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Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

Massive Corruption Scandal In Ukraine

Posted by M. C. on January 25, 2023

You can make a buck selling US taxpayer funded arms. I hear the Swiss real estate market is booming also.

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Laurels for Sanity on Ukraine – The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on January 25, 2023


Sohrab Ahmari

The world is fast approaching the one-year anniversary of Russia’s—awful, no-good—invasion of Ukraine. The tragedy was soon compounded by Western leaders and media warmongers taking a highly simplistic ideological approach to a complex conflict. Sobriety and restraint went out the window, as foreign policy establishments soon forgot the wreckage of Afghanistan and Iraq, and set out on a new proxy war—this time against the country with the world’s largest nuclear arsenal and most valuable energy reserves.

Readers of this column, and this magazine, have already been treated to plenty able critiques of this approach. So it is worth taking a different tack now: by handing out laurels to the few dissident voices who, resisting enormous pressure to the contrary, have spoken out for realism and restraint and against mindless escalation over the past year.

First up, a laurel to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, for recently hitting the breaks on deliveries of advanced artillery—specifically, the Leopard 2 tank—to Ukraine. Yes, it is true that Berlin won’t get in the way of others, such as Poland, dispatching the same hardware to the battle zone. But even this minor, and mostly symbolic, dilatory gesture on Scholz’s part suggests that there is some limit to how far the most important country on the Continent will go in fueling a Russo-European war.

And let us hand one to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, for pursuing a nimble strategy when his neighbors have given in to hysteria. Orbán and his nation are as wary as anyone else in Central and Eastern Europe of Russian imperialism. But Orbán doesn’t believe that the West can or should transform an intra-Slavic conflict into an all-out, ideological war. He has also warned that Europe can’t win an energy war against Russia—not without devastating her own industrial base and working class. As he told me in an interview in September, “If someone believes you can beat Russia, and change things in Moscow, it is a pure mistake.”

Closer to home, a laurel to Senator Josh Hawley, for questioning the seemingly limitless amounts of U.S. taxpayer dollars his fellow lawmakers are prepared to spend on a proxy war against Moscow. In May, the Missouri populist voted no on a $40 billion package (since then the total aid has added up to some $100 billion). “This package,” he explained, “treats Ukraine as a client state of America, a fraught relationship that will put us on the hook for financing the war and then the reconstruction. If this isn’t a classic case of misplaced priorities, I don’t know what is.”

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Let’s Nuke The World Over Who Governs Crimea: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Posted by M. C. on January 23, 2023

Literally the only reason mainstream westerners are fine with the US empire’s nuclear brinkmanship with Russia is because most don’t understand it, and those who do understand it don’t think very hard about it. They avoid contemplating what nuclear war is and what it would mean.

Caitlin Johnstone

Critics of the US empire have spent months compiling mountains of evidence showing that the empire knowingly provoked the war in Ukraine. Supporters of the US empire have spent months posting dog memes and accusing strangers of being paid by Putin. It’s clear who’s in the right.

So does everyone else in the world get a vote on whether their lives should be risked in an offensive to control who governs Crimea? Or will the Biden administration just be making that call on behalf of all living creatures?

It’s so crazy how the fate of everyone alive and everyone who could potentially be born in the future is riding on the way two governments choose to navigate a conflict in Ukraine, just because those two governments have most of the world’s nuclear weapons. It’s like two people in a bar getting into a brawl that kills everyone in their city. Nobody else in the world gets a vote on the decisions being made that could kill everyone alive and end humanity forever; just a few people within those two governments and their militaries.

The US empire is telling Moscow “I’m the craziest motherfucker around, I’ll keep ramping up the brinkmanship looking you right in the eye and daring you to use nukes,” while telling the rest of the world “I am the voice of sanity that you should all look to for leadership.”

One of the empire’s faces is the virtuous upholder of freedom and democracy, while the other face puts on an intimidating show of viciousness like a prisoner biting off someone’s cheek in the prison yard. At least one of those faces is necessarily lying.

