Category Archives: Ukraine

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.

Where is the Evidence?

“Last week, following the brazen attempt by Russia to assassinate one of its former spies and his daughter in Britain with a chemical weapon, 27 countries expelled more than 150 Russian diplomats.”

Thus William J. Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (sic), begins “Putin Has Overplayed His Hand,” an op-ed that the New York Times published, as part of its ferocious retro (one might say “Germanic”) propaganda drive to sharpen the mass appetite for war (of some kind) against Russia.

That drive has been especially vigorous (one might say “hysterical”) since Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his re-election, and without ever breaking off the pleasantries to rage at Putin’s brutal thrusts worldwide—most notably his “meddling” in our excellent elections: “American intelligence officials say they are certain that he meddled in the 2016 American election on behalf of Mr. Trump and is trying to meddle again in the 2018 election, as well as in many European elections.”

That well-worn charge recurs in a Times editorial from March 21—”Why Is Trump So Afraid of Russia?”—which, typically, treats that spooky allegation, not merely as established fact, but as a flagrant crime, like Pussy Riot’s infamous “performance” of group buggery at the Moscow Zoological Museum. Whereas Obama also had congratulated Putin post-election, in 2012, the Times forgives that phone call, because “circumstances [now] are very different,” what with Putin’s “brazen meddling” in our last election, as the Times’ Nicholas Fandos (or his editor) put in on January 29th.

This view of Putin’s recent villainy is rather mystifying (one might say “psychotic”), since “brazen” is a word that has no application whatsoever to the crimes at issue here. “Brazen” wrongs are perpetrated right out in the open, in your face, with no attempt to hide the evidence, or to deny them. Thus “brazen” is a fit descriptor for (say) Nero’s sex life, Hitler’s blitzkriegs, Israel’s settlements and Donald Trump’s business practices—and not at all for either one of those alleged crimes by Russia, since Russia has indignantly denied them both, and, if guilty of them, managed to hide every single scrap of evidence in either case, as no “brazen” culprit would.

And so whatever Putin did, assuming he did anything, is nowhere near as brazen as the New York Times’ misuse of “brazen”—a verbal tic as startling as the propaganda overall, this drive having all along been based on what would seem to be (can such things be?) sheer fantasy, as William J. Burns (inadvertently) reminds us in his Times op-ed. Calling for a still more punitive “diplomacy” to counter the “dark arts” that Putin has deployed against us (and his people), Burns recalls the moment when the world’s “open societies” first joined hands to thwart Putin’s “muscular revanchism”: “We have demonstrated our ability to work in concert on painful sanctions after Mr. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”

Now, this is where I’m asking for your help; for while it’s quite true that the West first started its collective diplomatic punishment of Russia over “Mr. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” I’m having trouble finding any evidence that any such “invasion” ever happened. Nor—speaking of Putin’s “muscular revanchism”—can I find any evidence that Russia “seized Crimea” over the objections of its people, or of his “repression” of them since (a term the New York Times et al. apply routinely to Crimea). Since both stories would, of course, be major news, I’m wondering why there seems to be no journalistic trace of that “invasion,” or any news about, and/or domestic protests of, the ongoing “repression” in Crimea.

So I’m now asking you, in all humility, to help me out. As I’m sure you’ll recall, I’ve looked, and looked, yet finally found no evidence that Putin “meddled” in the last US election (by fiddling with the voting and/or
vote-count and/or voter rolls, and/or by hacking the DNC emails, and/or John Podesta’s, and/or by releasing an effective flood of anti-Hillary pre-election propaganda, and/or whatever else). And lately I’ve been just as vigilant in search of any evidence that Putin was behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter (who, although at first reportedly near death, is now reported to be making a miraculous recovery). Of course,
this does not mean that no such evidence exists, but only that I’ve looked and haven’t found it.

As covert operations, both election theft and murder are “deniable” by those who’ve ordered them, and so, as in both cases here, we notice them (are persuaded that they happened) only after they (allegedly) take place. That surely cannot be the case with the invasion, or the seizure, of one country by another, larger country—huge, brutal moves that simply can’t be hidden, even in the dark, especially with US surveillance satellites
throughout the skies above.

And so there has to be some coverage of the former, and some protest of the latter, that I’ve somehow overlooked. I mean, I’m only human,and with limited resources; so the failure here is probably my own—and
I’d much rather think that I have simply missed all signs of those two “brazen” Russian wrongs than that our government just made the whole thing up, in covert partnership with “our free press.”

So please feel free to see what you can find, and then to share your findings with me.

• First published at Paul Craig Roberts.org

Four Days to Declare a Cold War

The week that has just ended was exceptionally rich in events. But no media were able to report it, because they had all deliberately masked certain of their number in order to protect the story that was being woven by their government.

The British government and certain of its allies, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have attempted to launch a Cold War against Russia. Their plan was to fabricate an attack against an ex-double agent in Salisbury and at the same time a chemical attack against the “moderate rebels” in the Ghouta. The conspirators’ intention was to profit from the efforts of Syria to liberate the suburbs of its capital city and the disorganisation of Russia on the occasion of its Presidential election. Had these manipulations worked, the United Kingdom would have pushed the USA to bomb Damascus, including the Presidential palace, and demand that the United Nations General Assembly exclude Russia from the Security Council.

However, the Syrian and Russian intelligence got wind of what was being plotted. They realised that the US agents in the Ghouta who were preparing an attack against the Ghouta were not working for the Pentagon, but for another US agency.

In Damascus, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Fayçal Miqdad, set up an emergency Press conference for 10 March, in order to alert his fellow citizens. From its own side, Moscow had first of all tried to contact Washington via the diplomatic channels. But aware that the US ambassador, Jon Huntsman Jr, is the director of Caterpillar, the company which had supplied tunneling materials to the jihadists so that they could build their fortifications, Moscow decided to bypass the usual diplomatic channels.

Here’s how things played out:

12 March 2018

The Syrian army seized two chemical weapons laboratories, the first on 12 March in Aftris, and the second on the following day in Chifonya. Meanwhile, Russian diplomats pushed the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to get involved in the criminal investigation in Salisbury.

