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Reminder to China and Russia: No New World Order Can Emerge Without Resolving the Palestinian Issue

Internationalist 360, Lama El Horr

June 5, 2024

Leaders in the march towards a new world order based on multipolarity and respect for international law, China and Russia have not failed to condemn Israeli-American crimes in Gaza.

However, these condemnations seem insufficient in a context where the peoples of the world are dismayed to witness unbridled Israeli-American sadism, aimed at obliterating the struggle of the Palestinian people – and, through them, of all peoples aspiring to liberate themselves from the American imperialist yoke.

In these conditions, the timid Chinese and Russian reactions do not seem to match the global repulsion aroused by the abominations that reach us from Gaza.

The stakes for Beijing and Moscow are high

Since the start of the Israeli invasion of Gaza on October 8, 2023, China and Russia have deferred to international law. With the exception of a few diplomatic initiatives aimed at fostering unity of purpose between the various Palestinian components or the countries of the region, Beijing and Moscow have limited their actions to the framework of the United Nations, thus demonstrating their attachment to international legality. Beijing and Moscow are thus indirectly supporting South Africa's prosecution of Israel – in other words, of the Western sponsors of Israel's crimes – before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which falls under the jurisdiction of the UN.

The fact that China and Russia have not officially associated themselves with South Africa's prosecution of Israel, however, allows us to draw several conclusions about the ulterior motives of these two great powers.

Logically, China and Russia have lost faith in international jurisdictions, which have never compromised the interests of the West, despite the latter's thousand and one transgressions of international and humanitarian law. Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya The examples are legion. By remaining aloof from, yet approving of, the legal proceedings brought against Israel, Beijing and Moscow are consecrating the cracks in the current world order, in which all decisions, including those emanating from the ICJ, depend on the UN Security Council, and thus on the American veto.

The two powers thus set themselves up as arbiters, not of the proceedings against Israel – a task that falls to the ICJ – but of the unipolar system that has prevailed since the Second World War, and particularly since the end of the Cold War. This retreat allows China and Russia not only to point out the dysfunctions of international jurisdictions, but also to insist on the need to build a fairer world order that puts an end to the impunity enjoyed by the Western minority to the detriment of the overwhelming global majority.

Beijing's and Moscow's decision not to officially join Pretoria's moves also reflects a concern to spare Washington's susceptibilities. By not cutting off commercial, economic and diplomatic exchanges with Israel, both Beijing and Moscow are taking care to avoid too abrupt a disintegration of the American empire, and thus prevent a head-on war with Washington. At a time when U.S. influence in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America is waning, and the Eurasian axis is consolidating, China and Russia want to avoid too abruptly wresting from Washington the entity that was, along with the U.S. dollar, its main tool of domination over the world: Israel.

The unspoken agenda of the collective West

For its part, the collective West is seeking to impose a different reading of events. Faced with the global panic caused by the unbearable suffering of the Palestinians, it has become customary to hear the Western media denounce the Israeli Prime Minister's refusal to abide by the rules of international law. As if the individual Netanyahu were more powerful than all the world's states combined, and the whole world were at the mercy of this man – a man portrayed as crazy and armed to the teeth.

These Western media machinations are a convenient way of clearing Israel's sponsors in the eyes of world public opinion, and of keeping the door open to future negotiations between Washington, Beijing and Moscow.

Firstly, these anti-Netanyahu statements, which abound in the Western media, reflect a distortion of facts and history. You only have to look at the UN archives to realize that Israel's trampling of international law is far from new. Thanks to Israel's Western protectors, dozens of UN resolutions condemning the state of Israel, which has been above the law since its creation, have gone unheeded. It's also worth remembering that the State of Israel and the UN – the body that created Israel in the first place – are almost the same age. This speaks volumes about the credibility of this organization, whose members have allowed the inextricable situation they created to degenerate into colonialism and replacement politics – at the very moment, it should be remembered, when decolonization movements were being born around the world.

Today, seventy-six years later, in view of U.S.-Israeli ambitions in the Middle East region, it's legitimate to wonder whether the Israeli invasion of Gaza was more than just a consequence of October 7.

On September 29, 2023, a week before Operation Flood of al-Aqsa, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan welcomed the fact that the Middle East region had never seen such a lull in violence for two decades. Three days earlier, however, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that "So far in 2023, Israeli forces have killed 181 Palestinians in the West Bank or Israel, exceeding the yearly death toll by Israeli forces in the West Bank since 2005." So were Jake Sullivan's Kafkaesque words a smokescreen, a bluff? Was the ethnic cleansing underway in Gaza totally improvised, or were the United States and its Israeli ally trying to conceal the horrors to come, in order to surprise their adversaries?

A month later, during his trip to Israel to support Netanyahu, the French president had suggested mobilizing the international coalition already in place against the Islamic State to fight Hamas as well. Although this suggestion was immediately dismissed by Macron's entourage, it was nonetheless expressed publicly. What was the objective? To threaten the members of the Axis of Resistance with a proliferation of terrorism in the Middle East if they didn't stay out of the way of Israeli-Western operations against Gaza? If this was the objective, then Macron's threats have not borne fruit, as evidenced by the involvement of Ansar Allah, Hezbollah and other regional factions of the Axis of Resistance in defending the Palestinians.

Have Beijing and Moscow taken the measure of the Palestinian drama?

By making constantly contradictory declarations, and setting unattainable war aims, the United States and Israel have so far revealed their intention to continue the ethnic cleansing in Gaza.

The contradictory statements made by the U.S. administration reveal, not only the White House's embarrassment in the face of world opinion, but above all Washington's strategic ambiguity vis-à-vis its geopolitical rivals. The United States claims to care about the lives of Palestinians, but continues to provide Israel with weapons and diplomatic and media protection. They refuse to authorize an Israeli incursion into Rafah, but allow carnage when the incursion takes place. They portray Netanyahu as an uncontrollable madman, but threaten any international court that deigns to indict him. Their war aim is to destroy Hamas, but they negotiate with Hamas. They propose a post-war plan with the Palestinians, but want to choose their own interlocutors.

At the same time, Israel and its American ally have set themselves unattainable war aims: without the release of the Israeli hostages, there will be no ceasefire in Gaza. Does this mean that if the Israeli hostages are not released, Israel will be able to exterminate the entire Palestinian population? Haven't there ever been hostage-takings in the world, and for much lesser reasons than national resistance to military occupation? Has France, for example, whose citizens have been kidnapped in Lebanon, Colombia and elsewhere, destroyed 80% of the countries concerned, displaced 90% of their populations, massacred their civilians by the tens of thousands, starved their inhabitants and destroyed their hospitals, schools and places of worship, in order to recover its hostages? Of course, French Algeria is excluded from this example.

There's also another antiphon, according to which the Israelis don't have a Palestinian interlocutor to make peace with. Let's stop for a moment at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo or Sde Teiman: if the captives in these torture centers had to choose a representative, would they elect the fellow inmate who would amplify their enslavement, or the one likely to break their dungeon? Clearly, the Israelis have never pondered the words of Mahmoud Darwich, who observed with irony that the occupier is surprised at not being loved by those who live under his yoke.

As for the prospect of finally applying international law and recognizing the Palestinian state, this was once again rejected by Israel, the U.S. and part of the EU, who prefer "direct negotiations between the parties". The Palestinians are therefore invited to negotiate the remaining 20% of their ancestral land directly with the occupier – who is meanwhile continuing to colonize the West Bank. Did Algeria negotiate the contours of its sovereignty with the French colonial power? Haiti did: but are its territory and its people freer as a result? To advocate a return to the "peace process" for the Palestinians under the aegis of the United States, sponsor of the ethnic cleansing of Gaza, is ultimately to advocate the maintenance of American hegemony, and to endorse the death of international law.

In the face of these iniquitous developments, Sino-Russian actions at the UN are akin to administrative tasks, and appear derisory. Sporadic declarations by Chinese and Russian representatives in favor of the creation of a Palestinian state, respect for UN resolutions and the right of Palestinians to armed struggle, have no bearing on the Palestinian drama.

Yet the multipolar world that China and Russia are shaping with their partners in the Global South will not stand if it is built on the shaky foundations of the past.

We must bear in mind that, whatever the new world order to come, Gaza and the Palestinian drama will be its nerve center. What's more, if China and Russia – and other emerging powers such as India – don't prove more inventive in resolving the Palestinian question, future eras are likely to reproach them for their passivity in the face of this appalling ethnic cleansing that is unfolding before our very eyes – and which is, let's not forget, a replica of the replacement policy that gave birth to the United States of America.

This Article was First Published on China Beyond the Wall.


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For Your Information / This is the way the West ends
« on: April 01, 2024, 09:58:58 AM »
This is the way the West ends

Ukraine’s humiliation and Gaza’s shame accelerating estrangement of West and the rest at a crucial turning point in global power relations
by Adriel Kasonta March 29, 2024   

 With the United States entangled in conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza and the threat of a war with China looming large, Professor Michael Brenner’s insights and views on the state of the US-led liberal order are arguably as timely and important as ever.

Brenner, a respected luminary on transatlantic relations and international security, is Professor Emeritus of International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
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He has also served at the Foreign Service Institute, the US Department of Defense and Westinghouse. In a wide-ranging and no-holds-barred interview with Asia Times’ contributor Adriel Kasonta, Brenner lays out how the US and collective West lost their moral authority and way.

Adriel Kasonta: Despite what we hear from the Western political class and the compliant stenographers from the mainstream media, the world doesn’t seem to look as they want us to believe. The hard reality on the ground, known to anyone who lives anywhere but Europe or the US, is that the collective West is experiencing an accelerated decline in political and economic domains, with significant moral ramifications. Could you please tell our readers what is the root cause of this state of affairs and what is the rationale behind continuing this collective suicide?

Michael Brenner: I suggest that we formulate the issue by asking what is the causal direction between the moral decline and the collective West’s political and economic decline? On Ukraine, it has been a fundamental geostrategic error that has had negative moral consequences: the cynical sacrifice of half a million Ukrainians used as cannon fodder and physical destruction of the country, in the cause of weakening and marginalizing Russia.

The stunning feature of the Palestine affair is the readiness of immoral government elites – indeed the near entirety of the political class – to give their implicit blessing to the atrocities and war crimes Israel has committed over the past five months, which is having profound repercussions on the West’s standing and influence globally.

At one moment, they speak proudly about the superiority of Western values while condemning the practices of other countries; at another, they lean over backwards to justify far greater humanitarian abuses, to provide the perpetrator with the arms to destroy to kill and to maim innocent civilians, and in the case of the United States, to extend diplomatic cover in the United Nations Security Council.

In the process, they are dissipating their standing in the eyes of the world outside the West, representing two-thirds of humanity. The latter’s historical dealings with the countries of the West, including the relatively recent past, left a residue of skepticism about American-led claims to being the world’s ethical standard setters. That sentiment has given way to outright disgust in the face of this blatant display of hypocrisy. Moreover, it exposes the harsh truth that racist attitudes never had been fully extinguished – after a period of dormancy, its recrudescence is manifest.

As far as the United States is concerned, the reference points for this judgment are not the mythic image of “the city on the Hill”; the last, best hope of mankind; the indispensable nation for achieving global peace and stability: the Providential people born in a state of Original Virtue destined to lead the world down the path of Enlightenment. None of those idealistic standards. No, it has debased itself when measured against the prosaic standards of human decency, of responsible statecraft, of a decent respect for the opinions of humankind.

Moreover, the ensuing estrangement between the West and the rest is occurring at a turning point in international power relationships. It is a time when the tectonic plates of the political world are shifting, when the old constellations of power and of influence are being successfully challenged, when America has responded to feelings of self-doubt as the ordained global guide and overseer by compulsive, futile displays of muscle flexing.

Anxiety and self-doubt masked by false bravado is the hallmark sentiment among America’s political elites. That is a poor starting point for a re-engagement with reality. Americans are too attached to their exalted self-image, too narcissistic – collectively and individually, too lacking in self-awareness, too leaderless to make that wrenching adaptation. Those appraisals apply to Western Europe as to the United States. Leaving a diminished, aggrieved but unrepentant trans-Atlantic community.

AK: In your recent essay “The West’s Reckoning?”, you mentioned that the situation in Ukraine humiliates the West and the tragedy in Gaza shames it. Can you expand on this a bit more?
Photo: Courtesy of Michale Brenner

MB: Defeat in Ukraine entails much more than the military collapse of the Ukrainian forces that is in the cards. For the United States has led its allies into what amounts to a campaign to permanently diminish Russia, to neutralize it as a political or economic presence in Europe, to eliminate a major obstacle to consolidating American global hegemony.

The West has thrown everything they have into that campaign: their stock of modern weapons, a corps of advisers, tens of billions of dollars, a draconian set of economic sanctions designed to bring the Russian economy to its knees and a relentless project aimed at isolating Russia and undermining Putin’s position.

It has failed ignominiously on every count. Russia is considerably stronger on every dimension than it was before the war; its economy is more robust than any Western economy; it has proven to be militarily superior; and it has won the sympathies of nearly the entire world outside the collective West.

The assumption that the West remains custodial of global affairs has proven a fantasy. Such comprehensive failure has meant a decline in the United States’ ability to shape world affairs on matters economic and security. The Sino-Russian partnership is now ensconced as a rival equal to the West in every respect.

That outcome derives from hubris, dogmatism and a flight from reality. Now, the West’s self-respect and image is being scarred by its role in the Palestine catastrophe. So, now it faces the double challenge of restoring its sense of prowess while at the same time regaining its moral bearings.

AK: Is it accurate to say that Ukraine and Gaza are connected in the sense that both indicate a failing liberal international order that is attempting to prevent itself from collapsing and causing turmoil as it descends into oblivion? If so, what are some potential outcomes for the future?

MB: Let’s bear in mind that the liberal international order serves Western interests above all. Its workings were biased in our favor. That’s one. The regularity and stability that it produced, for which the IMF, World Bank, etc were the institutional cynosure, ensured for decades that it would go unchallenged. That is two.

The rise of new power centers – China, above all, and the wider centripetal forces redistributing assets more generally – has left the United States and its European dependents with two choices. Accommodate themselves to this new situation by: a) hammering out terms of engagement that accorded a larger place for the newcomers; b) resetting the rules of the game so as to remove the current bias; c) adjusting the structure and procedures of international institutions in a manner reflecting the end of Western dominance; and d) rediscovering genuine diplomacy.

Nowhere in the West has that option been seriously considered. So, after a period of ambivalence and muddling, all signed onto an American project to prevent the emergence of challengers, to undermine them and to double down on assertive policies to yield nothing, to compromise nothing. We remain locked on that course despite serial failures, humiliations and the impetus given the BRICS project.

AK: According to some Western politicians and policymakers, other global powers are often treated as passive actors without agency or power to shape the world according to their national interests. This Manichean worldview is marked by a distinction between the “rules-based order” and international law or “democracy vs authoritarianism.” Is there an alternative to this thinking and what are the chances of change occurring before it’s too late?

MB: See above response. There are no signs that Western leaders are prepared intellectually, emotionally or politically to make the necessary adjustments. Necessity is not always the mother of invention. Instead, we see stubborn dogmatism, avoidance behavior and a deeper plunge into a world of fantasies.

The American reaction to manifestations of declining prowess is denial along with compulsion to reassure itself that it still has the “right stuff” through increasingly audacious acts. We are seeing where that has led in Ukraine. Far more dangerous is the reckless dispatch of troops to Taiwan.

As for Europe, it is evident that its political elites have been denatured by 75 years of near-total dependence on America. A complete absence of independent thinking and willpower is the outcome. In more concrete ways, Europe’s vassalage to the United States obliges it to follow Washington down whatever policy road the seigneur takes – however reckless, dangerous, unethical and counterproductive.

In predictable fashion, they have walked (or run) like lemmings over whatever cliff the United States chooses next under its own suicidal impulses. So it’s been in Iraq, in Syria, in Afghanistan, in regard to Iran, in Ukraine, on Taiwan and on all matters involving Israel. The string of painful failures and heavy costs produces no change in loyalty or mindset.
A printed photograph of a US Army soldier in a chair among the trailer trucks, and electronics which sold for the price of iron at a bazaar outside airfield in the Bagram district north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 19, 2021. Photo: Asia Times Files / AFP via Anadolu Agency / Haroon Sabawoon

It cannot – for the Europeans have absorbed totally the habit of deference, the Americans’ worldview, their skewed interpretation of outcomes and their shamefully fictitious narratives. The Europeans no more can throw this addiction than a life-long alcoholic can go cold turkey.   

