Essential Backgrounder On Russia, Ukraine
* What the Western mainstream media will not tell you - And, more deeply yet, a radical grounding for the foundations of all present and future political philosophy *
I would like to think that such wise words as those from the Dalai Lama would be enough to prevent another world war. That, however, is far from certain. Therefore, I offer an analysis of the background to what is happening now in Ukraine, in the hopes that a greater level of understanding will avert another world war, which would be horrific, at best, and could well mean the end of humanity.
First of all, the war in Ukraine did not begin this week, and it was not started by Russia. However you view Russia’s actions, of moving troops into Ukraine, the war in Ukraine began in 2014, and it was started by the US, when Washington and the CIA staged a successful coup in that year, and effectively took over the country, turning Ukraine into a colony of the United States. So who is the aggressor here? If you are going to say that Russia is wrong for getting involved, then, if you are honest, you also have to say that the US was wrong, and in violation of international law, the UN Charter, and all principles of freedom, democracy, national sovereignty and human rights, by staging a coup in 2014 and taking over the country. To frame the issue in any other way is to show either an utter ignorance of what is going on, or else to engage in outright lies and deceit.
As Aaron Mate said: Imagine if Russia had staged a coup in Mexico in 2014, then installed a puppet regime in Mexico that was controlled by Russia, and flooded the now Russian-controlled Mexico with billions of dollars of weapons. The US would have done exactly what Russia did - only they wouldn’t have waited for eight years and tried other options first. The US would have gone into Mexico immediately, with weapons, troops and military force.
US geostrategy by all indications revolves around extending its domination and hegemony over the world for another century. That requires (1) controlling global energy reserves, pipelines and sea lanes wherever possible; (2) keeping vassals and rivals from uniting in partnerships or economic alliances, most critically including keeping Europe and Russia divided and at odds; and (3) preparing for a war with both China and Russia, by encircling them both militarily. Human rights, freedom, national sovereignty and democracy have zero to do with US foreign policy, and are routinely discarded whenever they conflict with the central imperatives of global hegemony and domination of the world - which was written about explicitly, in 1947, in NSC-68, and again in the PNAC documents, which were written by the neocons who have controlled Washington ever since the Reagan administration - foreign policy imperatives which have been amply proven by dozens of US military invasions and coups over the past 75 years. Anyone who believes the US or its vassals and junior partners in crime have any shred of moral high ground or moral authority, is frankly delusional, deeply indoctrinated, and lives in a dream world.
As to US/Russia relations, the US did not need to break its promise and expand NATO East, to encircle Russia threateningly. The US did not need to stage a CIA coup in Ukraine in 2014, or take over the country and turn it into a US vassal state. The US did not need to then send billions of dollars of arms into Washington-controlled Ukraine. The US did not need to disregard the Minsk peace accord, which was signed in 2015. At every step of the way, Washington could have chosen peace, but instead chose imperialism, militarism, expansionism, and an escalation of tensions. Russia warned the US repeatedly that any further encirclement of Russia by NATO, particularly by putting US/NATO controlled weapons in Ukraine, would be a red line for Russia, and Russia would respond with force, because it felt it had to draw a line to protect its own security. The US continued to poke the Russian bear with a sharp stick, and lo and behold, the bear, slow to be riled up, finally strikes to defend its own security.
None of this should be surprising. What it shows, is horrifically stupid and reckless behaviour on the part of Washington. Whatever you think of Russia’s response, it was entirely predictable, and it is fully understandable. Russia saw no option left, but two: surrender its independence, as it is gradually eaten away by the US and its allies, or use military force to remove the US puppet government in Ukraine, to safeguard Russia’s security.
You can judge it any way you like, but it was the US which created this mess. And furthermore, Russian military intervention on its borders, is certainly many orders of magnitude more understandable than the US deciding that it must bomb and invade countries half way around the world, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria….not for reasons of genuine national security, but purely for oil profits and imperial power.
Perspective is everything. Currently, the “Left”, and the mainstream media, have zero of that.
How can you describe what is happening in Ukraine, as a Russian invasion of Ukraine, while not acknowledging that the US had already invaded and taken over Ukraine in 2014, with a CIA/State Department coup?
When you recognize the 2014 CIA coup in Ukraine as an undeniable fact (see my 2014 article on Ukraine), and you therefore recognize the Ukraine government in Kiev as undeniably being a Washington puppet, installed by the CIA, then you must acknowledge that the US invaded and took over Ukraine, in turn causing the people of Eastern Ukraine to call for a referendum to separate from the US-controlled Western Ukraine, and legitimately calling for international aid and military protection from Russia.
That means Russia is, arguably, legitimately answering a call for international aid, in support of an independence movement, in response to a US take-over of Western Ukraine, by way of a coup.
To deny these facts requires a fundamental ignorance of the real situation in Ukraine, or else, an extraordinary level of sheer deceit.
But let’s look into the background, to get a better picture of what is really happening now.
If you don’t know at least the broad outlines of the history of Ukraine, Russia and the US, there is basically zero chance that you can possibly understand what is happening now. And of course, the Western mainstream media will tell you precisely zero about that - or at least, they will tell you nothing in terms of the honest history.
The central question is not whether you are pro-Russia, or pro-US, or pro-whatever. The central question is whether you believe the truth matters. If it does, then read on. And if it does not, then we can forget about ever having peace in the world, because peace requires that we first be honest, and deal with the truth, and with the reality of things, and not just deal with our preconceptions, our stereotypes, our dogmas and ideologies, and whatever hogwash and propaganda we have been fed and indoctrinated into believing. I realize that rules out maybe 70% of the people of the Western world, and virtually all of the “journalists”, “leaders” and “intellectuals”, but I am speaking here to the minority of people who still value truth and honesty over lies and illusions.
The first question is, who is the aggressor? That would seem to be a facile question, on the surface of things, if you are naïve enough to believe the mainstream media on anything. And by the way, nobody with a flicker of grey matter should be spending a single second of their precious time, listening to, watching or reading the major media, because it is 90% propaganda, and 9% filler and fluff.
The fact is that the US invaded Ukraine in 2014, and took over the country, by way of a CIA/State Department coup in Kiev. A puppet government was installed, which was and is loyal to Washington, and it of course didn’t matter that the newly installed government was neo-fascist and closely tied to literal neo-Nazis. So the US was the initial aggressor, by orchestrating a coup and taking over the country. Nobody in the Western major media will tell you that. That is the giant lie of omission, number one.
