A Negotiated End to Fighting in Ukraine

Russia has accused Ukraine of using drones to attack two air bases hundreds of miles inside Russia and an oil depot near the Ukrainian border. One of the air bases reportedly houses Russian nuclear-capable strategic bombers. While Ukraine has not publicly taken responsibility, a senior Ukrainian official told The New York Times the drones were launched from inside Ukrainian territory with help from Ukrainian special forces on the ground near at least one of the Russian bases. Russia responded to the drone strikes by firing a barrage of missiles across Ukraine. This comes as millions of Ukrainians are bracing for a winter without heat or electricity due to Russian strikes on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure. Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently accused the U.S. and its NATO allies of becoming directly involved in the war by arming and training Ukrainian soldiers.

I think both sides see that there is no military way out. I’m speaking of NATO and Ukraine on one side and Russia on the other side. This war, like von Clausewitz told us two centuries ago, is politics by other means, or with other means, meaning that there are political issues at stake here, and those are what need to be negotiated.

What President Macron said is absolutely correct, that President Putin wants political outcomes that, in my view, absolutely can be met at the negotiating table. Just to quote what Macron said in another interview, he said, “One of the essential points we must address” — meaning we, the West — “as President Putin has always said, is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment

— source democracynow.org | Dec 06, 2022

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The British intelligence-linked firm that warped MH17 news coverage

In November of 2022, a final judgment arrived in the trial of alleged perpetrators of the attack on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17). Russian nationals Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinskiy, and Donbas separatist Leonid Kharchenko, were convicted in absentia for the murder of MH17’s 283 passengers and 15 crew members. They were ruled to have arranged the transfer of the Buk surface-to-air missile system that reportedly struck the plane.

Oleg Pulatov, the only defendant to seek legal representation during the trial, was conversely acquitted on all charges, which prosecutors will not appeal.

The Malaysian airliner had been purportedly shot down by a missile on July 17th 2014, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew aboard.

Heavily dependent on information supplied by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) and the Western government-funded “open source” investigations organization known as Bellingcat, the guilty verdicts appeared to vindicate an established narrative in which Russia and its Donbas allies were solely culpable.

But as this investigation will reveal, much of the news coverage of MH17 was heavily influenced by a shadowy entity called Pilgrims Group, which is closely tied to British intelligence.

— source thegrayzone.com | Kit Klarenberg | Mar 5, 2023

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Ukraine’s Death by Proxy

There are many ways for a state to project power and weaken adversaries, but proxy wars are one of the most cynical. Proxy wars devour the countries they purport to defend. They entice nations or insurgents to fight for geopolitical goals that are ultimately not in their interest. The war in Ukraine has little to do with Ukrainian freedom and a lot to do with degrading the Russian military and weakening Vladimir Putin’s grip on power. And when Ukraine looks headed for defeat, or the war reaches a stalemate, Ukraine will be sacrificed like many other states, in what one of the founding members of the CIA, Miles Copeland Jr., referred to as the “Game of Nations” and “the amorality of power politics.”

I covered proxy wars in my two decades as a foreign correspondent, including in Central America where the U.S. armed the military regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala and Contra insurgents attempting to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. I reported on the insurgency in the Punjab, a proxy war fomented by Pakistan. I covered the Kurds in northern Iraq, backed and then betrayed more than once by Iran and Washington. During my time in the Middle East, Iraq provided weapons and support to the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) to destabilize Iran. Belgrade, when I was in the former Yugoslavia, thought by arming Bosnian and Croatian Serbs, it could absorb Bosnia and parts of Croatia into a greater Serbia.

Proxy wars are notoriously hard to control, especially when the aspirations of those doing the fighting and those sending the weapons diverge. They also have a bad habit of

— source chrishedges.substack.com | Chris Hedges | Mar 11, 2023

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Putin’s Invasion Foretold

As Russian tanks rolled across the border, some of our fellow progressives called it a justified attack in response to a threat from Western military imperialists.

The year was 1939.

That year, some on the Left, a minority for sure, bent themselves into moral pretzels to justify the Hitler-Stalin Pact and the Russian-German murder-drenched conquest of Poland.

As a New York Tribune columnist, the abolitionist Karl Marx, wrote before the US Civil War, when some Britons supported the slavers: “History speaks twice; the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.”

Indeed, there is a nauseating, horrifying humor watching one-time fighters against injustice, self-proclaimed “anti-war” activists, dancing cheek to cheek with Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ted Cruz, Tucker Carlson and fascist pin-up Silvio Berlusconi sharing their love, or at least, their sad excuse-making, for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

At its core, these strange bedfellows’ sympathy for the Russian invasion rests, ultimately, on the canard that it was NATO’s expansion that provoked Putin to attack.

— source gregpalast.com | Greg Palast | Feb 24, 2023

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Why Don’t You Ever Criticize RUSSIA’S Warmongering

“Why don’t you ever criticize RUSSIA’S warmongering?” is a question I am often asked with great indignation. People cannot comprehend why I would spend all my time criticizing the warmongering of the power structure I live under without spending any time criticizing the government they’re used to hearing criticisms of.

