Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Evo Morales launches global campaign to “eliminate” NATO

 

 

The South American leader called for a large international mobilization against NATO and the US


 

By Carlos Eduardo Sanchez

The former president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma, announced an international campaign to dissolve the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which in his opinion poses a threat to the entire planet.

During an interview offered to Sputnik, Morales said that he is organizing an international movement, from the South American leftist organization Runasur, to end NATO.

"NATO is a danger to world peace, to security, so we are in the task of how to reach agreements with social movements, not only in Latin America, but in all continents, to eliminate it. If nothing is done against NATO, it will become a permanent threat to humanity," he warned.

He also said that the Atlantic organization, led by the US, launched new sanctions against Russia in recent weeks in rejection of the military operation ordered by President Vladimir Putin in eastern Ukraine.

He pointed out that the US exerts "pressure and threats" on Latin American presidents to condemn Russia for the conflict in Ukraine.

Morales affirmed that the presidents are aware of these US mandates, but since they belong to the "capitalist system" they have no choice but to "obey."

In recent days, the South American leader called for a large international mobilization to curb the interventionist expansionism of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States government.

The former Bolivian president refers that NATO is the main enemy of humanity, which threatens life, peace and the economy due to its expansionist, interventionist and warmongering policy. 

Background really helps to understand....

 



Documentary film: Inside the Donbass during hidden war

 


Anne-Laure Bonnel, a young filmmaker and mother of a French family, decides to accompany Alexander, a father of Ukrainian family, to the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine in a pro-Russian zone.

At the heart of the war, she captures the terrible images of a deadly conflict and an unprecedented humanitarian disaster. 

Subtitles in Italian, English, Spanish and French are available. Click on "settings" (gear symbol on the desktop or three dots at the top right in the mobile app). Go to "Subtitles" and choose the desired language. 

 Sono i disponibili i sottotitoli in italiano, inglese, spagnolo e francese. Fare click su "impostazioni" (simbolo dell'ingranaggio su desktop oppure tre puntini in alto a destra nell'app). Posizionarsi su "Sottotitoli" e scegliere la lingua desiderata.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Zelensky rubbishes Biden’s war on Russia

 


By MK Bhadrakumar

AsiaTimes

 

Russia-Ukraine war shows America’s capacity to force its will on other countries is inexorably in decline 


That duo of Eastern European descent in the front seat – Blinken driving and Nuland by his side navigating him – ought to offer an explanation for this charade playing out, which is virtually demolishing American prestige as a superpower. 

But such an ignominious end to this entire episode over Ukraine’s NATO membership was entirely to be anticipated. Fundamentally, this is an existential issue for Russia, whereas Biden, Blinken and Nuland are dilettantes sitting 10,000 kilometers away indulging in old neocon pastimes of interfering in other countries’ internal affairs, threatening them, disciplining them or punishing them for defying America’s diktat.

Fundamentally, the problem is that the American elite is delusional. While the rest of the world knows that in a multipolar world, the United States’ capacity to force its will on other countries is inexorably in decline, the American elite shut their eyes to that reality. The present ridiculous situation was only due to this arrogance and self-deception.

Read the rest of this excellent article here 

~ M K Bhadrakumar is a former Indian diplomat. 

Blast from the past.....



The empire of lies

the empire of hypocrisy

the empire of endless war$  

the empire of censorship

the empire from hell

Ukraine, it was all written in the Rand Corp. plan

 


Pisa, Italy

March 10, 2022
 

On March 8, 2022, after having briefly published it online, Il Manifesto made this article [below] disappear overnight also from the print edition since I had refused to comply with the directive of the Ministry of Truth and asked to open a debate on the Ukrainian crisis. Thus, my long collaboration with this newspaper, in which I have published my column The Art of War for over ten years, ends.


By Manlio Dinucci

The United States Strategic Plan against Russia was drafted three years ago by the Rand Corporation (il manifesto, May 21, 2019 “Rand Corp: How to overthrow Russia”). Washington headquartered Rand Corporation is "a global research organization that develops solutions to political challenges": it has an army of 1,800 researchers, and other recruited specialists from 50 countries speaking 75 languages, they are distributed in offices and other locations in North America, Europe, Australia, and the Persian Gulf. Rand's US staff lives and works in over 25 countries.

The Rand Corporation, which defines itself as a "non-profit and a-partisan organization", is funded by the Pentagon, US Army and Air Force, National Security Agencies (CIA and others), Agencies of other countries, and powerful non-governmental organizations.

Rand Corp. boasts of having helped develop the strategy that allowed the United States to emerge victorious from the Cold War forcing the Soviet Union to consume its resources in a grueling military confrontation. The new plan designed in 2019 was inspired by this model: "Overextending and Unbalancing Russia", which is forcing the opponent to extend excessively to unbalance, and take it down. These are the main lines of attack outlined in Rand's plan, on which the United States has actually moved in recent years. 

