The Ukrainian Solidarity Network: The Highest Stage of White Western Social Imperialism

Volodomyr Zelensky smirks at December 2019 meeting in Paris as Vladimir Putin discusses the Minsk Agreement (Image: Telegram Zarubin Reporter)

By Ajamu Baraka

Source: Black Agenda Report

The Ukraine conflict was caused by the U.S. backed right wing coup in 2014 and the duplicity of Europeans who claimed to be working for peace. Anyone who supports these actions but claims leftist credentials must be challenged. 

“It is urgent to end this war as soon as possible. This can only be achieved through the success of Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion. Ukraine is fighting a legitimate war of self-defense, indeed a war for its survival as a nation. Calling for “peace” in the abstract is meaningless in these circumstances.”(Ukrainian Solidarity Network )

“Social-imperialists,’ that is, socialists in words and imperialists in deeds ( V.I. Lenin) 

“The Western social-imperialist left that is still addicted to its material privileges and illusions of being a part of something called the “West” has a choice that it must make: either you abandon privilege and whiteness and join as class combatants against your bourgeoisie, or you will be considered part of the enemy.” (A.Baraka, The Western Imperial Left’s Collaboration with the Western Bourgeoisie )

The clear implication from this statement issued by the newly formed Ukrainian Solidarity Network is that military victory is the only solution for resolving the conflict in Ukraine. The fact that many of the individuals supporting this network self-identify as leftists, represents a new, perhaps higher form of collaboration with Western and U.S. imperialism that may have ever developed since the end of the second imperialist war in 1945.  I issued an excerpt of my statement in response to the emergence of this network that caused a stir. Here is my statement in full.  

One of the most positive things to emerge from the Collective West’s war in Ukraine is that it helped to expose elements of the U.S. left that have always had a soft, sentimental spot for the West. The arrogance of these Westerners who signed on to this call for more war (see below) is reflected in the fact that they don’t even feel compelled to explain how their morally superior commitment to Ukrainian self-determination against “Putin’s” war is reconciled with the various statements from former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former French President Francois Hollande and before them, former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko revealing that the Minsk agreement was just a delaying tactic to prepare for war. 

We ask the Network as we have been asking Zelensky and Biden, the co-coordinators of the White Lives Matter More Movement, how this phase of the conflict that started in 2014 became Putin’s war? Do we just dismiss as Kremlin propaganda that the Russian Federation felt threatened by what appeared to be the de-facto incorporation of Ukraine into NATO as the Ukrainian army was built into the most formidable fighting force in Europe outside of Russia?

Did the Russians not have any legitimate security concerns with NATO missiles facing them from Romania and Poland, a mere six minutes away from Moscow, and that Ukraine was also making a pitch for “defensive” missiles in Ukraine? And how does the Network characterize the conflict in Eastern Ukraine that started in 2014 and produced over 14,000 deaths when the Ukrainian coup government attacked its own citizens, if the current conflict started in February 2022? What happened to the fascist issue in Ukraine that was written about for years but with even more urgency after the coup in 2014? Did the Kremlin plant those stories in the Western press? 

We understand that these are questions that the organizers of the Ukrainian Network will never answer because they do not have to.  As Westerners they can just postulate an assertion and it is accepted. The Network and the Western bourgeoisie declare that the war in Ukraine is Putin’s war and it becomes objective truth – because that is what the West can do and can get away with. It’s called power – white power perhaps? 

The Ukrainian Solidarity Network is the ultimate expression of social imperialism that has become so normalized in the U.S. and Western Europe that it is no longer even recognized. An example from the statement makes the argument that Ukraine has the “right to determine the means and objectives of its own struggle.” That is a recognized left position. But the social imperialists of the West do not extend that principle and right to nations in the global South. In fact, we ask the signers of this call to explain when the coup government of Ukraine became the representatives of the Ukrainian nation and recognized the sovereign will of the people? 

Therefore, it is not a mere coincidence that the main signatories of this Network statement pledging undying support to Ukraine and its project, are also some of the same “left” forces in the forefront of giving left legitimacy to the charge leveled by Western imperialism that the struggling socialist oriented national liberationist states like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia are nothing more than “authoritarian” states more interested in power than socialist construction. Some of those forces also cheered on the NATO attack against Libya, passionately defended Western intervention in Syria and have been silent on Western plans to violently invade Haiti. 

For the contemporary neocons in the leadership of the Ukrainian network, their commitment to abstract principles, and certainty that they know more than everyone else, objectively place them in the same ideological camp with Obama, Biden, NATO strategists, the Zelensky clown, and Boris Johnson. But they will argue that their positions are different, since they represent something they call the left. 

For a number of individuals who signed on to this pro-Western, pro-war letter, they are in a familiar place. However, I suspect a few of the individuals on that list were probably confused or not paying attention, not thinking about who they would be affiliated with when they signed on.

That of course, is not the case for some of the key supporters of this initiative. Individuals like the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins, Eric Draitser of Counterpunch, and Bill Fletcher who normally I would not name specifically but because these individuals and the tendency they represent embody the worst of the arrogant, Western left that in so many cases (not all) objectively provides ideological cover ( rightism with left phraseology) for the imperialist program of Western capital –  they should not be allowed continued left respectability without challenge.

These individuals certainly have not hesitated in offering criticisms of those of us who never wavered from our strategic priority to defeat our primary enemy – the Western white supremacist colonial/capitalist patriarchy. For us everything else represents secondary contradictions at this specific historical moment. And is why we reject the arguments these forces advance about fighting dual imperialisms as anti-dialectical nonsense and a political cover.  

History has demonstrated that it would be a complete disaster if the “collective West” secured a military victory in its proxy war with Russia. For the U.S. empire it would validate their doctrine of “Full spectrum dominance” and the wisdom of their commitment to a military-first strategy to support that doctrine. It would mean that war with China was a certainty.

The commitment to global hegemony by the Western colonial/capitalist elite by any means necessary is why the U.S./EU/NATO Axis of Domination represents an existential threat to the vast majority of humanity. A “left” position on Ukraine should at best be to support a negotiated settlement to end the war before the Dr. Strangeloves making policy in the U.S. create the circumstances that will lead to a nuclear confrontation with either Russia or China. 

