“The Holocaust” Is a Myth That Conceals Our Shame

 • APRIL 15, 2019

Most of the time ‘history’ is institutionally engaged in concealing our shame.” —Gilad Atzmon

I love the words, music, and soul of my Israeli-born truth jihadi brother Gilad Atzmon. In fact, I enjoy his company so much that just about every year I take up the largely thankless task of organizing a public event for him here in Israeli-occupied Madison, Wisconsin. Last year the local Israeli Occupation forces got Gilad banned at the last minute from Wil-Mar Community Center. The director refunded our money and told us, in so many words, that Wil-Mar’s obligatory suppression of free speech was all about the Benjamins. So we directed people down the block to the Orton Park rotunda, the local equivalent of Hyde Park Speakers Corner.

One of Gilad’s most memorable lines was: “History exists to conceal our shame.” Citing Lyotard, who asserts that the real historian’s task is to unveil the shame, Gilad has analyzed such events as the Balfour Declaration. According to Gilad, the official history of the Balfour Declaration as a magnanimous gesture by the powerful British toward the oppressed Jews exists to conceal the shameful truth: It is the Britons (not to mention the Palestinians) who were and still are oppressed by the Zionist Jews, not the other way around.[1] This truth is shameful to both Britons and Jews. It is shameful to Britons that they have allowed themselves to be used in such degrading fashion. It is even more shameful that they have been unable to face the awful reality for 100 years and counting. Likewise, it is shameful to Zionist Jews that they have profited mightily by posing as the oppressed, when in truth they are the oppressor. And of course there is the shared British-Jewish shame at enabling and perpetrating the Palestinian Holocaust.

Now some might argue that Gilad’s analysis is correct insofar as it uncovers British shame. The Brits, after all, are the world’s leading experts in hyper-politeness and its shadow, shame, which emerges into the light when polite pretenses fail.

But the Jewish Zionists, the argument continues, are utterly shameless. Their intelligence agency’s motto is “By way of deception thou shalt do war.” How shameless is that? About as shameless as the Lavon Affair, the USS Liberty massacre, and 9/11, that’s how shameless. The Zionists’ one-word slogan (and future epitaph) is chutzpah, a word whose definition is: “That quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.” Like the psychopath, the guy with chutzpah always plays the victim, especially when he is victimizing others.

French historian Laurent Guyénot analyzes Jewish-Zionist shamelessness rather brilliantly in his article “Israel, the Psychopathic Nation.” (For the full story, read his masterpiece From Yahweh to Zion.) Guyénot notes that this psychopathic shamelessness is orchestrated by a manipulative, profiteering tribal elite. Most ordinary Jews are not aware that their collective behavior is so shamelessly psychopathic. Guyénot’s insight helps us understand how Zionist Jews, like Britons, are being manipulated by the lying, shame-concealing historiographers.

The notion that “’history’ is institutionally engaged in concealing our shame” obviously applies to the Holocaust. This fact is admitted, even highlighted, by official historiographers. But they look only at one side of the story.

The Official Story: “Holocaust Denial” Conceals Nazi Shame

Defenders of orthodox Holocaust history claim that holocaust revisionists conceal their shameful sympathy with Nazis who killed six million Jews. This is in fact the main argument against “holocaust denial” in such books as Shermer and Grobman’s Denying History and Deborah Lipstadt’s Denying the Holocaust. That this argument is an empty ad-hominem with no relevance to the empirical issues in question does not seem to have occurred to these authors.

The reductio ad absurdum of “Holocaust denial conceals the shame of the gas chambers” is Keith Kahn-Harris’s Denial: The Unspeakable Truth. The author claims that “Holocaust denial is not just eccentricity; it is an attempt to legitimate genocide through covert means. Denials of the harmfulness of tobacco, of the existence of global warming, and other denialisms, are, similarly, projects to legitimate the unspeakable.” This suggests a very useful all-purpose argument, suitable for any occasion or topic: “Anyone who disagrees with me does so to conceal their secret love of mass murder.” The next step: “Anyone who disagrees with me is a mass murderer and should be executed.” A fine excuse to kill your opponents en masse! This would be funny if they weren’t already locking people in maximum security prisondestroying YouTube livelihoods, and burning books because the individuals so targeted had the temerity to disagree with the likes of Keith Kahn-Harris. It may be only a matter of time before the executions commence. One hopes they will try to use Nazi-style hydrogen cyanide gas chambers, which would drastically limit their ability to actually kill significant numbers of dissidents.

But Kahn-Harris, Lipstadt, Shermer and Grobman, and other gatekeepers are not entirely wrong. There is a grain of truth somewhere in those vast, arid sand dunes of ad hominem bullshit. It is true that some people of German heritage like Ernst Zundel, Germar Rudolf, and Monika Schaefer voice their own versions of history in part to dispel the guilt and shame that the sacred narrative of the Holocaust has laid on the heads of the German people. Monika Schaefer speaks eloquently about this legacy of shame in her masterful YouTube Sorry Mom I Was Wrong About the Holocaust, which should have have been awarded “best foreign short documentary” at the Oscars, but instead won her a year in maximum-security lockup.

If it is partly true that some Holocaust revisionists spin their histories to conceal or absolve shame—and I personally believe that National Socialist Germany’s treatment of Jews among others was in fact shameful, regardless of the extent to which the conventional history of the Holocaust may be false or exaggerated—it is obvious that the conventional story is “institutionally involved in concealing our shame.” By focusing so relentlessly on the metaphysical evil of the big-H Holocaust, our cultural custodians conceal the at least equally shameful behavior of World War II’s victors.

“The Holocaust” Conceals the Shame of World War II

The real Holocaust, of course, was the war itself. 70 million people were massacred, two thirds of them civilians. Those nearly 50 million civilians were singled out for extermination on the basis of their ethnicity, just as surely as a vastly smaller number of Jews, Gypsies, and Slavs may have been by the Reich. When the Allies firebombed Dresden, which was not a military target, more than 100,000 innocent civilians were deliberately burned to death for the crime of being German. Centuries of German cultural achievement, too, went up in flames. Now that is a real holocaust: a gratuitous burnt offering.

And Dresden is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Anyone who honestly explores the history of the deliberate Allied firebombings of civilians, the respective treatment of prisoners by both sides, the atrocities against Germans during the invasion and occupation of their homeland, the firebombings and nuclear bombings of Japanese civilians, the brutal torture that elicited false confessions from “Nazi war criminals,” and so much more, will inevitably conclude that, as Pogo might say, “We have met the Nazis and they are us.”

Not convinced? Listen to my interviews with:

For those who would rather read than listen, I recommend Ron Unz’s “American Pravda: Post-War France and Post-War Germany” and more generally the excellent collection of World War II articles at Unz.com. And concerning the shameful way the US was hoodwinked into joining the demonic bloodbath euphemistically known as World War II, Gore Vidal’s novel The Golden Age offers more truth, disguised as fiction, than most supposedly nonfictional histories.

We Americans, of course, are not the only ones who recount dubious histories of World War II to conceal our shame. Russia, too, demonizes Hitler and bans “holocaust denial” to hide its own shameful Stalinist history and its own war crimes against Germans. Japan minimizes both its own crimes and the crimes committed against it—the former for obvious reasons, the latter to save face in light of seven decades of shamefully abject submission to its criminal civilian-nuking occupiers. France pretends that most 1940s Frenchmen were partisans of the “heroic resistance” and that only a tiny minority supported the “evil Nazi collaborator Pétain,” when the reality was precisely the opposite.

What broader conclusions might we draw about the role of history as a shame-concealment mechanism? Our best guide along these dark and twisted paths is René Girard, the recently-deceased Stanford professor who taught that all culture is based on a murder and a lie. The primordial murder, according to Girard, is the lynching of a scapegoat. This act of human sacrifice forms the basis of every culture, the foundation of every myth. It occurs when the group’s mimetic-desire-driven rivalries get so out of hand that mass mayhem is in the offing. Suddenly the group turns in unison against a scapegoat—usually a marginalized or powerless figure—and murders them. Shared blood-thirst, murderous exaltation, and guilt solves the rivalry problem and re-unites the group. But the unifying blood-guilt cannot be admitted to. The reality is too tawdry and horrible. So a myth—a sacred lie—gradually takes shape around the memory of the victim. Surely the victim must have had some sort of miraculous sacred power, since (by being murdered) the victim has solved the rivalry problem and brought unity and cohesion to the group! Soon a monument is designated or erected in honor of the “sacred victim,” who eventually becomes a minor or even major deity, to be propitiated in annual sacrificial rites that commemorate and disguise the original act of primordial slaughter.

Every culture is held together by foundational myths based on this template. Pagan gods are just distorted memories of slaughtered scapegoats. The Abrahamic religions sublimate sacrifice by asking Abraham and his descendants to stop scapegoating and sacrificing their children (a ubiquitous practice in the ancient Mediterranean and elsewhere) and to kill and roast a sheep instead. Christianity goes one step further and makes Christ the scapegoat to end all scapegoats and the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. (That didn’t work out too well, did it?) In all of the above cases, foundational sacred stories, a.k.a. myths, arise to explain how the society in question began, and to justify its current ways.

Secular mythologies, too, are rooted in repressed memories of sacrifice and blood-guilt. The foundational myth of the Enlightenment, with its deities of reason, progress, and tolerance, grows out of the sacrificial bloodletting of the Wars of Religion and the accompanying witch-burnings and heretic-huntings. The foundational American myth of the Revolution and its Founding Fathers conceals the shame of equally horrific fratricidal bloodletting of a scale and ferocity that most Americans today have never heard about—because the “history” taught in our schools exists precisely to erase that shame. Likewise with the Civil Rights mythologies that emerged from the oceans of gore spilled in the Civil War.

Girard’s theory explains the otherwise inexplicable “sacred victim syndrome.” Why is Arlington Cemetery so sacred, especially on Memorial Day?[2] Why are people who ask questions about 9/11 silenced by screams of “You’re insulting the victims”?[3] And why is it sacrilege and blasphemy, punished by maximum-security-prison time in many leading Western countries, to question the sacred six-million-victim Holocaust?

