Saturday 3rd of June 2023

still going on…….

David Ray Griffin has done it again. His new book should be read as a prequel to the seminal Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World. Supported by extensive research, Griffin thoroughly debunks the myth of an American Empire as a benign, exceptionalist, divinely ordained historical agent.

Instead of Manifest Destiny, what reality-based Griffin charters is the ‘malign’ ways of US foreign policy since the 19th century; a trajectory founded by slavery and genocide of indigenous peoples and then imperially expanded, non-stop. ‘Malign’ happens to be a term currently very much in vogue across the Beltway — but always to designate US competitors Russia and China. Griffin consistently challenges Beltway gospel, demonstrating that if the US had not entered WWI, there may have been no WWII. He unmasks the lies surrounding the true story of the Pearl Harbor attacks. He asks: If the US was really guided by God, how could it ‘choose’ to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, knowing that ‘the atomic bombs were not necessary to end the war?’

Griffin also shows how the Cold War was actually conceptualized several years before the 1950 National Security Council paper 68 (NSC-68). He revisits the origins of irrational hatred of Iran; the demonization of Cuba; the lies surrounding the Vietnam debacle; the false flags across Europe via Operation Gladio; the destruction of Yugoslavia; the decades-long evisceration of Iraq; and the ramifications of the Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine.

This sharp, concise history of the American Empire ultimately demonstrates, in Griffin’s analysis, the ‘fraud’ of endorsing self-praising American Exceptionalism. A must read.” — Pepe Escobar, Asia Times/Hong Kong







BY Salman Rafi Sheikh


As recent events surrounding the ongoing conflict in Ukraine have shown unambiguously – and quite convincingly – the West’s so-called ‘war effort’ in Ukraine is less about defending Ukraine and more about what some Western pundits call “erasing” Russia as a power capable of wielding influence at the global level. The war, in simple words, is aimed at causing a change of policies within Russia itself. This is indeed what Biden meant when he said – he later backtracked on for tactical reasons – that Russia’s Vladimir Putin cannot remain in power. This is a clear-cut agenda of direct interference even according to the Western standards, standards that numerous US officials have been repeating to remind the world ever since Hillary Clinton claimed, in 2016, that her defeat – and Trump’s victory – in the 2016 US presidential elections was a result of “Russian interference” – a claim never backed with credible and/or conclusive evidence. But it is clear that the US, the leading NATO force, is quite explicitly fighting a war against Russia.


Indeed, this is precisely why the NATO chief, reminding the world of the US involvement against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s, said that the war in Ukraine could last for years no matter the military cost and/or the continuously rising energy and food prices. While Joe Biden tried to make it clearthat the US will not fight Russia directly in Ukraine, it remains that the US never fought the Soviet Union directly either in Afghanistan while it kept arming and training the Afghan Mujahideen groups for a decade. This is precisely what the US/NATO are hoping to achieve in Ukraine as well. Billions have been provided in “security aid.” This is on top of modern military hardware the US and NATO countries are providing since the beginning of the conflict in late February.

Again, the purpose is not to defend Ukraine but to inflict a defeat on Russia to dilute it permanently as a super-power. Biden’s closest ally, Boris Johnson, shares this enthusiasm more than many other European leaders. Johnson keenly expressed this sentiment in a recent article he wrote for The Sunday Times arguing that the West must “steel” itself “for a long war” with a view to enhancing Ukraine’s ability to not only defend itself but also “renew its capacity to attack” the Russian forces inside Ukraine and even beyond. Johnson, in other words, wants to take the war to the Russians.

This is seen as a vital part of the overall western ‘war effort,’ because Russian military operations in Ukraine – which came against the backdrop of Washington’s aggressive push to expand NATO to include Ukraine and encircle Russia – is being overwhelmingly seen as a war against the West or the West-dominated international system, which has been in place since the end of the Second World War. Were Russia to prevail in Ukraine, it could mean the beginning of the end of this US-dominated system, which is why many anti-Russia political pundits in the US think – and project – the utmost necessity of defeating Russia squarely in Ukraine. That’s precisely why Johnson argued that winning the war is necessary for “our allies [and we] will be protecting our own security as much as Ukraine’s and safeguarding the world.”

