Category Archives: War

“Damned Fun”: “Top Gun: Maverick” And The Military-Entertainment Complex

In 1990, Tom Cruise, star of the 1986 blockbuster, ‘Top Gun’, said:

Some people felt that “Top Gun” was a right-wing film to promote the Navy. And a lot of kids loved it. But I want the kids to know that’s not the way war is – that “Top Gun” was just an amusement park ride, a fun film with a PG-13 rating that was not supposed to be reality. That’s why I didn’t go on and make “Top Gun II” and “III” and “IV” and “V.” That would have been irresponsible.

It would indeed, and one can only admire Cruise’s honesty and selfless determination… in 1990…  not to mislead young people.

Why, then, 32 years later, would Cruise decide to appear in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’? The Daily Mail provides a clue:

The 59-year-old superstar was “only” paid $13million, although he will also earn a percentage of every dollar taken at the global box office. He made $100million for the original Mission: Impossible film – and could earn even more if Top Gun: Maverick is a box office smash.

Which it is already. Associated Press reports:

Top Gun: Maverick” has already grossed $548.6 million worldwide, making it easily one the biggest hits of Cruise’s career.

His earlier refusal to be ‘irresponsible’ was in response to claims that Cruise’s bright, shining film was, in reality, a propaganda fecalith expelled from the bowels of ‘the Military-Entertainment Complex’. Thus, director Oliver Stone, in 1998:

“Top Gun,” man – it was essentially a fascist movie. It sold the idea that war is clean, war can be won … nobody in the movie ever mentions that he just started World War Three!’

In 1986, Time magazine reported that for the cost of just $1.8 million, the US Department of Defense allowed the Top Gun producers ‘the use of Miramar Naval Air Station’ as well as ‘four aircraft carriers and about two dozen F-14 Tomcats, F-5 Tigers and A-4 Skyhawks, some flown by real-life Top Gun pilots’.

The Washington Post reports:

It’s unlikely the film could have gotten made without the Pentagon’s considerable support. A single F-14 Tomcat cost about $38 million. The total budget for “Top Gun” was $15 million.

It wasn’t Catch-22, but there was a catch: in exchange for this lavish military support, the producers agreed to let the US Department of Defense make changes to the script. The changes were substantial but trivial compared to the real issue missed by almost all ‘mainstream’ journalists; namely, that the US war machine would not have spent millions of dollars subsidising a movie unless the core themes of the story provided a powerful propaganda service to the US war machine. And such, indeed, was the case:

The film conquered the box office, as well as the hearts and minds of young Americans. Following its release, applications to become Naval Aviators reportedly jumped by 500 percent. To capitalize on the craze, some enterprising Navy recruiters even set up stands outside theaters.

Time summed it up:

The high-flying hardware turns Top Gun into a 110-minute commercial for the Navy – and it was the Navy’s cooperation that put the planes in the picture.

No surprise, then, as The Washington Post reported:

Top Gun” (1986), turned out to be so influential it set the blueprint for a new kind of corporate movie product fusing Hollywood star power with the U.S. military’s firepower. Think “Black Hawk Down,” “Transformers” or “American Sniper.”

Donald Baruch, the Pentagon’s special assistant for audio-visual media, commented that the US government ‘couldn’t buy the sort of publicity films give us’. In reality, they do, in effect, buy this publicity:

Before a producer receives military assistance for a TV or movie project, the screenplay is reviewed by officials at the Department of Defense and by each of the services involved. The Pentagon ends up rejecting many projects that come its way on the grounds that they distort military life and situations.

Movies critical of the military will be difficult to make,” says former Navy Lieut. John Semcken, who served as the liaison on Top Gun.

The War Zone website provides some details behind military backing for the new, follow-up film, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’:

The War Zone obtained the official production assistance agreements, 84 pages in total, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Office of the Secretary of Defense…

The documents confirm that filming was conducted on location at Naval Base Coronado, Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon, NAS Lemoore, Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro, Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, and Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island. Fallon is home to the Navy’s real-life Topgun program.’

How many aircraft carriers were thrown in?

The Nimitz class aircraft carriers USS Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt were also made available. Some filming even took place inside Roosevelt’s Combat Direction Center, which is the ship’s nerve center.

The War Zone adds:

Two different agreements say that the Navy was expected to provide between four and 12 actual F/A-18 fighters for film, “dependent on availability of aircraft.” There is at least one scene in the trailers that have been released so far showing a row of these jets, including one wearing a special paint job created specifically for the movie.

In addition, the Navy was to “allow for the internal and external placement of the Production Company’s cameras on F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets and Navy helicopters with the approval of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

And:

There are some details about set construction in various locations, including the complete transformation of a hangar and squadron spaces belonging to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 (VRC-30) at NAS North Island, part of Naval Base Coronado, for the movie.

While the recent, 75th Cannes film festival banned any official delegations or reporters from Russia, ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ was massively promoted. The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the gala opening of the festival on a huge screen via a video link from Kyiv. Drawing heavily on Charlie Chaplin’s classic film, The Great Dictator (1940), Zelensky said:

If there is a dictator, if there is a war for freedom, once again, everything depends on our unity. Can cinema stay outside of this unity?

Quoting directly from Chaplin’s anti-war speech at the end of the film, Zelensky said:

In the end, hatred will disappear and dictators will die.

On The World Socialist Website, Stefan Steinberg responded:

The Ukrainian president’s duplicitous speech was then given a standing ovation by the well-heeled audience of film celebrities, super-models, media figures and critics gathered at the festival’s Grand Théâtre Lumière…

Zelensky, whose government’s promotion of unfettered free market capitalism and extreme nationalism includes full support for the notorious fascist Azov battalion, and his US-NATO backers stand for everything that Chaplin abhorred. In fact, what would a Chaplin make out of the self-satisfied rubbish about “poor, defenseless little Ukraine,” armed to the hilt and financed by the biggest imperialist robbers on the planet?

The Independent reports that the ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ film has come at just the right time:

In April, state senators were told how the US army faced a “war for talent” amid shrinking battalion numbers, echoing admissions from air force officials that its own pool of qualified candidates had fallen by half since the beginning of Covid. Things haven’t looked rosy for the navy either, which declared in February that it was 5,000 to 6,000 sailors short at sea. ..

Little wonder, then, that Uncle Sam once again welcomed Paramount Pictures with open arms for Maverick, granting director Joseph Kosinski and his crew all-access passes to highly sensitive naval facilities, including a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. World-class technicians provided cast members with top-level fighter pilot training right down to seat ejection…

Happily, press reports inform us:

The US Navy is [again] setting up “recruiting stations” in cinema foyers across America. After the first film there was a 50 per cent increase in applications to join the Navy’s fighter programme. A spokesman said: “Obviously we are hoping for the same outcome this time around.”

If any readers notice any journalists asking Tom Cruise if he still wants ‘the kids to know that’s not the way war is’, that ‘Top Gun’ is just an amusement park ride’ that is ‘not supposed to be reality’, and that it would be ‘irresponsible’ to make ‘Top Gun III’ and ‘IV’ and ‘V’ – do let us know (gro.snelaidemnull@rotide).

The Guardian’s Mark Kermode – ‘I Give Up’

Given the military involvement in both ‘Top Gun’ films and the massive impact of the first film on US military recruitment, a natural concern for anyone reviewing the new film would seem to be the role of the US military since 1986.

A really salient fact about the world since the mid-eighties, as we all know – as our newspaper front pages, echoing ‘Top Gun’ heroics, never tire of telling us – is that the US has been relentlessly bombing countries like Serbia, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Pakistan ever since. In 2015, a study by Physicians for Global Responsibility reported:

The purpose of this investigation is to provide as realistic an estimate as possible of the total body count in the three main war zones Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan during 12 years of “war on terrorism”. An extensive review has been made of the major studies and data published on the numbers of victims in these countries… This investigation comes to the conclusion that the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, i.e. a total of around 1.3 million.

Of course, even these vast numbers omit the untold carnage inflicted by the US military between 1986-2001, and since 2015, but they do give an idea of what ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and its admirers are actually celebrating.

In the Guardian, film critic Mark Kermode supplied a summary of the plot:

Maverick has in fact been called back to the Top Gun programme – not to fly, but to teach the “best of the best” how to blow up a uranium enrichment plant at face-melting velocity, a mission that will require not one but “two consecutive miracles”.’

As we know, ‘Real men go to Tehran’ – and Iran clearly is ‘the enemy’ here. The Independent acknowledged as much in noting that the US navy was given script approval:

This might also explain why Top Gun: Maverick never goes into detail about its villains – instead, audiences are simply informed that “the enemy” is a rogue state hellbent on uranium enrichment. Let’s assume it rhymes with “Diran”.

When Iran is bombed in real life, Westerners will cheer because they’ll think they’re watching their movie heroes annihilating The Bad Guys. When ‘the best of the best’ move on to trash the whole country, the public will have been so brainwashed, so desensitised, they will rate the ‘action’ on a par with something they saw on the silver screen. The same thing happened during the Gulf War that began in January 1991. One of us saw a spoof ‘Iraqi calendar’ behind the bar of an English pub, which showed the year ending for Iraq on January 16, the date the US-UK attack was launched.