The position of support for more war guided by the white-boy fantasy of military victory in Ukraine is madness. For Africans/Black folks, we ask, what self-respecting African would consciously place themselves on the same side with NATO, Europe, and the U.S. settler-state in any conflict? The fact that some continue to end up on the same side with our enemies only affirms that they have made a choice, and that choice is to collaborate with our enemies – which sadly, also makes them the enemy.

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The Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy

Bombs, Bullets, and Bellicosity Instead of Brains

Signe’s second toon du jour SIGN17e Military

By W.J. Astore

Source: Bracing Views

In my latest article for TomDispatch.com, I parse the meaning of America’s latest National Defense Strategy. Hint: It’s not about defense.

More than two millennia ago, in the History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides recounted a disastrous conflict Athens waged against Sparta. A masterwork on strategy and war, the book is still taught at the U.S. Army War College and many other military institutions across the world. A passage from it describing an ultimatum Athens gave a weaker power has stayed with me all these years. And here it is, loosely translated from the Greek: “The strong do what they will and the weak suffer as they must.”

Recently, I read the latest National Defense Strategy, or NDS, issued in October 2022 by the Pentagon, and Thucydides’s ancient message, a warning as clear as it was undeniable, came to mind again. It summarized for me the true essence of that NDS: being strong, the United States does what it wants and weaker powers, of course, suffer as they must. Such a description runs contrary to the mythology of this country in which we invariably wage war not for our own imperial ends but to defend ourselves while advancing freedom and democracy. Recall that Athens, too, thought of itself as an enlightened democracy even as it waged its imperial war of dominance on the Peloponnesus. Athens lost that war, calamitously, but at least it did produce Thucydides, a military leader who became a historian and wrote all too bluntly about his country’s hubristic, ultimately fatal pursuit of hegemony.

Imperial military ambitions contributed disastrously to Athens’s exhaustion and ultimate collapse, a lesson completely foreign to U.S. strategists. Not surprisingly, then, you’ll find no such Thucydidean clarity in the latest NDS approved by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. In place of that Greek historian’s probity and timeless lessons, the NDS represents an assault not just on the English language but on our very future. In it, a policy of failing imperial dominance is eternally disguised as democratic deterrence, while the greatest “strategic” effort of all goes (remarkably successfully) into justifying massive Pentagon budget increases. Given the sustained record of failures in this century for what still passes as the greatest military power on the planet — Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, of course, but don’t forget SomaliaSyriaYemen, and indeed the entire $8 trillion Global War on Terror in all its brutality — consider the NDS a rare recent “mission accomplished” moment. The 2023 baseline “defense” budget now sits at $858 billion, $45 billion more than even the Biden administration requested.

With that yearly budget climbing toward a trillion dollars (or more) annually, it’s easy to conclude that, at least when it comes to our military, nothing succeeds like failure. And, by the way, that not only applies to wars lost at a staggering cost but also financial audits blown without penalty. After all, the Pentagon only recently failed its fifth audit in a row. With money always overflowing, no matter how it may be spent, one thing seems guaranteed: some future American Thucydides will have the material to produce a volume or volumes beyond compare. Of course, whether this country goes the way of Athens — defeat driven by military exhaustion exacerbated by the betrayal of its supposedly deepest ideals leading to an ultimate collapse — remains to be seen. Still, given that America’s war colleges continue to assign Thucydides, no one can say that our military and future NDS writers didn’t get fair warning when it comes to what likely awaits them.

Bludgeoning America with Bureaucratese

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS.

That’s a saying I learned early in my career as an Air Force officer, so I wasn’t exactly surprised to discover that it’s the NDS’s guiding philosophy. The document has an almost Alice in Wonderland-like quality to it as words and phrases take on new meanings. China, you won’t be surprised to learn, is a “pacing challenge” to U.S. security concerns; Russia, an “acute threat” to America due to its “unprovoked, unjust, and reckless invasion of Ukraine” and other forms of “irresponsible behavior”; and building “combat-credible forces” within a “defense ecosystem” is a major Pentagon goal, along with continuing “investments in mature, high-value assets” (like defective aircraft carriers, ultra-expensive bombers and fighter jets, and doomsday-promising new ICBMs).

Much talk is included about “leveraging” those “assets,” “risk mitigation,” and even “cost imposition,” a strange euphemism for bombing, killing, or otherwise inflicting pain on our enemies. Worse yet, there’s so much financial- and business-speak in the document that it’s hard not to wonder whether its authors don’t already have at least one foot in the revolving door that could, on their retirement from the military, swing them onto the corporate boards of major defense contractors like Boeing and Raytheon.

Perhaps my favorite redefined concept in that NDS lurks in the word “campaigning.” In the old days, armies fought campaigns in the field and generals like Frederick the Great or Napoleon truly came to know the price of them in blood and treasure. Unlike U.S. generals since 1945, they also knew the meaning of victory, as well as defeat. Perish the thought of that kind of campaigning now. The NDS redefines it, almost satirically, not to say incomprehensibly, as “the conduct and sequencing of logically-linked military initiatives aimed at advancing well-defined, strategy-aligned priorities over time.” Huh?

Campaigning, explains the cover letter signed by Secretary of Defense Austin (who won’t be mistaken for Frederick II in his bluntness or Napoleon in his military acuity), “is not business as usual — it is the deliberate effort to synchronize the [Defense] Department’s activities and investments to aggregate focus and resources to shift conditions in our favor.”

Got it? Good!

Of course, who knows what such impenetrable jargon really means to our military in 2023? This former military officer certainly prefers the plain and honest language of Thucydides. In his terms, America, the strong, intends to do what it will in the world to preserve and extend “conditions in our favor,” as the NDS puts it — a measure by which this country has failed dismally in this century. Weaker countries, especially those that are “irresponsible,” must simply suffer. If they resist, they must be prepared for some “cost imposition” events exercised by our “combat-credible forces.” Included in those are America’s “ultimate backstop” of cost imposition… gulp, its nuclear forces.

