Sy Hersh and The Way We Live Now 791

It is a clear indicator of the disappearance of freedom from our so-called western democracies, that Sy Hersh, arguably the greatest living journalist, cannot get this monumental revelation on the front of the Washington Post or New York Times, but has to self-publish on the net.

Hersh tells the story of the US destruction of the Nordstream pipelines in forensic detail, giving dates, times, method and military units involved. He also outlines the importance of the Norwegian armed forces working alongside the US Navy in the operation.

One point Sy does not much stress, but it is worth saying more about, is that Norway and the USA are of course the two countries who have benefitted financially, to an enormous degree, from blowing up the pipeline.

Both not only have gained huge export surpluses from the jump in gas prices, but Norway has directly replaced Russian gas to the tune of some $40 billion per year. From 2023 the United States will appear in that list in second place behind Norway, following the opening in the last two months of two new Liquefied Natural Gas terminals in Germany, built to replace Russian gas with US and Qatari supplies.

So Russia lost out massively financially from the destruction of Nordstream and who benefited? The USA and Norway, the two countries who blew up the pipeline.

But of course, this war is nothing to do with money or hydrocarbons and is all about freedom and democracy…

To return to Hersh’s account, particularly interesting are the series of decisions taken to avoid classification of the operation in various ways which would require it to be reported to Congress. In terms of United States history, this ought to be a big deal.

For the Executive to commit what is an act of war without the approval of the Legislature is fundamentally unconstitutional. But that is one of those quaint remnants of democracy that the neo-liberal elite consensus can quietly sidestep nowadays.

Hersh sets out the well known background in compelling detail,  including the fact that, from Biden down, the Americans effectively announced what they were going to do, openly.

But what most worries me about the entire story is the unanimous complicity of the mainstream media in ignoring the completely obvious.

The media line, parroted here relentlessly by the BBC and corporate media, was  that the Russians had probably themselves blown up the pipeline on which they had expended such great resources and three decades of intense diplomatic activity, and which was to be the key to Russia’s single most valuable source of income for the next 40 years.

This was always quite literally incredible. You would have to be deranged to believe it.

It actually taught me not just that we truly are in the realm of totalitarianism and the Big Lie, but I learnt something very important about how the Big Lie works.

The secret is not that people genuinely believe an outrageous claim. The secret is that people do genuinely believe that they are in a battle of good against evil, and it is necessary to accept the narrative being promoted, in the interests of fighting evil.

Don’t question, just follow. If you do question, you are promoting evil.

I am sure that is how it works.

State and corporate stenographer journalists are actually intelligent individuals. If they thought about it, they would realise that the narrative that Russia blew up its own pipeline is obvious nonsense.

But they are convinced it is morally wrong to think about it.

Which is why none of them challenged the equally mad claims that Russia was repeatedly shelling its own forces occupying the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, and indeed is why none of them challenged the utterly risible official version of the Skripal story.

I previously told the anecdote from when I worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and asked a good friend if he really believed the misinformatioin on Iraqi WMD with which he was involved.

He replied by referring to the video game Championship Manager (now renamed Football Manager), which we used to play together. He said when he was in the game, it was immersive, he was manager of Liverpool, and it fully absorbed him.

Similarly, when he walked through the FCO gates, the world of the intelligence reports was immersive and Iraq did have these WMDs inside that world. He worked in the “reality” of the FCO. Once he left in the evening, he lived in a different reality, the world of us in the pub.

I do know of one or two journalists bright enough to detach their professional output from what they really think, in a similar way. (I once had a conversation along these lines with Jeremy Bowen in Tashkent.)

Most however don’t think like this. They simply think that all right thinking people support the historic struggle against the evil Russians, so it must be right to read out the propaganda without thinking too much about it.

Those of us critical of the aggressive promotion of war in Europe, are not only barred from all mainstream media and confined to corners of the internet, and even then heavily suppressed on social media (which is why Sy Hersh’s article does not have the scores of millions of readers it merits).

We can’t even obtain freedom of assembly.

Two established left wing venues have cancelled the No 2 Nato meeting I am addressing in London on 25 February. Conway Hall’s reasons for cancellation included threats to funding and fears for the safety of staff.

We are now reduced to a guerrilla meeting, the Central London venue for which will not be announced until the evening before.

Is this really a democracy, where it is not possible for dissidents to hold a public meeting without secrecy, subterfuge and hiding from supporters of the state?

I do urge you to come along on the day, whatever your views on the subject, to support the right to freedom of speech.

I have a different view from perhaps all of the other speakers, on the legitimacy of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which I oppose.

But I also oppose NATO expansion which is an underlying cause of the war, and indeed oppose the existence of NATO itself.

NATO is a war machine which sucks resources from working people to benefit the military industrial complex, and unleashes devastating destruction on developing states which do not make their natural resources available to western billionaire elites.

It is also a fundamental node of the propaganda apparatus which manipulates and controls our society, particularly as counter narrative and dissident thought is now rigorously and systematically excluded.

There is no longer an Overton window of permitted debate. It has narrowed and should be renamed the Overton letterbox.

One of those small difficult ones right down at the bottom of the door.  With a very fierce spring, and snarling dogs guarding it.


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791 thoughts on “Sy Hersh and The Way We Live Now

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  • Tatyana

    Rosemary MacKenzie
    Could you please comment on this?
    Is it real? What do people think about it?

    “Renfrew – Josh Alexander, a Grade 11 St. Joseph’s High School student who organized and led a protest with the intent of stopping transgendered people from using the washroom of their choice, was issued a ‘non-disciplinary exclusion’ notice by the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board (RCCDSB) recently.
    He is not allowed on school property for the remainder of the school year and was given the option of online learning to complete his remaining courses.”

    • Rosemary MacKenzie

      Tatyana. Haven’t heard about this particular schoolboy. I don’t know much about the gender identity debate – haven’t been following it. Here are a few articles – don’t think the comments come through but are all over the place. There is not much in the Canadian media about this case although the Americans seem to have jumped on it probably because the boy is wearing an American flag, who knows. I find that the media usually leaves out a good deal of the story and the issue is now in the courts so it is up to them. These LGBT issues are fairly well accepted here in Canada as far as I can see. I have some friends who know more about it than I. I’ll make inquiries. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

      The most interesting point is that you have access to the western media and probably can view the Toronto Sun and the Independent websites as well as I. Many people on this blog say they do not have access to Russian media because their countries have blocked it. Who has the most free press?

      PS There is a big debate going on in Scotland about gender issues. Also, I was stupid enough to comment on RT that how people identify on the gender issue is their own business so long as it doesn’t infringe on other people’s rights – boy, was I shouted down!

      • Tatyana

        Thank you much, Rosemary.
        I got it in my Pikabu news feed, because I’ve subscribed to Russians abroad communities. The core of the news that we discuss here in Russia about that Canadian schoolboy is – how is that possible that he attends a Catholic school , and he quotes the Bible on the genders, like ‘God made them a male and a female’. And, an active christian person being an underage child at a Christian school – how is it possible that he is denied his rights to attend the school on the basis that his system of beliefs doesn’t meet the school’s requirements.
        So puzzling.
        People here cannot understand tha school’s position in this case.
        Also in comments people say that allegedly his girlfriend didn’t enjoy transpersons in the female washroom, that’s why the boy may have protested. The article says they’re only 2 transgendered people in the school, nontheless, the rest of the students is to obey the rules set in preference of those 2 persons. For Russians it looks like a cheat on democracy.

      • Tatyana

        There’s a sort of surprise for Russians, in the situation. The vision of it is like – hey, he is a Christian in a Christian school, isn’t it a “safe place” for those who respect and exercise traditional values?
        I mean, some people in the discussion do emphasize their disagreement with gender policy. Still the majority is interested to know the position of the Church and of the society in general.

        • Tatyana

          Forgot to mention the background.
          Recently Ivan Provorov refused to wear a themed t-shirt (or another type of clothes, sorry don’t remember the word) in support of LGBT. His team members performed their support show, and Ivan did not.
          That’s how he explained

          I must say I’m proud of Ivan. I respect his position to stay true to his principle and at the same time show respect to the choices which other people make. Like, live and let live.

          The Ivan’s story is fresh in minds, so the story of the Canadian schoolboy attracted some … warmed up audience?

  • Goose

    Elon Musk’s tweets are becoming more cryptic:

    I wonder if he’s referring to targeted ads and stories with poisoned links and such, the kind placed on Twitter they are being forced to accept by certain western agencies?

    There was a story a few years back about the BBC website hosting malware, tied to a certain story, deployed when visitors clicked on it. And they say RT is State-affiliated. Hard to tell who the ‘bad guys’ are in today’s world. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect in a story about N.Korea.

    • Goose


      Matt Taibbi, the journalist who’s been wading through and reporting on Twitters’ internal communications, is also dropping pretty big hints. Of course, they can’t directly reveal this stuff due to the sweeping nature of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Orders and other countries’ ‘National Security’ blanket secrecy orders.

      That’s the problem per se with dominant tech platforms – they end up being enrolled, either willingly or otherwise, into programmes like PRISM revealed by Snowden. Even the private keys of various OSes, and vendor updates are likely subject secret demands. Free societies are undoubtedly the most heavily surveilled peoples in the world.

      • Cedders

        Do some digging on the history of Google, in particular how and why it rose so fast. You will probably be horrified at what you find.

  • AG

    I have no idea what to believe when I read online feed on the front but the things I read are just a tragedy.

    The Ukrainian front is allegedly crumbling at several spots; allegedly the Russians are about to destroy a bridge to Odessa; Ukrainian conscription, is said to reach a new level of coercion, people taken from the streets in Lvov; companies have to discharge the 20% of employees least necessary; heads of conscription offices who don´t meet quota are sent to the front.

    Even if it is exaggeration it’s a disaster.
    (however what I know about those rightwing nuts in Kiev during Covid-crisis, I can imagine they are capable of almost anything especially as there is no free press any more.)

    And all these people are being used as expendables.

    I don’t know. But apparently Polish Duda has told NATO, that the Ukranian Army might fold if new material won´t arrive soon. So they are throwing everything to the front.

    Another aspect is the theory that German government hopes for a defeat of the Ukrainians soon so they can go back to normal relations with Russia.
    Or at least try.

    I can only think of the grinning faces of Baerbock, Strack-Zimmermann and Klingbeil at their costume party.

    And German Green Anton Hofreiter, another idiot, gave a long interview in the rather decent weekly FREITAG repeating the senseless propaganda and pointed out the coolness of a particular Ukrainian brigade who went into battle “with queer buttons on their uniforms”. Wow. Is this guy dumb?

    And in the meantime forced conscripts are bleeding to death at the front…

    • Goose

      “And in the meantime forced conscripts are bleeding to death at the front…”

      The UK MoD claim it’s Russian losses that are spiking in the last week, >800 a day. But the MoD never report Ukrainian losses.

      The UK MoD have been parroting propaganda about Russia’s imminent collapse, defeat, ammo shortages, low morale etc, since at least March 2022. It’s like reading reports prepared by Ukraine’s Lord Haw-Haw. Does anyone consider what this is doing for their credibility with regards to accuracy and objectivity?

      In other news, reported “NATO countries have decided to extend Stoltenberg’s mandate for another year” — Welt am Sonntag.

      • Goose

        The Telegraph has this though:

        ‘Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that he would step down in October after nine years at the helm, ending speculation that he might stay on to manage the alliance’s response to the war in Ukraine.’

        Weird conflicting reports. I suppose he could still be persuaded to stay on if NATO countries lobby him?

        Which media outlet would the so-called ‘disinformation experts’ go with? These types of stories highlight the absurdity of that whole research field. Binary logic, doesn’t apply to conjecture.

        • Bayard

          Non-binary logic is so last century. Now, if you are not with us you are against us. There’s the official narrative and there’s shilling for Russia. It’s all so much simpler when you don’t have to think.

      • AG

        Those fantasy figures about Russian losses are fantastic and it’s just a riddle to me how journalists who are online just like we are can seriously put out these numbers without embarassment.

        If they are having doubts, write that instead. But lies and fabrications help no one.

        I once asked Gordon Hahn about that in the summer – he answered that Russian losses were initially unusually high for modern warfare – but since they have changed their tactics. (I think US had some 60.000 in 20 years of Vietnam War).

        But Ukraine numbers, with 8 years of alleged NATO preparation, are criminal. 2000 lost tanks, Hundred of lost aircraft and artillery.
        150.000 dead.

        But none of that is acknowledged here.

        Since we all are so special, aren´t we? And instead the public is being lied to. Otherwise Europeans and Ukrainians might rise up and demand immediate peace.

        Had they just done so in the first week of the war…

        • Pears Morgaine

          Two thousand is more than twice the number of tanks Ukraine had at the beginning of this war and 150,000 is as much a fantasy figure as estimates of Russian dead. Attacking forces usually suffer greater casualties.

          The US lost about 58,000 dead in Vietnam, the opposition suffered 860,000 military dead and even more civilians out of a much smaller population. You might want to look up who won that conflict and remember that body counts don’t win wars.

          • Bayard

            “Two thousand is more than twice the number of tanks Ukraine had at the beginning of this war”
            NATO has been supplying Ukraine with tanks for the last year.

            “Attacking forces usually suffer greater casualties.
            The US lost about 58,000 dead in Vietnam, the opposition suffered 860,000 military dead”

            Given that the US wasn’t on the defensive throughout the Vietnam war and did quite a lot of attacking, those two points seems somewhat contradictory.

            “You might want to look up who won that conflict and remember that body counts don’t win wars.”

            Indeed, so why are you at pains to assert that the Ukranian body count is not 150,000? In any case, the actual body count is neither here nor there, Ukraine is always going to run out of men before Russia. You only have to compare the two populations. If NATO doesn’t supply actual soldiers, Ukraine is going to lose, it’s as simple as that.

          • Pears Morgaine

            ” Ukraine is always going to run out of men before Russia. You only have to compare the two populations. ”

            That was the US (population in 1970 305 million) hope in their war with Vietnam (population 44 million) didn’t quite work out though.

      • Cedders

        You are very wrong with regard to MoD, which has stayed remarkably silent regarding what is happening in Ukraine. The stories you hear are from *former* members of the armed forces and academics, whose detailed knowledge and understanding of the war is sketchy at best, partly because MoD has kept such tight control of the information it receives. These people are instructed in their approach and attitude by politicians, not by MoD.
        There are people in both Ukraine and Russia who are reading and hearing the public pronouncements of the defence ministries of the two countries, comparing them with verified open source pictures and videos and building a narrative which best fits both the pronouncements and the ways in which the two ministries are known to misrepresent matters. The overall picture is that the Russian army is attacking by sending large numbers of troops in human waves and that Ukraine is nearly always able to repel those attacks. This makes it very likely that Russian losses are substantially higher than those suffered by Ukraine. Do some digging – start with YouTube. It should not take you long to find the two or three channels whose reports are the most credible.