In the House of Commons, British Prime Minister Theresa May violently accused Russia of having ordered the attack in Salisbury. According to her, the ex-double agent Sergueï Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by a military nerve gas of a type “developed by Russia” under the name of Novitchok. Since the Kremlin considers Russian citizens who have defected as legitimate targets, it is therefore highly likely that they ordered the crime.

Novitchok is known by what has been revealed by two Soviet personalities, Lev Fyodorov and Vil Mirzayanov. The scientist Fyodorov published an article in the Russian weekly Top Secret in July 1992, warning about the extremely dangerous nature of this product, and warning against the use of old Soviet weaponry by the Western powers to destroy the environment in Russia and make it unlivable. In October 1992, he published a second article (link in Russian) in the News of Moscow with Mirzayanov, denouncing the corruption of certain generals and the traffic of Novitchok in which they were involved. However, they did not know to whom they may have sold the product. Mirzayanov was first of all arrested for high treason, then released. Fyodorov died in Russia last August, but Mirzayanov is living in exile in the United States, where he collaborates with the Department of Defense.

Soviet chemist Vil Mirzayanov defected to the United States in 1995. Now 83 years old, he comments on the Skripal affair from Boston.

Novitchok was fabricated in a Soviet laboratory in Nukus, in what is now Uzbekistan. In 1999 USA and Uzbekistan agreed to destroy that plant. United States, by necessity, have therefore possessed and studied samples of this substance. They are both capable of producing it.

British Minister for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson summoned the Russian ambassador in London, Alexandre Iakovenko. He gave him an ultimatum of 36 hours to check if any Novitchok was missing from their stocks. The ambassador replied that none was missing, because Russia had destroyed all of the chemical weapons it had inherited from the Soviet Union, as witnessed by the OPCW, which had drawn up a certified report.

After a telephone discussion with Boris Johnson, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in turn condemned Russia for the attack in Salisbury.

Meanwhile, a debate was under way at the UN Security Council concerning the situation in the Ghouta. The permanent representative for the US, Nikki Haley, declared:

Almost a year ago, in the aftermath of the Syrian regime’s sarin gas attack at Khan Sheikhoun, the United States offered a warning to this Council. We said that when the international community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action. The Security Council failed to act. And the United States successfully struck the airbase from which Assad had launched his chemical attack. We repeat this warning today…

The Russian side handed out documents from the US staff. They showed that the Pentagon was ready to bomb the Presidential palace and the Syrian Ministries, on the model of what it had done during the taking of Baghdad (3 to 12 April 2003).

Commenting on the declaration by Nikki Haley, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, who had always called the attack in Khan Sheikhoun a “Western manipulation”, revealed that the false information which had led the White House into error and triggered the bombing of the Al-Chaayrate air base, had, in fact, come from a British laboratory which had never revealed how it came to possess its samples.

13 March 2018

The Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs published a press release condemning a possible US military intervention, and announcing that if Russian citizens were harmed in Damascus, Moscow would riposte proportionally, since the Russian President is constitutionally responsible for the security of his fellow citizens.

Bypassing the official diplomatic channels, Russian Chief of Staff General Valeri Gerasimov contacted his US counterpart General Joseph Dunford to inform him of his fear of a false flag chemical attack in Ghouta. Dunford took this information very seriously, and alerted US Defense Secretary General Jim Mattis, who referred the matter to President Donald Trump. In view of the Russian insistence that this piece of foul play was being prepared without the knowledge of the Pentagon, the White House asked the Director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, to identify those responsible for the conspiracy.

We do not know the result of this internal enquiry, but President Trump acquired the conviction that his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was implicated. The Secretary of State was immediately asked to interrupt his official journey in Africa and return to Washington.

Theresa May wrote to the General Secretary of the United Nations accusing Russia of having ordered the attack in Salisbury, and convened an emergency meeting of the Security Council. Without waiting, she expelled 23 Russian diplomats.

At the request of President of the House of Commons Interior Committee Yvette Cooper, British Secretary for the Interior Amber Rudd announced that MI5 (Military Interior Secret Services ) is going to re-open 14 enquiries into deaths which, according to US sources, “were ordered by the Kremlin”.

By doing do, the British government adopted the theories of Professor Amy Knight. On 22 January 2018, this US Sovietologist published a very strange book – Orders to Kill – the Putin régime and political murder. The author, who is “the specialist on the ex-KGB”, attempts to demonstrate that Vladimir Putin is a serial killer responsible for dozens of political assassinations, from the terrorist attacks in Moscow in 1999 to the attack on the Boston Marathon in 2013, by way of the execution of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 or that of Boris Nemtsov in Moscow in 2015. However, she admits herself that there is absolutely no proof of her accusations.

The European Liberals then joined the fray. Ex-Prime Minister of Belgium Guy Verhofstadt, who presides their group in the European Parliament, called on the European Union to adopt sanctions against Russia. His counterpart at the head of their British party, Sir Vince Cable, proposed a European boycott of the World Football Cup. And already, Buckingham Palace announced that the royal family has canceled their trip to Russia.

The UK communications regulator, Ofcom, announced that it might ban the channel RT as a retaliatory measure, even though RT has on no occasion violated British law.

The Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs summoned the British ambassador in Moscow to inform him that reciprocal measures would soon be indicated in retaliation for the expulsion of Russian diplomats from London.

Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Twitter that he had fired his Secretary of State, with whom he had not yet been in contact. He was replaced by Mike Pompeo, ex-Director of the CIA, who, the night before, had confirmed the authenticity of the Russian information transmitted by General Dunford. On his arrival in Washington, Tillerson obtained confirmation of his dismissal from White House General Secretary General John Kelly.

Ex-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is a product of the Texan middle class. He and his family worked for the US Scouts, of whom he became the National President (2010-12). Culturally close to England, he did not hesitate, when he became President of the mega-multinational Exxon-Mobil (2006-16), not only to wage a politically correct campaign favouring the acceptance of young gays into the Scouts, but also to recruit mercenaries in British Guiana. He is said to be a member of the Pilgrims Society, the most prestigious of Anglo-US clubs, presided by Queen Elizabeth II, a number of whose members were part of the Obama administration.

During his functions as Secretary of State, the quality of his education provided a bond for Donald Trump, considered by US high society to be a buffoon. He was in disagreement with his President on three major subjects which allow us to define the ideology of the conspirators:

(a) Like London and the US deep state, he thought it would be useful to diabolise Russia in order to consolidate the power of the Anglo-Saxons in the Western camp;

(b) Like London, he thought that in order to maintain Western colonialism in the Middle East, it was necessary to favour Iranian President Cheikh Rohani against the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei. He therefore supported the 5+1 agreement.

