Category Archives: Militarism

NYT Pundit Thinks U.S. Should Be “Calling the Shots” in Ukraine’s War

This is a commentary upon N.Y. Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s statement on May 6 that Ukraine’s Government is and ought to be the U.S. Government’s agent in its war against Russia, not representing the interests of the Ukrainian people in it. He introduced the statement by noting that Ukraine is a bad country,

a country marbled with corruption. That doesn’t mean we should not be helping it. I am glad we are. I insist we do. But my sense is that the Biden team is walking much more of a tightrope with Zelensky than it would appear to the eye — wanting to do everything possible to make sure he wins this war but doing so in a way that still keeps some distance between us and Ukraine’s leadership. That’s so Kyiv is not calling the shots [I boldfaced that — he didn’t] and so we’ll not be embarrassed by messy Ukrainian politics in the war’s aftermath.

He starts there by putting down Ukraine as a “country,” and then asserts that, fortunately, “Kyiv is not calling the shots and so we’ll not be embarrassed by messy Ukrainian politics in the war’s aftermath.” Perhaps an underlying assumption of his in saying this is that America is NOT “a country riddled with corruption,” and, so, that it is right and good that Ukraine is America’s slave in this matter.

He continues there:

The view of Biden and his team, according to my reporting, is that America needs to help Ukraine restore its sovereignty and beat the Russians back — but not let Ukraine turn itself into an American protectorate on the border of Russia. We need to stay laser-focused on what is our national interest and not stray in ways that lead to exposures and risks we don’t want.

I believe that Friedman truly does represent the U.S. Establishment that he is a part of, and that “Biden and his team” likewise do. I accept Friedman’s statement as reflecting accurately the way that “Biden and his team” (which, given the U.S. Congress’s virtually 100% voting for it in this matter of Ukraine, also includes virtually every U.S. Senator and Representative) feel about the matter: they feel that Ukraine must be their slave in it and must do whatever the U.S. Government demands that it do in its war with Ukraine’s next-door-neighbor, Russia.

That view — the view that it’s not only true but good that “Kyiv is not calling the shots” in this matter — reflects the view that an imperialist government has toward one of its colonies or vassal-nations (which the imperialist nation nowadays calls instead its ‘allies’). And this is the reason why they treat not only their armies but all of the residents in their ‘allies’ as being appropriate cannon-fodder or ‘proxy soldiers’ in their foreign wars, wars to conquer other countries — such as, in this case, Russia.

Here was how the former U.S. President, Barack Obama, phrased the matter to America’s graduating cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, on 28 May 2014:

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.

It could as well have been said by England’s royals and other aristocrats during their imperialistic heyday.

All other nations are “dispensable.” America’s military is an extension of international economic competition so that America’s billionaires will continue to rule the world in the future, as they do now. “Rising middle classes compete with us” and are consequently America’s enemies in the “dispensable” countries (everywhere in which vassalage to America’s billionaires — being “America’s allies” — is rejected), so that “it will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world.” So he told America’s future generals, regarding those who live (as the 2017 U.S. Army report put it) “in the shadow of significant U.S. military capability and the implied promise of unacceptable consequences in the event that capability is unleashed.” America’s military are the global gendarmes not of Hitler’s nazi regime in WW II, but of America’s nazi regime in the lead-up to WW III.

Thomas Friedman, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and all of the other U.S. major ‘news’-media, feel this way about it, and report and comment upon the ’news’ that way, but I think that it was a slip-up that Friedman and the Times expressed it, for once, so honestly, especially given that they are master-liars on most international-news reporting and commentary. The pièce de résistance in his commentary was its ludicrously hypocritical line that “America needs to help Ukraine restore its sovereignty.” (They must be America’s slaves but restore their sovereignty. How stupid do they think that the American public is?) That too is typical of aristocrats’ hypocrisies and general corruptness — including that of the U.S. Government itself, which represents ONLY America’s billionaires and other super-rich — it’s a regime and no democracy at all.

Moreover, whereas America has no business at all to be involved in this war, Russia very much does, and the U.S. regime’s involvement there is ONLY in order to conquer Russia — which is a psychopathic and super-imperialistic objective to have, and not MERELY a real and soaring threat against the safety of all parts of the world — the real and now rapidly growing danger of there being a World War III.

Incidentally, the title of Friedman’s commentary was “The War Is Getting More Dangerous for America, and Biden Knows It.” It’s an interesting title, because it concerns ONLY what Friedman and America’s other aristocrats care about, which is themselves, and not at all about what any of the ‘dispensable’ countries (including Ukraine) care about. Since the publics everywhere care about preventing a WW III (nuclear war between Russia and America — including all NATO countries), that is a stunningly narrow sphere of concern regarding a potentially world-ending catastrophe. Clearly, America’s aristocrats are rank psychopaths. They control the U.S. Government, and this is the result of that. It’s a Government in which the worst come first, the public last. Russia is up against that: it is up against America, and Ukraine is only the first battleground of WW III, now only at the proxy stage for the U.S. regime but not for the Russian Government, which, in this matter, truly does represent the most-vital national-security interests of its citizens. Everyone except U.S.-and-allied aristocracies (many of whom are buyers of billionaires’ bunkers) have an overriding interest in America’s defeat in this war, before it ever reaches the nuclear stage, of direct Russia vs. U.S. warfare.

The shame of today’s U.N. is that it’s not enraged against the U.S. Government. This is shaping up to be the biggest scandal and failure in the U.N.’s entire history, virtually its own collapse.

The post NYT Pundit Thinks U.S. Should Be “Calling the Shots” in Ukraine’s War first appeared on Dissident Voice.

With Clenched Fists, They Spend Money on Weapons as the Planet Burns

Dia Al-Azzawi (Iraq), Sabra and Shatila Massacre, 1982–⁠83.

Dia Al-Azzawi (Iraq), Sabra and Shatila Massacre, 1982–⁠83.

Two important reports were released last month, neither getting the kind of attention they deserve. On 4 April, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group III report was published, evoking a strong reaction from the United Nations’ Secretary General António Guterres. The report, he said, ‘is a litany of broken climate promises. It is a file of shame, cataloguing the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unliveable world’. At COP26, the developed countries pledged to spend a modest $100 billion for the Adaptation Fund to assist developing countries adapt to climate change. Meanwhile, on 25 April, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) issued its annual report, finding that the world military spending surpassed $2 trillion in 2021, the first time it has exceeded the $2 trillion mark. The five largest spenders – the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom, and Russia – accounted for 62 percent of this amount; the United States, by itself, accounts for 40 percent of total arms expenditure.

There is an endless flow of money for weapons but less than a pittance to avert planetary disaster.

Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World (Bangladesh), The resilience of the average Bangladeshi is remarkable. As this woman waded through the flood waters in Kamalapur to get to work, there was a photographic studio ‘Dreamland Photographers’, which was open for business, 1988.

That word ‘disaster’ is not an exaggeration. UN Secretary General Guterres has warned that ‘we are on a fast track to climate disaster… It is time to stop burning our planet’. These words are based on the facts contained in the Working Group III report. It is now firmly established in the scientific record that the historical responsibility for the devastation done to our environment and our climate rests with the most powerful states, led by the United States. There is little debate about this responsibility in the distant past, a consequence of the ruthless war against nature carried out by the forces of capitalism and colonialism.

But this responsibility also extends to our present period. On 1 April, a new study was published in The Lancet Planetary Health demonstrating that from 1970 to 2017 ‘high-income nations are responsible for 74 percent of global excess material use, driven primarily by the USA (27 percent) and the EU-28 high-income countries (25 percent)’. The excess material use in the North Atlantic countries is due to use of abiotic resources (fossil fuels, metals, and non-metallic minerals). China is responsible for 15 percent of global excess material use and the rest of the Global South is responsible for only 8 percent. The excess use in these lower-income countries is driven largely using biotic resources (biomass). This distinction between abiotic and biotic resources shows us that the excess resources use from the Global South is largely renewable, whereas that of the North Atlantic states is non-renewable.

Such an intervention should have been on the front pages of the newspapers of the world, particularly in Global South, and its findings debated widely on television channels. But it was barely remarked upon. It proves decisively that the high-income countries of the North Atlantic are destroying the planet, that they need to change their ways, and that they need to pay into the various adaptation and mitigation funds to assist countries that are not creating the problem but that are suffering from its impact.

Having presented the data, the scholars who wrote this paper note that ‘high-income nations bear the overwhelming responsibility for global ecological breakdown, and therefore owe an ecological debt to the rest of the world. These nations need to take the lead in making radical reductions in their resource use to avoid further degradation, which will likely require transformative post-growth and degrowth approaches’. These are interesting thoughts: ‘radical reductions in resource use’ and then ‘post-growth and degrowth approaches’.

Simon Gende (Papua New Guinea), The US Army Find Osama bin Laden Hiding in a House and Kill Him, 2013.

The North Atlantic states – led by the United States – are the largest spenders of social wealth on arms. The Pentagon – the US armed forces – ‘remains the single largest consumers of oil’, says a Brown University study, ‘and as a result, one of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters’. To get the United States and its allies to sign the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the UN member states had to allow greenhouse gas emissions by the military to be excluded from the national reporting on emissions.

The vulgarity of these matters can be put plainly by comparison of two money values. First, in 2019, the United Nations calculated that the annual funding gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) amounted to $2.5 trillion. Turning over the annual $2 trillion in global military expenditure to the SDGs would go a long way toward dealing with the major assaults on human dignity: hunger, illiteracy, houselessness, lack of medical care, and so on. It is important to note here, that the $2 trillion figure from SIPRI does not include the lifetime waste of social wealth given to private arms manufacturers for weapons systems. For example, the Lockheed Martin F-35 weapons system is projected to cost nearly $2 trillion.

In 2021, the world spent over $2 trillion on war, but only invested – and this is a generous calculation – $750 billion in clean energy and energy efficiency. Total investment in energy infrastructure in 2021 was $1.9 trillion, but the bulk of that investment went to fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal). So, investments in fossil fuels continue and investments in arms rise, while investments to transition to new forms of cleaner energy remain insufficient.

Aline Amaru (Tahiti), La Famille Pomare (‘The Pomare Family’), 1991.

Aline Amaru (Tahiti), La Famille Pomare (‘The Pomare Family’), 1991.

On 28 April, US President Joe Biden asked the US Congress to provide $33 billion for weapons systems to be sent to Ukraine. The call for these funds comes alongside incendiary statements made by the US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, who said that the US is not trying to remove Russian forces from Ukraine but to ‘see Russia weakened’. Austin’s comment should not come as a surprise. It mirrors US policy since 2018, which has been to prevent China and Russia from becoming ‘near-peer rivals’. Human rights are not the concern; the focus is preventing any challenge to US hegemony. For that reason, social wealth is wasted on weapons and not used to address the dilemmas of humanity.

Shot Baker atomic test under Operation Crossroads, Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands), 1946.

Consider the way the United States has reacted to a deal between Solomon Islands and China, two neighbours. Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said that this deal sought to promote trade and humanitarian cooperation, not the militarisation of the Pacific Ocean. On that same day of Prime Minister Sogavare’s address, a high-level US delegation arrived in the nation’s capital Honiara. They told Prime Minister Sogavare that if the Chinese establish any kind of ‘military installation’, the United States would ‘then have significant concerns and respond accordingly’. These were plain threats. A few days later, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, ‘Island countries in the South Pacific are independent and sovereign states, not a backyard of the US or Australia. Their attempt to revive the Monroe Doctrine in the South Pacific region will get no support and lead to nowhere’.

The Solomon Islands has a long memory of the history of Australian-British colonialism and the scars of the atom bomb tests. The practice of ‘blackbirding’ abducted thousands of Solomon Islanders to work the sugarcane fields in Queensland, Australia in the 19th century, eventually leading to the Kwaio Rebellion of 1927 in Malaita. The Solomon Islands has fought hard against being militarised, voting in 2016 with the world to prohibit nuclear weapons. The appetite to be the ‘backyard’ of the United States or Australia is not there. That was clear in the luminous poem ‘Peace Signs’ (1974) by Solomon Islands writer Celestine Kulagoe:

A mushroom sprouts from
an arid pacific atoll
Disintegrates into space
Leaving only a residue of might
to which for an illusory
peace and security
man clings.

