Sunday 10 April 2022

US, EU and UK follow the Pied Piper of Kiev (The Sunday Guardian)

 Clearly not many adults in that continent remember the story, but European children have heard the tale of the Pied Piper, who by playing his flute was able to lure all of a particular life form within Hamelin to a cliff overlooking the sea. In seconds, they began falling to their doom, even as the piper played on his flute, finally driving all the lot over the precipice. Fast forward to 2022, when NATO is sleepwalking in the direction that the Pied Piper of Kiev leads the alliance in taking. The Ukrainian government from the start seeks from NATO that it ensures that the Russian Federation and its population suffer the torment of complete meltdown. President Zelenskyy regards admission into NATO and the application of Article 5 as the only chance of avoiding the fate that President Putin seems to have in store for Ukraine. Zelenskyy and his ministers and officials appear shocked that the atrocity upon atrocity that the government in Kiev assures was carried out by Russian troops has thus far failed to prod NATO into sending troops and aircraft into the air and land borders of Ukraine. Even the Bucha massacre, which was revealed to the world by Ukrainian forces only three days after Russian forces had left the city on March 30, failed to drag NATO into entering the battlefield directly. Zelenskyy and others from Kiev have predicted that still greater massacres await disclosure. Their expectation is that the discovery of further “proofs of genocide” would bring NATO forces directly onto the battlefield. Kiev wants nothing less than NATO putting hundreds of thousands of boots on the ground. Not to forget hundreds of aircraft and thousands of projectiles to be launched by NATO to ensure that a No Fly Zone for Russians gets created across Ukraine. After all, something done so easily in Iraq or Libya, why not in Ukraine, which is well on track to becoming a European version of 1980s Afghanistan? The warlike words of the Secretary-General of NATO must make Zelenskyy and those who claim to work under him confident that finally the next atrocity, the next tranche of punitive sanctions on the Russian Federation, would generate momentum sufficient to push NATO over the cliff edge of a kinetic war with the Russian Federation. Eager for this outcome to come true, the increasingly impatient and testy flutist in Kiev continues to play the flute with its plaintive tones to parliaments across the western world. The hope is that his calls would drive governments within this openly Russophobic military alliance towards more measures that would escalate already unprecedented tensions with the world’s most advanced nuclear weapons state. Those in authority in Kiev regard as essential that NATO send combat aircraft manned by EU “volunteers” and Ukrainians to take out Russian forces.

NATO has made it clear to the rest of the world that it considers the Russian Federation as the enemy, exactly as the alliance regarded the Soviet Union during the days of the US-USSR Cold War. Efforts are being made to rope in the PRC on the side of the US-EU-UK coalition, recreating the alliance between Beijing and Washington against Moscow that lasted until 2010. The world has entered the era of Cold War 2.0, which is between the US plus and the PRC plus, hence it is confusing to countries in Asia that this memo seems to have been lost in transit while making its way to the White House. NATO is in no way anxious to contest the accelerating efforts of CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping to establish the PRC’s dominance over the Indo-Pacific. The neo-Atlanticist powers, snug in their Cold War 1.0 foxhole, would rather concentrate on Russia rather than on China as their enemy of choice. They are refreshing in their honesty, for they make no secret of NATO’s intention to melt down the Russian Federation. NATO presumably accepts what Russophobic Ukrainian interlocutors have talked about for decades, which is that Russians are not really “European” in the way that Ukrainian-speaking people are. The Kremlin has made it clear that an existential conflict, which is exactly what NATO is now openly waging against the Russian Federation, would be met with overwhelming force from the Russian side. NATO’s march towards the cliff edge continues.

Bucha massacre generates parallel perceptions (The Sunday Guardian)


