Category Archives: United Nations

We Need to Build the Architecture of Our Future

Diego Rivera (Mexico), Frozen Assets, 1931.

Diego Rivera (Mexico), Frozen Assets, 1931.

In April 2022, the United Nations established the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy, and Finance. This group is tracking the three major crises of food inflation, fuel inflation, and financial distress. Their second briefing, released on 8 June 2022, noted that, after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic:

the world economy has been left in a fragile state. Today, 60 per cent of workers have lower real incomes than before the pandemic; 60 per cent of the poorest countries are in debt distress or at high risk of it; developing countries miss $1.2 trillion per year to fill the social protection gap; and $4.3 trillion is needed per year – more money than ever before – to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This is a perfectly reasonable description of the distressing global situation, and things are likely to get worse.

According to the UN Global Crisis Response Group, most capitalist states have already rolled back the relief funds they provided during the pandemic. ‘If social protection systems and safety nets are not adequately extended’, the report states, ‘poor families in developing countries facing hunger may reduce health-related spending; children who temporarily left school due to COVID-19 may now be permanently out of the education system; or smallholder or micro-entrepreneurs may close shop due to higher energy bills’.

Renato Guttuso (Italy), La Vucciria, 1974.

Renato Guttuso (Italy), La Vucciria, 1974.

The World Bank reports that food and fuel prices will remain at very high levels until at least the end of 2024. As wheat and oilseed prices have escalated, reports are coming in from across the globe – including in wealthy countries – that working-class families have started to skip meals. This tense food situation has led United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, to predict that many families will move to one meal a day, which, she says, ‘will be the source of even more instability’ in the world. The World Economic Forum (WEF) adds that we are in the midst of ‘a perfect storm’ if you take into account the impact of increasing interest rates on mortgage payments as well as inadequate salaries. The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva-Kinova, said late last month that the ‘horizon has darkened’.

Cândido Portinari (Brazil), Coffee Bean Mowers, 1935.

Cândido Portinari (Brazil), Coffee Bean Mowers, 1935.

These assessments come from people at the heart of powerful global institutions – the IMF, World Bank, WEF, and the UN (and even from a queen). Although they all recognise the structural nature of the crisis, they are reluctant to be honest about the underlying economic processes, or even about how to adequately name the situation. David M. Rubenstein, the head of global investment firm The Carlyle Group, said that when he was part of US President Jimmy Carter’s administration, their inflation advisor Alfred Kahn warned them not to use the ‘R’ word – recession – which ‘scares people’. Instead, Kahn advised, use the word ‘banana’. Along those lines, Rubenstein said of the current situation, ‘I don’t want to say we’re in a banana, but I would say a banana may not be that far away from where we are today’.

Marxist economist Michael Roberts does not hide behind words such as banana. Roberts has studied the global average rate of profit on capital, which he shows has been falling, with minor reverses, since 1997. This trend was exacerbated by the global financial crash of 2007–08 which led to the Great Recession in 2008. Since then, he argues, the world economy has been in the grip of a ‘long depression’, with the rate of profit at a historic low in 2019 (just before the pandemic).

Yildiz Moran (Turkey), Mother, 1956.

Yildiz Moran (Turkey), Mother, 1956.

‘Profit drives investment in capitalism’, writes Roberts, ‘and so falling and low profitability has led to slow growth in productive investment’. Capitalist institutions have shifted from investment in productive activity to, as Roberts puts it, ‘the fantasy world of stock and bond markets and cryptocurrencies’. The cryptocurrency market, by the way, has collapsed by over 60% this year. Dwindling profits in the Global North have led capitalists to seek profits in the Global South and beat back any country (especially China and Russia) that threatens their financial and political hegemony, with military force if necessary.

Ghastly is the way of inflation, but inflation is merely the symptom of a deeper problem and not its cause. That problem is not merely the war in Ukraine or the pandemic, but something that is confirmed by data but denied in press conferences: the capitalist system, plunged into a long-term depression, cannot heal itself. Later this year, notebook no. 4 on the theory of crisis from Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, written by Marxist economists Sungur Savran and E. Ahmet Tonak, will establish these points very clearly.

Aboudia (Côte d’Ivoire), Untitled, 2013.

Aboudia (Côte d’Ivoire), Untitled, 2013.

For now, capitalist economic theory starts with the assumption that any attempt to settle an economic crisis, such as an inflationary crisis, must not, as John Maynard Keynes wrote in 1923, ‘disappoint the rentier’. Wealthy bondholders and major capitalist institutions control the policy orientation of the Global North so that the value of their money – trillions of dollars held by a minority – is secure. They cannot, as Keynes wrote nearly a hundred years ago, be disappointed.

The anti-inflation policies driven by the US and the Eurozone are not going to ease the burdens on the working class in their countries, and certainly not in the debt-ridden Global South. Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Jerome Powell admitted that his monetary policy ‘will cause some pain’, but not across the entire population. More honestly, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos tweeted that ‘Inflation is a regressive tax that most hurts the least affluent’. Rising interest rates in the North Atlantic make money far more expensive for ordinary people in that region, but they also make borrowing in dollars to pay off national debts in the Global South virtually impossible. Raising interest rates and tightening the labour market are direct attacks on the working class and developing nations.

There is nothing inevitable about the class warfare of the governments of the Global North. Other policies are possible; a few of them are listed below:

  1. Tax the global wealthy. There are 2,668 billionaires in the world who are worth $12.7 trillion; the money they hide in illicit tax havens adds up to about $40 trillion. This wealth could be brought into productive social use. As Oxfam notes, the richest ten men have more wealth than 3.1 billion people (40% of the world population).
  2. Tax large corporations, whose profits have escalated beyond imagination. US corporate profits are up by 37%, far ahead of inflation and compensation increases. Ellen Zentner, the chief US economist of the leading financial services company Morgan Stanley, argues that, during the long depression, there has been an ‘unprecedented’ plunge in the share of Gross Domestic Product earned by the working class in the United States. She has called for a return to a more just profit-wages balance.
  3. Use this social wealth to enhance social expenditures, such as funds to end hunger and illiteracy and build health care systems as well as non-carbon forms of public transportation.
  4. Institute price controls for goods that specifically drive-up inflation – such as prices for food, fertilisers, fuel, and medicines.

The great Bajan writer George Lamming (1927–2022) left us recently. In his 1966 essay, ‘The West Indian People’, Lamming said, ‘The architecture of our future is not only unfinished; the scaffolding has hardly gone up’. This was a powerful sentiment from a powerful visionary, who hoped that his home in the Caribbean, the West Indies, would be shaped into a sovereign region that could relieve its people of great problems. This was not to be. Strangely, the IMF’s Georgieva-Kinova quoted this line in a recent article while making the case for the region to collaborate with the IMF. It is likely that Georgieva-Kinova and her staff did not read all of Lamming’s speech, for this paragraph is instructive today as it was in 1966:

There is, I believe, a formidable regiment of economists in this hall. They teach the statistics of survival. They anticipate and warn about the relative price of freedom… [I] would just like you to bear in mind the story of an ordinary Barbadian working man. When he was asked by another West Indian whom he had not seen for about ten years, ‘and how are things?’, he replied: ‘The pasture green, but they got me tied on a short rope’.

The post We Need to Build the Architecture of Our Future first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Nigeria, Oh, Nigeria, Cry for me, Nigeria!

So, good friend, Madu, who I met decades ago, at UT-El Paso. He was coming through buildings where part-time English faculty had offices. That big smile, that large voice, and an open hand. He was working the used/discount book gig: going to colleges to get books from faculty and bookstores that might have been extra copies from the respective publishers called review copies.

So, part-time faculty like myself, in the 1980s, would order tons of these reviewer’s copies of grammar, lit, and survey collections. Then fellows like Madu might come by with hard cold cash to buy them up.

The old days when students could find alternative prices (lower) than what college bookstores would charge. Madu has that service.

We talked, and his Nigerian love, his Nigerian spirit, the fact he was in Houston, with a wife and three children, all of that, made the chats open and real. I had just had a baby girl, so we talked about her.

Then politics, Africa, my own activism around Central America, the US-Mexico border, the environment, twin plants, militarization of campuses and the border, and my own work trying to unionize part-time exploited faculty.

Global politics. Nigeria, Africa, Diasporas, evil US-backed dictators, colonialism, post-colonialism, the trauma, the long-term biopiracy of Africa, the theft of resources, and alas, imagine, 30 years later, almost, and African countries are in the grips of AFRICOM, the US vassals, the exploiters, the mining, ag, and oil thieves. Until, 2022, many are becoming failed states, famines, the entire world of data mining, Zuckerberg encircling the continent with his Metaverse, and on and on. The story of United Fruit Company, Coca Cola, Monsanto, Big Pharma, Hearts and Minds USA special forces, and proxy wars and Nationa ENdowmenr for Democracy/CIA fomenting hell.

Oh, this devil USA:

Phoenix Express 2021, the AFRICOM-sponsored military exercise involving 13 countries in the Mediterranean Sea region, concluded last week. While its stated aim was to combat “irregular migration” and trafficking, the U.S. record in the region indicates more nefarious interests. “AFRICOM military’s exercise: The art of creating new pretexts for propagating U.S. interests” (source)

Go to MR Online, and then put in AFRICOM. Or, AFRICOM and Nigeria, or pick your country. Mark my words: Everything, I say EVERYTHING, tied to the USA and UK and EU when involving African nations now, well, pure evil:

This is recent, as in Oct. 2021:

Please join us for the launch of the international month of action by attending a webinar on October 1st, titled “AFRICOM at 13: Building the Popular Movement for Demilitarization and Anti-Imperialism in Africa.” Speakers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, and the African diaspora will discuss AFRICOM and what we can do to expel imperialist forces from the continent. Following the webinar, events will take place throughout October organized by various organizations on the African continent, in the U.S., and around the world to demand an end to the U.S. and western invasion and occupation of Africa.

BAP makes the following demands in the U.S. Out of Africa!: Shut Down AFRICOM campaign:

  • The complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa,
  • The demilitarization of the African continent,
  • The closure of U.S. bases throughout the world, and
  • That the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) oppose U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and conduct hearings on AFRICOM’s impact on the African continent, with the full participation of members of U.S. and African civil society.

