So you believe Vlad, the uniquely bad, is a warmonger and that Joe, Boris, Justin, Jacinda, Liz, Ursula, Keir and Volodimmer are righteous defenders of peace, truth, democracy justice and the European Way.
You believe that it’s a lie or that it’s right that the four million or so ethnic Russians in the Donbass have been being shelled by Ukrainian regime forces since they refused to recognise a government installed by a coup in 2014.
You believe that people who are seeing their children killed by the hundreds, have no right to call on Russia to support them when the Ukraine regime is being armed and trained by NATO.
You believe that coups are more democratic than referendums.
You refuse to see neo-Nazi flags and tattoos displayed by Ukrainian militias and see only yellow fields under blue skies, blonde hair and blue eyes.
You do not believe that Russia has reason for concern when the Ukranian government that has sworn to take back the Donbass and Crimea is increasingly armed and trained by NATO.
You believe that NATO which invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and bombed Libya into failed state where black people are sold as slaves is a defensive alliance.
You believe that the Russians bombed their own gas pipelines though it is the Americans who openly threatened to do this and had the greater motive and means to do this.
You believe your controlled and controlling media that dismisses and suppresses information and discussion as propaganda.
You believe that your political systems dominated by billionaire elites operate within systems of ethics based law and that they work for your wellbeing. You believe this even as you freeze and starve and the little that you have is taken from you.
So continue to wrap yourselves in Union Jacks and Stars and Stripes and cover your eyes with the blue and yellow bands they have given you. Find what I say ‘offensive’ or wake up. It may already be too late, but wake up, please wake up.
If this doesn’t tell people that the US regards the Ukrainians as sacrificial pawns, cannon fodder, I don’t know what will. Keane is wrong or disingenuous regarding Putin’s intentions. As far as I can see Putin’s ambitions for Russian expansion were economic not military. The US cannot beat Russia and China in the economic sphere and so are choosing the military one to weaken their opponent. I’m not a particularly clever fellow and I haven’t done extensive research but I’ve listened to people like Noam Chomsky, John Mearsheimer, Stephen Cohen, Jeffery Sachs and Oliver Stone. Moreover I’ve listened to American presidents and pundits and apparatchiks. I have seen the pattern of lies that have excused wars and the consequences of those wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. I know that the US orchestrated the 2014 coup in Ukraine and that Zelensky is a corrupt politician put in place by oligarchs and kept in line by violent ultra nationalists, I know that Russia has sought peace for eight years through the Minsk accords than would have kept the now annexed provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk within Ukraine but with a measure of security, I know that these accords were not honoured and that the breakaway provinces were attacked by Kiev regime forces with civilians being targeted and killed by these forces. I know that most people only know the bits of the story that our politically controlled media permit them to see and that they consider dissenting media such as the Greyzone to be ‘conspiracy theorists’ and ‘Putin apologists’. I know these things not because I am clever but because I have questioned and looked. I urge those who have not questioned and not looked to start doing so now. You do not have to believe that Putin is our friend, I do not believe that he is, I believe that he is only the friend of the Russian people. I don’t believe that the leaders of the US, of the UK and of Germany are the friends of their own people. Do not depend on them to serve our interests or to tell us the truth.
Former UN weapons inspector accuses the US of attacking the Nord Stream pipelines. I understand that the pipelines had been closed as a result of sanctions but with their destruction there is no hope of reversing the situation.
Ritter outlines the case succinctly but how credible is this?
From TV detective shows I know that when a person has been murdered the police would commonly ask if the victim had any enemies. Did he or she receive any threats recently. It would appear that in this case Nord Stream had received threats from US President Biden.
“If Russia invades Ukraine, we will end Nord Stream 2”
The journalist asks: “But how will you do it? If the project is controlled by Germany…”
Biden responds: “I promise you we will be able to do it”
7 February 2022
The same threat is repeated by Victoria Nuland, BIden’s ‘Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs’:
Whether genuine or not a purported RAND document provides a credible meta motivation for both the Nord Stream sabotage and also the effective sabotaging of Europe’s relationship with Russia and of Germany’s industrial capabilities.