Much of the ‘independent reporting’ of western media outlets comes from videos and briefings provided by the numerous irregular forces within the Kiev establishment.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba seemed shocked during a BBC interview that the grotesque images of corpses at Bucha near Kiev failed to get NATO members to accept the complete shutdown of all ties between the countries in that alliance and Russia. Certainly the narrative presented within NATO (and which is identical to that of the Kiev government) has generated more anger, indeed hatred, directed at Russia and its people. Almost in lockstep, the Kiev narrative has been repeated by almost all media channels within NATO member states. Those refusing to fall in line may lose their promotions if not their jobs at such apostasy. What Russia gained from torturing and killing hundreds of Ukrainians and then ensuring that the evidence was preserved for the Ukrainian army to discover is a matter for reflection. Even the suspicious scrawling of “This is for children” on a Tochka missile (abundantly available in the Ukrainian army) that Kyiv-NATO claims was dropped on a train station by Russia to kill civilians aroused no suspicion in the minds of a visiting EU delegation. All (anti-Russia) Ukrainians are good, while all Russians are bad, is the accepted wisdom within much of NATO. There is in Atlanticist media a Saints versus Sinners narrative on the Ukraine war that has been playing out since the Russian invasion over television screens and in newspaper headlines in member countries of NATO. The wars it has fought in the 21st century have revealed that kinetic battles are clearly not a NATO forte, but the alliance has been adept at spin management within the International Community (aka its own membership). There is rising Russophobia within the Atlantic community, now that it has been subjected for weeks to a barrage of messaging that show Russians as barbarian hordes led by an incarnation of Adolf Hitler. Ironically, the last time the Russian people were characterised as barbarian hordes led by the satanic despot was during 1941-45, when Adolf Hitler made the second biggest mistake of his life by launching a war on the USSR led by J. Stalin, the biggest being the Holocaust that denuded Germany of its best and brightest minds. Then as now, news outlets in Nazi Germany portrayed until well into 1944 the army of that country (in its former avatar, the USSR) as being on the verge of collapse, and Stalin himself as having suffered a series of escalating mental breakdowns. This sounds familiar to the comments on the Russian military and on President Putin since the invasion of Ukraine. Every time Russian forces re-deployed their troops away from a Ukrainian town, their “defeat” at the hands of the Ukrainian forces (who entered such locations after the Russians left) is broadcast in the “international community”, which as always is defined as comprising only the NATO member states. Defeat after claimed defeat by Russian forces are reported, as were items on nervous breakdowns following each other at speed in the Kremlin, and yet this defeated, demoralised, untrained and poorly trained army still continues to dominate the battlefield in Ukraine.
Certainly RT (among the news channels blocked from transmission within NATO countries in order to protect freedom of the press) gives an entirely contrarian view to that of those outlets that generate so much Russophobia within their staple readership, outlets such as CNN, BBC, the Guardian or the New York Times. If RT is to be taken seriously, Russian soldiers are weighed down not with weapons but with candy for the children of Ukraine. The soldiers are indeed busy, not through fighting a war since February 24, but because so much of the day gets spent assisting elderly Ukrainians to escape the evil intentions of some of the troops in their own military. Certainly the numerous Russophobes and Racial Supremacists that have been mainstreamed into the Ukrainian military since 2014 are not those who emulate the example of Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi. This is clear from their record in dealing with Russian-speaking inhabitants of Ukraine after the elected government led by Viktor Yanukovich was toppled by street protests generously funded by NGOs patronised by Hillary Clinton. This was well before the 2017 US Presidential elections, in which Trump bested Clinton, and which was promptly blamed by the latter on Putin.A longstanding ogre, it would appear, to the formidable Empress of the Beltway. If the Kremlin under Putin had been influential enough to decide on who would occupy the White House, the Russian economy and people would not have been in the less than ideal state that they have been in both before and after the toppling of the USSR at the close of 1991. At the same time, although such facts seem to be unknown to “international community” media, the irregulars who now dominate the Ukrainian military and security services have an easily trackable record of cruelty and oppression of the Russian-speaking inhabitants of Ukraine.
The International Criminal Court seems as unconcerned about ascertaining the identity of the corpses that were strewn inside Bucha for media outlets to cover three days after Russian forces left. Much of the “independent reporting” of western media outlets comes from videos and briefings provided by the numerous irregular forces within the Kiev establishment. The working assumption is that if a Ukrainian source within an irregular-controlled zone says something, it is the gospel truth, whereas if a Russian says anything, it must be an untruth. The CNN and BBC-certified “independent” reporters working on this axiom have wholly adopted the narrative that before the Russians left Bucha on March 30, and during the three days when Ukrainian authorities controlled the city (and never talked about such corpses), murder of hundreds of residents had been carried out. An alternative narrative from Ukrainian sources is that most of those killed were Russian-speaking, and were not part of the Russophobe Kiev establishment. And hence that they were punished for such heresy by Ukrainian army irregulars once they took back control of a city that had been abandoned by Russian forces. The Kiev establishment has been spinning cartwheels seeking to generate enough of a frenzy within the “International Community” as to motivate the Biden-Johnson duo masterminding the NATO response in Ukraine to intervene kinetically. Presenting Kiev-declared victims of Russophobia as prey to Russian soldiers is engineered to generate sufficient anger within the public in NATO member states to force timid politicians to further tighten sanctions on Russia and finally meeting Kyev’s demand that NATO enter directly the battlefields of Ukraine. What the Bucha images and narrative have done is to make the public within the NATO bloc less than eager to enter into battle against an enemy as cruelly ruthless as what NATO info-warriors present them as being. It is of course plausible that most of the Bucha dead may have been regarded as Ukrainian spies by Russian forces and despatched to the other world. Only an early and neutral forensic examination of the identities of the victims would determine which of the competing narratives is fact and which is false, but such an investigation seems remote. This is so despite the Ukrainian establishment now controlling this unfortunate suburb of Kyev. A genuinely independent investigation may still be in a position to uncover the identities of almost all the Bucha dead and reveal them and their social media views to the entire world, as distinct from the much more limited NATO-certified “international community”. Only a transparent investigation by observers from neutral countries would be able to find out if those killed were Russian-speaking collaborators of the “Occupiers”, or were Ukrainians who had signed on to the Russophobic agenda of the Azov Battalion. Truth is usually the first casualty of war, it is said, and that seems to have been the case with the tragic destiny that befell so many in Bucha and elsewhere.

