The Advocates of Death 558

There is a completely crazed article by Simon Tisdall in the Guardian – worryingly its “most shared” – calling for “direct, in-country military support” by western powers in Ukraine against Russia.

While Tisdall outlines well the many catastrophic and wide-reaching effects of the Ukraine war, including tangents such as its effect on climate change, he fails completely to acknowledge the rather more obviously catastrophic possibility that direct western military intervention in Ukraine will lead to full scale nuclear war.

But strangely that is not what I find most wrong-headed in Tisdall’s article. What I find culpably unbalanced is this paragraph:

The broader, negative political impact of the war, should it rage on indefinitely, is almost incalculable. The UN’s future as an authoritative global forum, lawmaker and peacekeeper is in jeopardy, as more than 200 former officials warned Guterres last week. At risk, too, is the credibility of the international court of justice, whose injunction to withdraw was scorned by Putin, and the entire system of war crimes prosecutions.

It is as though the illegal invasion of Iraq had never happened, and had not already dealt the severe blow to the moral authority of the United Nations that helps enable Putin’s actions now. And Why is defiance by Putin of the International Court of Justice a severe blow to its credibility, but British refusal to obey its instruction to return the Chagos islands to the survivors of the British genocide there apparently was not a severe blow?

Putin is merely following British and American example. The failure of liberals like Tisdall (whom I generally respect) to acknowledge this I find infuriating. I condemn the invasion of Ukraine and I have no hesitation in calling Putin a war criminal. However for precisely the same reasons so are Bush and Blair. It astonishes me how very few people in the media are prepared, in the current emergency, to acknowledge this. That is perhaps understandable if not readily excusable. But to claim like Tisdall that Putin’s actions are somehow unique and precedent-setting goes beyond omission to active propaganda and lying.

I am returned from holiday with the family, much refreshed, and have decided to revert to the idea that not every article on this website needs to be long form or profound. Shorter, snappier pieces like this to fill the gaps between highly worked articles are also useful to keep brain cells sparking and conversation flowing.


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558 thoughts on “The Advocates of Death

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  • Bayard

    I heard today on the BBC that the Russian generals accused of war crimes are to be punished with sanctions. Why am I reminded of this?

    ‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first – verdict afterwards.’
    ‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’
    ‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.
    ‘I won’t!’ said Alice.
    ‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

  • GFL

    On the BBC today Tobias Ellwood said, we started to arm and train the Ukrainians in 2014, yet there are people here that say this war wasn’t planned.

    • Shaun Onimus

      Well these people are obviously smarter and saw the future. Now they can say, I told you so! Those bloodthirsty Ruskis! We knew they would invade Ukraine, so thats why we pre-emptively trained and armed their neighbors and tried to erase their culture in the East. See how evil they are? Protecting their culture from a bloody genocide, tsk tsk. Putin bad!

    • Pears Morgaine

      Big difference between arming and training a country to defend itself and arming and training it to invade another country. Remind me again who’s army crossed the border?

  • vin_ot

    Interesting interview with Lula in the latest issue of Time magazine. He says that Zelensky “is as responsible as Putin for the war,” that the U.S and E.U. have “irresponsibly” encouraged Zelensky to seek more war, and that “The U.S. and the E.U. should have assured Putin that Ukraine would not join NATO.”

    Crimes of thought that will doubtless put Lula far beyond the pale for our peace-loving humanitarian ruling class and their media. Shame on Time magazine for even giving him a platform! Cancel their PayPal account pronto!

    • Jack

      Latin americans leftists have always been more vocal and not holding-back their views compared with western leftists:

      Former Brazilian president says Zelensky wanted war

      “He did want war. If he didn’t want war, he would have negotiated a little more,” da Silva, who served as president from 2003-2010, said in an interview to Time magazine that was published on Wednesday.

      Da Silva said the West is encouraging Zelensky. “He thinks he is the cherry on your cake. We should be having a serious conversation: “OK, you were a nice comedian. But let us not make war for you to show up on TV,” the former president said.

      Da Silva said he doesn’t know the president of Ukraine but thinks he’s acting weird. “It seems like he’s part of the spectacle. He is on television morning, noon, and night. He is in the U.K. parliament, the German parliament, the French parliament, the Italian parliament, as if he were waging a political campaign. He should be at the negotiating table,” the Brazilian politician said.

      Da Silva said that, “People are stimulating hate against Putin. That won’t solve things! We need to reach an agreement.”.

      • andyoldlabour

        Jack, that seems to sum it up nicely. Since this conflict started Zelensky has become more and more narcissistic, always wanting to be centre stage, trying to make demands of the EU and individual states. He sees himself as “The Greatest Showman”. He has to be stopped or he will sacrifice many more Ukrainian (and Russian) lives, to feed his already bloated ego.

        • Neil

          It’s funny, a country is invaded in an unprovoked aggression, and the invaded country is painted as the one who wanted war, the one who wants to be the centre of attention, the one who planned the whole thing from the start. You guys really need to come up with better material than that.

