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 | Chris Hedges | Jan 29, 2023

Nullius in verba


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

Nullius in verba

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 | Oct 12, 2022

Nullius in verba

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 | Dec 28, 2022

Nullius in verba

Advanced US Weaponry in Ukraine Is Sustaining Battlefield Stalemate

It’s now more than 300 days since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the conflict has intensified rather than subsided, with Ukrainian leaders expressing fears of impending mass infantry attacks from Russia and U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announcing this week that the U.S. will send Ukraine $1.8 billion in military aid, including a Patriot missile battery.

On December 21, in greeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the White House and considering his appeal for nearly $50 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden made clear his intention to continue sending weaponry to Ukraine until Russia is defeated in the battlefield, saying, “The American people have been with you every step of the way, and we will stay with you.”

As Noam Chomsky alludes to in the exclusive interview that follows for Truthout, those driven to see Russia disappear from the world map as a major power appear determined to

— source | chomsky | Dec 22, 2022.

Nullius in verba

U.S. Must Stop Undermining Negotiations with Russia

Russia has launched its largest strikes on Ukraine in months, attacking Kyiv, Lviv and other cities. Today’s missile strikes come two days after Russia accused Ukraine of blowing up a key bridge connecting Russia to Crimea.

As the war in Ukraine continues to escalate, we return to our recent conversation with Vijay Prashad and Noam Chomsky, co-authors of the new book, The Withdrawal: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of U.S. Power. I spoke with them several weeks ago with Democracy Now!’s Juan González. Vijay Prashad is director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. He joined us from New York. And Noam Chomsky joined us from Brazil, the world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author, laureate professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona and professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught for more than half a century.

— source | Oct 10, 2022

Nullius in verba

Why U.S. Must Negotiate with Russia

To begin with, suggest considerable measure of caution with the way things are being reported in the United States. To take one quite significant case, there’s been a large amount of, you can say, euphoria over the claim that major countries in the world or very important countries in the Global South, of course, claim that Modi, prime minister of India, censured Putin at a meeting in Samarkand, where he told Putin that India does not support the Russian position. If you look — I took the trouble of looking this up on the Indian government official website. What happened is quite different. The Western propaganda has seized upon half a dozen words in which Modi said war is not the answer, and that was taken to be a break with Russia. If you read the rest of the text, practically a love letter to Putin about how wonderful our relations are and how they’ll get even better and how supportive we are of you and so on, that part was left out of — which is practically the whole message, was left out of the Western reporting or the U.S. reporting. So you have to be — it’s one example of many of considerable care that has to be taken.

Fact is that, internationally at least, the United States and Britain are pretty isolated on this. Europe is sort of going along, but the population is not supportive of that position. As I mentioned, over — the most important country, Germany, over three-quarters is in favor of moving to negotiations right away. Same in Slovakia. President Macron of France, who’s been the most dedicated to seeking to find a negotiated settlement, has recently reiterated his belief that though the prospects diminish as the war continues, there are still openings. The United States is — and Britain, its lackey at this point, are pretty much isolated in their commitment to continuing the war, whatever the

— source | Oct 03, 2022

Nullius in verba

Zelensky and NATO plan to transform post-war Ukraine into ‘a big Israel’

Just forty days after Russia’s military campaign began inside Ukraine, Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky told reporters that in the future, his country would be like “a big Israel.” The following day, one of Israel’s top promoters in the Democratic Party published an op-ed in NATO’s official think tank exploring how that could be executed.

Zelensky made his prediction while speaking to reporters on April 5, rejecting the idea that Kiev would remain neutral in future conflicts between NATO, the European Union, and Russia. According to Zelensky, his country would never be like Switzerland (which coincidentally abandoned its Napoleon-era tradition of nonalignment by sanctioning Russia in response to its February invasion).

“We cannot talk about ‘Switzerland of the future,’” the president informed reporters. “But we will definitely become a ‘big Israel’ with its own face.”

For those wondering what a “big Israel” would actually look like, Zelensky quickly elaborated on his disturbing prophecy.

— source | Alexander Rubinstein | Sep 17, 2022

Nullius in verba

How a Soviet Miner From the 1930s Helped Create Today’s Corporate Workplace Culture

One summer night in August 1935, a young Soviet miner named Alexei Stakhanov managed to extract 102 tonnes of coal in a single shift. This was nothing short of extraordinary (according to Soviet planning, the official average for a single shift was seven tonnes).

Stakhanov shattered this norm by a staggering 1,400%. But the sheer quantity involved was not the whole story. It was Stakhanov’s achievement as an individual that became the most meaningful aspect of this episode. And the work ethic he embodied then – which spread all over the USSR – has been invoked by managers in the west ever since.

Stakhanov’s personal striving, commitment, potential and passion led to the emergence of a new ideal figure in the imagination of Stalin’s Communist Party. He even made the cover of Time magazine in 1935 as the figurehead of a new workers movement dedicated to increasing production. Stakhanov became the embodiment of a new human type and the beginning of a new social and political trend known as “Stakhanovism”.

That trend still holds sway in the workplaces of today – what are human resources, after all? Management language is replete with the same rhetoric used in the 1930s by the

— source | Bogdan Costea | 01/Jul/2021

Nullius in verba