        • AG


          honestly this issue is among the most opaque, for my understanding.

          I see very exact numbers slightly above 300,000 dead Ukrainians.
          Then others speak of 150,000 to 180,000
          Then again others speak of 400,000 to 500,000.

          I have no clue what to believe.

          But Milley and Stoltenberg do not look happy.

          Similiar secrecy re: Russia.

          The only “objective” indication is the ratio of artillery shells of Russian equipment and NATO, which appears to vary between 6:1 and 10:1 shells being delivered into enemy territory.

          Which would make for many more dead men on Ukrainian side.

          But I would not call myself exactly an expert.
          I am merely quoting. It´s absurd in fact all along.

          Suddenly we all have turned into little Generals.

          I only know that a friend of mine was in the hiding in Ukraine, as he had been in the hiding from conscription in 2014 when crazy rightwing milita was banging at his door and he went underground for a month.

          Now I haven´t heard of him in some time.

          I remember when he said, you know we got an actor as President now.
          He didn´t like the outlook.
          Wiser he was than me.

          • useless eater

            ” Suddenly we all have turned into little Generals”

            This is the best comment on the whole thread AG,

            “Ah! the Generals! they are numerous, but not good for much!”

            Aristophanes, The Birds line 1078

            ” ‘How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing.”

            Chamberlain’s infamous radio speech of September 27 1938 concerning the “Czech crisis”

            You seem to have put your finger on something here.

            “If you wish to know more, look in the mirror,”

            useless eater Craig Murray’s blog 2023

    • John Kinsella

      Hello AG
      You say that “forced conscripts are bleeding to death at the front”.

      Is this a reference to Russian conscripts forced to attack “brother Slavs” or Ukrainian conscripts defending their country?

      I don’t think any of the WW2 Allies depended on volunteers to make up the Armies that defeated National Socialist German?

      All the best,

        • Cedders

          Presumably when Putin or Xi arrive at our shores, you will ignore the government’s pleas for people to help ward off the invaders. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

      • AG


        in this particular post I meant Ukrainians, because the sources I was referring to and that upset me (conscription in Ukraine & indescribably stupid German politician, were both about Ukrainians)

        as to WW II – were the Brits forced?
        Germany had conscription.
        US had lottery – all were forced to be drafted but lottery decided over conscription.
        The others I don´t know

        • John Kinsella

          Hi AG.

          Britain very definitely conscripted men (not women I expect) to the military in WW2. Though they didn’t conscript men from Northern Ireland for obvious political reasons.

          I expect most Englishmen (and Scots and Welsh) were happy to serve as their country was under attack by a malignant enemy.

          Which is my point about Ukrainian men (and some brave young women). Their country is in existential danger. The cowards have already fled. Conscription is necessary for logistical reasons but I doubt if many try to avoid it.

          All the best,

          • Bayard

            “I expect most Englishmen (and Scots and Welsh) were happy to serve as their country was under attack by a malignant enemy.”

            If the British had minded their own business they wouldn’t have been under attack at all. Germany did not start the war by attacking Britain. Ditto WWI.

          • Geoffrey

            In that case you are not paying attention. Anyone who can afford to buys themself out. And fiercer tactics are used on those who try and avoid conscription. See Jacks clip above, and there are plenty more similar examples.
            By the way when you meet a Ukrainian male in the West you would regard hom as a coward, would you ?

          • Cedders

            The Oxford Union famously voted in 1938 that it would not fight for King and country. I wonder how many (if any) of those people actually refused to fight for their country when Hitler’s troops arrived in northern France.
            I can tell you from primary sources that very few Ukrainian men have tried to evade either the ban on leaving the country or the call the military. I admire them greatly for displaying courage which I might struggle to muster.

    • Pigeon English

      I discovered this guy on Youtube few days ago
      and in this video he talks about situation in Bahmut.
      It is really bad from military and human point of view.
      In a different video he comments on another video (interview) with an anonymous Aussie professional soldier talking about Bahmut front witch IMO contradicts narrative about Wagner trowing senselessly “Meat” at UA. and

      Soldier X

      Some distressing testimonies.

      • Cedders

        He is ignorant. The Ukrainians have used Bakhmut extremely effectively as a means of stalling the Russian advance almost completely. This gives them time to build their defences and also to wait for more equipment from the West. Now that the Russian army has replaced Wagner conscripts with professional airborne troops, it looks likely that Bakhmut will be lost sooner rather than later. The Ukrainians are withdrawing in a staged and orderly manner to strong defensive positions which they have had ready for many months.
        If you want to listen to someone who understands military tactics and strategy and whose analyses have an excellent record of accuracy, try
        YouTube channel: Reporting from Ukraine – @RFU (183K subscribers)

  • Jack

    Journalist Matt Tabibi nailed it:

    “In a remarkably short time since the end of the Obama presidency, the U.S. government has funded an elaborate network of NGOs and think-tanks whose researchers call themselves independent “disinformation experts.” They describe their posture as defensive — merely “tracking” or “countering” foreign disinformation — but in truth they aggressively court both the domestic news media and platforms like Twitter, often becoming both the sources for news stories and/or the referring authorities for censorship requests. ”

    This is what Russia also is lacking, they should have sites specifically to expose fake news and disinformation by the west.

    • John Kinsella

      Hello Jack.

      You said that ” This is what Russia also is lacking, they should have sites specifically to expose fake news and disinformation by the west.”.

      Why “should” they do that?

      Perhaps you hope for Putin’s victory in his disastrous war?

      All the best,

      • Jack

        Hello John

        You think western states should be free to spread fake news and disinformation against Russia?

        I believe Russia should win
        I believe the people of Donbas should win
        I believe Ukraine should win
        Because, everything is possible if there is a peace deal between the parties.
        I reckon you do not want a peace deal, you want 1 state to win, but it does not work that way if you seek a long-lasting peace.

        All the best,

        • Tatyana

          Thank you hugely for stating your position, Jack!
          I agree, the longstanding peace can only be achieved through win-win deals. Anything else is just a delay before a new round.

        • John Kinsella

          Hi Jack.

          WW2 ended with the unconditional surrender of the Nazi regime.

          The American Civil War ended with the surrender of the several Confederate Armies.

          There is a meme that all wars end by diplomacy.

          Not so.

          All the best,

          • Tatyana

            The US exists for about 200 years. Post WW2 Germany exists for how many years? And how many times was it defeated in it’s history?
            More important question is – how many nations have seized to exist? Lost their place on the planet and just dissolved.

            You’d better looked into nations with centuries or even thousands years of history, like China, India, Egypt, Greece. You’d better learn how they survived through the changing times, with wins and losts, with friendly or hostile neighbours.
            I only see your wish for Ukraine to win a battle. And I dare say, I do care more than you of theirs longstanding survival.

          • Jack

            John Kinsella

            By your argument Russia should keep fighting since there is no point with diplomacy then, how has that worked in the past year for Ukraine? Perhaps 150-200k ukrainians killed the southern regions in the hands of Russia and how high do you want this death toll to go before ridding yourself of that pro-violence-anti-diplomacy course for the war?

          • useless eater

            John Kinsella “There is a meme that all wars are ended by diplomacy.”

            I dont know nought about memes but I do know a lot about history. Unless one of the combatants is completly eliminated, as was the case in several colonial wars fought by the inhabitants of that “beautiful garden” known as Europe against recalcitrant tribes,all wars end when the instruments of surrender are signed. That is called diplomacy. Up your game John Kinsella, do you not wish to provide value for money for your sponsers?
            So can we rephrase this? What about ” All wars are ended by diplomacy”. There, we got there in the end , didn’t we Jon.

            Hey EVERYONE, me and John Kinsella have just discovered that ALL WARS ARE ENDED BY DIPLOMACY. Pass it on to your elected representative, it might save some lives. Thanks for that John Kinsella, I could have not done it without you.

          • intp1

            Yes & No, Germany and Japan signed documents which amounted to unconditional surrender. They could/should have signed earlier but in the end they signed and Reconstruction began soon after.
            General Lee surrendered in a meeting in a Virginia schoolhouse and the various states and confederate Generals signed documents thereafter with emancipation agreed followed by Reconstruction. They all agreed to stop fighting.

            I personally don’t believe though that Ukraine will ever sign an agreement with Russia. Reason being that the objective of the Zelensky regime is to help the West degrade Russia no matter the damage to Ukraine. IMO even if the Russians reach the Polish border, the West will continue to print money to keep this conflict alive to that end. Likewise, if Kiev managed to push back, the Russians could never accept loss of territory declared to be Russia.
            This is the beginning of a deeply frozen conflict. There is talk of a Korean style armistice but they will remain at war, plus there are other theaters. I hope I’m wrong but either the West or the East needs to collapse with radical change of leadership before a deal could be reached.
            That or Armageddon.

          • useless eater

            So finally it seems we all agreed “All wars are ended by diplomacy”. It seems a lot of hot air to expend to reach agreement over what I thought was a shallow truism. Ahh the wonders of the internet.

            Concerning America and its European vassal states there is an exception to this; if the loser does not have white skin – then it is permisable to try and kill them all and carry on regardless without resorting to such hindrances as “peace talks”.

            Frozen wars take time. Eurasian commercial integration (Belt and Road) is a going concern now. If achieved the war is over, because that is what this war is about. Investors can slobber over the pivatisation of Ukraine, the fertile black earth of the farmland etc as much as they like but war settles all debts, lose one and all those valuable property deeds are not worth the paper they are printed on.Capital will find the highest rate of return, of that we can be sure – if integrated Eurasia offers a higher rate, game over.

            Intercontinental war will not be pretty, the US spends a 100 billion dollars a year on biological weaponry amongst other nightmares. The media gave us a flavour of intercontinental warfare back in 1945 when the USA detonated two atomic devices in crowded urban areas in Japan, not on any strategic targets but just on ordinary people. Times that by ten thousand. US propaganda outfits are at this moment attempting to counter the meme that the Syria-Turkey-Cyprus earthquake was caused by a (US) weapon. Whether tsunami bombs or earthquake bombs are real or science fiction I will leave to the reader and their credulity

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            I would like to draw your attention to two statements you made in one of your above comments UE, viz:

            ‘Unless one of the combatants is completly [sic] eliminated, as was the case in several colonial wars fought by the inhabitants of that “beautiful garden” known as Europe against recalcitrant tribes,all wars end when the instruments of surrender are signed. That is called diplomacy.’ and


            So what about the colonial wars fought by the inhabitants of that “beautiful garden” known as Europe against recalcitrant tribes? Is there any chance you could make it make logical sense?

            Also: the US spends a 100 billion dollars a year on biological weapons programs? Peter Daszak* & co. should be so lucky. It probably doesn’t even spend a billion on them. Anyway, I wish I’d read your above comments before replying to the one below mentioning me. I thought you were a vaguely…well, whatever, never mind. On a related note, I would like to issue a correction to one of my comments below. Instead of writing ‘Like Sam Smith in his Big Yin piss-pants’, I should of course have written ‘Like Sam Smith in their Big Yin piss-pants’. Apologies for any offence caused.

            * To be honest though, he’s fairly lucky not to currently be incarcerated in the US prison system. Apparently, he also has a species of parasite named after him – well it made me laugh anyway.

          • Pigeon English

            I can’t be bother to check but what about Vietnam and Korea and many others?
            What about Bosnia & Herzegovina?
            What about GF agreement in Ireland? Who won there?

        • Cedders

          There is little reason to believe that Russia would honour any peace deal – remember that Putin’s troops breached both Minsk agreements within hours of them being signed. At present, any peace deal would legitimise Russian control of territories that they have seized by force – there are millions of people in Europe and across the world who would rather fight than allow Putin to make gains. Peace agreements are useless unless both sides thin they are just – can you think of ANY deal that both sides would be happy with ?

          • AG


            we know of three peace initiatives alone in 2022 which Russians and Ukrainians would have possibly agreed on.

            All of them were obstructed by the West.

            And why use this claim of the Russian lie – “There is little reason to believe that Russia would honour any peace deal”

            Are you willingly ingoring the record of Ukrainian politicians who have over and over repeated they were not interested in peace based on Minsk.

            This historic record is undisputed.

            The “revelations” by Poroshenko, Merkel, Holland, Bennett, and now Zelenskyj (9th of Febr. German DER SPIEGEL) all concure and are just the cherry on top of this charade.

            (even though I don´t believe Merkel and Holland truly tried to fool the other side this recklessly. But as to why they now claim so, is a different matter.)

            What else do you want? A signed letter of proof by Biden?

            As to the Russians.

            We do also know their government was reluctant to help Donbas militarily when it all started.
            In fact they openly criticized Putin for not stepping in.

            Actually compared to many in the Duma, Putin usually reacted with reservation and slowly.

            Why is it not possible to acknowledge a different view of Russian actions?

            Apparently not much has changed in terms of British war mongering and Russia Scare since 1945.

            The ideological framework is in full swing.

            As to the chances for peace now?

            Sure. With NATO not willing to move an inch – why should Russians cede if none of their demands from decembre 2021 would be fulfilled?

            There was one single item: signed confirmation that Ukraine would not become member of NATO.

            Why not give the Russians this?

            Instead of saying “well because they are some nasty lying bastards”
            (I am not quoting you but Patton) –

            may be reconsider and wonder – what are US forces actually doing at the border of Russia???

            This is so simple a question that by now nobody dares to ask.

      • Goose

        Hi John.

        Free speech in the West is at risk. Combined with the covert propaganda Taibbi’s tweeting about, the same people are widening the definition of ‘extremism’ to cover views they simply find upsetting.
        PM Sunak has talked about changing the law to class anyone who ‘vilifies the UK, or its history’ as an extremist. Anyone expressing a negative views of British history? Whistleblowers like Craig Murray?

        Maybe you like British history? Didn’t you mention the fact you’re from Ireland? What do the Irish think of British history : The “to hell or to Connaught” clearances of native farmers. The Cromwellian Colonisation of Ireland, 1652-60, any who remained would be put to the sword. The potato famine of 1845-52 and British response – over one million people died of starvation and disease in Ireland and another million fled the country because of lack of food.

        The guardian reports today of the ‘Rapid rise’ in Andrew Tate-related cases referred to Prevent by schools :

        I’m not condoning Tate, but wasn’t Prevent originally supposed to be ‘preventing’ Islamic radicalisation? Mission creep everywhere it seems.

        • John Kinsella

          Hi Goose.

          You have probably noticed that I am no fan of British imperialism as practiced in Ireland and further afield.

          All the more reason to oppose Russian Imperialism as practiced in Ukraine, Georgia and if Putin gets away with it in the Baltics and Central Asia.

          All the best,

          • Bayard

            “You have probably noticed that I am no fan of British imperialism as practiced in Ireland and further afield.”

