Pyongyang passes legislation that declares the country a nuclear-weapon state, giving its leader, Kim Jong-un, sole authority over nuclear decisions.

September 9, 2022 

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Flag of the DPRK (Reuters)

DPRK passed legislation that declares the country a nuclear-weapon state, giving its leader, Kim Jong-un, sole authority over nuclear decisions, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap, citing Pyongyang’s state media.

The 7th Session of the DPRK’s 14th Supreme People’s Assembly approved a decree titled Nuclear Weapons Policy on Wednesday, as per the Korean Central News Agency.

The law, which included 11 paragraphs, governs the use of nuclear weapons.

The new law stipulated that North Korea could use nuclear weapons under these conditions: the imminent threat of an attack on North Korea by an enemy country using nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction, an attack on the leadership and command of North Korea’s nuclear forces, and an attack on the country’s strategically vital facilities.

The third paragraph, titled “command and control of nuclear weapons,” states that Kim Jong-un has the sole authority to dispose of nuclear arsenals and “makes all nuclear weapons decisions.”

In the event that North Korea’s nuclear command and control system is threatened by a hostile attack, KCNA stated that a nuclear strike would be launched immediately to destroy the hostile forces and their command.

In the same context, the DPRK’s leader Kim Jong Un said Friday that his country will never abandon nuclear weapons needed to counter the United States, which he accused of trying to weaken Pyongyang’s defenses and eventually bring his government down.

“The aim of the US is not only to eliminate our nuclear weapons but to completely destroy our nuclear power to force us to give up the right of self-defense, to weaken us to overthrow our regime at any time,” Kim Jong-un told the 7th Session of the 14th Supreme People’s Assembly, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

During a speech at Supreme People’s Assembly, the Korean leader said that ” “the purpose of the United States is not only to remove our nuclear might itself but eventually forcing us to surrender or weaken our rights to self-defense through giving up our nukes so that they could collapse our government at any time.”

No sanctions, he added, will force Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

“This is the [US] misjudgment and miscalculation… You can impose sanctions for a hundred days, a thousand days, ten years, a hundred years. We are not going to give up the right to survival and the right to self-defense, on which the country’s security and its people depend. And no matter how difficult a situation we find ourselves in, we, who have to deter an even bigger nuclear power, the United States that has created this political and military situation on the Korean Peninsula, can never give up nuclear weapons.”

N Korea Passes Law Allowing It to Conduct Preventive Nuke Strikes

September 9, 2022 

By Staff, Agencies

North Korea has passed a law, declaring itself a nuclear weapons state and enshrining the right to use preemptive nuclear strikes to protect itself.

The Supreme People’s Assembly, the North’s legislature, lent its blessing to the law on Thursday, legislating the country’s status as a nuclear weapons state, the official news agency KCNA reported on Friday.

The law determines the occasions on which the country is supposed to deploy its nuclear weapons, including when attacked and also in order to protect its strategic assets.

“If the command and control system of the national nuclear force is in danger of an attack by hostile forces, a nuclear strike is automatically carried out immediately,” the law says.

Experts say the country is to resume testing nuclear weapons, noting that the legislation paves the way for the prospect.

Ruler Kim Jong-un said the legislation made the country’s status as a nuclear weapon state “irreversible.”

“The utmost significance of legislating nuclear weapons policy is to draw an irretrievable line so that there can be no bargaining over our nuclear weapons,” Kim said in a speech to the parliament.

The legislation, therefore, bars any talks on its denuclearization.

Kim said the US and its allies maintain “hostile policies” such as sanctions and military exercises that undercut their messages of peace.

“As long as nuclear weapons remain on earth and imperialism remains and maneuvers of the United States and its followers against our republic are not terminated, our work to strengthen nuclear force will not cease,” Kim said.

US President Joe Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump took unprecedented steps towards apparently fraternizing the North by initiating several rounds of dialog with it, and even walking a number of steps into the country alongside Kim.

However, Washington blew, what Pyongyang called, a “golden opportunity” at mending the situation by insisting too much on denuclearization.

The Futility of Dialogue with Idiots and Liars

August 26, 2022

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The entire crisis could have been avoided with much less loss of life if the NATO powers had responded to Russia’s long-held security concerns.

Two weeks ago, the Strategic Culture Foundation proposed an urgent, simple test: stop the artillery shelling on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. The ZNPP – Europe’s largest nuclear power station – continues to come under military attack thereby risking a nuclear catastrophe.

It is an incredible siege situation. And one that illustrates – for anyone willing to see it, that is – the profound criminality of the NATO-backed war in Ukraine against Russia. There is nothing that the NATO powers and their lying media will stoop to. In a related illustration, the British would-be next Prime Minister Liz Truss this week said she was willing to use nuclear weapons even if it caused global annihilation. This is the same psychopathic mentality that the world has to endure from such Western regimes.

This week, Russia’s envoy to the United Nations presented photographic evidence to the Security Council that showed irrefutably that the ZNPP is being shelled by the NATO-backed Kiev regime. The trajectory of fire is from the territory held by the Ukrainian military and the weaponry includes M777 howitzers supplied by the United States.

The Kiev regime’s claims are patently absurd. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claims that Russian forces are attacking the ZNPP despite the obvious fact that the Russian military took over the station in early March, days after it launched its security operation on February 24 to neutralize mounting NATO threats from Ukraine. The Western governments and news media continue to indulge Zelensky’s blatant lie by amplifying the perverse accusations of “self-sabotage” by Russia. The United Nations’ chief António Guterres has also shamefully indulged the nonsense by pretending to “not know the truth” about “conflicting claims”.

There are no “conflicting claims”. It is starkly evident that the NATO-backed Kiev regime is engaging in nuclear terrorism by willfully attacking the ZNPP. NATO and its Ukrainian proxy are using the threat of nuclear catastrophe to demand that Russian forces withdraw from the ZNPP. It is entirely fortunate that Russia’s military secured the ZNPP at an early stage. Otherwise, the Kiev regime and its NATO handlers would have had a free hand to use nuclear blackmail.

Not for the first time, this week the Western powers abused the Security Council by allowing the Ukrainian leader to address the forum. The Council’s rules stipulate that addresses can only be made by in-person attendees. Yet, for the second time, Zelensky was permitted to speak to the Council via video link. His speech was a travesty of lies, accusing Russia of nuclear terrorism among other hysterical claims of causing world hunger and global inflation.

When Russia’s ambassador Vassily Nebenzia took his turn to set the record straight at the Security Council hearing, the Ukrainian leader refused to listen, his video link conveniently cut off.

Nevertheless, the Russian envoy presented the evidence of NATO-backed military strikes on the ZNPP and went on to cogently state that the crisis in Ukraine has been systematically instigated by the NATO powers and its Kiev proxy over the past eight years since the CIA-backed coup in 2014. Nebenzia remarked on how Western powers and the Kiev regime are living in a “parallel reality”.

It is common to hear these days how the world is subjected to a post-truth condition. In plainer language that means a world of lies, falsehoods, distortions, misinformation and disinformation. The crisis in Ukraine, the NATO powers and the Kiev regime are an embodiment of this fiendish reality.

Western regimes accuse Russia of unprovoked aggression in Ukraine. (The same regimes that have slaughtered their way through Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and continue to illegally bomb Syria, to name but a few victim nations.) They declare they are defending sovereignty and democracy. This is a preposterous charade that flies in the face of facts that the Western powers weaponized a Nazi regime in Ukraine to destabilize Russia. (An echo of how they weaponized Hitler’s Third Reich for the same purpose more than eight decades ago.) The Kiev regime has been killing its own people for eight years and committed countless war crimes. The relentless attacks on the ZNPP are totally consistent with the depraved conduct. Elsewhere, the NATO-backed regime has shelled chemical and oil plants in the Donbass territory. The Western media decline to report on these violations because that would reveal the criminal mentality and practice of the Kiev regime and its NATO sponsors.

Russia’s military operation to neutralize the growing NATO threat in Ukraine has been effective. The poisonous boil has been lanced and NATO’s decades-long aggressive expansionism against Russia has been checked. Yet Western media – the propaganda ministry that it is – claim that Russia’s intervention has been a failure. The United States and its NATO allies continue to flood Ukraine with offensive weapons even while the Kiev regime is using nuclear terrorism with these weapons and while Russian forces are destroying the Ukrainian military. That’s not a contradiction; it is a green light for more war and profits for the American military-industrial complex that underpins U.S. capitalism.

The entire crisis could have been avoided with much less loss of life if the NATO powers had responded to Russia’s long-held security concerns. But that assumes the NATO powers would have been interested in avoiding war. The damning conclusion is that the United States and its imperialist allies have always wanted the present war in order to pursue a geopolitical ambition of confronting Russia. In the same way that the U.S.-led axis wants to precipitate a war with China over Taiwan and other bogus issues.

American-led Western capitalism is addicted to war for its own ghoulish survival. A world of peaceful relations is fundamentally anathema to Washington and its vassals. But the ruling regimes can’t very well admit that pernicious motive, so they have to cover up their criminal agenda with deceptions about democracy, rules-based order, human rights and other laughable pretensions. Western media provide the necessary cosmetics for the ghoulish reality. The fact is wars and destruction are the oxygen for U.S. global power and its imperial lackeys. Dozens of wars since World War II waged by the U.S. and its international crime syndicate of NATO accomplices, especially its British henchman, attest to that naked, ugly truth.

The Ukrainian comedian-turned-president Zelensky is a liar and idiot. But he is only a bit-player in a bigger circus of imperial kabuki. His regime has used human shields and civilian centers as cover for its despicable ends. It has committed false-flag massacres in a vile attempt to blame Russia. It has diverted Russian gas from European markets while refusing to pay its energy debts. And it continues to extort Western taxpayers to foot the bill for its depredations – all too willingly obliged by Western regimes. To pay for the global-scale extortion racket, the Western public is being told to take cold showers and get used to “the end of abundance”, as France’s President (and former bankster) Emmanuel Macron haughtily advised this week.

The farce this week at the UN Security Council in which Western powers brazenly snubbed the evidence of their own criminality while giving a platform to Zelensky to peddle his ridiculous lies demonstrates a profound dilemma. Any attempt to engage idiots and liars through reasoned dialogue is doomed to fail. When dialogue and diplomacy are made futile then conflict is made all but inevitable. That dilemma has been a constant hallmark of relations with Western powers for many years. The present crisis in Ukraine is the tragic outcome. Lamentably, more such crises can be expected because the idiots and liars never stop.

Western regimes are collapsing from their own inherent loss of legitimacy. That loss is entirely due to their lies becoming more manifest despite their servile media facade. Collapse can be good. It is incontestably good in the case of ending endemic corruption. The ineffable danger, however, is what Western elites will do to avoid historic collapse. As the NATO-backed Kiev regime is demonstrating through its nuclear terrorism and as Britain’s idiotic politician Liz Truss revealed by her demonic embrace of global annihilation.

A Tale of Two Cities

August 13, 2022

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By Batiushka

(With Apologies to Charles Dickens)

Moscow and Washington

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

The opening words of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’

It is the best of times. That which some in Moscow and in the Orthodox Christian world in general have been awaiting for a thousand years is coming to pass. Just as it has been prophesied again and again down the centuries: the West and its ruthless Imperialism are collapsing in the face of the resistance of the long-suffering and long-exploited Rest. This struggle is being led by Russia. What a time to be alive. We did not think we would live to see it. After the disaster of the Western and Russophobic ideology of Parliamentary Democracy, which was imposed by Great Britain and others on the old Russian Empire in February 1917, and then, as a prime example to the West of blowback, those incompetents passed power into the hands of the equally Western and Russophobic ideology of Marxism, which began genociding its subject peoples in October 1917.

It is the worst of times. Nobody likes this Washington-imposed war. People are dying, people are being mutilated both in their bodies and in their souls, people are being exploited and manipulated. Still worse is our pain for the Western peoples, on whom their wealthy elites are about to threaten with death by hunger and death by freezing, with all the civil strife that is hanging over them like black Doomsday.

It is the age of wisdom. Some in Moscow and elsewhere know that this is an existential war not just for the Russian Federation, but for the whole world. Either we will have a One World Dictatorship imposed on us by the Western elites, or else we will have Freedom and Peace, Justice and Prosperity.

It is the age of foolishness. The gerontocracy in Washington has imposed a choice. From 330 million Americans, all they could find as candidates to be US President, him who has charge of the nuclear button, is two very elderly men, an ill-reputed, viagra-charged businessman-clown and an ill-reputed double-dealer of dubious personal morality, clearly suffering from the onset of dementia.

It is the epoch of belief. There are those in Moscow and elsewhere who believe that the values of traditional faiths can vanquish the great Satan and his depravity.

It is the epoch of incredulity. There are those in Washington and elsewhere who are unwilling or unable to believe that the Western world is utterly corrupted and are so deluded that they are convinced of their own lies.

It is the season of Light. At last in Moscow and elsewhere the possibility of freedom and new life for the peoples of the once-enslaved world dawns.

It is the season of Darkness. The CIA-controlled Western media, fed from the judases in Washington, is striving to spread the darkness of its tentacular lies all over the world.

It is the spring of hope. On 24 February 2022 (new style), 105 years to the day after it was enslaved by the West (old style), Moscow proclaimed the springtime of liberation for the Ukraine, physical liberation for Russian-speakers, and spiritual liberation of the whole country from the twin yoke of Militarism and Nazism.

It is the winter of despair. Only a few weeks away from the first cold nights, nobody in Washington or in the Western European world with a mind that still works is looking forward to this winter. Hunger and cold, bankruptcy and unemployment, with ensuing mass civil disobedience, beckon to the Western peoples. Can you hear the demons laughing? They are laughing at you, the naïve, gullible, hoodwinked, zombified Western masses, gaslit by your narcissistic, egomaniac elite.

Hope

I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done…

From the closing paragraph of ‘A Tale of Two Cities’

If we can win against the Mordor of the Collective West and its weapons of destruction, sanction and propagandisation, all three of which the Allies are wearing down in the Ukraine, then nothing from the above prophecy is beyond us.

There are those who can see the struggles to be truly free, triumphs and defeats, through long years to come. There are those who can see the evil of this time of 2022, and of the previous time, the thousand years which preceded it, of which the present is only the logical result. There are those who can see that here at last is the chance for the Western elites to make amends for their millennial crimes towards the rest of the world, first of all to their own peoples, then to the peoples of Eastern Europe and Russia, of the Middle East, and North Africa, of Central and South America, of North America, of Central and Southern Africa, of Asia and Oceania. This repentance, in mind and heart and deed, would indeed be a far, far better thing that the Western world could do than anything it has ever done before.

12 August 2022

On the Future of Europe: A Proposition from 1 January 2023

July 24, 2022

By Batiushka for the Saker Blog

Almost one thousand years of Western Imperialism are coming to a shameful and self-inflicted death, one way or another

As schoolchildren will tell you, the names of the continents begin and end with the same letter, A: Asia, Africa, America, Australia, Antarctica. There is one exception: Europe, which though still beginning and ending with the same letter, the letter is not A, but E. Why the difference? Is it perhaps because Europe is not really a Continent? After all, it is not a vast landmass surrounded by an ocean (if it were a small one, it would be called an island). Its borders are arbitrary, having frequently changed, were only relatively recently pushed to the Urals, and are still much disputed. In reality, surely Europe is the artificially isolated north-western peninsula of Asia? It is not a geographical Continent at all, it is an ideological construct. That is why the slogan of so many EU-fanatics, like the former French President Chirac, was: ‘Faisons l’Europe’ – ‘Let’s Create Europe’.

We ask the above question because in this winter of 2022-2023 the old EU and Non-EU Europe has had to face a new reality following the war that the US/NATO lost in the ‘Ukraine’, as it used to be called. Europe-wide, indeed worldwide, food riots with looting of supermarkets and ‘bill boycotts’ (the wave of civil disobedience with the refusal/inability to pay soaring fuel bills) made this clear. Obviously, a worldwide reconfiguration is coming. Already the new world is becoming multipolar, with several main centres within the old BRICS, Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, and now more to come, perhaps Iran, Türkiye, Argentina, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Mexico, Lebanon and Indonesia. In general, all Asia, Africa and Latin America now at last have their own future.

Not only are the old, thoroughly corrupted international organisations like the UN, WTO, WEF or IMF rightly disappearing into the sewers of history along with their discredited puppet-master, the US elite, but so too are pro-US regional groupings, like its European political and economic arm the EU and its European military arm, NATO. And here precisely, we ask where does the US/NATO defeat in the Ukraine leave the European peninsula, both the EU part of it and the rest of it, outside the EU? After World War I Europe had to be reconfigured, and again after World War II. Now, after whatever you call the 2022 Western rout in the Ukraine (World War III, or World War I, Part III), what is its destiny?

Surely the greatest revelation of the US proxy war in the Ukraine is Europe’s dependence on Russia. Without Russia, it simply cannot survive – though Russia can survive without it. The fact is that for the last few centuries, the largest European country has been Russia for surface area and, over the last century and a half, for population. The most common European language in Europe is Russian, the second German, the third French, the fourth English, the fifth Italian. As regards natural resources, whether agricultural or mineral, and as regards military power, the most important country, once again, is Russia.

Having said that, it must be admitted that part of Russia’s might, on which Europe depends, comes from Asia, which forms the majority of Russia’s territory. Thus, Russia is also Asia, specifically the northernmost third of the Asian landmass, whereas Europe is just the tiny north-western tip of that same landmass. As for Europe’s peoples, they too came from Asia, and mostly speak ‘Indo-European’, that is, Northern Indian, languages. As for Europe’s traditional religion, it too is Asian, for Christ, who appeared on earth as a coffee-coloured man who certainly never wore trousers, lived in Asia, specifically in the Middle East. It seems obvious to anyone with even the most basic geographical and historical knowledge that the destiny of Europe, now divorced from its former landgrab colonies in Africa, America and Australia, is with Russia, which is its link to Asia.

The territory of the four largely East Slav Union States, the Russian Federation, Belarus, Malorossiya and Carpatho-Russia (the last two formed from the old, ill-fated US vassal, the ‘Ukraine’), dwarves the rest of Europe. Similarly, with a population of 200 million, the Four Union States are far larger than any of the European Regions in population. The future European Regions are still independent, if integral, parts of Eurasia, within the Russian resource and security umbrella, on which they depend. Non-Russian Europe has its own personality and culture, which varies amongst its members. Geographically, historically and linguistically, the 450 million people of the old EU and non-EU Europe can be divided into eight European Regions. What are they, in order of population?

1. Germania (122 million):

Germany, Austria, the South Tyrol, the Netherlands, Flanders (Northern ‘Belgium’), German-speaking East ‘Belgium’, Luxembourg, German-speaking Switzerland and Liechtenstein. These countries, with about twice as many people as most of the other European Regions, have all been influenced by the same culture of Germanic organisation, order and productivity. This could provide direction to the way out of their present black hole.