In the calm of the early morning
the third day after
love found joy
in the empty tomb
the wooden cross of disgrace
transformed into a symbol
of love service
peace.

In the heat of the afternoon lull
the UN flag flutters
hidden from sight by
national banners
under which
sit men with clenched fists
signing peace
treaties.

The post With Clenched Fists, They Spend Money on Weapons as the Planet Burns first appeared on Dissident Voice.

How Could the U.S. Help to Bring Peace to Ukraine?

Photo credit: cdn.zeebiz.com

On April 21st, President Biden announced new shipments of weapons to Ukraine, at a cost of $800 million to U.S. taxpayers. On April 25th, Secretaries Blinken and Austin announced over $300 million more military aid. The United States has now spent $3.7 billion on weapons for Ukraine since the Russian invasion, bringing total U.S. military aid to Ukraine since 2014 to about $6.4 billion.

The top priority of Russian airstrikes in Ukraine has been to destroy as many of these weapons as possible before they reach the front lines of the war, so it is not clear how militarily effective these massive arms shipments really are. The other leg of U.S. “support” for Ukraine is its economic and financial sanctions against Russia, whose effectiveness is also highly uncertain.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is visiting Moscow and Kyiv to try to kick start negotiations for a ceasefire and a peace agreement. Since hopes for earlier peace negotiations in Belarus and Turkey have been washed away in a tide of military escalation, hostile rhetoric and politicized war crimes accusations, Secretary General Guterres’ mission may now be the best hope for peace in Ukraine.

This pattern of early hopes for a diplomatic resolution that are quickly dashed by a war psychosis is not unusual. Data on how wars end from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) make it clear that the first month of a war offers the best chance for a negotiated peace agreement. That window has now passed for Ukraine.

An analysis of the UCDP data by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) found that 44% of wars that end within a month end in a ceasefire and peace agreement rather than the decisive defeat of either side, while that decreases to 24% in wars that last between a month and a year. Once wars rage on into a second year, they become even more intractable and usually last more than ten years.

CSIS fellow Benjamin Jensen, who analyzed the UCDP data, concluded:

The time for diplomacy is now. The longer a war lasts absent concessions by both parties, the more likely it is to escalate into a protracted conflict… In addition to punishment, Russian officials need a viable diplomatic off-ramp that addresses the concerns of all parties.

To be successful, diplomacy leading to a peace agreement must meet five basic conditions:

First, all sides must gain benefits from the peace agreement that outweigh what they think they can gain by war.

U.S. and allied officials are waging an information war to promote the idea that Russia is losing the war and that Ukraine can militarily defeat Russia, even as some officials admit that that could take several years.

In reality, neither side will benefit from a protracted war that lasts for many months or years. The lives of millions of Ukrainians will be lost and ruined, while Russia will be mired in the kind of military quagmire that both the U.S.S.R. and the United States already experienced in Afghanistan, and that most recent U.S. wars have turned into.

In Ukraine, the basic outlines of a peace agreement already exist. They are: withdrawal of Russian forces; Ukrainian neutrality between NATO and Russia; self-determination for all Ukrainians (including in Crimea and Donbas); and a regional security agreement that protects everyone and prevents new wars.

Both sides are essentially fighting to strengthen their hand in an eventual agreement along those lines. So how many people must die before the details can be worked out across a negotiating table instead of over the rubble of Ukrainian towns and cities?

Second, mediators must be impartial and trusted by both sides.

The United States has monopolized the role of mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian crisis for decades, even as it openly backs and arms one side and abuses its UN veto to prevent international action. This has been a transparent model for endless war.

Turkey has so far acted as the principal mediator between Russia and Ukraine, but it is a NATO member that has supplied drones, weapons and military training to Ukraine. Both sides have accepted Turkey’s mediation, but can Turkey really be an honest broker?

The UN could play a legitimate role, as it is doing in Yemen, where the two sides are finally observing a two-month ceasefire. But even with the UN’s best efforts, it has taken years to negotiate this fragile pause in the war.

Third, the agreement must address the main concerns of all parties to the war.

In 2014, the U.S.-backed coup and the massacre of anti-coup protesters in Odessa led to declarations of independence by the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. The first Minsk Protocol agreement in September 2014 failed to end the ensuing civil war in Eastern Ukraine. A critical difference in the Minsk II agreement in February 2015 was that DPR and LPR representatives were included in the negotiations, and it succeeded in ending the worst fighting and preventing a major new outbreak of war for 7 years.

There is another party that was largely absent from the negotiations in Belarus and Turkey, people who make up half the population of Russia and Ukraine: the women of both countries. While some of them are fighting, many more can speak as victims, civilian casualties and refugees from a war unleashed mainly by men. The voices of women at the table would be a constant reminder of the human costs of war and the lives of women and children that are at stake.

Even when one side militarily wins a war, the grievances of the losers and unresolved political and strategic issues often sow the seeds of new outbreaks of war in the future. As Benjamin Jensen of CSIS suggested, the desires of U.S. and Western politicians to punish and gain strategic advantage over Russia must not be allowed to prevent a comprehensive resolution that addresses the concerns of all sides and ensures a lasting peace.

Fourth, there must be a step-by-step roadmap to a stable and lasting peace that all sides are committed to.

The Minsk II agreement led to a fragile ceasefire and established a roadmap to a political solution. But the Ukrainian government and parliament, under Presidents Poroshenko and then Zelensky, failed to take the next steps that Poroshenko agreed to in Minsk in 2015: to pass laws and constitutional changes to permit independent, internationally-supervised elections in the DPR and LPR, and to grant them autonomy within a federalized Ukrainian state.

Now that these failures have led to Russian recognition of the DPR and LPR’s independence, a new peace agreement must revisit and resolve their status, and that of Crimea, in ways that all sides will be committed to, whether that is through the autonomy promised in Minsk II or formal, recognized independence from Ukraine.

A sticking point in the peace negotiations in Turkey was Ukraine’s need for solid security guarantees to ensure that Russia won’t invade it again. The UN Charter formally protects all countries from international aggression, but it has repeatedly failed to do so when the aggressor, usually the United States, wields a Security Council veto. So how can a neutral Ukraine be reassured that it will be safe from attack in the future? And how can all parties be sure that the others will stick to the agreement this time?

Fifth, outside powers must not undermine the negotiation or implementation of a peace agreement.

Although the United States and its NATO allies are not active warring parties in Ukraine, their role in provoking this crisis through NATO expansion and the 2014 coup, then supporting Kyiv’s abandonment of the Minsk II agreement and flooding Ukraine with weapons, make them an “elephant in the room” that will cast a long shadow over the negotiating table, wherever that is.

In April 2012, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan drew up a six-point plan for a UN-monitored ceasefire and political transition in Syria. But at the very moment that the Annan plan took effect and UN ceasefire monitors were in place, the United States, NATO and their Arab monarchist allies held three “Friends of Syria” conferences, where they pledged virtually unlimited financial and military aid to the Al Qaeda-linked rebels they were backing to overthrow the Syrian government. This encouraged the rebels to ignore the ceasefire, and led to another decade of war for the people of Syria.

The fragile nature of peace negotiations over Ukraine make success highly vulnerable to such powerful external influences. The United States backed Ukraine in a confrontational approach to the civil war in Donbas instead of supporting the terms of the Minsk II agreement, and this has led to war with Russia. Now Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavosoglu, has told CNN Turk that unnamed NATO members “want the war to continue,” in order to keep weakening Russia.

Conclusion

How the United States and its NATO allies act now and in the coming months will be crucial in determining whether Ukraine is destroyed by years of war, like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, or whether this war ends quickly through a diplomatic process that brings peace, security and stability to the people of Russia, Ukraine and their neighbors.

If the United States wants to help restore peace in Ukraine, it must diplomatically support peace negotiations, and make it clear to its ally, Ukraine, that it will support any concessions that Ukrainian negotiators believe are necessary to clinch a peace agreement with Russia.

Whatever mediator Russia and Ukraine agree to work with to try to resolve this crisis, the United States must give the diplomatic process its full, unreserved support, both in public and behind closed doors. It must also ensure that its own actions do not undermine the peace process in Ukraine as they did the Annan plan in Syria in 2012.

One of the most critical steps that U.S. and NATO leaders can take to provide an incentive for Russia to agree to a negotiated peace is to commit to lifting their sanctions if and when Russia complies with a withdrawal agreement. Without such a commitment, the sanctions will quickly lose any moral or practical value as leverage over Russia, and will be only an arbitrary form of collective punishment against its people, and against poor people everywhere who can no longer afford food to feed their families. As the de facto leader of the NATO military alliance, the U.S. position on this question will be crucial.

So policy decisions by the United States will have a critical impact on whether there will soon be peace in Ukraine, or only a much longer and bloodier war. The test for U.S. policymakers, and for Americans who care about the people of Ukraine, must be to ask which of these outcomes U.S. policy choices are likely to lead to.

The post How Could the U.S. Help to Bring Peace to Ukraine? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Tao of Vladimir Putin

Since power equals force times speed… Thus, a smaller man who can swing faster may hit as hard or as far as the heavier man who swings slowly.
— Bruce Lee, The Tao of Jeet Kune Do

Vladimir Putin has won one of the amazing strategic military victories in history.

The Ukrainians had an army of over 300,000, led by 50,000 to 100,000 fascist fanatics, with hi-tech weapons provided by NATO and with training by the best American, British and Canadian military advisors. They were confident that they could blitz what was left of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and finish their campaign of ethnic cleansing.

But the lightning attack they planned for this Spring was not to happen.

The Russians struck first — fielding a must smaller force, perhaps just 100,000 strong, punching through Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) defenses and cutting them off from support — kettling them in Eastern Ukraine where they were vulnerable to artillery and airstrikes. Bruce Lee would have been proud.

Fencing Without A Sword

Lee described Jeet Kune Do as “fencing without a sword”, hence his characteristic stance and use of distance, quite unlike the Wing Chun he learned from Yip Man. Feint, thrust, riposte — these are basics — which in Jeet are done almost simultaneously.

These are also what Putin did — feint, thrust, and riposte. Like Lee, he is a learner.

By contrast, Americans rely on brute force, usually in gangs — umm… “alliances”.

The tactics of the NATO gang inevitably involves “shock and awe”, indiscriminate bombing with B52s, the use of uranium munitions, — with the attempt to preserve the lives of one’s own soldiers at expense of women and children in the communities under attack. For every combatant killed about 9 or 10 women and children die.

Indiscriminate bombing with B52s flatten infrastructure and deprive people of the necessities of life. The use of uranium munitions poisons the environment leading to massive increases in cancer later. The result is both social and environmental disaster. “Shock and awe” is “scorched earth” rebranded Hollywood style. Check out the video game.

But shock and awe is usually preceded by or accompanies by economic warfare that end up condemning millions to death through starvation and disease. Think: Iraq. Think: Afghanistan.

Putin’s Psychology

Way back when, before Joe Biden and his corrupt son Hunter, had probably ever heard of Kiev, Putin had planned to retire in favor of Medvedev. He never really wanted to be a politician. Then Medvedev showed his colors as an Atlanticist, by not opposing the Libya War of 2011. Putin changed his mind. He was, according to all reports, genuinely shocked at the manner of Gaddafi’s death , sodomized with a bayonet. He had done a lot for Russia but if he left the country in the hands of the Atlanticists, it was as doomed as Libya.

The Internet is full of psychologizing about Putin. He is supposedly a narcissist, a psychopath, and various other things, totally lacking in empathy due to early childhood adversity, living in a single apartment with two other families. What is not mentioned is that those two other families — both Jewish — and his Jewish mother gave him a lot of love, and people throughout his life stepped in to mentor and help him. Putin has a lot to give back, or “pay forward”.