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US May Help Ukraine Launch An Offensive On Crimea

Posted by M. C. on January 20, 2023

def: Help, Your money and Your children’s lives

Caitlin Johnstone

In a new article titled “U.S. Warms to Helping Ukraine Target Crimea,” the New York Times reports that the Biden administration now believes Kyiv may need to launch an offensive on the territory that Moscow has considered a part of the Russian Federation since 2014, “even if such a move increases the risk of escalation.”

Citing unnamed US officials, The New York Times says “the Biden administration does not think that Ukraine can take Crimea militarily,” but that “Russia needs to believe that Crimea is at risk, in part to strengthen Ukraine’s position in any future negotiations.”

It’s hard to imagine a full-scale assault on geostrategically crucial territory long considered a part of the Russian homeland not causing a major escalation. And as Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp notes, smaller attacks on Crimea have indeed seen significant escalations from Moscow, contrary to claims laid out in the NYT article:

The New York Times report quoted Dara Massicot, a researcher from the RAND Corporation, who claimed that “Crimea has already been hit many times without a massive escalation from the Kremlin.” But Massicot’s claim is false as Russia began launching missile strikes on vital Ukrainian infrastructure in response to the October truck bombing of the Crimean Bridge.

Before the bridge bombing, Russia didn’t launch large-scale attacks on infrastructure in Ukraine, but now such bombardments have become routine, and millions of Ukrainians are struggling to power and heat their homes. @Antiwarcom

NYT: US Considering Helping Ukraine Strike Crimea The Biden administration is considering supporting such attacks even if it risks major escalation by Dave DeCamp @DecampDave #Crimea #Ukraine #Russia #NATO #UkraineRussianWar #RussiaUkraineWar #UkraineNews…


1:12 AM ∙ Jan 19, 2023


It’s been widely accepted among foreign policy analysts that Crimea is among the reddest of all of Russia’s red lines in this standoff. Back in October, Responsible Statecraft’s Anatol Lieven discussed the difference in Russia’s perspective between Crimea and every other territory that Ukraine lays claim to in an assessment of the possibility of this conflict leading to nuclear war:

If Ukraine wins more victories and recovers the territories that Russia has occupied since February, Putin will in my view probably be forced to resign, but Russia would likely not use nuclear weapons. If however Ukraine goes on to try to reconquer Crimea, which the overwhelming majority of Russians regard as simply Russian territory, the chances of an escalation to nuclear war become extremely high.

Decamp writes that “The lessening concern about Putin resorting to nukes appears to be based only on the fact that he hasn’t used any up to this point.” But this is as logical as believing that it is safe and wise to jump even harder on the sleeping bear you’ve been jumping on just because the bear hasn’t woken up yet.

The assumption that because a disaster has not happened in the past it will not happen in the future is a type of fallacious reasoning known as normalcy bias.

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Top 20 Most Cringeworthy Zelensky PR Moments

Posted by M. C. on January 17, 2023

Caitlin Johnstone

The US empire’s proxy war in Ukraine has had many jaw-dropping instances of imperialist sociopathy, propagandistic audacity and brazen journalistic malpractice that we’ve discussed in this space many times, but one of the most cringeworthy and degrading aspects of the globe-spanning narrative control campaign surrounding this war has been the way the nation’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has been turned into an ever-present corporate mascot for the most aggressive ad campaign ever devised. The way the most powerful institutions in the western world have been throwing their puppet in everyone’s face to sell the empire’s proxy warfare puts Ronald McDonald to shame.

Here are 20 of the cringiest moments of establishment PR using Zelensky to market the McProxy War to the western world, in no particular order.

