-As-Chinas-Top-Oil-Supplier.html

bad joke

One way to begin to understand the problem is agreeing and accepting that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyden made a historical bad joke, by saying “ The EU will make sure to phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion to allow us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes minimizing the impact on global markets”. Nope, you can´t do that in 6 months Ursula, if ever. So if you accept that´d be absolutely impossible then you are on the right track to understand the rest. Otherwise you´d be just playing games running around in circles. Hint: it´d be like trying to change the engine oil while cruising at 150 km/hr on a German autobahn. Of course, you can stop the car and change the oil, but in this case it would mean shutting down Europe for months. You cannot do that, can you ?

By any standards, there are definitely not enough adequate oil blends around to come close to satisfying European refinery requirements comparable to homogenous continuous over-abundant constant Russian high-quality Urals which the EU now has decided to ban. And also please accept once and for all that a specific oil blend is not just “any oil blend” to be plugged & played anywhere anytime. Oil blends are not fungible. A very specific refinery or processing plant tune-up needs to be specifically matched with an always constant high-quality homogenous oil blend in large enough quantities and for a given desired output such as diesel fuel, or whatever. No “open architecture” is possible here, that´s just for IT nerds, not for refineries. And definetly there are no vendors all lined up happily willing and able to sell you their oil blend in unlimited quantities already fully adapted to whatever plant you may have ´as-is´ for whichever desired production output you may need delivered just-in-time on-demand and only when you need it. No. that´s not the case or anywhere close. Europe now may have Angola oil (maybe) for what it might be worth, but it needs 30 additional Angolas nowhere to be found under current circumstances. Suez is a tremendous choke-point.

Ref #7 https://www.freightwaves.com/news/how-new-eu-sanctions-on-russia-will-shake-up-global-energy-trade

Ref #8 https://www.saferack.com/glossary/tanker/

nutshell

In a nutshell, EU politicians have officially approved a forcefull mandate whereby all of Europe will have to execute in 6 short months what India and China would not dare doing in less than 10 (ten) years. That is 20 times more time. When the rubber meets the road, Europeans will realize that their political class are just a bunch of ignorant fools.

Furthermore, China & India had the enormous advantage of having to fine-tune and modify their plants for a single well-known, constant, homogenous, reliable, fully vetted Russian Urals blend… while Europe does (a) not have anywhere near that possibility and (b) does not even know what blends it will be able to find in large enough quantities and (c) it is now realizing that it will not ever be a single oil mix. So, eventually and if lucky enough (for how long ?) Europe will have to fine-tune its refineries and processing plants quite differently (not carbon copied as China & India) depending on what Europe happens to source and procure with the minimum corresponding performance and delivery guarantees. And in view of possible discontinuous supply of the right quality feedstocks, European refineries may very well find themselves back in square one and having to re-do everything all over. Refining and chemical processing are a key upstream sector, highly capital-intensive, thick skin required yet delicate & tricky, and also a very ugly business.

Can People Allergic to Nuts Still Eat Some Types? | Live Science

non-fungible oils

Refineries are very closely matched and mated with subtle calibration to a very specific and foreseeable feedstock. Changing such feedstock requires lots of time, effort, money, dedicated facilities, experimentation, mistakes, trial & error, specific expertise, and risk. Substituting the constant quality and humongous quantity of Russian oils in only 6 months has never been conceived yet alone attempted. Now Europe needs a substitute feedstock it can´t yet know which could it possibly be, if any. This will require cross-border negotiations and coordination,funding, major cross-industry interferences, new costs and surprises from yet unknown trade and other business partners, new procedures, etc. And 95% completion is not enough, only 100% is satisfactory. Everybody and his sister would now in Europe be modifying the same things at the same time with the same resources and the same deadline. Exactly who will refine & process crude oil in the meantime ? No fuels in Europe until European refineries refine something no ?

Ref #9 https://www.ifo.de/en/node/69417

Adapting any EU refinery to new types of oils requires detailed laboratory knowledge of the new blend with constant composition and formal guarantees for its continuous delivery for decades, convoluted & lengthy contracts and procurement processes, extremely detailed engineering plans, manufacturing of parts, shipping, installation, testing, commissioning, optimization, permitting etc. etc. etc. The EU today has highly sensitive plants finely tuned and used to Russian high quality oil during decades. One single ‘bad fuel’ refinery batch would produce never ending down/time cascading impact, damages, repairs, claims, accidents with possible injuries, non-compliance and altered delivery schedules, liabilities everywhere. It´s the joint “oil feedstock – refinery – desired output” sequence to be resolved.

All EU refineries will need modification and tune-up of new feedstock lines and infrastructure, atmospheric distillation facilities, vacuum distillation systems, cat-crack units, visbreaking facilities, alkylation units, catalytic reformers, isomerisation units, ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE) facilities, etc. Plus probably new storage facilities + handling equipment to substitute the Druzhba pipeline now shut-down by December 2022. Plus all sorts of sensors, software & firmware modifications or possible purchases of new stuff which will require personnel and third party vendors all over.

firehose #2 per gas

As if all of the above were not enough, Herr Habeck is now getting Europe ready for a firehose #2 project. Namely the DE-conversion from natural gas and the RE-conversion into dirty coal proposed by a member of the Green Party !!!!

You can´t make this stuff up, trust me that imagination cannot compete with European reality. So, the back-to-coal ´solution´ proposed is (a) very dirty against Europe´s Green Plan plus other climate pledges and regulations (b) ultra expensive (c) a major upheaval throughout Europe which would not make it for this coming winter soon knocking on the European doors, and probably not even for next winter 2024 at least throughout all of Europe… or even in 2025.

This completely separate – yet overlapping – set of major madhouse back-to-coal projects also imply enormous risk and major modifications and tight schedules all around, bids, bidders, contract oversight, etc. etc.etc for which nobody is prepared for nor regulators, nor vendors, nor consultants or engineering firms, nor end users, nor households or the industry at large. So this DE-conversion from natural gas and subsequent RE-conversion into coal simultaneous with the “firehose strategy #1” for Russian oil substitution means enormous additional time and ultra-high costs, technical limitations, interrupted services and production, upheaval everywhere, labor union conflicts, discomfort, civil works, electromechanical contracts, specialized labor, expertise, etc. etc. – nobody would be able to walk down the street for groceries or catching the subway — while all of this is done simultaneously throughout Europe ? This is not fiction

Ref #10 https://www.rt.com/business/557599-europe-russian-gas-cut/

Ref #11 https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/21/ukraine-war-europe-turns-to-coal-as-russia-squeezes-gas-supplies.html

Ref #12 https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220620-dutch-join-germany-austria-in-reverting-to-coal

Ref #13 https://www.rt.com/business/557503-austria-coal-green-energy/

Ref #14 https://www.rt.com/business/557571-czech-republic-gas-energy/

In sum, Herr Habeck and EU politicians have unnecessarily set Europe up for hundreds of overlapping, cross-borders, gargantuan projects impossible to fulfill simultaneously, with absurd sequencing and scheduling coordination, plus peremptory timing limitations and deadlines, with countless synchronized engineering specialties and very risky, highly demanding logistics, plus overwhelming legal, political, and environmental aspects. For decades European refineries have streamlined supplies and specifically matched their processing capabilities for the Russian Urals blend in order to produce a very specific set of final products amongst which diesel fuel is paramount. So now European refineries and processing plants cannot just suddenly switch to whatever oil blends are found elsewhere without the complete set of features that the Urals blend has..Accordingly, this glorious mis-management has the whole EU economy at risk

Europe could also suffer the pain of potentially non-performing rushed and poorly designed modifications made to ports and logistics infrastructures, or while retrofitting and revamping its refineries and chemical processing plants. Furthermore, Europe will spend a fortune it cannot afford while running the certain, serious risk of a failed troublefull reconversion ending up with many half-finished facilities that will not be anywhere ready on time, or ever. And as 95% compliance is not enough to produce a single drop of a processed product (diesel or whatever) this means that under current circumstances and 2022 established deadlines until Europe has 100% adequately modified and successfully retrofitted everything up and running for feedstocks it does not yet have or know about… Europe really has nothing. Additionally, the human resource challenge related to all of the above is insurmountable and probably un-compliable.