He took us to a very famous museum in St. Petersburg,” Rourke said of meeting Putin. “And then later he took me to a children’s cancer hospital. And we went in there and visited the really, really sick, little, tiny, tiny kids. I looked over at him and I saw him and, nobody’s going to want to hear this, but I saw a man with empathy and who was really moved by what these children are going through.

Contrast that with Hillary Clinton cackling like the Wicked Witch which she is about Gaddafi’s death — or Obama boasting about how good he was at killing by drone — 90% women and children of course.

OK but CNN will tell you that Putin is a psychopath. Madeline Albright, who didn’t blink an eye at murdering half a million children describes him as “reptilian”.

If this is a psychpath, we need more like him.

The Tao of Russian Strategy

In Jeet Kune Do, unlike Wing Chun, distance and positioning are very important. This is because Jeet is both offensive and defensive, whereas Wing chun emphasizes close-in defense in confined quarters.

As with Musashi Miyamoto, Bruce Lee always emphasized pre-knowledge of what an opponent may do, to attack pre-emptively — which, of course, what Putin did.

In 2014, however, the situation was murky to say the least.

“When you know yourself and your opponent, you will win every time. When you know yourself but not your opponent, you will win one and lose one.”
— Sun Tzu, “III. Attack by Stratagem” in The Art of War

Putin knew that he did not know.

He who knows not, knows not, he knows not, he is a fool shun him.
He who knows not and he knows not, he is simple teach him.
He who knows and knows not that he knows, he is asleep, awaken him.
He who knows and knows that he knows, he is wise, follow him.
― Bruce Lee, Tao of Jeet Kune

I would add this: He who knows he knows not, knows to know.

Russia had to learn. I had to know.

Certainly, Russia was not strong enough in 2014 to take on the Ukraine AND NATO — not without using tactical nukes. But what were the West’s real intentions? Could they be persuaded to adopt a different path? Putin couldn’t know.

But he soon found out.

Failure to implement the Minsk accords, the MH117 and Skripal false flags, CIA sponsored chemical false flag attacks in Syria and the like — and especially sanctions on both Russia and China — showed him that this new version of “the Great Game” was no game at all. More like the Hunger Games.

If you grow up on the streets, as Putin did, you learn to avoid gangs and fights — except when there is no choice — but to be vigilant and plan countermeasures in advance. So Putin continued to develop military technologies, notably hypersonic missiles, the kalibr missile and supersonic torpedoes that gave Russia the edge.

Subduing the whale

It is clear that in 2022, the Ukrainians thought they could rely on the support of NATO, if not NATO intervention, as they had after the CIA coup in 2014. As fascists, they saw Russia’s consistent efforts to resolve the issues diplomatically as weakness.

War was coming one way or the other. And, as both Bruce Lee and Musashi Miyamoto would advise, it is best to attack first in such a case.

The Russians had done what it could to resolve the crisis diplomatically despite the Ukrainian fascists occupying more than half of Eastern Ukraine and killing about 15,000 people, mostly civilians. But now it was going to full-on ethnic cleansing, with maximum loss of life— aka genocide.

Russian intelligence gave prior warning of the Ukraine’s nuclear intentions as well as the existence of biolabs possibly developing pathogens tuned to specific DNA sets, which could, in theory, result in bioweapons targeting certain ethnic groups. The punitive sanctions against both Russia and China amounting to economic war and increasing bellicosity signified that the US wanted to takeover where Hitler and Japan had left off, the domination of Eurasia, even without slave camps and mass murder.

By this time, Putin had reformed and developed the Russian military, explored new tactics and weapons in Syria, and re-imagined the FSB as something that KGB people in his day could only dream about and that the CIA might aspire to, if it could move beyond bias confirmation.

American Advantages as Disadvantages

Ah…, but what about the US’s huge array of hi-tech weapons?

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
— Bruce Lee, The Tao of Jeet Kune Do

Putin focused Russia’s efforts on developing just a few, really effective kicks (as it were). The Kalibr missile system, hypersonic weapons, the S500 and advanced S200 systems. UAVs. The old SU27 family became the advanced SU30 and SU34 systems. Most of these weapons were tested in Syria. The focus was on practicality.

“Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.”
— Miyamoto Musashi, precept of the Dokkodo

While in Russia, weapons companies serve the State, in the US the State serves the weapons companies — so enormous amounts of money go to developing ever more expensive and technologically complex weapons systems such as the F35, the most expensive fighter program in history that is in most respects is already obsolete. Aircraft carriers cost billions of dollars and are, like Japan’s Yamamoto battleship, just large, vulnerable, and now indefensible targets.

Musashi subduing the whale

Yes, the US is the whale. And Putin therefore is Musashi.

And how much of American weapons tech works?

The Americans have recently claimed that Russia suffers a 60% misfire rate. But where do they get these numbers — the Russians obviously don’t say!

Those statistics come from the Ukrainians who use obsolete Soviet missiles, which indeed frequently blow up, and from the American Tomahawk missiles, not to mention from the US’s many failed attempts at hypersonic weapons.

With sanctions, Russia doesn’t have the money to waste and it puts the needs of its people first.

The US puts the needs of the Military Industrial Complex first — by beggaring healthcare, education and infrastructure.

Feint, Thrust, Riposte

Putin was able to leverage good intelligence of his enemies’ intentions with highly trained mobile forces that could be literally everywhere from Donbass in the south to Chernobyl in the north.

Aware that the genocidal lunatic fringe running the Ukraine cared nothing about the country’s people, only their own ethnic kin — having already made the Ukraine one of the world’s greatest economic disasters and prompting an huge exodus of economic refugees — Putin immediately secured nuclear facilities and biolabs to prevent the “neo-Nazi” lunatic fanatic fringe running from creating dirty bombs or releasing pathogens.

The war was really won in the first week.

Of course, Russia lost men and about 200 tanks that first week but saved lives in subsequent weeks. Since that devastating first punch, Russia has lost very few tanks, moving more slowly, using laser detectors, UAVS, satellite imagery and human intelligence to prevent sneak attacks. The UAF has not been able to mount a single successful counterattack and the government will likely soon abandon Kiev.

The Russians are not afraid to take casualties — they are fighting an existential war and every Russian has a relative who died in the Great Patriotic War. Putin, therefore, has enormous support, except among the Atlanticists, the elitist carpetbaggers left over from the Yeltsin kleptocracy.

Americans haven’t fought an existential war — since the Civil War. They don’t like casualties, even the paltry 55,000 or so that ended the Vietnam War. For them, war is a video game.

Let us remember that the US has not won a war against a more or less equal opponent since the Pacific War. In fact, it has lost almost every war since against less capable opponents — notably Vietnam and Afghanistan.

They will lose this one too.

Note:

For the record, I have studied judo, jiu jitsu, karate, shorinji (Japanese Shaolin), and aikido, with some knowledge of ninjutsu. Not that I am good at any of them — but I know something of the zen and tao principles that apply. Putin studied combat Sambo when he was young to deal with bullies. Combat Sambo (as distinct from Sport Sambo) is similar to jiu jutsu — from which judo evolved, and it is, in some respects, similar to Lee’s Jeet. Putin went on to study judo, which is not really useful for combat but whose training inculcates oriental world views. More recently, Putin became interested in Kung Fu and took an exhausting trip to the Shaolin Monastery, with which he has maintained ties ever since, with both his daughters trained in Shaolin. Shaolin is also a “way”, as all Chinese martial arts are and reflects the teachings of Taoist masters.

The post The Tao of Vladimir Putin first appeared on Dissident Voice.

War Blog Infinitum: What Weapons System Would Jesus Buy?

Been missing Democracy Now (intentionally), Been Listening to Faux Left, and Seeing the House of Mirrors and Cities of Cards that Are the USA-UK-EU-Klanada-Israel-et al.

I have a friend who is into Jesus. He’s so into Jesus, that he even pisses off the traditional Jesus folk by challenging their doctrines (he cites the hypocrisy and lies of the Pharisees), and he likes to talk to Mormons (LDS) to question their “weird” religion, and he likes to say how Christ is the original son of god, and that all other religions have stolen from Christianity. He knows I am more than just an atheist, and he says that’s what he likes about me, that I am passionate about helping people, that I know a lot and that I can at least listen to him.

He’s all about how the bible is all the (the only) news fit to print, from above, both literal and predictive. You know, Ukraine and Russia, all in the bible. You know, the war will be China-Iran-Russia-Syria against Jerusulem. It all gets rather comic book-like, but then, people who have gone 67 years living in the USA, like he has, in a scattered life, with a childhood full of ADHD, and he has had years of depression, and years of anger, and years of working in used car sales, well, the time is now where he believes he has a calling to serve the poor. But through JESUS!

Except he thinks he is immune from politics, immune from the world, and he has it all down, like most fundamental and simplistic Christians do — the earth will end, by god’s will, prophesied in the bible, before climate change will do any destruction.

He’s a white Southern guy who ended up in New York, and worked with a lot of Black musicians, and he likes that music, jazz and all of that, but he gets really hateful when talking about Black Lives Matter. He says all news is fake, that “they” are all liars, but then in the same breath, he tells me about the person who started BLM and how she has several million dollar homes somewhere as if that news is somehow going to sink why black lives matter as a movement is real and righteous. I tell him that capitalism corrupts all, and the intent of BLM was and is good, but the leadership, like ALL leaderships, are corruptible, and they love the luxuries, man. In fact, my Jesus Man loves his nice house, though he has been homeless, and he says, if it weren’t for his spouse, he’d just pick up and go, live out of a van, if necessary, and serve the poor. Maybe, or maybe not. Yet, he is so tone deaf to movements, to the racism of this society, that he is an injured conservative, leaning for Christ, but not understanding that there millions of other Christians who have nuanced and looked at the teachings and the Bible and all of that, well, err, mostly crap. He believes that Christ existed/exists. Oh well.

Here, from USA Today, looking at the dirt on this BLM co-founder,

Khan-Cullors pointed out the myriad jobs she has held. She has two book deals, including authorship of a New York Times best-selling memoir. The Los Angeles Times reported last year that Khan-Cullors signed a production deal with Warner Brothers “to develop scripted dramas and comedies, docuseries and animated programming for children, young adults and families.”

Khan-Cullors also noted that she is a public speaker, owns a gallery, has a deal with YouTube and teaches at a private liberal arts college in Arizona.

The claim that Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors bought four luxury homes is MISSING CONTEXT, because without additional information it could be misleading. While some social media users suggested that the purchases were evidence that Khan-Cullors had been enriched by the movement, our research revealed no evidence that Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation funds were used to purchase property. Khan-Cullors has held several other jobs in addition to her work as the organization’s volunteer executive director, including writing a memoir and developing content for Warner Brothers. (Source)

This is how people in the USA fly. My friend may want a life as simple as possible, but he has a home on the coast, purchased two years ago with the sale of an over-priced Calif. home (What Would Jesus Say About Housing Flippers?) which got he and his wife, both on Social Security, a house with a million dollar view of the Pacific. However, their savings are going, they paid full price on the house, a new roof might be upwards of $20K, and the regressive property taxes in this shit-hole county are going up and up and up.

So, the Jesus-Is-My-Friend guy is looking to sell the place for a profit (he got it for $425K and now they, the realtor, say $560K is easily one first offer possibility). He’s looking in Washington, around Gig Harbor and Port Angeles, but the prices are way too high. He’s looking to go back to country southern roots, Lewisburg, where he says that cool $600 K in cash can get he and his wife a home of $200K or so, and then the rest will be in the bank.

The point is that even a communist like myself can sit down and have a beer with a fellow who believes in a second coming, believes in the literal translation of the bible, believes in a holy war a’comin’, and this is someone who professes he is not concerned about the worldly things, yet, he gets checked up by the VA, he does like to drink beer, he also likes to comment on a few things he says he somehow gets from that news he says is all lies.