            Where do you stand on US imperialism?

          • Goose

            I think Russia seriously messed up by invading…. when they did. Russia claim Ukrainian forces were going to launch their own offensive in the Donbas. There is lots of evidence the Ukrainian govt were moving heavy weaponry and equipment by railroad east (videos etc). The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine showed a huge uptick in mortar fire by Ukrainian units into breakaway Luhansk and Donetsk, in the Donbas region, just prior to the invasion.

            Had Russia waited for this planned Ukrainian offensive which Russian officials claim was imminent. They could have gone in under a ‘humanitarian intervention’ pretext, the one the US and UK always carefully set up, prior to our wars and interventions: Yugoslavia (Kosovo massacres), Iraq (Hussein persecuted Marsh Arabs and Kurds) Libya (preventing a slaughter in Benghazi) Syria (preventing Assad attacking his own). See how the US establishes a humanitarian justification as cover for regime change?

            Who will the next US war save? China (hmm, the Uyghur in Xinjiang?)

          • Goose


            To clarify. I’m not claiming some or all of those weren’t genuine humanitarian crises. Many were, but it’s the way they’re promoted up the news priorities. As if the entire western media is fine with softening the population up to support a military intervention they otherwise wouldn’t. The world is full of such human rights violations and humanitarian crises. And our media aren’t interested in them. Not unless they are useful to US foreign policy objectives – shaping the narrative about a certain country, as a prelude to war.

            Why the obsession with the treatment of the Uyghur population, over say the atrocious treatment of Palestinians, or the democracy activists thrown in jail in Egypt and Bahrain with US/UK approval. The plight of Yemeni population under bombardment. The way the media have viewers concentrate in on one particular country and its human rights violations, as if that country is somehow uniquely evil, is always a telling indicator.

      • Pigeon English

        I am just guessing that Nato countries give information (facts) while Russians give disinformation (I can not remember the quote but it is in their playbook or mentality or whatever).

    • Cedders

      Prigozhin reportedly claimed that his men could take Bakhmut in a month, so Shoigu told him to get on with it. In Russian corridors of power, failure in not an option.

  • Goose

    Chinese balloons…balloons everywhere suddenly :

    How many spy satellites does China have?

    This crisis looks wholly artificial, as if a forced crisis. Why now?
    Taiwan has a general election coming early next year(2024) and the pro-independence party, the DPP, could be ousted, replaced by the main opposition party that wants better relations and is open to reunification by consent, KMT :

    Could it be that if that happens, the US fears they will lose leverage and its main partner in ramping up tensions?

    • Jack

      Yes this seems to be some overblown scare, shooting down ballons with fighter jets now. Really?

      Pentagon have been using this technique
      “Pentagon testing mass surveillance balloons across the US”

      I guess it is some surveillance ballons from China they had over the atlantic and pacific ocean, that have drifted away over the US and other nations.

      How are these balloons any different by the way from US satellites over China? Why is that not considered a threat/spy according to the west?

        • useless eater

          I dont know, do they?
          What I do know is that USA took over Japan’s highly developed germ warfare program at the end of WW2 and according to UN documents posted on this very site, then used it against the Korean and Chinese peoples. By your limited reasoning those countries could have retaliated but fortunately, since they are not governed by perverts, psychopaths and sadistic criminals, as we who live in America’s “garden” are, they did not retaliate in kind.

          On another point, several posters here (squeeth, lapsed agnostic et al) have been playing fast and loose with the history of Weimar Germany. Squeeth, the working class had no economic stake in Weimar after the hyperinflation of 1923 Try reading a book, any book, about this well documented period, if you wish to avoid falling into error. Remember people who dont know you will think you are acting in bad faith if you knowingly tell lies. Lapsed agnostic, you speak of American “aid” to Weimar. I asume you mean the Young plan and the Dawes plan. These were hostile takeovers by London and Wall Street, not aid. Russia in the 1990’s experienced the same “aid” from London and Wall Street. Weimar’s suicide rate is amongst the highest recorded in any developed country, ditto Russia in the 1990’s. This is how Empire wages global war
          America’s stated goal is full spectrum dominance across all domains.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            Thanks for your comment UE. No I haven’t been playing fast and loose with the history of the Weimar Republic. By ‘aid’, I was partially referring to the Dawes & Young Plans, particularly the latter – which might not have been aid in the modern sense of the word, but were aid in the sense that they helped make it considerably easier for Germany to pay reparations and still be able to maintain a vaguely functioning state. However, I was also referring to remittances from US citizens of mainly German heritage (there being more of those than ones with English heritage) who were still in touch with their extended families in Germany. Those mostly ended with the onset of the Depression, along with the Young Plan.

            With Russia in the 1990’s, the situation was completely different. There were no Dawes or Young-type plans, or many Russians living abroad who could send remittances. Instead, its economy was left alone to transition from communism to largely free-market economics under the ‘shock doctrine’ proposed by Jeffrey Sachs*. Unfortunately, most Russian industry was inefficient and unable to compete in world markets. This was compounded by the oil price being low, which led Russian oil production to roughly halve in that period. The result was that Russian GDP declined by about 50% and unemployment skyrocketed. What value there was in the Russian economy was mostly captured by the oligarchs, who were almost exclusively Russian or born in the former Soviet republics – not Westerners.

            * Apparently, he was responsible for teaching our host economics, which may explain one or two things about his views on the fiscal policy of a post-independence Scotland.

          • useless eater

            “which might not have been aid in the modern sense of the word”
            Offered help is either help or hindrance, make up your mind.

            One cannot simply redefine the word “aid” on an ad hoc basis, according to one’s own needs, without informing the rest of the language community. I mean how would we know what you are talking about!!
            These words are shared by us all, one can retreat into the safety of one’s own idiolect, of course that is your prerogative but it is most commonly seen in the linguistic behaviour of preschool children and most adults (especially parents) are very well aware of this. So assuming you are not a preschool child, EXPLAIN what you mean by “aid” to the rest of the adults in this linguistic community, if you would be so kind. Otherwise I think there is a rock being lifted near you and if you move quickly enough you might just make it

            On Russia, the cash was laundered thru the City of London, along with all other the global money spinners (drugs prostitution, human trafficking, illicit weaponry etc.) what is so hard to believe about this? You do know we live in a global economy don’t you? Or so the propaganda mills endlessly tell me.

            I could say more about your unhinged output but why bother. If a person’s dole is predicated on “not seeing”, that person will be blind until the money stops

            You are going to have to up your game lad, because I will refrain, this time, from calling out your lies in detail, out of respect to my host and his guests. But be warned, sloppy assertions on matters of life and death will not be tolerated.

          • AG

            … Weimar even after 1923 was still the powerhouse of the left in Europe.

            1923 brought about a certain consolidation within the German left and centre parties which – perhaps – in the long run might have even turned out more dangerous to the European and extra-European bourgeoisie, than the radicalism of 1919 which they successfully held at bay (by getting killed millions of Russians until 1923).

            But labour didn´t just disappear. The rise of the Weimar Republic is usually identified with after 1923, economically, scientifically and in entertainment, also due to a strong labour culture which was ever growing.

            One of the main causes for right wing and Nazism being supported so openly by all sides was in order to get that powerhouse of labour to fall. And for labour to fall it took not a crash but a genocidal dictatorship.

            I would speculate, may be I am wrong, that in fact economic crisis is never the cause for the decline of labour and civil society.

            That people can endure. What economic downfall enables are fascist state structures that allow the state to enforce fascist violence which then literally kills labour.

            In the past you didn´t silence people through economic means but by violence.

            Unless of course the economic hardship WAS violence, like the Irish famine, weaponized so to speak.

            However for that violence to be legitimate you needed appropriate “legal” conditions first.

            Additionally the world pre-45 was multipolar in a sense that even GB did not enjoy the power that the US had after WWII.

            In effect Germany had the “potential” to become an “empire”. That´s of course what you are referring to.

            So the rate of suicides is not necessarily an indicator for the clout of a nation nor even for the functioning of a society or happiness in that very state as a whole.

            Do you have numbers of suicides after ´33 by chance for comparison?

            So if Russia was post-imperial in 1991 (if it ever was an empire, I leave that question open, here) Weimar was certainly pre-empire and on the rise. Thus two entirely different cases.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            I won’t thank you for that reply UE if you don’t mind.

            Re: ‘EXPLAIN what you mean by “aid” to the rest of the adults in this linguistic community, if you would be so kind.’

            I’d rather not get into semantics, but here goes:

            Aid: noun. Help, typically of a practical nature.

            I have a vague idea about how the global economy works, thanks for asking, and I’m sure that certain institutions in the City of London have assisted various Russian citizens over the years. Certain financial institutions based there have provided services for the Mexican cartels. Does that mean that they’ve been plundering Mexico of its resources?

            I probably need to up my game in quite a few areas, but now that I’ve hit my forties, I find myself taking life a bit easier – no more early morning starts etc (don’t worry, I’m still adding a fair a bit of value to the UK economy). So shoot me – but it might not be a good idea to miss.

            Have I got this right? Reasonably orthodox interpretations of the economic situations in 1920’s Germany and 1990’s Russia = unhinged? Okay. By the way, nobody is paying me any money to write what I write here. Like Sam Smith in his Big Yin piss-pants, I do it for the love.

            I doubt whether our host, or very many other people, will be bothering reading the 400th-odd comment on the fourth most recent post on this blog, so feel free to expound at length as to why my views on these subjects are completely wrong. However, it may a more productive use of your time to contribute to the relevant Wikipedia articles citing your impeccable sources on these ‘matters of life and death’, or if they won’t let you do that, why not get your own website and try to get it up near the top of Google’s algorithms?


            P.S. How do you know I’m one of the lads?

          • useless eater

            I stand by the statement I made earlier: the working class had no economic stake in Weimar after the hyperinflation of 1923. If one is trying to keep body and soul together one pays little attention to any matter, other than “what can I eat” and “where can I sleep”. In 1925 my grandad told me he would go down the dock, to a big cage, where the unemployed waited, hoping for work. Work that would allow them to meet their daily needs. He worked one day in ten, the great depression was years away! He was a (lucky – still had all his limbs) four year infantry veteran straight out the trenches returning to deprivation and despair. He was on the winning side of that first global conflict, imagine being on the losing side.
            Your post is too vague for me to answer in detail but I will make a few points.

            Who you mean when you say ” … so openly by all sides”. Clarifying this would help. What sides are you on about?

            “In the past you didn´t silence people through economic means but by violence” This seems wrong. The ancient Greeks wrote of “Tall Poppies” along time ago. The basic idea is kill or co-opt the leaders and enforce whatever you want or need on the mass of followers – no rules, no limits. If you kill them all you can’t extract labour from them. You want them cowed.

            Pre-WW2 Britain was the global enforcer. In the 1920’s, the (private) state banks of Britain and America “captured” the French franc and impoverished India (by manipulating the price of silver); Germany was destroyed and Russia was in crisis. Kuomintang China ran the opium as a gangster state.

            No I was saying Weimar never had a chance, doomed from the start. What defeated state could pay reparations at the rate required, as the “patriotic” rich exported their wealth thru Holland and other conduits in the early 1920’s to safe havens in New York and London, further crippling an economy desperately short of foreign exchange? The fact you don’t know any of this is suspicious. Why comment on something you know very little about? Modern scholarship is in wide agreement of the facts about Weimar, but disagrees about who was responsible, that’s it.

            On suicide statistics, there is a wonderful new invention called the internet that allows anyone who can bothered to call this information forth from the network, at the touch of a button. It will change your life, honest guv.

            Internally Weimar and post communist Russia are different. But externally, international capital treated them the same, as societal carcasses, to be stripped and completely consumed.

          • AG

            useless eater

            sry, no time for an adequate answer.

            I merely tried to point out that left resistance in Weimar was still possible regardless of the hardships of 1923.

            Even on the eve of 1933 watershed, regarding electorate, NSDAP was not a super power.

            It had help and support – “so openly by all sides” – referring to US and British establishment from outside.

            (Even as late as 1938 MI-6´ Frank Foley, working in Berlin, suggested, them English boys and GESTAPO had a “cordial” relationship – when German conservatives wanted to topple Hitler, the Brits said No, as late as 1938 – and cooperating security services internationally against left is no small thing shortly before a world war.)

            French were rather reserved I assume. And then lets not forget Italy and Spain.

            On the domestic front German heavy industry and media supported NDSAP – but I don’t have to tell you this. (Brecht filled works with this alliance)

            However German scholarship in its broad majority will often stipulate that NSDAP mainly built on its support by everyday people”. state officials, employees even workers.

            But then I am not so sure. It´s all interpretation by statistics, not taking into account who forms those political views – I am saying this especially in regard of now. If even now the people are not capable withstand the elite´s onslaught, how about 30s then?

            The threat of concentration camps and pure terror was no small obtacle for a left popular movement to rise.

            By which I mean: The potential would have been there within the people after 1933 still but they were terrified.

            Regarding the resiliance of popular movements, the anti-colonial movement is I assume a good start but a giant one. And I am no scholar to be able to cherry-pick you my besties examples to prove my point.

            My apologies.

            This following itme just because it is new at LRB just as we are having this short exchange – I find it´s findings limited, but together with the letters to the editor perhaps some benefit. Unless you haven´t already read it:

            “Memories of Weimar”, Eric Hobsbawm, reprint from 2008 in the current issue:


          • AG

            useless eater

            my above comment: something went wrong as for the errors, (my keyboard is not working properly).

            And this quote from the LRB didn´t make it:

            “It was primarily this that raised the question of Hitler’s rise to power and whether it could have been avoided, questions that are still debated among historians. Weitz concludes, with many others, that ‘there was nothing inevitable about this development. The Third Reich did not have to come into existence”

            (it is a seemingly never-ending discussion)

      • Cedders

        China is extremely unhappy about the presence of US satellites over its’ territory. At present it does not have the capability to do anything about them, but that will almost certainly change, probably in the medium term.

  • Tatyana

    Well friends, it’s Monday, and this is how Vladimir Kornilov covers the position of the Western media regarding the publication of Seymour Hersh.
    I respect Mr. Kornilov more among other RIA journalists, I like his style and he links the sources he speaks about. I mean links to the material, when other journalists often link to the media’s home page and let the reader search for the material themselves, which is annoying. I’ll add the links in the end of the translation.

    “A week has passed since the publication(1) of the sensational investigation by the famous American journalist Seymour Hersh about who blew up the Nord Stream, and the Western community still pretends that nothing happened… Maria Zakharova, sarcastically asks in this regard: “So what? Where are the NATO experts on Novichok and dead ducks, who annually made absurd accusations from scratch, stating that highly likely they had facts?”

