Everything’s Getting Messy Again In Afghanistan

15 MAY 2022

Source

By Andrew Korybko

Afghanistan’s internal insecurity, border tensions, and the potentially Pakistani-backed US military factor are combining to create yet another storm in the New Cold War that threatens to destabilize the region.

Russia’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine and the US-led West’s unprecedented response to it have distracted the international community from Afghanistan, which is once again becoming an issue of regional concern. The foreign occupiers’ chaotic evacuation from that country last August and the Taliban’s return to power in the aftermath haven’t stabilized the situation all that much. The group is still designated as terrorists by most of the world and their leadership remains unrecognized despite all stakeholders – including Russia — still interacting with them for pragmatism’s sake.

Afghanistan somehow avoided the full-scale humanitarian crisis that many were worried about but its people’s most basic needs still aren’t being adequately met. Observers also feel very uncomfortable about the Taliban returning to its old ways by once again banning women from showing their uncovered faces in public. The comparatively more secular and ethnically cosmopolitan northern part of the country that’s majority inhabited by Tajiks and other Central Asian people might not take too kindly to this decree, which could fuel anti-government movements there.

In fact, it was reported just this weekend that the “National Resistance Front” (NRF) has returned to fighting against the Taliban in the Panjshir Valley. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was asked about this on Friday following the CIS Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Dushanbe where he reiterated Moscow’s stance that the only sustainable political solution is to form an ethno-regionally inclusive government. He also expressed optimism that “our allies in Tajikistan with serious influence in Afghanistan, primarily the country’s north, will also keep helping us achieve our common goals.”

That former Soviet Republic is a key stakeholder in Afghanistan since it exerts influence over its co-ethnics across the border and was previously suspected of supporting anti-Taliban forces there. President Putin also spoke to his Tajik counterpart Rahmon on Friday, during which time the two discussed Afghanistan and confirmed that they’ll “continue to cooperate to ensure security on the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border.” This is especially important following reports that ISIS-K terrorists from Afghanistan recently claimed credit for a cross-border attack that Tajik officials nonetheless denied.

On the topic of cross-border terrorism emanating from Afghanistan, neighboring Pakistan reportedly carried out several strikes there in the middle of last month against TPP terrorists who martyred several of their soldiers days prior. Islamabad also reportedly just handed over two top TPP commanders to the Afghan Taliban, who’ve been mediating peace talks between them. Amidst all of this, Pakistan remains mired in political uncertainty following its scandalous change of government in early April that former Prime Minister Khan claims was orchestrated by the US as punishment for his independent policies.

While its internal security situation is expected to remain stable considering the world-class professionalism of its military and intelligence services, speculation abounds about the trajectory of its foreign policy. Newly inaugurated Foreign Minister Bhutto’s upcoming trip to the US is inconveniently occurring at the exact moment that its political, economic, and international uncertainties are converging. The relevance of this to Afghanistan is the US’ recent reaffirmation that it retains the capabilities to strike terrorists in Afghanistan if it so chooses, perhaps with speculative Pakistani support.  

Former Prime Minister Khan claimed that the alleged US-orchestrated regime change plot against him first started when he publicly said that his country will “absolutely not” host any American bases in the wake of the US’ withdrawal from neighboring Afghanistan. Critics of the new authorities who replaced him suspect that they might be secretly negotiating some sort of military arrangement with the US to facilitate American anti-terrorist strikes there, which could possibly target ISIS-K but also the TTP that Washington also officially regards as terrorists just like Islamabad does.

While there’s nothing of tangible substance to base this speculation on, it’s still a matter of public record that the US said on multiple occasions that it’s actively seeking out regional bases to facilitate its so-called “over-the-horizon” strikes in Afghanistan. Russia was concerned that its American rival might poach one of the Central Asian Republics from its informal “sphere influence” into this scheme, though that hasn’t materialized, at least not yet. Even so, Moscow must be watching Washington’s reported $20 million unarmed Puma drone deal with Dushanbe with suspicion to see where it might lead.

On the topic of cross-border attacks, it also deserves mentioning that reports came in a few weeks back alleging that tensions were boiling along the Afghan-Iranian border. Tehran denied that any clashes took place but most observers still consider ties between it and the Taliban to be very complicated, to say the least. Taking stock of the overall situation, Afghanistan’s domestic stability has been rocked by ISIS-K suicide bombings and the latest reported “NRF” offensive while international tensions are dangerously growing between the Taliban and its Iranian, Pakistani, and Tajik neighbors.

Against the backdrop of the Taliban imposing its strict socio-religious standards onto the rest of the population in spite of the risk that this will only worsen resentment from some minorities against it, as well as the country’s humanitarian crisis being far from resolved even though it hasn’t yet exploded, it can be concluded that everything risks spiraling out of control if all these counterproductive trends aren’t soon reversed. Pakistan’s crossing of the Rubicon by kinetically defending its objective national security interests through reported anti-TTP strikes also adds an unpredictable dimension to this too.

The same can be said for the pivot towards the US that the new authorities’ critics suspect is unfolding and which might manifest itself through those two unofficially teaming up to occasionally fight terrorism in Afghanistan. The US is still actively searching for a regional base, which can only realistically be in Pakistan if it ever comes to pass since its new Tajik partner can’t legally host one without Russia’s approval due to its legal commitments through the CSTO mutual defense pact. Any enhanced Pakistani-American anti-terrorist and/or military cooperation could greatly reshape regional dynamics.

All the while, there’s also some positive news too even though it pales in comparison to the negative. Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke at the beginning of the month about the need for mutually beneficial economic engagement with Afghanistan, which he repeated on Friday after the CIS meeting that was hyperlinked to earlier in this analysis. New Taliban-appointed Afghan charge d’affairs to Russia Jamal Nasir Garwal, who also reportedly attended the Victory Day parade in Moscow, publicly reciprocated this interest by emphasizing how much his country needs Russian energy resources right now.

These signals prompted speculation that a Taliban delegation might soon travel to Moscow to discuss such deals, though Russian Special Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov denied that anything of the sort was in the cards at this moment. Still, that would represent a positive development if it comes to pass and would complement the Taliban’s planned economic cooperation with China. The larger trend seems to be that while Afghanistan’s ties with Iran, Pakistan, and Tajikistan become more complicated, its ties with Russia and China are becoming more comprehensive.

To be absolutely clear, correlation doesn’t mean causation so nobody should think that regional stakeholders are dividing into pro- and anti-Taliban blocs, but it’s still an important trend to pay attention to since it suggests that Russia and China might soon be able to exert more influence over the Taliban than previously expected. In the event that Pakistan strikes some sort of anti-terrorist or military deal with the US as part of its speculative plans to repair ties with it through such arrangements that critics might describe as concessions, then those two might become more suspicious of its intentions.

After all, Pakistan has unofficially frozen talks with Russia over what former Prime Minister Khan insists were his previously active negotiations to purchase fuel from Moscow, including at a 30% discount, but which the new Energy Minister claimed had never happened. The latter said this in spite of there being documented evidence from credible sources confirming that his statement was factually incorrect, including Foreign Minister Lavrov revealing while in Islamabad on 7 April 2021 that there was “mutual interest” in this, “appropriate proposals have been put forward”, and Russia is “waiting for a response”.

The scandal over Russian-Pakistani energy talks concerns much more than just those two countries since all interested observers can now see that the new authorities are publicly distancing themselves from their predecessors’ negotiations with the Kremlin for whatever reason, even going as far as to share factually incorrect information with the public about this. The impression that they’re probably left with is that this might be done under American pressure, which in turn adds credence to former Prime Minister Khan’s narrative about the US being behind his ouster and now influencing his replacements.

This insight is pertinent for Afghanistan since it also adds credence to suspicions that Pakistan and the US might be secretly negotiating some anti-terrorist or military deals focused on that war-torn country, with Islamabad possibly even conceding on some issues that its prior government never would have in pursuit of clinching such an agreement in the hopes of repairing its troubled ties with Washington. The reintroduction of US forces to the region, even clandestine ones such as CIA drone teams, could be very destabilizing and thus contribute to even more uncertainty about Afghanistan’s overall situation.

The scenario of Pakistan’s new authorities, who rose to power through scandalous circumstances that the ousted premier attributed to a US-orchestrated conspiracy, facilitating the American military’s and/or intelligence’s return to the region would certainly be frowned upon by all regional stakeholders. No matter what’s said between their diplomats, it’s doubtful that they place much trust in that country’s new leadership after its Energy Minister passionately insisted that former Prime Minister Khan was lying about his energy negotiations with Russia in spite of the official facts contradicting him.

The uncertainty about Pakistan’s grand strategic trajectory after its recent change of government and the credible concerns that its new leadership is preparing to decisively pivot towards the US contribute to the larger uncertainty about everything associated with Afghanistan right now. The overall situation is negative and there’s too much “fog of (hybrid) war” to confidently predict where everything is headed. Afghanistan’s internal insecurity, border tensions, and the potentially Pakistani-backed US military factor are combining to create yet another storm in the New Cold War that threatens to destabilize the region.

Virtual Russia, virtual Russian Armed Forces, bad information, bad planning, bad outcomes.

May 15, 2022

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Norman Finkelstein : Russia has the historical right to invade Ukraine (updated with transcript)

May 15, 2022

The Debrief with Briahna Joy Gray, April 8, 2022.

Source: http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/norman-finkelstein-on-ideology-in-the-classroom-and-ukraine-the-debrief-with-briahna-joy-gray/

Transcript:

Question: How much of a similarity maybe do you see between the kind of… the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the way some people handle some of the reactionary and right-wing elements in the Palestinian defense and opposition, versus how some of the left is talking about the Ukraine defense and the Azov battalions… Do you think there’s a comparison? And I’ll just leave the question at that. Thanks.

Norman Finkelstein: Well I have to ask Briahna’s permission to go in a digression…

Briahna: Absolutely.

Norman Finkelstein : Okay. On the question of the Ukraine, the thing that’s troubled me about the public conversation of the Ukraine or hysteria —it’s not even a conversation, it’s hysteria about the Ukraine— is the following: those who are not totally immersed in the mainstream propaganda, some of the people you’ve had on your program and people who are not especially of the left, they have no particular left-wing allegiance, like John Mearsheimer at University of Chicago, or before he passed away Stephen F. Cohen who predicted that if you keep up with this NATO expansion in the Ukraine, there’s going to be a war. He said that in Democracy Now in 2014, and he was right. And other people, Professor Chomsky. I would include in that group several others, and they’ll all say the following thing:

Number one, the Russians were promised that there would be no NATO expansion to the East, that was the quid pro quo for the reunification of Germany after the decomposition of the Soviet Union. The Russians were promised that but the West went ahead. We’re talking about the 1990s: the promises were given, but the West then went ahead and started to expand NATO once, as John Mearsheimer likes to put it there was the first tranche, then the second tranche of expansion… Then NATO starts expanding in Georgia and in the Ukraine. The Soviet Union says it’s a red line.

To stop this, the Soviet Union offers a perfectly reasonable resolution: just neutralize Ukraine like we neutralized Austria after World War II, neither aligned with an Eastern bloc nor aligned with a Western bloc. That seemed to me perfectly reasonable. And the people I mentioned, Mearsheimer, Cohen passed away since but Professor Chomsky and a number of others, they’ll all agree on the reasonableness of Putin’s demands.

And then the reasonableness of those demands, those demands have to, as Briahna says in her paper and as she said this evening, they have to always be seen in context. So what’s the context? The context is the Soviet Union, the former Russia, it lost… the estimates are about 30 million people during World War II. The United States which, if you watch American movies, you would think the US won World War II, it lost about two hundred thousand people. The UK was the second candidate for winning World War II, they lost about four hundred thousand people. The Soviet Union lost 30 million people. Even those who didn’t take courses in the hard sciences can reckon the difference between several hundred thousand and thirty million. Now that’s not an ancient memory for the Russians. If you… I remember Stephen F. Cohen saying “when I grew up in little America —he was from Kentucky— we used to celebrate…” I forgot what was called here Victory Day, V-something, he said “but you know now as adults we don’t celebrate that anymore in the United States, Victory in World War II”, he said, but Russia, he said, they still celebrate V-Day, they still celebrate it. I live in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. A large part is Russian Jews, a large part is Russian Jews. You go out in May, you go out on the V-Day, and you can see that Russians up to 80 and 90 year olds, they’re wearing medals, they’re medals from World War II. That memory is alive.

And now there’s this Ukraine, where Nazis are playing an outsized role. I’m not saying they’re a majority, but in the political and military life, they play an outsized —disproportionate let’s call it— role. This Ukraine where Nazis are playing an outsized role, are aligned with a formidable military bloc called NATO, NATO keeps advancing and advancing and advancing, closing on Russia, trying to suffocate it… And beginning around 2016, under Trump, begins to arm the Ukraine, pouring in weapons, engaging in military exercises with NATO, behaving very provocatively. And then the Foreign Minister Lavrov finally says we’ve reached the boiling point.

Now everything I just told you, Professor Chomsky, John Mearsheimer and others will acknowledge it. The mainstream press won’t even acknowledge that but people who call themselves just, legitimately call themselves dissidents, although Mearsheimer wouldn’t call himself a dissident, he just calls himself a realist. Nice guy, I consider him a friend, I like him. They’ll acknowledge all that. But then they say the invasion was criminal. Criminal invasion, criminal, criminal, criminal. And my question which I’ve constantly been putting in correspondence is a very simple one: if you agree that for 20 years—more than 20 years, more than two decades—, Russia has tried to engage in diplomacy; if you agree that the Russian demand to neutralize Ukraine —not occupy it, not determine its government, its form of economy, just neutralize it like Austria after World War II—, if you agree that was a legitimate demand; if you agree that the West was expanding and expanding NATO; if you agree that Ukraine de facto had become a member of NATO, weapons pouring in, engaging in military exercises in NATO; and if you agree… You know, Russia lost 30 million people during World War II because of the Nazi invasion, so there’s a legitimate concern by Russia with all of these —if you excuse my language— Nazis floating around in the Ukraine, then the simple question is: What was Russia to do?

I’m not saying I agree with the invasion, I’m not saying it went right, but I think one thing: the invasion showed… you know what the one thing the invasion showed, Briahna, was that Russia is kind of weak militarily, which is why all the more they may have been fearful of a NATO-backed Ukraine filled with Nazis, and probably at some point positioning nuclear missiles on its border. And I think 30 million, 30 million people… Listen to this: I think 30 million people is 30 million arguments in favor of Russia. Now I’m not going to say, because I’m not a general and I’m not a diplomat, so I’m not going… I’m not a military strategist so I’m not going to say it was the wisest thing to do. I’m not going to say it was the most prudent thing to do. But I will say —and I’m not afraid to say it because it would dishonor the memory of my parents if i didn’t say it—, I will say that they had the right to do it. And I’m not taking that back. They had the right to do it. They had if I can call it the historic right to do it. 30 million people (killed during WW2), and now you’re starting again, you’re starting again. No, no, you know I can’t go for it, I can’t go for those who acknowledge the legitimacy of the arguments made by Putin but then call the invasion criminal. I don’t see that.

Now you could say the way they executed it may have had criminal elements. However I don’t know… Well, you went to Harvard Law School, I don’t know if you studied the laws of war, but the laws of war make a very big distinction between ‘jus ad bellum’ and ‘jus in bello’, namely whether the launching of the war was legitimate or whether it was an act of aggression versus the way you conduct the war, ‘jus in bello’. Maybe the conduct, targeting of civilians and so forth, that probably violates the laws of war, but that’s a separate issue under law from “did they have the right to attack”. I think they did. I’m not going to back off from that.

You know, these are for me… even at my age, these are acts of deference to the suffering of my parents. My parents felt a very deep love for the Russian people, because they felt the Russian people understood war. They understood what my parents went through [in the Warsaw Ghetto & Auschwitz] during World War II, so there was a very deep affection… My father even, at the end of his life, he learned fluent Russian because neighborhood is all Russian. And you know, Polish to Russian is not a huge leap but also he liked the Russian people. So in my family growing up, the worst curse (insult)… there were two curses, two curses: curse number one was “parasite”. You have to work. My parents had a very… they had a work ethic. Believe me, I could have lived without the idea of pleasure, it didn’t exist in my house: you had to work. And the second word, the second curse, the second epithet was “traitor”. A traitor. And I know my parents would regard me as a traitor if I denounced what the Russians were doing now. How they’re doing it, as they say, probably there are violations and maybe egregious violations of the laws of war, we’ll have to wait to see the evidence, but their right to protect their homeland from this relentless juggernaut, this relentless pressing on their throats, when there was such an easy way to resolve it…

You know, if you read War and peace, and I suspect you did because you’re quite a gifted writer, obviously you were a reader…

Briahna: I confess, there was a copy on my shelf that I have started many times, but I haven’t… I’ve never finished it.

Norman Finkelstein: I’m surprised… In any case, War and peace is about the invasion of Russia, the war of 1812, and Tolstoy, the centerpiece of War and peace is the great battle of Borodino, and he describes it in this kind of terrifying detail. In the battle of Borodino, 25 000 Russians were killed, or maybe it was all together 25 000, I can’t remember, I think was 25 000 Russians were killed. Why do I mention it? So for Russians the seminal event of the 19th century was the war of 1812 and the invasion of Russia. For the 20th century, it’s World War II, and just in the battle of Leningrad, just Leningrad, not Saint-Petersburg, just Leningrad, a million Russians were killed. There was cannibalism! This is serious, World War II for the Russians. And you want me to just forget about that? That’s just a trivial fact? A trivial fact? No! Now you’ll ask yourself: in all the coverage that you’ve heard about your Russian attack on Ukraine, all the coverage you’ve read and listened to, how many times have you heard that 30 million Russians were killed during World War II? How many times?

Briahna Very infrequently. It’s never stated in this context.

Norman Finkelstein: Absolutely. And Stephen F. Cohen… You know, he was my Professor at Princeton and for a while he was my advisor. He… I didn’t know him well and at the end we had a falling down over my whole dissertation catastrophe, debacle, but Cohen had a genuine affection for the Russian people. He did. He loved the Russians. He loved the Russian people. And so when he begins his presentation… There is a Youtube of him debating the former US Ambassador, Mc Faul I think, Michael Mc Faul. How does he begin? He begins with how Russians remember the V-day. You know, that’s the starting point for me, it’s a starting point.

http://www.twitter.com/caitoz/status/1525620613980643328

Now you might say well, doesn’t your whole argument then justify what Israel does because of what happened to Jews during World War II? It’s an interesting question because the most moving, the most moving speech in support of the founding of the State of Israel, by far the most moving speech, you know who it was given by at the UN? It was given by the Soviet foreign minister Gromyko. And he said it was another act of generosity. Remember I mentioned to you earlier the boy’s act of generosity where he looks past what Trichka says about Black people, and as a student I thought it was a very generous act. So now the Russians lost 30 million people in World War II, but Gromyko says the suffering of the Jews, it was different, it was horrible. Here is a Russian saying that. And he said if a binational State is not possible, they earned their right to a State. So I say I applied the same standard. Now the way Israel carried out its right to establish a State by expelling the indigenous population, appropriating their land and creating havoc and misery for generation after generation, decade after decade, no I’m not going there. But yes I do believe… in recent correspondence with some friends I use the expression “I think Russia has the historic right to protect itself”, not by violating somebody else’s right to self-determination but neutralization, I think that’s legitimate.

Briahna: So I want to ask you this because you know it wouldn’t be right for me to put this question to Ro Khanna and not put this question to you. You are speaking so compellingly about the kind of moral valences of who’s entitled to feeling insecure as a nation, who’s entitled because of the historical cost it has paid to defend itself and to defend whatever you want to call it, you know, democracy in fascism, all of these kinds of words, has paid in terms of the number of human lives and kind of an unmatched price, and I think that’s…

Norman Finkelstein: The Chinese lost about 26 million to the Japanese, so it was close.

Briahna: It’s close but still… And yet when I was talking to Ro Khanna and he was saying well, ultimately he’s arguing on the other side that America is 100% right, Russia’s 100% wrong and this is a just war regardless of the substance. I would push him on this idea, of even if you believe it to be just kind of morally, the act I’m going to have to as a leftist is pushback against the idea that the preemptiveness of the war is okay, and that war is a solution. It is something that we should be tacitly or implicitly condoning. And I wonder what you make of that question.

Norman Finkelstein: Look, Briahna, not to flatter you but you always ask the right questions, and that’s why I was careful in what I said. You referred to the pre-emptiveness. Russia tried for 22 years. That’s giving a lot of time to diplomacy! 22 years is a lot of time!

And the question is: at what point, at what point does Russia get to act? When there are nuclear-tipped missiles on its border? Is that when it gets to act? I don’t agree with that. I think of course you have to give maximum time to see if diplomacy is going to work, absolutely…

Briahna: And then you start fighting? And then you send in troops? Because Norm, this is the… whether or not you believe…

Norman Finkelstein: I’m very happy, I’m very happy to take to heart your question. And that leads me again with the same question that I returned to you and I’ve returned to all of my correspondents over the past six weeks. If it’s clear that all the negotiations are in bad faith, if it’s clear that Ukraine had become de facto a member of NATO, what was Russia supposed to do? You say “don’t send in troops”. Fine. I come from a family that was completely anti-war. My mother used to say “better a hundred years of evolution than one year of revolution”. She had enough of war. I have no problem with your recoiling at the process. But what I’m saying is what was Russia supposed to do?

Briahna: What I’m asking is how you distinguish between your feelings that this is a moral war, this is a justified act, fine, and someone like Ro Khanna’s belief that US intervention, continued support of NATO, Western powers, sending weapons into Ukraine, arming the Azov battalion, is as he puts it a just war. The fact that you are both making these arguments, regardless… I’m not making an equivalent between the value of your arguments but obviously Ro Khanna thinks what he thinks and my point to him was you using vague terms like “just war” is exactly what’s allowed the kind of jingoistic parade to lead us into so many other incursions. So how principally do you distinguish? I understand your feeling and I understand the historical citations and the loss of life that leads you to the conclusions that you’ve been led to, but someone on the other side will say the same thing, someone else said “Well Marshall well this is how many Ukrainians have suffered and this is…”

Norman Finkelstein: But you’re canceling, if I may use that word, you’re canceling the context. You see I began my whole discussion with you, not with the position of Biden or the position of lunatics like Judy Woodruff, you know, and PBS. I said my quarrel is with people on the left who agree with all of my context but then make the leap and say it’s a criminal invasion. And I say to Professor Meirsheimer, Professor Chomsky and many others who acknowledge everything I just said, I say then what was… if you agree with everything I said, what was Putin supposed to do? I don’t see what he was supposed to do. I’m lost. It’s an impasse. I don’t see what…

Briahna: You were making a reference earlier to laws of war and rules before, i don’t know about it, I’ve never studied the laws of war, but it does seem to me that a line is drawn between… and I know that people are going to say something can be constructively war and you know. But in terms of an actual invasion and boots on the ground or missile strikes or things like that, the thing that Russia has to do even if it disadvantages them strategically in some ways is to wait until the other person hits first.

