Category Archives: Ukraine

Privately, Donald Trump thinks that Crimea is part of Russia

During the G7 dinner at Charlevoix, Donald Trump explained to his partners that he considered that the peninsular of Crimea really belonged to Russia. What is significant is the US President's reasoning: all the inhabitants of Crimea speak Russian and not Ukrainian. Up till now, the West was united in accusing Russia of using force to annex Crimea. The G7's final communiqué does not seem to include the annexation of Crimea in the dispute with Russia but only the conflict in Eastern (...)

The Next US President Will Save Europe From Russia’s Secret Plot

On the eve of his visit to Austria, President Vladimir Putin told the press: Russia has not the least intention of sowing dissent within the European Union. On the contrary, it is in Moscow’s interests that the EU, its biggest trading partner, remain as unified and thriving as possible.

Europeans have long been quite obsessed with the idea that Russia is bent on dividing and weakening Europe.  In the most prominent English-language media this is practically presumed to be as obviously true as their claims that Russia killed the blogger Arkady Babchenko, attempted to murder the spy Sergei Skripal, and shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

As usual, after the Malaysian government admitted that the evidence of Russian involvement in the downing of flight MH17 was inconclusive, the anti-Russian propaganda campaigns were reduced to slim pickings. It was precisely for this reason that the more cutting-edge Western media were so happy to latch onto the murder of the blogger in Kiev. It was precisely for this reason that the very ones who had so desperately hyped that whole episode were so indignant when they realized that they had fallen victim to a bit of ruthless Ukrainian creative license.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G-20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 8, 2017

But let’s get back to Russia’s secret plots against Europe. Interestingly, when you trace back the source of most of the warnings about the Russian plots to divide Europe, they seem to emanate from Great Britain. In other words, they are coming from a government that has decided to pull out of the EU but is now trying to direct its foreign policy.

Allegations of Russian plans to fragment Europe have been heard from both the head of Britain’s MI5 intelligence agency as well as from spokesmen from the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR). Judging by its name, one might be forgiven for assuming that was supposed to be a pan-European organization. But actually that’s just what’s written on the shingle they hang outside their door, because, in fact, this “think tank” is headquartered and funded in London.

It turns out that the most prominently schismatic states in Europe also hold wildly anti-Russian stances. Neither Great Britain, nor, shall we say, Poland could be suspected of a dearth of official Russophobia. Both of them, each in their own way, are trying to ruin the lives of those countries that form the core of the EU.  Both have closed their doors to refugees and both are bravely waging war against an “influx” of natural gas that theoretically has nothing to do with them. Poland, which gets 17 billion euros a year from the EU budget, has the audacity to be demanding reparations from Germany. Britain, which slammed its doors shut in order to avoid chipping in to fund the EU, is valiantly battling Brussels in order to hold on to its economic perks in Europe.

And in this context, the EU’s biggest common ally — the US — is becoming an increasingly big problem. Washington has unleashed an economic war, not only against Russia and Iran, but also against the countries of Europe. But in the propaganda being rolled out for the European audience, the picture of the world looks like this:

The European Union’s main enemies are Russia and China. It’s true that they do want to trade with Europe and are offering enticements to encourage this, but one mustn’t believe them. Because it is a known fact that they are conducting a hybrid war — invisibly and unprovably — against Europe. Russia is such a wily combatant that one can’t ever prove anything — but you have to believe that it’s true. The European Union’s biggest friend is still the US. And yes, it’s true that they are currently trying to run their friends out of town in order to make a quick buck. But it’s solely President Trump who is to blame for that. Just be patient: soon the next president will come and fix everything right up. And it’s also true that no one can say when that next president will be in office, or what his name will be, or what he will do. And, of course, everyone remembers the Obama administration’s ceaseless attempts to foist an entirely colonial “transatlantic partnership” on Europe. But once Trump’s gone everything will be different — you just have to believe.

And this “you just have to believe” has recently become the main leitmotif of all the anti-Russian propaganda. Since the preferred narrative about the spy, the blogger, and airliner haven’t panned out, the proof of Russia’s malice is increasingly being repackaged as a kind of spiritual evidence. As the Guardian put it so aptly — “We do not need Russia to poison people in a British city to recognise the expanding threat to common values posed by Vladimir Putin’s hostile, corrupt regime.”

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – AUGUST 16: A statue holding the symbol of the Euro, the European common currency, stands in front of the European Parliament building on August 16 and 2011 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Renders/Getty Images)

But then how can one explain that in reality, the opposite is true, that Russia actually needs a unified, rich and strong European Union? This isn’t rocket science, people — you don’t need to invoke “values” and chant the mantra of “you just have to believe.”

Russia needs a rich EU, because a rich trading partner has more purchasing power, which gives Russia a positive trade balance with the EU.

Russia needs a unified EU, because a unified Europe that manages its own security issues from a centralized headquarters will present far fewer problems for Moscow than a string of feckless “friends of the US” along Russia’s western borders.

Russia needs a sovereign EU, because the anti-Russian trade sanctions serve no economic purpose for the EU whatsoever — and once Europe establishes sovereignty we will quite likely see those sanctions lifted.

And it is no coincidence that Austria was the first foreign country that Vladimir Putin visited after his inauguration.

Austria’s President Alexander Van der Bellen shakes hands with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in his office in Vienna, Austria June 5, 2018. Reuters/Leonhard Foeger

That country is European, rich, and neutral (therefore not a member of NATO) and has been a staunch advocate for the rollback of Europe’s anti-Russian policy.

In other words, in Austria you can see a potential model for the kind of independent European Union that Russia would like to deal with in the twenty-first century.

And this is why the ones who are now so fervently preaching about “shared values” and “Western unity” when faced with the treachery of those natural-gas pipelines and that Eurasian trade route are actually demanding that Europe do itself a disservice by remaining deferential.

The Next US President Will Save Europe From Russia’s Secret Plot

On the eve of his visit to Austria, President Vladimir Putin told the press: Russia has not the least intention of sowing dissent within the European Union. On the contrary, it is in Moscow’s interests that the EU, its biggest trading partner, remain as unified and thriving as possible.

Europeans have long been quite obsessed with the idea that Russia is bent on dividing and weakening Europe.  In the most prominent English-language media this is practically presumed to be as obviously true as their claims that Russia killed the blogger Arkady Babchenko, attempted to murder the spy Sergei Skripal, and shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

As usual, after the Malaysian government admitted that the evidence of Russian involvement in the downing of flight MH17 was inconclusive, the anti-Russian propaganda campaigns were reduced to slim pickings. It was precisely for this reason that the more cutting-edge Western media were so happy to latch onto the murder of the blogger in Kiev. It was precisely for this reason that the very ones who had so desperately hyped that whole episode were so indignant when they realized that they had fallen victim to a bit of ruthless Ukrainian creative license.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G-20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany on July 8, 2017

But let’s get back to Russia’s secret plots against Europe. Interestingly, when you trace back the source of most of the warnings about the Russian plots to divide Europe, they seem to emanate from Great Britain. In other words, they are coming from a government that has decided to pull out of the EU but is now trying to direct its foreign policy.

Allegations of Russian plans to fragment Europe have been heard from both the head of Britain’s MI5 intelligence agency as well as from spokesmen from the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR). Judging by its name, one might be forgiven for assuming that was supposed to be a pan-European organization. But actually that’s just what’s written on the shingle they hang outside their door, because, in fact, this “think tank” is headquartered and funded in London.

