NATO: Finally Crossing the Rubicon?


zelensky and stoltenberg

First: ‘NATO’s Road To Perdition With Ukraine’, editorial staff, strategic-culture.org, Feb. 12, 2021  (CC w/ attrib.)

The US-led NATO military alliance is moving ever closer to accepting Ukraine as a new member. This is an incredibly incendiary step towards war that could escalate into a nuclear conflagration.

Despite repeated and long-standing warnings by Russia, the US-led NATO military alliance has indicated it is moving ever closer to accepting Ukraine as a new member. This is an incredibly incendiary step towards war that could escalate into a nuclear conflagration. And, risibly, this reckless initiative is being driven by an alliance which proclaims to be about upholding peace and security.

This week NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg hosted Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shymhal at the organization’s headquarters in Brussels. At a joint press conference, both men were upbeat about Ukraine joining NATO. Stoltenberg admitted that the former Soviet Republic has been eyed for membership of the alliance since 2008, a timescale which puts more recent conflict over the past nearly seven years in perspective. He also confirmed that NATO forces have been building up their presence in the Black Sea in coordination with Ukrainian counterparts. In recent weeks, three US warships have been training with Ukrainian naval vessels in order to counter what Stoltenberg says is “Russian aggression”.

Officially, Ukraine is designated as an “Enhanced Opportunities Partner” by NATO. Which makes one wonder, ironically, what kind of “opportunities” are being contemplated?

For all intents and purposes, Ukraine is already virtually a member of NATO. It has participated in overseas joint military operations and, as noted, it receives military aid, training and logistical support.

But if Ukraine were to be formally admitted to the NATO alliance then that opens up a legalized and inevitable path to war. Under the organization’s rules, any individual member nation is entitled to invoke a general defense clause which obliges other NATO members to support militarily. Since the governing authorities in Kiev continually claim that Russia is an aggressor – a view shared by NATO – then the potential for a generalized war with Russia is a wide open danger if Ukraine were to officially join the alliance.

Undoubtedly, NATO leaders are aware of this potential catastrophe and are also well aware of Russia’s deep concerns. That would explain their cautious delay in admitting Ukraine to the alliance. Germany and France in particular are understood to be against adding the country to NATO’s membership out of fear that it would provoke Russia.

It is interesting to speculate why Stoltenberg – a former Norwegian premier and nominal civilian head of NATO – this week appeared to give new impetus to Ukraine’s ambitions. Could it be related to the change of administration in the United States? Senior members of the Biden administration have publicly stated during Senate hearings a willingness to increase military support for the Kiev government in its conflict with pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine. American and European envoys at the UN Security Council this week reiterated strident accusations against Russia claiming that Moscow was responsible for prolonging the conflict in Ukraine. Russia’s envoy Vassily Nebenzia countered that it was the Kiev regime and its Western allies who have not implemented the previously agreed Minsk peace accord signed in 2015.

But surely even the most diehard NATO jingoists must realize that admitting Ukraine to the ranks would be a dangerous bridge too far. The same too for Georgia, another former Soviet Republic, which is also in the queue for joining the military alliance. Both countries are already in political conflict with Russia because of NATO expansionism, not as they or NATO would have it, because of “Russian aggression”. NATO pushed Georgia into a brief war with Russia in 2008 over the disputed territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Then in 2014, a NATO-backed coup d’état in Kiev against an elected president led to the ongoing low-intensity war in Eastern Ukraine. That coup also led to Crimea voting in a referendum to secede and join the Russian Federation which the West continually refers to disparagingly as “annexation”.

Professional, well-paid shills like Jens Stoltenberg like to spin the deluded yarn that NATO expansion is a “success” for democracy and the rule of law. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991 following the demise of the Soviet Union, NATO did not pack up and dissolve. In the ensuing 30 years it has doubled its membership from 16 to the present 30 constituent nations. This was in spite of earlier vows by American leaders that they would not permit NATO enlargement beyond the old frontiers of the Cold War and Warsaw Pact. The most recent additions include Montenegro and North Macedonia. Bosnia and Herzegovina are being considered under Membership Action Plans, and Ukraine and Georgia presumably after that.

NATO’s relentless expansion towards Russia’s borders, including the stationing of missile systems, in conjunction with baseless provocative, rhetoric accusing Moscow of aggression are patently posing an existential threat to Russian security. Yet NATO apologists talk blithely and in Orwellian fashion about promoting security, defense and rule of law.

Lest we forget, Russia came close to annihilation – within living memory – from military aggression by Nazi Germany and its eastern European satellites when up to 27 million Soviet people were killed in the Second World War (1939-45).

NATO’s own purported rules forbid the organization from admitting countries which are involved in border disputes or internal conflicts. That clearly should forbid Ukraine and Georgia. Yet the US-led NATO is turning a blind eye to its own rules, distorting its interventions in these countries as actions of defense against “Russian aggression”.