Differences between political cultures are largely based on the degree of divergence of their foundational mythologies. For Zionists, Jews in general, and the sacred six million in particular, are eternally sanctified victims, in whose name the most appalling excesses are legitimate and necessary. For Palestinians, by contrast, the martyrs murdered by the Zionists, emblematic of all displaced and thus “sacrificed” Palestinians, are the sacred victims at the foundation of the political mythos of Resistance.

Similarly, for Americans, the nearly 3000 people murdered on 9/11/2001 are sacred victims who deserve honor and commemoration on each anniversary of “Black Tuesday.” (The 9/11 sacrificial rites, designed by Philip Zelikow and other specialists in “the creation and maintenance of public myths,” were engineered to bring about this convergence of Israeli and American mythology.) Non-Westerners, especially Muslims, are more likely to remember Madeleine Albright’s comment that America’s murder of half a million Iraqi children under the Clinton regime was “worth it.” Many are aware that the US has killed 27 million Muslims in the continuing holocaust set off by 9/11. For them, it is America’s victims, not its victimized, who are more notable as well as vastly more numerous.

If, as Girard said, all culture is based on murder and lies, can we ever stop killing and lying? Marxists think a materialist utopia would do the trick. But murderous and uncontrollable mimetic-desire-driven envy is ubiquitous, even (especially) among those whose material needs are fully satisfied.

Liberal-progressive types seem to think that exposing relatively harmless bits and pieces of their own culture’s shameful histories might help. Take Howard Zinn—please! When liberal progressives reveal the shame of slavery and oppression of women, they are really buttressing the modern secular-progressive myth that celebrates the “progress” that “we” have supposedly made—concealing our shameful slaughter of 27 million Muslims in the 9/11 wars on the grounds that “they” oppress women, adhere to traditional religion, and in other ways remind us of our own hated, barbarous ancestors. If people like Zinn really wanted to stop their own countries from murdering millions, they would attack and annihilate the myths of the Holocaust and 9/11. But that is the furthest thing from their minds. Why? Because they are complicit in the murder of millions, and they desperately desire to conceal that complicity.

Likewise all of the supposed “identification and sympathy with victims” displayed in today’s fashionable deification of sexual deviance serves to cover our ongoing mass murders of dozens of millions of real victims. By casting homosexuals, an economically privileged class, as sacred victims, we conceal our shameful massacres, displacements, and exploitations of the genuinely poor and downtrodden (most of whom don’t care much for homosexuality) including those in our own country. It seems that the scam of leveraging fabricated or exaggerated victimhood for tribal solidarity and profit, which should have been copyrighted by the Jews, has now been subjected to multiple copyright infringements—which would certainly make for an interesting and revealing series of lawsuits. But even the ADL doesn’t have quite that much chutzpah.

If Marxism and secular-progressive materialist liberalism can’t solve the murder-and-lies problem, whatever possibly could? Traditional religion seems to have a mixed record. Though Girard argued that Christianity exposes the scapegoating mechanism (“Oh shit! We just lynched God!!”) and is responsible for all of the alleged progress in humanitarianism since then, the historical record does not really bear this out. Still, it must be admitted that real Christians, like the Mennonite, Amish, and Quaker farmers here in western Wisconsin, excel at eschewing participation in America’s periodic orgies of sacrificial carnage. Likewise, real Muslims, unlike secularized Uncle Toms and obscurantist Wahhabis, are blessed with unusually peaceful souls and communities, as anyone who has lived among them knows.

Ultimately it is the mystical dimension of traditional religion that holds the most hope for overcoming the murderous lies at the heart of human nature and culture. The mystics have a novel interpretation of sacrifice: Instead of materially murdering the Other, we must learn to spiritually sacrifice the Self. The Sufis call this fana’, the annihilation of the ego (the Self that Commands Evil). This spiritual self-sacrifice liberates us from desire, the goal of Buddhist teaching as well. Those who have achieved such an overcoming-of-self enjoy the freedom to reject the desire-driven Girardian scapegoating mechanism, and step outside of its myth-based cultural constructs into the light of al-Haqq: an Islamic term that translates as Truth, God, Reality.

Notes

[1] One obvious example of Jewish power and British powerlessness is the ongoing witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn and the non-Zionist wing of the Labor Party. Another was related to me by Gilad Atzmon himself: When he fled Israel and arrived in London, Gilad, despite his anti-Zionism, was born Jewish, and therefore able to plug into the local Jewish network and make lots of easy money playing rigged games in London real estate. There was so much kosher money available, Gilad said, that he eventually had to quit in order to save his soul and his sanity. Obviously nobody of any other ethnicity could land in London nearly penniless and friendless and receive such a lavish sinecure on a silver platter. But well-connected Jewish nepotism networks exist everywhere where wealthy Jewish communities are established, offering Jews power and privileges that non-Jews do not enjoy.

[2] Answer: Because we still sacrifice our children—only now in wars instead of on bloody altars—and are lying about it, as we must if we are to live with ourselves.

[3] And why have the forces of repression been so successful at deplatforming alternative media using the “insulting the victims” ploy? Those figures in the alternative media who have come off as insensitive in the way they talk about alleged victims and survivors at Sandy Hook and elsewhere have provided their opponents with a perfect excuse to silence critical voices in general.

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Foreign backed terrorism in Iran: Part two – US/Israeli backed insurgency and separatism in western Iran

April 18, 2019

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

Foreign backed terrorism in Iran: Part two – US/Israeli backed insurgency and separatism in western Iran

In the previous article, we examined the prevalence of US/Israeli backed terrorism in eastern Iran where Baluchi Salafists have received arms and funding from the CIA and Mossad. In this second part of the article series we will examine the US/Israeli support for terrorists and separatists in western Iran among the Kurdish ethnic group.

The Kurdish situation in western Iran

The Kurdish question in Iran is a long running one that stretches back to the WWII era. While Kurdish revolts occurred already during the 1920s these were not motivated out of nationalist sentiment but rather out of tribal opposition to the monarchy’s attempts to centralize the state of Iran. The Qajar dynasty and later the Pahlavi dynasty attempted to consolidate power around Tehran in a time when the Iranian nation was fragmented into areas of tribal and ethnic influence. Simko Shikak was one of the powerful Kurdish chieftains that with Ottoman backing led the first revolt in 1918, against the Qajar dynasty, as the Ottoman’s were fierce rivals of the severely weakened Iranian state, attempted to gain influence over western Iran. Another reason for the Ottoman involvement was motivated by the slaughter of the large Iranian Armenian population in the West Azerbaijan province of Iran. But it was not only the Ottomans that backed these separatist tribal ambitions as Tehran repeatedly called out British influence and support for the tribal rebellions. The British role was mainly motivated by their desire to remove the Qajar dynasty from power and install a new Shah that they could more easily control, thus also triumphing over the Russian Empire in the struggle for influence over Iran.

British intervention in Persia was at its height during the coup d’etat of 1921. Although the coup itself was executed by Persians, it received vital assistance from, and was probably actually initiated by, certain British military officers and officials in Iran, most importantly Major-General Sir Edmund Ironside, Commander of Norperforce, Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Smyth, who was unofficially and “almost secretly” attached to the Cossacks at Qazvin, and Walter A Smart, the Oriental Secretary.

After the coup, Reza Shah Pahlavi, the new Shah of Iran ultimately crushed the Kurdish tribal rebellion and the subsequent ones imitated during 1929 and 1941. It wasn’t until 1946 when the real danger of separatism became prevalent in Iran with the Iranian crisis of 1946 and the aftermath of the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran during WWII. One of the first crises of the Cold War was initiated in 1946 when Stalin refused to relinquish occupied Iranian territory as the Soviets felt that the successor to Reza Shah Pahlavi, his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a staunch anti-communist was a danger to Soviet interests, especially with regards to the Truman doctrine. By mid-December 1945, with the use of troops and secret police, they had set up two pro-Soviet “People’s Democratic Republics” in northwestern Iran, the Azerbaijan People’s Republic headed by Sayyid Jafar Pishevari and the Kurdish Republic of Mahabad under Pesheva Qazi Muhammad and Mustafa Barzani, father to current US puppet Mahmoud Barzani who was the previous president of the autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq before last year’s scandalous attempt at independence for the KRG (Kurdish regional government). Though Mustafa Barzani fled Iran and went back to Iraq, so called Marxist oriented parties such as Komala and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (KDP-I) continued their hostilities not just with the Pahlavi regime but also later on with Islamic Republic after 1979, although these parties moved on from advocating separatism to specific demands and requests. This is due to the relatively low interest in separatism among the Kurdish public in Iran, mainly because of the close cultural, linguistic and historical relations that the Kurdish people and the rest of the Iranian society share.

Kurdish Insurrection after the Islamic Revolution and Israeli activities in western Iran

Since 2004, an armed conflict has been ongoing in the western provinces of Iran between the Iranian government forces and the so called “Party for a free life in Kurdistan” (PJAK). The group is said to be a branch of the PKK terrorist group in Turkey. The group settled in the area controlled by the PKK on the slopes of Mount Qandil, less than 16 kilometres from the Iranian border. Once established at Qandil and operating under the PKK’s security umbrella, the group began conducting sporadic attacks on Iranian border guards and security forces until a ceasefire commenced in 2011.

With the outbreak of the Syrian and Iraqi wars against terrorism, and with Iran focusing heavily on supporting the Syrian and Iraqi governments, the conflict resurged and intensified in 2016, this time with several other Kurdish militant groups also joining in, as US and Israeli support for Kurdish groups across the Middle East escalated. In an obvious show of solidarity with the Zionist state’s growing worries about the JCPOA (Iran Nuclear Deal), the KDP-I stated that it was returning to militancy after two decades of cessation of hostilities: “Since Iran has signed the atomic [nuclear deal] agreement, Iran thinks whatever they do, the outside world does not care. That is why we were forced to choose this approach,” Hassan Sharafi, the deputy leader of the PDKI said. Conveniently for the Zionist state and Washington, PJAK and leftist group Komalah immediately expressed their support for renewed hostilities and began attacking Iranian security forces respectively in the midst of Iran’s struggle against Takfiri terrorists across the region.