Hungary has publically exposed the problem: “the EU has ‘no solution’ to fix damage from Russian oil ban”. Mass migrations very soon are in the cards, including large cities of Western Europe. Herr Habeck already knows this. Skeptics are rapidly hiding because these energy supply problems have become obvious throughout Europe already.

And you just can´t have 35% of the plants processing and/or running with “good” Russian oil still fed by the Druzbha pipeline till December while the remaining 65% run on “bad” unknown non-Russian seaborne oil. You can´t do that.

Ref # 15 https://www.rt.com/news/555297-hungary-eu-no-solution/

Ref # 16 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Record-High-Diesel-Prices-Will-Ripple-Across-The-Economy.html

By the way, Russia today sells LESS oil & gas but earns MORE revenue than last year. Please see Ref # 25 below.

Hereafter a ´mano-a-mano´ comparison between the European “firehose strategy” vs. China & India´s “glass of water”

Analysis is limited to firehose #1 to be applied for the (supposed) EU project regarding substitution of Russian oils.

GENERAL

pre-feasibility studies + feasibility studies + start date + authority + deadline + affected domain + relative project size +

reservoirs + oil quality + oil quantity + human resources

PROCUREMENT

bidding process + contracts + investments + financing + sourcing + vendor certification + tankers certification + oil certification + lab tests + homologation + compliance + price + guarantees

LOGISTICS

docks + handling equipment + loading + ports + pipelines + seaborne delivery

END USERS

refinability + refineries

==============================================================================

GENERAL

pre-feasibility studies

European “firehose” = hundreds of studies urgently needed yesterday, NONE possibly yet done, not yet announced.

China + India = those required were done years ago, many more are currently in progress

feasibility studies

European “firehose” = hundreds of studies urgently needed yesterday, NONE done, nor announced, nor scheduled

China + India = many approved, up and running, yet more are currently in progress

start date

European “firehose” = June 2022

China + India = many years ago, exact date unknown, preparations since ever, plenty of time for everything.

authority

European “firehose” = the EU system has overlapping bureaucratic jurisdictions whereby decisions are made by 27 unanimous votes while limiting or even opposing decisions are later taken by individual member countries.

China + India = everything under the command of a single country authority in charge.

deadline

European “firehose” = 6 months (!!!!!) imminently foolish

China + India = open, gradual, through years, plenty of time left, meanwhile lots of work in progress

affected domain

European “firehose” = 100s of projects, ports, docks, refineries, processing plants, pipelines, logistics, infrastructure

China + India = already done years ago for today´s needs, meaning 0 (zero) affected domain

relative project size

European “firehose” = enormously large, diverse, incommensurate, complex, cross-border, zero management skills.

China + India = carbon-copy expansion of vetted modifications with work in progress for far larger shipments

reservoirs

European “firehose” = unknown, experimental mix from occasional “beach-front bazaar” variable vendors.

China + India = Russian Urals blend, enormous, reliable geologically & physico-chemically stable reservoirs

oil quality

European “firehose” = fully unknown, wishy-washy-iffy, does not even exist, experimental, does not allow any planning of anything yet. A lower-rate or not constant & homogenous oil quality means poor performance and operational risks with possible serious breakdown troubles beyond repair plus possible injuries plus down-time will necessarily require plant process modifications and other engineering & logistics nightmares already described in many references below.

China + India = Russian Urals blend, decades-proven, fully vetted, constant, well-known 100% reliable, high quality homogenous blend, low sulfur, light- intermediate API gravity. Easy to process and/or refine. All-around compliance, special mixture of heavy sour oil from the Ural and Volga region mixed with light API oil of Western Siberia per 9.8 Nelson Complexity index with medium 31.7 API gravity sour with about 1.35% sulfur content.

Matching the Russian Urals oil grade is theoretically ´possible´ by blending high-quality oils from different sources if available from reliable vendors in large enough quantities. BUT maintaining the blend specs and volumetric flow requirements to meet refinery capacity/specs is very difficult. Beware: the Urals blend allows for a very constant Nelson Complexity Index of 9.8 to guarantee refined excellence for a range of products including petrol (gasoline) diesel, aviation turbine fuel, LPG, extra light heating oil, heavy fuel oil, bitumen, benzene, toluene, xylene, and sulfur.

oil quantity

European “firehose” = fully unknown, weakest point no matter what its variable “quality” may get to be. It´d also have to be an “incremental” volume beyond current production because of (a) potential growth in European demand and (b) because no vendor will ever leave traditional customers abandoned high & dry just because the EU has now gone bonkers. Furthermore, these contracts could might all turn out being short-term ephemeral un-sustainable ´purchases of convenience´ without continuity to be dropped the instant the EU´s “ban Russia´s oil” stops dead in its tracks for plenty of good reasons. Not enough quantity means degraded European livelihoods and failing economy, with shut down plants and refineries affecting transportation, heating, hospitals & schools, military, government, business, etc.

In order to substitute Russian oils, other oil-exporting vendor countries will have to either (a) suddenly increase their production (?) and how would they do that exactly (??) … or (b) disregard their traditional clients … and suddenly cut them off high and dry to go out to sell to Europe. In that case, where would their traditional clients find an exporter to buy the right quality oil from? The world oil market is one and the same and Russia inputs at least 15% of such.

China + India = Russian Urals blend, on-demand continuous non-stop unlimited delivery, allows planning everything.

HR Human Resources

European “firehose” = probably the weakest link of all with tons of people missing with yet-to-be-defined job descriptions, yet to be interviewed, hired, trained, teams put together, deployed, etc. etc. Current operational and maintenance + staff & field personnel would probably demand being switched to other jobs… or will drag their feet… or would simply resign thus necessarily compounding the problem to unchartered depths. New, young, inexperienced hands do not help under these circumstances. New managers and all sorts of office & field personnel from logistics to IT contractors, welders, etc. will not even be hired by December 2022

China + India = 100% contracted and working normally with operational personnel, field hands, staff & management

PROCUREMENT

bidding process

European “firehose” = not started yet, no bid forms issued nor trans-European call for bids, no joint-ventures, no engineering firms, plans or specs, or guidelines, no bidding documents, no tentative schedules, no consultants, no commissions or committees, no bid opening and contract award dates. No nothing.

China + India = normal operational checks, buyer-seller relationship well established, future procurement wide open.

contracts

European “firehose” = supposedly by June 2022 impossible to comply with. Real date unknown, possibly by 2023

China + India = already awarded and entered into, currently under execution, with buyer / seller satisfaction

investments

European “firehose” = needs to invest hundreds of billions of euros that Europe does not have and should not print

China + India = already done years ago, now up and running, could expand by carbon copying.

financing

European “firehose” = unfathomable mystery, 40-50 years payback long after fossil fuels are phased out of the EU.

Many dozens of billions of euros need to be financed for these projects. Banks agree ? Refineries and pipelines have a 40-50 year service life. Nobody in their right mind is going to finance with multi-decade payback when per EU regulations the investment will be dead in 10 years.

China + India = not required yet, comes out of national budget already approved. Only needed for new projects.

sourcing

European “firehose” = fully unknown, does not even exist, experimental, does not allow any planning of anything yet.

China + India = excellent Russian Urals blend, decades-proven, fully vetted, constant, well-known 100% reliable.

vendor certification

European “firehose” = vendor(s) do not exist, probably a variable group of partial variable mix vendors with a “beach-front bazaar” structure, uncoordinated and even enemies of each other.

China + India = already done, decades-proven, fully vetted, constant, well-known 100% reliable, no risk,

tanker certification

European “firehose” = do not yet exist, if ever found available as needed both in type and size.

China + India = done, up and running.

oil certification

European “firehose” = does not yet exist

China + India = done, up and running

lab tests

European “firehose” = no vendors, no oil feedstocks, no lab tests of anything

China + India = done years ago per current requirements,regular checks into the future

homologation

European “firehose” = cannot yet exist

China + India = done

compliance

European “firehose” = unknown, all compliance pending, approval takes years with plenty of EU bureaucratic requirements starting with ISO 9001 (manufacturing) + ISO 14000 (environmental) + ISO 15000 (laboratory analysis quality) approval of which starts only after full design and complete specifications are satisfactorily concluded and internally approved for submission to EU regulators. EU´s Green Plan spirit and wording must be complied with, same as other EU Common Policies, climate pledges, and regulations in force. Environmental impact assessments have to be completed with specific procedures, submitted, and approved. Labor union issues also pending

China + India = already 100% compliant, up and running.

price

European “firehose” = unknown, definitely FAR more expensive, with pay-back amortization of the many huge investments / modifications / reforms made plus terrific freight, logistics, and final delivery costs disrupting the European and the world economy with inflation beyond imagination.