(c) Like the US deep state, he considered that the swing of North Korea towards the United States should remain secret, and be used to justify a military deployment which would be directed in reality against the People’s Repubic of China. He was therefore in favour of official talks with Pyongyang, but opposed to a meeting between the two heads of state.

14 March 2018

While Washington was still in shock, Theresa May spoke once again before the House of Commons to develop her accusation, while all around the world, British diplomats spoke to numerous inter-governmental organisations in order to broadcast the message. Responding to the Prime Minister, Blairist deputy Chris Leslie qualified Russia as a rogue state and demanded its suspension from the UN Security Council. Theresa May agreed to examine the question, but stressed that the outcome could only be decided by the General Assembly in order to avoid the Russian veto.

Theresa May speaking at the House of Commons on March 14, 2018

The North Atlantic Council (NATO) met in Brussels at the request of the United Kingdom. The 29 member states drew a link between the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the attack in Salisbury. They then decided that Russia was “probably” responsible for these two events.

In New York, the permanent representative of Russia, Vasily Nebenzya, proposed to the members of the Security Council that they adopt a declaration attesting to their common will to shed light on the attack in Salisbury and handing over the enquiry to the OPCW in the respect of international procedures. But the United Kingdom refused any text which did not contain the expression that Russia was “probably responsible” for the attack.

During the public debate which followed, UK chargé d’affaire Jonathan Allen represented his country. He is an agent of MI6 who created the British War Propaganda Service and gives active support to the jihadists in Syria. He declared:

Russia has already interfered in the affairs of other countries, Russia has already violated international law in Ukraine, Russia has comtempt for civilian life, as witnessed by the attack on a commercial aircraft over Ukraine by Russian mercenaries, Russia protects the use of chemical weapons by Assad (…) The Russian state is responsible for this attempted murder.

The permanent representative for France, François Delattre, who, by virtue of a derogation by President Sarkozy, was trained at the US State Department, noted that his country had launched an initiative to end the impunity of those who use chemical weapons. He implied that the initiative, originally directed at Syria, could also be turned against Russia.

Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzya pointed out that the session had been convened at London’s request, but that it is public at Moscow’s request. He observed that the United Kingdom is violating international law by treating this subject at the Security Council while keeping the OPCW out of its enquiry. He noted that if London had been able to identify the ” Novotchik”, it’s because it has the formula and can therefore make its own. He noted Russia’s desire to collaborate with the OPCW in the respect for international procedures.

15 March 2018

The United Kingdom published a common declaration which had been cosigned the night before by France and Germany, as well as Rex Tillerson, who at that moment was still US Secretary of State. The text reiterated British suspicions. It denounced the use of “a neurotoxic agent of military quality, and of a type developed by Russia”, and affirmed that it was “highly probable that Russia is responsible for the attack”.

The Washington Post published an op-ed piece by Boris Johnson, while the US Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, established new sanctions against Russia. These are not connected to the current affair, but to allegations of interference in US public life. The decree nonetheless mentions the attack in Salisbury as proof of the underhand methods of Russia.

British Secretary for Defence, the young Gavin Williamson, declared that after the expulsion of its diplomats, Russia should “shut up and go away” (sic). This is the first time since the end of the Second World War that a representative of a permanent member state of the Security Council has employed such a vocabulary in the face of another member of the Council. Sergueï Lavrov commented: “He’s a charming young man. He must want to ensure his place in History, by making shock declarations […] Perhaps he lacks education”.

Conclusion

In the space of four days, the United Kingdom and its allies have laid the premises of a new division of the world, a Cold War.

However, Syria is not Iraq and the UN is not the G8 (from which Russia has been excluded because of its adhesion to Crimea and its support of Syria). The United States are not going to destroy Damascus, and Russia will not be excluded from the Security Council. After having resigned from the European Union, then having refused to sign the Chinese declaration about the Silk Road, the United Kingdom thought to improve its stature by eliminating a competitor. By this piece of dirty work, it imagined that it would acquire a new dimension and become the “Global Britain” announced by Madame May. But it is destroying its own credibility.

• First published in Voltaire Network

On the way to re-launching GUAM against Russia

On 2 March 2018, the parliaments of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine held a joint conference at Chisinau. The Presidents of the three Parliaments of the three Republics of the former Soviet Union, issued a joint declaration denouncing the occupation by the Russian army of regions belonging to their three countries (South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Transnistria, Crimea and Donbass) [1]. These Parliamentarians, who spoke out surrounded by US officials, announced that the Organization for Democracy (...)

All Fire and Fury in Ukraine

A Shabby Deck of Political Cards

For those folks who haven’t seen Ukraine on Fire (UOF), the Oliver Stone-produced documentary on the on-going Ukrainian crisis, it is not overstating the case to say it’s an essential historical document and one of the most important, insightful political documentaries of recent times. It may also be one of the most portentous.

Quite apart from the illuminating history lesson the film delivers as a backdrop to the current situation in one of Europe’s most pivotal of battlegrounds, there are many takeaways from the film. To begin, it stands as a vital corrective of the disinformation, misinformation, evangelistic doublespeak, ersatz analysis, unadulterated agitprop, and plain old garden-variety groupthink that attended the public discourse on the events and developments in the country, and which ultimately framed most people’s views of the situation. Needless to say, the messages and impressions conveyed by this ongoing, relentless ‘psy-op’ cum fake news onslaught still ‘rules the roost’ in most people’s minds.

Further, the film’s narrative is highly revealing in the manner in which the Western mainstream media (MSM) reported on the events surrounding the turmoil and conflict. In the process it showcases how much the perfidious thought contagion spread by the ever-nefarious neoconservatives and their fellow travelers the liberal interventionists infects U.S. foreign policy, along with the foreign policies of America’s assorted vassal states. It underscores moreover Russia’s seemingly inexhaustible forbearance with the U.S., which, sans any rational, coherent geopolitical basis for doing so, has been tested beyond reasonable endurance or expectation. This point is rendered especially palpable during the interviews Stone conducts with Russian president Vladimir Putin for UOF. (This is not to mention the actual The Putin Interviews).

