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Related Categories: U.S. | Anti-War
The New NATO Strategic Concept: 6 Articles
by `Anti-Spiegel
Collective pressure in a broad societal dimension is necessary for a cease-fire - in the perspective of a viable European security architecture...At the core of a sustainable compromise between Russia, Ukraine and the United States could be a universally guaranteed and UN-sponsored guarantee of Ukraine's full sovereignty and military neutrality
New NATO Strategic Concept
The end of the world (as we knew it).
NATO continues on a confrontational course with Russia and China, fueling the division of the world into two blocs. NATO rejects a diplomatic solution to the conflicts.

[This article published on June 30, 2022 is translated from the German on the Internet, Das Ende der Welt (wie wir sie kannten) – Anti-Spiegel.]

That NATO's new strategic concept completely rules out diplomacy and fully embraces confrontation with Russia and China is no surprise. But for the future, this now openly and officially purely confrontational approach certainly does not bode well.
NATO declares Russia the enemy

For some reason, countries like Germany still cling to the NATO-Russia Founding Act, even though NATO long ago buried it. In the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, NATO and Russia agreed to stop seeing each other as enemies and to work together in partnership.

However, NATO, especially the U.S. as NATO's leading power, broke this agreement very early on, with the U.S. unilaterally terminating one disarmament treaty after another with Russia. This began as early as 2002 with the termination of the ABM Treaty. A compilation of former disarmament treaties can be found here.

The U.S. then began aggression against Russia by building its so-called missile defense in Europe. The name "missile defense" is misleading, because the system is designed to fire not only defensive missiles, but also nuclear-capable cruise missiles, details of which can be found here. After the system has been operational in Romania for some time, the U.S. also completed the Polish base of the system in March.

The West finally said goodbye to the NATO-Russia Founding Act when it stationed troops in Eastern Europe starting in 2014, which was prohibited under the NATO-Russia Founding Act. The treaty had come about in part to convince Russia that NATO expansion was not a threat to Russia. With the deployment of troops in Eastern Europe in violation of the treaty, the purpose of the treaty was de facto nullified.

Despite the treaty in force, NATO went further and also expanded Ukraine into a major NATO base. This was not only another breach of the NATO-Russia Founding Act, but another blatant provocation. To understand this, one only has to wonder how the U.S. would react if Russia and China developed Mexico into a major military base for their armies.

Although Russia has continued to back the treaty and dialogue, the West has consistently continued to destroy it by repeatedly revoking the accreditation of Russian diplomats accredited to NATO under pretexts. Only, how will people talk to each other and solve problems if there are no diplomats left to talk to each other? In October 2021, NATO cut the number of accredited Russian diplomats from 20 to 10, making further talks impossible, because after that there were not even enough accredited Russian diplomats in Brussels to have at least one expert on every issue on the ground. Only then did Russia react and end diplomatic relations with NATO.

NATO has de facto sabotaged the NATO-Russia Founding Act from the very beginning, considering that just five years after its entry into force, the U.S. started to cancel one disarmament treaty after another and then brought more and more troops to Russia's borders, and in parallel kept reducing the number of Russian diplomats at NATO. NATO has created more and more problems while preventing talks to solve them.

Now NATO has finally dropped the mask and announced, first, that it will increase its anti-Russia rapid reaction force from 40,000 to 300,000 troops as early as 2023. Already two weeks before the summit, a NATO spokeswoman openly said that NATO no longer felt bound by the ban on deployment (which NATO has been violating since 2014 anyway) and would increase its troops in Eastern Europe.

At the NATO summit, Russia was now openly declared an enemy of NATO and it was announced that NATO will no longer engage in dialogue with Russia. At best, NATO still wants to keep open emergency military channels to prevent military misunderstandings. Since the NATO Strategic Concept is designed for five to ten years, this means the definitive end of talks. NATO is fully committed to confrontation with Russia, something that did not even exist during the Cold War.

A world without spheres of interest?

The responsible politicians in the West always accuse Russia and China of "thinking in terms of spheres of interest" - that is old thinking from the 20th century and an impertinence, they say, because it deprives other countries of the freedom to choose their policies. This is a mendacious position when it comes from the mouth of US-led NATO, because the US sees the whole world as its sphere of interest.

Thus, the new NATO Strategic Concept defines the Black Sea as NATO's sphere of interest, which is another provocation towards Russia. Moreover, NATO openly talks about "forward defense" and "the forward deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe." "Forward defense" is neologism meaning "attack," while "forward deployment of United States nuclear weapons in Europe" can only mean that the U.S. wants to bring more nuclear weapons to Europe.

In the context of the U.S. "missile defense" built in Poland and Romania, this probably means that U.S. nuclear weapons will now be stationed there as well. This is extremely dangerous, because if a missile is launched from there, Russia cannot know whether it is a defensive missile or a nuclear-tipped cruise missile. Because of the short flight time of cruise missiles from Poland and Romania to Russia in such a case, Moscow has only seconds to decide whether to react with a nuclear counterattack or not. The danger of a "nuclear war by mistake" has greatly increased at the latest with the adoption of the new NATO Strategic Concept.

Bloc formation

NATO also openly says that it wants to include "non-EU countries in the European Union's defense effort." NATO thus openly talks about expanding its spheres of interest, which it accuses Russia and China of doing, while its representatives claim before the press that they do not have a sphere of interest policy at all. With such public statements they lie to the public, while in practice they do the opposite of what they proclaim.