China + India = At least 30-35% cheaper than market price and without any pay-back amortization of the many huge investments / modifications / reforms required by the European “firehose”.

guarantees

European “firehose” = no project just wishful thinking, no sourcing, no vendor, does not yet apply

China + India = traditional Urals with 50-year guarantee of homogenous blend ( +/- ) 15% volume

LOGISTICS

docks

European “firehose” = NO vendor(s) yet, many needed with large deliveries, no docks yet, some will be problematic

China + India = small deliveries. No dock improvements required yet. Pre-feasibility studies underway for enlargement

handling equipment

European “firehose” = NO vendor(s) yet, many needed with large deliveries, no handling equipment anywhere yet.

China + India = small deliveries. No handling equipment modifications yet. Pre-feasibility studies underway.

loading & unloading

European “firehose” = NO vendor(s) yet, many needed with large deliveries, no loading experience anywhere yet.

China + India = small deliveries. No modifications required yet. Pre-feasibility studies underway for larger volumes.

ports

European “firehose” = NO vendor(s) yet, many needed with large deliveries, no ports yet, some will be problematic

China + India = small deliveries. No port modifications required yet. Pre-feasibility studies underway.

pipelines

European “firehose” = No new ones foreseen only seaborne delivery . Still, the all-important Schwedt refinery in Germany does need revamping of the Rostock to Schwedt 60-year-old Soviet-era 200 km. pipeline. Full upgrade and retro-fitting required. Not started yet nor plans announced. Partially buried heavy structure built with obsolete materials and technology commissioned in 1963 many times patched-up and most probably unable to be “pig”- inspected properly or meaningfully, let alone be upgraded as needed. Lots of skeletons hanging inside many closets after several decades, now to be opened. Other inter-European transfer pipelines may also need repair and upgrade.

China + India = pre-feasibility & feasibility studies concluded, major pipelines being designed or under construction.

seaborne delivery

European “firehose” = no tankers yet contracted, possible shipping lanes issues, piracy, weather, lack of tankers, vessel size limitations, warfare, labor conflicts both on board and/or on the docks /berths, draft issues, not enough water depth for Suezmax oil tanker channels and ports. Suez is also a tremendous choke-point limitation not allowing for much needed VLCCs or Very Large Crude Carriers – tankers with 2-million-barrel capacity, only allows Aframax.

China + India = already under way, sea lanes well-known, no operational problems.

END USERS

refineability

European “firehose” = fully unknown, risky, requires carefull constant testing of all-around refinery modifications adapting internal processes to new blends required to remain constant for at least 40 preferably 50 years. No data possible yet and lots of work to be done. Refinement process unknown re final distillates quantities and qualities.

China & India = efficient, reliable with excellent guaranteed performance for decades per Nelson Complexity Index of 9.8 allowing to refine with excellence a range of products including petrol (gasoline) diesel, aviation turbine fuel, LPG, extra light heating oil, heavy fuel oil, bitumen, benzene, toluene, xylene and sulfur, mostly sold to Europe and the US.

refineries

European “firehose” = modifications have not yet been bidded, nor announcements made.

China & India = modification finished years ago, up and running

Ref #17 http://thesaker.is/no-fuels-for-europe/

Ref #18 http://thesaker.is/pitchforks-soon-in-europe/

Ref #19 http://thesaker.is/europes-mad-ban-on-russian-oil/

Ref #20 http://thesaker.is/why-russias-oil-ban-is-impossible/

Ref #21 http://thesaker.is/germans-schwedt-hard-for-russian-oil/

Ref #22 http://thesaker.is/dear-ursula-you-are-dead-wrong/

Ref #23 http://thesaker.is/europe-now-cheats-or-suffers/

Ref #24 http://thesaker.is/for-europe-from-russia-with-love/

Ref #25 https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Russias-Revenues-From-Gas-Still-High-Despite-Supply-Cuts-To-Europe.html

Sergey Lavrov’s Presser at a joint news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

June 24, 2022

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Tehran, June 23, 2022

Ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to thank my colleague, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the hospitality extended to me and my delegation from the first minutes of my stay on Iranian soil.

Yesterday’s detailed conversation with President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi and today’s long talks have confirmed both countries’ focus on deepening cooperation in all areas in accordance with the agreements reached by our leaders. I am referring to Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Russia in January 2022 and his subsequent telephone conversations with President Vladimir Putin. The last call took place on June 8.

The presidents are unanimous that relations between Russia and Iran have reached the highest point in their history. At the same time, there is significant untapped potential for further advancement in our partnership. To this end, work is now underway on a new and comprehensive “big interstate treaty,” initiated by the President of Iran. Some time ago, Russia submitted its proposals and additions to the Iranian initiative to Tehran. Today we agreed that experts should coordinate this important document as soon as possible because it will determine the prospects for our strategic cooperation for the next two decades.

Particular attention during the talks was paid to trade and economic issues, investment, and the need to expand bilateral relations in a situation where the United States and its “satellites” are using illegal sanctions to hinder our countries’ progressive development and the interaction between Russia and Iran, as well as with other countries that reject diktat and refuse to follow Washington’s orders. Despite this discriminatory policy, trade between Russia and Iran showed a record growth of over 80 percent in 2021, exceeding $4 billion for the first time. This trend continued into 2022. We will do everything we can to support it.

A Russian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak visited Tehran at the end of May to promote economic cooperation. The delegation included representatives from the relevant ministries and agencies, the heads of Russian regions that cooperate with Iran, and business representatives. They met with their Iranian counterparts to discuss purely practical issues of expanding cooperation, outlining action plans for such areas as energy, transport, agriculture, finance, banking, and customs. At this point, these ambitious goals are being considered at the level of relevant experts.

We highlighted success in implementing our flagship projects, including  the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (the second and third units being under construction), the Sirik Thermal Power Plant that is being built with the state loans issued by the Russian Federation and a project to upgrade a railway section.

Just last week, a panel discussion dedicated to the Russian-Iranian business dialogue took place as part of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. A meeting of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation will be held soon. As we agreed today, the foreign ministries of Russia and Iran will continue to provide political and diplomatic support to all joint economic undertakings every step of the way.

In this context, Russia has been facilitating the Iran-EAEU negotiating process that started out in 2021 to develop a free trade agreement. The working group in question will meet in Isfahan in early July.

We talked about fortifying the contractual and legal framework. Hossain Amir-Abdollahian mentioned an agreement on international cybersecurity and an agreement on creating cultural centres in our countries.

We also mentioned the importance of moving forward with drafting an agreement on cooperation in geological exploration and oil and gas production, as well as with ratifying the existing agreement on scientific and technical cooperation between our countries.

We discussed international issues in depth. We stand together in rejecting the concept of the rules-based order that is pushed forward by the United States and its satellites. This concept is designed for use as a substitute for international law and the UN Charter’s basic principles, primarily the principle of sovereign equality of states. Everything that the United States and its allies are doing in the international arena flat-out undermines this fundamental UN principle. Iran and Russia condemn the untenable practice of unilateral illegal sanctions that are imposed contrary to the UN Charter and need to be opposed by all independent members of the international community.

To this end, the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations was established which, among others, includes Iran and Russia and has more than 20 members. I’m sure the group will expand.

On behalf of the Russian Federation, we welcome the official process for Iran joining the SCO as a full member which was launched in 2021. A memorandum will be signed at a SCO summit to be held in Samarkand in September that will clearly lay out the legal scope and timeframe for this process. It should not take long.

We are convinced that Tehran will make a significant contribution to strengthening the SCO as one of the key centres of the emerging multipolar order.

We discussed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action designed to settle matters related to the Iranian nuclear programme. In conjunction with other nations that signed this plan, we have been striving for a long time now to correct the mistake made by the United States. Washington withdrew from this deal and from the corresponding UN Security Council resolution, once again trampling upon its commitments under international law. We will push for the JCPOA to be restored in its original configuration, the way it was approved in 2015 by a UN Security Council resolution, without exceptions or additions, to make sure that the illegal sanctions on Iran that are inconsistent with the JCPOA are lifted. We hope Washington will make a rational choice, although we cannot fully rely on that.