I will add here a footnote, as a late addition to this article, which I have added just now, the day after the article was originally written and published. I never even thought to mention it, because it is so plainly obvious to everyone who has any knowledge of the world at all. But for those who missed the memo, or for people who slept through the last three decades, we should add in a reminder here: Russia is not the Soviet Union. The Russian people got fed up with authoritarianism, after living under it for over 70 years, and they rejected authoritarianism, and held what amounted to a spontaneous non-violent popular revolution, causing the Soviet Union to collapse, virtually overnight, in 1991. The Russian people do not want to go back to authoritarianism, nor do they want empire or war. They want peace, prosperity and independence. Ironically, when I was growing up in the 1970s and ‘80s, Russia was a gulag, an open air prison, and the West was the land of freedom, democracy and human rights; but now the roles have reversed: Russia is now a land of freedom, at least relative to the West, while the West has become an authoritarian police state. If we want to improve the world, therefore, the first thing to do is to take an honest look in the mirror. The gravest problems are right here at home.
By the way, why does Russian President, Putin always look so confident and reposed? That is an interesting question. Well, there are a number of reasons. Firstly, Putin guided the rebuilding of the nation and the economy, after both were put into a state of ruin, in the 1990s, as the gangster capitalists and oligarchs from both East and West devoured the nation, driving it into Russia’s own Great Depression. In a mere 20 years, Putin took a nation and an economy in ruin, and made it into a prosperous and stable nation and economy, and a global economic superpower. That is just short of a miracle. It is also cause for being confident and alertly reposed.
As to threats from the US and Europe about further economic sanctions, Russia is already fortified itself against such things, with a high degree of self-reliance, combined with European dependency on its natural gas exports, combined with an economic alliance with the world’s new leading economic superpower, which is obviously China, not the sinking US. Furthermore, Russia has decoupled from the US dollar, which is facing impending collapse, and now holds only 16% of its foreign exchange reserves in US dollars, with the rest of it in gold. Governments that are run by kleptocrats, such as Britain, Canada and the US, have sold off much if not most of their gold reserves, which is one of the worst things possible for a nation, along with de-industrializing, deregulating, removing capital controls and offshoring profits and wealth, all of which the West also did; while nations with intelligent governments, loyal to their people, which seek to preserve that old notion of national sovereignty and independence, which the West has now discarded, have been buying physical gold in large quantities. Russia now sits on one of the largest gold reserves in the world. Western threats, therefore, amount to little more than saber-rattling and hot air.
Humourously, Trump and the Republicans picked a fight with China, which for numerous obvious reasons, is a fight the US cannot possibly win, either economically or militarily; and Biden and the Democrats have picked a fight with Russia, which is also a fight the US cannot possibly win, either economically or militarily. The US military is now obsolete, while the US economy is on the brink of collapse. Talk about imperial hubris! The delusions of grandeur just don’t want to end! The US Empire needs to take a bow. Its time is over. Why not exit gracefully, rather than by tripping over your own feet as you go?
Secondly, Europe is now dependent on Russia for natural gas, to keep from freezing to death in the winter. That gives Russia enormous economic clout. It means that Russia cannot be ignored, dismissed, bullied, condescended to, patronized or pushed around. Russia must be dealt with as an equal, as a partner, and with respect.
Thirdly, Russia has invested heavily in self-reliance - which every nation would be intelligent to do - and has used the US-imposed economic sanctions as a stimulus to make the nation more secure, more prosperous, and more independent.
And fourth, Russia has invested heavily in long-term planning - something that has been completely forgotten in the West; and in continuous, up to the minute, objective global analysis - something that is now unheard of in the West; and has simultaneously invested heavily in research and development - also something that has been largely abandoned by the West; and has invested heavily in modernizing and updating its military defence, so that it is now virtually impregnable, and for the time being, undefeatable by conventional warfare.
That combination of factors has made the people of Russia, and their president, inclined to be very confident and alertly reposed. The Western media goes into hysterics, and Putin and Russia remain unflappable and unfazed. Reality always trumps hyperbole and propaganda in the end. Reality bats last.
Russia faces only three potential rivals, in terms of world super-powers, in the present and near term: the US, Europe and China. The US is a sinking ship on fire. Europe is a sinking ship on fire - and one that is heavily dependent upon Russia; and therefore, Europe is a potential rival, which is now, by necessity, a partner. And Russia and China have formed an economic alliance.
So Russia is now in an excellent position. It is a stable and prosperous civilization, a global economic superpower, that continues to rise, and it has no serious threats on the immediate horizon, and no serious competitors.
Bridge that glowing situation, with an attitude and a policy framework of seeking peaceful, friendly relations with all, wherever possible, and seeking mutually beneficial, win-win cooperation with other nations, and you have a promising future outlook for Russia - precisely the opposite of the future prospects for Europe, the US, and any nations that have been foolish enough to tie themselves to these two sinking ships - such as Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and India.
The risk of Washington neocons starting WWIII is real, but if we can avoid that fate, then at least Russia, and certain other parts of the world, are looking very promising. The West is not.
In fact, I would say this. When, not if, the US dollar collapses, and the US economy with it, it will bring down every nation that is tightly tied to it, including Canada, Britain and Europe. When that happens, the chains that have held down the Majority World, also known as the Third World or Global South, will be shattered, or at least, severely weakened, and simultaneously, the Global South will rise meteorically, while the former First World nations become the new Third World. Welcome to the Global Tectonic Shift.
(Watch for my essay by that title, for further details.)
Secondly, what is the broader history of Ukraine? That is extremely important to understand, as well. Well, have the Western media informed you that Ukraine was a part of Russia longer than Florida has been part of the United States? I thought not. Giant lie by omission number two.
Ukraine was part of Russia for centuries, up until Khrushchev declared Ukraine to be independent in 1954. But that was during the time of the Soviet Union, so the “independence” was universally understood to be symbolic only, since Moscow still ruled over all Soviet satellites, including Ukraine. In any event, Ukraine has been part of Russia longer than any state in the US has been a part of the USA. Kind of relevant information, I should think.
Third major point:
After the Washington/CIA coup in Ukraine in 2014 installed neo-Nazis and other neo-fascists in Kiev, in Western Ukraine, with the newly formed puppet cabal making threats on the Russian-speaking people of Eastern Ukraine, the people of Eastern Ukraine became understandably fearful of oppression and violence from the new neo-fascist goons in power in Kiev, and called on the Russian military for protection. Under international law, if a group of people is facing persecution or has legitimate fears of being persecuted or subjected to violence, and they call for international aid, military or otherwise, it is then perfectly legal, under international law, for another country to come to their aid. Russia refused to send in the military, into Eastern Ukraine, even though they had every legal right and every moral right to do so - because they knew the situation to be volatile. Russia handled the entire affair, between 2014 and 2021, with remarkable restraint, all things considered. Also kind of relevant here.
