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The Continuing Obsession with Russia



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Not since the Cuban missile crisis has there been such an ‘infodemic’ as we are currently witnessing. The media sensationalism about war, and even a nuclear one, is astounding to many calm thinkers. It is fuelled by intemperate and irresponsible statements by various American and European politicians.1 Even government-supported think tanks, such as ELIAMEP in Greece, come out with sensationalist epithets such as ‘A War Waiting to Happen’ and ‘Finger on the Trigger’.2 Let us look behind the hysteria to better grasp what is really happening, by listing some key factors, commenting on them, and concluding. An immediate factor is the Anglo-Saxon wish to maintain and perpetuate NATO; connected to this is America’s apparent desire to try and remain number one; the ‘struggle for mastery in Europe’, not simply from within, but without, with an increasingly unwieldy EU; and an oft ignored factor, namely atavism and human behaviour, both individual and corporate. We shall use history as our template.

Following West Germany’s entry into NATO in 1955, after France’s rejection of the European Defence Community treaty, and NATO’s refusal to countenance the USSR’s membership, Moscow felt constrained to establish the Warsaw Pact, feeling betrayed by the idea of West German rearmament and the latter’s concomitant connexion to the American military-congressional-industrial complex. Tense years followed, leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis when, in exchange for withdrawing Soviet missiles from Cuba, America had to withdraw missiles from Turkey. Following the euphoria over the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the alleged heralding of the end of the Cold War, promises were made to Moscow about not expanding eastwards. The German foreign minister, Genscher, for example called on NATO to declare unequivocally that ‘whatever happens in the Warsaw Pact, there will be no expansion of NATO territory eastwards, that is to say, closer to the border of the Soviet Union’.3 Moscow therefore, justifiably, but perhaps slightly optimistically, assumed that NATO would stick to various promises not to extend beyond the River Oder.

The North Atlantic Treaty was in any case due to expire in April 1999. Logical minds thought that since the Warsaw Pact no longer existed, NATO would indeed expire, or at least transmogrify into a cultural organisation. Instead, she expanded eastwards, welcoming Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary on board, unleashing at the same time an illegal bombing campaign against former Yugoslavia, having clearly decided to bomb, by making unacceptable last-minute demands on Serbian sovereignty,4 just as Vienna had done in 1914. It later emerged that the US had egged Belgrade on in its campaign against the ‘Kosovo Liberation Army’ (KLA), when on 23 February 1998, the US envoy to the Balkans, Robert Gelbard (a career diplomat), described the KLA as ‘without question a terrorist organisation’,5 thus lending moral and political support to Belgrade’s campaign against the KLA terrorists. But he was then posted on, to be replaced by a banker, Richard Holbrooke, who praised the KLA only four months later, even being photographed with a gun-toting terrorist.6 The whole murderous ‘humanitarian’ war was a classic example of image taking precedence over substance.7 The objective was really to keep NATO going, and to show a then dithering Moscow who was boss in the Balkans.

Russia and Russians are a patient people, and following NATO’s bombing campaign, began to get worried about NATO’s intentions, with considerable justification, as the Aghanistan debâcle, the Iraq war (based on a lie), and the destruction of Libya testify. Moscow’s intervention in Syria needs to be seen – and understood – in this context. On top of this, NATO continued to expand after 1999, with the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia following in 2004, Albania and Croatia in 2009, Montenegro in 2017 and, for good measure, even North Macedonia in 2020. To rub it in, the US now wishes Georgia and the Ukraine to join. This all connects to US aims. If once upon a time, NATO was designed to to ‘keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down’, it now exists to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the EU down.

US Exceptionalism

It is hardly surprising that Moscow no longer trusts the US, and suspects it of trying to dominate the world by using NATO as its instrument in becoming a world policeman. Much has been written about the continuing US desire to dominate, despite the fact that the world is already becoming multi-polar. In this connexion, let us quote George Bush Senior in 1992, at the time of the first Gulf War: ‘The world can, therefore, seize this opportunity to fulfil the long-held promise of a new world order […]. Yes, the United States bears a major share of leadership in this effort. Among the nations of the world, only the United States has the moral standing, and the means to back it up […] our cause is just, our cause is moral, our cause is right’[…] May God bless the United States of America.’8

