Connect with us

Russia

What a Week of Talks Between Russia and the West Revealed

Published

on

Moscow’s demands of the United States and NATO are in fact the strategic goals of Russian policy in Europe. If Russia cannot achieve them by diplomatic means, it will resort to other methods.

The meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken on January 21 follows on from the previous week’s intensive talks: the first round of U.S.-Russian dialogue on European security issues in Geneva, followed by sessions of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels and the OSCE Standing Committee in Vienna. The extremely tough talks that took place last week in Europe didn’t end in a public scandal or definitive rupture, but nor did they inspire confidence that the ongoing European security crisis can be resolved any time soon.

The lack of a diplomatic solution will logically lead to a further escalation of the crisis, and increase the chances that the only way out of it will be through the use of what Russian officials call “military-technical means.” While Moscow and Washington continue to assess the situation and prepare to take new steps, it makes sense to explore the roots of the crisis, to analyze the routes and consequences of its escalation, and also to look at alternative ways of dealing with the security conundrum in Europe’s east.

Roots

The roots of the crisis can be clearly traced. With the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States and its allies established a European order based on the dominant role of America and the central position of NATO as an instrument for military and political regulation, and for guaranteeing Western security and the order they had created. Russia, which had failed to become part of the West on its own terms and refused to accept the inferior role offered to it, found itself on the outside of that order, and was forced to accept the new state of affairs. The United States was aware that Russia was unhappy with the situation, but preferred to ignore it, since it viewed the country as a waning power.

History has shown, however, that if a large, defeated power has not been incorporated into the post-war order, or if it has not been offered a place in it that it finds acceptable, then over time it will begin to take action aimed at destroying that order or, at the very least, significantly altering it. This depends, of course, on the frustrated power having enough material potential, and on its leadership having the political will and public support. In Russia, these conditions began to form in the first half of the 2010s, as demonstrated by Moscow’s reaction to the crisis in Ukraine and the subsequent confrontation with the United States and breakdown in relations with the EU.

Evolution of the Confrontation

In the eight years of the confrontation with the West, Russia’s foreign policy has continued to evolve, from adapting to inconvenient new realities to attempts to at least prevent the country’s geopolitical position from deteriorating any further, and at best to change the situation to Russia’s advantage. Still, right up until the start of 2021, this policy was essentially built upon that of Mikhail Gorbachev in the sense that it sought to reach mutual understanding—and establish partner relations—with the United States and Europe. Until very recently, President Vladimir Putin spent a great deal of time during lengthy televised discussions with U.S. interviewers trying to convince the American public that Russian interests do not run counter to those of the United States, and that Moscow and Washington can and should join forces against global challenges such as universal security, terrorist threats, or the pandemic.

That attitude changed at the start of 2021. That spring, Russian troops began large-scale military exercises along the Ukrainian border. U.S. intelligence suspected the drills could be cover for preparations to invade Ukraine. Unable to ignore Russia’s actions, U.S. President Joe Biden invited Putin to meet with him in Geneva, even though Russia had not previously been among the White House’s priorities.

This tactic of forcing Washington to engage in talks with Moscow was actually voiced by Putin back in 2018, in an address to both chambers of the Russian parliament. Presenting a range of new weapons systems, the Russian president said of the United States: “No one listened to us before. Well, listen to us now.”

The sole practical results of the two presidents’ meeting in Geneva were the start of Russian-U.S. consultations on strategic stability and cybersecurity. However, on Ukraine, the Minsk process aimed at ending the conflict reached a diplomatic impasse, even as NATO increased the scale and frequency of its military exercises in the Black Sea area. In fact, the situation on Russia’s western and southwestern borders only worsened.

The situation forced the Kremlin to return to its tactic of using force to put pressure on the White House. In the late fall of 2021, U.S. intelligence reported a growing threat on the Russia-Ukraine border. An even bigger military buildup by Russian forces than that seen during the spring forced Washington to go even further than direct talks, and to agree to negotiations with Moscow on issues of European security.

Forced Negotiations

In this respect, Russia’s tactic of forcing the United States to the table had worked. So, building on this initial success, Moscow presented the Americans and their allies with a draft treaty and agreement outlining Russia’s demands of the West on the issue of European security.

Last week’s talks did not lead to a breakthrough, and nor indeed could they. It’s unlikely that even the Kremlin was expecting its demands to be accepted. The kind of conditions put forward by Russia are usually only implemented by the losing side, which the United States is not.

What’s more important is that for the first time since the talks on German reunification, the United States has sat down at the negotiating table with Russia to discuss the problems of European security. Plus, for the first time since its recent withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Washington has shown willingness to reach an agreement on not deploying short- and medium-range missiles in Europe, as well as on restricting military activity in Eastern Europe.