  • DiggerUK

    Latest news from Mariupol makes it seem likely that the last stand of the Azov detachments could have ended. Reports of heavy thermobaric bomb, artillery and missile attacks has led to an ending of communications with those in the iron works.

    It is always claimed that Germanys refusal to allow their detachments, in such theatres as Stalingrad, to surrender or break out in WW2 was military madness, if so, why did Zelensky never order them to surrender or break out when it became clear their position was hopeless?

    When lives are wasted in such a fashion it must be clear to everyone here that a ceasefire and peace negotiations must be demanded, NOW.
    Diplomatic back doors must be opened to give Russia hope that some of their concerns can be addressed. At the same time the forces sympathetic to EU, NATO and the US must stop their support for Ukraine.

    Wise heads can prevail here, but only if peace is demanded…_

    • Squeeth

      Had the Germans and their allies in Stalingrad broken out or surrendered, the Red Army troops besieging them would have become available for operations elsewhere. All that the Seppo commanders are doing is playing for time at the cost of Ukrainian lives.

      • DiggerUK

        It is not a commanders job to extend the suffering of their armed forces, it is their job to know when the games up and end the bloodshed by raising the white flag, or bugging out. What you justify is death for deaths sake.
        Only the butchers throw lives away in vain…_

        • Tom Welsh

          Sometimes that is so. Other times, a commander can sacrifice his troops (and himself) to hold up the enemy, to slow them down.

          This of course is not such a case.

        • Bayard

          That is a very idealistic view of strategy. In reality, it is the strategy that counts, not the lives. My own grandfather was on a ship that was, in WWI, ordered to “intercept” a German battleship despite the Admiralty being fully aware that, because of the difference in range of the two ships’ guns, the British ship would be sunk before it was close enough to land a single shot on the German one.

    • Tom Welsh

      The German troops in Stalingrad would have loved to break out. Hitler would have loved them to break out, if possible. The relieving forces sent by von Manstein would have loved to get through to them.

      Unfortunately for the Germans, despite heroic efforts Operation Wintergewitter (Winter Storm) failed. Large Russian forces were continually thrown at the relieving force, and it could not reach the besieged Germans. They, in turn, did not have enough fuel to drive even 50 miles.

      • Pears Morgaine

        Hitler forbad German troops to abandon Stalingrad. He had the opportunity to withdraw his forces before winter set in and was advised to do so by his general staff but didn’t listen.

        Contrast this with the heroic defence of Leningrad which was barely less costly in human life. Should the Russians have surrendered that city to save lives?

        A few days ago a report in RT claimed that the remaining defenders of Mariupol were prepared to surrender but only to a third party (as yet unspecified). If true it suggests they’re fighting on because they don’t see any future in surrendering to the Russians or their allies.

        • Tom Welsh

          Most of them will fight on because they know that the Russians will kill them if they don’t surrender; and (this is the crunch) put them on trial for crimes against humanity if they do.

          Many of the terroists in Azovstal have done far worse than many of the Germans condemned to death at Nuremberg (actually Nuernberg, but apparently Americans can’t manage that).

          The Russians are very legalistic, and have been keeping scrupulously detailed accounts of those crimes.

          • Pears Morgaine

            ” Many of the terroists in Azovstal have done far worse than many of the Germans condemned to death at Nuremberg “

            For example?

            I’m sure any trials staged by the Russians will be scrupulously fair although it would be the ultimate irony.

        • Peter

          “A few days ago a report in RT claimed that the remaining defenders of Mariupol were prepared to surrender but only to a third party (as yet unspecified). If true it suggests they’re fighting on because they don’t see any future in surrendering to the Russians or their allies.”

          Being neo-Nazis (what the BBC & MSM covering for them only ever refer to as ‘defenders’ or ‘fighters’) and one of the main forces behind the pre-war military assault on Donbas, they are, of course, one of Russia’s primary targets. It is therefore, of course, highly unlikely that they will be prepared to surrender to the Russians. For the same reasons it is equally unlikely that the Russians will allow them to surrender to a third party.

          On top of all that, according to Colonel Richard Black quoting Turkish sources, there may be “fifty French senior officers” trapped in the steel plant with the Azovs.

          Given all that, pending a secret negotiated deal, it may that the Russians are the only party that want to see them brought out alive.

          Watch from 41:00 :-
          Schiller InstituteCol. Richard Black: U.S. Leading World to Nuclear War (26 Apr 2022) – YouTube, 1h 10m 58s

          Read the full transcript here:…
          Read and sign the Schiller Institute petition calling for a new International Security Architecture:
          View the Schiller Institute conference, “To Establish a New Security and Development Architecture for All Nations”

          • Pears Morgaine

            The Schiller Institute was founded in 1984 by right wing extremist Lyndon la Rouche and has itself been accused of antisemitism and Holocaust revisionism.

            Sign the petition if you want but be aware about what you’re supporting by doing so.

          • Peter


            I had never heard of Lyndon LaRouche or the Institute until now but a quick internet search strongly suggests (smears aside) that he’s much more a man of the left than of the right.