Again, the NDS is worthy of close reading (however pain-inducing that may be) precisely because the secretary of defense does claim that it’s his “preeminent guidance document.” I assume he’s not kidding about that, though I wish he were. To me, that document is to guidance as nuclear missiles are to “backstops.” If that last comparison is jarring, I challenge you to read it and then try to think or write clearly.

Bringing Clarity to America’s Military Strategy

To save you the trauma of even paging through the NDS, let me try to summarize it quickly in my version — if not the Pentagon’s — of English:

  1. China is the major threat to America on this planet.
  2. Russia, however, is a serious threat in Europe.
  3. The War on Terror continues to hum along successfully, even if at a significantly lower level.
  4. North Korea and Iran remain threats, mainly due to the first’s growing nuclear arsenal and the second’s supposed nuclear aspirations.
  5. Climate change, pandemics, and cyberwar must also be factored in as “transboundary challenges.”

“Deterrence” is frequently used as a cloak for the planetary dominance the Pentagon continues to dream of. Our military must remain beyond super-strong (and wildly overfunded) to deter nations and entities from striking “the homeland.” There’s also lots of talk about global challenges to be met, risks to be managed, “gray zone” methods to be employed, and references aplenty to “kinetic action” (combat, in case your translator isn’t working) and what’s known as “exploitable asymmetries.”

Count on one thing: whatever our disasters in the real world, nobody is going to beat America in the jargon war.

Missing in the NDS — and no surprise here — is any sense that war is humanity’s worst pastime. Even the mass murder implicit in nuclear weapons is glossed over. The harshest realities of conflict, nuclear war included, and the need to do anything in our power to prevent them, naturally go unmentioned. The very banality of the document serves to mask a key reality of our world: that Americans fund nothing as religiously as war, that most withering of evils.

Perhaps it’s not quite the banality of evil, to cite the telling phrase political philosopher Hannah Arendt used to describe the thoughts of the deskbound mass-murderers of the Holocaust, but it does have all of war’s brutality expunged from it. As we stare into the abyss, the NDS replies with mind-numbing phrases and terms that wouldn’t be out of place in a corporate report on rising profits and market dominance.

Yet as the military-industrial complex maneuvers and plots to become ever bigger, ever better funded, and ever more powerful, abetted by a Congress seemingly lustful for ever more military spending and weapons exports, hope for international cooperation, productive diplomacy, and democracy withers. Here, for instance, are a few of the things you’ll never see mentioned in this NDS:

  1. Any suggestion that the Pentagon budget might be reduced. Ever.
  2. Any suggestion that the U.S. military’s mission or “footprint” should be downsized in any way at all.
  3. Any acknowledgement that the U.S. and its allies spend far more on their militaries than “pacing challengers” like China or “acute threats” like Russia.
  4. Any acknowledgment that the Pentagon’s budget is based not on deterrence but on dominance.
  5. Any acknowledgement that the U.S. military has been far less than dominant despite endless decades of massive military spending that produced lost or stalemated wars from Korea and Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq.
  6. Any suggestion that skilled diplomacy and common security could lead to greater cooperation or decreased tensions.
  7. Any serious talk of peace.

In brief, in that document and thanks to the staggering congressional funding that goes with it, America is being eternally spun back into an age of great-power rivalry, with Xi Jinping’s China taking the place of the old Soviet Union and Vladimir Putin’s Russia that of Mao Zedong’s China. Consistent with that retro-vision is the true end goal of the NDS: to eternally maximize the Pentagon budget and so the power and authority of the military-industrial-congressional complex.

Basically, any power that seeks to push back against the Pentagon’s vision of security through dominance is defined as a threat to be “deterred,” often in the most “kinetic” way. And the greatest threat of all, requiring the most “deterrence,” is, of course, China.

In a textbook case of strategic mirror-imaging, the Pentagon’s NDS sees that country and its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as acting almost exactly like the U.S. military. And that simply cannot be allowed.

Here’s the relevant NDS passage:

“In addition to expanding its conventional forces, the PLA is rapidly advancing and integrating its space, counterspace, cyber, electronic, and information warfare capabilities to support its holistic approach to joint warfare. The PLA seeks to target the ability of the [U.S.] Joint Force to project power to defend vital U.S. interests and aid our Allies in a crisis or conflict. The PRC [China] is also expanding the PLA’s global footprint and working to establish a more robust overseas and basing infrastructure to allow it to project military power at greater distances. In parallel, the PRC is accelerating the modernization and expansion of its nuclear capabilities.”

How dare China become more like the United States! Only this country is allowed to aspire to “full-spectrum dominance” and global power, as manifested by its 750 military bases scattered around the world and its second-to-none, blue-water navy. Get back to thy place, China! Only “a free people devoted to democracy and the rule of law” can “sustain and strengthen an international system under threat.” China, you’ve been warned. Better not dare to keep pace with the U.S. of A. (And heaven forfend that, in a world overheating in a devastating way, the planet’s two greatestgreenhouse gas emitters should work together to prevent true catastrophe!)

Revisiting the Oath of Office

Being a retired U.S. military officer, I always come back to the oath of office I once swore to uphold: “To support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Naturally, if China, Russia, or any other country or entity attacks or otherwise directly menaces the U.S., I expect our military to defend this country with all due vigor.

That said, I don’t see China, Russia, or weaker countries like Iran or North Korea risking attacks against America proper, despite breathless talk of world “flashpoints.” Why would they, when any such attack would incur a devastating counterattack, possibly including America’s trusty “backstop,” its nuclear weapons?

In truth, the NDS is all about the further expansion of the U.S. global military mission. Contraction is a concept never to be heard. Yet reducing our military’s presence abroad isn’t synonymous with isolationism, nor, as has become ever more obvious in recent years, is an expansive military structure a fail-safe guarantor of freedom and democracy at home. Quite the opposite, constant warfare and preparations for more of it overseas have led not only to costly defeats, most recently in Afghanistan, but also to the increasing militarization of our society, a phenomenon reflected, for instance, in the more heavily armed and armored police forces across America.