It turns out that the most prominently schismatic states in Europe also hold wildly anti-Russian stances. Neither Great Britain, nor, shall we say, Poland could be suspected of a dearth of official Russophobia. Both of them, each in their own way, are trying to ruin the lives of those countries that form the core of the EU.  Both have closed their doors to refugees and both are bravely waging war against an “influx” of natural gas that theoretically has nothing to do with them. Poland, which gets 17 billion euros a year from the EU budget, has the audacity to be demanding reparations from Germany. Britain, which slammed its doors shut in order to avoid chipping in to fund the EU, is valiantly battling Brussels in order to hold on to its economic perks in Europe.

And in this context, the EU’s biggest common ally — the US — is becoming an increasingly big problem. Washington has unleashed an economic war, not only against Russia and Iran, but also against the countries of Europe. But in the propaganda being rolled out for the European audience, the picture of the world looks like this:

The European Union’s main enemies are Russia and China. It’s true that they do want to trade with Europe and are offering enticements to encourage this, but one mustn’t believe them. Because it is a known fact that they are conducting a hybrid war — invisibly and unprovably — against Europe. Russia is such a wily combatant that one can’t ever prove anything — but you have to believe that it’s true. The European Union’s biggest friend is still the US. And yes, it’s true that they are currently trying to run their friends out of town in order to make a quick buck. But it’s solely President Trump who is to blame for that. Just be patient: soon the next president will come and fix everything right up. And it’s also true that no one can say when that next president will be in office, or what his name will be, or what he will do. And, of course, everyone remembers the Obama administration’s ceaseless attempts to foist an entirely colonial “transatlantic partnership” on Europe. But once Trump’s gone everything will be different — you just have to believe.

And this “you just have to believe” has recently become the main leitmotif of all the anti-Russian propaganda. Since the preferred narrative about the spy, the blogger, and airliner haven’t panned out, the proof of Russia’s malice is increasingly being repackaged as a kind of spiritual evidence. As the Guardian put it so aptly — “We do not need Russia to poison people in a British city to recognise the expanding threat to common values posed by Vladimir Putin’s hostile, corrupt regime.”

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – AUGUST 16: A statue holding the symbol of the Euro, the European common currency, stands in front of the European Parliament building on August 16 and 2011 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Renders/Getty Images)

But then how can one explain that in reality, the opposite is true, that Russia actually needs a unified, rich and strong European Union? This isn’t rocket science, people — you don’t need to invoke “values” and chant the mantra of “you just have to believe.”

Russia needs a rich EU, because a rich trading partner has more purchasing power, which gives Russia a positive trade balance with the EU.

Russia needs a unified EU, because a unified Europe that manages its own security issues from a centralized headquarters will present far fewer problems for Moscow than a string of feckless “friends of the US” along Russia’s western borders.

Russia needs a sovereign EU, because the anti-Russian trade sanctions serve no economic purpose for the EU whatsoever — and once Europe establishes sovereignty we will quite likely see those sanctions lifted.

And it is no coincidence that Austria was the first foreign country that Vladimir Putin visited after his inauguration.

Austria’s President Alexander Van der Bellen shakes hands with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in his office in Vienna, Austria June 5, 2018. Reuters/Leonhard Foeger

That country is European, rich, and neutral (therefore not a member of NATO) and has been a staunch advocate for the rollback of Europe’s anti-Russian policy.

In other words, in Austria you can see a potential model for the kind of independent European Union that Russia would like to deal with in the twenty-first century.

And this is why the ones who are now so fervently preaching about “shared values” and “Western unity” when faced with the treachery of those natural-gas pipelines and that Eurasian trade route are actually demanding that Europe do itself a disservice by remaining deferential.

Trump is Alienating Europe: This Is a Good Thing

Thesis: the main achievement of the Trump administration to date has been to alienate European allies, in particular Germany, France and Britain, thus weakening the Atlantic Alliance. Originally concerned by candidate Trump’s questioning of NATO’s continuing relevance, they have been satisfied by Trump’s re-commitment to the alliance (even as he moans about the member countries’ general failure to shell out the 2% for “defense” the pact theoretically entails). But they’ve been dismayed by the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord on climate, its pullout from the Iran nuclear deal (threatening sanctions on European companies that in accordance with the deal want to trade with Iran), its abandonment of coordinated policy on Israel, its imposition of tariffs on European steel and aluminum, and its general barking tone.

These days Angela Merkel is feeling more in common with Vladimir Putin than Donald Trump. Putin speaks to her in fluent German, treats her with respect, and is generally predictable, unlike the erratic Trump.

He tells her: let’s make more energy deals for mutual benefit, whatever the Americans think. And please don’t support the expansion of NATO; enough already. We are a formidable power, but our military budget is tiny compared to NATO’s and we are not about—and have no reason to—invade you. We just don’t want your military alliance to completely encircle us. We understand that, as a U.S. ally, you had to echo Washington’s condemnation of our annexation of Crimea and apply sanctions to us. But you know as well as I do that if Ukraine had been brought into NATO as the U.S. planned after the 2014 coup, our Crimea naval bases would have been transferred to NATO and we could never accept that. If you make the lifting of sanctions contingent on Russian withdrawal from Crimea, sorry, we will just have to accept them while applying counter-sanctions. Let us work together on the issues that unite us, like combating climate change and implementing the Iran agreement and protecting these agreements against U.S. obstruction.

This is potentially a key moment in which finally the unholy alliance based on a Faustian bargain between the U.S. and European anticommunists in the late 1940s fractures. What is the greater threat to Europe? The Russian state, which has gone through the agonizing process of full-scale capitalist restoration and a period of total chaos in the 1990s giving way to recovery under Putin, and which currently spends about 14% of what the U.S. devotes to military expenses every year? Or the U.S., which (still) wants to dictate European policy, even as its GDP dips relative to Europe’s? The EU GDP is now 90% of the U.S.’s.

Putin told Emmanuel Macron at the recent St. Petersburg economic conference: “Europe depends on U.S. in the realm of security. But you don’t need to worry about that; we’ll help. We’ll provide security.” I don’t think it was a joke.

Imagine a Europe not dominated by German banks deeply invested in support for U.S. imperialism using EU architecture to hold nations hostage to imposed austerity programs. Imagine a Europe of independent countries seeking rational equidistance between Washington and Moscow.

Putin has envisioned a free trade union including the EU extending from Vladivostok to Lisbon. It would be facilitated by China’s “new Silk Road” infrastructure projects, which may indeed unite Eurasia as never before, even as the U.S. recedes into the Grey Havens.

Russia will keep Crimea, as it has for most of the last three centuries; Ukraine will have to accord autonomy to the Russian-speaking Donbas region; Europe will lift its Russia sanctions gradually, because they are not in Europe’s interest (and punish Europe for the U.S.’s sake); contempt for the U.S. will mount so long as Trump is president, and could even deepen if he’s succeeded by Pence. The EU will continue to split on issues of immigration, austerity, Russian ties and other issues and the splits will deepen. The understaffed and clueless State Department will continue to urge trans-Atlantic unity. But having violated that unity repeatedly the U.S. has no moral authority to demand its continuation.