Fourth major point:
In 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell, there were calls for the reunification of Eastern and Western Germany. Germany had been divided after WWII, as a deterrent to possible future aggression by Germany. Two world wars made the people of both the East and the West wary about Germany. The US and USSR entered into diplomatic talks to discuss the reunification of Germany, which the US favoured and the Soviet Union did not. Remember that Russia won WWII, by eating up wave after wave of Nazi invading troops, until the Nazis exhausted themselves, after which the Red Army of Russia took Berlin. Russia lost 30 million people in that war. More people from Leningrad died in WWII, from one single Russian city, than all American deaths combined. Russia was not happy about the thought of a reunited Germany, to put it mildly.
In order for Russia to agree to a reunification of Germany, the US promised that NATO - a US pawn - would not expand “one inch” to the East. Well, of course they lied. All empires lie. The US and its NATO allies then proceeded to encircle Russia with military bases and missiles, and expanded East to swallow up virtually every Eastern European nation, all around Russia, and particularly on Russia’s Western border.
The US-orchestrated coup in Ukraine in 2014, pushed US/NATO aggression even further. The Russian government finally said, That’s enough - we will not allow you to build NATO military bases in Ukraine, which is one of the primary US objectives, and we will not allow you to put missiles in Ukraine. You have pushed us far enough. Now, we draw the line. Again, kind of relevant context to be understood.
Fifth major point:
Russia is a country of proud and hardy people, very Christian, rather conservative by Western standards, and fiercely independent - very similar to the same kind of proud and fierce spirit of independence that Americans used to have, but seem to have lost. And here again, the history is not only relevant, but critically important to understand. If you do not know at least a little bit about Russian history, your chances of understanding the present situation in the world is precisely zero.
Russia was invaded and over-run repeatedly by many foreign powers over the past 1,000 years. They are fed up with being conquered. They simply want, above all, it seems to me and to every other thoughtful and intelligent, honest observer and analyst of Russia, to live in peace, and to remain independent. Americans and Westerners broadly, used to understand such things, but now we are all neoliberal or neoconservative globalists in the West, and such things as national sovereignty and independence are viewed as quaint relics of the past, if they are thought about at all. Not in Russia. In Russia, independence remains of paramount importance. There is zero evidence of Russia wanting to be an empire again - unlike the US, which has become addicted to its imperial status. But there can be no question that the Russian people take their independence very seriously. And a US invasion of Ukraine, by way of a CIA coup, put all thoughtful Russians, and the Russian government, on high alert, with all the alarm bells ringing.
Sixth major point:
The US is intent on creating a natural gas pipeline through Ukraine into Western Europe - which the Big Oil companies, who, along with Wall Street and the military-industrial-intel complex, have jointly ruled over the US, since at least 1947, will then control. Currently, Western Europe relies primarily on natural gas from Russia to keep from freezing to death in the winter. The US and its corporate overseers think this gives Russia too much economic clout, and it furthermore prevents the US and its corporate overlords from successfully continuing with their global hegemony and dominance over the world. It comes down to the geostrategic and geo-economic energy stratagems and power games, to a great degree. The US and its allies have proven abundantly they care nothing for democracy, freedom, human rights, national sovereignty, or peace, as they showed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and in dozens of countries around the world. This is all about fossil fuels, economics, empire, and power. It has absolutely nothing to do with high-minded ideals - which the Western empire is absolutely devoid of.
Seventh major point:
Among the many invasions of Russia by foreign powers over the past millennium, were several from Western Europe - including invasions by Poland, Sweden, France and Germany - and the invasion route from the West has been through Ukraine. Now Washington and the CIA have control over Western Ukraine and its capital city of Kiev, and are pushing further East. Anyone with a sliver of understanding of world history would say this is blatant aggression by the US against Russia - and it matters not whether you favour one side or another, because this is the simple fact of the matter.
Eighth major point:
Which superpower today has the proven record of recent and long-standing imperial aggression? That would be the US.
I personally sympathize with all people of all nations, as I think any thoughtful and decent person should; and I am wary of all centralized governments, because, as Lord Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” So I am on no one’s side. That is, I favour no government. I favour and support the people - in Ukraine, in Russia, in Europe, the the US, and everywhere. I am as neutral as one can be, with regards to the great powers of East and West - I hate empire in any form, and in any time or age. But it just so happens that the Swedish empire is no more; the Finnish empire is no more; the Polish empire is no more; the Portuguese empire is no more; and the Russian empire is no more - while the US empire is still drenched in blood, and still dominates the globe. The problem here, is that it is the turn, of the US, to take a bow, and exit gracefully, from its century-long role, as the dominant empire of the world, as many nations have done before. But the lunatics in Washington don’t want to accept that reality. This is the central crux of the matter. Anyone who does not understand that, has absolutely zero understanding of what is going on in the world in the 21st century.
It just so happens, furthermore, that the US elite have written explicitly about their intentions to rule the world, in 1947, in what was then the top-secret long term strategic planning document titled NSC-68, in which the US National Security Council wrote, very frankly, that after WWII the US emerged as the world’s first and only truly global superpower, and the only superpower left standing after WWII, and with just 5% of the world’s population, was in a position to be the ruling power of the world - and they made it perfectly, explicitly clear, that they aimed to keep it that way. And again, in the necoconservative era of the US, the neocon cabal, who came into power with Reagan and have never left, wrote the infamous PNAC papers, the Project for a New American Century. The US owned the 20th century, as has been widely acknowledged, and the PNAC neocons - who still rule Washington to this day, in a case of the Wall Street controlled military-industrial-intel complex continuing the rule it began over the US in 1947 - openly announced their plans for the US dominating and ruling the world, in the 21st century as well.
Now, the world’s biggest empire, which is the declining empire of the United States, is pointing the finger at, “Russian Aggression”. Anyone with a glimmering of understanding of how the world really works, should either laugh, or spit in disgust at the utter hypocrisy.
The US has 500 official military bases around the world, and another 500 unofficial bases. The US has invaded, bombed, or staged coups, in dozens of countries around the world, since it overthrew democracy in Italy shortly after WWII, and held its first successful CIA coup in Iran, in 1954. For the US, of all countries, to be pointing fingers, and calling another country an aggressor, is the height of hypocrisy, and in this case, also sheer deceit.