The Pentagon’s NDS is a classic case of threat inflation cloaked in bureaucratese where the “facts” are fixed around a policy that encourages the incessant and inflationary growth of the military-industrial complex. In turn, that complex empowers and drives a “rules-based international order” in which America, as hegemon, makes the rules. Again, as Thucydides put it, the strong do what they will and the weak suffer as they must.

Yet, to paraphrase another old book, what does it profit a people to gain the whole world yet lose their very soul?  Like Athens before it, America was once a flawed democracy that nevertheless served as an inspiration to many because militarism, authoritarianism, and imperial pretense didn’t drive it. Today, this country is much like Thucydides’s Athens, projecting power ever-outwards in a misbegotten exercise to attain mastery through military supremacy.

It didn’t end well for Athens, nor will it for the United States.

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‘NATO’s mission’ leaves Ukraine destroyed

“We are carrying out NATO’s mission.” As Ukraine’s defense minister acknowledges the proxy war, NATO proxy warriors disregard the toll.

(Pierre Crom/Getty Images)

By Aaron Maté

Source: Aaron Maté Substack

Unveiling its latest military assistance package to Ukraine – at $3.75 billion, the largest to date — the White House declared that US weapons are intended “to help the Ukrainians resist Russian aggression.”

For their part, Ukrainians on the receiving end see it differently.

“We are carrying out NATO’s mission,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in an interview. “They aren’t shedding their blood. We’re shedding ours. That’s why they’re required to supply us with weapons.” Repeating a rationale offered by his US sponsors in previous wars, including the invasion of Iraq, Reznikov added that Ukraine “is defending the entire civilized world.”

Receiving an endless supply of weapons from NATO countries that shed no blood of their own — all to fulfill their “mission” — is an apt description of Ukraine’s role in the US-led proxy war against Russia. And as one of its staunchest champions, Sen. Lindsey Graham, cheerfully predicted in July, that mission is using Ukraine to “fight to the last person.”

For Ukraine, the costs of fulfilling NATO’s mission are spelled out by former US cabinet secretaries Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates. Today, the pair write, Ukraine’s “economy is in a shambles, millions of its people have fled, its infrastructure is being destroyed, and much of its mineral wealth, industrial capacity and considerable agricultural land are under Russian control. Ukraine’s military capability and economy are now dependent almost entirely on lifelines from the West — primarily, the United States.”

Rather than seeing Ukraine’s war-ravaged, Russian-occupied, Western-dependent condition as a reason to seek a negotiated end, Rice and Gates in fact regard diplomacy as an outcome to avoid.

“Absent another major Ukrainian breakthrough and success against Russian forces, Western pressures on Ukraine to negotiate a cease-fire will grow as months of military stalemate pass,” they warn. This result would be “unacceptable”, Rice and Gates conclude, because “any negotiated cease-fire would leave Russian forces in a strong position to resume their invasion whenever they are ready.” That is one possibility. Another possibility, unmentioned by the authors, is that a negotiated cease-fire leads to a permanent one. This would entail finally addressing the grievances of Ukraine’s ethnic Russian population – the proximate cause of the post-2014 Donbas war that preceded Russia’s invasion — as well as addressing Russia’s longstanding security concerns about NATO expansion and advanced weaponry on its borders.

On the latter issue, the Kremlin is far from the only advocate. “One of the essential points we must address — as President Putin has always said — is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia,” French President Emmanuel Macron said last month.

Macron’s comments “appeared to go beyond anything the United States has offered” Russia, the New York Times noted. Unstated by the Times is why such an offer has yet to materialize: as defined by multiple senior US officials right up to President Biden, “NATO’s mission” is not to defend Ukraine, but to use it as a proxy to “weaken” or even cause regime change in neighboring Russia.

Accordingly, the prospect of a negotiated cease-fire must be negated. The US and its allies, Rice and Gates argue, must “urgently provide Ukraine with a dramatic increase in military supplies and capability.” A failure to do so, they warn, could lead to a scenario where “more is demanded of the United States and NATO.” For now, this can thankfully be avoided, because the US enjoys “a determined partner in Ukraine that is willing to bear the consequences of war so that we do not have to do so ourselves in the future.” For proxy warriors, there is indeed no better “partner” than one “willing to bear the consequences of war” fueled from afar.

As a gage of their commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and well-being, consider the merits of Rice and Gates’ attempts to appeal to international law. The US, they write, “has learned the hard way — in 1914, 1941 and 2001 — that unprovoked aggression and attacks on the rule of law and the international order cannot be ignored.” Apparently, the US did not learn the same lesson from invading dozens of countries since 1914 – including under the Bush administration, where the authors played instrumental roles in multiple acts of unprovoked aggression, such as the invasion of Iraq. Gates, who carried on as Defense Secretary under President Obama, continued this legacy by overseeing the US bombing campaign that helped topple Libya’s government.

Predictably, Ukrainian soldiers that “bear the consequences of war” are facing heavy losses. Speaking to Newsweek, retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Andrew Milburn, who has trained and led Ukrainian forces for the private mercenary firm Mozart Group, reports that in the battle for Bakhmut, Ukraine has been “taking extraordinarily high casualties. The numbers you are reading in the media about 70 percent and above casualties being routine are not exaggerated.”

Ukraine is now “taking high casualties on the Bakhmut-Soledar front, quickly depleting the strength of several brigades sent there as reinforcements in the past month,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Western—and some Ukrainian—officials, soldiers and analysts increasingly worry that Kyiv has allowed itself to be sucked into the battle for Bakhmut on Russian terms, losing the forces it needs for a planned spring offensive as it stubbornly clings to a town of limited strategic relevance.” According to one battlefield Ukrainian commander, “the exchange rate of trading our lives for theirs favors the Russians. If this goes on like this, we could run out.”