Meanwhile Putin plans a meeting with Japan’s Abe Shinzo to resolve the Northern Islands question. Probably a swap of islands, Russia returning two to Japanese sovereignty. This would end the formal state of war between the two countries and pave the way to huge Japanese investments in Russia. And given the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Japan will likely be drawn more into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization dominated by China and Russia.

India under Modi is basking in a period of U.S.-Indian friendship. Having (without clear explanation) forgiven India for its robust nuclear weapons program the U.S. seeks more cooperation with India versus China. But the U.S. alienates New Delhi over Iran sanctions. India buys Iranian oil and will continue to do so.

Xi Jinping in China enjoys a good relationship with Trump, having cleverly flattered him and Ivanka. But he is not pleased with Trump’s trade war threats and challenge to Chinese construction on the South China Sea atolls. The Chinese economy grows by leaps and bounds, and China’s military strengthens inevitably. China is the main rival to the U.S. geopolitically, and it is strategically aligned not only with Russia but with Central Asian countries, former Soviet republics, in general.

The U.S. could at least once boast of hegemony over Latin America, where military dictatorships once comfortably secured U.S. interests. Now these are gone.  Latin America in general militates in different ways against U.S. imperialism. The spectacle of a U.S. president demanding the construction of a wall to keep out Mexican illegal immigrants and demanding that Mexico pay for it appears to hundreds of millions of people as a perverse, sadistic move. Reports of kids separated at the border from their parents and disappearing in their hundreds doesn’t help.

The U.S. is alienating Canada, for god’s sake, by steel tariffs. Good good good good good. Let’s break the whole thing, Donald!

The emergence of a multilateral world—in which the U.S. cannot oblige its allies (as it did in the case of the Iraq War) to embrace its own lies, and share in the ramifications of their acceptance—is on the horizon. The world sees a moron in the White House, handles him carefully, its leaders probably trading notes on his disturbing and unstable personality. Leaders assess the U.S. as a declining power with a horrifying arsenal and more horrifying willingness to invade countries for no good reason but diminishing geopolitical clout. The flurry of exchanges between European and Iranian leaders after the U.S. announcement on the Iran deal and stated determination of the Europeans to beat U.S. secondary sanctions, and strong EU statements of indignation at the US. decision, may signal a sea-change in relations.

European Council President Donald Tusk (a former Polish prime minister) last week criticized “the capricious assertiveness of the American administration” over issues including Iran, Gaza, trade tariffs and North Korea. adding: “Looking at the latest decisions of Donald Trump, someone could even think: With friends like that, who needs enemies? But, frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful by President Trump. Because, thanks to him, we got rid of all the illusions. He has made us realize that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm.”

You realize what this means?

These are significant words, under-reported by the U.S. media, that appears to simply assume the continuation of the existing U.S. hegemonic order in the world, is addicted to the cult of promoting military “service” as a good in itself, and—while wanting to bring down Trump for various reasons—cannot challenge capitalism and imperialism or make astute analyses of present conditions because they are paid by corporations that have vested interests in promoting the CNN and NYT concept of reality. The fact is, the post-war U.S.-dominated world is collapsing, as it should. As empires do.

The fact that this collapse is aided by a colorful idiot in the White House merely adds dramatic appeal to the historical narrative. He will grandiloquently preside over some sort of Korean agreement to satisfy his ego, then perhaps attack Iran with zero European backing but frenzied Israeli and Saudi support, inaugurating a major if not world war. This would not further endear this country to the planet in general.

Letter by Australia and The Nederlands to Russia dealing with Flight MH17

The Embassy of Australia to the Russian Federation and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Russian Federation present their compliments to the Third Asian Department and the First European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and have the honour to draw the Department's attention to the following. On 17 July 2014, an aircraft operated by Malaysian Airlines with flight number MH17 and carrying a total of 298 individuals was shot down from (...)

Statement by the Foreign Ministry regarding the press conference of the Joint Investigation Team on the preliminary findings of the criminal investigation into the crash of the Malaysian Boeing in eastern Ukraine

The version of events presented by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) during a press conference on May 24, according to which the Buk anti-aircraft missile system used to launch the missile at the airliner arrived in Ukraine from Russia and belonged to Air Defence Brigade 53 deployed in Kursk, is regrettable. This is a case of unfounded accusations aimed at discrediting our country in the eyes of the international community. No evidence, of course, was presented, except for a visually (...)

Cold War Mentality Alive and Well in Australia

Writing in The Australian newspaper under the headline “Red Threats to Render White Paper just about Passé” (18 May 2018) ANU emeritus professor Paul Dibb offers a commentary that exemplifies much of what is wrong with Australian strategic thinking. The problem is all the more acute because Dibb is regularly quoted in the mainstream media and his views are considered influential. In this latest article he calls for a re-evaluation of the premises underlying the Foreign Policy White Paper released only six months ago.

That White Paper was certainly flawed, although not in the manner that Dibb suggests in underestimating what Dibb calls “an aggrieved and newly assertive Russia, as well as an aggressive rising power in China.”

The White Paper failed to grasp the realities of a newly emerging multipolar world, and in particular failed to perceive how Australia might best respond in a manner consistent with both its national security and economic interests.

That challenge is not assisted by Dibb’s contribution, which is full of faulty assumptions, factual errors, and grievous misinterpretations, not only of post-World War II history, but the current inevitable realignment away from the singularly dangerous exercise of hegemonic power by the United States.

Dibb quotes United States Secretary of Defence James Mattis with evident approval, saying “China and Russia wanted to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian models.”  China is alleged to be seeking “regional hegemony and the displacement of the United States to achieve global preeminence in the future.”

The “evidence” Dibb cites for these assertions are China’s buildup of its military capabilities in the South China Sea; Russia’s territorial expansionism in Crimea and Ukraine; Putin’s aggressive attitude in defending Syria and its use of chemical weapons; and Moscow’s State sponsored assassination attempts in Britain reflecting Putin’s contempt for the sanctity of State borders. He even cites the “reports” of Beijing seeking to develop a military base in Vanuatu.  That the Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of Vanuatu and also the Chinese government have denied the latter report is of little consequence to Professor Dibb.

There is much more in Professor Dibb’s commentary in this vein, but those examples illustrate not only the fact free environment that strategic advisors such as Dibb operate in, but also are reflective of “strategic thinking” in the Australian defence, foreign policy and defence establishments.

In the cited example of China’s buildup of its military capabilities in the South China Sea there are several components of this allegation that put it in a different context from the viewpoint usually advanced in the Australian media. The so-called Nine Dash Line within which China has made unspecified claims was, in fact, the first formulated in 1946 by the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai Shek. That government’s successors now rule Taiwan, and the Taiwanese government makes the same South China Sea claims as does the PRC.

Taiwan similarly rejected the findings of the UNCLOS Tribunal they ruled on a complaint by the Philippines1, a con complaint incidentally that was arguing exclusively by American and British lawyers.

It is correct that the PRC has fortified some of the eight artificial “islands” it has constructed in the South China Sea, but so has Vietnam, about which Dibb is silent. Taiwan has also fortified Taiping Island in the Spratly Group, more than 1000 km to its south.