First of all - the plan established - Russia must be attacked on the most vulnerable side, that of its economy heavily dependent on gas and oil export: for this purpose trade and financial sanctions must be used, and at the same time, it must ensure that Europe decreases Russian natural gas import by replacing it with US liquefied natural gas. 

In the ideological and informational field, it is necessary to encourage internal protests, and at the same time undermine the image of Russia on the outside.

In the military field,  efforts must be made to ensure that the European NATO countries increase their forces in an anti-Russia function. The US may have a high probability of success and high benefits with moderate risks by investing more in strategic bombers, and long-range attack missiles directed against Russia. Deploying in Europe new intermediate-range nuclear missiles aimed at Russia gives them a high probability of success, but also involves high risks. Calibrating each option to obtain the desired effect - Rand concluded - Russia will end up paying the highest price in comparison with the US, but the US and its allies will have to invest large resources subtracting them from other purposes.

As part of this strategy - the Rand Corporation plan envisaged in 2019 - "providing lethal aid to Ukraine would exploit Russia's greatest external vulnerability, but any increase in weapons and military advice provided by the US to Ukraine should be carefully calibrated to increase the costs for Russia without provoking a much wider conflict in which due to its proximity Russia would have significant advantages ".

It is precisely here - in what the Rand Corporation called "Russia's greatest external vulnerability", exploitable by arming Ukraine in a "calibrated way to increase costs for Russia - without provoking a much wider conflict" - that the break has occurred. Squeezed in the political, economic, and military grip that the US and NATO were increasingly tightening, ignoring the repeated warnings and proposals for negotiations by Moscow, Russia reacted with its military operation that destroyed in Ukraine over 2,000 military structures built and controlled not by Kyiv rulers but by US-NATO commands.

The article that reported the Rand Corporation's plan three years ago ended with these words: "The plan envisaged options are in reality only variants of this war strategy, the price of which in terms of sacrifices and risks is paid by all of us ". 

We European people are paying for it now, and we will pay more and more dear if we continue to be expendable pawns in the US-NATO strategy. 

~ Information list of the international No to War - No to NATO network, www.no-to-nato.org, info@no-to-nato.net  

Next in Line for demonization and war?

 



Can China de-escalate? 
 
 
By John V. Walsh

I beg to differ on WW III if one means the US will join the fray to any significant degree.

The US will NOT fight Russia or China directly - if the US can avoid that.  Biden has made it clear that the US troops will not fight Russia in Ukraine nor will the US fight China directly in Taiwan.  And I believe it will never do so in any large scale fashion. 

Ukraine will fight Russia and then perhaps bit by bit other European countries will join Ukraine.  This has already happened in terms of financial warfare with the Europeans and Russia paying a big price due to US imposed sanctions; Americans will get off lightly, leading from behind.  Can the Europeans be conned into more hostility to Russia?  With the “progressive” Greens, the most hawkish of all the German Parties holding the Foreign Minister portfolio, it does not look good.

And Taiwan, South Korea, Japan etc, NOT the US, will fight China directly if the US can manage to gin this up.  The US will “lead from behind.”  This is not as advanced yet as the European process is - in part, I believe, because the neocons (Nuland, etc.) have much more antipathy toward Russia.  

This is a World War in the sense that WWII was - and WWII was a case of the US suffering barely at all in comparison to Eurasia with its advanced economies all wrecked and well over 50 million dead in combat [including the 27 million killed in the Soviet Union by the Nazi invasion].  In fact the US emerged in control of the world with only the USSR able to escape its clutches. 

A replay of WWII is what the US is after here - hoping there will be no nuclear escalation.

Can the US pull this off?  As far as I can see, Americans will support all this so long as the body bags do not come back in large numbers. Many, many progressives are already on board.  

(The most serious high profile resistance is coming from Tucker Carlson -gasp- but this will shift when it comes to China.  Anti-Communism is like catnip to Carlson - but NOT to paleos like Buchanan or libertarians like Ron Paul. They will remain as non-interventionists.  As will some on the left, but not the majority I fear.)

Since the financial warfare has begun, I think this article is worth reading even though parts of it are clearly US propaganda: http://archive.today/17tO5

 



 A quote:

 “The United Nations recognizes roughly 180 currencies, but “the reality is most global payments are still intermediated through a Western currency-dominated financial system,” said Eswar Prasad, a professor of international trade policy at Cornell University.

Most of global commerce is carried out in dollars and euros, making it hard for Russia to avoid the currencies. And as much as half of the $643 billion in foreign exchange reserves owned by the Russian central bank is under the digital thumb of central and commercial banks in the United States, Europe and their allies.

 “They control the wealth of the world,” even the parts that they don’t own, said Michael S. Bernstam, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

 “While there has been speculation that Russia could mute the fallout of the sanctions by using its gold reserves, turning to Chinese yuan or transacting in cryptocurrency, so far those alternatives seem unlikely to be enough to forestall financial pain.” 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Good commentary

 


Alex Christoforou in Athens, Greece sharing the latest news.