The Zionist state has for long had close relations to Kurdish groups across the Middle East as part of their “Alliance of the periphery” doctrine which calls for Israel to develop close strategic alliances with non-Arab Muslim states in the Middle East to counteract the united opposition of Arab states. After the fall of the Iranian monarchy and with Turkey’s recent Islamic resurgence, the strategy is mainly applied towards the Kurdish people, with Israeli government officials providing extensive support to Kurdish political parties and their aspirations for greater self-government and even independence. The government of Iraqi Kurdistan has maintained open ties with Israel and is an influential lobby for the establishment of normal diplomatic relations between Israel and Iraq. Israel remains today the closest regional ally of the YPG forces in Syria as well as the KRG in Iraq.

Documents leaked in 2010 by Wikileaks prove that Israeli Mossad chief Meir Dagan wanted to use Kurds and ethnic minorities to topple the Iranian government. The Israeli spy service wanted to have a weak divided Iran, like in Iraq where the Kurds have their own government, the spy chief told an U.S. official. According to a memo from August 2007, Dagan described to Under-Secretary of State Nicholas Burns the five pillars of Israel’s Iran policy, among them the desire to spark a revolution. The memo noted, ‘instability in Iran is driven by inflation and tension among ethnic minorities. This, Dagan said, “presents unique opportunities, and Israelis and Americans might see a change in Iran in their lifetimes.”

Dagan noted that Iran could end up like Iraq. “As for Iraq, it may end up a weak, federal state comprised of three cantons or entities, one each belonging to the Kurds, Sunnis and Shias.” He added that Iran’s minorities are “raising their heads, and are tempted to resort to violence.”

“It’s Realpolitik. By aligning with the Kurds Israel gains eyes and ears in Iran,” observed a former Israeli intelligence officer. Interestingly, PJAK themselves claim they receive no support from Washington or Tel Aviv. In an interview with Slate magazine in June 2006, PJAK spokesman Ihsan Warya stated that he “nevertheless points out that PJAK really does wish it were an agent of the United States, and that [PJAK is] disappointed that Washington hasn’t made contact.” The Slate article continues stating that the PJAK wishes to be supported by and work with the United States in overthrowing the government of Iran in a similar way to the US eventually cooperated with Kurdish organisations in Iraq in overthrowing the government of Iraq. Surely by now it is no secret that Kurdish chieftains and officials love to be the staunch vassals of Washington and Tel Aviv.

The KRG has even been so generous to offer its territory as a base for Mossad terrorists to launch operations inside Iran. According to several sources, the Mossad operates in the KRG to launch covert operations inside Iran and acquire intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program. “Israeli drones are said to be operating against Iran from bases inside the KRG,” wrote Patrick Seale, a British expert on the Middle East.

The London-based Sunday Times reported that, according to “Western intelligence sources,” during early 2012 Israeli commandos and special forces members carried out missions in Iran that were launched from the KRG. The Zionist terrorists, dressed in Iranian military uniforms, entered Iran in modified Black Hawk helicopters and travelled to Parchin, the site of an Iranian military complex just 30 kilometres southeast of Tehran, and Fordow, an Iranian military base with an underground uranium enrichment facility. The report claims that these forces utilized advanced technology to monitor radioactivity levels and record explosive tests carried out at the military facilities. Whether this report is true or part of a psychological war, I guess we’ll never know.

In addition to all of this, Arab separatism is on the rise in the western Khuzestan province where a large Arab minority reside. The 2018 Ahvaz Military Parade terrorist attack where 29 people were killed was evidence of a recent surge in Arab separatist activities. The Islamic Republic suspects that both Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states offer political and financial support to Arab separatist groups and personalities operating in the West, who in turn funnel the cash to militant networks inside Iran. Suspicions that regional rivals had a hand in the terror attack was intensified by pathetic comments made by Abdul Khaliq Abdullah, a former advisor to the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, that the Ahvaz attack did not constitute an act of terrorism since it was aimed at a military target. The significance of this inflammatory remark lies in Saudi Crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s statement that Saudi Arabia would take the battle “inside” Iran. Since the Saudi monarchy themselves are Zionist agents, we should again look for Washington and Tel Aviv’s hand in this latest campaign targeting yet another minority group in Iran.

The Islamic Republic is under attack from all sides with Washington and Tel Aviv specifically targeting ethnic minorities living in the border areas in the eastern and western regions of Iran. As Washington and Tel Aviv have admitted in the past, a full scale invasion of Iran is highly unlikely due to the size of the country and the large popular support the Islamic Republic enjoys, instead the Zionist Empire has deemed insurgency and fomenting a civil war to be the best way to weaken their adversaries, just like they did in Syria and Iraq. I expect these campaigns to escalate as the Islamic Republic gains more influence across the region and the Zionist Empire growing more and more frustrated each day.

Balkan Report: Pauvre Serbie, Pauvres Serbes

Source

March 10, 2019

Balkan Report: Pauvre Serbie, Pauvres Serbes

by Stephen Karganovic for The Saker Blog

In World War I, there was a popular refrain in France and the West generally expressing sympathetic support for their gallant Serbian allies, who were standing up to combined enemy armies on the Salonica front: Pauvres Serbes…That refrain still very much resonates but is no longer exclusively confined to the moral sphere, as it largely was a hundred years ago. Today, it epitomizes the dismal overall condition of the broken Serbian nation (on that subject, more in a later dispatch). For accuracy and clarification it should undoubtedly be amended, or expanded if you will, to read Pauvre Serbie, as well.

Following three serious bloodlettings in the course of a century (World War I, with up to a third of the population missing on Armistice day in 1918, World War II, with three quarters of a million slaughtered in the genocide committed by the Nazi satellite Croatia in 1941 – 1945, and a minimum of 100,000 of the best, brightest, and most able Serbs executed and exiled on ideological grounds by the Tito regime after it was installed in 1945) present-day Serbia is the ravaged land of an exhausted, dispirited, and dispossessed people. Its ambitions are low and its defenses are down.

Serbia today is ruled by a Uganda-style madman and his coterie of venal incompetents. This sorry bunch is manifestly unfit to govern any country (African or European, or even just Balkan for that matter).

Serbia’s current regime was conceived, by all accounts, as a clever stratagem of Western intelligence services in the early years of this century. It was an attempt to politically profit from the leadership vacuum in the rabidly nationalist Radical Party, whose leader had been safely locked away at the Hague, battling trumped-up (no pun intended) war crimes charges. His two main deputies in Belgrade were correctly diagnosed as ripe for recruitment. The “main prize” (to borrow a famous meme from the Ukrainian crisis) in that particular game of thrones was formal recognition by Serbia of the NATO-sponsored “independence” of Serbia’s resource-laden province of Kosovo, with some subsequent collateral benefits such as Serbia’s humiliating incorporation into NATO, for instance.

One of the two turncoats was even lionized as Serbia’s potential De Gaulle, perhaps with the prospect of a drastically devalued Nobel Peace prize dangled before him, and just for the trifle of signing off on the Kosovo land grab, unilaterally declared under Western auspices in 2008.

The false analogy was missed by all the interested parties. For whatever reasons that concern the French alone, De Gaulle did stop the colonial war in Algeria, giving up a territory that had no link whatsoever to historical France and coming under French rule relatively recently in 1830 when in a fit of anger its tactless bey slapped a French diplomat. Kosovo, on the other hand, is the historical and cultural heartland of the Serbian nation and its Orthodox church. There is no comparison. Renouncing Kosovo would not be the meritorious act of a Serbian De Gaulle, but conjures up more precisely the treachery of Mexican president Santa Ana, when he signed the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

A small but by no means insignificant detail that was inexplicably missed by all the geniuses involved.

Hence, as Robert Burns pointed out, even the best-laid schemes of mice and men tend to sometimes go awry or be seriously delayed at any rate. So far, that exactly has been the case with the legalization of the Kosovo robbery, with its booty of mouth-watering riches. After many fumbling attempts, the Serbian regime has so far failed to come up with the correct formula to hand over Kosovo while protecting its back from the fury of the country’s public, all the while dangerously eroding the patience of the foreign sponsors who installed it and expect a return for their investment. They are still turning a blind eye to the regime’s mischief, but precisely on condition that the Kosovo issue is settled forthwith to their greedy satisfaction. (Note might be taken of the fact that all the major and still influential actors of the 1999 aggression on Yugoslavia, which resulted in NATO’s occupation of Kosovo, such as Madeleine Albright and General Wesley Clark have helped themselves to generous pieces of the Kosovo pie and are, naturally, eager to secure their ill-gotten acquisitions.)

ENTREFILET: Serbian “opposition leaders” were caught on Candid Camera in early February taking orders from US Embassy officials at the Belgrade Hilton. That strongly suggests that weekly Saturday street protests in Belgrade and towns across Serbia are foreign embassy coordinated and that “opposition” leaders are lying when they claim to be advocating for the interests of citizens. They are acting on behalf of their foreign bosses and paymasters and their task is to produce internal destabilization designed to serve foreign interests.

Serbian “opposition” taking orders at the Belgrade Hilton:

“Opposition protest leader,” actor Sergej Trifunovic, in his latest role: pow-wow with Embassy officers at the Belgrade Hilton

In a pathetic attempt to test the waters, the regime’s capo di tutti capi may have inadvertently let the cat out of the bag in a recent interview with an Italian journalist when he averred that “Serbia might legally renounce Kosovo, but only if it receives something in return.” In the wake of the popular uproar that ensued, the regime put pressure on the news agencies that quoted from the interview to drop the embarrassing phrase and explained the gaffe as a “mistranslation.” (It never occurred to anyone to ask to listen to the recording in order to easily verify that convenient claim.)

