Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

What’s Our Best Bet in 2024?

Posted by M. C. on May 12, 2023

Ya but…can we depend on Trump not letting the pentagram pull his strings…or having an “accident”.

by Dan McKnight

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Did you see what Donald Trump said about Ukraine?

At a CNN town hall on Wednesday evening, the former president and current candidate announced:

“If I’m president, I will have that war settled in one day, 24 hours. I’ll meet with Putin, I’ll meet with Zelensky, they both have weaknesses and they both have strengths, and within 24 hours that war will be settled. It’ll be over…I don’t think in terms of winning or losing. I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people and breaking them.”

When CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins asked Trump if he wanted Ukraine or Russia to win this war, he responded, “I want everybody to stop dying. They’re dying, Russians and Ukrainians. I want them stop dying. And I’ll have that done in 24 hours, I’ll have it done. You need the power of the presidency to do it.”

That’s a damn good answer. And a much better one than anyone in the Biden White House has presented for why we’ve spent over a hundred billion dollars to fight a war with Russia.

These corporate press stand-ins never explain what “victory” conditions look like for Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky has said his aims include the recapture of Crimea and the decapitation of the Russian state.

But should those be America’s war aims? Should America even be a participant in this Eastern European war? I don’t think so. And I doubt you think so either.

We are eighteen months away from the 2024 United States presidential election, and none of us can say with certainty who will win.

Will Donald Trump return to the Oval Office? Will Joe Biden receive a second term? Will Ron DeSantis or even Robert F. Kennedy Jr. tip over expectations?

My organization, Bring Our Troops Home, does not endorse or campaign for political candidates, so I don’t have a say in those results.

But I am confident, whomever is elected, that a president does not have the power to single-handedly defeat the War Party; the swamp is too deep, the DC bureaucracy too hostile.

The future of our Constitution will not be decided by a single election, but by a decentralized movement which can stop our next endless war before it starts.

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Sudan: The new geopolitical battlefield between east and west?

Posted by M. C. on May 6, 2023

The potential outbreak of a civil war sparked by a factional fight within Sudan’s military government poses a destabilization threat beyond the nation’s borders – into Africa, West Asia, and the emerging multipolar order. This suits the west just fine.

It’s always fun looking forward to what is next.

By Matthew Ehret

Photo Credit: The Cradle

The story of Sudan is one of contrasts and contradictions. It is a country with tremendous potential and resources, yet it is plagued by poverty, conflict, and exploitation. The forces currently pulling Sudan apart are complex and multifaceted, but one thing is certain: the future of this nation is inextricably linked to the broader geopolitical landscape.

In order to fully comprehend the dynamics of this growing conflict, it is essential to look beyond Sudan’s borders. Attention must be paid to the broader geopolitical chemistry at play in the Horn of Africa, the Persian Gulf, the wider West Asian region, and even Ukraine.

Once the largest African nation with a population of 46 million and the third largest landmass, Sudan underwent a seismic shift in 2011 with a western-championed Balkanization, which divided the country into a “Muslim north” and a “Christian/Animist south.”

Extremes of wealth and poverty  

The country is blessed with one of the most water-rich zones of the earth. The White and Blue Niles combine to form the Nile River, which flows northward into Egypt. Sudan’s water abundance is complemented by fertile soil and immense deposits of gold and oil.

The majority of these resources are located in the south, creating a convenient geological divide that western strategists have exploited for over a century to promote secession.

Despite its abundance of resources, Sudan is also one of the poorest nations in the world. Thirty-five percent of its population lives in extreme poverty, and a staggering 20 million people – or 50 percent of the population – suffer from food insecurity.

Although Sudan achieved political independence in 1956, like many other former colonies, it was never truly economically independent. The British utilized a strategy they had previously employed before leaving India in 1946 – divide and conquer – carving out “northern” and “southern” tribes, which led to civil wars that began months before Sudan’s independence in 1956.

General against General

After achieving independence in 2011, South Sudan was plunged into a brutal civil war that lasted for seven years. In the meantime, the north was hit by two coups; the first in 2019, which ousted President Omar al-Bashir, and the second in 2021, resulting in the current power-sharing military-led transitional government led by the president of the Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his deputy, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

It is these two former allies-turned-rivals who now find themselves at the center of the conflict pulling Sudan in two opposing directions against the backdrop of the rapidly developing multipolar order.