1. A House Republican introducing a bill to place a bust of Zelensky in the US Capitol building @Antiwarcom

House Republican Introduces Resolution to Place Bust of Zelensky in the Capitol Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and other conservative GOP members blasted the idea by Dave DeCamp @DecampDave @RepMTG @RepThomasMassie #Zelensky #Zelenskyy #Ukraine…


6:06 PM ∙ Jan 12, 2023


Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp writes:

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) introduced a bill this week that would place a bust of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the House wing of the US Capitol building, an idea that was strongly criticized by more conservative GOP members.

2. The fake Hollywood action hero-sounding “I need ammunition, not a ride” quote

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Using Ukraine as a Bloodied Pawn – Original

Posted by M. C. on January 12, 2023

The goal in Afghanistan then, as it is in Ukraine now, was simply to harass and bleed Washington’s adversary. Then, as now, there was little concern about the impact on the beleaguered inhabitants in the country serving as an arena for a proxy war – and surprisingly little concern about the wider geo-political ramifications.

by Ted Galen Carpenter

U.S. and NATO officials routinely contend that assisting Ukraine in its war against Russia is a moral as well as a strategic imperative. Ukraine is supposedly on the frontlines of a global struggle between democracy and freedom on one side and brutal authoritarianism on the other. That justification lacks credibility for two reasons. First, Ukraine itself is a corrupt, repressive autocracy, not a freedom-loving democracy, even if one uses the most flexible, expansive definition of “democracy.” Second, the Russia-Ukraine war is a nasty turf fight over mundane stakes, not part of an existential global confrontation between good and evil.

It is hard to determine how much Western political leaders and their media mouthpieces actually believe their own moralistic propaganda. Some likely have drunk the Kool Aid, but others clearly have more practical (and less savory) reasons for wanting Washington to wage a proxy war against Russia. First and foremost, the financial benefits to the military-industrial complex are enormous. The United States has already provided more than $100 billion in aid to Kyiv, and a major portion of those funds are going to pay for Ukraine’s purchases (now or in the near future) of weapons systems from Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, or other manufacturers. Those firms also will benefit from the destruction of weapons already provided to Kyiv, since US stockpiles supposedly must be replenished. The usual collection of hawks already are sounding alarms that the arsenals of the United States and its NATO allies have become significantly depleted.

However, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin may have inadvertently disclosed a broader, ignoble motive for the proxy war. An April 2022 statement that he issued in Poland at the end of his stealth visit to Kyiv emphasized that Washington’s goal was not merely to help Ukraine repel Russia’s invasion, but to “weaken Russia” to the point that it could no longer pose a threat to any other country. Achieving such an objective would indisputably require a prolonged war in Ukraine – regardless of the consequences to the Ukrainian people.

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US Dismisses Putin’s Christmas Ceasefire as ‘Cynical Ploy’ – News From

Posted by M. C. on January 6, 2023

What is the big deal with 36 hours? There are plenty of other US wars to keep the pentagram busy.

by Dave DeCamp

Ukrainian officials also rejected the ceasefire, but Zelensky didn’t explicitly say he won’t follow it

The State Department on Thursday rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order for a unilateral ceasefire in Ukraine for Orthodox Christmas, which is celebrated on January 7, as a “cynical ploy.” Putin ordered the ceasefire to take effect at noon on Friday and last through Saturday after a request from Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“Based on the fact that a large number of citizens professing Orthodoxy live in the combat areas, we call on the Ukrainian side to declare a ceasefire and give them the opportunity to attend services on Christmas Eve, as well as on the Day of the Nativity of Christ,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Instead of welcoming a potential pause in fighting, the US dismissed the order as an attempt by Putin to reinforce his troops.

“From our perspective, there is one word that best describes that, and it’s ‘cynical,’” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters. He said it was “cynical” because Russia continued its missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

“So as you can tell, we have little faith in the intentions behind this announcement. Our concern … is that the Russians would seek to use any temporary pause in fighting to rest, to refit, to regroup, and ultimately to reattack,” Price said. President Biden made similar comments, saying he thought it was an attempt by Putin “to find some oxygen,” although any relief for Russian troops would also be a relief for the Ukrainian side.