It would be ludicrous if it were not so gravely serious. NATO “justifies” the expansion to Ukraine and Georgia “because” Russia has forces in the Black Sea and the Barents Sea. Those regions are integral to Russia’s sovereign territory. This is while the United States from a distance of over 6,000 kilometers away stations B-1 strategic bombers for the first time in the Barents and sends increasing numbers of warships to the Black Sea in violation of maritime treaties. What next? Russia is accused of occupying Moscow?

The precedents and historical pattern show that the American imperial catspaw known officially as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is incapable of intelligent reasoning and dialogue. It is a machine geared for confrontation. Russia may therefore have to consider using another form of language in conveying its wholly legitimate security concerns.

For the present trajectory is a road to perdition.”

And who has Biden tapped for his No. 2 at the Dept of State?  Cookie-gurl Victoria Nuland!


Do you think Zelensky is controlling his neo-nazis any better than Yats had?

NATO’s Warmongering Newsroom and Home Page

NATO – Russia-Settiing the Record Straight: Alaming Agitprop Alert Ahead

a fun way to spend 49 seconds… 

“Since Russia began its aggressive actions against Ukraine, Russian officials have accused NATO of a series of threats and hostile actions. This webpage sets out the facts.” (Note: each Myth includes from two to five paragraphs of “Facts”.

Top Five Russian Myths Debunked

Myth 1: NATO says Russia violated the INF Treaty to justify new deployments

Myth 2: NATO exercises threaten Russia’s security

Myth 3: NATO Allies spend too much on defence

Myth 4: NATO troops are dangerous

Myth 5: NATO Allies are paranoid about Russia

NATO member countries

NATO Partners or ‘Partnerships for Peace’. [Colombia, South America, may be the most Machiavellian designation]

NATO relations with Ukraine [read:epic codswallop]

Next up: ‘Biden’s Post-Trump NATO Reset Points to Failing U.S. Global Power in Multipolar World’, Feb. 19, 2021, editorial staff, strategic-culture.org  (a few excerpts):

The more the US pushes NATO as its vehicle, the more it is apparent that the battery of American power is running flat.” […]

Under a new man in the White House – an old-time establishment operative – there is seemingly a more consensual approach with allies. Nevertheless, underlying the liberal lexicon there is the same old mantra of hostility towards Russia and China.

Lloyd Austin, the Pentagon chief, told European allies this week that there would have to be “more burden sharing” in order to confront the “threats” allegedly posed by Russia and China. Biden continued the same theme of confronting Russia and China during his G7 and Munich conferences over the weekend.

American hegemonic ambitions required to satisfy its corporate capitalism are dependent on a zero-sum geopolitics. The globe must divided into spheres of influence as in the earlier Cold War decades. There must be antagonism to thwart genuine cooperation which is anathema to American capitalism. Indeed, it can be said that the Cold War never actually ended when the Soviet Union dissolved more three decades ago. America’s imperialist ideology continued under new guises of “fighting terrorism”, “democracy promotion and nation building”, or more recently “great power competition” with Russia and China.

The bottom line is that NATO is more important than ever for enabling Washington’s global power ambitions given the demise of American capitalism and the rise of China and Eurasia. NATO provides a crucial political cover for what would otherwise be seen as naked American imperialism.”

Who else can guard the opium poppy fields?

@USNATO Feb 18 @NATO
Defense Ministers are discussing the Alliance's operations, including
@ResoluteSupport Mission in #Afghanistan & @IraqNato Mission in #Iraq. These missions play an important role in the global fight against terrorism & Allies are committed to their success. #DefMin

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Comments

Azazello's picture

The most important reason for NatSecCom's campaign against Donald Trump was his attitude regarding NATO. We have a new president now and his administration is moving quickly.
Biden to Munich Security Conference: ‘America Is Back’
Biden says U.S. commitment to NATO is 'unshakeable'
SecDef Austin Tells NATO There Will Be No ‘Hasty’ Withdrawal From Afghanistan
NATO Increasing Troops in Iraq From 500 to 4,000

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16 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

wendy davis's picture

@Azazello

dupoly's 'support NATO act' won massive support? and as it turned out, DT really hadn't thunk the dues to the org were shared equally, or something like that?

what an Amerikan House of Cards. thanks, Azazello.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...this is really going to benefit the American people.

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16 users have voted.

"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

and climate czar-WEF-Great-Reset john kerry was in munich, too, i'd seen on NATO's twitter account. fact check: 'really, kerry's college GPA wasn't that much lower than Dubya's!

Make Amerika Great Again = Build Back Better.

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10 users have voted.

President Putin always has to answer the questions from Russians as to why they shouldn't have to worry about NATO on their border? He confidently assures them that he has the situation under control and that Russia is well defended. And it's true that in any war in the "near-far" that Russia would clobber NATO. Russia has a large army that is well equipped with modern arms and is very mobile. They could put far more resources rapidly into any situation than the US could.