Following the 2021 coup in Sudan, the two rival generals, Dagalo and Burhan, continued the momentum toward building large-scale projects. China funded a program to rehabilitate 4725 km of defunct colonial-era railways connecting the port of Sudan to Darfur and Chad.

recent report by The Cradle suggests that if peace is maintained in the Horn of Africa and the new Iran-Saudi Arabia entente results in a durable peace process in Yemen, then the revival of the Bridge of the Horn of Africa project, which was last proposed in 2010, could become a reality.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

Global South benefits from China-Russia co-op

In the past decade, the strategic partnership between China and Russia has been rapidly gaining favor among countries in the Global South. With the five BRICS member states accounting for over 3.2 billion people and 31.5 percent of global GDP, China and Russia have been providing financial support for major infrastructure, water, and energy projects while also backing the military needs of nations facing destabilization.

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No Compassion on U.S. Aid to Ukraine

Posted by M. C. on May 5, 2023

A genuinely free society is one in which people are free to keep everything they earn and decide for themselves what to do with it. In that type of society, if people choose to donate to some worthy cause, it could be said that they are doing so out of a sense of care and compassion. That’s because they are donating their own money voluntarily.

If we lived in that type of society, the Ukrainian regime and the Ukrainian people would be entitled to ask Americans to send them donations.

by Jacob G. Hornberger

Last week I wrote an article entitled “How Can Force Entail Compassion?” which focused on America’s welfare-state programs. I pointed out that, contrary to popular opinion, such programs do not reflect any goodness within the American people. That’s because they are founded on the force of taxation, which is enforced by the Internal Revenue Service, one of the most tyrannical agencies in U.S. history. Force and compassion are opposites. Genuine compassion, I pointed out, comes from the willing hearts of individuals, not from the threat of an IRS audit or criminal prosecution.

The same principle holds true for U.S. aid to foreign regimes, including Ukraine. The fact that the U.S. government has sent some $75 billion to the Ukrainian regime to assist it in its war with Russia says nothing about the goodness of the American people. That’s because the money that is being sent has been collected by force from American taxpayers. As with welfare-state programs, force and compassion are opposites. 

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What China Is Really Playing at in Ukraine

Posted by M. C. on May 3, 2023

As for what will be left of Ukraine, it is already being bought by Western mega-players such as BlackRock, Cargill and Monsanto. Yet Beijing certainly does not count on being left high and dry. Stranger things have happened than a future rump Ukraine positioned as a functioning trade and connectivity BRI partner.

Pepe Escobar

Beijing is fully aware the NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is the un-dissociable double of the U.S. war against its Belt and Road Initiative.

Imagine President Xi Jinping mustering undiluted Taoist patience to suffer through a phone call with that warmongering actor in a sweaty T-shirt in Kiev while attempting to teach him a few facts of life – complete with the promise of sending a high-level Chinese delegation to Ukraine to discuss “peace”.

There’s way more than meets the discerning eye obscured by this spun-to-death diplomatic “victory” – at least from the point of view of NATOstan.

The question is inevitable: what’s the point of this phone call? Very simple: just business.

The Beijing leadership is fully aware the NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine is the un-dissociable double of an American direct war against the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Until recently, and since 2019, Beijing was the top trade partner for Kiev (14.4% of imports, 15.3% of exports). China essentially exported machinery, equipment, cars and chemical products, importing food products, metals and also some machinery.

Very few in the West know that Ukraine joined BRI way back in 2014, and a BRI trade and investment center was operating in Kiev since 2018. BRI projects include a 2017 drive to build the fourth line of the Kiev metro system as well as 4G installed by Huawei. Everything is stalled since 2022.

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The Growing Russia-India Relationship

Posted by M. C. on April 28, 2023

BRICS represents 40% of the world’s population, the SCO represents 43%, and both are growing. China and India make up more than a third of the population of the world.

by Ted Snider

The US has made much of its success in isolating Russia internationally. But that boast is hard to take too seriously when Russia is growing ever closer to the two largest countries in the world. While the world has been watching the “no limits” partnership between Russia and China grow into “a relationship that probably cannot be compared with anything in the world,” Russia has been growing quietly closer to the second largest country in the world.