Bucha massacre generates parallel perceptions

Monday 4 April 2022

Collateral damage to sanctions by US, UK (The Sunday Guardian)

 Joseph Robinette Biden secured the US Presidency by the public display of Trumpian incoherence during the mercifully truncated daily press conferences that the 45th President had on the Covid-19 situation within the US. In reality, the Trump administration had done a fairly effective job on tackling the virus that was born of Sino-US collaborative experiments in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). President Trump sought to avoid leaping into the WHO-suggested pitfall of paralysing economic activity by imposing sanctions that killed jobs in 2020 rather than the transmission of the man-made virus. Unfortunately for Trump, those lower down the food chain continued with the very crew headed by Dr Anthony Fauci that had provided funding to the WIV. Had Trump won the election that year, Fauci and his acolytes would have been dismissed. Biden put them on steroids, and this burst of energy was replicated by the man-made virus, which increased its spread and deadliness in 2021 despite President Biden saying and believing that he had the best minds in the world to slay the pandemic, at least in the US. Biden vowed to be better than Trump, and he is showing to the world that he is even more expert than Trump in blowing his own image and goodwill into bits by his approach to issues. Ironically, given the way in which the Biden-Johnson sponsored sanctions regime on Russia is leading to the demise of the US dollar as the global reserve currency, if he fails to get passed his admittedly visionary social legislation through the US Congress, he may be the last US President to have the luxury of printing money in an almost limitless manner to fund various needs. Such overuse of the manufacturing of the dollar was made possible only because private individuals as well as governments regarded the US dollar as a safe currency reserve. The Biden-Johnson sanctions, including on ethnic Russians who are not even citizens of the Russian Federation but are “close” to Putin (whatever that might mean), have shown the world that due process has been extinguished in the US and the UK at least.

Assets have been stolen—sorry, confiscated—in the past, including the gold and currency reserves of Libya once that country went into a regime-free state courtesy NATO bombardment in 2011, but not with the visibility that has been demonstrated in the matter of making the whole of Russia pay for “Putin’s war”. Russia being a significant player in the world of commodity markets, not just they but the rest of the world are paying an escalating price for the Biden-Johnson sanctions regime on Russia, measures publicly designed to melt down the Russian economy and beggar its population. Joe and Jill Biden are devout churchgoers, and it is clear that the US President at least is among those who love listening to the sermons that are a part of church services. So entranced is Biden that he appears to have staffed his administration with lay preachers, one of whom (whose other job was in the National Security secretariat) was in Delhi a few days ago. No doubt with finger wagging and a disapproving glance, this “high official” warned the 1.4 billion people of the world’s most populous democracy that “there would be consequences” were India to refuse to follow the US line on Ukraine with the same fealty as Quad members Australia and Japan showed. Biden and Johnson have gone ahead with measures against Russia that would result in the collateral damage caused by the end of the US-controlled petrodollar regime and the UK-centred gold selling and pricing global system. President Putin’s response, of forcing NATO member-states that are buyers of Russian gas and oil to either pay in gold-denominated roubles or do without supplies, shows that reports by the CIA, CGHQ and others of his mental deterioration are somewhat premature. Once implemented, this new measure would make the London Bullion Market Association unable to fix the international price of gold any longer. The Biden-Johnson sanctions have also punctured a hole in the London Metals Exchange. Experts have suggested that this is the time for India to set up an Indian bullion markets association to capture the leadership of trade in this precious metal, the price of which will now be set not by the British pound but by the Russian rouble, 5,000 of which have been made exchangeable for a gram of gold. Simultaneously, the US dollar has joined the British pound, the euro and the Swiss franc as risky assets for those outside the NATO network to hold. What has been done to Russian billionaires today can be as speedily done to their counterparts in China, or in parts of the world such as Africa and Asia, where refusing to obey the diktat of the key members of NATO may result in the expropriation even of those who have given up the citizenship of the offending country. Were Joe and Boris the “sincere friends” of the PRC that they have been (falsely) rumoured of being, they could not have done a more thorough job of hurting the future of the US and the UK than the duo have managed since 24 February 2022. 