Norman Finkelstein: I don’t agree with that. I would say, as in any case, you have to demonstrate its last resort, and therefore you do have to demonstrate…

Briahna: How do you do that? Because that’s the question, how do you make sure that this is not just the same kind of…

Norman Finkelstein: I’m going to give you a historical analogy, probably the details which you’re unfamiliar with, but just allow me to just sketch it out. So in 1967, Israel launches a war, it occupies the West Bank, Gaza, Syrian Golan heights, and then it occupies this huge area, the Egyptian Sinai. And after the 67 war, about three years later, when Anwar Sadat comes into power, he says “I’m willing to sign a peace treaty with Israel but they have to return the territory they acquired during the 67 war”, because that’s the law : under international law, it’s inadmissible to acquire territory by war. Israel acquired the territory during the june 67 war, so these territories belong to Egypt. Israel says no, we’re not leaving the Sinai. Sadat says “Look, I’m offering you a peace treaty, I’m offering you peace, just return what’s not yours, the Egyptian Sinai”. Israel says no. Then Israel starts creating facts in the ground in the Sinai, it starts building settlements, those same settlements you’re familiar with in the West Bank. And then it announces in 1972 it’s going to rebuild what’s called the old jewish city of Carmel. Egypt says you’re not going to do that. You’re crossing a red line. Egypt says if you don’t stop this we’re going to attack, we’re going to attack. Everybody ignores Egypt because Arabs don’t know how to fight wars. The Arabs were nicknamed after 67, the term of abuse for an Arab was they were “monkeys”, they called them monkeys. They don’t know how to fight wars. Okay? And then come october 1973. Guess what: Sadat attacks. And the Israelis were so shocked they thought the whole thing was over, they called it… Moshe Dayan who was the Defense minister at the time, or the Foreign minister I can’t remember which, I think Defense minister at the time, he says… he made this panicky phone call, he said it’s the end of the third temple. This is it, we’re finished. Well it wasn’t the end of the third temple but it was a significant, heavy loss to Israel, they lost between two and three thousand soldiers, which is the largest number except for the war in 1948.

Now here’s the point: the point is no country in the world, none, including the United States, no country in the world condemned Sadat for aggression, none. And you know, for Israel it was a close call, or it seemed to be. In retrospect it turned out not to me, but it seemed to be a close call. Nobody condemned Egypt. Why? One, its demand was legitimate. Return the Sinai, it’s not yours, it’s our territory. Number two: Sadat tried negotiations for six years. And number three, as hard as he tried to negotiate, Israelis kept provoking and provoking and provoking until they announced rebuilding the old jewish city of Carmel. And Sadat says it’s over and then plans with Syria the attack which happens, what’s called the Yom Kippur war, the october war in 1973.

So now fast forward to Putin: the man was reasonable (neutralize Ukraine), negotiates over 20 years to fighting over this NATO expansion in the East, and then they start provoking them even more, they start pouring weapons into the Ukraine, they start carrying on joint military exercises between Ukraine and NATO. And then all of these swarmy Nazis start to surface. No I’m not saying Nazis control the government but they play an outsized role in the government, in the military. And I don’t see what’s the difference between what Putin did and what Sadat did. I don’t see the difference. I think it was the same thing, and nobody condemns Sadat for aggression. No one.

Briahna: But I’m asking I think a different question. I’m really not interested in litigating any given case mostly because I don’t know what the hell any of these things are about, so like I don’t really… I’m not going to say whether this war is just, that’s for other people to determine. What I do know is that everyone is making that argument on all kinds of sides, including people I know I don’t disagree with. And so many wars have been started with the argument that it is a just war for x, y and z reasons, and it’s okay to act despite there not having been a direct act of aggression against the allegedly aggrieved party. And so all I’m asking is to give some thought to how one would articulate a standard that can’t be so easily abused.

Norman Finkelstein: You know, Rihanna, I agree, it’s like once you grow up in life, you discover that life is very little about principles: it’s mostly about judgment. Principles get you not very far. I remember I got this lesson from Professor Chomsky, as he always puts it in his very lucid, simple terms. He said to me once: “Norman, we all know it’s wrong to lie, but if a rapist knocks in your door and asks “Is your daughter in the bedroom”, there’s a clash of principles there obviously. And so at the end of the day, what is required is not the application of an abstract principle but the faculty of judgment. When principles clash, you have to exercise judgment. You then have to look at particulars, the specifics.

Briahna: Excuse me, I appreciate that, which is probably why, you know, this is the limit, this is the limit of it for me and I’ll… I’m happy to take more questions from people who I’m sure know much more about the particulars. Although your last statement about, you know, principles versus judgment, and you know, the rapist at your door, does make me, it does make me tempted to ask you about what you think about the slap. […]

[If you want to know what Norman Finkelstein thinks about Will Smith’s slap at the Oscars, and other more serious issues, check the full podcast].

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Nothing to Celebrate?

May 11, 2022

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by James Tweedie

On May 8, when Victory in Europe (VE) Day is celebrated in the West, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told CNN that Russia had “nothing to celebrate” on its own Victory Day on May 9.

Her reasoning, faithfully transcribed on the US mission’s website, was that “They have not succeeded in defeating the Ukrainians.”

Given that Victory Day and VE Day both specifically commemorate the allied defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, Thomas-Greenfield’s comments were like saying the US, Britain and France had nothing to celebrate this year because they got chased out of Afghanistan by the Taliban last August.

The ambassador is either an apologist for Nazism or merely too ignorant to do her job. She should at least read some objective reports about the conflict in the Ukraine.

In fact Russians had two immediate military victories to celebrate that Monday. Russian and Lugansk People’s Republic troops captured the town of Popasna, a lynchpin in the Ukrainian army’s defensive line that it had held for eight years.

Meanwhile Kiev, apparently desperate for a victory of its own to rain on the parade through Moscow’s Red Square, launched an airborne and marine assault on the now-famous Zmeinyy (Snake) Island off the coast of Odessa oblast.

Some sources say the Russians withdrew their small force holding the island as bait for a trap, but either way it went horribly wrong for the Ukrainians. They lost four jet fighters and strike aircraft, up to 10 helicopters, a corvette and three infantry landing craft. More than 60 of their personnel were killed, of which 27 were abandoned on the island.

The Ukraine is like a bull elephant that has been shot right in the heart in mid-charge. The beast keeps on bellowing and rampaging around, not yet realising that it’s already dead.

It becomes clearer by the day that the Ukrainian army attempting to occupy the remains of the Donbass republics, newly recognised by Russia just as the West ‘recognised’ its creations of Kosovo and South Sudan, is dead on its feet.

Its navy, air force, artillery, tanks and transportation are almost destroyed. Its casualties are replaced with boys and old men press-ganged off the streets of Kiev and Lvov, some without proper boots. Its senior officers are fled or dead.

Meanwhile the collective West, dominated as always by the Washington, pours in its hodgepodge of arms that belong in a museum, not on the battlefield. The latest arrivals are the 90 much-vaunted 155mm howitzers donated by the Pentagon — and made in UK, because the US military-industrial complex seemingly can’t produce a simple towed cannon any more.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin insisted on April 28 that the artillery pieces would prove “decisive” in the war with Russia. The former Raytheon executive can’t stop speaking in his arms industry sales patter. 90 guns is about what the Ukrainian army is losing every week. What use are they anyway against Russia’s hypersonic missiles, with a range of hundreds of miles and an accuracy radius of seven metres?

Pouring random assortments of arms into a country and expecting it to win against a well-organised and equipped opponent is just as incoherent a strategy as the war of attrition the US waged in Vietnam, or sending a whole army into a frontal assault on a mountain pass defended by a thousand.

Who is going to operate all this stuff if most of the experienced weapon and vehicle crews have become casualties or prisoners? How is it even supposed to get to the front when Russia has air superiority over the country and stand-off weapons that can reach right out to the border with Poland and kill hundreds of foreign mercenaries?

“Ukraine clearly believes it can win and so does everyone here,” Austin told his NATO counterparts at the Rammstein airbase a few days earlier, in a touching display of mass delusion on a US-occupied piece of Germany. “Ukraine needs our help to win today and they will still need our help when the war is over.”

In a pre-recorded virtual address to the Ukrainian parliament on May 3, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made similar exhortations. “The so-called irresistible force of Putin’s war machine has broken on the immoveable object of Ukrainian patriotism,” Johnson declared triumphantly. “Ukraine will win, Ukraine will be free.”

Kiev is claiming it can rebuild its exhausted, demoralised, bled-white army in the west of the country — or better yet, in NATO-member Poland — and march east in a great wave of self-righteous retribution to reclaim the Donbass and Crimea.

This is accompanied by bizarre fascistic artwork of crusader knights, flying the 30-year-old Ukrainian flag, slaughtering Russian army orcs — literal fantasy role-playing game orcs with the letter ‘Z’ marked on their foreheads. And Western leaders are actually taking this stuff seriously.

Austin believes that fighting this war the last drop of Ukrainian blood will weaken the Russian military enough that it won’t be able to fight another war for years to come. Not so long ago this retired four-star general publicly referred to present-day Russia as the Soviet Union, whether by accident or on purpose we do not now.

Perhaps Austin should read a little history and discover that the USSR lost 27 million human lives in the war against Nazi Germany and its many European fascist allies, all now current or prospective NATO members.

Six million Soviets soldiers and partisans fell on the battlefield. Three million more were murdered by the Nazis as as prisoners of war, along with 18 million civilians.

Yet the Soviet Union emerged from that cataclysmic war stronger than ever, as the superpower that counter-balanced the US in the post-war order.

Like Germany in 1945, the Ukraine is marching fanatically towards its terrible Götterdämmerung, leaving a trail of footprints in its own blood. And NATO is standing behind, cheering it on and prolonging the death-agony.

‘Victory over death itself’: Why the 9th of May is so important for Russians

9 May, 2022

People holding photographs of their relatives who fought against Nazi Germany in WWII attend the Immortal Regiment march marking the 77th anniversary of the victory in World War II, in Moscow, Russia. © Sputnik / Grigory Sysoev

77 years after World War Two, Victory Day is regarded as the country’s most important holiday

By Evgeny Norin, a Russian historian focused on Russia’s wars and international politics

People holding photographs of their relatives who fought against Nazi Germany in WWII attend the Immortal Regiment march marking the 77th anniversary of the victory in World War II, in Moscow, Russia. © Sputnik / Grigory Sysoev

May 9 is a special holiday for Russians, and the great attention we pay to this date often seems unusual to people from other countries and cultures. Indeed, to say that “for Russians, the Second World War ended yesterday,” it is not far from the truth. 

Evgeny Dering was a veterinarian who treated horses. He lived in St. Petersburg, which was then called Leningrad. On June 22, 1941, he went off to war. Before he left, he asked his wife Regina to take their children – two daughters and a son just born in April – and leave for the depths of Russia. As it turned out, this request saved their lives. A few days later, Regina took her children to the village of Makarevo, in the Nizhny Novgorod oblast (then Gorky), and settled in a 15th century convent that had been set up as a shelter for refugees like her. More than 600,000 Leningrad residents died of hunger during the great siege of the city. Regina survived, as did all her children, but she never saw her husband again. In October of 1943, Evgeny Dering was killed by artillery shelling at a small marshy bridgehead on the Dnieper River… 

For Russians, Victory Day is literally a celebration of victory over death – one in which everyone was involved. Almost every family has a story about what their ancestors did during the war. These stories vary greatly, but they are almost always dramatic. Many have tales about people who died. The Soviet Union lost more than 27 million people during the war. About 12 million were soldiers and officers, while the rest were civilians who died at the hands of the Nazis during the fighting or from hunger. By the time Berlin had been taken and Adolf Hitler had committed suicide in his bunker in 1945, the USSR was a country where almost everyone mourned someone. A person who had lost ‘only’ friends was considered lucky. 

The Nazis waged war with extreme brutality. Jews were never spared, but nothing good awaited anyone else either. A Belarusian government database contains the names of 9,000 villages that were burned by the invaders during the war, and this was only in one of the Soviet Union’s occupied republics. In many of the destroyed hamlets, the number of victims is often identical to, or nearly matches, the number of their inhabitants, at the time. The most common method of extermination was to drive the population into a barn and set it on fire. People also died from shelling and starvation or were simply callously shot. Criminal acts committed against the civilian population were exempt from accountability under a special order issued by Hitler. 

A red cross provided no protection during the war – ambulances and ships were often destroyed by direct fire. No allowances were made for age either – children were killed on a par with adults. 

However, for us, the war is not just a story of monstrous cruelty. It is a legend of incredible national unity, where an ordinary worker and a world-renowned composer could converge in a volunteer fire brigade, and a young bohemian from Moscow could share bread with a miner from the Donbass and an Asian conscript from a Kazakh steppe village in a trench. It is a story of the remarkable ability not to give up when all circumstances seem to be against you and resistance seems futile. After each lost battle, the surviving officers would analyze their failures and try to figure out what they had done wrong and how to change the situation. It is a story of amazing self-sacrifice, when recruiting volunteers for a new division resembled a competitive university admissions process. 

And it is a story about military triumph. The Third Reich was a deadly enemy. The five-million strong invading army reached the Caucasus mountains and threatened to take Moscow and Leningrad, but nevertheless ended up being defeated. For us, it is a story about how we shed torrents of blood, but the army that came to kill us was completely destroyed, the enemy capital was taken by storm, the dictator who ordered the invasion committed suicide, and the banners of the losing army were thrown against the walls of the Kremlin. We paid a terrible price, but our triumph was absolute. 

In Russia, you rarely hear people say ‘World War II’. The term formulated in those times, ‘The Great Patriotic War’, is still in use today. This is not an attempt to somehow disregard what the Second World War was for others, but a desire to emphasize that, for us, it is still a kind of special event that goes beyond an ordinary armed conflict. For us, it is a truly heroic epic. It is the Iliad, a number of whose heroes are still alive and walking among us today. They are very old now, and yet some are still here. Our Ajax still sometimes goes out into his yard in the evenings, jingling medals for storming Vienna, to sit on a bench; our Diomedes can be seen every morning walking his dog. 

The memory of the war has influenced many aspects of life in Russia. You can hear it in personal stories, see it in culture, and even sense it in politics. Some of our government’s obsession with the security of the country’s western borders is a vestige of exactly that catastrophe, when we had to retreat to the very edge with our backs pressed against the wall. This memory seriously affects our relations with our neighbors and is nearly impossible to erase. 

But perhaps the main thing that we learned from the upheavals of that era is a simple truth: we can endure any difficulties, stand our ground, and rebuild our country after any trial. It is a memory not only of a feast of death, but also the triumph of life. 

…Evgeny Dering’s son, Gennady, never saw his father. He did not return to Leningrad and spent his childhood and youth in Makarevo. Fifteen years after the war, he met a girl named Albina, whom he married. These are my grandparents. They are still alive. Their daughter is my mom. Historical events often turn out to be surprisingly close to us today. 

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Megalopolis x Russia: Total War

May 07, 2022

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

After careful evaluation, the Kremlin is rearranging the geopolitical chessboard to end the unipolar hegemony of the “indispensable nation”.

But it’s our fate / To have no place to rest, / As suffering mortals / Blindly fall and vanish / From one hour / To the next, / Like water falling / From cliff to cliff, downward / For years to uncertainty.

Holderlin, Hyperion’s Fate Song

Operation Z is the first salvo of a titanic struggle: three decades after the fall of the USSR, and 77 years after the end of WWII, after careful evaluation, the Kremlin is rearranging the geopolitical chessboard to end the unipolar hegemony of the “indispensable nation”. No wonder the Empire of Lies has gone completely berserk, obsessed in completely expelling Russia from the West-centric system.

The U.S. and its NATO puppies cannot possibly come to grips with their perplexity when faced with a staggering loss: no more entitlement allowing exclusive geopolitical use of force to perpetuate “our values”. No more Full Spectrum Dominance.

The micro-picture is also clear. The U.S. Deep State is milking to Kingdom Come its planned Ukraine gambit to cloak a strategic attack on Russia. The “secret” was to force Moscow into an intra-Slav war in Ukraine to break Nord Stream 2 – and thus German reliance on Russian natural resources. That ends – at least for the foreseeable future – the prospect of a Bismarckian Russo-German connection that would ultimately cause the U.S. to lose control of the Eurasian landmass from the English Channel to the Pacific to an emerging China-Russia-Germany pact.

The American strategic gambit, so far, has worked wonders. But the battle is far from over. Psycho neo-con/neoliberalcon silos inside the Deep State consider Russia such a serious threat to the “rules-based international order” that they are ready to risk if not incur a “limited” nuclear war out of their gambit. What’s at stake is nothing less than the loss of Ruling the World by the Anglo-Saxons.

Mastering the Five Seas  

Russia, based on purchasing power parity (PPP), is the 6th economy in the world, right behind Germany and ahead of both the UK and France. Its “hard” economy is similar to the U.S. Steel production may be about the same, but intellectual capacity is vastly superior. Russia has roughly the same number of engineers as the U.S., but they are much better educated.

The Mossad attributes Israel’s economic miracle in creating an equivalent of Silicon Valley to a base of a million Russian immigrants. This Israeli Silicon Valley happens to be a key asset of the American MICIMATT (military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think tank complex), as indelibly named by Ray McGovern.

NATOstan media hysterically barking that Russia’s GDP is the size of Texas is nonsense. PPP is what really counts; that and Russia’s superior engineers is why their hypersonic weapons are at least two or three generations ahead of the U.S. Just ask the indispensable Andrei Martyanov.

The Empire of Lies has no defensive missiles worthy of the name, and no equivalents to Mr. Zircon and Mr. Sarmat. The NATOstan sphere simply cannot win a war, any war against Russia for this reason alone.

The deafening NATOstan “narrative” that Ukraine is defeating Russia does not even qualify as an innocuous joke (compare it with Russia’s “Reach Out and Touch Someone” strategy). The corrupt system of SBU fanatics intermingled with UkroNazi factions is kaput. The Pentagon knows it. The CIA cannot possibly admit it. What the Empire of Lies has sort of won, so far, is a media “victory” for the UkroNazis, not a military victory.

Gen Aleksandr Dvornikov, of Syria fame, has a clear mandate: to conquer the whole of Donbass, totally free up Crimea and prepare the advance towards Odessa and Transnistria while reducing a rump Ukraine to the status of failed state without any access to the sea.

The Sea of Azov – linked to the Caspian by the Don-Volga canal – is already a Russian lake. And the Black Sea is next, the key connection between the Heartland and the Mediterranean. The Five Seas system – Black, Azov, Caspian, Baltic, White – enshrines Russia as a de facto continental naval power. Who needs warm waters?

Moving “at the speed of war”

The pain dial, from now on, will go up non-stop. Reality – as in facts on the ground – will soon become apparent even to the NATOstan-wide LugenPresse.

The woke Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Mark Milley, expects Operation Z to last years. That’s nonsense. The Russian Armed Forces may afford to be quite methodical and take all the time needed to properly demilitarize Ukraine. The collective West for its part is pressed for time – because the blowback from the real economy is already on and bound to become vicious.

Defense Minister Shoigu has made it quite clear: any NATO vehicles bringing weapons to Kiev will be destroyed as “legitimate military targets”.

A report by the scientific service of the Bundestag established that training of Ukrainian soldiers on German soil may amount, under international law, to participation in war. And that gets even trickier when coupled with NATO weapons deliveries: “Only if, in addition to the supply of weapons, the instruction of the conflict party or training in such weapons were also an issue would one leave the secure area of ​​non-warfare.”

Now at least it’s irretrievably clear how the Empire of Lies “moves at the speed of war” – as described in public by weapons peddler turned Pentagon head, Lloyd “Raytheon” Austin. In Pentagonese, that was explained by the proverbial “official” as “a combination of a call center, a watch floor, meeting rooms. They execute a battle rhythm to support decision-makers.”

The Pentagonese “battle rhythm” offered to a supposedly “credible, resilient and combat-capable Ukraine military” is fed by a EUCom system that essentially moves weapons orders from Pentagon warehouses in the U.S. to branches of the Empire of Bases in Europe and then to the NATO eastern front in Poland, where they are trucked across Ukraine just in time to be duly incinerated by Russian precision strikes: the wealth of options include supersonic P-800 Onyx missiles, two types of Iskander, and Mr. Khinzal launched from Mig-31Ks.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stressed Moscow is perfectly aware the U.S., NATO and UK are transferring not only weapons but also loads of intel. In parallel, the collective West turns everything upside down 24/7 shaping a new environment totally geared against Russia, not caring for even a semblance of partnership in any area. The collective West does not even consider the possibility of dialogue with Russia.

Hence talking to Putin is “a waste of time” unless a “Russian defeat” in Ukraine (echoing strident Kiev P.R.) would make him “more realistic”. For all his faults, Le Petit Roi Macron/McKinsey has been an exception, on the phone with Putin earlier this week.

The neo-Orwellian Hitlerization of Putin reduces him, even among the so-called Euro-intelligentzia, to the status of dictator of a nation chloroformed into its 19th century nationalism. Forget about any semblance of historical/political/cultural analysis. Putin is a late Augustus, dressing up his Imperium as a Republic.

At best the Europeans preach and pray – chihuahuas yapping to His Master’s Voice – for a hybrid strategy of “containment and engagement” to be unleashed by the U.S., clumsily parroting the scribblings of denizens of that intellectual no-fly zone, Think Tankland.

Yet in fact the Europeans would rather “isolate” Russia – as in 12% of the world’s population “isolating” 88% (of course: their Westoxified “vision” completely ignores the Global South). “Help” to Russia will only come when sanctions are effective (as in never: blowback will be the norm) or – the ultimate wet dream – there’s regime change in Moscow.

The Fall

UkroNazi P.R. agent Ursula von der Lugen presented the sixth sanction package of the Europoodle (Dis)Union.

Top of the bill is to exclude three more Russian banks from SWIFT, including Sberbank. Seven banks are already excluded. This will enforce Russia’s “total isolation”. It’s idle to comment on something that only fools the LugenPresse.

Then there’s the “progressive” embargo on oil imports. No more crude imported to the EU in six months and no more refined products before the end of 2022. As it stands, the IEA shows that 45% of Russia’s oil exports go to the EU (with 22% to China and 10% to the U.S.). His Master’s Voice continues and will continue to import Russian oil.

And of course 58 “personal” sanctions also show up, targeting very dangerous characters such as Patriarch Kirill of the Orthodox Church, and the wife, son and daughter of Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov.

This stunning display of stupidity will have to be approved by all EU members. Internal revolt is guaranteed, especially from Hungary, even as so many remain willing to commit energy suicide and mess up with the lives of their citizens big time to defend a neo-Nazi regime.

Alastair Crooke called my attention to a startling, original interpretation of what’s goin’ on, offered in Russian by a Serbian analyst, Prof. Slobodan Vladusic. His main thesis, in a nutshell: “Megalopolis hates Russia because it is not Megalopolis – it has not entered the sphere of anti-humanism and that is why it remains a civilization alternative. Hence Russophobia.”

Vladusic contends that the intra-Slav war in Ukraine is “a great catastrophe for Orthodox civilization” – mirroring my recent first attempt to open a serious debate on a Clash of Christianities.

Yet the major schism is not on religion but culture: “The key difference between the former West and today’s Megalopolis is that Megalopolis programmatically renounces the humanistic heritage of the West.”

So now “it is possible to erase not only the musical canon, but also the entire European humanistic heritage: the entire literature, fine arts, philosophy” because of a “trivialization of knowledge”. What’s left is an empty space, actually a cultural black hole, “filled by promoting terms such as ‘posthumanism’ and ‘transhumanism’.”

And here Vladusic gets to the heart of the matter: Russia fiercely opposes the Great Reset concocted by the “hackable”, self-described “elites” of Megalopolis.

Sergey Glazyev, now coordinating the draft of a new financial/monetary system by the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) in partnership with the Chinese, adapts Vladusic to the facts on the ground (here in Russian, here in an imperfect English translation).

Glazyev is way more blunt than in his meticulous economic analyses. While noting the Deep State’s aims of destroying the Russian world, Iran and block China, he stresses the U.S. “will not be able to win the global hybrid war”. A key reason is that the collective West has “put all independent countries in front of the need to find new global currency instruments, risk insurance mechanisms, restore the norms of international law and create their own economic security systems.”

So yes, this is Totalen Krieg, Total War – as Glazyev spells it out with no attenuation, and how Russia denounced it this week at the UN: “Russia needs to stand up to the United States and NATO in its confrontation, bringing it to its logical conclusion, so as not to be torn between them and China, which is irrevocably becoming the leader of the world economy.”