            Similarly, from a brief internet skim, the allegations of antisemitism against LaRouche seem more akin to those that engulfed Jeremy Corbyn, ie a smear campaign, than to substantial accusations.

            However, that is all new to me, and appears extremely convoluted, so I stand to be corrected.

            My comment didn’t link to the Institute and the petition, that was added by the mods – had I done so myself it would have been much more elegantly formatted – I just linked to the Youtube video. But given that the US has laid waste to the Middle East and is now bringing its wars to mainland Europe, international moves to develop a new approach to developing a peaceful and sustainable international peace and defence architecture are to be most welcomed.

            Such an arrangement was on the table and available to Ukraine before war broke out, and could/should have prevented any war taking place. But, of course, America spat upon it, and now we are where we are – closer to a third world war possibly than ever before.

    • Stevie Boy

      Of course your latest news is that served up by the MSM. In reality the Russians haven’t changed their approach and are NOT bombing the place. It remains under seige until the Nazis see sense and surrender.
      Disinformation helps no-one.

    • Lapsed Agnostic

      Zelensky might be a former comedian, Digger, but he’s no fool. He knows that, in the future, it will be much easier for him to claim that the heroic defenders of Mariupol died so that their fellow Ukrainians might know peace, than it would be if some of the defenders that didn’t die – having been evacuated through a corridor established by the Ukrainian Army at considerable cost in blood & treasure – have now turned tub-thumping ultra-right politicians, and are claiming that the heroic defenders of Mariupol actually died so that Crimea & The Donbas could become fully Ukrainian again, which hasn’t happened because Zelensky is a Jewish traitor.

  • DiggerUK

    It seems that most of those who denigrate Tisdall ‘et al’ at the Guardian, are commenting in a manner that fails completely to acknowledge “the rather more obviously catastrophic possibility that direct western military intervention in Ukraine will lead to full scale nuclear war.” as our host describes it.
    I am only prepared to say it ‘could’ lead to nuclear war. Considering there are four nuclear powers in this massacre, I may turn out to be a tad optimistic.

    Bitching about which News Team we support is somewhere between philistine and puerile.
    Here is a brief clip from RT

    Here is a dated piece from the BBC

    Knocking the heads of some of you numbskulls together is a fools game it seems. This time there really ARE WMD’s out there.
    Consider the consequences of peace as opposed to the consequences of war. One has benefits, one doesn’t…_

    • Tom Welsh

      Nuclear war will happen only if the West pushes Russia too hard. The sane and human approach would be to leave Russia to tidy up its own immediate “backyard”. Why can’t the Americans ever allow anyone else some equivalent of their Monroe Doctrine?

      The Russians won’t use nuclear weapons first unless the existence of their nation is seriously threatened.

      • Pears Morgaine

        The US efforts to keep its ‘back yard’ (South America) tidy over the years has attracted much well deserved criticism. How is it suddenly OK for Russia?

        • andyoldlabour

          Pears Morgaine

          Possibly because the US/UK expect other countries to be held to different standards than they are held to. I suppose you have heard of the Hague Invasion Act, where no US citizen or indeed no citizen of an ally of the US, will ever face a war crimes tribunal. Over the past seventy years the US has been responsible for several million deaths across the globe, due to its military “interventions”.

          • Pears Morgaine

            Of which I assume you disapprove. So why won’t you condemn Russia over its military intervention?

        • Tom Welsh

          “Well deserved criticism” is one thing; organising violent coups d’état and furnishing thousands of tons of weapons and ammunitions, together with intelligence, special forces, and generals to direct a war, is rather different.

          Also, of course, those of us who have a little elementary history know that the “Ukraine” has been an integral part of Russia for over 1,000 years. (“Ukraina” means “borderland” in Russian). About as long as England has been a nation, and at least four times as long as the USA has existed.

          • Pears Morgaine

            If you have more than an elementary knowledge of history you’ll know that it was more complicated and that Ukraine has at various times been divided and partly part of the Hapsburg empire and Poland. None of which has any bearing on the illegal invasion. Since 1991 it has been an independent state and internationally recognised as such.

        • Neil


          “How is it suddenly OK for Russia?”

          I think I can answer that one …

          Yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no but …

    • Squeeth

      @Digger, that’s what A.J.P. Taylor called the liberal fallacy, that conflict is caused by a failure to communicate. The US aggression against Russia can only be stopped by violence. Something like this has been coming ever since the Seppos realised that Putin had hoodwinked them and that he was not a sober version of Yeltsin. I remember when the corp-0-rat media and the Private Equity Commercial bbc suddenly changed from supporting Putin to calling him the new Hitler. Putin has played a weak hand remarkably well but now it is time for the shotgun to sing the song.

      • Tom Welsh

        Absolutely spot on about the liberal fallacy. Margaret Mead is said to have declared that:

        “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”.

        IMHO, this is one of the silliest remarks ever uttered (which is saying a very great deal). It is exactly the wrong round. Small groups of thoughtful, committed citizens can exist only with the protection of sufficient armed forces. On their own they have never prevailed against antagonists such as the Huns, the Mongols, or the Western neo-imperialists, who indeed would smile grimly as they kill them all.