    “At first, it seemed that the mainstream Western media *got water in their mouths*, pretending not to notice this story (*Russian idiom, describes a person unwilling to say something, as if they keep water in their mouth and for some weird reason cannot swallow and cannot spit out). Some then reluctantly published somewhere on the twentieth pages a few lines that Hersh had printed “something ridiculous,” but that was the end of the topic. And some media generally decided to omit the story itself, immediately starting with “exposing black magic.” For example, the Reuters(2) agency, whose materials are reprinted indiscriminately by many in the West, published a separate article stating that Hersh had previously allegedly been seen promoting “controversial” theories. As a result, some Western newspapers simply told their public who Hersh was, without even bothering to explain why on earth they remembered him.

    “The reaction of the influential US newspaper Los Angeles Times(3) is indicative. Without writing about the content of the Hersh investigation itself, its editor began his note in this manner: “You must have seen the report by the Pulitzer laureate Seymour Hersh.”
    Original approach! That is, the newspaper is aware of the significance and resonance of the investigation, but decides to immediately hit on its author, without informing readers about the content.

    “Moreover, the “exposure” is no less original. The LAT editor scoffs at Hersh’s claim that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has worked closely with US intelligence agencies since the Vietnam War. The author calls this “absurd”: they say that the war ended when Stoltenberg was 16 years old! He obviously (unlike Hersh) did not get acquainted with the biography of the current head of NATO. Otherwise, he would have learned that his (*Stoltenberg’s) political career began with participation in a protest against the bombing of Vietnam near the US Embassy in Oslo, during which the window of the diplomatic mission was broken. As a result, the police arrested several friends of the young Stoltenberg, but not himself. Isn’t it clear what Hersh is transparently hinting at?

    “But, trying to hide from the public the sensational exposure of the act of state terrorism committed by the US and Norway, the Western press is still carefully watching our reaction to it. The British Daily Express(4), once again misinterpreting the words of Dmitry Peskov, is sounding the alarm: “Russia is threatening the Britain-Norway gas pipeline, promising punishment for a leak in the Nord Stream”.
    Leak is what they call gas pipeline explosions!

    “Recall: Peskov drew attention to the strange silence of the Western media about the sensation from Hersh, and called for “an open international investigation into this unprecedented attack on the most important international critical infrastructure.” Then he added: “It is impossible to leave this without revealing the perpetrators and without punishing them.”
    Let’s agree, it’s very difficult to see in these words a threat to the Britain-Norway gas pipeline. However, the British are already panicking at two words: ‘investigation’ and ‘punishment’. Because they perfectly understand who any impartial investigation of the terrorist attack will come to. Actually, the reaction to Hersh’s article in the Western media is proof of this. *The thief’s hat is on fire*. (* a Russian idiom that describes a criminal who unwittingly reveals himself by his own behavior. Presumably from the story: after futile attempts to find a thief, people turned to a sorcerer for help; he shouted loudly: “Look! The thief’s hat is on fire!” A man in the crowd grabbed his hat. So the thief was exposed.)

    The article
    The links

      • Tatyana

        thank you, Svea, i’m not an experienced translator, but I do my best and I gratefully receive remarks or critics on how I can improve.

        The title of the article, a bit manipulative and childish
        “Investigation and punishment: the West is afraid of two words from Moscow”
        How do you find it? 😉
        Well, Dostoevsky, ‘Crime and Punishment’, a young man who brutally killed a woman and her pregnant sister with an axe, for the sake of money, looking for a moral justification for his act, falling into Nietzscheanism about higher people who have the right to judge and execute.
        Thanks Vladimir Kornilov for bringing some morals into this. Position clearly manifested and landed without distortion at the receiving end. It’s nice to be in the same cultural code.
        Moscow is like a conscience speaking? Seriously? And the West tormented by conscience? Too out of touch with reality, but I understand and myself use the phrase “I’m an artist, I see it that way” 🙂
        Anyways, the title got my attention and even made me translate and share the article, I believe it was Vladimir’s goal 🙂 Well done, congrats.

    • John Cleary

      (*Stoltenberg’s) political career began with participation in a protest against the bombing of Vietnam near the US Embassy in Oslo, during which the window of the diplomatic mission was broken. As a result, the police arrested several friends of the young Stoltenberg, but not himself. Isn’t it clear what Hersh is transparently hinting at?

      That’s useful Tatyana. Exactly the same as Clinton at Grosvenor Square in 1967.

      Furthermore, that same Clinton accepted a Knighthood (Order of Bath) from the British Crown in January 2001. That is important for at least two reasons:

      First, Clinton swore a formal oath to Queen Elizabeth IN THE PRESENCE OF HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY. That oath is enforceable on all three of them.

      Second, Clinton legally obtained a second identity, a British subject named Sir William Clinton. Ask a lawyer what are the things you can do with a second identity.

      Subsequently the Clintons took control of the Democratic Party by purchasing the DNC (a private company, I believe), and the Democrats thereafter took over Neoconservatism from the Republicans.

      And here we are in 2023 with Joe Biden clearly visible as neocon-in-chief.
      Blowing up Russian pipelines.

  • Tatyana

    Well, a little piece of philosophy from me personally. From what I observe – events, assessments, decisions made – I got a certain impression.
    I notice the tendency towards the formation of “closed communes”. I just invented this term, it seems pretty accurate to me. I understand it this way: a certain group of people, united by anything, wants to have a piece of land for themselves, where they can make their own rules. Unlike the traditional criteria for the formation of a state, these “communes” have features, which is why I actually singled them out as a separate phenomenon.
    Firstly, they are homogeneous. That is, people who do not meet the defining characteristic are recognized as inferior citizens.
    The second, they are closed. Not everyone has the opportunity to visit, or establish trade relations or other interactions, as normally with other states, because the government is extremely selective about potential partners.
    The third, they are militarized. Literally stuffed with weapons and this is reflected in all aspects of their lives. They seem to be always at war.
    The fourth, these are relatively recent formations.

    I call such “closed communes” Israel as a state for the Jews, not for the Palestinians. Ukraine as a state for Ukrainians, not for Russians. ISIS as a state for radical Islamists and not for Syrians.
    I do not include the Vatican here, it does not seem militarized. And I don’t include North Korea here, because I don’t see who is recognized as second-class people there.

    As a person who grew up in the USSR, I do not like this ideology. I don’t understand why people think it’s normal to sit behind a fence on their little piece of land, protecting it from other inhabitants of this planet. If Chechnya had chosen such a path for the development of its republic, I don’t think that it would give them the same opportunities as now – they are citizens of a very large state, and they call ‘it’s my’ and feel at home on a very large piece of land. This is a much more impressive resource for development than a small “national” site in the Caucasus.
    Everyone knows what tragic events took place between Russians and Chechens, and I am immensely happy to see that we were able to survive, speak out, settle this, and finally move on. I could not even imagine that one day I could call the Chechens ‘my boys’, as I say now. I could not imagine that I would sincerely want to learn the words of gratitude in the national Chechen language and say this to them! I could never have imagined in the past that such a change could take place in my mind, and I cannot imagine how much diplomatic effort went into this shift in my picture of the world.
    However, here I am now, and so it is.

    Just please don’t think that I’m justifying imperialism or the takeover of Ukraine. I’m talking about the fact that there are always compromises and diplomacy. What I’m saying is that living together in a common space while respecting each other’s values is not such an impossible task, and it’s not too much about borders, it’s about overcoming the walls in our heads.

    • Tatyana

      I will add a little about the Chechen conflict.
      The West portrayed it as a struggle of a small people against a large colonial power.
      Here in Russia we saw Beslan, Nord-Ost, fanatical armed Muslims who wanted to build the Caucasus Emirate, a branch of ISIS.

      There was a dissonance in my head.
      On the one hand, I had a clear picture of a radical Muslim, a dangerous terrorist. I vitnessed it here and I knew of those acts which were performed around the world.
      On the other hand, I studied world religions in a university course. Also, I heard the words of Muslim theologians that Islam denies violence, and radical Islamists should not call themselves Muslims.

      Finally, I found confirmation why the first ones are really some kind of incomprehensible sectarians who distort the norms of Islam.

      Did you know that the Islamic system recognizes the Treaty of the Prophet Muhammad that Muslims should protect Christians?
      In Greek Αχτιναμέ του προφήτη Μοχάμεντ, sealed with the handprint of the prophet.

      There, 11 chapters describe a respectful attitude towards Christian clergy, and then about ordinary followers of the Christian faith.
      – do not take tax more than a certain amount and only from those who are able to pay
      – don’t let them get hurt
      – a Muslim husband should not interfere with a Christian wife in her religion
      do not direct your weapons against Christians, but, on the contrary, wage war in their defense
      – whoever breaks these rules is an apostate

      The Arabic original is in Istanbul.
      One copy is in Egypt, the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai (ISIS bombed it in April 2017).
      Wiki also mentions a copy in the Simonopetra monastery in Greece. I would really like if anyone who has a contact to the Duran channel (red maroon button), could you please ask Alex Christophorou, if possible to pay attention to this episode of our common humankind history. I recall Alex is from Greece, may be he would like to pay attention to this.
      For thousands of years, our species has been trying to find ways to live side by side without hostility and violence, in the current situation where war is promoted, every word and every testimony in defense of peace matters.

  • AG

    Zelensky against Minsk (In an Interview with DER SPIEGEL already on the 9th. Seemingly nobody cared. This source is RT!)
    (so far I could not get his SPIEGEL interview from 9th Febr. Not in the public access pool seemingly)

    “The Ukrainian president claimed he personally refused to implement the deals for peace in Donbass. Vladimir Zelensky says that he personally refused to implement the Minsk agreements – a roadmap for peace in the east of the country, which was co-sponsored by Germany and France.”

    ” But as for Minsk as a whole, I told Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel: ‘We cannot implement it like this,’” Zelensky stated. “I told [Putin] the same as the other two. They were surprised and said: ‘If we had known beforehand that you would change the meaning of our meeting, then there would have been problems even before the summit.’”

    * * *
    Original from Italian Outlet

    Zelensky welcoming Wall Street to rebuild Ukraine

    “The collective West, increasingly becoming more directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine, has been vague about the objectives of its participation in the war and has repeatedly contradicted itself on the nature and number of weapons to be sent to Ukraine. From another standpoint, however, it has maintained clarity and constancy over time: the total dedication to a neoliberal project for a Ukraine open to Western corporations in which workers have no guardianship or protection.”

    • Goose


      To be fair, Zelensky was powerless to implement Minsk, that is, even if he privately wanted to.

      The hard men of Pravyi (right) sektor, Svoboda and Azov battalion are (or were) immensely influential & powerful pre-invasion, and they would have removed him without fear or pity. The guardian newspaper ran stories + pictures of Ukrainian bridges draped with banners “Minsk = Treason” alongside a bloodied noose. It was made quite clear what the price of compromise would be.

      The US had trained these forces, he simply couldn’t risk a confrontation with them. In hindsight Minsk must look like a great opportunity missed, to avoid all this destruction.

      • AG


        I know that.

        What I find astonishing as a German is this fact that German papers (who do NOT “know” this, naturally) bother to report this comment Z. has made just a few days ago in Germany´s allegedly biggest investigative magazine, with allegedly 400.000 readers.

        It´s DER SPIEGEL after all.

        These interviews are usually reason for every outlet to comment.

        In this case they titled: “Putin is a dragon who needs to feed.” – conversation with Zelensky.

        And it starts to describe Zelensky´s dark circles around his eyes when he meets the reporters.

        Well, you know the drill.

        * * *

        p.s. new piece by Anatol Lieven re: rising danger for Crimea.

        (of course you must accept Lieven´s ideological framework. But look beyond that.)

        “Crimea Is a Powder Keg – Whether the Ukraine war brings on a global catastrophe will hinge in large part on whether Washington decides to back a Ukrainian effort to retake the Crimean peninsula.”

        By Anatol Lieven

  • AG

    first radio talk with Hersh on his story, 50 minutes, Febr. 12th

    “Seymour Hersh on US Bombing Nord Stream Pipelines — Radio War Nerd EP”

    Hersh starts to speak ca. 6 minutes into.

    Perhaps, just started, the info itself will be limited since he protects his sources of course.

    * * *

    Hersh commenting on NS1 story

    via MoA commentary section:

    Legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed on Saturday that his latest bombshell report, which suggests the CIA was responsible for the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines in September, was not a hard story to find. It was obvious that there was more to the issue than was being reported by most media outlets, Hersh said. 

    In his first interview since he published the story on Substack last Wednesday, the Pulitzer-prize winning journalist was asked by Radio War Nerd to comment on his source for the story, who still remains anonymous.

    Hersh refused to expose any details about who he spoke to and noted that it was his job to protect his sources and take the heat when a story went live. But those within the media who criticize him for using anonymous sources should “understand the business a little better,”the journalist suggested.

    “The problem is, it’s all been cheapened. Because now the New York Times and the Washington Post think an unnamed source can be a press guy, a press secretary, that whispers something to them on the side. I don’t know, they don’t seem to have anyone inside,” Hersh said.

    He also noted that major news outlets are failing to report a lot of things about the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev. “The war I know about is not the war you’re reading about,” Hersh observed.
    [emphasis added here]

    “It’s amazing to me how they fall in line, my colleagues,” he added, lamenting that many outlets such as the NYT, WP, CNN and MSN have become a front for the White House and the Biden administration.

    As for the Nord Stream expose, Hersh insisted it was “not a hard story to find” and that it was obvious that some NATO country was involved, especially after top US officials, including President Joe Biden, issued clear threats that the Russian-German project would be stopped “one way or another” if Moscow chose to send troops to Ukraine back in February 2022.

    Hersh also pointed out that the entire international pipeline industry knew “who did what” and that this was a reality that “nobody thinks about.” “But I did, so there you are,” he concluded.[.] [Italics original] “

    • Goose

      Quote Guardian: US says the shot down objects had no propulsion or communications.

      My mission here is nearly over.

      I’ll be uploading my final reports via neural link. That will be followed by a judgement by the council on whether this planet and the human race should be allowed to continue. /s

      In all seriousness, wtf is going on? Are things getting crazier or what.

    • Goose


      Edward Snowden thinks the balloon stuff is a non-story that’s straight out of the Department of Deflectabootery.

      All the press NatSec reporters merrily occupied with their columns and pieces about UFOs, which may as well be inflatable squirrels. And zero reporting on the NordStream story.

  • Tatyana

    On our side:
    Stoltenberg in Brussels says NATO was preparing for the war with Russia since 2014, training soldiers, building up weapons in the Eastern border. And he said finally the members increased their military spending budgets.

    French Foreign office urges French nationals to leave Belarus as soon as possible.

    US secret service in January recruited 60 mercenaries in Syria, for terrorism actions in Russia.

    Peskov comments on peace talks in the beginning of the war. He says they had a draft document, he uses a term I don’t know the meaning ‘paraphed’. Then as if on a signal, Ukrainian delegation left the talks and were unreachable ever after.