Not so long ago, Moscow would have viewed this as a major diplomatic win. Now, however, the bar has been set much higher. Russia insisted that the talks focus on its “binding” demands: not to expand NATO into former Soviet nations, not to position offensive weapons systems in Europe that could reach Russian territory, and to withdraw military infrastructure established by NATO in Eastern Europe since the signing of the Founding Act on relations with Russia in 1997.

Security Guarantees

Strictly speaking, there can only be one guarantee of security in the nuclear age, and that’s the threat of mutually assured destruction. That has its drawbacks, however: in the event of an armed conflict between nuclear powers, the losing side may resort to using nuclear weapons to avoid being defeated, paving the way for an escalation that could lead to an exchange of massive nuclear strikes and the death of civilization.

All other guarantees are conditional and cannot be relied upon. Arms control and reduction measures, nonproliferation efforts, confidence-building measures and transparency, moratoriums, reciprocal or multilateral restraint, and so on are all aimed at increasing mutual predictability and ensuring that military and political decisions are taken with cool heads. Still, no legally binding treaties or politically binding agreements can provide absolute guarantees that they will be implemented.

International relations are based on the principle and—for independent players—the reality of state sovereignty. Nations don’t just enter freely into agreements with each other; they are free to end those agreements too. In the last twenty years alone, the United States has unilaterally withdrawn from U.S.-Russian agreements on missile defense systems and intermediate-range missiles, the multilateral Open Skies Treaty, and the Iran nuclear deal. Cast-iron guarantees simply don’t exist.

There are no illusions about any of this in the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry, still less in military headquarters. There is no real trust in non-aggression pacts or detargeting (or zero targeting) agreements. Given the current domestic political situation in the United States, it’s virtually impossible to reach any agreements with the country that would be ratified by two-thirds of U.S. senators. Putin himself acknowledged this when he said publicly that he wanted to see “at least legally binding agreements.”

It’s possible that this is Putin’s attempt to make up for the oversight of Gorbachev, who failed to secure legally binding undertakings not to expand NATO after German reunification. In recent times, this has once again become a hotly discussed topic among Russian officials and media.

There is, however, a broader way of looking at it. Of the five most recent waves of NATO expansion, four happened on Putin’s watch: the Baltics, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, and Bulgaria in 2004; Croatia and Albania in 2009; Montenegro in 2017; and North Macedonia in 2020. For a long time, Moscow had no way of resisting this process: it had neither enough influence in the countries in question, nor the means of putting pressure on them. Now it appears to have acquired those means, and Putin—apparently feeling a degree of responsibility for what has happened during his lengthy rule—is starting to use those means to make amends. The question is, how realistic is it for the Americans and Europeans to implement Russia’s demands?

The Limits of Possibility

Politics, as the saying goes, is the art of the possible. At the center of Russia’s draft treaty are three unconditional demands by Moscow: an end to NATO expansion; no more NATO infrastructure—in particular, offensive weapons—to be rolled out in Europe; and the withdrawal of military infrastructure deployed to Eastern Europe after 1997.

Moscow’s main demand—no further NATO expansion onto the territory of the former Soviet Union—is de facto being implemented, since the United States and its allies are not prepared to take responsibility for the military defense of their clients, Ukraine and Georgia, and that is unlikely to change. The problem is not so much the unresolved conflicts in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and the Donbas as the prospect of a direct confrontation with Russia in places where Moscow both has genuine security interests and is ready to use force to protect them if necessary. The United States, meanwhile, has no such interests or readiness to use force, and that is also unlikely to change.

Since the United States is not prepared to go to war with Russia for Ukraine, neither Ukraine nor Georgia will be accepted into NATO as long as Russia is able to prevent it. The threat of Ukraine being in NATO is, therefore, in fact a phantom one for the foreseeable future. The question of whether we might see NATO in Ukraine—in the form of offensive weapons, military bases, military advisers, arms supplies, and so on—is trickier. Having what would amount to an unsinkable aircraft carrier controlled by the United States on Moscow’s doorstep, on hostile territory, even if Ukraine is not officially part of NATO, would be far more serious than the Baltic countries’ NATO membership. This isn’t a full-fledged threat just yet, but it certainly could become one, and what happens then?

There’s a chance that an agreement could be reached on the issue of not locating U.S. missile stations in Ukraine, as attested to by the willingness of U.S. negotiators to discuss this topic in Geneva. The establishment of missile bases is not a military priority for Washington, and their hypothetical appearance around, say, Ukraine’s Kharkiv area could be countered by equipping Russian submarines coasting the U.S. mainland with Zirkon (Tsirkon) hypersonic missiles.

