Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders now more than ever have reason to feel encircled with Sweden and Finland moving to join NATO this week. Moscow’s persistent fear of Western military encroachment on Russian borders now stands as a stark reality in the wake of the war in Ukraine, a seismic development in European security all the more remarkable when taking a long look back at NATO expansion. Analysts and policymakers intensely debated the future of NATO in the early 1990s, when the collapse of the Soviet Union left Russia with a hobbled military that was in disarray. Countries close to Russia cried for protection from a future threat they were sure would emerge once Moscow reordered itself.
Disinformation has become a central tool in the United States and Russia’s expanding information war. US officials have openly admitted to “using information as a weapon even when the confidence and accuracy of the information wasn’t high,” with corporate media eager to assist Washington in its strategy to “pre-empt and disrupt the Kremlin’s tactics, complicate its military campaign” (NBC, 4/6/22). In defense of the US narrative, corporate media have increasingly taken to branding realities inconvenient to US information goals as “disinformation” spread by Russia or its proxies. The New York Times (1/25/22) reported that Russian disinformation doesn’t only take the form of patently false assertions, but also those which are “true but tangential to current events”—a convenient definition, in that it allows accurate facts to be dismissed as “disinformation.”
Hundreds gathered at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk yesterday to reject the presence of US nuclear weapons in Britain after a report detailed Washington’s plans to deploy warheads across Europe. Protesters arrived from Bradford, Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester and Merseyside with banners opposing Nato, raising them at the airbase’s perimeter fences. Veterans from previous struggles including Greenham Common stood alongside those attending an anti-nuclear demonstration for the first time. Malcolm Wallace of transport union TSSA made the journey from his Essex home to stress the importance of stopping the US from placing nuclear weapons on British soil.
Under cover of media focus on the NATO proxy war in Ukraine and the Zionist assassination of Al Jazeera senior correspondent Shireen AbuAkleh, Washington is making moves to annex Syrian territory. On May 11th during the meeting of the “global coalition against Islamic State” in Marrakech, Morocco the U.S acting assistant Secretary of State, , made an extraordinary move that has largely gone under the radar of even independent media. Everyone is distracted by events in Ukraine and the Palestinian Occupied Territories. Nuland who famously exclaimed “Fuck the EU” during recorded conversations that exposed the US State Department involvement in the 2014 coup in Ukraine and the subsequent massacre in Odessa by the Washington’s Nazi Contras is now turning her attention to Syria’s north-eastern territory.
An important aspect of debate on conflicts relates to identifying offensive and defensive forces as this has important implications for ethical aspects and the moral strength commanded by contending sides. In the Ukraine conflict there are many complexities, but perhaps such identification can become becomes easier if we follow Prof. Richard Falk in seeing the Ukraine war in terms of not one but three wars—Russia vs. Ukraine, USA vs. Russia and Western Ukraine vs. Eastern Ukraine. If Russia vs. Ukraine war is seen to be starting from February 24 2022, then clearly Russia is in the offensive position in this war. However in the larger and for world peace the riskier war-- the USA versus Russia conflict—the USA is clearly in the offensive for the much longer period of nearly three decades.
Here’s what the West is intellectually unable – in the midst of its boundlessly self-righteous, militarist mood to see: NATO’s expansion policy created – and is responsible for – the conflict. Russia created – and is responsible for – the war. There exists no violence which is not rooted in underlying conflicts. Conflict and peace literate people, therefore, talk about both. And if they want peace, they do not increase the symptoms – the war – they address the real cause, the conflict and ask the conflicting parties to tell what they fear and what they want and then move, step-by-step towards a sustainable solution. But neither the mainstream media nor politicians have the civil courage to address the conflict. It’s only about the war and only about Russia/Putin who must be punished, no matter the price to be paid by future generations. If we survive.
This key decision, upon which the world’s future now depends, will be between a continuing erosion of the significance of international law (which laws come from the U.N. and its agencies) and a proportionate increase in what the U.S. Government calls “the rules-based international order,” in which America’s Government increasingly controls (and even sets) those “rules” that will replace international laws; versus a future in which what erodes will instead be the U.S. Government’s international power to control the world in its own (billionaires’) favor, and, so a future that correspondingly benefits the global public (the very people who suffer from the aristocracies’ — especially America’s aristocracy’s — increasing control over the entire world).
With the conflict in Ukraine entering its third month, the likelihood of a successfully negotiated peace — an immediate necessity — is becoming ever more remote. This proxy war by the United States is designed to use the Ukrainian people to mortally disable Russia. Those who profit from war benefit, while those most vulnerable suffer: Ukrainian civilians, but more broadly working people internationally and especially in the Global South. It was expected that the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 would put an end to the first Cold War and the threat of world nuclear annihilation. Instead, the world’s remaining superpower continued its imperialist quest of global “full spectrum dominance” to prevent the emergence of “any potential future global competitor.