We spoke about our cooperation on a Syrian settlement, primarily in the Astana format that includes Russia, Iran and Turkey. We highly rated the regular session in this format which took place in the capital of Kazakhstan in early June of this year. We agreed to continue coordinating our efforts to achieve the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, resolve humanitarian problems in Syria and encourage the international community to start practical work on restoring the infrastructure, preparing for the return of refugees and in general, ensuring the country’s return to normal life.

Iran and the Russian Federation are doing much in this area, helping to implement relevant projects on the ground in the Syrian Arab Republic. Unfortunately, the majority of the Western members of the international community are doing everything to delay fulfilment of the requirements of this resolution and impede the efforts of international organisations to this end, primarily the relevant UN agencies. This politicised course of action prevents the settlement of problems in Syria and, zooming out, in the Middle East and North Africa.

Russia and Iran have a common position on the need to resume direct talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis with a view to implementing all decisions of the international community, including the creation of the State of Palestine and the OIC-approved Arab Peace Initiative. We will uphold this position in the UN and closely cooperate with the OIC and the Arab League.

We talked about the developments in the South Caucasus, Afghanistan and Yemen. Russia and Iran have many opportunities to use their influence and contacts with a view to achieving a durable settlement and normalisation.

We reaffirmed our commitment to facilitate stabilisation in the Persian Gulf. As you know, Russia has introduced and continues promoting a concept for collective security in this important part of the world. We are willing to help promote dialogue between the Arab countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

We are members of the Caspian Five. Next week, the Caspian states will meet for a summit in Ashgabat. We coordinated our preparations for this important event.

Talking yesterday with President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi and today with Foreign Minister of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, we described in detail the current developments in and around Ukraine. We thanked our Iranian friends for their entirely correct understanding of the events. Above all, they realise that during the past decade our US-led Western colleagues have been trying to turn Ukraine into a bridgehead for threatening and “deterring” Russia, in part, by developing Ukraine’s territory militarily. We repeatedly sought to engage with the West on this matter. All our concerns have been ignored. President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking officials explained many times that Russia simply did not have another choice but to ensure the interests of Donbass and its Russian residents in the face of a threat from the increasingly aggressive neo-Nazi regime that took power in Kiev after the anti-Constitutional coup d’etat. The Kiev authorities and those who put them in power and continue supporting officially refuted all our attempts to achieve the implementation of the Minsk agreements that were approved by the UN Security Council.

We are convinced that an overwhelming majority of the world’s countries understand the current situation. The Americans are trying to impose a “rules-based order” on all others. This concept is designed to subordinate the security of all countries to the interests of the Western world and ensure the total, “eternal” domination of Washington and its allies. Understandably, this concept goes against the entire historical process and the objective trend towards forming a multipolar world order under which countries, with their independence and self-worth intact, will uphold their interests in conformity with the principles of the UN Charter. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation are among these countries.

Question: Given the constructive role played by the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation in the negotiations, they have managed to reach a sustainable agreement on the JCPOA. We see the current sabotage by the United States through the imposition of new sanctions and anti-Iranian resolutions. They are slowing down the process. What is your assessment of Washington’s destructive policy of slowing down the JCPOA negotiating process?

Sergey Lavrov: Not only on the JCPOA, but on virtually every issue on the international agenda, the United States is totally inconsistent, driven by short-term considerations, glancing back at the problems in the United States itself and how they can try to distract voters from them.

What the United States is doing in the negotiations to resume the JCPOA is an example of such actions, where the focus is on creating a “picture” designed to reaffirm the unquestioned leadership role of the United States on every issue on the international agenda. Such attempts to put a falsely understood reputation ahead of the merits of the issue are highly risky.

About a year ago, the United States tried to blame us for the fact that an agreement to fully resume the JCPOA was delayed. That was, to put it mildly, untrue. Everybody understands this very well. A year ago, the Russian Federation, like all the other parties to the agreement, reiterated its readiness to resume it in full. Since then, the United States has been single-handedly stalling the agreement. We have once again confirmed to our Iranian friends that we will support in every way possible their position on the need to resume the JCPOA in full, without any exceptions or unacceptable “add-ons”. This includes lifting all illegitimate sanctions.

Question (retranslated from Pashto): How close is Russia’s position on the Syrian crisis to that of Iran? Does the warning to Israel about an attack on Damascus International Airport mean that the positions of Iran and Russia are close on this issue?

Sergey Lavrov: We have repeatedly emphasised the need for all countries to strictly fulfil UN Security Council Resolution 2254 that relies on the basic principle of recognising the territorial integrity of the SAR and the need to respect Syria’s sovereignty.

During regular contacts with our Israeli colleagues, we constantly draw their attention to the need to stop violating this resolution and the air space of Syria, not to mention striking at its territory.

To our great regret, the latest incident is serious. It was a strike on a civilian airport, which put it out of service for several weeks and made it impossible to deliver humanitarian cargoes by air.

We sent a relevant note to Israel, emphasising the need for all countries to abide by Resolution 2254. We will continue upholding this position in our contacts with Israel and other countries that are involved in the Syrian settlement process in different ways.

You asked my colleague several questions, including one about the food crisis. I would like to emphasise again that there is no connection whatsoever between the special military operation in Ukraine and the food crisis. This is admitted even by US Government members and representatives of the international organisations dealing with food security. The crisis and the conditions for it were created several years ago. It didn’t start today or yesterday, but a couple of years ago when the Western countries embarked on imprudent, ill-considered, populist fiscal policies. President Vladimir Putin spoke about it in detail. I will not describe them at this point. I would merely stress that the efforts undertaken now by Turkey and the UN Secretary-General would have succeeded long ago if Ukraine and its Western patrons demined Black Sea ports. This issue is clear to any specialist. The attempts to establish an international coalition for these procedures are obviously aimed at interfering in the affairs of the Black Sea region under UN aegis. This is perfectly clear to us. There is no need for any complicated procedures. It is simply necessary to allow the ships locked by the Ukrainians in the mined ports of the Black Sea to leave. The main thing is to clear these ports of mines or provide clear passageways for them.

As for international waters, the Russian Federation guarantees the safe travel of these ships to the Strait of Bosporus. We have an understanding with the Republic of Turkey in this respect.

I will say again that the attempts to make a “worldwide tragedy” out of the amount of grain that remains in Ukraine are not above board. Everyone knows that this grain amounts to less than one percent of the global production of wheat and other grains.

Now it is important to compel the Ukrainians to let out the foreign ships that are being held hostage there. There is no need to turn this problem into a diversion to conceal the mistakes and failures of the West in its international policy on the food and fertiliser markets.

Question (retranslated from Farsi): A fortnight ago you mentioned a new political package from the US side. A week ago, Mr Zadeh said that “the train has not yet gone off the rails” and you said that in the future there was a possibility that negotiations could be resumed. Has anything changed recently?

Sergey Lavrov: If I understood the translation correctly, cooperation between Russia and Iran in the energy sector has a rich history and good prospects.

As far as bilateral cooperation is concerned, we have always found solutions to the problems that have arisen in this area because of the illegal actions of the United States and its satellites, who are trying to hinder the development of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s energy sector. At the present stage, they are trying to do the same with regard to oil and gas production and transportation in the Russian Federation. Our bilateral plans under consideration today are starting to take concrete form; they are beginning to be implemented. They are aimed at making sure that they do not depend in any way on the unlawful unilateral intervention of anybody else.

I can assure you: there is a reliable plan to work in this way. Together with Iran, we have traditionally worked together in the context of international efforts to stabilise the oil and gas market. There is a complete agreement within the OPEC+ group on the need to safeguard Iran’s interests in its future activities. We will be guided by this.

Question: Israel and the United States have announced a new regional air defence alliance in the Middle East to protect Israel and neighbours from Iranian rockets. How will this affect the Iran nuclear deal? Will Moscow and Tehran intensify military cooperation in this regard?

Sergey Lavrov: We are following statements made by our American colleagues, who are openly declaring their intention to try and forge a bloc between several Arab countries and Israel and target this new group against the Islamic Republic of Iran. I believe too much has already been said about the inconsistency of American foreign policy. I don’t want to repeat myself. But this idea is obviously at odds with their intention to normalise the situation in the region and resume full implementation of the JCPOA, through the efforts of the United States, if they are sincerely interested in this.