It’s also possible that an agreement could be reached on U.S. and other NATO members’ military bases in Ukraine. Right now Western countries are keen to avoid sustaining any losses in any fighting between Russia and Ukraine, and are therefore currently planning to evacuate their advisers from the country.

It will be harder, if not impossible, to agree on ending military and military-technology cooperation between Ukraine and the United States/NATO. The most that can be hoped for here is restrictions on the nature of arms supplied to Kyiv by the West. For that to happen, the United States will insist on a de-escalation of Russia’s military preparations on Ukraine’s borders. Any de-escalation, however, will have to be accompanied by restrictions on NATO maneuvers close to Russia’s borders in Europe.

Moscow’s demand for the withdrawal of all military infrastructure deployed to NATO’s Eastern European member states is as impossible as it is largely unnecessary in terms of Russia’s security. The several thousand U.S. soldiers located on the territory in question don’t exactly pose a serious threat to Russia. NATO battalions in the Baltics are, if anything, simply there to placate the three host countries: their presence on former Soviet territory may leave a bad taste in Moscow, but is hardly cause for alarm.

There is other infrastructure, of course, which really does pose a threat: first and foremost, U.S. missile defense components in Romania and Poland; air bases that could house planes capable of carrying nuclear weapons; naval bases; and so on. The issue of missile defense system launchers that could be adapted for intermediate-range missiles could be resolved as part of a new INF agreement. Other issues come under the umbrella of regular arms control in Europe, which has been shelved since NATO countries refused to ratify the adapted Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe.

There is a suspicion that the third key demand—effectively, a return to 1997—was put forward so that it could later be retracted, thereby demonstrating Moscow’s readiness to compromise. More potential for reaching agreements could lie in the unbundling of Russia’s raft of proposals and demands, and willingness to pursue parallel tracks—but only if there is confidence that agreements can be reached that would satisfy Russia’s security interests.

What Next?

The chances of the United States implementing Russia’s demands in the format and timeframe set out by Moscow are non-existent. Agreements are theoretically possible on two of the three key issues: non-expansion and non-deployment. But any such agreements will be of a political, not legally binding nature.

Various Russian commentators have discussed the possibility of retracting the provisions of NATO’s 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration that stated that Ukraine and Georgia “will become members of NATO.” Yet this is unlikely to happen at the alliance’s summit in Madrid this year: there may be no real substance to such symbolism, but renouncing it would probably be too much of a loss of face for the United States and NATO.

That is not the only option, however. NATO could, at the initiative of the United States, announce a long-term moratorium on new members, for example. Biden has already said that Ukrainian membership of NATO is unlikely to be approved in the next decade, while some U.S. experts are talking about twenty to twenty-five years. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was more specific in his choice of words: “never ever.” For the vast majority of today’s politicians and officials, however, “never” may well mean “not in my lifetime.” A figure of sixty-nine or even forty-nine years would work just as well.

It’s also possible to agree on not deploying intermediate-range missiles and other offensive weapons: not as part of a treaty, but as an intergovernmental agreement between Russia and the United States, which wouldn’t have to be ratified in the latter. It could also be possible during negotiations on the issue to address the sides’ concerns about, respectively, U.S. missile defense launchers and new Russian cruise missiles.

Finally, it would be possible to select specific areas of concern with regard to infrastructure on NATO’s eastern flank and to resolve them through confidence-building measures.

None of the measures outlined above comprise either security guarantees or legally binding documents, but, as previously noted, Russia has long had the former via its nuclear arsenal and armed forces, while the latter are effectively impossible and would in any case not be absolute. Still, they would at least provide Russia with written assurances.

Countermeasures

For now, no agreements are in sight on the issues that concern Russia. For President Putin, however, a negative result also counts as a result. The Kremlin needed to express itself with full clarity on its security concerns in Europe, and it has made itself abundantly clear.

It’s important to understand that Moscow’s demands of the United States and NATO are in fact the strategic goals of Russian policy in Europe. Their aim is not to restore the Soviet Union, as some suggest. Rather, the idea is to reframe security in Europe—particularly in Europe’s east—as a contractual relationship between the two principal strategic actors in the region, Russia and the United States/NATO, thus turning the page on an era when it was the business of the United States alone. This is regarded as a vital national security interest. If Russia cannot achieve its goal by diplomatic means, it will need to resort to other tools and methods.