Say it ain't so Joe....

 

 
 

US caught doing and lying about bio-warfare R & D inside Ukraine for years - to be aimed at Russia.
 
Due to the fact that Ukraine has a unique geographical location where transcontinental migration routes intersect, 145 biological species were studied within the framework of this project. 
 
At the same time, at least two species of migratory birds were identified, whose routes pass mainly through the territory of Russia. Information about migration routes passing through the countries of Eastern Europe was also studied.
 
It's a shame that MSNBC, CBS, CNN, BBC, DW, Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Le Figaro, Washington Post, NY Times are not reporting the truth about this blazing story. 
 
Why not? I thought the US-EU were the world's defenders of 'freedom of speech?' Oh well, I guess not. I must have been wrong about that one....
 
See Scott Ritter's article on this story here
 
Bruce 

Lied about wars

 



By Eduardo Galeano (Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone)  

 

Advertising campaigns, marketing schemes. The target is public opinion. Wars are sold the same way cars are, by lying.

In August 1964, President Lyndon Johnson accused the Vietnamese of attacking two US warships in the Tonkin Gulf.

Then the president invaded Vietnam, sending planes and troops. He was acclaimed by journalists and by politicians, and his popularity sky-rocketed. The Democrats in power and the Republicans out of power became a single party united against the Communist aggression.

After the war had slaughtered Vietnamese in vast numbers, most of them women and children, Johnson's secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, confessed that the Tonkin Gulf had never occurred. 

The dead did not revive.

In March 2003 President George W. Bush accused Iraq of being on the verge of destroying the world with its weapons of mass destruction, "the most lethal weapons ever devised."

Then the president invaded Iraq, sending planes and troops. He was acclaimed by journalists and by politicians, and his popularity sky-rocketed. The Republicans in power and the Democrats out of power became a single party united against terrorist aggression.

 


 

After the war had slaughtered Iraqis in vast numbers [over 1.5 million], most of them women and children, Bush confessed that the weapons of mass destruction never existed. "The most lethal weapons ever devised" were his own speeches.

In the following elections, he won a second term.

In my childhood, my mother used to tell me that a lie has no feet. She was misinformed.

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

No war with Russia!!

 

 

I held this sign (along with 4 other folks) today in downtown Brunswick, Maine at the lunch hour. We also had a big banner that read 'No war with Russia!!'

During the hour long vigil we had 175 honks/waves of support and only 3 negative responses. 

Of course most people drove by with blank stares. But I was very encouraged to see that so many people obviously are not wanting war with Russia.

I think that most of the positive ones who honked or waved realize that war with Russia would go boom-boom-boom and then get very silent except for the wails and cries of anguish of people all over the planet.

Let's not do that..... 

Instead just a few things need to be done - stop NATO expansion, pull-out the US missile launch bases in Romania and Poland, stop US-NATO war games constantly being held on Russia's doorstep, and stop the effort to send in mercenaries/Nazis/Jihadists to Ukraine which is all about creating a failed-state in Ukraine - right on the Russian border.  

And finally drop the US-NATO dreams of 'regime change' in Moscow.

Then peace just might prevail.

Bruce

What was U.S. doing with bio-war labs in Ukraine?

 


Russia Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, demands the US explain its operations in Ukraine bio-war laboratories.

Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland said Tuesday that there are “biological research facilities” in Ukraine the US is concerned Russian forces might seize. She made the comments when asked by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) if Ukraine has chemical or biological weapons.

Days before Nuland’s comment, the Russian military claimed it had uncovered 30 biological laboratories in Ukraine linked to the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency

“Ukraine has biological research facilities which in fact we are quite concerned Russian troops, Russian forces, may be seeking to gain control of, so we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach,” Nuland said.

China has also called on the US to release the details of the Pentagon’s biological research programs in Ukraine. “The United States, as the party that knows the laboratories best, should release relevant specific information as soon as possible, including what viruses are stored and the research that has been carried out,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.

See more here

 

 

Let's play a guessing game....

 

  Name the four U.S. politicians in this photo op with Ukraine 'Special Forces' (click on photo for a better view) Hint: 2 R's and 2 D's.

                             

 

As we all read and debate what is actually going on in Ukraine let's play a guessing game.

Please take a swing at these questions:

 

  • Who is Igor Kolomoisky?
  • Who is Natalie Jaresko? 
  • Who is Valentina Matviyenko?
  • Who is Petro Poroshenko?
  • Who is Arseniy Petrovych Yatsenyuk?
  • Who is Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych?
  • Who is Geoffrey Pyatt?
  • Who is Annalena Charlotte Alma Baerbock?
  • Who is Denis Kireev? 
  • Who is Sergei Shoigu?
  • Who is Vitali Volodymyrovych Klitschko?
  • Who is Dmytro Yarosh?
  • Who is Stepan Bandera?
  • Who is Maria Vladimirovna Zakharova?
  • Who is Andriy Biletsky?
  • Who is Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky? 
  • Who is Victoria Nuland?
  • Who is Alexander Vladimirovich Zakharchenko?