Ninth major point:
The US has been ruled by the military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-academic-think tank complex, and its Wall Street overlords, for at least 75 years, since the end of WWII. The permanent military Keynesianism which the US adopted in 1947, has now bankrupted the country, and led to the decline, not only of the US Empire, but of the United States as a country, an economy, and a once proud, strong and free culture and society - but, it has simultaneously enriched the top 1% of the 1%, the oligarchy who have ruled over the US for a very long time, and who continue to rule it.
War is a racket, as US General Smedley Butler said. And while the military industrial complex is ruinous to the United States as a nation, and is ruinous to its people, it is so extremely profitable to the ruling elite, that they don’t want to give it up. So there always has to be an enemy, and there has to be a periodic refreshing and building up of the people’s fear - of whatever enemy is the flavour of the hour, so that the arms industry can continue to make a killing, out of killing and mass murder. That is another major factor in the Russian bogyman narrative. It is a credible enemy, or at least, it can be portrayed as a credible enemy, to scare the people into distraction from the real enemies at home, in Washington, Wall Street, Davos and London, and to keep the trillion dollars a year flowing into the US military-industrial complex, and its new wing, which is the domestic police state. This is about money: not peace, not high ideals - it’s all about money, profits, empire, and power.
The only good news on this front, is that the real powers of Europe, which are Germany and France, are not behaving as Washington’s poodles, as they have done for the past 70 years, and are not going along with the Washington-driven push to start an escalated conflict with Russia over Ukraine.
Germany and France are refusing to send aggressive weapons to Ukraine. And that is a breath of sanity, and a refreshing change of demeanor on the part of the major European powers. One reason is that European elites know that if conflict with Russia flares up, Russia can shut off the natural gas pipeline, and Europe becomes an ice box. Russia is holding all the cards, and the European elite know it.
Note also, that Europe has quietly announced that China now has “most favoured trading partner” status, and no longer the US. Europe is pulling away from the US, because, as everyone knows, the US, militarily and economically, is an empire in steep and rapid decline. Washington elites are desperate to shore up their rapidly crumbling power, which is what the Ukraine crisis is all about, but its power continues to slip away, nevertheless. That could be good news, because it could spell a multi-polar world, with greater chances for freedom, justice, cooperation and peace; or, the US elite could refuse to accept reality, and get us into a nuclear war, with their childish insistence on remaining the globally dominant empire for another century. Every ounce of our power should be used to prevent war, and to diminish tensions and sow peace - not to inflame tensions, spread fear and paranoia and mistrust, and push the world to the brink of annihilation.
Tenth major point:
After Washington and the CIA successfully staged a coup in Kiev, in Western Ukraine, the people of Eastern Ukraine, who are predominantly of Russian ancestry, and predominantly Russian-speaking, with their closest ties being to Russia, their mother country, and not to Western Ukraine, seeing that the new US puppet government in Kiev was literally neo-fascist and neo-Nazi, decided to hold a referendum, on whether or not to declare independence from the neo-fascist/CIA/Washington-controlled Western Ukraine. They held the referendum, and the people of Ukraine voted to become independent. Under international law and the UN Charter, any group of people who vote to become independent in a referendum deserve the full support of the international community for their chosen right to self-determination and independence.
When Kosovo voted in a referendum to declare independence, the Western media and the Western governments declared loudly and piously, that the referendum must be upheld, and the people’s choice and self-determination must be honoured - because that favoured the West’s geopolitical and geo-economic objectives of the hour. But now, when the people of Eastern Ukraine vote in a referendum to become independent, as they have done, the Western media and the Western governments decry it, saying it is a threat to stability, or whatever excuse. The hypocrisy is rank, and it is blatant - but only if you know the slightest thread of history. If you are ignorant of history, and you are also foolish enough to listen to, or read the mainstream media, then of course you will understand nothing. In fact, you will misunderstand everything.
Now the Western media are saying that “an unidentified informant” has provided evidence - which is top-secret and cannot be disclosed - that Russia is preparing to stage a coup in Kiev, Ukraine.
First of all, everyone should immediately remember the weapons of mass destruction which the US government claimed Saddam Hussein had - which turned out to be a conscious and deliberate lie, and one that was repeated without question by every major Western media outlet and every Western government, and a lie that led to the Iraq War, and to well over a hundred thousand dead. But it would seem that most people have learned nothing from history - not even from recent history! Not even from the lies that led to the War in Iraq, which was less than 20 years ago! Are we infants? Are we willfully ignorant? Are we steeped in denial? Clearly the answer is yes, to all - the majority of people are all of the above. Lies kill. Lies start wars. Lies lead to mass murder. Lies can even lead to world war. And it is happening again.
Secondly, every thinking and informed person should immediately remember that the US already staged a coup in Ukraine, in 2014. The coup has already happened. We did it. Not Russia.
So, what are we to make of these claims? We should realize that the Western media, and the Western elite, have zero credibility. Zero. Absolutely none. Not a trace.
The only sane response to any kind of tensions or conflict with Russia, or China, or any other nation, and particularly with a nuclear superpower, is calm thoughtfulness and peaceful negotiations - not a pounding of war drums and a histrionic frothing at the mouth, with spurious accusations and inflammatory rhetoric. But the former would require honesty, maturity, and basic sanity, and our “leaders” and “journalists” and “academics” in the West, seem to have none of those qualities or inclinations in their possession.
Good advice from former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, co-founder of VIPS - Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity: Stay human. And press for peace, not war.
I don’t care whose side you think you’re on - press for peace, now!
This is the background that is essential to understand anything regarding either Russia or Ukraine. And of course, the Western media and the Western governments and politicians will tell you absolutely none of it. They are proven liars. Only the dim-witted and the utterly naïve would trust a single word they say.
Mind you, the vast majority of “journalists” are so brainwashed and indoctrinated, they probably believe the lies they themselves tell. But more to the point, they are a pack of conformist and obedient careerists and cowards, who wouldn’t say shit if they had a mouth full. They are loyal only to their careers. They believe what the New York Times or CNN, the BBC or the Washington Post, tells them to believe. They are too spineless to question anything, because they know that to question what they are told, would only get them fired.
The politicians who we euphemistically call “leaders” and “dignitaries” are also spineless careerists, exactly in the same way as the journalists and the great majority of “academics”. They know who greases their palms. They know enough not to bite the hand that feeds them. They know the corporate oligarchy rules, and they know their job is to pretend that we still live in a democracy in the Western world. We do not. We live in a neo-fascist corporate police state, where the politicians, the journalists, and the great majority of academics and “intellectuals”, dare not speak the truth, because they are political prostitutes, and intellectual prostitutes, who job is to bend over for the ruling class, and to parade themselves like cheep whores, spewing out whatever dogmas and holy rites will deceive and distract and divide the people a little longer, until the oligarchy has our chains forged as tight as possible, and the new global police state becomes inescapable.