Dibb makes no attempt to analyse why China should be taking steps to increase its military presence in the South China Sea. Those reasons would include China’s defensive reaction to being encircled by 400 US military bases; the US declaring that China is a major threat to the US, as it did and last year’s National Defence Strategy document; and the carrying out of provocative military exercises by the US in the South China Sea.

Australia, along with the United States, carries out a regular joint military exercise (Operation Talisman Sabre) which practices blocking the narrow (2.5km) Malacca Straits through which more than 80% of China’s oil imports currently pass.

Dibb claims also that Russia engaged in “territorial expansionism” in Crimea and Ukraine. Crimea is an example of consistent misrepresentation in the Australian media. It was for centuries part of Russia until 1954 when Soviet leader Khrushchev unilaterally “gifted” Crimea to Ukraine without consulting anyone, least of all the Crimean people.

Following the US organized and financed coup against the elected government of Ukraine in 2014, the Crimean people, who are predominately Russian speaking and culturally aligned with Russia, held a referendum. More than 90% of Crimeans voted in that referendum, and more than 90% of them voted for reunification with Russia. Crimea’s request to Russia for reintegration into the Russian Federation was in due course voted on in the Russian Parliament.

People’s right to self-determination is enshrined in the UN Charter, and was recognised by the West, for example, in supporting the independence of Kosovo from Serbia. Quite apart from illustrating the extraordinary demonization of Russia, the treatment of the Crimea question is a classic illustration of western hypocrisy.

There is zero evidence of any Russian territorial expansionism in Ukraine. There is obviously profound concern about Ukraine’s treatment of its Russian speaking eastern region of Donbass. An attempted resolution of the Donbass problem brokered by Germany, resulting in the Minsk Accord of 2015, has been repeatedly violated. According to the OSCE, more than 80% of the violations of the Minsk II Accord have been by the Ukrainian government. This is a government where neo-Nazi elements have undue influence, a fact of obvious legitimate concern to the Russian government given the history of 26 million Russian deaths at the hands of the Nazis during World War II.

Dibb also refers to Putin’s “aggressive attitude in defending Syria and its use of chemical weapons.”  This is simply bizarre. It was Russia who negotiated Syria relinquishing its chemical weapons and the OPCW has verified that the disarmament of chemical weapons by Syria is complete.

The alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government have been comprehensively debunked by independent experts.2

Dibb does not mention it, but Russia is in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate sovereign government of Syria. Thanks to Russia’s intervention in 2015 the US-Israeli-Saudi Arabia backed terrorists are on the verge of being completely defeated.

Russia is acting entirely within international law in their support of the Syrian government, unlike the United States and its ally Australia who have no legal justification for being in Syria at all. It is an illustration of the United States’ imperial agenda that they have set up military bases in Syria where they are neither invited nor wanted.

Dibb is completely unable to recognise that the greatest sponsor and perpetrator of terrorism in the world is the United States. Since 1945 it has been almost continuously engaged in warfare against self defined “threats” and “enemies;” has bombed, invaded, or overthrown the governments of more than 70 nations; and killed more than 30 million people in the process.3

In many of these activities, for example, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, it has been actively supported by Australia, whose “joined at the hip” alliance with the United States is arguably Australia’s most dangerous and counter-productive foreign policy.

Dibb further claims “Moscow’s state-sponsored assassination attempts in Britain reflects Putin’s contempt for the sanctity of state borders.”  This is presumably a reference to the recent Skripal case, although with Dibb’s casual and sweeping defamatory denunciations one cannot be sure.

If it is the Skripal case to which he refers, then not only have the United Kingdom claims been both ludicrous and overblown in their multiple variations, there is absolutely zero evidence of Russian involvement and considerable evidence of motivations by other actors.

Since the admission to hospital and now with the discharge of both of the Skripals the British government has refused to permit consular access by Russian officials. This is a direct violation of, inter alia, the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and a separate treaty between Russia and the United Kingdom. The British are also in violation of the International Convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance (23 September 2005). The United Nations Human Rights Committee has also held that for persons to be held incommunicado for 15 days or more constitutes a violation of human rights law. In Dibb’s world these factors never rate a mention.

As for Mr Putin’s alleged contempt for the sanctity of state borders, he might like to compare the respective records of Russia since 2000 (when Putin first came to power) and his US counterparts over the same period.  There is simply no contest.

What Dibb and similar commentators in Australia fail to recognise is that the American dominated unipolar world order of the past 70 years is rapidly being transformed into a multipolar world.4

Australia’s adherence to the Pax Americana view, however, is potentially greatly to Australia’s detriment, economically and politically. If the new Cold War policies being pursued by the Trump administration deteriorate to a hot war, which is far from unrealistic, the devastation wrought upon Australia will be, to borrow Trump’s phrase, fire and fury like in the world has never seen.

  1. Shannon Tiezzi, Taiwan: South China Sea Ruling ‘Completely Unacceptable‘, The Diplomat, 13 July 2016.
  2. Dr. Theodore Postol, “Assessment of White House Intelligence Report About Nerve Agent Attack in Khan Shaykhun, Syria“, Global Research, November 18, 2017.
  3. William Blum, Americas Deadliest Export: Democracy, Zed Books, 2013.
  4. Alfred W. McCoy, In the Shadows of the American Century, Haymarket Books, 2017.

Nuclear Disaster at Chernobyl: Reality and Unreality

With the escalating doom of climate change hovering over us, it is tempting to push nuclear horror to the back of our minds.  To those of us who grew up in the 1950s, it was omnipresent.  Nuclear war could not exist without nuclear power and on April 26, 1986 the world experienced a form of nuclear horror it will never forget.

Why did Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear plant explode on that day?  Did operator error cause it? Was design flaw the reason?  Should we look deeper into the Soviet system for the cause?  Or should we look deeper still into the very existence of nuclear power?

In May 2018, Basic Books released Serhii Plokhy’s “Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe.”  It could well become the definitive story of that disaster.  Chernobyl will raise eyebrows.  The book features detailed interviews with key actors, meticulous research, and then a big “uh-ooh.”

Plokhy delves into the background of the infamous nuke, including its site selection in 1966, its location by the river and town both named Prypiat, and intense discussions over the type of reactor to build.  Should they construct the safer but more expensive VVER (Water-Water Energy Reactor) or the cheaper and more powerful RBMK (High Power Channel Reactor) which lacked a cement containment shield?

The author goes beyond looking at the people involved in building the plant and describes their mutual relationships and their interactions with construction problems and delays.  These personal relations figured heavily into the uncertainty and miscommunication regarding a turbine test that led to the explosion – something unexpected that plant operators had been assured was impossible.

The book could also gain widespread attention from its documentation of the spreading levels of disbelief.  Not knowing that burning nuclear material is completely different from other fires, dozens of firefighters were exposed to lethal and near-lethal levels of radiation.

The night of the explosion plant director Victor Briukhanov closed his ears to reports of radiation measurements.  When he finally understood how dire the situation was, politicians refused to heed his advice to evacuate the neighboring town.  Even as plant workers were admitted into the hospital with acute radioactive poisoning, seven Prypiat weddings went on as scheduled.

The terror was multiplied as actors began to realize that the “experts” had no idea of what to do.  Some said the reactor should be covered with sand, clay, boron and lead.  Others replied that would needlessly sacrifice the lives of helicopter pilots dropping the mixture and could increase the chance of a new explosion.