But can the West really pull off a ‘total victory’ and continue the long war its leaders and pundits are projecting? An economic crisis is already setting in Europe and the US, with rising energy and food prices becoming a mass – and a politically contentious – issue for these countries to deal with. In May, the inflation rate in Europe was a record high at 8.1 per cent. This inflation rate is more than four times the European Central Bank’s target and estimate, thus showing how the West is itself heading to a situation where fighting the so-called “long war” could become too costly to continue and that they might ultimately have to change their plans for NATO expansion and/or defeat Russia.

The real question, then, is: will western leaders be able to project the same anger – and populist enthusiasm – towards Russia when the changing economic situation starts hitting the masses and the masses turn to the streets against them? As it stands, the anti-Russia projections by key western leaders are already being used as a useful distraction for the masses to consume and support the overall ‘war effort’ regardless of the price the people might have to pay themselves knowingly or unknowingly. But this cannot – and will not – go on forever. The masses cannot be fooled permanently.

As far as Russia is concerned, the West’s policy of sanctioning Russia’s oil has not led to an expected decline in the Russian economy. As the data shared recently by Beijing shows, Russia has already surpassed Saudi Arabia as the leading supplier of oil to China. This is despite the fact that Russia today is the most sanctioned country in the world with more than 10,500 different restrictions imposed on its various companies and individuals. Out of these, 7,500 were imposed in the last four months alone. But the Russian economy is far from the verge of collapse – something the West calculated will happen rather quickly.

The narrative in the West is, therefore, being changed to prepare the masses for a “long war.” Western leaders are in a dilemma. If Russia succeeds, this will be bad for their political future insofar as they have spent hundreds of days projecting Russia as “weak.” If the war drags on, the cost will be too high for the masses to provide unconditional support. But regardless of how things unfold over the next days/months, what’s almost certain is that western politicians and media will be upgrading their projection of the war in Ukraine as a war against Russia.


Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.




time to get rid of el bandido….




US war hawks versus realists…...

Glenn Diesen: As propaganda about a Ukrainian ‘victory’ retreats, is a split emerging in the West?


Germany and France want peace while the US and UK push for more war 

By Glenn Diesen, Professor at the University of South-Eastern Norway and an editor at the Russia in Global Affairs journal. Follow him on Twitter @glenndiesen.


During the Russian Civil War, the journalist Walter Lippman observed the dilemma of propaganda – it had the positive effect of mobilizing the public for conflict, but the negative outcome of obstructing a workable peace agreement.

The British had drummed up public support for intervention in the conflict by reporting on Polish victories, fleeing communists, and the pending collapse of the Bolsheviks. In reality, the opposite was happening. Lippman argued that because the UK public had been promised victory, there was no political appetite for a reaching a diplomatic settlement.

A century later, little has changed. Public support for supplying billions of dollars’ worth of weaponry and draconian sanctions was premised on the constructed narrative of a pending Russian defeat in Ukraine. Support for Kiev has been expressed by pushing stories of victories, while any admission of weakness could be ostracized as a hostile denigration of Ukraine’s sacrifices. However, two things can be true at the same time: On one hand, Kiev’s forces were well-trained, well-equipped and fought better than anyone had expected. On the other hand, the power of the Russian military is overwhelming and superior to the extent it hasn’t even had to mobilize its army.

Reality is now catching up with the narrative. Russia has been making steady advancements and the sanctions have backfired terribly. With the situation becoming increasingly unfavorable to Ukraine and NATO, there are growing incentives for seeking a settlement with Russia. However, how can the narrative of a forthcoming victory be changed, and can the US-led bloc maintain its solidarity under a new narrative of defeat?


Fighting for whom?

NATO and Russia have been fighting proxy conflicts since the abandonment of agreements on a pan-European security architecture based on “indivisible security” in a Europe “without dividing lines.” Ukraine has become the latest victim in the subsequent struggle about where to draw the new boundaries.