This extreme arrogance sits interestingly with what the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, had said seventeen years earlier: ‘There is no future for Europe, or for Britain, if we allow American business and American industry to dominate the strategic growth of our individual countries that they, and not we, are able to determine the pace and direction of Europe’s industrial advance.’9 Twenty eight years before this, as London and Washington were moving into the Cold War, the British embassy in Washington had written: ‘‘The missionary strain in the character of Americans leads many of them to feel that they have now received a call to extend to other countries the blessings with which the Almighty has endowed their own.’10 This missionary strain has recently led to America withdrawing unilaterally from the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty, the Open Skies treaty, and the intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) treaty, claiming without evidence that Russia was violating them. Exceptional – a euphemism for illegal – behaviour, owever, can hardly be an excuse for breaking the law, whether it involves ignoring the United Nations, or withdrawing from treaties. The continuing American wish to lead the world depends to a considerable extent on keeping Europe on a tight leash. The manufactured Ukraine crisis also provides the US with an opportunity to distract attention from its domestic problems.

The European Piggy-in-the-Middle

Ever since at least Mackinder’s geopolitical obsession with preventing an alliance between Germany and Russia, the US and UK have striven to frustrate both European unity and an independent European approach towards Moscow. A contemporary example of this obsession comes from the British Defence Secretary, Hoon, in 2002: ‘NATO is and will be the only organisation for collective defence in Europe.’11

The weaker European cohesion, the better for NATO, which explains why the UK and US heavily supported EU enlargement, in the expectation that the more unwieldy the European Union, the more likely it would be that Brussels would follow NATO/US policy towards Russia, particularly with the support of Poland and the Baltic states. In this connexion, one of the first things that Poland did on membership of the EU was to order 3.5 billion dollars’ worth of Lockheed F-16s, rejecting French and Swedish offers. The US continues to sell its arms under the NATO rubric. Similarly, its opposition to the Nordstream gas pipeline, with the help of its Polish and Baltic cheerleaders and internal German disagreement, means that the US can sell more of its expensive LNG to Europe. Thus it becomes clear that a war will help the US economy. The Ukraine is the focal point. Let us now get down to the human basics.

Atavism and the Human Factor

We are currently witnessing the continuation of the anti-Russian obsession, albeit in new colours, and with new names. It goes back at least to in 1791, when William Pitt the Younger denounced Russia for its supposed ambitions to dismember Turkey.12 By the time of Napoleon’s defeat, Britain was focusing on Russia as the main hindrance to its wish to control the Eastern Mediterranean. It is no exaggeration to say that throughout the whole of the nineteenth century, one of the British Empire’s main preoccupations was with Russia, owing to the latter’s usually hostile attitude towards the Ottoman Empire. This anti-Russian attitude was later taken over by America, with British support. It continues now. To this corporate atavism, we need to add the characteristics of the politicians who have brought matters to such a confusing impasse, since group and corporate behaviour are surely based on the individual. State interests are unable on their own to predict actions which are driven by human behaviour.

Twenty years ago, nobody could have predicted the current situation. The extreme behaviour of irresponsible individuals has had a big influence on the present. Obvious examples are Victoria Nuland’s saying to the US ambassador to the Ukraine ‘F**k’ the Europeans’ (not to elaborate on her rôle in getting rid of the legitimate Ukrainian president); Boris Johnson’s calls in October 2016 for a demonstration at the Russian Embassy in London over the (legitimate) Russian intervention in Syria (hardly befitting for a British Foreign Secretary); and British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson’s telling the public in March 2018 that ‘Russia should go away and should shut up.’

To conclude

It appears that the US is using NATO as its instrument to egg on Russia to invade the Ukraine, for internal political reasons; to prevent the EU from ever having its own voice in security matters, and negotiate with Moscow; and indeed to control Europe, as peace would kill or at least weaken NATO. Protestations that NATO is a defensive organisation wear very thin when one considers its illegal attacks on non-members who have not threatened NATO members. Here the 78-day bombing of Belgrade comes to mind.

The Ukraine continues to refuse to negotiate directly with the leaders of Lugansk and Donetsk, in violation of the Minsk Agreements, yet rather than criticise Kiev, the US and British reaction has been to send more troops and military aid to Poland, the Baltic statelets and the Ukraine, and to whip up anti-Russian sentiment with immoderate and undiplomatic ranting. The US, UK, Poland and the Baltic statelets, in particular, are itching for a Russian invasion, so that heavy sanctions can be imposed on Russia, enabling the US to make billions by selling its LNG and arms, and to cock an atavistic snook at Russia.

If the Ukrainian army goes on the offensive and starts killing Russians (whether Russian passport-holders or ethnic Russians), Moscow may well have to react militarily, in a humanitarian war, just as NATO claimed to have done over Kosovo. This could open a dangerous Pandora’s Box, including nuclear options. On the other hand, with skillful Lavrovian diplomacy, it could lead to more balanced multi-polar world, with a more independent EU. In the meantime, it is worth remembering that lilies that fester smell worse than weeds, and that NATO was beyond its shelf-life in 1999.