 

What and when was the Maidan?

  • Where is the Donbass?
  • What is the Right Sector?
  • What is the National Endowment for Democracy?
  • What event happened in Ukraine in 2014?
  • What is the LPR?
  • What did Vladimir Putin say in his 2007 speech at the Munich Security Conference?
  • What is/was located at Khmelnytskyi?
  • Where is Lvov/Lviv?
  • What is the Azov Battalion?
  • How much money (in dollars) did the US spend in 2021 on the military? How much did Russia spend? What was the collective total of NATO member military spending?  (Hint: SIPRI)
  • When did the Warsaw Pact Alliance dissolve? 
  • What is the DPR?
  • How much has NATO expanded since the collapse of the former Soviet Union?
  • What are the Minsk Agreements? 
  • Who produced Ukraine on Fire?
  • Who runs the Open Society Foundations? 
  • Who recently tweeted that Putin should be assassinated?
  • Who famously said 'F_ the EU'?
  • What promise did US Secretary of State Jim Baker make to Mikhail Gorbachev?
  • How many people have died in the Donbass at the hands of the Nazi-led Ukrainian army since 2014? 
  • What happened in Odessa on May 2, 2014?
  • By what percentage did the people of Crimea vote to seek return to Russian Federation?
  • Which side of Ukraine is most famous for the predominance of Nazis - east or west? 
  • Who was it in Ukraine that Joe Biden bragged he got fired?

After making your guesses, search on the Internet for each of the questions to see how you came out. 

Enjoy....

Who is in this photo? Where and when was it taken?

He Goes to Moscow - But Absolutely Not to Ramallah



By Adam Keller (Gush Shalom)

Israeli Prime Minister
Naftali Bennet
Undertook to mediate
In the war between
Russia and Ukraine.

"The chances
For success are slim"
Bennet said upon
His return from Moscow,
"But if there is
Even the slightest chance
Of saving human lives,
Then it is
Our moral duty."

Naftali Bennet feels
No moral duty
To make
A diplomatic effort
Towards ending
The bloody conflict
With the Palestinians
In which
The state he heads
Is mired.

Bennet flew
To Moscow,
But under
No circumstances
Will he
Travel to Ramallah.

On the day
That Bennet
Returned from
His mediation mission,
Israeli police and soldiers
Killed two
Palestinian youths,
One aged 19,
The other aged 16.

The media
Reported briefly:
"Two more terrorists
Have been eliminated!"
The same as last week
And as next week.  

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Letter to a U.S. Senator

 

 


TO: Senator Todd Young (R-IN, on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee)

Good Morning Senator Todd,

Thank you for your recent e-mail and the fiscal problems seem particularly gloomy.

Your message about Ukraine has been consistent and I am hoping that you will hear some of what I am saying.

President Putin is not crazy. Please start with that thought in mind.

What has been happening in the Ukraine since 2014 is a tragedy, I agree.

It is a tragedy that our actions in support of a revolutionary change in the Ukraine government are seen as provocative to Russia.

President Putin's actions in Ukraine are reactionary in foundation.

You may disagree and I would say that sending weapons to Ukraine is like sending gasoline to a fire.

Kyiv to Moscow is 550 miles or less. There is no room for armies on either side of the border.

How can we tolerate our President who stated that "there is no provocation to this war"?

Are we saying that a "deranged Putin is acting for his own benefit"???

That this is happening because President Putin is greedy?

Please don't legislate weapons but rather legislate bridges.

Kyiv is 236 from Russian border.

These people are related.

"…calling for action against Russia’s energy sector…" makes the situation worse.

The war must end quickly and repair done to the international order.

Have a Peaceful Tomorrow,

Dan Glover in Maine 

Jimmy Dore gets a call

 


Which nations will the sactions hurt most?

 


 

The US-UK-NATO are now going to reap what they have sown after the years of demonization and military encirclement of Russia. 

The economic sanctions are going to hit western economies the hardest. Russia will just turn and sell their gas to India, China and others. 

Why does the US want to hurt Europe and itself?

Scott Ritter: Pity the Nation

 

 

 

Fact-based arguments Scott Ritter made challenging the case for war against Iraq were effectively silenced. Today he sees the same template in play towards anyone challenging the dogma of “Putinism.”


Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 2012. (Cmichel67 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)


Pity the Nation
Pity the nation whose people are sheep
And whose shepherds mislead them…
Pity the nation oh pity the people
Who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away
– Lawrence Ferlinghetti


By Scott Ritter (Consortium News)

In the past few months, the United States has undergone a kind of transformation that one only reads about in history books — from a nation which imperfectly, yet stolidly, embraced the promise, if not principle, of freedom, especially when it came to that most basic of rights — the freedom of expression. Democracies live and die on the ability of an informed citizenry to engage in open debate, dialogue and discussion about difficult issues. Freedom of speech is one of the touch-stone tenets of American democracy — the idea that, no matter how out of step with mainstream society one’s beliefs might be, the retained right to freely express opinions thus derived without fear of censorship or repression existed.

No more.

In the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russophobia which had taken grip in the United States since Russia’s first post-Cold War president, Boris Yeltsin, handed the reins of power over to his hand-picked successor, Vladimir Putin, has emerged much like the putrid core of an over-ripe boil. That this anti-Russian trend existed in the United States was, in and of itself, no secret. Indeed, the United States had, since 2000, pushed aside classic Russian area studies in the pursuit of a new school espousing the doctrine of “Putinism,” centered on the flawed notion that everything in Russia revolved around the singular person of Vladimir Putin.

The more the United States struggled with the reality of a Russian nation unwilling to allow itself to be once again constrained by the yoke of carpetbagger economics disguised as “democracy” that had been prevalent during the Yeltsin era, the more the dogma of “Putinism” took hold in the very establishments where intellectual examination of complex problems was ostensibly transpiring — the halls of academia which in turn produced the minds that guided policy formulation and implementation.

Outliers like Jack Matlock, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Cohen were cashiered in favor of a new breed of erstwhile Russian expert, led by the likes of Michael McFaul, Fiona Hill and Anne Applebaum. Genuine Russian area studies was supplanted by a new field of authoritarian studies, where the soul of a nation that once was defined by the life and works of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gorky, Lenin, Stalin, Sakharov, and Gorbachev was distilled into a shallow caricature of one man — Putin.

We had seen this play before, in the buildup to the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, when the national identity of a people who traced their heritage back to the Biblical times of Babylon was encapsulated in the person of one man, Saddam Hussein. By focusing solely on a manufactured narrative derived from a simplistic understanding of one man, the United States papered over the complex internal reality of the Iraqi nation and its people, and in doing so set itself up for defeat. It was if Iraq’s long and storied history ceased to exist.

The impact this erasure of context and relevance from the national discourse was felt in the lead up to the decision to initiate what was, by all sense and purposes, an illegal war of aggression — the greatest war crime of all, according to U.S. Supreme Court justice and U.S. chief prosecutor during the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal, Robert H. Jackson.

My own personal experience serves as witness to this reality. As a former chief weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-1998, I was uniquely positioned to comment on the veracity of the claims made by the United States that Iraq retained weapons of mass destruction capability in violation of its obligation to be disarmed of such. When my stance was deemed convenient to a narrative attacking a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, I was readily embraced. However, when my fact-based narrative ran afoul of the regime-change policies of Clinton’s successor, George W. Bush, I was cast aside as a pariah.

Politics of Personal Destruction


The politics of personal destruction were employed in full, and I was attacked for being a shill of Saddam and, perhaps worst of all for someone who served his nation proudly and honorably as an officer of U.S. Marines, anti-American. It didn’t matter that, without exception, the fact-based arguments I made challenging the case for war with Iraq proved to be accurate — at the time and place where the arguments could have, and should have, resonated greatest (during the buildup to the invasion) — that my voice had been effectively silenced.

I see the same template in play again today when it comes to the difficult topic of Russia. Like every issue of importance, the Russian-Ukraine conflict has two sides to its story. The humanitarian tragedy that has befallen the citizens of Ukraine is perhaps the greatest argument one can offer up in opposition to the Russian military incursion.  But was there surely a viable diplomatic off ramp available which could have avoided this horrific situation?

To examine that question, however, one must be able and willing to engage in a fact-based discussion of Russian motives. The main problem with this approach is that the narrative which would emerge is not convenient for those who espouse the Western dogma of “Putinism,” based as it is on the irrational proclivities and geopolitical appetite of one man — Vladimir Putin.

The issue of NATO expansion and the threat it posed to Russian national security is dismissed with the throw-away notion that NATO is a defensive alliance and as such could pose no threat to Russia or its leader. The issue of the presence of the cancer of neo-Nazi ideology in the heart of the Ukrainian government and national identity is countered with the “fact” that Ukraine’s current president is himself a Jew. The eight-year suffering of the Russian-speaking citizens of the Donbass, who lived and died under the incessant bombardment brought on by the Ukrainian military, is simply ignored as if it never happened.


The problem with the pro-Ukrainian narrative is that it is at best incomplete, and worse incredibly misleading. NATO expansion has been consistently identified by Russia as an existential threat. The domination of the hate-filled neo-Nazi ideology of the Ukrainian far-right is well documented, up to and including their threat to kill the incumbent president, Volodymyr Zelensky, if he did not do their bidding. And the fact that the former president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, promised to make the Russian-speaking population of the Donbass cower in the basements under the weight of Ukrainian artillery fire is well documented.