There is not the slightest doubt, however, that the Kosovo noose is rapidly tightening. Matthew Palmer, State Department official in charge of disciplining Balkan chieftains, has just made it crystal clear on March 8 that the signing of a comprehensive treaty of mutual recognition with the NATO-run narco outfit of Kosovo “is the essence” of what Serbia is expected to do, and that was not a mistranslation. There is not much wiggle room left for Serbia’s Santa Ana.

To drive the point home, Serbia’s Guaidos-in-waiting are staging weekly demonstrations (peaceful for the moment) to demand a variety of abstract-sounding democratic concessions from the regime. Significantly, demonstration organizers make no mention of the Kosovo issue, which is uppermost in the hearts and minds of most Serbs. Not to be overlooked, Belgrade just happens to be the location of the headquarters of Otpor, the Western-intelligence funded outfit famous for its leading role in organizing protests which toppled Slobodan Milosevic. Otpor is now renamed Canvas. Canvas is renting out its experience and services to their paymasters around the world, wherever a “color revolution” is deemed needed. By a huge coincidence, no doubt, Canvas was recently detected as having trained Juan Guaido personally in Belgrade as far back as 2005 and boasts of its role in Venezuela on its internet site. Add to that London Freedom House’s ominous “assessments” of the Serbian situation (e.g. “Serbia’s status declined from Free to Partly Free due to deterioration in the conduct of elections, continued attempts by the government and allied media outlets to undermine the independent journalists through legal harassment and smear campaigns, and […] de facto accumulation of executive powers that conflict with constitutional role”), and all the elements are in place for insomnia at the presidential palace.

Not to be outdone, just days ago, after visiting the imperial metropolis for “consultations,” one of the potential Serbian Guaidos, former foreign minister Vuk Jeremic, accused the regime of having already secretly committed itself to capitulate on Kosovo within weeks, hinting that this information was disclosed to him at the highest levels (never mind that Jeremic’s hypothetical regime would continue where the present regime left off). Another Guaido hopeful, Dragan Djilas, was off to Skopje to pay respects to NATO-installed local puppet and presumably his future model Zoran Zaev, gushing excitedly that being received by a statesman of such caliber was an unforgettable “honor.” With Freedom House greasing the skids for “partly fee” Serbia’s enlistment in the next axis or troika of evil, Canvas close at hand to pull off the street job, eager candidates ready to declare themselves “interim president” on Belgrade’s main square, and rumors of a “Balkan spring” in the air, for the beleaguered Belgrade officials a quick Google search for countries without an extradition treaty with Serbia would not be an entirely foolish waste of time.

The Other Ukraine

Source

by arras for The Saker blogThe Other Ukraine

Ukraine is a country in the Eastern Europe, which doesn’t require introduction to most readers as it was and still is filling pages of the newspapers and screens of a TVs. Courtesy of ongoing geopolitical conflict between the United States and the Russian Federation there. Some say, this is a conflict between East and West and thus suggesting that it is not just a place of competition between the world great powers, but between cultures and civilizations.

This conflict isn’t new to Ukraine. Ukraine is one of those places, where history never falls asleep it merely takes short naps. After the last nap, which we call the Cold War, history is back in Ukraine, writing new pages full of dramatic lines.

However, Ukraine has a sister. It was on the front pages of the newspapers as well not long time ago and it is also rich with dramatic history. The fate and history of both, including the most recent history, bears remarkable similarity and many parallels. Parallels that I intend to show you.

The name of the “other” Ukraine is Krajina and a reader might remember it as a place in the Balkans, which was one of the frontlines of the civil war in Yugoslavia. Krajina is a part of Croatia, but historically it was inhabited by the Serbs. The name of Ukraine in the native Slavic languages is “Ukrajina” and thus the difference in the name is just a prefix “U”. That’s not by a coincidence. Ukrajina and Krajina are the virtually same word, just pronounced slightly different in different Slavic languages. In English, it means “edge”, “margin”, “frontier” or “borderland” and that’s exactly what Ukraine and Krajina were. They were one of those places where realms, cultures, civilizations and empires converged and clashed. Seems they still are, and because of that, Ukraine and Krajina were not just ordinary frontiers, they were military frontiers. Romans used to call such places as “limes” and in the Western Medieval Europe, they were called as “march” or “mark” – ruled by “marquis” and of the same etymological origin as the word “margin”.

Ukraine was a borderland between Russia, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Crimean Khanate which itself was a remnant of the mighty Mongol Empire and at that time, it was a protectorate of the Ottoman Empire. Today Poland and Lithuania might seem like small countries compared to Russia while Crimean Khanate doesn’t even exist, but back in medieval and early modern era these were powerful realms vying for control over the whole region of the Eastern Europe. Krajina together with the similar region called Vojvodina on the other hand was a borderland between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. These places, were such powerful states, even religions and civilizations met weren’t the most peaceful ones and not very well suited for long prosperous life. They were in the state of almost perpetual conflict and war, because even if realms were in formal peace, irregular forces and local chieftains and feudal lords carried raids across the border seeking plunder or revenge, often with the silent consent of their sovereigns. Today we call it a hybrid war and plausible deniability. For that reason, such military frontiers had special status and were organized according to the military rather than civilian principles. Their purpose was to serve as a buffer zone, which was supposed to shield deeper inland territories from enemy attacks and raids and as a staging place for own attacks and raids against the enemy. Traditionally military settlers who had special status populated such territories. These settlers were typically freemen, as opposed to serfs in more secure territories and were exempt of taxes. Instead, they were obliged to carry military service on the border. Being half soldiers, half farmers, these men weren’t the best trained, equipped and disciplined comparing to the regular troops, but they were always available on the spot and required little or no pay as they supported themselves from their land which they supplemented with plunder from lands of the enemy.

These military settlers were often recruited from refugees. In the case of Ukraine, these were the peasants fleeing wars between Russia and Mongol Golden Horde in the east on the one hand and on the other advancing feudalization of Russia itself, which saw farmers being forced in to serfdom in the increasing numbers. Refugees were fleeing to the areas away from the main conflict and out of the reach of the central authorities. Here they begun to organize in to small communities and as soon as the situation in the central parts of Russia was consolidated and Russia has emerged victorious from the wars with Golden Horde and its successor khanates, these communities came in to attention of the Russian authorities who begun to utilize them as military settlers, giving them lands and tax exemption in return for the military service. Thus famous Cossacks were born. The word Kazak, which is Russian for Cossack, is of Turkic, not Slavic origin, and it is assumed to be originally describing nomadic mercenaries hired by the Russian princes to fight in their wars. Later it was used to describe men for hire, both in civilian and military roles and that is likely how it was originally applied to the people we now know as Cossacks.

It should be noted however that modern Ukraine is not identical to historical Ukraine. Historical Ukraine was much smaller compared to modern Ukraine and it never was official name of some administrative region with definitive borders. Not until the creation of the modern Ukraine at the end of the First World War. This term was vaguely applied to the lands that were bordering Russia, Poland-Lithuania and Crimean Khanate, border that kept changing with the fortunes in wars. Moreover, Russia did not had just one Ukraine, there were several ukraines and “little” ukraines (ukrajinka) all along Russia’s sensitive borders. There were ukraines in the west, on the territory of contemporary Belarus, there were ukraines in the south near Caucasus Mountains and there were ukrainas in the Eastern Siberia. Only in the north where Russia shared a border with polar bears, Russia did not have ukraine. However, as Russia kept growing in power, securing its borders or expanding them further, most of the other historical ukraines disappeared and the one that was left longest became The Ukraine. Consequently, Cossacks did not exist only in Ukraine, there were and in some cases still are other Cossacks. Cossacks on the rivers Volga and Don, Siberian Cossacks and Terek Cossacks in the Caucasus to name the most notable ones. Russians were not the only ones who recognized usefulness of Cossacks either, Poles and Tatars were actively using them as well. Cossacks themselves were keen on exploiting conflicts between those powers to extract political and economic advantages for themselves.

Delineatio Generalis Camporum Desertorum vulgo Ukraina cum adjacentibus Provinciis-General Draving of the Deserted Fields, vulgarly known as Ukraine together with its neighbouring Provinces by French cartographer Guillaume Le Vasseur de Beauplan (1600-1673), note that North is down and South is up): source: Wikipedia

Military settlers in Krajina on the other hand were recruited mostly from Serbs, Vlachs (Romanians) and Croats fleeing Ottoman Turks who conquered Constantinople, capital of the East Roman Empire (also known as Byzantium) and defeated the kingdom of Serbia and the fragments of Bulgarian empire in the Balkans and were aggressively pushing north towards the Central Europe engaging with Hungarians and Austrians. That’s how Krajina got its Serbian population. Just like in Russia, historical Krajina does not necessarily copy the borders of what is considered Krajina in Croatia today. And just like in Russia, there are other krajinas elsewhere in Balkans. Bosanska Krajina near Banja Luka, Timocka Krajina between Serbia and Bulgaria, to name a few. In 1881, with the danger of Ottoman incursions all but disappearing, Austrian Emperors dissolved Krajina as an administrative region and incorporated it in to the kingdom of Croatia.

Map of the Krajina (in red) cca 1800:source: Wikipedia

While Cossacks are widely known as famous horsemen, a few people know that Krajina, and neighboring regions of Balkans are where the other most famous light cavalry of Europe comes from. Not less famous Hussars. Hussars were originally irregular cavalry from Balkans. Hungarian kings and Austrian emperors who employed them in their armies introduced them to the Western Europe, where they were quickly copied and adopted by the other armies for their effectiveness. With the advent of firearms, European knights in their shining expensive armors, riding heavy warhorses were gradually withdrawn from the battlefields as European armies begun to appreciate less heavily armed cavalry in their place, which substituted speed and agility for direct protection and ambushes and flanking for charges in to the enemy front lines. And that’s where experience of combating Turks and Tatars of Asia who always preferred lighter cavalry came in handy. Through centuries of constant fighting, Cossacks and Hussars adapted themselves to the fighting methods of their opponents and adopted many elements of their equipment and tactics. Not everybody though served in the cavalry and contrary to popular belief, most Cossacks served as infantrymen. Horse, especially saddle horse back in those days was something that only the wealthiest Cossacks could afford.