    Nukes for Kiev, debate opens.
    “Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons at our behest. Here’s what we owe them.”
    The Washington Post, Jon Wolfsthal

      • John Kinsella

        Well the WaPo article makes its point well.

        If Russia can invade and occupy Ukraine at the price of a few 100,000 troops and some economic cost then what dissuades China from invading Taiwan?

        India cannot attack Pakistan because the latter has nukes.

        The combined Arab states cannot attack Israel….

        Why shouldn’t Germany and Japan develop nuclear weapons?



        Russia has unwittingly taught “medium powers” an important lesson.

        Good night all,

        • Goose


          The UK having nukes didn’t stop Argentina invading the Falklands, nor would they have stopped Russia invading Ukraine.

          Renewing Trident is costing our govt an estimated £100bn, Ukraine is one of the poorest countries in Europe. To manage and maintain its own independent nuclear deterrent would be more trouble than it’s worth. And hosting American nukes would be exactly the sort of threat on Russia’s border that the US utterly rejected when Cuba tried it.

          • John Kinsella

            Hi Goose.

            You said ” And I am not even getting into the Japan (of all examples – Hiroshima? Nagasaki?)”.

            Are you suggesting that because Japan – uniquely on Earth – was subjected to a nuclear attack, they must not acquire a nuclear arsenal?

            And why should Germany not do the same? Kollektivschuld?

            All the best,

        • AG

          sry John, may be its late for me to comment, but this is nonsense.

          We have gone through Budapest 1994 and all that in extensio just last month, a few posts back.

          This WaPo guy is a war-monger, liar and manipulator.

          I will repeat once more: the United States and NATO were happy and glad that Russia in 1994 took care of the nuke problem in its former satellite states.

          US did NOT want a proliferation issue.
          They wanted a certain level of control.

          and less tensions. This was just 3 years after it all had collapsed. They loved each other.

          Under Obama the USA has passed a modernization bill for its nuclear arsenal as high as 15 trillion dollars for 10 years.

          Those 1,5 trillion per annum are not being used to wipe the floor in Los Alamos.

          (They are 15 times higher than the 100 bn of German “watershed”-arms-build-up announced Feb. 2022 as a response to Russian “aggression” – but were already written down 2 years before)

          The USA HAS most likely first strike counterforce capabilities which render much of Russian defences and strike capabilites ineffective.

          So I suggest you worry about those and not the Russians.

          If you spend 100 times more on nukes than I do, who do you think will have the better missiles?

          This WaPo guy was sent to front as an apologetic nuclear proliferationist arguing for more nukes on the basis of human intervention/human rights.

          This is pure perversion if you think into how he is distorting things.

          Its digusting in fact.

          You see here the exact same scheme that was used by NATO before Kosovo intervention and bombing Serbia.

          As we all should know by now the West is very good in creating pretexts for war crimes and destruction of entire countries and regions causing millons of deaths, in a way the Russian crimes pale, as they have not even accomplished comparable in Afghanistan.

          The Americans have not the slightest problem supplying Israel with 200+ nuclear warheads capabilities. (the Arabs? seriously?)

          The Americans had no problem supplying Saddam Hussein with WMD capabilites and technical personel just shortly before the 2nd Gulf War broke out when he was “our” friend.

          Including chemical weapons Hussein used against Iran in a long and bloody war.

          The Americans had no problem supplying South African Apartheid´s regime with WMDs. (chemical, bio, nuclear know-how)

          And they also with others, had their hands in the India-Pakistan escalation.

          This is not about principles.

          Were the Ukrainians not so willing to follow US orders up to this point this discussion would not take place.

          Because instead Ukraine had agreed on a peace deal with Russia in the first week of March, but then, no one would offer them nukes now.

          And I am not even getting into the Japan (of all examples – Hiroshima? Nagasaki?) and Germany matter.

          To Brazil, just one info:

          Brazil wanted independent nuclear energy in 1954.

          Lewis Strauss the hawkish strongman of the Atomic Energy Commission said NO to even that.

          Only AFTER Brazil gave into dependence to the US under pressure, did the USA supply them with US nuclear plants and US Uranium.
          How friendly of Washington.

          They did have discussions about nuclear weapons when Brazil was a fascist dictatorship in the70s. Why? Because they were US Allies then killing labour organizations.

          Brazil has no Nuke because in a rare moment of Enlightement the entire continent had agreed to become a nuclear-free zone.

          You really seem to believe the USA is a benign state or what?

          Why then are 3/4 of the worlds population not particularly fond of what they are doing now and in the last 100 years.

          Why do you think the press in the rest of the world, or Lula, or the Columbian President, or Indians or 1bn Africans, or even the Pope of the fucking Catholic Church (sry but Ratzinger was German and Ex-SS so I am allowed to say that) say, this is a NATO/EU war against Russia?

          Are these people all imbeciles?

          What country did Snowden report on? What country is Assange´s main enemy? What country was pressing Manning? What country has programs murdering people in the tens of thousands (Obama´s drone program killed appr. 15.000 humans untill 1 year ago), programs of rendition and illegal detention and torture – almost everywhere on the planet.

          They are called superpower not without reason.

          Forgive me.

          But I cannot let this stand uncommented.
          If this is inappropriate, MOD remove it, no problem.

          But after all that has been exchanged here on info and knowledge. And after all that we see happening right now in Ukraine and soon China.

          good night to you, and forgive my temper

          • Pears Morgaine

            ” Brazil has no Nuke because in a rare moment of Enlightement the entire continent had agreed to become a nuclear-free zone. ”

            I assume you just mean nuclear weapons as Brazil has two working nuclear plants with a third approved, Argentina has two and there is one other in Mexico.

            South America agreed to ban nuclear weapons from the sub-continent back in 1967, all nations also party to the NPT.


          • AG

            @ Pears Morgaine

            yes “Nukes” as in nuclear weapons.

            * * *

            As to Brazil 1950s:

            The Brazil story has an interesting background.

            Which I find telling because back then you could witness the forming of the post-war world order and how several smaller nations attmpted a path of independece.

            Energy was one part of this.

            In Brazil politics a major figure of this emancipative attitude away from US rule was Admiral Alvaro Alberto, a staunch military man/scientist turned politician. And he of course understood the nature of power.

            He heavily lobbied for an independent peaceful Brazilian nuclear program.

            Brazil´s President agreed and green-lit Alberto´s risky operations.

            Since knowledge about nuclear physics was still arcane and heavily guarded, Alvaro Alberto´s son came into play.

            He studied at the elite Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in NY, USA.

            And one of his professors happened to be a major former member of the German nuclear bomb project during WWII.

            This was Paul Harteck, who in the 1930s had carried out some important work in Britain together with Sir Ernest Rutherford.

            British side note on Harteck:

            (In fact after Harteck went back to Hamburg University in 1934 to a promising post, physicist Mark Oliphant from Birmingham University which was a major hub for nuclear science, offered Harteck to come back when the war broke out.

            Harteck first considered for troubles with Gestapo. And then suddenly changed his mind and stayed – most likely because the Germans had seriously started on researching nuclear bomb physics and Harteck was an eminent member of that group) –

            Alvaro Alberto created contact with this Harteck guy and 1954 or so, both men met major figures of Germany´s nuclear energy community in Germany – inofficially.

            They promised Alvaro Alberto to deliver to Brazil uranium enrichment facilities (think Iranian nuclear program controversies today).

            This all happened without any knowledge of the German government.

            It was like a private, almost illegal enterprise.

            Because all involved knew that were it become public and “official” the Allies would immediately interfere.

            Which they eventually did.

            Ca. 1954 a British official by accident discovered a ship load of uranium enrichment technology in the port of Hamburg destined for Brazil.

            He alarmed his superiors. The entire coup was uncovered. The British took the precious cargo.

            Alberto went to the British government and begged for the material to be returned.

            They shrugged and told him to sort it out with Washington who controlled all of this.

            The rest is history. Strauss made it crsytal-clear to Alberto, no nuclear facility without US control.

            So the emancipation fo Brazil in this regard failed back then.

            The early post War Japanese nuclear energy program had similar emancipative intentions back then.

        • Bayard

          “If Russia can invade and occupy Ukraine at the price of a few 100,000 troops and some economic cost then what dissuades China from invading Taiwan?”

          If the US can invade and occupy Iraq at the price of a few thousand troops and no economic cost then what dissuaded Russia from invading Ukraine?

          “Why shouldn’t Germany and Japan develop nuclear weapons?

          Iran? Belarus? Cuba? Afghanistan? Serbia?

          “Russia has unwittingly taught “medium powers” an important lesson.”

          Nothing they didn’t know already, as you point out yourself – “India cannot attack Pakistan because the latter has nukes.
          The combined Arab states cannot attack Israel….”

          C- for lack of effort

        • Bayard

          “Well the WaPo article makes its point well.”

          Except that it omits one salient fact: those weren’t Ukraine’s nukes, they were USSR nukes on Ukranian soil. Does the US really want to establish the principle that nukes belong to the country in which they are positioned?

          • AG

            remember: the Ukrainian Rada voted on this in 1994 (exact year?).

            The Ukrainian President back then, formerly a missile scientist who knew the dangers better then Baerbock does today,
            told his parliament that peace and non-proliferation is the only way.

            So they voted in favour of giving up the nuclear arsenal.

            And everyone, above all Geroge Bush I., was happy.

            giving up nukes was considered the only right thing to do in 1994.

    • AG

      where you got that French – Belarus item?

      This WaPo guy is one of those slick Obama types who talk about NewSTART only because they know, US Navy has new submarine models that have less missiles (like 4 warheads per MIRV instead of 8 or so) but eventually bigger fire power as each warhead is enhanced.

      So just like the Russians and Chinese developed hypersonic as an answer to the US ending ABM Treaty and Medium Range Missile Treaty, the US is undercutting its own official attempts for reduction.

      I have no clue what these people are up to.

      But this WaPo nonsense is just like all the other lies where 50% of what REALLY happened back in 1994 is just being omitted.

      German historians now do it all the time.

      I guess it´s part of the nerve-game.

      • portside

        He warned as a former UN weapons inspector that Iraq had no WMD. Your heroes knew Ritter was right but lied their way into a catastrophic, needless war that cost countless lives. Two decades after the fact those war criminals all retain huge credibility in our media and among our political class.

        • Pears Morgaine

          No heroes of mine. I opposed the Iraq war for the same reasons I oppose the invasion of Ukraine. It’s an illegal war aimed at regime change.

          Ritter’s warning about Iraq’s non-existent WMDs was back in 2002 and probably the last time he was right about anything (him and millions of others across the world remember). You wonder how much longer he can continue to rest of those particular laurels.

          • portside

            Don’t believe you. I’ve seen your comments challenging any suggestion the US might have blown up NS. Mark of the hardest core neocon. Not a chance someone like you would have been against them on Iraq or any of their other crimes.

          • Pigeon English


            Generally I don’t believe in a gut feeling but this time My gut feeling tells me you are fuking RIGHT

          • Pears Morgaine

            You are both quite wrong as a trawl back through my previous posts will prove. I have not denied that the US might’ve blown up Nordstream just raised problems with that narrative conflicting with other theories (the Russian claim that it was the British) and some problems with Hersh’s version of events.

            You’re making the mistake of believing that I subscribe to the same type of campism as the Putin supporters.

          • Bayard

            “problems with that narrative conflicting with other theories (the Russian claim that it was the British)”

            Why is that a problem? If Hersh had just been talking out of his arse, he would have included the British in the narrative, because that what everyone would expect. As it was, he deliberately excluded them.

  • Allan Howard

    If the Minsk Agreements were indeed a ploy and a deception to buy time to prepare for war, then the implication is that that those who knew at the time that the agreements were a ploy KNEW what the plan was further on down the line – ie to provoke Russia into invading Ukraine by way of deliberately ignoring their security concerns.

    And I would go even further and suggest that the whole Salisbury episode was staged so as to transform Putin into a pariah and the enemy of the West in preparation for when they added the last straw and, as such, left him with no choice but to invade Ukraine. And did so so that they – the US/Nato – could wage a proxy war against Russia so as to try and destroy Russia militarially, and economic warfare against Russia with all their sanctions.

    • John Kinsella

      Jeebus H Crispy.

      “to transform Putin into a pariah and the enemy of the West in preparation for when they added the last straw and, as such, left him with no choice but to invade Ukraine.”.

      That analysis leaves Putin with no agency. The victim of the Machiavellian Zapad?

      A noble knight traduced by Western media and reduced to “pariah” status?

      His disposition, wishes and intentions played no role in the decision to launch the Special Military Operation?

      Aye right.

      Don’t weep for Putin, rather weep for his victims in Russia and in Ukraine.

      All the best,

      • Allan Howard

        The following article by John Mearsheimer is from 2014 and entitled ‘Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault’, and he finishes by saying this:

        The United States and its European allies now face a choice on Ukraine. They can continue their current policy, which will exacerbate hostilities with Russia and devastate Ukraine in the process—a scenario in which everyone would come out a loser. Or they can switch gears and work to create a prosperous but neutral Ukraine, one that does not threaten Russia and allows the West to repair its relations with Moscow. With that approach, all sides would win.

  • Tatyana

    Well, another Goeiemorgen, friends 🙂 Starlink again 🙂
    “Ukraine “weaponized” Starlink in war against Russia”

    “There are things that we can do to limit their ability to do that,” she (*Gwynne Shotwell) said, referring to Starlink’s use with drones. “There are things that we can do, and have done.”

    And Podolyak says that SpaceX should chose the side!

    oh, my, it’s too funny!
    In the autumn Elon Musk said smth. like he cannot afford sponsoring all Starlink services in Ukraine.
    Some Melanya Podolyak replied to Elon, saying he should ‘завалити iбало’ and just give service.
    Her response got more than 4,000 likes, apparently from Ukrainians. It was screenshoted and widely discussed here in Russia/

    I don’t know if it even counts as a inter-cultural exchange, if I try to explain the meaning of the phrase. It is extremely rude and put in an extremely obscene wording. This imperative instructs the speaker to close his mouth, which the speaker may think is an organ for pronouncing words, while the listener sees other ways to use this hole of the human body.
    I think that ‘liverwurst’ which Scholz received from the Ukrainian ambassador Melnyk is a sweet childish prank, compared to this.

    • Tatyana

      Give nukes to these guys! They need a leverage, in case they are unhappy with your aid! If there were nukes, then there will be German tanks, right? British fighter jets. Yes, and Poland and Israel would finilly завалити iбало about the national heroes of Ukraine. Then, one can always sponsor an American historian to write a book, perhaps there are some lands in Europe that could be considered Ukrainian, and you fools don’t know about it. Paintings in museums, valuables in treasuries … you never know what else is Ukrainian, if you start searching with enthusiasm, right?