[1] For example, in October 2021, the German Defence Minister, Ms. Kramp-Karrenbauer, told radio station Deutschlandfunk that nuclear weapons could be deployed over the Baltic nations that border Russia. According to her, ‘we must make it very clear to Russia that we are ready to use such measures as well, so that it would have an early deterrent effect.’ ‘

[2] Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) Newsletter, Athens, 28 January 2022.

[3] Evangelische Akademie, Tutzing, 31 January 1990, (Genscher, Hans-Dietrich (1990): Zur deutschen Einheit im europäischen Rahmen, Tutzinger Blätter 2, pp. 3-13.); in Federal Academy for Security Policy, Copyright: Federal Academy for Security Policy | ISSN 2366-0805 page 1/4

Security Policy Working Paper, No. 3/2018.

[4] MccGwire, Michael, ‘Why did we bomb Belgrade?’, International Affairs, vol. 76, no. 1, Chatham House, London, January 2000.

[5] Pettifer, James, ‘We Have Been Here Before’, The World Today, vol. 54, no. 4, Chatham House, London, April, 1998.

[6] This method of egging on, and then performing an about-turn, was also used to encourage the first Gulf War, when the US ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, assured Saddam Hussein that the USA had no interest in Iraq’s dispute with Kuwait, thus providing Iraq with an excuse to invade. See Parenti, Michael, Inventing Reality, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1993, p. 164, in Mallinson, William, Cyprus: A Modern History, I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury, London and New York, 2005, 2008, 2012, pp. 97-98.

[7] Op. cit., MccGwire.

[8] Bush, George, ‘The Hard Work of Freedom’, in O’Tuathail, Geraóid, Dalby, Simon and Routledge, Paul (eds.), The Geopolitics Reader, Routledge, London and New York, 1998.

[9] Guay, Terence and Callum, Robert, ‘The Transformation and Future Prospects of Europe’s Defence Industry’, International Affairs, vol. 78, no. 4, Chatham House, London, London 2002, p.771.

[10] Telegram from the British Embassy in Washington, commenting on the Truman Doctrine, 14 March 1947, printed in Documents on British Policy Overseas, Series 1, Volume XI, No. 62.

[11] Ibid., p. 775.

[12] Wallbank, T. Walter et al. (eds.), Civilisation, Past and Present, volume II, Harper Collins, 1996, p. 721.

From our partner RIAC

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The Despair of American Youths under an Overly ‘Critical Society’



A recent tragic incident in the United States has stunned the world. This incident, is not merely “domestic terrorism”, but its root cause, that of a “critical society”, is far more serious than people think.

Payton Gendron, from Conklin, New York, drove a few hours to Buffalo, which is about 200 miles away, to a predominantly African-American, low-income neighborhood, about 3 miles north of the central Buffalo. It is surrounded by residential areas, a university, a nearby Family Dollar store, and a fire station. –

In an act that shocked everyone, Payton Gendron pulled up his rifle and walked into the supermarket, and started killing people, women, the elderly, and cashiers. Not only did he shoot at the unarmed people, but he also broadcast the gory scene of the massacre live on Twitch. This vicious mass shooting incident left at least 10 people dead and 3 others injured. Of the 13 victims, 11 were black.

In the aftermath, it was horrifying to discover that the white young man who did the mass shooting was only 18 years old. “This is the worst nightmare that any community can face, and we are hurting and we are seething right now”, said Mayor Byron Brown.

After the incident, President Joe Biden urged unity to stem racial hate as a remedy to get rid of the “hate that remains a stain on the soul of America.” Biden said that, “violence inflicted in the service of hate and a vicious thirst for power that defines one group of people being inherently inferior to any other group. A hate that through the media and politics, the Internet, has radicalized angry, alienated, lost, and isolated individuals into falsely believing that they will be replaced”.

The so-called “Great Replacement Theory” alluded to in the speech of President Biden in his condemnation of the massacre refers to the belief that immigrants or other people of color are “replacing” white Americans. Propagated by the media and the Internet, and deliberately exaggerated by political shows and politicians, there are those who become firm believers that the “Great Replacement” is the reality and the future of the United States. The Buffalo massacre is but one of the countless hate crimes. In today’s American society, no one is completely happy, and everyone seems to have different reasons for dissatisfaction, disappointment, and hatred.