Hungarian hussar in the 16th century. Woodcut by Jost Amman:source: Wikipedia

When Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires collapsed in the flames of the Balkan Wars and the First World War, which had aroused from the conflict over the Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia joined Yugoslavia, a new state that supposed to unite all the Slavic people of the Balkans. Krajina ceased to be a province on the edge and it seemed that history there would slow down. Nevertheless, history just took a nap. On April 1941, German army invaded Yugoslavia under Adolf Hitler’s orders and Yugoslavia quickly fell apart. In Croatia, with the support of the Germans, puppet state with the pro-German fascist political party of Ustashe in power was established. Ethnic cleansing campaign and persecution of Serbs and other minorities followed, and lasted until the defeat of Nazi Germany in the WWII. The exact number of Serbs who perished in those repressions is unknown, estimates vary between 300,000 and 500,000. About 50,000 alone died in one of the concentration camps in Jasenovac.

With the National Socialist Germany and their allies defeated, Yugoslavia was reinstated under the leadership of the Communist party and a war hero Josip Bros Tito. Whereas survived Nazi collaborators found a shelter under the wings of the US and British secret services in the West Germany, Canada, USA and Australia. Unlike Nazi scientists, they did not possess any great knowledge or technical skills, but experience of political repression and anti-guerrilla warfare were of the value for the CIA in the upcoming Cold War. The end justifies the means. Interestingly enough, Ustashe from Balkans found themselves thriving at the same centers and under generous tutelage of the same secret services of the same governments as Nazi collaborators from Ukraine – the infamous UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) and its political leaders like Stephan Bandera. In some instances, political and cultural institutions of the Ustashe and UPA were located on the same streets, sometimes even inside the same buildings of Western cities like Munich. Just like Ustashe, the WWII records of UPA are full of the ethnic cleansings, mass murders and war crimes against civilian population that did not fit UPA’s racial and ethnic standards. Now they were to be sustained like bacteria of a biological weapon on a Petri dish in CIA laboratories, waiting for their time.

Ironically, their time did not come during the Cold War, even when there were some failed attempts to utilize them. Their time came with the end of the Cold War and fall of the Communist rule in the Eastern Europe and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The easiest way to destroy multinational country is to start ethnic conflicts between the peoples of a country itself and let them destroy it themselves. Under Tito, who himself was from mixed Croat-Slovenian family, stability was maintained between the various ethnic groups dwelling in Yugoslavia, but that balance was fragile and rested to a large extend on the authority of Tito himself. With his death, the institutions of the state and the way Yugoslavia was constructed came for a test.

Yugoslavia was constructed as a federation in such a way, as to prevent any one of the constituent nations from dominating the state. Serbs were always the most numerous and therefore strongest nationality in Yugoslavia and other nationalities, particularly Croats and Slovenians feared that Serbs would dominate the state. Not without a good reason either as interwar Yugoslavia indeed ended up being dominated by the Serbs and their elite. To prevent that, in post war Yugoslavia, Serbia was divided in to four parts: republics of Serbia and Montenegro and autonomous regions of Kosovo and Vojvodina. Later three had significant non-Serbian ethnic minorities. That accomplished the goal of creating a balance between the powers of national republics inside Yugoslavia, but it inevitably created feeling of injustice among the Serbs. It was only Serbia which was divided and weakened in such a way, neither Croatia, nor Bosnia or Macedonia were divided even if they too had regions with ethnic minorities present. Serbs in Krajina were an example and Bosnia was heterogeneous to such extent, that it was sometimes nicknamed as Little Yugoslavia.

After period of unsuccessful Communist experimenting with creating single Yugoslav supranational identity, which would replace individual nationalities, Tito and his Communists went the other way and in the new constitution of 1974 tried to placate nationalist sentiments by bestowing more power on to the republics and strengthening autonomy of the regions. In Voivodina, Montenegro and Kosovo that led to an increasing cultural, economic and political pressure against Serbs who became convinced that system inside Yugoslavia works at their expense and they are loosing. In Kosovo where Albanian population was steadily increasing due to immigration from Albania and higher birth rates, issue was especially sensitive because Serbs consider Kosovo to be historical cradle of their civilization.

But any attempts to change the situation by the Serbs, inevitably led to the reaction in the other republics creating endless spiral of increasing suspicion and tensions between the republics. With the economy and central institutions weakened by the gradual decline in the power of the Communists and change of the political and economic situation in the whole of Eastern Europe, it required only a gentle push from the outside to spark ethnic conflict. That’s were Ustashe and other similar groups been held in the reserve during the Cold War in the West were finally put to a good use. Under disguise of democracy and freedom of speech, they were re-imported back in to their countries of origin along with the literature and propaganda created around their ideologies in the Cold War exile thanks to the generous US and German sponsorship. Money from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries played similar role in the Muslim communities of Yugoslavia.

Eventually it brought yields. Spinning in spasms, in 1990 Yugoslavia has arrived at the cliff when constitutional crisis completely paralyzed federal institutions, including Communist party itself. Republics were fighting each other. The only significant federal institution left willing to defend Yugoslavia was its army. However, army required an order from politicians to start acting, and there was no one to issue it. Yugoslavia was going to dissolve. The only question was how and when.

Anybody remotely familiar with Yugoslavia, knew, that if it would be done in unilateral uncontrolled manner, it would lead to a war. Only in Slovenia, the administrative borders were identical to the ethnic borders. The rest of Yugoslavia had ethnic minorities living all over the place. This was also well known in Washington and Berlin. Despite, or may be because of it, Washington and Berlin chose exactly this option even against the warnings from other European capitals. Berlin was the first to recognize independent Slovenian and Croatian states and hence British diplomats unofficially named the war that begun immediately in Croatia as “Gensher’s war“, after German foreign minister at that time Hans-Dietrich Gensher.

Single picture that explains civil war in Yugoslavia:source: Wikipedia

When Croatian government declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Serbs of Krajina in response declared their own independence from Croatia. All peoples have equal rights for independence. Right? Wrong. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” to paraphrase George Orwell and his famous book. Everybody likes to be independent himself, but not when others want to be independence at his expense. Croats are no different and independence of Republic of Serbian Krajina, which is how Serbs named their new country, was met with more than a strong disapproval in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. A conflict flared almost immediately and it set off bloody civil war that engulfed other parts of Yugoslavia, eventually ending its existence.

When declaring independence, the most important thing isn’t who has the right for independence and who does not, the most important thing is who supports it. And here Serbs of Krajina were placed at a disadvantage because they were supported only by small Serbia, which itself was having plenty of problems inside, while Croats were supported by several world’s most powerful countries – USA, Germany and the entire NATO alliance. Serbs held for several years, but at the end fight was just too uneven. It ended when Croatian forces supported by the USA and Germany overrun Serbian lines manned mostly by local militiamen on August 1995 and proceeded to ethnically cleanse Krajina of its Serbian inhabitants for good. Up to 1500 of them lost their lives, 2/3 of that number were civilians and up to 200,000 had to flee to Serbia and Bosnia. It was one of the two places in former Yugoslavia, where an entire historical region was ethnically cleansed of its population during the civil war. The other region being ethnically cleansed of Serbs was Kosovo, also with the support of the USA and it’s allies. The irony that is still carefully hidden from the public by the politicians and journalists in Washington, London and Berlin who worked tirelessly to convince people in their countries that those are Serbs who perpetrate crime of ethnic cleansing and had to be stopped by noble and smart bombs, enriched with uranium. Everyone else were portrayed as victims. It was a deliberate lie. Even supposed plan of ethnic cleansing of Albanians in Kosovo by the Serbs, named “Operation Horseshoe” which served as a pretext for bombing of Serbia itself by the NATO forces, was after the war exposed as entirely fabricated by the German secret service BND with the help of Bulgarian government. To be sure, there were plenty of cases of local ethnic cleansing, perpetrated by all sides of the civil war, Serbian one including, but not on the scale of the entire historical regions like Krajina or Kosovo. Nevertheless, ethnic cleansing wasn’t the real reason for the intervention, the real reason was that USA, Germany and EU wanted Yugoslavia to be gone and Serbs in Krajina and Kosovo stood in their way. Yugoslavia was too large to be incorporated in to the EU and NATO, one has to join the EU and NATO as weak as possible and under the conditions favoring those who are in charge of the EU and NATO. Conditions that demand political, economic and cultural subordination and transfer of the control over national resources and markets to the global corporations. Corporations of the global Empire. Therefore, Serbs of Krajina and Kosovo had to go. All of them. Yugoslavia had to be broken in to small pieces and pieces then digested by the Empire one by one until the whole Balkans had “proper” democracy, endorsed “proper” values and values were “protected” by the US military base or two. Divide et impera, Romans used to say.

The conflict in Ukraine is driven by exactly the same motives and reasons and using the same old methods and the same propaganda tricks. Timed bombs in the form of the arbitrary changes of the administrative borders made by the ruling Communist elite blew up during break up of the USSR too, as well as their policies of creating new Soviet people. Former Nazi collaborationist were also used to instigate ethnic hatred. Place Soviet Union instead of the Yugoslavia, Russians instead of Serbs, Ukraine instead of Croatia, Donbas and Crimea instead of Krajina and Kosovo and the story is almost identical. Ukraine and Krajina share similar history once again. Almost. With the exception that the Soviet Union was much larger than Yugoslavia, Russia is much larger than Serbia, and Russia has powerful allies in the world of its own. A victim turned out to be too big and vital and the Empire appears to suffer major digestive problems as a result. Will Ukraine end up sharing the fate of its sister after all?