Written by Tunde Osazua, a member of the Black Alliance for Peace’s Africa Team and the coordinator of the U.S. Out of Africa Network.

So, I was on Madu’s radio show, and he has run for Senate in Nigeria, and he wants to run for president. However, as he clearly states: “You have to have millions of dollars and militias to buy the votes.”

This is his organization:

Here’s a statement from Madu:

Not rising up by Nigerians from within Nigeria and around the world beyond ethnic, regional, religious and partisan political boundaries to save Nigeria from the hands of her mostly visionless, ignorant, insensitive, inhumane, squandermanic and most painfully, corrupt and morally bankrupt drivers of government at all levels whose actions have significantly weakened her sovereignty and territorial integrity, and made her peoples so poor and vulnerable , is a sin against God and a grave infraction against humanity for which history and unborn generations of Nigerians will judge us all harshly if we fail today to act unconditionally to save the country from an imminent collapse.

….Smart Madu Ajaja

This is a serious and long-term project, the decolonizing of the world, including all those countries’ economies, the land, the people, the cultures and the individuals:

This Special Issue aims to explore the complex and contested relationship between trauma studies and postcolonial criticism, focusing on the ongoing project to create a decolonized trauma theory that attends to and accounts for the suffering of minority groups and non-Western cultures, broadly defined as cultures beyond Western Europe and North America. The issue builds on the insights of, inter alia, Stef Craps’s book, Postcolonial Witnessing, and responds to his challenge to interrogate and move beyond a Eurocentric trauma paradigm. Authors were invited to submit papers on the theorization and representation of any aspect of postcolonial, non-Western and/or minority cultural trauma with a focus predominately, but not exclusively, on literature. (SourceDecolonizing Trauma Studies: Trauma and Postcolonialism … 200+ pages!)

I talked with Madu on his radio show, and below, the show. I do cover a lot of philosophical territory, and alas, this is about Madu and his love of his country and how quickly the country of his birth has spiraled into a country of selling people as slaves, kidnapping people for organs, murder, rape, theft.

So under the cover of counterterrorism, AFRICOM is beefing up Nigeria’s military to ensure the free flow of oil to the West, and using the country as a proxy against China’s influence on the continent. And that is the issue, too, that Madu is not happy with his country being exploited by anyone, including China. I explained to him that the USA has the military bases, the guns, and China has the contracts, the builders. In fact, Madu is spiritually exasperated at how his own countrymen turn against their own countrymen, and how there is a overlay of trauma and laziness and desperation and inflicted PTSD, including the post-colonial trauma referenced above.

USA is like a storm of ticks, locusts, mosquitos, viruses, as the syphilitic notions of Neocon and Neoliberal anti-diplomacy hits country after country like disease. A plague.

The greatest threat looming over our planet, the hegemonistic pretentions of the American Empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn you about this danger, and we appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our heads.

–Hugo Chavez

The United States Military is arguably the largest force of ecological devastation the world has ever known.

–Xoài Pham

Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, and fulfill it or betray it.

–Frantz Fanon (source)

William Blum wrote about the illegality of the USA’s direct and indirect bombing and invasions.

Here, a bit of an update:

The Death Toll of U.S. Imperialism Since World War 2

A critical disclaimer: Figures relating to the death toll of U.S. Imperialism are often grossly underestimated due to the U.S. government’s lack of transparency and often purposeful coverup and miscounts of death tolls. In some cases, this can lead to ranges of figures that include millions of human lives–as in the figure for Indonesia below with estimates of 500,000 to 3 million people. We have tried to provide the upward ranges in these cases since we suspect the upward ranges to be more accurate if not still significantly underestimated. These figures were obtained from multiple sources including but not limited to indigenous scholar Ward Churchill’s Pacifism as Pathology as well as Countercurrents’ article Deaths in Other Nations Since WWII Due to U.S. Interventions (please note that use of Countercurrents’ statistics isn’t an endorsement of the site’s politics).

  • Afghanistan: at least 176,000 people
  • Bosnia: 20,000 to 30,000 people
  • Bosnia and Krajina: 250,000 people
  • Cambodia: 2-3 million people
  • Chad: 40,000 people and as many as 200,000 tortured
  • Chile: 10,000 people (the U.S. sponsored Pinochet coup in Chile)
  • Colombia: 60,000 people
  • Congo: 10 million people (Belgian imperialism supported by U.S. corporations and the U.S. sponsored assassination of Patrice Lumumba)
  • Croatia: 15,000 people
  • Cuba: 1,800 people
  • Dominican Republic: at least 3,000 people
  • East Timor: 200,000 people
  • El Salvador: More than 75,000 people (U.S. support of the Salvadoran oligarchy and death squads)
  • Greece: More than 50,000 people
  • Grenada: 277 people
  • Guatemala: 140,000 to 200,000 people killed or forcefully disappeared (U.S. support of the Guatemalan junta)
  • Haiti: 100,000 people
  • Honduras: hundreds of people (CIA supported Battalion kidnapped, tortured and killed at least 316 people)
  • Indonesia: Estimates of 500,000 to 3 million people
  • Iran: 262,000 people
  • Iraq: 2.4 million people in Iraq war, 576, 000 Iraqi children by U.S. sanctions, and over 100,000 people in Gulf War
  • Japan: 2.6-3.1 million people
  • Korea: 5 million people
  • Kosovo: 500 to 5,000
  • Laos: 50,000 people
  • Libya: at least 2500 people
  • Nicaragua: at least 30,000 people (U.S. backed Contras’ destabilization of the Sandinista government in Nicaragua)
  • Operation Condor: at least 10,000 people (By governments of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. U.S. govt/CIA coordinated training on torture, technical support, and supplied military aid to the Juntas)
  • Pakistan: at least 1.5 million people
  • Palestine: estimated more than 200,000 people killed by military but this does not include death from blockade/siege/settler violence
  • Panama: between 500 and 4000 people
  • Philippines: over 100,000 people executed or disappeared
  • Puerto Rico: 4,645-8,000 people
  • Somalia: at least 2,000 people
  • Sudan: 2 million people
  • Syria: at least 350,000 people
  • Vietnam: 3 million people
  • Yemen: over 377,000 people
  • Yugoslavia: 107,000 people (Source: The Mapping Project is a multi-generational collective of activists and organizers in the Boston area who are deeply engaged in Palestine solidarity / BDS work. For over a year, we’ve been tracing Greater Boston’s networks of support for the colonization of Palestine–and how these networks participate in other forms of oppression, from policing to U.S. imperialism to medical apartheid and privatization.)

Madu and most activist Nigerians know these facts. Big global facts. The vices the United States of America has put the world in. The dirty Empire. The global cop. And, so, Nigerians in the USA number around two million, with a few hundred thousand. Now, of course, off camera, I repeated to Madu that most Americans, oh, 90 percent of the 355 million currently residing (most illegally) here do not care about Black, Africans, Chinese, and again one American is worth a million Nigerians. It is a juggling act, being part of the Diapora, and Madu is a nurse, and he like I said ran for Senate, and lost, and he has been inspired by some youth, but again, youth are being colonized by the ticks of data. Read below the YouTube window.

So, Alison McDowell at Wrench in the Gears, and then Silicon Icarus and others are talking about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the next colonialization of Africa. Coltan and gold may be like gold to the Wall Streeters and Transnationalists, and water and food and good land maybe like platinum to the same group of thieves, but data is worth its gigbytes/terrabytes in emeralds. “French Imperialism vs. Crypto Colonialism: The Central African Republic Experiment” & “Blockchain Technology & Coercive Surveillance of the Global South” both by Sebs Solomon

So, Madu, and great honorable youth in Nigeria who want to have a free, open, clean, sustainable, cultural-centric, food security, self-imposing, country of healthy bodies, minds and ecosystems, I am sorry to report the devils wear skinny jeans, and many come to the USA from India with work permits to work and live in Seattle/Redmond to work for Microsoft/Google/Facebook and all the other devils helping put these systems in place:

At the same time, SingularityNET partnered with UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education (IBE) to establish a new curriculum for children and teens, with an emphasis on emerging technology to prepare the youth for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. According to UNICEF:

There will never be enough money allocated in the budget, qualified teachers, or places in schools for the population we have; therefore, emerging technologies like Virtual Reality allow us to leapfrog these problems and offer the hope of more affordable, scalable and better quality education.

It is striking to read that UNICEF doesn’t believe there will ever be enough money to help all of the children in the world receive a traditional, classroom, education; therefore, it’s better to invest and scale Virtual Reality education — a rather pessimistic take from the “children’s fund” arm of the UN. UNICEF Innovation Fund, has virtual reality education programs in ChileIndiaNigeria, and Ghana. In Ghana, they noted there are “challenges to accessing the necessary teaching and learning resources for students to receive quality education; which is compounded by the lack of necessary and up-to-date education materials, huge class sizes and the lack of necessary infrastructural facilities.” (source)

How many more battlefields shall honorable people like Madu enter into with no money, no militias and the kings of capital weilding more powerful digital bombs than hydrogen bombs?

For a rabbit hole or warren, go to: Silicon Icarus and see Alison McDowell’s work on the following: Alison McDowell. Or over at her blog: Wrench in the Gears. She’s expending lifetime hours looking into this evil web of Davos, WEF, the billionaires’ club, the taking over of humanity through transhumanism, blockchain, Singularity, and all the other topics the mainstream and leftstream media and blogs just won’t tackle.

  • Blockchain
  • Gamification
  • Genomics
  • Impact Finance
  • Smart Cities
  • Biosecurity State

This is what the Fourth Industrialization devils want for all children on earth (minus their kids and their sychophants’ kids). Soylent Green be damned!

 

The post Nigeria, Oh, Nigeria, Cry for me, Nigeria! first appeared on Dissident Voice.