When the state-corporate culture of a highly aggressive imperial power produces war films that deliberately blend fiction and reality, there are real-world consequences. Actual high-tech death and destruction are made to seem ‘cool’, ‘fun’ – an impact that no serious reviewer can ignore. Assuming, that is, we reject the idea that a review in a corporate viewspaper is mere ‘entertainment’ that has nothing to do with the real world it so clearly impacts. Assuming, further, that we reject the idea that we should function as passive, apolitical, amoral consumers manipulated by powerful elites who are not themselves passive or apolitical at all, but who work relentlessly to extend their influence, wealth and power.

As though spoofing, Kermode concluded his review:

Personally, I found myself powerless to resist; overawed by the “real flight” aeronautics and nail-biting sky dances, bludgeoned by the sugar-frosted glow of Cruise’s mercilessly engaging facial muscles, and shamefully brought to tears by moments of hate-yourself-for-going-with-it manipulation. In the immortal words of Abba’s Waterloo, “I was defeated, you won the war”. I give up.

Kermode gave up. In reality, the outcome of his personal ‘Waterloo’ was never in doubt. As Noam Chomsky famously told the BBC’s Andrew Marr:

… if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.

Kermode’s review bowed down to an intellectually and morally castrated version of what it means to be a film critic, one that casually waves away the appalling, real-world impact of propaganda efforts like ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. It’s a version of film criticism that just happens – ‘My, my!’ – to align itself with the agenda of the consistently pro-war Guardian newspaper and wider corporate media system that makes him wealthy and famous for the back-breaking task of writing a few clever, filtered words every week.

In the Telegraph, Boris Starling managed to recall some military history:

Since then [“Top Gun”, 1986] we have had two wars in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, 9/11, Syria, and of course the current Russian invasion of Ukraine – all of which have, one way or another, dented the concept of unfettered American military might.’

Clearly, Nato’s devastation of Libya – executed with the assistance of more than a dozen US navy ships and a similar number of aircraft – never happened.

Starling’s distorted vision of history reminds us of the BBC’s unfortunate animated web article: ‘The Incredible Change The Queen Has Seen’. Reviewing major international political events since 1952, the BBC comments:

Russia invades Ukraine twice, bringing it into conflict with the West once again.

According to the BBC, then, no-one spread death and destruction in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iraq, Libya, Syria… on and on. The BBC piece concludes:

Happy Jubilee Ma’am

The fact, as we have discussed, that the West got its hands on both Iraqi and Libyan oil challenges Starling’s idea that ‘unfettered American military might’ has been ‘dented’.

In a parallel universe, a film critic might have reflected on whether the vast death toll from US wars has ‘dented’ the ethical status of films like ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. Instead, Starling noticed a different problem with the new film:

But at a time when a real conflict with unimaginable casualties and featuring medieval levels of brutality is taking place on NATO’s border – a conflict into which the US is still refusing to countenance direct military intervention – Top Gun: Maverick may be construed in certain quarters as borderline tasteless.

In other words, the problem with the ‘Top Gun’ franchise is not that the US military machine has been blitzing the world before and since 1986. The problem is that, after all that good work, it is refusing to ‘countenance direct military intervention’ in Ukraine – having merely sent $60 billion in ‘aid’, most of it military – making the latest ‘Top Gun’ heroics somewhat embarrassing. This is what passes for ‘mainstream’ ethical discussion in our high-tech, neon-lit dark age.

Another piece by the Telegraph’s chief film critic, Robbie Collin, notes:

The assignment involves neutralising a uranium enrichment plant somewhere overseas, though we’re told details about the enemy regime behind it are “scarce” – as they have to be these days when you’re trying to sell a blockbuster into as many overseas markets as possible.

Presumably, any Iranians wishing to see the film will be too dumb to realise what is blindingly obvious to everyone else:

Certain military details suggest it might be Iran, but it doesn’t matter either way: the film is low on militaristic swagger, and instead focuses on Maverick’s missionary-like determination to have these youngsters not just reach their potential but surpass it, with the help of their extraordinary aircraft.

Yes, who cares? We all know it’s Iran; so what if that background awareness makes it easier for the public to applaud when Iran receives a generous dose of ‘humanitarian intervention’? Collin concluded by heaping praise on ‘this absurdly entertaining film’.

And that’s all that matters – it’s ‘entertaining’. It’s also somehow ‘low on militaristic swagger’, despite being jam-packed with gleaming warplanes, aircraft carriers and military uniforms. Needless to say, it wouldn’t have mattered how ‘absurdly entertaining’ the film was, if it had depicted Iranian or Russian pilots heroically preparing to bomb the US.

In the Independent, Geoffrey Macnab’s article did manage to reference some history, but only in the sense suggested by the title: ‘Why Tom Cruise’s latest thrill ride is a take-off of traditional Hollywood flying movies’:

These films have a poetical dimension you don’t find in conventional earthbound war movies. Their protagonists are young and courageous, performing their own ethereal, Icarus-like dances with death. They’re fighting as much against the elements as against their enemies.

Again, no concern for the front-page carnage inflicted year after year.

Also in the Independent, Clarisse Loughrey supplied the standard, faux-feminist ‘dissent’, commenting on the new film’s compassionate treatment of its male characters :

The film, unfortunately, doesn’t extend as much of a loving hand toward the women of Top Gun – neither McGillis nor Meg Ryan, who played Rooster’s mother, make any kind of return.

But this shouldn’t be allowed to spoil the party:

Again, there’ll come a time when we need to talk about why Hollywood only accepts older women who look a certain way. Until then, who can be blamed for getting swept up by a film this damned fun?

In the Daily Mail, Jan Moir noted Cruise’s fearlessness in performing his own stunts, adding:

But there is one thing this Hollywood hero is scared of – old ladies! That’s where he draws the line – at the genuine and the realistic. And that is his biggest crime of all in my book… where are the women from the 1986 original? Excuse me. Simply nowhere to be seen. Vaporised by the Hollywood Age Patrol, the girls have somehow fallen off their perch and simply ceased to be.

There is one thing that Moir, like essentially all of corporate journalism, is scared of – the dead, injured, grieving and displaced victims of the West’s endless wars of aggression. The victims are not allowed to exist or matter. They’re not allowed to spoil the celebration of this ‘damned fun’, of the state-corporate fundamentalist faith that ‘we’ are The Good Guys.

But anyway, is it really such ‘damned fun’? Somehow managing to defy the corporate hypegeist, A.O. Scott of the New York Times writes of the new film’s characters: ‘the world they inhabit is textureless and generic’, ‘the dramatic stakes seem curiously low’, the movie is ‘bland and basic’. Scott’s conclusion:

Though you may hear otherwise, “Top Gun: Maverick” is not a great movie. It is a thin, over-strenuous and sometimes very enjoyable movie.

The post “Damned Fun”: “Top Gun: Maverick” And The Military-Entertainment Complex first appeared on Dissident Voice.

New York Times Repudiates Drive for “Decisive Military Victory” in Ukraine, Calls for Peace Negotiations

A week ago, we made note of a May 11 New York Times news article, documenting that all was not going well for the U.S. in Ukraine, and a companion opinion piece hinting that a shift in direction might be in order.

Now on May 19, “THE EDITORIAL BOARD,” the full Magisterium of the Times, has moved from hints to a clarion call for a change in direction in an editorial uninformatively titled, “The War Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready.”  From atop the Opinion page the Editorial Board has declared that “total victory” over Russia is not possible and that Ukraine will have to negotiate a peace in a way that reflects a “realistic assessment” and the “limits” of U.S. commitment.  The Times serves as one of the main shapers of public opinion for the Elite and so its pronouncements are not to be taken lightly.

Ukrainians will have to adjust to US “limits” and make sacrifices for newfound U.S. realism

The Times May editorial dictum contains the following key passages:

In March, this board argued that the message from the United States and its allies to Ukrainians and Russians alike must be: No matter how long it takes, Ukraine will be free. …”

“That goal cannot shift, but in the end, it is still not in America’s best interest to plunge into an all-out war with Russia, even if a negotiated peace may require Ukraine to make some hard decisions (emphasis, jw).”

To ensure that there is no ambiguity, the editorial declares that:

A decisive military victory for Ukraine over Russia, in which Ukraine regains all the territory Russia has seized since 2014, is not a realistic goal. … Russia remains too strong…”

To make certain that President Biden and the Ukrainians understand what they should do, the EDITORIAL BOARD goes on to say:

… Mr. Biden should also make clear to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people that there is a limit to how far the United States and NATO will go to confront Russia, and limits to the arms, money and political support they can muster. It is imperative that the Ukrainian government’s decisions be based on a realistic assessment of its means and how much more destruction Ukraine can sustain (emphasis, jw).”