This means that NATO is openly doing what it accuses Russia and China of doing: it is again dividing the world into blocs - as in the Cold War - by giving neutral countries the choice of joining NATO's sanctions policy or being hit by Western sanctions themselves. Such a policy will certainly not contribute to easing the global situation.
Arms control is dead

NATO writes that it believes "the international architecture of arms control is currently being eroded, with negative implications for strategic stability." NATO is absolutely right about that, except that it was the U.S. that unilaterally terminated all disarmament treaties with Russia, thus "undermining the international architecture of arms control." NATO accuses Russia of what it itself has done.

That NATO also speaks of the "forward deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe" does nothing to increase "the strategic stability" of the "international arms control architecture."

NATO has thus openly declared a new arms race.

China

NATO's audacity is also and especially evident in its behavior toward China. On the one hand, the West calls on China to support the West's fight against Russia and to join Western sanctions; on the other hand, NATO openly threatens and insults China.

That NATO is not concerned with democracy and human rights, but with power and money, NATO also says quite openly. According to them, China is trying to "undermine the existing world order by controlling global logistics and economy." It's not about human rights, it's about economics.

How does that fit with the legend that NATO is a purely defensive alliance that exists only to repel a military attack on one of its member countries? NATO has long since abandoned this concept, and has now become an offensive instrument for asserting Western economic interests. This is fine, but people should be told openly instead of continuing to be told the fairy tale of the purely defensive alliance.

Therefore, it can be expected that NATO countries will announce sanctions against China in the short or medium term under any pretext, which will be similarly harsh as the current sanctions against Russia. NATO's goal, as it itself implies, is to deprive China of control over "the global logistics and economy" that China supposedly holds.

When you think about that, the new U.S. policy of continuing to provoke China on the Taiwan issue by supplying massive amounts of arms to Taiwan makes perfect sense. It is the same concept as with Ukraine, when NATO pumped Ukraine full of more and more weapons and eventually even its own soldiers for years, until Russia felt so threatened by it that it felt compelled to respond militarily to ward off the danger. Talks about this were famously rejected by the U.S.-led West in February, which is why Russia saw no choice but to respond as it did just days later.

Quite obviously, the U.S. is trying to repeat this game on Taiwan. And if China's red lines are crossed and China then reacts, the West will have an excuse to impose tough sanctions on China.

In addition, there is also "forward defense" here, as NATO has long since extended its sphere of interest to the Indo-Pacific region, with the Europeans also sending warships to the Chinese coast. We recall that NATO considers itself a "North Atlantic" alliance. A glance at the world map is enough to understand that the Indo-Pacific is not really part of the North Atlantic.

NATO's openly anti-Chinese stance is also reflected in the fact that NATO talks about seeking "enhanced cooperation with partners in the Indian and Pacific Oceans" in relation to China. How should China respond when NATO is openly seeking allies against China on China's own doorstep?

Or put another way, how would the U.S. respond if Russia and China openly sought "enhanced cooperation with partners" in the Latin American region against the U.S.?

Conclusion

NATO's new strategic concept cannot be overstated in importance, for it has quite openly laid to rest the previous world order and the international law in force today. U.S.-led NATO has openly gone on a confrontational course, openly declaring Russia the enemy and officially ruling out talks with Russia. NATO is also openly announcing an economic break with China.

This is the end of the world as we have known it. The global free trade previously touted by the West will be buried, and the economic consequences will be devastating. Also the free travel and vacations in distant countries, will probably find an end, as we already see at the example of Russia. NATO has closed its airspace to Russian civilian aircraft, it is restricting the issuance of visas to Russians, and so on. As we now expect further escalation, this policy is likely to spread to other countries as well.

Together with the inevitable economic collapse, the population of the West will be noticeably impoverished. Life as we knew it before Corona, when we were all free and could travel and had some prosperity, is definitely over and for a long time, which Western politicians are also openly saying. One wonders unawares if the politicians were elected by their constituents to bring about the impoverishment of the voters?

And the blame for the inevitable impoverishment lies neither with Russia nor with China, but with the decision of the United States, together with its vassals, to openly go on a confrontational course and simply cut the existing political and economic ties with a large part of the world.

It may be doubted that many of today's neutral states will follow the policy of the West, because unlike the population of the West, to whom all these connections are concealed by their media, the decision-makers of other states know what is going on.

And what can the states of the West offer these countries? Dollars and euros, which they print en masse and thus make increasingly worthless.

Russia and China, on the other hand, have food, cheap energy and high-tech to offer. The West also has high-tech to offer, but when it comes to food and energy, the West comes up empty-handed.

Therefore, perhaps the most intriguing question will be which side the Arab states will choose when presented with a choice. So far, they have ignored the West's increasingly loud demands that they increase their oil production and thus help the West out of its self-inflicted misery in the area of energy. Should they actually turn away from the West, the West would have a very serious problem.
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Is Russia insolvent?
The West to Russia: I'll steal your money and say you're broke!
I get a lot of mails today asking what's up with the reports about Russia's alleged insolvency. Therefore I want to explain it here.

[This article published on June 27, 2022 is translated from the German on the Internet, https://www.anti-spiegel.ru/2022/der-westen-zu-russland-ich-klaue-dir-dein-geld-und-sage-du-bist-pleite/.]

Russia intervened in Ukraine, the West froze many billions of dollars and euros worth of Russian assets. This includes, according to reports, up to $300 billion in foreign exchange reserves held by the Russian Central Bank. In addition, the West's sanctions have cut Russia off from "international financial markets" (i.e., Western financial markets). In addition, there are sanctions against Russian banks and the disconnection of many Russian banks from the international payment system SWIFT, which makes payments between Russia and foreign countries partly impossible.

I'll steal your money and say you're broke!