Welcome to the Brave New World.
The real danger is at home.
Orwell would tell you exactly the same thing, and he did.
Whatever danger Russia presents, real or imagined, it is dwarfed by the danger presented by Wall Street, Davos, and the US military-industrial complex. That nexus of powers is by far the greatest threat to the world today, regardless of what the histrionics of the Western media and the Western elite would have you believe.
What are the cardinal rules and maxims of all empires?
Divide and conquer. Keep the people divided and fighting among themselves, and you can rule over them.
Deceive, inveigle and obfuscate - spin yards and yards of yarns and propaganda to cover over the ugly truth.
Distract the people, and deflect their rightful anger, which should be directed at the elite who rule over them, and deflect it onto an enemy - any enemy. As Orwell also understood.
Forget about the fact that the Western elite are busy demolishing your human rights, your freedom, and what’s left of your constitutional democracy! Focus all your attention on the great bogyman of the hour! Not long ago it was the Taliban, then Saddam Hussein, then Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, Gaddafi, Assad…. Now it’s Russia. But the people are to be kept distracted from the real danger, the real enemies, the real monsters, who are the sociopathic and neo-fascist corporate oligarchs, who rule the Western world, here at home. The people must always have a big, bad bogyman to fear, lest they direct their anger at where it really belongs - which is at the elite who rule over them, here at home.
We are at risk now of WWIII, as well as ecological holocaust, economic collapse, and the fascist regime of the Davos corporate oligarchy, which is already here. These are the four greatest dangers of the 21st century. And it is the Western empire, centred in Davos, Wall Street, Washington and London, which presents the greatest danger, in all four cases. If you want to understand the world in the 21st century, this is the paragraph you need to understand.
Our threat assessment is shot to hell. Our sense of perspective, is nil. Until we correct this, our chances of a decent future, are precisely zero.
It seems to me to be important here, that we pause to reflect on what is truly required of us, if we are to understand anything, or even if we are simply to deal with reality, rather than fiction, propaganda, indoctrination or delusion. And I would say that there are at least three things, which are necessary for us to understand anything at all, or for us to simply deal with reality, rather than with fantasy, dogma or illusion.
The first requirement, if we are to understand anything, or if we are to deal with the real world, is that we are honest. By that, I mean, not only that we refuse to lie, or to distort or misrepresent the truth. That kind of outward honesty, I believe, is basically the norm - most people, I believe, generally speaking, do not intentionally lie, at least not as a routine habit. Most people are, in that sense, basically honest; and as Chomsky has said, furthermore, “The great majority of people have basically decent impulses.” But it seems to me that people who are drawn to positions of great wealth and great power, tend to become corrupted by that power, if they were not already corrupted before hand, which was why they were attracted to wealth and to power in the first place. That is to say, most elites are conscious or unconscious Machiavellians, as Howard Zinn also said. Lying, therefore, is routine, and almost habitual, for the elite. But it is not so for the great majority of the people. However, self-honesty is an entirely different matter.
By saying that we must first be honest, if we are to understand anything, or even be able to deal with the real world, I mean that we must refuse to lie, either to others, or to ourselves. That is a bar that most people, I am afraid, do not regularly pass.
The second criterion that seems to me to be necessary to understand anything, or to see anything clearly, is to examine the subject with at least a degree of detachment. Someone who wants to buy a car, for example, and goes to a car dealer, and finds just the right make and model of car, for the right price, and wants very badly for this car to be just right, and to be a good car, might be unconsciously inclined to believe that it is a good car, because they want to believe it is a good car. They have no detachment, and therefore they are easily swept up by emotion, and buy on an impulse. This happens millions of times a day, with cars and with countless other things. If we have no detachment when we are assessing something - a job offer, a house purchase, a car purchase, a potential relationship, or anything else - then it is probable, and in fact, almost certain, that it becomes impossible for us to realistically assess things. We see only what we want to see, or else we see what we expect to see; but we are unable to see what actually is, because we have no detachment.
Someone who is anorexic, looks into a mirror, and sees a fat person, even when they are dangerously underweight, because that is what they expect to see - and this pathology of unrealistic assessment, caused by a total lack of detachment, can actually lead to death, and often does. The same is true of war, political issues, or any kind of conflict. If we have no detachment, then we will see only what we want to see, or what we expect to see. Our emotions and mental habits and preconceptions over-ride any ability to see things as they actually are.
It is the same as the person looking at a used car, who wants badly for the car in question to be a good car, and buys it without a detached assessment of whether or not it truly is a good car - except with a used car, you might simply regret the decision, whereas, when it comes to international affairs, your lack of detached and sober-minded assessment of things, can get thousands or even millions of people killed.
You have to set aside what you want to see, or what you expect to see, and try to see things as they actually are. This is critical. Without a degree of detachment, we are leaves in the wind, driven by whatever powerful emotions, prejudices, preconceptions, or propaganda, sway us, in whatever direction. That is how millions of people die. That is how we live in a dangerous dream world, of our own fantasies and illusions.
The third element that must be brought to bear, if we are to truly understand anything, I would say, is compassion. The cynics and the “realists” and “pragmatists” will say that compassion is sentimentality, which clouds the issues; but they could not be more wrong. Without compassion, we treat others as mere objects, or as foils for our own projections. That means that without compassion, there is no possibility of truly understanding anything that involves a single other human being, or any living being, much less of understanding events which involve millions of people, and entire nations.
With compassion, comes a genuine desire for understanding, and a willingness to undergo an empathetic journey, to see things through the other’s eyes. Only by this means, can we come to a more complete, well-rounded, and more accurate understanding of the totality of the situation.
Portraying people of colour as subhuman, for example, which Europeans did for centuries, made it impossible to see the situation of our society, with any degree of true clarity. And portraying whatever nation is the current official enemy, as evil, irrational, subhuman, or intrinsically pathological, is a guaranteed way to understand absolutely nothing. And when we live in a shell of our own delusions and misunderstanding, there can be only problems created, as well as suffering and error - and sometimes, on a terrifying scale.