2. Francia (74 million):

France, Wallonia and Brussels, French-speaking Switzerland and Monaco. All share in the same Catholic and post-Catholic French-speaking culture. A return to ancient roots and historic cultural heritage could give direction to this Region in the future.

3. The Anglo-Celtic Confederation (73 million):

England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Though geographically clearly one, these thousand islands and their four nations have in history been much perturbed by the centralising, unionist spirit imposed by force from alien ‘British’ London. (Between the Imperialist Romans and equally Imperialist Normans, the English Capital had been Winchester). If some equitable, confederal settlement can be reached between all four by the rejection of everything Britain and British, there is a future here. Could the acronym, IONA (Isles of the North Atlantic) provide clues to that future?

4. The Visegrad Group (66 million):

Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, the Czech Lands, Slovakia. Lithuania is not usually included in the ‘Visegrad Group’, but it has so much in common with Poland and national Catholicism, that it must belong to this group. All share in a common West Slav/Central and Eastern European, largely Catholic nationalist, culture.

5. South Eastern Europe (65 million):

Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, North Macedonia, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus. Although very varied in culture, mainly Orthodox, but also Catholic and Muslim, and spreading as far as the Romanian Carpathians as well as the Greek Islands and the island of Cyprus, the centre of this group is a common, though often so far tragic, South-East European history.

6. Italia (62 million):

Italy, San Marino, Ticino and Malta. All have a common Italian culture, which can provide the strength for political, economic, cultural and social renewal.

7. Iberia (57 million):

Spain, the Canaries, Catalonia, the Basque Country, Gibraltar, Andorra, Portugal, the Azores, Madeira. All share in a common Iberian culture. With decentralisation, they could work together to find a way out of the present crisis.

8. Nordica (30 million):

Iceland, Norway, Denmark, the Faeroes, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia. With a largely Lutheran and post-Lutheran common cultural heritage, these countries, with only about half the population of most of the other European regional groups, could work together to provide a direction away from the suicide to which they have come so perilously close in recent decades.

Many are at present profoundly pessimistic about the future of the European Peninsula. The EU is collapsing and has for some time been collapsing for all to see. However, we see no long-term reason for such pessimism. Once ‘Europe’ has reconnected with its geographical and historical roots in Asia, it will have a future again. In time, we are convinced that history will come to see Europe’s previous thousand years as in many ways a deviation from and a distortion of its historic destiny, which is as an integral, if idiosyncatic, part of the Asian landmass.

The Western Infowar On Mali Rebrands Terrorists As Simply Being “Extremist/Jihadi Rebels”

July 23, 2022 

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By Andrew Korybko

The stage seems set for a French-Russian proxy war in Mali in the event that the Associated Press’ rebranding of genuine terrorists there as simply being so-called “extremist/jihadi rebels” is indeed intended to precondition the public for a Syrian redux in West Africa as was argued in this analysis.

The Associated Press, one of the leading US-led Western Mainstream Media (MSM) outlets in the world, is leading the way in that bloc’s ongoing infowar on Mali. Its military junta has become an African pioneer by showing that it’s indeed possible for the same forces tasked with enforcing the West’s neo-colonial regimes to Africa to secretly be anti-imperialist freedom fighters plotting to liberating their lands from foreign yoke once the chance presents itself, hence why that West African country’s being targeted. It’s also located in the same part of the continent that’s expected to become a major proxy war battlefield in the New Cold War between the US-led Golden Billion and the BRICS-led Global South.

In their article about the unprecedented attack against the country’s largest military base near the capital of Bamako by a group that the Associated Press itself even acknowledges is linked to Al Qaeda and ISIS, the outlet conspicuously avoids describing the culprits as terrorists, instead referring to them simply as “extremist/jihadi rebels”. This is a far cry from when the MSM rightly referred to such organizations as terrorists when France was still leading its self-proclaimed but immensely unsuccessfully anti-terrorist operation there that many locals suspected was driven by ulterior motives such as corralling such groups in the direction of shared interests instead of exterminating them.

The Malian junta’s decision in early May to break their country’s defense agreements with France in response to Paris exploiting such pacts to erode its host’s national sovereignty can be seen in hindsight as marking the moment when the MSM began to rebrand genuine terrorists there as “extremist/jihadi rebels”. The purpose in doing so is to grant a degree of tacit “legitimacy” to their cause due to what the term “rebel” supposedly implies in the popular imagination. It’s part of a larger infowar campaign aimed at preconditioning the public to accept what appears to be inevitable foreign patronage of these same terrorist groups along the lines of the Syrian model from the past decade.

Back then, the West openly supported terrorists on the supposed grounds that they were so-called “moderate rebels”, with the “moderate” qualifier being in comparison to the most backwards and barbaric terrorist groups in history even though these same “rebels” were literally indistinguishable from them and oftentimes literally members of Al Qaeda and/or ISIS. The same pattern is now being applied against Mali because employing terrorists is a Machiavellian means towards the end of regime change, which aims to remove its patriotic junta from power before it can influence those of its West African peers who still do the West’s bidding to carry out their own patriotic coups to save their states.

The Hybrid War of Terror on Syria was largely orchestrated out of that targeted country’s Turkish neighbor, while the Hybrid War of Terror on Mali will likely be orchestrated out of its Nigerien one, which will host those French forces that are being expelled by Bamako and has consistently been Paris’ bastion of regional influence alongside Chad over the decades. Just like that beleaguered Arab Republic counted on its Russian strategic partner for assistance during its darkest days, so too can the beleaguered West African republic as well, albeit probably not in any conventional form such as anti-terrorist airstrikes owing to obvious logistical reasons.

This isn’t groundless speculation either but is very strongly suggested by Foreign Minister Lavrov’s declaration on Friday that Russia will help Africa complete its decolonization process, to which end he intriguingly referenced Moscow’s historical support of building up its partners’ defense capabilities across the continent, among other means. It’s unclear exactly what military form this could take in the Malian context, but nobody should doubt Russia’s commitment to its West African partner, which has proven itself to be an African pioneer as was earlier explained and is thus of immensely strategic value for Moscow with respect to helping liberate the rest of the continent from Western neo-imperialism.

The stage therefore seems set for a French-Russian proxy war in Mali in the event that the Associated Press’ rebranding of genuine terrorists there as simply being so-called “extremist/jihadi rebels” is indeed intended to precondition the public for a Syrian redux in West Africa as was argued in this analysis. That certainly seems to be the case since there’s no other reason why that influential MSM outlet would change the way in which it describes the same groups that it used to rightly condemn as terrorists, especially considering that this coincides with the departure of French troops from the country. It’ll be regrettable if such a conflict occurs, but if it does, then Mali will fight to the end to defend its freedom.

Prepare to Freeze… EU’s Elitist Rulers Give Grim New Meaning to Cold War

July 22, 2022

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Russia has made every effort to keep Europe supplied. European governments in hock to U.S. imperial policy have made effort to wreak havoc on their own people.

Freezing households, crippling energy costs and associated soaring food bills are the outcome of the United States and NATO’s war agenda toward Russia. The summer season has brought sweltering heatwaves across Europe (and elsewhere) but in a few months, up to 500 million citizens of the European Union are going to face record levels of deprivation as gas shortages from Russia become fully manifest.

Russia has made every effort to keep Europe supplied. European governments in hock to U.S. imperial policy have made effort to wreak havoc on their own people.

Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto while on a visit to Moscow sounded a rare note of sanity when he stated that Europe simply cannot survive without Russian energy supply. Other European leaders, however, are blinded by irrational Russophobia and subservience to American dictate. A day of reckoning is due if, that is, doomsday can be avoided.

This self-inflicted suicide of European nations has been mandated by governments that have prostrated themselves to Washington’s imperial agenda of confrontation with Russia. The war in Ukraine is the tragic outcome of a years-long US-led NATO belligerence towards Russia. Anyone who dares state that objective truth is vilified as a Kremlin propagandist. Western public discussion and critical thinking have been all but obliterated. Massive censorship of the internet has augmented that obliteration. This online journal, for example, has been blacklisted and blocked for readers in the U.S. and Europe by governments that profess to uphold free speech and independent thinking.

NATO’s relentless eastwards expansion and weaponizing of a Nazi-infested Ukrainian regime has created the current conflict and destructive consequences, including energy and food supply problems.

So obsessed are they with Russophobia and servility to Washington’s aggressive imperialism, the European elite is forcing their populations into an unprecedented Cold War that risks turning into a catastrophic world war. A war that would inevitably lead to a nuclear conflagration.

Rather than backing away from the abyss, the unelected European Commission – the executive power of the European Union – this week ordered all 27 member states to make massive cuts in gas consumption. The cuts amount to 15 percent. The measures are but a futile attempt to cover the inevitable calamity of massive energy shortages that will hit the EU this winter because of a drastic reduction in imports of Russian fuel. What the EU’s so-called political leadership is showing is a callous disregard for the living conditions of its citizens.

We are seeing the modern-day equivalent of dispatching millions of people into the muddy, bloody trenches of World War One. We may look back and wonder at that barbarity and how millions went along with it. What difference is there with today’s callousness and barbarity?

EU leaders like Ursula von der Leyen accuse Russia of “energy blackmail” and “weaponization of gas”. But such scapegoating is contemptible. The crisis situation has been engendered by the EU blindly following Washington’s agenda of sabotaging decades of reliable and affordable energy supply from Russia. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline was technically complete last year to deliver some 55 billion cubic meters of gas – or about one-third of Russia’s former total supply to the EU. Germany has chosen to suspend that pipeline at Washington’s beckoning and bullying. Even the already functioning Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been disrupted because of Western economic sanctions imposed on Russia. Scheduled maintenance of turbines was held up and nearly threatened a complete shutdown until Russia’s Gazprom managed to reconnect on Thursday despite Western obstacles.

Poland and Ukraine have also cut the overland pipeline supplies of Russian gas that were serving the EU.

Because of unilateral Western sanctions on Russian banks, Moscow was compelled to request payment for gas exports in rubles. Some European countries have refused to comply with that new reasonable payment arrangement and thus have opted to forfeit the purchase of Russian gas.

For decades, Russia has proven to be a reliable partner in providing affordable and abundant gas as well as oil to the European Union. That strategic partnership for energy supply was the cornerstone of European economies. Germany’s industries and export-led economy that drives the rest of the EU thrived on Russian energy. Perversely, the European political elite has abased itself to consort with American imperial interests, rather than protecting the interests of European populations. So much for representative democracy!

The naked self-interest of the U.S. in selling Europe its own more expensive gas is blatant. Only a fool, or a tool, could pretend otherwise.

As noted already in previous SCF editorials, Washington’s hegemonic ambitions of global dominance and of salvaging its failing capitalist power depend crucially on pursuing a new Cold War against Russia and China. The world is being thrown into perilous turmoil because of this criminal ambition. Laughably, the European leaders hold pretensions of independence and global influence. They are nothing but pathetic lackeys to American power who are willingly sacrificing their populations in the process.

The desperation of the U.S. regime and its European minions is such that their societies are teetering on the brink of collapse from economic meltdown. Their reckless warmongering towards Russia (and China) is exacerbating and accelerating their own collapse. The real danger is that the U.S. and its NATO accomplices are now betting on escalating the war in Ukraine as a way to avert the demise of their own nations – a demise that they have induced.

At a security conference this week in Aspen, Colorado, Britain’s MI6 chief warned that “winter is coming” and Western resolve will be severely tested because of cascading societal deprivation over energy blackouts. Richard Moore urged for even more weapons supply to the Kiev regime – on top of the already tinderbox situation. His reasoning, like others in the NATO axis, is to double down on a proxy war with Russia in order to avert domestic repercussions and the implosion of the Western front under Washington’s command. The very future of the U.S.-led NATO axis is at stake.

That means that as European and American citizens suffer more hardships from their leaders’ wanton warmongering towards Russia, these same Western despots are going to gamble it all on a last-ditch offensive against Russia via Ukraine. Politics and diplomacy have been abandoned. War in Ukraine is set to get worse precisely because Western elites are losing an existential conflict. Ultimately, their conflict is an internal one to do with shoring up their own crumbling inherent power to rule over their masses. That, in turn, is a concomitant of the historic failing of their capitalist economies. Militarism and war, as in past times of failure, are once again being dredged up as a desperate “solution” for their failure.

Western citizens are finding out – and paying dearly for – the grim reality of Cold War. Rather than being held accountable for reckless, criminal machinations, the insane misleaders are now trying to turn it into a Hot War.

Disaster is not inevitable. It is certainly being courted. But people can avoid the abyss by taking control out of the hands of their criminal rulers. A historic choice in direction is looming. The Western mis-rulers are trying to prevent a correct choice from being taken by ginning up war.

Postscript: Looking back and looking forward with the Yellow Vests

July 12, 2022

Source

by Ramin Mazaheri

(Now available! This book has just been published in paperback and E-book form, and in French too!)

Western culture has been so prevalent for two centuries that I think much of the world assumes that they already intimately know a major European country like France. Many outside of the West may be saying, “We know the West, but the West doesn’t know us!”

It’s just not that simple.

(This is the nineteenth and final chapter in a new book, Frances Yellow Vests: Western Repression of the Wests Best ValuesPlease click here for the article which announces this book and explains its goals.)

A contemporary progressive demand correctly says that local histories must be prioritised and no longer imposed from the outside – stereotypes must be broken. The end of feudalism finally allowed the average person to say the truth in public – there is a class struggle – and using this most high-powered lens we realise: the people of France deserve this right as much as any other people because the history of their working poor masses, too, has been repressed, ignored and slandered.

That didn’t all start with the Yellow Vests.

Yellow Vest: “It’s not only in Paris, or in France – discontent is international. The poor, the young, the old – so many sectors of society are doing poorly because of a lack of humanity in our social and economic policies. The beauty of the Yellow Vests is that we gather together every weekend to communicate with each other – otherwise, people are just home alone with their misery.”

By far the best part of this book, in my opinion, is their words. I hope you have been as delighted as I have been to read their analyses right alongside the deeds of Napoleon, the revolutionaries of 1848, Communards, true Trotskyists, etc. Not only do their words tie this humble book together, but they tie together over 200 years of French history. France has this tremendously exciting history of political resistance, but it gets buried, distorted and untaught by the Liberalist elite – the Yellow Vests exhumed it and brought it back to living reality.

After more than a dozen years living in France I must admit that I, too, didn’t know France and Europe anywhere as well as I assumed I did before I moved here. What an enormous mistake I made – assuming that I “knew” France even though I knew hardly any French people!

One doesn’t have to be on the world’s bottom socioeconomic rung to have their culture and history falsely portrayed – every nation without a Socialist-inspired revolution to protect them has their own bottom rung which is silenced, crippled, massacred, etc. This book has been an effort to view modern French history from their ground up and not in the Liberalist fashion – their top down.

Yellow Vest: “Macron has ended so much social assistance to poor people. He tells lies about the poor, and also about his own policies. We are sick of his policies! We must finish the Macron era! We demand more aid for poor people, such as myself!”

Ah, still more progressive Yellow Vest thoughts! Yes, more, because this book is not my book but theirs. This book is not an attempt to give my version of French history, but the version from the average French person.

The average French person has much to learn from this book, I humbly insist, because the history of their working-poor has been so suppressed domestically, and also because the truth of the new pan-European project has been so suppressed.

Admit the truth: the euro has totally failed in its promise to bring about prosperity and economic security. The European Union has totally failed to act in a democratic manner. The pan-European project has not waged bilateral war (perhaps “yet”) but it has waged social war on its own citizens across the continent. Many permanently disfigured Yellow Vests would say I am even being too lenient here.

Yellow Vest: “By denying that there was any police brutality the government legitimised it. How we can have confidence in a government which cripples its own citizens, or in institutions which do not intervene to stop that? It is truly barbaric violence, which mutilated people because they believe in a better future.” 

The immediate, perpetual and ongoing failure of Liberalism; the notion that Western political culture has actually been excised of the influence of immoral, arrogant and unjust monarchism – a misconception which rather turns Iranians apoplectic; the clear goal of modern politics to move from absolutism towards citizen involvement and empowerment; the obvious historical trajectory of Western political structures from absolute monarchy, to aristocratic oligarchy, to a bankocracy which inflicts neo-imperialism on anyone it can reach – I hope this book has clarified these realities. Admit the truth.

I am convinced that what Europeans definitely agree on is that they all want an end to the wars which have gutted their lower classes for so long, to easily move around within Europe and the basic advances of mere Social Democracy. The working classes want peace, ease of movement and a decent social safety net. The pan-European project has manipulated these desires – the 1% has teased with the carrot but just given the stick. The only real success of the pan-European project has been the flexibility of the EU passport – Europeans are quite relieved to be able to move around the continent without the previous hassles.

Europeans, in my experience and according to polls, mostly want a united Europe – it’s unfortunate that they are misled into believing that there is no alternative to this thus-far woefully unsuccessful version of it.

Yellow Vest: “I can’t tell people how to vote, but I certainly advise them to not vote for Macron. He hasn’t done anything for the French people, but has instead worked for the rich bankers, corporations and Brussels.”

Even though his autocratic repression of the Yellow Vests should have disqualified him from ever holding public office again, Emmanuel Macron was re-elected, incredibly. The false branding of the Yellow Vests as mere “hooligans” has largely stuck in France, stunningly. There is a dysfunction, a Marxist “barrenness”, an autocratic schizophrenia which Western Liberal Democracy is forcing the average Frenchman to endure – this book shows how long this sickness has been imposed on the French poor, working poor and working classes.

Without the courage to call things by their rightful names – Western Liberal Democracy means failure for the 99%; Socialist Democracy justly puts the 99% at the forefront of government policy – France as a whole will never heal. How very few political analysts say this!

This postscript was finished the day after France’s 2nd-round legislative elections. Macron has not been handed another absolute majority by a slim margin – it’s another Yellow Vest victory, but not one which was resounding enough. It’s certain that Macron was never a “centrist” but a mainstream conservative, merely with a new logo and of his younger generation. Thus, his coalition will continue to unite with the mainstream conservative les Républicains party (and also many fake-leftist Socialists and Greens) for an absolute majority on all issues involving far-right economics, the re-imposition of Liberalism and the pan-European project. French parliament will now be less stable and more combative, but in appearances only – in reality French parliament remains only for appearances on the major questions of economic and political power distribution. It’s certain that the reason an absolute democratic majority of France (54%) didn’t even bother to vote is because they implicitly know that modern autocracy – rule by the 49-3 executive decree and the overruling of national sovereignty by Brussels – rules, thus rendering Europe’s national parliaments a waste of time, their breath and our attention. I would conclude that Liberalism in France is on the verge of becoming so preposterously dysfunctional that it’s surely about to be consigned to the dustbin of history but, alas, I recall that Marx and Trotsky wrote the same thing.