      Or, given the large proportion of the pro-Russian population, this opens up new perspectives! We have already seen one coup? so…
      Yes, perhaps nukes is a good idea. I even think Russia should help the fraternal people with delivery system, including transcontinental ones.

  • John Kinsella

    Hi all.
    This may be of interest.

    A Russkiy MP, Andrei Gurulyov , says “We need to close the issue of the Ukraine ‘project’ once and for all! …
    Ukraine doesn’t exist! It’s Russian territory!”

    Gurulyov is an MP for United Russia so his comments cannot be dismissed as those of a radical extremist.

    Or, pace Tatyana, dismissed because taken out of context?

    All the best,

    • Bayard

      “Gurulyov is an MP for United Russia so his comments cannot be dismissed as those of a radical extremist.”

      I’ll take as much notice of Andrei Gurulyov as you take of Mick Wallace. Mr Wallace is, after all, an MEP, so he should be taken seriously.

      • John Kinsella

        Hi Bayard.

        Wallace is a member of Independents 4 Change, part of The Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL.

        Independents 4 Change have no TDs in Dail Eireann and just Wallace & Daly in the EU Parliament.

        But not of an Irish Government party. And GUE/NGL is a minority (38) group in the EU Parliament.

        Andrei Gurulyov, on the other hand, is an MP for United Russia – the majority party in the Russkiy Duma and the party of Government in Russia – Putin fan boys/girls to a man/woman.

        Surely his views are approved of by his Party?

        But not by you I hope?

        All the best,

        • Bayard

          MPs say stupid things, look at our own dear Liz Truss. She was after all, a Minister and a member and later head of the Conservative Party – the majority party in the UK parliament and the party of government in the UK. When she said that Rostov and Voronezh were part of Ukraine, should we not have taken her seriously? Did you?

          • John Kinsella

            Hello Bayard.

            Andrei Gurulyov is a retired general and an MP for the Government Party in Russia.

            Do you not agree with his comments on State TV “We need to close the issue of the Ukraine ‘project’ once and for all! … Ukraine doesn’t exist! It’s Russian territory!”?

            Perhaps he will withdraw the statement and apologize? Like **** he will.

            It’s amusing when tankies here call Ukrainians Nazis but tolerate this kind of Fascistic crap.

            (I’m no admirer of the former English PM Liz Truss but her stupid error was a geographical one, not a claim to sovereignty over another country.)

            All the best,

          • Pigeon English


            what about many MP wanting Border on the Island of Ireland etc. or some Polish MEP arguing for dissolution of Russia.

          • Bayard

            JK, I don’t know who you are trying to impress with this “Oooh, look, a Russian MP said something stupid, and he’s a retired general, too!”, but it comes across to me like the sort of jeering used by arguing schoolboys, it just needs a “so nerrrr!” on the end to be complete.

            In any case, retired generals are even worse at saying stupid things than MPs, just look at what some of the US variety come out with. It would be laughable if you didn’t know that some people take these idiots seriously.

            To answer your question, unlike you, I do not view this war as a football match. Just because I oppose the foreign policy of the US doesn’t mean I support Russia right or wrong, so yes, it is regrettable that there are Russians who come up with that sort of crap, but then he is a politician and politicians, even Irish ones, have a great tendency to play to the gallery and say the things they know people want to hear.

        • Crispa

          My understanding of the snippet you link to is of a TV discussion clearly about the Ukraine situation in which Mr Gurulyov is agreeing with the idea of a suggested demilitarized zone of 100km as a barrier against the indiscriminate shelling of the of Donetsk, by the Ukrainian forces as they have been doing since 2014, and continue today without it having any military aim. It is simply done to terrorise the civilian population.
          He then argues that the problem with 100 km is that Ukraine will find longer range weapons to continue its acts of terror, which is clearly evidently already happening with USA supplying its HIMARS and the like. Go to 200km, 300 km then, as the situation stands with the apparently unceasing flow of weapons into Ukraine, the same will continue and the people of Donetsk will continue to suffer accordingly.
          Gurulyov was pointing out that the logic of that chain of events in which Russia has to push further and further into Ukraine in order to stop the shelling of Donetsk will be — no more Ukraine. He is contributing to a TV discussion not to a debate in the Duma. Context, as they say, is everything.

    • Tatyana

      What to expect during the war from a former general? There, in the US, Lindsey Graham called for the assassination of Putin, and that’s okay. Sabre-rattling. These are their roles.

      But it seems to me that swearing is not the kind of gratitude that a girl could express to an Internet provider for her country’s army, don’t you think so? Ah, I see you had little contact with the Ukrainians. Never mind, you still have a chance to find out why stereotypes in folklore are so persistent.

      • John Kinsella

        Hi Tatyana.
        Whats all that about “swearing is not the kind of gratitude that a girl could express to an Internet provider for her country’s army, don’t you think so? “.

        I don’t understand the reference?

        Do you agree with the opinions of the elected MP, Gurulyov? Surely not?

        All the best,

        • Tatyana

          Gurulev was talking about security, about the fact that anti-Russia is now criminally built in place of the richest and closest of the ex-USSR republics. Here is the exact quote:

          “The American project “Ukraine” must be completely closed, since this is Russian territory, which was formerly called the Soviet Union. There is a war with the USA, namely the war between Russia and the USA. We, unfortunately, are fighting it ourselves, and the Americans are using the hands of Ukrainians, Poles, and other шныри.”

          Wow, I tried to find a good translation for the last word, and I must say I looked for many suggestions from Google Translate, and found it unimpressive. We didn’t learn this sort of vocabulary in my English course 🙂

          Well, шнырь is a member of a criminal gang, lowest level in their hierarchy, mostly busy with insignificant tasks, like bringing coffee for boss, or spying on other gagsters.

          • John Kinsella

            Hi Tatyana.
            So Gurulev did say (as you quote him):
            “The American project “Ukraine” must be completely closed, since this is Russian territory, which was formerly called the Soviet Union”

            In particular that quote claims that Ukraine is Russian territory.

            Do you agree with that?

            All the best,

  • Chris. Terry

    The analysis is persuasive. It is also devastating. It accords to aspects of my experience. When very young I dubmiited a paper arguing for establishing shared values in NATO. The response was brusque. NATO was not about shared values nor cultural issues, it was about military Defense. That is now spelt o f f e n s e.. Is it conceivable that Russias vast reserves have lit fires in hearts and souls, if present, of those whose wealth requires world exploitation? Nothing left anywhere else? Wue sais je? One just wishes you were wrong? But it diesn‘t look like it.

    • Tatyana

      Chris Terry
      I feel like I’m the only female here in this discussion, so I feel it’s my ‘duty’ to say hello and welcome ?
      Just please take it right, I didn’t meet your name in the comments earlier; in my country’s culture it’s up to women to show politeness and welcoming; and I feel I should pay back to all kind folks saying same words to me, when I first time joined the discussion here.

  • portside

    “I also oppose NATO expansion which is an underlying cause of the war, and indeed oppose the existence of NATO itself.”

    It’s notable how the NATO fanatics in here just let this greatest of all heresies from CM slide. Much easier to shine against the barely coherent low lying fruit.

      • glenn_pt

        Utter nonsense, Craig actively encourages alternative views.

        Indeed, if you don’t agree (particularly as a prolific poster on this very topic) it would be positively cowardly not to do so.

        Nearly half of the posts on every page are from your good self, these days, and every one of them is embarrassingly pro-NATO. Forgive my saying so, but they read like press releases from a rather eager-to-please staff intern.

        Go for it, John – unless you lack the courage to test your facts and reasoning of course.

        • John Kinsella

          Hi glenn.

          Thanks for the advice! ?

          Craig rarely engages in debate here, his essays make that unnecessary I think.

          In the unlikely event that he were to comment on one of my posts I would be flattered.
          And would definitely reply.

          I am certainly not pro NATO.
          FWIW I would favour an EU defence alliance which cooperated with friendly countries for mutual support.
          That is likely far off but I would welcome it.

          As to your comments on my posts, how would you describe your own?

          All the best,

          • glenn_pt

            We were talking about making a post in response to the article, not just a response to a reply from Craig to one of your posts.

            Just a “misunderstanding” from you, naturally, and in no way yet another slippery attempt to avoid the question.

            So now that we have clarified the point, how about it? Why don’t you address Portside’s original question to you, which you ducked, and ducked again when I restated the question?

            Not to worry – it’s not a surprise or a disappointment. When you ducked the obvious comparison between Palestine and the Ukraine invasion and occupation, it was clear that there was no chance of a straight discussion to be had with you.

      • portside

        “Discourteous”? Everybody down here has commented directly on the blog above except you and Pears Morgaine. As for your denial of being pro NATO, that has the same degree of credibility as Pears Morgaine’s claim he opposed the Iraq war.

        • John Kinsella

          Hi portside.

          Why would an Irishman want his country to join NATO?

          I have explained my views above.

          What evidence do you have for your claim that I am pro NATO?

          All the best,

  • Tatyana

    I see you ask for help with translation. I could translate but I will not. Please understand my point:
    the source is uknown. I’ve no idea who they are and what is their level of responsibility. Something posted on Telegram channel. I googled for the name and they are sort of hacker groop.
    In the time like this, I try to do more ‘info hygiene’, to avoid spreading lies.

    I recall there were claims from Russian MoD that they got proof of Ukrainian offence planned for early March 2022. The news on biolabs and docs obtained from there got all my attention, so I didn’t follow the planned offence story. If the MoD shared it, I will find it. Give me time please.

    • AG

      Tatyana, sry.

      I certainly don´t want to put you in any uncomfortable position.

      But, I hope asking was ok.

      As to the labs. I followed it a bit, but the evidence as to there being anything out of the ordinary was so slim. But that was summer. So I could be wrong by now.

  • AG

    since this blog entry is originally concerning Seymour Hersh, here the latest, and first German, interview with Hersh, by BERLINER ZEITUNG.

    I didn´t check the translation result.
    So just in case the original:

    I had the impression Hersh now included a few new bits not in the original. Like the involvement of non-US secret services, to manage the deep sea diving and those agencies he won´t disclose at all. And more info on the special group organizing it in the White House.

    * * *

    14.2.23, Berliner Zeitung, by Fabian Scheidler

    (Scheidler I think is not regular staff but free-lancer with regular publications in Berliner Zeitung though. Regular staff has some quite anti-Russian writers who would better fit in a Cold War motion picture. But the publisher of Berliner Zeitung at least is a progressive and tries to bring in some dissent also, unlike most papers.Strange times.)

    Seymour Hersh interview: Joe Biden blasted Nord Stream because he didn’t trust Germany

    Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has published controversial research on the Nord Stream attack. We spoke with him. Interview.

    Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has published research according to which the attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines were instigated by the U.S. government with the support of Norway. In response to Hersh’s inquiry, the U.S. government and the CIA have denied his account. Many media outlets have accused Hersh of failing to disclose his anonymous source, making his claims unverifiable. Criticism was also formulated that the research was not coherent. Berlin-based journalist Fabian Scheidler spoke with Seymour Hersh for the Berliner Zeitung.

    Mr. Hersh, please explain your findings in detail. According to your source, what exactly happened, who was involved in the Nord Stream assassination and what were the motives?

    It was a story that was crying out to be told. At the end of September 2022, eight bombs were to be detonated near the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, six of them went off, in an area where it is quite shallow. They destroyed three of the four major pipelines of Nord Stream 1 and 2. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline has supplied Germany and other parts of Europe with very cheap natural gas for many years. And then it was blown up, as was Nord Stream 2, and the question was who did it and why. On February 7, 2022, just over two weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden said at a White House press conference he held with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that the U.S. would stop Nord Stream.

    Biden literally said, “If Russia invades, there will be no more Nord Stream 2, we will put an end to the project.” And when a reporter asked how exactly he planned to do that, given that the project was primarily under German control, Biden said only, “I promise we’ll be able to do it.”

    His deputy secretary of state, Victoria Nuland, who was deeply involved in the events of the Maidan revolution in 2014, had made similar comments a few weeks earlier.

    You say that the decision to shut down the pipeline was made even earlier by President Biden. You write in your report that in December 2021, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan convened a meeting of the newly formed task force of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, the State Department, and the Treasury Department. They write, “Sullivan wanted the group to come up with a plan to destroy the two Nord Stream pipelines.”

    This group was originally convened to study the problem. They met in a very secret office. Right next to the White House there’s an office building, the Executive Office Building, it’s connected underground by a tunnel to the White House. And at the very top is an office for a secret outside group of advisors called the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. I mentioned that to signal to people in the White House that I had information. So the meeting was called to look at what we would do if Russia went to war.

    This was three months before the war, before Christmas of 2021. It was a high-level group that probably had a different name, I just called it the Interagency Group, I don’t know the official name, if there was one. It was the CIA and the National Security Agency, which monitors and intercepts communications, the State Department and the Treasury Department, which provides money. And probably a few other organizations that were involved. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were also represented. The point was to make recommendations on how to stop Russia, either with reversible measures, such as further sanctions and economic pressure, or with irreversible, ”kinetic” measures, such as blasts.

    I don’t want to go into any more detail here or talk about any particular meeting because I have to protect my source. I don’t know how many people participated, you know what I mean?

    They had a way. There were people there who knew about what we call in America “mine warfare.” In the United States Navy, there are units that deal with submarines, there is also a nuclear command. And there is a mine command. The area of underwater mines is very important, and we have trained specialists in that. A key place for their training is a little resort town called Panama City in the middle of nowhere in Florida. We train and deploy very good people there. Underwater mine specialists have great importance, for example, to clear blocked entrances to ports and blow up things that are in the way. They can also blow up a particular country’s underwater petroleum pipelines. It’s not always good things that they do, but they work absolutely in secret.

    It was clear to the White House group that they could blow up the pipelines. There is an explosive called C4 that is incredibly powerful, especially at the quantity they use. It can be remotely controlled with underwater sonar devices. These sonar devices send out signals at low frequencies. So it was possible, and that was communicated to the White House in early January, because two or three weeks later, the Under Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, said we could do it. I think that was on January 20th. And then the President, when he held the press conference with the German Chancellor on February 7, 2022, also said we could do it.

    The German Chancellor didn’t say anything concrete then, he was very vague. One question I would like to ask Scholz if I were chairing a parliamentary hearing is this: Did Joe Biden tell you about this? Did he tell you at the time why he was so confident that he could destroy the pipeline? We as Americans did not have a plan worked out at that time, but we knew we had the capability to do it.

    You write that Norway played a role. To what extent was the country involved – and why would the Norwegians do such a thing?

    Norway is a great maritime nation, and they have energy resources in the deep. They are also very keen to increase their natural gas supplies to Western Europe and Germany. And they have done that, they have increased their exports. So why shouldn’t they join forces with the U.S. for economic reasons? There is also a pronounced hostility toward Russia in Norway.