Russian officials have said that if the talks fail, Moscow will take military-technical and even military measures. Those measures have not been specified in advance—unlike the Western sanctions that have been threatened in the event that Russia invades Ukrainian territory—but they are being widely discussed. A range of measures is likely to be proposed to Putin by his advisers, from keeping up the pressure with the threat of force and deploying new weapons systems to sensitive regions, to much closer cooperation with Russia’s ally Belarus and Chinese partners.

It’s important, however, that these measures be a response to existing and likely future security threats to Russia, rather than a provocation that would elicit new such threats. There’s no point in seeking to punish the West for its intransigence using military technology or military strategy. The main thing for Moscow is to maintain a robust policy of deterrence under any conceivable military, technological, and geopolitical conditions. Credible national security guarantees are not based on non-aggression pacts with a potential enemy, but on effective deterrence of any adversary.

Still, agreements can also be useful, if the terms are acceptable. The recent flurry of negotiations is just one round of the complex strategic game currently playing out before the world’s eyes. The United States and NATO have promised to present Russia with their own counterproposals (read: counterdemands). Backstage, the U.S. Congress is discussing new sanctions, the Kremlin is compiling a raft of countersanctions, and the Russian Defense Ministry is carrying out a joint exercise with the Belarusian armed forces. Major power relations remain essentially a power play.

This article is part of the Russia-EU: Promoting Informed Dialogue project, supported by the EU Delegation to Russia. From our partner RIAC

Continue Reading
Comments

Russia

Why We Need to Acknowledge Russia’s Security Concerns

Published

on

Image source: kremlin.ru

At the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the United States was able to avoid nuclear war over the placement in Cuba of nuclear Short-Range Ballistic Missiles (SRBM), and Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM).  This was done by giving the then Soviet Union a private assurance that the United States would remove its IRBMs from Turkey, 6 months after the missiles in Cuba were removed.  The United States kept its promise. 

In 1990, the United States gave the Soviet Union another private assurance, much like the private assurance given in 1962.  The United States promised the Soviet Union that NATO would not expand one inch eastward if the Soviet Union would allow West and East Germany to reunite, and that the newly united Germany would be able to remain in NATO.

The website National Security Archive goes further than the LA Times article cited above.  Several leaders of the NATO alliance made private and public promises that NATO would not expand towards the East.

While other news stories and articles decry this promise, the National Archives provides both public statements and written memoranda between NATO members about not expanding NATO eastward.

The Soviet Union relying on the history of the United States in keeping its word, agreed to German unification.   

Unlike the private assurance given the Soviet Union in 1962 however, the United States broke its word, and advanced NATO to the very frontiers of Russia.  It is this duplicity that is the seminal moment that resulted in the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Russia’s Paranoia

Russia is the world’s most invaded country in the world.  But the worst invasion was the Mongol invasion which lasted from 1240 AD until 1480 AD.  For 240 years the Mongol Horde brutalized the Russia people beyond belief.  Every spring, the Mongols would raid the Russian countryside, kidnapping your Russian women and young Russian boys for sale in the slave markets of Constantinople.  Indeed, the word slave comes from the root word, Slavic.

It was only by the Duchy of Moscow becoming more brutal than the Horde, were the Russian people able to throw off the yoke of the Tartars.  Ivan the Third, the Prince of Moscow, refused to pay the Tartar tax in 1480, and prevented the Mongol Horde from crossing the Ugra River.  Akmet of the Golden Hordes was supposed to be supported by troops from Lithuania, who had been promised Russian territory by the Tartars.  However, Ivan the Third had thoughtfully provided discontented nobles in Lithuania money and troops, which forced the ruler of Lithuania to stay at home fighting off a rebellion inside his own country rather than invading Russia.

This event, the Battle of the Ugra River, marked the end of Tartar rule of Russia.

In the last 225 years, Russia has been invaded by the West 4 times.  3 of these invasions were of an existential nature.  It should then be no surprise that Russia is sensitive to a large military force near her borders.

The Euromaidan Movement and Overthrow

Of a Democratically Elected Government in Ukraine

After years of watching NATO forces inch closer to her natural, and undefendable, borders, the Euromaidan movement overthrew a democratically elected government over the government’s decision to move into the Russian economic orbit, rather than to the orbit of the European Union.  With the loss of the Crimea to a possible member of NATO and Russia’s last defensible natural obstacle to a government hostile to Russia, Vladimir Putin sent troops to occupy the Crimea, beginning the countdown to war.