It’s a question born of delusion and propaganda brainwashing, and it has several good answers. Here are some of my favorites.

“Why don’t you ever criticize RUSSIA’S warmongering?”

First of all, I actually do sometimes criticize Russia’s warmongering, to the limited extent that I believe it’s necessary in a civilization that’s being deliberately saturated in maximum-amplification criticisms of Russia’s warmongering. That criticism generally goes something like this: Putin is responsible for Putin’s decisions, and the US empire is responsible for the US empire’s decisions. Putin is responsible for deciding to invade Ukraine, and the US empire is responsible for provoking that invasion.

It’s not actually complicated. If I provoke someone into doing a bad thing, then we each have a degree of moral responsibility for the bad thing that was done. So much modern empire apologia revolves around pretending that provocation is simply not a thing; that this very simple and fundamental concept we all learned about as children was just

— source caitlinjohnstone.com | Caitlin Johnstone | Jan 28, 2023

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‘No evidence’ for the allegation about Russia stole emails from DNC server

Aaron Maté
In newly released Congressional testimony, Crowdstrike president Shawn Henry said that “we did not have concrete evidence” that alleged Russian hackers actually took the emails from DNC servers. “There’s circumstantial evidence, but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated,” Henry said.
the firm that is responsible for accusing russia of hacking democratic party emails and whose evidence was used by u.s intelligence officials to make that allegation in their assessments as well and that firm is crowdstrike

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Ukraine: The War That Went Wrong

Empires in terminal decline leap from one military fiasco to the next. The war in Ukraine, another bungled attempt to reassert U.S. global hegemony, fits this pattern. The danger is that the more dire things look, the more the U.S. will escalate the conflict, potentially provoking open confrontation with Russia. If Russia carries out retaliatory attacks on supply and training bases in neighboring NATO countries, or uses tactical nuclear weapons, NATO will almost certainly respond by attacking Russian forces. We will have ignited World War III, which could result in a nuclear holocaust.

U.S. military support for Ukraine began with the basics — ammunition and assault weapons. The Biden administration, however, soon crossed several self-imposed red lines to provide a tidal wave of lethal war machinery: Stinger anti-aircraft systems; Javelin anti-armor systems; M777 towed Howitzers; 122mm GRAD rockets; M142 multiple rocket launchers, or HIMARS; Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missiles; Patriot air defense batteries; National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS); M113 Armored

— source chrishedges.substack.com | Chris Hedges | Jan 29, 2023

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Thanks to Putin, the world is suddenly interested in Israel’s occupation

Last week’s vote at the United Nations marked a watershed. For the first time, the UN’s principal judicial organ was asked to give an opinion on the legality of Israel’s 55-year occupation of Palestinian territory – namely East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

The United Nations’ Special Political and Decolonization Committee approved a nine-page draft resolution on Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people to request a second advisory opinion – comprised of two questions – from the International Court of Justice.

The first question queries the legal consequences arising from Israel’s ongoing violation of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, given its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem.

The second question asks about the affect these policies have on the legal status of the occupation and the legal consequences that arise for all states and the UN from that status.

— source Jews For Justice For Palestinians | Victor Kattan | Nov 17, 2022

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Negotiations “Still the Only Way Forward” to End Ukraine War

The Washington Post is reporting the Biden administration has ruled out the idea of pushing Ukraine to negotiate with Russia to end the war, even though many U.S. officials believe neither side is, quote, “capable of winning the war outright.”

This comes as the war in Ukraine appears to be escalating on a number of fronts. On Saturday, a massive explosion damaged a key bridge connecting Russia to Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of committing what he called a terrorist act. Since then, Russian missiles have struck over a dozen Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv and Lviv, killing at least 20 people.

Negotiations are not only possible, they are absolutely essential. There have been some negotiations on key issues so far, such as the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, such as getting the grain out of Ukraine, such as the prisoner swaps. But there have been no negotiations on the big issues. And Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, has not met with Lavrov.

— source democracynow.org | Oct 12, 2022

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Wars could break out all over the map

Chomsky said: “Wars could break out all over the map. Language [of heads of states] is a minor factor.”

Asked for a solution to the economic recession and skyrocketing inflation in many low- and middle-income countries as a result of the Ukraine crisis just after the serious blow of the Covid-19 pandemic, Chomsky said: “There’s no simple answer. Each problem has to be dealt with in its own complex terms.

“No one knows… They have opportunities to follow different paths, but it’s not easy.”

He is, however, hopeful of a peaceful world despite the fact that the world’s superpowers remain envious of and aggressive towards each other, create divisions, and promote war or their form of democracy in a third country.

“History is full of such horrible cases. In 1945, it was almost impossible to imagine that Germany and France could become allies with friendly relations. It happened. We can only try our best,” he told Dhaka Tribune.

— source chomsky.info | Dec 28, 2022

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