As Volodymyr Zelensky reads those words, he must surely begin to sweat.  The voice of his masters is telling him that he and Ukraine will have to make some sacrifices for the US to save face.  As he contemplates his options, his thoughts must surely run back to February, 2014, and the U.S. backed Maidan coup that culminated in the hasty exit of President Yanukovych from his office, his country and almost from this earth.

Ukraine is a proxy war that is all too dangerous

In the eyes of the Times editorial writers, the war has become a U.S. proxy war against Russia using Ukrainians as cannon fodder – and it is careening out of control:

“The current moment is a messy one in this conflict, which may explain President Biden and his cabinet’s reluctance to put down clear goal posts.”

“The United States and NATO are already deeply involved, militarily and economically. Unrealistic expectations could draw them ever deeper into a costly, drawn-out war..”

“Recent bellicose statements from Washington — President Biden’s assertion that Mr. Putin ‘cannot remain in power,’ Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comment that Russia must be ‘weakened’ and the pledge by the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, that the United States would support Ukraine ‘until victory is won’ — may be rousing proclamations of support, but they do not bring negotiations any closer.”

While the Times dismisses these statements as “rousing proclamations,” it is all too clear that for the neocons in charge of U.S. foreign policy, the goal has always been a proxy war to bring down Russia. This has not become a proxy war; it has always been a proxy war. The neocons operate by the Wolfowitz Doctrine, enunciated in 1992, soon after the end of Cold War 1.0, by the necoconservative Paul Wolfowitz, then Under Secretary of Defense:

“We endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

“We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global power.”

Clearly if Russia is “too strong” to be defeated in Ukraine, it is too strong to be brought down as a superpower.

The Times has shifted its opinion from March to May. What Has Changed?

After 7 years of slaughter in the Donbass and 3 months of warfare in Southern Ukraine, has the Times editorial board suddenly had a rush of compassion for all the victims of the war and the destruction of Ukraine and changed its opinion?  Given the record of the Times over the decades, it would seem that other factors are at work.

First of all, Russia has handled the situation unexpectedly well compared to dire predictions from the West.

President Putin’s support exceeds 80%.

165 of 195 nations, including India and China with 35% of the world’s population, have refused to join sanctions against Russia, leaving the U.S., not Russia, relatively isolated in the world.

The ruble, which Biden said would be “rubble” has not only returned to its pre-February levels but is valued at a 2 year high, today at 59 rubles to the dollar compared to 150 in March.

Russia is expecting a bumper harvest and the world is eager for its wheat and fertilizer, oil and gas all of which provide substantial revenue.

The  EU has largely succumbed to Russia’s demand to be paid for gas in rubles.  Treasury Secretary Yellin is warning the suicidal Europeans that an embargo of Russian oil will further damage the economies of the West.

Russian forces are making slow but steady progress across southern and eastern Ukraine after winning in Mariupol, the biggest battle of the war so far, and a demoralizing defeat for Ukraine.

In the US inflation, which was already high before the Ukraine crisis, has been driven even higher and reached over 8% with the Fed now scrambling to control it by raising interest rates.  Partly as a result of this, the stock market has come close to bear territory.  As the war progresses, many have joined Ben Bernanke, former Fed Chair, in predicting a period of high unemployment, high inflation and low growth – the dread stagflation.

Domestically, there are signs of deterioration in support of the war.  Most strikingly, 57 House Republicans and 11 Senate Republicans voted against the latest package of weaponry to Ukraine, bundled with considerable pork and hidden bonanzas for the war profiteers.  (Strikingly no Democrat, not a single one, not even the most “progressive” voted against pouring fuel on the fire of war raging in Ukraine.  But that is another story.)

And while U.S. public opinion remains in favor of U.S. involvement in Ukraine there are signs of slippage.  For example, Pew reports that those feeling the U.S. is not doing enough declined from March to May.  As more stagflation takes hold with gas and food prices growing and voices like those of Tucker Carlson and Rand Paul pointing out the connection between the inflation and the war, discontent is certain to grow.

Finally, as the war becomes less popular and it takes its toll, an electoral disaster looms ahead in 2022 and 2024 for Joe Biden and the Democratic Party, for which the Times serves as a mouthpiece.

The NYT editorial signals alarm over the insane goal of the neoconservatives

There is a note of panic in this appeal to find a negotiated solution now.  The U.S. and Russia are the world’s major nuclear powers with thousands of nuclear missiles on Launch On Warning, aka Hair Trigger Alert.  At moments of high tension, the possibilities of Accidental Nuclear Armageddon are all too real.

President Biden’s ability to stay in command of events is in question. Many people of his age can handle a situation like this, but many cannot and he seems to be in the latter category.

Alarm is warranted and panic is understandable.

The neocons are now in control of the foreign policy of the Biden administration, the Democratic Party and most of the Republican Party. But will the neocons in charge give up and move in a reasonable and peaceful direction as the Times editorial demands?  This is a fantasy of the first order.  As one commenter observed, the hawks like Nuland, Blinken and Sullivan have no reverse gear; they always double down. They do not serve the interests of humanity nor do they serve the interests of the American people.  They are in reality traitors to the U.S.  They must be exposed, discredited and pushed aside.  Our survival depends on it.

The post New York Times Repudiates Drive for “Decisive Military Victory” in Ukraine, Calls for Peace Negotiations 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.

The Poor People’s Campaign and the Moral Dilemma of Liberalism

Rev. William Barber (Photo: Getty Images)

The demands for justice at home and abroad must not be sacrificed on the altar of what is called pragmatism. The false choices presented by liberalism can undermine the movement altogether.

Rev. William Barber, an indisputable champion of the poor and a consistent voice demanding an end to poverty, may have made a serious moral and ethical error that effectively placed him outside of the “Kingian” framework that informed Dr. King’s work especially during the last year of his life.

In an attempt to make a point about the flawed priorities of the duopoly, Dr. Barber wrote in an email to the “movement family” on Saturday, April 30, 2022 that, “despite the political gridlock on Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democrats have acted swiftly to approve historic military aid to Ukraine. In the face of such a moral imperative, it would be anathema for either party to ask, “How are we going to pay for it?”

He then went on to suggest that the “moral clarity” that informed the decision to provide military support to Ukraine was contradicted by the lack of moral clarity or support for addressing the pressing needs of the poor. He identified those two contradictory policy orientations – money for war but no money to pass “Build Back Better” legislation, for example, as representing the moral and ethical contradiction at the heart of U.S. politics.

I will give our dear brother the benefit of the doubt. He was making the point that the duopoly will support in a bipartisan manner those items that it deems a priority. For Rev. Barber and the Campaign, the issue of poverty and its devastating social consequences should be a priority for the U.S. state. However, in trying to make that point Rev Barber seemed to support the Biden’s administration’s war policies which as a follower of Dr. King would seem like a major contradiction. It would seem that to equate a moral imperative for providing military aid to Ukraine to wage war, no matter if it is claimed to be defensive, would be a dramatic departure from the non-violence ethos at the center of Dr. King’s worldview.

Dr. King said himself that it was his silence on the war that presented a moral contradiction that could only be ultimately resolved by him speaking out in opposition to the Vietnam war. It is unimaginable that Dr. King would give his blessings to a military aid package that Rev. Barber’s language appears to do while simultaneously not demanding an end to the conflict as Rev Barber clearly failed to do in his communication to the movement family. We must now ask Rev Barber if his characterization of the military aid package as a moral imperative was just a clumsy use of words or does he actually support the ultimate expression of violence – war?

We all know the history. After the student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and all the radical Black liberation and socialist organizations had condemned the war in Vietnam, Dr. King finally broke his silence, as he framed it, and began to speak out against the war in early 1967 with the most extensive and important speech on April 4, 1967, at the Riverside Church in New York. The capitalist rulers understand symbols and so on April 4, 1968, Dr. King was murdered in Memphis where he was supporting a strike of Black sanitation workers against the Memphis city government.

Rev. Barber claims that “King was gunned down for his efforts to build a Poor People’s Campaign.” There is no doubt that the poor people’s campaign was a significant factor. The rulers understood the danger of Dr. King venturing into class politics, especially with his social democratic positions becoming more evident. But what Barber glosses over is that while the poor people’s campaign was seen as a threat, it was King’s break with the democratic party establishment, and at that time the majority position of the U.S. public who supported the war effort, that made Dr. King the most hated man in the country.

It is always dangerous to be in a nation that is undergoing an irrational war frenzy, but the danger is exponentially increased if you are a dissident. Rev. Barber is a student of history and understands the potential threats when you break with power. Perhaps in order to try and salvage some semblance of the Build Back Better legislation Rev. Barber believes it prudent to concede the war effort in Ukraine in order to avoid alienating elements of the democratic party that he feels he has to continue to work with, even if it is clear that the party continues to move to the right, even rehabilitating ultranationalist white supremacists and literal neo-Nazis in the Azov regiments.

But as that old saying goes, when you lay down with dogs you might very well get up with fleas. And if you concede moral positions because of pragmatic considerations, you undermine your moral standing with your base and on top of that your opposition usually loses respect for you.