        The Melian Dialogue of 2,437 years ago remains the first and last word on relations between states. Whenever they can, states and other corporations will take what they want by force; weaker parties must submit or be crushed. Questions of “right”, such as law and treaties, come into their own only between parties that believe themselves equal in strength. Then it pays to negotiate rather than fight, as war is uncertain and can lead to disaster; yet throughout negotiations and legal arguments, either side may suddenly decide to resort again to violence.

        • Giyane

          Tom Welsh

          I beg to disagree. Thinking about the whole catastrophe of Political Islam, which decided to dispense with morality and piety in favour of Western -backed military force, they brought down on their heads both rejection by majority Muslims and the full military might of Russia, the West, Iran, and China.

          Total waste of time and space imho. If military power incurs a counter military reaction, better just to stick to ideas. Islam can only follow the model of our prophet peace and blessings be upon him, a combination of morality , restraint, piety, diplomacy , unity, patience and military force.

          The whole world can see Russia’s intentions in this Ukranian war. Even their ideological opponents. The West on the other hand is using nazis and nazi-haters, liberals snd Liberal-haters, and covering over the chaos with dollops of MSM polyfilla.

          Even on grounds of consistency of intellectual argument, Russia ought to be the winners. I cannot detect a shred of reason in anything the West has done or said.

  • Goose

    US intelligence allegedly helping Ukraine kill Russian generals

    According to a US media report, the intelligence information provided by the US to the Ukrainian army contributed to the killing of several Russian generals. The New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing intelligence sources, that the US is specifically locating the locations of the “mobile headquarters of the Russian army” and is sharing the information with the Ukrainian armed forces. The Ukrainians were therefore able to attack the command posts with artillery.

    How can anyone say this isn’t a proxy war?

    • Jack

      Was just about to post this

      US helped Ukraine ‘kill’ Russian generals – NYT
      Washington provided Kiev with intelligence on the location of high-ranking Russian officers, the newspaper has claimed

      If this is not a declaration of war I do not what is.

      As many of us have pointed out, ukrainians are led by the western intelligence services through and through in this war, Russia is in princple fighting Nato/US/EU nations.

      I assume that Russia will respond in kind, in the middle east they can surely strike some top american military command.

    • Stevie Boy

      Need to be careful, consider:

      > This report, apparently, came from the NYT.

      > The report also quotes: “US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to specify how many Russian generals exactly were killed with American help”.

      Whilst it is almost certain that the USA and UK are supplying Ukrainian forces with Intel, it is also certain that the Russians are aware of this and have countermeasures in place.
      This article is about spreading disinformation with the aim to undermine morale and sow confusion.
      Resist the BS.

    • Tom Welsh

      That report was credited to Ukrainian sources, and as such is not just suspect but laughable. Mr Shoigu and General Gerasimov, for example, were filmed during a meeting recently and were in perfectly good health.

      You can get some idea of the honesty of Kiev sources if you imagine Dr Goebbels too drunk to exercise elementary caution.

      • Bayard

        Why would they bother with elementary caution? Those people who believe them, will believe them whatever they say and those that won’t, won’t.

      • Pears Morgaine

        Possibly some confusion between Major General Vitaly Gerasimov who was killed abut a month ago and General Valery Gerasimov who may or may not have been wounded during a rare visit to the front line earlier this week.

        Odd that Russian sources should be complaining about US intel helping Ukraine kill senior Russian officers who are still alive.

      • John Kinsella

        Nothing at all. The more Russian generals dead at the hands of the UA, the better.
        The excitable comments here re proxy wars would almost make you forget that the USSR provided extensive military support to the N Vietnamese during that war. As the Chinese did for the N Koreans in the Korean war.
        And of course the USA provided military support to the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan to help them expel the USSR.

        Sauce for geese is also sauce for ganders.

        • Bayard

          “The excitable comments here re proxy wars” are mainly about the pretence that the current war is not a proxy war, not that it being a proxy war is any way new.

  • mark golding

    Without doubt “direct, in-country military support” by western powers in Ukraine against Russia has charged Northwood Headquarters to review our nuclear survival ad nauseam while politically ‘stock and pillory’ government rules have been invoked to control public dissent.

    The Judicial Review and Courts Bill will restrict UK citizens and lawyers ability to persuade courts to rule against government policies while the British Government is consulting on plans to overhaul the Human Rights Act to make rights harder to enforce.

    The Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill will impose restrictions on demonstrations and marches.

    These laws are a pre-cursor to the extremely complex and incoherent Online Safety Bill that is carved out to establish a ‘Ministry of Truth’ and enable sanctions to be used against service providers who fail to take down ‘damaging’ content that is antithetical to mainstream or approved journalistic subject matter.

    Thus we notice a furtive protraction of punitive measures dropping downward from state to companies and then individuals where a neofeudalistic rebirth is happening now and will increase before the onset of a contrived world war involving NATO and the West against Russia, China and allies.