Some identified the main threat as the reactor burning down to the water table and causing a new steam explosion.  They focused on removing the water.  Others said that was not possible.  The unsure politicians decided to try virtually everything.

Spreading disbelief gave rise to wave after wave of cover-ups.  Attempts to conceal the dangers from Prypiat residents morphed into hiding them from all of the Ukraine.  Hoodwinking efforts spread to Russia and then to the entire world.

The cover-ups turned into blame games that festered in the Ukraine from 1987 on.  Hoping to sidetrack discussion of the faulty plant design, Moscow bureaucrats put Ukrainian operators on trial.  But Ukrainians knew that designers of the RBMK had promised that it was so safe that it had no need for a concrete containment structure and could be installed on Red Square in Moscow.  Events were seen as an assault on Ukrainian national pride.

While nationalists wrote of Chernobyl as a malicious plot by Moscow, literary artists and academics who had previously praised the “modernity” of nuclear power now joined in its vilification.  At the end of the 1980s Ukrainian environmentalists were portraying Chernobyl as a symptom of Moscow’s eco-imperialism.

By 1990, many political candidates linked denuclearization with Ukrainian independence and the new parliament approved a five year moratorium on new nukes.  That moratorium was annulled in 1993 as rulers of the newly independent Ukraine decided that the country’s market economy needed energy and employment and that nuclear power could provide both.

The big factor that could advance the popularity of Plokhy’s Chernobyl is its constant portrayal of the Soviet system as the ultimate cause of the disaster with the alternative being the safer nukes constructed by western countries.  Count on the US nuclear industry to give a standing ovation to that conclusion.

This is the “uh-ooh.” Do we really need cold war propaganda masquerading as insight to bring down the nuclear behemoth?  Instead, let’s take a realistic account of problems with the full life cycle of nuclear power:

  • mining uranium exposes every living creature in its path to radiation;
  • milling radioactive material exposes workers and nearby residents;
  • transporting nuclear fuel by rail or truck to a plant potentially exposes every living thing along the route;
  • everyday operations of nukes exposes people to radiation leaks and “near misses;”
  • the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima catastrophes continue to be devastating for millions;
  • decommissioning a nuke affects workers as it permanently degrades the surrounding area;
  • transportation of nuclear waste to a storage site again threatens every living thing en route;
  • storage of radioactive waste for millions of years has the same potential to unravel the web of life as does climate change and poses the question: How can the short term economic benefits possibly outweigh the costs of nuclear storage for eternity?
  • military use of nuclear material has always lurked behind claims of economic benefits, meaning that all nuclear power plants increase the likelihood of war; and,
  • perils of the destructive potential of nukes inherently require a monolithic and controlling state, as opposed to wind and solar power which are vastly less risky.

By catering to the crafted misperception that explosions are the single, solitary danger of nukes and barely mentioning or ignoring these obvious hazards, the book sidesteps the big picture.

Plokhy briefly notes that Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” nuclear weapon expansion forced the USSR to escalate in response, even though it was seeking an opposite course.  In doing so, the author refutes his own claim that the root cause of the Soviet plan to increase nuclear power was its internally driven urge to expand production.

If the ultimate cause of the Chernobyl explosion could be shifted from operator error and design flaw to an alleged Soviet fascination with nukes, then why not shift the cause further to the US-sponsored nuclear expansion which provoked the response by the USSR?  An honest analysis of the devastation of Chernobyl would identify nuclear technology itself as the fundamental problem, regardless of the country employing it.

Even though the book refers to the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown in the US and Japan’s 2011 meltdown at Fukushima, it continuously blames Soviet incompetence for Chernobyl.  Clearly the author has an axe to grind against the bureaucratic mode of production and this muddles his explanations.

In particular, it muddles interpretation of nasty efforts to cover up the catastrophe at every step of its unfolding.  Yes, Soviet bureaucrats were less than forthcoming in the extreme. Interpreting this as a symptom of Sovietism implies that rulers of capitalist society are beacons of truth and openness.  To put it mildly, this is false.

Immediately after the Three Mile Island meltdown US citizens were told that there were no radiation releases; then “informed” that the radiation was “insignificant;” then told that fuel inside the core did not melt and no one needed to evacuate the area.  Similarly, volumes could be written of cover-ups of agrochemicals and other toxins, climate denial, and under-reporting of species extinctions in the US and they would still barely scratch the surface of what we do not hear.

Asking readers to believe that Western nukes are somehow “safer” than Chernobyl is a bit like saying that a high school shooter who kills 4 students is “safer” than one who kills 17.

In the 1950s, my parents heard the promise that nuclear plants would soon be producing electricity that was “too cheap to meter.”  When an elementary school student, I participated in absurd “duck and cover” exercises.  As the sirens were going off, we marched into the hall, sat with our backs to the wall, ducked our heads down and covered them with our hands.  As if that would protect us from a nuclear fallout.  A decade later, others who had the same childhood experience created the famous poster including those instructions and ending with the command to put your head down between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.

Though assuring readers that US reactors are safer than Soviet-era ones, the author fails to mention the Price-Anderson Act, passed in 1954 at the dawn of the nuclear era to encourage private companies to build nukes by limiting total liability to $700 million.  The hushed-up fear was that no one would insure a nuke if the power company had to pay out untold billions of dollars in damages.  If US nukes are “relatively” safe, then there is no need for Price-Anderson and it should be repealed.  The fact that no power company advocates this is proof that they could never pay out-of-pocket for the full damage one of their nukes could cause.

How can a statement be true and false at the same time?  It is true if the facts given are correct.  It can simultaneously be false if it cherry-picks those facts in order to manufacture a broad interpretation divorced from reality.  Plokhy shows how to do this in an account of Chernobyl.

One of the biggest pieces he leaves out of the Chernobyl puzzle is the number of deaths caused by the accident.  Plokhy briefly quotes the estimates of 4000 by the UN and 90,000 by Greenpeace International.  But he relies most heavily of the figure of 5000 cancer deaths by WHO in 2006.  He does not even mention the far more thorough 2009 study by Yablokov, Nesterenko and Nesterenko published by the New York Academy of Sciences. That analysis cites much more research, covers a much larger area, includes projected future radiation poisoning, examines a broader range of cancers and birth defects, and estimates 985,000 deaths.

After documenting the incredible suffering in the Ukraine, the author of Chernobyl makes an astounding call for more international cooperation in EXPANDING nuclear power.  Though providing a fascinating story of what happened there, he ends up amplifying the very problem he condemns.

• This review was first published at Green Social Thought

 

Near Deadly Political Gas Attack On Americans

“Historically, reactionary forces on the verge of extinction invariably conduct a last desperate struggle against the revolutionary forces, and some revolutionaries are deluded for a time by this phenomenon of outward strength but inner weakness, failing to grasp the essential fact that the enemy is nearing extinction while they themselves are approaching victory.”

In the face of steadily deteriorating imperial power, the reactionary forces of global capital have pressed the panic button and are performing far worse than rats on a sinking ship, unless those rats were armed with nuclear weapons and were as deluded as the politburo of western capitalism. Unfortunately some who were previously considered advocates of change are now among the deluded mentioned in the quote and have become foremost protectors of the reactionary political economics of global capital controlled by the market forces of Artificial Intelligence. As the world lurches closer to what could become a nuclear confrontation and the western toadies of empire raise wimpy voices in an atonal chorus of support for accusations against logic and reality, it would be nice to think the quote had it right and that this is just a sign of their and not our extinction. But while we need to keep the faith and work for a better future it must be noted that things get worse and more worrisome in the present.