At the same time UOF reveals again for those looking at America’s recidivistic predisposition for interfering in the affairs of other countries; this is an observation that’s always been evident save for the most preternaturally ignorant, ideologically myopic, or imperially inclined. Given the present zeitgeist as reflected by the headline-hogging “soap-saga” of “Russia-gate” – buttressed by former CIA chief James Woolsey’s whimsically smug concession recently that America interferes in other countries’ affairs “only for a very good cause [and] in the interests of democracy” – this is a reality that cannot be overstated. This is especially so when there are all too few examples where anyone might point to America’s interference actually serving the democratic interests (by any way that might be objectively measured) of any given country one might care to name.

The narrative encompassed by UOF is by extension a serious indictment on President Barack Obama’s handling of the Ukraine situation and his role in the creation of this singularly unholy mess — a prime exemplar of just how chaotic, dysfunctional, indeed war-like, were in large part the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner’s foreign policies. Ukraine on Fire attests unequivocally just how far removed the reality of Obama’s tenure was from his campaign rhetoric.

More broadly, the disaster in Ukraine – as we’ll see is still a work in progress even now under his successor, someone who pledged to curtail this direction in U.S. policy making, a promise which in no small measure propelled him into the Oval Office — is one of many that will forever inform people’s views of Number 44’s shop-soiled legacy. As Eric Zuesse noted a year after the coup, Obama employed a tactic of:

…attacking Russia by using fundamentalist and other conservative extremists in a given Russia-allied nation, so as to turn that…nation away from Russia, and toward America, and then of trying to crush these same right-wing extremists who’ve been so effective in defeating (or at least weakening) the pro-Russian leader in that Russia-allied country. This tactic leaves civil war and enormous bloodshed in the given formerly (or still) Russia-allied nation.

Three years after Zuesse made this comment, and over one year after the Great Black Hope left office, that situation to all intents prevails, with few harboring any optimism things are going to get better anytime soon. In fact, ominously, quite the opposite scenario is unfolding. Earlier this year, Gilbert Doctorow reported that a new draft law adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament and awaiting president Petro Poroshenko’s signature, threatens to escalate the Ukrainian conflict into a full-blown war, pitting nuclear-armed Russia against the United States and NATO. “Due to dire economic conditions,” Doctorow says, “Poroshenko and other government officials in Kiev have become deeply unpopular, and with diminished chances for electoral success may see war as politically advantageous.”

As history indelibly reminds us, this is an all too frequently recurring scenario in the conduct of international affairs. In a statement that undercuts much of the furor over the Russia-gate imbroglio, Doctorow observes that in contrast to the image of Trump administration policies being dictated by Moscow as portrayed by proponents of Russia-gate conspiracy theories, “the United States is moving towards deeper confrontation with the Kremlin in the geopolitical hot spot of Ukraine. For its part, the Kremlin has very little to gain and a great deal to lose economically and diplomatically from a campaign now against Kiev. If successful, as likely would be the case, given the vast disparity in military potential of the two sides, it could easily become a Pyrrhic victory.”

Just as ominous is the following. As noted in an Oriental Review op-ed earlier this year, a new neo-Nazi revival is clearly in the offing. This is in a country where fascist/Nazi/extreme right sentiment, especially in the western regions, has a long, storied, and ugly history, one that rarely bubbles far from the surface.

Again, this “ugly history” was laid bare in Ukraine on Fire. After concluding that the current situation in Ukraine is ‘painfully reminiscent’ of Germany in the 1920s, the OR op-ed attributes:

… poor governance on the heels of a lost war, which – added to the sense of betrayed hopes and the sharp decline in average incomes coupled with rising prices – is all driving a critical mass of the Ukrainian population toward an overwhelming feeling of desperation. [My emphasis]

In an observation attended by a profound sense of déjà vu for even casual students of history, the op-ed goes on to say that “[A] demand from the public for a ‘strong hand’ – a new, authoritarian ruler – is rapidly coalescing, due to their dissatisfaction with President Poroshenko and all the other jokers they’ve been dealt from that shabby deck of political cards.” According to the op-ed, a man like that already exists in this ‘destitute and disintegrating’ country. Known as the “White Führer” to his comrades-in-arms, this man is Andriy Biletsky, the commander of the Azov Battalion who is making an ever-bigger name for himself in the Ukrainian parliament and across the broader political arena.

Open Season on Russia

Of course, all this only serves to highlight the pressures being brought to bear within the country itself; it is also those from without (not entirely unrelated to be sure) that are – or should be — of equal concern. Herein Doctorow again provides an alarming reveal. Although there are indications Washington is ‘fed up’ with the Kiev regime (and as Ukraine on Fire demonstrates conclusively, one it was responsible for installing in the first instance in 2014), he says:

…the United States has doubled down in its support for a military solution to the conflict. With military trainers now on the ground (does this development itself not have an ominously familiar ring to it?), and the U.S. budgeting $350m for security assistance to Ukraine, Washington has also recently started delivering lethal weapons, including the Javelin anti-tank missile system, free of charge to Kiev. [My emphasis].

In a Strategic Culture report, Robert Bridge recently offered an additional reality check on those external pressures. Instead of opting for a more balanced and cooperative foreign policy in its conduct of affairs in Eastern Europe, and specifically in its bilateral relationship with Russia, in his view, it was via the furphy of “Russia[n] aggression” – an allegation he says was “peddled to the unsuspecting masses based on fake news of a Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine and Crimea” – [that] the U.S. and NATO “dropped all pretensions [to cooperation] and declared open season on Russia.” [My emphasis]

This was, he notes, further compounded by assertions Russia manipulated the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election and along with Donald Trump’s “empty threat” to pull the pin on NATO if member states did not pony up on additional defense spending, “Eastern Europe has [now] become a veritable hothouse of paranoia-driven militarization.”

We’ll return to this point later, but some backstory is essential here. Whether one has already seen Ukraine on Fire or not, it now comes complete with a hitherto unexpected layer of revelation and significance, given that the late Consortium News founder and editor Robert Parry is interviewed at length therein. Parry’s appearance in the film, poignantly as it turns out, underscores the man’s trailblazing achievements and his unimpeachable stature within the alternative, independent media cosmos.