Trying to talk to someone who believes that nothing counts but the holy ghost is problematic. How can I point out that, yes, BLM has an impetus that was spot on, and that, yes, BLM leadership supports Democrats with a big “D.” It’s as if we have three different languages utilized in our discourse. He can swoop down and attack BLM leadership, based on a faulty story, and then (a) I have to defend the principle of the matter, but then (n), I also am a communist who despises capitalism coming from the right and the center right, and now, of course, I despise the left and its rah-rah for Goldman Sachs, Raytheon, Mercenaries ‘R Us.

I try and discuss what White Lives Matter is, but then he defers to, “Yes, White lives do matter.” Then, the issue of, Blue Lives Matter comes up, and he then comes back with, “Yes, our policemen do matter.” Tone deaf. Broken thinker. Misunderstanding culture!

This is the blockheadedness of the American, even for some guy who wants to feed the poor and help the homeless, though he is still in that period of his life of, “Well, when we get settled, I want to do the work of Jesus . . . buy an old warehouse . . . get clothes and food in it . . . have the poor and homeless come in and help them. Turn it into a Christian Center for the Homeless.”  He’s turning 68 soon.

See the source image

He believes if there is a will, there is a way. I attempt to inform him that it takes codes, legal advice, a non-profit status, or a religious status, political connections, and, well, there has to be some training of both he and whomever he wants to help give “mutual aid.” Again, in principle, we should be able to do all sorts of things in this country without the code and law and financial enforcers interfering, but alas, we have allowed the country to turn into mush, where every aspect of our lives is controlled by fines-penalties-contracts-taxes-tolls-add-ons-tickets-fees-licenses-certifications-control boards-enforcement agencies. And more. He believes god and Jesus will take care of us.

Why was there a movement for black lives? Hell, the Jesus Freak thinks they got it wrong, and that Jesus-thinking people know the low down: Jesus is All-Knowing.

And, of course, my friend would never understand the movement against racism and overt hatred of Blacks and the dirty DNA of the USA’s white class in killing Indians, Mexicans, Africans here on Turtle Island.

A very schizophrenic or bipolar or simplistic way of seeing the world, looking to Jesus in/of/for the bible, and even calling me ‘Paul,’ like Paul of the bible. Bizarre. Here you go, Jesus freak, nuanced stuff about BLM —

We speak often about Cointelpro, the FBI’s CounterIntelligence Program. We must also study COIN, the US government’s program on Counter Insurgency. You know the difference between covert racism and overt racism? That’s the difference between Counterinsurgency and Cointelpro. Rather than an extreme violence that creates martyrs, the “Host Government,” as they referred to themselves in their own manual, uses methods of cooptation. Their approach is to take revolutionary forces, deradicalize them, and reroute them from a force against governmental violence and oppression into a force for the government. They gain “the support of that relevant population through political, psychological, and economic methods.”

When we examine the actions of the so-called “founders” of the “BLM Movement” we must also identify the ways those actions were supported and elevated by media and social media applications (tools of the government). We should remember that there has never been a time when there weren’t protests against their actions by organizers on the ground in all the communities they swooped into including Ferguson and Los Angeles, the very first city they received national recognition through and the city they operated from, respectively. There is a common theme in the narrative of organizers in cities across the country and in other countries: the streets were hot, the “founders” showed up and redirected attention from the organizers on the ground, they left and took the visibility with them, the streets cooled down. Subversion. Counterinsurgency. They practiced it at the local level repeatedly and had perfected it by the time the state murdered our siblings George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. They took over every moment of deep, passionate, fearless, heartfelt radicalization and used it to transform the primary, mainstream “liberation” narrative into one that is focused on registering voters and winning seats for the democratic party. Our radical, abolitionist, revolutionary response to them killing our family in the streets on behalf of the state is to vote. It’s Black Votes that now Matter to Black Lives Matter. Except, only, actually, to a small few. Minority rule. Very radical.

The rest of us now had another entity to protest and organize against. As we wrestled with the question: reform or abolish this entity, we had the responsibility, also, to not undermine the movement with public facing critique. This is why we worked so hard, quietly for years. When we spoke out, we had to. Not because of the money. Because of the deradicalization of one of the most revolutionary moments in generations. Because while people were setting police stations on fire, BLM was sending newsletters that said we’re moving from Protests to the Polls.

–-YahNé Ndgo is a Freedom Builder in Ubuntu⇔Freedom, which publicly launched on April 24, 2021 with the sharing of the Principles of Freedom . She is also a lead strategist with the #LoveNotPhear Campaign to bring Mumia home, a Steering Committee member of the Free Kamau Sadiki Now Campaign , and a member of the Black Alliance for Peace . A mother, singer and writer, she received her MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College in Vermont. She is the lead caretaker of the Revolutionary Care Space . (source = Black Agenda Report)

Yet, well, I can’t put the onus just on a Jesus Freak, because at the core, he is following a white man’s stuck-in-the-USA version of the Golden Rule, for sure, and he does decry the false prophets, all the hypocrisy of organized religions and churches, but he is still trapped in Capitalism, though he says he hates any “ism”! We can argue about my work with Catholic priests and nuns fighting and dying for the poor in Central America, or my work with ministers in Arizona to give sanctuary to undocumented immigrants from Central America, and in the end, he can’t just let it go and insists that “their” religion is not the “true” religion of Christ. I say that those friends of old were amazing people, and alas, I was the atheist, but it didn’t matter to them.

He’s in a gotcha world, for sure, and he continues to state there are no truths except Christ’s truths. A most despicable patronizing of the rest of us in the world who work on social-environmental-cultural-gender-arts justice. It’s as if all the work we do is for naught, since the second coming will be the lifting of the holy and the believers. However, he states my heart is in the right place, vis-a-vis the Golden Rule of the bible.

The maxim — Golden Rule — may appear as a positive or negative injunction governing conduct:

  • Treat others as you would like others to treat you (positive or directive form)
  • Do not treat others in ways that you would not like to be treated (negative or prohibitive form)
  • What you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself (empathetic or responsive form)

The idea dates at least to the early Confucian times (551–479 BCE), according to Rushworth Kidder, who identifies the concept appearing prominently in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and “the rest of the world’s major religions.” 143 leaders of the world’s major faiths endorsed the Golden Rule as part of the 1993 “Declaration Toward a Global Ethic.” According to Greg M. Epstein, it is “a concept that essentially no religion misses entirely,” but belief in God is not necessary to endorse it. Simon Blackburn also states that the Golden Rule can be “found in some form in almost every ethical tradition.”

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Forget about talking about Ukraine and the Nazis there, and the unholy war of military financial AI thieving industrial complex leading the charge, leading the Biden Bumblers, leading the mental hijacking of the average American and average white European. My Jesus is My Friend, friend, wants nothing of this earthly world (except jazz, dance, beer, good food, art). But, the profits of real estate, banks, and where that “In God We Trust Money” goes, both and all vitally important to Jesus is the Only Path, friends, how do the holy ones square investing in any Fortune 5000 company? Or this now money money money, taxes for, military murdering madness:

According to Robert Young Pelton, an expert on private military companies (PMCs), there is “a frenzy in the market” for private contractors in Ukraine today.” A House bill proposed by Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) would provide a 10-year exemption to current law that forbids U.S. citizens from fighting on behalf of another nation.

Mullin introduces bill allowing U.S. citizens to volunteer to fight for Ukraine | KTUL

In introducing the Volunteer Fighters Exemption Act, Markwayne Mullin, featured above, ludicrously claimed that “what we are seeing from former KGB officer and Russian President Vladimir Putin is an attempt to spread communism throughout the world and bring back the Soviet Union.” (Source)

The Biden administration has allegedly launched a campaign to recruit private military outfits such as Academi, Cubic, and DynCorp. This is part of an effort to keep a “light American footprint” while trying to bog down the Russians in a quagmire. (Source)

This is the Empire of Lies and Chaos. This is the Country of the Chosen Few, the ones who have the shekels and dollars entwined in dirty and perverse legalistic mumbo-jumbo ways . . . a world of dirty arts and entertainment, a world of sexually rotten psychology, a world of racism against brown-yellow-Slav-black. At the top of the pyramid in almost every sector, the Brother and Sisters of Elites, the ugly purity of chosenness.

For now, we have the Jewish Chancey Gardiner, ZioLensky, using his thespian skills (billions and billions of shekels behind him) to pull the wool over Goyim and Gaul.

Take a look at the optics, the video-making style:

The news not fit for Jesus Freaks or for the mainstream blob? — “’One less traitor’: Zelensky oversees campaign of assassination, kidnapping and torture of political opposition’ by Max Blumenthal, Esha Krishnaswam

Oh, that Middle East, the middle world of Zion:

Cycle of Violence: Israeli Authorities Prod Extremist Militias into Seeking ‘Vigilante Justice’: “All of this is part of the Jewish-supremacy ecosystem — the pro-occupation, pro-settlement, xenophobic hate, and violent right wing in Israel.” – Eran Nissan, Mehazkim COO by Jessica Buxbaum

It is the constant discussion with my Jesus Friend about the rich, and he believes there are good rich people. He talks of friends in California who buy clothes at Walmart and drink cheap wine out of jelly jars. They’ve got tens of millions. Inherited. And, we talk about how that money, which is about buying homes for relatives, in California, in the millions of dollars each, is not exactly what his Jesus had in mind.

This is how the rich get rich and stay rich — investment portfolios. Which dirty industry, or rotten offensive military corporation, or thieving war profiteering company do they invest in? They leave matters to the men and women in Dante’s fifth circle of Hell, investors, money makers:

Barton Biggs, the well-known former Morgan Stanley strategist, who sadly passed in 2012, asks an interesting question at the beginning of his book, Wealth, War & Wisdom: “How do you preserve wealth in times when the Four Horsemen are on the loose?” (By Four Horsemen, Biggs refers to “pestilence, war, famine and death.” See also Revelation 6:8.)

Would my friend’s Jesus like the concept of “gales of creative destruction” these various residents of those Circles of Hell profess are great opportunities during war?

Some advantages last longer than others, but all are temporary. Furthermore, there is overwhelming evidence that the duration of corporate competitive advantages has shortened, which is not surprising in a world where the rate of change is accelerating. It’s the nature of business evolution. Also bear in mind that wars, as Joseph Schumpeter might have said, are “gales of creative destruction” and in the aftermath lead to accelerated technological progress.

In the end, living and dying by the credo of “Christ is the Center of My Life/My Universe” is a tough one when a person still navigates quite profoundly in the real world of governments, corporations, taxation, price gouging and entitlement programs. (source)

Yep, which country would Jesus Bomb or Invest In or Invade?

Sure, we can have any number of slides down the relativism scale, but in the end, the Prince of Peace that fellow is called, would indeed, I think, if real, be out hammering the words — “No More Bombs-Bullets-Bodies for Capitalism’s Wars.”

Flag of Russia and Ukraine painted on a concrete wall

Shit, it’s now Biblically Responsible Investing!  “The whole concept behind BRI is this is God’s money and we’re only using God’s money to own businesses in our portfolios,” Ben Malick said. “I haven’t gotten any, ‘Whoa, that’s crazy!’” (source)

Oh, the hypocrisy of the entire investing spectrum. Socially Responsible Investing, Faith Based Investing, Green Investing! Oh, well, I think what Jesus Would Do is all up to the relative nature of this or that religion or this or that screening, as these bible investors mostly look at LGBTQA rights and abortion and pornography and fetal cells as their big screens to NOT invest in that fund or corporation. War or military or policing and surveillance? Despicable corporations for which there are literally hundreds of thousands? The Bible Thumpers are okay with them.

Investing in any company on a stock exchange is investing in people who believe in those who have and those who do not have. Dog eat dog. Survival of the fittest. Come on, they — Faith Based Investors — are not screening out the real culprits of capitalism.

The Original Impact Investing: Faith-Based Funds, Factor Tilt or Marketing Ploy? | by Aaron Chow | The Startup | Medium

And, so that axiom, How Would Jesus Invest His/Her/Their Money, hmm, maybe invest in all the technologies that help with the lifting up of drones?