We prefer less contradictory arrangements, as compared to those the Americans are now promoting in various regions. Take their idea of ​​the Indo-Pacific. It runs counter to every universal format that has developed over the years around ASEAN in the Asia-Pacific region. Those formats included the US, Russia, China, Australia, India, Japan and Korea. It was a process whereby all interests, primarily those of the regional players and their partners, were brought to a common denominator. Instead, having disrupted all the bodies created under the auspices of ASEAN, the Americans are promoting conflict-generating, divisive formats, without hiding that their policy is aimed at restraining China and isolating Russia.

The same logic is evident in the initiative to create an air and missile defence system in the Middle East. This is the logic of division and confrontation. We prefer unifying logic. The underlying principle of our initiative to build a collective security system in the Persian Gulf region is unification. The system we propose should provide a framework for the Arab countries to establish a dialogue with the Islamic Republic of Iran, work out joint measures of confidence and transparency, and take other steps to ensure stabilisation. Our idea is to involve the permanent members of the UN Security Council, the EU, the Arab League, the UN and the OIC to facilitate these processes. This is an example of how we consistently propose resolving any problems through combining efforts and finding a balance of interests.

The example we are now discussing, which involves the US initiative in the Middle East, is not a case of finding a balance of interests; it is a case of planting confrontation, and an attempt to create dividing lines that will be there forever. Needless to say, this is a dead-end position. In any case, in the end, everyone will come to understand the need to return to the underlying principles of the United Nations, such as resolving problems through cooperation, and not through the creation of hostile and aggressive blocs.

THE PIPE DREAMS OF KIEV’S REGIME

 23.06.2022

South Front

While active hostilities continue on the front lines in Ukraine, the Kiev regime can boast of alleged political “victories”.

In recent days, there has been some progress in the process of Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.

On June 17, the European Commission recommended granting Ukraine the status of candidate for EU membership. The same intention was expressed in relation to Moldova. At the same time, Georgia was refused.

On June 22, the French Minister-delegate to Europe Clément Beaune, said that war-torn Ukraine will be granted the status of EU candidate in the coming days.

Brussel’s decision will surely become another reason for the pride of the Kiev regime, which cannot boast of any military victories on the front lines.

However, the granting of the status of EU candidate does not mean that Ukraine will ever become a member of the union.

The accelerated procedure for Ukraine joining the European Union is excluded, as well as other privileges in this matter.

The French delegate stressed in his statement that hostilities in Ukraine should be stopped as soon as possible, but they are not reason enough to abandon the fundamental rules of EU membership.

Any country that is a member of the European Union must meet extremely strict requirements in the fight against corruption, the rule of law, economic development, etc.

Kiev needs to carry out reforms in order to meet the all the requirements for EU membership.

In the case of Ukraine, the granting of EU member status is Brussel’s political demonstration directed against Russia. The decision is aimed not at the result, i.e. acceptance of a destroyed Ukraine into the European ranks. Rather, it is a sign of its readiness to begin a long process in which Brussels gains a direct means of pressure on Kiev.

Thus, Brussels seeks to implement its own policy towards Ukraine beyond Washington’s directives. In the current situation, the fact of granting candidate status is more important for Brussels than for Kiev.

A LEMMING LEADING THE LEMMINGS: SLAVOJ ZIZEK AND THE TERMINAL COLLAPSE OF THE ANTI-WAR LEFT

JUNE 23RD, 2022

JONATHAN COOK

Have you noticed how every major foreign policy crisis since the U.S. and U.K.’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 has peeled off another layer of the left into joining the pro-NATO, pro-war camp?

It is now hard to remember that many millions marched in the U.S. and Europe against the attack on Iraq. It sometimes feels like there is no one left who is not cheerleading the next wave of profits for the West’s military-industrial complex (usually referred to as the “defense industry” by those very same profiteers).

Washington learned a hard lesson from the unpopularity of its 2003 attack on Iraq aimed at controlling more of the Middle East’s oil reserves. Ordinary people do not like seeing the public coffers ransacked or suffering years of austerity, simply to line the pockets of Blackwater, Halliburton, and Raytheon. And all the more so when such a war is sold to them on the basis of a huge deception.

So since then, the U.S. has been repackaging its neocolonialism via proxy wars that are a much easier sell. There have been a succession of them: Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Venezuela and now Ukraine. Each time, a few more leftists are lured into the camp of the war hawks by the West’s selfless, humanitarian instincts – promoted, of course, through the barrel of a Western-supplied arsenal. That process has reached its nadir with Ukraine.

NUCLEAR FACE-OFF

recently wrote about the paranoid ravings of celebrity “left-wing” journalist Paul Mason, who now sees the Kremlin’s hand behind any dissension from a full-throttle charge towards a nuclear face-off with Russia.

Behind the scenes, he has been sounding out Western intelligence agencies in a bid to covertly deplatform and demonetize any independent journalists who still dare to wonder whether arming Ukraine to the hilt or recruiting it into NATO – even though it shares a border that Russia views as existentially important – might not be an entirely wise use of taxpayers’ money.

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It is not hard to imagine that Mason is representative of the wider thinking of establishment journalists, even those who claim to be on the left.

But I want to take on here a more serious proponent of this kind of ideology than the increasingly preposterous Mason. Because swelling kneejerk support for U.S. imperial wars – as long, of course, as Washington’s role is thinly disguised – is becoming ever more common among leftwing academics too.

The latest cheerleader for the military-industrial complex is Slavoj Zizek, the famed Slovenian philosopher and public intellectual whose work has gained him international prominence. His latest piece – published where else but The Guardian – is a morass of sloppy thinking, moral evasion and double speak. Which is why I think it is worth deconstructing. It encapsulates all the worst geostrategic misconceptions of Western intellectuals at the moment.

Zizek, who is supposedly an expert on ideology and propaganda, and has even written and starred in a couple of documentaries on the subject, seems now to be utterly blind to his own susceptibility to propaganda.

COD PSYCHOLOGY

He starts, naturally enough, with a straw man: that those opposed to the West’s focus on arming Ukraine rather than using its considerable muscle to force Kyiv and Moscow to the negotiating table are in the wrong. Opposition to dragging out the war for as long as possible, however many Ukrainians and Russians die, with the aim of “weakening Russia”, as US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wants; and opposition to leaving millions of people in poorer parts of the world to be plunged deeper into poverty or to starve is equated by Zizek to “pacifism.”

“Those who cling to pacifism in the face of the Russian attack on Ukraine remain caught in their own version of [John Lennon’s song] ‘Imagine’,” writes Zizek. But the only one dwelling in the world of the imaginary is Zizek and those who think like him.

The left’s mantra of “Stop the war!” can’t be reduced to kneejerk pacifism. It derives from a political and moral worldview. It opposes the militarism of competitive, resource-hungry nation-states. It opposes the war industries that not only destroy whole countries but risk global nuclear annihilation in advancing their interests. It opposes the profit motive for a war that has incentivised a global elite to continue investing in planet-wide rape and pillage rather than addressing a looming ecological catastrophe. All of that context is ignored in Zizek’s lengthy essay.

Instead, he prefers to take a detour into cod psychology, telling us that Russian president Vladimir Putin sees himself as Peter the Great. Putin will not be satisfied simply with regaining the parts of Ukraine that historically belonged to Russia and have always provided its navy with its only access to the Black Sea. No, the Russian president is hell-bent on global conquest. And Europe is next – or so Zizek argues.

Even if we naively take the rhetoric of embattled leaders at face value (remember those weapons of mass destruction Iraq’s Saddam Hussein supposedly had?), it is still a major stretch for Zizek to cite one speech by Putin as proof that the Russian leader wants his own version of the Third Reich.

Not least, we must address the glaring cognitive dissonance at the heart of the Western, NATO-inspired discourse on Ukraine, something Zizek refuses to do. How can Russia be so weak it has managed only to subdue small parts of Ukraine at great military cost, while it is at the same time a military superpower poised to take over the whole of Europe?

Zizek is horrified by Putin’s conceptual division of the world into those states that are sovereign and those that are colonized. Or as he quotes Putin observing: “Any country, any people, any ethnic group should ensure their sovereignty. Because there is no in-between, no intermediate state: either a country is sovereign, or it is a colony, no matter what the colonies are called.”

SOVEREIGN OR COLONIZED?