How the US Government Steals from Other Countries

The American Government explains its thefts from other countries as being justifiable because the U.S. Government has slapped sanctions upon those countries, and because these sanctions authorize the U.S. Government to steal whatever it wants to steal, from them, that it can grab. Here are just a few such examples:

On May 26, Reuters headlined “U.S. seizes Iranian oil cargo near Greek island,” and reported:

The United States has confiscated an Iranian oil cargo held on a Russian-operated ship near Greece and will send the cargo to the United States. …
“The cargo has been transferred to another ship that was hired by the U.S.,” the source added, without providing further details.
The development comes after the United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on what it described as a Russian-backed oil smuggling and money laundering network for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force. …
U.S. advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), which monitors Iran-related tanker traffic, said the Pegas had loaded around 700,000 barrels of crude oil from Iran’s Sirri Island on Aug. 19, 2021.
Prior to this load, the Pegas transported over 3 million barrels of Iranian oil in 2021, with over 2.6 million of those barrels ending up in China, according to UANI analysis.
In 2020, Washington confiscated four cargoes of Iranian fuel that were bound for Venezuela and transferred them with the help of undisclosed foreign partners onto two other ships which then sailed to the United States. …

On 24 October 2019, USA Today bannered “Pentagon planning to send tanks, armored vehicles to Syrian oil fields” and pretended that if (Syria’s actual invader) America wouldn’t be stealing Syria’s oil, then (Syria’s actual defender, invited into the country in order to help defeat the U.S.-led invasion of it) Russia would be stealing it. Their article closed by saying that: “Nicholas Heras, an expert on Syria with the Center for a New American Security [CNAS], … said, ‘the Pentagon is making contingencies for a big fight with Russia for Syria’s oil.’” Perhaps the intention of that article was to help build Americans’ support for stealing Syria’s oil. (The CNAS is a Democratic Party think tank, and was there endorsing the Republican President Trump’s operation to steal Syria’s oil — it’s a bipartisan goal of the U.S. Government.) By contrast, two days later, Russia’s Sputnik News headlined about America’s thefts of oil from Syria, “The Russian military described the US scheme as nothing less than ‘international state banditism.’” (Russia had no need to deceive anyone about that.)

On 14 December 2019, Syria Times headlined “A huge convoy for US occupation forces enters Syria’s Qameshli city,” and reported that:

In a new breach of international laws, the US occupation forces sent today to Qameshli city in Hasaka province a new convoy composed of tanks, ambulances and dozens of vehicles and cars loading military and logistic materials. According to local sources, the convoy illegally entered this morning from Iraq in order to fortify the US occupation forces’ positions in the Syrian Jazeera.
This convoy is the biggest one that entered the Syrian territories since several months.
Over the few past months, the US occupation forces sent through illegal crossing points thousands of vehicles loaded with weapons, military equipment and logistic materials to reinforce their existence in the Syrian Jazeera region and to steal Syrian oil and wealth.

On 2 August 2020, Reuters bannered “Syria says U.S. oil firm signed deal with Kurdish-led rebels” and reported that,

Damascus “condemns in the strongest terms the agreement signed between al-Qasd militia (SDF) and an American oil company to steal Syria’s oil under the sponsorship and support of the American administration”, the Syrian statement said. “This agreement is null and void and has no legal basis.”

Furthermore: “There was no immediate response from SDF officials to a Reuters’ request for comment. There was no immediate comment from U.S. officials.”

The U.S. Government has done this also to Venezuela and other countries that it likewise wants to take over.

On 13 March 2022, Reuters headlined “Sanctions have frozen around $300 bln of Russian reserves, FinMin says,” and reported that “Foreign sanctions have frozen around $300 billion out of $640 billion that Russia had in its gold and forex reserves, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in an interview with state TV.”

The lawyer and geostrategic analyst Alexander Mercouris explains how and why America’s blocking Russia’s international payments of Russia’s sovereign debt, and Germany’s seizure of some of Gazprom’s German assets, “violate the [international-law] principle of sovereign immunity; both the central bank and Gazprom are, after all, owned by the Russian Government. … These were the sort of acts that, once upon a time, governments could legally make only in time of war. But of course Germany and the United States are not formally at war with Russia. So we see how another extraordinary step has been taken, towards … ever-greater illegality.” He wonders “what damage” will be done “to the international legal system and to the international financial system.”

Many of these actions, by America and its allies, are alleged to be done not in order to reinforce existing international laws (which, of course, they instead violate), but the opposite: to advance “the international rules-based order,” which “rules,” that will be made by the U.S. Government, will be introduced as constituting new legal precedents in order to replace the current source of international laws, which is the U.N. and its authorized agencies. The U.S. Government would gradually replace the U.N., except as the U.N.’s being a sump for unprofitable expeditions that the ‘humanitarian’ and ‘democratic’ U.S. Government can endorse. There would be a further weakening of the U.N., which is already so weak so that, even now, anything which is done by the U.S. and its allies is, practically speaking, not possible to be prosecuted in international courts such as the International Criminal Court, which body is allowed to prosecute alleged crimes only by leaders of “third world” nations. America’s “rules-based international order” would replace that toothless U.N.-based system, and would be backed up by America’s over-800 military bases around the world. Unlike the existing U.N., which has no military, this “rules-based international order” would be enforced at gunpoint, everywhere.

However, even America’s allied nations are getting fleeced, though in different ways, by the U.S. Government. This is being done via international corruption. For example: America’s F-35 warplanes from Lockheed Martin Corporation and its sub-contractors (Northrop-Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, and BAE Systems), are so bad and so very expensive that the U.S. Government wants to cut its losses on the plane without cutting the profits by Lockheed Martin and other ‘defense’-contractors’ on it, and therefore needs to increase its allies’ purchases of these warplanes. NATO is the main marketing organization for U.S. ‘defense’ contractors; and, so, on 15 April 2022, Russia’s RT news headlined “US nuclear bombs ‘shared’ with European allies will be deployed on Lockheed Martin jets, NATO explains,”and reported that,

Jessica Cox, director of the NATO nuclear policy directorate in Brussels, said … that “By the end of the decade, most if not all of our allies will have transitioned” to the F-35. …
Germany would replace its aging Tornado jets with F-35s, committing to buy up to three dozen and specifically citing the nuclear sharing mission as factoring in the decision. …
Finland and Sweden have recently voiced a desire to join NATO, and Helsinki already announced it would buy some 60 F-35s in early February [notably, BEFORE Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th]. …
The F-35 was originally proposed as a cost-effective modular design that could replace multiple older models in service with the US Air Force, Navy, and the Marines. In reality, it turned into three distinct designs with a lifetime project cost of over $1.7 trillion, the most expensive weapons program in US [and in all of global] history.
In addition to the price tag, the fifth-generation stealth fighter has also been plagued with performance issues, to the point where the new USAF chief of staff requested a study into a different aircraft in February 2021.
General Charles Q. Brown Jr. compared the F-35 to a “high end” sports car, a Ferrari one drives on Sundays only, and sought proposals for a “clean sheet design” of a “5th-gen minus” workhorse jet instead. Multiple US outlets characterized his proposal as a “tacit admission” that the F-35 program had failed.

That word “characterized” was there linked through to a number of informative articles, such as these, about the F-35:

Forbes: “The U.S. Air Force Just Admitted The F-35 Stealth Fighter Has Failed
Defense News:The Hidden Troubles of the F-35: The Pentagon will have to live with limits on F-35’s supersonic flights

That Defense News report said that the basic design-requirements for the F-35 prohibit any speed higher than the speed of sound (Mach 1), because the air-friction above that speed would instantly melt the stealth coating, and,

The potential damage from sustained high speeds would influence not only the F-35’s airframe and the low-observable coating that keeps it stealthy, but also the myriad antennas located on the back of the plane that are currently vulnerable to damage, according to documents exclusively obtained by Defense News.

Though that publication — which could not exist apart from the funding that is provided directly or indirectly from America’s ‘defense’ contractors — used euphemisms to describe this problem, such as “potential damage” and that there would need to be imposed “a time limit on high-speed flight” and that “the F-35 jet can only fly at supersonic speeds for short bursts of time before there is a risk of structural damage and loss of stealth capability,” the actual facts are: those “short bursts” would, in the practical world, be virtually instantaneous, approximating zero seconds, and the phrase “a risk” would be referring to 100% — a certainty. That’s virtually the opposite of the ‘news’-report’s allegation that the F-35 would need to avoid “sustained high speeds,” because the plane would instead need to avoid ANY supersonic speed. In other words: the plane’s stealth capability would need to be virtually 100% effective and at speeds only below the speed of sound, in order for the plane to be, at all, effective, and deserving to be called a “stealth” warplane. The only exception to that would be the F-35A, for the Air Force (not usable by the Navy — from aircraft carriers — nor by the Army).

As regards the F-35A (Air Force F-35 version), Wikipedia says about the F-35 that its maximum speed is Mach 1.6 (1.6 times the speed of sound). By contrast, Russia’s Su-57 (which is less expensive), has a maximum speed of Mach 2.0. The reason why Russia’s is both a better plane and far less costly is that Russia’s military-industrial complex is controlled ONLY by the Government, whereas America’s Government is instead controlled mainly by its ‘defense’-contractors, and is, therefore, overwhelmingly corrupt, which is also the reason why America is the permanent and unceasing warfare-state, ever since 25 July 1945, when its “Cold War” started, and has never ceased.

One of the few honest statements that the world-champion liar and the world’s most respected living person, U.S. President Barack Obama, made about his goals as President, was his 28 May 2014 statement to the graduating class at the West Point Military Academy, that,

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

He was saying there that all other nations — including U.S. ‘allies’ — are “dispensable.” Consequently, of course, in that view: stealing by the U.S. Government, from any other Government, is acceptable. It’s the U.S. Government’s viewpoint, and is politically bipartisan in America. At least until now, it is an acceptable viewpoint, to most people. Perhaps truths have been hidden from them. Who has been doing this, and why, would then be the natural question on any intelligent individuals’ minds. But certainly there can be no reasonable doubt that the U.S. Government does — and rather routinely — steal from other countries. That’s a fact, if anything is.

The post How the US Government Steals from Other Countries first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Ending “West’s Neocolonial Oppression”: On the New Language and Superstructures

The Russia-Ukraine war has quickly turned into a global conflict. One of the likely outcomes of this war is the very redefinition of the current world order, which has been in effect, at least since the collapse of the Soviet Union over three decades ago.

Indeed, there is a growing sense that a new global agenda is forthcoming, one that could unite Russia and China and, to a degree, India and others, under the same banner. This is evident, not only by the succession of the earth-shattering events underway, but, equally important, the language employed to describe these events.

The Russian position on Ukraine has morphed throughout the war from merely wanting to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine to a much bigger regional and global agenda, to eventually, per the words of Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, “put an end to the unabashed expansion” of NATO, and the “unabashed drive towards full domination by the US and its Western subjects on the world stage.”