    Clearly anxiety is magnified in a system where you, as an individual, do not own anything, is a system where everything you have can be taken away from you at a drop of a hat.

    Please take note…

    • GFL

      If your assumptions are correct, and I think they are, we face a very scary future with, I believe no way of changing it.

  • peter mcloughlin

    In the first and second world wars the defeated nations had convinced themselves they would not lose – could not lose – yet they did. As WW III approaches protagonists deceive themselves there’ll be a positive outcome – victory. But no one can win nuclear war. History continues its cycle: all empires eventually face the conflict they are desperate to avoid.

      • Giyane


        A more deadly form of WMD.

        Yes it exists. The philosophy of me-first, share-norhing, gangster-capitalism in the place of diplomacy and co-operation is mass destruction in slow motion. Eat out the souls of the world’s inhabitants until it makes no difference if they are alive or dead.

        In this ideological war the losers are the winners and the winners are the losers, because the society the West wants to build is worse than being locked up in a high security US prison. A world of 24/7 spying and social control, a world in which money cannot buy an atom of human happiness.

  • Reza

    “I have no hesitation in calling Putin a war criminal. However for precisely the same reasons so are Bush and Blair”.

    George W Bush and Sir Tony Blair are completely unrepentant war criminals. They are responsible for the violent deaths of many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, as most people living on earth well know. Yet they have already been totally rehabilitated by US and UK elites, who like to portray these men now as the conscience of the west, the very best of us. Ordinary people in the USA and Britain have of course been allowed no say in this process whatsoever. I think at this stage only a system-ending revolution could strip these world-historic criminals of their exalted statuses in the US and UK, let alone bring them to trial and serve them justice. As intolerable as it will be I fear we must reconcile ourselves to Dubya Bush and Sir Tony becoming ever more exalted in the years ahead.

  • uwontbegrinningsoon

    Another Russian warship was hit by Ukrainian missiles, according to the Independent. It would seem that Ukrainian missiles are very good at evading high tech Russian electronic surveillance including Sonar. Perhaps this is another example of the USA ‘super dooper tech’ as Trump wanted to boast about. !!

      • Laguerre

        Or maybe it didn’t happen. Ukrainian officials on the subject of Snake Island are not very reliable. According to them, the Ukrainian garrison of 13 died heroically, but the fact is that the garrison of 180 surrendered and lived.

  • Neil Munro

    Tisdall’s point about the war is still correct even if he failed to acknowledge the responsibility of liberal interventionists for giving Putin a bad example. The fact that Russia drew exactly the wrong lesson from the Iraq war–that invading other countries is OK–says as much about Russia as it does about the US and UK. But we should hardly be surprised because Russia has embraced an atavistic imperialist ideology where national self-aggrandizement trumps all other values. This is, in fact, fascismo properly speaking–the ideology of Mussolini rather than Hitler.

    The Russians are not racists–they will happily employ Arab mercenaries to kill fellow Slavs. Their ethics are the ethics of the “zek” who upon entering a communal prison cell sets upon the weakest inmate and beats him till blood runs from his eyeballs, merely in order to underline their credentials. Only this time they failed to judge the situation correctly, because the other bandit in the cell, the US, is not willing to see their protege beaten half to death.

    More worrying than Russia’s simple ethics of the bandit is the ideology of China. They have been standing against liberal interventionism for the past 20 years, and earned the praise of left-leaning liberals and developing countries alike for their robust defence of territorial integrity, sovereignty and the United Nations, not only in word but in deed. They can trace the pedigree of their stance to the Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong’s foreign minister, who enunciated Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in a meeting with Indian counterparts in the 1950s. Now, because of their fear that the US will prevent them from retaking Taiwan, they have abandoned their Five Principles and given propagandistic backing to Russia’s actions. According to them, the war in Ukraine is all America’s fault. “Look what you made Russia do!” they cry, and then bring up the Chinese Embassy bombing in Belgrade in 1999 as if it was the worst crime against humanity of the past quarter century, failing to mention that it was one of the stupider smart bombs which caused it, and that the US took the unusual step of issuing an apology.

    Chinese state media scour the Western debate on Ukraine for professors, ex-diplomats and former junior ministers who are prepared to make the same illogical leap and blame everything on the US, and then quote these people selectively. What these naive or opportunistic Westerners never mention is that while they sit in their comfortable home offices in Washington, Berlin or Sydney, pouring scorn on the US and eloquently condemning its past crimes, their Russian counterparts can get 15 years in jail just for calling the war a war. China, along with these Western fellow travellers, demand that the US and its allies stop prolonging the war by funnelling weapons to Ukraine, as if a brief and victorious war ever stopped a dictator in his tracks. The German debate has been particularly interesting, as the pacifists have been part of the establishment, but are now being challenged by younger politicians who point out the absurdity of allowing just a little rape, pillage and murder for the greater good of peace. Some of these pacifists in their old age have forgotten the connection between peace and justice.