Or will Ukraine turn out to be one mouthful too many? One thing is certain, history did not stop. History has no end. Prophets of the Empire has been proven wrong.

arras‘s mini-bio: HIC SVNT LEONES

Lies America’s News-Media Tell

Lies America’s News-Media Tell

ERIC ZUESSE | 27.02.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

Lies America’s News-Media Tell

Here are America’s recent targets for regime-change (against which have been used economic sanctions, invasion, and enormous destruction) — and all of them are nations that never invaded nor threatened to invade America:

Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2011-2018, Yemen 2015-now, Ukraine 2014, and Venezuela 2017-now.

Because all of these were and are aggressive wars by the US against nations that never invaded nor threatened to invade the US, they all ought to be subject to mega-criminal prosecutions as was done by the US, Britain, and USSR, against Germany at the Nuremberg Tribunals after World War II. That was merely victors’ ‘justice’, applied by the US, Britain and USSR, but this would instead be actual international justice, the first instance of such in all of world history. It’s desperately needed — especially now.

America’s Government and news-media were and are remarkably unanimous in saying that these invasions and coups are and were done in order to advance democracy and human rights in the given target-nation. However, what it actually brings and has brought, in each and every case, is, instead, massive bloodshed, death, poverty, destruction, and outpourings of refugees — and an increasingly dangerous world, the current world.

Is this lying, by the US and its allies, and their ‘news’-media, mere hypocrisy, or is it something even worse — far worse? In any case, only a fair and international juridical tribunal that’s controlled by no nation and by no alliance of nations can possibly deliver a credible verdict on this. And, so, such international criminal trials must be organized and carried out, or else even worse can be expected to occur. Impunity is desirable only by and for gangsters, and no land where it exists can reasonably be called “democratic.”

America’s news-media — especially the mainstream ones — not only cover-up important truths, but they routinely lie. Both the Democratic Party’s media and the Republican Party’s media report the same lies, which are the Government’s lies, on these international matters. These are lies on which there is bipartisan unity by the nation’s press (and by both political Parties), in order to deceive the public, into support for invading and occupying, or overthrowing via a coup or otherwise, some foreign government. Their target is always a government which America’s billionaires who control international corporations want to replace, and so the US regime unanimously lies against that targeted government, as being dangerous and evil, even though the given takeover-target has never invaded, nor threatened to invade, the United States — is no real national-security threat to the American people. Only on the basis of lies can that succeed. This is the main function of the press, in such countries: deceit, on those international matters.

In other words: the US Government is fascist, like the Axis powers were in World War II. This is worse than, for example, merely wasting billions of dollars on building a border-wall against Mexico in order to protect Americans, but it receives far less press-attention (perhaps because the press is so unanimous in endorsing and supporting these atrocities — and that’s yet further evidence of the American regime’s fascism). The press is owned by, and funded by ads, and donations from, America’s billionaires, the very same people who fund our politicians and who also own controlling interests in the weapons-firms such as Lockheed Martin, which can’t survive without these weapons-sales, and which therefore demand constant conquests, in order to create new markets for their wares, new “allied nations.”

So, naturally, America’s military is mainly the enforcement-arm of the billionaires who control US-based international corporations (especially the weapons-firms and the extractive firms such as mining and fuels, which corporations crave to control foreign natural resources), and those people also control America’s Government and press, and this produces the unanimity for these regime-change operations — which likewise fits the fascist model.

The US is clearly the world’s leading fascist nation, and there is no close second (and none of the nations that the US regime is trying to conquer is fascist at all). What Germany was under Hitler, the US is and has been at least since the time of US President Ronald Reagan. The US has been a dictatorship since at least 1981.

Coup or invasion (either form of aggression) is an international war-crime, but the deceit against America’s public usually succeeds, because the public trust especially the billionaire-controlled mainstream press, which is always leading these lies-for-conquest.

Furthermore, almost all of the ‘alternative news’ media are likewise owned by (and funded by ads or donations from) wealthy interests that participate in and benefit from this mass-deceit — from the stenographic ‘news’ reporting, the Government’s accusations against the particular target-nation that’s about to be (or has been) regime-changed.

For example, all of America’s ’news’-media were stenographically reporting the US Government’s many lies about ‘Saddam Hussein’s WMD’, in order to ‘justify’ America’s kicking out the UN’s weapons-inspectors and simply bombing Iraq and invading and militarily occupying, and basically destroying, that country (which had never invaded ours) in 2003. All of America’s ‘news’ media did the same, but especially all of the mainstream ones did, of both the right and the left, all the way from Fox News to the New York Times. They all were hiding the truth and lying to support an illegal invasion — an international war-crime under international law, and violation of the UN’s Charter. Did Americans stop buying those ‘news’papers and watching those ’news’ channels, and buying those ’news’ magazines, after the truth became reluctantly exposed (during 2002-2005) that those ‘WMD’ didn’t exist and no longer had existed after 1998? No, those same ‘news’-media still are successful. (They all ought to be long-since out-of-business, but such accountability doesn’t exist in the news-business. Not only does a major ‘news’-medium hide its own corruption and lying but it hides that of all other major ‘news’-media, because otherwise the entire ‘democratic’ system of control by the nation’s billionaires would simply collapse.)

America’s ‘news’-media report just as much false ‘news’ (not merely what they call “fake news,” but actually false ‘news’) today, as they did back then, because America’s ‘news’-media cover-up not only for themselves, but also for each other, since they all lie so routinely in order to ‘justify’ their Government’s aggressions, coups, military invasions, foreign mass-murders, etc., and those invasions and coups are part of the unspoken business-plan of them all, for growth or expansion of their global control.

These atrocities are all done for ‘national security’ reasons, and in order to ‘spread democracy’, and in order to ‘protect human rights around the world’ — and Americans continue to believe it, and to believe the regime, and to subscribe to those same mainstream (and hangers-on) ’news’-media. Accountability against lying doesn’t exist in a hyper-aggressive ‘democracy’, a would-be all-encompassing global empire, which America has certainly become.

Today, these ’news’-media hide that they’ve been lying when they report that Russia ‘hacked’ Hillary Clinton’s email and John Podesta’s computer. Just click onto that, right there, and you will immediately see the latest documentation that it’s all mere lies against Russia, which is the only nation that does actually possess the military wherewithal to stand up against the US regime (since it inherited the arsenal of the former Soviet Union when the Cold War ended in 1991 on their side — though that war secretly continued and still is continuing on the American side).

These fabrications could have many reasons, but perhaps the likeliest is in order to increase weapons-sales by Lockheed Martin and other US weapons-makers, all of which are 100% dependent upon their sales to the US Government and to its allied governments. (There are consequently interlocking directorates between the ‘news’-businesses and the armaments-firms, and the Wall Street banks, and the think tanks, etc.; and all of this is intensified by the revolving door between Government officials and the private sector, such as generals becoming directors of ‘defense’ firms.) But this fraud that ‘Russia hacked the election’ has been exposed before, though not with the same thoroughness as it is in that latest news-report, which comes from the “Sic Semper Tyrannus” blog. You might happen to think that it must be ‘fake news’, because it’s from a non-mainstream site? It comes from Bill Binney, who is the NSA whistleblower who was the NSA’s top signals-intelligence analyst before he quit in disgust at the Government’s lying. Of course, he had tried all the mainstream ‘news’-media as prospective outlets for this news-report, but they’re not interested in exposing the truth — because that would expose themselves to be liars. Once a major lie is told, and told repeatedly, by a major ‘news’-medium, exposing that lie would be exposing itself — and none do that.

They also hide that they’ve been lying to report that America was justified to bomb Syria on 11 April 2018, justified to do it in order to punish Syria’s Government for having perpetrated a chemical weapons attack on 7 April 2018 in the town of Douma — a chemical weapons attack that was actually fabricated by the US and its allies, and which US Government lie is still being protected (hidden from the public) by the US regime’s ’news’ media, which media, for example, fail to report that the OPCW did not find any such attack to have occurred:

“OPCW Issues Fact-Finding Mission Reports on Chemical Weapons Use Allegations in Douma, Syria in 2018 and in Al-Hamadaniya and Karm Al-Tarrab in 2016”

Friday, 06 July 2018

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — 6 July 2018 — The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), issued an interim report on the FFM’s investigation to date regarding the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma, Syria on 7 April 2018.

The FFM’s activities in Douma included on-site visits to collect environmental samples, interviews with witnesses, data collection. In a neighbouring country, the FFM team gathered or received biological and environmental samples, and conducted witness interviews.

OPCW designated labs conducted analysis of prioritised samples. The results show that no organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties. Along with explosive residues, various chlorinated organic chemicals were found in samples from two sites, for which there is full chain of custody. Work by the team to establish the significance of these results is on-going. The FFM team will continue its work to draw final conclusions.

If those “final conclusions” are ever made public by OPCW, will you trust your ’news’-media to report them honestly? And, if the conclusions never are published, will you think that the US regime and its ’news’-media are war-criminals there, just as they were in Iraq, and Syria, and Yemen, and Ukraine, and so many other countries?

According to Russian Television, or “RT” — which all major ’news’-media in the US and its allied regimes say is ‘untrustworthy’ — “Real ‘obscene masquerade’: How BBC depicted staged hospital scenes as proof of Douma chemical attack”. That op-ed by the great British investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley, who specializes in Syria, isn’t published by the BBC, or by ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, PBS, Fox, MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, Guardian, or Washington Post. It’s too honest, for that. Could this be part of the reason that they call RT ‘fake news’? If so, maybe RT should replace them, at least for international reporting.

And, before that, there was the claimed 21 August 2013 sarin gas attack in the town of Ghouta by Syria’s Government, which was actually done by the US Government’s allies who were trying to overthrow and replace Syria’s Government — it’s what’s called a “false flag attack” — one that’s designed to be blamed against the other side, in order to serve as an ‘excuse’ to invade. The American Government and its ‘news’-media keep making suckers out of the American public this way, and yet the American public continue to subscribe to them — to pay their good money, for such evil propaganda. Apparently, nobody is even embarassed. It simply keeps happening, again and again.