Think of the weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and the Iraq war, and the presentation in the media of Saddam Hussein, as the next Hitler. Saddam was a tyrant, but he was a petty thug compared to Hitler - and he had no WMDs. It was found out to be a deliberate lie, by the US military industrial complex, to sell the people on a very profitable war - which just so happened to kill hundreds of thousands of people. But it made astronomical profits for US and Western arms industries, military contractor’s such as Cheney’s Haliburton, and Big Oil. Dehumanization fed the war fever. Compassion is its only antidote. Without compassion, we were blinded and deluded and deceived, and mass murder was the result. A war with Russia would be the same thing, except on a vastly bigger scale - and it could easily end with the annihilation of the human race.
Fourthly, to understand anything, or to deal with the real world, and to live in the real world, and relate to the real world, as opposed to living in our own fantasies, projections, prejudices and illusions, we must also have a set of values - and a set of values which are in accord with the basic nature of reality, and not in conflict with it.
First, we try to see things from an honest and detached perspective. Then we imbue our perspective with compassion and empathy, to round out, deepen and clarify our understanding. Then we must add in the well-grounded values, with which we understand the world and orient ourselves in the world. If we have no values, then the currently on-going Saudi/US genocide in Yemen, is a non-issue. But if we value compassion, or human life, or freedom, then genocide is an atrocity, and one which must, of course, be strongly opposed and condemned. So, our values make the world comprehensible, as well as guiding our actions. Rather than clouding our perception, if our values are well-grounded, in the true nature of being and reality, then our values increase our clarity of mind and our understanding, not diminish them.
Since the nature of being and reality is interdependence, as both quantum physics and the world’s mystics and sages have told us; therefore, compassion is the primary value in life, since we are all interconnected, and as John Donne and Martin Luther King Jr. both said, “No man is an island.” An injury to one, is indeed an injury to all. There is our cardinal, founding value, if we are at all sane: it is compassion.
If we value compassion, then we must also value freedom, for to make oneself the overlord of another, is not only hubris, not only false pride and arrogance, but it is an act of violence. And we know this. We lie to ourselves when we tell ourselves otherwise. No one wants to be a slave. We know this. We know that to be a tyrant over another person is a form of violence, and is radically uncompassionate. Therefore, freedom is the second cardinal, founding value, if, that is, we are tethered to the real world, and are rooted in a basic sanity.
To freedom and compassion, I would add justice - with equality being central to any true justice - which also flows from the value of compassion; along with democracy and human rights, which are values which flow from the valuing of freedom and compassion. And ecology and peace must be added as fundamental values, as well, because they too stem from the fundamental value of compassion.
Through these seven core, fundamental values - or eight, if we explicitly include equality as a core value, as we should - we can assess all social issues, and all actions, both personal and political. Without these values, however, we are untethered, unmoored, adrift, and utterly lost. The importance of this cannot be possibly overstated. If we are to build a better world, it will be upon this foundation, or not at all.
What does this say about the situation concerning Russia, the US and Ukraine? Before we answer that, what does it say about national sovereignty, non-aggression, “intervention”, war and peace? The clear conclusions are that: if we truly value compassion, then we must also value freedom; and if we truly value freedom, then we must also value self-determination, national sovereignty and non-aggression - which means we must also abhor war, and we must renounce what is euphemistically called “interventionism”. That means, people have the right to self-determination, as the UN Charter also clearly states - and in fact, this is one of the founding values and core principles of the UN Charter, and of all international law.
If the people of Eastern Ukraine choose independence, as they have done, then, according to the principles of freedom and self-determination, and according to the UN Charter and international law, we must respect the right to self-determination of the people of Eastern Ukraine - exactly in the same way that the West insisted the world respect the right to self-determination of the people of Kosovo, when they chose independence. That would mean, therefore, that the US and Europe would need to honour the Minsk peace treaty, and withdraw all weapons from Ukraine, and allow the Eastern Ukraine to be independent. The US and Europe refuse to honour the Minsk accord, or any of these principles, however - and in response, Russia has decided, it had no choice left, but to intervene.
I hate war, and I am strongly opposed to war. And I am strongly opposed to what is euphemistically called interventionism - because it is a violation of national sovereignty and the right to self-determination, as well as a thin camouflage, generally speaking, for imperial ambitions, and motives of profits, power and control. But note that Noam Chomsky was anti-war and anti-interventionist for over 60 years, but he made two exceptions, that I know of. The first was WWII, when the Allied nations fought to defeat fascism. Chomsky believed that this was justified, and from what I understand of it, so do I. The second exception Chomsky made to his anti-war and anti-interventionist policy, and the only other exception he made, as far as I am aware, was in the case of the Kurds in Syria. He felt the US should intervene to protect the Kurds in Syria. I strongly disagreed. I disagreed, in part, because when the US has a record of at least 75 years of imperialist aggression, destroying freedom and democracy around the world, and killing millions of people in the pursuit of economic resources, profits and power, you cannot rationalize or justify or legitimate calling on the world’s biggest abuser of human rights, to come in and protect human rights. That would be madness, and sheer delusion, or else sheer deceit.
Now, in the case of Russia and Ukraine, the US already invaded, by way of a coup in 2014, and installed a puppet government, and has been using that puppet regime to arm Ukraine with billions of dollars of weapons, right on Russia’s borders. When the Soviet Union did exactly the same thing in Cuba in 1963, which the US has been doing in Ukraine since 2014, it resulted in a strong reaction from the US, which sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis, which nearly ended the world. Now, Russia is acting in pretty much exactly the way that JFK did, after the Soviet Union moved to escalate an arms build-up in Cuba in the 1960s, on the US doorstep. We can’t have it both ways. If we view the Soviet Union as having been extremely reckless and in the wrong for escalating an arms build up on the US doorstep in the 1960s in Cuba, then we must also view the US as being reckless and in the wrong for initiating an arms build-up on Russia’s doorstep, in Ukraine. Why is this so painfully difficult to make the “intellectuals”, the “Left”, the Western media and politicians, and the general Western public, understand?
Now that the US has overthrown the democratically elected government in Ukraine, and used the newly installed neo-Nazi and neo-fascist puppet regime in Kiev to initiate a US-controlled arms build-up on Russia’s doorstep in Ukraine, what was Russia supposed to do?
If Russia had used its gas pipeline control as leverage, and shut off the gas to Europe, it would have shattered the fragile economic partnership that has been created between Europe and Russia; opened the flood gates to US exports of liquid propane gas into Europe; and driven Europe back into its previous role of vassal to Washington, which it played for 70 years. The Washington neocons would then have been even more emboldened to continue with their insane agenda of waging war on Russia and China both; and Russian security, and the world’s security, would have plummeted as a result, not increased. This is the “duh-factor”, that sloppy thinking, even among the better journalists and commentators, makes it necessary to clarify.