It’s certain that these analyses will not be popular among my journalist colleagues.

What is so unfortunate is that as early as the summer of 2019 people kept asking me: “You’re going to report on a Yellow Vest demonstration? But I thought they had stopped marching?” The media blackout on the group extends beyond the common excuse of the corporate domination of Western media: it doesn’t explain the refusal of France’s state-owned media to cover the group. French taxpayers deserve better. Capitalism is an issue, but the larger issue is obviously political and cultural – it’s elite-driven Liberalism.

Yellow Vest: “We marched as Yellow Vests for two years, and we are still Yellow Vests today, but we all saw that nothing changed! The cost of living is too expensive – we can’t pay our bills at the end of the month! We don’t want this government – and their violence – any more.”

The fact that the Yellow Vests have marched every Saturday for over three and half years (not including the coronavirus pause) is actually more important than how they have been wilfully ignored:

As the West comes out of the coronavirus era, during which they actually employed some Social Democratic-inspired economic measures, they are immediately reverting to extremist Liberalist economic solutions: forced recession, in order to perpetuate the elite’s dominance over the working poor. The first half of 2022 was supposed to be a time when France’s elections were going to garner great interest, at least in France, but the vote was overshadowed everywhere by total economic disaster – much of it self-inflicted in the West. Betting on a period of economic disaster – always a constant in Liberalist capitalism – seems like a gamble that will pay off quite big, and quite soon, in the world’s weakest and least-sovereign macroeconomic bloc.

Yellow Vest: “Things really could explode because prices keep going up but wages do not. If Emmanuel Macron somehow wins re-election then social unrest will go sky-high. The Yellow Vests will really take to the streets then, and it will be much worse than in 2019.”

For those who marvel at the insight of these Yellow Vest quotations – they truly are just that politically intelligent and aware! Give them all the credit. The idea that they are just rioting berserkers is… well, this book has already disproven that completely.

The perspective of the daily hard-news reporter is, I think, a unique and useful one. There is an urgency to this particular area of journalism caused by the reality that (after starting from the ideal of objectivity) serious conclusions must be drawn immediately and presented – they cannot be drawn-out, postponed, frittered away by mealy-mouthed relativism. Additionally, I interview and learn the opinion on the day’s most vital events from everyone, from hedge fund mangers to think-tank analysts to pensioners to protesters to Yellow Vests and to – most often – the everyday Frenchman and Frenchwoman on the street. That’s not something which can be easily replicated. Personally, my favorite chapters may be Chapters 9 through 11 – covering 2009-2022 – which condensed over 1,500 2-3 minute television hard news reports for PressTV (which equates to more than 3,000 soundbites from French people) and hundreds of columns. That can’t be easily replicated, either, nor can my honest claim to have reported on more Yellow Vest demonstrations than any other journalist in any language.

At the next Liberalist-provoked disaster the Yellow Vests will be there – they have never left. That should give France great hope. This book has aimed to share their fundamental message of hope and civic-mindedness.

Yellow Vest: “What voters should do is to not be scared, and to rejoin the Yellow Vests. We have lost our purchasing power, our social services, our individual freedoms – stop crying about these two candidates from behind your television or computer and come join us!”

The ideas of the Yellow Vests are not new – this book examined many different modern French eras to show precisely that. There is obviously a human unity across spaces, and there is also a political unity across time. The interspersed quotes of the Yellow Vests should have given you the clear understanding of: it’s been the same political and economic struggle for the past 233 years. It’s not complicated: just examine how and why they repressed the Yellow Vests so brutally, and why that failed to stop them.

Yellow Vest: “The government doesn’t know what to do because they see that the movement continues despite so much repression. We will not stop until we get the right to citizen-initiated referendums, the end to corporate tax evasion and a rule of social justice so that people can live decently.”

That’s perhaps the most simple encapsulation of the primary demands of the Yellow Vests. Mine might be a bit different, but I was honoured to be alongside the Yellow Vests to insist on our right to live decently.

The West’s best values are not imperialism, elitist Liberalism, oligarchical parliamentarianism, free market chaos, suppressive austerity and a rat race to “become bourgeois”. Look at the Yellow Vests for the West’s true virtues, and then join them wherever you can.

Ramin Mazaheri

Paris

June 20, 2022

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Now available for purchase: English paperback and e-book – French paperback and e-book.

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

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.

CHRIS HEDGES: NATO — THE MOST DANGEROUS MILITARY ALLIANCE ON THE PLANET

JULY 12TH, 2022

By Chris Hedges

Source

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (Scheerpost) — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the arms industry that depends on it for billions in profits, has become the most aggressive and dangerous military alliance on the planet. Created in 1949 to thwart Soviet expansion into Eastern and Central Europe, it has evolved into a global war machine in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

NATO expanded its footprint, violating promises to Moscow, once the Cold War ended, to incorporate 14 countries in Eastern and Central Europe into the alliance. It will soon add Finland and Sweden. It bombed Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo. It launched wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, resulting in close to a million deaths and some 38 million people driven from their homes. It is building a military footprint in Africa and Asia. It invited Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, the so-called “Asia Pacific Four,” to its recent summit in Madrid at the end of June. It has expanded its reach into the Southern Hemisphere, signing a military training partnership agreement with Colombia, in December 2021. It has backed Turkey, with NATO’s second largest military, which has illegally invaded and occupied parts of Syria as well as Iraq. Turkish-backed militias are engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Syrian Kurds and other inhabitants of north and east Syria. The Turkish military has been accused of war crimes – including multiple airstrikes against a refugee camp andchemical weapons use – in northern Iraq. In exchange for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s permission for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance, the two Nordic countries have agreed to expand their domestic terror laws making it easier to crack down on Kurdish and other activists, lift their restrictions on selling arms to Turkey and deny support to the Kurdish-led movement for democratic autonomy in Syria.

It is quite a record for a military alliance that with the collapse of the Soviet Union was rendered obsolete and should have been dismantled. NATO and the militarists had no intention of embracing the “peace dividend,” fostering a world based on diplomacy, a respect of spheres of influence and mutual cooperation. It was determined to stay in business. Its business is war. That meant expanding its war machine far beyond the border of Europe and engaging in ceaseless antagonism toward China and Russia.

NATO sees the future, as detailed in its “NATO 2030: Unified for a New Era,” as a battle for hegemony with rival states, especially China, and calls for the preparation of prolonged global conflict.

“China has an increasingly global strategic agenda, supported by its economic and military heft,” the NATO 2030 initiative warned. “It has proven its willingness to use force against its neighbors, as well as economic coercion and intimidatory diplomacy well beyond the Indo-Pacific region. Over the coming decade, China will likely also challenge NATO’s ability to build collective resilience, safeguard critical infrastructure, address new and emerging technologies such as 5G and protect sensitive sectors of the economy including supply chains. Longer term, China is increasingly likely to project military power globally, including potentially in the Euro-Atlantic area.”

The alliance has spurned the Cold War strategy that made sure Washington was closer to Moscow and Beijing than Moscow and Beijing were to each other. U.S. and NATO antagonism have turned Russia and China into close allies. Russia, rich in natural resources, including energy, minerals and grains, and China, a manufacturing and technological behemoth, are a potent combination. NATO no longer distinguishes between the two, announcing in its most recent mission statement that the “deepening strategic partnership” between Russian and China has resulted in “mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order that run counter to our values and interests.”

On July 6, Christopher Wray, director of the FBI, and Ken McCallum, director general of Britain’s MI5, held a joint news conference in London to announce that China was the “biggest long-term threat to our economic and national security.” They accused China, like Russia, of interfering in U.S. and U.K. elections. Wray warned the business leaders they addressed that the Chinese government was “set on stealing your technology, whatever it is that makes your industry tick, and using it to undercut your business and dominate your market.”

This inflammatory rhetoric presages an ominous future.

One cannot talk about war without talking about markets. The political and social turmoil in the U.S., coupled with its diminishing economic power, has led it to embrace NATO and its war machine as the antidote to its decline.

Washington and its European allies are terrified of China’s trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) meant to connect an economic bloc of roughly 70 nations outside U.S. control. The initiative includes the construction of rail lines, roads and gas pipelines that will be integrated with Russia. Beijing is expected to commit $1.3 trillion to the BRI by 2027. China, which is on track to become the world’s largest economy within a decade, has organized the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s largest trade pact of 15 East Asian and Pacific nations representing 30 percent of global trade. It already accounts for 28.7 percent of the Global Manufacturing Output, nearly double the 16.8 percent of the U.S.

China’s rate of growth last year was an impressive  8.1 percent, although slowing to around 5 percent this year.  By contrast, the U.S.’s growth rate in 2021 was 5.7 percent — its highest since 1984 — but is predicted to fall below 1 percent this year, by the New York Federal Reserve.

If China, Russia, Iran, India and other nations free themselves from the tyranny of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency and the international Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a messaging network financial institutions use to send and receive information such as money transfer instructions, it will trigger a dramatic decline in the value of the dollar and a financial collapse in the U.S. The huge military expenditures, which have driven the U.S. debt to $30 trillion, $ 6 trillion more than the U.S.’s entire GDP, will become untenable. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military in 2021, $ 801 billion which amounted to 38 percent of total world expenditure on the military, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined. The loss of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency will force the U.S. to slash spending, shutter many of its 800 military bases overseas and cope with the inevitable social and political upheavals triggered by economic collapse. It is darkly ironic that NATO has accelerated this possibility.

Russia, in the eyes of NATO and U.S. strategists, is the appetizer. Its military, NATO hopes, will get bogged down and degraded in Ukraine. Sanctions and diplomatic isolation, the plan goes, will thrust Vladimir Putin from power. A client regime that will do U.S. bidding will be installed in Moscow.

NATO has provided more than $8 billion in military aid to Ukraine, while the US has committed nearly $54 billion in military and humanitarian assistance to the country.

China, however, is the main course. Unable to compete economically, the U.S. and NATO have turned to the blunt instrument of war to cripple their global competitor.

The provocation of China replicates the NATO baiting of Russia.

NATO expansion and the 2014 US-backed coup in Kyiv led Russia to first occupy Crimea, in eastern Ukraine, with its large ethnic Russian population, and then to invade all of Ukraine to thwart the country’s efforts to join NATO.

The same dance of death is being played with China over Taiwan, which China considers part of Chinese territory, and with NATO expansion in the Asia Pacific. China flies warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense zone and the U.S. sends naval shipsthrough the Taiwan Strait which connects the South and East China seas. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in May called China the most serious long-term challenge to the international order, citing its claims to Taiwan and efforts to dominate the South China Sea. Taiwan’s president, in a Zelensky-like publicity stunt, recently posed with an anti-tank rocket launcher in a government handout photo.

The conflict in Ukraine has been a bonanza for the arms industry, which, given the humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, needed a new conflict. Lockheed Martin’s stock prices are up 12 percent. Northrop Grumman is up 20 percent. The war is being used by NATO to increase its military presence in Eastern and Central Europe. The U.S. is building a permanent military base in Poland. The 40,000-strong NATO reaction force is being expanded to 300,000 troops. Billions of dollars in weapons are pouring into the region.

The conflict with Russia, however, is already backfiring. The ruble has soared to a seven-year high against the dollar. Europe is barreling towards a recession because of rising oil and gas prices and the fear that Russia could terminate supplies completely. The loss of Russian wheat, fertilizer, gas and oil, due to Western sanctions, is creating havoc in world markets and a humanitarian crisis in Africa and the Middle East. Soaring food and energy prices, along with shortages and crippling inflation, bring with them not only deprivation and hunger, but social upheaval and political instability. The climate emergency, the real existential threat, is being ignored to appease the gods of war.

The war makers are frighteningly cavalier about the threat of nuclear war. Putin warned NATO countries that they “will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history” if they intervened directly in Ukraine and ordered Russian nuclear forces to be put on heightened alert status. The proximity to Russia of U.S. nuclear weapons based in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey mean that any nuclear conflict would obliterate much of Europe. Russia and the United States control about 90 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads, with around 4,000 warheads each in their military stockpiles, according to the Federation of American Scientists.

President Joe Biden warned that the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine would be “completely unacceptable” and “entail severe consequences,” without spelling out what those consequences would be. This is what U.S. strategists refer to as “deliberate ambiguity.”

The U.S. military, following its fiascos in the Middle East, has shifted its focus from fighting terrorism and asymmetrical warfare to confronting China and Russia. President Barack Obama’s national-security team in 2016 carried out a war game in which Russia invaded a NATO country in the Baltics and used a low-yield tactical nuclear weapon against NATO forces. Obama officials were split about how to respond.

“The National Security Council’s so-called Principals Committee—including Cabinet officers and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—decided that the United States had no choice but to retaliate with nuclear weapons,” Eric Schlosser writes in The Atlantic. “Any other type of response, the committee argued, would show a lack of resolve, damage American credibility, and weaken the NATO alliance. Choosing a suitable nuclear target proved difficult, however. Hitting Russia’s invading force would kill innocent civilians in a NATO country. Striking targets inside Russia might escalate the conflict to an all-out nuclear war. In the end, the NSC Principals Committee recommended a nuclear attack on Belarus—a nation that had played no role whatsoever in the invasion of the NATO ally but had the misfortune of being a Russian ally.”

The Biden administration has formed a Tiger Team of national security officials to run war games on what to do if Russia uses a nuclear weapon, according to The New York Times. The threat of nuclear war is minimized with discussions of “tactical nuclear weapons,” as if less powerful nuclear explosions are somehow more acceptable and won’t lead to the use of bigger bombs.

At no time, including the Cuban missile crisis, have we stood closer to the precipice of nuclear war.

“A simulation devised by experts at Princeton University starts with Moscow firing a nuclear warning shot; NATO responds with a small strike, and the ensuing war yieldsmore than 90 million casualties in its first few hours,” The New York Times reported.

The longer the war in Ukraine continues — and the U.S. and NATO seem determined to funnel billions of dollars of weapons into the conflict for months if not years — the more the unthinkable becomes thinkable. Flirting with Armageddon to profit the arms industry and carry out the futile quest to reclaim U.S. global hegemony is at best extremely reckless and at worst genocidal.

Europe Wants War

July 1, 2022

Source

By Declan Heyes

Though The European Union’s Strategic Compass for Security and Defence reads like Hitler penned it, the EU has recently formally approved this dangerous nonsense now that “we witness the return of war in Europe”, something the EU apparently did not witness when Serbia was put to NATO’s sword from 1992 to 1995.

Europe, these Eurocrats inform us, “needs to be able to protect its citizens and to contribute to international peace and security… following the unjustified and unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as of major geopolitical shifts”, which are not explicitly stated but which the EU’s Army will tackle alongside its “partners to safeguard its values and interests”.

So, besides teaching Russia some bloody lessons, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Malta will also teach the wider world a thing or two about their shared values and interests, whatever they may be.

This is all good as a more assertive Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Malta “will contribute positively to global and transatlantic security and is complementary to NATO, which remains the foundation of collective defence for its members. It will also intensify support for the global rules-based order, with the United Nations at its core”.

Even though Lithuania and Luxembourg are NATO’s muscle, Ireland and Malta are not parties to that criminal conspiracy and long may that continue. Furthermore, as the United Nations is a body, which the United States liaises with only when it suits their own selfish interests, the EU should either find a better fig leaf to sheathe its self serving hypocrisy with, or just say it wants to be America’s unthinking vassal.

Not that the EU’s finest would ever consider themselves anybody’s vassals. They intend to strengthen cooperation with strategic partners such as NATO, the UN and regional partners, including the OSCE, the African Union (AU) and ASEAN; develop more tailored bilateral partnerships with like-minded countries and strategic partners, such as the U.S., Canada, Norway, the UK, Japan and others; develop tailored partnerships in the Western Balkans, the EU’s eastern and southern neighbourhood, Africa, Asia and Latin America, including through enhancing dialogue and cooperation, promoting participation in CSDP missions and operations and supporting capacity-building.

To see what the EU’s headless chickens are up to, let’s look at these partners in some more detail. As the African Union includes every country in Africa, bar the former French and Spanish protectorate of Morocco, one has to wonder what further devilment France, Africa’s favorite gendarme, has in store not only for Morocco but for all of that long exploited continent, which the EU continues to happily ravish.

One must also wonder why Australia and New Zealand are not included in the EU’s wish list of military partners and if an EU task force is already on its way to liberate Australia’s kangaroos and koala bears from whatever Putin or Assad happens to be ruling the roost there.

Not that koala bears and kangaroos are alone in being legitimate targets. If the EU is forming alliances with Norway and Japan, then not only Moby Dick but whales everywhere are in for a rough time.

Still, if we are to gang up with Latin America (given the Munroe Doctrine, with Uncle Sam’s permission, of course), that might result in a higher standard of samba and tango dancing in Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Malta, and I’d be the last to object to that (and I am fluent in Spanish and Portuguese but could do with a few samba pointers).

Still, outside of Russophones, that leaves us decidedly short of enemies; tiny Morocco hardly counts and we don’t want to hurt any kangaroos or koala bears.

But maybe panda bears are fair game as China is conspicuous by its absence on that list, as ASEAN is notable for being included on the list. The beauty of ASEAN, to me, is that it is composed of ten diverse South East Asian countries that are trying to plot a common future for themselves free from the economic, diplomatic and military meddling that are synonymous with the countries at the heart of the EU. All ten of those ASEAN countries live in the shadow of China and, though Vietnam in particular has had a chequered history with China, their future lies alongside China, not being used as an EU-NATO lever to upend China and themselves.

Stripped of its chaff, this is old European wine in new NATO bottles. It is to recreate the Wehrmacht with a gaggle of mini Napoleons to lead it and profit from it, along with whatever Irish, Lithuanian, Scottish and other satellite cheerleaders NATO have on the take.

Look at the Baltic pimple of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which is not content with oppressing its Russian speaking minority but is in a trade war with China and is hell bent on taking on Russia in a hot war because it thinks the EU, Ireland, Luxembourg and mighty Malta, in other words, has its back.

Ireland has nobody’s back, not even its own. Even as it howls to its Anglo American bosses that Russian ships passed within 500km of its coast, it allows British war ships moor in Cork, a city the British previously burned to the ground, and the Royal British Airforce violate its airspace on a daily base and even host air displays over its capital city.

Although the European peoples do indeed have some shared values, they are more benign than those their mercenary political class in pimple statelets like Ireland and Lithuania share. These satraps give China and Russia the finger because that is what their NATO masters require of them. Were those leaders adult, never mind independent, they would try to act as peace brokers and not pretend that their tiny, debt ravaged economies have anything more than a fig leaf to offer NATO’s war lords.