India has long been a close partner of Russia. In 2009, India and Russia signed the Joint Russian-Indian Declaration of Deepening and Strategic Partnership. In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Russia where the two sides agreed on a number of steps to enhance that partnership.

That partnership did not come apart under US pressure after Russia invaded Ukraine. Despite intense pressure from the US to “take a clear position” against Russia, India has refused to condemn Russia at the UN and has repeated Russia’s call to take “into account the legitimate security interests of all countries.” India has also offered Russia an escape from sanctions by swelling from a country that once imported little Russian oil to a country that now has Russia as its top supplier of oil. India imported $41.56 billion from Russia in the last fiscal year, which is about five times its previous level. Before the war, Russia was India’s eighteenth largest import partner; since the war, Russia has become India’s fourth largest import partner.

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Washington Is Determined To Turn Taiwan Into The Next Ukraine

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2023

But what is the right track?

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Corporate Media Are the Anti-WikiLeaks

Posted by M. C. on April 19, 2023

Journalists are entrusted by the public to reveal truth, not serve the powerful in a witch-hunt for sources of the truth, writes Elizabeth Vos.

Among many items of interest, the documents revealed that U.S. Special Forces as well as NATO forces are on the ground in Ukraine; that Ukraine is significantly unprepared for its planned spring offensive;  as well as evidence of U.S. spying on its allies and  António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations.

Entrance to The New York Times. (Niall Kennedy, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

By Elizabeth Vos
Special to Consortium News

It was impossible to imagine four years ago when WikiLeaks Editor Julian Assange was hauled out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London and thrown in Belmarsh Prison that corporate media, which had smeared Assange, could stoop to new lows of government servitude.

But it has now happened with the arrest of Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old Air National Guardsman, for allegedly leaking top secret government documents. The leaks exposed a number of significant lies told by both the U.S. government and corporate media about the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Among many items of interest, the documents revealed that U.S. Special Forces as well as NATO forces are on the ground in Ukraine; that Ukraine is significantly unprepared for its planned spring offensive;  as well as evidence of U.S. spying on its allies and  António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations.

According to Al Jazeera:

“Several purported U.S. intelligence assessments paint a more pessimistic outlook for the Ukrainian military than the U.S. has provided publicly. They suggest Kyiv is heading for only ‘modest territorial gains’ in its much-anticipated spring counteroffensive.”

In other words, the content of these leaks expose lies told directly by the U.S. and NATO, as well as the corporate media that serve them.

Media on the Hunt

But how did major media react? The New York Times worked with Aric Toler, a U.S. and U.K. government-funded Bellingcat staff writer, to publicly expose accused leaker Teixeira less than a day after federal authorities had identified him.

But the Times and The Washington Post had described Texiera without naming him before the Department of Justice had, in effect doing the F.B.I.’s job for them by tracking down the leaker.

According to the affidavit supporting the prosecution of Teixeira, who held a top security clearance, the F.B.I. subpoenaed Discord, an application often used by gamers to communicate, and where the documents were alleged to have been originally leaked. The information handed over by Discord then lead to Teixeira’s arrest.

The leak itself and the arrest of the alleged source is significant enough, but what makes this story disturbing is the role of the media in actively finding and exposing Teixeira, revealing his identity instead of protecting him.

The media frenzy appeared unanimous in its focus on identifying the leaker more than reporting on the newsworthy content of the material.

The Exact Opposite of WikiLeaks

Julian Assange speaking from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, August 2012. (wl dreamer, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

In contrast, Assange went to the absolute limits of human endurance for the sake of protecting whistleblowing sources.

In 2017, early in the Trump Administration, Trump was reportedly willing to negotiate a pardon for Assange if he would out the sources of the DNC Emails and disprove Russiagate once and for all.

In August of 2016, Assange made comments on Dutch Television that all but admitted the source of the DNC emails was the murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich. So, why not admit the identity of a dead source, if it indeed was Rich, disprove Russiagate, and gain his freedom?