NATO has presented its own role in the conflict as merely being support for Ukraine. The consensus was that the Ukrainian sacrifices and Western economic pain would be the necessary cost for victory. However, what happens when it is accepted that Russia is winning? Is it “support”for Ukraine if extending the conflict will only result in more Ukrainian casualities, loss of more territory, and the possible destruction of the Ukrainian state?

Backing for Ukraine could be expressed as NATO offering something at the negotiation table to reduce the costs for Kiev. It is conceivable that NATO could extract significant concessions from Moscow if Russia were offered what it has sought for the past three decades – security guarantees that include the end of NATO expansionism and withdrawal of American weapon systems from its borders. However, supporting Ukraine in such a manner would dent the narrative of NATO’s infallibility and being solely a “force for good.”


Who should be blamed?

The sudden shift from a victory to a defeat narrative demands that someone takes the blame for losing the war. Reminiscent of Biden blaming Afghanistan’s political leaders and its military for the situation in that country, the American leader has now begun blaming Ukraine for not heeding American warnings about the pending Russian attack. In return, Kiev is using increasingly strong language to condemn its Western partners for failing to supply enough weapons. A case in point is how the Ukrainian ambassador to Berlin even called German Chancellor Olaf Scholz a “sulky liver sausage.”

In the US there has been criticism of France for its diplomacy with Russia and accusations that Germany did not supply enough weapons, while in Europe there is now more questions about the uncompromising and confrontational stance of the US prior to Russia’s intervention.


Identifying new objectives

A new narrative also needs to reflect new objectives. Victory over Russia was a unifying objective within NATO. It was always unclear what a victory meant. For example, did it include the conquest of Crimea? Would it entail more American weapon systems even closer to a nervous and humiliated Russia, armed with nuclear weapons? Would it be in the interest of the West to have a weakened Russia with excessive reliance on China? However, strategic ambiguity about what “victory” entailed has prevented splits within the military bloc.

In defeat, the competing national interests are more difficult to contain and unity subsequently fragments. The US has certain interests in a protracted war, which could turn Ukraine into an Afghanistan for the Russians. The war has already delivered certain benefits for the US such as an energy and economic split between the EU and Russia, ensuring bloc discipline from the Western Europeans, cementing Ukraine’s position as a bulwark against Russia, and weakening Moscow.

Some are therefore arguing in favor of supplying more weapons and rejecting diplomacy. For example, US Representative Dan Crenshaw supported the opportunity of fighting Russia with Ukrainian lives: Investing in the destruction of our adversary’s military without losing a single American troop strikes me as a good idea.” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken framed the proxy war in more benevolent terms by suggesting that the US was arming Ukraine to ensure Kiev would be in “the strongest possible position at any negotiating table that may emerge.” Chas Freeman, a former US ambassador and assistant secretary of defense, criticized this US position as a cynical “fight to the last Ukrainian.”


In contrast, the Western Europeans have more security risks from making Ukraine an Afghanistan on their continent. Furthermore, the sanctions are turning out to be more devastating to EU members than the Russians. Inflation and economic decline are ravaging Western European economies, and Russia redirecting its cheap energy and metals to Asia is a death sentence to the competitiveness of their industries. Washington’s attempts to extend this ideological conflict to China as a “supporter of Russia” will also make the Western Europeans more reliant on the US and cancel any hopes for “EU sovereignty.

The leaders of Germany, France and Italy therefore visited Kiev to push for the start of peace negotiations with Russia. Yet, the EU leaders have rhetorically committed themselves to supporting Ukraine by supplying more weapons. While, on one hand, the promise of future EU membership is used as an incentive for a settlement, on the other hand the bloc continues to supply the weapons that enables the war to be extended. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson then made a surprise visit to Kiev, the following day, to counteract the peace initiative with the promise of continued fighting as the UK “will be with you until you ultimately prevail.”  

Are new narratives emerging that reflect a split between German, French and Italian “surrender monkeys” on one side, versus the American, British and Polish “war hawks” on the other?



The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.