This means that the West has literally stolen about $300 billion from Russia and is also preventing Russia from making payments to foreign creditors. That Russia is now said to be insolvent is because the West is preventing Russia from paying $100 million in interest due. Der Spiegel writes about this:

"On Sunday, a deadline expired for the payment of a hundred million dollars in interest on two foreign currency bonds - 29 million for a sovereign bond denominated in euros and maturing in 2036, and $71 million for a dollar-denominated paper maturing in 2026. Russia was actually supposed to make the payments on May 27, but it did not. A grace period of 30 days then set in, which has now ended."

In simple terms and converted into sums that each of us can understand, here is what happened: The West stole 300 euros (that is, the 300 billion) from Russia and now says, "Russia is broke because it is unable to pay ten cents!" The 100 million dollars and euros that Russia has to pay in interest behave in relation to the 300 billion dollars of stolen money like ten cents in relation to 300 euros.

From this you can already see that Russia is in no way insolvent, but that the West first stole money and then talks about insolvency. Of course, every expert and international investor knows this, which is why the talk about Russia's alleged insolvency is only a show for the stupid public, which does not know or understand these connections and to which one wants to make clear at any price that Russia is on the verge of collapse.

Russia paid anyway

But this is not the end of the story, because Russia - in contrast to the West - is very careful to fulfill its contracts. After all, Russia could have told the investors who are now waiting for their money, "Turn to the EU and the US, they have our money. Get it from them!"

However, Russia did not do that, but made the due payments anyway. We also learn this even in Der Spiegel, which rants about Russia's alleged inability to pay. Der Spiegel writes about Russia's response to Western statements about Russia's alleged inability to pay:

"One does not agree" with corresponding reports, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday, according to the Interfax agency. The payment due had still been made in May. But the fact that the funds had been blocked by service provider Euroclear because of Western sanctions against Russia was "not our problem," Peskov said."

Der Spiegel may make it sound as if these are all empty Russian claims, but they are not. Der Spiegel might well check with Euroclear to see if the Russian statement is true. Since Euroclear would confirm that, Der Spiegel does not even make such an inquiry, because then it would have to confirm that Russia is telling the truth and that it is the West that is preventing Russian interest payments in order to accuse Russia of defaulting.

Russia is swimming in money

Russia's state budget - in contrast to Western state budgets - makes surpluses in the billions. We also learn this - at least superficially - in Der Spiegel. There we learn that the West wants to use the alleged default it has created itself to harm Russia in the long term and to drive up the cost of loans that Russia could take out in the future. The problem is that Russia does not need any loans at all and does not want to take any. Der Spiegel writes:

"As far as short-term new borrowing by Russia is concerned, a formal default would be largely symbolic, since Moscow cannot currently borrow internationally anyway and does not need to, thanks to its rich oil and gas revenues. But the stigma would likely increase its borrowing costs in the future-and for many years to come."

Again, we see that the whole thing is just a show by the West to discredit Russia. But since all the experts know what kind of game the West is playing, not even Der Spiegel is sure if Russia's borrowing costs will actually increase.

The West could thus shoot itself in the knee on the international financial markets for two reasons: First, many states will now think very carefully about whether they continue to park their money in Western banks if it can be stolen there so easily. And secondly, the Western rating agencies could have a problem, because if they downgrade Russia's creditworthiness because of this default artificially created by the West, it would finally be obvious to everyone that their ratings do not reflect reality, but that they are political instruments designed to support the geopolitical goals of the United States.

The rating agencies would make themselves ridiculous and untrustworthy in front of the entire professional community. Credibility, however, is more important than anything else in the financial industry.

Conclusion

The whole thing is a farce that the West is putting on for the stupid people who neither understand nor know the interrelationships of the financial industry, and who are also unaware of the background to Russia's alleged insolvency. By the way, this has been a topic in Russian media since the end of May, so nothing surprising has happened. But the Western media are now pouncing on the issue, and the uninitiated reader is completely taken by surprise.

Therein lies the purpose of the exercise: while Ukraine is going down militarily in the Donbass, which even the West can no longer deny, and while people in the West are suffering from skyrocketing inflation, Western politics needs some success story in the fight against Russia. And if there are no objective successes, then a small fake is artificially produced to reassure the population in the West and make them feel confident.
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Does the USA want to break up Russia as a state?
Russian propaganda?
It is reported in Russia that the U.S. - and thus the West - is planning nothing less than to break up Russia as a state. Is this true, or is it Russian propaganda?

[This article published on June 28, 2022 is translated from the German on the Internet, Wollen die USA Russland als Staat zerschlagen? – Anti-Spiegel.]

In Russia, it is said that the US-led West - is planning nothing less than to destroy Russia as a state and break the country into many smaller states, which are then easy for the US to dominate. The reason, according to this, is Russia's gigantic mineral resources, which the U.S. wants to get under its control.

The U.S. government, however, proclaims that it does not even have regime change in Russia as a goal. That this is implausible can be seen from the fact that the U.S. and the EU are simultaneously announcing that there can be no return to normal cooperation with the current Putin-led government.

On the other hand, one hears nothing in the Western media about the US-led West wanting to break up Russia as a state. Therefore, the question arises whether such claims are the dreaded Russian propaganda. We will now investigate the question.

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), established by the U.S. Congress in 1976, writes about itself:

"The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent commission of the U.S. federal government."

This formulation is also adopted by Wikipedia, for example, except that it raises the question of how a commission established and funded by the U.S. government can be "independent." This question arises even more when one looks at its composition: The commission is composed of nine members each from the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as one delegate each from the U.S. State Department, the Pentagon and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

So there can be no question of independence; on the contrary. The CSCE was founded by the U.S. government, is funded by it, and is run by it. The CSCE is nothing more than an agency of the U.S. government. Therefore, what is done and discussed there should be taken very seriously.