Other Western governments made similar comments, including the EU’s European Council President Charles Michel, who called Putin’s order “bogus and hypocritical.” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock also slammed the ceasefire, saying, “a so-called ceasefire brings neither freedom nor security to people living in daily fear under Russian occupation.”

Ukrainian officials also rejected the ceasefire, although Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky didn’t explicitly say his forces wouldn’t follow it, so only time will tell if Putin’s order brings calm to Ukraine for 36 hours.

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The War in Ukraine has Underscored the Necessity of America Exiting NATO – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on January 5, 2023

By Steve McCann

With the passage of the ludicrous omnibus bill the total amount spent and committed to be spent by the United States in Ukraine since the Russian invasion is in excess of $110 Billion.  That amount exceeds the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 130 nations. Further, only America and its chief adversaries China ($239 Billion) and Russia ($154 Billion) spend more per year on their defense budgets.

During this same period of time the 27 nations of the European Union plus Great Britain have spent or committed to spend $36 Billion in Ukraine or half of what the taxpayers in the United States have been obligated to contribute.   

Meanwhile the U.S. national debt is now $31.5 Trillion and will, due to unconstrained spending, increase at least another $15+ Trillion in less than ten years, thereby abetting uncontrolled inflation and potential insolvency.   (It took this nation 224 years to accumulate the first $15 Trillion, 13 years for the second $15 Trillion and less than 10 years for the third $15 Trillion.) The United States with less than 5% of the world’s population is responsible for 45% of global national debt.   

By comparison, the national debt of the 27 countries in the European Union plus Great Britain is currently $18 Trillion, and their debt is equivalent to 90% of their annual GDP ($20.4 Trillion). The national debt of the United States is equivalent to 137% of its annual GDP ($23.3 Trillion) as America’s national debt far exceeds its annual economic output. 

Why is the United States, experiencing runaway inflation and unfathomable debt growth, footing the vast majority of the cost and not the nations of Europe who can afford it and are most directly impacted and threatened by the Ukrainian invasion?   Why, despite America’s unparalleled level of spending, is Volodymyr Zelensky unabashedly browbeating the United States to commit to unlimited as well as unaudited billions more?  Why, in response to this browbeating, is the feckless Joe Biden and members of both parties in Congress committed to spending American taxpayer money in Ukraine for an undefined “as long as it takes”. 

The answer lies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, an alliance in which America took upon itself the role of the military protector of Western Europe.  The ruling class in the United States, regardless of changing circumstances in Europe and incapable of restraining their lust for spending, fervently believes that it is their calling to protect the ancestral home of socialism and modern day globalism.    

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Israel helps Ukraine whitewash its Nazis

Posted by M. C. on December 30, 2022

It’s OK with US (government). It (you) is paying to support them.

Asa Winstanley and Ali Abunimah

A man in military uniform overlooks a desert
Wearing the “Wollfsangel” symbol used by Hitler’s fighters in World War II, Ukrainian Azov fighter Illia Samoilenko vists the Masada archelogical site in Israel. (AzovstalFam/Twitter)

Representatives of Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion have been touring Israel to drum up support for the unit’s imprisoned fighters. They have been meeting with Israeli politicians and soldiers.

Azov intelligence officer Illia Samoilenko was released in a prisoner exchange with Russia in September.

He had been one of the hundreds of Azov fighters who surrendered in May at the end of the long Russian siege of the eastern city of Mariupol.

“Israel values freedom, values strength, Israel values honor. It’s the same things that we also value,” he told Israeli newspaper Haaretz this week.

Samoilenko also told The Times of Israel that “he sees Israel and Ukraine on the same side, the civilized battling the uncivilized in a struggle for the future of humanity,” the outlet summarized.