History may eventually register, 77 years after the end of WWII, that neocon/neoliberalcon psychos in Washington silos instigating an inter-Slavic war by ordering Kiev to launch a blitzkrieg against Donbass was the spark that led to the Fall of the U.S. Empire.

The Third Patriotic War

May 07, 2022

Source

A St George’s Day Contribution by Batiushka

Introduction: War

I am not a technical-military man, but I have very strong military connections and a keen interest in military history, both Russian and Western, and also in geopolitics, having lectured on it. I lived in Soviet Russia in the 1970s, experienced its weaknesses, its strengths and also its hollowness, understanding that it would eventually fall, for even then nobody believed in Communism any more. All continued by inertia. Collapse was inevitable. I also know contemporary Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltics and Moldova very well. In fact, I was in Kiev only last October, being shown the SBU/CIA Secret Police building in the centre and being told to hush my voice as we walked past. No-one wanted to visit the torture-chambers in the basement.

The special operation to free the Russian Donbass from Fascist oppression which began on 24 February 2022 meant a war between the Russian Federation and the Kiev regime, which under Western pressure would refuse to back down. This would inevitably mean a war between Russia and NATO, even if the actual battleground would still be limited to the Ukraine. I firmly believe that the Russian government knew all this and foresaw the consequences, that the West would intervene with all the economic, political, military and technological might of the US/NATO military complex. This knowledge was why the Donbass had had to wait for liberation for eight long and grim years. Russia had had to get ready for the inevitable very carefully.

The Preparation

Let us recall how Soviet Russia fell through treason, ending up dissolving itself on 25 December 1991. In October 1993, 4,000 US Marines (I know one of them) were flown to a base outside Moscow. This was just in case the popular rising against ‘democracy’ and the drunkard Western puppet and traitor Yeltsin went Russia’s way and against the neocons and their privatisers’ ‘shock therapy’. The repression of the October bid for freedom left 5,000 Russian dead. The US support had been there, though it did not have to be used, as there were enough Russian traitors to do the dirty deed themselves.

Russian weakness and internal treachery was why the Russian government betrayed Serbia in the 1990s and Libya in 2011 – it was far too weak to stand up to the West. After the Crimea democratically returned to Russia after 60 years (1954-2014) with the internationally-observed referendum in 2014, the West still applied illegal sanctions to Russia. Then Moscow knew that any action to free the Ukraine from the Western junta in Kiev would have to be prepared very carefully, for the sanctions would only be multiplied. What preparations had to be made?

Firstly, there was the diplomatic and trade front. Allies had to be brought onside, in Eurasia with China, Iran, India, Turkey (Russia rescuing Erdogan from the US assassination attempt at the last moment in July 2016), Hungary, then, from Venezuela to Brazil, Latin America and then, from Egypt to South Africa, Africa. As regards the Western world, especially the EU, there was a chance to present the Russian point of view through RT, as at that time Western censorship was not yet total.

Secondly, there was the modernisation of the Russian Armed Forces to be undertaken, with new, non-nuclear weapons, hypersonic missiles, drones, electronic technology, some of which would be tested out in Syria.

Thirdly, there was the policy of import substitution to be implemented in order to make Russia independent in case of further illegal Western sanctions.

Why Did It Start on 24 February 2022?

There were four triggers which sparked off the special operation on 24 February.

Firstly, the Zelensky regime wanted the Ukraine to become a NATO member. The weak post-Communist Russian Federation had already made that mistake many times, allowing Eastern Europe, notably the Baltics, Poland and Romania, to join that aggressive protection racket. In that way the post-War buffer states of Eastern Europe, providing a demilitarised zone for Russia, ended. After all, if you have been invaded from the West very regularly for 800 years, leaving 27 million of your citizens dead in the most recent invasion, would you not also want a demilitarised buffer zone to protect you? Post-War offensive NATO was the only reason why the defensive Warsaw Pact had to be set up.

Secondly, with missiles on American bases in Poland and Romania and NATO troops smugly parading at the Estonian border with Russia, the Ukraine then threatened to obtain nuclear arms. Did Zelensky, reading his American script as a true actor, really expect Russia not to react to this?

Thirdly, the US, not without the help of its local pronconsul, the cocaine-addled Hunter Biden, had set up some thirty biolabs in the Ukraine. Their target? To find genetically-concocted viruses to infect Russians. Would Russia not defend itself?

Fourthly, though possibly this may not have been discovered by Russia until a day or two after the special operation began, though possibly they knew perfectly well beforehand, the NATO-manipulated, instructed and armed Kiev Army had a plan to invade the Russian Donbass and genocide its people. Had they succeeded, it is doubtful they would have stopped at the Russian border. Truss, the supremely stupid British Foreign Secretary, let slip that NATO already had Russian Rostov and Voronezh in its sights.

After eight years of attempts to negotiate, which Russia used to buy time to prepare for the War in case of Western idiocy, it was only because there was no alternative that it sent in some troops in an initially limited military operation.

A Fight for Survival

This is now a war of attrition. Russia has to destroy all Western/NATO arms and troops that get into the Ukraine from Poland or elsewhere as soon as possible, quicker than they can be sent. And this must go on until the West caves in, because so much Western war material will have been destroyed at huge financial loss to itself.

Russia is also relying on the self-imposed economic problems that the West faces. The West, and not just the EU, is already suffering economically. There could easily be popular uprisings as a result of inflation and the incredible cost of energy. This will hit very hard next autumn and winter. And the embargos on Russian grain and fertilisers have not hit yet. Wait till food costs go up by 100% in Western countries, instead of just going up by 10% as now: then you will have rioting in the streets and looting of supermarkets. As for the Ukrainian currency, it is worthless, propped up by the IMF run by the US, which in 2014 stole the $15 billion of Ukrainian gold reserves in expectation. Otherwise, the Ukraine would long ago have defaulted.

The stakes are huge for all. China stands behind Russia because Russia is like a shield for it. If Russia falls, then China is next and it knows that, which is why it supports Russia. The White Peril will next head towards China, making the British-imposed mass suicide of the so-called ‘Opium Wars’ look like a picnic. There will be no taking back of Taiwan in the near future, instead there will be Harvard economists and merchant bankers taking power and grasping billions in Beijing, as in Russia after 1991. And then, amid civil wars, millions and millions of Chinese will take the path of suicide, exactly as happened in 1990s Russia. Make no mistake, this is a battle for survival of the world’s seven billion against the one billion.

This is why today Russia remains firm, with 80% of the population behind President Putin, unlike in the Western world where it is rare to find a leader who has more than 30% of support. Why? It is simple: President Putin loves his country, he is a patriot: Western leaders are not patriots, they are venal mercenaries, no more so than the US puppet governments in Eastern Europe. The only Russians against President Putin are the traitors, recruited by the CIA, and there are still quite a few in Moscow and elsewhere, but we will not here name names.

True, many of the fifth column of traitors in Moscow have already left or are leaving, Tel Aviv being a popular destination for them. For Russia this is not some localised conflict on its borders, as it still appears to most Western people, lulled into delusions by their Goebbels propaganda ministries (‘media’). For Russia this is just as much a fight for survival as World War Two. This is the Third Great Patriotic War. Let me explain.

For those who do not know, the 1812 invasion of Russia by Napoleon and his multinational barbarian hordes is known as the First Patriotic War. The 1941 invasion by Hitler and his multinational barbarian hordes is known as the Second Patriotic War. It is our view that just as the 1941-1945 defensive War was called the Second Patriotic War, the 2022- ? defensive War will be known as the Third Patriotic War. Warsaw and Bucharest, Berlin and Paris, pay attention.

When Did It All Begin?

When did it all begin? Actually, it was not on 24 February 2022. Some, grudgingly, will admit that it was the US-run regime change of 2014 with its $5 billion price-tag for the hapless US taxpayer. Grudgingly, some might admit that it goes back even further to November 1989, the Fall of the Wall. Some might suggest two generations before that, in September 1939, when Stalin took the poison-chalice of the western Ukraine, Galicia, from Poland and had to fight a CIA-supplied war there against Fascist partisans until 1958.

Some might suggest exactly 100 years ago in 1922, when the brain-syphilitic Lenin transferred from Russia the southern and eastern half of the present Ukraine to the Ukraine, as he wanted the pro-Communist industrial proletariat of the south and east to counterbalance the real Ukrainian agricultural north and west. But we could also go back to 1914, the invasion of the Russian Empire by Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey. This is exactly 100 years before the 2014 US-orchestrated colour-revolution in Kiev, with its Lithuanian snipers on the roof of the American Embassy in Kiev murdering Ukrainian policemen and then the US blaming ‘repression’ on the democratically-elected pro-Russian government.

Conclusion: A Fight to the End

Russia must win this War against NATO. However, the last thing Russia wants is a nuclear war, however much some fools in the West talk that up. And however tempting as targets the 1,000 or so US bases around the world may be, Russia certainly does not want the war to spread outside the current Ukrainian territory. If Russia does not win, the Russian Federation will be humiliated and dismantled and become just another group of colonies for Western asset-strippers and slavers. Then the British dream for its 1917 coup d’etat, turned into a nightmare because the stupid dream permitted Bolshevism to come to power, will become real.

After that, China will fall next and then the rest of the still free, if for the moment impoverished and exploited, world will fall just like dominos into neo-colonial Western hands. And that will be the end of the world under a US Global Dictatorship, euphemistically known as ‘the Unipolar World’. We are not ready for that. We prefer to fight. As President Putin has said, a world without Russia is not one we wish to live in. As we have said before, this is our ONLY chance to work towards a Union of Sovereign (NOT Soviet) Social (NOT Socialist) Republics and an Alliance of countries which favour Prosperity and Justice, not Poverty and Injustice.

Russian Orthodox St George’s Day 2022

On Wars, Propaganda and outright Lies

May 07, 2022

Source

By Francis Lee

Here is a typical political offering from the British centre-left. As follows:

‘’Putin’s war on Ukraine has led to thousands of deaths, upended the world order, and intensified the global energy crisis. At home in Britain, it has led to an outpouring of support for Ukrainian refugees – if not for black and brown people fleeing war and persecution – and provided cover for Keir Starmer to further crack down on the Left of Labour, from socialist MPs to Young Labour.

In this extract of an interview from the latest Momentum political education bulletin, The EducatorDavid Wearing (whomever he is!- FL) discusses the geopolitical interests at stake, the reactions of Western states, especially the UK, and how the Left in Britain can meaningfully engage in anti-imperialist struggle today.

Momentum a centre-left political grouping within the British Labour Party: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused untold devastation and loss of life. Evidence of fresh atrocities seem to emerge almost daily. Why has Vladimir Putin’s regime launched this war of aggression, in your opinion?’’ (Red Pepper – leftist British publication.)

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Francis Lee (FL). You see the Russians are the really bad guys, or so we are told, and this is regarded as being axiomatic coming straight from the NATO propaganda handbook, the media, and the political elites in the west. But actually, the war against the Eastern Provinces in the Donbass in Eastern Ukraine started shortly after 2014 when the US organized the coup in Independence Square. Kiev was eager to march East and ‘deal with’ (to put it mildly) the two republics who subsequently were put under a siege by the Ukrainian army and death squads and 14000 of the two Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk were killed after being under the Ukie siege from 2014 to the present time. Of course, no mention was made of this in Mr. Wearing’s piece.

David Wearing holds forth as follows: There’s a standard imperialist mentality at work. (Agreed, but read Washington for Moscow – FL) Moscow evidently regards Ukraine with a strong sense of entitlement; part of its sphere of influence in the same way that the United States has historically treated Latin America as its ‘backyard’ under the so-called ‘Monroe Doctrine‘, and sought to dominate the Middle East more recently. Reasserting substantive control over Russia’s near abroad has been an overriding strategic priority for Moscow since the mid-1990s at least.

Indeed, the guiding principle across two decades of Putin’s presidency has essentially been ‘Make Russia Great Again‘. His revanchist, authoritarian nationalism is a product of the 1990s, when Moscow lost its grip on many of its former Tsarist and Soviet possessions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and when the Russian economy imploded under neoliberal shock therapy. The ugly machismo of Putin’s rule is a backlash against all of this.

FL – Actually, it was Putin who pulled Russia out of the grip of the oligarchs and free riders who had almost destroyed Russia. Moreover, this would of course be yet another eastern expansion in NATO’s relentless march whose object is and always has been to place an ever-tightening tourniquet around Russia’s neck. It is the West through the instrumentality of NATO which has pushed right up to Russia’s borders in a defiance of the deal in 1991 where NATO would not move ‘’one inch’’ closer to Russia’s borders with a flight time of 5 minutes to Moscow by hypersonic missile.

In fact, Russia offered a peace deal with a view to winding down the conflict which involved an implementation of the Minsk Accords, restoration of the Lugansk/Donetsk independent republics and neutrality for Ukraine. Initially the Ukrainian diplomatic delegation seemed interested in these proposals during the peace talks in Turkey. But as soon as they got back home to Ukraine the delegation was told in short order – almost certainly by the Americans – that none of these proposals were acceptable. So, according to the hard-liners and the Americans, that leaves only war as an option.

But according to Mr Wearing

So, the imperial logic is obvious (yes, but whose imperial logic? FL) but it hardly adds up to a justification for war. Certainly not one you can sell to the Russian public as good reason to sacrifice their sons and daughters on the battlefield. Hence the various pretexts for the invasion that Putin has offered in terms of defending the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine. We don’t need to detain ourselves with any of that. (sic! FLReally, why not?

Wearing continues: Every imperial aggressor throughout history has claimed to be acting on some noble, virtuous principle.

FL – In actual fact the USSR as it was then constituted, was only too glad to get rid of these burdens, i.e., the Baltics, Georgia et cetera.

Aside from geopolitical motives, there’s been a palpable sense of hubris from Putin following previous military victories in Chechnya, Georgia (Georgia who firstly attacked South Ossetia killing a number of Russian Peacekeepers) and Syria (Presumably the writer thinks that a Russian victory in Syria was a defeat for democracy, when it was actually a defeat for the Takfiris).

But this war has proved a major miscalculation, and the danger now is that — like the US in Vietnam and Afghanistan – he (Putin) digs in for the long term rather than suffer the humiliation of accepting defeat. Given the sheer viciousness of the Russian campaign so far, this is not something that the people of Ukraine can afford.

WearingClearly, responsibility for this heinous violence lies first and foremost with Putin and the Russian state.

(F.L., I beg your pardon, but heinous violence came from the Ukrainian military and particularly from the neo-nazi units who couldn’t wait to start shelling the Donbass and continuing to do so for 8 long years killing 14000 ethnic Russians in their homes. Moreover, by 2021 Ukie army decided to take a second bite of the cherry. One hundred thousand Ukrainian troops were about to roll over the Donbass, but Putin after all the dithering stopped them in their tracks with the Russian Regular Forces and the Don Bass Militias.

Such is the policy of the British left’s framing of the situation which is one that they don’t understand and have no wish to.)

DW: There’s been a debate within the US foreign policy establishment about the wisdom of expanding NATO going back over a quarter of a century. One side (the old conservatives and Cold War veterans) argued that expanding the alliance too far into Russia’s former sphere of influence would raise tensions between Washington and Moscow to a dangerous degree. The other side (the neo-liberals and neo-conservatives of the post-Cold War era) argued that Washington’s interests lay in opening the alliance up to any state that wanted to join. At least initially, it was the latter group that got their way.

This is a debate among imperialists about the best policy for Washington to adopt Moscow in its own imperial interests. So, it’s been a little odd to see the anti-expansionist position in that debate being portrayed in recent weeks as ‘pro-Moscow’. Take the US diplomat George Kennan, who argued in 1997 that ‘expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold-war era’, which would ‘inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion [and] restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations’. Back in the 1940s, Kennan had been one of the key intellectual architects of Washington’s entire Cold War strategy toward the USSR. It’s a sign of the depths to which the current debate has degenerated that even the sort of analysis offered by people like him is now routinely denounced as apologia for Putin.

For myself, I can see some logic in the arguments made by these old conservatives of the US foreign policy establishment. Clearly, they are attempting to explain, rather than excuse, their imperial adversary’s response to the expansion of NATO. And clearly some of their predictions have come true.

However, as socialist anti-imperialists we have our own language and frames of reference which are much more analytically useful than some of the shoddy euphemisms of the grand strategists. For example, we should dispense with talk of Russia’s ‘security concerns’ (Oh, yes Russia’s ‘paranoia’ about ‘security concerns’ regarding NATO’s inexorable moving up to the Russian border and stationing their hypersonic assets right on the Russian doorstep with 5 minutes flight time to Moscow and St. Petersburg – FL) as a ‘great power’, and instead refer more frankly and accurately to Russia’s imperial ambitions in places like Ukraine.

FL – (BS! Russia and Putin did not harbour any imperial ambitions, nor did it want a war either with any of its ex-soviet republics, or NATO’s relentless push to its western borders. It was NATO who were belligerently encouraged for exactly that eventuality, not Russia).

The term ‘security’ is one that mostly has an obfuscators effect in political discourse. Imperialists may see control over neighbouring countries as a matter of security, even ‘defence’, but the rest of us don’t have to indulge that.

We also need to think beyond how imperial powers should best manage competition over their respective spheres of interest. A better question for us might be, how can West, Central and Eastern Europe, including Russia, be made into a common home rather than a geopolitical battleground? This is likely a question for a post-Putin world, but we should start thinking about it now. If we’re lucky enough at some point in the future to enjoy another historical moment of détente between the West and Russia, and another interlocutor in Moscow like Mikhail Gorbachev, then we should seize that moment to build a durable peace, rather than squander it a second time.

FL – (But Gorbachov was tricked by the US – this in the shape of Chief US negotiator, James Baker, and the Americans whom NATO had promised would not move ‘’one inch further to the East’’ who then reneged on the promise. The NATO military machine then predictably moved right up to the old Soviet borders. From the US-NATO viewpoint this was a shrewd move, which caught the Russians napping. Well Putin must have mused ‘fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.)

Momentum: So that’s the Western meta-narrative around the confrontation with Russia. What about the West’s approach to the Ukraine war itself?

DW: The fact that the Western powers find themselves on the right side (‘’the right side indeed’’! Along with, Svoboda, C14, Right Sector, the Azov Regiment! These are the shock-troops of NATO under US leadership) the Ukraine war reflects imperial interests and expediency not some high moral principle. They perceive a clear geopolitical advantage to be gained either from a Ukrainian victory or at least a Russian military failure. Support comes in the form of arms supplies to Ukraine and sanctions against Moscow, but a no-fly zone or some other direct intervention has thankfully been ruled out so far, due to the entirely rational fear that this would trigger World War Three.

There’s been no groundswell of opposition to this from the left, and rightly so. Ukraine has no option but to defend itself (sic!) militarily, (by marching east presumably and attempting to over-run the Don Bass and killing its own citizens therein? FL) and it has the right to do so (yes, apparently on a regular basis. FL ), and it has the right to seek the means of self-defence. (self-defence! But of course, shelling your own citizens in the Don Bass – a strange form of self-defence this!) from the only sources credibly able to provide it, namely Russia’s Western adversaries.

But given the nature of Western power we are understandably wary. We are wary of sanctions having a devastating effect on the Russian population, and without seriously hurting the regime. We are wary of any escalation into a direct NATO-Russia war, which would be utterly catastrophic.

Already in the past few weeks we’ve seen US President Biden announce huge additional spending on nuclear weapons. Experts have long warned that upgrading and renewing nuclear arsenals makes the world less, nor safer. We can expect a serious rise in military spending in the UK, and in Germany as well, where decades of foreign policy have been torn up. It’s really important that we stand by our anti-militarist principles in this moment. That doesn’t mean an absolutist form of pacifism, but it does mean an insistence that people recognise that arms races inflame rather than guard against the danger of military conflict.

Finally, in the prevailing atmosphere of machismo, we need to ensure people don’t forget the non-military, humanitarian dimension. That means demanding swift and safe paths to entry for Ukrainian refugees (as part of our wider demand for a complete change in UK border policy). It means aid for displaced Ukrainians wherever they might be. And it means any other economic measures that might help, such as cancelling Ukraine’s national debt to support its recovery whenever the war finally ends.’’

FL – Yes, I get it, a sort of ‘soft NATO’ approach?

OK, so let’s have another version. The Soviet Union was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1941. During the retreat the Red Army was pushed back almost to Moscow. Ukraine was occupied by Germany and also by indigenous Ukrainian fascist collaborators – still unfortunately with us – for most of WW2. Not only did Bandera’s (OUN-B) and Shukeyvich (UPA) fascist (yes, fascists!) collaborate with the Wehrmacht particularly in the massacre in Volhynia (1943-44) of Poles, Jews, and Russians, they were also lauded by the local population (and still are to this day) of the inhabitants of the western Ukraine centred around the cities of Lviv, Ternopol and Vinnytsia, et al. Not to be missed are the statues of Bandera lovingly adorned with flowers in the major cities west of the river Dnieper.

Around the period of 2013, ultra-nationalist groups (inveterate fascists) in the shape of Right Sector and Svoboda C14, and those lovely chaps of the Azov Regiment (1) began to emerge from the shadows and appear among the genuine moderate majority and joined in pitched battles in Kiev with the Berkut (riot Police) daily which the opposition forces finally won. This was, according to the UK’s Guardian ‘newspaper’ a victory for democracy (sic!) and peoples’ power. Well, it might have started like this, but it soon transmuted into something very different. Nobody should be in any doubt about the political complexion of these ultra-nationalist groups – who were and continue to be more than a marginalist political-military force – who went on to hold 6 portfolios in the new ‘government’ based in Kiev. Nor should anyone be in any doubt about both the overt and covert roles played by both the US and EU officials (not forgetting the ever-present Mr. Soros, who is always a fixture in these situations) and the formation of the future interim government.

Throughout this period the EU and high-ranking US officials were openly engaged in Ukraine’s internal affairs. The US Ambassador, Geoffrey Pyatt, and the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, were strolling around Independence Square reassuring the protestors that America stood behind them. Also basking in the political sunlight were US NGOs (such as the National Endowment for Democracy – NED – directly funded by the US Government) and (USAID). Also involved was the US Human Rights Watch (HRW) and not forgetting of course the ubiquitous Mr. Soros. Identified as GS in the leaked Open Society Foundation (OSF) documents, others involved in the Ukrainian coup in the planning, were the already named, US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, along with the following: David Meale (Economic Counsellor to Pyatt, Lenny Benardo (Open Society Foundation – OSF) Yevhen Bystry (Executive Director International Renaissance Foundation – IRF) Oleksandr Sushko (Board Chair, IRF) Ivan Krastev (Chairman Centre for Liberal Studies, a Soros and US government-influenced operation in Sofia, Bulgaria) and Deff Barton (Director, US Agency for International Development AID – USAID – Ukraine). USAID is a conduit for the CIA.

Even right-wing thinkers such as George Freidman at Stratfor described these events as being ‘the most blatant coup in history.’

The new ‘government’ in Kiev was represented by a hotch-potch of oligarchs, Kolomoisky, Akhmetof, Pinchuk, Poroshenko, et al, and petty fuhrers including Pariuby, Yarosh, Biletsky, from the Western Ukraine with their violent armed Squadristi units (as in Italy’s period under Mussolini’s regime) terrorizing their opponents. The ultra-right Svoboda Party had a presence in the Ukrainian parliament (Rada). It was and still is a neo-nazi, ultra-right, anti-Semitic, Russophobic party with its base of support in the western Ukraine. The most important governmental post was handed to its fuhrer Andriy Parubiy who was appointed as Secretary of the Security and National Defence Committee, which supervised the defence ministry and the armed forces. The Parubiy appointment to such an important post should, alone, be cause for international outrage. He led the masked Right-Sector thugs who battled riot police in the Maidan in Kiev.