The most recent nerve gas charges in Syria coming from the mental bowels of western reactionaries were as believable as the last ones, which means hysterically funny when not tragically frightening. The only truthfulness comes from America’s Pinhead-In-Chief who actually believes that Assad is as dumb as American policy pundits and would use poison gas to kill for no reason other than sadistic pleasure, or at least to conveniently cause photo-ops of suffering babies being protected by performers in uniform. Only slack-jawed oafs could believe that at a time of near total victory over the American sponsored and trained anti-civil warriors Assad would be so venal, stupid and morally corrupt as to order such a thing and most American leadership jackals would know it was political bullshit and simply lie about how terrible and dreadful and monstrous all of this was. Trump, in his incredibly ignorant honesty, actually believes it, which makes him the most sincere potential mass murderer we’ve ever had in the now diverse formerly “white” house. That’s not really a comfort but more a terrible statement about the murderous political pimps we deify as great leaders of the past, both historic and very recent.

Following the equally unbelievable charges against Russia and Putin which had them-him putting nerve-gas-poison on a doorknob to kill an ex-spy who had been exiled-swapped to and living anonymously in England for years, and leaving out the numbskull idiocy of any alleged super-agent doing so and jeopardizing any visitor, salesperson, neighbor or delivery person who might have touched the door before the intended victims whose conditions of recovery remained buried on back pages while headlines screamed “murder most foul”. This fetid gas emanating from England’s governmental toilet was quickly taken up by America’s own reality TV government, thus raising the intellectual stench to that of an international moral sewer. If only the UK and USA had to pay the price of this foulness that might be another point for the quote’s analysis, but when the western toilet overflows, the world becomes inundated with the mental excrement and polluting waste of a more dangerous kind than the usual outcome of minority private profit at majority public loss. This could have blundered into a confrontation between nuclear powers far more threatening than the slow destruction of our environment under western control directed by the master race of self chosen rulers in the USA and Israel. Some reactionary pessimists might welcome the possible destruction of humanity but the rest of us far outnumber them and need to begin acting as a democratic majority of our race.

Luckily, sensibility in Russia, Syria, Iran and other parts of the global majority became more powerful at a time of extremely serious crisis. The reaction, especially by Russia, to the publicity stunt bombing of Syria’s alleged poison gas supply, a product said to no longer be in existence by another member of the presidential pimp parade several years ago, was as should have been expected by knowledgeable observers, at an intellectual and moral level unperceivable by the class of murderous intellectual clowns running our circus. While it may seem too much to ask of our own population, much of it kept obsessed with scandals about Trump’s alleged sex life with rich and soon to be even richer “me too” porn queens, Russian meddling in our pet food purchases or world history according to Marvel Comics, it might be a good idea for all those truly seeking change in our system – not just its diverse front men and women – to keep the faith and take the actions necessary to end the crisis of the moment so that we might avoid an even worse crisis in the immediate future, transforming it to truly come closer to “approaching victory”, as the political philosopher quoted at the beginning mentioned. His name is Mao Tse Tung, and in the Marxist tradition, he didn’t only analyze reality but worked very hard to lead a revolution that radically changed it. Only private wealth worshippers and political cynics believe he failed but the hundreds of millions of Chinese previously consigned to peasant and working class poverty whose lives were totally transformed might inform them, and us, otherwise.

We need to learn more about the actual conditions in the lives of people in other places but we first need to fully understand our own homeland and what our rulers do to the rest of the world in our name, while keeping us in the dark about reality. As in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Palestine and Ukraine, to mention only a few places where we murder, maim and prevent social justice and democracy while piously extolling their virtues. They can only continue to do that if we continue to let them, and inspiration can come from actually learning what people in other nations have achieved, against seemingly impossible odds, to enable us to not only believe in creation of a better world, but actually bring it from theoretical dream to practical reality. That means clearing the poisoned political gas filling our heads and analyzing reactionary rule in order to replace it with revolutionary democracy. Soon. Like now.

The Good Friday Massacre: World…We Are All Palestinians Now!

… When Darkness and Disorder Began to Reign in a Kingdom…
There Appeared the Loyal Ministers.

— The Tao Teh Ching

Eighteen more Palestinians were unapologetically murdered this past “Good Friday” by the Israeli military. They were unarmed. They were on their own land. They were desperate.  They screamed their desperation as they marched. Then, they shouted their daily reality of personal horrors too close to Israel’s attention. So, they were killed.

These innocents were shot like fish in a barrel: No place to hide, no place to run, no chance of escape. The hunters all around them. Easy targets. In what now seems like a national sport, Israel has picked up the pace beyond tormenting Palestine…because it can!

For the record, it is important to accurately understand the current Israeli imposed rules of engagement for this latest round of unjustified violence. A synopsis is in order:

As any rational person should know well, Israel has been slowly — since the complete blockade of Gaza eleven years ago — torturing, by choking, what little is left to be stolen from Palestine. Thanks to the Israel-friendly inhabitants in the US White House, Israel has been given carte blanche to increase this inhuman stranglehold. The new US/Israeli policy towards Palestine holds the draconian view that any Palestinian love for their nation, their futures, their health, their families, and their happiness can be wiped away. Israel truly believes it can change the fundamental human mind of all of Palestine…if their imposed arbitrary torture and their killings are sufficient.

Beyond this increasing isolation, deprivation and degradation of Gaza and Palestine and the military takeover of the West Bank for more illegal Israeli settlements, the Likudists that dominate both Israeli and American politics, have managed to require their US president to hand them the Palestinian capital of Jerusalem as a gift for his ascendancy. Strangely, both these antagonists were then surprised that the Palestinians did not find this departure from history an acceptable US decision.

Despite having slowly seized, coerced or purchased 90% (95% if you count the Golan Heights) of original Palestine since the inception of Israel in 1948, suddenly sensing trouble, the IDF next declared a 350-meter no-go zone within the borders of what they had not already taken from Palestine. With their futures sinking like a bag of kittens wantonly cast adrift, direct action within what remains of Palestine was understandable. On March 30 “Land Day,” an annual commemoration of the deaths of six Arab citizens of Israel killed by Israeli security forces during demonstrations over government land confiscations in northern Israel in 1976, Hamas called for the start of a march called, “The Day of Return.” In protest they marched, some 17,000 strong, towards the border: To their border… right up to that fence.

Well, not quite.

One, two, three, four, five…eighteen…they were murdered. The videos do not lie. Bullets from the 100 Israeli snipers not being sufficient enough, however, a tank was used to blow to pieces a distant lonely farmer who was out of rifle-shot. Why? Not because they dared to visit the DMZ border zone. Not because they threw rocks that could never reach the fence. Not because the petrol bombs and burning tires of this desperate protest were hurled ineffectively in the direction of the thirty-foot-high, electrified, steel fence.

No. These little fish were killed for one simple, nay fundamental, reason: They refused to accept their fate. They would not change their minds. So…an example had to be made.

Are We Not All, Today, Palestinians?