Because WikiLeaks’ obligation, according to Assange, was the absolute protection of sources no matter the cost. It is a principle that may prove to cost the award-winning journalist his life.

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Is France Beginning To Steer an Independent Course? – Original

Posted by M. C. on April 10, 2023

The disagreement is fundamental. The Biden administration’s signature foreign policy framework has been the battle between democracy and autocracy. France is not subscribing to that Manichean battle. Macron refuses to conclude that different forms of government entail a generational battle.

Maybe it’s just because a lot of people wear useless masks in China. Macron likes masks.

by Ted Snider

Is it time to put Freedom Fries back on the menu? Back in 2003, french fries became freedom fries in the US in disgust with “our so-called ally, France” who took an independent “self-serving” course and refused to support US policy on Iraq. Having finally become popular on American menus again, is it time, once again, to replace French fries with freedom fries?

France is not breaking with the US and charting its own course against Russia in the war in Ukraine. But it is gently veering off. And in the prelude to any future conflict with China, the gap is wider and the course more independent.

The US has insisted on the acceptance of the starting point that Russia’s war on Ukraine is unprovoked. It has refused, including refusal to negotiate Russia’s December 2021 security proposals, to take seriously Russia’s security concerns or to negotiate security guarantees for Russia. It has refused to even discuss NATO expansion to Ukraine or NATO troops and weapons in Ukraine, topics that were never even on the table.

French President Emmanuel Macron, however, has said that the West should prepare to negotiate all three. Veering widely off the course charted by the White House, Macron has said that “We need to prepare what we are ready to do, how we protect our allies and member states, and how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table. One of the essential points we must address – as President Putin has always said – is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia.”

Breaking from the US, France has glanced, at least, at Russia’s fear of NATO on its borders and weapons at its door. It has heard Russia’s calls for the indivisibility of security and said the West needs to reconsider how to protect its allies while guaranteeing the security concerns of Russia. Macron has gone so far as to agree with Putin that Ukraine joining NATO and NATO deployment of weapons in Ukraine are “essential points” that must be negotiated.

France is firmly in the US fleet in supporting Ukraine in the war against Russia, but it is veering away in preparing for the negotiations to end the war.

And when it comes to preparing for a future conflict with China, France is veering even further away and, seemingly, charting its own course.

President Biden cannot get Chinese President Xi Jinping to talk to him. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin cannot get his Chinese counterpart, Li Shangfu, to take his calls. And China has refused to put Antony Blinken’s trip to Beijing “back on the calendar” after the US Secretary of State canceled his scheduled February visit over the Chinese balloon incident.

Macron, however, does not need to beg for a brief phone call. He is in Beijing for three days where he will be granted more than six hours of personal meetings with XI, “treatment described by Western diplomats as exceptional.”

And it is not just China that is treating France differently. France is treating China differently. In a significant break from the US, France is far from dismissing China’s role as a broker in negotiations to end the war: it is encouraging it.

On February 24, China published its “Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.” It pledged that China is willing to assume “a constructive role in this regard.” The US has consistently and assertively rejected that role.

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Why Most of the World Isn’t on Board with the NATO-Russia War | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 7, 2023

Weimin Chen

As the war in Ukraine drags on into its second year, protest demonstrations have been taking place in major European cities. They express the growing sentiment that the people are tired of the protracted conflict and fearful of what could come should the war continue even longer. Memories of the catastrophic world wars that ravaged Europe in the first half of the last century and the terrible threat of nuclear annihilation that divided the continent in the second half of the century form the traumatic foundation from which Europeans are voicing their aversion to this conflict, which has the potential to spiral out of control and bring a major war to Europe and the world again.

Broad Opposition to War

There have been protest demonstrations occurring in Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Greece, Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Albania, Moldova, and others. European protests surrounding the anniversary of the start of the conflict notably span the Left-Right spectrum in opposing US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) imperialism as well as the economic hardships that have befallen ordinary Europeans against the backdrop of sanctions on Russia and the funding of Ukraine.