Like Svoboda, Right-Sector led by their own tin-pot fuhrer Dmitry Yarosh is an openly fascist, anti-semitic and anti-Russian organization. Most of the snipers and bomb-throwers in the crowds related to this group. Right Sector members had been participating in military training camps for the last 2 years or more in preparation for street activity of the kind witnessed in the Ukraine during the events in Independence Square in 2013-14. The Right Sector as can be seen by the appointment of Parubiy, is not able to control major appointments to the provisional government but he has succeeded in achieving his long-term goal of legalizing discrimination against Russians. What the Anglo-American left fail to understand – quite deliberately in my view – is the notion that the Ukrainian right-wing extremists are a marginal force in Ukraine. How much evidence do they need exactly? In fact, the politics of the western Ukraine is dominated by the ultras of the right, and every major city has statues of Bandera lovingly cared for and adorned with flower bouquets around his feet.

This discrimination took the forms of mass murder of the 45 people who passed out leaflets in the southern Black Sea port of Odessa when pro-Yanukovich supporters were attacked by fascist mobs and chased into a nearby building, a trade union HQ. The building was then set on fire and its exits blocked, the unfortunate people trapped inside were either burnt to death or, jumped out of the windows only to be clubbed to death when they landed. The practices of the political heirs of Bandera had apparently not been forgotten by the present generation. There is a video of the incident, but frankly, it was so horrific that I could only watch it once. (See more recently the whole murderous episode in the American publication Consortium News 2022). These barbarians were described by Luke Harding a ‘journalist’ of the Guardian as being ‘’an eccentric group of people with unpleasant right-wing views.’’ Yes, they were really nice chaps who got a little carried away!

One week later with the open support of Washington and its European allies, the regime installed by Washington and Berlin in February’s fascist-led putsch then began extending its reign of terror against all popular resistance in Ukraine. That was the significance of the events in the major eastern Ukrainian sea-port city of Mariupol less than a week after the Odessa outrage. (Mariupol has also come into the recent news for a second time around,)

After tanks, armoured personnel carriers and heavily armed troops were unleashed on unarmed civilians in the city, the Kiev regime claimed to have killed some 20 people. The Obama administration immediately blamed the violent repression on “pro-Russian separatists.’’

One week later Poroshenko, ex-Finance Minister in Yanukovich’s government, was elected as President on 29 May and duly announced that “My first presidential trip will be to Donbass where armed pro-Russian rebels had declared the separatist Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and control a large part of the region.’’ This was the beginning of the Anti-Terrorist Operation the ATO. However, things didn’t quite work out as planned. After 2 heavy defeats at Iloviask and Debaltsevo the Ukie army was stopped in its tracks and the situation has remained static to roughly this day.

Until that is things changed. Some 8 years later the Ukie army started doing what comes naturally to them: namely to start shelling the Donbass again. It should be understood that the shelling had started in 2014 immediately after the Kiev coup. During the whole period some 14000 hapless citizens of the Don Bass were killed. Moreover, a large Ukie army of some 100,000 were beginning to mass outside of the Don Bass and were preparing their move.

There was no way that Putin was going to allow this. Not only would it mean mass murder of the Don Bass, but it would also put Ukraine (qua western proxy) right on Russia’s border with NATO hypersonic missiles 5 minutes flying time from Moscow. That settled it – Putin had had enough. The Russian Army moved in. It was left with no alternative.

No great power can allow a peer competitor to mass on its borders by any other great power. The US/NATO was precisely doing this. As Putin pointed out, the flying time for hypersonic missiles from the Russian border to Moscow was 5 minutes. See the American Realist theorist John Mearsheimer in this respect.

Yet, all we get from the legacy left is the incessant virtue signalling and anti-Russian rhetoric. In truth Putin didn’t want this war, but there was pressure building up not only from the US neo-cons but also internally in Russia for a more militant approach in both the Parliament and with the Russian public. Any disinterested account of Putin’s turned on the initial attack of NATO and its proxies and Russia’s counterattack. The neo-cons should have heeded Obama’s warning that Russia had an ‘escalation dominance’ and that the US would be advised to tread carefully on Russia’s doorstep.

Russia is slowly but inexorably winning the battlefield in what has been a total defeat for the regime in Kiev, and more importantly for the US-NATO bloc. The tectonic geopolitical plates seem to be moving.

For the weekend: May 9th, The Real Story Behind D-Day (and current rumors)

May 06, 2022

Please visit Andrei’s website: https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/
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The Value of Russia’s Contract Army in Modern Warfare (Rostislav Ishchenko)

May 05, 2022

Source

Attacks on headquarters and “what did we do?”

https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20220422/1033832507.html

April 22, 2022

Translated by Leo V.

Modern warfare is very difficult to wage. Especially a long war. On the one hand, the population of any country is easily excited and demands severe punishment for the insidious enemy, smashing his capital to rubble in response to the theft of a chicken from our territory. On the other hand, people like war only as long as the losses associated with it do not personally concern them.

After the very first difficulties, cries of “the German queen”, “treason in the palace”, “incompetent leadership” began. And after a couple of months, deputies and generals shouting about treason, under the hooting of armed gopoti (feminine men), they force the abdication of their own monarch, not considering it a betrayal.

The task of any leading government is to maintain a balance between victories at the front and peace in the rear. The ideal is achieved if these two sides of life do not intersect at all: the army is fighting somewhere, the media reports every day about the captured settlements, destroyed enemies and equipment, advancement for tens of kilometers and other “flags on the turrets”, and behind that lives a familiar life, weakly distinguishing on the screen the frames of the past war from the frames of the current war.

A modern contract army allows such a war to be waged. The American Army, its NATO allies and PMCs suffered cumulative losses in Afghanistan comparable to the losses of the Soviet Army in the Afghan war. But if for Soviet society 13 thousand dead in 10 years became a terrible tragedy that shook the foundations of the USSR, then the West simply did not notice its losses. Although earlier, during the colonial wars of the 50-70s of the last century (up to the Vietnam War), they really noticed.

The fact is that both the West, up to and including Vietnam, and the USSR in Afghanistan, had a draft army. That is, each family of a conscript, until he served, felt the threat of sending their son (or grandson) to the front and subsequent death or serious injury. The human psyche is so arranged that we perceive an eventual threat more acutely than a real one. When a real danger comes, you can fight it and the brain concentrates on the fight, forgetting about fear. If the danger is postponed for the future (“hovering in the air”), the brain concentrates on this danger, the person feels helpless in the face of the threat, since it is impossible to fight what has not yet come, the psyche begins to decompose.

The fighting that is waged by a contract army (or a mixed one in which only volunteer contract soldiers go to hot spots) is not perceived by every family as a threat. Only contractors who voluntarily chose such work associated with risk can die. Working in the police is also associated with risk, as well as the work of rescuers and many other professions. Society long ago, centuries ago, got used to the presence of constantly risky professional groups and did not react to it too sharply. In the same way, medieval Italians were absolutely not interested in the fate of the condottieri (soldiers signing the “condotta” – this is how the Italians of that time called a military contract. The results of the battles were of interest only insofar as they could bring profit or cause damage to their city, and therefore to its entire community.

In terms of the psychological stability of society to war and losses, a contract army has serious advantages over a draft one. But it also has its shortcomings. The contract army does not have such a large trained reserve. This is a group of professionals that can only be replenished by the same professionals whose previous contract has expired, but they do not mind signing a new one. The conscripts of such an army (if it is a mixed conscription army, as it is now in Russia) are needed mainly to protect the rear at home, maintain order in the barracks and military camps, but most importantly, to get acquainted in practice with the terms of the future contract – the bulk of contract soldiers (at least in peacetime) are conscripts or recently served, who have decided, have chosen a military specialty for themselves and who have decided to continue their service by contact.

The limited reserve makes each individual soldier a valuable resource, which, in turn, determines army tactics that involve the maximum preservation of personnel. The captain of the condottieri or the commander of the European mercenary army of the XVII-XVIII centuries, only then does it mean something if he is able to attract the maximum number of soldiers under his banner, and they will go to him, if he fights successfully, his people eat well, earn a lot, and rarely die.

Therefore, European tactics until the advent of mass armies of the XIX century (in which the soldier became expendable) consisted entirely of maneuvers and small fights. The commanders tried to defeat each other, eliminating the risk of a general battle. Modern generals, commanders of contract armies, quickly come to the conclusion, which has been fairly forgotten over two centuries of domination of mass armies on the battlefields – a well-prepared and trained professional soldier is an independent value, he must be protected more than technology. The workers will make new equipment or repair the old one, but military professionals is something that “women don’t give birth to.” A professional must be brought up, recruited for military service, motivated, trained and prepared. It takes years and it becomes truly golden.

Times have changed and in order to save personnel, they are now using not a maneuver, but the consistent destruction of the enemy by artillery, aircraft and missile weapons. Ideally, infantry and armored vehicles set in motion and occupy cities and villages when the enemy has already completely or partially lost combat capability. They do not break through battle formations, but finish off an enemy that has already been brought to this condition. Bloodless or almost bloodless blitzkriegs, like the Crimea in 2014, are rare and, as a rule, due to a combination of circumstances, among which the surprise of the strike is the final task, the main thing is the demoralizing lack of reliance on the local population by the defending side, as well as the complete military-technical superiority of the advancing side, which moreover, has the massive support of the local population.

So, a modern contract army in its classic form fights for a long time and economically. But this does not impress the population, which is hungry for beautiful victories on TV (especially since family members do not die at the front, but watch the same TV). Even more, it does not suit politicians. A long war does not make it possible to accurately calculate the political risks. Everything that is outside of six months or a year is subject to sudden critical changes and is not calculated.

Faced with the need to wage a protracted campaign, politicians (at least part of the political elite) prefer the conclusion of a compromise peace, without achieving the decisive goals declared in advance, to uncalculated risks. This is how it was with the Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq. We recently encountered a similar attempt during the Russian special operation.

However, our main enemies (the US and the EU), having used sanctions weapons against Russia in the hope of an economic blitzkrieg, they found that a quick economic victory is impossible – the Russian economy survived, and in the medium term (2-4 years) their sanctions will destroy their own economy. As a result, there were statements about the need to defeat Russia on the battlefield.

But for Ukraine, this is not enough. Ukraine can drag out the conflict for six months, a maximum of a year, but its resource base does not allow it to last longer. That is, the time during which Ukraine can hold out, the West would need to spend on expanding the theater of operations and bringing in new members of the anti-Russian coalition, ready to field armies. This is not a trivial task, but, given enough time, it can be solved.

Accordingly, Russia needs to either reduce the activity of the West in order to wait for the collapse of its economy, after which it will not be able to wage an active hybrid war against Moscow. Or minimize the duration of hostilities in Ukraine in order to deprive the West of a pretext and opportunity to expand the conflict.

The latter is possible either with the help of a compromise peace, which not only will not be accepted by Russian society, but the West will not allow Ukraine to conclude it. Either with the help of intensification of hostilities, which is in conflict with the basic tactics of a contract army, but is achievable with a large number of former contract soldiers who have served, but still romanticizing the war (including those with experience in PMCs) of a medium (35-45 years) age.

At the same time, one must understand that they will present higher requirements for security and monetary maintenance. But the most important thing is that this is far from an inexhaustible source of endless reserves, as in the usual mobilization of a draft army. It is possible to attract several tens of thousands, and perhaps even a couple of hundred thousand people at a time. But that’s where the main line ends. That is, all the problems of current operations will have to be solved based on the finiteness and limitations of the available forces and the absence of a ready and trained reserve to continue high-intensity operations outside the autumn of this year.

So, we again return to the contradiction, which consists in the need for strict economy of available resources on the one hand, and the acceleration of the breakdown of Ukrainian resistance on the other. Part of our society, instinctively feeling the presence of this contradiction, offers a radical way out in the form of the promised “attacks on headquarters”, and demands to hit directly on Washington and London.

This option could be considered as a working one, but society is not morally ready for the possible costs. The same people who demand a massive nuclear strike on the United States, as soon as they hear the term “nuclear war” and “retaliation strike”, in the best Ukrainian traditions, they start shouting “what is that for?!” and “how dare you even think of a nuclear war!”

Such reaction confirms that, despite all the problems of recent years, we are still one people. But this also means that the possibility of a sharp increase in rates, and the option of destroying convoys with weapons for the Kiev regime in the territories of Western countries has been exhausted for us at this stage. The people, accustomed to seeing the war on TV, are not ready for the possible consequences of such decisions outside their window.

Consequently, the value of a prompt, effective and successful operation against the Ukrainian group in the Donbass is greatly increased. In fact, a general battle is now beginning there, on which depends not the fate of the “special operation” with all its “stages”, but the fate of Russia’s war with the West for its existence.

Forward to the USSR and Operation Z+

May 04, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

On 28 April 2022 President Lukashenko of Belarus spoke of a possible coming together of various independent countries, former Soviet republics, to join the Russian Federation and Belarus in a ‘Union State’. (https://www.reporter.am/the-former-soviet-republics-may-also-be-part-of-the-union-state-lukashenko/). Then, on 3 May President Putin and President Lukashenko discussed the construction of this Union State further. (https://news.mail.ru/politics/51151818/?frommail=1).

In 1991 the Soviet Union, the successor of the Russian Empire, suddenly collapsed in a remarkably similar way to the way in which the former suddenly collapsed in 1917 and on orders from exactly the same transatlantic financial and political circles. No coincidence. Since then the territory concerned, the heartland of Northern Eurasia, like much of the rest of the world has been in chaos, with poverty, injustice and war. Geopolitically, the formation of a Sovereign Union (not Soviet Union) of the peoples and nations of Northern Eurasia is now perhaps the only way of overcoming the vacuum created, which has been at the root of planetary chaos since 1991.

Northern Eurasia, whatever it has been called, is, like it or not, marked by its central and by far its largest nation, the Russian. This is the only one capable of bringing together the sovereign states of the many and varied peoples who live in this continuous intercontinental land-area for peace and justice. Indeed, many look to Russia to carry out precisely this task and so to rescue them from the present disorder of Western ‘divide and rule’ politics, the resulting Western exploitation of their natural resources and oppression of Western-loving oligarchs.

Speaking to citizens of the former Soviet Union of many nationalities over the last 30 years, some things are certain. Nobody wants to go back to the old Soviet ways, for example, to arrests and imprisonments for criticism of the drab, ultra-centralised system, or simply to the daily queuing to obtain even staple goods, food and clothes, the result of the gross inefficiencies of central planning. Nobody wants to live in a country where sausage meat, appearing at best once a week, was sold out by 10 a.m. and where women could not even obtain sanitary products. Nobody wants to go back to a centralised system, where even minute decisions were made by micro-managing, out-of-touch bureaucrats, working on the basis of falsified statistics in distant Moscow.

On the other hand, whatever happened to free healthcare (even if underfunded), free education, full employment, (modest) homes for all, low crime, social justice, liveable pensions, subsidised high culture and the other benefits of the Soviet Union? Little wonder that there is among many all over Eastern Europe a nostalgia for the old Communist system and many still vote Communist. As one woman said to me in Moscow twelve years ago: ‘Of course, we knew that the Communists were lieing to us about our wonderful life under Communism, but what we did not know is that they were telling us the truth about the awfulness of life under Capitalism. Before we had shortages, but we were secure. Now we do not have shortages, if we have money, but we have no security’.

The old Russian Empire gathered together many peoples beneath its double-headed eagle, looking both ways, uniting both East and West. The old Soviet Empire gathered together many peoples beneath its hammer and sickle, imposing a centralised Union, opposing Capitalism in both East and West. Now, hope against hope, we await the foundation of a successor Union, one which must shun the errors of the past, bravely attempting to provide Justice and Prosperity for all.

A Sovereign Union, composed of sovereign nations with new and just borders, agreed on after referenda, freely co-operating in terms of trade and defence, is possible. These initial sovereign nations, in possible order of membership, could be: The Russian Federation, Belarus, much of the old Ukraine, liberated, with its new name, borders and new government, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Thus would be formed a new USSR, a Union of Sovereign Social Republics, a Sovereign Union (SU). Many would rejoice at this, for the dangerous vacuum, the social injustices, the neo-feudal oligarchs’ kleptocracy and divisions left by the collapse of the old USSR have proved to be extremely destabilising for the whole of Northern Eurasia, one sixth of the Earth’s land surface. And that instability has affected the rest of the world quite profoundly, as we can see at this very moment, which is left shuddering at the possibility, however slight, of World War III.

A unique Sovereign Union from Brest to Vladivostok, from the Arctic to Central Asia, could provide an Alliance not only for the new nations formed thirty years ago, but also with still to-be-liberated nations in Europe. Freeing themselves from the shackles of the Anti-sovereign and Anti-social EU, these nations would include Hungary and Slovakia, Serbia and Bulgaria, Romania and Greece, Montenegro and Macedonia. Perhaps there could be an Alliance with the undeluded elsewhere in Europe, as well as in Asia, in Mongolia, China, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran, and in Africa, and in the ex-Western colonies of the three continents of the New Worlds. Is it really past human ingenuity to live in a system in which there is freedom and social justice for all, in an Alliance, with a Union of Sovereign Social Republics?

A Sovereign Union, standing over the world like a mother stretching out her arms over Eurasia to care for her children, could establish an Alliance of the World’s Nations, a real United Nations, not that corrupt pastiche of one in New York. Everywhere, peoples’ struggles to settle long-standing historic injustices through the abolition of borders drawn up long ago by Colonial Office cultural ignoramuses and natural resource asset-strippers in faraway London, Paris and Washington, would become possible. The formation of new countries, new borders, new constitutions and new prosperity, could gradually be resolved in peace.

After all, what is the alternative? To continue in the present hellish chaos of perpetual war, grinding poverty and cynical injustice? Zorro’s Operation Z, the liberation of the Ukraine, is just the beginning. Operation Z+, the liberation of the world, is the end. Yes, it is a highly unlikely end, but still the only noble one directed towards a worthy New World Order, enough to inspire a direction in even the most disheartened of hearts.

NATO: The Founding Lie

May 1, 2022

German commentator, lecturer and writer. He is considered to be a leading “intervening philosopher”.

By Werner Rugemer

Source

After the 2nd World War in 1945 the USA knew: There is no danger from the weakened Soviet Union. But with the pincer grip of the Marshall Plan and NATO, the USA integrated the Western, Northern and Southern European countries into its economic and military expansion. Ex-Nazis and ex-Nazi collaborators were promoted, on the other hand anti-fascist parties, movements, persons were eliminated, infiltrated, bought. At the same time, the U.S. also helped the governments to fight against liberation movements in the colonies – also because of raw materials for US corporations. After 1990, the founding lie and thus the military-capitalist pincer grip was continued with the “eastward expansion”: Always first NATO membership, then EU membership. This includes the dismantling of prosperity and freedom for the majority populations: The EU and more and more US corporations, investors and consultants are organizing Americanization with working poor, working sick as well as legalized and illegal labor migration – at the same time militarization and hostility against Russia is being expanded: Domination of Eurasia from Lisbon to Vladivostok was the plan from the beginning.

We bring a chapter from the book by Werner Rügemer: Imperium EU – Labor Injustice, Crisis, New Resistances, tredition 2021. Of course, the war in Ukraine does not play a role in it yet, but it becomes explainable in some respects. Sources have been omitted.

Russia after World War 2: No danger

In the run-up to the founding of NATO, those responsible in the USA knew: The Soviet Union posed no military danger. The weakened power could not sustain an attack on Western Europe even if it wanted to: The Soviet Union’s economy is largely destroyed and technologically obsolete; its transportation system is too primitive; its oil industry is easy to attack. Nor does the Soviet Union have the atomic bomb. “The men in the Kremlin are clever tyrants who will not risk their internal power by military adventures abroad. They want to win the battle for Germany and Europe, but not by military action,” was the judgment of George Kennan, the chief planner in the State Department, for State Department chief Marshall, for President Truman, and for U.S. ambassadors in various memoranda in 1948.

But why did the U.S. and its then still few allies nonetheless establish NATO, a military alliance expressly directed against the Soviet Union?

The Legend of the Cold War

The legend states that NATO was a “product of the Cold War” after the end of World War 2. In reality, NATO is a product of U.S. expansion, which was already underway before U.S. military intervention in WWII.

The “cold war” is one of the most resourceful ideological constructs used by the U.S. opinion machine to disguise U.S. practices from WW2 to the present. The term was popularized by the most important US ideologue of the 20th century: Walter Lippmann, father of “neoliberalism.”

“Cold War” is supposed to mean: After WW2, the military war is over, and the phase of non-military confrontation between the “free West” and the “communist Eastern Bloc” begins. But during the “cold war” the USA and the first NATO countries waged hot, very hot wars, e.g. in Greece, Korea, the Philippines, in Africa and Indochina – this will have to be returned to.

In reality, the “cold” war began shortly after the war started, around 1941. Roosevelt and Churchill intervened militarily as late as possible in the war – despite repeated requests from their ally Stalin: The Red Army and the German Wehrmacht were to destroy each other as much as possible. The U.S. and British governments also rejected in principle to assist any internal resistance to Hitler. Wall Street lawyer Allen Dulles, as head of the intelligence agency Office of Stragic Services (OSS) based in Switzerland, did not want the assassins of July 20, 1944 to succeed – the U.S. military wanted to prevent an early armistice with the Soviet Union at all costs. The Red Army was to suffer as high losses as possible in the further fight against Hitler’s Wehrmacht.

Advancing the U.S. “defense” line to Europe

Walter Lippmann, a Harvard graduate who initially saw himself as a leftist and socialist, had helped organize the propaganda for the U.S. entry into the war for the U.S. War Department during World War I (Committee on Public Information, CPI): In 1917, the pacifist neutrality pledge of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was to be reversed, and the U.S. entry into the war was now to be justified.

After that, Lippmann had theoretically justified and journalistically accompanied the global expansion of the USA in a prominent position – especially concerning Europe and Japan. In 1938, as an opponent of Roosevelt’s reform course (New Deal), he had brought together the later gurus of “neoliberal” economic theory such as Friedrich Hayek, Alexander Rüstow and Raymond Aron: It was here that the euphemistic term “neoliberalism” was coined for the global, anti-union, anti-communist sharpened doctrine of capitalism.

In March 1943, Lippmann wrote: After conquering North America, Central America, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and several islands in the Pacific (Wake, Guam, Hawai, Japanese Mandate Islands), the U.S. had been forced to “defend two-thirds of the earth’s surface from our continental base in North America.” Now, however, with the foreseeable defeat of the Axis powers of Germany, Japan, Italy, and their allies and collaborators, much broader access is opening up.

The U.S. will now no longer be able to “defend” its previously conquered territories, the geostrategist said, solely from its North American territory and scattered islands in the Pacific. Rather, America can and must now decisively expand its “defense” line “by basing our foreign policy on reliable alliances in the old world.” New U.S. bases could now be established in Europe and Japan. This would allow the U.S. to move from the previous passive to active “defense” of its national interests.

USA 1947: War Department becomes Defense Department

This strategy included ideological artifices: The anti-liberal and anti-democratic intensified capitalism doctrine was called “neoliberalism.”

And the intensified military expansion was passed off as “defense.” From 1789, since its founding, the U.S. factually had a War Department: through wars, the North American continent was integrated into the national territory, then Central America, the Caribbean, Cuba, then the Philippines, Puerto Rico, China, etc. were militarily penetrated, temporarily occupied, vassal governments were installed, islands – or parts of islands like Guantanamo in Cuba – were occupied and developed as permanent military bases.

But just at the highest stage of its also military expansion up to then, the War Department was euphemistically and factlessly renamed to Defense Department in 1947. That is why the aggressive NATO was called the “defense” alliance.