    For Ukrainians, there is no longer any room for debate. It is simply about the survival of their country. The West, in providing weapons, diplomatic support and intelligence, is acting, at last, in line with international law. For that we should be thankful.

    • Bayard

      Yeah, Russians are just thugs. Always have been, always will be. Ditto the Chinese. The US are, of course, gentle, meek and mild. Makes thinking about eastern Europe so much easier if you bear that in mind.

    • Reza

      No doubt you’d have been equally thankful if Iran, China or Russia had provided weapons, diplomatic support and intelligence to thwart the ‘liberal interventions’ in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

      • Neil Munro

        Read my comment again. If you operate on the principle that my enemy’s enemy is my friend, you are just a slave of big power rivalry.

        • Wikikettle

          Its all about the economy. Reading Michael Hudson’s third edition of his book, tells me how we got to where we are and where we will get to from here. Its a struggle of survival for continuing the US’s free lunch. The latest proxy to dragoon into its war against Russia and China is Europe itself. All previous proxies, used, abused and abandoned. Gas about to be turned off, oil about to be turned off, dollar losing value everyday. Martyanov explains the ‘ technical and military response ‘ while Hudson’s economic context, shows me how we are heading for a nuclear exchange as US is unable to regime change not one but two pier adversaries conventionally. The real threat to US and Collective West including Japan, are their own populations who are about to be hit by the mother of all depressions and collapse.

  • DiggerUK

    “UK PM Boris Johnson has signed security declarations with Sweden and Finland, pledging UK support should their militaries come under attack”

    Quite what a “security declaration” amounts to at a legal level is something I haven’t been able to determine exactly. It could mean anything, everything or ‘whatever’ if this definition from my link is accepted.

    I suspect a lot of chickens are coming home to roost. The unresolved economic issues from GFC1 in 2007 seem to be getting an airing in an atmosphere of a worldwide food and energy crisis on the rise. Inflation looks more than likely to devastate again and the realignment of the worlds power balances carries on. What’s not to like about a war for the powers that be?

    In to this mess march herds of knuckle heads who can’t quite see the dangers of looking for a war again. No need to go on a WMD hunt, our village shoeshine boy knows were they are.

    Wise heads must demand an end to the war and negotiations for peace…

    • Jack

      …and Finland and Sweden will announce joining Nato any day now, very reckless and will only fuel the fire.

      “. Finland may officially announce its intention to join NATO as early as Thursday. Sweden is likely to follow suit soon, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing diplomatic sources.”

      • Wikikettle

        40 Billion to Ukraine in “Aid” just passed in US Congress for Ukraine. EU taking out loans for Ukraine. After Afghanistan the great swindle of US tax payer carries on in Ukraine. A eye watering money laundering operation with the billions having no help for the ordinary Ukrainian population but the corrupt politicians and arms manufacturers. Democrats will try to engineer a massive escalation, launder more billions and destroy EU economically before the mid terms. If Argentina owes 40 billion to IMF, can you imagine how many other countries are in debt, and how much for ? Add to that future EU countries having to go cap in hand to IMF World Bank, who will say, sure, cut wages, privatise your health services, utilities to US companies. Job done. In one breath they say Russia is losing war, in next breath they say it wants to invade all of Europe FFS.

        • Stevie Boy

          “having no help for the ordinary Ukrainian population”

          yes !!
          And, it’s not like there aren’t huge social problems in the USA, the UK and elsewhere in the West.
          Apparently, there are more food banks in the UK than branches of McDonalds and six year waiting lists for some treatments on the NHS – go figure.
          The establishment want to pump money into the war machine but doesn’t want to help it’s own peoples. And, the politicians think this is all fine and dandy. It’s a sick world.

          • Bruce_H

            What is even sicker is that so many British people think this is all fine, that the Russians are the enemy and that helping to defend one of the most corrupt, despicable regimes in Europe is the right thing to do.

            Just take a look at any forum on the Independent touching on Ukraine and see for yourself, just hate posts which in any other domain would be considered unacceptable make up the vast majority of the posts… and that’s the Independent, I dread to think what it must be like on the Sun or the Mail.

            Amongst my own friends or acquaintances, in Britain or in France it’s the same, on most town halls, even in small villages there are Ukrainian flags, and as for radio or TV news it’s wall to wall propaganda. It’s more or less impossible to obtain up to date and unbiased information about what’s actually happening there, the nearest I’ve found is on Chinese information sites! Interestingly the Chinese seem more concerned about the elections in the Philippines than the war in the Ukraine, which means something I suppose.

          • Wikikettle

            Steve Boy. Over a hundred thousand deaths of young in US from drugs and forty thousand deaths from guns. No universal health care. UK and EU following in the masters gramaphone…

  • Peter

    Latest update from Scott Ritter, streamed in the last hour.

    With respect to Finland’s plans to join Nato he says (see from 9:50):

    “Russia today has said there will be a military technical solution to this. That’s the same language they used with Ukraine. This means Russia will go to war against Finland.”

    Does anyone have a spare room to let anywhere in Scotland – the further north the better?