In what appears to be an exceptional internal leak from the think tank RAND Corporation, known among other things to have been behind the American strategy for foreign and defence policies during the Cold War, a detailed account is given of how the energy crisis in Europe has been planned by the United States.
The document, which dates from January, acknowledges that the aggressive foreign policy that was being pursued by Ukraine before the conflict would push Russia into having to take military action against the country. Its actual purpose, it contends, was to pressure Europe into adopting a wide range of sanctions against Russia, sanctions which had already been prepared.
The European Union’s economy, it states, “will inevitably collapse” as a result of this, and its authors rejoice in the fact that, among other things, resources of up to $9 billion will flow back to the United States, and well-educated young people in Europe will be forced to emigrate.
The key objective described in the document is to divide Europe – especially Germany and Russia – and destroy the European economy by placing useful idiots in political positions in order to stop Russian energy supplies from reaching the continent.
Secretary Rice’s comments in 2014 are consistent with the strategy discussed in the RAND document.
Rice:”You want to change the structure of energy dependence. You want to depend more on the North America energy platform … to have pipelines that don’t go through Ukraine & Russia”
With regard to opportunity the pipes were sabotaged within the territorial waters of NATO countries; is it likely, at this time in particular, that NATO forces would be unaware of enemy activity in these waters? The strong presence of the US in the region not only gives them greatest opportunity but simultaneously diminishes the opportunity for Russian action in that region. Harley Schlanger expands on this point in the following video:
I have certain reservations that prevent me from saying that I condone the Russian invasion of Ukraine but I cannot condemn it either. My reservations include a perception that Russia may have gone too far into Ukraine if its prime reason for going in was to protect the Russia speaking population in the Donbass who were under attack from Ukrainian militias. I am not however a military strategist and it might be that a wider action was necessary to forestall counterattack. As a matter of principle I condemn the initiation of any war but it is sometimes difficult to discern where a war truly started.
On the issue of NATO expansion that Chomsky discusses I think he is right. Russia has legitimate strategic concerns. It is laughable to think of the organisation whose actions destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya as peaceful and unthreatening.
Whatever led to the current situation and whatever the relative rights and wrongs it is necessary to unpack the humanitarian and strategic concerns of both sides and reach a solution that has the best humanitarian outcomes and such strategic outcomes that guarantee the security concerns of all sides.
You may ask why we should be discussing this issue given that we have no expertise in the matter. Well, we may have no expertise but we have a responsibility to ensure that our elected governments do not destroy the world or the lives of peoples within it, including ourselves. It should also be understood that that the ‘experts’ presented on our news media are biased in favour of the positions of our governmental establishments. We are economically impacted by the Ukraine conflict (the poorer more than the richer), the world is environmentally impacted. Things will get worse if they do not get better. We cannot trust the fools and scoundrels who govern us to make the best decisions. If we don’t get involved in dialogue, not on the side of Russia but on the side of Reason, then what we condone, by default, is continued war, continued unreason and the destruction of our planet.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again … and again.
The position that the Labour Left finds itself in today is a logical consequence of all the things the Labour leadership and membership have accepted in the past. The removal of Rebecca Long-Bailey from her front bench position and the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn are the logical consequences of premises and principles adopted by the leadership of the Labour Party and acquiesced to by its membership:
“The only acceptable response to any accusation of racist prejudice is self-scrutiny, self-criticism and self-improvement.”
~ Rebecca Long Bailey 12 Jan 2020
Do people really not appreciate what this statement implies? How dangerous it is, and how humiliating, because it deprives the potentially innocent the right to speak in their own defence? Do people not realise that its effect is potentially racist because those who are most subject to having their voices silenced, to being accused of speaking out of turn and to be presumed to have nothing of value to say are the black and the poor? It is most often power that accuses and the powerless that stand accused.