The prevailing indifference to Ukraine’s death toll was recently underscored when Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, made the mistake of acknowledging it. In a speech, von der Leyen noted that Ukraine has lost 20,000 civilians and 100,000 troops since Russia’s February invasion. The Ukrainian military responded by complaining that this was “classified information,” prompting von der Leyen’s office to edit out the figure from video of her remarks.

Meanwhile, the prevailing rejection of diplomacy has even led one of its staunchest European advocates to effectively renounce it. In an interview with Germany’s Die Zeit, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel claimed that the 2015 Minsk II accords – the internationally backed framework for ending the post-2014 Donbas civil war, premised on granting limited autonomy to Russia-allied eastern Ukrainians – was a ruse.

Minsk, Merkel explained, “was an attempt to give Ukraine time.” And it did so successfully: Ukraine “used this time to get stronger, as you can see today. The Ukraine of 2014/15 is not the Ukraine of today… And I very much doubt that the NATO countries could have done as much then as they do now to help Ukraine.”

Merkel, whose government helped broker Minsk, was one of the few NATO leaders to develop a cooperative relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Her comments follow a similar admission from the Ukrainian leader who signed Minsk, Petro Porosenko. “We had achieved everything we wanted,” Poroshenko said in May 2022. “Our goal was to, first, stop the threat, or at least to delay the war – to secure eight years to restore economic growth and create powerful armed forces.” (emphasis added)

The claim by Merkel that Minsk was not intended to make peace, but “to give Ukraine” time to “get stronger” for war has been greeted by Putin and his supporters as confirmation that NATO cannot be trusted to uphold its agreements. (A takeaway newly bolstered by Joe Biden’s recent admission that, despite his campaign promises, the Iran nuclear deal is “dead”).

An alternative explanation is that Merkel is disingenuously attempting to appease pro-war hawks in Germany and beyond, as Moon of Alabama argues. Nicolai Petro, author of the indispensable new book “The Tragedy of Ukraine,” concurs with that interpretation, as he told me in a recent interview. The German and France-brokered Minsk process, Petro argues, were “good faith efforts to bring the hostilities to an end, at least to accomplish a ceasefire from which then further negotiations could be pursued.” The main obstacle, in Petro’s view, came from Ukraine’s far-right Ukrainian nationalists and their allies in Washington, “who basically dismissed the Minsk accords as a non-starter,” and unrealistically sought Ukraine’s complete recapture not only of the Donbas but Crimea as well.

Whether Merkel was being sincere or not, her comments reflect the fact that the aims of the Ukrainian far-right and their DC allies now dominate the NATO states, with voices for peace marginalized and diplomacy shunned.

And now, nearly one year into Russia’s invasion, the proxy war’s NATO cheerleaders have no interest in stopping the bloodshed, despite the open recognition that their mission is helping destroy the country that they claim to defend.

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Two for Tuesday

Gerry Hannah

Lou Reed

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The Digitization Of Humanity Shows Why The Globalist Agenda Is Evil

By Brandon Smith

Source: Alt-Market.us

In recent weeks I’ve been seeing an interesting narrative fallacy being sold to the general public when it comes to the designs of globalists. The mainstream media and others are now openly suggesting that it’s actually okay to be opposed to certain aspects of groups like the World Economic Forum. They give you permission to be concerned, just don’t dare call it conspiracy.

This propaganda is a deviation from the abject denials we’re accustomed to hearing in the Liberty Movement for the past decade or more. We have all been confronted with the usual cognitive dissonance – The claims that globalist groups “just sit around talking about boring economic issues” and nothing they do has any bearing on global politics or your everyday life. In some cases we were even told that these groups of elites “don’t exist”.

Now, the media is admitting that yes, perhaps the globalists do have more than just a little influence over governments, social policies and economic outcomes. But, what the mainstream doesn’t like is the assertion that globalists have nefarious or authoritarian intentions. That’s just crazy tinfoil hat talk, right?

The reason for the narrative shift is obvious. Far too many people witnessed the true globalist agenda in action during the pandemic lockdowns and now they see the conspiracy for what it is. The globalists, in turn, seem to have been shocked to discover many millions of people in opposition to the mandates and the refusals to comply were clearly far greater than they expected. They are still trying to push their brand of covid fear, but the cat is out of the bag now.

They failed to get what they wanted in the west, which was a perpetual Chinese-style medical tyranny with vaccine passports as the norm. So, the globalist strategy has changed and they are seeking to adapt. They admit to a certain level of influence, but they pretend as if they are benevolent or indifferent.

The response to this lie is relatively straightforward. I could point out how Klaus Schwab of the WEF savored the thrill of the initial pandemic outbreak and declared that covid was the perfect “opportunity” to initiate what the WEF calls the “Great Reset.”

I could also point out that Klaus Schwab’s vision of the Reset, what he calls the “4th Industrial Revolution”, is a veritable nightmare world in which Artificial Intelligence runs everything, society is condensed into digital enclaves called “smart cities” and people are oppressed by carbon taxation. I could point out that the WEF actively supports the concept of the “Shared Economy” in which you will “own nothing, have no privacy” and you will supposedly be happy about it, but only because you won’t have any other choice.

What I really want to talk about, however, is the process by which the elites hope to achieve their dystopian epoch, as well as the globalist mindset which lends itself to the horrors of technocracy. The common naive assumption among skeptics of conspiracy is that the globalists are regular human beings with the same drives and limited desires as the rest of us. They might have some power, but world events are still random and certainly not controlled.

This is a fallacy. The globalists are not like us. They are not human. Or, I should say, they despise humanity and seek to do away with it. And, because of this, they have entirely different aspirations compared to the majority of us which include aspirations of dominance.

What we are dealing with here are not normal people with conscience, ethics or empathy. Their behavior is much more akin to higher functioning psychopaths and sociopaths rather than the everyday person on the street. We saw this on full display during the covid lockdowns and the vicious attempts to enforce vaccine passports; their actions betray their long game.

Take a look at comments by New Zealand’s prime minister and WEF attendee, Jacinda Ardern, from a year ago. She admits to the deliberate tactic of creating a two-tier class system within her own country based on vaccination status. There is no remorse or guilt in her demeanor, she is proud of taking such authoritarian actions despite numerous studies that prove the mandates are ineffective.