But that is not the Europe we have. Because ours is a continent beholden to NATO and its political puppets, we must all prepare for the deluge that is coming our way, and all because NATO’s Lithuanian satrap thinks she is a Moses, who can hold apart two parts of sovereign Russia to support the world’s richest clown who has NATO’s Kiev gig.

Europe, with its crocodile tears for kangaroos and koala bears, thinks those they target should forever stand beguiled by them, their French perfumes and their German colognes. Nothing stands still and China and the countries of ASEAN and the African Union do not. Europe should either holster its guns, sheathe its swords or prepare to use them and batten the hatches for the overwhelming incoming fire they, their French perfumes and their German colognes will get in return.

Ukraine’s Dark Web Arms Arsenal

June 18, 2022

Source

Declan Hayes

Ukraine has been flooded with tens of billions of dollars of NATO weaponry, much of which is now for sale on the dark web and elsewhere.

Although NATO has already supplied Clown Prince Zelensky’s rogue regime with enough materiel, some $50 bn worth (not that anyone is counting), to arm a medium sized nation, there is overwhelming evidence that much of those weapons have found their way onto the dark web for terrorists and sundry other trouble makers to buy and use as they see fit. Although NATO are right to express alarm at this latest development, they should look at themselves in the mirror to see who is responsible for this latest threat.

Rand to the Rescue

Although The UN, the World Economic Forum, the Australian National University and the Cambridge Independent have all opined on how to source weapons on the dark web, their work revolve around this Rand Corp study to which we now also revert. This Rand report tells us that, though the U.S. accounts for almost 60 per cent of the firearms listings, Europe represents the largest market for arms trade on the dark web, generating revenues that are around five times higher than the U.S.

As the report tells us that pistols accounted for 84 per cent of all listed firearms, followed by rifles (10 per cent) and sub-machine guns (6 per cent), Interpol’s warning of sales of Javelin missiles on the dark web, which the CIA now predictably but alarmingly say is Russian disinformation, would be a major step up in such sales, something like children going from a lemonade stand to taking on Coca Cola for market share.

As the Rand report reckons the dark web’s overall monthly value in arms’ trading is only about $80,000, they correctly conclude that “the dark web is unlikely to be the method of choice to fuel conflicts because arms are not traded at a large enough scale and due to the potential limitations on infrastructure and services in a conflict zone”. Though its further conclusion that “the dark web has the potential to become the platform of choice for individuals (e.g. lone-wolves terrorists) or small groups (e.g. gangs)” as well as for sundry other crackpots to obtain weapons and ammunition is worth keeping in mind, such attacks are as nothing compared to a series of NATO inspired missile strikes on Serbian, Hungarian, Chinese or other passenger planes. The British and Americans both have form in that regard.

DW Shift, German Intelligence’s contribution to NATO’s disinformation wars, talks us through the 101 of buying a weapon on the Dark Web; this is of concern to Germans because one of their 2016 mass shooters sourced his weapon on the dark web. DW’s pretty reporter talks to an equally pretty young researcher who is au fait with such dark arts which seem, by the report, simple enough. One shops on the dark web, as one might shop on Amazon or ebay, clicks on one’s orders and checks out. GlockColtSig SauerBerettaEkol-VoltranRuger and Smith & Wesson are, in that order, the most popular purchases. DW Shift’s pretty fräuleins inform us that because the sellers of these items are rated, just as are their Amazon and ebay equivalents, we can shop in safety and have DHL deliver our purchase to a safe location of our choice.

Enter the IRA

Anybody who believes that NATO mis information deserves every minute of the jail sentence they get. The Irish Republican Army and its offshoots are proof that such purchases are not for DW Shift’s casual browser. If the IRA found sourcing medium grade weapons difficult, then you should perhaps think twice about shopping on these dark sites.

This New York Times article shows how the CIA were supplying the IRA with weapons to stop the IRA shopping elsewhere; that the CIA now control the mainstream IRA through their 1998 Good Friday Agreement shows how successful that strategy has been.

The CIA were not, of course, the IRA’s only American supplier. CIA agent and Boston Mafia boss, Whitey Bulger, also sent them boat loads of weapons, which were duly interdicted. Although Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi became a much more important source, the point is that acquiring weapons is not easily done as there are countless, well resourced parties determined to stop you.

This can be seen in the case of Liam Campbell, who was recently extradited from Ireland to Lithuania on charges of trying to acquire weapons for his rump IRA faction. As a cast of Irish MI5 agents, led by Dennis McFadden, walked Palestinian doctor Issam Bassalat and other gullible marks into an arms-related trap, and as CIA operative David Rupert previously got the rump IRA’a leader jailed for 20 years, caveat emptor, buyer beware applies on the dark web even more so than it does on amazon or ebay. Unless, that is, one is a member of an MI5 controlled death squad charged with killing Catholics, then one can import weapons from South Africa or Australia to do what MI5 has decided must be done.

The Irish lesson then is that, if one wishes to procure arms for a sectarian or other campaign, one needs to work with either governments or gangsters or both to secure the necessary weaponry, which are not cheap. Recent gangland murders and related trials in Dublin as well as the IRA and its rump offshoots confirm that trajectory.

Enter the Kiddy Fiddlers

The experiences of the international pedophile network show the risks that even those criminals most proficient in the dark web’s darkest corners run when these predators become the prey. Australia’s Task Force Argos has brought down many of these kiddy fiddling networks, not the least of which was the very sophisticated operation run by Shannon Grant McCoole, who ran one of the pedophiles’ most depraved websites from his South Australian base. But not, as the case of Peter Scully and Matthew Graham show, the most depraved site. Although Graham, his tech savvy buddies and their tens of thousands of customers are an unspeakable threat to all the world’s vulnerable children, Task Force Argos and their global partners are, thankfully, a threat to them and, by extension any group who wish to line the pockets of Ukraine’s purveyors of death through the dark web.

EncroChat

EncroChat was a sting operation Australia’s Task Force Argos would have been proud of. EncroChat allowed organized crime members to plan criminal activities through encrypted messages that Europe’s various police forces listened into. Over 1,000 arrests were made across Europe as a result of that sting. As the Australian and American police forces conducted similar stings, conducting these transactions are fraught with more risks than rewards for those unskilled in the dark arts.

Given the Encrochat experience, one should note that Twitter and the CIA both have sizable dark net presences. If you want to be enmeshed in their dark web, enjoy your jail time.

Dark Markets

Interpol has also highlighted the trade in illegal organ harvesting, which has previously crossed my desk as a result of the Muslim Brotherhood’s criminal activities in terrorist controlled Syria which works, like most other markets do, by a system of levers. There is a demand in countries like Israel and Switzerland where donors are in short supply and there is an obvious supply where poverty is king or, as in the case of rebel held Syria, where there is an over supply of captives. Rebel sanctioned brokers will, per Interpol’s report, ensure the markets work at a certain level of efficiency, at least until money changes hands. Because these gangsters are totally unscrupulous, medical complications, which will have to be fixed by Israeli, Swiss or other doctors, will most likely quickly follow from these cut price operations.

More for our purposes is that rebel held Syria provides a safe haven for such criminality.

The CIA: Market Maker

The only groups who can make the dark web in NATO supplied Ukrainian weaponry viable are the Western intelligence agencies and their proxies, who are not honest brokers in this or in anything else. One need only look at the Iran Contra Affair where the Reagan regime supplied Islamic Iran with weaponry to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Allied to that is the Gary Webb affair, where the CIA flooded America’s ghettos with crack cocaine to fund the Contras’ fight for American sanctioned democracy.

The Ukrainian Bazaar

Ukraine, Europe’s most corrupt country, has been flooded with tens of billions of dollars of NATO weaponry, much of which is now for sale on the dark web and elsewhere. The only possible “hostile” markets for such materiel are criminals and terrorists; nations opposed to NATO can be ruled out because of the reputational damage such shenanigans would cause them. Although the Kinahan Organized Crime Group and their Latin American partners have formidable arsenals, FBI retaliation against them would be sure and swift if they started to use NATO weaponry to shoot down NATO friendly planes.

That just leaves terrorists or, to be more precise, NATO friendly terrorists, like those NATO has nurtured in the Fertile Crescent, the Southern Caucasus, the Indian-Pakistani-Afghan triangle and throughout Africa. As the experiences of the IRA and its various offshoots show that the expertise to obtain and deploy such weaponry has always been far beyond their capabilities, one can only conclude that a major government sponsor is needed to successfully obtain and deploy such firepower.

The experiences of ISIS, which was able to obtain fleets of brand new Toyota trucks, suggest that it is only NATO and its affiliates that can supply the necessary logistics to put such weaponry in the field, not only throughout the Arab and Asian worlds but in Western Europe as well.

This report that these advanced Ukrainian missiles are surfacing in NATO controlled Syria would confirm that hypothesis that NATO are using their Ukrainian involvement to funnel yet more advanced weaponry to their favored zealots elsewhere. NATO’s Ukrainian defeat makes Syrian military and civilian targets the obvious theater for payback, complete with NATO’s usual implausible denials of course.

Globalization

NATO’s dirty war in Ukraine is but one of the many hot wars it is currently engaged in in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, DR Congo, Ethiopia , Iraq, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Mozambique , Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia and Yemen. NATO’s generals move men and materiel around from one theater to another as the need arises.

The war in Ukraine was never about democracy or keeping the idiot Zelensky in power. It was about bleeding Russia, Iran, Venezuela and China dry and, though it seems Russia is not for turning in Ukraine, our earlier precedents show that does not mean NATO will cease and desist from its criminal ways.

Although the corrupt Zelensky junta is awash with advanced NATO weapon that is surplus to their requirements, they are not surplus to NATO’s requirements elsewhere. Therefore, depending on NATO’s needs where you live and according to this NATO report by 26 ethically challenged Ukrainian NGOs, expect Javelin and NLAW anti-tank systems, Stinger and Starstreak portable air defence systems, Switchblade loitering munitions. Harpoon missiles, MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1 Predator UAVs to show up in a NATO sponsored war near you. And, though NATO’s media will act all surprised as to how that might have happened, remember that you read it here first.

The Empire Strikes Back: Imperialism’s global war on multipolarity

June 15, 2022

This is a series of talks where each talk is short and one can enjoy the long video in shorter pieces.  An absolute must-listen is the convenor’s (Radhika Desai) opening statement which explains so clearly the concept of multi-polarity or pluripolarity.

The second one by Victor Gao brings a new view to how China perceives these changes in our world.

Ben Norton from Multipolarista takes a look at the influence of socialism in the Belt and Road Initiative.

All of these are worth listening to, and it is easy as the presentations are short, and one can come back to it.

Topics include: * NATO, AUKUS and the military infrastructure of the New Cold War * The evolving China-Russia relationship and the West’s response * The Biden administration’s undermining of the One China Principle * Solomon Islands and the West’s plan for hegemony in the Pacific * NATO’s plan for Ukraine and how this impacts China * Prospects for sovereign development in the Global South

Speakers: * Victor Gao (Vice President, Center for China and Globalization) * Ben Norton (Editor, Multipolarista) * Li Jingjing (Reporter, CGTN) * Jenny Clegg (Author, ‘China’s Global Strategy: Toward a Multipolar World’) * Danny Haiphong (Author, ‘American Exceptionalism and American Innocence’) * Chris Matlhako (SACP Second Deputy General Secretary) * Mustafa Hyder Sayed (Executive Director, Pakistan-China Institute) * Professor Ding Yifan (Senior Fellow, Taihe Institute, China) * Ju-Hyun Park (Writer and organizer, Nodutdol for Korean Community Development) * Rob Kajiwara (President, Peace For Okinawa Coalition) * Sara Flounders (United National Antiwar Coalition, International Action Center) * Yury Tavrovsky (Chairman, Russian-Chinese Committee for Friendship, Peace and Development)

FORGET LIBERATING UKRAINE – WE FIRST NEED TO LIBERATE OUR MINDS 

JUNE 10TH, 2022

By Jonathan Cook

Source

Nothing should better qualify me to write about world affairs at the moment – and Western meddling in Ukraine – than the fact that I have intimately followed the twists and turns of Israeli politics for two decades.

We will turn to the wider picture in a moment. But before that, let us consider developments in Israel, as its “historic,” year-old government – which included for the very first time a party representing a section of Israel’s minority of Palestinian citizens – teeters on the brink of collapse.

Crisis struck, as everyone knew it would sooner or later, because the Israeli parliament had to vote on a major issue relating to the occupation: renewing a temporary law that for decades has regularly extended Israel’s legal system outside its territory, applying it to Jewish settlers living on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank.

That law lies at the heart of an Israeli political system that the world’s leading human rights groups, both in Israel and abroad, now belatedly admit has always constituted apartheid. The law ensures that Jewish settlers living in the West Bank in violation of international law receive rights different from, and far superior to, those of the Palestinians that are ruled over by Israel’s occupying military authorities.

The law enshrines the principle of Jim Crow-style inequality, creating two different systems of law in the West Bank: one for Jewish settlers and another for Palestinians. But it does more. Those superior rights, and their enforcement by Israel’s army, have for decades allowed Jewish settlers to rampage against Palestinian rural communities with absolute impunity and steal their land – to the point that Palestinians are now confined to tiny, choked slivers of their own homeland.

In international law, that process is called “forcible transfer,” or what we would think of as ethnic cleansing. It’s a major reason that the settlements are a war crime – a fact that the International Criminal Court in the Hague is finding it very hard to ignore. Israel’s leading politicians and generals would all be tried for war crimes if we lived in a fair, and sane, world.

So what happened when this law came before the parliament for a vote on its renewal? The “historic” government, supposedly a rainbow coalition of leftwing and rightwing Jewish parties joined by a religiously conservative Palestinian party, split on entirely predictable ethnic lines.

Members of the Palestinian party either voted against the law or absented themselves from the vote. All the Jewish parties in the government voted for it. The law failed – and the government is now in trouble – because the rightwing Likud Party of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined the Palestinian parties in voting against the law, in the hope of bringing the government down, even though his legislators are completely committed to the apartheid system it upholds.

UPHOLDING APARTHEID

What is most significant about the vote is that it has revealed something far uglier about Israel’s Jewish tribalism than most Westerners appreciate. It shows that all of Israel’s Jewish parties – even the “nice ones” that are termed leftwing or liberal – are in essence racist.

Most Westerners understand Zionism to be split into two broad camps: the right, including the far-right, and the liberal-left camp.

Today this so-called liberal-left camp is tiny and represented by the Israeli Labour and Meretz parties. Israel’s Labour Party is considered so respectable that Britain’s Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, publicly celebrated the recent restoration of ties after the Israeli party severed connections during the term of Starmer’s predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.

But note this. Not only have the Labour and Meretz parties been sitting for a year in a government led by Naftali Bennett, whose party represents the illegal settlements, they have just voted for the very apartheid law that ensures the settlers get superior rights over Palestinians, including the right to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their land.

In the case of the Israeli Labour Party, that is hardly surprising. Labour founded the first settlements and, apart from a brief period in the late 1990s when it paid lip service to a peace process, always backed to the hilt the apartheid system that enabled the settlements to expand. None of that ever troubled Britain’s Labour Party, apart from when it was led by Corbyn, a genuinely dedicated anti-racist.

But by contrast to Labour, Meretz is an avowedly anti-occupation party. That was the very reason it was founded in the early 1990s. Opposition to the occupation and the settlements is supposedly hardwired into its DNA. So how did it vote for the very apartheid law underpinning the settlements?

UTTER HYPOCRISY

The naïve, or mischievous, will tell you Meretz had no choice because the alternative was Bennett’s government losing the vote – which in fact happened anyway – and reviving the chances of Netanyahu returning to power. Meretz’s hands were supposedly tied.

This argument – of pragmatic necessity – is one we often hear when groups professing to believe one thing act in ways that damage the very thing they say they hold dear.

But Israeli commentator Gideon Levy makes a very telling point that applies far beyond this particular Israeli case.

He notes that Meretz would never have been seen to vote for the apartheid law – whatever the consequences – if the issue had been about transgressing the rights of Israel’s LGBTQ community rather than transgressing Palestinian rights. Meretz, whose leader is gay, has LGBTQ rights at the top of its agenda.

Levy writes: “Two justice systems in the same territory, one for straight people and another for gay people? Is there any circumstance in which this would happen? A single political constellation that could bring it about?”

The same could be said of Labour, even if we believe, as Starmer apparently does, that it is a leftwing party. Its leader, Merav Michaeli, is an ardent feminist.

Would Labour, Levy writes, “ever raise its hand for apartheid laws against [Israeli] women in the West Bank? Two separate legal systems, one for men and another for women? Never. Absolutely not.”

Levy’s point is that even for the so-called Zionist left, Palestinians are inherently inferior by virtue of the fact that they are Palestinian. The Palestinian gay community and Palestinian women are just as affected by the Israel’s apartheid law favoring Jewish settlers as Palestinian men are. So in voting for it, Meretz and Labour showed that they do not care about the rights of Palestinian women or members of the Palestinian LGBTQ community. Their support for women and the gay community is dependent on the ethnicity of those belonging to these groups.

It should not need highlighting how close such a distinction on racial grounds is to the views espoused by the traditional supporters of Jim Crow in the U.S. or apartheid’s supporters in South Africa.

So what makes Meretz and Labour legislators capable of not just utter hypocrisy but such flagrant racism? The answer is Zionism.

Zionism is a form of ideological tribalism that prioritizes Jewish privilege in the legal, military and political realms. However leftwing you consider yourself, if you subscribe to Zionism you regard your ethnic tribalism as supremely important – and for that reason alone, you are racist.

You may not be conscious of your racism, you may not wish to be racist, but by default you are. Ultimately, when push comes to shove, when you perceive your own Jewish tribalism to be under threat from another tribalism, you will revert to type. Your racism will come to fore, just as surely as Meretz’s just did.

DECEPTIVE SOLIDARITY

But of course, there is nothing exceptional about most Israeli Jews or Israel’s Zionist supporters abroad, whether Jewish or not. Tribalism is endemic to the way most of us view the world, and rapidly comes to the surface whenever we perceive our tribe to be in danger.

Most of us can quickly become extreme tribalists. When tribalism relates to more trivial matters, such as supporting a sports team, it mostly manifests in less dangerous forms, such as boorish or aggressive behavior. But if it relates to an ethnic or national group, it encourages a host of more dangerous behaviors: jingoism, racism, discrimination, segregation and warmongering.

As sensitive as Meretz is to its own tribal identities, whether the Jewish one or a solidarity with the LGBTQ community, its sensitivity to the tribal concerns of others can quickly dissolve when that other identity is presented as threatening. Which is why Meretz, in prioritizing its Jewish identity, lacks any meaningful solidarity with Palestinians or even the Palestinian LGBTQ community.