AK: There has been a lot of discussion about the negative impact of neoconservatism on US foreign policy and the world. In essence, neoconservatism seeks the role of the US to dominate not only the Western Hemisphere (as per the Monroe Doctrine) but the entire world, as per the Wolfowitz Doctrine.

Although some US think tanks are now advocating for an end to the “never-ending wars” in the Middle East and for Europe to continue the US-provoked proxy war with Russia, it seems that the neoconservative ideology has taken on a new guise of “progressivism” and “realism”, and now aims to focus solely on China, even to the point of replicating the Ukraine scenario in Taiwan. How accurate is this assessment?

MB: The entire foreign policy community in the United States now shares the basic tenets of neoconservatives. Actually, the scripture is Paul Wolfowitz’s notorious memorandum of March 1991 wherein he laid out a comprehensive, detailed strategy for systematizing American global dominance. Everything that Washington is doing, and thinking, now is derivative of that plan.

Its core principles: the United States should use all the means at its disposal to establish American global dominance; to that end, it must be ready to act preventively to stymie the emergence of any power that could challenge our hegemony; and to maintain full spectrum dominance in every region of the globe. Ideals and values are relegated to an auxiliary role as a veneer on the application of power and as a stick with which to beat others. Classic diplomacy is disparaged as inappropriate to this scheme of things.

For Biden himself, a confident, assertive, hard-edged approach to dealing with others derives naturally from belief in Americanism as a Unified Field Theory that explains, interprets and justifies whatever the US thinks and does. Were Biden reelected, this outlook will remain unchanged. And were he to be replaced by Kamala Harris mid-term, which is likely, inertia will keep everything on the fixed course.

AK: Do you think the United States is destined to remain a global empire, constantly in conflict with anyone it perceives as a potential threat to its world dominance? Or is it possible for the country to become a republic that collaborates constructively with other global players to achieve greater benefits for its citizens and the broader international community? As the saying goes, “Those who live by the sword, die by the sword,” right?

MB: I’m a pessimist. For there are no signs that either our rulers, elites or public are susceptible to coming to terms with the state of affairs depicted above. The open question is whether this pretense will simply persist as a gradual weakening of global influence and domestic well-being unfolds, or, rather, will end in disaster.

Europeans and allies elsewhere should not accept to be sideline observers nor, even worse, become co-inhabitants of this world of fantasy as they have in Ukraine, on Palestine and in demonizing China.

Michael Brenner is the author of numerous books and over 80 articles and published papers. His most recent works include “Democracy Promotion and Islam”; “Fear and Dread In The Middle East”; “Toward A More Independent Europe”; “Narcissistic Public Personalities & Our Times.”

His writings include books with Cambridge University Press (“Nuclear Power and Non Proliferation”), the Center For International Affairs at Harvard University (“The Politics of International Monetary Reform”), and the Brookings Institution (“Reconcilable Differences, US-French Relations In The New Era”). He is reachable at mbren@pitt.edu

3
Palestinians Discuss National Government and Address Ceasefire Negotiations
From February 29 to March 1, Palestinian political forces held meetings in Moscow aimed at reaching a "comprehensive national unity."

Following the meeting, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouk told a Russian news agency that "there are no differences between it and other Palestinian factions that could not be bridged to form a unity government." Any differences, he said, "are surmountable and we hope that we can overcome all the difficulties. The main problem is the external interference of the United States and Israel in Palestinian affairs and all the unattainable goals in our negotiations are precisely because of this interference."

Palestinian political forces agreed to continue negotiations, adding that the next gathering would also likely take place in Moscow and focus on "the mechanism for establishing the government and its responsibilities." "We will have a continuation of these negotiations in order to establish a national government and already deal with the rest of the problems that need attention and discussion. So the creation of a government will be discussed at the next meeting," Marzouk said.

Present at the meeting were the Hamas movement, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) Fatah movement, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), PFLP General Command, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and the Al-Saiqa organization, as well as several others.

The Palestinian resistance organizations released a joint statement on March 1. "The Palestinian factions gathered in the city of Moscow express their thanks and appreciation to the Russian leadership for hosting their meetings and for its position in support of the Palestinian cause," the statement says.

"They affirm, in light of the criminal Zionist aggression against our people, the positive and constructive spirit that prevailed at the meeting, and agreed that their meetings will continue in rounds," the joint statement went on to say, adding that upcoming meetings are to be held soon.

The statement called for thwarting Israeli attempts to displace Palestinians, whether in the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank or the holy city of Jerusalem. It also called for an emphasis on the illegality of settlement expansion. The factions called for efforts to lift the siege on Gaza and end the occupation of the West Bank.

They also stood by the goal of forcing Israel "to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and preventing attempts to establish its occupation or control over any part of the Gaza Strip under the pretext of buffer zones," as called for in the Israeli prime minister's recently unveiled plan for a post-war Gaza.

The statement completely rejects "any attempts to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including Jerusalem, as part of efforts to rob the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination."


4
The most successful military raid of this century: the October 7 Hamas assault on Israel

By Scott Ritter Pearls and Irritations (an Australian platform for the exchange of ideas from a progressive, liberal perspective, with an emphasis on peace and justice)

Nov 20, 2023

Gaza envelope after coordinated surprise offensive on Israel.

There is a truism that I often cite when discussing the various analytical approaches to assessing the wide variety of geopolitical problems facing the world today—you can't solve a problem unless you first properly define it. The gist of the argument is quite simple—any solution which has nothing to do with the problem involved is, literally, no solution at all.

Israel has characterised the attack carried out by Hamas on the various Israeli military bases and militarised settlements, or Kibbutz, which in their totality comprised an important part of the Gaza barrier system, as a massive act of terrorism, likening it to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks against the United States. Israel supports this characterisation by citing the number of persons killed (some 1,200, a downward revision issued by Israel after realizing that 200 of the dead were Palestinian fighters) and detailing a wide variety of atrocities it claims were perpetrated by Hamas, including mass rape, the beheading of children, and the wonton murder of unarmed Israeli civilians.

The problem with the Israeli claims is that they are demonstrably false or misleading. Nearly a third of the Israeli casualties consisted of military, security, and police officers. Moreover, it turns out that the number one killer of Israelis on October 7 wasn't Hamas or other Palestinian factions, but the Israeli military itself. Recently released video shows Israeli Apache helicopters indiscriminately firing on Israeli civilians trying to flee the Supernova Sukkot Gathering held in the open desert near Kibbutz Re'im, the pilots unable to distinguish between the civilians and the Hamas fighters. Many of the vehicles that the Israeli government has shown as an example of Hamas perfidy were destroyed by the Israeli Apache helicopters.

Likewise, the Israeli government has widely publicised what it is calling the "Re'im massacre," citing a death toll of some 112 civilians it claims were murdered by Hamas. However, eyewitness accounts from both surviving Israeli civilians and military personnel involved in the fighting show that the vast majority of those killed died from fire from Israeli soldiers and tanks directed at buildings where the civilians were either hiding or being held hostage by Hamas fighters. It took two days for the Israeli military to recapture Re'im. It only did so after tanks fired into the civilian residences, collapsing them onto their occupants, and often setting them ablaze, causing the bodies of those inside to be consumed by fire. The Israeli government has publicised how it has had to make use of the services of forensic archeologists to identify human remains at the Kibbutz, implying that Hamas had burned the occupants' home. But the fact is it was Israeli tanks that did the destruction and killing.

This scene was repeated in other Kibbutzes along the Gaza barrier system.

The Israeli government treats the Kibbutz as being purely civilian, and yet has published how armed security teams of several Kibbutzim —drawn from the so-called "civilian" residents—were able to mobilise in time to successfully repel the Hamas attackers. The reality is that every Kibbutz had to be treated by Hamas as an armed encampment, and as such assaulted as if it were a military objective, for the simple fact that they were—all of them.

Moreover, until Israel relocated several battalions of IDF forces to the West Bank, each Kibbutz had been reinforced by a squad of around 20 IDF soldiers who were billeted in the Kibbutz. Given that Hamas had planned this attack for well over a year, Hamas had to assume that these 20 IDF soldiers were still located in each Kibbutz, and act accordingly.

The Israeli government has had to walk back its claims that Hamas beheaded 40 children and has provided no credible evidence that Hamas was involved in the rape or sexual assault of a single Israeli female. Eyewitness accounts describe the Hamas fighters as disciplined, determined, and deadly in the attack, and yet courteous and gentle when dealing with civilian captives.

The question arises as to why the Israeli government would go out of its way to manufacture a narrative designed to support the false and misleading characterisation of the October 7 attack by Hamas on the Gaza barrier system as an act of terrorism.

The answer is as disturbing as it is clear—because what happened on October 7 was not a terrorist attack, but a military raid. The difference between the two terms is night and day—by labeling the events of October 7 as acts of terrorism, Israel transfers blame for the huge losses away from its military, security, and intelligence services, and onto Hamas. If Israel were, however, to acknowledge that what Hamas did was in fact a raid—a military operation—then the competency of the Israeli military, security, and intelligence services would be called into question, as would the political leadership responsible for overseeing and directing their operations.

And if you're Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this is the last thing you want.

Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political life. He was already facing a crisis of his own making, having pushed for legislation which re-wrote Israeli Basic Law in a way which placed the Israeli judiciary under the control of the Knesset, effectively terminating its status as a separate but equal branch of government (so much for Israel being the "greatest democracy in the Middle East"). This act brought Israel on the verge of a civil war, with hundreds of thousands of protesters taking to the streets to denounce Netanyahu. What makes Netanyahu's actions even more despicable is that it represented little more than a naked power play designed to prevent the Israeli court system from trying him on several credible allegations of corruption which, if Netanyahu were found guilty (a distinct probability), would have put him in jail for many years.

Netanyahu had billed himself as Israel's top defender, a specialist on the threats facing Israel abroad, and how to best respond to them. He has openly advocated a military confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program. Netanyahu is also a proponent of political Zionism in its most extreme application and has promoted the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which use tactics that forcibly displace Palestinians from their homes and villages, as part of an overall plan to create a "greater Israel" that mirrors that of Biblical times.

Part of Netanyahu's strategy to accomplish this dream of a "greater Israel" is to weaken the Palestinian people and their government to the point of irrelevancy, thereby preventing them from achieving their dream of obtaining an independent Palestinian state. To facilitate this strategy, Netanyahu has, over the course of the past two decades, promoted the growth of Hamas as a political organisation. The purpose of this support is simple—by promoting Hamas, Netanyahu weakens the Palestinian Authority, the governing body of Palestinian people, headed by its President, Mahmoud Abbas.

Netanyahu's plan was working—in September 2020 Netanyahu signed the Abraham Accords, a series of bilateral agreements brokered by the administration of then-President Donald Trump that sought the normalisation of relations between Israel and several Gulf Arab States, all at the expense of an independent Palestinian nation. Prior to the Hamas attack on October 7, Israel was on the cusp of normalising relations with Saudi Arabia, an act which would have proven to be the final nail in the coffin of Palestinian statehood.

One of the main reasons for Israel's progress in this regard was its success in creating a political divide between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.

On October 7, however, this success was washed away by the victory that Hamas achieved over the IDF. The precise means by which this victory took place is the subject for another time. But the basic elements of this victory are well-established.

Hamas effectively neutralised Israel's vaunted intelligence services, blinding them to the possibility of an attack of this scope and scale.

When the attack occurred, Hamas was able to strike with precision the very surveillance and communication nodes the IDF relied upon to mobilise a response in case of an attack.

Hamas defeated those Israeli soldiers stationed along the barrier wall in a stand-up fight. Two battalions of the Golani Brigade were routed, as were elements of other vaunted IDF units.

Hamas struck the Headquarters of the Gaza Division, the local intelligence hub, and other major command and control facilities with brutal precision, turning what should have been a five-minute response time into many hours—more than enough time for Hamas to carry out one of its primary objectives—the taking of hostages. This they did with extreme proficiency, returning to Gaza with more than 230 Israeli soldiers and civilians.

The Marine Corps defines a raid as "an operation, usually small scale, involving a swift penetration of hostile territory to secure information, confuse the enemy, or to destroy his installations. It ends with a planned withdrawal upon completion of the assigned mission."

This is precisely what Hamas did on October 7.

What were the objectives of this raid? According to Hamas, the purpose behind the October 7 raid were threefold.

First, to reassert the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland not defined by the Abraham Accords.

Second, to release the more than 10,000 Palestinians held prisoner by Israel, most without having been charged with a crime, and none with any notion of due process.

Third, to return the sanctity of the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Islam's third holiest place, which had been desecrated repeatedly by Israeli security forces over the past years.

To accomplish these goals, the October 7 raid needed to create the necessary conditions for victory. This was achieved by humiliating Israel sufficiently to provoke a predictable outcome—the implementation of the Dahiya Doctrine of collective punishment against the civilian population of Gaza, combined with a ground attack on Gaza that would lure the IDF into what was in effect a Hamas ambush.

The taking of hostages was meant to provide Hamas with negotiating leverage for the release of the 10,000 prisoners held by Israel.

The Israeli bombardment and invasion of Gaza has resulted in international revulsion against Israel as the world recoils from the humanitarian disaster that is unfolding before their very eyes. The streets of major cities around the world are full of angry protestors demonstrating on behalf of the Palestinian people—and Palestinian statehood. The United States is now stating that a two-state solution—something the Abrahams Accord was designed to prevent—is now the only way forward for peace in the Middle East.

The United States would never have said this on October 6.

The fact that the United States has taken this stance is because of the Hamas raid of October 7.

Israel is in negotiations with the United States and others about a possible prisoner exchange involving the Hamas hostages and certain categories of political prisoners—women and children—held by Israel (yes, you read that right—children. And now you know the wisdom of Hamas' decision to take Israeli children hostage.)

Such a possibility would never have occurred if it weren't for the Hamas raid of October 7.

And in Saudi Arabia, the largest gathering of Islamic nations in modern history has convened to discuss the Gaza crisis. One of the top agenda items is the issue of the Al Aqsa Mosque and ending Israeli desecration.

This was a discussion that would never have taken place if it were not for the Hamas raid of October 7.

It goes without saying that the Hamas raid of October 7 unleashed a firestorm of brutal recrimination in the form of bombs, shells, and bullets on the civilian population of Gaza. These are people who, for nearly eight decades, have been denied a homeland of their own by the Israelis, who violently evicted the Palestinians from the land currently called Israel in one of the greatest acts of ethnic cleansing in modern history—the Nakba, or catastrophe, of 1948.

These are people who have suffered untold deprivation at the hand of their Israeli occupiers while awaiting the moment they will see their dream of a Palestinian homeland come true. They know that a Palestinian homeland cannot be realised so long as Israel is governed by those who embrace the notion of a Greater (Eretz) Israel, and that the only way to remove such people is by defeating them politically, and the only way to trigger their political defeat is to defeat them militarily.

Hamas is accomplishing this.

But there is a price to pay—a heavy price. The French lost 20,000 civilians killed to achieve the liberation of Normandy in the Summer of 1944.

So far, the Palestinian civilians of Gaza have lost 12,000 civilians killed in the effort led by Hamas to militarily defeat their Israeli occupiers.

That price will go higher in the days and weeks to come.

But it is a price that must be paid if there is to be any chance of a Palestinian homeland.

The sacrifice of the Palestinian people has compelled an Arab and Islamic world which, with few exceptions, has been mute over the depravations carried out by Israel against the Palestinian people. Who did nothing as the cause of Palestinian statehood was mooted by the Abraham Accords.

Only because of the suffering of the Palestinian people is anyone paying attention to the cause of Palestinian statehood today.

Or the welfare of the Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Or the sanctity of the Al Aqsa Mosque.

These were all stated objectives of Hamas in launching their attack of October 7.

And all objectives are being accomplished as we speak.