The real challenge to President Putin comes from right wing hawks within Russia. If a case could be made that he was not adequately defending Russia, and think about the historic perspective of this, then he would be replaced rapidly. What would that mean? Reabsorption of all of Ukraine and Georgia. Support of the 30% Russian speaking people of the Baltic countries. Completing the unification of Belorussia and perhaps other ex USSR states. Is this what the West wants? Up to this point the West has been very aggressive and Russia has been extremely moderate in her reaction. NATO article five will prove to be useless as no nation will stand up for the Baltic states if it means annihilation. Perhaps we need one example to put that to bed. Historically this could be a monstrous turning point for the West vs. Eurasia. And we are stuck with a mentally incompetent CIC, and a defense department run by the worst Neocon hawks. I can't imagine a more dangerous situation. Vladimir Putin has just told the EU to get lost if they intend to put more sanctions on Russia. He's about to send the same message to NATO. Will they listen?

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14 users have voted.

Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

@The Wizard

Poland recently (last month or two) completed a war game exercise against "an eastern enemy". It included all foreign forces currently in Poland, some equipment not even yet in Poland but planned to be delivered, as well as ubiquitous NATO air and sea support.

They were expecting the Polish armed forces to last 22 days against Russ . . . I mean "an eastern enemy". Instead, Polish armed forces were completely neutralized in 5 days.

The cause wasn't only the disparity in forces. Reasons also included the expertise of those forces and the lack of understanding of communications and orders from Polish leaders, bickering within the command structure, and just lack of knowledge of how to control an army in warfare.

Poland Loses in Mock War Exercise with an Eastern Enemy

I'm hoping the Polish government and NATO get woken up by this.

These idiots in NATO are playing with fire. Let's hope we don't all get burned.

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wendy davis's picture

@The Wizard

President Putin always has to answer the questions from Russians as to why they shouldn't have to worry about NATO on their border?

and assuming that it's so, i can see why you extrapolate further from that belief of theirs.

but at the recent Davos virtual WEF, both Xi and Putin went to great lengths to explain that the western Imperium ceding to a multipolar world would be a win/win for the whole planet. cooperation, not competition.

i agree that russia has increased her (superior, less expensive) weapons of war as a defense against ever-encroaching, ever-enlarging NATO and the US empire, but Putin and lavrov are far more patient, as is Xi, unless they are attacked, even in some false flag as has happened only too often.

as far as i understand it, Russia is still committed to no nuclear first strike, whereas the US has backed away from that, especially in terms of Iran, which nation they still ignorantly swear is seeking a Nuke that's against their religious law. as a side note, the second strategic-culture op-ed brought that in, but were a mite ignorant of how bombastic biden's team is actually making rejoining the JCPOA,.

but if it came to war, my belief is that Russia's allies would join the fray as well, hence the title of this diary.

the purpose of all this US/nato fear mongering? (and actually africom, to boot) is hegemonic domination. the old Q again: 'who will stop it?' A: 'those who can...and must.'

and meanwhile the western defense industries grow wealthier each day. #GriftingForWar.

thanks Wiz; plenty to mull over.

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snoopydawg's picture

@The Wizard

to play in Russia and China’s bathtubs then there is a big chance that they will be sunk by Russia’s boats or just get hit by a missle.

(Yup Apple is making autocorrect more dumb. It doesn’t know what a missle is and lots of other words.)

Kinda wonder what Biden and Putin said to one another during their chat? I doubt Biden told him to knock it off playing with our elections like he said he did. I can imagine how it would have went if he had. How many times has China’s boats chased ours out of their waters instead of what they legally could have done?

Great comment!

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Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo

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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

how many times has the US navy boarded iranian oil tankers, towed them to port...and sold the oil, and kept the change, so to speak?

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earthling1's picture

@snoopydawg
have played "bump & grind with our much larger destroyers in the Black Sea also.
Fearless they are, Russian sailers.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

snoopydawg's picture

@earthling1

Was it the Black Sea or another one close by? Hell I don’t know our water ports think I know others? But yeah they went to ram one of ours and they skeddadled quite quickly away, but it should never have come to that.

And guess what? Remember the shit Trump got when he pulled out of the Iran deal? Sure you do. But guess who is reneging on the deal with the taliban? Joe Biden. This will show China, Russia, Iran, N. Korea and Syria that no matter what we say we will do is never to be trusted. Again the world is reminded of what our word means. Add in the promise that NATO wouldn’t move an inch towards Russia and here we on the eve of admitting Ukraine into it. Putin remembers that broken. Millions of people across the globe wants the Afghanistan war to end. Remember that damning report on Afghanistan and how every president has lied to us about how it’s going! Yeah looks like the media has forgotten about it too. Might be a good time to bring it up to Biden.

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5 users have voted.

Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo

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enhydra lutris's picture

terrifying one's own population by engaging in brinksmanship with Russia. Getting to the point that I'm not sure I give a shit any more.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

wendy davis's picture

@enhydra lutris

...terrifying one's own population by engaging in brinksmanship with Russia.

add evil china, evil iran, evil, corrupt VZ and other pink tide nations still almost standing in 'our backyard'...yes, life-killing sanctions are supposed to be: oft Power, or War by Other Means.

brilliant song by randy neuman; thanks. but it's true that global polls have demonstrated that the world sees that the Democracy™ the US exports is Terrorism.

his tune made me think of this art by anthony freda: if it formats too large, i'll get a calculator later and make it smaller:

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enhydra lutris's picture

@wendy davis

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

wendy davis's picture

@enhydra lutris

yes indeed 2 that; sigh.