“Resistance is futile.” That is the message of the IDF this week. It is also clearly implied within new US foreign policy designed to bring the Palestine, and particularly Gaza, to its knees. America considers this increased horror the means to a peaceful end to the bitter conflict of decades. This policy of delusion, however, too clearly echoes existing US foreign policy across the globe. That same threatening message is certainly explicit in too much of what is wrong with our world today. The arrogant Israeli horrors that are ongoing at this border protest are really just an extension of a collective worldwide US foreign policy that demands acquiescence and allegiance. Or Else!

Is resistance futile? In this, America is forcing everyone worldwide to become a Palestinian.

Take as example the Israeli military Court decision which met in secret to send 17 year-old Palestinian protester, Ahed Tamimi, to join hundreds of other convicted children in an Israeli prison for eight months. Her crime?  Not, that the IDF had just marched into her home. Not that her cousin had just been shot in the face by the IDF for throwing stones in their direction. No, her crime was that she did not willingly accept these horrors. She resisted; slapping the two soldiers for what they had done. This opinion was echoed by her lawyer, Gaby Lasky, who stated after the trial:

They want to deter other Palestinian youth from resisting occupation.

So, because she refused to accept being witness to this arbitrary horror, one that should shock the conscience, she is thus guilty of… resisting.

Take heed.

One look at the failures of recent attempts at, and enthusiasm for, national democracy seems to clearly bolster this point. Take Greece. It took less than 150 days for the fledging Syriza party to go from achieving a stunning legitimately democratic victory to allowing the whole country and its future to be functionally overthrown by the feared Troika: the IMF, EC and ECB. The country was thus sold off for pennies on the Euro merely to obtain more debt. Greece is now economically and politically beholden to Brussels as is their treasonous president, Alexis Tsipras, the usual slippery politician who single-handedly (well, Finance Minister, Varoufakis certainly helped) sold Greece, his own government , and his soul willingly to a higher authority that controls virtually all of the future of Greece. A future that is already far worse, and of which they have no control.

Like the Palestinians?

Ukraine is an easy one. The US admits that it funded the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych’s presidential democratic election victory and that it has recently sent massive amounts of new high-powered weapons for a spring offensive of horror and wanton killing. America, its hand-picked president Poroshenko and his neo-Nazi themed government, hope to break the will of the eastern Ukrainians in the Donbass region using increased violence, and bringing them, too, to their knees and stealing their future.

Like the Palestinians?

Then there was Spain and the Catalonia election, failed, sadly, before it all got started due the leadership’s lack of understanding — like Greece — of the true strength of their adversaries within the EU and Spain. Theirs was a drastic overestimation of their true political power. Post-election victory, the result has been a disaster with independence referendum president, Carles Puigdemont, also being arrested with obvious EU complicity in Germany this week. Catalonian resistance has been again squashed, its leaders taken, its people told to go home, return to work…or else. Yes, do as they are told by a foreign governing body of immoral politicians that they did not choose to elect.

Next, consider the UK and Brexit, the monumental, shocking and successful democratic vote for resistance to foreign hegemony. Like Ukraine, Greece, and Catalonia the primal forces of nature are doing their very best to ensure that democracy, here too, will fail. As described in a June 27, 2016 article, Brexit was an easy target for delay and tactical overthrow well before it went to a vote. Almost two years later, Brexit is arguable, as predicted, further away from becoming a reality than before the vote because of the duality of the true allegiances of the UK politicians. So, who really holds power over the people of  Britain?  Politicians.  The House of Lords. The EU. Certainly not the people.

Like the Palestinians?

A Mind Programmed to Violence: The American Foreign Export.

The cause, the epicenter, of this mental malady that demands subservience at the end of the gun is the American Congress and its foreign and domestic policies of obedience. The fault here also lies with the American public’s tacit willingness to accept this increasingly authoritarian rule without complaint.

One would have thought that in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election and the proven revelations of DNC corruption and Hillary Clinton criminal complicity, Americans would well know that they, too, do not have an opposition political party. Add the recent documentation of FBI and CIA collusion in the same conspiracy to bring HRC to power, while burying her proven crimes, and it is indeed a wonder that voters are once again excitedly heading off to the slaughter of the 2018 mid-terms.

Of course, few Americans see reality for themselves, but evidence abounds and with American foreign policy embracing, excusing and justifying these and a growing list of imposed horrors upon the conscience, the world would do well to understand from whence these are spawned: A country where violence and killing seem endemic. Where an artificially elected congress likes it that way.

Take the increase in police killings of unarmed citizens. For many, these US citizen’s resistance amounted to having their back turned, their hands in the air and/or running away. The US is certainly number one is this horror as well as in the least number of police convictions for same. The current White House marionette has already publicly embraced police brutality. Protests against these extra-judicial killings are paltry at best. So, the killings increase yearly.

Since taking office, Trump not just guaranteed that the Guantanamo Bay torture center will stay open. He has provided massive new and undisclosed funding for it. Ensuring that it will soon be at full capacity, he then named arguably the two most righteous, self-serving zealots of arbitrary torture and unabashed horror, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, to help with this goal: showcasing America’s hatred of human resistance.

Philip Giraldi, in an article on March 22, 2018, noted this point:

… every change reflects an inexorable move to the right in foreign policy… so he [Trump] is inevitably being directed by individuals who have long American global leadership by force if necessary.

Just in case, back in the USA Trump re-authorized the distribution of returning Mid-East military hardware to be distributed to towns across the country. Despite the best attempts of US media complicity, propaganda, and censorship, the government knows the people are slowly waking up to their own dismal futures. To this government and its military, it seems only a matter of time before the Second Amendment and the US military square-off against each other. They are preparing to crush this resistance.

Like the Palestinians?

But the American mind, one with a slowly building penchant for violence, helps to allow Trump and his monocracy in Congress to continue to get their unchallenged path to war by playing on this mindset. This is becoming endemic in the American mind; one that enjoys guns and killing. Spend just one hour watching American TV commercials and the routine level of violence shown via movie trailers, video games featuring ultra-violence and US military armed forces recruitment adverts is hour after hour like no country on earth. Congress and the NRA legislatively propagate this blood-lust, using America’s entrenched love for guns and killing as the misunderstood base rationale to increase the US budget for any and all the tools that kill.

This was sorely evidenced this past year when the US House and Senate passed legislation as an attachment that allowed hunters to not only kill wolves and bears, but to increase the thrill of the hunt, this Congress said it would be OK for these same hunters to now kill new born wolf puppies and bear cubs, too. So, the true morality of these humans was shown clearly. Despite every US senator being individually contacted by this reporter with the additional horrifying fact that this barbaric earmark of legislation would also allow these hunters to kill the pups and cubs during springtime and in their mother’s dens, the bill passed easily without any debate regarding this new degradation of the American conscience.

But, they had a good reason, as shown in their staff letters of reply, to abandon their conscience.

The earmark that all but doomed the North American wolf back to extinction after decades of recovery, was tucked away in a spending bill. As goes the US budget year after year, this was, in majority, a military spending bill. It needed Republican votes to pass. The price for one single lowly congressional vote, dangled by Alaska state rep., Don Young, was to allow tiny new-borns to be slaughtered at will. In the face of a military that needs to be fed and congressmen who need money and have a vote (soul) for sale; the wolves never had a chance.