Only because of the actions of Hamas and the sacrifices of the Palestinian people.

Which makes the October 7 assault on Israel by Hamas the most successful military raid of this century.

Back to Index of November 21     |     Back to Latest Inde

5
What Really Happened on October 7th? Evidence Countradicts Zionist Propaganda

Internationalist 360 Robert Inlakesh

October 24, 2023

Evidence is now emerging that up to half the Israelis killed were combatants; that Israeli forces were responsible for some of their own civilian deaths; and that Tel Aviv disseminated false ‘Hamas atrocities' stories to justify its devastating air assault on Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Two weeks after the Hamas breakout assault on Israel on 7 October, a clearer picture of what happened – who died, and who killed – is now beginning to emerge.

Instead of the wholescale massacre of civilians claimed by Israel, incomplete figures published by the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz show that almost half the Israelis killed that day were in fact combatants – soldiers or police.

In the interim, two weeks of blanket western media reporting that Hamas allegedly killed around 1,400 Israeli civilians during its 7 October military attack has served to inflame emotions and create the climate for Israel's unconstrained destruction of the Gaza Strip and its civilian population.

Accounts of the Israeli death toll have been filtered and shaped to suggest that a wholesale civilian massacre occurred that day, with babies, children, and women the main targets of a terror attack.

Now, detailed statistics on the casualties released by the Israeli daily Haaretz paint a starkly different picture. So far, the news outlet has released information on 683 Israelis killed during the Hamas-led offensive, including their names and locations of their deaths on 7 October.

Of these, 331 casualties – or 48.4 percent – have been confirmed to be soldiers and police officers, many of them female. Another 13 are described as rescue service members, and the remaining 339 are ostensibly considered to be civilians.

While this list is not comprehensive and only accounts for roughly half of Israel's stated death toll, almost half of those killed in the melee are clearly identified as Israeli combatants.

There are also so far no recorded deaths of children under the age of three, which throws into question the Israeli narrative that babies were targeted by Palestinian resistance fighters. Of the 683 total casualties reported thus far, seven were between the ages of 4 and 7, and nine between the ages of 10 and 17. The remaining 667 casualties appear to be adults. Age distribution of the Israelis killed on the October 7 operation. The graph has been removed from Haaretz website.

The numbers and proportion of Palestinian civilians and children among those killed by Israeli bombardment over the past two weeks – over 5,791 killed, including 2,360 children and 1,292 women, and more than 18,000 injured – are far higher than any of these Israeli figures from the events of 7 October.

Revisiting the scene

The daring Hamas-led military operation, codenamed Al-Aqsa Flood, unfolded with a dramatic dawn raid at approximately 6:30 AM (Palestine time) on 7 October. This was accompanied by a cacophony of sirens breaking the silence of occupied Jerusalem, signaling the start of what became an extraordinary event in the occupation state's 75-year history.

As per the spokesperson of Hamas' armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, around 1,500 Palestinian fighters crossed the formidable Gaza-Israel separation barrier.

However, this breakout was not limited to Hamas forces alone; numerous armed fighters belonging to other factions such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) later breached the armistice line, along with some Palestinians unaffiliated with any organized militia.

As it became apparent this was no ordinary resistance operation, hundreds of videos quickly flooded social media, most of which have been viewed by The Cradle, depicting dead Israeli troops and settlers, fierce gunfire battles between various parties, and Israelis being taken captive into Gaza.

These videos were either taken on the phones of Israelis, or were released by Palestinian fighters filming their own operation. It wasn't until hours later that more gruesome and downright dubious allegations began to surface.

Unsubstantiated allegations of ‘Hamas atrocities'

Aviva Klompas, a former speechwriter for the Israeli mission to the UN, was the first Israeli of note to spread the claim that there were reports of "Israeli girls being raped and their bodies dragged through the street."

She posted this on X at 9:18 PM (Palestine time), on 7 October, although an op-ed Klompa published with Newsweek at 12:28 AM (Palestine time), on 8 October, made no mention of any sexual violence.

Klompas is also the co-founder of Boundless Israel, a "think-action tank" that works "to revitalize Israel education and take bold collective action to combat Jew-hatred." An "unapologetically Zionist" charitable group that works to promote Israeli narratives on social media.

The one case touted as proof of rape was that of a young German-Israeli woman named Shani Louk, who was filmed face down in the back of a pickup truck and was widely assumed dead.

It was unclear whether the fighters filmed with Louk in the Gaza-bound vehicle were members of Hamas, as they do not sport the uniforms or insignia of the Al-Qassam troops identifiable in other Hamas videos – some even wore casual civilian clothing and sandals.

Later, her mother claimed to have evidence that her daughter was still alive, but had suffered a severe head wound. This rings true with information released by Hamas that indicated Louk was being treated for her injuries at an unspecified Gaza hospital.

Complicating matters further, on the day these rape allegations arose, Israelis would not have had access to this information. Their armed forces had not yet entered many, if not most, of the areas liberated by the resistance and were still engaged in armed clashes with them on multiple fronts.

Nevertheless, these rape claims took on a life of their own, with even US President Joe Biden alleging, during a speech days later, that Israeli women were "raped, assaulted, paraded as trophies" by Hamas fighters. It is important to note that The Forward's article on 11 October reported that the Israeli military acknowledged they had no evidence of such allegations at that point.

When the army later made its own allegations of decapitations, foot amputations, and rape, Reuters pointed out that "the military personnel overseeing the identification process didn't present any forensic evidence in the form of pictures or medical records." To date, there is no credible evidence of these atrocities that has been presented.

Other outrageous allegations, such as the story of Hamas "beheading 40 babies‘ made headlines and the front pages of countless western news outlets. Even Biden claimed to have seen "confirmed photos of terrorists beheading babies." The claims trace back to Israeli reserve settler and soldier David Ben Zion, who has previously incited violent riots against Palestinians and called for the West Bank town of Huwara to be wiped out. No evidence was ever produced to support these claims and the White House itself confirmed later that Joe Biden had never seen such photos.

The Hamas plan

There is little to no credible evidence that Palestinian fighters had a plan to – or deliberately sought to – kill or harm unarmed Israeli civilians on 7 October. From the available footage, we witness them engaging primarily with armed Israeli forces, accounting for the deaths of hundreds of occupation soldiers. As Qassam Brigades' Spokesman Abu Obeida made clear on 12 October:

"Al-Aqsa Flood operation aimed to destroy the Gaza Division (an Israeli army unit on Gaza's borders) which was attacked at 15 points, followed by attacking 10 further military intervention points. We attacked the Zikim site and several other settlements outside the Gaza Division headquarters."

Abu Obeida and other resistance officials claims that the other key objective of their operation was to take Israeli prisoners that they could exchange for the approximately 5,300 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli detention centers, many of whom are women and children.

Hamas Deputy Head of the Political Bureau of Saleh Al-Arouri, in an interview after the operation, stressed: "We have a large and qualitative number and senior officers. All we can say now is that the freedom of our prisoners is at the doorstep."

Both sides play this game: Since the start of its military assault on Gaza, Israel has rounded up and imprisoned more than 1,200 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. To date there have been 38 prisoner exchange deals between the resistance factions and Tel Aviv – deals that Israelis often resist to the very last minute.

While these kinds of testimonies trickle out, reports are emerging that Israeli authorities have dialed up the mistreatment, torture, and even killing of Palestinian prisoners in their custody – a violation of the Geneva Conventions, which ironically, a non-state actor like Hamas appears to have followed to the letter.

In relation to the events of 7 October, there are certainly some videos depicting possibly unarmed Israelis, killed in their vehicles or at entrances to facilities, so that Palestinian troops could gain access.

There are also videos which show the fighters engaging in shootouts with armed Israeli forces, where there were unarmed Israelis taking cover in between, in addition to videos of fighters shooting toward houses and throwing grenades into fortified areas. Eyewitness testimony also suggests grenades were thrown into bomb shelters, though by whom is unclear.

Even at the Israeli "peace rave", which has been cited as the single deadliest attack committed by Palestinian fighters during their operation, videos emerged that appeared to show Israeli forces opening fire through a crowd of unarmed civilians, toward targets they believed to be Hamas members. ABC News also reported that an Israeli tank had headed to the site of the festival.

An Israeli massacre in Kibbutz Be'eri?

In its report on the events at Be'eri Kibbutz, ABC News photographed artillery pieces resembling Israeli munitions outside a bombed-out home. The reporter, David Muir, mentioned that Hamas fighters, covered in plastic bags, were found in the aftermath.

Additionally, videos of the scene show homes that appear to have been struck by munitions that Hamas fighters did not possess. Muir reported that about 14 people were held hostage in a building by Palestinian fighters.

A Hebrew-language Haaretz article published on 20 October, which only appears in English in a must-read Mondoweiss article, paints a very different story of what went down in Be'eri that day. A Kibbutz resident who had been away from his home – whose partner was killed in the melee – reveals stunning new details:

"His voice trembles when his partner, who was besieged in her home shelter at the time, comes to mind. According to him, only on Monday night (9 October) and only after the commanders in the field made difficult decisions — including shelling houses with all their occupants inside in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages — did the IDF complete the takeover of the kibbutz. The price was terrible: at least 112 Be'eri people were killed. Others were kidnapped. Yesterday, 11 days after the massacre, the bodies of a mother and her son were discovered in one of the destroyed houses. It is believed that more bodies are still lying in the rubble."

Photo evidence of the destruction in Be'eri corroborates his account. Only the heavy munitions of the Israeli army could have destroyed residential homes in this manner. Aftermath or Be'eri Kibbutz after the fire power of the two sides ceased

Hamas behaviors: Evidence vs allegations

Yasmin Porat, a survivor from Kibbutz Be'eri, said in an interview for an Israeli radio-show, hosted by state-broadcaster Kan, that Israeli forces "eliminated everyone, including the hostages," going on to state that "there was very, very heavy crossfire" and even noted tank shelling.

Porat had attended the Nova rave and testified to the humane treatment throughout different interviews she conducted with Israeli media. She explained that when she was held prisoner, the Hamas fighters "guarded us", telling her in Hebrew to "Look at me well, we're not going to kill you. We want to take you to Gaza. We are not going to kill you. So be calm, you're not going to die." She also added the following:

"They give us something to drink here and there. When they see we are nervous they calm us down. It was very frightening but no one treated us violently. Luckily nothing happened to me like what I heard in the media."

Increasingly, and to the horror of some Israeli officials and news outlets, Israeli eyewitnesses and survivors of the bloodshed are testifying that they were treated well by Palestinian fighters. On 24 October, Israeli state broadcaster Kan bemoaned the fact that prisoner Yocheved Lifshitz, released by Hamas the day before, was allowed to make statements live on air.

As she was handed over to Red Cross intermediaries, the elderly Israeli female captive was caught on camera turning back to squeeze the hand of her Hamas captor in her last goodbyes. Lifshitz's live broadcast, in which she spoke about her two-week ordeal, "humanized" her Hamas captors even further as she recounted her daily life with the fighters:

"They were very friendly toward us. They took care of us. We were given medicine and were treated. One of the men with us was badly injured in a motorbike accident. Their (Hamas) paramedics looked after his wounds, he was given medicine and antibiotics. The people were friendly. They kept the place very clean. They were very concerned about us."

Following her release from Gaza by Hamas, 85 year old Yosheved Lifshitz is interviewed about her experience in captivity. pic.twitter.com/MOTEJ82BmB

# Al-Qassam Brigades releases the detainees "Nurit Yitzhak" and "yochvad Lifshitz"for compelling humanitarian reasons through Egyptian mediation # Gaza # Palestine #the great revolution #Al-Aqsa flood pic.twitter.com/p5pDh62yyv – Al-Mayadeen channel (@AlMayadeenNews) October 24, 2023

More questions than answers

It is essential to recognize that in many reports by western journalists on the ground, the majority of information regarding the actions of Hamas fighters comes from the Israeli army – an active participant in the conflict.

Emerging evidence now indicates that there is a high probability, especially due to the scale of the infrastructural damage, that Israeli military forces could have deliberately killed captives, fired on incorrect targets, or mistaken Israelis for Palestinians in their firefights. If the only source of information for a serious claim made is the Israeli army, then it has to be taken into account that they have reason to conceal cases of friendly fire.

Israeli friendly fire was rampant, even in the days that followed, from an army with very little actual combat experience. In the city of Ashkelon (Askalan) on 8 October, Israeli soldiers shot dead and shouted insults at the body of a man they believed to have been a Hamas fighter, yet later realized they had executed a fellow Israeli. This is just one of three such examples of friendly fire in one day, resulting in the killing of Israelis by their own troops.

Amid the fog of war, parties to the conflict have different perspectives on what occurred during the initial raid and its aftermath. It's not disputed that Palestinian armed groups inflicted significant losses on the Israeli military, but there will be plenty of ongoing debate regarding everything else in the weeks and months to come.

An independent, impartial, international investigation is urgently needed, one that has access to information from all sides involved in the conflict. Neither the Israelis nor the Americans will agree to this, which itself suggests that Tel Aviv has much to conceal.

In the meantime, Palestinian civilians in Gaza endure ongoing, indiscriminate attacks with the most sophisticated heavy weapons in existence, living under the persistent threat of forced and potentially irreversible displacement. This Israeli air blitz was made possible only by the flood of unsubstantiated ‘Hamas atrocities' stories that media began to circulate on and after 7 October.

6

   TUC Congress 2023 Convenes in Liverpool: The Need to Establish Anti-War Governments All Over the World Has Never Been Greater

Workers Weekly, RCPBML

Sept 9, 2023


On Sunday, September 10, this year's TUC Congress convenes in Liverpool. Once again, Congress comes at a time when workers in Britain and around the world are asserting that their voice must be heard, recognised and respected. Only the working class has an interest in providing the pressing economic and social problems of society with solutions. This is a moment in history when the working class and people are developing and continuing to fight for the perspective and vantage point that there is only one world, one humanity, and that the use of force to settle conflicts between nations and peoples must be opposed. How to bring about a situation where it is the interests and decision-making of working people which prevail, where a state with a modern democratic personality is brought into being? The need to establish an anti-war government in Britain and anti-war governments all over the world has never been greater.

One of the greatest challenges the workers face is to establish mechanisms for discussion and deliberation amongst their peers so that they can share their experiences as they organise to address the present conditions. Today, the situation in Britain and throughout the world is such that the workers cannot afford to simply adopt pre-established positions fed to them by others, but must work out their own positions and provide themselves with their own information which can reveal what must be done next.

At the TUC Congress, there are 79 motions and many debates planned around motions and composite motions, not least the fight against the new anti-union legislation, the Minimum Service Level (MSL) Act, the fight against poverty pay and for pay restoration and investment in public services such as education and health. However, at this Congress a position is being fed to the delegates by two motions posed as "Solidarity with Ukraine" suggesting that workers are supposed to support an "anti-imperialist" struggle against Russia in Ukraine with "the continuation and increasing of moral, material, and military aid from the UK to Ukraine" (1).

These motions do not address the interests of workers in Britain, Ukraine, Russia or throughout the world and in fact they represent the opposite. They serve the interests of those who are making huge profits out of continuing the war in Ukraine. What do workers have in common with a ruling elite that is using billions of pounds of public funds for schemes which further integrate Britain's economy and whole arms industry into the Anglo-US imperialist war machine and NATO's declared expansion into Eastern Europe and Ukraine up to the borders of the Russian Federation? Such motions ignore that it is the Anglo-US-led NATO warmongering alliance that has deliberately provoked and is escalating the war in Ukraine against Russia. The Ukrainian regime is now almost entirely financed and led militarily by NATO as its proxy army. These Anglo-US imperialists are using the Ukrainian working class and people as cannon fodder for their own interests to "weaken Russia", without getting directly involved themselves. Workers know through their bitter experience of matters here that the aim of the British government in the world is not to bring about peace, or democracy, or self-determination of peoples as they claim, but is to destroy whatever countries they and their oligopolies cannot control in the world.

This is why the Anglo-US-led NATO powers have continued to engage in provocations and warmongering confrontations not only to Russia but also towards the people of China and the DPRK in East Asia. At the same time, these same old colonisers of Africa are continuing to interfere and exploit the African working class and people and continue to rob the rich mineral wealth of the African nations for themselves. They are always at the centre of wars and conflicts in Africa as in the Middle East and elsewhere. None of this is in the interest of workers anywhere and the Anglo-US-led NATO alliance can never be a mechanism workers should support to settle conflicts between nations and peoples.