On April 30, Lavrov went further, stating in an interview with the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, that Russia’s war “contributes to the process of freeing the world from the West’s neocolonial oppression,” predicated on “racism and an exceptionality.”

But Russia is not the only country that feels this way. China, too, even India, and many others. The meeting between Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on March 30, served as a foundation of this truly new global language. Statements made by the two countries’ top diplomats were more concerned about challenging US hegemony than the specifics of the Ukraine war.

Those following the evolution of the Russia-China political discourse, even before the start of the Russia-Ukraine war on February 24, will notice that the language employed supersedes that of a regional conflict, into the desire to bring about the reordering of world affairs altogether. 

But is this new world order possible? If yes, what would it look like? These questions, and others, remain unanswered, at least for now. What we know, however, is that the Russian quest for global transformation exceeds Ukraine by far, and that China, too, is on board.

While Russia and China remain the foundation of this new world order, many other countries, especially in the Global South, are eager to join. This should not come as a surprise as frustration with the unilateral US-led world order has been brewing for many years, and has come at a great cost. Even the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, though timid at times, has warned against this unilaterality, calling instead on the international community to commit itself to  “the values of multilateralism and diplomacy for peace.”

However, the pro-Russian stances in the South – as indicated by the refusal of many governments to join western sanctions on Moscow, and the many displays of popular support through protests, rallies and statements – continue to lack a cohesive narrative. Unlike the Soviet Union of yesteryears, Russia of today does not champion a global ideology, like socialism, and its current attempt at articulating a relatable global discourse remains, for now, limited.

It is obviously too early to examine any kind of superstructure – language, political institutions, religion, philosophy, etc – resulting from the Russia-NATO global conflict, Russia-Ukraine war and the growing Russia-China affinity.

Though much discussion has been dedicated to the establishing of an alternative monetary system, in the case of Lavrov’s and Yi’s new world order, a fully-fledged substructure is yet to be developed.

New substructures will only start forming once the national currency of countries like Russia and China replace the US dollar, alternative money transfer systems, like CIPS, are put into effect, new trade routes are open, and eventually new modes of production replace the old ones. Only then, superstructures will follow, including new political discourses, historical narratives, everyday language, culture, art and even symbols.

The thousands of US-western sanctions slapped on Russia were largely meant to weaken the country’s ability to navigate outside the current US-dominated global economic system. Without this maneuverability, the West believes, Moscow would not be able to create and sustain an alternative economic model that is centered around Russia.

True, US sanctions on Cuba, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela and others have failed to produce the coveted ‘regime change’, but they have succeeded in weakening the substructures of these societies, denying them the chance to be relevant economic actors at a regional and international stage. They were merely allowed to subsist, and barely so.

Russia, on the other hand, is a global power, with a relatively large economy, international networks of allies, trade partners and supporters. That in mind, surely a regime change will not take place in Moscow any time soon. The latter’s challenge, however, is whether it will be able to orchestrate a sustainable paradigm shift under current western pressures and sanctions.

Time will tell. For now, it is certain that some kind of a global transformation is taking place, along with the potential of a ‘new world order’, a term, ironically employed by the US government more than any other.

The post Ending “West’s Neocolonial Oppression”: On the New Language and Superstructures first appeared on Dissident Voice.

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

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

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

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

He continues there:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cost of the Ukraine War Felt in Africa, Global South

While international news headlines remain largely focused on the war in Ukraine, little attention is given to the horrific consequences of the war which are felt in many regions around the world. Even when these repercussions are discussed, disproportionate coverage is allocated to European countries, like Germany and Austria, due to their heavy reliance on Russian energy sources.

The horrific scenario, however, awaits countries in the Global South which, unlike Germany, will not be able to eventually substitute Russian raw material from elsewhere. Countries like Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Ghana and numerous others, are facing serious food shortages in the short, medium and long term.

The World Bank is warning of a “human catastrophe” as a result of a burgeoning food crisis, itself resulting from the Russia-Ukraine war. The World Bank President, David Malpass, told the BBC that his institution estimates a “huge” jump in food prices, reaching as high as 37%, which would mean that the poorest of people would be forced to “eat less and have less money for anything else such as schooling.”

This foreboding crisis is now compounding an existing global food crisis, resulting from major disruptions in the global supply chains, as a direct outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as pre-existing problems, resulting from wars and civil unrest, corruption, economic mismanagement, social inequality and more.

Even prior to the war in Ukraine, the world was already getting hungrier. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated 811 million people in the world “faced hunger in 2020”, with a massive jump of 118 million compared to the previous year. Considering the continued deterioration of global economies, especially in the developing world, and the subsequent and unprecedented inflation worldwide, the number must have made several large jumps since the publishing of FAO’s report in July 2021, reporting on the previous year.

Indeed, inflation is now a global phenomenon. The consumer price index in the United States has increased by 8.5% from a year earlier, according to the financial media company, Bloomberg. In Europe, “inflation (reached) record 7.5%”, according to the latest data released by Eurostat. As troubling as these numbers are, western societies with relatively healthy economies and potential room for government subsidies, are more likely to weather the inflation storm, if compared to countries in Africa, South America, the Middle East and many parts of Asia.

The war in Ukraine has immediately impacted food supplies to many parts of the world. Russia and Ukraine combined contribute 30% of global wheat exports. Millions of tons of these exports find their way to food-import-dependent countries in the Global South – mainly the regions of South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Considering that some of these regions, comprising some of the poorest countries in the world, have already been struggling under the weight of pre-existing food crises, it is safe to say that tens of millions of people already are, or are likely to go, hungry in the coming months and years.

Another factor resulting from the war is the severe US-led western sanctions on Russia. The harm of these sanctions is likely to be felt more in other countries than in Russia itself, due to the fact that the latter is largely food and energy independent.

Although the overall size of the Russian economy is comparatively smaller than that of leading global economic powers like the US and China, its contributions to the world economy makes it absolutely critical. For example, Russia accounts for a quarter of the world’s natural gas exports, according to the World Bank, and 18% of coal and wheat exports, 14% of fertilizers and platinum shipments, and 11% of crude oil. Cutting off the world from such a massive wealth of natural resources while it is desperately trying to recover from the horrendous impact of the pandemic is equivalent to an act of economic self-mutilation.

Of course, some are likely to suffer more than others. While economic growth is estimated to shrink by a large margin – up to 50% in some cases – in countries that fuel regional and international growth such as Turkey, South Africa and Indonesia, the crisis is expected to be much more severe in countries that aim for mere economic subsistence, including many African countries.

An April report published by the humanitarian group, Oxfam, citing an alert issued by 11 international humanitarian organizations, warned that “West Africa is hit by its worst food crisis in a decade.” Currently, there are 27 million people going hungry in that region, a number that may rise to 38 million in June if nothing is done to stave off the crisis. According to the report, this number would represent “a new historic level”, as it would be an increase by more than a third compared to last year. Like other struggling regions, the massive food shortage is a result of the war in Ukraine, in addition to pre-existing problems, lead amongst them the pandemic and climate change.

While the thousands of sanctions imposed on Russia are yet to achieve any of their intended purpose, it is poor countries that are already feeling the burden of the war, sanctions and geopolitical tussle between great powers. As the west is busy dealing with its own economic woes, little heed is being paid to those suffering most. And as the world is forced to transition to a new global economic order, it will take years for small economies to successfully make that adjustment.

While it is important that we acknowledge the vast changes to the world’s geopolitical map, let us not forget that millions of people are going hungry, paying the price for a global conflict of which they are not part.

The post Cost of the Ukraine War Felt in Africa, Global South first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Global Divide: 76% of Humanity (and Nearly All Poorer Nations of Color) Did Not Vote to Kick Russia off the UN Human Rights Council

In general, in a deep conflict, the eyes of the downtrodden are more acute about the reality of the present.

– Immanuel Wallerstein (The Modern World System, Introduction, p. 4)

Introduction

On April 7 the UN General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution intended to signal support for the US/NATO effort in Ukraine. This gesture of support came in the form of a resolution removing Russia from its seat on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).1 Just as with the March 2 UNGA resolution condemning Russia’s military intervention of February 242 (passed by countries representing just 41% of world population3 ), the April 7 vote is dizzyingly lopsided. Western media presented passage of both resolutions as victories. But when adjusted for world population, these votes appear as popular losses for US/NATO and its sphere. The April 7 resolution had support from countries representing just 24% of global population, a drop of 17% from the March 2 vote and an even more striking popular defeat for US/NATO.4

The April 7 Vote to Remove Russia From the UN Human Rights Council

Here is the result of the April 7 vote to remove Russia from the UNHRC:

93 IN FAVOR

24 AGAINST

58 ABSTENTIONS

18 NOT VOTING

(TOTAL: 193 COUNTRIES)

If you count people instead of countries, the vote means that countries representing only 24.33% of the world’s population voted in favor of the resolution, with 75.67% of humanity’s nations voting AGAINST, ABSTAINING, or NOT VOTING:

VOTING FOR THE RESOLUTION: 24.33%

AGAINST, ABSTAINING, OR NOT VOTING: 75.67%

(AGAINST 27.52%; ABSTENTIONS 45.17%; NOT VOTING 2.98%)5

Just as with the March 2 vote to condemn the February 24 Russian intervention in Ukraine, the April 7 vote divides richer from poorer countries and “white countries” from “countries of color.” For both the March 2 and the April 7 votes, when adjusted for population, the great majority of richer “white countries” voted with US/NATO, and the great majority of poorer “countries of color” did not.

Much popular sentiment in US/NATO countries and their sphere, including on the Left, condemns Russia’s intervention. But judging by these two recent United Nations General Assembly votes, world opinion seems contrary, especially among governments of countries that are poorer, “of color,” and in the global periphery or semi-periphery of the world system.

There have been many official government statements contradicting condemnations of Russia from the Global North. Two came from Cuba and Nicaragua, countries which happen to fit the profile just given. But this article will not consider such statements, nor add to the reams of gigabytes filled with discussion of the merits or demerits of Russia’s intervention, war crimes in Ukraine and questions as to who might have committed them, Russia’s intentions expressed or unexpressed, nor who, if anyone, is winning or losing the war.

Instead I will try to analyze the demography of the April 7 UNGA vote to remove Russia from the UNHRC.