Defenseless wolves or slaughtered Palestinians must be considered an example to the world. A call to action. Compared to a tranquilized US sponsored first world that ignores the real plight of the remaining civilized world around them, worldwide Palestinians know well what these disaffected and apathetic populations refuse to admit: That election results mean nothing, their government officials are controlled by others, their future and their lives are at the whim of American corporate economic interests, and… their happiness in life is of no concern to politicians at all.

Just like Palestinians?

Yes, the American man on the street will proudly tell you that his country is #1 in the world in everything. Of course, his argument does not include the fact that America is also number one in: Mass killings, Prison incarceration, police killings of civilians, personal debt per person, share of national debt per person, military expenditure, private military contractors, money printing (QE), manipulating elections, overthrowing governments, drone killings of the innocent, money donated to Israel, weapons given to Israel or UN vetoes of humanitarian resolutions, et al.

This military madness was all too evident in the recent US spending bill of mere weeks ago. Yes, the military had its budget demands as did the Israel lobby within Congress. In a stunning example that proves who is really in charge in Washington, the Congress within the $1.3 trillion spending bill incredibly approved  $15.5 billion extra for the US military despite it having only requested a paltry $654.6 Billion.  Also, Israel was  granted an additional $$558.4 million over their own budget request of $147.4 million. The total of $705.8 million is an increase of $105.4 million over what congress bequeathed to them last year.

Of course, there was not a penny extra for any of the social services that were gutted in the first two rounds of budget ping pong.

Still, America is number one? This irrational mind is a tribute to America’s media. This also highlights the one most threatening fact about the American understanding of its role in the world: Willful, delusional ignorance. One that increasingly suffers at the hands of their politicians yet cheers on the cause of their own demise. As an American journalist, Robert Bridge, noted this week:

This apathetic attitude on the part of so many Americans to this wave of death and destruction against foreigners in foreign lands suggests that any semblance of an anti-war consciousness has left the building.

More so than in any country, in the US fact and truth are so easily accepted as lies. This shows a madness deep inside.  A failure of the mind, one that watches passively at the violent destruction of so much of the world, at the hands of their own country, yet fails to notice that their own homeland’s myopic, insular, flag-draped future is also, piece by piece, month by month, being removed from their grasp; until there is nothing left.

Just like Palestine.

When US Foreign Policy Meets Criminal Insanity.

The weekend after the Good Friday Massacre, Israeli Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, not only proved charges that he and his Likudist party are criminally insane (“a depraved indifference to human life”) and guilty of genocidal apartheid, he brashly showcased to the world a brand new crime of conscience: Criminal Hypocrisy.

Said Netanyahu’s office in a tweet:

The most moral army in the world will not be lectured by those who have indiscriminately bombed civilian populations for years.”

His sick joke failed to note, of course, Israel’s actual inclusion in the club of nations without consciences such as its US, EU, and UK patrons, and an incredible new allegiance with their new BFF, the Saudi Arabian, Mohammed Bin Salman. All collectively have the blood of millions on their hands. Distortion of this kind by Netanyahu shows the depravity of the mind aforementioned. As if these words were not enough to prove the point, IDF leader Avigdor Leiberman removed all doubt, stating with glee that the Israeli troops were “doing their job” and that all involved in the slaughter “deserved commendations“.

Only the insanity of US inspired military arrogance can utter such rot. Only those of a similar mind will believe it.

These self-serving — and false — statements belie the accurate casualty figures of the two previous Israeli inspired wars in Gaza and three in Lebanon when previously Israel felt the need to “cut the grass.”  When it comes to war, however, the actual facts forever prove a very different result of Israeli army tactics that can best be summed up in one word: chickenshit!

Casualty figures and the eyes of the world show without doubt that Israel never picks a fair fight, preferring civilian deaths to IDF body bags. Despite the world’s seventh largest military, Israel will not fight any Army without full US financial, military, munitions, intelligence, foreign policy, and UN assistance. Its massive, American funded military, prefers to attack the defenseless, the innocent and the civilian. This was shown clearly in daily TV horrors during the 2006 Lebanon War and the 2014 Gaza war. To argue otherwise is madness.

Worse, Israel leaves the on-the-ground killing to its proxies in the US, UK, EU nations and Saudi Arabia, nations that regularly use their national coffers and militaries, not for their own people, but to affect what, in reality, provides only a positive geopolitical bearing for Israel; not their own countries.

In doing so, it is the political leaders not the citizens of these many countries, and far too many others, that have almost thoroughly sold out their voters and their country to be co-opted into the embrace of America’s pro- Israel/pro-war modern doctrine; one that increases in its threat to humanity with each and every Trump cabinet replacement.

The list of countries similarly affected, as are the Palestinians, by US foreign policy, beyond those referenced here, is so long and well established that one must pause in the task and reflect: why it is necessary to write it again? If the world, the Palestinian world beyond Gaza and the West Bank, has not, after all the worldwide horror, taken note on their own, it is not worth the effort. For thus they have not, despite all this evidence, realized their kinship with the beleaguered Palestinians of the world, and this is indeed their own madness.

This madness predictably continued this past week in the aftermath of just one day of the Good Friday protests.

An investigation was called for by a special session of the UN Security Council, which the US vetoed. Going further, an Israel IDF spokesperson stated that there would be no investigation on their part. This is not surprising from a new world order that makes no apologies, much less admission, for its war crimes against humanity.

Amazingly, an IDF spokesperson did exactly that, publicly and disgustingly admitting, via Twitter, Israel’s guilt when issuing his proud statement:

Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.

Nothing was ever so clear.

Back in America, the next few weeks will see Trump, his foreign policy, and the American people’s attention have their own Land Day style protest problem come to their own border. Approximately 1700 people are walking directly towards Trump’s symbolic wall. The majority are desperate refugees from Honduras, a country destroyed many times over by malicious US control that continues to inflict daily military horrors on its people with US weapons. The recent Honduran presidential election was overthrown by the US collusion in a very suspect recount when the US-backed presidential candidate initially lost by too slim of a margin. Now the country is in turmoil, killing routine, and these Honduran Palestinians have vowed to walk right up to Trump’s US border wall and demand asylum. Since the US directly caused their plight this would seem a fair request.

However, considering the true nature of the intent of US foreign policy, their example of resistance will have to be quashed. This will certainly be the case since April 3, 2018, a publicly nervous US president Trump authorized the US military to take control of the US southern border. What will transpire upon the refugee’s arrival will be an interesting test — if Mexico doesn’t stop it first. How many feet before the border will these refugees be allowed before being shot in cold blood? Will the US ship them all back to uncertain death in their home countries as the Israelis are doing to the black North African refugees now?

A good part of the world too well understands our current relationship to our national politicians. Those that have experienced or witnessed their horrors. The rest needs to awaken quickly.

A battle now rages worldwide. To merely witness it is to perish. The shrinking civilized world of correct and moral conscience is in a fight against those who believe that they can infect the mind of the whole planet with the same madness that drives them to climb over the backs of all others onwards to their own oblivion, as if this were a cherished goal.

This is the mind that believes in one fundamental: The rest of us? We are all Palestinians.

It is time to resist the temptation to do nothing. It is time to resist this madness that would numb us into willfully watching our own demise. It is time to march right up to walls of power across the globe and cast these world leaders out from their citadels. It is time to tell them, “Je Suis…Palestine!”

Just like Palestinians.