"Russia's Barbaric Wars."

On June 23, the CSCE held an online conference entitled "Decolonizing Russia." I translate here the full announcement of the event:

"Russia's barbaric war against Ukraine - and before that against Syria, Libya, Georgia and Chechnya - has exposed to the whole world the vicious imperial character of the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation's aggression is also the catalyst for a long overdue discussion of Russian empire at home, given Moscow's domination of many indigenous non-Russian nations and the brutal extent to which the Kremlin has suppressed their national self-expression and self-determination.
Serious and controversial discussions are currently underway about reckoning with Russia's fundamental imperialism and the need to "decolonize" Russia so that it can become a viable player in European security and stability. As a successor state to the Soviet Union, which cloaked its colonial agenda in anti-imperial and anti-capitalist nomenclature, Russia has yet to face adequate scrutiny for its consistent and often brutal imperial tendencies."

Already from these formulations we see that there is no question of independence of the CSCE, rather it uses the harshest propaganda formulations of the U.S. government, which not even its representatives use publicly. Before we get to the event about the "decolonization" of Russia, let us briefly give credit to the truth.

American propaganda lies

The very first sentence of the announcement is full of lies and is only meant to create the intended mood. Russia has waged "barbaric wars against Syria, Libya, Georgia and Chechnya"?

The war in Syria was not started by Russia, the war in Syria was opened by the USA. If you should be new to the anti-mirror and have never heard of it, I strongly recommend you to read this article about the CIA operation Timber Sycamore, which was the trigger of the Syrian war. Russia intervened in the war years later and at the invitation of the Syrian government, not waging war against Syria, but fighting and largely defeating IS in Syria.

That Russia is said to have waged a "barbaric war against Libya" is also a lie, as even Tagesschau viewers know. The war in Libya - and thus the chaos in the country today - was triggered by NATO countries, even if the Western media try hard to disguise this connection. But that Russia is supposed to have waged war against Libya is something I have not read even in the most propagandistic German media. But the "independent" CSCE claims it, and for one simple reason: to distract attention from the U.S. role in the destruction of Libya.

That Russia is said to have waged a "barbaric war against Georgia" is, however, also reported by the Western media. But this is a lie, because the Council of Europe's final report on the 2008 Caucasian war clearly concludes that it was Georgia that started the war in violation of international law and bombed civilians. The Russian army was not on the scene until over 24 hours later and then repelled the Georgian army, with the Council of Europe finding that Russia did not break international law in doing so. The quality Western media - also supposedly independent - have been hiding this Council of Europe report from their readers for over a decade, and instead continue to spread the lie of Russian aggression. You can find all the details here.

And also about the Chechen war of 20 years ago things are a bit different than the Western media spread. It was by no means the Chechens who fought for their independence, but it was infiltrated Arab Salafists who wanted to establish there - quote from the rebels at that time - "an Islamic state, a caliphate". The "Islamic State" - which only became known in the West from 2012 - had been an issue in Russia since 1994.

Russia won the war because the leader of the Chechens proposed to Putin a general amnesty for all Chechens who fought on the side of the Islamists. Putin went for it and after that practically all Chechens defected from the Arab Islamists to the Russian side. The infiltrated Arab Salafists had lost all support in the country and were defeated.

So much for the "barbaric wars" allegedly waged by Russia.

"repression of brutal proportions"

Let's return to the CSCE's online conference. The CSCE claims that Russia is a colonial state that oppresses its colonized peoples on a "brutal scale." Is that so?

Russia's tsars did indeed colonize the territories east of the Urals. However, there is an important difference in the manner of colonization, for while the West brutally exploited the territories it colonized and not infrequently either slaughtered the native peoples or sold them into slavery on other continents, in Russia not one ethnic group, not one people group disappeared. And no people was resettled under brutal coercion in "reservations", in which the native peoples of the USA, for example, still eke out an existence in poverty today.

In the areas colonized by Russia at that time lived nomadic peoples, who began to trade with the Russians, which is why the colonization proceeded peacefully. Indian wars, as in the Americas, or uprisings of native Africans against their European colonial masters, or events such as the opium wars of the British in China did not occur either during or after the colonization of the now Russian territories east of the Urals.

The Soviet Union then began to bring "civilization" to the nomads, and most of the nomadic peoples became settled and alphabetized. But there are also ethnic groups that even in modern Russia still hold on to their traditions and continue to roam the wilderness with huge herds of reindeer.

Not a single language of the indigenous people has been lost either. The fact that the indigenous people were able to retain their languages, cultures and traditions even after they became sedentary was ensured by the Soviet Union, which wanted to spread its party newspapers and communist propaganda throughout the country. In order to reach as many Soviet citizens as possible, it did so in the well over one hundred languages spoken in the Soviet Union. Thus, all languages have been preserved to this day.

And contrary to the CSCE's claims, no ethnic group is oppressed in Russia today; on the contrary. The Russian government sees Russia as a "multi-ethnic" country that draws its strength precisely from this diversity of peoples. For this reason, there are over one hundred official regional languages in Russia, which are also taught in schools in the respective regions, so that this diversity of cultures and traditions in Russia is preserved.

The largest Russian state media holding broadcasts its radio and television programs in Russia in over 50 languages to continue to preserve this diversity, details of which can be found here.

"Decolonizing Russia."

Anyone who knows Russia knows all this. But the CSCE, of course, cannot tell the truth, after all, it wants to maintain the legend of Russia as an oppressive state in order to have a pretext for anti-Russian policies.

Therefore, the demanded "decolonization" of Russia is justified by the "brutal" oppression from which many ethnic groups in Russia allegedly suffer. Those who know Russia know that it is often the small ethnic groups that are the greatest patriots of the Russian state, because they know that belonging to the large Russian state is the guarantor of prosperity and stability.