“We have prosperity, beautiful, prosperous, beautiful civilization, and they have medieval cavemen,” he said. It seems the “they” in this case are the Palestinians and the Russians, who Samoilenko regards as “uncivilized.”

Along for the Israeli tour with Samoilenko is Yulia Fedosiuk, the wife of an imprisoned Azov fighter and a far-right activist in her own right.

Both were on a charm offensive this week, as part of a wider push to whitewash Azov’s image in the West.

Three people in suits pose for a photo
Azov members Illia Samoilenko and Yulia Fedosiuk met with Naama Lazimi of Israel’s Labor Party. (AzovstalFam/Twitter)

Before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, it was widely acknowledged that the Azov Battalion promoted Nazi ideology.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Omnibus shows Congress’s Priorities: Authoritarianism and War

Posted by M. C. on December 29, 2022

Similarly, every Republican President in recent years—including two who had a Republican-controlled Congress for at least part of their term—supported huge increases in welfare state spending. Most Democrats only pretend to oppose warfare and most Republicans only pretend to oppose welfare to appease their parties’ respective bases.

written by ron paul

Those hoping for a Christmastime government shutdown were once again disappointed when Congress passed a 4,000-page, $1.7 trillion omnibus appropriations bill that few, if any, Representatives and Senators read before voting on. The Republican leadership celebrated this bloated monstrosity because it spends $858 billion on warfare while “only” spending $772.5 billion on welfare.

No one should think Republican insistence on more warfare than welfare spending means Democrats oppose the warfare state. Under President Biden and a Democrat-controlled Congress, “defense” spending has increased by 4.3 percent over the last two years. Similarly, every Republican President in recent years—including two who had a Republican-controlled Congress for at least part of their term—supported huge increases in welfare state spending. Most Democrats only pretend to oppose warfare and most Republicans only pretend to oppose welfare to appease their parties’ respective bases.

The Omnibus appropriates a $44.5 billion giveaway to Ukraine. This brings the total US spending on Ukraine’s military to over $100 billion – approximately 50 percent more than Russia’s entire military budget! This money is spent in a conflict that does not affect US security, yet one that would likely have not occurred were it not for prior US meddling in the region.

The Omnibus bill provides $11.3 billion for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a $569.6 million increase and $524 billion above the President’s request. According to the Democratic leadership, the funding increase is so the FBI can better fight “extremist violence and domestic terrorists.”

The public recently learned what the FBI considers an appropriate way to fight “extremism,” with the release of emails between Twitter officials and the FBI. These memos show the Bureau was working with Twitter—and almost certainly other social media companies—to suppress certain stories, such as Hunter Biden’s laptop, and points of view, such as skepticism regarding masks, lockdowns, and vaccine mandates. The bureau even used taxpayer funds to reimburse Twitter for the costs of implementing these “requests.” Government officials working with private companies to silence American citizens is a clear violation of the First Amendment.

This is hardly the first time the FBI has violated the constitutional rights of American citizens. In fact, since its founding the Bureau has targeted political activists and leaders such as Martin Luther King, whose agenda was considered “extreme” or “dangerous” by the Bureau’s corrupt leadership. The idea of a national police force with the power to target Americans because of their political beliefs would have horrified the drafters of the Constitution. The federal government has no constitutional authority over criminal law except for cases of piracy, counterfeiting, and treason. Libertarians, constitutional conservatives, and progressives who still care about civil liberties should join together to defund the FBI.

The fiscal year 2022 omnibus appropriations bill expands government, reduces liberty, and increases government debt, forcing the Federal Reserve to monetize more debt leading to more price inflation. Our political elites prioritize militarism abroad and authoritarianism at home over addressing the problems facing the American people like the Federal Reserve’s destructive monetary policy. This will fuel growing discontent with the political system. As the economy continues to worsen and the attempt to run the world continues to result in failures, the discontent will grow until the welfare warfare system collapses and, hopefully, a new error of liberty peace and prosperity dawns.

Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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