The reason for this is that the U.S. is typically a “critical society”, which does not often offer much justice and truth. Instead, discrimination, grievances, conspiracies, and hatred more often than not emerge in such a society seemingly plagued by despair and pain. The real United States might not be exactly like this, of course. Yet, countless people from all over the world are eager to come to America by all means to seek hope there, not knowing that Americans, especially young people who are overwhelmed by disappointment, are not hopeful about the future.

There are many reasons why the U.S. has become a critical society.

Education in the U.S., with its strong emphasis on critical thinking, trains young people from an early age to not only possess critical spirit, but also to have critical point of view. This started with English composition among young children, and continues to dissertation among college students. Such critical spirit is like a contagious disease, which is easily transmissible. In books, in movies, in TV shows and newspapers, in culture as well as in fashion, Americans are always criticizing all the time, trampling. Yet, their critical mind does not come with constructive strength. There is a serious lack of respect for the classics. It is as if only through crushing the past and the traditions that allows them to show their superiority.

The cultural model that balances the critical and classical, empirical and traditional do not seem to be the dominant model in American society, nor an integral part of its popular culture. American institutions of higher learning, which are supposed to be places where the classics are taught, are now the venues that instill radical critical thinking. Therefore, the non-technological departments in colleges there are nothing short of houses of madness. This has led to a pernicious consequence of increasingly polarized critical thinking, turning the U.S. into a very harmful critical society.

In such as overly critical society, it is difficult for people to see the presence of the classics that represent all things positive. Since everything can be criticized, then everything is problematic, where there are flaws everywhere, where everything is imperfect. In an overly critical society, no one is normal, and everyone has a vicious side. If one cannot find shortfalls in a person, then standards will be raised up or lowered down, or new standards are invented, so that everyone becomes the target of criticism. All doubts are noble, and the classics themselves are the best objects of doubt.

The biggest problem with a society like this is that there is no hope, only hate. All that is left is despair. A young man like Payton Gendron is actually just a victim who goes astray in such a society. In an overly critical society, every young adult is in despair.

The U.S. today is already very worrying enough, its future is even more so. With the Internet, disappointment and hatred are ubiquitously amplified. From the country’s power center to its legislature departments, in terms of constructing, developing, and protecting the nation, the professional politicians there contribute less than regular nine-to-five office workers. These politicians expose, create, amplify, and criticize any possible flaws of political opponents without hesitation, in accordance with the modus operandi of professional politicians there. Such amplification and role model effects have made the United States a desperate country.

The world of information is complex, and not everyone possesses the ability to process information objectively, and not everyone should be expected to do so.

In the face of all kinds of information sweeping in, using the “believe it or not” mentality to deal with the survival challenges of the modern information society is a major blunder. The right approach is to recognize and analyze information, but this is too difficult for the average person and requires good training in information analysis. In China, it seems that there is only one think tank that has that kind of training in both critical and empirical information analysis. In this sense, Chinese academia does not always lag behind its counterpart in the United States. As for the U.S., the path of seeking science and technology to solve overly critical problems through specialized information processing is most certainly not going to work. Technology will always be objective, and as it can be used to clarify doubts, it can also certainly be used to create problems.

To bring things to a close, the sole way for the United States to get more people to see the light is for its society to make changes and move out of an overly critical society.

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Are Biden’s Troubles of his Own Making?



Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

What a fractious world we live in.  The somnambulist Biden has woken up in his nocturnal wanderings to hear complaints about China for its sea incursions close to the littoral areas of allies like Taiwan and Japan.  Thus at the “Quad” (Australia, Japan, US and India) meeting in Tokyo, he reaffirmed US support for Taiwan, militarily if need be, to defend Taiwanese independence in what appeared to be a reversal of policy as earlier the US had recognized it as a province of China.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) an economic union of the Quad and other Asia-Pacific countries has been revived — Trump had buried it earlier, aiming presumably higher but missing.  Mr. Biden announced its reincarnation as the new Inter Pacific Economic Federation (IPEF).

All of which is the least of Mr. Biden’s headaches.  There’s a full blown war in Ukraine to consider.  And he promptly announced a $40.1 bill military aid package for Ukraine.  Defense contractors couldn’t be more pleased.  Lockheed Martin stock is up 6 percent in two days as it ramps up production of the Javelin anti-tank missile, doubling it according to the CEO to supply Ukraine.

Congress has now passed a $40 billion aid package.  The amount is not trivial.  For comparison, India, a country of more than a billion people with the third largest defence budget in the world, spends less than half that sum on weapons procurement.