Now more than ever, we must raise the reality of the nature of the Ukrainian government, to alert our class to the danger of U.S.-led NATO expansion, the greatest danger to humanity today. The massacre at the Odessa House of Trade Unions on May 2, 2014, was a war crime by proxy, with Nazi and other fascist gangsters following the script written for them by U.S. imperialism before 2014. But instead of being tried in the International Criminal Court – because they were doing the bidding of U.S. and European imperialists – they received the de facto immunity for war crimes enjoyed by all U.S. forces committing murder and genocide spread across the globe.
Ukraine started the war on Wednesday, February 16 2022, when its forces near the Donbas republics began preparatory artillery strikes for an all out ground attack on the Donbas republics. The February 15 report of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine recorded some 41 explosions in the ceasefire areas. This increased to 76 explosions on Feb 16, 316 on Feb 17, 654 on Feb 18, 1413 on Feb 19, a total of 2026 of Feb 20 and 21 and 1484 on Feb 22. The OSCE mission reports showed that the great majority of impact explosions of the artillery were on the separatist side of the ceasefire line. On February 19 the Ukrainian President Zelensky announced at the Munich Security Conference that the Ukraine would ditch the Budapest memorandum and all related agreements.
The world wants to see an end to the conflict in Ukraine. The NATO countries, however, want to prolong the conflict by increasing arms shipments to Ukraine and by declaring that they want to “weaken Russia.” The United States had already allocated $13.6 billion to arm Ukraine. Biden has just requested $33 billion more. By comparison, it would require $45 billion per year to end world hunger by 2030. Even if negotiations take place and the war ends, an actual peaceful solution will not likely be possible. Nothing leads us to believe that geopolitical tensions will decrease, since behind the conflict around Ukraine is an attempt by the West to halt the development of China, to break its links with Russia, and to end China’s strategic partnerships with the Global South.
Today, I have on Asa Winstanley to talk about a series that he’s been publishing at his Substack about Operation Gladio, that is the NATO ‘stay behind’ networks in Europe, and that is how in the first Cold War, NATO supported a bunch of former Nazis and fascists to wage a war against the Soviet Union but really it was also a war internally against socialism. And today, we’re going to talk about what Operation Gladio is. This is not that well known even though there’s so many documents that have been released proving definitively that after World War II, NATO, the CIA and European intelligence agencies created a series of secret armies that were not only preparing for a potential hot war with the Soviet Union, but also kind of internally acted as secret police and they were implicated in terrorist attacks that killed hundreds of people across western Europe and were also implicated in killing, spying on and torturing and kidnapping Leftists.
Verona, Italy - "NATO send the Ukrainian people to the massacre. Vasal governments also obey, "the supporters of the protest chanted. "NATO send the Ukrainian people to the massacre. Vasal governments also obey," the supporters of the protest chanted. At the level of reasons for going out into the street in such a protest gesture, the organizers explained: “I haven't taken a clear position on it for weeks the war in Ukraine. First I researched, then I listened to direct sources. And we realized that the official narrative, as for Covid, is totally insecure." In this context, the organizers of the march argued that “this war is organized, desired and maintained by Western forces, led by NATO.
The recent increased frequency of coups in West Africa or what some have called ‘coup contagion ’ are mere symptoms of deeper problems that are rooted in a combination of factors. Together they have dialectically combined to produce a general climate of increased instability, insecurity, violence and suffering of the masses of people just trying to make a living. Several of the coups have been regarded as ‘popular’ by some because they represent (at least so far) a welcomed change from incompetent corrupt governments. Some populations in Mali and Burkina Faso are desperate for a government and force that can mitigate terrorist criminal violence perpetrated by non-state actors which at the same time can be trusted to provide for their needs, even if those coup leaders may not necessarily be altruistic, but to some extent self-interested.
China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, told a UN Security Council meeting on the war in Ukraine Thursday that NATO’s eastward expansion since the end of the Cold War has “sowed the seeds of conflict.” Zhang’s comments came as Beijing commemorates the anniversary of the US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999, during the NATO air campaign in Yugoslavia. “NATO’s repeated eastward expansion after the Cold War has not only failed to make Europe any safer, but also sowed the seeds of conflict,” Zhang said. “Contrary to its claim to be an organization defensive in nature, NATO has wantonly launched wars against sovereign countries, causing colossal casualties and humanitarian disasters.”