Unfortunately for those seeking to have an informed, fact-based discussion, dialogue, and debate about the complex problem that is Ukraine-Russian relations is the reality that facts are not conducive to the advancement of the “Putinism” dogma that has gripped American academia, government, and mainstream media today.

The Saddam-era tactics of smearing the character of anyone who dares challenge what passes for conventional wisdom when it comes to Russia and its leader is alive and well and living in the land of the free and the home of the brave. The age-old tactic of boycotting such voices by the mainstream media is in full-swing — the so-called news channels are flooded with the acolytes of “Putinism,” while anyone who dares challenge the officially sanctioned narrative of “Ukraine good, Russia bad” is excluded from participating in the “discussion.”

‘Russian Misinformation’



And, in this age where social media has, in many ways, supplanted the mainstream media as the source of choice for most Americans, the U.S. government has colluded with the commercial providers of the major platforms used to share information to label anything that deviates from the official line as “Russian misinformation,” going so far as to label data derived from Russian sources as “state-sponsored,” along with a warning that supposes the information within is somehow flawed and dangerous to normal democratic discourse.

The ultimate sanction, however, came when the U.S. government pressured the corporate internet providers to shut down all Russian-affiliated media, leading to the closure of RT America and other media outlets whose accuracy and impartiality, upon examination, far exceeded that of their American counterparts.

Now America is taking it to the next level when it comes to the pandemic of Russophobia that is sweeping across the country, purging everything Russian from the national discourse and experience. Russian books are being banned and Russian restaurants boycotted and worse, attacked. The massive economic sanctions enacted against Russia and the Russian people has extended to what amounts to an erasure of all things Russian from the American experience.

Where will this stop? History shows that America is capable of healing itself — the national shame that was the treatment of Japanese- Americans during World War II is a clear demonstration of this phenomenon. However, the politics of cancellation which has emerged in the American body politic has never carried with it the kind of potential blow-back that exists in the case of Russia.

In the pell-mell rush toward cancelling Russia in the name of defeating Putin, emotion has replaced common sense, to the point that people are ignoring the fact that Russia is a nuclear power willing and able to use its Armageddon-inducing arsenal in defense of what it views as its legitimate national security interests.

There has never been a time when a national discussion has been more essential to the continued survival of the American people and all humanity. If this discussion could occur armed with the full range of facts and opinions relating to Russia, there might be hope that reason would prevail, and all nations would walk away from the abyss of our collective suicide. Unfortunately, the American experiment in democracy is not conducive for such near-term embrace of sanity and reason.

“Pity the nation,” Ferlinghetti wrote, “whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced, and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.”

Pity America.

~ Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.

Monday, March 07, 2022

Turd In The Punchbowl

 

My husband, Mark, who has opposed any and all wars since evading the draft during the Vietnam War.

By Lisa Savage (from Solon, Maine but now visiting family in California)

For the past five and half years, liberals in the U.S. have salivated on command in response to the messaging “Trump bad” ==> “Trump supported by Putin” ===> “Putin bad” even unto the absurdity of “Putin = Hitler.” The president of the Russian Federation’s speech about trying to achieve the “denazification” of yes, actual Nazis in Ukraine, fell on deaf ears. Because false dichotomy is about as deep as liberals’ analysis is able or willing to go these days. 

The void previously filled by daily outrage at 45 has been ably filled by fresh hate for an associated villain.

When I showed up yesterday at an antiwar vigil in Oakland, California with this sign, about 100 participants saw it but many didn’t get it. Some got it and scowled; I was the turd in the punchbowl. The messaging of this crowd was all over the place, but I was the only one with an obvious anti-imperialist message.

This man in a U.S. Air Force jacket saw it and was inspired to add NATO YES to his sign which had previously said only #closethesky. (He added #noflyzone also, possibly for clarity.)

Two older ladies approached me individually to say, “I don’t understand your sign.” 

They were polite and that helped me resist the temptation to be snarky about what’s not to understand. For all I know they really don’t know what NATO stands for. 

Source: Media watchdog FAIR’s article, “Calling Russia’s Attack ‘Unprovoked’ Lets U.S. Off The Hook

One of them had clearly been to the ribbon store and was bedecked head to toe in Ukrainian yellow and blue (Kudos to whoever conceived of the color revolutions strategy — they say it’s George Soros but I suspect he’s just the funder). USAians have been in training for color-themed “revolutions” all their lives as their televisions told them to wear the colors of one sports team in opposition to another sports team. They have derived their identities from which teams they cheer on and which hats they wear while cheering.


The banner you can’t quite read here says WELLSTONE Democracy Renewal Club. I believe it makes reference to Paul Wellstone, U.S. Senator from Minnesota who died in a mysterious plane crash while campaigning for re-election as a progressive Democrat.