Sunday 3 April 2022

The many victims of the Russia-Ukraine war (The Sunday Guardian)


The entire world is paying an increasingly steep price for the folly of NATO believing that Russia would be as much of a pushover as Libya was.

There seems to be an umbilical link that joins together administrations in the US and the non-Russian part of Europe, given the manner in which Washington’s policy has often functioned as though the rest of the world counted for little. The 46th US President seems to have entered a time warp and receded 50 years. This is in the way Biden has been acting as though it was a rerun of the 1970s US-USSR rivalry that represented the challenge before America in the 21st century, and not the expansionism of the Peoples Republic of China. Judging by the commentaries of news channels across both sides of the Atlantic, the Kremlin is an open book to the US, the UK and the EU. After just a few days, CNN and BBC spoke in gleeful terms about how Russia had “failed in its Ukrainian blitzkrieg”. Much of the succeeding week was spent on forecasting the imminent collapse of “the Putin regime”, with Senator Lindsey Graham calling for the assassination of the President of the Russian Federation. Graham must be auditioning for the post of Ambassador to the (post-Putin) regime in Moscow that is “imminent” despite an absence of evidence of such catastrophic change in the Russian leadership. European countries, Poland in particular, that welcomed millions of Ukrainian refugees did so in the belief that they would return to their home country in a matter of weeks, once (as CNN predicted) Russian forces were defeated by Ukrainians wielding NATO-supplied weapons. It remains to be seen how warm the welcome to such migrants would be, once it sinks in that most if not almost all of the guests from Ukraine are unlikely to return as citizens to the country they left.
BBC, CNN or any of the many western channels that are doing 24/7 reporting on the war in Ukraine are uniform in informing the rest of the world what the western world (aka the international community) apparently believes. This is that from almost the start of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the latter was a defeated force. The reportage of western media, both print and television carries detailed insights of what they claim to be the intimate thought processes of President Putin. Recent media reports sourced from western spooks claim that Putin is being misled by unnamed (and very possibly non-existent) “advisers” that Russia is actually prevailing in the war rather than what CNN, BBC and countless others believe is the case, which is that Russia is being whipped to a pulp by Ukraine. To safeguard freedom of the press, Russian channels have been blocked from the NATO bloc, and such champions of healthy eating as KFC and McDonalds have exited Russia. Their CEOs evidently expected that Putin would soon get replaced by another leader who would appreciate the contribution made to healthy living by such brands, and would beg them to return. The prospect of President Putin continuing in office and expropriating the properties of those companies that had exited Russia would never have crossed their minds, so profound has been their faith in western media and its reports on the Russia-Ukraine war. The leaders of the US and its allies in Europe often say how much they love the Russian people. Their way of showing that love is to publicly revel in the fact that their intention is to reduce the Russian people to penury, so that they flood the streets and drive out Putin the way in which Viktor Yanukovich, the elected Prime Minister of Ukraine, was driven out in 2014. Ukraine has not had a moment of stability since then, thereby proving Yanukovich right when he had warned that his country would never be tranquil absent a close relationship with Russia. It is unclear why NATO refused to prevent war by making clear at the beginning of February that Ukraine would not be allowed to join NATO. There are those who say that this is because NATO sought to lure Russia into a war in Ukraine that Brussels expected would drain and melt down the Putin regime in the manner that Afghanistan of the 1980s did for the USSR, but such a conjecture may be speculation.
The manner in which leaders of the US, the UK and some of the Baltic states are calling for punishing the Russian people through sanctions for the crime of electing Vladimir Putin as the President of the Russian Federation is likely to lead to a dislike of the West even among those in Russia who were earlier pro-West. Countries that profess humanitarian concerns exhibit this by sending not so much medicines or food into Ukraine, but weapons designed to lengthen the war, no matter what the cost in lives. They have been straightforward in saying that they seek the meltdown of the Russian state, no matter what the consequences are for the people of Russia. The people of Ukraine are already paying a terrible price for the fact that their leaders believed in the informal promises of certain NATO leaders and refused to come to peace terms with Moscow when conditions based largely on realities on the ground in end-2014 would have been acceptable to President Putin. Not just they but the entire world is paying an increasingly steep price for the folly of NATO in believing that Russia would be as much of a pushover as Libya was. It is clear that not just President Biden but the other leaders of NATO have learnt nothing about the changes in global geopolitics from the 20th to the 21st century. Asia has witnessed the manner in which a force as puny as the Taliban forced NATO to kowtow to that militia by kneecapping the Afghan army and beating a retreat from Afghanistan. Next time, voters may need to choose those who understand better what changes are taking place in the world, and why they need to respond to them in a manner that is in the best interests of the countries they represent rather than be based on the ghosts of the past.

The many victims of the Russia-Ukraine war