For those folks constantly on the lookout for exemplars of journalism’s fundamental values, his input into the film’s narrative is a reminder to us all just how much his political insight and measured analysis will be missed. It goes without saying that those values have themselves been missing in action for some time in our mainstream media, as Parry himself – to his eternal chagrin – was all too aware. This is a state of affairs to which he spent the last two decades of his life exposing via the Consortium News masthead. So much so it seems, there was even some hint (by the man himself as it turns out) that the stress and pressure of being a media outlier had taken its toll and may have been the catalyst for the strokes he had in the weeks before his untimely death.

Yet Parry’s voluminous, in-depth commentary on Ukraine – including his many pieces on the controversy surrounding the still unresolved mystery of the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH-17 in eastern Ukraine in June 2014 (with 38 of my fellow Aussies on board) – was arguably second to none. His fierce, fearless criticism of those engaging in the aforementioned ‘groupthink’ – not just those in and around the Beltway but in the West in general (with as we’ll see my own country being a noteworthy example) — was insightful, along with his own reporting on events and developments as they unfolded over the months and years that followed 2014’s color revolution which culminated in the coup d’état.

Many of Parry’s observations in the film are reflective of, and derived from, that commentary, as those who followed his reporting closely on the Ukraine situation over the years will appreciate. He was acutely aware that one could not have a discussion of the key geopolitical events and developments of our time without some serious examination of the manner in which the corporate media manages (read: “massages”) the narratives that frame the Big Issues therein. As noted, in this Parry was unremitting in his disdain for those of his fellow “investigative journalists” who had sold their souls for the filthy lucre, the celebrity status, and/or the comfortable, secure tenure at one of the “premium” corporate media marques. To him, at best, they were perception managers; at worst glorified stenographers. (For others perhaps less tactful or more scornful than Parry, they were/are simply “presstitutes”!)

Yet for all that disdain, Parry possibly reserved even greater contempt for the “marques” that employed the “presstitutes”, with the New York Times and the Washington Post being singled out for frequently justified, laser-like reproach. To be sure, that was just with the print media. In this the reporting on the Ukraine crisis provides an exemplar – albeit by no means the only one – of just how self-serving, venal, hypocritical, supercilious, irresponsible, and manifestly dishonest the corporate media were. And, of course, they still are, each day sliding further and further into irrelevance as they blithely betray both the hallowed U.S. Constitution and the citizens of the country whose individual and collective interests they are increasingly at pains to validly claim to represent, and whose democratic institutions – along with the rights that are purportedly underwritten by said “institutions” – [they] are supposed to protect.

‘Shirt-fronting’ the Mainstream Fakery

Such a damning indictment of Western media was brought home in spades in the aftermath of the MH-17 disaster. It was a 60 Minutes Australia report on the tragedy that really got his gander up, and in this writer’s view, rightly so. At the time I was preparing my own take on MH-17, when the 60 Minutes segment aired.

I immediately alerted Bob to the report, knowing full well that given his earlier commentary on the tragedy and his views on MSM reporting in general, he’d be less than impressed with the conclusions they arrived at from their “investigation.” Much of this commentary by 60 Minutes was based on the dubious findings of Bellingcat (aka Eliot Higgins), a self-styled open source ‘citizen journalist’ who claimed to have the ‘skinny’ on who was responsible for the disaster.

Now space prohibits herein a full account of the circumstances surrounding the shoot-down, nor does it lend itself to a ‘blow by blow’ of the ‘argy-bargy’ between the 60 Minutes crew and their much touted source Higgins, and Parry himself. Suffice to say there seemed to be few limits to the indignation the former all managed to muster when the intrepid Consortium Newsman had the temerity to meticulously and relentlessly challenge their account of the tragedy.

(Those unfamiliar with this dust-up – one that perfectly case studies the vast gulf that exists between MSM reportage on MH-17 and that of a respected alternative news outlet – can see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for some of the commentary the ‘stoush’ elicited and examples of the ‘he said, she said’ exchanges between the respective antagonists.)

It needs be noted that there was much political capital to be gained by those in Washington and most of America’s allies in the West by blaming Russia for the MH-17 tragedy. The U.S. and said allies had already blamed the crisis in Ukraine that derived from the February 2014 coup on Russian “aggression” and Putin’s purported ambitions to resurrect the Soviet Union. So in one sense it was to be expected they’d seek to capitalize on this disaster by blaming the Russians.

Western leaders to this end began tripping over themselves in singling out ‘Vlad the Derailer’ as the bad guy du jour, all the while doing so unencumbered by anything approximating solid evidence to support this stance. As we might expect with the Russia-gate saga, to this day, no definitive proof of the hard-core forensic kind has been presented to identify exactly how the plane was shot down (was the missile launched from the air or from the ground?), much less who actually perpetrated the act (was it the anti-Russian Ukrainian military, the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, or the Russians themselves?) Again, to this day, the questions as to whether the plane was deliberately targeted (was it a false-flag attack?, or did it just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time), also remain unanswered.

As noted, the downing of MH-17 cost the lives of 38 Aussies, and the fallout from the tragedy – to say nothing of the way the disaster was politicized in order to serve the broader geopolitical objectives of the Beltway Bedlamites and their apparatchiks at home along with their counterparts in other Western nations – was especially pronounced Down Under. Our then Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who took to sculling the Washington Kool-Aid by asserting it was Putin himself who was “personally responsible” for the disaster, was especially bolshie in his reaction. Ahead of Putin’s visit to this country in November 2014 for the G20 meeting in Brisbane that year, Abbott threatened to “shirt-front” the Russian president over the issue when they officially met up. Whilst this made for great headlines here and abroad, it did nothing to arrest his slide in the opinion polls, which one can reasonably surmise was at the time in the back of his mind. All in all, coming from a national leader on the world stage, this unprecedented, petulant outburst was something to behold.

But such was the fervor of the times regarding MH-17, and more broadly, the anti-Russian sentiment that prevailed earlier in the year over Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine in the aftermath of America’s bespoke coup d’état. Clearly Abbott’s desire to leverage the public outrage here in Australia that accompanied the tragedy and to ingratiate himself with the Bedlamites far outweighed any obligation that might’ve routinely accompanied a more measured diplomatic response. (It was after all to no avail; Abbott’s hold on the Aussie ‘premiership’ was itself ‘shirt-fronted’ about a year after making this comment, being successfully challenged for the leadership by the present PM Malcolm Turnbull.)