The War in Ukraine

To say that Russia has botched its invasion plans would be an understatement.  While Russia planned for a quick knockout blow, the bungling of its logistical abilities has allowed Ukraine to fend off Russia’s initial assault, and Russia has had to reorient its offense to the eastern part of Ukraine, and abandon for the moment Russia’s attempt to capture and occupy the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

However, given Russia’s immense advantage in terms of the number of soldiers, armor, and superior resources, eventually Russia will be able to defeat Ukraine, despite the tremendous amount of military and financial aid being given to Ukraine.  Russia will never give up this fight as it sees the advance of NATO as an existential threat.  And Russia sees a Ukraine tied to the West as a threat to its polity.

World Economic Consequences

The economic damage to the world economy is just now beginning to be felt.  The price for a barrel of oil has skyrocketed and averages well over $100 a barrel, with no end in sight to higher increases.  Grain shipments from Russia and Ukraine have been disrupted.  This is going to cause a serious shortage of grain available to the Middle East and to parts of Southeast Asia in late 2022 and in 2023.  The shortage of grain will cause famine conditions throughout the developing world, fueling violence and political instability with consequences no one can foresee. 

In addition, with Russia being a major exporter of fertilizer, many countries who depend on the fertilizer to feed their populations will not be able to do so.  This is also going to cause major economic and political upheavals world-wide.

Russia is beginning to cut of the supply of natural gas to some European Union countries, and more are sure to follow.  Russia has announced the cut off of gas to Finland after Finland made application to join NATO.

These economic challenges will only spread worldwide, bringing about a global recession that was completely avoidable.

While Russia is not blameless in the worldwide disruptions happening now, the arrogance of the political elite of the West is just as much to blame.

A larger country attacking a smaller country in search of national security is old news in world history.  As recent as 2003, a large country attacked a small one in what it believed was in its interests on national security.  I am speaking of the attack on Iraq in 2003 by the United States.  If the United States can attack a smaller country far from its borders in the name of national security, than why is it wrong for Russia to do the same?

How Russia Moving Closer to China May Cause War in the Indo-Pacific Region

A more serious consequence is Russia moving closer to China, even though China is Russia’s more serious threat in the future.  China has never given up her claim of the territory lost to Russia due to the Treaty of Aigun signed by Russia and China in 1858.

With the United States providing large amounts of military equipment, ammunition and other military aid, the stockpile of munitions for the United States military is being depleted, particularly in Javelins, Stingers, and howitzers (along with ammunition).

China at this time appears to be waiting patiently and observing the trends underway in Ukraine.  If China feels that the military supplies available to the United States military has been depleted, China may copy the Japanese aggression in World War Two in taking advantage of a momentary weakness on the part of Western powers preoccupied with Russia and the war in Ukraine.

A Possible Political Solution to the Crisis

One of the prerequisites of any treaty ending this war has to accept the realpolitik fact that Russia is not going to give up the Crimea, nor the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics.  Russia sees the Crimea as its last natural obstacle to any invasion of southern Russia. 

The people in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are overwhelmingly in favor of uniting with Russia, and broke away from Ukraine after a democratically elected government was overthrown by violence.   A UN supervised election in these areas would give legitimacy to the political absorption of these areas into Russia.

Compensation to Ukraine should be offered by Russia, with the proviso that Russia respects Ukraine’s decision to turn her face towards the West.

Dr. Julian Spencer-Churchill, an associate professor of international relations at Concordia University at Montreal Canada recently published his views on a political settlement of the Russian-Ukraine War.  This link will take the reader to the article published in RealClearDefense.com.

The reader should keep in mind that China is the real danger to world democracy, not Russia.  An attempt must be made to bring Russia into the European family.  It is imperative that Russia be wooed, not forced to come to terms with the West.  With Russia firmly tied to the West, both economically and politically, the chance for war in the Indo-Pacific Region is reduced significantly.

A case in point for such a policy is the political union between England and Scotland in 1707.

A noble English Lord observed several Scottish Lords celebrating the Act of Union in 1707.  The English Lord approached the Scottish Lords and asked why they seemed to be so happy with the Union.  The English Lord knew some of these Scotsman had fought bitterly for Scottish Independence.  A Scottish Lord replied: “Twas not the marriage we objected to, twas the wooing.”

Continue Reading

Russia

The U.S. doesn’t want to protect Ukraine; it wants to defeat Russia

Published

on

If the U.S. (and its allies) wanted to protect Ukraine, then it (they) would not be doing all they can to prolong Russia’s invasion and destruction of Ukraine. They would not be flooding Ukraine with their weapons to kill Russians. They would not be demanding that Ukraine fight on, which destroys Ukraine even more. But this is what they are doing. 

Is this because they are so stupid that they don’t know that they are destroying Ukraine? Or is it instead because they don’t care about their destroying Ukraine but do care about their defeating Russia?