The working class of Britain must address that it is the only class that can lead the fight for an anti-war government in Britain. In fact, it is their internationalist duty to settle scores with the crimes that Britain's ruling elites have committed while claiming to act in the name of the British people. Britain's role in NATO must be condemned and especially its actions in escalating the war in Ukraine which is not the road to peace. Britain's membership of NATO must be opposed. Facts demonstrate that NATO is a most destructive oligopoly comprised of the military-industrial-civilian complex of the United States, Britain and other countries. Britain's involvement in wars of invasion, occupation and interference abroad have not only led to devastating loss of life and destruction abroad but have led to the militarisation of the British economy. Militarisation of the economy has diverted the resources of the economy thus contributimg to the impoverishment of working people and destruction of vital public services at home. Also, its effect here and world-wide is that it ensures that the people are deprived of the benefits of new developments in science and technology that can be harnessed to improve the life and welfare of the people and address all the pressing economic, scientific, social and cultural problems that face humanity.

These vital questions must be discussed by the workers themselves and their voice needs to be heard so as to work out their positions. Only the working class has an interest to transform the situation and harness the technological advances to serve a human-centred society that looks after the interests of working people for their prosperity and for peace at home and abroad. The working class of Britain must address that it is the only class that can save the day and lead the fight for an Anti-War Government in Britain. Workers' Weekly calls on the TUC delegates to rise to the occasion. The need to establish anti-war governments all over the world has never been greater.

Note 1. TUC Congress motions https://congress?tuc.org.uk/motion_type/all_motions/#sthash.POp0XDrO.ZbzvTp8l.dpb

7
For Your Information / Glimpses of an Endgame in Ukraine
« on: July 28, 2023, 11:40:36 AM »

   Glimpses of an Endgame in Ukraine
M. K. Bhadrakumar, Indian Punchline posted in Internationalist 360

JUly 25, 2023


   Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) met Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, St. Petersburg, July 23, 2023

The problem with the war in Ukraine is that it has been all smoke and mirrors. The Russian objectives of "demilitarisation" and "de-Nazification" of Ukraine wore a surreal look. The western narrative that the war is between Russia and Ukraine, where central issue is the Westphalian principle of national sovereignty, wore thin progressively leaving a void.

There is a realisation today that the war is actually between Russia and NATO and that Ukraine had ceased to be a sovereign country since 2014 when the CIA and sister western agencies — Germany, the UK, France, Sweden, etc.— installed a puppet regime in Kiev.

The fog of war is lifting and the battle lines are becoming visible. At an authoritative level, a candid discussion is beginning as regards the endgame.

Certainly, Russian President Vladimir Putin's videoconference with the permanent members of the Security Council in Moscow last Friday and his meeting with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in St. Petersburg on Sunday become the defining moment. The two transcripts stand back-to-back and need to be read together. (here and here)

There is no question that the two events were carefully choreographed by the Kremlin officials and intended to convey multiple messages. Russia exudes confidence that it has achieved dominance on the battle front — having thrashed the Ukrainian military and Kiev's "counteroffensive" moving into the rear view mirror. But Moscow anticipates that the Biden administration may be having an even bigger war plan in mind.

At the Security council meeting, Putin "de-classified" the intelligence reports reaching Moscow from various sources indicative of moves to insert into Western Ukraine a Polish expeditionary force. Putin called it "a well-organised, equipped regular military unit to be used for operations" in Western Ukraine "for the subsequent occupation of these territories."

Indeed, there is a long history of Polish revanchism. Putin, himself a keen student of history, talked at some length about it. He sounded stoical that if the Kiev authorities were to acquiesce with this Polish-American plan, "as traitors usually do, that's their business. We will not interfere."

But, Putin added, "Belarus is part of the Union State, and launching an aggression against Belarus would mean launching an aggression against the Russian Federation. We will respond to that with all the resources available to us." Putin warned that what is afoot "is an extremely dangerous game, and the authors of such plans should think about the consequences."

On Sunday, at the meeting with Putin in St. Petersburg, Lukashenko picked up the thread of discussion. He briefed Putin about new Polish deployments close to Belarus border — just 40 kms from Brest — and other preparations under way — the opening of a repair shop for Leopard tanks in Poland, activation of an airfield in Rzeszow on Ukrainian border (about 100 kms from Lvov) for use of Americans transferring weaponry, mercenaries, etc.

Lukashenko said: "This is unacceptable to us. The alienation of western Ukraine, the dismemberment of Ukraine and the transfer of its lands to Poland are unacceptable. Should people in Western Ukraine ask us then we will provide support to them. I ask you (Putin) to discuss and think about this issue. Naturally, I would like you to support us in this regard. If the need in such support arises, if Western Ukraine asks us for help, then we will provide assistance and support to people in western Ukraine. If this happens, we will support them in every possible way."

Lukashenko continued, "I am asking you to discuss this issue and think it through. Obviously, I would like you to support us in this regard. With this support, and if western Ukraine asks for this help, we will definitely provide assistance and support to the western population of Ukraine."

As could be expected, Putin didn't respond — at least, not publicly. Lukashenko characterised the Polish intervention as tantamount to the dismemberment of Ukraine and its "piece meal" absorption into NATO. Lukashenko was upfront: "This is supported by the Americans." Interestingly, he also sought the deployment of Wagner fighters to counter the threat to Belarus.

The bottom line is that Putin and Lukashenko held such a discussion publicly at all. Clearly, both spoke on the basis of intelligence inputs. They anticipate an inflection point ahead.

It is one thing that the Russian people are well aware that their country is de facto fighting the NATO in Ukraine. But it is an entirely different matter that the war may dramatically escalate to a war with Poland, a NATO army that the US regards as its most important partner in continental Europe.

By dwelling at some length on Polish revanchism, which has a controversial record in modern European history, Putin probably calculated that in Europe, including in Poland, there could be resistance to the machinations that might drag NATO into a continental war with Russia.

Equally, Poland must be dithering too. According to Politico, Poland's military is about 150,000 strong, out of which 30,000 belong to a new territorial defence force who are "weekend soldiers who undergo 16 days of training followed up by refresher courses."

Again, Poland's military might doesn't translate into political influence in Europe because the centrist forces that dominate the EU distrust Warsaw, which is controlled by the nationalist Law and Justice Party whose disregard for democratic norms and the rule of law has damaged Poland's reputation across the bloc.

Above all, Poland has reason to be worried about the reliability of Washington. Going forward, Polish leadership's concern, paradoxically, will be that Donald Trump may not return as president in 2024. Despite the cooperation with the Pentagon over the Ukraine war, Poland's current leadership remains distrustful of President Joe Biden — much like Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

On balance, therefore, it stands to reason that the sabre-rattling by Lukashenko and Putin's lesson on European history can be taken as more of a forewarning to the West with a view to modulate an endgame in Ukraine that is optimal for Russian interests. A dismemberment of Ukraine or an uncontrollable expansion of the war beyond its borders will not be in the Russian interests.

But the Kremlin leadership will factor in the contingency that Washington's follies stemming out of its desperate need to save face from a humiliating defeat in the proxy war, may leave no choice to the Russian forces but to cross the Dnieper and advance all the way to Poland's border to prevent an occupation of Western Ukraine by the so-called Lublin Triangle, a regional alliance with virulent anti-Russian orientation comprising Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, formed in July 2020 and promoted by Washington.

Putin's back-to-back meetings in Moscow and St. Petersburg throw light on the Russian thinking as to three key elements of the endgame in Ukraine. First, Russia has no intentions of territorial conquest of Western Ukraine but will insist on having a say on how the new boundaries of the country and the future regime will look and act like, which means that an anti-Russian state will not be allowed.

Second, the Biden administration's plan to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat in the war is a non-starter, as Russia will not hesitate to counter any continued attempt by the US and NATO to use Ukrainian territory as a springboard to wage a renewed proxy war, which means that Ukraine's "piece meal" absorption into NATO will remain a fantasy.

Third, most important, the battle-hardened Russian army backed by a powerful defence industry and a robust economy will not hesitate to confront NATO member countries bordering Ukraine if they trespass on Russia's core interests, which means that Russia's core interests will not be held hostage to Article 5 of the NATO Charter.

8
Yuri Afonin: Comparison of Prigozhin with the Bolsheviks is absolutely illiterate historically
Communist Party of the Russian Federation

June 26, 2023


   [robotic translation] First Deputy Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party Yu.V. Afonin commented on statements that the leader of the armed rebellion, Yevgeny Prigozhin, allegedly did the same thing that the Bolsheviks did in 1917.

Afonin Yury Vyacheslavovich First Deputy Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Deputy of the State Duma

For the past three days, the whole country has been discussing Prigozhin's armed rebellion. In particular, there are many historical parallels. President Putin in his address compared the current situation with the events of 1917. Characteristically, however, he did not mention the Bolsheviks in any negative context. However, immediately there were commentators who tried to settle scores with the Bolsheviks again. Most of them can be ignored. But among these commentators was a former very high-ranking official - Sergei Stepashin. He literally stated the following: "Vladimir Vladimirovich compared the situation with the events of 1917. I understand what we are talking about - then the Bolsheviks betrayed and, in fact, destroyed the army, and we lost the First World War, or rather, we did not lose, but did not become winners.

Of course, as the ideological heirs of the Bolsheviks, we consider it necessary to answer.

In fact, anyone who knows history decently understands that in 1917 the Russian army and the Russian state were destroyed not by the Bolsheviks at all, but by completely different forces. And this happened long before Lenin and his associates came to power. And the Bolsheviks just became that powerful historical force that revived the Armed Forces of the country in the form of the Red Army and gathered back the already virtually collapsed state. It was the Leninists who saved Russia, did not allow it to be torn to pieces by the then collective West.

The fact that it was not the Bolsheviks who destroyed the Russian army in 1917 was recognized even by the leaders of the white movement. If you read the diaries of General Alekseev or the memoirs of General Denikin, you can see that they unequivocally link the collapse of the army with Order No. 1 of the Petrograd Soviet, issued on March 1 (14), 1917. This order gave rise to such phenomena as the election of commanders, the discussion of orders for the command of soldiers, and so on. In fact, this gave impetus to the complete disintegration of army discipline. But who was the author of the text of this order? History has preserved their names. Attorney at Law Nikolai Sokolov is a non-factional Social Democrat, Nikolai Chkheidze is a Menshevik, and Semyon Klivansky is a Menshevik. There were no Bolsheviks around. Then, in fact, the same line in the army was pursued by the Socialist-Revolutionary Kerensky, first as Minister of War of the Provisional Government, then as its head. Most of these figures, by the way, then fiercely fought the Bolsheviks.

Why did the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries turn to a policy that actually destroyed the army during a huge war? By and large, the reason is that they did not want to give the people what they wanted, but at the same time they tried to secure popularity in the army. After February, the revolutionary spirit of most of the leaders of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries evaporated. They were frightened that the revolutionary mood of the masses was going much further than the overthrow of tsarism and stood up in defense of the property of the landowners and capitalists. They refused to hand over the landowners' land to the peasants, dragged on with the resolution of this key issue, telling tales that supposedly it could not be resolved without the Constituent Assembly. They dreamed of leaving plants and factories in the hands of the capitalists. And this is not surprising: in the Provisional Government, along with the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, were the oligarchs of that time - Alexander Guchkov, Mikhail Tereshchenko, Alexander Konovalov. The ministers of the Provisional Government wanted to continue the war in the interests of the Entente, that is, in fact, shed Russian blood for the sake of the profits of the bankers of London, Paris and New York. But at the same time, without giving anything to the people, they tried to somehow win over the soldiers to their side and did this at the cost of destroying discipline, in fact, at the cost of the collapse of the army.

It was because of this collapse of the army that the Bolsheviks later had to conclude the Brest Peace. Now the darkness of critics of the Bolsheviks has divorced, but none of them can formulate: how would they continue the war with the mighty Kaiser Germany and its allies in conditions when the army had already collapsed? It's just that they can't say anything about it.

To all those who really want to understand what happened then, I strongly advise you to watch the film "The Great Statesman". It is easy to find it on the Internet. This is a film about Lenin. We filmed it in 2020, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ilyich, and filmed it in collaboration with leading historians. There, on a large amount of factual material, we show that Lenin then acted precisely as a great statesman, under whose leadership the army was revived and the country was preserved.

The Red Army, relying on the broadest support of the people, was able to beat both the interventionists of the then collective West, and the whites, who acted as mercenaries of the West, and various nationalists, including Ukrainian nationalists - Petliurists, the ideological predecessors of the current Kiev politicians. It was thanks to the Bolsheviks that Russia then survived as a state.

The same position is taken by the Russian communists today. For us now the most important task is to preserve our state, which is subjected to the most powerful pressure from Western imperialism.





9
73rd Anniversary of US Military Aggression against DPRK: Solidarity with the DPRK against the US
Workers Weekly RCPBML

June 25, 2023


   PHOTO: Korean Friendship Association UK protest outside the US Embassy in London on June 24th in solidarity with the DPRK against the US

PHOTO: South Korean protests against US military exercises

Sunday, June 25, marks the 73rd anniversary of the US-led military aggression against the Korean nation that started the 1950-1953 Korean War (1). This US-led coalition of aggression, under the flag of the United Nations, involved troops from 17 countries, with Britain as one of the leading forces. Aimed at occupying the whole of Korea, the war lasted three years until the US, Britain and the troops from the south of Korea were defeated and the US was forced to sign the armistice on July 27, 1953, 70 years ago next month. This weekend events are being held in Britain and around the world to start a month of expressing solidarity with the DPRK and against the US, and paying tribute to the heroic Korean people who continue to affirm their right to be by fighting for an independent and united Korea, and for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Pyongyang mass rallies took place at different parts of the municipality on June 25, the day of struggle against U.S. imperialism. More than 120,000 working people and youth and students in the capital participated.

Today, the US with the south Korean military are marking this anniversary by once again staging five ongoing "combined joint firepower annihilation drills" targeting the DPRK. Four of these exercises were in June. Also, last week it was reported that the USS Michigan, one of the largest nuclear missile submarines in the world, "capable of launching special forces missions", was in south Korea as part of these exercises. The statements say it is part of the recent bilateral agreements on enhancing "regular visibility" of US strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula in "response to North Korea's advancing nuclear programme". That the DPRK defends itself against US nuclear weapons, which have always been present, if not "visible" on the Korean peninsula, is not a crime but is its right in the context of the ever-present US nuclear blackmail and threats. It is the right of all nations and peoples to defend their self-determination and peaceful development.

These ongoing military and nuclear weapons exercises on this 73rd anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War are not only the largest in many years but are accompanied by false claims that such exercises are "defensive" to the Republic of Korea (ROK). It is clear that they are now openly aimed, as they were in 1950, at waging war against the DPRK, at "occupation of Pyongyang" and at a "beheading operation". As they did before in 1950, the US and its allies wheel out the false claims that it is the DPRK that is the "aggressor" and threat to peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Il Sung, President of the DPRK and Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army in the Korean War.

Condemning these exercises in April when they were announced, a KCNA commentary (2) pointed out that the exercises demonstrate that the hostility of the US to the DPRK has never been greater. The commentary added that this hostility is reminding the people and army of the DPRK of the aggression of June 1950, when they were subject to this war crime against the people of Korea, and is further arousing the greatest vigilance against the military and nuclear aggression posed by the US on the Korean Peninsula. On June 15, a representative of the Ministry of Defence of the DPRK issued a strong warning against the "combined joint firepower annihilation drill" targeting the DPRK.

In the Korean War, three million people died at the hands of the Anglo-US forces in Korea. The US carpet-bombed the DPRK and there was hardly a brick left standing in the cities and towns of the north. The US and their allies did not hesitate to use terrible chemical and biological weapons, and even thought of using nuclear weapons, provoking a wave of indignation throughout the world. Hundreds of thousands of civilians in the north and south of Korea were massacred. Civilians were buried alive, dismembered, burned to death and drowned. Many were forced to dig their own graves before being executed in the same manner that the Nazis massacred civilians, particularly those who resisted (3).