    In your article, you write that Norwegian intelligence and the navy were involved. You also say that Sweden and Denmark were informed to some extent, but did not learn everything.

    I was told, “They did what they did, and they knew what they were doing, and they understood what was going on, but maybe nobody ever said yes.” I worked a lot on this issue with the people I talked to. Anyway, for this mission to happen, the Norwegians had to find the right place. The divers who were trained in Panama City could dive down to 100 meters without heavy equipment. The Norwegians found us a site off the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea that was only 260 feet (about 80 meters) deep, so they could operate there.

    The divers had to return up slowly, there was a decompression chamber, and we used a Norwegian submarine hunter. Only two divers were used for the four pipelines. One problem was how to deal with the people monitoring the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea is very thoroughly monitored, there’s a lot of freely available data, so we took care of that, there were three or four different people for that. And what was done then is very simple. For 21 years, our Sixth Fleet, which controls the Mediterranean Sea and also the Baltic Sea, has conducted an exercise for the NATO navies in the Baltic Sea every summer (BALTOPS, editor’s note). We send an aircraft carrier and other large ships to these exercises. And for the first time in history, the NATO operation in the Baltics had a new program. It was to be a twelve-day exercise to drop and detect mines. A number of nations sent out mine teams, one group dropped a mine, and another mine team went out and searched and blew it up.

    So there was a time when things blew up, and during that time the deep-sea divers could operate, and they put the mines on the pipelines. The two pipelines run about a mile apart, they’re a little bit under the silt on the ocean floor, but they’re not hard to get to, and the divers had practiced it. It only took a couple of hours to place the bombs.

    So that was in June 2022?

    Yes, they did it toward the end of the exercise. But at the last minute, the White House got nervous. The president said he was afraid to do it. He changed his mind and gave new orders, so they had the ability to detonate the bombs remotely at any time. You do it with a normal sonar, a Raytheon product by the way, you fly over the site and drop a cylinder. It sends a low frequency signal, you can describe it as a flute sound, you can set different frequencies.

    The concern, though, was that the bombs wouldn’t work if they stayed in the water too long, which was actually going to be the case with two bombs. So there was concern within the group about finding the right means, and we actually had to turn to other intelligence agencies, which I deliberately didn’t write about.

    And then what happened? The explosive devices were planted, and they found a way to control them remotely.

    Joe Biden decided back in June not to blow them up, it was five months into the war. But in September, he ordered it done. The operational staff, the people who do “kinetic” things for the United States, they do what the president says, and they initially thought this was a useful weapon that he could use in negotiations. But at some point, after the Russians invaded and then when the operation was completed, the whole thing became increasingly repugnant to the people who were doing it. These were people who were in top positions in the intelligence agencies and were well trained. They turned against the project, they thought it was crazy.

    Shortly after the attack, after they had done what they were ordered to do, there was a lot of anger among those involved about the operation and rejection. That is one of the reasons I learned so much. And I will tell you something else. The people in America and Europe who build pipelines know what happened. I’ll tell you something important. The people who own companies that build pipelines know the story. I didn’t learn the story from them, but I quickly learned that they know it.

    Let’s go back to this situation in June of last year. President Joe Biden decided not to do it directly and postponed it.

    Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a press conference a few days after the pipelines were blown up that Putin had been deprived of an important power factor. He said the destruction of the pipelines was a tremendous opportunity-an opportunity to take away Russia’s ability to use the pipelines as a weapon. The point was that Russia could no longer pressure Western Europe to stop supporting the United States in the Ukraine war. The fear was that Western Europe would no longer participate.

    I think the reason for this decision was that the war was not going well for the West and they were afraid of the approaching winter. Nord Stream 2 was put on hold by Germany itself, not by international sanctions, and the U.S. was afraid that Germany would lift sanctions because of a cold winter.

    What do you think are the motives for the attack? After all, the U.S. government was against the pipeline for many reasons. Some say it was against it because it wanted to weaken Russia or to weaken relations between Russia and Western Europe, especially Germany. But perhaps also to weaken the German economy, which is, after all, a competitor of the U.S. economy. High gas prices have caused companies to move to the United States. What is your view of the U.S. government’s motives?

    I don’t think they’ve thought this through thoroughly. I know that sounds strange. I don’t think Secretary of State Blinken and some others in the government are deep thinkers. There are certainly people in the American business community who like the idea of us becoming more competitive. We sell liquefied natural gas (LNG) at extremely high profits; we make a lot of money on it.

    I’m sure there were some people who thought: Boy, this is going to give the American economy a long-term boost. But in the White House, I think they were always obsessed with reelection, and they wanted to win the war, they wanted to win a victory, they wanted Ukraine to somehow magically win. There might be some people who think that maybe it’s better for our economy if the German economy is weak, but that’s crazy. I think that we have gotten ourselves into something that is not going to work, the war is not going to end well for this government.

    How do you think this war might end?

    It doesn’t matter what I think. What I do know is that there is no way this war is going to end the way we want it to end, and I don’t know what we are going to do as we look further into the future. It scares me that the President was willing to do something like this. And the people who carried out this mission believed that the President was aware of what he was doing to the people of Germany, that he was punishing them for a war that was not going well. And in the long run, this will not only damage his reputation as President, but it will be very damaging politically. It will be a stigma for the United States.

    The White House was concerned that it would be on the losing end, that Germany and Western Europe would stop supplying the weapons that we wanted, and that the German Chancellor might restart the pipeline – that was a big concern in Washington. I would ask Chancellor Scholz a lot of questions. I would ask him what he learned in February when he was with the President. The operation was top secret, and the President wasn’t supposed to tell anybody about our capability, but he likes to chat, he sometimes says things he shouldn’t say.

    Your story was reported rather cautiously and critically in German media. Some attacked your reputation or said you had only one anonymous source and that was not reliable.

    How could I talk about my source? I have written many stories based on unnamed sources. If I named anyone, they would be fired or, even worse, jailed. The law is very strict. I have never debunked anyone, and when I write, of course I say, as I did in this article, that it is a source, period. Over the years, the stories I have written have always been accepted.

    How did you check your facts?

    I worked with equally experienced fact-checkers for the current story as I used to have at the New Yorker. Of course, there are many ways to fact-check obscure information that is shared with me. Moreover, the personal attacks on me miss the point. The point is that Biden has decided to let the Germans freeze this winter. The President of the United States would rather have Germany freeze than have Germany potentially stop supporting Ukraine, and that to me is a devastating thing for this White House.

    The point is also that this can be perceived as an act of war not only against Russia but also against Western allies, particularly Germany.

    I would put it more simply. The people who were involved in the operation saw that the President wanted to freeze Germany for his short-term political goals, and that horrified them. I am talking about Americans here who are very loyal to the United States. At the CIA, as I put it in my article, you work for power, not for the Constitution.

    The political advantage of the CIA is that a president who can’t get his plans through Congress can go for a walk with the CIA director in the White House Rose Garden and plan something secret that can hit a lot of people on the other side of the Atlantic-or wherever in the world. That has always been the CIA’s unique selling point-which I have my problems with. But even this community is appalled that Biden has decided to expose Europe to the cold in order to support a war that he is not going to win. That, to me, is nefarious.

    You said in your article that the planning of the attack was not reported to Congress, as is required for other covert operations.

    It was also not reported to many places within the military. There were people in other places who should have been informed but were not. The operation was very secret.

    What role does courage play for you in your profession?

    What is courageous about telling the truth? Our job is not to be afraid. And sometimes it gets ugly. There have been times in my life when … – you know, I don’t talk about it. But threats are not made to people like me, but to the children of people like me. There have been terrible things. But you don’t worry about it, you can’t. You just have to do what you do.

    Interview: Fabian Scheidler

      • Tatyana

        Just in case someone can confirm – is it true that Pussy Riot refused to perform together with Anna Netrebko 🙂 because 🙂 she is a worl wide famous opera Diva and they are politically promoted second-rate clowns Russian?
        BBC doesn’t work for me, can please someone check? Wiesbaden music festival it must be,%D0%BF%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%86%D0%B0%20%D0%B8%D0%B7%20%D0%A0%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%81%D0%B8%D0%B8%20%D0%90%D0%BD%D0%BD%D0%B0%20%D0%9D%D0%B5%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B1%D0%BA%D0%BE.

        • AG

          if I understand this ridiculous PR show correctly:
          Netrebko was invited – this was criticized but the festival argued there was no reason to cancel Netrebko´s appearance (wow! still some balls left) – the governor then refused to be further affiliated with this festival – two Ukrainian ensembles appear to have declined to come because Netrebko was still scheduled – then Pussy Riot (of all unnecessary groups) was asked – then Pussy Riot found out about Netrebko and the Ukrainians who were asked originally, and then Pussy Riot refused to come because they did not want to be replacements for the Ukrainians and because of Netrebko and allegedly pulled out out of solidarity.

          At least this is the official version.

          • Tatyana

            Anna Netrebko was born in my city 🙂 that’s why I’m interested. Of course, her voice is great but I’m not much of opera fan. Just was curious what sort of a festival may invite Netrebko and Pussy Riot? Looks like extremely strange casting. Or, perhaps it’s something other than a music festival maybe, because Pussy Riot is very far from music.

          • Tatyana

            by the way, Verzilov formed Pussy Riot in Moscow as a branch of the Voina of St. Petersburg. Voina had some strange provocative performances, one of which was to put a chicken in their vagina in public at the supermarket. This is very strange art, to put it mildly. The report is available, for those who want to see photos 🙂

            Well, I want to say that the lady with chicken never went to prison, she is radical feminist now, writes poetry etc. If someone tells you that Russia is a totalitarian state, don’t belive it 🙂 Try do the same perfomance in your country and compare the outcome.

        • John Kinsella

          Hi Tatyana.
          Anna Netrebko appears to be a supporter of Putin though equivocal on his invasion of Ukraine.

          “In 2011, she rejected claims that she and Putin had formerly been romantically involved, though she said “I’d have loved to have been … he’s a very attractive man. Such a strong, male energy.”[150]

          In December 2014, she gave a ₽1,000,000 cheque to Oleg Tsaryov saying she was donating to the Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, and posed alongside him with a flag of Novorossiya, a self-proclaimed confederation in Ukraine.[151][152][153] Tsaryov is one of the individuals sanctioned by the European Union for his role in the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine.[154] Netrebko said in a statement, “I want to make clear, however, that this donation is not a political act.”[154][155]

          Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Netrebko has held varying public stances. In late February, she said on social media that she opposed the invasion, but subsequently described people who forced her to express her political position as “human s***s” who “are as evil as blind aggressors.”[144] After her second statement on 30 March 2022, where she repeated her condemnation of the war in Ukraine, distancing herself from Putin,[156] the Putin-controlled Russian Duma denounced her a traitor to her nation.[157]”

          She is ducking and diving, having her cake and eating it.

          Tough tits (as it were). ?

          All the best,

  • AG

    this is a critique of Hersh´s by Pepe Escobar (who is this guy anyway?)

    I don´t agree with Escobar but the info is interesting, re: Biden´s team with hyperlinks.

    (Hersh´s agenda is just entirely different than the author´s. In fact Escobar is more “Kahn”-like than Hersh ever was. Hersh is a down-to-earth kid without any Stanford credentials that would deform his sound logic. And he never claimed to be more than what he was. Of course he has to be a salesman. But that shouldn´t concern the integrity of the work in itself. And after all this is not mathematics. This is working with and trusting human beings. The most obvious things being obfuscated by these superficial overblown pseudo-geopolitics. Of course China is the bigger issue. But that´s simply not what Hersh was after. And there is nothing wrong with that.)

    • AG


      thx Mrs. T.! (you know “Mr.T”)…

      Some homework now.

      p.s. since I am not so good with forum rules here – what could CM mind? So I don´t do anything dumb by accident. After all I´m German, and clearly, we are messing up things all the time.

      • Tatyana

        I think it maybe a bit impolite to use Mr. Murray’s website for personal communication. I hope he doesn’t mind, after all we bring info for everyone here to see.
        Anyway, AG, I’ve got a personal page with my contact info, feel free to email or WhatApp me. My time is Moscow time. I’d be happy to help with research and translation

  • AG

    German philosopher Jürgen Habermas published his “plea” for peace.

    Haven´t had time to read it yet. I doubt it´s in any way revolutionary.

    But some of you might wanna read it. It´s the kind of stuff you would find on the NYT front page.

    It was published in bilingual version from the start:

    * * *

    “A Plea for Negotiations”

    The West has good reasons for supplying weapons to Ukraine: But this entails shared responsibility for the further course of the war.
    Op-Ed by Jürgen Habermas
    14th of February 2023

    The decision to supply Leopard tanks had just been hailed as “historic”, and the news was already overtaken – and relativized – by vociferous demands for combat aircraft, long-range missiles, warships and submarines. The appeals for help, as dramatic as they are understandable, from a Ukraine invaded in violation of international law met with the expected response in the West. The only novel aspect was the acceleration of the familiar game of morally indignant calls for more powerful weapons and for the duly delivered repeated, albeit hesitant, upgrading of the promised weapon types.

    Also from circles within the German Social Democratic Party it was now rumoured that there were no “red lines”. With the exception of the Chancellor and his entourage, the government, the political parties and the press are almost united in taking to heart the imploring words of the Lithuanian foreign minister: “We must conquer the fear of defeating Russia.” The vague prospect of a “victory” that can mean all sorts of things is supposed to obviate any further discussion of the goal of our military assistance – and of how to achieve it. Thus, the armament process seems to be acquiring a momentum of its own. Although prompted by the very understandable urging of the Ukrainian government, it is being driven in Germany by the bellicose tenor of an almost uniform published opinion, in which the hesitance and reflection of half of the German population do not have a voice.

    Or perhaps this is not entirely true. In the meantime, thoughtful voices are making themselves heard not only to defend the Chancellor’s stance but also to plead for public reflection on the difficult path to negotiations. If I add my voice to these, then it is precisely because the statement: “Ukraine must not lose the war!” is correct. My concern is with the preventive character of timely negotiations, negotiations that prevent a prolonged war from claiming even more lives and causing even more destruction, and from presenting us in the end with a hopeless choice: either to intervene actively in the war or to leave Ukraine to its fate in order not to trigger the first world war between nuclear-armed powers.

    The war is dragging on, the scale of the destruction is increasing and the casualties are mounting. Should the momentum of the military assistance we have provided for good reasons now shed its defensive character because victory over Putin is the only possible goal? Washington and the governments of the other Nato member states were in agreement from the outset to stop short of the point of no return – entry into the war.

    The evidently not only technically, but also strategically, motivated hesitancy that Chancellor Scholz encountered on the part of the U.S. President already at the prospect of delivering battle tanks provided further confirmation of this premise of the Western assistance to Ukraine. Until now, the main focus of Western concern has been on the problem that it is entirely up to the Russian leadership to define at what point it considers the extent and quality of Western arms deliveries to constitute entering into war.