The U.S. (and its allies) are doing everything they can to defeat Russia. They are also doing everything they can to increase the sales, and profits, and stock-market valuations, of Lockheed Martin and the other corporations whose only or main customers are the U.S. Government and its allied governments which buy their weapons — buy them increasingly now in order for those weapons to be used even more now by their vassal-nations such as Ukraine, and Israel, and Saudi Arabia, against the nations that they also are wanting to defeat, such as Palestine and Yemen, and other countries that the U.S. and its allied governments care nothing about except that they want them to be defeated — to be punished for NOT caving to the U.S. Government and its allied governments, and which nations they condemn while calling themselves ‘the free world’.

How evil is this? Let’s see:

On May 19th, U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law an additional $40.1 billion to Ukraine in order to continue its war against Russia, which Biden and his boss Barack Obama, and Obama’s organizer of the 2014 U.S. coup in Ukraine Victoria Nuland had begun by means of that coup, which had transformed Ukraine from being a peaceful neutralist country on Russia’s border, into becoming promptly a rabidly anti-Russian and pro-U.S. country on Russia’s border that’s in a civil war and that is a prospective future basing-area for U.S. nuclear missiles there (like a 1962 Cuban-Missile-Crisis in reverse) to hit Moscow only a 7-minute flight-time away. It would be a checkmate in the U.S. regime’s long war to add Russia to its conquered prizes, if the plan would succeed.

To place that $40.1B additional expenditure into perspective, the comedian Jimmy Dore headlined on May 19th “ALL DEMOCRATS Vote [in Senate] To Send $40 Billion To Ukraine”, and Dore said “That’s more than three times what the entire U.S. music industry makes in a year,” and he called it “a wealth-transfer to the military-industrial complex.” He said that if this $40.1B addition to the current year’s expenditure on Ukraine’s war were instead to be spent domestically, “that would stop homelessness.” 

I checked those allegations. Here’s what I found:  

The entire U.S. music-recording industry is $11B retail sales per year. (That’s sales; profits would be some percentage of sales, but even if it were ALL of sales, then this $40.1B would be “more than three times” it.)

Annual cost to eliminate homeless in U.S.=$30B.

He wasn’t exaggerating; he was under-stating. This is how evil the U.S. Government actually is.

Mr. Dore also noted that all Democratic Party U.S. Senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted for this additional $40.1B expenditure, and that the overwhelming majority of the Republican ones also did. Are Republicans now even more neoconservative than Democrats are? Not really: it is always the case that a neoconservative bill in the U.S. Congress gets virtually 100% support from the Party in power, and gets an overwhelming majority of the votes of the Party that doesn’t happen to be in power at the time. All the while, America’s ‘defense’-contractors increase their sales and profits and stock-market valuations. So, Dore expressed anger that in the Senate, even Bernie Sanders voted for this. And Glenn Greenwald presented a scathing condemnation of the hypocritical ‘progressive’ Democrat Octavio Ocasio-Cortez’s “complete reversal of everything that she pretended to believe in for years”. He attributed this contradiction of herself to “In 2016, when Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump, … instead of accepting responsibility because they themselves had nominated one of the most destructive and outright hated political candidates in modern American history in Hillary Clinton, … they decided to blame everybody else, … especially Putin and Russia. … And so Democrats have been feeding on this anti-Russia antipathy and hatred” ever since. And, so, “there is no viable anti-war [political] left in the United States.”

Though I enormously respect Glenn Greenwald, and everything that he said is true, I think that his analyses suffer from shallowness due to his apparent ignorance of history — his excessive focus on the obvious and recent news, outside of the broader context that’s required in order for there to be a deeper analysis, a scientific understanding, which identifies actual historical causes behind current events. This is not to deny that what Greenwald says is true, but to assert that it lacks the wisdom that ONLY an authentic historical analysis can bring to current events and to public-policy issues. Only by understanding causes can one move forward into the future (if there will be a future) so as to control future events in a constructive way, that will benefit future generations, instead of for future events to continue to degenerate even further into a hell which comes closer with every passing day.

I documented at Greanville Post, on May 19th, “The Secret U.S.-&-UK War Against Europe”, showing that BOTH American political Parties are controlled, at the very top, by a cabal of very closely connected individuals who are basically servants of the billionaire controlling owners of firms (such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and General Dynamics), which corporations’ major or even ONLY customers are the U.S. Government and its allied governments, but especially these controlling individuals are an organization that was started in 1877 by the British aristocrat Cecil Rhodes, and which finally took control over the U.S. Government itself on 25 July 1945, just three months after U.S. President FDR died and became replaced by the naive and manipulable Harry S. Truman, who set America’s Government irrevocably onto its control by “the military-industrial complex” and in league with Britain’s aristocracy, to ultimately control the entire world and obviate altogether the United Nations that FDR had started planning and hoping for back in 1941. (The Republican Dwight Eisenhower was also a key part of the Rhodesists’ American operation.)