This was a time when the Korean people had made tremendous sacrifices to defeat the colonial occupation by the Japanese fascists and establish their legitimate right to independence. Already President Kim Il Sung, the leader of the armed struggle against the Japanese occupying forces, and the architect of the liberation of the country, had founded the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on September 9, 1948. It was the US, Britain and their allies that could not tolerate the existence of an independent anti-fascist Korea, with its popular government and its determination to create a socialist society. It was the US, Britain and their allies that divided Korea and maintained their military occupation following the defeat of the fascist forces by the Koreans themselves.

The division of the one nation of Korea continues to this day with the US led punitive trade and economic sanctions, which also block "food and agricultural products" (4), threatening the well-being and lives of the people in the DPRK, which is a mountainous country with smaller areas of arable land than the south of Korea. With these illegal and inhumane sanctions, themselves an act of war, they hope to starve the people of the DPRK into submission and blame their socialist political system.

The dangerous militarisation of the Korean Peninsula by the US continues today as part of its hegemonic ambitions to dominate East Asia and also China. The US is conducting ongoing military and nuclear exercises on land, sea and in the air, in and around the Asian-Pacific Taiwan strait and South China Sea as well as around the Korean Peninsula. Britain has also joined the US in these dangerous military manoeuvres in the Asia-Pacific and on the Korean Peninsula into 2023. This year for the first time since the Korean War, Britain has deployed its Royal Marines to the Korean Peninsula to join the US in its war preparations against the DPRK. This act by the British government was an insulting provocation given that the former soldiers of the Royal Marines of 41 Independent Commando were the ones that had carried out amphibious raids behind north Korean lines between 1950 and 1951 as part of the armed forces of the US, fraudulently dispatched under the United Nations flag (5), which invaded and occupied Korea.

Pyongyang in 1953, the result of US-led barbarity in the Korean War

From the time of the Korean War until now, the US has refused to sign a peace treaty, which betrays its true aims on the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK, its leaders and people's government, far from being the threat to peace, have always stood for peaceful re-unification of the two Koreas and continue to take stands against the interference of the US and for peace worldwide. Unlike the US, Britain and other powers that condemn the DPRK's existence and its right to be, the DPRK has not invaded and occupied any country.

Liberation War Museum, Pyongyang

The interests of all peoples is to build their solidarity with the DPRK and the Korean people against the US to secure peace on the Korean Peninsula and to put an end to the more than 70 years of US-engineered division, militarisation, tension, and strife between north and south and oppose the criminal trade and economic sanctions against the DPRK. The peace-loving people of Britain must condemn British government for its support for these ongoing and large-scale military exercises and provocations against the DPRK and demand that Britain gets its marines and other forces out of the Korean Peninsula.

Today, when the US imperialists and their cohorts, such as Britain, are stepping up war preparations in the Asia-Pacific, it is more important than ever to remember the terrible tragedies visited upon the Korean people during that war that must never again be permitted. The working class and people must play their part to ensure that another war does not break out on the Korean Peninsula and that Britain ends its hostile stand towards the DPRK.

Notes
1. On June 25, 1950, after a whole series of incursions and military provocation against the DPRK, the forces from the south of Korea, placed under US command, crossed the 38th parallel, which separates the north from the south, with an objective to "disperse and disarm North Korea's People's Army" in order to "take Pyongyang in three days" (to cite Syngman Rhee, "President" of the South Korean puppet government at the end of 1949).

2. "War Maniacs' Reckless Move", KCNA commentary, April 2, 2023
http://www?kcna?kp/en/article/q/55cc18c6b08e669b07a7abf7b8c9dce3.kcmsf

3. All this was documented by the Commission of the Women's International Democratic Federation to Korea May 16-27, 1951. In their report We Accuse! the Commission condemned these crimes that were being committed against defenceless civilians and called for the UN to demand an end to all fighting, that all foreign troops be pulled out of Korea and for the Korean people to determine their own affairs.

4. Democratic People's Republic of Korea sanctions: guidance
https://www?gov?uk/government/publications/democratic-peoples-republic-of-korea-sanctions-guidance/democratic-peoples-republic-of-korea-sanctions-guidance

5. The US accused the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) of "starting the war" when it was they who were interfering in the internal affairs of Korea which, through the efforts of the people themselves, had won its independence by defeating the Japanese occupation in August 1945. First the US illegally divided Korea into north and south. It then mobilised the UN to intervene in a civil war which constituted foreign interference in the internal affairs of a country and is illegal under the UN Charter. The UN Security Council used the fact that the People's Republic of China had not yet been permitted to take its seat because the US was supporting the deposed Nationalist Chinese regime of Chiang Kai-shek that had taken refuge in Taiwan, and Russia was absent in protest of this refusal to seat the legitimate government of China, to adopt the resolution. The resolution to wage war on the Korean people was adopted in contravention of Article 32 of the UN Charter which calls for parties to the dispute to be present at the discussions of the problems. It is also in contravention of paragraph 3 of Article 27 of the UN Charter, which provides that a Security Council resolution is only valid if approved by a vote of Council members, including approval by all permanent Council members. Neither condition was met since, at the time, neither the Soviet Union nor China were present.





10
Declassified files expose British role in NATOs Gladio terror armies
The Grayzone by Kit Klarenberg

June 19, 2023

   Newly declassified British Foreign Office files have added disturbing details to the history of Operation Gladio. The covert operation was uncovered in 1990, when the public learned that the CIA, MI6 and NATO trained and directed an underground army of fascist paramilitary units across Europe, deploying its assets to undermine political opponents, including through false flag terror attacks.

Among them was a young Silvio Berlusconi, the media oligarch who served as Italian Prime Minister in four separate governments between 1994 and 2011. Listed as a member of the P2, the secret Cold War-era cabal of political elites devoted to Gladio's aims, Berlusconi undoubtedly took some weighty secrets to the grave when he died this June 12th.

It is almost impossible to believe that inconvenient truths were not weeded from Britain's documentary record on Operation Gladio prior to declassification. Nonetheless, the recently released material is highly illuminating. Covering a fraught twelve month period after the first public disclosure of Gladio's existence, the papers illustrate how London's foreign intelligence apparatus kept a keen eye on the continent as events unfolded.

The papers not only shed fresh light on the conspiracy, they underline Gladio's relevance as British intelligence joins its America counterparts in contemporary plots involving secret partisan forces from Syria to Ukraine.

Various passages dotted across the tranche strongly suggest the British knew much more than they publicly admitted about egregious criminal deeds, including the attempted overthrow of an allied Italian government and the kidnap and murder of its leader.

A ‘clandestine resistance network' goes to work

Gladio consisted of a constellation of "stay behind" anti-communist partisan armies whose ostensible mission was to fend off the Red Army in the event of Soviet invasion. In reality, these forces committed countless violent and criminal acts as part of a "strategy of tension" designed to discredit the left and justify a security state clampdown.

As Vincenzo Vinciguerra, a Gladio operative jailed for life in 1984 for a car bombing in Italy that killed three police officers and injured two, explained:

You were supposed to attack civilians, women, children, innocent people from outside the political arena. The reason was simple, force the public to turn to the state and ask for greater security People would willingly trade their freedom for the security of being able to walk the streets, go on trains or enter a bank. This was the political logic behind the bombings. They remain unpunished because the state cannot condemn itself.

The scandal triggered in Western capitals by the exposure of Gladio dominated mainstream headlines for months. The European parliament responded by passing a resolution condemning the existence of a "clandestine parallel intelligence and armed operations organization which escaped all democratic controls, may have interfered illegally in the internal political affairs of member states and have at their disposal independent arsenals and military resources thereby jeopardizing the democratic structures of the countries in which they are operating."

The resolution called for independent judicial and parliamentary investigations into Gladio in every European state. But aside from inquiries in Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland, nothing of substance materialized. What's more, investigators heavily redacted their findings while avoiding having them translated them into English. This may help explain why the historic scandal has been largely forgotten.

In this context, the newly declassified documents may be one of the most valuable primary sources to date offering new insights into the origins and internal workings of NATO's secret terror militias in Italy.

Take for example an aide-mémoire (see it here) prepared by Francesco Fulci, Italy's permanent representative to the UN, which was shared at a "super-restricted" November 6th 1990 meeting of the North Atlantic Council, NATO's principal political decision-making body, then forwarded to senior British officials at home and abroad.

Based on a note provided by Rome's then-premier Giulio Andreotti to "the Head of the Italian Parliamentary Commission investigating terrorist incidents," the aide-mémoire begins by noting that following World War II, Western intelligence agencies devised "unconventional means of defence, by creating in their territories a hidden network of resistance aimed at operating, in case of enemy occupation, through information gathering, sabotage, propaganda and guerrilla warfare."

According to the aide-mémoire, authorities in Rome began laying the foundations of such an organization in 1951. Four years later, Italian Military Intelligence (SIFAR) and "a corresponding allied service"—a reference to the CIA—then formally agreed on the organization and the activities of a "post-occupation clandestine network":

Gladio] was; formed by agents active in the territory who, by virtue of their age, sex and activities, could reasonably avoid eventual deportation and-imprisonment by the foreign occupiers; easy to manage even from a command structure outside the occupied territory; at a top secret level and hence subdivided into ‘cells' so as to minimize any possible damage caused by defections, accidents or network penetration.

The "clandestine resistance network" was subdivided into separate branches, covering information operations, sabotage, propaganda, radio communications, cypher, reception and evacuation of people and equipment. Each of these structures was to operate autonomously,

with liaison and coordination ensured by an external base.

SIFAR established a dedicated, secret section to recruit and train Gladio operatives. Meanwhile, it maintained five "ready deployment guerrilla units in areas of special interest" across Italy which awaited activation on a continuous basis.

"Operational materials", including a wide variety of explosives, weapons—such as mortars, hand grenades, guns and knives—and ammunition were stashed in 139 secret underground caches across the country. In April 1972, "to improve security," these arsenals were exhumed, and moved to offices of the Carabinieri, Rome's military police, near the original sites.

Only 127 of the weapons storehouses were officially recovered. The aide-mémoir states that at least two "were very likely taken away by unknown persons" at the time they were buried, in October 1964. Who these operatives were and what they did with their stolen arms is left to the imagination. British involvement in the coup effort

Fulci was eventually quizzed by attendees of the North Atlantic Council summit "as to whether Gladio had deviated from its proper objectives." In other words, beyond operating strictly as a "stay behind" force, to be activated in the event of Soviet invasion. While "he could not add to what was in the aide-mémoire," Fulci confirmed "weapons used in some terrorist incidents had come from stores established by Gladio."

This may reflect the fact that political violence was one of Gladio's "proper objectives." A June 1959 SIFAR report unearthed by historian Daniele Ganser confirms guerrilla action against "domestic threats" was hardwired into the operation from its inception. In the Italian context, this entailed systematically terrorizing the left.

As the Italian Communist party surged in polls ahead of the country's 1948 election, the CIA pumped money into the coffers of the Christian Democrats and an attendant anti-communist propaganda campaign. The cloak-and-dagger effort was so successful in preventing the outbreak of a left-wing government in Rome that Langley secretly intervened in every one of Rome's elections for at least the next 24 years.

Yet the covert CIA operations were insufficient to prevent Italians from occasionally electing the wrong governments. The 1963 general election saw the Christian Democrats prevail again, this time under the leadership of left-leaning politician Aldo Moro, who sought to construct a coalition with the Socialists and Democratic Socialists. Over the next year, protracted disputes erupted between these parties over what form their administration would take.

In the meantime, SIFAR and CIA black ops specialists such as William Harvey, known as "America's James Bond," cooked up a plot to prevent that government from taking office. Known as "Piano Solo," it dispatched Gladio operatives for a false flag assassination attempt on Moro that would deliberately fail.

According to the plan, the kidnapper was expected to claim they were ordered to kill Moro by communists, thereby justifying the violent seizure of multiple political party and newspaper headquarters, along with the imprisonment of troublesome leftists at the Gladio chapter's secret headquarters in Sardinia. The plan was ultimately aborted, though it remained on the table throughout 1964.

Moro became Prime Minister without incident and governed until June 1968. Piano Solo fell under official investigation four years later, yet the results were not published until the public first learned of Gladio's existence. Though the findings omitted any reference to Britain's role in the planned coup, the newly released documents strongly suggest London's involvement.

Doomed Italian PM Aldo Moro's photo while in captivity of the Red Brigades

Italy's then-President Francesco Cossiga requested the ministry hand over "details of UK stay behind measures in 1964," according to a detailed February 1991 Foreign Office memo on recent developments in the scandal.

Cossiga apparently made this enquiry as a result of a judge "whose investigations into unsolved terrorist attacks first brought Operation Gladio to light," and who took the "unprecedented step" of demanding the president testify about the conspiracy under oath. By this point, Cossiga had admitted learning of the "stay behind" force while serving as a junior Defense Minister in 1966.

His Foreign Office query strongly suggests British intelligence played a role in Piano Solo, and that the Italian President was well-aware of the plot. "one or more of Moro's kidnappers was secretly in touch with the security apparatus"

On March 16th 1978, a unit of the leftist militant Red Brigades kidnapped Moro. He was on his way to a high-level meeting where he planned to give his blessing there to a new coalition government that relied on communist support, when the kidnappers violently extracted him from his convoy. Five of Moro's bodyguards were murdered in the process.

After almost two months in captivity, when it became clear the government would neither negotiate with the Red Brigades nor release any of its jailed members in return for Moro, the kidnappers executed the former Italian Prime Minister. His bullet-riddled corpse was left in a car trunk to rot, and for authorities to find.

Moro's murder has inspired widespread and well-founded suspicions that Gladio operatives infiltrated the Red Brigades to push the group to commit excessively violent acts in order to foment popular demand for a right-wing law-and-order regime. More than perhaps any other incident, his killing fulfilled the objectives of the security state's strategy of tension.

Whether or not Moro was a casualty of Gladio, a declassified November 5th 1990 Foreign Office memo authored by Britain's then-ambassador to Rome, John Ashton, makes it clear that London knew much more about the case than has ever been disclosed publicly by any official source. (Read the full Ashton note here).

circumstantial evidence MR Online"There is circumstantial evidence one or more of Moro's kidnappers was secretly in touch with the security apparatus at the time; and that the latter deliberately neglected to follow up leads which might have led to the kidnappers and saved Moro's life," Ashton declared.

What's more, according to the British diplomat, the presidential crisis committee responsible for attempting to rescue Moro was part of the notorious P2—the "subversive Masonic lodge" composed of political elites loyal to Gladio.

According to Ashton, P2 was just one of many "mysterious right wing forces" striving "by terrorism and street violence to provoke a repressive backlash against Italy's democratic institutions" under the "strategy of tension." And President Cossiga was completely unaware it had infiltrated his crisis committee.

In April 1981, magistrates in Milan raided the villa of Licio Gelli, an Italian financier and self-identified fascist who founded P2. There, they uncovered a list of 2,500 members which read like a "Who's Who" of Italian politicians, bankers, spooks, financiers, industrialists, and senior law enforcement and military officials. Among the cabal's most prominent members was Silvio Berlusconi.

Moro's "historic compromise," under which the communists "made possible Andreotti's government", would be the party's "final step before their own entry into government." Ashton stated that this development "was anathema to P2," which was "then in virtual control of Italy's security apparatus," and also to many non-P2 establishment politicians, and also to the U.S.," and sought to "eliminate once and for all any possibility that the Communist Party might achieve national power."

Ashton acknowledged "circumstantial evidence" of "US support for P2." In reality, P2 founder Gelli was so well-connected to Washington's national security and intelligence apparatus, the CIA's Rome station had explicitly charged him with establishing an anti-communist parallel government in Rome.

Subsequent investigations showed how Henry Kissinger helped oversee the recruitment of 400 high-ranking Italian and NATO officers as P2 operatives in 1969. The U.S. was so grateful for Gelli's anti-communist purge that it made him a guest of honor at the inauguration ceremonies of U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

Ashton concluded his revealing note by noting the truth about Washington's involvement in Rome's bloodspattered "Years of Lead" would "probably never be known." The full extent of Britain's involvement in terrorist attacks, government overthrows, destabilization campaigns and other heinous skullduggery under the aegis of Operation Gladio, not merely in Italy but throughout Europe, will almost certainly remain a secret as well, and by design.