“Any MPs, Peers, councillors, members or CLPs who support,campaign or provide a platform for people who have been suspended or expelled in the wake of antisemitic incidents should themselves be suspended from membership.”
~ The Ten Pledges
This is the fifth article of the Ten Pledges made by the leadership of the Labour Party in January of this year. What it means is so clear and its wrongness so clear that I feel foolish attempting to make it more clear, but a logical consequence of the acceptance of this principle is that any member now supporting Jeremy Corbyn should now be suspended themselves.
Premises and principles have corollories and that if you accept the premises you implicitly accept its corollories?
“When an expert looks into a problem you have – whether it’s a doctor, a mechanic, or a plumber – you take their advice and follow it without thinking twice.
So when the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), and imminently the Equalities and Human Rights Commission give the Labour Party specific recommendations about how we need to root out the poison of antisemitism from our movement, our starting point must not be to dispute their proposals but ensure every single one is implemented unless we can rationally explain why not.”
~ Emily Thornberry 8 Jan 2020
“Without thinking twice” says Thorberry. Think about that if you will. How can you rationally explain why anything might be wrong unless you accept the possibility that it might be wrong, unless you are prepared to think again and to question both yourself and those who are ‘advising’ you.
“Without thinking” the Labour Party has abandoned the obligation to think, it has become explicitly hostile to reasoned discourse and to human decency. Starmer’s endorsement of the of the Overseas Operations Bill and of the Covert Intelligence Sources Bill is an implicit endorsment of torture and murder that has been acquiesced to by the great majority of Labour MPs.
The endorsement of savagery is the ultimate consequence of the abandonment of reason. I note with respect that a small number of Labour MPs including Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott have oppossed these bills:
It is not the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn, but the suspension or expulsion, of decency, compassion and reason from the Labour Party and from our public consciousness that most concerns me most and that should concern all of us.
I written a few things about the pandemic over the past months, much bemoaning the division into tribes of the covid-compliant and the covid-defiant whereas we should be looking beyond this narrative to the meta-narrative of power that it is a part of. Here is my current position on all this.
First on masks. I believe that masks do provide some protection against the transmission of coronaviruses and the evidence and arguments I’ve seen supports that. The question for me is are they a proportionate response to the risks.
Given that the number of daily reported Covid-19 related deaths has fallen dramatically in the UK since the height of the pandemic (now about 1% of the numbers at the peak) and daily reported infections have fallen less dramatically (now about 20% of the numbers at the peak) it seems that
a) transmission of the infection has become less likely
b) the infection is less harmful to those who currently have it.
Figures for reported deaths are more meaningful that figures for reported infections since the latter will vary with the volume of testing and also the accuracy of testing.
I am not claiming the Covid-19 is not harmful and lethal to many, I am suggesting that since its lethality is arguably much less that it was we should be asking if particular prophylactic responses such as masks and particular elements of lockdown measures remain appropriate and proportionate. We should be asking what levels of Covid-19 morbidity/mortality require the use of what specific measures including masks. We must ask this because:
a) Covid-19 is likely to remain part of the human microbiome (the community of microbes coextensive with human communities) for the forseeable future notwithstanding any assault by vaccines. Should, therefore, masks and social distancing remain part of our social protocols for the forseeable future?
b) Current specific measures have had and continue to have disruptive and damaging consequences that I hardly need to outline.
c) Proposed specific measures such as mandatory or near mandatory vaccines are highly problematic. If people are unclear about why the proposed vaccines and vaccine regimes are problematic then they should ask more questions about safety and efficacy.
While we are considering these points we should also consider all the anomalies in mask protocols. For example it is curious that the government is encouraging people to go out to restaurants where they necessarily have to remove masks and where there is more danger of orally ingesting viruses while requiring people to wear masks in all shops where there is little danger of oral ingestion.
I am neither pro nor anti mask. I am pro critical thinking and I think that there have been serious deficits of critical thinking in our collective response to this virus. The ham handed suppression of voices on mainstream and social media that question the official narratives about Covid-19 suggest that our governments are not keen on critical thinking.