The lady who was yellow and blue all over asked me why I had brought a “no NATO” message to the event. I explained that I was not supporting Russia’s attacks but that I hold NATO’s instigating responsible for the suffering of the Ukranian people. She didn’t appear to agree but she did nod thoughtfully and thanked me for explaining.

The other lady was not color-themed but looked like a garden variety old hippie. A lot of retirees live in this neighborhood and I’d say the average age of the crowd hovered around 60. Why the organizers had decided to hold the vigil right next to the all day Sunday drum circle held each week by Black drummers and dancers is a mystery to me.

The older woman listened to me explain my sign and asked a few questions. She appeared to actually be interested and at the end she commented, “You sound like you really know what you’re talking about.” I detected no sarcasm.

How is it that such a mature and affluent crowd doesn’t know what I’m talking about? Even if they disagree with my analysis, how can it be that they’ve never even heard of it?

Because if all your news for the last 50 years came from NPR and the New York Times, you end up quite ignorant. 

Educational level notwithstanding, you have swallowed false dichotomy hook, line, and sinker.

I’m not sure if either woman noticed the reverse of my sign. I see “no NATO” and the symbol for peace derived from symbols for nuclear disarmament as two sides of the same coin, not opposites.

This was one of the more nuanced messages at the vigil (side 1 and side 2):

Before my husband and I had even walked the few blocks back home this tweet I sent from the vigil

had drawn the fire of about twenty Twitter warriors for the status quo. I didn’t know any of them and we had not been in contact before yesterday. Most of them insulted me and/or my analysis, usually with name calling. It took a few minutes to block them but was probably time well spent. There are enough liberal Democrats harrassing me online who I actually know, mostly from the Native mascot retirement campaign in Maine.

A few of the comments were ambiguous so I left those. (“Oy” was one and #derusification was another.) 

I welcome disagreement and actual argumentation, but I have no reason to tolerate abusive, denigrating language. Nor do I need to provide a platform for people putting words in my mouth. I challenge them to find a single example of my supporting Putin or the Russian attacks on people in Ukraine. 

Information control is powerful and pervavasive. As of this weekend I can no longer access RT on my chromebook (still can on my phone) which consequently restricts access to lefty commentators like Lee Camp and Chris Hedges. Here’s the error message below:

Once the views of folks like those two  humanitarians are “forbidden,” we’re all in deep shit.

A bit of history: NATO means betrayed promise to Russia

 


According to Russia historian Stephen F. Cohen, Russian political leaders see NATO expansion as an ongoing threat. 

This Carnegie Council event took place on May 19, 2010.

Cohen was one of the leading experts on Russia who sadly died last year.

FOX News doesn't like the retired Colonel's views.....

 


With a picture of Nazi-hero Bandera behind him......

 

 

While the Western media labels all information coming from the Russian side as propaganda and fake news, they share manuals for homemade Molotov cocktails and interview far-right Ukrainian ultra-nationalists.

Via Vladimir Kozin:

Russia announces new safe passage routes. The Russian Armed Forces announced six humanitarian corridors with a simultaneous ceasefire from 10:00 AM (07:00 GMT) February 7th, 2022 for the residents in Kiev, Mariupol, Kharkov and Sumy with the aim to evacuate trapped civilians.

The Russian MoD said that Ukrainian nationalists in Mariupol at Pobeda (Victory) Square drove more than 150 civilians ahead of them as “human shields” as German fascists did during the WWII, and opened fire on DPR fighters from behind the civilians' backs. 4 refugees have been killed and 5 wounded by nationalists for protests and disobedience.

Detailed information about the humanitarian corridors was brought to the Ukrainian side in advance, as well as to the UNO, the OSCE and the International Committee of the Red Cross. No assistance has been promised by them by 15:00 Moscow time March 7th.

Kiev once again refused to recognize these save passage routes. 

Sunday, March 06, 2022

No coup, no Nazis in Ukraine?

 

 

Much to my astonishment I am getting emails from long respected 'peaceniks' passing on information that says there was no coup d'etat in 2014 (which was orchestrated by the Obama  administration). The emails often suggest that there are also no Nazis in Ukraine.

How is this possible that otherwise experienced activists could come to this conclusion? Is it because they have not been paying attention to this issue the last eight years? Or the demonization of Russia is so great across the west that most people's minds are set on 'default' and swing right into the 'Russia is evil' stance?

Could it be that they are listening to the corporate mainstream media and believing it? One email came today from a longtime Veterans For Peace leader on the west coast who wrote, "With all its faults I will take our MSM, NPR, PBS News Hour with the exception of Fox News over the state controlled lies put out by the Putin controlled media."

It might help to know that this VFP member is a loyal Democrat - it seems that when a Democrat president pushes Russia into a corner (which then hits back) there is shock, surprise, outrage and horror.

Sure if you want to know the truth just turn to American media. Remember how they told us the truth about Iraq in 2003, or Libya, Syria, Yemen.....?