Instead, Meretz’s opposition to the occupation and the settlements often appears more rooted in the sentiment that they are bad for Israel and its relations with the West than that they are a crime against Palestinians.

This inconsistency means we can easily be fooled about who our real allies are. Just because we share a commitment to one thing, such as ending the occupation, it doesn’t necessarily mean we do so for the same reasons – or we attach the same importance to our commitment.

It is easy, for example, for less experienced Palestinian solidarity activists to assume when they hear Meretz politicians that the party will help advance the Palestinian cause. But failing to understand Meretz’s tribal priorities is a recipe for constant disappointment – and futile activism on behalf of Palestinians.

The Oslo “peace” process remained credible in the West for so long only because Westerners misunderstood how it fitted with the tribal priorities of Israelis. Most were ready to back peace in the abstract so long as it did not entail any practical loss of their tribal privileges.

Yitzhak Rabin, the West’s Israeli partner in the Oslo process, showed what such tribalism entailed in the wake of a gun rampage by a settler, Baruch Goldstein, in 1994 that killed and wounded more than 100 Palestinians at worship in the Palestinian city of Hebron.

Rather than using the murder spree as the justification to implement his commitment to remove the small colonies of extreme settlers from Hebron, Rabin put Hebron’s Palestinians under curfew for many months. Those restrictions have never been fully lifted for many of Hebron’s Palestinians and have allowed Jewish settlers to expand their colonies ever since.

HIERARCHY OF TRIBALISMS

There is a further point that needs underscoring, and that the Israel-Palestine case illustrates well. Not all tribalisms are equal, or equally dangerous. Palestinians are quite capable of being tribal too. Just look at the self-righteous posturing of some Hamas leaders, for example.

But whatever delusions Zionists subscribe to, Palestinian tribalism is clearly far less dangerous to Israel than Jewish tribalism is to Palestinians.

Israel, the state representing Jewish tribalists, has the support of all Western governments and major media outlets, as well as most Arab governments, and at the very least the complicity of global institutions. Israel has an army, navy and air force, all of which can rely on the latest, most powerful weaponry, itself heavily subsidized by the U.S. Israel also enjoys special trading status with the West, which has made its economy one of the strongest on the planet.

The idea that Israeli Jews have a greater reason to fear the Palestinians (or in a further delusion, the Arab world) than Palestinians have to fear Israel is easily refuted. Simply consider how many Israeli Jews would wish to exchange places with a Palestinian – whether in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem or from the minority living inside Israel.

The lesson is that there is a hierarchy of tribalisms, and that a tribalism is more dangerous if it enjoys more power. Empowered tribalisms have the ability to cause much greater harm than disempowered tribalisms. Not all tribalisms are equally destructive.

But there is a more significant point. An empowered tribalism necessarily provokes, accentuates and deepens a disempowered tribalism. Zionists often claim that Palestinians are a made-up or imaginary people because they did not identify as Palestinians until after the state of Israel was created. Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir famously suggested the Palestinians were an invented people.

This was, of course, self-serving nonsense. But it has a kernel of truth that makes it sound plausible. Palestinian identity clarified and intensified as a result of the threat posed by Jewish immigrants arriving from Europe, claiming the Palestinian homeland as their own.

As the saying goes, you don’t always fully appreciate what you have until you face losing it. Palestinians had to sharpen their national identity, and their national ambitions, faced with the threat that someone else was claiming what they had always assumed belonged to them.

SUPERIOR VALUES

So how does all this help us understand our own tribalism in the West?

Not least, whatever the anxieties being encouraged in the West over the supposed threat posed by Russia and China, the reality is that the West’s tribalism – sometimes termed “Western civilization,” or “the rules-based order,” or “the democratic world,” or, even more ludicrously, “the international community” – is by far the most powerful of all tribalisms on the planet. And so also the most dangerous.

Israel’s tribal power, for example, derives almost exclusively from the West’s tribal power. It is an adjunct, an extension, of Western tribal power.

But we need to be a little more specific in our thinking. You and I subscribe to Western tribalism – either consciously or less so, depending on whether we see ourselves as on the right or the left of the political spectrum – because it has been cultivated in us over a lifetime through parenting, schools and the corporate media.

We think West is best. None of us would want to be Russian or Chinese, any more than Israeli Jews would choose to be Palestinian. We implicitly understand that we have privileges over other tribes. And because we are tribal, we assume those privileges are justified in some way. They either derive from our own inherent superiority (a view often associated with the far right) or from a superior culture or traditions (a view usually embracing the moderate right, liberals and parts of the left).

Again, this echoes Zionist views. Israeli Jews on the right tend to believe that they have inherently superior qualities to Palestinians and Arabs, who are seen as primitive, backward or barbarian-terrorists. Overlapping with these assumptions, religious-Zionist Jews tend to imagine that they are superior because they have the one true God on their side.

By contrast, most secular Jews on the left, like the liberals of Meretz, believe that their superiority derives from some vague conception of Western “culture” or civilization that has fostered in them a greater ability to show tolerance and compassion, and act rationally, than do most Palestinians.

Meretz would like to extend that culture to Palestinians to help them benefit from the same civilizing influences. But until that can happen, they, like the Zionist right, view Palestinians primarily as a threat.

Seen in simple terms, Meretz believes they cannot easily empower the Palestinian LGBTQ community, much as they would like to, without also empowering Hamas. And they do not wish to do that because an empowered Hamas, they fear, would not only threaten the Palestinian LGBTQ community but the Israeli one too.

So liberating Palestinians from decades of Israeli military occupation and ethnic cleansing will just have to wait for a more opportune moment – however long that may take, and however many Palestinians must suffer in the meantime.

NEW HITLERS

The parallels with our own, Western worldview should not be hard to perceive.

We understand that our tribalism, our prioritizing of our own privileges in the West, entails suffering for others. But either we assume we are more deserving than other tribes, or we assume others – to become deserving – must first be brought up to our level through education and other civilizing influences. They will just have to suffer in the meantime.

When we read about the “white man’s burden” worldview in history books, we understand – with the benefit of distance from those times – how ugly Western colonialism was. When it is suggested that we might still harbor this kind of tribalism, we get irritated or, more likely, indignant. “Racist – me? Ridiculous!”

Further, our blindness to our own super-empowered Western tribalism makes us oblivious too to the effect our tribalism has on less empowered tribalisms. We imagine ourselves under constant threat from any other tribal group that asserts its own tribalism in the face of our more empowered tribalism.

Some of those threats can be more ideological and amorphous, particularly in recent years: like the supposed “clash of civilisations” against the Islamist extremism of al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

But our preferred enemies have a face, and all too readily can be presented as an improbable stand-in for our template of the bogeyman: Adolf Hitler.

Those new Hitlers pop up one after another, like a whack-a-mole game we can never quite win.

Iraq’s Saddam Hussein – supposedly ready to fire the WMD he didn’t actually have in our direction in less than 45 minutes.

The mad ayatollahs of Iran and their politician-puppets – seeking to build a nuclear bomb to destroy our forward outpost of Israel before presumably turning their warheads on Europe and the U.S.

And then there is the biggest, baddest monster of them all: Vladimir Putin. The mastermind threatening our way of life, our values, or civilization with his mind games, disinformation and control of social media through an army of bots.

EXISTENTIAL THREATS

Because we are as blind to our own tribalism as Meretz is to its racism towards Palestinians, we cannot understand why anyone else might fear us more than we fear them. Our “superior” civilization has cultivated in us a solipsism, a narcissism, that refuses to acknowledge our threatening presence in the world.

The Russians could never be responding to a threat – real or imagined – that we might pose by expanding our military presence right up to Russia’s borders.

The Russians could never see our NATO military alliance as primarily aggressive rather than defensive, as we claim, even though somewhere in a small, dark mental recess where things that make us uncomfortable are shoved we know that Western armies have launched a series of direct wars of aggression against countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, and via proxies in Syria, Yemen, Iran and Venezuela.

The Russians could never genuinely fear neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine – groups that until recently Western media worried were growing in power – even after those neo-Nazis were integrated into the Ukrainian military and led what amounts to a civil war against ethnic Russian communities in the country’s east.

In our view, when Putin spoke of the need to de-Nazify Ukraine, he was not amplifying Russians’ justifiable fears of Nazism on their doorstep, given their history, or the threat those groups genuinely pose to ethnic Russian communities nearby. No, he was simply proving that he and the likely majority of Russians who think like he does are insane.

More than that, his hyperbole gave us permission to bring our covert arming of these neo-Nazis groups out into the light. Now we embrace these neo-Nazis, as we do the rest of Ukraine, and send them advanced weaponry – many billions of dollars worth of advanced weaponry.

And while we do this, we self-righteously berate Putin for being a madman and for his disinformation. He is demented or a liar for viewing us as a existential threat to Russia, while we are entirely justified in viewing him as an existential threat to Western civilization.

And so we keep feeding the chimerical devil we fear. And however often our fears are exposed as self-rationalizing, we never learn.

Saddam Hussein posed an earlier existential threat. His non-existent WMDs were going to be placed in his non-existent long-range missiles to destroy us. So we had every right to destroy Iraq first, preemptively. But when those WMDs turned out not to exist, whose fault was it? Not ours, of course. It was Saddam Hussein’s. He didn’t tell us he did not have WMDs. How could we have known? In our view, Iraq ended up being destroyed because Saddam was a strongman who believed his own propaganda, a primitive Arab hoisted by his own petard.

If we paused for a moment and stood outside our own tribalism, we might realize how dangerously narcissistic – quite how mad – we sound. Saddam Hussein did not tell us he had no WMDs, that he had secretly destroyed them many years earlier, because he feared us and our uncontrollable urge to dominate the globe. He feared that, if we knew he lacked those weapons, we might have more of an incentive to attack him and Iraq, either directly or through proxies. It was we who trapped him in his own lie.

And then there is Iran. Our endless fury with the mad ayatollahs – our economic sanctions, our and Israel’s executions of Iran’s scientists, our constant chatter of invasion – are intended to stop Tehran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon that might finally level the Middle East’s playing field with Israel, whom we helped to develop a large nuclear arsenal decades ago.

Iran must be stopped so it cannot destroy Israel and then us. Our fears of the Iranian nuclear threat are paramount. We must strike, directly or through proxies, against its allies in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Gaza. Our entire Middle East policy must be fashioned around the effort to prevent Iran from ever gaining the bomb.

In our madness, we cannot imagine the fears of Iranians, their realistic sense that we pose a much graver threat to them than they could ever pose to us. In the circumstances, to Iranians, a nuclear weapon might surely look like a very wise insurance policy – a deterrence – against our boundless self-righteousness.

VICIOUS CYCLE

Because we are the strongest tribe on the planet, we are also the most deluded, the most propagandized, as well as the most dangerous. We create the reality we think we oppose. We spawn the devils we fear. We force our rivals into the role of bogeyman that makes us feel good about ourselves.

In Israel, Meretz imagines it opposes the occupation. And yet it keeps conspiring in actions – supposedly to aid Israel’s security, like the apartheid law – that justifiably make Palestinians fear for their existence and believe they have no Jewish allies in Israel. Backed into a corner, Palestinians resist, either in an organized fashion, as during their intifada uprisings, or through ineffectual “lone-wolf” attacks by individuals.

But the Zionist tribalism of Meretz – as liberal, humane and caring as they are – means they can perceive only their own existential anxieties; they cannot see themselves as a threat to others or grasp the fears that they and other Zionists provoke in Palestinians. So the Palestinians must be dismissed as religious maniacs, or primitive, or barbarian-terrorists.

This kind of tribalism produces a vicious cycle – for us, as for Israel. Our behaviors based on the assumption of superiority – our greed and aggression – mean we inevitably deepen the tribalisms of others and provoke their resistance. Which in turn rationalizes our assumption that we must act even more tribally, even more greedily, even more aggressively.

CHEERLEADING WAR

We each have more than one tribal identity, of course. We are not only British, French, American, Brazilian. We are Black, Asian, Hispanic, white. We are straight, gay, trans, or something even more complex. We are conservative, liberal, left. We may support a team, or have a faith.

These tribal identities can conflict and interact in complex ways. As Meretz shows, one identity may come to the fore, and recede into the background, depending on circumstances and the perception of threat.

But perhaps most important of all, some tribalisms can be harnessed and manipulated by other, narrower, more covert tribal identities. Remember, not all tribalisms are equal.

Western elites – our politicians, corporate leaders, billionaires – have their own narrow tribalism. They prioritize their own tribe and its interests: making money and retaining power on the world stage. But given how ugly, selfish and destructive this tribe would look were it to stand before us nakedly pursuing power for its own benefit, it promotes its tribal interests in the name of the wider tribe and its “cultural” values.

This elite tribe wages its endless wars for resource control, it oppresses others, it imposes austerity, it wrecks the planet, all in the name of Western civilization.

When we cheerlead the West’s wars; when we reluctantly concede that other societies must be smashed; when we accept that poverty and food banks are an unfortunate byproduct of supposed economic realities, as is the toxifying of the planet, we conspire in advancing not our own tribal interests but someone else’s.

When we send tens of billions of dollars of weapons to Ukraine, we imagine we are being selfless, helping those in trouble, stopping an evil madman, upholding international law, listening to Ukrainians. But our understanding of why events are unfolding as they are in Ukraine, more so than how they are unfolding, has been imposed on us, just as it has on ordinary Ukrainians and ordinary Russians.

We believe we can end the war through more muscle. We assume we can terrorize Russia into withdrawal. Or even more dangerously, we fantasize that we can defeat a nuclear-armed Russia and remove its “madman” president. We cannot imagine that we are only stoking the very fears that drove Russia to invade Ukraine in the first place, the very fears that brought a strongman like Putin to power and sustain him there. We make the situation worse in assuming we are making it better.

So why do we do it?

Because our thoughts are not our own. We are dancing to a tune composed by others whose motives and interests we barely comprehend.

An endless war is not in our interests, nor in those of Ukrainians or Russians. But it might just be in the interests of Western elites that need to “weaken the enemy” to expand their dominance; that need pretexts to hoover up our money for wars that profit them alone; that need to create enemies to shore up the tribalism of Western publics so that we do not start to see things from the point of view of others or wonder whether our own tribalism really serves our interests or those of an elite.

The truth is we are being constantly manipulated, duped, propagandized to advance “values” that are not inherent in our “superior” culture but manufactured for us by the elites’ public-relations arm, the corporate media. We are made into willing co-conspirators in behavior that actually harms us, others, and the planet.

In Ukraine, our very compassion to help is being weaponized in ways that will kill Ukrainians and destroy their communities, just as Meretz’s caring liberalism has spent decades rationalizing the oppression of Palestinians in the name of ending it.

We cannot liberate Ukraine or Russia. But what we can do may, in the long term, prove far more significant: We can start liberating our minds.

The Globalist’s Race Against Time

May 26, 2022

Source

By Eamon McKinney

A Great Reset will happen, just not the one intended by the Globalists. They may have to settle for the Great Decoupling instead.

The green economy, de-industrialisation, digital health passports, Central Bank digital currencies, these are all core components of the Globalists’ plan for the Great reset. The WEF has painted a picture of their proposed future via Klaus Schwab and his acolytes. “We will have nothing, own nothing and be happy”. The main obstacle to this grand vision is that not surprisingly very few countries wish to go along with it. The Globalists know their game is coming to an end and the Great Reset is their way of ensuring that the same financial cabal that has brought the world to its current lamentable state will continue to rule over all in the next world order. The most prominent objectors to this insidious plan are of course Russia and China. Unlike their western counterparts both have strong leaders who enjoy popular support, have strong economies and are optimistic about future prospects for growth. Neither intends to sacrifice their countries so that Western elites can maintain their control over the Global economic system and impose their self-serving will on weaker nations. Which in its simplest terms is why both countries need to be destroyed, at least economically before the Great Reset can be imposed on the world. Time, however, is not on the Globalists’ side, recent events have demonstrated that they are aware of this and are accelerating their timelines.

The Great Reset and its stated objectives have been in the planning for several years, those plans however are now seriously behind schedule. The election of Trump in 2016 wasn’t supposed to happen. He was to Washington the ultimate “Black Swan” event. An outsider without the backing of a political party and with seemingly the entire mainstream media against him, his victory was considered all but impossible. Yet win he did, and it seemed he spent the entire four years of his presidency battling against the Globalist faction, both internationally and within America. Washington felt cheated, not only was Trump an “outsider” he was also a disrupter. Opinions on the divisive Trump aside, he was indisputably an “America First Nationalist”, he was anti-NATO. and a vocal anti-Globalist. There would be no Great Reset under Trump, he was an obstacle to the agenda and had to be removed. Which in 2020 in a blatantly fraudulent election he was. Should Trump run again in 2024 and all indications are that he will, he would likely win an honest election in a landslide. The return of Trump would provide another major obstacle to the Globalist agenda. Expect that all efforts will be expended to prevent another Trump presidency. With an angry populace and increased electoral scrutiny next time around, they may have to turn to other measures to foil a Trump return. Should Trump re-enter the White House in 2024, the notoriously vindictive Trump is expected to seek accountability against those who he believes robbed him of his rightful election. Nerves are frayed in Washington and they know the clock is ticking.

Trump set the agenda back four years and they are now playing against the clock to make up for lost time, all evidence suggests that they are getting increasingly desperate. The recent invitations issued to Sweden and Finland to “fast track” NATO membership is yet another provocation to Russia. Putin wants to end the Ukraine conflict on his own terms and withdraw, he doesn’t not get bogged down in a quagmire that would drag on for years. NATO wants exactly that. Wooing Sweden and Finland is their attempt to ensure years of conflict and tension. Putin understands this all too well. As they lurch from one bad idea to another, attention should be paid to the indecent haste in which they are moving. It appears they are making things up as they go along, all without any obvious sense of consequence.

The prospect of Trump 2.0 is not the only time sensitive issue facing the Globalists. The global economy is on the brink of implosion. Sri Lanka has recently defaulted on its international debts. This will immediately create at least a $500 billion hole in the global economy. Alarmingly, according to the World Bank more than 70 other countries are in a similarly perilous economic condition. For most their debts are un-payable, and the IMF solution of structural adjustment (austerity) privatisations, and cuts to government services, would consign these countries to generations of deprivation and social unrest. Or, they could repudiate the debt completely and abandon the Western banking model. Both China and Russia have alternatives to SWIFT and welcome countries who want to escape the neo-liberal financial plantation. Both offer investment for development, non-interference and respect for countries’ sovereignty. All things valued by every country, but unachievable under Western domination. Decisions will very soon be made by countries throughout the Global south about who they want to align their futures with.