This is especially true, by the way, for the Chechen people, who - according to Western propaganda - have been so maltreated. In retrospect, the Chechens see Putin and Russia as the saviors of Chechnya from Islamist oppression. It is precisely for this reason that Russian military operations in Syria and Ukraine have included a particularly large number of Chechens as volunteers.

In the 1990s, there were tendencies to break up Russia as a state; Chechnya is only the best-known example. However, such tendencies were also evident in other parts of the country; for example, at the end of the 1990s, the proclamation of the "Ural Republic" was being considered, and even the country's own money had already been printed.

It was Putin who put an end to these aspirations, which greatly annoyed the U.S., because there they were already looking forward to concluding agreements on the extraction of mineral resources with small, destitute and newly founded states that would be sitting on rich mineral resources. So the idea of the USA to break up Russia is not new.

Who to decolonize....

To return to the opening question of this article: Is it Russian propaganda when it is said in Russia that the U.S. wants to break up Russia as a state? As we can see, it is not Russian propaganda, but on the contrary an old idea of the USA. And as the current conference of the CSCE, founded, financed and controlled by the U.S. government, shows, the U.S. has never abandoned this idea.

One question remains: how would the U.S. react if Russia and China demanded the "decolonization" of the U.S. and the return of the land to Native Americans? Unlike the U.S., Russia has not taken land from its Native Americans, has not brutally confined them to barren reservations, or even summarily slaughtered entire ethnic groups.

Perhaps the U.S. should start with itself if it wants to right historical wrongs and decolonize anyone? Or would the U.S. possibly object if other states wanted to smash it as a state quite openly and by any means necessary...?

In my new book "Inside Corona - The Pandemic, the Network and the Backers - The Real Goals Behind Covid-19" I use extensive leaked data analysis to show how the pandemic was prepared by various organizations in several phases, with the active preparation phase beginning around 2016/2017. In addition, the data also show the overarching goals of these organizers and how the pandemic paved the way for them to achieve these goals.

The book is currently published and can be ordered exclusively here directly from J.K. Fischer Verlag.
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Military expert Reisner on Ukraine war: "Now there is a hangover"

After initial solidarity, fault lines emerge over support for Ukraine.

by Siobhán Geets
[This interview published on 6/24/2022 is translated from the German on the Internet, https://www.profil.at/ausland/militaerexperte-reisner-zum-ukraine-krieg-jetzt-herrscht-katerstimmung/402051637.]

profil: How far does Moscow want to go in its attack on Ukraine, what areas could Putin be satisfied with?

Markus Reisner: From the current perspective, the Russians' goal is the immediate "liberation" of the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. They have taken Luhansk almost completely, Donetsk is still missing a not inconsiderable part in the west including the cities of Slowjansk, Kramatorsk and Bachmut. If they succeed in capturing them, Moscow can claim to have "liberated" the two oblasts - plus almost all of Kherson and part of Zaporizhzhya. This could be accomplished by the end of the summer. It is conceivable that the Russians will then say: Graciously, we will give Ukraine the option to negotiate.

profil: Conversely, when will the time come for Kiev to seek negotiations in order to secure its remaining territories?

Reisner: The time has come when Ukraine is no longer in a position to defend itself. If the Russians succeed in making a breakthrough in the Donbass, then the Ukrainians should do their best to reach negotiations and reconsolidate. Ukraine might emphasize having held Kiev and needing to regenerate. The problem, from Ukraine's point of view, is that 35 million people need to be brought through the cold winter - and Ukraine's dependence on Russian gas is also high. In the spring, it will come down to whether the West continues to support Kiev. Ukraine could plan an offensive and try to retake Kherson or push the Russians back from their bridgehead across the Dnieper River. For their part, the Russians could try to take Odessa - which would make Ukraine a landlocked country.

profil: That sounds very pessimistic. In general, the West's view of Ukraine has changed in recent weeks. Optimism has given way to a certain war-weariness...

Reisner: The economic sanctions have not hit Russia as hard as it would have liked. Now there is a sense of hangover. If you believe the intelligence reports from the British, for example, the Russians should collapse tomorrow. But they don't. After initial failure in the attack on four fronts, the Russian army has had the initiative in this war since early May. At the same time, the narrative has changed, especially in the English-language media. Now the dominant question is: What does victory mean? How far are we willing to go to support Ukraine? This question is being raised, especially in the United States. Biden is now openly criticizing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj - and the U.S. has also massively reduced arms deliveries. They are now sending another four multiple rocket launcher systems to Ukraine, but to really make a difference, it would take at least a hundred of these systems.

profil: The debate about the war in Ukraine is also dividing opinion in Europe. The rifts run along the question of whether peace should be sought as quickly as possible at any price or whether it would be better to do everything possible to beat Putin. Which camp is right?

Reisner: Neither Europe nor NATO is united; the fault lines became visible months ago. The Baltics, the Netherlands, Poland and Great Britain want Russia to become a supplier of raw materials without relevance in geopolitics. The others, including Germany, France and Italy, say we need a deal with Moscow because our sanctions packages have not had the desired effect. At the same time, Putin is playing his own economic card by reducing gas supplies. Our sanctions may well succeed in the long run. The question is who will go down first: the Russians or the West.

The EU, with NATO in the background, has reached the limits of its peaceful expansion and must ask itself whether it wants to fight for further expansion.

profil: The consequences of a Russian victory are likely to be enormous. What is the right side now?