Israeli forces used remote-controlled drones to drop dozens of tear gas canisters on crowds of worshipers, including women and young children. Video footage taken at the scene showed a number of worshipers being carried off in stretchers by medics. (Source)

Israeli forces dropping tear gas from a drone onto the Al Aqsa compound, April 22, 2022 (Screenshot: Twitter)

Well, Would Jesus Go to a Xmas Party During Covid Lockdown?

General accuses UK PM of disclosing military secrets

Well, wondering if “Jesus Would Go With BDS, All the Way, Moses!”

“Over the past eight days, Israel has stormed the holy site seven times, injuring dozens of worshipers and arresting hundreds of Palestinians in the process. Meanwhile Israel has facilitated the entrance of thousands of Jewish settlers for the Passover holiday.” (Source)

But whatever you say about WWJD, the fact is that almost every nut-washer-bolt, wire, capacitor, motherboard, optic, ounce of paint, PR brochure, uniform, tire, belt buckle, rucksack, meal ready to eat, house, tent, A/C unit, all of that, all part of the Military Industrial Complex, and yes, a millionaire here and a millionaire there, he/she/they will invest in whichever mutual fund or ETF or what-have-you to keep those millions sparkling. Jesus or not, Bible or Naught.

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And, to put a bow on this screed, how can I NOT discuss the continual destruction of, well, those of us who play outside the sandbox, who blur those comic book lines, who are willing to look into the belly of the beast without being consumed by the beast’s bile.

It goes without saying, Alice Walker is remarkable on so many levels. Her work has inspired millions of young writers. Her story, “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is Self,” is a touchstone for many young women looking at themselves through their own deep “other” self while pushing through the ugly reality of cultural marketing of what it means to be a pretty or beautiful girl/woman/elder.

Alas, Alice has been yet again cancelled. Read Chris Hedges’ latest piece, “Alice Walker was disinvited to the Bay Area Book Festival after Zionist groups threatened to carry out protests. The public and presenters are complicit in her blacklisting if they attend” in Scheer Post.

Hedges interviewed Alice via phone. Her words at the end of this quote are profound:

The Bay Area Book festival delivered the latest salvo against Walker. The organizers disinvited her from the event because she  praised the writings of the New Age author David Icke and called his book And the Truth Shall Set You Free “brave.” Icke has denied critics’ charges of anti-Semitism. The festival organizers twisted themselves into contortions to say they were not charging Walker with anti-Semitism. She was banned because she lauded a controversial writer, who I suspect few members of the committee have read. The poet and writer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, who Walker was to interview, withdrew from the festival in protest.

Walker, a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has been a very public advocate for Palestinian rights and a critic of Israel for many years. Her friendship with Icke has long been part of the public record. She hid nothing. It is not as if the festival organizers suddenly discovered a dark secret about Walker. They sought to capitalize on her celebrity and then, when they felt the heat from the Israel lobby, capitulated to the mob to humiliate her.

“I don’t know these people,” Walker said of the festival organizers who disinvited her. “It feels like the south. You know they are out there in the community, and they have their positions, but all you see are sheets. That’s what this is. It’s like being back in the south.”

This is the never-ending story with Neocons and Neoliberals. We have so many elephants in the room when it comes to the chosen people, now, or throughout history. To bring to the attention their words and their rule books and their own very racist DNA is to be labeled anti-semetic goyim:

Hedges goes for the throat here, and Chris is already in the drain spiral in his own world of cancel culture and retribution from the higher ups, the chosen ones.

I worked for two years as a reporter in Jerusalem. I listened to the daily filth spewed out by Israelis about Arabs and Palestinians, who used racist tropes to sanctify Israeli apartheid and gratuitous violence against Palestinians. Israel routinely orders air strikes, targeted assassinations, drone attacks, artillery strikes, tank assaults and naval bombardments on the largely defenseless population in Gaza. Israel blithely dismisses those it murders, including children, as unworthy of life, drawing on poisonous religious edicts. It is risible that Israel and its US supporters can posit themselves as anti-racists, abrogating the right to cancel Walker. It is the equivalent of allowing the Klan to vet speakers lists.  (Source)

I have a friend who I helped extricate herself from an abusive marriage. She’s in New Mexico, living in a shit-kicker town. Luckily, her former counselor and his wife took her in and she’s in the back mother-in-law’s unit recovering. Good of them to assist her.

Both are Israeli, living in New Mexico. They are liberals in the Harris-Hillary sense, which means, they are conservative. They consider Israel their mother-ship, even though their are in their forties.

Around the fire, drinking wine, my friend says they speak Hebrew a lot, around her, a woman who speaks three languages, but not Hebrew. They go into Hebrew when the topic of Ukraine and that murderer Zelensky come up (they do not see Zelensky as a murderer,  but rather a hero).

My friend is learning what it means to be a real socialist, and she sees how a narrow group of people have controlled her life on many financial and cultural levels. But she is healing, and the counselor is giving her the advice he should to keep her on an even keel to not return to the abuse.

But it is indeed ironic that Ukraine and all topics about the Middle East are coded in Hebrew.

Hedges writes (Source) , “Walker excoriates this religious chauvinism and mythology. She warns that theocracies, which sacralize state power, are dangerous. In the poem, she highlights passages in the Talmud used to condemn those outside the faith. Jews must repudiate these sections in the Talmud and the Old Testament, as those of us who are Christians must repudiate the hateful passages in the Bible. When these religious screeds are weaponized by zealots —Christian, Muslim or Jewish — they propagate evil.” Walker writes:

Is Jesus boiling eternally in hot excrement,
For his “crime” of throwing the bankers
Out of the Temple? For loving, standing with,
And defending
The poor? Was his mother, Mary,
A whore?
Are Goyim (us) meant to be slaves of Jews, and not only
That, but to enjoy it?
Are three year old (and a day) girls eligible for marriage and intercourse?
Are young boys fair game for rape?
Must even the best of the Goyim (us, again) be killed?
Pause a moment and think what this could mean
Or already has meant
In our own lifetime.

My own situation has put me in disagreement with a writing community on the voracity of their crocodile tears for “Ukraine.” I have poet friends writing poems with lines like, “one day we shall be pissing on Putin’s grave . . . .” That’s fine and dandy; however, when another poet, me, who happens to be highly actualized in politics as a systems approach to the world, my own beingness, pushes back a bit, then the poets just say, “well, I am not fully versed on the entire situation in Ukraine . . . how could anyone be . . . ”

The very act of using poetry to make a political point is great but tricky. My poem,  “Tears of Rage Captured in a Poem and Harmonica Riff,” published here at Dissident Voice will not make it into the next issue of the journal for which the editors say they have a “special section on Ukraine . . . to give voice to their plight.”

Another form of cancel culture — just not publishing. For Alice, she has been banned from the Bay Area Book Festival. For god’s sake, boycott these Zionists’ projects.

 

 

The post War Blog Infinitum: What Weapons System Would Jesus Buy? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The West Has Fallen Into Darkness

When reason hath to deal with force, yet so
Most reason is that reason overcome.

— Paradise Lost (6.125-126)

As the Western elites continue to pour weapons into Ukraine to the delight of the armaments industry and the closet Nazis of Natostan, the cult of neoliberalism, which put the Banderite regime in power during the Obama years, reaches new depths of degradation with each passing day. Both at home and abroad, the schizophrenic rift between the language of neoliberalism and the actual policies that these creatures support continues to widen. The increasingly delusional trajectory of the queen of cults is propelling us into a new dark age where literacy, reason, the rule of law, and even the survival of our species are in danger.

Subconsciously, neoliberals believe that they are carrying on in the tradition of the Enlightenment, the abolitionists, the New Dealers, the civil rights activists, and the anti-war activists that marched against the Vietnam War and the bombings of Laos and Cambodia. In actuality, what they offer today is lawlessness, unfettered capitalism, biofascism, deunionization, war, sectarianism; and the multicultural curriculum, a cousin of Banderite education, as both are predicated on the anti-humanities. It is this sophomoric hubris of neoliberals, the macabre fantasy that they are sensible, rational, and moral beings while the heathens represent intolerance, ignorance, and bigotry, which blinds them to the barbarism of their deeds. Like the lost souls in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, neoliberals believe they are firmly grounded in reality, when they are enslaved to venal public health agencies and a mass media brainwashing apparatus which have entrapped them in a world of deception and lies — a world of shadows.

While Ukrainian civilization is inextricably linked with Russian history and culture, Banderite education is anchored in Russophobia, its antithesis. Having extirpated all things Russian from their lives, Ukrainian state ideology has become synonymous with hating Russians. No less rooted in self-cannibalization, the multicultural society has become synonymous with a hostility towards the American canon and all things Western. Both are depraved, totalitarian, anti-intellectual and anti-democratic dogmas. As Orwell wrote in 1984, “The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.” Beware the anti-humanities, for they are the handmaidens of totalitarianism.

Indeed, identity politics and Banderite indoctrination have spawned tens of millions of illiterate, nihilistic, and atomized individuals that are devoid of a legitimate culture, cannot place current events in their appropriate historical context, are inculcated with loathing for an imaginary enemy, and can easily be manipulated by oligarchic forces. Nazi and Zionist indoctrination achieved similar results. Notably, the Russophobia in the West increasingly resembles the Russophobia in Ukraine prior to the Maidan putsch (see here and here).

The idea that neoliberalism is anchored in “anti-racism” is nonsensical, as not a day goes by without more dumbing down of children of color, mindless hate-filled rants against Russians and white people (excluding Nazis in Eastern Europe and the ones with lots of money); while the anti-white jihad ideology imbues the younger generation with a desire to launch a crusade against all things “racist.” This encompasses everything from Shakespeare to Mozart, to the principle of bodily autonomy, to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, to disposable white workers themselves. This is the most dangerous form of bigotry – sectarian hatreds that are knowingly and willfully cultivated in an education system charged with the task of molding impressionable young minds.

When not smashing unions to the wall, burning books, dismantling informed consent, and fomenting ghettoization, neoliberals can be found spending trillions of dollars dropping bombs on people and supporting death squads. Indeed, the sociopathy of American humanitarian interventionism is glaringly on display with regards to the Biden administration’s support for the Banderite regime.

Like Pavlov’s dogs, neocons and neolibs alike clamor for hellfire to be unleashed on whoever is the latest to be vilified: anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists, Serbs, Russians, the Taliban, the Iraqis. Entire societies are deemed to be somehow synonymous with their alleged dictators. While faux leftists have imaginary conversations about Russiagate, children in Mariupol are acquiring a real-world understanding of the horrors that have been inflicted on their society as a result of the US-backed Maidan coup. Yet we must follow these virtuous crusaders, who applaud their government for giving billions of dollars in weapons (or complain that it is insufficient, for the most fanatical) to a Banderite regime which permits fascists to get on television and openly call for genocide in the Donbass. Meanwhile, a vast swath of American society lacks adequate health insurance, adequate employment, education, the rule of law; and increasingly, even a society. As many a wise babushka can explain, before the specter of Ukrainian nationalism once more reared its ugly visage, western and eastern Ukrainians lived in peace with one another. Undoubtedly they would still, were it not for Washington providing the Banderite entity with enormous amounts of diplomatic aid, arms, military training, and assistance in executing psyops.

The idea currently being bandied about by a number of presstitutes and congressmen, that we could nonchalantly waltz into a third world war, as it would likely be confined to the use of conventional weapons, is indicative of a society that has lost the ability to engage in rational fact-based discussions. If there is a third world war, it will be nuclear. The Kremlin is not going to allow a repeat of Operation Barbarossa, and senior Kremlin officials have explicitly stated that they are not going to permit another war to be fought on Russian soil. This deranged thinking is yet further evidence of a society that has, over the past thirty years, been transformed into a diabolical cesspit of lies, propaganda, and deceit.