A new proposal being put before the UN on May 22nd essentially requires all nations to surrender their sovereignty to the WHO in the event of another pandemic. That they would even think that post-Covid the WHO enjoys that level of confidence, is delusional. This transparent power grab is easily recognised for what it is, in the unlikely event that it gains enough traction, expect another pandemic to follow shortly after. The cabal still has the tools to cajole, bribe and threaten countries to submit, and doubtless it will try, but outside of the captured western countries, such a desperate move will garner scant support. Covid failed to usher in the Great Reset but it unleashed a wave of destruction on the global economy that may take generations to repair. Many questions on the criminal mismanagement of Covid remain unanswered. There are few nations that don’t harbour deep resentment towards the notoriously corrupt and inept WHO and its genocidal Sugar Daddy Bill Gates. The sheer audacity of the proposal stinks of desperation. The upcoming vote is likely to give the Globalists another stark reminder of its waning power and influence.

A Great Reset will happen, just not the one intended by the Globalists. They may have to settle for the Great Decoupling instead. As Western influence continues to diminish at a rapid pace the trend of countries flocking to the China/Russia orbit is bound to increase. The NWO that they have been lusting after for generations is likely to be restricted to Western Europe and North America, or about 15% of the World’s population. The effects of the disastrous Ukraine provocation and the failed sanctions will soon become undeniable. Food and energy shortages together with uncontrollable inflation, will make even this smaller NWO harder to control. The Emperor has no clothes, as all can now see, their game is old, tired and predictable, and they have no new ideas. The Globalists may not have to worry about a Trump return in 2024. It is highly likely that the clock will have run out on them by then. It could happen any day.

The Depravity of the Armchair Communists

May 22, 2022

Source

By Kahlil Wall-Johnson

The inter-imperialist camp, as it has been called, has dedicated itself to painting the Ukraine conflict strictly in terms of inter-imperialist struggle. In their dedication to this interpretation, they have committed to a series of surprisingly extravagant claims, some of which I intend to gather here and hold up to the light. However, it is this camp’s total lack of scruples, specifically when it comes to their sources, that has compelled me to object. Having said this, I find it necessary to reassure the reader that what follows is not (unlike the pieces being critiqued) a rant on how we ought to interpret Lenin’s Imperialism, or even really an attempt to engage with theory. Nor is it a detailed comparison of the role of the US and Russia in the world-system. There is no need to repeat the many articles which have rebutted these claims and contrasted the specific nature of US imperialism to Chinese or Russian foreign policy and trade. Rather, what I am trying to scrape at here is their lazy and offensive attitude towards their sources; an attitude that is repeatedly criticized by the very authors they cite!

Interestingly, it is these individuals’ familiarity with many of the contours of US imperialism that has provided them with a premade template to project onto Russia’s behavior. This has led them to defend certain claims, which at times, even surpass those of the US corporate media. As teaser of what is to come, the figures of whom we are speaking write that “Ukranians are not oppressing Russians” and that “when Putin likens this behavior to genocide, he takes a page from the execrable Adrian Zenz” while going on to speak of “a Russian empire of lies,” and its plagiarism of the US “doctrine of humanitarian interventionism.”

Let us begin with a recent piece titled “‘Is Russia an imperialist country?’— That’s not the right question to ask?’ by a certain Greg Godels. The only potential merit that should be granted the author is that of almost taking a look at the idea of multipolarity through a historical perspective. There is a point to be made. Multipolarity is indeed an abstract concept; without a concrete analysis of the emerging poles, it is not necessarily desirable, nor, as he argues, anti-imperialist in the Leninist sense. Then there is also the problem of the extent to which the world can even reach, or stabilize at, a point of mutually independent sovereign states or empires. This could lead to the subsequent question of whether multipolarity —a potentially ambiguous buzzword, enjoyed principally in foreign policy documents and by foreign correspondents— is even an adequate tool through which to understand economic, military and political history. There is potential here for a rich debate. In fact, it has certainly already begun to take place. Unfortunately, after pointing out the abstract character of the principle at hand, Godels drifts further away from any potential concrete analysis to declare that, since multipolarity isn’t inherently anti-imperialist or anti-capitalist, today’s emerging world isn’t either and, most importantly, doesn’t deserve any support. What makes him think that multipolarity is being supported as an abstract principle, universally valid throughout history? Why assume we are not taking stock of actuality?

Laying claim to what Lenin would be saying of the present, Godels and others assume the all too familiar this-is-what-you-need-to-know-about-Ukraine tone. The Bolshevik leader is quoted relentlessly, leaving us no doubt as to whether or not they have read him. When not busy copy and pasting, their writing is completely devoid of the concrete analysis, so beloved by Lenin, which might back their inter-imperialist reading of the war in Ukraine. These pieces range from directly labeling Russia as an imperialist power, to more diffuse readings of Lenin in which Imperialism is presented as a project in which all capitalist states participate, regardless of their position in the hierarchy of national economies, and less as a trait circumscribed to certain powers. Regardless of the path chosen, at the end of the day Russia, and China, are irrevocably implicated in the imperialist project and any opportunities or potential that we might expect to be perceived by a self-described marxist-leninist in the weakening of the US empire, are dismissed on the grounds that the immanent multipolar world, of which Russia is often cast as the sole representative, is tainted by capitalism, or “enmeshed” in imperialism. In fact, these disciples of Lenin explicitly argue against the decline of the US empire representing an opportunity at all, reserving their support for a metaphysical parallel dimension in which they run simulations of a “radical change” pure enough for their ideals.

Beyond these moralistic arguments, history is marching forward— whether these Marxist-Leninists give it the greenlight or not. Despite their nostalgia for the “radical socialists” who “tried to adapt to reality,” their stream of revolutionary rhetoric rings hollow if it is out of rhythm with these developments. Even their source of identity —Lenin and his contemporaries—, while condemning WWI, actively factored its aftermath, a weakened capitalist core, into their calculations (‘the war to end all wars’). Even they recognized the objective nature of the forces at work; the war could not be detained— denounced? Yes, but only as a symptom of the system. Unlike these earnest, ethical interventions, echoing from the inter-imperialist camp demanding that “Russia must immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine and cease interfering in Ukrainian affairs,” while “The United States and its satellites must do the same,” Lenin’s pamphlets well above today’s anti-war petitions.

Before getting too bogged down in particular claims, we would be wise to catch the implicit assumption by which those who do not condemn Russia are supporting, or in favor of the conflict in some way. This is a particularly frustrating depiction of things, especially for those of us who were weary of it prior to February 24. Enough has been written on the series of events that led up to this moment; a series of events, which when considered in their totality, make condemnation of Russia a very stubborn task. The tragedy of the occasion is beyond question, yet beyond this fact, the inter-imperialist camp has shown remarkably little interest in both the specific events that led up to February 24, and the global consequences of a favorable or unfavorable outcome for Russia. Moreover, when the scope of US aggression, encirclement and even entrapment towards Russia is admitted to, they turn around and refuse to consider the gravity of these threats on a military or security level, insisting that it was merely the profit motives of Russian billionaires. Of course, that billionaires in Russia have faced choppy waters, or that the communist party of Russia supports, and called for, their country’s intervention, is deemed irrelevant, or in the latter case potential class treason. In any case, when one seeks to understand the series of events that led up to Russia’s intervention, as opposed to grafting Lenin quotes onto preconceptions, it is hard to think of what Russia could have done to avoid this outcome. These Marxist-Leninists should not be expected to share in Putin’s disavowal of socialism, however, his disdain for Soviet-era allocations of Russian-majority territories to Ukraine (Crimea, Eastern Ukraine) is not unfounded given the current circumstances.

It should also be understood that the present critique is neither directed at the general practice of recourse to Lenin, nor is it intended to rescue him from misuse. Rather, what we are taking aim at is this perspective, passed off as the work of “a good marxist” and “a good historian” (yes, these are real quotes), according to which the present situation would be best understood solely by drawing on literature from, and comparisons with, the early 20th century. Thus Godels repeatedly tells us that “The demise of the Soviet Union has freed the hand of imperialism, producing a world substantially congruent with early-twentieth-century imperialism.“ or that “Twenty-first-century imperialism shares more features with the imperialism of Lenin’s time than differences.” It is an interesting way of proceeding, in which both the past and the present must be significantly distorted, or selectively read, so as to resemble each other, while the differences between the two epochs are only admitted to insofar as “‘New’ great powers replaced or changed places with the line-up active in Lenin’s time.” Before poking any holes in this way of thinking, we might ask the representatives of this trend how they find it presentable to ignore the many contributions made to the field since the days of Lenin, and especially in the wake of Bretton Woods or the breakup of the USSR. Lenin is no doubt a starting point, sure, but how is it passable to present his diagnosis from 1916 as the bulk, if not entirety, of one’s contemporary perspective?

Let us take a look at another claim shared by Godels and some of his comrades in arms: “the attempt to impose multipolarity upon a world saddled with the domination of the British Empire was a critical factor leading to World War I,” which he invokes as a sort of cautionary tale against the dangers of welcoming multipolarity. We might start by asking if it is appropriate to compare the dominance of Britain, or the sterling zone, to that of the American Century and dollar hegemony, especially given the considerable independence of other pre-WWI powers (the Monroe Doctrine being almost a century old). Does a war, which saw the US begin to impose unipolarity, qualify as an attempt to impose multipolarity? Or perhaps, even more to the point, is it not a clumsy anachronism to impose the notion of multipolarity on the colonial world of 1916, which openly embraced imperialist ideology; a world, which regardless of the internal power struggles of Western Europe, was largely dominated by a community of states which for many decades operated as a coalition of colonial powers (i.e. the scramble for Africa)? Can a parallel really be drawn between the Axis powers’ struggle for colonies, and China and Russia’s foreign policy? Apparently so, as we shall see later. Formal similarities aside, must we ignore the particularites of each epoch so thoroughly for the sake of this parallel? In any case, this strained analogy requires both events to be warped to the extent that it is difficult to conceive of how one could aid in understanding the other, and immediately becomes problematic when we compare the contending powers of WWI and those of today. I can only wonder what a truly “good historian” would make of all this.

Regarding the dismissal of multipolarism, it should be noted that this argument depends on Russia, caricatured as a “ravaged former socialist state now owned by mega-billionaires” —with no legitimate security concerns, or internal class struggles, of her own— being cast as the sole representative of an emerging polispheric world. Accordingly, to the extent that the US empire’s decline is cautioned against on the grounds of Russia’s existence, China and other nations struggling against US dominance must either be denounced as capitalist, or be swept under the carpet for the sake of convenience. In the case of the Godels’ piece we have been focusing on, he opts for a mix of the two: the author’s sole reference to modern China is the following isolated statement: “PRC’s impressive entry into the global capitalist economy and subsequent remarkable growth threatens US hegemony, creating intensified competition and tensions.” Thus, far from being an alternative to US dominance, China is portrayed in an almost dangerous light, and is referred to on the sly via its initials (maybe we were supposed to forget about it). The same could be said of this brave theoretician’s declaration that without the USSR, the “the most viable economic scaffold for independent development outside of the imperialist system was eliminated.” We can only assume that the Belt and Road Initiative is either a touch too imperialist for his liking, or that he was hoping we would fail to remember.

Within this logic, the history leading up to Russia’s intervention is pounded into the mold of early 20th-century inter-imperialist competition; an act reminiscent of the “baroque conviction” (p. 293) criticized by Gramsci, and echoed by Losurdo, wherein one becomes more orthodox by seeing the world solely through the lense of economic incentive. In this particular case, the state is nothing more than the administrative branch of capital. As the latter noted, this reductionism “simplifies and flattens the complexity of historical and social processes.” Accordingly, these orthodox marxists, while fully aware of the unilateral nature of US aggression, reduce the war to a question of “whose billionaires are more important to you? The US’s or Russia’s?” Yet history has shown us that military concerns can reach existential levels, upon which the lens of economic incentives becomes relatively inadequate to understand the behavior of states: think of the Cuban missile crisis, or even the arms race from the perspective of the USSR. As Gustavo Bueno put it, the dialectic of class is incomplete without the dialectic of states. One need only remember the conviction of Michael Hudson, or other analysts, that Russia’s motives were primarily of a military nature. This is not to deny that economic outcomes were not factored in; the point is that they start to warp the picture when other factors are disregarded. Likewise, to assert that security concerns can reach existential levels is not to provide a cover story for Russia’s deeper imperialist ambitions. Although it should be said that the instantaneous rejection by many leftists of this particular casus belli is certainly linked to the desensitizing effect of US imperialism. Unfortunately, Godels and his comrades have gone as far as to declare that “Russia is mimicking US policy” and “the doctrine of humanitarian interventionism,” showing very little care for the history of Ukraine or the scope of the US empire.

Of course the trajectory of Russia’s billionaires must be considered, all of this is not meant to absolve them of their misdeeds, quite the opposite. The point is that, in reducing the conflict to the rivalry of two capitalist systems, there is no analysis of the particular development of capitalism in Russia as a creation of US imperialism. It is almost ignored that the people of Russia are more at war with US imperialism than they are with the billionaires of Russia. In fact the latter are its children! Given the havoc wreaked on Russia upon US penetration, it is insulting to write off the exploitation and suffering of the Russian working class as the doing of endogenous billionaires; the people are just as much the victims of US imperialism, while the billionaires are indebted to it. We might add that it was the very moderate limits the Russian state began to impose on its vulnerability and on the looting of its resources that led the US to escalate. Regardless of where you look, the history of this conflict does not agree with these heavily ideological distortions.

Similarly, this rigid, inter-imperialistic reading of Russia’s behavior comes hand in hand with assertion that this war is wholly detrimental to the Russian working class; a view most expounded by a presumed associate of Godels, Nikos Mottas. Here he speaks with remarkable confidence, hailing the stance of the Russian Communist Workers’ Party (RCWP) in opposition to the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, which is charged with having sold out. Clearly, there can be no mention of the fact that working class Russians have relatives in the war-torn regions of Ukraine, or that the ‘indivisibility of security’ against US aggression is in the interest of working class Russians as well. But even in the statements of the RCWP to which they refer, we find a much more tentative perspective than the one extracted by these ideologues, in fact, certain sentences are deceptively cited, ignoring the context of the broader argument. Yes, the statement is titled “No to fascism, no to imperialist war!,” and does go on to declare that “We have no doubts that the true aims of the Russian state in this war are quite imperialistic – to strengthen the position of imperialist Russia in world market competition,” yet, the very next sentence specifies that “since this struggle today to some extent helps the people of Donbass to repulse Bandera fascism, the communists in this part of it do not deny, but allow and support as much as it is waged against fascism in the Donbass and Ukraine.” The statement is adamant in its support for the intervention, going so far as to regret that “it happened late, much later than it should have” and stressing that “As long as Russia’s armed intervention helps save people in the Donbass from reprisals by punishers, we will not oppose this goal. In particular, we consider it acceptable if, due to circumstances, it is necessary to use force against the fascist Kyiv regime, insofar as this will be in the interests of the working people.” Compared to Mottas, the authors of this statement seem to take the issue of nazism rather seriously!

Most notably, the statement contains no denouncement of Russia’s actions so far, quite the opposite, and repeatedly stresses the need to watch attentively for a potential predatory turn. Disappointingly, here Mottas deceptively confirms his thesis by pasting the last sentence of the second-to-last paragraph: “Not the masters but the workers will die on both sides. To die for class brothers is worthy, but to die and kill for the interests of the masters is stupid, criminal and unacceptable,” omitting that the first sentence is a conditional clause discussing “the possibility of the military campaign of assistance to the Donbass from Russia… developing into a truly completely predatory war,” in which case “We will regard this as a war of conquest.”

Indeed, the statement assumes the aforementioned diffuse definition of imperialism, however its criticism of recent events is deeply measured, and it problematizes its own framework. Both the statement and Mottas agree that the true source of the conflict was not humanitarian, yet while the latter emphasizes its inter-imperialist nature to indict Russia, the statement is open in its identification of US aggression, even citing the revival of fascism! Interestingly, what we find in the RCWP statement is well beyond the moralistic logic of the inter-imperialist camp, as they explicitly posit the possibility of recognizing that Russia is implicated in imperialism, while insisting on supporting their countries actions so far in Ukraine! Thus, contrary to Mottas and co, they are aligned with the diagnostic and tactical dimension of Lenin’s work, as opposed to turning to him for an ethical guide on what can, or cannot be, supported. The piece actually justifies its support for its country, which it nevertheless defines as having imperialistic motives. Is this to say that in certain cases we must choose between nations with imperialistic elements? Must the puritans recant their support for this statement as well? In any case, I recommend that the reader skim over the short statement, if only to grasp the extent to which it has been distorted.

As if that weren’t enough, Mottas then fixes his gaze on the Communist Party of Spain (PCE), which certainly deserves to be criticized for a great many of its positions and policies. However in this case, the PCE’s calling for “the dissolution of NATO” is ridiculed as hypocrisy simply because the PCE has formed a small part of the coalition government for the past several years. Apparently government officials are hypocritical if they criticize state policy. By this logic, one wonders just what exactly politicians are expected to do. He presumably sent the PCE an email in which he told them that if they wanted his support, they must resign and resort to blogging as the sole means of expressing political views.

Another case study in this tendency is Stephen Gowans who, it should be noted, cites Domenico Losurdo and appears to hold him in high esteem. The latter will be of use here, frequently, as a considerable portion of his work is dedicated to questioning the very same current in which the inter-imperialist camp finds itself (or fails to find itself, but can be found we should say). As with the previous statement, we will quote him to great length, not out of deference but rather to display the total lack of scruples of those who twist his work to their ends.

Gowans incurs in the same logic described earlier: China and Russia are branded as capitalist (leaving little to no room for distinctions between economic structures with vastly different magnitudes and dynamics), and equated with the US. Then their rivalry with the US is reduced to inter-capitalist competition and, voila, conflated with imperialism. Given this disdain for all “competitive actions’‘ and self-interest on behalf of states (his telltale signs of imperialism) we can only guess that he would feel more comfortable with other nations if they offered no competition at all to the US and hermetically sealed themselves off from international trade. One can only wonder if these individuals consider the USSR’s foreighn policy to have been completely devoid of competition and self-service? Or maybe socialism has never existed for them, except in Cuba maybe, where the blockade has kept them pure from market forces. They must prefer their socialists “poor but beautiful;” a position which Losurdo repeatedly attacks and condemns in his many responses to this very same rejection of contemporary Chinese policy.