Rev. Barber and the Poor Peoples’ Campaign have already created a moral and political contradiction for themselves with their sloppy and dubious moral reasoning on Ukraine. That is, if the bipartisan decision to provide more weapons of war to Ukraine represents a morally uncontested position, how will the Campaign counter the argument that it is equally moral to continue to vote for the ever-increasing military budgets of the Pentagon in light of the supposed security threats from Russia and China?

It is the lack of political and ideological clarity that distorts moral clarity to the extent that you can believe you are behaving morally when instead you have only surrendered to power and are working on its behalf.

Dr. King made a choice. He put principles over politics and broke with power. The Poor People’s Campaign will find it difficult to bring people together to denounce poverty while now having to mute their criticism of military spending. It is this kind of politics that is at the heart of the contradiction between the people and the neoliberal capitalist democrat party and its sycophants.

• First published in Black Agenda Report

The post The Poor People’s Campaign and the Moral Dilemma of Liberalism 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.

War Blog Infinitum: What Weapons System Would Jesus Buy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See the source image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flag of Russia and Ukraine painted on a concrete wall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

General accuses UK PM of disclosing military secrets

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

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

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

See the source image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

The Impunity of War Lords, Financial Thieves, Israel, Mercenaries, Mindlessness

These are not good people, those in charge of the military blast-them-all-away-but charge-citizens-hard-on-the-back-end complexes. Here, below, and I have seen a lot, but I shudder just looking at these, well, misanthropes: Biden, Blinken and Austin, a trio of despicable fellows. All the years Austin worked as a mercenary in uniform, and then the offensive weapons companies he protected in that racket. Biden? Over fifty years of destroying Democracy. Blinken? The 71st United States secretary of state since January 26, 2021. He was deputy national security advisor from 2013 to 2015 and deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017 under Obama.

Senior US official may soon visit Kiev – media

US apologizes to ruler of Gulf monarchy - media

More space junk, leaks, and the moon shot of Artemis. Think about that — billions for that endeavor and it is not one step for man, but rather one giant leap for Lords of War 3.0, and the war merchants and the FIRE branding thugs of billions. And we have teacher shortages, teacher burnout, prescriptions (necessary) for anyone’s serious diseases out the roof. All of that crisis after crisis, and the inflation, and the housing market on steroids/lack of affordable housing rising, and the suicide rates, and the lost and lost generations, now, and those unborn. All that infrastructure collapsing, all those homes leaking, all those fields and crops dessicating, all the wind and rain and heat, all the lack of decent living conditions. All of the decay and the rising number of aging people who do/barely live without . . . WITHOUT  decent food, health care, denistry, safe and creative activities of daily living. We do without, man, while we arm Nazis and a billionaire boy Being There schmuk. This is the West, the USA under these felons’ leadership (sic) . . .  these thieves, these elites and these Ivy Leaguers. Mainstream Media doesn’t just fawn over them; the MSM pimps for them. But pimps in MSM are, well, a dual-use sort of profession — pimping and prostituting. We the people, we the youth, we the students, we the uninformed, are being screwed, blued and tattooed.**

**(The phrase has always had a very definite negative connotation, and means to be supremely screwed, screwed beyond all comprehension. The original phrase was “screwed, blewed and tattooed”.

  1. “Screwed” essentially means “cheated” here, much as it does today.
  2. “Blewed” meant “lost or been robbed of”. The word’s origin is from the German “blauen” so it’s actually related to “blue”, not “blew”, and meant that something had vanished (into the blue). (According to “A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant” by Charles Godfrey Leland, published in 1889.)
  3. “Tattooed” refers here to a beating with very rapid blows, in the same sense as a military tattoo, which is a rapid pattern on a drum.

So, the phrase literally meant “cheated, robbed and beaten.”)

Being All Things by Being Nothing: The Enigma of 'Being There' | PopMatters

Channel 4 to screen comedy that shot Volodymyr Zelensky to fame | News | The Times

The dance with the devil is us, we the people, The Eighty Percent, dancing to our graves while paying for the sins of the rich, the millionaires and the billionaires.

Gouging, and shortages, death in a corner of an unheated home: the new Cormac McCarthy script (The Road).

See the source image

Entire regions of the country where homes are unaffordable to most, but where the house flippers get to bid on anything to drive up the cost of a roof over the poorhouse’s head. Meth heads and booze drinkers. So many people guzzling drugs and insane ideas to stave off the pain, the suicidal ideation, the drip-drip-drip of death by a thousand neocon/neoliberal/celebrity culture cuts.

Death By A Thousand Cuts - Death By A Thousand Cuts - Sticker | TeePublic

Rural hospitals short-staffed/not staffed. Urban hospitals short staffed/not staffed. Massive quits for many professions. Then, the doom of Zoom, all those students in college demanding teachers turn their world in hybrid worlds of students sitting at home, sipping drinks, playing Nerf ball, while getting the classes delivered via internet connection. More of the same nothingness, dead-head dumb thinking, and no conversing.

 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.04.2022

[Artemis shut down for leaking — more misappropriated junk voted on by NOT you and I!]

Truly, the blashpemy of the media is their collusion with the ZioLensky thief, the Thiefs of Israel, and their collusion with the orgasmic military murdering machine, all the hardware and equipment produced, hawked, sold, used. Imagine, EU throwing weapons at Ukraine, while that perversion of a human, ZioLensky hides in Poland. Imagine all the surrendering of Ukrainian Military to the Russians. Imagine his home in Florida, a cool $28 million worth, the Panama Papers reported.

For Ukrainian Jews, having a Jewish president is a source of pride — and fear | The Times of Israel

Imagine Blinken, Biden and Austin in Ukraine. Legitimate targets in my mind. Of course, Ukraine has so much to do with You and I, USA. You know, the ZioLensky amassing $billion$, as the Panama Papers revealed. Well, Pandora Papers, that is! (Panama Papers reveals other thieves and money laundering whores)  Imagine, all the things this society, USA, goes without, and all the sliding systems decaying, and the fraying of social safety nets, all of that, yet, we have Save a ZioLensky Day (daily) at the grocery store, and at the military hardware bargain basement. Easter rotten eggs for the Nazis of Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his partners in comedy production owned a network of offshore companies related to their business based in the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, and Belize.
  • Zelensky’s current chief aide, Serhiy Shefir, as well as the head of the country’s Security Service, were part of the offshore network.
  • Offshore companies were used by Shefir and another business partner to buy pricey London real estate.
  • Around the time of his 2019 election, Zelensky handed his shares in a key offshore company over to Shefir, but the two appear to have made an arrangement for Zelensky’s family to continue receiving money from the offshore. (Source)

Billions while the heart medicines and diabetes drugs are unaffordable for many. Then, think of Blinken, Biden and Austin. Think of all the fools in the media who make millions a year. All those in the offensive weapons industries. All the governmental workers and all the politicos. Those tanks and “war things” from EU, Germany, hell, ZioLensky is making out like a true war bandit, but in skinny jeans and Gucci shoes).

Germany explains limits to Ukraine weapons supply

Look at this fool, this Brit, captured by Russia and then his family pleads for “fair” treatment of this guy. He’s a soldier for hire, a mercenary, and the British Family wants their son to be treated like what? A criminal, which he is. I can’t image this fellow making it on a 20 click hike with a 60 pound rucksack and thrity pounds of weaponry. But this is it for the Western mind and body!

Then these headlines surround this illegality. “Israel has dropped repeated hints at a major strike on Iranian nuclear facilities in the near future”. This is kosher? Under world order? Hmm. So, dropping bombs on nuclear facilities is fair game? All over the world? This is why the Jewish Project is a Jaded Project, one geared toward murder and theft. Impunity. Killing Iranians. Blasting nuclear plants? So, how is it Russia doesn’t just ka-boom those bioweapons labs in Ukraine? (Do a Google Gulag search on, “Ukraine biolabs” and you get a thousand hits on why that story is fake!)  This is the new abnormal — quash any story that goes outside the neoliberal-rah-rah USA bold coloring lines!

Israel has dropped repeated hints at a major strike on Iranian nuclear facilities in the near future

War in Ukraine turns people’s lives and affairs upside down. Dirty laundry, previously hidden, is on display. A Russian communication on March 6 mentions “evidence of an emergency clean-up performed by the Kyiv regime was found—aimed at eradicating traces of the military-biological program in Ukraine, financed by @DeptofDefense.”

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson two days later spoke of “26 [U.S.] bio-labs and other related facilities in Ukraine.” (Source)

Found 30 biological labs in Ukraine, possibly for bioweapons, claim Russian forces, World News | wionews.com

“Germany involved in ‘military biological activities’ in Ukraine – Russia” (Source)

Bernie’s F-35’s, man, the Bernie Bro Most Expensive Offensive Weapon

NATO pins nuclear plans on F-35

NATO planners are updating the US “nuclear sharing” program to account for most European allies planning to buy F-35 joint strike fighter jets, the alliance’s director of nuclear policy said this week. Lockheed Martin’s fifth-generation fighter has been embraced by multiple US allies, including most recently Germany, despite the Pentagon’s own misgivings about the program.