This organization by the Rhodesists is the source of the evilness that pervades today’s U.S. Government, and it cannot be overcome unless and until it first becomes widely known-about, and then condemned so that all of today’s U.S. Government becomes replaced, because the corruptness of America’s (and UK’s) Government has, by now, become virtually 100%. And if this assertion doesn’t seem credible, then check the links in this report, which explains (and those links document) the actual source for the 19 May 2022 law to pour an additional $40.1B into Ukraine, which after the 2014 coup is a U.S. vassal-nation that’s self-destructing in order to serve as today’s main battleground (and U.S.-proxy) in the American (and British) aristocracy’s long war to conquer not only Russia, but also Europe, and the entire world.

First, the entire world (especially in Europe) has to recognize and publicly acknowledge the unacceptability of America’s Government, so as to condemn it and to order all of its troops out, ASAP. It is a hostile power, to the publics, everywhere — even in places where its stooges and hangers-on-billionaires are in political control (like a cancer) (such as in Europe). America’s Government is NO DEMOCRACY. No empire can be, and America’s most assuredly IS NOT a democracy. (Nor is UK’s.) It is a hostile occupying alien force, even inside the United States. (And this is widely suspected to be true, even by the American people.) In fact: the U.S. is the world’s #1 police-state. It is a cancer, everywhere that it occupies, and needs to be rooted-out everywhere. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and the majority of America’s Founders, would have viewed this nation, today’s U.S. Government, to be their enemy, because it violates everything that they believed in, and hoped for, about America’s future, and the world’s. Everything.

Continue Reading

Russia

NYT Presents Strong Case for a War-Crimes Prosecution Against Russia

Published

on

Dozens of bodies near the cemetery in Bucha. Photo By Rodrigo Abd. Image source: war.ukraine.ua

Whereas numerous instances of U.S. war-crimes have been documented in some news-reports well enough to be successfully prosecuted in international war-crimes tribunals (but the U.N.-authorized agency the International Criminal Court cannot prosecute U.S. war-crimes but only war-crimes by third-world countries’ leaders), such well-evidenced instances by Russia are far rarer. However, on May 19th the New York Times presented precisely such an instance, under the headline “New Evidence Shows How Russian Soldiers Executed Men in Bucha”. Local security-cameras there recorded the frog-marching to their death of nine Ukrainian men who weren’t in Ukraine’s official armed forces but who had become armed to fight against the invading Russian soldiers in Bucha, and who were then executed by specifically identified Russian soldiers and their corpses abandoned on the ground as Russia’s soldiers left Bucha. Locals also told the NYT’s reporters what they had seen, and it fit with what those security cameras showed. The NYT reported:

The execution of the captured fighters and the homeowner in Bucha “is the kind of incident that could become a strong case for war crimes prosecution,” said Stephen Rapp, former United States ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues. The captives, having been disarmed and taken into custody by the Russians, were “outside of combat,” under the laws of war, Mr. Rapp said. According to the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, such laws mean that prisoners must be treated humanely and protected from mistreatment in all circumstances.

In addition to the soldiers who shot the men, their commanders could be charged if they knew about the killings and failed to act to prevent or punish the conduct, Mr. Rapp said.  

However, Ellen Ioanes at Vox posted on April 9th an excellent article, “Here’s what the ICC can actually do about Putin’s war crimes”, and documented in detail that the consequence would be nothing except bad publicity which the U.S. and its allies could exploit, but even that would entail “a lot of hypocrisy” because:

one of the most vocal nations suggesting Putin be tried at the Hague — the United States — isn’t itself a party to the ICC. The US government voted against the ICC during the Rome Conference in 1998; former President Bill Clinton signed on to the Rome Statute in 2000 but never submitted it to Congress for ratification. Former President George W. Bush in 2002 notified then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that the US would not ratify the Rome Statute and didn’t have to abide by any of its provisions.

The U.S. Government, and many of its allies (such as the post-U.S.-coup-in-Ukraine’s government ever since 2014) perpetrate war-crimes (such as this) far more heinous than what the NYT reports there, but that doesn’t excuse what these Russian soldiers did. None of these war-crimes will be able to be successfully prosecuted.  