As you will soon see, the extent to which Gowans so perfectly embodies a number of positions which Losurdo disapproves of is comical. Gowans’ ideas are wholly incompatible with the Losurdo book he quotes, and hasn’t read or has intentionally disregarded the Italian philosopher’s work on China or Stalin, where Losurdo shows himself to be one of the most forthright defenders of ‘socialism with chinese characteristics.’ But above all, Losurdo’s work is largely a critical assessment of the millenarian hopes for the “end to classes and states altogether” or the transcendence of polarity in a “nonpolar” world (“the very essence of Marxism” we are reassured); themes so ubiquitous, and very much alive, in Gowans’ rants.

There is something very immaterial about this discomfort with multipolarity. It seems to bother these people that some states are bigger than others, or that even socialist states have to compete for spheres of influence. They seem to object to the fact that the world will always be polarized to a certain degree. Yet, a world where these imbalances don’t exist is a metaphysical experiment, and there is great reason to hope that the dynamics of Chinese, and even Russian, foreign engagement constitute a break from the extremely predatory lineage of western europe and the US. Of course, if Russia and China take a predatory turn in their foreign policy, then they must be critiqued. We are not so blinded by our irrational desire to see the US empire fall.

Gowans is perhaps the most explicit representative of the tendency we have been describing. In his obsession with critiquing those who associate imperialism today with the unipolar role of the US, he writes that his own view is “more complex” because it “follows the lines” of Hilferding, Bukharin and Lenin, while he repeatedly defines imperialism as a “system of rivalry”. Does this mean that in the 90’s, amidst the “end of history” —when rivalry, be it inter-capitalist or Cold War-esque, had largely subsided— that imperialism had slipped into the shadows as well? In any case, this lense of imperialism-as-rivalry begins to lose credence after WWI (unless the USSR is read as imperialist as well). Most alarmingly, he then goes on to complain that the position he is attacking is “at odds with the model developed by the three Marxists cited above.” This is worth ruminating on for a moment. For Gowans, it is an inconsistency that a diagnosis of the year 2022 does not correspond to that of 1916! This is the bizarre anti-historical attitude we have been trying to provide a portrait of. Then, Gowans, in the same piece from which we have been quoting, moves on to the same pre-WWI parallels that Godels had gotten so excited about. Although in this case we are told that understanding contemporary imperialism vis-a-vis the US, and advocating for multipolarity, retroactively “excludes the Axis powers as imperialists,” rendering them anti-imperialist given their struggle against the British empire, as they too sought “their place in the sun.” Once again, apart from the work of another “good historian”, we are face to face with the same refusal of any concrete analysis.

When everything is this thoroughly abstracted and beaten to death, a number of highly reductionist parallels can be suggested: an equally imperialist Eurasian empire is set to steal the stage from the US; Russia’s struggle for the integration of regions on its border is equated to the US drive for control of the same markets; the pre-WWI struggle for the spoils of colonialism is equated to Eurasian integration. Such is the extent to which they scour their brains for symmetries, casting things as a good ol’ fashion imperial tug-of-war.

There is something unforgivable about this apathy, or even reluctance, shown towards the decline of the US empire, the scandals of which we know all too well. The leveraging of these forced symmetries, this insistence that Russia and China are of the same category as the US, the childish attempts to monopolize Lenin or Marx, it rings like more of a fickle provocation than any serious attempt to dabble in history or theory. China and Russia’s concrete terms of engagement are apparently irrelevant, their competition only harboring the dangers of war. There is almost this assumption that the US would ever loosen its grip without a fight! It is absurd how emerging powers are reprimanded for their militarism, as if the only thing holding the US back were not the fear of its own destruction.

It must be fun for this clique to speculate from their position of ideological purity, digging their feet in and demanding a nonpolar, stateless, classless world. Better yet: a paradigm change; a competition-free, altruistic awakening; a revolutionary break with this imperialism-is-everywhere world. Have they been reading foucault? Nevertheless this leisure is not possible for those of us who are confronting the actual historical conjunctions offered to us. In fact, it is worrisome that they did not walk away from Lenin with any appreciation for concrete analysis, and clearly were not influenced by his more tactically oriented works (i.e. Left-Wing’ Communism: an Infantile Disorder, What is to be Done?). Yet, if we were to assume this diffuse notion of imperialism, one could only wish, for example, that Russia had been more imperialist in Gaddafi’s Libya. Their current state of affairs is certainly less desirable than that of the liberated territories of Syria. Yet almost expectedly, this stark contrast is downplayed on the basis that Syria is a Russian “vassal.” Predictably, the areas “ruled” by Russia are put on an equal footing with the ones controlled by “US,” “Turkish” and “Israeli” forces.

Dedicated as they are to this dismissal of imperialist Russia, the representatives of this camp cling to Lenin’s emphasis that there is no formula through which to identify imperialism. It is here where Gowans believes he has found something to adapt to his project in Losurdo, who we are told ”challenges a commonly held misconception that the Bolshevik leader’s understanding of imperialism can be reduced to a checklist of characteristics that define individual states”. But even this clarification is decontextualized and betrayed: far from rejecting the notion of an imperialist checklist in favor of a historically situated approach like that of Lenin’s, they have reverted to a criterion of their own, which happens to be the loosest, most free-floating one available. In short, any activity bearing an element of competition or self-interest, any integration with capitalist markets, constitutes a sign of imperialism. On the other hand, while admitting to the fluidity of his parameters, Lenin built his analysis through the diagnosis of the scale of foreign investments, colonial possessions, superprofits, the merging of private capital, industry and government, etc; that is the specific heritage of the US, EU and NATO. While these authors attempt to untie imperialism from this lineage, moving towards the universal criteria mentioned above, they draw on, or attempt to hold on to, all of the imagery and scandals —the emotional thud— of the definition of imperialism they are distancing themselves from! As if the two were one and the same; as if the imperialism they try to tap into or harness for their denunciations could be reduced to the elements of capitalism, self-interest and international competition which they have detected in China and Russia!

We must remember that the parameters of imperialism must have a degree of flexibility; they must be historical. This is the precondition to be able to recognize modern imperialism as such. Nobody in 1916 could have predicted the evolution of capitalism. Indeed, how could one have foreseen global dollar hegemony? Or a deindustrialized, imperialist core in the US and western europe? The list goes on. Having recognized this, it is highly deceptive to argue that what Lenin was describing could be reduced to things such as integration in international markets, or competition and self-interest, as his work was an acutely historically-situated diagnosis of a specific phase of capitalism, a necessary stepping stone to understand the present, yes, but also insufficient for this purpose. It is equally deceptive if there is no distinction between the vastly different things being equated under the same umbrella, yet this is precisely what they strive to do. The inertia of their commitment to this argument requires them to gloss over the facts. In their extravagance they stoop irretrievably low, warning those who disagree that, besides Lenin turning in his grave, they may be class traitors. Yes, here they finally show their true colors, inadvertently lecturing vast swathes of the “confused” or “ignorant” multitudes who are not of the same mind.

Amidst these tirades against a “very capitalist China” and a Russia no “less an imperialist state than the United States,” Gowans attempts to invoke Losurdo, who is no longer with us to set the record straight. Fortunately, his work leaves little room for interpretation regarding his compatibility with his hijackers’ project. For example, in the online translation of his book on Stalin, on page 293 we find his frustration with the fact that “In analyzing international relations there are those who consider themselves to be the foremost champions of anti-imperialism by expanding as much as possible their list of imperialist countries; all of them put on the same level!;” a conviction which he punctuates several lines later with Togliatti’s famous remark that “one of the fundamental points of our revolutionary strategy, is our ability to understand, at any given moment, who is the principal enemy and to concentrate all our strength against that enemy.”

Yet we need not look any further than the very same book from which Gowans cites to encounter that on page 303, “China is the country that more than any other is challenging the international division of labour imposed by colonialism and imperialism, and furthering the end of the Columbian epoch—a fact of enormous, progressive historical significance.” Again, let’s not forget that Gowans has decided any support for China or Russia —”baby imperialisms” as he eloquently puts it— constitutes “little more than a mental illness.” He clearly has no reservations about drawing on the wisdom of the mentall ill when he stumbles across an isolated sentence that serves his mission.

Losurdo goes on, directly addressing this debate when he remarks that “Today, in the advanced capitalist countries even the intellectual culture influenced by Marx finds it hard to include the struggle to shake off ‘political annexation’ (Lenin) or the ‘political yoke’ (Guevara), to repel military aggression, in the category of emancipatory class struggles. The refusal to interpret endeavors to end ‘economic’ annexation (Lenin) or the ‘imperialist economic yoke’, and to foil ‘economic aggression’ (Guevara), in terms of class struggle, is prejudicial. ” (p. 291) and repeatedly returns to the fact that “Lenin had no hesitation in affirming that ‘[i]n a genuinely national war, the words ‘defence of the fatherland’ are not a deception and we are not opposed to it ’.” Anyone acquainted with Losurdo is aware that his entire work is pervaded by a treatment of the national question that completely transcends the level of thought we are critiquing. For someone in Gowans’ camp, it would take a certain degree of clumsiness or bad faith not to see oneself in the crosshairs of Losurdo’s critique. Let’s just hope he didn’t make it that far in the book.

As a means of distancing ourselves from the particular focus of this debate, the following Losurdo excerpts tap even deeper into the general state of detachment and confusion of this camp. In criticizing a certain familiar outlook, Losurdo, in Hegel and the Freedom of Moderns, writes of “the difficult balance between the legitimation of modernity and its critical evaluation, a balance that characterizes Marx and that Marx himself inherited from Hegel” and notes the former’s awareness of “those who, when faced with difficult situations and the failure of certain ideals, first of all confirm their ‘inner sincerity’ and assume the ‘halo of honest intentions” (2014, p. 262).

Even so, his distaste for this mindset becomes even more palpable when he recalls Engels’ jest at the “beautiful soul” who “delights itself in its on inner purity and excellence, which it narcissistically enjoys in opposition to the baseness and dullness of actuality and the world’s progress” and which upon seeing the “harshness” of reality, “withdraws in horror, and to make up for it, it is always ready to pity itself for being ‘misunderstood’ and ignored by the world;” a place in which it “always ends up making a terrible impression, not only on a political level, by demonstrating its impotence, but on a more strictly moral level, by revealing itself as soft, narcissistic, and essentially hypocritical.”


Kahlil is interested in Gustavo Bueno and the subject of empire.

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.

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.

Nasrallah: The war in Ukraine unmasked the racism and hypocrisy of the West

April 19, 2022

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on March 8, 2022, on the occasion of the Day of the Wounded.Source: video.moqawama.org

Translation: resistancenews.com

[…] O my brothers and sisters, the events happening around us in terms must strengthen our awareness, our lucidity and our understanding of things, the conclusions we draw from them for the current equations, as well as the lessons and teachings we learn from them. This brings me to the current events that are currently occupying all minds. I start with the events between Russia and Ukraine to state that these are very important events in terms of lessons and learning. As last time, I will just mention some brief points before I come to the internal Lebanese situation.

The first point is that the U.S. representative to the Security Council said in addressing Russia, “Any attack on civilians is considered a war crime, and we are recording all events.” In the sense that the US is monitoring everything closely, and will then try Russia for its (alleged) war crimes. That’s what she said to Russia. But what does she say about the massacres against civilians perpetrated by the US in all its wars? No war waged by the US happened without attacks on civilians, massacres, civilians killed, atrocities against civilians and civilian infrastructure, etc. From the nuclear bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, whose environmental and health effects are still felt today, with traces and effects that persist to this day, to Iraq, the siege of Iraq, the starvation of Iraq and the death of tens of thousands of Iraqi children due to the siege, then the invasion (of Iraq in 2003), etc. According to the Americans themselves, they have killed tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and tens of thousands of Afghan civilians. How many times have American planes or drones bombed Afghan wedding ceremonies, turning them into funerals, and then claiming that they were training camps, despite the presence of women, children and old people? But they claimed that they were training camps. What about the Zionist massacres in Palestine for more than 70 years, and the massacres Israel regularly perpetrates? What about the Israeli-Zionist war crimes in Palestine? What about the siege of Gaza? Today, the whole world is shedding tears because this or that city in Ukraine has been under siege for 5, 6 or 7 days. But Gaza has been under siege for many years, for 15 years! But the world remains silent.

What about the massacres of the Saudi-American aggression in Yemen, and the tens of thousands of civilian martyrs in Yemen, children, women, men, old and young? And the entire civilian infrastructure is destroyed in Yemen. What about the siege imposed on Yemen for the past 7 years? And currently, the siege is increasing on oil derivatives (fuels), and we saw yesterday the angry demonstrations in Yemeni cities. But the whole world remains silent about this. Why is this so? Simply, and don’t mind me saying it so bluntly, it’s because all these people are not White, they are not blond and they are not blue-eyed – even if in reality there are some blond and blue-eyed white people among them, but it doesn’t matter. These people do not belong to the world of the White man. I’ll go even further than that: for the United States, even those who belong to the White man’s world are only means, tools, instruments, and have no human value.

This is the case with Ukraine [the US has no hesitation in sacrificing the Ukrainian and European population in general to advance its interests]. Thus, based on the logic of the representative of the United States, it would have been necessary today, before threatening Russia or other countries with trials, to establish dozens and hundreds of sessions to judge the Americans, the British and the Western and European armies for their crimes in Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Africa, in all corners of the world, in India, Pakistan… It is these files that we must start by examining if we want to base ourselves on these principles.

This hypocrisy and double standard is confirmed day after day. Last Friday, in Peshawar, Pakistan, during Friday prayers, a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing dozens of people, including the Imam of the mosque, and injuring dozens more. And the whole world remained silent. This is natural. Because these takfiris suicide bombers are Made in CIA, Made in America. They serve the American project. The whole world must remain silent because it is the US and its tools in the region. Day after day, it is confirmed that the American “values” do not respect humanistic principles, morals, international law, fundamental rights, etc. Nothing matters to them but their political and economic interests and their hegemony. When their political interests ask them to condemn, they condemn. When their political interests ask them to support, they support. On the subject of the massacres perpetrated by Israel, the United States is not content with not condemning, they prevent the Security Council from condemning them! They prevent the whole world from condemning them! They defend the (Israeli) murderers and butchers who shed (Palestinian) blood! This is the truth of the United States, which we have known (for a long time), but we take advantage of the current events to remind it, so that those who have not yet opened their eyes do so, and that those who already know gain in awareness and lucidity, and in clarity of vision.

Also, and this is my second point, every day there is more evidence in the world that trusting the United States is an act of imbecility. I say this to get to Lebanon next. Trusting the United States is stupid and foolish. It is an act of ignorance that endangers the global Muslim community, the nation and the interests of the people. This is what it means to trust the Americans. A few months ago, we saw with our own eyes, and the whole world saw, the experience of the United States in Afghanistan, and how they abandoned and forsook the country. The images of the planes and the airport are still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Let’s not forget the statements of the Afghan officials who collaborated with the Americans for many years: the Afghan President on the run, who was 100% with the Americans, to the point that if they told him not to negotiate with the Taliban, he didn’t do it –while the United States themselves negotiated with them–, if they asked him not to go to Tehran, he didn’t go there, if they wanted him to go to such and such a country, he went there, and so on. He was 100% subservient to the US… So the former Afghan President says: “My mistake was to trust the United States and its international allies.” He claims that he gave them his opinion and thoughts, but they did not respond to him and did not take them into account, considering that it was their vision that was right, that they were the strategists, that the data was in their hands and that they had efficiently anticipated the consequences and results (of their actions), but the result is (the humiliating American debacle) that we saw in Afghanistan. They have abandoned (all their allies).

Today, in Ukraine, the whole world knows that the United States and Great Britain in particular (are the main culprits of the crisis). The rest of the European countries are really poor wretches. It is clear that a number of European countries did not want this problem, like Germany for example, Germany in the first place, and also France to some extent. Other European countries felt that they would be trampled and sacrificed (on the altar of NATO’s aggression against Russia), that their interests were in great danger. The United States, and with them Great Britain, which has left the European Union, have aggravated the situation in Ukraine and pushed it into the lion’s den. But of course, they acted according to precise calculations. For Biden has announced in his strategy that his priority is the fight against Russia and China. With China, the confrontation has its own calculations and its own ways. And as for the confrontation against Russia, Biden is certainly not going to wage a world war against it, because he is not capable of it, and so he has thrown Ukraine against Russia to prevent any agreement between Ukraine and Russia and to provoke this war.

This is demonstrated by the fact that after the first few days (of war), we can all listen on television to the statements of the President of Ukraine, his head of government, his foreign minister and his deputy, and his advisers. What do they say? “They let us fight alone.” Because either (the U.S.) had promised Ukraine that they would fight with them in case of war (against Russia), or, because of the trust of Ukrainians in the U.S., they believed that they would fight alongside them. And that is why Ukrainian leaders are now expressing that their hopes have been dashed. They say they have been left alone to fight. It was the Ukrainian President who said so. Ukraine is calling on the United States (and NATO) to fight on its side, but they are responding that they cannot endanger their States and their people and risk a devastating world war for the sake of Ukraine. I just said that in their eyes, even the White man has no value. (They will not risk a nuclear war) for the sake of Ukraine, for the people of Ukraine, for the White man in Ukraine, in any case. They are not ready for that. “Fight on your own, dear friends. Because as far as we are concerned, we are not ready to fight.” And that’s why they say every day that they will not send any American soldiers to Ukraine, no American planes to Ukraine. But it is you, the United States, who caused this situation and called this catastrophe on Ukraine!

Of course, my statement is not an invitation to the United States to go and fight Russia in Ukraine. I say this only to draw lessons from the current situation, for all those who trust the United States and place their hopes in them. The Ukrainian President asks (the US) to establish a no-fly zone in the skies over Ukraine to prevent Russian planes from hitting them. But they reply he gets is “Sorry, we can’t, because that would mean shooting down Russian planes, which would lead to war, and we are not ready to go to war with Russia for the sake of Ukraine.” Ukraine is calling for a total Western embargo on (Russian) oil and gas, which some countries are ready for, but others have responded frankly that they cannot do without Russian gas. Russian gas is still being sold, and its price has risen. So look at (the inconsistency): on the one hand, they impose sanctions on Russia, and on the other hand, they buy gas from it at high prices. That’s a (telling) example. The same goes for the Ukrainian request to obtain warplanes: the West refuses, because this would make it participate directly in the war. Are there not lessons to be learned there? They let Ukraine fight alone, because they are not ready to go to war for its sake. At most, they impose sanctions, a blockade, consistent with the American objective of weakening Russia. The US is acting in its own interest, not in the interest of Ukraine. This is the truth.