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2 users have voted.

Why do they care who they align with? Russian hysteria over NATO is proof that Imperial Russia still lives.

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1 user has voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

that you believe in Russian Revanchism. or Soviet Union Revanchism? each one of us has a right to our various beliefs.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

...of the American people. And trying to roil you.

This is trollish bullshit. Knock it off Voice. Get some help.

TERMINATION-NATION_0.jpeg
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8 users have voted.

"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato
wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

i'd been told recently that i was considered "too prickly' here, so i ws trying to be...less so.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Our rule is civility, remember. That means one presumes good faith. The US has spent well over a half of a century and huge sums of money pushing an assortment of anti-Russia narratives as well as anti-commie and anti-socialist ones, supported and backed by tons or private organizations. You've got to expect that a prety good chunk of the populace has bought it to varying degrees, especially when you consider that our educational system gives astoundingly short shrift to Russian History.

be well and have a good one

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5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Pluto's Republic's picture

@enhydra lutris

But let's not give anyone the impression that having an anti-Russia view is a problem here.

There is certainly no problem on my part. People develop their views from information about Russia that circulates in the US — and a lot of it is scary. The urge to provoke and harm Russia is not unnatural or illogical. It's mainstream.

(I definitely don't want to silence anyone who wants to throw a punch at Russias.)

I object to the trolling of the essay. Whole different level.

I should have said, instead: "Whatsa meta you?!"

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10 users have voted.

"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato

@Pluto's Republic
My post was to the heart of the essay.

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0 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

wendy davis's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

maybe Pluto's seen you announce over and over: 'i hate putin', sometimes with the addition of 'but i'd like to be able to get a Sputnink5 jab'.

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@wendy davis
And Biden != USA

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0 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

enhydra lutris's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

initiate and even entirely wage war via proxy nations. Long ago we swore that we would not put offensive weaponry into an unofficial demilitarized zone around Russia, but have broken it many times since. They have to care if they don't want to be attacked. Same as why nobody in their right mind would sign on to nuclear non-proliferation. The US, quite exceptionally, hasn't attacked N. Korea, nor will we; funny that.

be well and have a good one

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9 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

wendy davis's picture

@enhydra lutris

biden caveats having to be 'approved' by israel, saudi arabia, and i;ve forgotten the third (UAE?), from iranian FM javad zarif:

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@enhydra lutris
I fail to see the difference.
Russia has ALWAYS been an imperial power.
One good thing about the post-Soviet constitution was the presidential term limit.
Putin had that taken out so he could become leader for life.

Putin is Trump, except competent.

I'm here to make America better, not to praise Russia.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

CB's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness
of 76% of the Russian people.

In case you didn't know, US presidents could also serve indefinitely - originally there were no term limits. Franklin D. Roosevelt served for four terms. It was only after he died in office that the Twenty-Second Amendment was enacted to limit a President to 2 four year terms (ratified on February 27, 1951).

So don't tell us that 'democracy' also requires term limits.

Another factoid - Russian citizens get to vote for their president by direct ballot unlike in the US. One could argue that Russia has a superior form of democracy because the fucked-up Electoral College elects the American president, NOT the people.

(As an aside, President Xi could be turfed out every 5 years if he doesn't perform. I could argue that the Chinese citizens have more control over their government than American citizens have over theirs. Well over 90% of the Chinese think VERY highly of their government's performance.)

Here's a good article at The Saker:

Bernays and Propaganda – Democracy Control
779 Views February 21, 2021

From their experiences in the formulation, manipulation and control of public perception and opinion with the CPI, both Lippman and Bernays later wrote of their open contempt for a “malleable and hopelessly ill-informed public” in America. (1) Lippmann had already written that the people in a democracy were simply “a bewildered herd” of “ignorant and meddlesome outsiders” (2) who should be maintained only as “interested spectators”, to be controlled by the elite “secret government”. They concluded that in a multi-party electoral system (a democracy), public opinion had to be “created by an organized intelligence” and “engineered by an invisible government”, with the people relegated to the status of uninformed observers, a situation that has existed without interruption in the US for the past 95 years. Bernays believed that only a few possessed the necessary insight into the Big Picture to be entrusted with this sacred task, and considered himself as one member of this select few.
...

...Democracy had always been hyped in the West as the most perfect form of government, but under the influence of an enormous propaganda campaign it soon morphed into the pinnacle of enlightened human evolution, certainly in the minds of Americans, but in the West generally. Since a multi-party electoral system formed the underpinnings of external (foreign) control of the US government, it was imperative to inject this fiction directly into the American psyche. They did so, to the extent that “democracy”, with its thousands of meanings, is today equivalent to a bible passage – a message from God that by its nature cannot be questioned. Bernays and his people were the source of the deep, abiding – and patently false – conviction in every American heart that democracy is a “universal value”. One of the most foolish and persistent myths these people created was the fairytale that as every people evolved toward perfection and enlightenment, their DNA would mutate and they would develop a God-given, perhaps genetic, craving for a multi-party political system. This conviction is entirely nonsense, without a shred of historical or other evidence to support it, a foolish myth created to further delude the bewildered herd.