The famed philosopher reads this as proof that Russia wants as its colonies: “Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Finland, the Baltic states … and ultimately Europe itself”. But if he weren’t so blinded by NATO ideology, he might read Putin’s words in a quite different way. Isn’t Putin simply restating Washington realpolitik? The U.S., through NATO, is the real sovereign in Europe and is pushing its sovereignty ever closer to Russia’s borders.

Putin’s concern about Ukraine being colonized by the U.S. military-industrial complex is essentially the same as U.S. concerns in the 1960s about the Soviet Union filling Cuba with its nuclear missiles. Washington’s concern justified a confrontation that moved the world possibly the closest it has ever come to nuclear annihilation.

Both Russia and the U.S. are wedded to the idea of their own “spheres of influence”. It is just that the U.S. sphere now encircles the globe through many hundreds of overseas military bases. By contrast, the West cries to the heavens when Russia secures a single military base in Crimea.

We may not like the sentiments Putin is espousing, but they are not especially his. They are the reality of the framework of modern military power the West was intimately involved in creating. It was our centuries of colonialism – our greed and theft – that divided the world into the sovereign and the colonized. Putin is simply stating that Russia needs to act in ways that ensure it remains sovereign, rather than joining the colonized.

We may disagree with Putin’s perception of the threat posed by NATO, and the need to annex eastern Ukraine, but to pretend his speech means that he aims for world domination is nothing more than the regurgitation of a CIA talking point.

Zizek, of course, intersperses this silliness with more valid observations, like this one: “To insist on full sovereignty in the face of global warming is sheer madness since our very survival hinges on tight global cooperation.” Of course, it is madness. But why is this relevant to Putin and his supposed “imperial ambition”? Is there any major state on the planet – those in Europe, the United States, China, Brazil, Australia – that has avoided this madness, that is seeking genuine “tight global cooperation” to end the threat of climate breakdown.

No, our world is in the grip of terminal delusion, propelled ever closer to the precipice by capitalism’s requirement of endless economic growth on a finite planet. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is causing great ecological damage, but so are lots of other things – including NATO’s rationalization of ever-expanding military budgets.


UKRAINIAN HEROISM

But Zizek has the bit between his teeth. He now singles out Russia because it is maneuvering to exploit the consequences of global warming, such as new trade routes opened up by a thawing Arctic.

“Russia’s strategic plan is to profit from global warming: control the world’s main transport route, plus develop Siberia and control Ukraine,” he writes. “In this way, Russia will dominate so much food production that it will be able to blackmail the whole world.”

But what does he imagine? As we transform the world’s climate and its trade routes, as new parts of the world turn into deserts, as whole populations are forced to make migrations to different regions, does he think only Putin and Russia are jostling to avoid sinking below the rising sea waters. Does he presume the policy hawks in Washington, or their satraps in Europe, have missed all this and are simply putting their feet up? In reality, maneuvering on the international stage – what I have called elsewhere a brutal nation-state version of the children’s party game musical chairs – has been going on for decades.

Ukraine is the latest front in a long-running war for resource control on a dying planet. It is another battleground in the renewed great power game that the U.S. revived by expanding NATO across Eastern Europe in one pincer movement and then bolstered it with its wars and proxy wars across the Middle East. Where was the urge for “tight global cooperation” then? To perceive Ukraine as simply the victim of Putin’s “imperialism” requires turning a blind eye to everything that has occurred since the fall of the Soviet Union three decades ago.

Zizek gets to the heart of what should matter in his next, throw-away line:

Those who advocate less support for Ukraine and more pressure on it to negotiate, inclusive of accepting painful territorial renunciations, like to repeat that Ukraine simply cannot win the war against Russia. True, but I see exactly in this the greatness of Ukrainian resistance.”

Zizek briefly recognises the reality of Ukraine’s situation – that it cannot win, that Russia has a bigger, better-equipped army – but then deflects to the “greatness” of Ukraine’s defiance. Yes, it is glorious that Ukrainians are ready to die to defend their country’s sovereignty. But that is not the issue we in the West need to consider when Kyiv demands we arm its resistance.

The question of whether Ukrainians can win, or whether they will be slaughtered, is highly pertinent to deciding whether we in the West should help drag out the war, using Ukrainians as cannon fodder, to no purpose other than our being able to marvel as spectators at their heroism. Whether Ukrainians can win is also pertinent to the matter of how urgent it is to draw the war to a close so that millions don’t starve in Africa because of the loss of crops, the fall in exports and rocketing fuel prices. And arming a futile, if valiant, Ukrainian struggle against Russia to weaken Moscow must be judged in the context that we risk backing Russia into a geostrategic corner – as we have been doing for more than two decades – from which, we may surmise, Moscow could ultimately decide to extricate itself by resorting to nuclear weapons.

INTELLECTUAL CUL DE SAC

Having propelled himself into an intellectual cul de sac, Zizek switches tack. He suddenly changes the terms of the debate entirely. Having completely ignored the U.S. role in bringing us to this point, he now observes:

Not just Ukraine, Europe itself is becoming the place of the proxy war between [the] U.S. and Russia, which may well end up by a compromise between the two at Europe’s expense. There are only two ways for Europe to step out of this place: to play the game of neutrality – a short-cut to catastrophe – or to become an autonomous agent.”

So, we are in a U.S. proxy war – one played out under the bogus auspices of NATO and its “defensive” expansion – but the solution to this problem for Europe is to gain its “autonomy” by …

Well, from everything Zizek has previously asserted in the piece, it seems such autonomy must be expressed by silently agreeing to the U.S. pumping Ukraine full of weapons to fight Russia in a proxy war that is really about weakening Russia rather than saving Ukraine. Only a world-renowned philosopher could bring us to such an intellectually and morally barren place.

The biggest problem for Zizek, it seems, isn’t the U.S. proxy war or Russian “imperialism”, it is the left’s disillusionment with the military industrial complex: “Their true message to Ukraine is: OK, you are victims of a brutal aggression, but do not rely on our arms because in this way you play into the hands of the industrial-military complex,” he writes.

But the concern here is not that Ukraine is playing into the arms of the war industries. It is that Western populations are being played by their leaders – and intellectuals like Zizek – so that they can be delivered, once again, into the arms of the military-industrial complex. The West’s war industries have precisely no interest in negotiations, which is why they are not taking place. It is also the reason why events over three decades have led us to a Russian invasion of Ukraine that most of Washington’s policy makers warned would happen if the U.S. continued to encroach on Russia’s “sphere of influence”.

The left’s message is that we are being conned yet again and that it is long past the time to start a debate. Those debates should have taken place when the U.S. broke its promise not to expand “one inch” beyond Germany. Or when NATO flirted with offering Ukraine membership 14 years ago. Or when the U.S. meddled in the ousting of the elected government of Ukraine in 2014. Or when Kyiv integrated neo-Nazi groups into the Ukrainian army and engaged in a civil war against the Russian parts of its own populace. Or when the U.S. and NATO allowed Kyiv – on the best interpretation – to ignore its obligations under the Minsk agreements with Russia.

None of those debates happened. Which is why a debate in the West is still needed now, at this terribly late stage. Only then might there be a hope that genuine negotiations can take place – before Ukraine is obliterated.

CANNON FODDER

Having exhausted all his hollow preliminary arguments, we get to Zizek’s main beef. With the world polarizing around a sole military superpower, the U.S., and a sole economic superpower, China, Europe and Russia may be forced into each other’s arms in a “Eurasian” block that would swamp European values. For Zizek, that would lead to “fascism”. He writes: “At that point, the European legacy will be lost, and Europe will be de facto divided between an American and a Russian sphere of influence. In short, Europe itself will become the place of a war that seems to have no end.”

Let us set aside whether Europe – all of it, parts of it? – is really a bulwark against fascism, as Zizek assumes. How exactly is Europe to find its power, its sovereignty, in this battle between superpowers? What vehicle is Zizek proposing to guarantee Europe’s autonomy, and how does it differ from the NATO one that is – even Zizek now seems to be conceding – actually just a vassal of the U.S., there to enforce Washington’s global-spanning “sphere of influence” against Russia and China.

Faced with this problem, Zizek quickly retreats into mindless sloganeering: “One cannot be a leftist if one does not unequivocally stand behind Ukraine.” This Bushism – “You are either with us or with the terrorists” – really is as foolish as it sounds.