Today, if we could enter the hearts and minds of Ukrainian officials, we would find a feeling of maximum abandonment and neglect. And that’s why (Zelensky) starts to come down from his pedestal: he announces that he is ready to negotiate, to discuss the neutrality of Ukraine and other Russian demands. Why is he starting to reconsider – if his American masters allow him, of course? Because he has realized that those who promised to stand by him, those in whom he trusted and in whom he placed all his hopes, those who put him in this situation, have abandoned him in the middle of the road. I and you have known this lesson (that the United States are treacherous) by heart for a very long time, but I repeat it because Biden is a new proof of it. And before coming to Lebanon, I conclude on the international situation by pointing out the moral collapse of the West. The West lectures us about Western civilization, morality, humanistic values, human rights, etc. But the situation shows their moral decay. Look at how they treat refugees. Black Africans are treated differently, as well as Asians, Muslims, etc. There is discrimination on the basis of religion, race, skin color. Is this the famous Western civilization that they harp on day and night, presenting it to us as a model to follow? Whole States are acting in this way, in an official way! One of the Presidents of these countries, in order to justify this decision (to discriminate in favor of the White Ukrainian refugees), answered that it was the will of his people, who had elected him on this basis. It is therefore a racist culture, which has no connection with humanism or morality!

As far as Lebanon is concerned, I would like to say to the (pro-Western) political forces that if they aspire to please the US, they will never succeed, because the American demands are unlimited and never stop. If anyone thinks that the US can be satisfied with this or that demand, they are deluding themselves, because tomorrow they will demand one, two, three, a hundred, a thousand other things. Their diktats do not stop at any limit. And satisfying them is detrimental to Lebanon’s interests without giving us any compensation. What did the Lebanese officials get in return for their submission? We are already deprived of electricity, gas and dollars by the American sanctions or vetoes, what more could they do?

Lebanon voted against Russia at the UN, when it could have chosen to abstain, as 35 countries did. This is what Lebanon’s national interest demanded: abstention. The Prime Minister of Pakistan said a few days ago, in the face of Western pressure for his country to take an anti-Russian position, “We are not your slaves.” This is an excellent position. It would be good if Lebanon would one day dare to stand up to the American embassy and say, “We are not your slaves.” This would be a proof of freedom, patriotism, sovereignty, independence. But the worst thing is the statement of the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our level of submission is such that the US embassy demanded that this communiqué on Russia and Ukraine be amended to be more virulent against Russia, and this rewriting was made directly by the US embassy. […]

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Very telling admission from EU High Representative Josep Borrell

November 24, 2021

The EU High Representative Josep Borrell has just made a very telling admission, check out this video

The EU High Representative Josep Borrell and the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright took part in the ‘UNited for’ conference “An opportunity for global change”, held on 17 November 2021.

Here is the interesting quote (at about timestamp 29:00, stress added): “And we western people, US and EU, we have been ruling the world because we were the standard setterswe were fixing the standardswe are the masters of how technology was working. And from steel-mills to trains, railways to everything warfare, we were the standard settingIf we are no longer the standard setting, we will not rule the 21st century.

Ahhh, finally!!!  You heard it from a top level and very official representative of the West: the current tensions are about maintaining the western hegemony over the world.   Back to the (1930s) future… QED.

What Is France Hiding in the Sahel?

November 09th, 2021

Reexamining and recalibrating its foreign policy towards Africa is something that may not appeal to France right now but it’s something that must be done.

By Clinton Nzala

Source

BAMAKO, MALI — On the 8th of October, Choguel Maïga, the prime minister of Mali, boldly informed the world that its former colonial power, France, was sponsoring terrorists in the country’s northern region. Standing before dozens of cameras and microphones, he provided details on how the French army had established an enclave in the northern town of Tidal and handed it over to well-known terrorist groups. The revelation was shocking not simply for the serious nature of the accusation but because in past times West African leaders have rarely sparred so openly with the French government. A chain of events simmering in the background for weeks triggered the latest spat.

On October 2nd, Britain’s BBC published an article with the headline “Mali’s plan for Russia mercenaries to replace French troops unsettles Sahel.” The embattled media outlet further claimed: “There is deep international concern over Mali’s discussions with the controversial Russian private military company, the Wagner Group.”

Scene after a terrorist attack in Gao, Mali, Nov. 13, 2018. | Wikimedia Commons

By now we all understand that whenever Western corporate media outlets utter the expression “international community,” they are referring simply to the U.S. and its European buddies, such as France. Case in point, in Addis Ababa, the seat of the African Union, or at the headquarters of the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), there was absolutely no concern about Mali’s discussions with the Wagner Group. Even in Mali, the majority of citizens and political actors welcomed the possibility of the Russian security firm joining the fight against terrorist groups in the north. Why? Well, Malians believe the Wagner Group to be significantly more neutral than France, a country they accuse of having its own political and economic interests in the conflict.

L’habit ne fait pas le moine (the vestment doesn’t make the monk)

Anti-French protests have not been in short supply in Mali over the past few years, a sign of the citizens’ displeasure with the presence of foreign troops in their country. A segment of society has gone as far as describing the situation as an occupation. For this reason the only place of concern for replacing the French military with a Russian security firm was in Paris. But why? Why would the French government be worried about the possibility of the Wagner Group joining the fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel? If France were indeed concerned about defeating these armed groups, then their government should have been happy to receive news that more hands will soon join the battle, especially those belonging to a military firm experienced in conducting anti-terror operations.

France instead threw a tantrum, tossing all of their toys out of their coats. French officials threatened to withdraw their troops from the region and cease providing aid to Mali’s armed forces. Florence Parly, France’s current Minister of the Armed Forces and a former member of the Socialist Party, arrogantly told reporters that her country will not “cohabit with Russian mercenaries.” Well, someone needs to tell the minister that in Africa guests don’t get to decide who they share the house with; only the host is reserved such rights.

It is not difficult to understand why France would react in such a manner. In my village on the banks of Africa’s longest river, the Zambezi, we say, “Only a witch is unsettled by the arrival of a witch-finder in the village.”

If I said I was surprised by France’s reaction, I would be lying. The average African is well aware that France’s so called fight against “terrorism” in the Sahel has nothing to do with protecting the lives of the people of the region but everything to do with protecting its interests. Those interests date back to the dark period when the region was ruled with an iron fist from Paris. Only naivety would permit someone to believe that the French government would fork out billions of francs and risk the lives of its citizens to protect the lives of Black people thousands of miles away.

France’s Minister of the Armed Forces,
Florence Parly. | Wikimedia Commons

Rights denied from Paris to Marseilles and beyond

If France is in love with Africans, why don’t they first express their affection to the French citizens of African descent? Twenty-one years into the new millennium, Black people living in France continue to be treated as second-class citizens. More often than not, these souls are compiled into squalid living conditions in the ghettos of Paris or Marseille, with little or no social services provided to them, and are subjected to racism and harassment by security agents for no reason other than not looking “French enough.” How about first assisting those Africans in Libya who are being held as slaves in torture hellholes run by armed bandits funded by the European Union?

What about France repaying Haiti for forcing the small Caribbean country to reimburse its former slaveholding settlers and their descendants following the Haitian revolution. That total amount was not repaid until 1947 and, in present-day value, amounts to over $28 billion, according to French economist Thomas Piketty, or upwards of $260 billion if a 3 percent annual interest rate were applied. In 2015, just prior to his trip to Haiti, the French president said, “When I come to Haiti, I will, for my part, settle the debt that we have.” Aides scurried to clarify that the debt in question was not monetary but “moral.” In the relationship between France and Haiti, however, neither debt has been settled.

Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide insisted that France open talks with Haiti about repaying the money extorted from the country after its independence in 1804. Aristide was deposed in two separate coups (1991 and 2004). On both occasions he was forced into exile. | http://www.aristidefoundationfordemocracy.org

As far as Mali is concerned, France will not play fair because Paris’s only concern is that the arrival of other actors in the African country will dilute its own influence and the monopoly French companies enjoy in the region. All other Africans and their descendants affected by the French colonial and neo-colonial project must fend for themselves.

France’s fit also shows the deeply ingrained colonial hangover it continues to suffer several decades after losing its colonies in West Africa. Paris arrogantly and abhorrently still views itself as the landlord and self-appointed sheriff of West Africa; therefore, any other party that wishes to venture into the region must seek its permission and blessings, a mentality that in the last five decades has led to a lot of bloodshed and atrocities committed by France’s stooges in its former colonies. These tragedies include the brutal murder of Pan-Africanist revolutionary heroes such as Thomas Sankara and other leaders who signed their death certificates by simply refusing to bow down at the throne of French imperialism.

“He who feeds you, controls you.” — Former President of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara. | Twitter @lord_tillah

A very troubled history in Africa

France’s role in overthrowing African leaders and replacing them with dictators, such as Gabon’s Omar Bongo, is well documented. This started with the first military intervention into Gabon in 1964, when French paratroopers flew in to help then-President Leon Mba to brutally crush an attempted overthrow by a group of young military officers. These soldiers had briefly seized power in response to growing public dissatisfaction with Mba’s leadership. During the next four decades, France would go on to directly or indirectly participate in the toppling or installing of governments in different African countries such as Niger, Chad, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among many others. Paris even deployed troops to Rwanda in 1994 as part of Operation Turquoise, which provided support to Hutu government forces during the genocide in the small African country. Once establishing a control zone, French military officials allowed Radio Télevision Libre des Milles Collines to broadcast from Gisenyi. One radio show encouraged “Hutu girls to wash yourselves and put on a good dress to welcome our French allies. The Tutsi girls are all dead, so you have your chance.”

The Flame of Hope burns at an official Kwibuka event. In Rwanda. Kwibuka means ‘to remember.’ It describes the annual commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. The 2021 Kwibuka theme was to “Remember, Unite, Renew.” | Kwibuka.rw

Successive French governments have often claimed that these interventions were done to maintain or stabilize democracy. However, if France’s past and current allies are anything to go by, this claim is outright laughable. The list of Paris’s choice of friends in Africa is littered with brutal and corrupt dictators such as Blaise Compaore (Burkina Faso), Mobutu Sese Seko (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Omar Bongo (Gabon), individuals who not only bled their country’s coffers dry but committed unimaginable human rights atrocities right under the nose, or with the explicit blessing, of the French government.

France’s two-faced foreign policy in West Africa was further exposed in February 1996, when Niger’s first democratically elected government was overthrown by the military. Instead of throwing its support behind ousted president Mahamane Ousmane, officials in Paris opted to watch from the sidelines despite having a military base in the country. Deciding to stand idly by was viewed as a nod of approval for the coup.

The same France that claims to be in Africa to ensure the “natives” can fully enjoy the benefits of Western democracy, on two occasions in the 1990s ordered its troops stationed in Gabon to join Omar Bongo’s troops to violently crush pro-democracy demonstrators. In this case, thousands had taken to the streets to protest against the results of a disputed election. Paris also continues to hobnob with autocrats such as Cameroon’s Paul Biya, who has turned the country into a personal fiefdom that he has ruled with an iron fist since 1982.

As the self-appointed enforcer of democracy in Africa, France certainly has a strange choice of bedfellows. Going by the long list of Paris’s shady activities in the region, how can claims made by the government of Mali, that France is sponsoring and arming terrorist groups, effectively destabilizing the region, be dismissed? Instead of issuing threats, the best way the French government can clear its name is by being more transparent with its activities in the Sahel. Paris should also understand that regional and continental organizations such as the African Union and ECOWAS are capable of dealing with the conflict in the Sahel.

Taking care of business

Despite the misgivings some outsiders might have against African organizations in resolving internal conflicts, the African Union Mission in Somalia has unequivocally demonstrated its capabilities against Al Shabaab. Meanwhile, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) standby forces — led by Rwanda, Botswana and South Africa — have produced even better results in battling insurgents in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado region. These achievements have been made with less than 10 percent of the resources that Paris has spent in the Sahel conflict with absolutely no results to speak of.

It is long overdue that the world accepts the fact that Africans are capable of solving their own problems.

Conclusion

The situation in the Sahel region remains a source of concern and requires long-lasting solutions. Those solutions, however, must derive from the streets of Addis Ababa, Bamako, Nouakchott, N’Djamena and Dakar, not from the government corridors and suburbs of Paris or Brussels. The quarrel between Bamako and Paris should serve as an eye-opener to the latter, that the age of barking orders to  former colonies is over, fini.

France must now come to the realization that while the older generation of Africans might have been pliable to its machinations in the region, it is now dealing with a new generation of Africans, people unwilling to bow down passively to a former imperial power. It’s a generation that won’t allow the West or another power to choose their enemies or friends.

“Everything must change,” sang the late and legendary South African trumpeter, composer and singer, Hugh Masekela, in his hit song called “Change.” The time of change in how West Africa conducts its affairs has also come and, while the process of change can be painful and uncertain, it is inevitable.

Reexamining and recalibrating its foreign policy towards Africa is something that may not appeal to France right now but it’s something that must be done. It’s undeniable that there will always be a strong relationship between France and its former colonies and, while there is nothing wrong with this reality, the new relationship must be built on mutual respect, and not be that of master and servant.

The Neo-Nazi Threat From The East

22 SEPTEMBER 2021

By Slavisha Batko Milacic

Source

The Neo-Nazi Threat From The East

In the course of the seven years of Ukraine’s “pro-Western turn” the local right-wingers, who already represented an organized force, were reinforced by veterans of the Donbass war, members of the country’s military and security forces.

Late this summer, Estonia, in the person of its president, Kersti Kaljulaid, became the first EU country to declare that Ukraine remains as far away from EU membership as it was after the “Revolution of Dignity” – the events of 2013-14 in Kiev, which toppled Ukraine’s vacillating pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Shortly after, the ambassador of Estonia’s neighbor, Latvia, in Ukraine, echoed Kaljulaid’s statement, although in a slightly softer form. This came as unpleasant news for the current authorities of Kiev, especially amid the celebration of Ukraine’s 30th independence anniversary and the “Crimean Forum,” which, according to President Zelensky’s plan, was supposed to rally international support for the country in its confrontation with Russia. However, during the past seven years, Ukraine has been a serious problem for the EU, which is becoming increasingly hard to solve.

Back in 2014, the Kremlin’s response to the overthrow of its ally, Yanukovych, was just as harsh as to the coming to power in Kiev of pro-Western elites. Without firing a single shot, Russia annexed Crimea, a major base for the Russian Black Fleet, and populated by a Russian-speaking majority, many of whom sincerely welcomed the region’s reunification with Russia. Meanwhile, a civil war broke out in Ukraine’s also Russian-speaking southeast where the local separatists were actively supported by Moscow. Europe then realized that it was now necessary to ramp up pressure on Russia and support the budding democratic transformations in Ukraine. However, the country’s successive pro-Western presidents, Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky, who shared European values, have since failed to achieve any significant results in European integration. Moreover, they became enmeshed in US electoral scandals and the war of compromising evidence, and they do not create the impression of being independent figures. Moreover, they were consistently making one mistake after another. In two major battles with separatists near Debaltsevo and Ilovaisk in 2014-15, the Ukrainian Armed Forces suffered a crushing defeat, despite the upsurge of patriotism backed by US and European support. The closure of the borders with Russia has divided families and left tens of thousands of people without jobs. An inept language policy and rabid nationalism split the Ukrainian nation, which had just begun to shape up, with wholesale corruption plunging the country into poverty.

In their clumsy effort to prove their adherence to European values, Petro Poroshenko, and after him Volodymyr Zelensky, both made clumsy attempts to prove their adherence to Western values, starting to prioritize the interests of the country’s LGBT community. As a result, gay people were given prominent positions in the country’s leadership, and the square outside the presidential palace became the venue of almost weekly gay pride parades. This open disregard for the conservative values of the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians led to an even greater split between the ruling elites and the nationalists, who are now at loggerheads with the Zelensky administration on many issues – another gigantic problem hindering Ukraine’s European integration.

The fact is that Ukrainian nationalism has old and very controversial roots. Starting out as fighters for independence, the Ukrainian right-wingers quickly joined the camp of Hitler’s admirers and committed a number of serious war crimes not only in Ukraine proper, but on the territory of neighboring Poland as well. Their heirs now honor Hitler and Ukrainian collaborationists, deny many crimes of Nazism and espouse anti-Semitic views that are unacceptable for Europe. Moreover, they do not see Russia as their only enemy, actively provoking conflicts with the Poles and accusing them of the “genocide of the Ukrainians” during the 1930s in the territories that until 1939 were part of the Polish state.

In the course of the seven years of Ukraine’s “pro-Western turn” the local right-wingers, who already represented an organized force, were reinforced by veterans of the Donbass war, members of the country’s military and security forces. They were long regarded by Washington as important allies in the fight against Russia, failing to see real neo-Nazis hiding under patriotic slogans. Now it is exactly these people, who are breaking up gay parades in Kiev and crippling LGBT activists. They feel no need for European values because they take much closer to heart the legacy of the Third Reich. Thanks to visa-free travel to Europe, they have become regulars, and often the striking force of neo-Nazi gatherings from Germany to Spain. They are ready to kill refugees from the Middle East and burn synagogues. Moreover, some of them have retained ties with their Russian neo-Nazi brethren, who, although in deep opposition to Vladimir Putin, continue to propagate the idea of superiority of the Slavic race.

President Zelensky and his administration are smart enough to distance themselves from the local right-wingers. Moreover, they are detained, and sometimes their rallies are broken up by police (albeit without any consequences for the leaders). Even though the ultra-nationalist Right Sector lost their seats in parliament in the last elections, they retained their hard-core base and influence. De facto neo-Nazi leaders maintain good contacts with the outwardly liberal presidential administration and are thus immune from prosecution. They also go to Europe, where right-wing sentiments are very popular.

Meanwhile, President Zelensky continues to pointlessly lose soldiers along the “contact line” with separatists, unable to “be strong with his weakness” and establish a full-fledged truce in a war he does not yet want to win. As a result, more and more illegal arms are seeping into the country’s central regions from the frontlines and many soldiers, fed up with the war, are now joining the ranks of right-wing militants! These are by no means pro-European activists. They will be just as happy to beat up LGBT members and destroy a refugee camp as the Russian embassy. The authorities simply cannot fight them in earnest because the ultranationalists have too many supporters in the state apparatus and too many activists capable of plunging Kiev into chaos in a matter of hours. Small wonder that such post-Soviet countries as Estonia and Latvia, which themselves had problems with both nationalism and the justification of local collaborationists, were the first to raise their voices criticizing Kiev.

Well, Ukraine could and should be viewed as a potential new EU member. However, it must be forced to root out Nazism, instead of holding staged gay prides in downtown Kiev just for show to demonstrate the elites’ adherence to European values! Otherwise, we would have a faction of real neo-Nazis in the European Parliament, compared to whom any members of the European Far Right would look like moderate conservatives. In addition to stamping out corruption, President Zelensky needs to eradicate neo-fascism, which threatens Europe just as it does his own country. Only then can we talk about European integration. Meanwhile, we have to admit that, just as the Estonian president said, seven years of “European democracy” have not brought Ukraine one step closer to the United Europe…

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