Italian port workers aligned with the Left protested in Genoa specifically to resist the use of Italian ports to supply arms deliveries to Ukraine. Meanwhile in France, demonstrations organized by the right-wing Les Patriotes party in various locations across the country called for France’s withdrawal from both NATO and the European Union.

In all cases, the people on the streets at these events identify involvement in the war as harmful to general economic well-being and have been expressing frustration with their countries’ acquiescence to these intergovernmental and supranational organizations in fueling the violence while simultaneously discouraging dialogue. Feelings of skepticism toward NATO, the European Union, and the United States have become increasingly vocal in Europe due to the way that western countries are handling the war. In the minds of many Europeans, their governments are recklessly following the will of Washington, which could lead them into a serious escalation to a wider war.

German Memory

Germany suffered tremendously during the two World Wars and continued to endure the pressures of division and foreign occupation during the Cold War. A century of pain and turmoil brought about by militarism and intervention still informs the collective consciousness of the country. As part of the anniversary protests, thousands of people gathered around the iconic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin for an event called the “Uprising for Peace,” organized by prominent Left party member Sahra Wagenknecht and the feminist journalist Alice Schwarzer. The rally was a show of support for a “manifesto for peace,” which had already received well over half a million signatures by the time of the rally. It calls for the end of military exports to Ukraine and for negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow. Demonstrations have also taken place in Nuremberg (in response to the German government’s plan to send tanks to Ukraine), in Munich (during the Munich Security Conference), and outside of the prominent US air base in Ramstein where important matters regarding the Ukraine conflict are discussed among Western leaders.

At the rally in Nuremberg, one demonstrator recalled the historical record, explaining that if Germany gets involved in another war with Russia, then “based on history, it is the worst sign that we can send.” He emphasized that “no war must go through Germany, neither with arms deliveries nor anything else, because otherwise, Germany will be in the middle of it again.”

The last time war broke out in Europe between the two countries, it was one of the most catastrophic events in human history. This view echoes the glimmer of hope from just a few months before the start of Russia’s invasion that the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline could have strengthened ties and prevented conflict in Europe, especially with regard to Russia and Germany. Of course, the mysterious destruction of Nord Stream a year later and the report by Seymour Hersh identifying US and allied hands in the sabotage mission completely turned that hope on its head. Those who strive for peace and an end to the bloodshed are understandably disheartened, yet they are motivated to vocally speak out to European leaders to push for peace.

Across the Atlantic and Beyond

These gatherings have run parallel to the Rage Against the War Machine rally in Washington, DC, where Americans protested against the US’s funding and arming of Ukraine as well as the diplomatic negligence in preventing the negotiation of an end to the fighting. Those speaking and demonstrating against US involvement in Ukraine have parallel grievances toward their government and echo those in Europe.

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Dailywire Article-UN: Risk Of Nuclear War At Record High. Please Engage In Peace Talks, Russia And Ukraine.

Posted by M. C. on April 1, 2023

By  Tim Meads

Ukraine-Russia Bomb
(OLGA Zhukovskaya via Getty Images)

Well, folks, don’t look now, but the “risk of a nuclear weapon being used is currently higher than at any time since the depths of the cold war,” according to the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu.

The war in Ukraine — obviously — is what is driving that risk. Based on reports made during the UN’s security council on Friday, that war isn’t ending any time soon — as if there were any doubt of that. Americans should know it is not going to end any time soon, our commander-in-chief has said that our tax dollars and equipment will be supporting Ukraine in its battle against Russia for “as long as it takes” — whatever that means. The Swamp wants this war to continue — and so it will.

While Biden has been banging the war drums, Putin has been chatting with its neighbors and new BFF Belarus. Now, reports indicate that Russia will be stationing non-strategic nuclear weapons within Belarus territory. According to the UN, those will be in place for aerial use by July.

For its part, Russia denies such accusations.

“We are pursuing cooperation with Belarus without violating obligations,” Russian ambassador and Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia said on Friday. “We are not transferring nuclear weapons. We are talking about the retrofitting of airplanes and training teams in the construction of a storage facility on the territory of Belarus.”

Yet he did make sure to note that Russia would respond to any “provocative measures” as it saw fit, while adding, “A nuclear war cannot be won.”

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