        • Pears Morgaine

          Thanks. Ritter all but admits that Putin is a warmonger and that the war in Ukraine is not going as planned. Progress! Also the 1948 Soviet-Finnish treaty he refers to is no longer in force. It was replaced by a new Russian-Finnish treaty in 1992 article 4 of which states:-

          ” The Parties shall refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of the other Party and shall resolve disputes between themselves by peaceful means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the Final Act of CSCE, as well as other CSCE instruments. “

          Providing Finnish membership of NATO doesn’t go beyond the defensive, which is NATO’s policy, then it’s any aggressive action by Russia that would be in breach of the treaty.

          • Wikikettle

            So Finland joining NATO, an aggressive war organisation, stationing foreign US and NATO troops and missiles in Finland, a stone’s throw from St Petersburg, is not an existential threat to Russia ?

          • Pears Morgaine

            For decades support amongst Finns for joining NATO has never risen much above 20%. It’s now 76%. Why do you imagine that is? Because Finns have suddenly become belligerent towards Russia or might it be because they’ve seen what Russian aggression is doing in Ukraine and fear they might be next? Like Sweden they want the security and protection of Article 5 and who can blame them.

            As Craig has said, not even Putin is mad enough to attack NATO.

          • Peter

            @ Pears Morgaine

            Thanks for this.

            Nato jettisoned its purely defensive policy when it bombed Libya, if not before.

            The 1992 Treaty that you refer to, a fine document, also states in Article 5 that:

            “Should situations arise that threaten international peace and security, or in particular the security of one of the Parties, Russia and Finland, if necessary, will contact each other with a view to using the methods envisaged by the UN and the CSCE to resolve the conflict.”

            One would hope that the parties will do so and find a mutually acceptable resolution to their situation before they arrive at Scott Ritter’s scenario.

            However the experience of the last eight years doesn’t give cause for optimism. During those eight years of negotiations and discussions, with the inclusion of the OSCE as well as Germany and France, we had the two Minsk Agreements which Ukraine signed and then flouted – almost certainly under pressure from the US and allegedly under threat of murder from neo-Nazis – and then a third proposal which was contemptuously dismissed by the US.

            It is clear that the real warmongers are in America and that this war was engineered in Washington, not in Moscow. There are numerous evidence sources for that in the comments above. It is also clear that the US has no interest in peace even as Zelensky hints at compromises for an end to the war. As it has been said widely, America is prepared “to fight to the last Ukrainian”. America is using Ukraine to fight Russia. As is openly acknowledged in the US now, it is a proxy war.

            Just as there was the basis for a peaceful resolution of differences between Russia and Ukraine before this war started, so too it ought not to be difficult to resolve matters between Russia and Finland (and Sweden) but the real warmongers are more interested in continuously ratcheting up the war.

            And so it seems we slip daily closer and closer to a third world war – truly, the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

            With regard to warmongers Pears, forgive me if I am wrong, but it would appear so from your comments, so I have to ask, are you too among their number, supporting the war with ever more billions of dollars of weapons and never a mention of ceasefires or peace talks?

            Are you, too, prepared to see the war “continue to the last Ukrainian”?

          • Pears Morgaine

            Scott Ritter said that if Finland joins NATO then Putin will have no choice but to declare war. Let’s hope he’s as wrong about that as he has been on everything else.

            Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was illegal and unjustified. Nothing to do with US provocation. Ukraine has a right to defend itself and the west is doing no more than provide it with the means of doing so.

    • Wikikettle

      Peter. Scott with his military experience and brave stand has paid a heavy price already. Others who sold out have made millions. It was annoying to see many independents inviting Scott onto their shows and benefitting from his information and analysis. Then repeating it as if it was there own and with slick presentation skills greatly increase their subscribers. Meanwhile Scott had no channel of his own and had been banned by Twitter. His new U.S. Tour of Duty channel of shorts was an attempt of sorts I guess. For the arm chair generals who talk as if they are in the class of Scott, Brian of The New Atlas and Martyanov, its easy to reapet their information and that of on the ground journalists at the front and various articles. While Brian of The New Atlas lists his sources, was a Marine himself like Scott and uses maps and skilled at giving a good lecture. I just listed to The latest The Duran with Gonzalo Lira, they just repeated everything that has already been in circulation in less detail and I I didn’t learn anything new. Yes, Jackson Hinkle on The Dive is very slick and good for Americans to get the other side of the story I guess, but I miss the actual reporter who is a published author and expert like our host and Robert Fisk. The ones that follow in Fisks footsteps are from The Grayzone and Ben Norton who has his own channel now.

      • Wikikettle

        It’s amazing how a very ageing Noam Chomsky still gives his valuable time to a small audience in Stockholm. I recall all his battles from the 60’s with William F Buckley. All found on YouTube. Great intellect and father of the old disappeared left. He gives his thoughts on the current war and more. On YouTube : ” GC: ” Sweden in NATO ? ” Noam Chomsky and Dave Dzalto.”