The Twin: Marshall Plan and NATO

NATO, founded in 1949, was the twin of the Marshall Plan. The dual military-civilian character was embodied by George Marshall himself: During World War 2, as Chief of Staff, he coordinated the U.S. military in all theaters of war between North Africa, Europe and Asia. After the war, as Secretary of State from 1947 to 1949, he organized the Marshall Plan. And in 1950, the agile man slipped into the role of U.S. secretary of defense, organizing brutal interventions, including napalm bombings, against liberation movements around the globe, in Korea as well as in Greece.

From 1947 on, all later founding members of NATO received aid from the Marshall Plan: Great Britain, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway. This continued after NATO’s founding until the end of the Marshall Plan in 1952. In addition, in 1949, the U.S. Congress approved $1 billion in aid for the rearmament of NATO’s founding nations. In some cases, Marshall Plan aid was reallocated for military purposes.

All of these states – except Luxembourg, Italy and Norway – were also active colonial powers. Most of them were also monarchies and no paragon of democracy. The U.S. itself maintained numerous dependent territories around the globe in a neocolonial manner and dominated states in Central America and the Caribbean with the help of dictators – most famously in Cuba.

Preliminary Brussels Pact: Germans and “Communist Danger

Prior to NATO’s founding, the most reliable European countries slated to be founding members were allowed to make their prelude. In March 1948, the governments of Great Britain, France and the three small Benelux monarchies, highly subsidized by the Marshall Plan, adopted the “Brussels Pact.” It saw itself as a military alliance against renewed German aggression and against a threat of Soviet aggression.

These U.S.-led conspiracy practitioners simulated dangers that did not exist: Germany was fully disarmed and under military control of the Allies, including the Brussels Pact members themselves – France, Britain, Belgium, and the Netherlands were occupying powers in West Germany; and they could have a say in whether or not West Germany or the Federal Republic of Germany was rearmed. The Soviet Union was neither capable of nor willing to attack Western Europe, and even less willing to permanently occupy it – this assessment of the U.S. government was also familiar to the Brussels Pact states.

The Brussels Pact brought together, along with Great Britain, the states whose governments and economic elites had not resisted the occupation of the Wehrmacht, but had collaborated with Nazi Germany and also saw “communism” as the main danger. They all feared punishment, disentanglement or even expropriation after the war, the military and secret services feared loss of influence. But the U.S. held a protective hand over them.

On April 4, 1949 – a few months before the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany – the military alliance North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, was founded in Washington. It was billed as a “defense” alliance, following U.S. language. All other members were dependent on the U.S., not only through the Marshall Plan, but also through additional loans, military aid and investments. NATO’s headquarters were in Washington until 1952.

Also there: Dictator Franco with special status

The ruling circles of the USA had admired Mussolini’s fascism: He had shown how to defeat the “communist danger” in the West. Mussolini was showered with loans by Wall Street, and U.S. investors bought shares in Italian companies, such as Fiat. With Mussolini and Hitler, U.S. corporations supplied the fascist Franco, who destroyed the Republic in a brutal civil war.

Franco had declared victory on April 1, 1939 – just two weeks later, the Roosevelt administration had appointed its ambassador in Madrid. Only Mussolini, Hitler, Pope Pius XII and the British fascist promoters King George VI with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had been quicker to diplomatically recognize the dictatorship.

For cosmetic reasons, Spain initially did not become a NATO member while Franco ruled. But the United States included Spain in its European expansion even without formal membership. They operated military bases here and promoted economic development, such as tourism. Fascism was compatible with “freedom and democracy” and NATO.

War against liberation movements in European colonies

With NATO, with additional U.S. military bases in NATO member states and additional partnerships such as with Spain, the U.S. not only pushed its “defense” line into Western Europe in Lippmann’s sense. It also supported the wars waged by the European colonial powers against the liberation movements in the colonies that had gained strength after the war. And in the process, the U.S. also gained access to raw materials in those colonies.

Great Britain

Britain had been supplied by the U.S. with armaments, ships and food during the war and was now heavily indebted to the U.S. The U.S. saw to it that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which it had founded and controlled in 1944, made its first major loan to Britain in 1947: this was used to conciliate and blackmail the Labour government.

Britain was also weakened in other respects: its most important colonies, such as India, were lost. Already during the war, Great Britain had ceded several military bases in the Commonwealth to the USA (land lease program). At the time of NATO’s founding, the Labour-led government fought the liberation movement in Ghana, calling the leader of the Convention People’s Party, Kwane Nkrumah, a “little local Hitler” and putting him in prison in 1950. Only in 1957 was Ghana able to become independent with Nkrumah.

The U.S., which had already been present in Greece and Turkey from 1943 with its secret service OSS, replaced Britain’s military and secret service there in 1948 and took over the war against the anti-fascist liberation movement in Greece.

Canada

Canada, as a member of the Commonwealth, was doubly dependent: Since the late 19th century, the country had been an economic colony of the United States. Canadian troops and their intelligence service had been under British command, and British troops and the entire British war economy had been subordinate to the United States.

France

The second most important NATO member after Britain was France. The U.S. Army, along with the British and Canadians, had liberated the country from the Nazis and the Vichy collaborationist government under Marshal Pétain in 1944. The leftist Resistance, which had been infiltrated by the U.S. intelligence agency OSS, was gradually eliminated.

The unpopular General Charles de Gaulle, who had fought against Hitler and represented an independent France, had to be allowed to walk in the victory parade on the Champs Elysées in Paris, and then a provisional government was formed by him; it included the Communist Party, which had led the Resistance. But this government was never recognized by the United States. The World Bank, under President John McCloy, granted a loan to France even before the Marshall Plan, on the condition: De Gaulle and the Communists must be out of the government! U.S. Secretary of State Byrnes, Marshall’s predecessor, promised a 650 million loan and the additional delivery of 500,000 tons of coal.

Christian lacquered politicians like George Bidault, close friend of CDU chairman and future West German chancellor Konrad Adenauer and like the latter in contact with CIA chief Allen Dulles, were maneuvered into the government. De Gaulle was thrown out. The loan was granted. In 1948, the U.S. also rearmed three French divisions so that France could even act as a serious occupying power in its occupied territory in West Germany.

Algeria was not only a French colony, but was considered part of France, albeit with a racist apartheid system. This did not bother NATO at all: Algeria was immediately included in the NATO treaty area. The French government’s brutal colonial war intensified. By independence, the French military had killed hundreds of thousands of independence fighters and civilians.

At the same time, the French government demanded military aid against “communism” in the colony of Indochina: the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, proclaimed in September 1945 by the Viet Minh independence movement under Ho Chi Minh, was to be destroyed – the U.S. helped France with military advisors, food and armaments. McCloy, as president of the World Bank, also approved a loan for this purpose in 1949, the year NATO was founded.

Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg

The three Benelux countries had made no military contribution against Hitler’s Germany. Their governments and corporations had collaborated with the Nazis in the war. But Belgium and the Netherlands became NATO members and were allowed to enter West Germany as occupying forces by U.S. grace.

McCloy also conceded a World Bank loan to the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1949, NATO’s founding year, so that the independence movement in the colony of Indonesia could be fought. Against the Republic of Indonesia, established in 1945 after the Japanese occupation, the 145,000 Dutch military forces proceeded to bomb cities, murder tens of thousands of resistance fighters and other locals, and capture the government.

Belgium

The Kingdom of Belgium continued to hold its resource-rich colony of Congo under the gun after 1945 with U.S. approval. The U.S. had obtained uranium, crucial for its atomic bombs, from the Belgian colony. The mining company Union Minière du Haut Katanga – in which the Rockefellers had a stake – had already moved its headquarters from Brussels to New York in 1939.

After 1945, anti-colonial resistance in the Congo was fought mercilessly: trade unions were banned, strikers were shot or publicly flogged. Later, in 1961, in Belgian-U.S. complicity (King Baudouin, U.S. President Eisenhower, CIA, native collaborators), the first prime minister of the newly independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba, was bestially murdered after a short time.

Portugal

Fascist Portugal had remained neutral in the war and therefore had been all the more important economically to Nazi Germany: As the most important state, Portugal supplied tungsten, a precious metal crucial to the war, for steel hardening, necessary, for example, for rifle barrels and cannon barrels. In Portugal, pirated shares and pirated gold were laundered to finance the German war effort.

After 1945, the USA returned the Asian colonies of Timor and Macau, which had been occupied by Japan, to Portugal. In the African colonies of Mozambique and Angola, colonialist forced and plantation economies (coffee, cotton) prevailed. The Communist Party, the main liberation organization, was banned and persecuted.

And the U.S. and NATO could now use Portugal’s Atlantic islands, the Azores, as military bases.

Small states and later NATO members

Iceland, a Danish colony, had been occupied by Britain and the United States in 1940. The country had declared independence to Denmark in 1944. Therefore, Iceland received Marshall Plan funds and agreed to its NATO membership. The small country maintained no military of its own, but served as a U.S. and NATO base.

Denmark: An anti-fascist government was formed here after the Nazi era. It included the Communist Party, which had resisted the Nazis. Here, too, the U.S., with the help of social democracy and the Marshall Plan, drove out the non-alignment originally intended.

In the Danish colony of Greenland, the USA had already established military bases in 1941. The Danish government, which had reserved foreign and security policy rule over Greenland, agreed: Greenland was declared a NATO defense area in 1951. The U.S. military base at Thule in Greenland was developed into one of the largest foreign U.S. bases as a forward espionage site against the Soviet Union and then against Russia, determining Danish foreign policy.

Norway: Here, the Social Democratic government wanted to remain non-aligned after the German occupation. But with the help of the Marshall Plan and additional rearmament aid, the U.S. maneuvered Norway into NATO.

Greece: In NATO’s founding year, U.S. dive-bombers napalmed the positions of the already victorious anti-fascist liberation movement in Greece and equipped the military loyal to the monarchy, which had collaborated with the Nazis. This was the only way to defeat the liberation movement. When the U.S. had ensured a U.S.-dependent government here as in neighboring Turkey, it brought the two countries into NATO in 1952.

Federal Republic of Germany: Largest U.S. Fortress in Europe

The U.S. wanted above all to bring the western occupied zones of Germany into NATO. But first, this West Germany was not yet a state; and second, the governments of France and Great Britain initially opposed rearming the Germans because of critical public opinion in both states.

But shortly after the founding of the new state of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), its Christian-painted chancellor Konrad Adenauer in 1950 agreed (secretly) to rearm. He had the peace and neutrality movements fought and incited as “communist”. The USA promoted arms production in the FRG for the needs of the war against the People’s Liberation Movement in Korea as early as 1950. The West German arms industrialists lobbied for NATO. And as early as September 1950, NATO included the FRG in the NATO defense area – five years before formally joining NATO.

Today in the 21st century, no other state on the planet hosts as many additional U.S. military bases – about 30 – as NATO member West Germany.

The USA invades the European colonies

NATO was thus an alliance against post-fascist and anti-fascist democratization in Europe and against national self-determination in the colonies. And the neo-colonial NATO leading state U.S. invaded the old colonies of the Europeans.

In the French colonies of Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) and Africa (a good dozen colonies, mainly of France, then also of Belgium and Portugal) important raw materials were stored. U.S. companies wanted to get their hands on them as cheaply as possible. Under Evan Just, the Marshall Plan authority in Paris maintained the “Strategic Raw Materials” department. It explored and inventoried in the colonies of the European colonial powers, for example, manganese and graphite in Madagascar; lead, cobalt and manganese in Morocco; cobalt, uranium and cadmium in the Congo; tin in Cameroon; chrome and nickel in New Caledonia; rubber in Indochina; oil in Indonesia; besides industrial diamonds, asbestos, beryllium, tantalite and colombit.

The Marshall Plan Authority and the State Department organized commodity purchase contracts beginning in 1948, for example, in favor of the U.S. corporations United Steel, Bethlehem Steel, and Newmont Mining. Investment banks such as Morgan Stanley and Lazard Frères formed joint holding companies to modernize mines in the colonies. For the atomic bombs, the U.S. needed even more uranium after the war than during the war anyway.

Finally, finally conquer Russia? Resistance!

For NATO, the founding was not about defeating “communism”, that was only a preliminary stage. It was and is about the U.S.-led conquest and exploitation of Europe, especially Russia, that is, all of Eurasia from Lisbon to Vladivostok (according to U.S. presidential adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in 1996) and regardless of whether it is communist or capitalist.

NATO has been and continues to be an alliance that has principally and permanently violated the UN Charter, Article 1 “Self-Determination of Nations,” from its inception. NATO members – and also associate members such as Switzerland and Austria – joined in various ways in the numerous U.S.-led wars of the wrongly so-called “Cold War,” beginning with the Korean War and most recently, for example, for two decades in Afghanistan, leaving behind impoverished, devastated countries, with high profits for the arms, energy, supply and private military services industries.

And even under the otherwise somewhat criticized President Donald Trump, NATO’s European partners followed NATO’s leading power in anti-Russian agitation and rearmament to conquer the Eurasian theater, finally, finally succeeding, if need be again with war, and this time with nuclear bombs.

With the eastward enlargement of NATO the founding lie was continued. The EU membership of the ex-socialist states always followed a few years after the NATO membership. The EU continues to be an appendage of NATO. The relative economic support provided by the Marshall Plan brought only relative prosperity – and it was only a temporary concession. That ended in 1990. The EU, together with U.S. corporations, investors and consultants, has been dismantling relative prosperity ever since, step by step, first in Eastern Europe but, at the latest since the 2008 “financial crisis,” ever more rapidly in the “rich” states of Western Europe as well.

The stakes are high. The NATO edifice of lies, nurtured for decades, is more fragile than ever. Resistance to it must and can take on a new strength, on all continents. The legal-political basis are the original UN international law and UN human rights, which include labor and social rights. And that the military harms the environment more than others, even environmentalists can still learn.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the Xinhua News Agency (China), April 30, 2022

May 01, 2022

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1811525/

Question: What do you think is at the root of the Ukrainian crisis? What can the international community do to solve this problem?

Sergey Lavrov:  When we talk about the Ukrainian crisis, first of all we need to look at the destructive policy of the Western states conducted over many years and led by the United States, which set a course to knock together a unipolar world order after the end of the Cold War. NATO’s reckless expansion to the East was a key component of those actions, despite the political obligations to the Soviet leadership on the non-expansion of the Alliance. As you know, those promises were just empty words. All these years, NATO infrastructure has been moving closer and closer to the Russian borders.

The West was never concerned about the fact that their actions grossly violated their international obligations not to strengthen their own security at the expense of the security of others. In particular, Washington and Brussels arrogantly rejected the initiatives put forward by Russia in December 2021 to ensure our country’s security guarantees in the west: to stop the expansion of NATO, not to deploy armaments that pose a threat to Russia in Ukraine and to return the Alliance’s military infrastructure to the 1997 configuration, when the NATO-Russia Founding Act was signed.

It is well-known that the United States and NATO member states have always viewed Ukraine as a tool to contain Russia. Over the years, they have actively fuelled anti-Russia sentiments there, forcing Kiev to make an artificial and false choice: to be either with the West or with Moscow.

It was the collective West that first provoked and then supported the anti-constitutional coup d’etat in Kiev in February 2014. Nationalists came to power in Ukraine and immediately unleashed a bloody massacre in Donbass, and set the course on the destruction of everything Russian in the rest of the country. Let me remind you that it was precisely because of this threat that the people of Crimea voted in a referendum for the reunification with Russia in 2014.

Over these past years, the United States and its allies have done nothing to stop the intra-Ukrainian conflict. Instead of encouraging Kiev to settle it politically based on the Minsk Complex of Measures, they sent weapons, trained and armed the Ukrainian army and nationalist battalions, and generally carried out the military-political development of Ukraine’s territory. They encouraged the aggressive anti-Russia course pursued by the Kiev authorities. In fact, they pushed the Ukrainian nationalists to undermine the negotiating process and resolve the Donbass issue by force.

We were deeply concerned about the undeclared biological programmes implemented in Ukraine with Pentagon’s support in close proximity to the Russian borders. And, of course, we could not disregard the Kiev leadership’s undisguised intentions to acquire a military nuclear potential, which would create an unacceptable threat to Russia’s national security.

In these conditions, we had no other choice but to recognise the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and launch the special military operation. Its aim is to protect people from genocide by the neo-Nazis, as well as to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine. I would like to stress that Russia is acting to fulfil its obligations under bilateral agreements on cooperation and mutual assistance with the DPR and LPR, at the official request of Donetsk and Lugansk under Article 51 of the UN Charter on the right to self-defence.

The special military operation launched on February 24 is progressing strictly in accordance with the plan. All its goals will be achieved in spite of our opponents’ counteractions. At the moment we are witnessing a classic case of double standards and hypocrisy of the Western establishment. By publicly supporting the Kiev regime, NATO member states are doing everything in their power to prevent the completion of the operation by reaching political agreements. Various weapons are flowing endlessly into Ukraine through Poland and other NATO countries. All of this is being done under the pretext of “fighting the invasion”, but in fact the United States and the European Union intend to fight Russia “to the last Ukrainian.” They do not care at all about the fate of Ukraine as an independent subject of international relations.

The West is ready to jeopardise the energy and food security of entire regions of the globe to satisfy its own geopolitical ambitions.

What ither explanation is there for the unrestrained flywheel of anti-Russian sanctions launched by the West with the start of the operation and which they aren’t thinking of stopping?

If the United States and NATO are truly interested in settling the Ukrainian crisis, then, first, they must come to their senses and stop supplying weapons and ammunition to Kiev. The Ukrainian people do not need Stingers and Javelins; what they need is a solution to urgent humanitarian issues.

Russia has been doing this since 2014. During this time, tens of thousands of tonnes of humanitarian cargo have been delivered to Donbass, and about 15,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid have already arrived in the part of Ukraine liberated from the Kiev regime, the DPR and the LPR, since the launch of the special military operation.

Second, it is essential that the Kiev regime stops cynical provocations, including in the information space. Ukrainian armed formations are barbarically shelling cities using civilians as living shields. We saw examples of this in Donetsk and Kramatorsk. Captured Russian servicemen are being abused with animal cruelty, and these atrocities are being posted online. At the same time, they use their Western patrons and global media controlled by the West to accuse the Russian army of war crimes. As they say, laying the blame at somebody else’s door.

It is high time for the West to stop unconditionally whitewashing and covering up for Kiev. Otherwise,

Washington, Brussels and other Western capitals should consider their responsibility for complicity in the bloody crimes perpetrated by the Ukrainian nationalists.

Question: What measures has Russia taken to protect the lives and property of civilians? What efforts has it made to establish humanitarian corridors?

Sergey Lavrov: As I mentioned earlier, the special military operation is proceeding according to plan. Under this plan, the Russian military personnel are doing everything in their power to avoid victims among civilians. Blows are carried out with high-precision weapons, first of all at military infrastructure facilities and places where armoured vehicles are concentrated. Unlike the Ukrainian army and nationalist armed groups that use people as living shields, the Russian army provides the locals with all kinds of assistance and support.

Humanitarian corridors open daily from Kharkov and Mariupol to evacuate people from dangerous districts, but the Kiev regime demands that the “national battalions” in control of those areas do not release the civilians. Nevertheless, many are able to leave with the assistance of Russian, DPR and LPR servicemen. During the special military operation, the hotline of the Interdepartmental Coordination Headquarters of the Russian Federation for Humanitarian Response in Ukraine has received requests for assistance in evacuating 2.8 million people to Russia, including 16,000 foreign citizens and employees of UN and OSCE international missions. In total, 1.02 million people have been evacuated from Ukraine, the DPR and LPR, of which over 120,000 are citizens of third countries, including over 300 Chinese nationals. There are over 9,500 temporary accommodation facilities operating in Russian regions. They have space for rest and hot meals, and everything that may be necessary. Newly arrived refugees are provided with qualified medical and psychological assistance.

Russia is taking measures to ensure civilian navigation in the Black and Azov seas. A humanitarian corridor opens daily, a safe lane for ships. However, Ukraine continues to block foreign ships, creating a threat of shelling in its internal waters and territorial sea. Moreover, Ukrainian naval units have mined the shore, the ports and territorial waters. These explosive devices disconnect from their anchor lines and drift into the open sea, so they pose a serious danger to both the fleets and the port infrastructure of the Black Sea countries.

Question: Since the special military operation was launched in Ukraine, Western counties have adopted a large number of unprecedented sanctions against Moscow. How do you think these sanctions will affect Russia? What are the main countermeasures taken by Russia? Some say that a new Cold War has begun. How would you comment on that?

Sergey Lavrov: It is true that the special military operation was used by the collective West as a pretext to unleash numerous restrictions against Russia, as well as its legal entities and individuals. The United States, Great Britain, Canada and EU countries do not conceal that their goal is to strangle our economy by undermining its competitiveness and blocking Russia’s progressive development. At the same time, the Western ruling circles are not embarrassed by the fact that anti-Russian sanctions are already beginning to harm ordinary people in their own countries. I mean the declining economic trends in the United States and many European countries, including growing inflation and unemployment.

It is clear that there can be no excuse for this anti-Russian line and it has no future. As President Vladimir Putin said, Russia has withstood this unprecedented pressure. Now the situation is stabilising, though, of course, not all risks are behind us.

In any case, they will not succeed in weakening us. I am confident that we will restructure the economy and protect ourselves from our opponents’ possible illegitimate and hostile actions in the future. We will continue to give a fitting and adequate response to the imposed restrictions, guided by the goal of maintaining the stability of the Russian economy and its financial system, as well as the interests of domestic businesses and the entire nation. 

We will focus our efforts on de-dollarisation, de-offshorisation, import substitution, and promotion of technological independence.

We will continue to adapt to external challenges and step up development programmes for promising and competitive industries.

During the period of turbulence, our retaliatory special economic measures needed to ensure the normal functioning of the Russian economy will be continued and expanded. As a responsible player on the international market, Russia intends to continue scrupulously fulfilling its obligations under international contracts on export deliveries of agricultural products, fertilisers, energy carriers and other critical products. We are deeply concerned about a possible food crisis provoked by the anti-Russian sanctions, and we are well aware how important the deliveries of essential goods, such as food, are for the socioeconomic development of Asian, African, Latin American, and Middle Eastern countries.

I will be brief as regards the second part of your question. Today we are not talking about a new “cold war,” but, as I said earlier, about the persistent desire to impose a US-centric model of the world order coming from Washington and its satellites, who imagine themselves to be “arbiters of humankind’s fate.” It has reached the point where the

Western minority is trying to replace the UN-centric architecture and international law formed after World War II with their own “rule-based order.” These rules are written by Washington and its allies and then imposed on the international community as binding.

We must realise that the United States has been carrying out this destructive policy for several decades now. It is enough to recall NATO’s aggression against Yugoslavia, attacks on Iraq and Libya, attempts to destroy Syria, as well as the colour revolutions that Western capitals staged in a number of countries, including Ukraine. All of this came at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and resulted in chaos in various regions of the planet.

The West tries to crudely suppress those who carry out an independent course in their domestic and foreign policy. Not just Russia. We can see how bloc thinking is being imposed in the Asian-Pacific Region. We can recall the Indo-Pacific strategy promoted by the United States, which has a pronounced anti-China tendency. The US seeks to dictate the standards according to which Latin America should live, in the spirit of the outdated Monroe Doctrine. This explains many years of the illegal trade embargo on Cuba, sanctions against Venezuela, as well as attempts to undermine stability in Nicaragua and other countries. The pressure on Belarus continues in the same context. This list can go on.

It is clear that the collective West’s efforts to oppose the natural course of history and solve its problems at the expense of others are doomed. Today the world has several decision-making centres; it is multipolar.

We can see how quickly Asian, African, and Latin American countries are developing. Everyone is getting a real freedom of choice, including where it comes to choosing their development models and participation in integration projects. Our special military operation in Ukraine also contributes to the process of freeing the world from the West’s neocolonial oppression heavily mixed with racism and a complex of exceptionalism.

The faster the West accepts the new geopolitical situation, the better it will be for the West itself and for the entire international community.