“We’re moving fast and furiously towards F-35 modernization and incorporating those into our planning and into our exercising and things like that as those capabilities come online,” Jessica Cox, director of the NATO nuclear policy directorate in Brussels, said on Wednesday, adding that “By the end of the decade, most if not all of our allies will have transitioned” to the F-35. (Source)

Bernie Sanders supports the basing of the F-35s in Vermont. He said, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, that it would be a “major blow” if the weapons program did not come to Vermont. Referring to the Vermont National Guard, Sen. Sanders stated, “If they don’t have planes to fly, there ain’t going to be too much for them to do.”

Bernie Sanders Loves This $1 Trillion War Machine

If they don’t have nukes to fire, then what are they going to do with themselves? If they don’t have frigates to sail, what will they do on the water? If they don’t have missiles to launch, then what will they do in the air?

And this guy was what? An alternative? What? He’s as insane as Trump as Bush as Obama. As Elizabeth Warren reiterated, she is a capitalist . . . “capitalist to my bones…” Sanders is one too.

But we have the beasts of this nation, Israel, all those in Europe, Australia, everywhere the US not only wags the tail but bites with rabid glee. Yet, we have pundits and great intellectuals covering up the tracks of history. All the hatefulness of the Anglo Saxons, the British Isle, all the Euro-Trash, so much, that speaks to that hatred of Slavs, Russians, the Chinese Peril, all those “Orientals,” and, alas, the Muslims, we have that elephant in the room of these traitors of humankind. And, yet, Russia, and Syria, and, well, USSR did support many movements, many revolutions, and those in countries considered black and brown. To be honest, the Russians were asked (USSR) to get involved with Afghanistan by the Afghans.

As is the case with the Anglo-American-Canadian-New Zealand-Australia-UK world, there will be blood, in every imaginable way. From birth to death, from the village, to the great cities, the Anglo-American-Canadian-New Zealand-Australia-UK is like a termite of galactic proportions, drilling into all cultures, all tribes, all people of the land, people of seas and mountains and forests. The munching mandibles of that “race” of people. Imagine, calling Russians orcs, subhuman.

The reality is the full force of these demonic masters of slavery — EU, Nato, USA-Israel-UK-ETC. will make Ukraine the killing fields.

They are hoping for a nuclear strike.

And, alas, this is the reality the leftists who support Russia’s goals in de-Nazification. The end goal has been shifted. With the full force of the military industrial complex.

Day 50 of the SMO – are things becoming clear(er)? (UPDATED 2x)

While the armies of Ukraine and Russia are preparing for the upcoming battle for Donbass, Kiev’s allies are increasing arms supply shipments to Ukraine. The United States, mainly by European forces, is implementing a large-scale rearmament project for Ukraine.

Heavy offensive systems are being transferred to the disposal of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which will open a new stage of military confrontation.

The delivery of about three hundred modernized Soviet-made tanks to Ukraine was confirmed. According to various reports, Poland transfers the upgraded T-72M1R as the Czech Republic removes its T-72s from storage. The AFU also has 170 Polish BMP-1s at its disposal. Echelons with M109 howitzers and M113 armored personnel carriers are already on the Ukrainian border.

High-precision ammunition is also being transferred to Ukraine, including the M982 Excalibur with GPS guidance and anti-tank SMArt 155 munitions. Ukraine has also been provided with Switchblade mobile barrage ammunition.

Ukrainian troops are being saturated with modern air defense systems including British Starstreak MANPADS and American Stingers.

During a recent briefing, the Pentagon said that a batch of 1,000 ATGMs has already been delivered to Ukraine.

It is reported that Norwegian Naval Strike Missiles are planned to be transferred to Ukraine. According to some reports, the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System will be also transferred from Europe. The range of these complexes reaches 300 km, which makes it possible to strike deep into the territory of Russia.

At the same time, mercenaries and military personnel of NATO countries are deployed along with the AFU in Ukraine under the guise of foreign volunteers. The foreign fighters in Ukraine are led by US officers. It has become obvious that the whole command of the AFU is concentrated mainly in the hands of the United States.

On April 14, Russian missile forces eliminated another detachment of foreign mercenaries in Ukraine. As a result of the strike, up to 30 mercenaries of the Polish private military campaign were killed in the settlement of Izyumskoye in the Kharkiv region.

According to unconfirmed reports from local sources, about 2,000 foreign mercenaries, including fighters from Turkey and Azerbaijan, arrived on the territory of the Zaporozhye region. Most likely, foreigners will be deployed on the Avdiivka front lines, since the Russian forces have already begun assault and offensive operations in the area.

In the political arena, the United States openly issues an ultimatum to all countries that are not ready to sacrifice their own interests and stop cooperation with Russia.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has issued threats to those countries that see an opportunity to benefit by maintaining their relations with Russia and filling the void left by others.

“Let’s be clear, the united coalition will not be indifferent to actions that undermine the sanctions we have imposed.” – she claimed. (Source)

Monsters.

See the source image

No highly trained and experienced special forces Russian brigade has anything on this whiz woman, Yellen. These are natural born killers, of the massive variety.

 https://pictures.reuters.com/archive/RUSSIA-SECURITY-DRILLS-RC21LD9YZWSD.html

The chosen few, those Star Chamber Elite, the veritable unholiest criminals of FIRE — finance insurance real estate — with their weapons of mass destruction — algorithms, Wall Street, Deep State, Shallow State, Sanctions, and, well, we now know, DARPA Bat Virus, et al — they are unbeatable!

Finally, the ZioLensky is looking for his own Ten Year War. Talk about the obscene oligarch:

Ukraine is not prepared to give up its territories and is ready, if needed, to fight with Russia “for ten years,” the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

In an interview with CNN, Zelensky said that for Ukraine “the battle for Donbass is very important” for a number of reasons. He explained that this battle might influence “the course of the whole war.” However, the president stressed that the preferable solution of the conflict is the diplomatic one.

“We cannot give up our territory, but we must find some kind of dialogue with Russia,” Zelensky said, underlining that no talks could be conducted “on the basis of the Russian ultimatum.”

He stressed that a dialogue is needed to prevent more deaths but he hasn’t ruled out another option.

“We can fight the Russian Federation for 10 years,” Zelensky said.

Those mighty billionaires and multimillionaires will be laughing all the way to the bank, or gold markets.

Shift!!!!

A little poem for Russia, still, National Poetry Month:

Tears of Rage Captured in a Poem and Harmonica Riff

You think dark is just one color, but it ain’t. There’re five or six kinds of black. Some silky, some woolly. Some just empty. Some like fingers. And it don’t stay still. It moves and changes from one kind of black to another. Saying something is pitch black is like saying something is green.

— Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, Page 40

‘A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.’

we (they) came, we (USA) laughed
they (Libyans) died, then Yemeni babies
those children of Venezuela
collateral damage, Libya
immolated by Democrat with an H
Clinton laughs when leaders are raped
with blade, but we are the voice
of hypocrisy, Iran, and Brown places
or Black haunts, those Congo tykes pulling up
coltan/iPhones/ Chrome books for all
we dance in our cancel culture….

‘And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.’

talking heads paid for stupidity
millionaires chant to teens and grannies–
‘Russia is an enemy, we are at war’
even those puttering PhD fools
learn to forget Yankee damage
to Cuban babies, the kindness
of Norte Americanos holding
death court on Afghanis,
millions will suffer Goldman
JP Morgan Sachs lords of financial war….

‘Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.’

yet Safeway plies me when I
buy tofu and butter leaf lettuce
‘give money for Ukraine’
that fascist Comic ZioLenskyy
trickster of thespian rouse
he dances with billionaires….

‘Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.’

I have friends who dig deep,
journalists where truth is core
principle, where all sides are facets
of complicated stories, now, tomorrow
history redefined is scooped up
pulled apart, a place of discovery
but Americanos can’t take nuance
the white is against black
pro versus con, enemy or foe….

‘For purple mountain majesties.’

we’ve been Wobblies for
one century, THEY/USA jailing speakers
we, organizers against capital
shot down by Pinkerton and Police….

‘O beautiful for pilgrim feet.’…

today mainstream is extreme
squashing out common sense
old retirees chanting, ‘treason . . .
never pro-Russia . . . block anyone shouting Donbas crimes
Crimea crimes . . . ‘
these old mothball ideas are tools
of CIA, tools of VOA, tools of withering
politicos, plagiarist-rapist VP now POTUS

the digital demigods have it
shutting down free speech zones
closing minds, corralling those of us
called fringe, in their minds
fanatical, gleeful donating
one dollar to a Nazi regime
the optics of Jew with Azov
oh the Congressional dimwits zoomed
comic boy caught money
hiding in Panama Papers…

‘Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine.’

how many Safeway campaigns
ask money for Afghanistan
billions stolen from treasury
how many pleas by Walgreens
beg for dollars to stave off
Yemen famine . . . how many
d’s with Democrat shouting
‘bomb apartheid Israel
fabricated stolen land
of a military industrial complex
stamped with Star of David’?….