Some have speculated that there is a cabal in Washington pushing for a third world war, wagering that Europe and Russia would be destroyed, but that the US would somehow escape the carnage unscathed as transpired after the first two world wars, and that the American ruling establishment would then be able to create a new financial system which would cancel American debt and reverse the looming threat of de-dollarization. Should things degenerate to the point where the Russian military is targeting London, Paris, and Brussels is it not likely that major American cities would also be targeted?

While neoliberals wallow in the pathologies of cult dogma, the Russians are acutely aware of the following facts: the Banderite coup was orchestrated by Washington; battalions and death squads comprised of neo-Nazis and ultranationalists have been armed, funded, and trained by the West; and that Western presstitutes have fallen head over heels in love with Russophobia and are providing the Banderite regime with assistance in carrying out false flag operations. Furthermore, they are aware of the fact that Washington is providing the Banderite entity with information regarding Russian troop movements, a very delicate and dangerous tightrope indeed. In “Russia Formally Warns US to Stop Arming Ukraine,” Dave DeCamp comments on this ominous line that NATO is walking:

On top of arming the Ukrainians, the US is also providing them with intelligence for attacks on Russian forces. The huge amount of support raises questions about at what point Russia would consider the US a co-belligerent in the war.

Principles which were once deemed inviolable such as freedom of speech, the presumption of innocence, habeas corpus, the informed consent ethic, privacy, a healthy fear of nuclear war, integration, and even the notion that a democratic society must have an informed and educated population, are being swept away. The result is lawlessness, despotism, and savagery. Uncontrolled immigration, the anti-humanities, and offshoring, which together with medical mandates neoliberals look to as magical elixirs with which to solve every domestic problem, have commodified human beings and turned workers into interchangeable parts that lack any sense of ethics, class consciousness, a shared history, and can easily be manipulated and controlled. The Weimarization of America is well underway, and all things sacred are in danger of being lost.

The neoliberal notion of “tolerance” has become a euphemism for extremism, biofascism, book burning, and illegal wars of aggression. Witch hunts against heretics have become normalized, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to have rational discussions about incredibly serious political and socio-economic problems. The idea that the multicultural curriculum and identity studies “fight racism” when they constitute its quintessence is no less divorced from reality than the notion that a democracy can survive without the First Amendment, the Nuremberg Code, or any respect for international law. The lack of any empathy or remorse in the face of countless lives destroyed as a result of “humanitarian interventions” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia is coming home to roost.

“Education” has become a euphemism for fomenting sectarian hatreds and increasingly specialized job training. Revealingly, Americans with the most advanced degrees are often the most inclined to believe in the infallibility of the legacy media and the public health agencies. With a diseased society that teaches young people to kowtow at the altar of materialism and careerism while blindly following “the experts,” self-imposed ignorance is increasingly necessary to “get ahead.” Except in unusual circumstances, physicians speaking out against the Branch Covidian coup d’état will lose their jobs. The same fate would undoubtedly befall a mainstream journalist attempting to educate their readers about the gruesome realities of US foreign policy, or a professor criticizing identity politics and the scourge of tribalism.

The Guardian’s squeamishness over London cyclists being too white and male coupled with their fondness for Ukrainian nationalists – real racists – who have wiped entire Donbass villages off the face of the earth and committed crimes against humanity, is emblematic of the unhinged, devious, and wicked nature of neoliberal cult ideology.

American universities – automaton training facilities which churn out millions of aspiring Karl Brandts, Adolf Eichmanns, and Albert Speers each year – have created a conscienceless technocratic class on the carcass of what was once a sound middle class. As any number of reporters that covered the Nuremberg trials undoubtedly discerned, hyper-careerism and hyper-specialization foment amorality, and like vultures hover menacingly whereon the anti-humanities feed. Even the original Nazi doctors would have dismissed the idea of giving an experimental vaccine series to every German in Europe as utter lunacy. Yet to millions of shameless faux leftists these policies are necessary for “the greater good,” and predicated on “the science.”

That talking heads are permitted (or perhaps even encouraged by shadowy intelligence agencies) to call for people like Tucker Carlson and Tulsi Gabbard to be arrested for questioning the official Ukraine narrative is inextricably linked with the growing illiteratization and the fact that classes in civics have been expunged from the curriculum. This growing pathologization of dissent poses extremely serious risks to the First Amendment, as liberals are increasingly slandering their critics as mentally ill, evidence that biofascism’s war on informed consent poses a grave threat to our survival as a rule of law state. Should Democratic Party devotees attempt to commit (or section, as the British say) people such as Carlson and Gabbard, what legal mechanisms will prevent this from happening now that the informed consent ethic has been all but totally destroyed?

The authoritarianism of neoliberals is directly proportional to their growing disconnection from reality; and the more delirious the faithful become, the more they believe they are the paragon of reason.

James Howard Kunstler correctly points out on his blog that, in addition to the mass media, social media has played a significant role in fomenting this epidemic of demented ideation:

All this coerced insanity has been nurtured by social media’s sly mechanisms for bending narrative into propaganda: their beloved algorithms, all fine-tuned to destroy anything that touches on truth. The result is a country so marinated in falsehood that it can’t construct a coherent consensus of reality, and can’t take coherent actions to avert its own collapse.

It is remarkable that the New Deal, the public education system, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, any semblance of integration, a free press, the Nuremberg Code, and efforts to demilitarize and establish a single-payer health care system were obliterated in the name of “fighting racism,” “fighting sexism,” “fighting white supremacy,” and “fighting misogyny.” These words have become akin to dog commands, except unlike humans canines do not burn books, exploit slave labor, give weapons and military training to death squads, torture, or drop bombs on people.

Indie conservatives typically understand the dangers of identity politics and the Branch Covidians, yet often lack an adequate understanding of US foreign policy and the threat to democracy posed by unfettered capitalism. Before most leftists were enveloped by a pall of madness, that was their job.

Assuming we aren’t incinerated in a nuclear conflagration, how will reason and checks and balances be restored in a country run by toddlers, book burners, unscrupulous careerists, and homicidal maniacs? Irregardless of whether we witness the triumph of anti-white jihad, a Confederate white supremacist revival, or a takeover by the Christian Right (unlikely in this environment, as they are no fan of forced vaccination) the left’s self-evisceration threatens our existence as a civilized society and is slowly opening the harrowing portal of perdition.

Should the pendulum swing back to the traditional far-right and neoliberals dethroned, what laws will be in place to protect those who have been deposed and dispossessed? As neoliberal cultists are no longer living in the reality-based world, and are seemingly incapable of acknowledging the consequences of their actions, the path towards the spires of reason and solidarity will be difficult to forge in the long and arduous days that lie ahead.

The post The West Has Fallen Into Darkness first appeared on Dissident Voice.

History Returns Again in Ukraine

After the 2014 coup and eight years of fighting between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists, history has once again exploded and returned to the stage in Ukraine. As Westerners with governments who act blatantly hostile and belligerent to Russia, we should ask: was Russia provoked, and if so, how?

It is important to question how and why this conflict started. There is a saying about Russia many are familiar with: “Don’t poke the bear.” Well, the US and NATO have been poking the bear for 30 odd years since the downfall of the USSR. The West has adopted an absurd, ahistorical stance towards Russia, continuing to expand NATO, all the while knowing this would enflame tensions and demand a response.

The first Russian response in Ukraine was in 2014, after the US-backed right-wing coup which kicked Viktor Yanukovych out of power. I covered it extensively here. Many in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea obviously are ethnic Russians, speak Russian, have family in Russia, and do business with Russia. While some of these same people still may favor a strong and independent Ukraine, clearly many are sympathetic to the formation of an independent Donetsk and Luhansk; and the vast majority in the Donbas has no interest in fighting their eastern neighbor. Many in Ukraine are rightly worried about schools no longer teaching the Russian language, about the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, and about the Right Sector and Svoboda parties infiltrating Ukrainian politics.  The past eight years have seen thousands killed in the Donbas region. Compared to how the US or another mid-level world power would react, Russia had shown immense restraint.

Let’s not pretend like they weren’t legitimate concerns when looking from Russia’s national security perspective, which the US is well aware of. The US and NATO have been expanding its military and security apparatus eastward for thirty years, threatening Russia’s security, trade and economic relations, and its sphere of influence. By breaking its promise not to expand, NATO encroached right up to Russia’s borders in the Baltic nations. By invading Iraq and Afghanistan, orchestrating the 2014 coup in Ukraine, along with overthrowing governments and meddling in many other nations, the US blatantly and repeatedly broke international law and any semblance of world order. This undoubtedly led the entire world security architecture to disincentivize international cooperation and gave stronger nations the convenient excuse to take matters into their own hands.

The US and Western Europe continued to “poke the bear” even after Russia countered Western hegemony in Georgia in 2008 and by retaking Crimea in 2014. The US, knowing full well that Russia’s economic and geostrategic vulnerabilities could be exploited to enhance the power of NATO and the EU, has long had its eyes on Ukraine becoming integrated into the West. In short, while US pundits today claim Putin sees the conflict as a “zero-sum game”, it is blatant projection, as the US and NATO have been playing the same realpolitik chessboard to enhance their geopolitical control over Eastern Europe.

Even mainstream political scientists understand this: John Mearsheimer, otherwise a respected, establishment liberal professor, has repeatedly blamed the US and NATO as being primarily responsible for the war in Ukraine, taking heat from both sides of the warmongering Washington consensus.

One has to consider a hypothetical converse situation. If Russia or any other great power was financially and militarily supporting Canada to quell pro-US separatists in Alberta, and the Canadian government sided with the Russians, with thousands of innocent US and Canadian citizens killed in the process, would the US hesitate to invade and install a pro-US government? Not for a second. The US would consider this a threat to national security. This is the basis for the Monroe Doctrine, in which the US considers all of North, Central, and South America its own backyard; any other perceived threat will be ruthlessly invaded, destabilized, or destroyed, just as has occurred in Nicaragua, Chile, and Guatemala, just to name a few instances.

Even warmongering, imperial architects like George Keenan and Henry Kissinger understood that there was no way Russia would allow for Ukraine to be allied with the West. Even though both figures were ruthless, cynical war criminals, they at least understood that other great powers have interests which differ from ours and their economic and geostrategic imperatives which must be taken into account. That basic level of understanding of realpolitik and analysis of material conditions as well as competition between world powers does not seem to exist in US foreign policy anymore.

It should be obvious that we’ve entered the imperial overreach stage. The US meddled to try and cajole Ukraine into the EU and NATO, and got its shit wrecked. We fucked around and now we’re finding out.

Before 2014 Russia would probably have accepted a neutral Ukraine, but no longer. The past eight years have shown that Ukraine would rather kill its own people than negotiate. Ukraine used neo-Nazi forces for eight years and still is in the current conflict, allied to their official National Guard. Ukraine was assisted by the CIA in Eastern Ukraine to help kill separatists. British and US special forces are currently in Ukraine assisting its military. Before the war started, Ukraine was verging on becoming a failed state, Zelensky was widely despised, and the standard of living was falling precipitously for the average Ukrainian.

This does not justify Russia’s response. It does, however, reveal that great powers will react to continuing pressure and low-level war on their borders when it suits them. It is basic common sense; stronger authoritarian nations (the US being exhibit A) pursue their interests at the expense of weaker ones when they can get away with it, and also overreact or become irrational when threatened. If Russia and Putin has become increasingly paranoid and isolated, what were the conditions that led to this new state of affairs?

We have to return to the ahistorical framework US power projects. These were exemplified best in the 1990s in two works: Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat. Cresting the wave of the fall of the Soviet Union and unipolar US hegemony, these authors codified imperial hubris of late 20th century America, claiming that only liberal representative democracies guided only by capitalist economic structures would expand worldwide and a new era of peace, globalization and cooperation would begin; a “New World Order”, as it were. All this would be implicitly supported by a globe-spanning military colossus, an imperial pax Americana. Autocracies and other authoritarian regimes would not be able to maintain influence as the “free market” expanded to every corner of the planet; and democratic, capitalistic nations would not go to war with each other, this was referred to by Friedman as the “Golden Arches” theory of foreign policy: no two countries with a McDonald’s, and hence, a global capitalist political structure, would ever fight each other again.