Another recent example is the ‘democratic revolution’ in Ukraine in February 2014, which was actually a US coup that destroyed that country.

And the latest example is the US-and-Canada-led effort to impose a fascist regime in Venezuela.

Furthermore, as one of the perceptive reader-commenters to that latest Binney article on ‘Russiagate’ noted: “Craig Murray, in a very revealing but neglected interview with Scott Horton, said‘I should be plain that the Podesta emails and the DNC emails of course are two separate things and you shouldn’t conclude that both have the same source. But in both cases, we’re talking of a leak not a hack, in that the person who was responsible for getting the information out had legal access to that information.’” Murray, a whistleblower and former UK Ambassador, had been personally involved in that, by transferring a thumb-drive from the DNC whistleblower to Julian Assange, and he also said there, “If you are looking to the source of all this, you have to look to Americans,” and not at all to any Russians or other foreigners.

The comprehensiveness of the deceit by the US regime is beyond what the vast majority of Americans can even imagine to be the case. It is simply beyond the comprehension of most people. And that false ‘news’-reporting then becomes basic to, and enshrined in, false but best-selling ‘history’-books, so as to deepen, yet further, the deception of the public.

On Sunday, February 24th, the “Zero Hedge” independent news-site headlined “WaPo Quietly Deletes Branson’s Venezuela Concert From Article After ‘Fake’ Attendance Figures Exposed” and reported (and documented) that the British billionaire Richard Branson’s free pop-concert on Friday February 22 at the Venezuela-Colombia border in support of Washington’s attempted coup to overthrow Venezuela’s democratically elected President had drawn less than 20,000 fans instead of what had been reported in the US regime’s Washington Post, which had reported that 200,000 attended, and that as soon as the US regime’s fraud was publicly exposed — which was done by means of a photo of the crowd which had been taken by Dan Cohen of Russia’s RT, plus careful independent calculations by the “Moon of Alabama” blogger — the US regime’s ‘news’paper retroactively removed their ‘news’-report’s crowd-size-estimate from the online version of their ‘news’-report. Of course, the ‘error’ had already been physically printed in that trashy ‘news’paper, which might (at its discretion) subsequently publish a printed correction, saying that they’d only been trying to fool their subscribers in order to assist propaganda supporting the US regime’s grab for control over Venezuela.

The problem isn’t ‘fake news’ from RT or from small online sites (such as all of the major media claim to be the case), but false ‘news’ from mainstream US (and allied) ‘news’ (propaganda) media. They’ve all got millions of victims’ blood on their hands, and they’re not even a bit ashamed of any of it — and of shifting the blame for it to the targeted nations.

PS: Max Blumenthal is an investigative journalist who formerly believed the lies from the (think tanks and other agencies of the) billionaires who finance the Democratic Party. He was the star journalist at one of the Democratic Party’s leading ‘alt-news’ propaganda-sites, AlterNet, until he lost his employment there after starting to expose the rot that he had previously been fooled into supporting. He increasingly moved away from liberalism to progressivism; and the Democratic National Committee doesn’t want any of that, except as window-dressing — and Blumenthal decided he could no longer do that. He became unemployed for a while and then established, along with another former AlterNet reporter “The GrayZone Project,” in order to continue being employed. Blumenthal recently issued a YouTube video in which he interviewed star Democratic Party Presidential aspirant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of Congress “Is the US Meddling in Venezuela? Max Blumenthal Asks US Congress Members.” As you can see there, all of them are either mildly or very supportive of Trump’s coup-attempt in Venezuela. Unfortunately, Blumenthal didn’t interview Tulsi Gabbard, who might possibly be an exception to the depressing rule that corruption reigns, and who recently announced her candidacy for the US Presidency. Nor did he interview Bernie Sanders, nor Sherrod Brown, nor Elizabeth Warren, all of whom likewise are competing for the progressives’ votes in the upcoming Democratic Party Presidential primaries. As for the other Democratic contenders, they’re competing to become instead the new Hillary Clinton — the American billionaires’ favorite. Instead, with Trump, we got in the 2016 Presidentials their second choice.

On February 18th, Blumenthal and a colleague, Alexander Rubinstein, headlined at one of the few sincere and honest US-based international-news sites, “Mint Press,” “Pierre Omidyar’s Funding of Pro-Regime-Change Networks and Partnerships with CIA Cutouts”, and they exposed Omidyar, the owner of a famous ‘news’ site that’s targeted at naive progressives, “The Intercept.” Whereas Mint Press is called ‘fake news’ by America’s billionaires’ ‘news’-media, The Intercept (which isn’t nearly as honest as Mint Press is) is not. The dictatorship’s aim is to crush the truth, and (like The Intercept does) they let in just enough of truth so as to keep hidden what’s most important to them to keep hidden from the public — things such as what Blumenthal and Rubinstein are now disclosing.

Everybody except America’s 585 billionaires should be reading sites such as the ones that publish Blumenthal and Rubinstein, and other honest investigative journalists (which are banned at all of the mainstream sites). Propaganda that poses as ‘news’ has to be crushed, in order for truth itself not to be crushed. But can their exposé of Omidyar win a top national journalism award without thereby bringing down the entire rotten and corrupt superstructure of lies? And that would also bring down the enormous international crimes this superstructure has supported and continues to support, such as Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2011-2018, Yemen 2015-now, Ukraine 2014, and Venezuela 2017-now.

If such news-reports cannot win top journalism prizes, then what hope is there, realistically, that things will ever be able to improve?

Only by removing the blinders from the public, can the public see the light and the actual truth, about the world in which they are living. That’s what is needed in order for democracy to be able to exist. What now exists is, instead, dictatorship. That’s the current reality. It includes the European Council, which is the unelected government of the EU, which clearly is a dictatorship (and this is true even if Brexit is wrong), and it also includes every other ally of the US regime. The EU was created by the US and its allies after WW II. It “always was a CIA project.” FDR was dead, and maybe whatever there had been of US democracy died along with him. The UN that exists is not the one that he had intended and so carefully planned. We’ve been living in a charade. It didn’t start in 1981. There is this, and there also is this. It’s FDR’s vision turned upside-down and inside-out. That’s the actual world of today. It’s based on lies.

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The 1945 Yalta Conference – the Last Formal Partition of the World

The 1945 Yalta Conference – the Last Formal Partition of the World

The 1945 Yalta Conference – the Last Formal Partition of the World

By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with 
https://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-the-1945-yalta-conference-the-last-formal-partition-of-the-world/
source: 
https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20190205/1022583434.html

On February 4th-11th 1945 the second (of three) conference of the “big three” took place in Yalta (leaders of the USSR, US, and Great Britain) during which the basic principles of the future post-war world order were defined.

Politicians, characterising the modern world, often use the term “Washington consensus”, meaning that after the collapse of the USSR the so-called Yalta or Yalta-Potsdam world order ended its existence, having given way to a new political organisation of the planet characterised by the absolute hegemony of the US. However, it is necessary to say that the US never reached absolute individual control over the planet, although it was very close to it. It especially didn’t manage to officially register its domination legally. The world of the “Washington consensus” can be called the world of spontaneously developed relations that all participants of the process try to revise in their own favour.

Ultimately, today, after the US’ hegemony has been consigned to the past without having definitively taken shape politically and not being recorded legally, the “Washington consensus” can’t even theoretically be used as the term describing the actual state of international relations any more. People speak about a state of “new cold war” or “hybrid war” between the leading powers, but once again this is a process that can theoretically lead to certain changes and to the creation of a new world order. But in the meantime we, legally speaking, live in the Yalta world.

Exactly in the same way, before the end of World War II and the shaping of new rules of international life, legally speaking the world lived within the framework of the Versailles system, although its rules were flagrantly violated and the system itself was destroyed during war.

The Yalta system was more lucky. It still hasn’t been definitively dismantled. Even the legitimacy of the existing European borders is guided by precisely Yalta decisions. In Helsinki in 1975 only their inviolability was confirmed, which up of the present moment has been repeatedly trampled on, but the rules that draw these borders were determined by precisely Yalta. The legitimation of the sovereignty of Russia over the Kuril Islands originates from the Yalta conference. It is exactly there that a decision was made according to which the USSR pledged to enter the war against Japan 2-3 months after the end of war in Europe (against Germany and its allies) in exchange for returning the southern Sakhalin and transferring the Kuril Islands to the USSR. So if in Europe the Yalta borders partially died, then in the Far East the Yalta world continues to be preserved.

The Yalta conference is noteworthy also because informally, by the fact of its carrying out, it approved the concept of the existence of superpowers — world hegemons, who establish the rules of the game in accordance with their own arbitrariness.

In Tehran (in 1943) the “big three” discussed the issue of war against Germany and Japan. Potsdam was mostly devoted to the order of post-war Germany. Yalta decisions were simply confirmed there. But spheres of interests and the prevailing influence of superpowers were determined in precisely Yalta.

Unlike the Paris peace conference, which came to an end with the signing of several peace treaties (the most known being Versailles, which the post-war system was named after) and established the rules of the game after World War I, and where all winner countries were present (even Haiti, Honduras, Hijaz, and other exotic places) except Russia (the allies didn’t recognise the Bolsheviks), in Yalta the fate of the world was determined by the “big three” — the superpowers of that time (the USSR, the US, and Great Britain).

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:1022583680.jpg

Later Great Britain lost its status of a superpower, but the principle by which the superpowers decide the fate of the world – each of them representing the part of the world assigned to them and being responsible for the actions of their satellites – was de facto established in precisely Yalta. It is in effect even now. We address to the US and EU concerning our complaints about the actions of their client regime in Ukraine. The US demands from China to influence North Korea, and from Russia — to influence Iran and Syria. Despite the fact that in today’s world many satellites became equal allies or quickly move towards this status and superpowers no longer have the previous leverage on their policies, the principle of concluding agreements in a narrow circle and their formulation as being obligatory for the rest of the world or a part of it is still applied, although it’s not always effective.