What does “unequivocal” mean here? Must we “unequivocally stand behind” all of Ukraine’s actions – even should, say, neo-Nazi elements of the Ukrainian military like the Azov Brigade carry out pogroms against the ethnic Russian communities living in Ukraine?

But even more seriously, what does it mean for Europeans to stand “unequivocally” behind Ukraine? Must we approve the supply of U.S. weapons, even though, as Zizek also concedes, Ukraine cannot win the war and is serving primarily as a proxy battleground?

Would “unequivocal support” not require us to pretend that Europe, rather than the U.S., is in charge of NATO policy? Would it not require too that we pretend NATO’s actions are defensive rather intimately tied to advancing the U.S. “sphere of influence” designed to weaken Russia?

And how can our participation in the U.S. ambition to weaken Russia not provoke greater fear in Russia for its future, greater militarism in Moscow, and ensure Europe becomes more of a battleground rather than less of one?

What does “unequivocal” support for Ukraine mean given that Zizek has agreed that the U.S. and Russia are fighting a proxy war, and that Europe is caught in the middle of it? Zizek’s answer is no answer at all. It is nothing more than evasion. It is the rationalization of unprincipled European inaction, of acting as a spectator while the U.S. continues to use Ukrainians as cannon fodder.

MUDDYING THE WATERS

After thoroughly muddying the waters on Ukraine, Zizek briefly seeks safer territory as he winds down his argument. He points out, two decades on, that George W. Bush was similarly a war criminal in invading Iraq, and notes the irony that Julian Assange is being extradited to the U.S. because Wikileaks helped expose those war crimes. To even things up, he makes a counter-demand on “those who oppose Russian invasion” that they fight for Assange’s release – and in doing so implicitly accuses the anti-war movement of supporting Russia’s invasion.

He then plunges straight back into sloganeering in his concluding paragraph: “Ukraine fights for global freedom, inclusive of the freedom of Russians themselves. That’s why the heart of every true Russian patriot beats for Ukraine.” Maybe he should try telling that to the thousands of ethnic Russian families mourning their loved ones killed by the civil war that began raging in eastern Ukraine long before Putin launched his invasion and supposedly initiated his campaign for world domination. Those kinds of Ukrainians may beg to differ, as may Russians worried about the safety and future of their ethnic kin in Ukraine.

As with most things in life, there are no easy answers for Ukraine. But Zizek’s warmongering dressed up as European enlightenment and humanitarianism is a particularly wretched example of the current climate of intellectual and moral vacuity. What we need from public thinkers like Zizek is a clear-sighted roadmap for how we move back from the precipice we are rushing, lemming-like, towards. Instead he is urging us on. A lemming leading the lemmings.

Feature photo | Graphic by MintPress News

Jonathan Cook is a MintPress contributor. Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

A quick update from Andrei, with a few additional notes

June 23, 2022

Dear friends,

It has now been a month since my last update, so I have decided to post this note to share a few thoughts with you.

First, the boring stuff: my health is definitely doing better and, while I very much regret having had to take that time off, I now am sure that it was the right decision, both for me and the blog.  I hope to come back to full-time blogging by the end of July.  Again, I apologize to you all for my absence, and I ask for your understanding.

Second, and as I had predicted, the situation in the world and in the Ukraine has changed a great deal over the past couple of months.  I will just mention a few bullet-points of what I see as the highlights:

  • The “the glorious Ukrainians are winning” narrative has now quasi-officially faceplanted (heck, even the NYT changed its tune) and nobody sane is spewing this nonsense anymore.  The reality is that the Ukrainians are, on average, losing about one battalion per day, and this is why they are now sending barely trained civilians to the East: most of the (often very well-trained and courageous) Ukrainian combat units are even dead, prisoners, MIA or in “cauldrons” (actual or by firepower) with no chance to escape.
  • It is now also undeniable that what began as a special military operation (SMO) has now turned into a open and full-scale war between the consolidated West (aka the Anglo-Zionist Empire) and Russia: the Empire has now “hit” Russia with everything it had short of a direct military attack.  The (originally 200’000+ strong) Ukrainian military, arguably the strongest NATO military force (which is otherwise mostly composed of small and thoroughly woked-out “parade militaries”!), especially with the full support of the West (intelligence, weapons, money, political, etc. etc. etc.) is being “demilitarized” and “denazified” by a vastly superior Russian military force (but not one bigger in size: Russia has used only a fraction of her full military power).  The outcome here is not in doubt.
  • This reality has now been fully accepted by the Russian society which now stands behind the Kremlin (at 80%+) which has made no secret that it is now locked into an existential war against the West.  This has been the case since at least 2013, but now the original ratios (roughly 80% informational, 15% economic and 5% military) have shifted to what I would call “total war by proxy“.
  • The hardcore crazies in the West (US Neocons, UK, Poland and the 3B) are trying hard to trigger a fullscale war between NATO and Russia and, so far, the spineless Eurolemmings have let them set the agenda, however suicidal it might be for the EU and NATO.  Frankly, my disgust with western Europe is total – I never had any illusions about the “new” Europeans – and all I can say is that they all richly deserve each other and what is coming their way.  All I can say is this: continue to act like Nazis and you shall be denazified.  It is really that simple.
  • The leaders of the Empire know that they lost yet again, and they are seeking refuge in their usual coping mechanisms: ideological self-gratification and deep, deep denial.  While the EU is committing a straightforward economic, political and social suicide, the Biden Administration has gone “full woke”, as did corporate “America”(meaning the USA, of course, not the American continent): the so-called “minorities” are now shoved down the collective throats of the US people now, no matter how small, or freaky, the said “minorities” are.  This is especially striking in the kind of advertisements the US corporations are now unanimously producing.   I think, for example, of the morbidly obese black women in diapers (!!!) taking “ballerina poses” YouTube is now regularly showing.  Watching these ads, one would think that blacks in the USA occupy all positions of authority and prestige, that most US women are lesbians, and millions of US kids (and even infants!) urgently need a sex change (watch the excellent “What is a Woman?” documentary to see how insane this has all become).  When I see this collective woke insanity, I cannot help but wonder whether corporate “America” is not deliberately trying to really piss off the vast majority of US Americans and trigger some kind of major and violent internal crisis.
  • The Russians, in the meantime, are passing new laws against the propaganda of homosexuality: while in the past, such propaganda was only banned if directed at children, now this expanded to the entire population of Russia.  Just to clarify: Russia is not banning homosexuals and their sexual practices, however pathological, remain fully legal.  But what Russia IS doing is refusing to consider homosexuality as a “normal and natural variation in human sexuality” (Wikipedia).  In other words, the Russians still consider homosexuality as a psychological disorder which might deserve compassion, but not affirmation (nevermind encouragement).  Since “inclusiveness” and “positivity” are now key western “values” this is also a message from Russia: keep your woke-freaks and their ideology to yourselves, we want none of it!
  • In the meantime the Euroukrainians are now planning to ban and destroy over 100’000’000 copies of Russian language books.  Hitler would be proud.  The Eurolemmings have nothing to say.  You know, “#cancelRussia” thingie (meaning both Russians themselves and the Russian culture in all its forms) and all that “it’s okay when we do it” or “our SOBs” stuff.
  • The Western economic Blitzkrieg against Russia has totally failed and the joke in Russia is that while McCain famously once said that “Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country” with contempt, “Biden” is now saying the same thing, but with deep envy 🙂
Translation: for our Fatherland

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: the West has declared total war on Russia (and, de facto, to all of Zone B) and Russia has accepted this.  For a decade and more the West has tried hard to wake up and provoke the proverbial Russian bear and these efforts have finally been successful: the bear is now out, and he is very, very angry.  To clarify, by this I am not referring to former Atlantic Integrationists like Medvedev now “coming out” as a Eurasian Sovereignist hardliner (he is clearly setting himself up for a future Presidential election and says all the “right things”), but about the Russian people which are now in what I call a full “WWII” mode (“Rise up immense country” and all that).  To the right is the kind of images now circulating on the Russian Internet and which expresses the awareness that Europe was never truly denazifed, at least not in the US occupied countries.

Russia is now determined to finish this ugly job, once and forever.  You want to “cancel Russia”?  In your dreams only, but Russia can, and will, “cancel Nazism” once and or all.  1000 years of that crap is enough!