As President Xi Jinping said at the Boao Forum for Asia, “We need to uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security.”

Question: Russian-Ukrainian talks have attracted close attention of the international community. What are the main obstacles to the talks today? How do you regard the prospects of a peace treaty between the two parties? What kind of bilateral relations does Russia intend to have with Ukraine in the future?

Sergey Lavrov: At present the Russian and Ukrainian delegations are holding discussions on the possible draft almost daily, via videoconference. This document should contain such elements of the post-conflict situation as permanent neutrality, the non-nuclear, non-bloc and demilitarised status of Ukraine, as well as guarantees of its security. The agenda of the talks also includes denazification, recognition of the new geopolitical reality, the lifting of sanctions and the status of the Russian language, among other things. Settling the situation in Ukraine will make a significant contribution to the de-escalation of the military and political tensions in Europe and the world in general. The establishment of an institution of guarantor states is envisaged as a possible option. First of all, they will be the permanent members of the UN Security Council, including Russia and China. We share information on the progress in the talks with Chinese diplomats. We are grateful to Beijing and other BRICS partners for their balanced position on the Ukrainian issue.

We are in favour of continuing the talks, although the process is difficult.

You are right to ask about the obstacles. For example, they include the militant rhetoric and incendiary actions of Kiev’s Western patrons. They are actually encouraging Kiev to “fight to the last Ukrainian,” pumping the country with weapons and sending mercenaries there. Let me note that the Ukrainian security services staged a crude bloody provocation in Bucha with the help of the West, to complicate the negotiation process among other things.

I am confident that agreements can only be reached when Kiev starts to be guided by the interests of the Ukrainian people, and not the advisors from far away.

Speaking about Russian-Ukrainian relations, Russia is interested in a peaceful, free, neutral, prosperous and friendly Ukraine. Despite the current administration’s anti-Russian course, we remember the many centuries of all-embracing cultural, spiritual, economic and family ties between Russians and Ukrainians. We will definitely restore these ties.

Clash of Christianities: Why Europe cannot understand Russia


April 29 2022

Source

By Pepe Escobar

Under an ubiquitous, toxic atmosphere of cognitive dissonance drenched in Russophobia, it’s absolutely impossible to have a meaningful discussion on finer points of Russian history and culture across the NATO space – a phenomenon I’m experiencing back in Paris right now, fresh from a long stint in Istanbul.

At best, in a semblance of civilized dialogue, Russia is pigeonholed in the reductionist view of a threatening, irrational, ever-expanding empire – a way more wicked version of Ancient Rome, Achaemenid Persia, Ottoman Turkey or Mughal India.

The fall of the USSR a little over three decades ago did hurl Russia back three centuries – to its borders in the 17th century. Russia, historically, had been interpreted as a secular empire – immense, multiple and multinational. This is all informed by history, very much alive even today in the Russian collective unconscious.

When Operation Z started I was in Istanbul – the Second Rome. I spent a considerable time of my late night walks around Hagia Sophia reflecting on the historical correlations of the Second Rome with the Third Rome – which happens to be Moscow, since the concept was first enounced at the start of the 16th century.

Later, back in Paris, banishment to soliloquy territory seemed inevitable until an academic pointed me to some substance, although heavily distorted by political correctness, available in the French magazine Historia.

There’s at least an attempt to discuss the Third Rome. The significance of the concept was initially religious before becoming political – encapsulating the Russian drive to become the leader of the Orthodox world in contrast with Catholicism. This has to be understood also in the context of pan-Slavic theories springing up under the first Romanov and then reaching their apogee in the 19th century.

Eurasianism – and its several declinations – treats the complex Russian identity as double-faced, between east and west. Western liberal democracies simply can’t understand that these ideas – infusing varied brands of Russian nationalism – do not imply hostility to “enlightened” Europe, but an affirmation of Difference (they could learn a bit from reading more Gilles Deleuze for that matter). Eurasianism also weighs on closer relations with Central Asia and necessary alliances, in various degrees, with China and Turkey.

A perplexed liberal west remains hostage to a vortex of Russian images which it can’t properly decode – from the two-headed eagle, which is the symbol of the Russian state since Peter the Great, to the Kremlin cathedrals, the St. Petersburg citadel, the Red Army entering Berlin in 1945, the May 9 parades (the next one will be particularly meaningful), and historical figures from Ivan the Terrible to Peter the Great. At best – and we’re talking academic level ‘experts’ – they identify all of the above as “flamboyant and confused” imagery.

The Christian/Orthodox divide

The apparently monolithic liberal west itself also cannot be understood if we forget how, historically, Europe is also a two-headed beast: one head may be tracked from Charlemagne all the way to the awful Brussels Eurocrat machine; and the other one comes from Athens and Rome, and via Byzantium/Constantinople (the Second Rome) reaches all the way to Moscow (the Third Rome).

Latin Europe, for the Orthodox, is seen as a hybrid usurper, preaching a distorted Christianity which only refers to St. Augustine, practicing absurd rites and neglecting the very important Holy Ghost. The Europe of Christian Popes invented what is considered a historical hydra – Byzantium – where Byzantines were actually Greeks living under the Roman Empire.

Western Europeans for their part see the Orthodox and the Christians from the East (see how they were abandoned by the west in Syria under ISIS and Al Qaeda) as satraps and a bunch of smugglers – while the Orthodox regard the Crusaders, the Teutonic chevaliers and the Jesuits – correctly, we must say – as barbarian usurpers bent on world conquest.

In the Orthodox canon, a major trauma is the fourth Crusade in 1204 which utterly destroyed Constantinople. The Frankish chevaliers happened to eviscerate the most dazzling metropolis in the world, which congregated at the time all the riches from Asia.

That was the definition of cultural genocide. The Frankish also happened to be aligned with some notorious serial plunderers: the Venetians. No wonder, from that historical juncture onwards, a slogan was born: “Better the Sultan’s turban than the Pope’s tiara.”

So since the 8th century, Carolingian and Byzantine Europe were de facto at war across an Iron Curtain from the Baltics to the Mediterranean (compare it with the emerging New Iron Curtain of Cold War 2.0). After the barbarian invasions, they neither spoke the same language nor practiced the same writing, rites or theology.

This fracture, significantly, also trespassed Kiev. The west was Catholic – 15% of Greek catholics and 3% of Latins – and in the center and the east, 70% Orthodox, who became hegemonic in the 20th century after the elimination of Jewish minorities by mainly the Waffen-SS of the Galicia division, the precursors of Ukraine’s Azov batallion.

Constantinople, even in decline, managed to pull off a sophisticated geo-strategic game to seduce the Slavs, betting on Muscovy against the Catholic Polish-Lithuanian combo. The fall of Constantinople in 1453 allowed Muscovy to denounce the treason of Greeks and Byzantine Armenians who rallied around the Roman Pope, who badly wanted a reunified Christianity.

Afterward, Russia ends up constituting itself as the only Orthodox nation that did not fall under Ottoman domination. Moscow regards itself – as Byzantium – as a unique symphony between spiritual and temporal powers.

Third Rome becomes a political concept only in the 19th century – after Peter the Great and Catherine the Great had vastly expanded Russian power. The key concepts of Russia, Empire and Orthodoxy are fused. That always implies Russia needs a ‘near abroad’ – and that bears similarities with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vision (which, significantly, is not imperial, but cultural).

As the vast Russian space has been in constant flow for centuries, that also implies the central role of the concept of encirclement. Every Russian is very much aware of territorial vulnerability (remember, for starters, Napoleon and Hitler). Once the western borderland is trespassed, it’s an easy ride all the way to Moscow. Thus, this very unstable line must be protected; the current correlation is the real threat of Ukraine made to host NATO bases.

Onward to Odessa

With the fall of the USSR, Russia found itself in a geopolitical situation last encountered in the 17th century. The slow and painful reconstruction was spearheaded from two fronts: the KGB – later FSB – and the Orthodox church. The highest-level interaction between the Orthodox clergy and the Kremlin was conducted by Patriarch Kirill – who later became Putin’s minister of religious affairs.

Ukraine for its part had become a de facto Moscow protectorate way back in 1654 under the Treaty of Pereyaslav: much more than a strategic alliance, it was a natural fusion, in progress for ages by two Orthodox Slav nations.

Ukraine then falls under the Russian orbit. Russian domination expands until 1764, when the last Ukrainian hetman (commander-in-chief) is officially deposed by Catherine the Great: that’s when Ukraine becomes a province of the Russian empire.

As Putin made it quite clear this week: “Russia cannot allow the creation of anti-Russian territories around the country.” Operation Z will inevitably encompass Odessa, founded in 1794 by Catherine the Great.

The Russians at the time had just expelled the Ottomans from the northwest of the Black Sea, which had been successively run by Goths, Bulgars, Hungarians and then Turkish peoples – all the way to the Tatars. Odessa at the start was peopled, believe it or not, by Romanians who were encouraged to settle there after the 16th century by the Ottoman sultans.

Catherine chose a Greek name for the city – which at the start was not Slav at all. And very much like St. Petersburg, founded a century earlier by Peter the Great, Odessa never stopped flirting with the west.

Tsar Alexander I, in the early 19th century, decides to turn Odessa into a great trading port – developed by a Frenchman, the Duke of Richelieu. It was from the port of Odessa that Ukrainian wheat started to reach Europe. By the turn of the 20th century, Odessa is truly multinational – after having attracted, among others, the genius of Pushkin.

Odessa is not Ukrainian: it’s an intrinsic part of the Russian soul. And soon the trials and tribulations of history will make it so again: as an independent republic; as part of a Novorossiya confederation; or attached to the Russian Federation. The people of Odessa will decide.

The Ukraine and the End of the History

April 26, 2022

Source

by Batiushka

Introduction: 1492-2022

The present conflict in the Ukraine is clearly not really about the Ukraine – that artificial collection of territories is only a tragic battlefield between the West and the Rest. The conflict is about the organised violence and extraordinary arrogance of the West, the US/UK/EU/NATO, against the rest of the world, specifically Russia, supported by China, India and indeed all other peoples. Therefore, the coming Russian victory in the special operation in the Ukraine essentially signifies the end of the West’s 500-year long domination of the planet. This is why the tiny Western world, some 15% of the planet, is so virulent in its opposition to the Russian people.

The Russian victory will undermine the remnants of illusory faith in the mythical superiority of the West and above all in the USA, fear of which long discouraged the resistance of the ‘Rest’ to the West. Neither Iran, nor even China risked challenging the USA – Russia has. The Ukraine is the USA’s ‘unsinkable’ Titanic and Russia the iceberg to sink US hubris and overreach. When the world sees the Russian victory, four continents at least, Europe and Asian China, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, as well as Latin America and Africa, will vote for freedom from the American Empire. It is the end of Western domination, ‘the end of the history’ of ethnocentric Westerners like Francis Fukuyama. For Russia and Europe themselves we foresee five main consequences. These are:

1. America’s Withdrawal from Europe

The Russian victory will lead to the major reduction or even withdrawal of US forces which have occupied Western Europe since 1945 (the UK since 1942) and Central and Eastern Europe from 1991 onwards. In the US, isolationist sentiments are already strong after the humiliating US routs in Iraq and Afghanistan and violent internal divisions in the United States will only be reinforced. The USA will retreat to its divided island. Transatlantic unity will collapse. Then Western Europe can at last come out of its isolation at the tip of the western peninsula of the Eurasian Continent and rejoin the mainstream of a liberated Eurasia, led by the Russian Federation.

2. The End of the EU

The EU was a US concept in every respect, destined to become a USE, a United States of Europe. There are already a large number of tensions within it. Brexit, the result of English, that is, anti-British and anti-Establishment, patriotism, has taken place. The other tensions will demand solutions following the Russian victory. After that victory, room for any further EU expansion and economic colonisation of Central and Eastern Europe, including in the western Balkans, will end. The end of new colonisation after the loss of the Ukraine, rich in natural resources, will undermine the remains of the already divided EU. Ukraine was a buffer-state and resource centre for the colonial EU. Its liberation means direct EU proximity to Russia and the restoration of Russian influence. With the Russian victory, Western Europe will have to make strategic agreements with Moscow on European security, this time without US meddling.

3. The Renewal of Imperial Russia

The billions spent on bribing treasonous pro-Western puppet elites in former Soviet Republics like the Baltic States, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Kazakhstan and the four other Central Asian ‘stans’ will have been wasted. The myth of Western superiority on which these elites were created will give way to reality. This will put an end to their opportunities to earn dollars and make careers from Russophobia by renting out national territories for US bases, CIA torture facilities or racist germ warfare biolabs to create diseases.  Georgia was the first to understand this in early 2022, refusing to join in anti-Russian sanctions. In Moldova the deadline is approaching, as Russian troops prepare to liberate Odessa and break through the land corridor to unite Transdnistria to Russia.

4. Russian Values to Reshape Central and Eastern Europe

The strengthening of Central and Eastern European identities in nation-states like Hungary, Slovakia and Poland will lead to their rapprochement with Russia. Russia’s victory will mean an increase in sympathy for it in a number of Central and Eastern European nation states, not just in Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and in Hungary, Slovakia and Poland, but also in the Baltic States, Austria, the Czech Lands, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Mediterranean Cyprus. Once their venal, anti-patriotic, US-appointed elites have fallen, Russian values will return to these countries as an influential force.

5. Russian Values to Reshape Western Europe

The EU, founded immediately the SU (Soviet Union) had collapsed, was from the outset an artificial construct, built on the rejection of patriotism in favour of a non-existent supranational European identity. Patriotism is an existential threat to Brussels. This is partly why as long ago as Common Market days De Gaulle, who had wanted a confederation of homelands, was overthrown in the US regime change in 1968. Then in 2016 patriots voted for Brexit against the Establishment elite and the Democrat President Obama. The EU was always about the rejection of national identities in favour of post-Christian, indeed anti-Christian, anti-national and anti-family values, mass immigration of paid slaves, the imposition of the LGBT agenda, the restriction of freedoms for anti-EU views etc. These are not Russian values.

Conclusion: Global Denazification

Just as in 1814 Russian troops liberated Paris and in 1945 Berlin, so in the 2020s Brussels will be liberated, or rather will collapse, under the pressure of Russian values. We are talking about the disintegration of the US-created European Union and also of US bases in Eastern Europe and the former eastern Soviet Union. We shall see the emergence of national centres, from Scotland to Cyprus, from Catalonia to Mongolia, from Slovakia to Central Asia. The bubble of Western, US/UK/EU, hubris is being burst by Russia’s liberation and denazification of the Ukraine. In order to preserve its identity as an imperial nation, protect the integrity of the Orthodox Faith and guarantee the peace of the whole multipolar world, Russia will spread this process of denazification to all.

Where the West is stuck: The fascism of the 1930s and the ‘fascism’ of the 2020s

April 23, 2022

Source

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.

by Ramin Mazaheri

Starting in 1917 the same reactionary European nations which attacked in the 7 European Wars Against the French Revolution now transferred this same refusal to make peace with the Soviet Union. The problem has always been an idea – anti-autocracy, the idea from which Socialist Democracy flows (and the Yellow Vests) – not a particular nation.

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

There is a clear moment when France definitively handed over its longtime leadership of European progressive politics. It is not 1914, when, unlike the Soviet Bolsheviks, French socialists went along with World War I: it is the creation of the Popular Front (Front Populaire) following the death of 15 people in a right-wing riot in 1934. The idea that committed socialists must be united with everyone from fake-leftists to right-wingers in order to fight fascism proved to be a total catastrophe.

Yet this idea remains the policy of Western leftism today, and it is still producing catastrophes.

The European lesson of the 1930s is that the working and middle class handed power to the socialists and communists – who immediately gave power back to the bourgeois!

Ever since the Brexit vote against the neoliberal and neo-imperial European Union Western democracies are perpetually stuck in 1936: constantly warning of “fascism” and constantly producing failures as bad as the original Popular Front in France.

However, because there is a total misunderstanding of what “fascism” is it is critical for us to end the Western propaganda on the rise of Germanic National Socialism in order to properly understand European history then and now. It is “Germanic” and not just “German” because their adherents were from Austria, Hungary, Prussia and other longtime German language/culture areas.

Germanic National Socialism had something vital in common with socialism: a clear rejection of Western Liberal Democracy, which was first installed in France’s 2nd Republic of 1848. Without elucidating the common thread of post 1789 political history — that Western Liberal Democracy is an oligarchy which has been barely modified from autocracy – European history makes no sense in 1936 or after. We may as well say Napoleon Bonaparte wasn’t a leftist revolutionary!

We move from the Paris Commune to 1936 because what occurred in 1936 was extremely similar: In February 1936 the electoral victory of a Popular Front coalition in Spain led to a legal take-over by socialists and anti-monarchists, only to see an international coalition of reactionaries arise to prop up the dictator General Francisco Franco and to foment civil and international war.

The Popular Front in France actually created the disastrous policy of “nonintervention” – the French left created it order to not intervene in the neighbouring Spanish Civil War. Nearly all of Europe signed up to diplomatically isolate and economically blockade the Spanish Republic. Indeed, Western Liberal Democracy wants to talk honestly about the Spanish Civil War as much as they want to they want to talk honestly the Paris Commune, 1848 or the 7 European Wars Against the French Revolution.

In May 1936 what would become the final elections of the French 3rd Republic were held. Amid the Great Depression the centre-left and left finally won control of the government, with 60% of the vote, and via campaigns expressly against the unprecedented power of the historically-new banking oligarchy. In July the Spanish Civil War began, and despite massive French support for the Republican leftists France’s allegedly left-wing government colluded with the British on the policy of non-intervention. Viewed from the new center of progressive politics – Moscow – the Popular Front’s non-intervention confirmed to the USSR that Western Europe was never going to have a socialist revolution; that such an idea had been a fool’s errand for over three decades; that Western Europe was going to side with fascism and go over to it, as Vichy France soon would. The USSR and Mexico would be the only nations to provide armed support to the Spanish Republic.

The Popular Front and Leon Blum, the first Socialist to be Prime Minister in France, would do a U-turn on the promised domestic reforms he was elected to implement. This is exactly what the Socialists François Mitterrand and François Hollande would do in 1983 and 2012, respectively. 1936 marks the point when Western leftists indisputably proved that they have abandoned Socialist Democracy in favor of Western Liberal Democracy – a fundamentally right-wing ideology rooted in monarchism, autocracy and oligarchy – and are thus right-wingers on the global political spectrum.

In April 1938 France’s Popular Front collapsed after failure in almost every sense. Its colossal disappointment after such huge progressive excitement caused massive disillusionment and directly led to the establishment of fascism in France two years later. The Popular Front provided the death knell for Western Liberal Democracy. Rather it should have, but by 1946 fascists, royalists and Western Liberal Democrats would – to steal a phrase from Marx regarding a similar melding for all classes of wealth in the 19th century – “become bourgeois”, i.e. all meld into one in order to stop Socialist Democracy.

This is where the West remains today.

They are totally against Socialist Democracy at home and abroad, and claiming Popular Fronts are needed to elect fake-leftist candidates who inevitably prove to be tools of long-running oligarchies.

In September 1938, now led by the Reformists (this is the most accurate term for the very misleadingly named “Radical Party” of France), the Munich Pact saw France stab the USSR in the back on the Franco-USSR pact of 1935, which stipulated joint military action against German belligerence. The Munich Betrayal, as it’s also known, saw France and the United Kingdom collude with fascist Germany and Italy to hand a huge chunk of Czechoslovakia to Hitler. Instead of combatting Germany’s war on Czechoslovakia the Popular Front preferred “appeasement” with fascism.

The collusion would continue: France and the UK recognised Franco in February 1939, even though he held just two-thirds of the country and not Madrid. (The army Franco originally led to start the war was the Spanish Army of Africa, based in Morocco. Much like France with Algeria in 1848, we see the pernicious domestic political effects of Europe’s Old World imperialism once again.)

Because we have located the start of neoliberalism and European neo-imperialism with the Paris Commune we see how these collusions make sense: these are Western Liberal Democratic countries, thus run by an oligarchical elite, thus opposed to any socialist-inspired country. They will always wage war against socialistic ideas which oppose oligarchical Western liberalism which, thanks to the domination of the banker class by the start of the 20th century, is more “globalist” than inter-marrying monarchs ever were. Popular Fronts are inevitably proven to be useless – they are mere safety valves for genuine leftism.

By June 1939 national polls showed that 84% of Britain favored an Anglo-French-Soviet military alliance – Britain’s Western Liberal Democratic politicians had no choice but to give the appearance of an effort. After six weeks of negotiations it became clear to Moscow that Britain’s appallingly minor representations were not interested in any sort of alliance with Socialist Democracy.

Only two days after they left a German delegation arrived in Moscow and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (a non-aggression pact and not any sort of alliance) was concluded precisely because the USSR saw that Western Liberal Democracies would never allow peaceful relations with socialist-inspired systems. Just as the revolutionary Napoleon Bonaparte wasted time in a burnt-down Moscow trying to make peace with an autocrat who never wanted it, so the USSR wasted time trying to make peace with autocrats and oligarchs.

Yellow Vest: “What I want for Christmas is for the Yellow Vests to join France’s social movements to stop Macron’s neoliberalism. But it would be even better if the whole world would become Yellow Vests to stop the ravages of high finance and globalisation.”

(Note: this book intersperses over 100 quotations taken from actual, marching Yellow Vests which were originally published in news reports on PressTV.)

Western leftists (mostly Trotskyists) howled that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was a betrayal of leftist ideals. That’s a stunningly opportunistic and hollow claim, considering just how much France’s Popular Front and Western Liberal Democracies failed to defend Spain, and also how Western nations refused make peace with Moscow. Moscow had waited for 19 years for any other European country to turn socialist, but European progressive political thought was spent in Western Europe after 150 years.

Thus the USSR had given up, as it was clearly the eve of war. The Stalinists would certainly be proven right that fascism would sweep Germany, Austria, Spain and France – history clearly exonerates them, and indicts Western Liberal Democracy.

The USSR made a non-aggression pact with Germanic socialism because at the time so many assumed that fascism was going to fully replace totally discredited Western Liberal Democracies. That may seem hard to believe today, but the idea that Western Liberal Democracy was totally dead was a fundamental assumption of leftists, such as Trotsky.

It’s vital to understand this proper timeline of European history leading up to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact because it is entirely in keeping with the overarching theme of European history since 1789: collusion by oligarchical elites to rule in autocratic fashion, and in order to suppress Socialist Democratic ideas.

Of course Western Liberal Democracy has always tried to obscure this history, and they still do: a resolution adopted by the European Union in 2019 stated that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact “paved the way for the outbreak of World War II”, in a shameful rewriting of history. I don’t expect the EU to pass resolutions for the 7 European Wars Against the French Revolution, the failed Revolutions of 1848 or the Paris Commune anytime soon….

The West’s elite is fighting for Western Liberal Democracy, and thus they do not permit honest discussion and honest critiques of Western Liberal DemocracyThis explains why there is no admission regarding the historical reality that Nazism and 1930s European fascism won power precisely because so many people grasped that Western Liberal Democracy was nothing but awful oligarchy.

Denying this historical reality is why Western politics has stopped making sense to the average Westerner: They simply cannot understand what fascism was, what it is, or how it arose – it arose via fascism’s successful, popular condemnation of Western Liberal Democracy.

The problem is that socialists don’t stress this point enough, in their nonsensical fear of being seen as colluding with fascism.

Knowing what ‘fascism’ truly is, and why socialists shouldn’t disavow it completely

Just as monarchy and feudalism was totally discredited to the average European by 1848, so Western Liberal Democracy and “debt feudalism/Bankocracy” was totally discredited by 1939.