Looking back today, it’s obvious how facile and myopic this view was. Great powers fight over more than ideology: natural resources, security assurances, and the material needs determine how nations compete and jostle for status and hegemony. In hindsight, and without the hegemonic distorting lens of pro-Western propaganda, it’s easy to see that Russia has felt threatened by Western Europe and the USA for generations.

Ultimately, the US will be content in the near future to “fight to the last Ukrainian.” The domestic US and Western European populations need a new distraction from an economy with skyrocketing inflation and a looming recession. A proxy war against Russia suits Western elites just fine, even though it is clear that Biden, Johnson, Macron, and Scholz have no idea how to proceed. Western nations have little leverage or ability to maneuver in this war; US diplomats especially have no interest in navigating the foreign policy repercussions precisely because they are so insulated from the consequences.

The establishment needs a scapegoat for the worsening economic situation in Europe and the USA, and the coming recession will be blamed on Russian destabilization of global markets. The monpoly media has conveniently ignored the eight previous years of civil war in Ukraine, a situation that would not be tolerated by any other global power. The narrative shift to Russia as the next boogeyman was very swift, precisely because Washington has no one else to blame for the disastrous collapse of the world economy led by a failing capitalist model. The West was desperate to find a scapegoat and now it has one. The faltering of international norms and relations due to exploitative and reactionary foreign policy decisions of the West likewise exposed cracks in the foundation of the system with no fix in sight. Only a diplomatic solution can bring an end to this war, and at present, US leadership can at best be described as being out to lunch. With no clear plan or desire to minimize the human suffering in Ukraine, the imperial order continues to stumble along due to its own hubris and overreach, blind to the lessons of history.

The post History Returns Again in Ukraine first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Covert Warfare: How NATO’s Defense Contractors Assisted Ukraine in War

British special forces were training Ukrainian troops in Kyiv since early this month, Ukrainian commanders told The Times in mid-April. Captain Yuriy Myronenko, whose battalion is stationed in Obolon on the northern outskirts of Kyiv, told the news outlet that military trainers had come to instruct new and returning military recruits to use NLAWs, British-supplied anti-tank missiles that were delivered in February as the invasion was beginning.

Former British soldiers, marines and special forces commandos are also in Ukraine working as training contractors and volunteers, but the Ukrainian officers were adamant that their training this month was carried out by serving British soldiers.

“The elite SAS special forces units [a British army special forces unit] have been present in Ukraine since the start of the war, as have the American Deltas [a US special forces unit],” Georges Malbrunot, a reporter for French Le Figaro newspaper, citing a French intelligence source, tweeted on April 9. The reporter spilled the secret the same day when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his surprise visit to Kyiv. The British leader was reportedly surrounded by guards from the elite SAS force.

The veteran French journalist who returned from Ukraine after arriving with volunteer fighters told broadcaster CNews that Americans were directly “in charge” of the war on the ground. “I had the surprise, and so did they, to discover that to be able to enter the Ukrainian army, well it’s the Americans who are in charge,” said Malbrunot.

Adding that he and the volunteers “almost got arrested” by the Americans, who asserted they were in charge, the journalist then revealed that they were forced to sign a contract until the end of the war. “And who is in charge? It’s the Americans, I saw it with my own eyes,” said the French reporter, adding, “I thought I was with the international brigades, and I found myself facing the Pentagon.”

In addition to British SAS units and United States special forces and covert CIA operatives, approximately 6,824 “foreign mercenaries” from 63 countries came to Ukraine to fight for the Zelensky government, the Russian Defense Ministry revealed last week. Of these, 1,035 have been “eliminated,” while several thousand remain. Four hundred foreign fighters are holed up in Mariupol, where ultra-nationalist forces, including the neo-Nazi fighters, have refused to surrender.

The most numerous group of foreign fighters, numbering 1,717, arrived from Poland, while around 1,500 came from the US, Canada and Romania. Up to 300 people each came from the UK and Georgia, while 193 arrived from the Turkish-controlled areas of Syria.

These figures were announced on April 17 by Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov. According to the general, 1,035 “foreign mercenaries” had been killed by Russian forces and 912 fled Ukraine, leaving 4,877 active in the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Nikolaev and Mariupol.

The largest undercover force the world has ever known is the one created by the Pentagon over the past decade. Some 60,000 people now belong to this secret army, many working under masked identities and in low profile, all part of a broad program called “signature reduction,” and a substantial number of these defense contractors have been assisting Ukraine’s security forces and allied neo-Nazi militias for over eight years in the proxy war against Russia since the Maidan coup toppling Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

The force, more than ten times the size of the clandestine elements of the CIA, carries out domestic and foreign assignments, both in military uniforms and under civilian cover, Newsweek reported last May.

The unprecedented shift has placed an ever greater number of soldiers, civilians, and contractors working under false identities, partly as a natural result in the growth of secret special forces but also as an intentional response to the challenges of traveling and operating in an increasingly transparent world.

The covert warfare operations mounted by the Pentagon’s “secret army” in conflict zones across the world is not just a little-known sector of the American military, but also a completely unregulated practice. No one knows the program’s total size, and the explosion of signature reduction has never been examined for its impact on military policies and culture. Congress has never held a hearing on the subject. And yet the military developing this gigantic clandestine force challenges US laws, the Geneva Conventions, the code of military conduct and basic accountability.

The signature reduction effort engages some 130 private companies to administer the new clandestine world. Dozens of little known and secret government organizations support the program, doling out classified contracts and overseeing publicly unacknowledged operations. Altogether the companies pull in over $900 million annually to service the clandestine force.

Special operations forces constitute over half the entire signature reduction force, the shadow warriors who pursue terrorists in war zones from Pakistan to West Africa but also increasingly work in unacknowledged hot spots, including behind enemy lines in places like North Korea, Ukraine and Iran. Military intelligence specialists—collectors, counter-intelligence agents, even linguists—make up the second largest element: thousands deployed at any one time with some degree of “cover” to protect their true identities.

Since the harrowing Nisour Square massacre in Baghdad in 2007, the Blackwater private military contractor, renamed as Academi in 2011 and becoming a subsidiary of Constellis Group following a merger with Triple Canopy in 2014, has built quite a business empire for itself. In 2013, Academi subsidiary International Development Solutions received an approximately $92 million contract for State Department security guards.

After selling Blackwater to a group of investors in 2010, Erik Prince, a former US Navy Seals officer and the swashbuckling founder of Blackwater, has founded another security company Frontier Services Group, registered at Hong Kong Stock Exchange, that advises and provides aviation and logistical solutions to Chinese oligarchs for the security of their lucrative business projects in Africa.

Furthermore, besides advising and assisting the UAE’s petro-monarchy in strengthening the police state, Erik Prince also reportedly provided weapons and modified aircraft to eastern Libya’s warlord and former CIA asset Khalifa Haftar, backed by Egypt and UAE, in his thwarted military campaign against the Tripoli government lasting from April 2019 to June 2020.

Using the good offices of his sister Betsy Devos, who worked as Trump’s secretary of education, Erik Prince even made an offer to Trump for outsourcing of the Afghanistan war to private military contractors advising and assisting Afghan security forces following the withdrawal of US troops. But Trump reached a peace agreement with the Taliban in Feb. 2020 and then lost the re-election bid before he could consider the bizarre proposal.

Although the Pentagon’s military contractors have known to be training and advising several brigades of neo-Nazis backed by Ukraine’s security forces in the Donbas region since 2014, Erik Prince, alongside top executives of leading private security firms providing military contractors to the US Department of Defense, personally visited Kyiv in early February following the Russian troop build-up and met with security officials of the Zelensky government, according to informed sources.

Before embarking on the clandestine Kyiv visit, Erik Prince consulted with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Director National Intelligence Avril Haines, with whom his relationship goes a long way back to early nineties after she purchased a bar in Fell’s Point, Baltimore, which had been seized in a drug raid. She turned the location into an exotic bookstore and café, offering “erotica readings,” among other licentious pastimes.

In his meetings with the high-ups in the US national security agencies, Erik Prince reportedly obtained a “gentleman’s promise,” though without any documentary assurances due to secretive nature of the Faustian pact, that he and his associates would not be held legally liable for the dirty work they do in Ukraine’s proxy war.

In fact, private military contractors in close co-ordination and consultation with covert operators from the CIA, special forces and Western intelligence agencies are not only training Ukraine’s largely conscript security forces and allied neo-Nazi militias in the use of over 60,000 anti-tank weapons and 25,000 anti-aircraft weapons collectively provided as military assistance to Ukraine by NATO countries but are also directing the whole defense strategy of Ukraine by taking active part in combat operations in some of the most hard fought battles against Russia’s security forces at Mariupol, Kharkiv and Donbas region in east Ukraine.

In a bombshell scoop, The Times reported on March 4 that defense contractors were recruiting former military veterans for covert operations in Ukraine for a whopping $2,000 a day: “The job is not without risk but, at almost $60,000 a month, the pay is good. Applicants must have at least five years of military experience in Eastern Europe, be skilled in reconnaissance, be able to conduct rescue operations with little to no support and know their way around Soviet-era weaponry.”

Russian media alleged last month that the United States security agencies had launched a large-scale recruitment program to send private military contractors to Ukraine, including professionally trained mercenaries of Academi, formerly Blackwater, Cubic and Dyn Corporation.

Russia’s Defense Ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov warned that foreign mercenaries in Ukraine would not be considered prisoners of war if detained in line with international humanitarian law, rather they could expect criminal prosecution at best.

Speaking to CNN’s Dana Bash on April 3, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that “NATO allies have supported Ukraine for many, many years,” adding that military aid has been “stepped up over the last weeks since the invasion.” The official clarified that “NATO allies like the United States, but also the United Kingdom and Canada and some others, have trained Ukrainian troops for years.”

According to Stoltenberg’s estimates, “tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops” had received such training, and were now “at the front fighting against invading Russian forces.” The secretary general went on to credit the Brussels-based alliance with the fact that the “Ukrainian armed forces are much bigger, much better equipped, much better trained and much better led now than ever before.”

In addition to a longstanding CIA program aimed at cultivating an anti-Russian insurgency in Ukraine, Canada’s Department of National Defense revealed on January 26, two days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, that the Canadian Armed Forces trained “nearly 33,000 Ukrainian military and security personnel in a range of tactical and advanced military skills.” While The United Kingdom, via Operation Orbital, trained 22,000 Ukrainian fighters, as noted by NATO’s informed secretary general.

In an explosive scoop, Zach Dorfman reported for the Yahoo News on March 16: “As part of the Ukraine-based training program, CIA paramilitaries taught their Ukrainian counterparts sniper techniques; how to operate U.S.-supplied Javelin anti-tank missiles and other equipment; how to evade digital tracking the Russians used to pinpoint the location of Ukrainian troops, which had left them vulnerable to attacks by artillery; how to use covert communications tools; and how to remain undetected in the war zone while also drawing out Russian and insurgent forces from their positions, among other skills, according to former officials.

“When CIA paramilitaries first traveled to eastern Ukraine in the aftermath of Russia’s initial 2014 incursion, their brief was twofold. First, they were ordered to determine how the agency could best help train Ukrainian special operations personnel fight the Russian military forces, and their separatist allies, waging a grinding war against Ukrainian troops in the Donbas region. But the second part of the mission was to test the mettle of the Ukrainians themselves, according to former officials.”

Besides the CIA’s clandestine program for training Ukraine’s largely conscript military and allied neo-Nazi militias in east Ukraine and the US Special Forces program for training Ukraine’s security forces at Yavoriv Combat Training Center in the western part of the country bordering Poland that was hit by a barrage of 30 cruise missiles killing at least 35 militants on March 13, Dorfman claims in a separate January report that the CIA also ran a covert program for training Ukraine’s special forces at an undisclosed facility in the southern United States.