Reisner: That is the crucial question. We represent a democratic set of values that Russia is repeatedly violating. If we want to remain true to ourselves, we would have to start fighting back the aggressor in defense of these values - even with military force. The alternative is to shy away from the risk and accept that Russia has taken us by surprise - which would have consequences for the future. There are only these two options: Either we enter this war with guns in hand or we accept that Russia will annex Ukraine piece by piece and possibly later attack the Baltic states. We have reached a point that historians will describe later: A great empire, namely the democratic EU with NATO in the background, has reached the limits of its peaceful expansion and must ask itself whether it wants to fight for further expansion.
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profil: Is there no middle way? Surely the West could also supply heavy weapons that would enable Ukraine to push Russia back and force it into negotiations?

Reisner: It is too late for that, it should have been done much earlier. If you want to make a significant difference now, you have to send weapons on a massive scale. The Russians have already operationally encircled the Donbass: They can open and close the entrance by using their weapons. They don't close it because Ukraine is constantly sending in soldiers and weapons that the Russians can destroy. They have the Ukrainians where they wanted them: in a cauldron.

profil: Is there still hope for Ukraine?

Reisner: As I said, the first thing is to answer the two basic questions I mentioned for us. If we decide to continue supporting Ukraine, then there is only a chance if the West delivers massive amounts of weapons over the coming weeks and months. Ukraine may also have to be persuaded to collect the weapons delivered and then deploy them in unison. There is little point in using each gun in small quantities. A Ukrainian brigadier general recently said with surprising candor that the American M777 howitzers could be used only a few times before return fire caused damage to the guns, which would then have to be repaired in Poland-an incredible expense. So the weapons are not massively deployable. In the Donbass, Russia has a massive superiority with the use of artillery, which the Ukrainians wear out day after day. If it does not succeed in breaking this superiority, then the Ukrainians cannot sustain it. It either takes the use of an air force - and Ukraine doesn't have that anymore. Or else Ukraine will get more artillery with a longer range. That's why Kiev is demanding multiple rocket launchers with a range that exceeds the Russians' guns.
Robert Treichler

Opinion
Robert Treichler: A bad suspicion

profil: Only ten missiles from the USA, Great Britain and Germany have been promised. Is that enough at all - even if they are delivered quickly?

Reisner: What does fast mean? These are complex systems. Soldiers have now been trained, but there is also the question of ammunition and how these guns will be distributed. The number of multiple rocket launchers that have been promised is too small to really make a difference. There may be a video or two of the spectacular destruction of a Russian command post. But it is not enough for a collapse of the Russian fronts.

profil: Why isn't much more being delivered? The U.S. alone has hundreds of such systems.

Reisner: Don't forget the state of the European, but also the American armed forces! People have reduced the stocks of many of these types of weapons, even in the USA. What Ukraine is asking for - three hundred multiple rocket launcher systems - does not exist in all of Europe. Germany has a double-digit number of them, many of these systems do not even exist in Europe anymore. In Austria, at least, we still have the old twin anti-aircraft guns for close-range air defense. There is no such thing in Germany anymore, they got rid of their Gepard anti-aircraft gun tank and are now trying to bring some back. The ammunition had to be bought in South Africa. In the UK, some of the anti-tank weapons for Ukraine came from active army stocks, there are no large stockpiles to draw on. And in the Netherlands, there is resistance to the delivery of armored artillery pieces because they would then have none themselves. The Central and Eastern European countries hope that by supplying Ukraine with their old Soviet-era systems, they will receive more modern equipment in return from NATO countries. The only problem is that all this has to be produced first - and that costs months, if not years, for complex systems. The question is: Do we still have that time?

profil: What about signs of exhaustion among the Russians?

Reisner: I haven't noticed any yet. On average, the Russians bring in at least two fully loaded military trains every week. But I don't see Ukrainian military trains bringing heaps of materiel into the Donbass. If there were, we would have seen videos of them. There are also hardly any, as at the beginning of the war, pictures of Russian soldiers killed or captured. On the other hand, there are many videos circulating of Ukrainians wounded, killed, captured, and demoralized. In videos, many of them say they could not continue fighting without heavy weapons we.

profile-morning post
Ukraine war: Are we slowly getting "tired of war"?

profil: Recently there have been more reports of deserters. How does all this affect the morale of the soldiers?

Reisner: Very badly, hence the videos that Kiev claims were faked. Most recently, there was consideration in the Ukrainian parliament of introducing a directive that would allow deserting soldiers to be tried by military tribunal and, in the worst case, face execution. Although this was not adopted, it is an indication that there is indeed an increase in deserters.

profil: A certain rhetoric of escalation is also spreading in the West. In Great Britain and Germany, the highest military authorities have recently said that we must prepare for World War III - and to use nuclear weapons if necessary. How should that be read?

Reisner: Such reports are information bombs in an information war. When Moscow says it is putting its nuclear forces on alert, it does so knowing that it will strike fear into Europe's population. The "escalate-to-de-escalate" strategy involves first threatening and escalating, then de-escalating. The statement from Germany was radical - and an attempt to show Russia in the information war that we are not prepared to accept its behavior. The better things go for the Russians in Ukraine, the lower the risk of Russian nuclear weapons use. This issue is not back on the table until the conflict becomes supra-regional or Russia is directly threatened.
Siobhán Geets

Comment
Siobhán Geets: Full power backwards
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Against historical amnesia in Ukraine war

[This article published on June 21, 2022 is translated from the German on the Internet, https://diefreiheitsliebe.de/politik/wider-historische-amnesie-im-ukrainekrieg/.]

Given the contradictions in the democratic left against the backdrop of multiple crises (pandemic, environmental, and climate) and conflicts (social division, poverty, and armed conflict), broader strategic choices become necessary. They require a theoretical reflection that does not stop at entrenched positions - especially in view of the current challenge of the Russian intervention in Ukraine, whose criminal character, contrary to international law, is being denounced everywhere.