It should further be noted that many folks – mostly after the fact – justified the removal of the then Ukrainian government because it was irredeemably corrupt. This, of course, is a specious and convenient argument – a ‘justification’ that makes frequent cameos in the annals of regime change – partly so in this case because there’s little evidence the replacement regime has been any less corrupt.

But this raises an altogether different, arguably more important, consideration: If Uncle Sam had removed every last one of the countless client tyrants he’s had on his imperial dance card over the decades on the sole basis of their ethical, moral and/or legal standards of governance, adherence to democratic principles, and/or general political probity, it’s fair to surmise the geopolitical terrain might look as different today as the lunar landscape does to an as yet still pristine portion of the Amazonian rainforest. And the U.S. might still retain – and be able to credibly lay claim to – some of the moral capital it had accrued by war’s end in 1945, which few would argue it has now all but frittered away.

Of course, if we really want to push the envelope herein invoking moral relativism, we only need consider that – notwithstanding what it says on the box – America itself is hardly a bastion of “ethical, moral and/or legal standards of governance, [adherence to] democratic principles, and/or general political propriety.” Its ‘unblemished’ track record of thuggery and skullduggery implementing regime change on every continent except the Great White Patch on the “backside” of the Big Blue Ball is ample evidence of that. This is without even referencing its performance closer to home drawing on such benchmarks! It’s a “practice what you preach” thing!

Further, there was and remains no smoking gun evidence linking Russia or the Eastern Ukrainian, pro-Russian separatists to the MH-17 shoot-down, and therefore no sound rationale for Washington accusing either of complicity in this crime without ponying up with said evidence. If anything, the longer the dog-not-barking question of why the U.S. refused to release all of the forensic evidence and ‘intel’ related to the shoot-down remains unanswered, the more we should rightfully suspect any findings by the MH-17 investigation team (if they ever see the light of day) – one it has to be emphasized, suspiciously included representatives from the at least equally suspect Kiev regime.

Moreover, for the U.S. to have imposed a further regimen of economic sanctions as a consequence without at least awaiting the outcome of the official investigation spoke further volumes about Washington’s deeper game-plan vis-à-vis Ukraine and ultimately, Russia itself. And it would appear we are now seeing that “game-plan” come to a fruition of sorts. Again, to underscore all of this, in one of Parry’s last substantive analyses of the Ukraine situation back in June last year, he summed a decidedly more coherent reality for us all.

‘As the New York Times instructed us’ he observed in 2015, ‘there was no coup in Ukraine….no U.S. interference…and there weren’t even that many neo-Nazis. And the ensuing conflict wasn’t a resistance [movement] among Yanukovych’s supporters to his illegal ouster; no, it was “Russian aggression” or a “Russian invasion.”’ Parry didn’t spare the horses:

If you deviate from this groupthink – if you point out how U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland talked about the U.S. spending $5 billion on Ukraine; mention her pre-coup intercepted phone call with [Ukrainian] U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt discussing who the new leaders would be and how “to glue” or [how to] “midwife this thing”; note how Nuland and Senator John McCain urged on the violent anti-Yanukovych protesters; recognize that snipers firing from far-right-controlled buildings killed both police and protesters to provoke the climactic ouster of Yanukovych; [and if] you think all that indeed looks like a coup – you obviously are the victim of “Russian propaganda and disinformation.”

But as Parry glumly observed, thanks to the mainstream U.S. media, most Americans didn’t get to hear about any of that as, “[I]t has essentially banned those deviant facts from the public discourse. If they are mentioned at all, they’re lumped together with ‘fake news’ amid the reassuring hope that soon there’ll be algorithms to purge such troublesome information from the Internet.”

And for anyone whose “blowback antennae” are attuned to such matters, we cannot escape one abiding reality regarding the MH-17 disaster: If the putsch-meisters of the Potomac had minded their own business from the off and left well enough alone in Ukraine, irrespective of the cause of the shoot-down and who was responsible, we do know around three hundred innocent people would still be going about their business, and we wouldn’t be having this ‘conversation’. Four years later this is a reality I’ve yet to hear voiced by anyone in the MSM or in the upper echelons of Western governments. [My emphasis].

From Nobel Peace Prize to Imperial Warmonger

Last but not least, consider the following. For this writer, it remains incomprehensible that a U.S. State Department official – in this case the aforementioned Ms Nuland (aka The Maidan Cookie Monster) – would seemingly act in such a brazenly undiplomatic manner in bringing about this coup, a reality that as we’ve seen independent media folks like Robert Parry were at pains to bring to wider attention. It is in this instance particularly that the “he who lies first, lies best” maxim really comes to the fore.

Yet there can be no doubt that Nuland initiated this action with Obama’s full knowledge, with it being as much, if not moreso, Obama’s mess as it is Nuland’s and her neo-con cronies. Well might we say, “cue Harry Truman’s “the buck stops here!”

Of equal or greater concern herein is this. I’m sure I’m not the only one who noted with considerable bewilderment and dismay, the Kiev regime’s deployment – again with the full knowledge, approval indeed encouragement of the regime renovators in Washington – of extreme neo-Nazi forces in facilitating its rise to power from the off, and enforcing since the coup its brutal, illegitimate rule. As noted earlier, they are again getting their second wind.

Given the neoconservatives well-documented vise-grip on U.S. foreign policy in general, and their role in engineering said coup in particular – especially that of the Nuland/Kagan/ex-PNAC factions and their fellow travelers in the U.S. Congress such as McCain, who number amongst them some of the most prominent, so-called “American friends of Israel” – I’m at something of a loss as to how best to explain the glaring disconnect herein.

Of course, America’s foreign policy “initiatives” over the decades have always embraced an “end justifies the means” precept; only the most naïve or ill informed would deny this. But for most objective observers – even those of us all too familiar with the CIA’s notorious Operation Paperclip, (or its equally infamous ‘cousin’ Operation Gladio), wherein the U.S. actively recruited under-the-radar not-so-rehabbed former Nazis and extreme right wing elements to fight on any number of fronts the Cold War against the Soviets – this is breaking new ground in its embrace of the precept. Prima facie, this has to represent another glaring WTF ‘mo’ in the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. Geopolitics makes strange bedfellows one might reasonably conclude! And transforms Nobel Peace Prize winners into imperial warmongers!