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snoopydawg's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Russia did not invade Afghanistan. The USSR did and IIRC, that helped bring it down. I admire Putin for staying calm all these years that we have been stirring up the brown stuff in Syria mostly. And I am not seeing him having hegemonic goals that the US has been going after for too long. And anyone who tries to help the vulnerable is ok which Putin has been doing. Our presidents have been doing nothing as more people here are pushed into poverty.

Putin had that taken out so he could become leader for life.

No he did not do that. He put it up for a vote and let the people decide if they wanted him to stay in power a little longer. Hopefully there isn't someone more to the right of him that wants to take more direct action at us. Just imagine if they had been in place when we overthrew Ukraine's president and then went on to do all that we have there. We would not have tolerated that in Mexico.

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4 users have voted.

Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo

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CB's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness
Vladimir Putin, Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Shoygu are three of the most based, level-headed statesmen in the world. If you want to see 'hysteria' just look at the recent comments in the media by Biden and Stoltenberg.

Have you ever considered that Russia has no use for the basket case called Ukraine other than supporting the historical Russian populace in the Donbas so they become a thorn in the side of that cesspit of a country to bleed the US?

Crimea was a different matter which has already been efficiently and quickly solved. Crimea has been part of Russia since the time of Catherine the Great 250 years ago. If you know your history, you should thank her and Russia for greatly assisting the US in gaining its independence from Great Britain starting in 1763.

Russian leaders are now at the point of telling the EU and US to go pound sand. They are prepared to turn to the East (as is over 2/3rd's of the world's nations). Russia and China together are an invincible combination if push comes to shove. Historically, both of these countries have survived wars that would have permanently broken America's back.

The US is now circling the drain at an ever increasing rate and someone like the senile Biden with his neocon/neoliberal backward thinking advisers doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of stopping it. By the end of Biden's Kamala's term the majority of Americans will finally come to this realization. Just think of it - Kamala Harris as Commander In Chief in a conflict with Russia and China.

It's not as if America wasn't forewarned: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defence than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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wendy davis's picture

@CB

and educational comment; thank you. i'll bring a few related excerpts on biden's virtual speech at the Munich conference from wsws at the bottom. europe isn't as eager to follow the Hegemonster as once was true. waking up to realities, perhaps?

sometimes...bidness is bidness, and takes precedence over ideology.

on edit: oh, and i'd add iranian FM javad zarif as a brilliant diplomat.

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wendy davis's picture

@CB

republics Donestk and Luhansk, i got to re-imaging this horrific, evil, tragedy, which i remember watching in real time wherever the hell i was writing at the time:

May 2, 2020 6 years ago there was a tragedy that shocked everyone – Ukrainian nationalists burned 50 anti-Maidan activists alive. The Hero City did not confront the killers – was it conquered?', stalkerzone.org (two excerpts):

I met Aleksandr Vasilyev in Donetsk when I was preparing material about political immigrants from Ukraine. Back then in Donbass not only volunteers ready to take up arms came to the front line, but also pro-Russian activists who in the cities of Ukraine were threatened with criminal prosecution because of their stance. Former deputy of the Odessa City Council, active participant of the Russian movement, Aleksandr managed to leave his native city, not waiting for a visit from the SBU.”

Political weather vanes?

“Yes, like the former deputy of ‘Party of Regions’ and now well-known Mr. Goncharenko, who during the first days started running around the regional council with the flag of Ukraine, which was not seen before. And there were a lot of them. And finally, an ordinary resident who fell victim to massive propaganda. After the Federation Council passed a law in March allowing the use of Russian troops abroad, all channels in Odessa on the same day came out with huge messages on screens ‘Russia declared war on Ukraine’. They started to intimidate people by saying that Russian tanks would come, bombers would arrive. Demonstrations against war started. Since the first days of March this pumping was actively going on. Rumours about military columns coming from Crimea and Transnistria – hysteria. And it contributed to the growth of pro-Ukrainian forces at the expense of those who were afraid of the ‘Russian invasion’.”

which inevitably led me to remember eva bartletts's epic reporting from both ukraine and the donbass:

'eva bartlett commits journalism in the donbass, ukraine’, nov.16, 2019, c99%

i did see you'd been reading and commenting, but in case anyone else missed it, and wants to see it, keep it and read it later. she filmed many interviews as well, so it's quite a tome. but holy hell, skimming thru it i found this video from RT.com on the odessa murders that came with a very warning.

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wendy davis's picture

@CB

i reckon, but there were discussion about matt taibbi here yesterday, and i'd mentioned that levine and ames were on twitter. anyhoo, i'd looked up a few exposés they'd done on "pierre" omidyar at pando and nsfwcorp.com, but it seemed silly to add them to the General Gray. (Pierre Omidyar co-funded Ukraine revolution groups with US government, documents show', 2/28/2014

and this one was actually paul car, which i'd forgotten: ‘Revealed: Visitor logs show full extent of Pierre and Pamela Omidyar's cozy White House ties, march 23 2014, pando.com

the art, of course, is what stuck in my noodle:

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snoopydawg's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Russia cares who Ukraine partners with because we want them to partner with us and that means NATO is in Ukraine which will probably be Russia’s red line. But guess what? NATO is going to do just that anyway knowing damn well that Russia won’t tolerate it.