The Yalta system is West-centric. It was based on the American-European consensus and the standoff of the collective West with the USSR and Russia. After the center of world production, finance, and trade moved to Asia, after the US lost the status of the world hegemon, and the continuation of its military-political and economic weakening, with the beginning of the ousting of the US dollar from the position of the world currency, the mechanisms of the Yalta system started to idly turn even more often.

The creation of BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the G20 is an attempt to respond to the challenges of the time and the first test formation of international structures that could correspond to the new financial-economic and military-political reality. Continuous talk about the need to reform the UN, including its Security Council, demonstrates that politicians of the leading countries of the world understand an unbiased fact — after the weight of different states defining their place in world rankings changes, the mechanism of world governance and the adoption of key political decisions possessing a global character must change too. This can be both the reform of the UN and the replacement of the UN with other organisation (like how the UN after World War II replaced the League of Nations, which arose after World War I).

But as was said above, the “third world war” (hybrid, the second cold war, etc.) still hasn’t finished. The US can’t win it and keep its position of world hegemon any more, but it still fights for a stalemate. It is precisely the US, as the last superpower from those that were born in Yalta, that is now the most interested in preserving the rudiments of the Yalta system. At the peak of their power they tried to transform this system into the “Washington consensus”, which supposed the simple spreading of American domination in the spheres of influence of superpowers that were consigned to the past (Great Britain and the USSR). However now, when de facto the status of a superpower was obtained by Russia and China; when the EU fluctuates between transforming into a superpower and disintegrating; when India voices serious ambitions; when the quick reformatting of the Middle East – the result of which still aren’t clear – is ongoing, the US needs to preserve the pseudo-Yalta system (which was initially transformed into a Washington one, and then a post-Washington one) as long as possible because they have serious advantages within the framework of the operating international law and the developed tradition.

Russia, in the person of its president, repeatedly declared that a multipolar world order must come and replace the Yalta world order (which initially was bipolar, and then unipolar). De facto we already live in a multipolar world, but it hasn’t yet entered the stage of its Paris or Yalta conference — it hasn’t been registered legally. The rules of the game are still being probed intuitively and ensured by current political weight. The US doesn’t yet see itself as a loser enough to agree to a new peace conference that would seriously limit its rights and possibilities, and the rest of the world still doesn’t feel victorious enough to coerce the US into doing what Germany was coerced into doing twice.

As a result the Yalta legal practice diverges from the demands of the actual present situation. Hence all impudent and brazen violations of the allegedly operating international law, and the continuous mutual accusations of double standards.

“All warfare is based on deception”, wrote Sun Tzu. Rules don’t work during war, even hand-written laws of war are always broken, although responsibility for their violation is always born by the loser. But the winner writes the laws of the “brave new world”, which work exactly until they (or the coalition of winners) are capable of ensuring via force the action of these laws.

Russia’s secret war

Source

Russia’s secret war

February 05, 2019

Russia’s secret war by Time Forward! project and Evgeny Super

Translated by Scott Humor and captioned by Leo.

We have discovered that Russia has been waging a secret, carefully concealed war for the past 7 years. It is a war against corruption and unfair income distribution. You find this hard to believe? We will tell you in detail immediately after the selection of positive news of the week.

News Time

In Lipetsk, a factory for manufacturing industrial safety systems was opened. The investments are 1 billion rubles ($15.2 million).

Modernization of production worth 500 million rubles ($7.6 million) is completed at the Serov mechanical manufacturer.

In the Stavropol Krai (territory) Russia’s first lactose production was launched with investments of 400 million rubles ($6.1 million).

In Moscow – new production of cable systems.

In the Nizhny Novgorod region was launched a new workshop for the production of special vehicles.

The first industrial park was opened in the Novgorod region.

The first assembly production of milking robots in Russia was opened in Bashkiria with investment of over 400 million rubles ($6.1 million).

In Veliky Novgorod – a new production of mixed fertilizers.

The key stage of testing the Poseidon unmanned multi-purpose strategic underwater combat weapon has been successfully completed.

The Russian Army has adopted the new combat robotic complex “Uran-9”.

A modern mobile radar complex “Resonance-N” with elements of artificial intelligence has been deployed in the Arctic.

Russian schools specializing in physics and mathematics will now receive federal funding under the national Education project. This will allow them to upgrade their infrastructure and take more students on a budget basis.

Anti-corruption actions

This past week front pages of the largest mass media outlets decry the subject of corruption. One of the reasons for their interest was the publication of the Corruption Perceptions Index by the Transparency International, according to which Russia has worsened its position to the 138th place next to Papua New Guinea, Lebanon and Mexico.

Of course, there is corruption in Russia, but the objectivity of this rating is questionable. It is compiled by the international organization Transparency International on the basis of  “expert assessments,” which in turn are based on questioning the citizens regarding their personal perception of corruption. That is it. They do not reflect the level of corruption itself, but its perception – hence its name.

It’s true. Russian society really considers corruption to be one of the main problems, and sees the fight against it as being insufficient. But is this really the case? Let’s take a look at this graph.

Statistics of criminal investigations opened against high profile government officials

These are statistics of criminal cases opened against high-ranking officials. You see that since 2012 the purge of corrupt bureaucrats had actually begun. The second graph shows that it is not ostentatious and that the convicts receive real jail terms of 5 years and more.

Image of jail term statistics

If we ignore the comparison of Stalin’s purge, then nothing like this has ever happened in the history of our state.

2019 is likely to become even more harsh towards the corrupt government officials. Just this week only we witnessed the arrests of a Senator, a Lieutenant Governor, a chief of staff of the Interior Ministry, a Mayor, the first Deputy of the Mayor, the head of the regional Cadastral Chamber, the chief of regional Department of the Ministry of Interior and others.

*Video clip plays*

Well I swear to you, I didn’t take the bribe!

– Enough.

Here, I have this…

– Everything’s alright. Sit down, drink some water.

*Starts crying* I didn’t take anything!

*Video clip ends*

Why don’t most citizens know anything about this? Because the government doesn’t make a show out of it, but acts quietly and carefully, almost secretly. Meanwhile, all sorts of populists only talk about the problem and ignore to report on systematic efforts to combat it. Therefore, citizens perceive corruption as an invincible evil, so the Transparency rating may well reflect real sentiments, but not reality as such.

As an illustration, this week’s proposal to introduce the concept of “forced corruption” was discussed by everyone in the media, but only a few mentioned the presidential bill to allow the Prosecutor General office to check on the ownership of foreign accounts and foreign holdings by civil servants. The first concept will have very minimal consequences and a rare application with very specific exceptions, and the second law will bring the purge of corrupt government officials to a fundamentally new level.

Now the main question – how does all this struggle affect the citizens of Russia?

Economic Time

An interesting study of world inequality was published by experts of the Paris School of Economics. Unlike Transparency International, this study is based on transparent statistics and is trustworthy. Now, inequality in income distribution remains a universal problem – the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. However, Russia is not a world leader, and the level of inequality in Russia is lower than in the US, Canada and other regions. Additionally, it is obvious that the situation with income inequality in Russia is improving.

Image of income inequality from 1905-2005

Take a good look at this chart. It shows how the level of wealth of the Russian 10% super-rich, 50% of the middle class and 40% of the least wealthy citizens changed. The huge rise of the super-rich in the 90s and the impoverishment of the rest are obvious.

Since about 2010, the trends reversed themselves, the super-rich began to lose and the rest started to gain. Another source that analyzes the income of the very top-1% of Russian rich people shows exactly the same picture.

Image of 10% income

Let’s compare this data with the anti-corruption crackdown on the elite and see that they almost coincide in time. This is how the income of the super-rich is gradually being redistributed. Of course, the income equality process isn’t just fueled by the fight against corruption. But it certainly contributes to the restoration of what we call social justice.

It is very important to understand that this delicate law enforcement work cannot be done in one swoop, otherwise tomorrow not only corrupt officials, but the law abiding business would flee the country frightened by what is happening. What was possible in the last century can do more harm than good today. Therefore, the war against corruption, cleaning the top, and reconfiguring the distribution of federal funds is going on very carefuly without much public talk about this.

View from the outside

On February 2nd, Russia celebrates the day of military glory on the 76th anniversary of the victory in the Battle for Stalingrad – one of the key battles of the Great Patriotic War. Commemorative events were held in Russian cities and in some countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). But here, the modern German press (DW News) did not miss the opportunity to write that the Battle of Stalingrad had only a psychological and propaganda significance.

Twitter image – “DW in the Russian language:

76 years ago, on 2 Febraury 1943, was the day that one of the biggest battles of World War 2 ended – the Battle of Stalingrad. A German historian believes that the meaning of Stalingrad was more psychological. The battle had a great significance in the point of view of propaganda.”

We would like to respond by quoting the publication in the American newspaper New York Times of February 7, 1943. The author wrote:

“Last week ended the defeat of the remnants of the German Army at Stalingrad and summed up the battle, whose chronicle will be passed down from generation to generation. The fierce power of the attackers and the unyielding resistance of the defenders were unmatched in comparison, there was no other such siege in this war, even near Leningrad.

When the conclusion drew closer, German propaganda tried to surround the dying Nazi army with a halo of heroism, which rightfully belongs to Russia. Without a doubt, some of the German divisions fought bravely. But, the German soldiers also surrendered en masse. After the last call to surrender on January 10th, the army began to break up rapidly. This defeat will affect the further course of the war.”

Extremely voracious and accurate article. Read the full translation on our website, Time-Forward!.rus.

We wish you a cheerful and good week! You can find the text of the issue and links on our website. Join the Club “Time-forward!” and take a part in the development of our project!


Translator’s notes: The New York Times is hiding this article behind the paid subscription wall, but here are some other free sources that reference it.

Russians Liquidate Last Stalingrad Pocket. Nazi Army Beaten. More Generals Captured in Final Assault on Axis Survivors. Siege Cost 500,000 Men. 2,500 Officers Among 91,000 Prisoners — Soviet Units Freed for Offensives

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