‘For amber waves of grain.’

those star spangled sycophants
they draw cartoons of their hero
as Europeans shut down
stars and stripes infirm
old men, young Ivy League
demons, telling world–
tighten belts, shower less
yet Safeway and Walgreens
want my shekels for bombs
bullets brigades of mercenaries
yet we hear in all circles
of Dante’s hell, screams of
‘hate 139 million Russians . . .
death to Slavs . . . sanction
heroes of world war two . . .
eviscerate good people
who plowed over Nazi’s . . .
donate to Ukraine.’

old and young
tongues tied to propagandists
chanting homilies from mainstream
media, minds blended into mush
the hubris and greed and power
Yankee Doodle Dandy eyeing
China, wanting every dead
Taiwanese as the price of
red white and blue
sanctions –unilateral murder
until Safeway and Walgreens
plead for dollars for Taiwan-
Ukraine as USA/RoboCop
stuffs trillions
into war machine
oil machine
retail machine….

‘O beautiful for spacious skies.’

Brother, sister will you spare
a billion for big bad bombs?

Behold, you are beautiful, my love;
behold, you are beautiful;
your eyes are doves.

–“Song of Solomon,”1:15

The post The Impunity of War Lords, Financial Thieves, Israel, Mercenaries, Mindlessness first appeared on Dissident Voice.

‘Towards a Multipolar World Order’: Is This the End of US Hegemony?

The meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in the Chinese eastern city of Huangshan on March 30, is likely to go down in history as a decisive meeting in the relations between the two Asian giants.

The meeting was not only important due to its timing or the fact that it reaffirmed the growing ties between Moscow and Beijing, but because of the resolute political discourse articulated by the two top diplomats.

In Huangshan, there was no place for ambiguity. Lavrov spoke of a new ‘world order’, arguing that the world is now “living through a very serious stage in the history of international relations” in reference to the escalating Russia-Ukraine/NATO conflict.

“We, together with you (China) and with our sympathizers,” Lavrov added with assuredness, “will move towards a multipolar, just, democratic world order.”

For his part, Wang Yi restated his country’s position regarding its relations with Russia and the West with precise words, some of which were used before in the February 4 meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. “China-Russia cooperation has no limits … Our striving for peace has no limits, our upholding of security has no limits, our opposition towards hegemony has no limits,” Wang said.

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.

Though the readiness to push against US-led western hegemony is inherent in both countries’ political objectives, rarely did Moscow and Beijing move forward in challenging western dominance, as is the case today. The fact that China has refused to support western economic sanctions, condemn or isolate Russia is indicative of a clear Chinese forward thinking policy.

Moreover, Beijing and Moscow are clearly not basing their future relation on the outcome of the Ukraine war alone. What they are working to achieve is a long term political strategy that they hope would ultimately lead to a multipolar world.

Russia’s motives behind the coveted paradigm shift are obvious: resisting NATO’s eastern expansion, reasserting itself as a global power and freeing itself from the humiliating legacy of the post-Soviet Union. China, too, has a regional and global agenda. Though China’s ambitions are partly linked to different geopolitical spheres – South and East China Seas and the Indo-Pacific region – much of Beijing’s grievances, and priorities, overlap with those of Moscow.

Aside from the direct economic interests between Russia and China, who share massive and growing markets, they are faced with similar challenges: both are hoping to gain greater access to waterways and to push back against US-western military advancements in some of the world’s most important trade routes.

It was no surprise that one of Russia’s top strategic priorities from its war with Ukraine is to widen its access to the Black Sea, a major trade hub with a sizable percentage of world trade, especially in wheat and other essential food supplies.

Like Russia, China too has been laboring to escape US military hegemony, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. The exponential rise in the Chinese military budget – estimated to grow by 7.1% in 2022, speaks of the way that China sees its role in world affairs, now and in the future.

The US trade war against China, which was accelerated by former US President Donald Trump, was a clear reminder to Beijing that global economic power can only be guaranteed through an equal military might. This realization explains China’s decision to open its first overseas military base in Djibouti, in the very strategic Horn of Africa, in 2017, in addition to Beijing’s military moves in the three artificial islands in the South China Sea, and its latest military deal with Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.

While the Russian and Chinese motives, as enunciated by top officials on both sides are clear – to “move towards a multipolar world order” – the US and its allies are not motivated by a specific, forward thinking political doctrine, as was often the case in the past. Washington simply aims to contain the two rising powers as stated in the yet-to-be officially released 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS). According to the NDS, “the growing multi-domain threat posed by the (People’s Republic of China) PRC” is the primary challenge to US interests, followed by the “acute threats” posed by Russia.

Considering the complex interests of both Russia and China, and the fact that the two countries are facing the same mutual enemy, chances are the war in Ukraine is merely a prelude to a protracted conflict that will manifest itself through economic, political and diplomatic pressures and even outright wars.

Though it is premature to speak about the future of this global conflict with certainty, there is little doubt that we are now living in a new era of global affairs, one which is fundamentally different from the decades that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Equally true, we also know that both China and Russia will be important players in shaping that future, which could indeed push us away from US-western hegemony and “towards a multipolar world order”.

The post ‘Towards a Multipolar World Order’: Is This the End of US Hegemony? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

How Different Classes in Russia Feel About Yankeedom, China and Europe: More Letters from Russia

Dear Barbara,

I hope that my email finds you and Bruce in good health and doing fine.

I will try to answer your interesting questions, please note that my answers are from my personal point of view, it is built on daily observations, readings, talking to different people, and even watching tv now and then, with no pretenses whatsoever.

How would you characterize the class structure in Russia in terms of upper class, upper-middle class, middle class, and working class?

The super-rich and oligarchs: This thin social layer is an entity by itself, it owns assets and shares in the big companies, banks and financial institutions. There is an uneasy peace between them and the government that regularly gathers them and “politely” reminds them of their social responsibilities and where their riches came from. They are at the present untouchable due to the fact that some of them are on boards of companies belonging to the state or near persons holding high positions in the government. That is when the political situation becomes corruptible.

The upper-middle class include the upper echelons of the government bureaucracy, the top management of companies, banks and financial institutions and people holding valuable assets (immovable and moveable). There is very little upward movement, the danger of moving downwards exists.

The middle class: mostly concentrated in the cities, professionals, engineers, teachers, doctors, small lawyers, office workers, shop owners, and small businessmen.  This is a relatively new class for Russia. Dynamic with porous boundaries, the danger of slipping to its lower level is higher than making a leap into its higher level or to the upper-middle class.

The working class is the most interesting and complex class. The classic working class person is in the military industrial complex, metallurgy, auto industry, oil and gas, power generation, and all types of transportation.  The upper classes make a point of a pretense of treating them well which includes salaries, perks and bonuses. Construction is a big part of the economy. Skilled workers are mainly Russians or citizens of the Russian Federation. There is a big part of the low skill jobs that are done by migrants from republics of what once was the Soviet Union. Their numbers are significant, including, janitors and, delivery workers.  They mostly do not integrate and hold on to their religion (mostly Muslim). Some of them are involved in misdemeanors and crimes, which are blown up and generalized to a whole nation or region. This is a sharp weapon in the hands of the authorities, pitting the migrants against locals. There is much more to be said but I will leave it for other occasions.

How do the different classes feel about “The Oligarchs” (billionaires in Russia) – do they think they deserve what they have?

I am afraid that my reply to this question is going to be a short one because there are no ambiguities or subtleties. Once again in my opinion it is not just a matter of class but a nearly unanimous negative attitude, especially from the working and middle classes and even from some of the upper classes. The Communists and left are just itching to nationalize some industries or at least have a better tax law. Fortunately, the majority of the people see the oligarchs as acquiring their fortunes like in Gustave Myers book History of Great American Fortunes as not having earned it.

What’s the range of differences in how the Russian people see the American people?

The range is narrow, and it does not depend on class.  Rather, it depends on age and the change in subtle things like music, art, and clothing.  I think that the average Russian attitude is negative, this is especially true for people older than 25 years. It is also a reaction to the US and western policies in demonizing and humiliating the Russian people. A western person a priori thinks that he is superior, and this not only on official state levels but in the mentality of the ordinary person. It is ubiquitous in art, literature, and Hollywood. From Harry Truman to Joe Biden nothing much has changed.

The Russian reaction was predictable, I am now mentioning daily stuff – not high politics or economics. It all started by making fun of the Americans and their ignorance about the history and geography of Russia, as well as their traditions and literature. Allow me to tell you one of the more famous stories of a well-known comedian (Mikhail Zadornov) who passed away not so long ago.

A Russian is traveling to the US to visit his friend, at the customs when they open his suitcase, they find a bunch of small branches (around 50 cm) tied together. The inspectors immediately are very suspicious. The Russian tries to explain that these branches are for the Sauna where they dip them in water and lightly hit each other (this is the Russian way and Sauna for some is like a religion, they can talk endlessly about which trees should be chosen for the best smell). The inspector’s eyes become like saucers. “This guy is not only a narcotic maniac, he is also sadomasochistic.”