The real question is going to be Mr. Putin’s response.  He might well call it a move aimed at slaughtering young Russian boys, when he himself is asking for peace talks.  Even President Zelensky, the quintessential blowhard politician, has been forced to admit that 50-100 Ukrainian soldiers are dying daily.

American interference in Ukraine has a long history.  The planning and participation in a coup eight years ago (when Biden was vice president) and the selection of future leaders thereafter are all documented.  On lack of European support for it at the time, Victoria Nuland, the then Deputy Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs responded famously, “F–k the EU.”  She has the dubious distinction of being the chief promoter of the so-called “soft coup” which led eventually to the fall of the elected Viktor Yanukovych government and thence to the divisions in Ukraine.  The results have been the deaths of an estimated 13,000 people and the displacement of millions.

Since 2014 about one million refugees have left the country as a result of wars in the Donbas.  Another 1.6 million were internally displaced.  Following the latest fighting in 2022, the number of Ukrainians who have left the country has risen by another 6.6 million and another 7.7 million are displaced from their homes to other parts of the country.  That in total is over a quarter of the country’s population of 44 million. 

It is painful, pitiful, atrocious and appalling that in the 21st century, political leaders instead of resolving disputes have behaved in a manner ending in a human tragedy of these proportions.  Let’s just say, none of the participants need queue up for a Nobel Peace Prize, although one had already received it before this and other misadventures. 

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The WW III that Biden and All Other Neocons Are Leading U.S. Toward



Official White House Photo by Erin Scott

The intensely neoconservative U.S. President Joe Biden is leading the world into a World War III against both Russia and China, but despite the U.S. spending annually around half of the entire planet’s military expenditures (not only in its ‘Defense’ Department but in its Treasury Department and other Government agencies), America is actually inferior to both Russia and China regarding leading-edge geostrategically crucial technologies of both nuclear and laser weapons, and is getting farther behind each year, because for both Russia and China their own national sovereignty is what their enemy, the U.S. Government, aims to conquer, whereas no one poses a threat to the U.S. Government’s continuing rule over its own people (it becomes increasingly a police-state). The U.S. Government is the only and supreme champion of sanctions and coups and invasions for regime-change producing the creation of new vassal-nations throughout the globe, whereas both Russia and China must protect themselves from that or else become themselves new U.S. vassal-nations. So: they are laser-focused on NOT allowing America to grab their nation. Truly, for them, this is an existential issue, NOT a matter (such as is the case regarding the U.S. Government) of growing to become the world’s first and only all-encompassing global empire (a luxury that only America’s billionaires, who control the U.S. Government, require). This basic distinction is the reason why whereas the U.S. has over 800 military bases spread throughout the planet, Russia and China are concerned ONLY about not allowing U.S. forces to be based so near to their borders as to enable a U.S. missile to annihilate their capital’s command-and-control within less than ten minutes and so to enable the U.S. Government to grab control of them so fast that the targeted nation’s (Russia’s and China’s) retaliatory weapons won’t be launched in self-defense.

Consequently, for example, the geostrategically-focused CRUX youtube site headlined on May 23rd “Why The World Fears Putin’s ‘Flying Chernobyl’ Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile”, and reported on Russia’s emerging “Buravestnik” nuclear-powered nuclear-warheaded missile that will be able to avoid all known types of anti-missile detection and tracking technologies and that will be able to fly for any distance because of its nuclear fuel. Though that pro-U.S.-Government, anti-Putin, CRUX-produced video says “Experts have underlined the threat that … this weapon may pose to the environment and human health” due to radioactive waste that’s released into the air during its flight, because there is no space inside the missile to store waste, even America’s National Defense magazine has admitted that “the amount of nuclear waste that this will produce is very tiny, … basically negligible,” which is hardly what CRUX headlines it as being — a “Flying Chernobyl.” CRUX went on to say, “Experts say that Putin’s Cold War mindset has normalised the development of such doomsday weapons.” It’s all regime-change-in-Russia propaganda.

In other words: the neocons’ aim to destroy Russia so fast that Russia won’t be able to destroy America in retaliation, is hogwash that’s probably funded, ultimately, by corporations such as Lockheed Martin, whose sales are exclusively or mainly to the U.S. Government and its allied governments (vassal-nations), which U.S.-and-allied weapons-making firms’ stock-values have soared ever since the end of the Cold War in 1991. It ended only on Russia’s side in 1991, but this supercharged it on America’s side.  This unleashed a solely military-industrial-complex-controlled U.S. Government, which demands an ever-increasing percentage of the U.S. Government’s expenses to go toward its military, which, nonetheless, is privately owned and controlled; and its profits have soared.

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