It was not until 1993 that the public learned how the U.S. and British gifted munitions to Gladio operatives to foment bloody acts of terror across Italy. As Francesco Fulci told his NATO friends at the "super-restricted" meeting, Washington and London supplied the perpetrators of mass casualty attacks including the 1980 bombing of Bologna Centrale railway station, which killed 85 people and wounded over 200.

Those responsible for these hideous crimes have eluded justice in almost every case. Several of the Bologna massacre's chief suspects, including committed fascist and confirmed MI6 asset Robert Fiore, escaped to London. Britain refused to extradite him and his co-conspirators despite their convictions in absentia for violent crimes.

The extensive experience British intelligence obtained in Operation Gladio raises questions about the lessons the MI6 has applied to current covert operations in theaters of conflict. As The Grayzone revealed in November 2022, British military and intelligence veterans have trained and sponsored a secret partisan terror army in eastern Ukraine to carry out acts of sabotage in Crimea and other majority-Russian areas. The plan called for the training of cells of ideologically dedicated Ukrainians to "shoot, move, communicate, survive."





11
For Your Information / FSB spooked the CIA on Prigozhin coup
« on: June 30, 2023, 08:05:19 PM »
FSB spooked the CIA on Prigozhin coup
Indian Punchline

June 26, 2023


   June The CNN, followed by the New York Times, broke the story on Sunday that the US and western intelligence were indeed aware of the failed coup attempt on Friday night by Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group of Russian military contractors, "for quite some time and making preparations for such a move, including by massing weapons and ammunition."

What we do not know is at what point Russian intelligence got wind of it. The Kremlin acted forcefully, decisively and with foresight in real time to scotch the coup attempt within hours. By Saturday evening, the foreign intelligence chief Sergey Narishkin announced that the coup attempt had failed. The Russian authorities were waiting for Prigozhin to make his move.

It is only natural that Russian intelligence kept a strong presence right inside the Wagner tent all through. Damn it, it is a war zone where Russia's fate is hanging in the balance. The lyrics of the famous Sting song come to mind: ‘Every breath you take / And every move you make / Every bond you break / Every step you take / I'll be watching you '

And the Chorus sings, thereupon: ‘Oh, can't you see / You belong to me? / How my poor heart aches / With every step you take '

Just as the CIA or most intelligence organisations do, the FSB also psychoanalyses the remarks of their targets for profound meanings. They do that routinely and have trained analysts who do only that.

It wouldn't have escaped the attention of Russian intelligence analysts that Prigozhin's ranting and ravings from Donetsk from last autumn and winter began originally on the operational aspects of the Bakhmut war front in Donetsk oblast, but incrementally began acquiring political overtones, culminating finally in his incredible statement that the raison d'être of the special military operation in Ukraine since February 2022, was all baloney.

Even more strangely, this man who physically witnessed the Battle of Bakhmut, came to the bizarre conclusion that Kiev or Nato had no mala fide intentions toward Donbass or Russia.

Therefore, the ‘known known' here is that the Russian intelligence was under instructions to be in ‘listening mode,' give the eddies a free flow in the Battle of Bakhmut where Wagner was in the driving seat. (Interestingly, though, at some point, much to Prigozhin's annoyance, Moscow also began deploying regular troops selectively on the Bakhmut front alongside the Wagner fighters. )

On Saturday, top US intelligence officials sprang into action to brief the media as it emerged that Russian authorities were literally waiting with a road map to squash Prigozhin's coup attempt. Even the Chechen militia was put on standby.

The crucial element in the deal struck with Prigozhin has been that he will not be prosecuted but must simply get lost. And where else could his exile be arranged better on Planet Earth than in Belarus under the benevolent eyes of President Alexander Lukashenko?

Now, we may get to know at some point from Lukashenko, who struggles to keep secrets for long, as to when exactly would Putin have taken him into confidence on a ‘need-to-know basis.' It strains credulity that such a complex dealmaking was possible within a clutch of hours via tortuous 3-way negotiations between Moscow, Minsk and Rostov-on-Don even as the renegade Wagner column was approaching Moscow.

An intriguing sub-plot here is that amidst all this heavy traffic, Lukashenko also negotiated with Nurusultan Nazarbayev, the former Kazakh dictator who headed a pro-western regime in Astana and was ousted from power after reigning for nearly three decades, following the failure of a similar US-backed coup attempt like Prigozhin's in the winter of 2021-2022, which too was crushed with the help of the CSTO forces (Russian troops) led by a Russian general.

On the previous day, in fact, Putin had spoken with two Central Asian leaders — Kazakh President Jomart Tokayev and Uzbek President Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev. Did he share any crucial intelligence? In fact, both these countries have been facing western plots for regime change lately. By the way, Given Moscow's preoccupations in Ukraine, Chinese President Xi Jinping has stepped in to take a hands-on role to consolidate the stability and security of the Central Asian region. (Please see my recent articles — China takes leadership role in Central Asia ; An "Axis of Seven" to supplement SCO ; and, Russia, China take holistic view of the Pamirs and Hindu Kush.

Clearly, something was seriously afoot in Kazakhstan, which is sandwiched between Russia and China and is the most crucial piece of real estate in geopolitical terms in Central Asia.

In all probability, this was what the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken alluded to when he told ABC on Sunday that the situation with the attempted coup in Russia "is still developing I don't want to speculate, and I don't think we saw the final episode." That said, however, Blinken has piled up a consistent record for being horribly wrong on his assessments on Russia — starting from the deathly blow the ‘sanctions from hell' were expected to give to the Russian economy; Putin's hold on power; Russia's catastrophic defeat in Ukraine; Russian military's deficiencies; Kiev's inexorable military victory, and so on.

In this case, he has reason to feel embittered particularly because of the spectacular unity of the Russian state, political elite, media, regional and federal bureaucracy, and the military and security establishment in rallying behind Putin. Arguably, Putin's political stature is now unchallengeable and unassailable in Russia and the Americans have to live with that reality long after Joe Biden's departure from the scene.

Going forward

The Kremlin has adopted a very thoughtful strategy. From available details so far, it has the following five key elements:

Principally, the top priority is to avoid bloodshed so that life moves on and the focus on the war in Ukraine, which is at a tipping point, doesn't suffer; In immediate terms, get the few renegade Wagner fighters and Prigozhin to leave Rostov-on-Don and return to their camps in Lugansk; Clinically separate Prigozhin from the rest of Wagner Group (In fact, not a single Wagner commander or officer joined his revolt); Offer immunity to the bulk of the Wagner Group — except the participants in the coup, of course — and facilitate their formal integration into the defence ministry. That is, the logic behind the creation of Wagner Group by the Defence Ministry (and an unnamed top secret internal security agency) holds good still, but it will no longer be a quasi-state force, but will have a habitation and name and led by designated professional military commanders instead of free-wheeling fortune hunters like Prigozhin.) Get Prigozhin to leave for Belarus, which was not difficult once he realised that he should request mercy from none other than Putin (who agreed to the oligarch's safe passage to Belarus.)

The last element is utterly fascinating. The Kremlin is extremely annoyed with Prigozhin for his seditious behaviour but is also aware — presumably on the basis of intelligence inputs — that he has been manipulated by western powers. Of course, there is going to be a price to pay. Prigozhin will never get back his towering stature as an oligarch with a personal fortune of $1.2 billion or the fabulous lifestyle he led.

But at least, the 62-year old oligarch is spared a possible twenty-year prison term. This is of a piece with Putin's handling of oligarchs in general. (Read my article The Rise and fall of a Russian oligarch.)

Make no mistake, Lukashenko will eventually make Prigozhin sing — sooner rather later — and the song will be transmitted live to the Kremlin. And that accounts for the great nervousness in Washington, which has raised the spectre of nuclear war, etc. to give the spin to distract attention from the CIA's plot to destabilise Russia. The irrepressible Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov calls it a "turbulent stream of consciousness."

To be sure, now that the CIA-MI6- Prigozhin plot has failed, out of its debris, new western narratives will be born like a Phoenix out of the ashes. And the US' sleeping cells abroad, including in the Indian media, will parrot that narrative.

But, not for long. For, what lies ahead is the manifestation of the steely resolve of the Kremlin — and Putin himself — to seek an all-out military solution to the Ukraine crisis. Putin declared last week — most likely in anticipation of the storm brewing on the horizon — that the war will be over when no Ukrainian army will be left on the battlefield, or NATO weapons.

Read the official transcript of a videoconference that Putin took last Thursday, in the immediate run-up to Prigozhin's coup attempt, with the full quorum of the Security Council (post-Soviet Russia's ‘Politburo'), which gives a flavour of the mood in the Kremlin and will provide some clues to what to expect on the battlefields of Ukraine, going forward. It is a huge signal in advance to the "collective West" that nothing will be forgotten.





12
From King Charles' Coronation to the Birth of Europe's Fourth Reich
Declan Hayes, Strategic Culture


   Let us, who walk on two legs and not four, salute those unsung legions who fell to make this knock-off Caesar appear to be great.

Although MI5's BBC outlet recently gave us a full roadmap to King Charles 111's Coronation, this article aims to add further to the festivities by discussing its religious hypocrisy, the charlatans who will be in attendance and its wider strategic significance as midwife to Europe's Fourth Reich.

First off, former banker and Banderite apologist Justin Welby, who styles himself as the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, will decree that Charles is the boss of bosses, the Don Corleone of their Anglican Cult, and as such, is the Defender of Their Protestant Faith, a title first bestowed on the philandering King Henry V111 by Pope Leo X in 1527, which the Anglican cultists quickly hijacked for their own mercenary reasons. Although that is bad enough, it is their attempt to co-opt other, more genuine and established faiths into their Coronation pantomime that riles me, as it riled Stephen Karganovic.

First off, the BBC tells us that the circus will include "Greek Orthodox music in memory of the King's father, Prince Philip", whom the late Princess Diana, Queen of Hearts, dubbed as Phil the Greek. But Phil the Greek abandoned the Faith of his Fathers and, more importantly, of his sainted mother, Princess Alice to embrace, in name at least, the string of high-class Anglican mistresses marrying the late Queen Elizabeth brought him. Though it would be a stretch of the English language to call me a Royalist, I have the profoundest respect for Princess Alice, who can be seen here, dressed in the habit of a Greek Orthodox nun, at the wedding of Queen (then Princess) Elizabeth to her wayward, penniless and generally useless son.

Given Princess Alice's resistance to Nazis in her native Greece and her support of the Greek Jews and Orthodox Christians during the Nazi Occupation, I have no doubt that she would stand foursquare with the Orthodox faithful of Syria, Ukraine and Jerusalem, where she is buried in its Russian Orthodox Cathedral alongside her aunt, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna who is a saint in the (Russian) Orthodox Church.

If King Charles really wishes to honour the Orthodox faithful, then he could invite Patriarch Kirill to say a prayer for his granny or, if he was not suitable, my good friend Archbishop Theodosius Hanna, whom the Israelis regularly crucify, would make an excellent compromise.

But no. Shortly before I got Patriarch Aphrem of the Syriac Orthodox Church to address the Irish Parliament, this man of God, who had only recently survived an attempted assassination in his native Syria, opened the Cathedral of St Thomas in London which King Charles, to his credit, attended and to which the late Queen, to her credit, sent a telegram of congratulations. However, the CIA, not to be left out of festivities, got Umar al-Qadri, a semi-literate Irish-based Pakistani-Dutch imam, who spends an inordinate amount of time State-side with his Yankee pals, to do his song and dance routine on St Thomas' High Altar. Not only did this usurper not belong there but, once Patriarch Aphrem and the rest of the Syrian delegation arrived in Ireland, the theologically illiterate Al-Qadri, on the word of his Yankee handlers, made all kinds of incendiary theological accusations against the Syrian delegation, which was headed by its then Grand Mufti, one of our era's leading Quranic scholars.

Though ignoramuses like al-Qadri belong nowhere near King Charles' Coronation, these are the types of ecumenical oafs MI5 recruit to give credence to this Coronation circus. Clowns like that utter imbecile Clown Prince Zelensky, whose thugs are terrorising the Orthodox Christians Princess Alice so faithfully and courageously served. King Charles, if he wants to be a King rather than just a play-acting Zelensky-style plastic King, should call out Ukraine, Israel and all others who mock the religion of Princess Alice, Archbishop Hanna, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, and St Philoumenous and who persecute its faithful in ways the gone-to-seed Westerners, who will pack the pews of Westminster, can never even begin to appreciate, just as they cannot and will not even bring themselves to utter a prayer, let alone a pardon, for Catholic pacifist Julian Assange who, less than a mile away from their Coronation jamboree, lies chained in prisons dark but still in heart and conscience free just as other faith-driven English Catholics did in times gone by.

Given that Ursula von der Leyen would sell whatever remains of her soul for a chance to be in the spotlight, religious clowns will not be the only jokers in attendance. Seated like house-trained puppies on their pews will be the gangster separatists of Scotland and Ireland, Ireland's and Scotland's Sopranos, compared to whom even Hunter Biden and his Nazi bio labs look law-abiding. Though these Celtic Sopranos should, like the red and black bearskin soldiers who will pepper the proceedings, be aptly described as Soldiers of the King, they lack the courage, honesty and integrity of those countless Tommies who fell for King and Country in some corner of a foreign field that is forever England.

Those thieving, self-serving, child-raping curs don't even deserve that patch. They are there to network, to climb MI5's greasy pole, to skim and to keep the whole corrupt system the trappings of Royalty personify ticking over.

Co-opted as they are, these Scottish and Irish gangsters are way out of their depth. MI5 know that the jig is up for their Royalty, at least in the form the late Queen Elizabeth knew it. And so they are re-inventing the Royal circus show to make it more relevant, not only to the English and Australian blue rinses who lap all this vomit up but also to the World Economic Forum, the CIA and the EU prison yard's other shot callers, who care no more about King Jug Ears than do most of his subjects. Their objective is, as it has always been, to opiate us all into their cages, to herd and blinker us, so as we are sheep to this, their Judas goat.

Let's hope that the rain keeps off and King Charles and his Loyal Scottish and Irish skivvies have a good day of it, and that Ursula von der Leyen gets plenty of selfies to justify our American friends keeping that old mare in clover and, if God wills it, that Clown Prince Zelensky and al-Qadri manage to gatecrash the proceedings and bore all and sundry to death with their flat earth dirges.

But, in all this, let's recall that marvellous hymn of those English Catholics who kept true to the Faith of Our Fathers' Holy Faith and who, though "chained in prisons dark, were still in heart and conscience free." Let's recall the Irish Fenians, who put the fear of God and more into Queen Victoria, Joyce's "flatulent old bitch". Let's remember how James Connolly, who fought alongside Fenian fanatic Tom Clarke against the Soldiers of the King in 1916, not only castigated the flunkeys of Royalism in this fabulous essay but quite accurately positioned the role of monarchy in our society.

Speaking of which, Friday May 5th is the 42nd anniversary of the death by hunger strike of Bobby Sands, for whom I voted early and often, and for whom I led a series of high-profile protests, all in the face of systematic Sinn Féin sabotage. No doubt, those Sinn Féin leaders assigned to Licking the Royal Bum in London will throw Sands and his brave comrades a few shibboleths, empty words from empty people who serve Empire, the same Empire Connolly castigated when, from the steps of Liberty Hall he, and his fellow heroes of the Irish Citizen Army declared: We serve neither King nor Kaiser but Ireland.

And so it is today in the words of Shakespeare's King Henry V with "we few, we happy few, we band of brothers". There are, as the late Queen Elizabeth proclaimed, dark and sinister forces afoot in England's green and pleasant land which is now a part of Europe's evolving Fourth Reich consumed, as its Third Reich predecessor was, with slaughtering Slavs, opiating the Chinese and making its own children be the modern-day equivalent of the Famine Queen's chimney sweeps. No more than the Famine Queen's own sullen subjects should we be beguiled by the Coronation's pomp and circumstance that sugar-coat the Fourth Reich's war crimes in Ukraine, Sudan, Syria and even England's own green and pleasant land of corrupt politicians, fake clerics and this empty Royalist pomp and circumstance.