The Wealth and Color of Nations: Definitions

Before analyzing the vote, and for the purpose of this article, I want to make a picture of the world in over-simplified economic and racial terms, and define my terms “poorer countries,” “richer countries,” “countries of color,” and “white countries.”    I will also use the established terms of world-system theory, “core,” “periphery” and “semi-periphery.”6

Wealth

First, to get some idea of what a “wealthy country” might be, I’ll compare nominal GDPs per capita (GDPcn). Instead of the four national income categories used by the World Bank, I’ll put all countries into just two groups based on GDPcn. I’ll call “richer” any country with a GDPcn of $13,000 or above. All other countries I’ll call “poorer.” This means:

85% of the world’s population lives in “poorer countries

15% of world population lives in “richer countries.”7

Here are some examples of countries in each group. In the list I rely on, Luxembourg is the richest country in the world with a GDPcn of $131,782; South Sudan is the poorest country in the world with a GDPcn of $315. “Poorer countries” include Ethiopia $952, China $11,819, Russia $11,654, Vietnam $3,609. “Richer countries” include some with GDPcn’s that are multiples of China’s or Russia’s, like France $44,995; Germany $51,860; Japan $42,928; United Kingdom $46,344; United States $68,309.

Color

I will call countries that are predominantly inhabited by or dominated by people North Americans generally (but inconsistently) perceive as “of color,” “countries of color.” (See Appendix 2.) All others I’ll call “white countries.” This means:

85% of world population lives in “countries of color.”

15% lives in “white countries.”

Core vs. Periphery (& Semi-Periphery)

World-systems theory puts the global wealth split into relief, dividing the nations of the world into the “core” and “periphery” of the global system. In world-systems theory the surplus value of labor flows disproportionately from the periphery to the core: “The countries of the world can be divided into two major world regions: the ‘core’ and the ‘periphery.’ The core includes major world powers and the countries that contain much of the wealth of the planet. The periphery has those countries that are not reaping the benefits of global wealth and globalization.” (Colin Stief, ThoughtCo.com, 1/21/20) The core countries include most of the richest and most powerful countries, historically and currently.

Here are the core countries, each followed by its GDPcn: Australia $62,723, Austria $53.859, Belgium $50,103, Canada $49,222, Denmark $67,218, Finland $54,330, France $44,995, Germany $51,860, Greece $19,673, Iceland $65,273, Ireland $94,556, Israel $47,602, Italy $33,190, Japan $42,928, Luxembourg $131,782, Netherlands $58,003, New Zealand $47,499, Norway $81,995, Portugal $25,065, Singapore $64,103, Spain $30,996, Sweden $58,997, Switzerland $94,696, United Kingdom $46,344, United States $68,309.

Here is the distribution of population between core and periphery:

88% of world population lives in countries in the periphery (or semi-periphery)8

12% of world population lives in core countries

Intersection of Wealth and Race

Looking at the world through these categories of wealth, race, core and periphery (including semi-periphery), this is what we see (rounded):

Poorer” “countries of color” have 82% of world population.

Poorer” “white countries” have 3% of world population.

Richer” “countries of color” have 3% of world population.

Richer” “white countries” have 12% of world population.

Using the core/periphery (& semi-periphery) analysis:

2% of the world population living in “countries of color” live in the core nations.

71% of the world population living in “white countries” live in the core nations.

Both analyses show the world sharply divided between its great majority of “countries of color” concentrated among the “poorer countries” and a small global minority of “white countries” constituting most of the “richer countries.” This is important to the following discussion of the UNGA vote on the April 7 resolution.

The UN Vote by Share of World Population

Here again are the results of the April 7 vote to remove Russia from the UNHRC, given by share of world population, not country:

VOTING FOR THE RESOLUTION: 24.33%

AGAINST, ABSTAINING, OR NOT VOTING: 75.67%

(AGAINST 27.52%; ABSTENTIONS 45.17%; NOT VOTING 2.98%)

For simplicity, I’ll round off the numbers, and reduce the vote to two categories: YES and NAN (No; Abstention; Not voting):

24% YES

76% NAN

The Vote and the Wealth, Color and World System Status of Nations

The point of this article is to demonstrate both how little global support there is for the US/NATO position in Ukraine, and also to show just how much the results of the April 7 vote split the world along the lines of the reigning global hierarchies of populations and nations. (Dear reader, I think this blizzard of statistics is worth suffering through.)

1. The Vote by “Poorer” and by “Richer” Countries, by Population

“Poorer countries” declined to support the resolution roughly 9 to 1, while richer countries supported the resolution more by than 30 to 1:

All “poorer countries”:

11% YES

89% NAN

All “richer countries”:

97% YES

3% NAN

2. The Vote by “Countries of Color” and by “White Countries,” by Population

The racial divide is almost as extreme as the wealth divide. “Countries of color” declined to support the resolution by more than 6 to 1, while “white countries” supported it by a nearly identical margin:

All “countries of color”:

13% YES

87% NAN

All “white countries”:

86% YES

14% NAN

3. The Vote by Core and Periphery (& Semi-Periphery), by Population

The periphery overwhelmingly declined to support the resolution, while the core was virtually unanimous in support of it:

All peripheral (& semi-peripheral) countries:

13% YES

87% NAN

All core countries:

99% YES

1% NAN

4. The Vote by Intersectional Categories of Race and Wealth, by Population

In this series of statistics the YES vote rises from only 10% for “poorer” “countries of color” to a unanimous 100% for “richer” “white countries,” while the NAN vote, of course, drops from 90% to zero.

All “poorer” “countries of color”:

10% YES

90% NAN

All “poorer” “white countries”:

33% YES

67% NAN

All “richer” “countries of color”:

75% YES

25% NAN

All “richer” “white countries”:

100% YES

0% NAN

5. The Vote by Intersectional Categories of Race and Wealth in the Core and Periphery (& Semi-Periphery), by Population

Again, notice how the YES vote rises from 11% for “countries of color” in the periphery, to a unanimous 100% for “white countries” in the core.

All “countries of color” in the periphery (& semi-periphery):

11% YES

89% NAN

All “white countries” in the periphery (& semi-periphery):

53% YES

47% NAN

All “countries of color” in the core:

95% YES

5% NAN

All “white countries” in the core:

100% YES

0% NAN

Conclusion

These numbers show the global divides of wealth, color, core and periphery deeply etched in the April 7 UNGA vote.

Here is a possible explanation.

The war in Ukraine is not just a conflict in Eurasia between two countries. Nor is it only a contest between two power blocks, with the US and its sphere on one side, and Russia and its sphere on the other. It may be that this conflict concerns unequal and contested economic, political and social relations between all nations and peoples of the world. Economist and economic historian Michael Hudson sees the contest as part of a clash of economic systems, between US-led neoliberal finance capitalism and socialist industrialization led by Russia, China and Eurasia.

What is clear is that with this UNGA vote the nations representing most of the downtrodden of the world have acted in defiance of US/NATO demands, pressure, and inordinate power.


Appendix 1: UN Countries (193)

Here are each of the countries on the UNGA roster for April 7, 2022, followed by its GDPcn, world population share, and vote (YES, NO, abstention [AB], not voting [NV]). GDPcn numbers are from a compilation of International Monetary Fund statistics for 2021 and, where noted, statistics from the World Bank (WB) or the United Nations (UN).