Russia tried diplomacy first - and for eight years. A peace treaty was signed in 2015, but the US ignored it, and breached it continuously. Using Russian gas exports to Europe, as a lever of influence, would have further destabilized Europe, Russia, and the world. The only resort I can see that Russia had left, was military intervention in Ukraine - something the US and its allies do routinely, and with not a fraction or a sliver of the legitimacy.
The US intervenes at will, all around the world, and never since WWII has it had a legitimate moral basis for doing so, and nor has it been for legitimate reasons of genuine national security. The US is presently occupying Syria, waging war in Somalia, and engaged in genocide in Yemen - none of which has anything to do with any serious or genuine threat to US national security. Bear this clearly in mind.
“Take the log out of your own eye, before you try to take the splinter from your neighbour’s eye.” So said a wise man once. But then again, wise men are usually made to drink the hemlock, or are burned at the stake, or else are crucified, incarcerated, or simply ignored.
So far, from my knowledge, I can see only two justifications for military force in the past 80 years: the first, was in the Allies’ use of force, in the fight against fascism in WWII; and the second, by Russia now, in defending its border security, in Ukraine.
I hate that it has come to this. And I hate war, and hate interventionism - military or otherwise. But I can’t see how Russia could have done anything else. If the new McCarthyites want to scream, let them scream. Somebody has to speak the plain and honest truth. All I can say is, let us contain and defuse this situation as best we can, and not escalate it further. How we do that is a difficult question, but what is certain, is that calling for a war between the US/NATO/EU and Russia, is certain madness, under any and all circumstances. These are nuclear superpowers. Everything must be done to prevent world war, especially between nuclear superpowers.
Again, how it is that this basic level of sanity, must be explained now, to the people of the Western world, and to their “leaders” and “activists” and “intellectuals”, is almost incomprehensible.
The majority of the people in the Western world silently condoned US military invasions and mass murder in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, or actively supported these wars, and they yawn and show complete indifference to the US/Saudi genocide in Yemen, the worst genocide of the 21st century, that is going on today. Yet they decry with pious solemnity, and worse, with shrieks of war cries, calling for war with Russia, over a military intervention by Russia, to secure its borders. I am not justifying what Russia has decided to do. I am, however, calling out the sheer and utter hypocrisy of the West, in its response. It is utterly disgraceful.
If you are calling for war between any two nuclear superpowers, then you are certifiably insane. That is point number one.
Point number two is: If you are going to call for sanctions and boycotts on Russia, for its war in Ukraine, then you must also call for sanctions and boycotts on the US, Canada, Britain and Europe, for arming the Saudi dictatorship, and selling them the weapons to commit genocide in Yemen.
Anyone who cannot concede these two points, is either completely delusional, or else is a confirmed liar, and a propagandist.
How about honouring the Minsk peace treaty, and making Ukraine neutral, as the peace treaty stipulates? Would that not be the only sane path forward? But no, the war fever is on - and that puts the very survival of humanity, now in grave peril.
The US, Canada, Britain and Europe, could have a peaceful and mutually beneficial partnership with Russia, in the same way that they have a peaceful and in general mutually beneficial partnership with Germany, even though they were former rivals. The world has changed radically since 1945, and even since 1991, or 2001, or 2008. It would be vastly preferable to have friendly and peaceful alliances with Russia, than with China. The Western corporate oligarchy is neck-deep in investments and entanglements with China, while China remains a totalitarian regime.
Whatever criticisms one may have about the Russian government, at least it is not the totalitarian police state that China is, and for that reason alone, it would be vastly preferable to take on Russia as a partner, than to continue with the West’s present course of further and deeper enmeshment with Communist China.
Such a peaceful alliance between the US, Canada, Britain, Europe and Russia, could bring greatly improved security and stability, and greater peace to the world, while offsetting the rise of China’s power, and containing it. It would also provide a cushion for the West, for when the economic collapse comes, which by all indications will hit the West soon. This is no time for burning bridges. It is a time for building them. And Russia has shown every indication that it would welcome such a mutually beneficial partnership between itself and the West.
But that scenario, while wise and prudent, and while it would greatly promote peace, and greatly increase the security and stability of the world, would require that the US and Western elite have a basic sanity. So far, I can see no indications of that existing.
That leaves, therefore, only two choices, that I can see for the West, if they are intent on escalating a conflict with Russia - which is madness in itself. The first is war, which would mean the end of humanity. That would obviously be psychotic. The second option is economic warfare, which is at least not quite as insane. But economic warfare with Russia would pit the already economically sinking West against, not only Russia, but the rest of the world. That is an economic war that the weakened, de-industrialized, and declining and fragile West, cannot possibly win.
So, which will it be? Of the three options available, only one of them is sane.
But, the choice seems to have already been made to escalate the conflict with Russia. This is foolish, as well as extremely reckless and immeasurably dangerous. It is also a war the West cannot win, either economically or militarily. Furthermore, it will only push Russia further into a closer and tighter alliance with China, which is also extraordinarily stupid. Amazing, how utterly daft the Western elite seem to be - as well as incompetent and corrupt in the extreme.
Three scenarios are most probable now - and one of those is, in reality, highly unlikely:
1. The Western world admits that it no longer rules the world, and accepts a new multi-polar world era. That seems unlikely, because the Western world has ruled the globe for 500 years, and the resulting hubris has blinded the Western oligarchy. They are child kings, who cannot accept that their empire is now a fading memory, and their global hegemony has come to its natural and inevitable end. Most empires go out this way, historically speaking: not with wisdom, graciousness and sagacity, but with pettiness, foolishness, hubris and self-immolation. It is a pity - and it is also an extremely dangerous time.
2. The second option is war with Russia. That would almost certainly mean nuclear war. That would spell the end of humanity, so let us hope a hot war between nuclear superpowers is averted at all costs. Scream and rant and pump up the propaganda, if you want to, but avoid a hot war, by all means possible.
3. The third option is economic warfare with Russia, initiated by the West. Considering Russia has an economic alliance with China, which is now the world’s strongest economy and the world’s primary manufacturing centre; and considering Russia now has some of the largest gold reserves in the world, and some of the largest mineral reserves in the world, and is highly self-reliant, and is, by now, holding what are probably the biggest energy reserves in the world; and considering the Third World, across Asia, Africa and Latin America, is lining up economically in an alliance with China and Russia; and considering that such a move by the West would pit Europe, Britain and North America (or the North-Western corner of the globe, also known as The West, or the Global North) which is in rapid decline already, and is already about to implode and collapse economically, in an economic war with three-quarters of the world: that is a war that the West can only lose - and lose quickly. This is not 1492, or 1892, or even 1947, or 2006. This is 2022, and the tables have turned. If the “leaders” of the Western world have any sanity at all, they will pursue peace - both for the sake of the survival of humanity, and out of prudent economic self-interest, as well. Continued imperial hubris now, on the part of the West, will only hasten and confirm its fall, and make the decline and fall of the West all the more tragic, horrific, and disastrous. But, the child kings seem intent on precisely such a course.