Or is it possible I’m once again missing something obvious here? How are all these “American friends of Israel”, either inside or outside of the Capitol ‘tent’, able to reconcile their on-going support of a regime utilizing such forces – whose pernicious ideology being synonymous with rabid anti-Semitism would one imagines, be totally abhorrent to Jewish folks and right-thinking non-Jews alike – under any circumstances? As it turns out, the so-called “friends” have been bending butt over backwards since the coup denying, playing down, or completely ignoring this “disconnect”. It is only begrudgingly and belatedly they – along with their hacks, flacks and lackeys in the MSM – were able to bring themselves to concede there has been and remains any such neo-Nazi involvement in Ukraine, much less acknowledge any such “disconnect”.

Another key question here is this. How does the all powerful AIPAC and various Jewish/Israel lobby groups and affiliated bodies feel about their “American friends” precipitating and engaging in regime change missions that involve the use and on-going embrace of neo-Nazi forces? Is this just some fuzzy ‘post-modern’ perversion of realpolitik at work here, and I’m simply too naive or stupid to understand what the hell is going on and what the end-game might be? And now that the neo-Nazi ‘natives’ are becoming increasingly restless as noted — their frustration with their nominal patrons within the present regime’s hierarchy reaching boiling points — it’ll doubtless make for interesting times ahead.

All this, of course, without considering the added reality of these extreme right-wing factions possibly combining forces and cozying up in a Nazi/fascist/white supremacist group hug cum love-fest with radical jihadist/Islamic militant groups in what could likely shape up to be an exceedingly bloody counter-coup, along with the equally likely prospects of the Ukrainian economy imploding in the interim, or at least in the wake of the turmoil induced by any such coup!

On these matters alone, I’m prepped nonetheless to be enlightened as to how/when anything good is likely to come out of America’s color revolution and regime renovation experiment in this part of the geopolitical landscape. And when it comes to the situation in Ukraine, one that has emanated directly from America’s interference in its political affairs in 2014 (after, it has to be said, an unsuccessful one there ten years earlier, well might we ask of the aforementioned, former CIA chief spook Woolsey: How’s that ‘[we] only [do it] for a very good cause [and] in the interests of democracy’ thing workin’ out for ya Jimbo?’

Yet whilst these are just some of the reality checks needed in order to assemble a measure of veracity and insight regarding all things Ukraine, such “checks” one imagines are, and will remain for sometime, asynchronous with the narratives disseminated via Washington’s anti-Putin, anti-Russian ‘brochure.’

And one final point if I may. If Putin and his Kremlin gremlins did indeed do some kind of a dodgy deal with Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election in order to get him across the line ahead of Hillary Clinton – the only story that seems to capture the attention of the MSM mavens these days – it would be fair to say that the otherwise estimable Russian president and his beloved Motherland are getting well and truly shafted. Maybe Putin isn’t as clever as we give him credit for? To be so artfully duped by a dope like The Trumpster? Oh, the ignominy of it all!

Yet, all that aside, wouldn’t many of us just love to hear what the estimable and dutifully righteous Mr Parry might’ve had to say about more recent and possible developments in the country that interestingly – according to German historian Kees Boterbloem — was affectionately known back in the day as “Little Russia”?

But, of course, that’s not going to happen. I can only hope this missive in some small – if not (ahem) short – measure, passes for the next best thing!

The Coming Wars to End All Wars

The compulsive hatred of Putin by many who have almost zero idea about Putin or Russian history is disproportionate to any rational analysis, but not surprising. Trump and Putin are like weird doppelgangers in the liberal imagination.

— John Steppling, “Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk into a Bar”, Dissident Voice, February 21, 2018.

The Trump and Netanyahu governments have a problem: How to start a greatly expanded Middle-Eastern war without having a justifiable reason for one.  No doubt they are working hard to solve this urgent problem.  If they can’t find a “justification” (which they can’t), they will have to create one (which they will).  Or perhaps they will find what they have already created.  Whatever the solution, we should feel confident that they are not sitting on their hands. History teaches those who care to learn that when aggressors place a gun on the wall in the first act of their play, it must go off in the final act.

These sinister players have signaled us quite clearly what they have in store.  All signs point toward an upcoming large-scale Israeli/U.S. attack on Lebanon and Syria, and all the sycophantic mainstream media are in the kitchen prepping for the feast.  Russia and Iran are the main course, with Lebanon and Syria, who will be devoured first, as the hors d’oeuvres.  As always, the media play along as if they don’t yet know what’s coming.  Everyone in the know knows what is, just not exactly when.  And the media wait with baited breath as they count down to the dramatic moment when they can report the incident that will compel the “innocent” to attack the “guilty.”

Anyone with half a brain can see the greatly increased anti-Russian propaganda of the past few weeks.  This has happened as the Russia-gate claims have fallen to pieces, as former CIA analyst Raymond McGovern, the late Robert Parry, Paul Craig Roberts, and others have documented so assiduously.  All across the media spectrum, from the big name corporate stenographers like The New York Times, CNN, National Public Radio, The Washington Post to The Atlantic and Nation magazines and other “leftist” publications such as Mother Jones and Who What Why, the Russia and Putin bashing has become hysterical in tone, joined as it is with an anti-Trump obsession, as if Trump were a dear friend of Putin and Russia and wasn’t closely allied with the Netanyahu government in its plans for the Middle-East.  As if Trump were in charge.

“Russia Sees Midterm Elections as a Chance to Sow Fresh Discord (NY Times, 2/13), “Russia Strongman” (Putin) has “pulled off one of the greatest acts of political sabotage in modern history (The Atlantic, January /February 2018), “”Mueller’s Latest Indictment Shows Trump Has Helped Putin Cover Up a Crime” (Mother Jones, 2/16/18), “A Russian Sightseeing Tour For Realists” (whowhatwhy.com, 2/7/18), etc.

I am reminded of the turn to the right that so many “muckrakers” made during and after WW I.  Afraid of a revolt from below, bewitched by their own vision to articulate the world’s future, heady over their own war propaganda, and wanting to be on the safe side of the government crackdown on dissent (The Espionage Act, the Palmer Raids, etc.), many progressives of the era embraced a jingoism similar to the anti-Russia mania of today.