Afghanistan $592 (0.5%) NV; Albania $5,991 (0.04%) YES; Algeria $3,364 (0.56%) NO; Andorra $40,886 (WB 2019) (0.00%) YES; Angola $2,080 (0.42%) AB; Antigua and Barbuda $13,824 (0.00%) YES; Argentina $9,122 (0.58%) YES; Armenia $4,125 (0.04%) NV; Australia $62,723 (0.33%) YES; Austria $53,859 (0.12%) YES; Azerbaijan $4,883 (0.13%) NV; Bahamas $30,070 (0.01%) YES; Bahrain $24,294 (0.02%) AB; Bangladesh $2,122 (2.11%) AB; Barbados $16,036 (0.00%) AB; Belgium $50,103 (0.15%) YES; Belarus $6,478 (0.12%) NO; Belize $3,970 (0.01%) AB; Benin $1,388 (0.16%) NV; Bhutan $3,296 (0.01%) AB; Bolivia $8,624 (0.15%) NO; Bosnia & Herzegovina $6,728 (0.04%) YES; Botswana $7,817 (0.03%) AB; Brazil $7,011 (2.73%) AB; Brunei $33,097 (0.01%) AB; Bulgaria $11,321 (0.09%) YES; Burkina Faso $876 (0.27%) NV; Burundi $265 (0.15%) NO; Cabo Verde $3,555 (0.01%) AB; Cambodia $1,720 (0.21%) AB; Cameroon $1,649 (0.34%) AB; Canada $49,222 (0.48%) YES; Central African Republic $552 (0.06%) NO; Chad $741 (0.21%) YES; Chile $15,617 (0.25%) YES; China $11,819 (18.47%) NO; Colombia $5,753 (0.65%) YES; Comoros $1,420 (0.01%) YES; Congo (Dem Republic of the) $588 (1.15%) YES; Congo (Republic Of) $2,505 (0.07%) NO; Costa Rica $11,806 (0.07%) YES; Cote d’Ivoire $2,567 (0.34%) YES; Croatia $16,247 0.05% YES; Cuba $8,822 (WB 2018) (0.15%) NO; Cyprus $29,551 (0.02%) YES; Czech Republic $25,732 (0.14%) YES; Denmark $67,218 (0.07%) YES; Djibouti $3,214 (0.01%) NV; Dominica $6,989 (0.00%) YES; Dominican Republic $7,951 (0.14%) YES; Ecuador $5,665 (0.23%) YES; Egypt $3,832 (1.31%) AB; El Salvador $4,031 (0.08%) AB; Equatorial Guinea $8,074 (0.02%) NV; Eritrea $625 (0.05%) NO; Estonia $26,470 (0.02%) YES; Eswatini $3,837 (WB 2019) (0.01%) AB; Ethiopia $952 (1.47%) NO; Fiji $5,069 (0.01%) YES; Finland $54,330 (0.07%) YES; France $44,995 (0.84%) YES; Gabon $8,601 (0.03) NO; Gambia $834 (0.03) AB; Georgia $4,361 (0.05%) YES; Germany $51,860 (1.07%) YES; Ghana $2,374 (0.40%) AB; Greece $19,673 (0.13%) YES; Grenada $9,171 (0.00%) YES; Guatemala $4,439 (0.23%) YES; Guinea $1,141 (0.17%) NV; Guinea-Bissau $888 (0.03%) AB; Guyana $9,192 (0.01%) AB; Haiti $1,943 (0.15%) YES; Honduras $2,586 (0.13%) YES; Hungary $18,075 (0.12%) YES; Iceland $65,273 (0.00%) YES; Ireland $94,556 (0.06%) YES; Israel $47,602 (0.11%) YES; Italy $33,190 (0.78%) YES; India $2,191 (17.7%) AB; Indonesia $4,256 (3.51%) AB; Iran $8,034 (1.08%) NO; Iraq $4,632 (0.52%) AB; Jamaica $5,328 (0.04%) YES; Japan $42,928 (1.62%) YES; Jordan $4,358 (0.13%) AB; Kazakhstan $9,828 (0.24%) NO; Kenya $2,129 (0.69%) AB; Kiribati $1,917 (0.00%) YES; Korea (Democratic Peoples Republic of [aka North Korea]) $640 (UN 2019) (0.33%) NO; Korea (Republic of [aka South Korea]) $34,866 (0.66%) YES; Kuwait $25,290    (0.05%) AB; Kyrgyzstan $1,123 (0.08%) NO; Lao (Peoples Democratic Republic of) $2,773 (0.09%) NO; Latvia $19,824 (0.02%) YES; Lebanon $2,802 (IMF 2020) (0.09%) NV; Lesotho $1,178 (0.03%) AB; Liberia $700 (0.06%) YES; Libya $3,617 (0.09%) YES; Liechtenstein $173,356 (WB 2017) (0.00%) YES; Lithuania $22,245 (0.03%) YES; Luxembourg $131,782 (0.01%) YES; Madagascar $521 (0.36%) AB; Malawi $432 (0.25%) YES; Malaysia $11,604 (0.42%) AB; Maldives $11,801 (0.01%) AB; Mali $983 (0.26%) NO; Malta $31,576 (0.01%) YES; Marshall Islands $4,206 (0.00%) YES; Mauritania $2,179 (0.06%) NV; Mauritius $9,639 (0.02%) YES; Mexico $9,246 (1.65%) AB; Micronesia (Federated States of) $3,821 (0.01%) YES; Moldova $4,638 (0.05%) YES; Monaco $185,741 (WB 2018) (0.00%) YES; Mongolia $4,172 (0.04%) AB; Montenegro $9,046 (0.01%) YES; Morocco $3,415 (0.47%) NV;    Mozambique $425 (0.40%) AB; Myanmar $1,423 (0.7%) YES; Namibia $4,371 (0.03%) AB; Nauru $10,125 (0.00) YES; Nepal $1,236 (0.37) AB; Netherlands $58,003 (0.22%) YES; New Zealand $47,499 (0.06%) YES; Nicaragua $1,877 (0.08%) NO; Niger $633 (0.31%) AB; Nigeria $2,432 (2.64%) AB; North Macedonia $6,657 (0.03%) YES; Norway $81,995 (0.07%)    YES; Oman $16,212 (0.07%) AB; Pakistan $1,260 (IMF 2020) (2.83%) AB; Palau $12,850 (0.00%) YES; Panama $13,690 (0.06%) YES; Papua New Guinea $2,737 (0.11%) YES; Paraguay $5,146 (0.09%) YES; Peru $6,678 (0.42%) YES; Philippines $8,646 (1.41%) YES; Poland $16,930 (0.49%) YES; Portugal $25,065 (0.13%) YES; Qatar $59,143 (0.04%) AB; Romania $14,968 (0.25%) YES; Russia $11,654 (1.87%) NO; Rwanda $821 (0.17%) NV; Saint Kitts and Nevis $14,402 (0.00%) AB; Saint Lucia $9,816 (0.00%) YES; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines $7,212 (0.00%) AB; San Marino $49,765 (0.00%) YES; Samoa $3,672 (0.00%) YES; Sao Tome and Principe $2,174 (0.00%) NV; Saudi Arabia $22,700 (0.45%) AB; Senegal $1,622 (0.21%) AB; Serbia $8,748 (0.11%) YES; Seychelles $9,666 (0.00%) YES; Sierra Leone $542 (0.10%) YES; Singapore $64,103 (0.08%) AB; Slovakia $21,529 (0.07%) YES; Slovenia $28,104 (0.03%) YES; Solomon Islands $2,455 (0.01%) NV; Somalia $347 (0.20%) NV; South Africa $5,444 (0.76%) AB; South Sudan $315 (0.14%) AB; Spain $30,996 (0.60%) YES; Sri Lanka $3,830 (0.27%) AB; Sudan $787 (0.56%) AB; Suriname $4,030 (0.01%) AB; Sweden $58,997 (0.13%) YES; Switzerland $94,696 (0.11%) YES; Syria $2,807 (IMF 2010) (0.22%) NO; Tajikistan $810 (0.12%) NO; Tanzania (United Republic of) $1,104 (0.77%) AB; Thailand $7,702 (0.90%) AB; Timor-Leste $1,285 (0.02%) YES; Togo $1,016 (0.11%) AB; Tonga $5,081 (0.00%) YES; Trinidad-Tobago $15,752 (0.02%) AB; Tunisia $3,683 (0.15%) AB; Turkey $9,327 (1.08%) YES; Turkmenistan $9,032 (0.08%) NV; Tuvalu $5,116 (0.00%) YES; Uganda $972 (0.59%) AB; Ukraine $3,984 (0.56%) YES; United Arab Emirates $35,171 (0.13%) AB; United Kingdom $46,344 (0.87%) YES; United States $68,309 (4.25%) YES; Uruguay $15,653 (0.04%) Yes; Uzbekistan $1,775 (0.43%) No; Vanuatu $2,957 (0.00%) AB; Venezuela $1,542 (0.36%) NV; Vietnam $3,609 (1.25%) NO; Yemen $754 (0.38%) AB; Zambia $974 (0.24%) NV; Zimbabwe $1,684 (0.19%) NO.

Appendix 2: “Countries of Color” (142)

Afghanistan; Algeria; Angola; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Azerbaijan; Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh; Barbados; Belize; Benin; Bhutan; Bolivia; Botswana; Brazil; Brunei; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cabo Verde; Cambodia; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Chile; China; Colombia; Comoros; Congo (Democratic Republic of the); Congo (Republic of); Costa Rica; Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast); Cuba; Djibouti; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Egypt; El Salvador; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Eswatini; Ethiopia; Fiji; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Grenada; Guatemala; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; India; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Jamaica; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kiribati; Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of); Korea (Republic of); Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lao (Peoples Democratic Republic of); Lebanon; Lesotho; Liberia; Libya; Madagascar; Malawi; Malaysia; Maldives; Mali; Marshall Islands; Mauritania; Mauritius; Mexico; Micronesia (Federated States of); Mongolia; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Nauru; Nepal; Nicaragua; Niger; Nigeria; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; Qatar; Rwanda; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Samoa; Sao Tome and Principe; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Seychelles; Sierra Leone; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Suriname; Syria; Tajikistan; Tanzania (United Republic of); Thailand; Timor-Leste; Togo; Tonga; Trinidad and Tobago; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Tuvalu; Uganda; United Arab Emirates; Uruguay; Uzbekistan; Vanuatu; Venezuela; Vietnam; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe.

  1. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 7 April 2022 ES-11/3. “Suspension of the rights of membership of the Russian Federation in the Human Rights Council [Excerpt:] Expressing grave concern at the ongoing human rights and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, in particular at the reports of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law by the Russian Federation, including gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights, recognizing the strong expressions of concern in statements by the Secretary-General and by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and noting the latest update on the human rights situation in Ukraine by the human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine, of 26 March 2022, [par.] 1. Decides to suspend the rights of membership in the Human Rights Council of the Russian Federation…”
  2. Resolution adopted March 2 by the General Assembly: “Deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine in violation of Article 2 (4) of the Charter.” (Article 2 (4) reads: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”) The resolution also “[d]eplores the 21 February 2022 decision by the Russian Federation related to the status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter.” Beyond Russia, the resolution “[d]eplores the involvement of Belarus in this unlawful use of force against Ukraine, and calls upon it to abide by its international obligations.”
  3. This article will concentrate on the April 7 vote. I wrote about the March 2 vote in Divided World: The UN Condemnation of Russia is Endorsed by Countries Run by the Richest, Oldest, Whitest People on Earth But Only 41% of the World’s Population, found here, here, here, here.
  4. Another March 24 resolution passed in the UNGA blamed Russia for the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. It received a vote nearly identical to the March 2 vote.
  5. These figures and similar ones throughout this article are the sums of the share of global population for each country in each voting category.
  6. Two Appendices follow this article. Appendix 1 lists the 193 countries on the April 7 UNGA roster, each followed by its nominal GDP per capita, its % share of world population, and how it voted. Appendix 2 lists, for the purpose of this article, “countries of color.” (All other countries will be considered “white countries.”)
  7. My source gives population share figures out to two decimals. This overlooks populations of a number of very small countries, adding up to 1.2% of world population. Assuming the distribution of “poorer” and “richer” countries is roughly similar in that 1.2%, I approximated the “poorer”/“richer” split as 85%/15% and assigned 85% of the 1.2% to the “poorer” group and the rest to the “richer” group. “Richer countries” have 14.93% of world population; “poorer countries” have 83.87%. Distributing the remaining 1.2% of world population according to an 85%/15% split (“poorer”/“richer”), means “poorer” countries have 84.89% of world population and “richer” countries have 15.11%. This rounds to 85% and 15%. I used the same method to find the percentages for “countries of color” and “white countries” (below). Because of these vagaries, among the many statistics given below, some may be off by a percentage point.
  8. Some name a semi-periphery that may include Russia and China.
The post Global Divide: 76% of Humanity (and Nearly All Poorer Nations of Color) Did Not Vote to Kick Russia off the UN Human Rights Council first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Divided World

On March 2 of this year the UN General Assembly met in an Emergency Session to pass a non-binding resolution condemning Russia’s February 24 intervention in Ukraine.1 141 countries voted for the resolution, 5 voted against, 35 abstained, and 12 did not vote. (Reported: Guardian, Al Jazeera, iNews.)