Beyond the covid response, though, I suggest people who deny globalist conspiracy take a deeper dive into the philosophical roots of organizations like the WEF. Their entire ideology can be summed up in a couple words – Futurism and godhood.

Futurism is an ideological movement which believes that all “new” innovations, social or technological, should supplant the previous existing systems for the sake of progress. They believe that all old ways of thinking, including notions of principles, heritage, religious belief systems, codes of conduct, etc. are crutches holding humanity back from greatness.

But what is the greatness the futurists seek? As mentioned above, they want godhood. An era in which the natural world and human will is enslaved by the hands of a select few. Case in point – The following presentation from 2018 by WEF “guru” Yuval Harari on the future of humanity as the globalists see it:

Harari’s conclusions are rooted in elitist biases and ignore numerous psychological and social realities, but we can set those aside for a moment and examine his basic premise that humanity as we know it will no longer exist in the next century because of “digital evolution” and “human hacking.”

The foundation of the WEF vision is built on the idea that data is the new Holy Grail, the new conquest. This is something I have written about extensively in the past (check out my article ‘Artificial Intelligence: A Secular Look At The Digital Antichrist’) but it is good to see it expressed with such arrogance by someone like Harari because it is undeniable evidence – The globalists think they are going to build a completely centralized economy and society based on human data rather than production. In other words, YOU become the product. The average citizen, your thoughts and your behaviors, become the stock in trade.

Globalists also believe that data is most valuable because it can be exploited to control people’s behaviors, to hack the body and mind in order to create human puppets, or create super-beings. They dream of becoming little gods with omnipotent knowledge. Yuval even proudly proclaims that intelligent design will no longer be the realm of God in heaven, but of the new digitized man.

While Harari pays lip service to “democracy” vs “digital dictatorship”, he goes on to assert that centralization may become the defacto system of governance. He says this not because he fears dictatorship, but because that has always been the WEF’s intent. The globalist argues that governments cannot be trusted to hold a monopoly on the digital wellspring and that someone needs to step in to regulate data; but “who would do this?”, he asks.

He already knows the answer. The UN, a globalist edifice, has consistently said it should be the governing body that takes control of AI and data regulation through UNESCO. That is to say, Harari is playing coy, he knows that the people who will step in to control the data are people just like him.

At no point in Harari’s speech does he suggest that that any of these developments should be obstructed or stopped. At no point does he offer the idea that the digitization of humanity is wrong and that there are other better ways of living. He actually mocks the concept of “going back” to old ways; only the future and the Tabula Rasa (blank slate) hold promise for the globalists, everything else is an impediment to their designs.

But here’s the thing, what the globalists are trying to accomplish is a fantasy. People are not algorithms, despite how much Harari would like them to be. People have habits, yes, but they are also unpredictable and are prone to sudden awakenings and epiphanies in the moment of crisis.

Psychopaths tend to be robotic people, acting impulsively but also very predictably. They lack imagination, intuition and foresight, and so it’s not surprising that organizations of psychopaths like the WEF would place such an obsessive value on AI, algorithms and a cold technocratic evolution. They don’t view their data Shangri-La as humanity’s future; they see it as THEIR future – The future of the non-humans, or the anti-humans as it were.

Who will produce all the goods, services and necessities required in this brave new world? Well, all of us peons, of course. Sure, the globalists will offer grand promises of a robot driven production economy in which people no longer need to engage in menial labor, but this will be another lie. They’ll still need people to plant the crops, maintain infrastructure, take care of manufacturing, do their fighting for them, etc., they’ll just need less of us.

At bottom, an economy built on data is an economy dependent on illusion.

Data is vaporous and oftentimes meaningless because it is subject to the biases of the interpreter. Algorithms can also be programmed to the biases of the engineers. There is nothing inherently objective about data – it is all dependent on the intentions of the people analyzing it.

For example, to use Harari’s anecdote of an algorithm that “knows you are gay” before you do; any twisted group of people could simply write code for an algorithm that tells the majority of easily manipulated kids that they are gay, even when they are not. And, if you are gullible enough to believe the algorithm is infallible, then you could be led to believe that numerous falsehoods are true and be convinced to behave against your nature. You have allowed a biased digital phantom to dictate your identity, and have made yourself “hackable.”

In the meantime, the elitists entertain delusions of surpassing their mortal limitations by “hacking” the human body, as well as reading the minds of the masses and predicting the future based on data trends. This is an obsession which ignores the unpredictable wages of the human soul, that very element of conscience and of imagination which psychopaths lack. It’s something that cannot be hacked.

The legitimacy of the data based system and the hacking of humanity that the WEF aspires to is less important than what the masses can be convinced of. If the average person can be persuaded to implant their cell phone in their skull in the near future, then yes, humanity might become hackable in a rudimentary way.

The algorithms then supplant conscience, empathy and principles.  And, without these things all morality becomes relative by default.  Evil becomes good, and good becomes evil. 

By the same token, if humanity can be persuaded to set down their cell phones and live a less tech focused life, then the digital empire of the globalists comes crashing down quite easily. There is no system the elites can impose that would make their digital consciousness a reality without the consent of the public at large.

Without a vast global framework in which people willingly embrace the algorithms rather than their own experience and intuitions, the globalist religion of total centralization dies. The first step is to accept that the conspiracy does indeed exist. The second step is to accept that the conspiracy is malicious and destructive. The third step is to refuse to comply, by whatever means necessary.

Posted in Authoritarianism, civil disobedience, conditioning, consciousness, Corporate Crime, corporate news, culture, Dystopia, Economics, elites, Inequality, internet freedom, media, Science, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Sociology, State Crime, surveillance state, Technocracy, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Don’t Trust the Government with Your Privacy, Property or Your Freedoms

By John & Nisha Whitehead

Source: The Rutherford Institute

How do you trust a government that continuously sidesteps the Constitution and undermines our rights? You can’t.