I am not being flippant. I just want to show that ignorance and prejudice from nuclear policy to sauna lead us to making stupid decisions.

At the present the majority of the Russians, as a reaction to all the Russophobia, sanctions against any kind of activity, from industry and science to art and sport have really stiffened their stance against Americans. There is a set of people, belonging to the TV, cinema as well as some economists, and sports celebrities who are pro-western, which is not exactly pro American.  Anyway, many of them have left Russia after the beginning of the conflict with Ukraine. I should point out that in a real capitalistic society, a filmmaker or a painter is on his own in making his life. In Russia the majority receive help from the government on a regular basis. It is especially galling to the Russian taxpayer, who thinks his money is being wasted on someone who curses his country.

The Russians reacted coolly to the departure of US brands of fast food and clothes. This left many Americans wondering. Russia is not what it was in the 1990s. This is a different time. Russians now bring up their children not to eat fast food and drink soda pop (not always successfully), just like any sane parent in the US would do.

How do the different classes in Russia feel about China?

I do not think it is just a matter of classes. Defining how the Russians feel about China should be according to a number of factors that would include class. At the present there are two more or less evident trends. The first trend is supported by the state, the left, Communists and some of the nationalists who support strong ties with China on many levels. The Russians want to be sure that the Chinese have their backs through the Chinese Silk Road project and the Russian oil and gas supply to China. The liberals and pro-westerners try to find fault in any Chinese initiative.

However, all that being said, there is the human, psychological factor that broadly affects a significant number of Russians. There are cases when it is definitive and that is race. Many Russians, as most Europeans, cannot easily rid themselves of their racism that appeared after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. They see themselves as superior and have been taken in by the western propaganda. The ignorance and prejudice regarding Russia about China is colossal in dimension.  Culture and humanitarian sciences are Eurocentric. The Yellow Peril of the early 20th century is alive and well. Anti-Chinese propagandists love to bring up the border conflict that took place in 1969 between the Soviet Union and China.

The Russian Far East regions have a special relationship with China. There are some that welcome trade and financial possibilities while others are afraid that they would swamp their region and take it over. The Chinese buy unprocessed Russian timber from Siberia, and some of the local producers are eager to do this because they get paid in US dollars. The government frowns upon this, and a lot of commotion is raised. Despite their racism, the upper-class businessman is still eager to do business with China. The average man is wary and cautious. It is only the incomprehensible, myopic, bone-headed American foreign policy that is driving Russians to overcome their racism and have more sympathy for the Chinese.

How do the different classes feel about the European continent around the natural gas issue?

Soviet gas reached Germany in 1973 and each side signed a contract for 20 years, after lengthy negotiations. The German side noted that in spite of the different ideologies, all the procedures were very business-like. Since then, the Soviet, and afterwards the Russian supply of gas continued more or less smoothly to Germany and most European countries as well. Countries that have natural resources to sell as a policy diversify their routes of outlet. Just by taking a look at any modern map of gas or pipelines of nearly every producing country one can notice that. Therefore, Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipelines were logical and legitimate, especially if your pipeline passes through territory that is unstable.

The prevailing opinion about Europeans and gas supply has been formed by the fact that Europe has blocked Russian assets that are counted in hundreds of billion dollars, besides stopping the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The Russians took a step from their side, dividing the countries that they were supplying with gas into “friendly” and “unfriendly”. The friendly would continue to pay in US dollars or euros while the unfriendly that had blocked Russian assets would pay in Russian rubles. Although the contracts were in US dollars, Russia decided that blocking their assets was a force majeure clause, and they therefore took this step to defend their interests. It is not so much a class issue as it is an issue that affects nearly the whole nation. The majority of the Russians are fed up with Europe, with the gas issue and all the holier-than-thou attitude of nations filled up to their elbows in the blood of the people of the Third World as well.

With affection and respect

HCE

First published at Socialist Planning Beyond Capitalism

The post How Different Classes in Russia Feel About Yankeedom, China and Europe: More Letters from Russia first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Deconstructing Preemption, De-Nazification, Right to Protect . . . In the Eyes of Empire of Lies (and Hate)

Interesting Teach-in, well, discussion, with the speakers below. You will hear Scott Ritter divert from some of these speakers saying that the actions by Russia in Ukraine are legal, ethical and necessary.

Here is Ritter, just interviewed, Strategic Culture. Note that Ritter is called a traitor (for looking at the Russian military and political angles) and a Putin Stooge (this is it for Western Woke Culture) and he’s been banned on Twitter for a day, and then back up, and the seesaw of social media continues (more McCarthy: The New Democratic Opperative). You do not have to agree with militarism, but here we are, so the Western Woke Fascist Media and the Mendacious Political Class want nothing to do with, well, military minds looking at Russia (Ritter studied Russia big-time, and studied their military big time, both Soviet Union and Russia). He also is married to a Georgian. But again, this is it for the Western Intellect (sic).

Like we can’t watch Graham Phillips work, without being called, well, Russian Stooges. The Mainlining Mendacious Media calls him a Russian Sympathizer. Imagine that. For years,, he’s been a sympathizer (he is British, speaks Russian and goes to the actual places with camera in hand. Look at the one on Ossetia, the breakaway republic of Georgia. It is delightful (note the dinner he is served by the typical family):

Here, from, “The Ukrainian Conflict Is a U.S./NATO Proxy War, but One Which Russia Is Poised to Win Decisively – Scott Ritter” by Finian Cunningham, April 9, 2022

Question: Do you think that Russia has a just cause in launching its “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24?

Scott Ritter: I believe Russia has articulated a cognizable claim of preemptive collective self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter. The threat posed by NATO expansion, and Ukraine’s eight-year bombardment of the civilians of the Donbass fall under this umbrella.

Question: Do you think Russia has legitimate concerns about the Pentagon sponsoring biological weapons programs in laboratories in Ukraine?

Scott Ritter: The Pentagon denies any biological weapons program, but admits biological research programs on Ukrainian soil. Documents captured by Russia have allegedly uncovered the existence of programs the components of which could be construed as having offensive biological warfare applications. The U.S. should be required to explain the purpose of these programs.

Question: What do you make of allegations in Western media that Russian troops committed war crimes in Bucha and other Ukrainian cities? It is claimed that Russian forces summarily executed civilians.

Scott Ritter: All claims of war crimes must be thoroughly investigated, including Ukrainian allegations that Russia killed Ukrainian civilians in Bucha. However, the data available about the Bucha incident does not sustain the Ukrainian claims, and as such, the media should refrain from echoing these claims as fact until a proper investigation of the evidence is conducted, either by the media, or unbiased authorities.

While one may be able to mount a legal challenge to Russia’s contention that its joint operation with Russia’s newly recognized independent nations of Lugansk and Donetsk constitutes a “regional security or self-defense organization” as regards “anticipatory collective self-defense actions” under Article 51, there can be no doubt as to the legitimacy of Russia’s contention that the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass had been subjected to a brutal eight-year-long bombardment that had killed thousands of people.

Moreover, Russia claims to have documentary proof that the Ukrainian Army was preparing for a massive military incursion into the Donbass which was pre-empted by the Russian-led “special military operation.” [OSCE figures show an increase of government shelling of the area in the days before Russia moved in.]

Finally, Russia has articulated claims about Ukraine’s intent regarding nuclear weapons, and in particular efforts to manufacture a so-called “dirty bomb”, which have yet to be proven or disproven. [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a reference to seeking a nuclear weapon in February at the Munich Security Conference.]

The bottom line is that Russia has set forth a cognizable claim under the doctrine of anticipatory collective self defense, devised originally by the U.S. and NATO, as it applies to Article 51 which is predicated on fact, not fiction.  (Ritter, Russia, Ukraine & the Law of War: Crime of Aggression)


[Nuremberg Trials. 1st row: Hermann Göring, Rudolf Heß, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel. 2nd row: Karl Dönitz, Erich Raeder, Baldur von Schirach, Fritz Sauckel. (Office of the U.S. Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality/Still Picture Records LICON, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S)]

All the speakers, except maybe excluding John Kiriakou, have great points to make: Andrei Martyanov, expert on Russian military affairs, author The Real Revolution in Military Affairs; Chris Kaspar de Ploeg, author Ukraine in the Crossfire; James Carden, Adviser U.S.-Russia bilateral commission during the Obama administration & Ex. Editor of The American Committee for East-West accord; Scott Ritter, former U.S. Marine Intelligence officer, UN Arms Inspector, exposed WMD lie in U.S. push to invade Iraq; John Kiriakou, CIA whistleblower and Radio Sputnik host; Ron Ridenour, peace activist, author The Russian Peace Threat; Gerald Horne, historian, author, Chair of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston; Jeremy Kuzmarov, CAM Managing Editor and author of The Russians Are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce.

Imagine, the provocations.

The US government invoked self-defense as a legal justification for its invasion of Panama. Several scholars and observers have opined that the invasion was illegal under international law.