Like Queen Victoria's chimney sweeps, Britain's coal miners and England's Tolpuddle and Tyburn martyrs, we have a choice in this. Sure, those of us who like a bit of pomp and circumstance can marvel at the marching bands and the broad posteriors and bursting seams of the multi-chinned pot bellies packing the pews of Westminster. We can watch Welby anoint Charles in this oh so English version of Hollywood's The Godfather before getting on with our day and settling in for the English Premier League's 3pm kick-offs.

Though we can marvel at these circuses, we should be in no doubt about their function or the role Ursula von der Leyen and a thousand other flunkeys play in them, as they Judas Goat us along into their Fourth Reich, which already has a strong Neanderthal axis in the CIA's fascist spawning grounds of Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic pimple states.

This Fourth Reich, as seen from Kiev and Jerusalem, demands an absolute monopoly on power; out-of-court reprisals; blanket censorship; the liquidation of almost all independent media and the destruction of all political opposition; an all-encompassing total state propaganda; and an active search for traitors, Orthodox Christians and fictional Russian spies, saboteurs and sports people.

For all the bullshit that King Charles' handlers get him to spin, here is the reality. The CIA's Radio Free Europe (sic) boasts that Poland's fascist regime refused to allow Vitalia Diatchenko fly to a tennis tournament because she is a Russian citizen. Twitter and the CIA's other media outlets rigged it so that Creepy Joe Biden won the U.S. Presidential election, just as they are currently rigging the 2024 election to ensure Trump does not win and Robert Kennedy Junior goes the way of his assassinated uncle, Jack, and his assassinated father, Bobby.

Don't be fooled or co-opted by King Jug Ears. He is but a mask, America's Mickey Mouse even down to the ears. The reality this Royal swan song masks is being played out in Kiev's Kristallnacht and in the killing fields of Eastern Ukraine, where Russian Orthodox soldiers are fighting the same Satanic forces their grandfathers faced 80 years ago,. It is being played out in the narrow back streets of Bethlehem, whose Orthodox Christians are mired under the Israeli yoke and in Gaza, whose Orthodox Christians suffer the same unspeakable privations as their Sunni friends, neighbours and relatives. In Sudan, where MI5's intrigues continue the genocidal work of Gordon of Khartoum and in a thousand other places, whose tragedies are celebrated in the finery King Charles and his moll, Queen Consort Camilla, so ignorantly adorn themselves with.

Let King Jug Ears adorn himself with his Star of Africa, his Cullinan diamonds, his St Edward Diamond, his Black Prince ruby as well as his throne of plundered amethysts, sapphires, garnets, topazes and tourmaline gems and as he plonks his well-polished, Anglo-Saxon posterior down on Scotland's Stone of Destiny, think of the fate of all of those who have suffered as this"rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born", of Julian Assange who rots in King Charles' dungeons for defending the Syriac Orthodox Christians of Iraq, of Alina Lipp, Germany's own Bambi, of Darya Dugina, Vitalia Diatchenko and so many other Russian Orthodox Christians, of the French Catholics who will be battered off Parisian streets as King Jug Ears performs his sluggish pantomime, of the Congo's legions of child slaves who mine cobalt for King Charles' self-serving Green Energy initiatives, of all of those who stand with Clarke and Connolly, with the Tolpuddle and Tyburn martyrs, with the Orthodox Christians far away in dear old Cyprus or in Kenya's dusty land and who tell King Charles, his moll Camilla and his whole entourage to stick their sham c

Let the blue rinses enjoy their day, the bands, the marching, the finery and the distended bellies of the great and mighty. But let us, who walk on two legs and not four, salute not this MI5 charlatan but those unsung legions who fell to make this knock-off Caesar appear to be great. That, at least, is what I will be doing on this Saint Jug Ears Day and every day "from this day to the ending of the world".

13
Speech by First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine Pyotr Simonenko at the XXII Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties, Havana, Cuba, October 2022
Solidnet

Nov 7, 2022

Solidnet

   Dear comrades!

I cordially welcome the participants in the 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties on behalf of the Communist Party of Ukraine. The party which has been illegally banned in my country where our comrades and like-thinking people suffer political persecution, arrests and physical violence on the part of the ruling Neo-Nazi-olygarchic regime, a regime which is, in essence, reactinary and Fascist.

We have gathered here on the Island of Freedom at a difficult time. The forces of international imperialism, the sharks of globalization in their struggle for redrawing the political map of the world, for resources and commodity markets resort to any methods and in fact act as instigators of the Third World War. The tragedy is that the reactionary forces make active use of Neo-Nazism and Neo-Fascism to achieve their goals.

Analysis of the international situation shows growing aggressiveness of imperialism and a dramatic sharpening of its internal contradictions in two areas:

the ideological – between the US-led imperialist West and Communist China which, in the wake of the collapse of the USSR, they consider to be "an empire of evil,"as well as Vietnam and Cuba; and the inter-imperialist –The USA seeks to preserve its hegemony and the world order under which it plays the dominant role.

The USA is creating new miliary blocs in Southeast Asia, stoking up tensions in the Middle East and North Africa, and is pursuing an aggressive policy in using Ukraine against Russia, and Taiwan against China. The provocatie visit of Pelosi to Yerevan and her pledges of support for Armenia inevitably lead to a widening of the conflict in the Caucasus between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The situation in Central Asia gives grounds for concern (recent conflict between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan).

After the breakup of the USSR it was the USA and Britian that set about creating a neo-Fascist state on the territory of the former Soviet Ukraine and became the main sponsors and beneficiaries of it.

The reforms they were foisting on Ukraine put capital in control of all the spheres of society's life and ensured total control of transnational corportions over the coutnry's socio-economic life and as a result created the material basis for the advent and establishment, as a reuslt of an armed coup in February 2014, of the power of the most reactionary forces: the comprador bourgeoisie allied with neo-Fascists and organized crime.

It was these forces in Ukraine that were instrumental in destroying all the socilaist gains, economic sovereignty and bringing about a profound lumpenization of society.

It is through these forces that the USA formed a puppet vertical power structure and introduced external control of the country.

It was through these forces that the USA uleashed in Ukraine a fratricidal civil war, a war against the citizens of Donbass who are upholding their constitutinal rigths and freedoms. It was these forces which, at the instigation of the US ruling circles, brought about a development of the civil war in Donbass into a war against Russia.

Humankind has in fact already been dragged into a new world war. I would like to draw one of the many tragic parallels.

During the Second World War Europe was working for Hitler in the war against the USSR. Today, acting in the interests of the USA, Europe is supplying weapons to the pro-Fascist regime in Ukraine and is strengthening it financially.

The continuation of this policy will inevitably lead to the spread of the theatre of hostilities to the territory of the EU.

The aggressive attempts of some new European countries, notably Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Baltic states, to revise the post- World War II borders will merely speed up this process.

The former Foreign Minister of Romania, Marga, recently said without mincing words: "Ukraine is within unnatural borders. It should cede territories: Transcarpathia to Hungary, Galicia to Poland, Bukovina to Romania. These are the territories of other countries."

US senator Lindsey Graham said cyniclly that with American weapons Ukraine will fight Russia to the last man.

Civilians, innocent people—old folks, women and chilcren -- are dying in Ukraine. This is a tragedy.

In backing the fascist regime in Ukraine, the USA and NATO are pursuing a policy which former US senator Richard Blake outlined like this: " we don't care how many Ukrainians die. How many women, children, civilians and military die. We don't care. It is like a football match and we want to win. Ukraine cannot accept a peace solution. It is up to Washington to take the peace decision, but in the meantime we want to continue this war, we will fight to the last Ukrainian."

Such statements by war hawks vindicate our position and the warnings the Ukrainian communists voiced in Izmir last week: the threat of a Fascist offensive is real, the war which the USA and NATO are waging with Ukrainian hands on Ukrainian territory is a war solely in the interests of the USA imperialists.

Billions of dollars are funnelled into the production of lethal weapons and ammunition, Britain's new-baked Prime Minister Liz Truss is prepared to use nuclear weapons, huge numbers of NATO troops are concentrated on the borders of Ukraine and Belarus.

The imperialists turn a blind eye to the fact that Zelensky's pro-Fascist regime is ruthlessly doing away with political opponents. Any manifestations of free thinking are quashed by punitive units. The crimes of Hitlerites and their accomplices during the Second World War who burned people alive in Oswiecim and who staged Gernica and Khatyn massacres are being glorified.

The monuments and graves of Soviet soldiers who gave their lives to have the flames in the furnaces of Nazi death camps doused are being destroyed.

This happens not only in Ukraine but all over Europe. The Moloch of glorification of Nazi criminals devours minds turning homo sapiens ("the wise man") into a "mad man."

The process of recreating a semblance of the Nazi Third Reich is practically underway.

This "Reich," like its prototype nurtured by transnational capital, American and Birtish corporations, bases its ideology on the superiority of the "indigenous" race. Hence the law on indigenous peoples which has turned into outcasts the Russians who have always lived on Ukrainian territory, including Donbass, Kharkov, Odessa, Nikolayev, Kherson, indeed the whole territory of our country. Like Jews in Nazi Germany. We know from history what tragedy it visited on millions of people.

Comrades!

In view of what is happening in Ukraine, I would like first of all to note that unfortunately, there is no consensus between Communist and workers' parties on the nature of the armed conflict in Ukraine, as well as on the position of the Communist Partyof the Russian Federation, which has supported the special operation.

Since any military confrontation has its own specific features, the very first task of any Marxist is to identify its class oriented nature with appropriate assessment.

As we believe, the war of Donbass against the Kiev regime should be considered as national liberation struggle, in essence, a war for independence from the ruling fascist regime, for the right of the people to speak their native Russian language and not to follow the anti-Russian course imposed by the United States.

Hence, on the basis of Marxist theory, the military conflict in Ukraine should not be considered as an imperialist war in a literal sense of the word, and moreover in view of Russia, it is considered as the struggle against an external threat to national security and fascism.

We all understand that people's militia of Donbass was not able to resist the Ukrainian army of many thousands equipped with foreign weaponry, so their defeat would have inevitably lead to the total destruction of the Russian-speaking population, many of whom were citizens of Russia.

The army of thousands of Ukrainian nationalists under the command of American and NATO instructors concentrated on the borders of the republics, the detailed invasion plan had been developed by Washington generals in advance. They all were waiting for the command.

Accordingly, in order to protect its citizens and ensure national security, Russia had no other choice but to deliver a preventive strike.

In accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the President has taken the actions stipulated by the Law, since it was impossible to resist aggression in any other way.

In addition, the negotiation process within the framework of the Minsk agreements has been deliberately sabotaged by Kiev with the support of the United States and the European Union, since the establishment of peace in Ukraine is not stipulated by the plans of Washington and NATO.

In this regard, the position of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation seems to us quite reasonable.

The increasingly reactionry character of modern imperialaism is the result of several factors that have brought about a decline of the workers' movement and the weakining of the communist and workers' parties.

Ukrainian communists believe that in working out the tactics of our actions and defining the main areas of struggle it is necessary to proceed on the basis that the modern balance of forces in the world has tilted in favour of reaction which is making use of Fascism.

Sowing discord within the working classes, using puppet regimes, Neo-Fascists and Neo-Nazis, imperilaism intensifies the exploitation of countries and peoples and destroys the foundations of people's democracy and a just world order.

Modern world trends and constant economic crises, unfortunately, diminish the revolutionary potential of the principles of proletarian internationalaism and undermine the unity of the working classes. This is happening also in Ukraiane where a special "working" class of war is being created, the class which lives off the war and cannot imagine itself without it.

The sanctions policy initiated by the USA and Britain and their political satellites inevitably worsens the life of common people, weakens the states' economic potential, provokes unemployment and consequently increases social discontentand, unfortunately, disunites the workers' movement. World imperialism uses all these phenomena as a weapon in the class struggle.

What do we see today in Europe and indeed in the USA? Prices and tariffs have grown many times over. Enterprises are shutting down, people publicly burn their bills for gas, electricity and water, stage protest actions against their governments demanding, among other things, an end to the sanctions madness and the war in Ukraine. All this is hapening against the background of militarization of the economy, politics and the media hysteria around the nuclear war.

I am convinced that the communist and workers' parties must channel people's economic and social demands towards political struggle. The struggle against the threat of Fascism and a change of the social system that engenders it, that is, the capitalist system as such.

Today the progressive forces – we have to admit it honestly – are losing the cognitive battle for the minds of people. It is our task to win it. This is the only way if we want to prevent the catastrophe of a Third World War.

In this connection I believe that in the context of the goals and tasks of our meeting and considering the situation in the world and the need to struggle for an end to the war and the establishment of a just world order we –the communist and workers' parties – should concentate our eforts on the following areas:

the srengthening of our solidarity, solidarity with otherprogressie forces in the struggle against Neo-Fascism and the instigators of a Third World War; organising a system of truthful public information about what is taking place in Ukraine today, how it threatens Europe and how it threatens humankind; explaining to people that the civil war in Donbass (2014-2022), like the Ukraine-Russia war, have been provoked and unleashed by the pro-Fasicst regimes in Ukraine on the demand and in the interests of the USA in order to create a bridgehead for the dismemberment and destruction of Russia as a geopolitical rival; stepping up the struggle against any attempts to glorify the Nazi ideology, restoring the true history of the Second World War; supporting (without going back on our ideological principles) those who come out for a peaceful settlement and an end to the war in Ukraine regardless of their political affiliation. Such politicians and such forces exist in every country.

I also consider it necessary to bend every effort at the level of national parliaments and the European parliament to neutralise the provocative actions of the USA and its allies in the Asia Pacific Region against China. Combined with the war in Ukraine and the possible direct clash of nuclear powers, China and the USA, especially against the background of declartions about a Russian "nuclear threat" the worst forecasts may, unfortunately, become a reality.

Dear comrades!

The struggle to put an end to the fratricidal war in Ukraine unleashed by the transnational corporations and their stooges in the governments of European and not only European states, the war in which Washington-led NATO is a de facto side to the conflict (supply of arms, ammunition and training of Ukrainian armed forces, funding and controlling the millitary campaign) is the struggle for preventing a Third World War which is but a step away. We must do everything to prevent it.

Once again, thank you for the opportunity to address the participants in this inernaional meeting and to express confidence of our victory, a victory of "light" over "darkness".





14

   Eastern Economic Forum: Asia's future takes shape in Vladivostok, the Russian Pacific
Pepe Escobar, Vineyard of the Saker and cross posted

Sept 8, 2022


   Sixty-eight countries gathered on Russia's far eastern coast to listen to Moscow's economic and political vision for the Asia-Pacific

The Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok is one of the indispensable annual milestones for keeping up not only with the complex development process of the Russian Far East but major plays for Eurasia integration.

Mirroring an immensely turbulent 2022, the current theme in Vladivostok is ‘On the Path to a Multipolar World.' Russian President Vladimir Putin himself, in a short message to business and government participants from 68 nations, set the stage:

"The obsolete unipolar model is being replaced by a new world order based on the fundamental principles of justice and equality, as well as the recognition of the right of each state and people to their own sovereign path of development. Powerful political and economic centers are taking shape right here in the Asia-Pacific region, acting as a driving force in this irreversible process."

In his speech to the EEF plenary session, Ukraine was barely mentioned. Putin's response when asked about it: "Is this country part of Asia-Pacific?"

The speech was largely structured as a serious message to the collective west, as well as to what top analyst Sergey Karaganov calls the "global majority." Among several takeaways, these may be the most relevant:

Russia as a sovereign state will defend its interests. Western sanctions ‘fever' is threatening the world – and economic crises are not going away after the pandemic. The entire system of international relations has changed. There is an attempt to maintain world order by changing the rules. Sanctions on Russia are closing down businesses in Europe. Russia is coping with economic and tech aggression from the west. Inflation is breaking records in developed countries. Russia is looking at around 12 percent. Russia has played its part in grain exports leaving Ukraine, but most shipments went to EU nations and not developing countries. The "welfare of the ‘Golden Billion' is being ignored." The west is in no position to dictate energy prices to Russia. Ruble and yuan will be used for gas payments. The role of Asia-Pacific has significantly increased.