When you consider all the ways “we the people” are being bullied, beaten, bamboozled, targeted, tracked, repressed, robbed, impoverished, imprisoned and killed by the government, one can only conclude that you shouldn’t trust the government with your privacy, your property, your life, or your freedoms.

Consider for yourself.

Don’t trust the government with your privacy, digital or otherwise. In the two decades since 9/11, the military-security industrial complex has operated under a permanent state of emergency that, in turn, has given rise to a digital prison that grows more confining and inescapable by the day. Wall-to wall surveillance, monitored by AI software and fed to a growing network of fusion centers, render the twin concepts of privacy and anonymity almost void. By conspiring with corporations, the Department of Homeland Security “fueled a massive influx of money into surveillance and policing in our cities, under a banner of emergency response and counterterrorism.” For instance, all across the country, police are installing Flock Safety license plate readers as part of a public-private partnership program between police and the surveillance industry. These cameras, which upload data in real time to fusion crime centers, signal a turning point in the transition from a police state to a police-driven surveillance state.

Don’t trust the government with your property. In yet another effort to legitimize warrantless searches, police are employing “hit-and-hold” tactics in which police enter a home, carry out an initial sweep of the property, handcuff the occupants, then wait for official search warrants to be secured and applied retroactively. In the meantime, police have managed to bypass the Fourth Amendment. The rationale, to prevent possible destruction of evidence, is the same one used to deadly effect with no-knock raids. If government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family, your property is no longer private and secure—it belongs to the government. Hard-working Americans are having their bank accounts, homes, cars electronics and cash seized by police under the assumption that they have allegedly been associated with some criminal scheme.

Don’t trust the government with your finances. The U.S. government—and that includes the current administration—is spending money it doesn’t have on programs it can’t afford, and “we the taxpayers” are being forced to foot the bill for the government’s fiscal insanity. The national debt is $31.3 trillion and growing, and we’re paying more than $300 billion in interest every year on that public debt, yet there seems to be no end in sight when it comes to the government’s fiscal insanity. According to Forbes, Congress has raised, extended or revised the definition of the debt limit 78 times since 1960 in order to allow the government to essentially fund its existence with a credit card.

Don’t trust the government with your health. For all intents and purposes, “we the people” have become lab rats in the government’s secret experiments, which include MKULTRA and the U.S. military’s secret race-based testing of mustard gas on more than 60,000 enlisted men. Indeed, you don’t have to dig very deep or go very back in the nation’s history to uncover numerous cases in which the government deliberately conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace—citizens and noncitizens alike—making healthy people sick by spraying them with chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to airborne toxins. Unfortunately, the public has become so easily distracted by the political spectacle out of Washington, DC, that they are altogether oblivious to the grisly experiments, barbaric behavior and inhumane conditions that have become synonymous with the U.S. government, which has meted out untold horrors against humans and animals alike.

Don’t trust the government with your life: At a time when growing numbers of unarmed people have been shot and killed for just standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety, even the most benign encounters with police can have fatal consequences. The number of Americans killed by police continues to grow, with the majority of those killed as a result of police encounters having been suspected of a non-violent offense or no crime at all, or during a traffic violation. According a report by Mapping Police Violence, police killed more people in 2022 than any other year within the past decade. In 98% of those killings, police were not charged with a crime.

Don’t trust the government with your freedoms. For years now, the government has been playing a cat-and-mouse game with the American people, letting us enjoy just enough freedom to think we are free but not enough to actually allow us to live as a free people. Freedom no longer means what it once did. This holds true whether you’re talking about the right to criticize the government in word or deed, the right to be free from government surveillance, the right to not have your person or your property subjected to warrantless searches by government agents, the right to due process, the right to be safe from militarized police invading your home, the right to be innocent until proven guilty and every other right that once reinforced the founders’ belief that this would be “a government of the people, by the people and for the people.” On paper, we may be technically free, but in reality, we are only as free as a government official may allow.

Whatever else it may be—a danger, a menace, a threat—the U.S. government is certainly not looking out for our best interests, nor is it in any way a friend to freedom.

Remember the purpose of a good government is to protect the lives and liberties of its people.

Unfortunately, what we have been saddled with is, in almost every regard, the exact opposite of an institution dedicated to protecting the lives and liberties of its people.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, “we the people” should have learned early on that a government that repeatedly lies, cheats, steals, spies, kills, maims, enslaves, breaks the laws, overreaches its authority, and abuses its power at almost every turn can’t be trusted.

ABOUT JOHN W. WHITEHEAD

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His most recent books are the best-selling Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the award-winning A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, and a debut dystopian fiction novel, The Erik Blair Diaries. Whitehead can be contacted at staff@rutherford.org. Nisha Whitehead is the Executive Director of The Rutherford Institute. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.

Posted in Authoritarianism, civil liberties, culture, Dystopia, Economics, Health, Militarization, police state, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Sociology, State Crime, surveillance state, Technocracy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

3 QUESTIONS YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO ASK ABOUT LIFE IN A SICK SOCIETY

By Dylan Charles

Source: Waking Times

In a society this controlling, it’s no wonder so many people can’t let go of their grip on false realities, and pressure others to conform to their point of view. In my work as a self-mastery coach I help people see what false realities they’ve made for themselves, and help them let go of their grip on useless beliefs.  ~Dylan Charles

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~J. Krishnamurti

Society is directed by a never-ending mainstream narrative which is always evolving, and always reaching new dramatic peaks in sensationalism and hype. They fill your mind with topics they select, they keep your attention on these topics, and they invite and encourage you to argue amongst each other about these topics. In this way our collective attention is permanently commandeered, preventing us from diving too deeply into matters which have more than a superficial impact on day-today life.

Free-thinking is the ability and willingness to explore of ideas and areas of the mind which are yet undiscovered or are off-limits. It is a vanishing art that is deliberately being stamped out by a control system which demands conformity, acquiescence and obedience of body, mind, and spirit.

For your consideration, here are three questions you’re not supposed to ask about life in our profoundly sick society.