Why should we care if Russia partners with Mexico and Canada? Sad situation.

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Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo

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‘On a Hair Trigger’: Soviets Armed 108 Jets for Nuclear War During 1983 NATO Drills, Docs Show

A few excerpts:

https://sputniknews.com/military/202102191082132128-on-a-hair-trigger-so...

Since 2019, the US has invested billions in developing new ground-launched missile systems like those that helped provoke a nuclear war scare in November 1983, but were subsequently banned as being too dangerous to the peace.

Newly released documents from the US State Department reveal the degree to which Soviet leadership believed a provocative, ultra-realistic NATO war-game in late 1983 was a cover for a genuine nuclear first strike against the Soviet Union.

‘Calculated to Induce Paranoia’
The Soviet fears were not idle: years of psychological operations had prepared the ground by driving up Soviet anxieties. American bombers would practice attack runs, peeling of at the last minute as Soviet radar sites sounded the alarm; American submarines would push the limits of how close they could sneak to Soviet naval installations; and most importantly, dangerous new missiles were being stationed in Europe that make a nuclear first-strike seem almost possible: the Pershing II medium-range ballistic missile.

All this is why on November 3, 1983, NATO launched the most realistic war games they had ever performed, the Soviets were already on-edge. The war games simulated a steady escalating conflict, beginning with massive troop deployments across the Atlantic and the assuming of attack postures by NATO forces in Western Europe, and finishing with a DEFCON-1 declaration signaling imminent nuclear warfare. The drills employed never-before-seen codes, troop movements made under radio silence, and even involved West German Prime Minister Helmut Kohl and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

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wendy davis's picture

@humphrey @humphrey

to my worn-out eyes and brain. thanks; i'll read it again tomorrow.

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wendy davis's picture

@humphrey

it's srsly worth reading the whole terrifying thing, and again: i'll read more closely as i have time.

thank you, humphrey.

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wendy davis's picture

the closing song just has to be sam bradley's cover of dylan's song.

'it didn't have to be this way...

except WE were this way'

~ AIM leader, santee sioux john trduell; may he Rest in Power

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@wendy davis Neither are you, I'm pretty sure; we should say "we" less. It's not true, therefore not fair, therefore, ultimately, it doesn't help.

'Justice' is a word for something that I think is ill-served by tinkering or definition (don't even get me started on adjectives), but if I had to give it the best definition I could, it would be 'credit where credit is due'. The evil that has come from collective credit can hardly be overstated: If I am a Jew, that does not mean I killed Jesus; if I am a North Carolingian, that does not mean I invented the airplane. Et cetera, et cetera.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

wendy davis's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

way thru this:

i'm not, neither are you

it may be that you mean: not masters of war, or pinging those who speak of 'our military' or 'our nation'; i rarely claim them and mine. but the quote i gave was from john trudell's 'rich man's war', iirc.

in a sense, he'd spent his life trying to stop them, and just after he'd burned an amerikan flag on the steps of the j edgar hoover building, his house with his wife, children, and mother-in-law burned to the ground. they all perished. he became the talking poet that he was until the day he died.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@wendy davis 'it didn't have to be this way...
except WE were this way'

Not paying taxes is a crime when you're not ungodly-rich, so short of the most extreme, puritanical, petty, and willfully punitive rationales for saying otherwise (and remember what Nietzsche said about those with a powerful urge to punish), you and I are not to blame for Morgoth's atrocities, and we shouldn't make false confessions.

Maybe I was mistaken about what that meant?

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

wendy davis's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

been meaning 'We collectively', and i agree wholeheartedly. it's okay that you don't, but it would take far too long to explain my position.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

They've obviously totally redefined that the same way Bush redefined "freedom" (sincere thanks to George Lakoff); assuming their new definition is consistent, it *might* be helpful to decipher it.

I wonder: Did WWII cryptographers have to deal with ideological/values-based language barriers?

Lakoff's work is scary, honestly: At first it brings the relief and hope that always comes with improved understanding, but beyond that, it seems to imply that there ARE insurmountable limits to understanding and barriers to consensus, and we CAN'T all co-exist, and from there it's a fairly straight highway to Eugenics Wars (just along different axes than the customary granfalloons)....

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

wendy davis's picture

While Biden proclaims “America is back,” imperialist conflicts dominate Munich conference’, bill van auken, feb. 21, 2021

“US President Joe Biden used a live video broadcast Friday held in lieu of the annual Munich Security Conference to deliver his long-expected “America is Back” speech, waving the false banner of “democracy” to assert US global leadership in the “great power” confrontation with both Russia and China.

Speaking at the video forum—made necessary by the still uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus in the advanced capitalist countries—Biden received a decidedly chilly reception from his fellow virtual panelists, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron. Both stressed the independent interests of the European imperialist powers.