(In the context of these undeniable facts, the Global South is looking more attractive than ever. Latin America, here I come.)
“The responsibility of intellectuals is to speak the truth and expose lies.”
So said Noam Chomsky, some decades ago - and it galvanized me to the core, when I first read it, 32 years ago; and it is still as relevant and as morally obligatory today, at least for anyone with a trace of integrity.
You do not decide whose side you’re on, or whose side you think you are on, and then filter the information to conform to your pre-ordained bias. That is what dishonest and childish people do. And that is the norm. But what honest adults do, is to look at the facts, look at the actual evidence, and determine, as best as possible, what is really going on - with as little bias as possible, and preferably none. You simply face the facts, whether you like them, or not. You either do that, or you are not an honest person.
So, the central question, as always, is whether we want to be honest, mature men and women, or not. Apparently, this is far too high a bar for the Western media, the Western intelligentsia, and the Western ruling elite to achieve. But I still hold with Martin Luther King Jr., that a dream can be deferred, but it cannot be destroyed. There will come peace for the world. There will come freedom for humanity. But it will not come so long as a few hundred ruling oligarchs in Davos remain in the position of what the leading business journal of the Western hemisphere has called, “the de facto world government”.
Again, the greatest danger is here at home, in the West. The greatest danger is the new global empire of the neo-fascist corporate police state. Anyone who tells you otherwise, is either a liar, or else is simply delusional.
J. Todd Ring,
February 24, 2022
Further reading and resources:
See my article on Ukraine from 2014, shortly after the CIA-led coup in Kiev, on WordPress.
Also recommended: my essays on The Power Elite, Who To Trust, Earth 101, Smedley Butler and the Business Plot, Freedom vs Fascism, and The Failure of Propaganda, along with my first two published books: Enlightened Democracy, and, The People vs The Elite.
Noam Chomsky: How The World Really Works, Deterring Democracy, Year 501, Necessary Illusions, Manufacturing Consent, Class Warfare, and Requiem For The American Dream
Naomi Kleine: The Shock Doctrine
Naomi Wolf: The End Of America
John Perkins: The New Confessions Of An Economic Hitman, and, A Game As Old As Empire
Vandana Shiva: Oneness vs The 1%
Here is a cartoon depiction of the global neoliberal corporate empire, that is ruled by Wall Street, Langley, Washington, Davos and London, for those who have no attention span and can’t, or won’t, read a book - and even this depiction is an extreme understatement, of the systemic, routine violence and predation which are inherent to this global imperial regime: Starve Trek, by the New Internationalist (from the time before covid, when the Left still had a brain):
Here is an honest and in-depth analysis of the real story behind the Ukraine/US/Russia crisis, by Aaron Mate and Jimmy Dore:
Excellent, honest, in-depth analysis here, as well, by Max Blumenthal and Jimmy Dore:
Truth About Ukraine/Russia - NOT What You Think:
Listen to former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter explaining the double-standard and utter hypocrisy of NATO:
Russell Brand generally does an excellent job, although he pulls his punches too often for my taste, preferring to speak to a broad audience, by sometimes straddling the fence - which I can understand, but that is something I cannot do, and I refuse to do. I speak the plain, unvarnished truth, to the best of my understanding, with no evasions, no euphemisms, no dumbing things down or watering down the bare facts. If some people don’t like the plain-spoken truth, they can go elsewhere. But, Russell Brand does make important points here, despite his inadvertant misframing of the entire issue. Jimmy Dore, Max Blumenthal and Ray McGovern do a far better job of presenting an accurate analysis, but I reluctantly will include Russell’s video here, because it does offer a few important points, despite its glaring and obvious flaws:
He does an even better job here:
I am no supporter of Trump, as anyone can see clearly from my last book, and from numerous essays that I have written. I am left-libertarian, a proud anarchist of the left, and above all, a republican democrat, and Jeffersonian town hall democracy populist/decentralist/federalist, with a deep skepticism about all central governments, and all political, technocratic and corporate elites. True leadership has almost always come from below, from the grassroots, not from on high. But there are some important facts revealed here in this brief news clip: namely, Germany’s choice to become yet more heavily dependent on Russia for its energy grid and winter heating. With Germany being by far the strongest power in the EU, this begs questions as to whether European elites truly believe the rhetoric they spout against Russia - clearly they do not; and moreover, whether they will back up a Washington-led drive to start a war with Russia - which would: (a) cut off their natural gas, effectively shutting down the European economy, which is already heading for a cliff; and (b) wipe Europe off the map. I doubt that even the ruling elite of Europe are that stupid.
Listen also to Ray McGovern - and Frank Zappa:
Ray McGovern - the veteran CIA analyst who specialized in analyzing Russia for three decades at the CIA, and was the head of the CIA’s department on Russia. Nobody in the West understands Russia better than Ray McGovern - and extremely few people are as honest, or as well informed. He was also the preparer and presenter of the US President’s daily intelligence briefs; and is the co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, also known as VIPS.
Ray McGovern’s latest update, as of this writing:
Ukraine/U.S./Russia: Current Media Frenzy
Here are two more, excellent commentaries on the Western war with Russia, the broader and deeper perspective, and what it all means. As I have said before, I hate war, and I oppose war. But for the sake of clarity, I would also add, that for anyone to have any moral ground to stand on, the bare minimum requirements, in my view, are honesty, anti-authoritarianism, and a stance that is both anti-war and anti-imperialist, along with a corresponding and genuine, active support from freedom, constitutional democracy, national sovereignty, international law, freedom of speech and human rights. Since the Western world has now torn up and spit upon all of these values, and is actively destroying the best of its own traditions, therefore, its screeches of moral indignation amount to nothing but utter hollowness, staggering levels of indoctrination and self-deceit, and sheer hypocrisy. It is because these values have been eclipsed across the Western world that the West is now in decline and in a state of rapidly accelerating collapse, while simultaneously threatening humanity with World War III and nuclear annihilation. I would add, further, that the economic war now being waged by the West against Russia, will hasten the collapse of the West. It is not only supreme hypocrisy, and extremely destructive to the Majority World of the Global South: it is also suicide. - JTR, April 2, 2022