1. Who owns the money supply, and the world’s debt?

Pretty much the entire world is in financial debt, an insidious form of slavery which enables the exploitation of human beings and of all things in nature. It’s maddening when you think about it. The United States alone supposedly owes some $20 trillion, while the world at large owes a shocking $215 trillion?

But to whom, precisely?

Money is just a medium of exchange which facilitates transactions between people. In and of itself it has no intrinsic value as we could just as easily use sea shells instead of dollar bills and still be able to get things done. But today’s money is the property of private third-parties who rent it out to national governments, who then use the labor of their citizens as collateral against these loans. This is a highly refined form of slavery, which has already put future unborn generations of human beings in debt.

But who, exactly does the human race owe? Who are our debt-slave masters?

2. Who owns your body?

Ownership means having the explicit right to use, control and dispose of something in the manner of your choosing. The one thing you are born with that you take with you to your death is your own body, but do you own it? If not you, then who does own your body?

If this question were already settled in our society then there wouldn’t be ever-increasing pressure on those who choose to refuse vaccines. Children battling cancer and other serious illnesses wouldn’t be forced to take chemo and radiation under penalty of law and under threat of being taken from their parents. Water wouldn’t be fluoridated without our consent. Natural medicines wouldn’t be outlawed under threat of fines and prison time.

We are rapidly approaching a time when people will be required by law to take psychotropic medications as citizens were in Aldous Huxley’s dystopian classic, Brave New World.

Do you own your body, or does it belong to the state?

3.  Why is the exploration of consciousness restricted and illegal?

The most effective prisons are not material, but are constructed inside the mind. Perception, opinion and understanding are all dynamic concepts, not at all static. These can all change in the blink of an eye just because a new idea or experience resonates with you in a special way. Our evolution depends on our ability to expand the frontiers of what’s possible, and when the mind is held in confinement by an entrenched system and powerful cultural paradigm, progress, even happiness, is stunted.

In this societal trap you are given free rein to debase your consciousness and your spirit with alcohol, dangerous drugs, pharmaceuticals, television, pornography, theatrical violence, and then some, yet many natural medicines which elevate consciousness and provide a window into the soul are illegal.

“This is the way freedom is hijacked—not all at once, out in the open, but stealthily, little by little, behind closed doors, and with our own agreement. How will we be able to resist when so many of us have already willingly handed over the keys to our own consciousness to the state and accepted without protest that it is OK to be told what we may and may not do, what we may and may not explore, even what we may and may not experience, with this most precious, sapient, unique, and individual part of ourselves?

If we are willing to accept that then we can be persuaded to accept anything.” ~Graham Hancock

Posted in Big Pharma, conditioning, consciousness, Corporate Crime, culture, Dystopia, Economics, elites, Health, Philosophy, Psychology, Social Control, Social Engineering, society, Sociology, Spirituality, State Crime, Technocracy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Saturday Matinee: Samurai Marathon

Don’t Skip SAMURAI MARATHON, the Best Film of its Kind Since 13 ASSASSINS

By Austin Vashaw

Source: Cinapse

Samurai Marathon reteams Bernard Rose and Philip Glass, the director and musical composer of Candyman, and it turns out this unexpected duo have crafted the best chanbara film in a very long time, and certainly my favorite since Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins (2010).

If that’s enough to whet your appetite, and it should be, then congratulations — you don’t really need to read the rest of this review. Just know that this movie is damn great and that despite the odd title, it is definitely a samurai film with all the drama and swordplay that that suggests (not a “sports movie”). The opening is a little disorienting as it sets the stage with a large cast of characters, but stay with it and narratives soon become beautifully intertwined.

Despite the team-up of Rose and Glass who set the film’s tone with beautiful direction and score, this is in nearly all other respects a Japanese film: in cast, language, and setting.

The film revolves around a clan of samurai in service to the lord of their domain, Annaka. Sensing that the relative peace has dulled their skills, and fearful of new threats posed by political developments and western influence, he assigns them a grueling task: to run a 36-mile foot-race through the region’s rugged terrain, carrying their swords.

Several primary characters emerge: A retired samurai desperate to demonstrate his resilience and usefulness. His new student, a young boy desperate to prove his readyness. The clan’s best runner, tempted by a wealthy gambler’s bribe to throw the race. Various heroes, scoundrels, and cheaters each spurred by the generous prize offered to the winner. Even the lord’s sheltered daughter, the princess, flees the palace and joins in secret as a show of independence.

At the center of the tale is Jinnai, a secret ninja spy whose family has been loyal to the central government for generations. He mistakes the clan’s sudden mobilization as preparation for war and fires off a false warning to Edo, only to realize that his mistake could start a war.

At the height of the marathon, a team of Edo’s assassins attack the defenseless village emptied of its protectors, and as the samurai become aware of the trouble at home, they must run back to Annaka to battle at the very height of their exhaustion. This is where the film truly gets magnificent, as the weary, depleted fighters make their return and try to find their second wind, attacking their invaders (the leader of whom brandishes a pair of death-dealing pistols).

Meanwhile the anguished Jinnai deals with a crisis of conscience, to remain loyal to his family’s secret creed which he is sworn to uphold, or betray his life’s purpose and defend his home and friends from an unjustified attack which he caused.

As I mentioned, the film is dense at the start, as it sets up a lot of framing and context and multiple characters before settling into the narrative. In fact the opening segment (featuring Danny Huston as US Commodore Matthew Perry) is only indirectly tied to the plot, mostly serving as a preface placing the story in historical context: a time when western influence has introduced firearms to Japan, creating a sudden technological disparity and hailing the end of the samurai age with the innovation of instantaneous, convenient, long-range death.

The structure of the film is such that it takes awhile to get to the actual swordplay, but once it starts the action is furious and dramatic, and even a bit humorous — one particular beheading cracked me up because of the convulsive expressions on the relieved head. Overall, I found the level of violence pleasing — appropriately bloody without being gratuitous.

I really loved Samurai Marathon more and more as it went on, and by the end I was fully enamored — my second viewing started the moment the credits rolled on the first (and the first 20 minutes or so made a lot more sense the second time around, given the additional context).

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