Watch, Panama Deception here: C-Span!

Oh, those Freedom Fighters, the back-shooting, civilian-killing, village-burning Contras:

Appendix A: Background on United States Funding of the Contras

In examining the allegations in the Mercury News and elsewhere, it is important to understand the timing of funding of the Contras by the United States. The following dates explain the periods during which the United States government provided funding to the Contras or cut off such funding.

  • Anastasio Somoza Debayle was the leader of Nicaragua from 1967 until July 1979, when he was overthrown by the Sandinistas. When President Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981, he promptly canceled the final $15 million payment of a $75 million aid package to Nicaragua, reversing the Carter administration’s policy towards Nicaragua. On November 17, 1981, President Reagan signed National Security Directive 17, authorizing provision of covert support to anti-Sandinista forces. On December 1, 1981, Reagan signed a document intending to conceal the November 17 authorization of anti-Sandinista operations. The document characterized the United States’ goal in Nicaragua as that of interdicting the flow of arms from Nicaragua to El Salvador, where leftist guerrillas were receiving aid from Sandinista forces.
  • In late 1982, Edward P. Boland, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, introduced an amendment to the Fiscal Year 1983 Defense Appropriations bill that prohibited the CIA, the principal conduit of covert American support for the Contras, from spending funds “for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Nicaragua.” However, the CIA could continue to support the Contras if it claimed that the purpose was something other than to overthrow the government. In December 1983, a compromise was reached and Congress passed a funding cap for fiscal year 1984 of $24 million for aid to the Contras, an amount significantly lower than what the Reagan administration wanted, with the possibility that the Administration could seek supplemental funds later.
  • This funding was insufficient to support the Administration’s “Contra program” and the decision was made to approach other countries for monetary support. In April 1984, Robert McFarlane convinced Saudi Arabia to contribute $1 million per month to the Contras through a secret bank account set up by Lt. Col. Oliver North.
  • In October 1984, the second Boland amendment took effect. It prohibited any military or paramilitary support for the Contras from October 3, 1984, through December 19, 1985. As a result, the CIA and Department of Defense (DOD) began withdrawing personnel from Central America. During this time, however, the National Security Council continued to provide support to the Contras.
  • In August 1985, Congress approved $25 million in humanitarian aid to the Contras, with the proviso that the State Department, and not the CIA or the DOD, administer the aid. President Reagan created the Nicaraguan Humanitarian Assistance Office (NHAO) to supply the humanitarian aid. In September 1985, Oliver North began using the Salvadoran air base at Ilopango for Contra resupply efforts.
  • On October 5, 1986, a plane loaded with supplies for the Contras, financed by private benefactors, was shot down by Nicaraguan soldiers. On board were weapons and other lethal supplies and three Americans. One American, Eugene Hasenfus, claimed while in custody that he worked for the CIA. The Reagan Administration denied any knowledge of the private resupply efforts.
  • On October 17, 1986, Congress approved $100 million in funds for the Contras. In 1987, after the discovery of private resupply efforts orchestrated by the National Security Council and Oliver North, Congress ceased all but “non-lethal” aid in 1987. The war between the Sandinistas and the Contras ended with a cease-fire in 1990.
  • Although the Contras were often referred to as one group, several distinct factions made up the Contras.
  • In August 1980, Colonel Enrique Bermudez, a former Colonel in Somoza’s National Guard, united other former National Guard officers and anti-Sandinista civilians to form the Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense (FDN). This group was known as the Northern Front because it was based in Honduras. In February 1983, Adolfo Calero became the head of the FDN.
  • In April 1982, Eden Pastora split from the Sandinista regime and organized the Democratic Revolutionary Alliance (ARDE) and the Sandinista Revolutionary Front (FRS), which declared war on the Sandinista regime. Pastora’s group was based in Costa Rica and along the southern border of Nicaragua, and therefore became known as the Southern Front. Pastora refused to work with Bermudez, claiming that Bermudez, as a member of the former Somoza regime, was politically tainted. The CIA decided to support the FDN and generally declined to support the ARDE.

Again, let’s think about what is actually happening in Ukraine, and where the country is, and what the Russians in that country are facing, and, gulp, where is Ukraine? Thousands of miles away, like Panama and Nicaragua are from USA?

Here, a Dutch journalist:

Sonja at the place of the rocket attack in Donetsk, the ATM machine. [Photo Courtesy of Sonja Van den Ende]

Read her work:

As the war in Ukraine rages on, I visited the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as an embedded reporter with the Russian army.

Both of the republics are the trigger of the current conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared their independence on February 24, 2022, something a lot of people were waiting for since the CIA backed coup in Ukraine of February 2014. That coup had resulted in the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and new laws forcing the Ukrainian language on Russian-speaking residents. Luhansk and Donetsk consequently voted on their independence and Ukraine attacked them, precipitating the war.

European support for the so-called Maidan coup was considerable: the Dutch MP Hans van Baalen from the ruling Dutch VVD party (Mark Rutte), for example, was at the protests that helped trigger the coup, as was the former Prime Minister of Belgium Guy Verhofstadt. Both were seen cheering on the crowds, surrounded by right-extremists on the stage, shouting “democracy.”

So what is preemptive defense? Right to Protect? What is big ugly history of Nazi’s in Poland and Ukraine? What is that all about, uh, Americanum?

At least 32 countries have sent direct military aid to Ukraine this year! US and NATO Allies Arm Neo-Nazi Units in Ukraine as Foreign Policy Elites Yearn for Afghan-style Insurgency

So, plans by ZioLensky for Dirty Bombs from the wasteland of Chernobyl, not a provocation?

How many were immolated in Waco? Why? Mount Carmel Center became engulfed in flames. The fire resulted in the deaths of 76 Branch Davidians, including 25 children, two pregnant women, and David Koresh himself.

Oh, the impatience of the USA, FBI, ATF, Attorney General, Bill Clinton, the lot of them.

Or, dropping bombs on Philly, to kill, well, black people:

How many died, and what happened to the city block? Bombs dropped on our own people, again! Police dropped a bomb on a West Philly house in 1985. The fire caused by the explosion killed 11 people, an atrocity that Philadelphia still grapples with today.

 

Oh, the irony.

Black Lives Do Not Matter, here, or in Ukraine. Below, representation of those lives killed by cops, of all races, in one year. Many of these in a year, 60 percent, did not involve a person with a gun, and a huge number, 40 percent, involved people going throug mental health crises.

More than one thousand people are killed by police every year in America

Oh, being black in Ukraine:

[Foreign students trying to reach the Ukrainian border said they were thrown off trains, not allowed on buses, and made to wait hours in the cold before crossing over.]

Yes, the first casualty of war is truth, and with the USA as the Empire of Lies and Hate, the casualty is now a larger framework of a Zombie Nation of virtue signalers and those who want the fake news to be real, please!

So far as I know, this is the first war in modern history with no objective, principled coverage in mainstream media of day-to-day events and their context. None. It is morn-to-night propaganda, disinformation and lies of omission — most of it fashioned by the Nazi-infested Zelensky regime in Kiev and repeated uncritically as fact.

There is one thing worse than this degenerate state of affairs. It is the extent to which the media’s malpractice is perfectly fine to most Americans. Tell us what to think and believe no matter if it is true, they say, and we will think and believe it. Show us some pictures, for images are all.

There are larger implications to consider here. Critical as it is that we understand this conflict, Ukraine is a mirror in which we see ourselves as we have become. For more Americans than I wish were so, reality forms only in images. These Americans are no longer occupants of their own lives. Risking a paradox, what they take to be reality is detached from reality.

This majority — and it is almost certainly a majority — has no thoughts or views except those first verified through the machinery of manufactured images and “facts.” Television screens, the pages of purportedly authoritative newspapers, the air waves of government-funded radio stations — NPR, the BBC — serve to certify realities that do not have to be real, truths that do not have to be true.

Before proceeding to Bucha, the outrage of the moment, I must reproduce a quotation from that propaganda-is-O.K. piece The Times published in its March 3 editions. It is from a Twitter user who was distressed that it became public that the Ghost of Kiev turned out to be a ghost and the Snake Island heroes didn’t do much by way of holding the fort.

‘Why can’t we just let people believe some things?’ this thoughtful man or woman wanted to know. What is wrong, in other words, if thinking and believing nice things that aren’t true makes people feel better? (Patrick LawrenceSpecial to Consortium News)

Daniel Boorstin’s The Image: A Guide to Pseudo- Events in America, has been cited by yours truly several times. It is a completely amazing work, sixty years ahead of its time, and it is almost completely ignored!.

boorstin daniel - the image - AbeBooks

I describe the world of our making, how we have used our wealth, our literacy, our technology, and our progress to create the thicket of unreality which stands between us and the facts of life. …. The reporter’s task is to find a way to weave these threads of unreality into a fabric the reader will not recognize as entirely unreal. (Boorstin)

The post Deconstructing Preemption, De-Nazification, Right to Protect . . . In the Eyes of Empire of Lies (and Hate) first appeared on Dissident Voice.