From the first Crusades to the invasion of the USSR by the united Europe under Hitler’s command, the West has always has some kind of ideology to justify its wars of imperialist aggression.  The interesting thing is that now this is over and rather than justify is acts of aggression in the name of some putatively universal religion or ideology, the western elites (and, alas, much of its population) have now finally shown their true face which is:

  • Virulent anti-Russian racism in its purest form (again, Hitler would be proud)
  • Pure and overt Satanism under the label of “Woke” ideology (the last western ideology it appears) with its focus on the destruction of the family and, especially, children (Satanists know that they cannot do anything against the Creator of all, hence they try to take out their hatred and revenge against His creatures, especially children)
  • Overt and even “in your face” hatred to any and all who oppose that agenda (as the French revolutionary Louis Antoine de Saint-Just famously declared “No freedom for the enemies of freedom“, right?!)

The truth is that the real West, the one born from the Middle-Ages (and *not* from the Roman or Greek civilizations!) has always been ruled by cynical, evil, thugs.  In the past, these thugs always concealed their real worldview and agenda under all sorts of pious pretexts, now its only “ideology” left is pure hatred and wokism (same thing, really).

I submit that it is impossible to predict what will happen in the coming months and years – there are simply too many variables which can dramatically affect our future.  What began as a special military operation (as opposed to a combined arms operation) has now morphed into what one could call WWIII or even WWIV (depending on your definitions).  This war will last for several years unless, of course, the Neocons and their associated crazies in the EU get their way and trigger a nuclear conflict: in the latter case it will be short and very final.

Right now the focus is on the Donbass and the southern Ukraine, but we have to understand two things about this:

  • The Ukronazis and their NATO bosses have already long lost that war, and all the West and its Nazi puppets in Kiev are doing is trying to prolong this unwinnable war for as long as possible to get a maximum number of Ukrainians killed or maimed and to destroy as much of the Ukraine as possible and make Russia “pay the highest price” for her (quite inevitable) victory on the battlefield.  What a paradox!  The Russian “aggressors” are trying as hard as they can to save as many Ukrainians as possible (even at the cost of their own lives!) along with whatever is left of the Ukrainian infrastructure after 30 years of “independence”, while the western “defenders” and even “allies” of the Ukraine want to turn it into a desolate moonscape covered with corpses.
  • This is not a war about the Ukraine, at least not anymore, this is now a war for the future of the European continent and even the future international order.  As I have said many times already, the Russians fully intend to denazify at least all of the European continent, preferably by economic and political means but, if needed, by military means too.  Why?  Because the West has left Russia no other choice.  For Russia and, I would argue, all of Zone B the choice is both stark and simple: true and full sovereignty (economic, of course, but also cultural, spiritual and civilizational) or subjugation.

In other words, this is not a war Russia can afford to lose and the Russian people know it.

Last time around, Russia lost about 27 million people while China lost about 35 millions.  That a total of 62 million people, about two thirds of which were civilians.  Keep these figures in mind when you look at the quick and quite radical modernization of the Russian and Chinese armed forces (btw – the Chinese people also “get it” and they fully support Russia, as does the Chinese leadership, even if they try to keep a low profile for the time being and let Russia carry the burden of being on the frontline of this war: simply put, the Chinese are buying time which, frankly, they still need to achieve parity, or better, against the US and its protectorates in Asia such as Taiwan, Japan, ROK or Australia.  The Russians also understand that as they themselves were in a similar position between 2000 and 2018.  But they know that the Chinese Dragon will have to fully “wake up” sooner rather than later.

Yeah, I know, most folks in the West don’t know that, or don’t care, but the point is now what the folks in the West do not know, but rather it is what the people of Russia and China know and understand quite well.  Only an utter fool would doubt or disregard the kind of determination which sits deep inside the souls of the Russian and Chinese people to never allow the West to subjugate them again.  Ever.

[Sidebar: yes, I know, the Japanese Empire which attacked China was not part of the West (yet), but that is an extremely superficial argument which fails to understand that it was precisely western imperialism which created the conditions, in both China and Japan, which resulted in the Japanese imperialist attacks against the entire Asian-Pacific region!]

The above does not even begin to cover all the amazing developments which have taken place in the last few months.  Not only have there been truly huge changes INSIDE Russia (and they are only accelerating), but also in Latin America, Africa and the Middle-East.  And I will revisit all these topics in about a month or so, when I will come back to full-time blogging.  Besides, in a month or so many of the things I mentioned above will become even more obvious for all to see so rather than trying to establish “fact X” we will be able to actually discuss and analyze it, its reality having been quite established.

[Sidebar: please remember who told you the truth and who lied to you over the past months.  There were many, many such liars, ranging from the official propaganda machine (aka the “free press”) to the “Putin has lost it all” emo-Marxists and assorted 6th columnists who, whether they understood it or not, served the purpose of the Empire’s PSYOPs.  Also please remember that Andrei MartynovBernard and Gonzalo Lira not only spoke truthfully, but they were right and their detractors totally wrong.  We all owe them an immense debt of gratitude!]

Frankly, before my forced break, I was getting really frustrated trying to prove to misinformed or even fully brainwashed commentators that the official narrative (produced by the biggest strategic PSYOP in history) was a load of bull, based on lies and/or on a total “misunderstanding” (and I am being kind here!) of the real world outside the “mental Zone A”.  Now most of that narrative has collapsed.

I am also confident that a month from today, things will be even more obvious than they are today.

So, my friends and readers, I leave you in the (very competent) hands of Amarynth, Herb and the rest of the Saker team and I very much look forward to my full return, God willing, in a month or so.

Kind regards to all, and many thanks for your support!

Andrei

PS: yesterday I was re-watching the superb movie by Costa Gavras “Z” which, at the end, lists all the works of art, literature, music, etc. which the (US CIA backed) Greek “colonels” banned and I thought to myself: “what leftist director would make such a movie today about how the entire West is now doing the same with all things Russian?“.  None, of course.  I also noticed the sweet irony of Costa Gavras’ movie being called “Z” (which in Greek stands for “Ζει” or “he lives”) and I wondered if the copyright owners of the movie will now have to rename it since the letter “Z” is now banned amongst doubleplusgoodthinking russophobes.  Finally, there are some in the West who want to create two categories: “good Russians”, who are expected to publicly denounce their country and President, and “bad Russians” who refuse to do so.  Hitler wanted Jews to wear a star of David, so could we see a day when “bad Russians” in Zone A will be told to wear a “Z”.  Right now, no T-shirt or mugs printing companies in Zone A will accept to print a “Z” on their items (I know, I tried and failed!), but considering the collective rage and insanity of the western ruling elites, maybe the letter “Z” will become obligatory for “bad Russians” in Zone A?  Just kidding, of course, but rewatching the movie “Z” felt quite eerie anyway.

Belarus reveals mass executions of Iraqi refugees by Polish soldiers

22 Jun 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Belarus says it informed an Iraqi delegation of the details of an investigation concluded about mass executions and secret burial of Iraqi refugees killed by the Polish army.

Iraqi migrants at the Belarus-Poland border

The Investigative Committee of Belarus said that an Iraqi delegation visiting Minsk was handed over evidence and information about the mass and secret executions of Iraqi refugees by Polish soldiers on the Polish side of the border with Belarus.

According to a statement published on the website of the Committee, a meeting was held with the Iraqi delegation in the Committee’s central office.

During the meeting, the Iraqi side was informed of the details of the investigation concluded about mass executions and secret burial of refugees killed by the Polish army.

The Iraqi side also received information on the progress and results of the investigation into the crimes against humanity, propaganda for war, and willful endangerment of others, as well as details related to violations committed by officials in Poland such as illegal acts including deportation, cruelty, torture and deliberate failure to provide assistance that led to the death of refugees from West Asian countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

The statement mentioned that these crimes had been assertedly committed on the basis of race, nationality, nationality, and religion.

According to the statement, “Belarusian investigators documented criminal actions committed against 135 Iraqi citizens, who were physically injured as violence was used against them by Polish security forces.”

The Investigative Committee of Belarus is also investigating three cases related to bodily harm and illegal expulsion from the EU to Belarus, which led to the death of Iraqi citizens.

It is noteworthy that in February 2023, the International Criminal Court in The Hague will look into the statement of Belarusian human rights activists on the genocide of migrants in Poland.

On January 25, Poland’s border guards announced the start of construction of a 186-kilometer (115-mile) fence at the border with Belarus after thousands of migrants from West Asia streamed to the border in an attempt to cross into the European Union.

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