In a nutshell: Asia is the new epicenter of technological progress and productivity.

No more an ‘object of colonization'

Taking place only two weeks before another essential annual gathering – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand – it is no wonder some of the top discussions at the EEF revolve around the increasing economic interpolation between the SCO and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

This theme is as crucial as the development of the Russian Arctic: at 41 percent of total territory, that's the largest resource base in the federation, spread out over nine regions, and encompassing the largest Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on the planet, linked to the free port of Vladivostok. The Arctic is being developed via several strategically important projects processing mineral, energy, water and biological natural resources.

So it's perfectly fitting that Austria's former foreign minister Karin Kneissel, self-described as "a passionate historian," quipped about her fascination at how Russia and its Asian partners are tackling the development of the Northern Sea Route: "One of my favorite expressions is that airlines and pipelines are moving east. And I keep saying this for twenty years."

Amidst a wealth of roundtables exploring everything from the power of territory, supply chains and global education to "the three whales" (science, nature, human), arguably the top discussion this Tuesday at the forum was centered on the role of the SCO.

Apart from the current full members – Russia, China, India, Pakistan, four Central Asians (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan), plus the recent accession of Iran – no less than 11 further nations want to join, from observer Afghanistan to dialogue partner Turkey.

Grigory Logvinov, the SCO's deputy secretary general, stressed how the economic, political and scientific potential of players comprising "the center of gravity" for Asia – over a quarter of the world's GDP, 50 percent of the world's population – has not been fully harvested yet.

Kirill Barsky, from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, explained how the SCO is actually the model of multipolarity, according to its charter, compared to the backdrop of "destructive processes" launched by the west.

And that leads to the economic agenda in the Eurasian integration progress, with the Russian-led Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) configured as the SCO's most important partner.

Barsky identifies the SCO as "the core Eurasian structure, forming the agenda of Greater Eurasia within a network of partnership organizations." That's where the importance of the cooperation with ASEAN comes in.

Barsky could not but evoke Mackinder, Spykman and Brzezinski – who regarded Eurasia "as an object to be acted upon the wishes of western states, confined within the continent, away from the ocean shores, so the western world could dominate in a global confrontation of land and sea. The SCO as it developed can triumph over these negative concepts."

And here we hit a notion widely shared from Tehran to Vladivostok:

Eurasia no longer as "an object of colonization by ‘civilized Europe' but again an agent of global policy."

‘India wants a 21st Asian century'

Sun Zuangnzhi from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) elaborated on China's interest in the SCO. He focused on achievements: In the 21 years since its founding, a mechanism to establish security between China, Russia and Central Asian states evolved into "multi-tiered, multi-sector cooperation mechanisms."

Instead of "turning into a political instrument," the SCO should capitalize on its role of dialogue forum for states with a difficult history of conflicts – "interactions are sometimes difficult" – and focus on economic cooperation "on health, energy, food security, reduction of poverty."

Rashid Alimov, a former SCO secretary general, now a professor at the Taihe Institute, stressed the "high expectations" from Central Asian nations, the core of the organization. The original idea remains – based on the indivisibility of security on a trans-regional level in Eurasia.

Well, we all know how the US and NATO reacted when Russia late last year proposed a serious dialogue on "indivisibility of security."

As Central Asia does not have an outlet to the sea, it is inevitable, as Alimov stressed, that Uzbekistan's foreign policy privileges involvement in accelerated intra-SCO trade. Russia and China may be the leading investors, and now "Iran also plays an important role. Over 1,200 Iranian companies are working in Central Asia."

Connectivity, once again, must increase: "The World Bank rates Central Asia as one of the least connected economies in the world."

Sergey Storchak of Russian bank VEB explained the workings of the "SCO interbank consortium." Partners have used "a credit line from the Bank of China" and want to sign a deal with Uzbekistan. The SCO interbank consortium will be led by the Indians on a rotation basis – and they want to step up its game. At the upcoming summit in Samarkand, Storchak expects a road map for the transition towards the use of national currencies in regional trade.

Kumar Rajan from the School of International Studies of the Jawaharlal Nehru University articulated the Indian position. He went straight to the point: "India wants a 21st Asian century. Close cooperation between India and China is necessary. They can make the Asian century happen."

Rajan remarked how India does not see the SCO as an alliance, but committed to the development and political stability of Eurasia.

He made the crucial point about connectivity revolving around India "working with Russia and Central Asia with the INSTC" – the International North South Transportation Corridor, and one of its key hubs, the Chabahar port in Iran: "India does not have direct physical connectivity with Central Asia. The INSTC has the participation of an Iranian shipping line with 300 vessels, connecting to Mumbai. President Putin, in the [recent] Caspian meeting, referred directly to the INSTC."

Crucially, India not only supports the Russian concept of Greater Eurasia Partnership but is engaged in setting up a free trade agreement with the EAEU: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, incidentally, came to the Vladivostok forum last year.

In all of the above nuanced interventions, some themes are constant. After the Afghanistan disaster and the end of the US occupation there, the stabilizing role of the SCO cannot be overstated enough. An ambitious road map for cooperation is a must – probably to be approved at the Samarkand summit. All players will be gradually changing to trade in bilateral currencies. And creation of transit corridors is leading to the progressive integration of national transit systems.

Let there be light

A key roundtable on the ‘Gateway to a Multipolar World' expanded on the SCO role, outlining how most Asian nations are "friendly" or "benevolently neutral" when it comes to Russia after the start of the Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine.

So the possibilities for expanding cooperation across Eurasia remain practically unlimited. Complementarity of economies is the main factor. That would lead, among other developments, to the Russian Far East, as a multipolar hub, turning into "Russia's gateway to Asia" by the 2030s.

Wang Wen from the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies stressed the need for Russia to rediscover China – finding "mutual trust in the middle level and elites level". At the same time, there's a sort of global rush to join BRICS, from Saudi Arabia and Iran to Afghanistan and Argentina:

"That means a new civilization model for emerging economies like China and Argentina because they want to rise up peacefully ( ) I think we are in the new civilization age."

B. K. Sharma from the United Service Institution of India got back to Spykman pigeonholing the nation as a rimland state. Not anymore: India now has multiple strategies, from connecting to Central Asia to the ‘Act East' policy. Overall, it's an outreach to Eurasia, as India "is not competitive and needs to diversify to get better access to Eurasia, with logistical help from Russia."

Sharma stresses how India takes SCO, BRICS and RICs very seriously while seeing Russia playing "an important role in the Indian Ocean." He nuances the Indo-Pacific outlook: India does not want Quad as a military alliance, privileging instead "interdependence and complementarity between India, Russia and China."

All of these discussions interconnect with the two overarching themes in several Vladivostok roundtables: energy and the development of the Arctic's natural resources.

Pavel Sorokin, Russian First Deputy Minister of Energy, dismissed the notion of a storm or typhoon in the energy markets: "It's a far cry from a natural process. It's a man-made situation." The Russian economy, in contrast, is seen by most analysts as slowly but surely designing its Arctic/Asian cooperation future – including, for instance, the creation of a sophisticated trans-shipment infrastructure for Liquified Natural Gas (LNG).

Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov made sure that Russia will actually increase its gas production, considering the rise of LNG deliveries and the construction of Power of Siberia-2 to China: "We will not merely scale up the pipeline capacity but we will also expand LNG production: it has mobility and excellent purchases on the global market."

On the Northern Sea Route, the emphasis is on building a powerful, modern icebreaker fleet – including nuclear. Gadzhimagomed Guseynov, First Deputy Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, is adamant: "What Russia has to do is to make the Northern Sea Route a sustainable and important transit route."

There is a long-term plan up to 2035 to create infrastructure for safe shipping navigation, following an ‘Arctic best practices' of learning step by step. NOVATEK, according to its deputy chairman Evgeniy Ambrosov, has been conducting no less than a revolution in terms of Arctic navigation and shipbuilding in the last few years.

Kniessel, the former Austrian minister, recalled that she always missed the larger geopolitical picture in her discussions when she was active in European politics (she now lives in Lebanon): "I wrote about the passing of the torch from Atlanticism to the Pacific. Airlines, pipelines and waterways are moving East. The Far East is actually Pacific Russia."

Whatever Atlanticists may think of it, the last word for the moment might belong to Vitaly Markelov, from the board of directors of Gazprom: Russia is ready for winter. There will be warmth and light everywhere."

15
Ukraine Loses Soldiers - Europe Its Economies - All For No Gain
Moon of Alabama

Sept 7, 2022


   When the Ukraine launched its Kherson 'counteroffensive' on August 29 I was pretty aghast and judged that it was destined to fail:

To break the reinforced Russian lines now would have taken more troops than were available.

I am sure that the Ukrainian military knew that this offensive would fail.

For political reasons Zelenski ordered them to launch it anyway. There are now another 1,000+ Ukrainian and Russian lives lost for nothing other then some sensational headlines and political optics.

More than 3,000 Ukrainians have died by now in the Kherson offensive without having made any significant progress. Hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles were lost. A dozen Ukrainian planes and helicopters have been shot down. All the material had come from the 'west' which has now emptied its stock of Soviet weapons. No more will be coming anytime soon.

The Ukraine thereby blew its chance to hold a line against any significant new moves from the Russia side. Those moves will be coming.

But what really bothers me is the human toll of this offensive.

I have never been at war. But I have had a decent full time military officer training over several years plus several month long reserve stints in active duty battalions. I have read lots of books and watched dozens of movies about frontline fighting in World War I, II, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan etc. If one reflects on those events and the details described in the depictions one gets a 'feel' for such conflicts. Then there is the operational math like the numbers of artillery rounds fired per square kilometer, troop density and the toll such artillery bombardments will inevitably take.

The Ukrainian soldiers never had a chance to withstand the might of the Russian military. None whatsoever. That was recognizable from the very onset of the war. That the Ukrainian government and its backers tried to withstand the onslaught was illogical.

The 'west' should have given up and make the concessions that Russia had demanded. It will have to make those anyway.

The Ukrainian government has tightly controlled the media and any reporting from the frontline. We have only had Russian reports of high numbers of Ukrainian casualties. Some doubt the numbers the Russians give. I don't. They mostly fit with what I learned and with calculations.

Now a Washington Post reporter got access to hospitals where wounded Ukrainian soldiers involved in that 'counterattack' try to recover. John Hudson's report is grim even as it is not from the frontline and holds back on the most grievous scenes:

Wounded Ukrainian soldiers reveal steep toll of Kherson offensive

As the piece is behind a paywall I will extensively quote from it:

In dimly lit hospital rooms in southern Ukraine, soldiers with severed limbs, shrapnel wounds, mangled hands and shattered joints recounted the lopsided disadvantages their units faced in the early days of a new offensive to expel Russian forces from the strategic city of Kherson.

The soldiers said they lacked the artillery needed to dislodge Russia's entrenched forces and described a yawning technology gap with their better-equipped adversaries. The interviews provided some of the first direct accounts of a push to retake captured territory that is so sensitive, Ukrainian military commanders have barred reporters from visiting the front lines. ... "We lost five people for every one they did," said Ihor, a 30-year-old platoon commander who injured his back when the tank he was riding in crashed into a ditch. ... Russia's Orlan drones exposed Ukrainian positions from more than a kilometer above their heads, they said, an altitude that meant they never heard the buzz of the aircraft tracking their movements.

Russian tanks emerged from newly built cement fortifications to blast infantry with large-caliber artillery, the wounded Ukrainian soldiers said. The vehicles would then shrink back beneath the concrete shelters, shielded from mortar and rocket fire.

Counter-battery radar systems automatically detected and located Ukrainians who were targeting the Russians with projectiles, unleashing a barrage of artillery fire in response.

Russian hacking tools hijacked the drones of Ukrainian operators, who saw their aircraft drift away helplessly behind enemy lines. ... Oleksandr said the Russian artillery fire was relentless. "They were just hitting us all the time," he said. "If we fire three mortars, they fire 20 in return."

The Ukrainian soldiers said they had to carefully ration their use of munitions but even when they did fire, they had trouble hitting targets. "When you give the coordinates, it's supposed to be accurate but it's not," he said, noting that his equipment dated back to 1989. ... Russian electronic warfare also posed a constant threat. Soldiers described ending their shifts and turning on their phones to call or text family members — a decision that immediately drew Russian artillery fire.

"When we turn on mobile phones or radio, they can recognize our presence immediately," said Denys. "And then the shooting starts." ... The Ukrainian claims of retaking villages such as Vysokopillya could not be confirmed, though soldiers interviewed said they were able to advance into some previously Russian-controlled villages. Those soldiers declined to name the villages, citing instructions from their superiors.

A group of Washington Post journalists who traveled within three miles of Vysokopillya, in northern Kherson, on Monday were prevented from entering the village by Ukrainian troops and could not ascertain its status. A local official said Ukrainian and Russian forces were still battling for control.

A clear picture of Ukraine's losses could not be independently assessed. ... Denys, sitting upright on his hospital bed, said almost every member of his 120-person unit was injured, though only two were killed.

A 25-year-old soldier being treated for shrapnel wounds said that, within his unit of 100 soldiers, seven were killed and 20 injured. Ihor, the platoon commander, said 16 of the 32 men under his command were injured and one was killed.

Ukraine's injured soldiers have been spread out to different hospitals across southern Ukraine to free up the main medical facilities near the Kherson region for incoming patients.

The soldiers in the second 'counteroffensive' attempt southeast of Kharkiv will have a similar fate.

My best guess is that Ukrainian losses are not five but ten times those on the Russian side. An attack, through the open steppe, on an armored force that is technologically superior is a suicide mission.

Russian soldiers are not allowed to carry mobile phones. Why Ukrainian soldiers are allowed to have then and use those is beyond me. Do they want to commit suicide?

Suicide is what European politicians have committed their economies and societies to. Who knew that one needs energy, as cheap as possible, to smelter steel, aluminum and glass?

bigger

SGM World News @SGMWorldnews - 10:13 UTC · 7 Sep 2022

BREAKING: 40 CEOs of European metal producers have wrote an open letter to Ursula von der Leyen and the European Commission warning of an "existential threat" to industry as power prices surge.

No steel smelter, no taxes from steel smelters and their workers. No steel smelter, no payback of credit given to it. The big banking losses coming now will cause another severe banking crisis. Less money for the state means less pensions and healthcare.

This is ruinous for European states and their inhabitants. Meanwhile the U.S. politicians, neoconservative ideologist and money men behind the whole plan of using the Ukraine against Russia are laughing their asses off.

Tuomas Malinen @mtmalinen - 8:53 UTC · Sep 7, 2022

I am telling you people that the situation in #Europe is much worse than many understand. We are essentially on the brink of another banking crisis, a collapse of our industrial base and households, and thus on the brink of the collapse of our economies.

We are also totally at the mercy of the authorities, and we have very little knowledge what they have planned.

Will they be able to stop the onset of the banking crisis, yet again? I don't know, but I am doubtful. ??????? ...

Germany is probably in the worst situation. Chancellor Olaf Scholz reacted to the Russia military operation with hysterical moralizing that was beyond any rationality. His government depends on the Green politicians in his cabinet. These are pigheaded ideological nuts. Germany, under severe threat of blackouts, will now decommission three perfectly fine nuclear power plants and restart dirty old coal fired power plants that were supposed to be dismantled. How Green is that?

Here is the how the president of Russia is seeing it:

Europe is about to throw its achievements in building up its manufacturing capability, the quality of life of its people and socioeconomic stability into the sanctions furnace, depleting its potential, as directed by Washington for the sake of the infamous Euro-Atlantic unity. In fact, this amounts to sacrifices in the name of preserving the dominance of the United States in global affairs. ... The competitive ability of European companies is in decline, for the EU officials themselves are essentially cutting them off from affordable commodities and energy, as well as trade markets. It will come as no surprise if eventually the niches currently occupied by European businesses, both on the continent and on the global market in general, will be taken over by their American patrons who know no boundaries or hesitation when it comes to pursuing their interests and achieving their goals.

The next federal elections in Germany are three years away. One really hopes for some kind of coup but I see little movement yet in such a direction.

Where are the rational politicians who can take over?

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