In the absence of any reliable opinion poll of the world’s 7.9 billion people, this vote may indicate that the majority of humanity sympathizes with Russia in Ukraine. The statistics presented below show that only 41% of the world’s people live in countries that joined the US in voting for the UN resolution.

This lopsided vote is even more striking if you consider the demographics. Populations represented by governments that did not vote for the resolution are much more likely to include the world’s poorest nations, nations with younger populations, “nations of color,” nations of the Global South, and nations in the periphery of the world economic system.

To put it another way, although the war is nominally a conflict between two developed and ethnically white nations, Russia and Ukraine, this UN vote suggests the war may be viewed by much of the world as a fight over the global political and economic system that institutionalizes the imperial hierarchy, the distribution of nations between rich and poor, and global white supremacy.

The UN Vote by Population   

Of the world’s 7,934,000,000 people, 59% live in countries that did not support the resolution and only 41% live in countries that did.2 But that last figure drops to 34% outside of the immediate belligerents and their allies: Ukraine, US, and NATO countries, and on the other side, Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, and Tajikistan (all the countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization).

41% or 34% amounts to a resounding, humiliating defeat for the US on this non-binding UN resolution. Instead it is reported in the west as a US victory and an “overwhelming” worldwide condemnation of Russia.

The UN Vote and GDP Per Capita

All the countries in the top third of the GDP per capita (nominal) rankings, including Japan and all the countries of Western Europe and North America, voted for the resolution, Venezuela being the only country in the top third that did not.

Of the countries that did not vote for the resolution, most are ranked the poorest in the world, and almost none came above the approximate midpoint rank of 98. The exceptions were: Venezuela (58), Russia (68), Equatorial Guinea (73), Kazakhstan (75), China (76) Cuba (82), Turkmenistan (92), South Africa (95), Belarus (97).3

The UN Vote and the Core/Periphery Divide

Another way to show the wealth divide in the UN vote is by distinguishing core and peripheral countries. In world-systems theory the surplus value of labor flows disproportionately to the core countries: “The countries of the world can be divided into two major world regions: the ‘core’ and the ‘periphery.’ The core includes major world powers and the countries that contain much of the wealth of the planet. The periphery has those countries that are not reaping the benefits of global wealth and globalization.” (Colin Stief, ThoughtCo.com, 1/21/20)

The countries usually considered in the core are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

The difference here is stark. Every single core country voted for the resolution and every country that did not is either in the periphery or in some cases, like Russia or China, in the semi-periphery.

The UN Vote and Median Age

All the countries ranked in the top third of median age rankings, from Monaco (51.1 years) to Iceland (36.5 years), voted for the resolution, with the following exceptions: China (37.4), Russia (39.6), Belarus (40), Cuba (41.5).

Of the twenty entries with the lowest median ages (15.4 to 18.9), only half voted for the resolution.

The UN Vote and “Countries of Color”

Of the 7,934,000,000 people in the world, 1,136,160,000 live in what are usually recognized as “white countries” (consistently or not) with about 14% of the world’s population. Yet “white countries,” by population, represent about 30% of the total vote in favor of the resolution. This “white vote” accounts for every one of the core countries (except Singapore and Japan). Compare: 97% of the population in the countries that did not vote for the resolution live in “countries of color.” Only Russia, Belarus and Armenia (which did not vote for the resolution) have dominant populations classed as “white.”

Therefore “white countries” are overrepresented in the group that voted for the resolution (30% vs. 14%), and underrepresented in the group that did not (3% vs. 14%).

Before the Intervention

What follows is a brief sketch of events leading to the February 24 Russian intervention that prompted the UN resolution. It is a history seldom mentioned in the mainstream media, though it is easily found in selected alternative and now-suppressed media. It is presented here as a possible, partial explanation of why the UN resolution had so little support measured by population.

US/NATO has directed aggression toward Russia for decades, advancing NATO forces ever closer to Russia’s western border, ringing Russia with military bases, placing nuclear weapons at ever closer range, and breaching and discarding treaties meant to lessen the likelihood of nuclear war. The US even let it be known, through its planning documents and policy statements, that it considered Ukraine a battlefield on which Ukrainian and Russian lives might be sacrificed in order to destabilize, decapitate and eventually dismember Russia just as it did Yugoslavia. Russia has long pointed out the existential security threat it sees in Ukrainian territory, and it has made persistent, peaceful, yet fruitless efforts over decades to resolve the problem. (See Monthly Review’s excellent editors’ note.)

Recent history includes the 2014 US-orchestrated coup in Ukraine, followed by a war of the central government against those in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk resisting the coup government and its policies. Those policies include a ban on the Russian language, the native tongue of the region and a significant part of the country (ironically, including President Zelensky).

By the end of 2021 the war had taken 14,000 lives, four-fifths of them members of the resistance or civilian Russian speakers targeted by the government. Through years of negotiations Russia tried and failed to keep the Donetsk and Lugansk regions inside a united Ukraine. After signing the Minsk agreements that would do just that, Ukraine, under tight US control, refused to comply even with step one: to talk with the rebellion’s representatives.

As to why the intervention happend now, Vyacheslav Tetekin, Central Committee member of Russia’s largest opposition party, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, explains:

Starting from December, 2021 Russia had been receiving information about NATO’s plans to deploy troops and missile bases in Ukraine. Simultaneously an onslaught on the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk People’s Republics (LPR) was being prepared. About a week before the start of Russia’s operation the plan was uncovered of an offensive that envisaged strikes by long-range artillery, multiple rocket launchers, combat aircraft, to be followed by an invasion of Ukrainian troops and Nazi battalions. It was planned to cut off Donbas from the border with Russia, encircle and besiege Donetsk, Lugansk and other cities and then carry out a sweeping “security cleanup” with imprisonment and killing of thousands of defenders of Donbas and their supporters. The plan was developed in cooperation with NATO. The invasion was scheduled to begin in early March. Russia’s action pre-empted Kiev and NATO, which enabled it to seize strategic initiative and effectively save thousands of lives in the two republics.

All this may have informed the world’s overwhelming rejection of the US-backed UN resolution condemning Russia, which western media perversely considers a US victory simply because the resolution passed. Never mind that it passed in a voting system where Liechtenstein’s vote carries the same weight as China’s.

The Global South also knows from bitter experience that unlike the West, neither Russia nor it’s close partner China habitually engage in bombings, invasions, destabilization campaigns, color revolutions, coups and assassinations against the countries and governments of the Global South. On the contrary, both countries have assisted the development and military defense of such countries, as in Syria, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Iran and elsewhere.

Conclusion

Just as the imperial core of North America, Europe and Japan does not represent the world in their population numbers, demographics, wealth, or power, neither does the imperial core speak for the world on crucial issues of war, peace, justice, and international law. Indeed the Global South has already spoken to the Global North so many times, in so many ways, with patience, persistence and eloquence, to little avail. Since we in the North have not been able to hear the words, perhaps we can listen to the cry of the numbers.

  1. The resolution “Deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine in violation of Article 2 (4) of the Charter.” (Article 2 (4) reads: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”) The resolution also “[d]eplores the 21 February 2022 decision by the Russian Federation related to the status of certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine and inconsistent with the principles of the Charter.” Beyond Russia, the resolution “[d]eplores the involvement of Belarus in this unlawful use of force against Ukraine, and calls upon it to abide by its international obligations.”
  2. The population of countries voting for the UN resolution is 3,289,310,000. The population of countries voting against the resolution, abstaining, or not voting is 4,644,694,000. (Against: 202,209,000; abstaining: 4,140,546,000; not voting: 301,939,000.)
  3. Here are the countries that did not vote for the resolution, with their GDP per capita rankings (the lower the number the higher the rank). 5 countries voted against the resolution: Russia 68, Belarus 97, North Korea 154, Eritrea 178, Syria 147. 35 countries abstained: Algeria 119, Angola 128, Armenia 115, Bangladesh 155, Bolivia 126, Burundi 197, Central African Republic 193, China 76, Congo 143, Cuba 82, El Salvador 121, Equatorial Guinea 73, India 150, Iran 105, Iraq 103, Kazakhstan 75, Kyrgyzstan 166, Laos 140, Madagascar 190, Mali 174, Mongolia 118, Mozambique 192, Namibia 102, Nicaragua 148, Pakistan 162, Senegal 160, South Africa 95, South Sudan 168, Sri Lanka 120, Sudan 171, Tajikistan 177, Tanzania 169, Uganda 187, Vietnam 138, Zimbabwe 144. 12 countries did not vote: Azerbaijan 110, Burkina Faso 184, Cameroon 158, Eswatini 117, Ethiopia 170, Guinea 175, Guinea-Bissau 179, Morocco 130, Togo 185, Turkmenistan 92, Uzbekistan 159, Venezuela 58.
The post Divided World first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Bombs and Missiles ‘r Us . . . and Further Infantilization of USA/EU/UK

I’m finishing up a “children’s book.” It’s longish. Kati the Coatimundi Finds Lorena. It’s about a precocious (actually, super smart) 12 year old, Lorena, who is in a wheelchair (paraplegic) who ends up finding out the family trip to Playa del Carmen back to San Antonio, Texas, brought with them a stowaway animal — a coati. Yep, the world of the 12 yeare old is full of reading, drawing, smarts. Yep, the girl and the animal can communicate with each other. Yep, lots of struggle with being “the other,” and, well, it’s a story that I hope even keeps grandma on the edge of her seat, or at least wanting to read more and more. She is a mestizo, too. We’ll see how that goes with the woke folk. I think I have a former veterinarian who is retired and now is working on illustrations, art. We shall see where this project heads.

Under this veil of creativity, of course, it’s difficult to just meld into pure art when the world around me is very very pregnant with stupidity, injustice, despotism, and Collective Stockholm Syndrome. Being in Oregon, being in a small rural area, being in the Pacific Northwest, being in USA, now that also bogs down spirits.

It’s really about how stupid and how inane and how blatantly violent this so-called Western Civilization has become. The duh factor never plays in the game, because (a) the digital warriors writing stuff like this very blog are not engaged with centers of power, influence or coalescing. Then (b) so many people are in their minds powerful because with the touch of a keyboard, they can mount an offensive on or against facts . . . or deeply regarded and thought out opinions. So, then (c) everyone has a right to their opinion . . . . that is how the American mind moves through the commercial dungeons their marketing and financial overlords end up putting them.