This successful condemnation is why it’s simply inaccurate and absurd to say things like the “Nazis had no socialism”. To do so is tremendously counterproductive and simply false. Mussolini was the editor of Avanti!, the official voice of the Italian Socialist Party, and was once a leading Italian socialist. Socialists do not want to admit these things, but the failure caused by not explaining fascism’s relationship with socialism is that we cannot understand Western political history if we relinquish the incredibly necessary democratic criticism of Western Liberal Democracy and “Capitalism With Western Characteristics” as evidenced by fascism’s rise.

Hitler, reader of Marx, summed it up the initial similarities himself in 1922: Without his alleged “essential principle” – race – Nazism “would really do nothing more than compete with Marxism on its own ground”.

However, instead of dispossessing a noble class via class politics he dispossessed races to creat a new noble class… and that is not really socialism, nor anything advocated in Marxism.

Why should socialists fear admitting the Marxism in Germanic socialism? If they do it’s probably because they seek the approval of Western Liberal Democrats. It’s clear that by including race – this is… not truly Marxism or socialism, but something different.

Or when Hitler rejected the class struggle, vital to socialism, by saying: “There are no such things as classes: They cannot be. Class means caste and caste means race.” Well, Nazism may include some Marxist analyses of political and economic historical development but this is… not really socialism, but something different.

Making an alliance with corporate powers, instead of appropriating from the greedy expropriators… this is not really socialism, either.

Choosing central guidance instead of central majority ownership… this is not really socialism.

Hitler was also the least internationalist politician you can think of – he totally rejected the internationalism of the class struggle and replaced it with a “community of the volk”. He only wanted to protect Teutonic citizens in his all-Germanic nation.

We can go on and on pointing out these differences.

But the rejection of Western Liberal Democracy – due to its decades of failures by an oligarchical, corrupt, plutocratic leadership barely different from 18th century monarchy – that actually is the same as socialism. The rejection of Western Liberal Democratic economics – due to the decades of failures by free market capitalism (i.e. the economic component of liberalism) – that is the same as socialism.

The Western Liberal Democrats of today simply do not want to talk about their often democratic rejection by people who feel its failures intimately.

Yellow Vest: “Our media have lost all credibility. Everything that you see on the mainstream media, and all of their reporters are under the boot of the government. For them the Yellow Vests don’t even exist anymore, on both the private and public stations.

So what was German National Socialism and Italian Fascism? It is socialism minus the hopeful egalitarianism and the internationalism, and replaced with pessimistic Darwinian elitism and racism. It’s a right-wing socialism whose only virtue is that it openly opposes the rich-are-smarter-and-should-rule ideology of Western Liberal Democracy, which opposed most of the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte, won the counter-revolutions of 1848, laid the foundations of the neo-imperial European Union in 1871, colluded to create World War I in order to forestall socialist revolution and which was ruining society in the 1930s just as it does today.

But proponents of elites who rule through a Bankocracy don’t want people to understand that fascism and Germanic National Socialism came to power by opposing the domination of international high finance and liberalism (whether “neo-”, “ultra-” or sans-préfixe it’s all the same: free markets, unregulated capitalism, rights only for those who can afford it), which forever is ultimately cover for an autocratic oligarchy.

So it can’t be stressed enough: Socialism has nothing to fear from free, honest, patient examination of the Nazis’ relationship with socialism. What needs to be rectified is the total disavowal of fascism which excludes its criticisms of Western Liberal Democracy.

However, Western Liberal Democracy has much to fear regarding true discussions of their relationship with the Nazis. They, over and over, allied with fascism against socialism in the 1930s; they colluded with the surviving Nazis and fascists after 1945; they encouraged 3rd-generation Nazis in places like Ukraine in the 21st century. Thus since the 1930s fascism and Western Liberal Democracy has been cooperating for more often than they have been fighting.

Where does fascism fit in the course of European economic development since 1492?

The fascists ultimately came to power by claiming they were different in their economic aims than Western Liberal Democrats.

By the turn of the 20th century industrialisation was no longer a novelty but the defining economic force. Landed wealth, Old World colonisation wealth, sea-trading wealth and mid-late 19th century industrial-financial wealth had been melded together into a banker-dominated financial system in which – of course – old money was predominant. The new banking system they created controlled the means of production and usuriously owned the land on which serfs recently lived. This is a clear timeline of economic history – it is not hard to understand, nor is it eternal.

Fascists promised to expropriate the wealth now held in the stewardship of banks and to do it via a new class – that of the magistrate; of individualist political power.

The word “fascism” stems from “fasces”, which is a bundle of sticks wrapped together topped by an ax. It’s originally an Etruscan symbol which symbolised the power of – not the people wrapped together – the magistrate. What was the magistrate in Rome? He was a high-ranking officer with both executive and judicial powers. Whatever the wealth or justice which Roman magistrates allowed to “trickle-down” was entirely up to them. It was an elitist, 1%-centered system and fascism’s advance was (allegedly) making the 1% class open to competition (which they said begins in one’s DNA) and cutting out the longtime aristocracy and new bankers. We see this is exactly like in Western Liberal Democracy today, and we now see why these two forces have allied together. The seal of the United States Senate, an aristocratic house of lords, features two crossed fasces.

Beyond autocratic powers for a non-monarchical elite, Western Liberal Democracy also mostly agreed with the key plank of the fascist’s economic program. “Central planning” does exist in modern Western countries – it is based around the military. For example, in the United States their economy is guided by the Pentagon, the world’s largest employer. The Pentagon hands out the fruits of their taxpayer-funded research to private companies; enriches their native bourgeoisie with hugely corrupt contracts; provides jobs for the masses terribly ineffectively; but it very effectively enriches their 1%.

Fascism was never for the people but dedicated to the power of those in power; for the status quo; for submission to essentially autocratic magistrates and politicians; against the redistribution of wealth and political power. It is only socialism which reduces the power of the magistrate, who makes him accountable and who improves the person of the magistrate by making sure he is not solely drawn from the elite, grasping class.

Fascism is different from the globalist class of Western Liberal Democracy by insisting on nationalist competition and national sovereignty. The arrival of the European Union, the euro and the Eurogroup, which will supersede national laws without any concern for ideals of democracy, will render these desires essentially irrelevant. The main sin of Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, or of Marine Le Pen, is that these two fascist politicians both seek to restore some aspects of national sovereignty.

Trotsky wrote: “Fascism, as we know, is born between the union of the despair of the middle-classes and the terrorist policy of big capital.” Yet the West never takes a class view and elevates big capital to the status of demigods – this is why to them fascism must always be solely race-related and never economic-related. It’s simply a half-truth, and not understanding and combating this dooms Western politics – and their own history – to total misunderstanding.

The 1% and their lackeys immediately called the Yellow Vests fascists because it was a union of the lower and middle classes – like in the Paris Commune it also included a union of the lower class and the proletariat with the petty bourgeois small shopkeeper.

Yellow Vest: “For 10 years we have only created instability. 75% of France has serious economic difficulties. We have closed hospitals, nurseries, schools – everything is being closed, and this can’t go on!”

Due to there insistence on elitism, fascism could have only ever allied with Liberal Democracy – the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact is as far as it ever could have gone. However, if they had somehow allied with the USSR against Liberal Democracy what would they have permanently smashed? Answer: the Bankocracy which rules today.

It’s vital to recognise that, because the current usage of “fascist” completely lacks this historical-economic component.

The fascism of the 2020s is even more right-wing than the fascism of the 1930s

Due to the refusal to honestly talk about fascism – on both the Western left and the Western right – Western politics today are simply a catastrophe of nonsense and misinformation.

Their lack of knowledge allows them to obscure the fact that modern Western “fascists” are even more right-wing than Hitler, who was quite reliant on the Marxist explanation of 19th century history and economics. However, the modern right wing has expunged Marxism, and thus they cannot be actual fascists. Racism and fascism cannot be mere synonyms for each other – unless the goal is to neuter them of all meaning.

Being more right-wing than Hitler… that seems like something which should be understood, no? However, Western Liberal Democracy doesn’t want anything but propaganda regarding other systems and regarding its own failures and treasons.

The best term for today’s alleged “fascists” would be “Nalis” – Nationalist Liberalists: they have all the jingoism, militarism, authoritarianism and imperialism of 1930s fascists but combine it with right-wing Liberalist political structures, economic inequality and historical analyses.

It’s a simple and accurate political description, but only socialist-inspired countries which have fully rejected Western Liberal Democracy would ever apply the term “Nali”: Just as uninformed socialists don’t want to admit any ideological similarities with Nazism, so uninformed Western Liberal Democrats don’t want to admit that they are actually fighting internecine wars with their “National Liberalist” brethren. The use of “Nazi” or “fascist” is a way to distance themselves from each other despite the obvious similarities between each other.

And what do Western Liberal Democrats care if calling far-right Ukrainians “Nazis” in 2022 unfairly tarnishes socialism and spreads misinformation – both wings of Liberalists (one nationalist, the other globalist) are united in their anti-socialism.

Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen are two example of open Nalis, but so are two enemies – Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky. The Russian military operation in Ukraine has been a catastrophe of misinformation on both sides regarding who is a “fascist” and who is a “liberal”, and precisely because neither can admit that fascism and liberalism coincide and almost always ally, historically. Thus this battle between two Nali states is either a historical anomaly or, as I predict, Russia’s invasion will mark a step away from their Nalism since 1991 and back towards Socialist Democracy. If Russia continues to insist that “Russophobia” totally equates with “Nazism”, then this will herald their failure to return the fold of progressive politics.

In France, by 2017 the Great Financial Crisis – just the latest periodic failure of liberalism – had inflamed the masses too much for every single politician to ignore: Marine Le Pen thus dropped the Reaganism of her father and made it to the second round of the presidential election. She defended economic ideas which were both similar to the French left and to the Germanic National Socialists of the 1930s. In the 2022 campaign Le Pen reverted back to far-right economics, dropping all her promises for things like a “Frexit” vote within six months of election and for repudiating banker debt, yet the mainstream media called her “fascist” throughout the entire time.

The modern French and Western model was essentially created from 1928-1945, and what it took from fascism and Germanic National Socialism is that economic planning must be limited to the military, and that xenophobia, identity politics and security are spectacles just big enough to dominate the headlines, and thus to ignore liberalism’s failures. To put it in 2022 presidential candidate Eric Zemmour’s terms: France’s economic problem is Muslim welfare, not banker welfare. It’s a pathetic intellectual analysis. When the unrest in Ukraine began France immediately realised that and Zemmour’s popularity quickly halved.

Yellow Vest: “If you look around here you see people of all colours and religions. For me it goes beyond questions of origin – it’s really a question of social justice, regardless of someone’s ethnicity or religion.”

During the 2022 campaign the convicted racist Zemmour said he was, “here to save the French people and France…not here to save the world.” It’s a telling, semi-messianic remark because it is truly straight out of Adolf Hitler’s platform in the 1930s.

But such a comparison was never made by the mainstream media, and it could never be made. Many have heard of Godwin’s Law, or the rule of Nazi analogies: an Internet adage asserting that as an online discussion grows longer (regardless of topic or scope), the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Adolf Hitler approaches. However, an important corollary is that whenever someone compares someone or something to Nazism – that person has lost the argument and/or the argument is summarily over.

Essentially, the world is to accept that all discussions of Western politics cannot discuss the anti-Western Liberalism ideology which was Germanic Nazism.

Thus it was impossible for them to accurately describe a 2022 French election where the four top candidates were all on the far-right – either economically, politically, culturally or all three. In the two-week interim between their two rounds of voting any criticism of Emmanuel Macron’s record was immediately shouted down in the mainstream media as “support for fascism” – voters wondered which candidate they were referring to. The failure to delineate fascism from Western Liberal Democracy means that we also cannot understand where they have reconciled a century later, just as how liberalism and monarchy eventually reconciled.

The Western right is stuck in falsely believing that the right of 2020 is the same as in the 1930s, despite all the anti-racist gains made since then; the Western left is stuck in falsely believing that their “Popular Front” tactic is actual leftism, despite being neutered of Marxism and socialism. This is why Western versions of history and their political discourse today simply make no sense. It only makes sense if we remember that obscuring political truths is a hallmark of Western Liberal Democratic history, and thus their versions are not truthful nor complete at all.

Not wanting to accurately define fascism or liberalism, but certain in their rejection of Socialist Democracy, after the first round vote in 2022 all the losing candidates (except Zemmour) immediately called for a Popular Front against Le Pen, just as they did in 2017. What’s vital and new is that the Yellow Vests empathically refused this form of class-collaborationism. The People’s Front tactic must be seen for what it is: not an effort to fight fascism but as a way to cement fake-leftism.

Trotsky wrote: “The racists pillage the Marxist program, successfully transforming certain of its sections into an instrument of social demagogy. The ‘Communists’ (?) as a matter of fact refuse their own program, substituting for it the rotten refuse of reformism. Can one conceive of a more fraudulent bankruptcy?”

Trotsky wrote that in 1935 but anyone can see that this is where the West is stuck, still:

Racists reject certain sections of Western Liberal Democrat economics in order to preserve White citizens from the united Bankocrats, while left-wingers hysterically prop up right-leaning moderates who only seek to refine Liberalism into an ever-more unequal system. Can you conceive of a more fraudulent ideological bankruptcy than modern Western politics?

If “Nali” ever did catch on one thing is certain: it would be a huge improvement.

<—>

Upcoming chapter list of the brand-new content in France’s Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the West’s Best Values. The book will also include previous writings from 2018 through the 2022 election in order to provide the most complete historical record of the Yellow Vests anywhere. What value!

Publication date: June 1, 2022.

Pre-orders of the paperback version will be available immediately.

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

Pre-orders of the French paperback version will be available immediately.

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

Chapter List of the new content

The health of the sick, Europe’s hot summer and even colder winter

23 Apr 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Piermaria Costa 

There is a small break in the clouds of the western end of Eurasia with discerning eyes gazing east, eager to revive civilized dialogue along the routes where globalization started.

The Health of the Sick, Europe’s Hot Summer and even Colder Winter

“It’s West Europeans that want to distinguish themselves from us, they don’t have a monopoly on “Europeanness”… We are even more European than they are.”

-Former Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev

Growing up in the 90s in Italy, we were taught from the 5th grade on about WWII. The Holocaust, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, the valiant partisans, and of course “the liberation”. Photographic and moving images from the archives are constantly played, repeated every year, perhaps dangerously, to the point of banality. The moral of course was that this was the war against wars and therefore the last. A strong “West” united against barbarity would make sure that history would not repeat itself; the raison d’être of the modern European project.

Today, images of civilians executed by Nazis for accepting provisions from the Russian military, and blatant war crimes against prisoners of war are promptly labeled as “Russian disinformation”.  Nothing discovered on the ground in Ukraine could be as dark as what the West could manufacture from their media rooms armed with “satellite images” demonstrating Russia’s innate appetite for expansion and violence. 

All great reasons to attempt to destabilize Russia through sanctions. The second-rate European ruling classes obediently dragged their economy, kicking and screaming, toward “The End of History”. In total denial of the disintegration of the Atlantic hegemon, while ignoring the integration unfolding on the very continent on which they live, Eurasia.

It is possible that the fatal concoction of hyper-globalization, digital reality, woke cancel culture and biomedical security has caused unprecedented amnesia of modern history on the Western masses. The crucial eight decades after World War II and its resulting rules-based world order relegated to the darkest annals of memory.

The second of May 1945, as such, is a conveniently neglected historic fact. It is the day Berlin fell to the Red Army, finishing Nazi Germany. More than one month before the arrival of American and British forces. Equally important is that every move after the Potsdam Berlin conference in 1945 by the Western winners of the war was targeted specifically at isolating the USSR, trashing previous agreements.

Shortly after, in February 1946, on the propaganda front George Keenan’s “Long Telegram”- hit piece on the Slavic soul, cold and incapable of modernizing with Western civilizations – was instrumental in creating the rhetoric to “other” Russia, and facilitated the creation of consent around what would become the Western bloc’s “containment” strategy toward the Soviet Union.

If one simply examines the dates of key events such as: 

1. The Deutsch Mark reform on 17th June 1948 and the Blockade of West Berlin on 24th June 1948; 

2. Proclamation of the Federal Republic of Germany on 23 May 1949 and the proclamation of the German Democratic Republic 7th October 1949;

3. Proposal for a free, demilitarised West Berlin refused on 27th November 1958, and the Berlin Wall construction beginning on 13th August 1961.

The West made every move first, for which there was a Soviet response, not the other way around. Ignoring the Yalta agreements that occupied Germany would be controlled under mutual agreement under unified command of the three winning powers, and Potsdam conference article 14: “during the occupation period Germany will be treated as a single economic entity.”

But still, in the years connecting the Potsdam Berlin conference and the construction of the Berlin Wall, Moscow continued to ask for negotiations, proposing several maneuvers that could end in a peace treaty for all Germany. It was reported that crickets could be heard on the western front. 

The German reparations promised to Europe (including of course to the USSR) under the auspices of Yalta and Potsdam would be replaced with the American credit scheme Marshall Plan, keeping the USA war-time economic boom moving, through the reconstruction of battered Europe- its economy now under direct control of the international monetary institutions created at Bretton Woods in 1944; namely, the IMF and World Bank. The Marshall Plan (which was offered to USSR, but was quickly rejected) through its various industrial and economic re-incarnations, such as the ECSC (European Coal and Steel Community), and the ACUE (American Committee for the united Europa) evolved into the European Union. 

No wonder Russians have always seen Europe as a total colony. They shouldered the reconstruction of their territory, sacrificing abundance for independence while watching NATO/American bases swallow Europe from their front yard. 

So what is the trouble with Europe today? The European project in reality is very transparent, with a hierarchy designed specifically to have a single center of power within Europe securing the hegemonic interests of its master abroad, while still living in the intoxicating fumes of the fantasy surrounding the Berlin Wall.

Coming out of the 1929 market crash, the United States revitalized its economy weaponizing the allied war effort in the old continent. The cost of their help was 120 NATO/USA bases and 40 American nuclear bombs in Italy alone, the homogenization of “European identity”, and the territory’s transformation into America’s missile launching pad and buffer zone. 

Turning its back on institutionalized Nazism in Ukraine for America’s imperialistic goals, West Europe is becoming the moral sick-man of the world. While quickly descending into economic and cultural chaos it is irreparably losing the trust of the neighbors that count. If “European values” mean only speaking and never listening as in the past 500 years, then one can only hope that if anything at all is left of Homer and Cicero that they will be preserved in that land lost in the translation of Dostoyevsky and Gagarin. 

There is a small break in the clouds of the Western end of Eurasia with discerning eyes gazing east, eager to revive civilized dialogue along the routes where globalization started. 

But first, a remedy is required, only time will tell the prescription.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Does Paul Craig Roberts like Genocide?

April 22, 2022

Source

By Dmitry Orlov

Or maybe he, like Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz, grandson of Fritz von Scholz, SS lieutenant-general who supervised the slaughter of Jews in Poland and the Ukraine, thinks that genocide is a joke? Let’s explore…

A reader has asked me to comment on a recent post by Roberts titled “The Kremlin Has Missed the Opportunity to End the Provocations of Russia that Are Bringing the World to Nuclear War.” And so I took a look at it. At first, it made me angry, but only for a moment, because there is no possibility of actual harm from his scribbling: his unsolicited advice to “the Kremlin” will pass unnoticed and therefore unheeded. Rather, it made me sad. I used to think highly of Roberts, but now he is just another confused old man who, like our friend Brendan, has missed a perfectly good opportunity to hang it up and fade away. Mind you, I am trying to be kind and polite here.

Roberts saw it fit to write that “If Russia had hit Ukraine with a devastating conventional all-inclusive attack, the war would have ended before it started,” and, after some additional musings, that “the failure of Russia to impress the West with an overwhelming exercise of military force in Ukraine means another step has been taken toward nuclear armageddon.” And then he rambles along to “The Kremlin’s inability to be proactive and unwillingness to clear Washington’s fifth column out of Russia’s ruling circles will be the hallmarks of Russian defeat.”

Really? No, not really.

I should make no assumptions on what you or Roberts know or don’t know about the Ukraine or “the Kremlin,” so I will simply state the obvious.

There is no easily discernible difference between Russians and Ukrainians: same culture, language, religion and history. As a state, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic is a failed state; as a territory, it is part of Russia. Therefore, an all-out attack on the Ukraine would be essentially an attack on Russia itself. Apparently, Roberts feels that Russians should kill millions of other Russians in order to impress the West. That’s really cute, you know, in a genocidally maniacal sort of way, but completely impossible.

The complexity of the Russian Special Operation in the Ukraine had to do with disentangling the civilian population (which needed to be evacuated) and the regular Ukrainian military (which needed to be given a chance to surrender peacefully) from the Nazi battalions (which need to either be killed in battle or captured, convicted by a tribunal and shot). That is not something that can be done quickly.

There are other, less important but still very significant reasons to take it slow:

1. There is a rather large group of Ukrainians who wanted the Ukraine to be part of Europe, not part of Russia. These are now departing Ukrainian territory, mostly to Poland, and that, from the Russian point of view, is a wonderful thing because the Ukraine isn’t Europe, it is Russia, and those who believe it is Europe or want it to be Europe should be given a chance to go to the Europe of their dreams and stay there forever, helping Europe’s general dire demographic predicament and specific shortage of white people. For this reason, it has been important to keep the Ukraine’s western border open to exiting migrants, even though this allows weapons and mercenaries to filter in (for the Russians to blow up).

2. The Europeans’ willingness to absorb millions upon millions of Ukrainian migrants, whereas they balked at accepting anywhere near similar numbers of migrants from the Middle East or North Africa, exemplifies their essential racism. As it is, two-thirds of the world is either neutral or supports Russia in its effort to reclaim the Ukraine; as the message that the EU and NATO are essentially white supremacist organizations sinks in around the world, more and more countries will shift from neutral to supportive without Russia having to lift a finger to convince them. From this point of view, it is really helpful that a lot of the Ukrainians like to draw swastikas on monuments and shout Nazi slogans such as “Slava Ukraini” (of World War II Nazi collaborator vintage) and “Ukraina ponad use” (the Ukrainian version of “Ukraine über alles.”

3. Russia has a great and prosperous future as a wealthy, well-educated, civilized, vast and resource-rich country, but this future has nothing to do with Europe or the rest of the West, which are going to collapse. The fact that Russia has been rather tightly integrated with the West ever since Peter the Great moved the capital to St. Petersburg has complicated its transition away from the West and its turn eastward. Western sanctions, rampant Russophobia and the application of cancel culture to Russian culture has made this transition inevitable in the eyes of most Russians, but the process takes time. It would not be helpful if tensions with the West decreased prematurely or if anti-Russian sanctions were removed before they are made completely irrelevant. Also, the West’s unwillingness to buy Russian energy, metals, fertilizer and other essentials speeds up its collapse timeline and that, for Russia, is also a positive.

4. Immediately after Russia commenced its Special Operation in the Ukraine, much of Russia’s remaining fifth-columnists departed for other lands. They already had no impact on Russian politics, but they still exerted some amount of influence in culture and education, and their departure has been most welcome. Given the absolutely overwhelming public support for the Special Operation in Russia, those liberals who have spoken out against it have thereby excused themselves from Russian public life, making room for new talent and new blood. This is also a process that needs to run its course and should not be rushed.

5. The Special Operation has allowed Russia to demonstrate the overwhelming superiority of its armed forces vis-à-vis NATO. All of the weapons that the West has managed to infiltrate into the Ukraine are either being destroyed by rocket attacks or are accumulating in stockpiles after being abandoned by retreating or surrendering Ukrainian troops. None of the obsolete Stingers, Javelins or other military junk has made much of a difference at all. There is very little of any significance that the West can do to hurt Russia’s careful and measured progress in the Ukraine. Once more, time is on Russia’s side: it will take another few months for it to register in the West that all those billions spent on aid to the Ukraine have gone into a black hole with nothing to show for it.