“The CIA is overseeing a secret intensive training program in the U.S. for elite Ukrainian special operations forces and other intelligence personnel, according to five former intelligence and national security officials familiar with the initiative. The program, which started in 2015, is based at an undisclosed facility in the Southern U.S., according to some of those officials.

“While the covert program, run by paramilitaries working for the CIA’s Ground Branch — now officially known as Ground Department — was established by the Obama administration after Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014, and expanded under the Trump administration, the Biden administration has further augmented it.”

By 2015, as part of this expanded anti-Russia effort, CIA Ground Branch paramilitaries also “started traveling to the front in eastern Ukraine” to advise and assist Ukraine’s security forces and allied neo-Nazi militias there. The multiweek, US-based CIA program included “training in firearms, camouflage techniques, land navigation, tactics like cover and move, intelligence and other areas.”

One person familiar with the program put it more bluntly. “The United States is training an insurgency,” said a former CIA official, adding that the program has taught the Ukrainians how “to kill Russians.” Going back decades, the CIA had provided limited training to Ukrainian intelligence units to try and shore up a US-allied Kyiv and undermine Russian influence, but cooperation ramped up after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 following the Maidan coup toppling Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a former CIA executive confided to Dorfman.

The post Covert Warfare: How NATO’s Defense Contractors Assisted Ukraine in War first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Russia, Ukraine, and the USA: Trapped in a Cultural Script

Compassion for Ukrainians victimized by Russia’s violence demonstrates that human hearts care. However, beneath the visible current of compassion there’s an alarming, dangerous dynamic at play.

What’s hair-raising about this crisis is not only the violence but the fact that US political leaders and media makers are not recognizing positive and negative motivations on both sides of conflict. Instead, they’re deliberately creating an inaccurate good vs. evil storyline, a storyline that ignites unwarranted, dangerous feelings of self-righteous hatred against Russia.

The US perpetually perceives its role in conflict as that of a heroic rescuer or innocent victim upholding humanity and freedom against evil persecutors. However, 245 years of US history reveal that this perception is fiction, a psychological construct. Psychological analysts Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward called the persecutor, victim, and rescuer scenario a “cultural script.”

Examination of 245 years of US history reveals that the perception of always being a good guy fighting evil is fiction, a psychological construct. In fact, good and bad, truths and lies invariably exist on both sides of conflict.

Nonetheless, to deceive others and perhaps themselves, US policymakers’ pattern of relentlessly legitimating their violence, deadly sanctions, and foreign coups by denying the validity of enemy grievances, hiding their own greed and aggressive motives, refusing to cooperatively negotiate, concealing enemy negotiation offers, fabricating lies, omitting significant facts, using false pretexts, and overlooking the disastrous results of a pseudo-religious faith in the problem-solving magic of weapons is so predictable that it’s hard to decide whether it’s more enraging, pathetic, boring, or nauseating.

Consider one persecutor-victim-hero drama that began in 1979. President Jimmy Carter, livid over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, claimed it was “the greatest threat to peace since the Second World War.” Actually, Afghanistan’s Marxist government, which had been trying to reform the extreme, unjust inequalities of wealth and land ownership in Afghanistan, had requested Soviet assistance against insurgents, but the USSR, the “evil persecutor,” didn’t want to send troops. When the Soviets finally complied, they explained it was because of secret US involvement in Afghanistan. The world called the Soviets liars.

Two decades later US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted that Carter had begun aiding the insurgent mujahideen—the “heroes”—six months prior to the entry of the persecutors, the Soviets. A delighted Brzezinski knew this could provoke the Soviets to invade and get mired in their own “Vietnam.” Convinced of Soviet evil and mujahideen goodness, US policymakers ignored that the mujahideen skinned Soviet POWs alive.

And now we’re to believe that weapon shipments and sanctions are needed for the US to help rescue Ukraine from “evil” Russia.

The first step in convincing the world to believe the script’s good vs. evil dynamics is to depict Russia as the persecutor who’s motivated, not by fear, but by evil. No problem! Simply label Putin as paranoid and discount Russian fears as ludicrous: NATO’s expansion into Slavic lands, NATO—Ukraine military collaboration, US missile bases in eastern Europe, anti-Russian policies and prejudice in Ukraine, neo-Nazi violence in Ukraine, neo-Nazis and ultranationalists in Ukraine’s police, military, and government, the manipulation of Ukraine by Western profit-seekers, and Western economic and political conquest—likely of Russia itself.

The next step is to paint the US as a heroic rescuer motivated purely by integrity and compassion. Simple! Muffle up all greed-related motives for antagonizing Russia: US weapon industry profits, NATO’s agenda for bases on the Black Sea, IMF goals, ExxonMobil’s coveting Black Sea fossil fuel deposits, and Biden’s connections with Ukraine’s largest natural gas corporation. Then, conceal US hopes to dominate the global energy trade, maintain the dollar as the international energy trade currency, displace Russia from Europe’s gas market, shut down Nord Stream 2, and export fracked liquefied natural gas to Europe via Ukraine.

Also ignored are the biases and aims of those social and business circles who are forever dictating US foreign policy according to their pecuniary priorities and uncooperative, control-oriented habits of international relations. President Biden’s administration, for example, includes many members of the Alliance for Securing Democracy—with an advisory board that combines neoconservatives with liberal hawks, Albright Stonebridge Group—with its interest in Russian business acquisitions, and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).

CNAS, whose donors include multiple weapon corporations, the European Union, US Department of Defense, Finland’s Defense Ministry, Amazon, Google, and ExxonMobil, was formerly led by President Biden’s current Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland, whose husband, Robert Kagan, co-founded the conquest-seeking neoconservative Project for the New American Century. Yet we’re to assume that donors’ priorities aren’t skewing foreign policy in dysfunctional ways.

With Russia’s fears dismissed and US greed disguised, the good vs. evil script is further strengthened by permitting only shallow public analysis. For example, how do we know that Russia wasn’t deliberately provoked so that the ulterior goals of certain American social circles could be advanced under the guise of nobly responding to Russia’s aggression? The topic isn’t permitted into discussion.

Another topic given quarter-inch deep analysis is Biden’s seemingly fair-minded declaration that each nation has the right to choose alliances. It’s an unusual statement coming from a “you’re with us or against us” nation that has punished or ousted national leaders who refused to sever alliances with the USSR or Cuba.

Nuland’s leaked tapes from 2014 (which mention Biden and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan) and a US record of instigating coups indicate that Americans were likely involved in promoting the bloody 2014 coup of Ukraine’s pro-Russian President Yanukovich to install anti-Russian leadership agreeable to European Union and NATO ties. So does Biden’s “right to choose alliances” proclamation apply to nations before a US-approved coup or only afterwards?

Another enraging example of shallow analysis is the opinion falsely parroted by US “experts” that Putin’s 2021 essay, “On the Historical Unity of Russia and Ukraine,” lays bare Putin’s imperialist vision for Ukraine and his lack of recognition of Ukraine’s sovereignty and borders. Whether the experts are deliberately lying or lack reading comprehension skills, their claim is false and, given the self-righteous hatred their claim generates, utterly irresponsible.

Nowhere in the essay does Putin speak of conquering Ukraine or refusing to recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty. Putin specifically describes the relationship between the US and Canada as the type of relationship Russia seeks with Ukraine. When he speaks of “unity,” he’s not speaking of dissolving Ukraine’s political sovereignty. He’s speaking of cultural and historical ties between the two nations.

Putin’s description of the Bolsheviks’ creation of borders never suggests that he’s doing away with them. It’s possible he’s implying that Donetsk, Lugansk, and certainly Crimea have large Russian populations and do not necessarily belong in Ukraine, especially if Ukraine’s post-coup government is harboring neo-Nazism and installing language and indigenous people policies of a deliberate anti-Russian nature. Note that Ukraine and the US are the only two nations in the UN to vote against the recent resolution to condemn the glorification of Nazism.

Of course, US policymakers are not uncomfortable with Nazism and, following WWII, employed one thousand Nazis to spy on Russia. And it was US banks and companies such as Ford, General Motors, and du Pont that opportunistically helped fund Hitler’s war arsenal. Even in 1973, the US worked with pro-Nazi collaborators and US corporate funds to plant protests, propaganda, economic sabotage, and violence that climaxed in the CIA’ s horrific 9/11/73 coup of Chile’s Salvador Allende. It’s not surprising that in 2014, Russian news sources claimed that US private military contractors were training right-wing Ukrainian extremists.

In his essay, Putin clearly states his wish to negotiate with Ukraine, but not with Ukrainian leaders who are mere representatives of Western profiteers eager to use Ukraine’s land and resources for their own benefit. But, of course, US commentators either ignore the statement or, forgetting US history, discount Putin’s fears of Western profiteering as conspiracy theory.

Double standards also fortify the script. Russia’s invasions are motivated by belligerence, never legitimate fears, while US invasions are motivated by legitimate fears, never belligerence. Same behavior, different judgment.

Headlines scream of savage Russian war crimes. TV reporters interview sobbing Ukrainians. Yet US, NATO, and Ukrainian war crimes are barely publicized, their victims ignored. Same actions, different judgment. To learn about US war crimes and Afghan and Iraqi suffering, you’ve got to read investigative reporters’ books.

American groupthink, inflated by its self-righteous role in the script, and seeming to borrow from middle-school social dynamics, jeers and smears President Putin’s every word as absurd and staged. But we’re to trust Biden as honest, unstaged, unconcealing. No proof is needed. Just faith in the script.

Putin’s wish to protect Donetsk and Lugansk, self-declared republics since 2014, and end Kiev’s 8-year war that has killed 14,000 is automatically mocked as false pretext for conquest. Yet US wishes to protect Ukraine from Russia are trusted as caring, without ulterior design. The role of private military contractors, NATO, and the US in escalating civil war and provoking Russia by arming Ukraine with billions in weapons since 2014 rather than committing to non-violently resolve Ukraine’s internal conflict remains shamefully unassessed.

The consequences of belief in this drama? The US habitually uses exaggerated fears of evil enemies as false justification for colossal military budgets, NATO expansion, more military bases, troops, weapons, and nukes—all of which pour gasoline on the world tinderbox of tension, drain desperately-needed funding, and fail to resolve conflict.

If evil is equated with enemies, it becomes deceptively simple for “heroes” to champion goodness: bomb enemies into submission, impose deadly sanctions, strangulate funding, send weapons, engineer coups. But none of these methods nurture goodness. The truth is, those convinced they’re fighting evil are frequently blinded to the immorality and injustice of their own actions against people who aren’t so evil after all.

The good vs. evil script is also unjust because it enables the “innocent” to get away with all they’ve done to exacerbate conflict. The script can even enable the “innocent,” including Biden administration neoconservatives and liberal hawks, to slickly seize power, resources, and markets from those deemed evil.

US leaders’ promotion of this good vs. evil storyline appears compassionate, but it isn’t against killing. It isn’t about justice. It’s about pushing a script that provides pretext on the part of those proclaiming their own goodness to inflict injustice and violence against Russia and Putin, already verbally crucified by a mob of liars. It’s about solidifying our allegiance to US policymakers’ decisions about whom we should kill and whom we should cry for. Yet policymakers step beyond Constitutional grounds when they use their power to turn our hearts on and off, to bait us to hate some and love others to serve their greed for Mid-Eastern, Ukrainian, and Russian wealth.

We’ve got to scrap the script and view conflict impartially. We deserve accurate, sophisticated information about conflict, not propaganda that teaches us to hate. We need full truth to help us ground irrational fears of bad guys, cure the sickness of greed, and offer caring and friendship, not just for those falsely deemed innocent and heroic, but for all of us, with 360 of empathy, all the way around the world.

• View all six videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuNEw9-1OIk-CwU-5vAElcg

• Read the entire essay at Countercurrents

• This article was first published at TRANSCEND Media Service

The post Russia, Ukraine, and the USA: Trapped in a Cultural Script first appeared on Dissident Voice.