The title given to the livestreamed forum was “Beyond Westlessness.” [???] In an opinion column written on the eve of the forum, Wolfgang Ischinger, the former German ambassador to the US and chairman of the Munich Security Conference, described a Europe “surrounded by a ‘ring of fire’—by bloody conflicts in the East, in Ukraine, and in the Caucasian region, but also in the South, around the eastern Mediterranean, and in our African neighborhood.

He continued: “Great power competition has made a comeback. The rule-based international order and its institutional framework have been weakened." [...]

As Biden’s remarks made clear, “America is back”—a phrase he repeated three times in his 20 minute speech—was less a promise than a threat. Behind it lies an even more aggressive and militaristic policy than that pursued by the administration of Donald Trump. His speech represented a thinly disguised demand that the European powers tie themselves unconditionally to Washington’s war wagon.

The US president insisted that the world confronted an “inflection point” in a supposed global struggle between “democracy” and “autocracy.” [...]

“The Kremlin attacks our democracies and weaponizes corruption to try to undermine our system of governance,” Biden said, adding that “Putin seeks to weaken European—the European project and our NATO Alliance. He wants to undermine the transatlantic unity and our resolve.”

One of Washington’s main charges in terms of Russia undermining “transatlantic unity” has centered on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is nearly completed and will pipe Russian gas under the Baltic Sea directly to Germany and other European customers.

On the eve of the Munich forum, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared that Washington is determined to stop the pipeline’s completion, claiming it will “enable the Putin regime to further weaponize Russia’s energy resources to exert political pressure throughout Europe.” The Biden administration is preparing fresh sanctions against companies involved in the project.

Kremlin spokesperson Dimitry Peskov responded pointedly to Washington’s threats, stating that “It would make sense for our American partners to be less interested in Nord Stream 2 and more interested in Texas’ heat and energy supply.” [smile]

Biden went on to demand that Europe align itself with US imperialism in order to “prepare together for a long-term strategic competition with China.” He called upon the NATO powers to jointly “push back against the Chinese government’s economic abuses and coercion that undercut the foundations of the international economic system.”

Under Biden, the US is escalating its military threats against China. In recent weeks, it has deployed two aircraft carrier strike groups in the South China Sea and sent warships on provocative “freedom of navigation” exercises in the Taiwan Strait and near the Chinese-controlled Paracel Islands.

At the same time, China has supplanted the US as the European Union’s number one trading partner, and, at the end of last year, the EU and Beijing concluded a major investment treaty over Washington’s strenuous objections. [...]

The response of Washington’s NATO “partners,” however, left no doubt that Trump was far more a symptom of deep fissures in the transatlantic alliance than their cause, and that European imperialism is no more anxious to subordinate itself to Washington’s diktats under Biden than it was under Trump.

Both Germany’s Chancellor Merkel and French President Macron referred repeatedly to their support for “multilateralism,” by which they clearly meant their opposition to making an unconditional bloc with US imperialism against Moscow and Beijing. [longish snip]

Like Merkel, Macron insisted that Europe had to deal “with our neighborhood” and that its “agenda is not the same” as that of the US in terms of the “level of priorities.” He pointedly stated that this was something “we experienced in Syria in 2013,” when the Obama administration backed down from a regime-change intervention backed by Paris on the pretext of a poison gas attack that proved to have been staged by the Western-backed “rebels.”

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@wendy davis Power-couple Tabloids Take Heed: You heard it HERE first!

Say what you will about either of them, thank heavens they're finding a spine!

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

wendy davis's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

a bit of spine, at any rate. you might want to read the rest of their comments, esp. macron's. ; )

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@wendy davis ...yuck.

Well, we already knew he's mostly a jerk; hopefully, the famous French popular backbone proves stronger even than his.

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1 user has voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

wendy davis's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

remember when he was Trump's poodle, too? funny cartoon, eh wot?

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wendy davis's picture

twitter account again...'stay in iraq to fight ter'ists' and so on, never mind that the iragi govt. had told foreign troops to get out.

but here we go again, same messages, different months:

oooof: epic air power threats!

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4 users have voted.

For general news about Russia, I follow RT punit Byran MacDonald at https://twitter.com/27khv. He is from Ireland and has for a number of years lived in Russia. He likes to expose how many Western commentators on Russia can't even get basic facts right.

But he has stated that if Ukraine joins NATO Putin may take actual military action. Not sure what it will be, but as you state, Ukraine joining NATO is crossing a red line.

Also, the great Russian scholar said the two flash points that could start a war between the West and Russia and that was Syria and Ukraine. And from what I can tell, the Biden administration is looking at getting aggressive toward the Russians in both locations with the backing of NATO.

I have been predicting that if Biden was elected, he would be more likely to start a war with Russia. The pandemic will continue to ravage America leading to a near permanent state of a medical and economic dystopia. The same is happening in Europe with serious riots over the lockdown. It will be easy to aggressively attack Russia to divert from domestic problems. Vicious and I would say racist anti-Russian has seeped in the body politic to lend support for a war against Russia. Let's remember that when Bush invaded Iraq something like 72% of the American public approved.