Luckily there are some journalists out there telling the truth. One clear example is this article by Alexander Rubinstein and Max Blumenthal called: How Ukraine’s Jewish President Made Peace With Neo-Nazi Paramilitaries: While Western media deploys Volodymyr Zelensky’s Jewish heritage to refute accusations of Nazi influence in Ukraine, the president has ceded to neo-Nazi forces and now depends on them as front line fighters.

I know we are not supposed to talk about Zelensky in this way (by telling the truth about him, after all he will likely be named Time Magazine's 'Man of the Year' for 2022). 

But I tend to be a person who does not follow the maddening crowd.


Civilians under the bridge destroyed by the Ukraine military in the town of Irpen. The guys with the yellow armbands are the Nazis. Why won't they let the people leave the city? (Click on the photo for a better view)

 
Civilians waiting for evacuation in Mariupol. 
The Nazis would not let them leave. 
Of course Russia was blamed by the media.

 

I must admit I find it exceptionally difficult to cheer for Ukraine knowing that the Nazis are not allowing Russian-ethnics in big cities they control to leave via humanitarian highways. Just yesterday it was reported that the Nazis killed 200 people (including children) in Mariupol in eastern Ukraine when they forced them into the basement of a building and then blew it up. 

The last Ukraine-Russia negotiations in Belarus agreed to allow humanitarian corridors from where the Nazis had created 'strongholds' in the city centers. But the Nazis have been refusing to honor the agreement. Nothing new there - although not reported by MSNBC, NPR, PBS News Hour, CNN, BBC, Washington Post or the NY Times. 

Have people forgotten about Operation Mockingbird - the CIA control of western media?!!




I am at a loss for words to describe the severe disappointment I feel towards alot of the 'peace movement'. I don't expect true pacifists to agree with Russia's military operations in Ukraine. But I do expect them not to be sharing BS emails denying the 2014 coup in Kiev and the presence of Nazis in the Ukrainian army!

It is just irresponsible to distort reality and mislead the public. 

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity", warned Dr. M. L. King.

Unbelievable.

Bruce

Russia, Ukraine, and US

 


Follow the Money

By Rowland Lane Anderson

As a veteran of the Vietnam War I am always skeptical of the reasons we are given by our government and the media for any war. Per the instructions of “Deep Throat,” I will follow the money.

The stocks of U.S. weapons manufacturers have contradicted the broader market by soaring to new heights. Could this be a hint of what is really going on here?

At the initial peace talks in Belorussia, it is reported by all media outlets that Ukraine asked for an immediate cease fire and withdrawal of Russian military from Ukraine. Most of the same media outlets did not even report what the Russians asked for, but one did report that they offered an immediate cease fire and withdrawal if Ukraine would commit to neutrality vis a vis NATO in much the way that Finland had done. That would seem newsworthy. I wonder why other media outlets did not report it.

To explain, Finland is an EU member with a long border with Russia. Many years ago, the Russians invaded Finland, asking that it commit to neutrality. This is referred to as the Winter War. The Finns made Russia pay a heavy price for the invasion, but the Russians did not quit. In the end Finland committed to neutrality to end the killing of its much smaller population. Since then, partly because of its neutrality, Finland has become recognized as one of the most prosperous and democratic countries of Europe.

Incidentally this reflects back in history to Switzerland, which became neutral under pressure from its powerful neighbor, Napoleonic France, and has become the most stable, prosperous, and democratic country in Europe.

But back to the war in Ukraine and the weapons industry. Peace was possible in Europe after the Soviet empire collapsed. Reagan, Bush, and Secretary of State James Baker told the Russians when the Berlin Wall came down that NATO would not advance into the formerly Soviet empire countries. NATO’s reason for existence, opposition to the Soviet empire, seemed to be finished. There was talk of a huge “Peace Dividend” with the end of the need for the arms race that had bankrupted the Soviets and kept the USA from providing the social services that Americans should have and the infrastructure that the USA needed. Alas it did not come to pass!

The newly independent former Soviet empire nations were carefully lobbied by the USA and weapons manufacturers to join NATO. For them to join NATO they had to upgrade their militaries with U.S. weaponry, causing a huge bonanza for U.S. arms manufacturers. But the cold war was over, wasn’t it? The U.S.S.R. was gone, and we had no enemy to perpetuate the U.S. arms race.

So the same Military Industrial Congressional Complex (MICC) created Russia as the new enemy by pushing NATO right to the Russian border. When Ukraine seemed about to turn toward Russia, the USA and its MICC engineered a coup to place an anti-Russian government in power in 2014. That is when the invasion of Ukraine by Russia really began.

Now Russia wants neutrality and will fight for it. And many people will die so that the weapons industry can profit. War is a business, a very dirty and dishonest one.

~ Rowland Lane Anderson is a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and Veterans for Peace.

Sunday song