Admittedly, this creates a gray area in which the task at hand is confused with its simultaneously denunciatory abandonment - for example, in the disregard for the ongoing struggle for democratic and social rights as well as for peace and increasingly environmental policy objectives. Today, democracy and peace, moreover in their context, represent central prerequisites for proving oneself in coping with social problems. In this respect, the criticism of these "old left traditions" should itself be subjected to a critical review. This is not a matter of an assumed justification of outdated beliefs and political patterns in the context of Putin's "special operation" or "war of aggression. The priority is to prevent social and environmental backsliding in an arms spiral of blind escalation to which the political establishment has largely succumbed.

Democracy as a product of revolutionary struggles

Criticism of an insufficient appreciation of democratic achievements is justified insofar as it is repeatedly found in small groupings from the left to the right. They do not seem entirely averse to the desired restoration of the Soviet empire, even in the form of a Great Russian chauvinism of power that is sometimes echoed in Putin's speeches. This masks temporary democratic aspirations that were unable to produce profound social effects under Gorbachev's slogans of glasnost and perestroika. After the collapse of "real socialism," these are psychologically explainable misconceptions, which are, however, partially shared by their critics on another level. Why? Because democratic and social achievements cannot be identified with capitalism itself, at least not with its mode of operation still received in "capital courses." This is demonstrated again and again with the sharpening poles of poverty and wealth as well as power and domination in authoritarian deformations and military interventions.

Rather, democratic achievements are usually the result of successful resistance by economically exploited and politically oppressed classes. Exemplarily, this is expressed in the threefold slogan of the great French Revolution of 1789: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," with the latter today more commonly referred to as fraternity or simply solidarity. Likewise in the English, U.S., Russian and German revolutions since the 17th century and the revolutionary struggles of proletarian masses and anti-colonial liberation movements for their social redemption and against their restrictions by the establishing bourgeoisie in developing industrial capitalism. Thus, already Marx and Engels celebrated the limitation of the more and more extended working day in the ten-hour bill of 1847 as a victory of the political economy of working classes. Since the 19th century, these classes, together with bourgeois intellectuals in the workers' movement organized by cooperatives, trade unions, and parties, have fought for legally secured freedom for their political and social existence as two sides of the same coin in other European countries as well.

Accordingly, the democratic welfare state of the Basic Law after World War II is a product of the defeat of National Socialist radical fascism. In the course of the breakup of the wartime coalition, it produced a class compromise in the west-zonal founding of the Federal Republic, which, with the guarantee of property as well as the possibility of its restriction by the legislature, acquired constitutional status. Social improvements and democratic participation must therefore be continually preserved and enforced, concretized and further developed, i.e. readjusted. Unfortunately, this social dialectic is neglected again and again in a historically emptied political economy, even by sociology that has been stripped of its core, and certainly not the ambivalent role of the "real socialist" countries and their collapse is taken into account. Wolfgang Streeck's summarizing concept of "democratic capitalism" also leads to such a loss of history, insofar as it falls prey to an ahistorical description of the state in a sustained growth phase with stagnant class conflicts.

At the same time, this marks paralyzed forces of resistance in political institutions and civil society organizations against acute socio-economic, political-authoritarian and even military-warlike escalations - the real effective spirit of the times in this country.
Geopolitical conflicts of interest up to warlike violence

In longer periods of crisis, however, conflicting interests embedded in the nation-state can erupt in intensifying class struggles, which result in different systemic changes depending on the social balance of power. Thus, in the course of the socio-economic disruption between the two world wars and especially the world economic crisis of the 1930s, fascist dictatorships emerged in some European countries, first already in Italy (1922-1943), then in Germany (1933-1945) - in contrast to a democratically tamed capitalism in the Roosevelt-era USA (1933-1945), while the transformation society of the Soviet Union, increasingly deformed in Stalinist terms since the mid-1920s, struggled for survival. Even the striking juxtaposition and bifurcation makes it clear that different possibilities for development arise in a context of uneven development, today, for example, between capitalist centers and their peripheries.

Just as social polarizations and regional differentiations in capitalist societies promote social divisive tendencies, so warlike confrontations break out again and again between competing nation-states and their regional alliances. If democratic constitutions and social benefits are more likely to be enforced in prosperous countries than in lagging or postcolonial ones, the "imperialist age" before World War I already shows that these differences do not prevent the mutual struggle for raw materials and sales markets. After World War II, the struggle for economic and political spheres of influence of "military-industrial complexes" (warning of U.S. President General Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell speech in 1961) is not water under the bridge but, in the wake of NATO's eastward expansion and Russian interventions, of threatening topicality. Demonstrations of power in the hierarchy between states and even in their respective alliance systems are still on the agenda - U.S. dominance in NATO as before in the Soviet Union's Warsaw Pact.

The latter's collapse and emerging new powers are once again producing conflicting geopolitical constellations. Just as at the turn of the 20th century the German Empire strove for a "place in the sun" in the concert of the great powers until the following world war, so today China and soon probably also India are potentially challenging the shrinking hegemony of the United States. This has been the subject of discussion there for years in think tanks, advisory councils and journals such as Foreign Affairs, while in Europe France's respective governments have so far launched futile attempts to increase the EU's independence. These are ongoing dynamics of imperial competition with latent states of tension, conflicts of interest and warlike confrontations at national and international levels, whether in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa or Asia, now also in Eastern Europe. Here, the Russian leadership around Vladimir Putin is struggling for its traditional hegemony over Ukraine and Belarus as well as other former Soviet republics, which it seeks to secure economically and militarily. Another problem since the collapse of the Soviet Union is that Russia's now historically charged imperial quest for power clashes with U.S. imperialism as the dominant world power with NATO expanding eastward.