Only someone totally lacking a sense of humor and blind to propaganda would not laugh uproariously at today’s media nonsense about Russia, but such laughter would be infused with a foreboding awareness that as the Middle East explodes and U.S./NATO backed Kiev forces prepare to attack the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, the world is entering a very dangerous period.  And, of course, Trump has said, “The U.S. has great strength and patience but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”  Totally destroy 26 million human beings. While his bully buddy in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, recently said at the Munich Security Conference that Iran is “the greatest threat to the world,” compared it to Nazi Germany, and claimed it was developing ballistic missiles to strike deep into the United States.  “Iran seeks to dominate our region, the Middle East, and seeks to dominate the world through aggression and terror,” he said.  And he vowed to act against Iran and anyone who supported it – i.e. Lebanon and Syria (Russia).

Putin also, like all the mythic bogeymen, is portrayed as the new Hitler intent on conquering the world.  If the American public wasn’t so “sophisticated” and adept at seeing through lies – pause and laugh – we could expect some World War I posters with Russian soldiers (like The Huns), sharp teeth glistening, gorilla strong and beastly, holding American women in preparation for the kill or rape.  Last year, when Oliver Stone did the world the great service of releasing his four-part interview with Putin, he was bashed, of course.  Just as he was with his film JFK, the only movie in history to be reviewed and panned one year before its release by a Washington Post reviewer who didn’t see the movie but had a purloined preliminary script as his source.  The Washington Post: the object of the latest film drivel, The Post, portraying it falsely as the savior of the nation through the publication of the Pentagon Papers (which is another story).  The Washington Post – the CIA’s dear friend.

In his Putin interviews, Oliver Stone, a man of truth and honor, lets viewers catch a glimpse of the real Vladimir Putin.  Of course, Putin is a politician and the leader of a great and powerful nation, and one should receive his words skeptically. But watching Stone interview Putin for four hours, one comes away – but I doubt few have watched the four hours – with a reasonably good sense of the man.  And putting aside one’s impressions of him, he makes factual points that should ring loud and clear to anyone conversant with facts.  One: that the U.S. needs an external enemy (“I know that, I feel that.”). Two: the U.S.A. engineered the coup d’état in the Ukraine on Russia’s border.  Three: the U.S. has surrounded Russia with US/NATO troops and bases armed with anti-ballistic missiles that can, as Putin rightly says to Stone, be converted in hours to regular offensive nuclear missiles aimed at Russia.  This is a factual and true statement that should make any fair-minded person stand up in horror.  If Russia had such missiles encircling the United States from Cuba, Mexico, and Canada, what American would find it tolerable?  What would CNN and The New York Times have to say?  Yet these same people readily find it impossible to see the legitimacy in Russia’s position, resorting to name calling and illogical rhetoric.

Russia is surrounded with U.S/NATO troops and missiles and yet Russia is the aggressor.  So too Iran that is also surrounded.  These media are propagandists, that’s why.  They promote war, as they always have.  They are pushing for war with Russia via Syria/Lebanon/Iran and Ukraine, and they are nihilistically demonizing North Korea (as part of Obama’s pivot toward Asia and the encircling of China, as John Pilger has brilliantly documented in his film The Coming War on China) in what can only be called a conspiracy to commit genocide, as Dr. Graeme MacQueen and Christopher Black make clear in their Open Letter to the International Criminal Court.

We are moving toward a global war that will become nuclear if an international anti-war movement doesn’t quickly arise to stop it.  Most people bemoan the thought of such a war to end all wars, but refuse to analyze the factors leading to it. It happens step-by-step, and many steps have already been taken with more coming soon. It’s so obvious that most can’t see it, or don’t want to.  The corporate main stream media are enemies of the truth; are clearly part of the continuation of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, and those who still rely on them for the truth are beyond reach.

Douglas Valentine, in The CIA as Organized Crime, says the CIA has long aimed to use and co-opt the “Compatible Left, which in America translates into liberals and pseudo-intellectual status seekers who are easily influenced.”  And he adds that the propaganda is not just produced by the CIA but by the military, State Department, and red, white, and blue advertisements that are everywhere.  Nothing has changed since the Church Committee hearings in the 1970s.

Valentine adds:

All of that is ongoing, despite being exposed in the late 1960s.  Various technological advances, including the internet, have spread the network around the world, and many people don’t even realize they are part of it, that they’re promoting the CIA line.  “Assad’s a butcher,” they say, or “Putin kills journalists,” or “China is repressive.”  They have no idea what they’re talking about but spout all this propaganda.

William Blake said it truly in his poem “London“:

In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear

How to break the chains – that is our task.

Is Bigfoot Mueller’s Missing Link?

In an astonishing and defining moment both for cryptozoology and the Russian Collusion narrative, Independent Counsel Robert Mueller revealed today that massive hominid footprints discovered outside both Trump Tower and the Kremlin originate from the same primate species, if not the same individual.

Posing proudly with plaster casts, Mueller sketched out his theory for a rapt group of journalists as well as some CNN folks with microphones:

“It all fell in place for us one 3 am after a few beers. Bigfoot appears to have served as a missing-link emissary species, carrying collusion directives from the Kremlin to the Trump Campaign.”

Has Bigfoot been deposed?

“No. But we will be presenting blurry pictures at a later date.”

Is Putin directly implicated in this scheme?

“We have always operated from the premise that Putin is omnipotent. So yes.”

What about the recent revelations that your Russian troll indictment was lifted, whole-cloth, from a 2015 Radio Free Europe Ukranian article? Are in-house plagiarism indictments forthcoming?

“It’s DOJ’s policy never to comment on ongoing witch hunts. What I can say is that we will continue to move in a dogged and determined fashion to confirm all our original suspicions until justice fully serves our unquenchable drive for power.”

Do you have any comment on President Trump’s latest tweets and do you plan to explore his “400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer” theory?

“While we haven’t ruled out genius as a motive, we’re not appropriately staffed to directly pursue that avenue.”

What about the President’s suspicion ‘they’re laughing their asses off in Moscow’?

How does he know they’re laughing and when did he know it? Can we get a phone number, please? Can we get a clue?