No pitchforks? How in anybody’s room temperature IQ does this make any sense? Demands for daily procurement of weapons for imbalanced, losing, and Nazified Ukraine?

It is about the food, stupid, okay, Carville?

So, before we move on, this is a communique from the G7 summit of the world’s biggest economies. And, no, EU and USA and Canada, not prepared for the Russian offensive’s affect on global food security. Alas, March 24, the G7 leaders agreed to use “all instruments and funding mechanisms” and involve the “relevant international institutions” to address food security, including support for the “continued Ukrainian production efforts.”

Ukraine has told the US that it urgently needs to be supplied with 500 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 500 Stinger air defense missiles per day, CNN reported on Thursday, citing a document presented to US lawmakers.

Western countries have been sending weapons and military gear to Kiev but President Volodymyr Zelensky says it is not enough to fend off the Russian attack that was launched a month ago.

CNN quoted sources as saying that Ukraine is now asking for “hundreds more” missiles than in previous requests sent to lawmakers. Addressing the leaders of NATO member states via video link on Thursday, Zelensky said he had not received a “clear answer” to the request of “one percent of all your tanks.” (source)

And, again, this is not blasphemy? Imagine, this “leader” and those “leaders,” smiling away during what is the 30 seconds to midnight doomsday clock. Smiling while Ukraine kills humanitarian refugees, while the biolabs sputtering on in deep freeze (we hope), and while the food prices are rising. Gas cards in California, and food coupons in France?

In a normal world, a million pundits would be all over this March 24 group/grope photo. Smiles, while we the people have to watch billions go to ZioLensky and trillions more shunted to these world leaders’ overlords?

As I alluded to in the title — the mighty warring UK, with the highrises in London, with those jet-setters and those Rothschild-loving royal rummies, it has food banks set up for the struggling, working class, and, alas, the gas is so pricey that people can’t boil spuds! Bring back the coal stoves!

These are leaders? The elites? The best of the best?

In an interview with the BBC Radio 4 Today program on Wednesday, Richard Walker said the “cost of living crisis is the single most important domestic issue we are facing as a country.” He cited reports from some food banks that users are “declining products such as potatoes and other root veg because they can’t afford to boil them.” Walker suggested that the UK government could implement measures to take the heat off retailers. He urged that the energy price cap on households could be extended to businesses, which he said would translate into some £100m in savings on consumers. He also called on authorities to postpone the introduction of the planned increase in national insurance, as well as some new environmental taxes. (source)

The operative words are “crumbling,” and, then, “malfescence,” and then, “hubris,” and then, “bilking.”

I just heard some inside stuff from someone working for a high tech company. I can’t get into too much about that, but here, these “engineers” in electronics or in data storage systems, they are, again, the height of Eicchmanns, but with the added twist of me-myself-and-I. Their expectations are $180,000 a year, with six weeks paid vacation, stocks, and, well, the eight-hour day.

I don’t think the average blog reader gets this — we are not talking about celebrities, or the executive team for Amazon or Dell or Raytheon. Yep, those bastards pull in millions a year, like those celebrities, the pro athletes and the thespians of note, or musicians. These are people who are demanding those entry pay rates who have no empathy for the world around them. Sure, they believe they have kids to feed, and they might rah-rah the Ukraine madness (that, of course, means, more diodes, batteries, computer chips, communication systems, et al for the monsters of war), but they laugh at the idea of real people with real poverty issues getting a cheque from Uncle Sam.

These are the everyday folk. I harken to the Scheer Report, tied to this fellow: It’s almost surreal and schizophrenic to valorize this fellow. Here, his bio brief, Ted Postol, a physicist and nuclear weapons specialist as well as MIT professor emeritus, joins Robert Scheer on this week’s edition of “Scheer Intelligence” to explain just how deadly the current brinkmanship between the U.S. and Russia really is. Having taught at Stanford University and Princeton prior to his time at MIT, Postol was also a science and policy adviser to the chief of naval operations and an analyst at the Office of Technology Assessment. His nuclear weapons expertise led him to critique the U.S. government’s claims about missile defenses, for which he won the Garwin Prize from the Federation of American Scientists in 2016. (source)

I’ll go with Mr. Fish, as his illustration, even though it has words, speaks volumes —

It all begs the question, so, now this weapons of war fellow, this US Navy advisor, physcist, he is now having his coming to Allah-Jesus-Moses moment? He gets it so wrong, and, one slice of the Ray-gun play, well, he also misses the point that people brought up in the warring world, and those with elite college backgrounds, or military and elite college backgrounds, and those in think tanks, or on the government deep or shallow state payroll, those in the diplomatic corps, those in the Fortune 5000 companies, the lot of them, and, of course, the genuflect to the multimillionaires and billionaires, they are, quite frankly, in most cases, sociopaths.

But, here, a quote from his interview with Robert Scheer:

And unfortunately, most of what people believe—even people who are quite well educated—is just unchecked. You know, only if you’re a real expert—and these people were not, in spite of the fact they viewed themselves that way—do you understand something about the reality of what these weapons are about. And so basically, to use a term that gets overused a lot, I think the deep state in both Russia and the United States—more the United States than Russia, at least as far as I can see—the deep state in the United States mostly, basically undermined the ideas and objectives of Ronald Reagan. And of course Gorbachev was facing a similar problem in Russia.

So there’s these giant institutions inside both countries. They’re filled with people who, at one level, honestly believe these bad ideas, or think they are right; and because they think they are right, and they convince themselves that it’s in the best interest of the country, what’s really going on, it’s in their best interest as professionals but they mix up their best interest with the interest of the country. They, these people take steps to blunt the directives of the president, and basically the system just moves on without any real modification, independent of this remarkable and actually extraordinarily insightful judgment of these two men. (source)

We know Reagan’s pedigree, and we know the millions who have suffered and died under his watch. And his best and brightest in his crew, oh, they are still around. Imagine, that, Trump 2024. Will another war criminal and his cadre of criminals rise again to national prominence. He will be seeking counsel:

Then, alas, the flags at the post office, half mast, yet again and again and again — Today, that other war criminal:

Go to minute 59:00 here at the Grayzone, and watch this woman (Albright) call Serbs disgusting. Oh well, flags are flapping once again for another war criminal!

Sure, watch the entire two hours and forty-five minutes, and then try and wrap your heads around 1,000 missiles a day on the road to Ukraine, and no-boiling spuds in the UK. And it goes without saying, that any narrative, any deep study of, any recalled history of this entire bullshit affair in the minds of most Yankees and Rebels, they — Pepe Escobar, Scott Ritter, Abby Martin, et al — are the fringe. Get to this one from Escobar, today:

A quick neo-Nazi recap

By now only the brain dead across NATOstan – and there are hordes – are not aware of Maidan in 2014. Yet few know that it was then Ukrainian Minister of Interior Arsen Avakov, a former governor of Kharkov, who gave the green light for a 12,000 paramilitary outfit to materialize out of Sect 82 soccer hooligans who supported Dynamo Kiev. That was the birth of the Azov batallion, in May 2014, led by Andriy Biletsky, a.k.a. the White Fuhrer, and former leader of the neo-nazi gang Patriots of Ukraine.

Together with NATO stay-behind agent Dmitro Yarosh, Biletsky founded Pravy Sektor, financed by Ukrainian mafia godfather and Jewish billionaire Ihor Kolomoysky (later the benefactor of the meta-conversion of Zelensky from mediocre comedian to mediocre President.)

Pravy Sektor happened to be rabidly anti-EU – tell that to Ursula von der Lugen – and politically obsessed with linking Central Europe and the Baltics in a new, tawdry Intermarium. Crucially, Pravy Sektor and other nazi gangs were duly trained by NATO instructors.

Biletsky and Yarosh are of course disciples of notorious WWII-era Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, for whom pure Ukrainians are proto-Germanic or Scandinavian, and Slavs are untermenschen.

Azov ended up absorbing nearly all neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine and were dispatched to fight against Donbass – with their acolytes making more money than regular soldiers. Biletsky and another neo-Nazi leader, Oleh Petrenko, were elected to the Rada. The White Führer stood on his own. Petrenko decided to support then President Poroshenko. Soon the Azov battalion was incorporated as the Azov Regiment to the Ukrainian National Guard.

They went on a foreign mercenary recruiting drive – with people coming from Western Europe, Scandinavia and even South America.

That was strictly forbidden by the Minsk Agreements guaranteed by France and Germany (and now de facto defunct). Azov set up training camps for teenagers and soon reached 10,000 members. Erik “Blackwater” Prince, in 2020, struck a deal with the Ukrainian military that would enable his renamed outfit, Academi, to supervise Azov.

It was none other than sinister Maidan cookie distributor Vicky “F**k the EU” Nuland who suggested to Zelensky – both of them, by the way, Ukrainian Jews – to appoint avowed Nazi Yarosh as an adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Gen Valerii Zaluzhnyi. The target: organize a blitzkrieg on Donbass and Crimea – the same blitzkrieg that SVR, Russian foreign intel, concluded would be launched on February 22, thus propelling the launch of Operation Z. (Source: “Make Nazism Great Again — The supreme target is regime change in Russia, Ukraine is just a pawn in the game – or worse, mere cannon fodder.”)

In the minds of wimpy Trump and wimpy Biden, or in those minds of all those in the camp of Harris-Jill Biden disharmony, these white UkiNazi hombres above are “our tough hombres.” Send the ZioLensky bombs, bioweapons, bucks, big boys. Because America the Ungreat will be shaking up the world, big time.

So, I slither back to the writing, finishing up my story about a girl, a coati, Mexico, what it means to be disabled, and what it means to be an illegal animal stuck in America, Texas, of all places, where shoot to kill vermin orders are a daily morning conversation with the oatmeal and white toast and jam.

See the source image

If only the world could be run by storytellers, dancers, art makers, dramatists, musicians everywhere. Here, a great little thing from Lila Downs — All about culture, art, dance, language, food, color. Forget the physicists, man. And the electrical and dam engineers.

If you do not understand Spanish, then, maybe hit the YouTube “settings” and get the English subtitles.. In either case, magnificent, purely magnificent!

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