6. Finally, there is what Russia has to do beyond taking care of the situation in the (former) Ukraine, and that is to dismantle NATO. This will require some sort of small demonstration project: take over some small, insignificant NATO member and watch all the other NATO members run away instead of going to war against Russia over it. The myth of NATO as a defensive (as opposed to an offensive) organization would be dispelled and NATO would be no more. The demonstration country could be Lithuania, for instance: Peter the Great purchased the Baltics from Sweden for 1000 pieces of silver at the Treaty of Nystad on September 10, 1721, so it’s Russian territory. Unlike the Ukraine, which is huge, Lithuania is tiny and the entire campaign would be over in about a week. But if Finland or Sweden would like to volunteer for the role of exemplary victim by attempting to join NATO, that would be fine too. Finland’s security is guaranteed by its commitment to neutrality, based on which Russia (USSR at the time) removed its military base from Finnish soil. If Finland moves to renege on that treaty, it would forfeit its security.

Roberts seems to believe that Russia’s refusal to destroy the Ukraine with overwhelming force makes nuclear war more likely because it “gives Washington control of the explanation.” Russia’s superior position with regard to any potential nuclear provocation is subject for another article, but I assure you that it has absolutely nothing to do with “Washington’s control of the explanation” because how the hell would Washington explain its desire to commit national suicide over the Ukraine? The thesis that “Russia’s failure to quickly destroy the Ukraine raises the likelihood of nuclear war” is… I am grasping for a word here… stupid.

Two Cheers for Realism

April 19, 2022

Source

By Francis Lee

One of the unstated and extant features of the contemporary age has been the demise of the Westphalian Treaty. This arrangement had in times past regulated the relationship and clashes of interest among the great powers. We should remind ourselves that the key precepts of the system were preceded by the carnage of the 30 years’ war in Europe circa 1618-1648, and eventually agreed upon at the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 – an arrangement which brought an end to the wars of the Reformation and agreed upon and binding on all parties. These precepts were:

‘’The Westphalian peace reflected a practical accommodation to reality, not a unique moral insight. It relied on a system of independent states refraining from interference in each other’s domestic affairs and checking each other’s ambitions through a general equilibrium of power. No single claim to truth or universal rule had prevailed in Europe’s contests. Instead, each state was assigned the attribute of sovereign power over its territory. Each would acknowledge the domestic structures and religious vocations of its fellow states and refrain from challenging their existence. A recognition of the existence of sovereign states within their own clearly defined borders and sphere of influence.’’ * So argued Henry Kissenger (2014)

Alas this is no more, and the system had undergone a long decline throughout its inception for reasons which in time were to become obvious. It was earlier in the wake of World War I that the Westphalian system began to falter. US President Woodrow Wilson joined the war not so much to defend American territory as to “make the world safe for democracy”. If “democracy” was a religion, rather than an ideology or a system of government, then Wilson would not sound very different from the most zealous Crusaders of medieval Europe. Despite Wilson’s idea for a League of Nations failing to gain congressional approval at home, the leaders of Europe went ahead and formed the organization themselves. While the main purpose of the League was to make war obsolete, it utterly failed to do so.

The putative new world ‘order’ in the shape of the UN Charter was first established in 1945 and was an explicitly globalist organization. Whereas Westphalian nationalism held that each country was its own sovereign unit, post-war globalism instead held that certain concepts such as ‘liberal democracy’ and ‘civil rights’ were universal to all humanity, and therefore any nation that restricted such things lost the protections of sovereignty. All very noble but roughly translated this should read.

The two or three great powers had the ability and resolve to structure the world in their own image and in doing so maximise and extend the reach of their power. As for humanity and the subaltern classes and nations; they were to be subordinated to the interests of larger powers and serve those interests. End of.

The great powers would go through the motions in pursuit of their interests – they always do, but the outcome would be tailored to those interests. For example. In 1991, US President George H. W. Bush announced a war against Iraq, which had invaded and occupied the neighbouring nation of Kuwait. However, when push came to shove the great power(s) – in this instance the US – did not hesitate to use their formidable resources – including war, annexation and starvation – against the weaker smaller states who became the objects of war.

Cold War 1 lasted until the break-up of the USSR in 1991. This was manna from heaven for the imperial juggernaut who saw a game-changing opportunity to push ahead with its global hegemonic agenda whilst Russia was entering the Yeltsin disaster years. This was made perfectly clear in a ground breaking directive issued by the then US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy at that time (neo-conservative) Paul Wolfowitz. This was to become known as The Wolfowitz doctrine:  Not intended for initial public release, it was leaked to the New York Times on March 7, 1992. It read:

‘’Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat of the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defence strategy and requires that we endeavour to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.’’(1)

In short: Me Tarzan, you Jane. The US and its satellites were top of the pile and would remain so. Other potentially hostile states will be surrounded, threatened, and intimidated into accepting their subaltern status. This was described by Senator Edward Kennedy as “a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept.” (2) And just to rub salt into the wound the US and its vassal states expanded NATO to include former Soviet republics and ex Warsaw pact states and pushed right up to Russia’s western borders.

Suffice it to say this geo-political arrangement involved a complete rejection of Westphalian principles and has imposed global liberal practise of hegemony and interventionism under the command of the principal global hegemon, the United States. This pursuit of global hegemony represents the implementation of the belief in America’s so-called ‘Manifest Destiny’ – a divine providence to spread the liberal-democratic global order to the rest of the planet and usher in a global Shangri-La of peace, prosperity … and so on and so forth. Of course, this puts the world on a permanent war footing. This has been instanced by wars waged by the empire against Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia and Syria with more in the pipeline as well as a cyber-attack on Iran – the Stuxnet attack – and a number of colour revolutions paid for and organized by the US, Georgia and Ukraine being the most obvious and well-known. But the big prize is and always has been the Eurasian bloc. This of course may well involve a nuclear exchange, but hey, America’s intentions are noble and worth fighting for are they not? It should be understood that the United States is the indispensable, exceptional nation, the shining city on the hill. Blah, blah, blah.

What is particularly disturbing is that this absurd and dangerous doctrine has become akin to a religious orthodoxy. Comparable perhaps to the fanaticism of Wahhabist cults in parts of the Muslim world. It is suggestive of an infantile mindset which views international relations as a Manichean struggle between good and evil. Whether the non-adult proponents actually believe in this doctrine is a moot point. But the pervasiveness of this cult is all but total; this is a 21st century inquisition complete with heresy hunts and a fanatical priesthood of the media and their security handlers in the deep state, in their attempts to close down any other or any independent counter-narrative.

However, once the ideological stranglehold on policy has built up momentum it becomes very difficult to change course. In the language and ideology of neo-con exceptionalism, diplomacy is akin to appeasement, the West is threatened, Russia-Putin is on the rampage, proof (sic) of this was his ‘’invasion’’ of Ukraine. China also is becoming a threat to the western way of life; Carthage must be destroyed. Of course, every one of these assertions are extremely contentious and could/should be countered, but of course they are not; the dominant narrative shall not be profaned or challenged.

As the US and its vassals therefore prepare for war, its populations must be conditioned to believe and accept such an inevitable outcome. The propaganda machine has been stepped up to unprecedented levels. The message is simple. Our side = good, Their side = bad. Our side does good things, their side does bad things. Thus, the media – now an asset of the deep state – plays an essential role of propagating this political construction among the populations of the Anglo-Zionist heartlands.

All of which is very reminiscent of Orwell’s short novel Animal Farm. After the Animal Revolution and the eviction of Jones the Farmer, the sheep were instructed by the ruling group – the pigs – into reciting the goodness of the animals and the badness of humans. The short and endless bleat of the sheep went as follows: ‘’Four legs good, two legs bad,’’ repeated endlessly.

That is about the level of western foreign policy. Good guys, bad guys, white hats, black hats, no compromise, no surrender. Result war. The question we must now ask is has this menacing process gone too far to go into reverse? This of course remains an open question. But the thrust of neo-conservative foreign policy would suggest this war would be a logical outcome. Either that or the whole thing is a bluff. Up to this point the US performance in attacking recalcitrant weak states has not been a roaring success. The same goes for Israel. Bombing countries with no air defence or shooting Palestinian kids with sniper rifles is easy-peasy. Taking on Iran is a different matter entirely. The irresistible force seems to be meeting its immovable object.

From a realist as opposed to a neo-conservative foreign policy the idea of an American world empire is frankly deranged. Pursuit of this pipedream can only result in mutually assured destruction; yes, M.A.D. still applies. The United States and its minions might not like it, but it will have to learn to live with other great powers. Russia, China have legitimate spheres of influence and this should be respected. This will involve an end to the gross provocations in the South China Sea and in Poland, Romania, and the Baltics, not to mention the ongoing series of colour revolutions.

This is true in spades with regard to Israel – a country of a mere 8 million souls with an ambition to create a greater Israel from the Euphrates to the Nile. This objective, involving a ruthless ethnic cleansing has been unremittingly pursued since the British left Palestine in 1948. According to one David Ben-Gurion about how to deal with Palestinians in their midst: ‘’There is a need for strong and brutal reaction’’ (to Palestinian opposition) ‘’ … We need to be accurate about timing, place and those we hit. If we accuse a family, we need to harm them without mercy, women and children included, otherwise this is not an effective reaction … there is no need to distinguish between guilty and not guilty.’’(3) This of course has been par for the course since the late 1940s. But Israel like its American sponsor, must learn to live within its own sphere of influence and not tempt fate by embarking on a Zionist crusade against its near neighbours. It would do well to remember that the Crusades were in their neck of the woods for nearly 200 years, but the invaders were finally driven out in 1291.

The liberal-imperialist Anglo-Zionist regime change ideology is supplemented by the appeal to ‘human rights’ and Responsibility to Protect – R2P. Human Rights apparently override national sovereignty. According to one Francis Fukuyama:

‘’Dictators and Human Rights abusers like Serbia’s Milosevic could not hide behind the principle of sovereignty to protect themselves as they committed crimes against humanity particularly in multi-ethnic states like Yugoslavia where the borders of the sovereign state in question were themselves contested. Under these circumstances outside powers, acting in the name of human rights and democratic legitimacy, had not just the right, but the obligation to intervene. (4)

There you have it. The ‘intervention’ a 78-day bombing offensive by NATO resulted in the deaths of in excess of 5000 civilians in Serbia and elsewhere. But of course, this was not a crime against humanity. Doublethink!? Of course, the glaring anomaly in the regime change R2P ideology lies in its inconsistency. But this is to be expected. It should always be borne in mind that the mission of the AZ-Empire is world domination, not coexistence or democracy. This, however, must never be openly admitted. The veneer of a crusade to make the world a Garden of Eden, is simply a cover for imperial aggrandisement.

‘’Liberal democracies have little difficulty in conducting diplomacy with illiberal states when they are acting according to realist dictates, which is most of the time. In those circumstances, liberal democracies do whatever is necessary to maximize their survival prospects, and that includes negotiating with authoritarian leaders. They sometimes even support or form alliances with murderous dictators as the US did in WW2 when it worked with Joseph Stalin to defeat Nazi Germany, or when it cooperated with Mao Zedong after 1972 to contain the Soviet Union. Occasionally they even overthrow democratic regimes (all over Latin America – FL) which they perceive as being hostile. Liberal democracies go to great lengths to disguise such behaviour with liberal rhetoric, but in fact they are acting contrary to their own – professed – principles.’’ (6)

However, this unstable combination of outward authoritarianism and domestic democracy has inbuilt destabilising forces. Long ago it was pointed out by the Greek historian Thucydides that Empire and Democracy cannot co-exist in the long-term. Moreover, the methods of empire would be brought home to deal with the destabilising effects of empire on the state. (5)

Nowhere is this more an ever-present fact than in the great hegemon, the United States itself. It would appear that the United States polity has, at every level, descended into a variety of collective insanity. Witness Rachel Maddow, I know it’s difficult, but bear with me, asserting with complete conviction and sang-froid, night after night, that Donald Trump was a Russian agent! What made this worse was that no-one challenged this idiocy? Ms Maddow’s rant can be compared to the ‘two minutes hate’ in 1984 (only unfortunately it lasted for more than 2 minutes) and of the level of a latent pathology in the media in particular and the body politic more generally.

Speaking of Orwell, his essay Notes on Nationalism nailed this particular political phenomenon. He firstly made it clear that what he meant by nationalism was a more general description of particular religious, or political outlooks.

‘’By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – But secondly – and this is much more important – I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests.’’

Thus Neo-Conservatism, Pacifism, Political Catholicism, Zionism, and curiously enough, Anti-Semitism, are all types of nationalism, broadly understood.

Of course, the unprepossessing Ms Maddow is a virulent specimen of this type of mental aberration. The nationalist has to perform the most intricate forms of mental gymnastics in order to believe that their particular beliefs are true and will not tolerate profanation. As Orwell writes:

‘’The nationalist does not only disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has the remarkable capacity of not even hearing about them …All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Conservative will defend self-determination in Europe but oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage – torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians – which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ’our’ side … Some nationalists are not far from clinical schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest, which have no connexion with the physical world … ‘’

Not far from clinical schizophrenia! I would say well ahead.

And there’s the rub. Realist foreign policy was often cruel and callous but rational, cold and calculating and unlike neo-conservatism it was at least generally non-ideological, which is to say, sane. Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, were ideological projects and Western Imperialism, particularly of the white settler variety, the US, UK Israel, Australia, NZ, were openly racist and murderous in both practise and theory.

In the present geopolitical configuration, it is difficult to assess the outcome of the Anglo-Zionist crusade against the Eurasian bloc. Russia and China are reading from a Westphalian text, the US is reading from a neo-conservative playbook, with its European allies being reluctantly dragged along. In this situation it is difficult to know how this titanic struggle will eventually pan out and to whose benefit. One of the problems which besets any appraisal lies in the fact that the Westphalian system depended upon dialogue with rational actors. These have become as rare as hen’s teeth, if not extinct species in the western centres of power. The US and its reluctant allies will seemingly not give up on its strategic objective of world domination and Russia and China are going to defend themselves. Something has to give, but what?

NOTES

(1)  Defence Planning Guidance for the 1994–99 fiscal years (dated February 18, 1992)

(2)   Orlando Caputo Leiva and Marlene Medrano- Latin American Perspectives Volume. 34, No. 1, The Crisis of U.S. Hegemony in the Twenty-First Century (January 2007), pp. 9-15

(3) Quoted in Pappe, – Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine – p.69. For background on Ben-Gurion’s comment, see Ibid, 61-72. Quoted in – The Israel Lobby – John J Mearsheimer and Stephen M Walt p.99, fn.95

(4) Francis Fukuyama – State Building, Governance and World Order in the 21st Century – p.131.

Other US Realist Diplomats saw things somewhat differently. Commenting on the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe In 1996, the 92-year-old veteran US geopolitical realist, George Kennan, warned that NATO’s expansion into former Soviet territory was a “strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions.” I think it is the beginning of a new cold war … ‘’I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. NATO expansion was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.” (5) John J Mearsheimer – The Great Delusion, Liberal Dreams and International Realities – p.157.

The Real ‘Reset:’ Russia Outlines the Inevitability of a Nuclear War they Will Win (vital)

 April 17, 2022

By  VT Editors

NATO nuke exploding over Yemen 2015

Russia says the US engineered World War II and the rise of Hitler to destroy Russia….they say much more but they are promising that before one NATO solider crosses the Russian border the temperature in Washington, London, Los Angeles and Berlin will readh 10,000 “in the shade.”  

It doesn’t matter if it is Celsius or Fahrenheit when you are vaporized.   

Sourced from Russian Government Backed Media

The head of Eurodiplomacy, Josep Borrell, during his visit to Kyiv wished that the conflict would be resolved by military means, not by diplomacy. “This war must be won on the battlefield,” Borrell tweeted. 

Neutrons from NATO nuke in Yemen hitting camera LCD (According to IAEA)

Such a statement was made for the first time in the history of the European Union.

“NATO is developing plans for a full-scale deployment of armed forces on its eastern borders in connection with the growing military activity of Russia,” Stoltenberg said. The Secretary General of the alliance emphasized that about 40,000 military personnel are already deployed on the eastern flank, noting that their number is about ten times higher than the number three months ago and will continue to grow.

The Estonian Defense Minister acknowledged that economic sanctions against Russia have not yet had an effect. Read: “peaceful options for forcing the Russian Federation into obedience have been exhausted, only military ones remain.”

Actions follow words. The Russian cruiser Moskva is sinking, and evil tongues confidently articulate that the missile that hit it was not entirely Ukrainian, and the launch operators had nothing to do with Nenka. In the battles for the Donbass in the village of Borovaya near Izyum, Polish military personnel who fought on the side of Ukraine were eliminated. PMC? Well, let’s call them PMCs, since diplomats and politicians need it that way.

Popasnaya, therefore, is being stormed by the Wagner PMC, “which has nothing to do with the RF Armed Forces”, and the Polish PMC, which “has nothing to do with the NATO bloc,” is operating on the Izyum Highway. It does not change the circumstances of what happened.

The war has its own logic, and without fail with the supply of weapons more complex than a club and an ax. These “devices” are followed by instructors in their use. In addition, during the active phase, there is simply no time to train some natives, so full-fledged crews of the country of manufacture, covered by colleagues from the same country, go into battle.

And so, imperceptibly, the native army is first generously diluted, and then, as it is exhausted, it is completely replaced by a foreign one.

This process in Ukraine has already begun and there is not a single reason to think that it will suddenly stop “at the most interesting place.” There is another mint gingerbread hanging in front of the very nose of the command of the joint headquarters of the “empire of good”.

In accordance with it, the involvement of NATO in the conflict in Ukraine is not only possible, but even necessary! The unwillingness to bomb the Ukrainian people into the Stone Age, clearly and unambiguously demonstrated by the leadership of the Russian Federation, the successful tactics of the Ukrov troops hiding in residential areas, simply shout at “the entire civilized world” – “This is an idea!”

This means that if non-peaceful troops appear in the immediate vicinity of the civilian population, we place them in a “magic house” on which no one will throw vigorous loaves. This is very good news and a very serious trump card for planning NATO operations on the territory of the ex-USSR, and we are talking not only about Ukraine, but also about Belarus and Kaliningrad.

In addition to military logic, there is also geopolitical. It is the main, initiating one, thanks to which the Donbass first flared up, and now the whole of Ukraine.  The explanation that the population of the collective West is getting worse and worse solely because the Russians and Ukrainians are shooting at each other can be sold for an extremely short time. And it’s already coming to an end.

Further – only hardcore! The only justification for a further inevitable decline in the standard of living can be a direct military conflict with Russia.

Yes, the risk of increased radiation increases. But you have to choose between a civil war on your own territory and a conflict with an external enemy on someone else’s.

What do you think, which of these two evils will the “Western partners” choose? “Look for money,” the Americans adapted the French proverb Cherchez la femme to their own mentality. Furious Yankees themselves warn that you should not strain and try to connect their words with facts, facts – with opinions, actions – with their public justification. The motive of any actions and statements is always the same, reinforced concrete, corresponding to the question: “And what will I get from that?”

All American geopolitics fits perfectly into this formula and fits perfectly with everything that happens around the United States or at their suggestion. In particular, everything that concerns Russia, Russian politics and the Eastern vector in general is also the answer to this vulgar question, starting with the statements of the ideologist “Papa” Brzezinski and ending with these helpless dead ends of Obama.

The task solved by Big Brother is always simple, like a compass needle: “Give what you have, and you will owe the rest!” If the “client” obeys, Big Brother is pleased and is in a good mood, only occasionally kicking the vassal purely symbolically, so as not to forget his place. If a “rebellion on the ship” suddenly begins, the vassal can be publicly punished, scrupulously fixing all the stages of the execution and demonstrating to other vassals, so that it would be disrespectful.

Terrible “and on the sopatka?” after 1991, it solved problem No. 1 perfectly, regularly freeing the pockets of vassals from excess banknotes. Everything was going well until Russia kicked up in the person of Vladimir Putin, and very timidly, trying in 1999 to appease the Caucasian abreks and kunaks of Big Brother in their underbelly, who were so naughty that they jeopardized even the tribute generously shipped to the bins of the Empire of Good directly from the bins of 1/6 of the land.

And after all Big Brother nothing threatened. Nothing at all. Neither to him personally, nor to his well-established colonial business. In those “holy” times, Russia diligently left all foreign exchange earnings for products sold abroad in the West, receiving Big Brother’s IOUs in return, secured exclusively by his reinforced concrete “I’ll be a bastard, I’ll pay!”

Fuel and raw materials, being only nominally Russian, regularly implemented the Great American Dream of a good life at someone else’s expense. To say that the foreign policy of the Russian Federation was modest is to say nothing. There was no foreign policy as such.

In the 90s, there is either nothing to remember, or you don’t want to, except for the U-turn over the Atlantic named after Primakov. But Big Brother decided to put the squeeze on… A fucking booster… And the ruling elite of Russia, in front of which, as if alive, stood vivid examples of the careers of Milosevic and Hussein, were seriously frightened, and when frightened, they realized that they were pressed against the wall.

“Although Russia is great, there is nowhere to retreat,” behind – the deposits … Big Brother did not leave her a way out. Only in a noose, together with Hussein, or in The Hague – together with Milosevic.

Just like in “The White Sun of the Desert”: “Do you want to die right away or do you prefer to suffer?” Russia decided to suffer… The first and second bells, when the “Muscovites” enthusiastically kicked the vassals in the Caucasus, Big Brother relaxedly missed, deciding that this did not concern him. But in vain. Because to the standard shout “what about the sopatka?” followed by an unexpected “what if you?”. This is discouraging. The business plan for “honest” taking supplies from the “barbarians” does not fit in any way with your own risk of suddenly finding yourself in a world where pockets are not needed at all.

Therefore, a dead end, a headache. Therefore, tantrums, starting with “you must remember that you are the losing side”, ending with the mournful “how much you have – you need to share …” And Ukraine has nothing to do with it. Neither Ukraine, nor Crimea, nor doping, nor offshore revelations, nor all the rights of all homosexuals combined.

Only an ardent desire to take away and divide, executed worse and worse, although you want more and more. Another situational, purely philological impasse has set in, connected with the non-normative Russian word that means “no”, although it is spelled and pronounced quite differently.

The Ukrainian war or the Russian military operation is rapidly developing into a global final battle, at the end of the centuries-old historical, bloody confrontation between East and West, which has been going on since the time of the Great Church Schism.

In fact, from the second half of the 11th century, which marked the beginning of the division of Europeans into varieties and endowing them with the right to exist and doomed to contempt.

Yes Yes exactly! And do not underestimate the significance of what is happening. It is we who live today who will have to decide the outcome of a thousand-year-old conflict aimed by the West at the total destruction of the dissenting part of humanity.

This is how the West treated all wars with the “Russian barbarians”. A whole series of world clashes should have completed this task long ago, but somehow it didn’t work out. Each time, the peoples of Russia turned out to be incredibly tenacious.

Now, more than ever, they are united and determined, more than ever, resolutely. Ukraine is just a trigger. Only an inanimate, deadly instrument, like the Browning in the hand of Gavrila Princip, who destroyed, in his time, four empires and ten million people.

The tectonic plates of world politics that have rested against each other have reached the maximum unresolved tension over the centuries and will inevitably bring down the existing order in one direction or the other. The words of the “diplomat” of the European Union, Borel, about the need for a military victory over Russia draw a thick line under the hopes of the “doves of peace” on both sides.

Then everything will be “in an adult way.” It’s time to recognize this and act accordingly.

PS A video of a large American military field camp near the Ukrainian border with about 3,000 people appeared on the network As you can see in the footage, among the military equipment are dozens of different infantry fighting vehicles, tanks, MLRS, operational supply vehicles of foreign production. The territory is behind a fence and under round-the-clock protection. The exact location of the base has not yet been determined.

Читать далее: https://rusonline.org/world/voyna-neizbezhna-specoperaciya-na-ukraine-lish-nachalo

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