Short-circuits of an ahistorical revisionism

To dispense with these historical insights and political discourses is the short-circuit, widely shared in the political color spectrum of the Federal Republic, of a general revisionism, now increasingly green as well as partially "neo-left." The latter is making itself felt in the swelling wave of media and political war rhetoric in the wake of the Russian attack on Ukraine. Thus, news coverage, charged daily by war atrocities, resists including the geopolitical aspects of a proxy war between the autocratically deforming "Putin regime" and U.S. hegemonic aspirations. However, it is the Ukrainian people who suffer the consequences of the "war of aggression" of a regionally trimmed Russian empire, while at the same time having to shoulder its "human cost" of containment or even defeat for the American superpower - implemented by a Ukrainian leadership hungry for more and heavier weapons. As justified as its will to resist may seem, it nevertheless fails to recognize the "heroic function" attributed to it by our leading media in the power game and, in view of U.S. backing, believes that it can, with the encouragement of younger German politicians, Europeanize the war to the point of victory, if not internationalize it indefinitely.

The interests drifting apart between the USA and Europe, respectively Germany, have been substantiated by experienced "old politicians" like Klaus von Dohnanyi, even Herbert Münkler, in this country and the US-American political scientist John J. Mearsheimer, recently also Henry Kissinger, and knowledgeable journalists (Andreas Zumach, Michael Lüders), but are faded out in an astonishing unison in the German "quality media". Contributing to this may be those transatlantic institutions that have overcome their Trump agony since the Biden administration. They orchestrate a cowering allegiance in the governing coalition. Their role as waiters, to borrow a macho phrase from the now ostracized Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to his Green coalition partner, has been clearly demonstrated by Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden to Olaf Scholz. This may have spurred the outbursts of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj and even more so of his inquisitorial ambassador Andrij Melnyk against the German president and chancellor. And this mixture of events is in turn reflected in a media-staged dismantling of the Social Democratic-led federal government, especially of the "hesitantly" acting chancellor. This already hints at a government constellation with the CDU/CSU once sought by the Green leadership, which the FAZ, for example, is certainly aiming for. A fatal consequence: overreactions by social democratic leadership groups, which already characterized the red-green government's disastrous participation in the bombing of Serbia in 1999 in violation of international law.

What's more, the decades of successful Ostpolitik up to reunification are under scrutiny, not to mention Gorbachev's long-forgotten dream of a European house from Lisbon to Vladivostok - a dream that Putin updated in 2001 before the German Bundestag. What happened to the "standing ovation"? The collective loss of memory has, of course, a tangible background: the denied co-responsibility in NATO's gradual power-strategic expansion eastward, a red line whose retraction has been repeatedly demanded by the Russian leadership. And in view of the peaceful reunification conceded by Russia, the objection not recognizably made or permitted by the German side to corresponding US-American efforts. Of course, none of this justifies either the invasion of Ukraine in violation of international law or Russia's brutal warfare, which is reported on in detail every day. As much as these are to be condemned, despite some right-wing extremist influences in Ukraine also Vladimir Putin's abstruse justification of a "denazification" as a propagandistic justification towards his own population, it should, should nevertheless be worked on solutions to end the war as soon as possible as a survival strategy especially for large parts of the Ukrainian population.

What should democratic forces do?

What is urgent for the broader democratic left to do in the face of the Russophobia, which has been rampant for some time now, and above all the systematically fomented Sinophobia, is to reassure itself of its historical and theoretically processed state of knowledge in the face of the developments of the last two decades and to use it for a critical assessment and containment of the fomented war frenzy. The latter comes to a head in the sometimes irresponsible trivialization of nuclear escalation, with which the Russian leadership for its part has poured oil on the fire. So far, this war rhetoric has met with only limited approval among the German population, even if there are signs of a turnaround in view of the media drumbeat. This includes, above all, stuffing the resisting Ukraine, against all reason, with ever heavier weapons according to the American model and pushing for a victory over Russia, even at the cost of a high blood toll on both sides. Instead, it is necessary to unleash collective pressure in a broad societal dimension for a cease-fire - this in the perspective of a viable European security architecture.

At the core of a sustainable compromise between Russia, Ukraine and the United States could be a universally guaranteed and UN-sponsored guarantee of Ukraine's full sovereignty and, at the same time, its military neutrality against any expansionist desires on either side. The further questions of the status of Crimea and the Donbass, including the costs of reconstruction, can be put together as a package with European mediation, taking historical experience into account. As difficult as this may be in detail, it is an unmistakable rejection of a "victory peace" which, according to explicit American ideas and those following them in the EU, here for example Commission President von der Leyen, is intended to bring about a lasting weakening of Russia. However, beyond the cynically priced-in civilian casualties, this entails incalculable dangers of a nuclear inferno, which are in the interests neither of Ukraine, nor of Germany and Europe, and ultimately not even of the United States.

Such risk-denying or even calculating political hazards must be opposed by democratic and left-wing forces in a broad public with all power and at all levels. Overarching peace activities are the order of the day in the face of political irresponsibility - in the broad solidarity with Ukraine, however, by no means the capping of all social and cultural relations with Russia - but above all the orientation towards the common overcoming of decisive questions of humanity: the advancing social and economic tendencies of division as well as climate and environmental destruction, in short: the upcoming social-ecological transformation.

Paul Oehlke,
Book and journal publications,
Main focus: social movements and labor policy issues,
Member of the Left Party since its founding and scientific advisor of the RLS (Rosa Luxemburg) NRW. Advisory board of the RLS NRW.
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