I am not going to expound on any speculations regarding global conspiracies but we should note as facts that.
a) There has been an enormous transfer of wealth from communities and small businesses to the billionaire owned corporations during this crisis.
b) An enhanced security and surveillance apparatus together with greater legislative powers is being set up.
c) There is an apparent and increasing convergence of state and corporate power in operating the new or enhanced security and surveillance structure.
I am not pro or anti government. I am pro democracy, in particular discursive or deliberative democracy. That is not what we have now. What we have now, arguably in the UK and demonstrably in the US, is more akin to oligarchy.
There is a tendency on the part of the political right to support government on actions sold as pertaining to national defense and a tendency on the part of the political left to support government on actions sold as pertaining to national welfare. It is surely pertinent in both cases to ask if the government is pursuing a national interest or the interests of the oligarchs, if it is pursuing the interests of the people or the interests of the established powers.
“The only acceptable response to any accusation of racist prejudice is self-scrutiny, self-criticism and self-improvement.” ~ Rebecca Long Bailey 12 Jan 2020.
According to this there is no defense against any accusation of ‘racist prejudice’. To be accused is to be guilty. Both RLB and the Labour Party have abandoned reason, freedom of expression, tolerance of dissent and principles of natural justice. And it is in the nature of witch hunts and inquisitions that defending those accused of witchcraft and heresy are to be accused of being witches and heretics themselves.
“… Llanelli MP Ms Griffith said anyone who cannot accept Sir Keir’s zero-tolerance approach should leave the party.”
“Zero tolerance”. That’s it exactly. Total, totalitarian, intolerance.
On some level that will not be appreciated by many it is true that we are caught up in a dance between forces of spiritual light and darkness and that our world will never be the same again. I fully understand that many people will consider me weird for talking in this way but I will do it anyway.
The issue, for me at least, is not about supporting or resisting lockdowns or other measures of control, or changes in our lifestyles .. its about whether our intentions are bent towards principles of justice, freedom, equality and love.
Many of us have had comfortable lives within the present order but it has been at the expense of those of us, globally, who have been excluded and exploited. The intention of the ‘dark forces’ is not a just, free, equal, compassionate world it is a world of oppressive control that is increasingly materialistic/mechanistic, one that is spiritually dead.
The intention of the ‘forces of light’ is that we should transcend our selfishness and separateness from each other, transcend the spiritual isolation of which the current physical isolation is a reflection and a consequence.
We have separated ourselves from the natural world, from our biomes and microbiomes, from Being and from other beings, and from acceptance of the natural cycles of life, growth, change and death. Through self-transcendence or selfishness-transcendence we will bring about a world that is aligned with the Will of God; a Kingdom of Heaven.
What world do you intend? This is important because the world that emerges for you depends on your intention and the world in which your world resides depends on our collective intentions.
Z-scores are used to compare mortality pattern between different populations or between different time periods. The higher the Z- score the greater the difference between the expected number of deaths in a given period and the total number of deaths actually recorded.
The graphic shows that the UK as a whole has a higher number of excess deaths than any other European country and that England has a higher number of excess deaths than other nations in the UK.
How does this square with the relaxation of the lockdown in England?
I’m not saying that the lockdown shouldn’t be lifted – of course it should be lifted but Johnson said that he is going to be ‘led by the science’ and my criticism is that he doesn’t seem to be led by that. A science led response would question the particularities of conditions and responses that have caused England to be more strongly impacted than elsewhere. Decisions should be based on the answers to those questions and they should be implemented in a graduated way consistent with restarting the economy in a rational manner.
Johnson said that all workers who were unable to work from home should go back to work. This is impossible because it is quite obvious that people in sectors of the economy, such as hospitality, that are locked down will not be able to return. Perhaps Johnson meant construction and manufacturing, perhaps he meant other sectors too but what he said was ‘all workers who cannot work at home’. I’ve been listening to people trying to unpack what he meant all day. This is not good enough. The minimum that should be expected from a leader is clarity and that has been wholly absent.