Here is the reason why the ICC, and the U.N. itself, turned out to be this way (Ioanes’s article provided only a superficial account regarding that matter — “A permanent international court is still relatively new,” etc. — but the actual cause, or reason, goes all the way back to answering how and why that has turned out to be the case, and this requires history going back to the 1940s):

Though the United Nations had first been conceived by U.S. President FDR in 1941 only shortly before the U.S. itself famously entered WW II on “a date which will live in infamy”; and though FDR developed, prior to his death on 12 April 1945, a remarkably detailed plan for what the U.N. would be and for what its Charter would need to include, his immediate successor, Harry S. Truman, while he was at the Potsdam Conference with Churchill and Stalin in July 1945, became persuaded by his hero, General Dwight David Eisenhower, that if the U.S. would not conquer the Soviet Union, then the Soviet Union would conquer the United States; and, so, on 25 July 1945, Truman made the decision (which soon thereafter became irrevocable) to set the U.S. Government onto the path of world-domination, to conquering the Soviet Union, and he even decided to demand of Stalin, regarding eastern European countries that the Soviet Union had freed from Hitler’s grip, that “I told Stalin until we had free access to those countries and our nationals had their property rights restored, so far as we were concerned ther’d never be recognition. He seems to like it when I hit him with a hammer.” Stalin was shocked at this turn of events, because he knew, in general terms, what FDR had been intending for the U.N. to be — a democratic federation of all nations which would terminate all imperialisms and be restricted to addressing only international relations (thereby excluding anything that pertains to intranational matters, such as Truman insisted upon) — and he still hoped, even for a few months afterwards, that Truman wouldn’t turn out to be a 180-degree reversal of what FDR had been, but thereafter Stalin gave up altogether on any such hope, and knew that the U.S. was now at war against the Soviet Union. Tragically, Truman, instead of FDR, oversaw, and basically dominated, the creation of the U.N., and so it turned out to be a toothless tiger, nothing like what FDR had intended, which would have been the international democracy of nations and possessed of a practical monopoly of geostrategic weaponry and international armed force, and also including, at the earliest practicable date, an international criminal court, which would try not only the international crimes by the former Axis powers, but the international crimes by the former Allied powers. The U.N. would have been fundamentally different than it is.

And, so, though there do exist international war-crimes cases regarding which the solidly documented historical record is sufficiently complete for an unprejudiced and trustworthy conviction to be possible, it cannot happen unless and until all of the bad history since 12 April 1945 (FDR’s death) has become effectively condemned, repudiated, and reversed, by enough of the world’s nations, so that the needed type of world government (international laws and their enforcement and juridical handling), replacing all of the existing imperialisms, becomes finally instituted (which was FDR’s obsession from 1941 on). However, even today — after all of these many decades of bad history — no one is even so much as talking about this.

One of the experts that Ioanes quoted said “‘It really shows a lot of hypocrisy,’ and encourages the perception of ‘justice for thee, not for me’.” And that (“for thee, not for me”) is, really, a pervasive and total impossibility of justice, for anyone. In its place can only be hypocrisy. Perhaps that’s what “liberalism” (which is certainly NOT progressivism) comes down to: hypocritical conservatism. Rule by the aristocracy (the super-rich), everywhere.

What is bad in the past must be publicly acknowledged (no longer lied about), if ever we are to go forward to an authentically better world. If that fails to happen, the world will only continue to get even worse.

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Middle East2 hours ago

Israel admits involvement in the killing of an Iranian army officer

Col. Sayad Khodayee, 50, was fatally shot outside his home in Tehran on Sunday when two gunmen on motorcycles approached...

South Asia4 hours ago

Economic And Political Reform Is Needed In Sri Lanka, Not State Violence

Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis since independence has highlighted years of political and economic mismanagement and a reliance on state-sanctioned...

Economy6 hours ago

The Waning Supremacy of the Petrodollar Economy

Since the 1970s, the US dollar has been the undisputed reserve currency around the globe. Agreements with Saudi Arabia (and...

Economy8 hours ago

Chinese Maritime Strategy: Further Expansion and Progress

The Belt and Road Initiative represents a shift in China’s global perspective as well as an update to its role...

Health & Wellness10 hours ago

World’s richest countries damaging child health worldwide

Over-consumption in the world’s richest countries is creating unhealthy, dangerous, and toxic conditions for children globally, according to a new...

New Social Compact12 hours ago

Open and Closed: From Russia to China to America, the Largest Societies Are Pushing Their Limits

Today we are seeing the largest nations in the world pushing their limits. Open societies are pushing the limits of...

World News16 hours ago

UNICEF urges leaders to keep schools safe following deadly Texas shooting

Governments must take greater action to ensure school remains a safe place for boys and girls, the head of the...

Trending