    But since China has also declared its opposition to the use of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, this concern has receded into the background. Therefore, Western governments should shift their concern to another aspect of this problem. From the perspective of victory at any cost, the increase in the quality of our arms deliveries has acquired a momentum of its own that could propel us more or less imperceptibly over the threshold of a Third World War. Therefore, “one should not strangle any debate about when partisanship could actually turn into becoming a party to the conflict by arguing that even to conduct such a debate is to do Russia’s business” (as Kurt Kister wrote in the feature pages of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, February 11/12, 2023).

    Only Ukraine can decide the timing and goal of possible negotiations? That’s inconsistent

    Sleepwalking on the edge of the abyss is becoming a real danger especially because the Western alliance is not only strengthening Ukraine’s hand, but is tirelessly reiterating that it will support the Ukrainian government for “as long as necessary” and that the Ukrainian government alone can decide the timing and goal of possible negotiations. This protestation is meant to discourage opponents, but it is inconsistent and obscures differences that are obvious. Above all, it can lead us to deceive ourselves about the need to take our own initiatives for negotiations.

    On the one hand, it is a truism that only a party involved in the war can determine its war objective and, if necessary, the timing of negotiations. On the other hand, how long Ukraine can hold out at all also depends on Western support.

    The West also has legitimate interests and obligations of its own. The Western governments are operating on a wider geopolitical scale and must take other interests into account besides those of Ukraine in this war. They have legal obligations to the security needs of their own citizens and also, quite independently of the attitudes of the Ukrainian population, share moral responsibility for casualties and destruction caused by weapons from the West. Therefore, they cannot also shift to the Ukrainian government the responsibility for the brutal consequences of a prolongation of hostilities that is only possible due to their military support.

    The fact that the West itself cannot avoid making, and taking responsibility for, important decisions is also evident from the situation it fears most – namely, the aforementioned scenario in which Russian military superiority would confront it with the alternative of either caving in or becoming a party to the war.

    It is important that the distinction between “not losing” and “winning” does not already separate pacifists from non-pacifists

    Also for reasons closer to home, such as the exhaustion of human reserves and material resources necessary for the war, the time for negotiations is pressing. The time factor is likewise playing a role in the beliefs and dispositions among the broader populations of Western countries. In this context, it is too easy to reduce the positions on the contentious issue of the timing of negotiations to the simple opposition between morality and self-interest. It is primarily moral reasons that are pressing for an end to the war.

    Thus, the duration of the war influences the perspectives from which populations perceive it. The longer a war lasts, the more insistently the perception of the exploding violence characteristic of modern wars in particular imposes itself and determines the perspective on the relationship between war and peace in general. I am interested in these perspectives with a view to the discussion that is gradually beginning in Germany about the point and the possibility of peace negotiations.

    Already at the beginning of the war in Ukraine, two perspectives from which we regard and evaluate wars found expression in our country in the controversy over two vague but competing formulations of the war aim: Is the aim of our arms deliveries that Ukraine “must not lose” the war, or are they not rather aimed at achieving a “victory” over Russia?

    This conceptually ambivalent difference has little to do with taking sides for or against pacifism. Although the pacifist movement that emerged at the end of the 19th century politicized the violent dimension of wars, the issue driving the movement was not the gradual overcoming of wars as a means of settling international conflicts, but the refusal to take up arms in the first place. In this respect, pacifism plays no role for the two perspectives that are differentiated by the weights they attach to the victims of war.

    This is important because the subtle rhetorical distinction between the expressions “not losing” the war and “winning” the war does not already separate pacifists from non-pacifists. Today, it also marks oppositions within the political camp that considers the Western alliance to be not only justified in supporting, but is also politically obligated to support, Ukraine with arms deliveries, logistical support and civilian services in its courageous struggle against an attack, conducted in violation of international law and even in a criminal manner, on the existence and independence of a sovereign state.

    For months the front has been frozen. It reminds us of the western front in 1916

    This partisanship is connected with sympathy for the suffering of a population which, after many centuries of Polish and Russian, and also Austrian foreign domination, only achieved independent statehood with the fall of the Soviet Union. Ukraine is the latest of all among the “delayed” European nations. It is still a nation in the making.

    But the broad camp of emphatic supporters of Ukraine is also currently divided over the right moment for peace negotiations. One side identifies with the Ukrainian government’s demand for military support, increasing without limit, to defeat Russia and thus restore the country’s territorial integrity, including Crimea. The other side wants to push for attempts to bring about a cease-fire and negotiations that would at least avert a possible defeat by restoring the status quo ante of February 23, 2022. The pros and cons of these positions reflect historical experiences.

    It is not a coincidence that this smouldering conflict is now pressing for clarification. The front has been frozen for months. Under the headline “The War of Attrition Favours Russia” for example, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (of January 25, 2023) reports on the static warfare around Bachmut in the northern region of the Donbass involving heavy losses for both sides, and quotes the harrowing statement of a senior Nato official: “It looks like Verdun there.” Comparisons with that gruesome battle, the longest and most deadly of the First World War, are of only remote relevance for the Ukraine war, and only insofar as prolonged static warfare without major shifts in the front lines, in contrast to the “meaningful” political goal of the war, makes us aware above all of the suffering of its victims. Sonja Zekri’s harrowing report on the front (Süddeutsche Zeitung, February 3, 2023), which does not conceal its sympathies but does not gloss over anything either, is indeed reminiscent of depictions of the horror on the western front in 1916. Soldiers “at each other’s throats”, mountains of dead and wounded, the rubble of homes, clinics and schools – in other words, the obliteration of civilized life – this reflects the destructive core of the war, which puts our foreign minister’s statement that “our arms deliveries are protecting human lives” in a different light.

    To the extent that the casualties and destruction of war force themselves on our attention as such, the other side of war comes to the fore – then it is not only a means of defence against an unscrupulous aggressor; the course of the war itself is experienced as crushing violence that should cease as soon as possible. And the more the weights shift from the one aspect to the other, the more clearly this sense that there should not be war imposes itself. In wars, the desire to overcome the enemy has always been combined with the desire to end death and destruction. And as the “devastation” has increased along with the potency of the weapons, the relative weights of these two aspects have also shifted.

    The West must never forget the number of victims that is accepted for the sake of the legitimate objective

    The barbaric experiences of the two world wars and the nervous tension of the Cold War had generally given rise to a latent conceptual shift in the minds of the affected populations during the past century. They had often unconsciously drawn the conclusion from their experiences that wars – this hitherto self-evident mode of conducting and resolving international conflicts – were absolutely incompatible with the standards of civilized coexistence.

    The violent character of war had, in a sense, lost its aura of naturalness. This broad-based change in consciousness also left its mark on legal developments. International humanitarian law prohibiting war crimes already represented a not very successful attempt to tame the use of violence in war. But at the end of the Second World War, the violence of war itself was to be pacified by legal means and replaced by law as the only mode of interstate conflict resolution. The United Nations Charter, which came into force on October 24, 1945, and the establishment of the International Court of Justice in The Hague revolutionized international law. Article 2 of the UN Charter obliges all states to settle their international disputes by peaceful means. It was the shock of the violent excesses of war that give birth to this revolution.

    The eloquent moving words of the preamble reflect the horror at the sight of the victims of the Second World War. The key statement is the call to “unite our strength … to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest” – that is, in the interest of the citizens of all states and all societies in the world, as spelled out in international law. This consideration for the victims of war explains, on the one hand, the abolition of the ius ad bellum, that is, of the ominous “right” of sovereign states to wage war at will; but it also explains why the ethically based doctrine of just war has by no means been renewed, but has instead been abolished except for the right of self-defence of the attacked. The various measures against acts of aggression listed in Chapter VII are directed against war as such, and in the language of law alone. For this, the moral content inherent in modern international law itself is sufficient.

    It is in the light of this development that I understood the formulation that Ukraine “must not lose the war”. For I interpret the moment of restraint as a warning that the West, which is enabling Ukraine to continue the fight against a criminal aggressor, must neither forget the number of victims, nor the risk to which the possible victims are exposed, nor the extent of the actual and potential destruction that is accepted with a heavy heart for the sake of the legitimate objective. Even the most altruistic supporter is not relieved of the responsibility to weigh up this proportionality.

    The hesitant formulation “must not lose” calls into question a friend-foe perspective that regards the belligerent resolution of international conflicts as “natural” and without alternative, even in the 21st century. A war, and all the more so the war started by Putin, is a symptom of a regression behind the historically achieved level of civilized interaction between powers – especially between powers that have been able to learn their lesson from the two world wars. If the outbreak of armed conflict cannot be prevented by painful sanctions, sanctions that are also painful for the defenders of violated international law themselves, the requisite alternative – compared with a continuation of war with ever more victims – is to seek tolerable compromises.

    The Western alliance’s mistake was to deliberately keep Russia in the dark about the goal of its military support from the outset

    The objection is obvious: At present, there is no sign that Putin is willing to engage in negotiations. Doesn’t he have to be forced to relent by military means for this reason alone? Moreover, he has taken decisions that make it almost impossible to enter into promising negotiations. Because with the annexation of the eastern provinces of Ukraine, he has created facts and cemented claims that are unacceptable to Ukraine.

    On the other hand, this was perhaps a response, however ill-advised, to the Western alliance’s mistake of deliberately keeping Russia in the dark about the goal of its military support from the outset. For that left open the prospect of regime change, which was unacceptable to Putin. In contrast, the stated goal of restoring the status quo ante as of February 23, 2022, would have facilitated the subsequent path to negotiations. But both sides wanted to discourage each other by driving ambitious and seemingly immovable stakes into the ground. These are not promising conditions, but neither are they hopeless.

    For apart from the human lives that war claims with each passing day, there is an increasing cost in material resources that cannot be replaced to an arbitrary extent. And the clock is ticking for the Biden administration, too. This thought alone should prompt us to press for energetic attempts to start negotiations and search for a compromise solution that would not give the Russian side any territorial gain beyond the status quo before the beginning of the war and yet would allow it to save face.

    Apart from the fact that Western heads of government such as Scholz and Macron maintain telephone contact with Putin, the U.S. government, which is apparently divided on this question, cannot maintain the formal role of an uninvolved party. A tenable negotiated outcome cannot be embedded in the context of far-reaching agreements without the involvement of the United States. Both warring parties are interested in this. This applies to security guarantees that the West must provide for Ukraine. But it also applies to the principle that the overthrow of an authoritarian regime is credible and stable only to the extent that it is driven by its own population, and hence enjoys internal support.

    In general, the war has focused attention on an acute need for regulation in the entire Central and Eastern European region, which extends beyond the objects of contention of the warring parties. Eastern Europe expert and former director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, Hans-Henning Schröder, has pointed (in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of January 24, 2023) to the agreements on disarmament and economic framework conditions without which there cannot be a stable agreement between the immediate parties. Putin could take credit for the very willingness of the United States to engage in such negotiations of geopolitical scope.

    Precisely because the conflict affects a broader network of interests, it cannot be ruled out from the outset that a compromise that saves face for both sides could also be found for the present diametrically opposed demands.

    Translated by Ciaran Cronin

  • John Kinsella

    A question that I have not seen asked or answered.

    What negative consequences would have followed for Russia or even for Putin if he had not invaded in February 2022?

    Of course he would have looked foolish if he had simply withdrawn his 100,000+ troops and repeated his lie that they were there for army exercises.

    But think of the 100’s of thousands now dead who would now be alive.

    Think of the continued good relations with Germany, Italy, Serbia, Hungary etc. Even France and England.

    So what would Putin have lost if he hadn’t invaded?

    Good night.


    • Bayard

      “But think of the 100’s of thousands now dead who would now be alive.”

      You’re not listening, are you? The hundreds of thousands of dead are almost entirely a result of the failure of the peace talks in March, not of the invasion in February.

      • John Kinsella


        You said that “The hundreds of thousands of dead are almost entirely a result of the failure of the peace talks in March, not of the invasion in February.”

        That’s callous and untrue and denies Putin agency and responsibility for his actions,

        The 100’s of thousands now dead would be alive if Putin hadn’t invaded a year ago.


        • Bayard

          “The 100’s of thousands now dead would be alive if Putin hadn’t invaded a year ago.”

          So would they be if there hadn’t been a coup in 2014, but they also would be if Russia and Ukraine had made peace in April 2020. Every disaster that is not a natural one has a tail of causes stretching long into the past, all of which would have prevented it happening. Of course you can cherry pick the cause that is dearest to your heart and say that was THE cause, but it doesn’t make it the actual cause.

          “That’s callous and untrue and denies Putin agency and responsibility for his actions,”

          That’s only a problem, if, like you, you want to make out this is all Putin’s fault. Otherwise it’s just logic.

  • kashmiri

    Hersh’s revelation is based on a SINGLE source whose credibility cannot be independently assessed. Hersh assumes that everything that his source said is true, and does not try to corroborate or cross-check the received confidential information with other sources.

    A source that in the times of war spreads this type of potentially damaging information – damaging to own country – doesn’t look overly reliable to me.

    The US may or may not be the perpetrator. But we need evidence, not conjecture.

      • AG

        Pears Morgaine

        You may very well discard this:

        But I find it interesting that just today US-publication Responsible Statecraft does cover Hersh, more than 1 week after his text came out:

        “The Sy Hersh effect: killing the messenger, ignoring the message – Major media are disregarding questions raised by the embattled veteran muckraker: did the US destroy the pipeline? if not who did?”

        It is also quoting senior RS-staff member George Beebe, who came to RS April 2022, and who is a former Russia analyst with the CIA, formerly on the staff of Cheney´s etc.

        Had Beebe´s network of informal contacts from his government years suggested Hersh is a complete idiot and the story complete humbug, Beebe might have as well suggested to his staff at RS to let go the story and ignore it. After more than 7 days of silence over it. No one would have been surprised. But they did not.

        p.s. Unless the pipelines had their own mind and went off by themselves (like the talking star destroying bombs in the 1974 Sci-Fi satire “Dark Star”) someone must have done it.

      • Crispa

        That comment is an insult to Hersh and his achievements.
        In his interviews Hersh has avoided any discussion about his source because, as he states, the intelligence authorities are very good at tracking whistleblowers down. He explains that he has had his story corroborated from several sources and goes so far as to suggest that what happened is an open secret amongst the network members of the undersea pipe – laying fraternity, who have the knowledge and expertise to put two and two together. To them it was always a question of the “bleedin’ obvious” as to “who dunnit”.

    • Jack

      Of course there is 1 single source, because this is a leak from perhaps the biggest covert operation in modern time – how many sources do you believe are willing to come forward to speak on this crime? Of course majority of those involved will stay shut.
      Hersh does not work for the US government by the way: he is a journalist who is interested in finding out the truth about world events. Read his latest post on Substack where he speak on this.

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