BTW just to note something I read from a Norwegian blogger. He stated that more male Norwegians joined the Nazi army than were killed trying to fend off the German invasion. I have always believed that the animus against the Russians was infused with a historical latent crypto-Nazism.

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wendy davis's picture

@MrWebster

rest in power. flashpoints syria or ukraine. john pilger believes 'china'. but actually, t'was the editorial staff a strategic culture who'd called it: ‘NATO’s Road To Perdition With Ukraine’. for myself, the epic scramble to add so many other 'peace partnerships', under nato's umbrella, 'not quite members' (that used to be 'so corrupt no money for dues' like ukraine) added up to 'finally crossing the rubicon' as in: as failing empires are total loose cannons.

i like macdonald, too. biden is as bombastic on china as he is on russia, but your prediction seems sound. i just don't see putin biting on ukraine joining NATO, as its been 'under NATO's protection' for some time now. but the west has been arming ukraine plenty, now even with offensive weapons, as i recall.

what i do worry about is further false flags as with the Tweet above: 'it had to have been iran that bombed ___ fill in the blank again'.

MacDonald's most recent at RT: NATO orders warships into Black Sea as bloc’s chief calls for Ukraine to be allowed join & stop Russian ‘plan’ to dominate ex-USSR, 10 Feb, 2021

Soviet Revanchism again.

on edit: syria, yes. AFAIK, russia has been the sole nation invited to help 'assad who'd gassed his people' to aid the nation militarily. yet how many nations are illegally bombing syria? i'm pretty sure that pepe escobar called syria 'ground zero in the pipelinistan wars'.

russia has been trying to 'deconflict the air space' with israel, others (?), to no seeming avail. but false flags again are distinct possibilities, i think.

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis

"Relations between Russia and the West are in choppy waters, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who says the Black Sea is the new battleground in the US-led bloc’s fight for influence and control in the region.

At a joint press conference with Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denis Shmigal on Tuesday, Stoltenberg said that “we have seen a significant Russian buildup in the Black Sea, not least with the illegal annexation of Crimea, and also with more naval presence in the year.”

However, in the same breath, he pointed out that “NATO has increased its military presence in the Black Sea region, because we recognize the great strategic importance of this region for all NATO allies but also of course for our close partner, Ukraine.”

Shmyhal added that his country will “start building two naval bases, one in the Black Sea one, in the Azov Sea.” According to him, the endeavor is part of an international effort to step up the presence of Western-backed forces in the region “as part of our cooperation with Britain, [which is] also helping us financially so this program can be launched.”

In a move that will surely raise eyebrows in Moscow, Stoltenberg added that Kiev is “recognized as a candidate for NATO membership. NATO allies help and support Ukrainian efforts to join the Alliance.” Joining the US-led organization has long been an ambition for the country, but one that has been fiercely opposed by Russia over fears of more military exercises and warplanes dangerously close to its borders.

In November, NATO rocket launch tests in Romania saw missiles capable of hitting Crimea fired into the Black Sea. The deputy head of the peninsula’s public chamber, Alexander Formanchuk, said that “provocations against Crimea have become more frequent. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a further exacerbation of international relations and the international situation. And the topic of Crimea is a convenient reason for escalating such provocations.”

same shit, different day. gotta get back to my bread...

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snoopydawg's picture

Thread

Biden broke the deal Trump made with the Taliban. I’m sure that peace will break out any minute now that Biden’s staying put. Any minute....

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Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo

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snoopydawg's picture

I was watching this live and couldn’t believe what she was saying. She seemed to keep digging.

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Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo

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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

what miz williamson was on about. i'll add:

and from the phillip weiss link, although you'll have to click in for the hyperlink...

As Omar Baddar says, SNL took a dig at Israeli apartheid. The cat is out of the bag on Israeli racism. The Israeli brand is tanking. And US liberal Zionist organizations can’t even reckon with the fact that it has been declared an apartheid regime. But SNL can.

And look, people are already calling it antisemitic! The Israel lobby never sleeps.
Israel has all but ignored the millions of Palestinians in the occupied territories. The Health Minister even joked that Israel has no more responsibility for the Palestinians than the P.A. does to care for dolphins in the Mediterranean.

(Baddar also notes that SNL didn’t air its greatest satire of Israel, the Would you fellate a donkey for Israel? hearing for Chuck Hagel to be DefSec in 2013).

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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

even a dim bulb lights now and again.

i'd tried to Unsubsrcibe to russell brand's meditations (not my cuppa), but got 'last chance' now and again. one said that 'marianne willaimons had joined the team', and while bingling i'd found these hits.

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snoopydawg's picture

Thread

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Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo

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wendy davis's picture

almost in time to watch 'all creatures great and small' 2.0

closing song:

g' night; see you in the morning. sleep well if you're able to. dream well, and if not, at least instructively.

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wendy davis's picture

'the most beautiful world...in the world'!

RT.com's reporting that an asteroid the size of a baseball stadium is headed toward earth! Dayum, i hope it drops on our wee hogan! clap if you can help make it so!

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