        • Wikikettle

          NATO countries combined military budgets per annum is in my calculation 347,155 Billion Dollars. Combined population is 946 million. US GDP is 20.94 Trillion. Russia military budget is 66 Billion. Population is 144 million. GDP is 1.48 Trillion and the biggest land mass to defend, surrounded by countries in a military alliance with US. While US is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on the Western seaboard and Atlantic Ocean on the Eastern seaboard. Canada to the North and Mexico to South. The amount of money spent on weapons and proxy wars to capture Russia and its resources thus far has cost millions of innocent lives. Hitler failed doing the same. US Nato UK Germany trying again.

          • Pears Morgaine

            So Russia spends $458 per capita on defence compared to $367 per capita for NATO?

        • Peter


          Yes, thanks again for all the above, most of whom I’m following already.

          Totally agree too on Chomsky of course, and with Chris Hedges who regards him as the greatest intellectual alive today. If there’s one greater I’d like to know about it.

          Chomsky’s recent interview on Owen Jones’ channel was also very good. Put Jones straight on a few things, though this wasn’t openly acknowledged.

          • Wikikettle

            Pears Morgan. Yes indeed. The Russians would be willing to spend even more to protect their independence. With their history of defending themselves against German invasion and open calls from the US secretary of regime change and assasination of their leader by others in US Congress. We are at war with Russia, the combined neo Liberal Collective West. After Ukraine, we will push Poland, then Finland, the options are unlimited in poking the Bear and weakening it till it is chains and dancing to our tune ! Do you think the Russian people will submit to the chains and dance to the threat of the poke ? I know they won’t and will fight. As Scott Ritter said, US and Nato are cowards and haven’t the guts to fight Russia directly as a pier adversary conventionally. We will just use others like Ukraine and the minority of their population who are corrupt politicians and Nazis thugs to do our bidding at the cost of tens of thousands of their soldiers and break up of Ukraine.

          • Stevie Boy

            Re. How much is spent on defence. It’s interesting to consider that the money Russia spends is actually for the defence of It’s country and people. Contrast that with what the UK, or other NATO countries, spends which goes directly towards supporting the USA MIC.
            The UK doesn’t manufacture planes or armoured vehicles anymore, they are all American.
            The UKs nuclear deterrent is predominately American (missiles, control software).
            The UKs failing navy utilises a lot of USA technology.
            Aldermaston and Cyber defence all predominately involve the likes of Lockheed.
            Is this good value for the UK taxpayer ? Or are we just paying a foreign power to manage our country ?

          • andyoldlabour

            Stevie Boy

            The UK still produces the Eurofighter Typhoon near Preston, and still produces the Challenger 2 main battle tank, the Warrior AFV and other types of AFV’s.

          • Stevie Boy

            And, I believe Mexico still manufactures the old VW Beetles …

            These old ‘classics’ (ie. over 25 yrs old) demonstrate what we used to be able to do. Our defence industries are now outshoots of the USA MIC. Even BAE are essentially american.

          • Wikikettle

            Stevie Boy. What you say is illustrated by the example of TSR 2. A jet we designed and built decades ahead of its time. A real threat to US jet sales around the world. At the same time we were asking for an IMF loan from essentially “a room in the Pentagon” as Michael Hudson states. We got the loan after the TSR 2 was cancelled and mysteriously all the jigs and engineering to build the jet were destroyed secretly. The minister of defence at the time denies years later (Dennis Healey) he gave the order. British engineers state that US Air Force personnel were insistent on following the project closely. The word Invasion has meaning for some as it does for others. For me it’s an Invasion when our country has foreign troops in bases here, our economy is dependent on the Dollar, and our politicians work for the US interest and not their own citizenry.

          • Pears Morgaine

            “As Scott Ritter said, US and Nato are cowards and haven’t the guts to fight Russia directly as a pier adversary conventionally. “

            He’s said a lot of things, mostly lacking in any value or insight. He’s also said that NATO engaging Russia directly would inevitably lead to nuclear war. If he’s right about that then there’s nothing ‘cowardly’ about it.

  • GFL

    With regard to the TSR2, there is another example: the Fairey delta – a jet fighter with rocket boosters giving it a phenominal climb rate. Germany was very interested due to its potential to rapidly intercept Russian bombers; just before the deal was struck Germany had a change of mind and bought the totally unsuitable U.S. starfighter.

    • Wikikettle

      GFL. Thanks for that. The deal has always been, you do what your told and buy our weapons. Just as Germany refused to buy F35, then had to obey. Finland has also bought F35, as many as Russia has of its own 5th Generation. !

  • William H. Slavick

    Completely agree. Bush and Blair are war criminals, as were Reagan, both Bushes, Nixon, Clinton, Obama, Trump. now Biden

  • David

    Quote: ‘I have no hesitation in calling Putin a war criminal’.

    You really do need to explain why….. The Special Military Operation in Ukraine was instigated after 8 years of murdering the citizens of the Donbass and Lugansk and Kiev ignoring the Minsk agreement it had signed up to. Yes Bush and Blair are war criminals and should be tried as such, but their crimes were very different.

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