Friday, September 30, 2022

Valodya: The People Have Made Their Unequivocal DEMOCRATIC Choice  |   President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Citizens of Russia, citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, residents of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, deputies of the State Duma, senators of the Russian Federation,

As you know, referendums have been held in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. The ballots have been counted and the results have been announced. The people have made their unequivocal choice.

Today we will sign treaties on the accession of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Lugansk People’s Republic, Zaporozhye Region and Kherson Region to the Russian Federation. I have no doubt that the Federal Assembly will support the constitutional laws on the accession to Russia and the establishment of four new regions, our new constituent entities of the Russian Federation, because this is the will of millions of people. (Applause.)

It is undoubtedly their right, an inherent right sealed in Article 1 of the UN Charter, which directly states the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.

I repeat, it is an inherent right of the people. It is based on our historical affinity, and it is that right that led generations of our predecessors, those who built and defended Russia for centuries since the period of Ancient Rus, to victory.

Here in Novorossiya, [Pyotr] Rumyantsev, [Alexander] Suvorov and [Fyodor] Ushakov fought their battles, and Catherine the Great and [Grigory] Potyomkin founded new cities. Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought here to the bitter end during the Great Patriotic War.

We will always remember the heroes of the Russian Spring, those who refused to accept the neo-Nazi coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014, all those who died for the right to speak their native language, to preserve their culture, traditions and religion, and for the very right to live. We remember the soldiers of Donbass, the martyrs of the “Odessa Khatyn,” the victims of inhuman terrorist attacks carried out by the Kiev regime. We commemorate volunteers and militiamen, civilians, children, women, senior citizens, Russians, Ukrainians, people of various nationalities; popular leader of Donetsk Alexander Zakharchenko; military commanders Arsen Pavlov and Vladimir Zhoga, Olga Kochura and Alexei Mozgovoy; prosecutor of the Lugansk Republic Sergei Gorenko; paratrooper Nurmagomed Gadzhimagomedov and all our soldiers and officers who died a hero’s death during the special military operation. They are heroes. (Applause.) Heroes of great Russia. Please join me in a minute of silence to honour their memory.

(Minute of silence.)

Thank you.

Behind the choice of millions of residents in the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, is our common destiny and thousand-year history. People have passed this spiritual connection on to their children and grandchildren. Despite all the trials they endured, they carried the love for Russia through the years. This is something no one can destroy. That is why both older generations and young people – those who were born after the tragic collapse of the Soviet Union – have voted for our unity, for our common future.

In 1991 in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, representatives of the party elite of that time made a decision to terminate the Soviet Union, without asking ordinary citizens what they wanted, and people suddenly found themselves cut off from their homeland. This tore apart and dismembered our national community and triggered a national catastrophe. Just like the government quietly demarcated the borders of Soviet republics, acting behind the scenes after the 1917 revolution, the last leaders of the Soviet Union, contrary to the direct expression of the will of the majority of people in the referendum of 1991, destroyed our great country, and simply made the people in the former republics face this as an accomplished fact.

I can admit that they didn’t even know what they were doing and what consequences their actions would have in the end. But it doesn't matter now. There is no Soviet Union anymore; we cannot return to the past. Actually, Russia no longer needs it today; this isn’t our ambition. But there is nothing stronger than the determination of millions of people who, by their culture, religion, traditions, and language, consider themselves part of Russia, whose ancestors lived in a single country for centuries. There is nothing stronger than their determination to return to their true historical homeland.

For eight long years, people in Donbass were subjected to genocide, shelling and blockades; in Kherson and Zaporozhye, a criminal policy was pursued to cultivate hatred for Russia, for everything Russian. Now too, during the referendums, the Kiev regime threatened schoolteachers, women who worked in election commissions with reprisals and death. Kiev threatened millions of people who came to express their will with repression. But the people of Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson weren’t broken, and they had their say.

I want the Kiev authorities and their true handlers in the West to hear me now, and I want everyone to remember this: the people living in Lugansk and Donetsk, in Kherson and Zaporozhye have become our citizens, forever. (Applause.)

We call on the Kiev regime to immediately cease fire and all hostilities; to end the war it unleashed back in 2014 and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this, as we have said more than once. But the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson will not be discussed. The decision has been made, and Russia will not betray it. (Applause.) Kiev’s current authorities should respect this free expression of the people’s will; there is no other way. This is the only way to peace.

We will defend our land with all the forces and resources we have, and we will do everything we can to ensure the safety of our people. This is the great liberating mission of our nation.

The American People Want No Part Of The Blob's Failed War On Russia

businessinsider | A new poll suggests that many Americans are growing weary as the US government continues its support of Ukraine in its war with Russia and want to see diplomatic efforts to end the war if aid is to continue. 

According to a poll conducted by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and Data for Progress, 57% of likely voters strongly or somewhat support the US pursuing diplomatic negotiations as soon as possible to end the war in Ukraine, even if it requires Ukraine making compromises with Russia. Just 32% of respondents were strongly or somewhat opposed to this.

And nearly half of the respondents (47%) said they only support the continuation of US military aid to Ukraine if the US is involved in ongoing diplomacy to end the war, while 41% said they support the continuation of US military aid to Ukraine whether the US is involved in ongoing diplomacy or not.

The Biden administration and Congress need to do more diplomatically to help end the war, according to 49% of likely voters, while 37% said they have done enough in this regard, the poll showed.

"Americans recognize what many in Washington don't: Russia's war in Ukraine is more likely to end at the negotiating table than on the battlefield. And there is a brewing skepticism of Washington's approach to this war, which has been heavy on tough talk and military aid, but light on diplomatic strategy and engagement," said Trita Parsi, executive vice president at the Quincy Institute. 

"'As long as it takes' isn't a strategy, it's a recipe for years of disastrous and destructive war — conflict that will likely bring us no closer to the goal of securing a prosperous, independent Ukraine. US leaders need to show their work: explain to the American people how you plan to use your considerable diplomatic leverage to bring this war to an end," Parsi added.

The poll found close to half of likely US voters (48%) somewhat or strongly oppose the US providing aid to Ukraine at current levels if long-term global economic hardship, including in the US, occurs. Meanwhile, the poll showed that only four-in-10 Americans somewhat or strongly support the US providing aid to Ukraine at current levels if this occurs. 

The poll also found 58% of Americans somewhat somewhat or strongly oppose the US providing aid to Ukraine at current levels if there are higher gas prices and a higher cost of goods in the US, while just 33% somewhat or strongly support continuing aid if this occurs. 

A majority of poll respondents (57%) also said that they think the Russia-Ukraine war will end with a negotiated peace settlement between the two countries, while 61% said they believe the war has impacted them financially on some level.

President Joe Biden has warned that US sanctions on Russia could hurt the US economy, but he has maintained that supporting and defending Ukraine is worth the cost. He's framed the war as a battle between democracy and autocracy.

"Every day, Ukrainians pay with their lives, and they fight along — and the atrocities that the Russians are engaging in are just beyond the pale. And the cost of the fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is even more costly," Biden said in May. "That's why we're staying in this."

The US has provided over $15 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since Russia launched its unprovoked war in late February. The Ukrainian armed forces have received numerous weapons packages from the US and other partner nations, packages that have included anti-tank missiles, air-defense systems, and long-range rocket artillery that have allowed Ukrainian troops to not only halt Russian advances but even drive Russian forces back.

While Western support has aided Ukraine's war efforts, recent data indicates there are growing concerns about what further support without diplomacy and a continuation of this brutal conflict could mean not just for Russia and Ukraine, but for other countries as well.

"Policymakers are far too sanguine about the risks posed by an indefinite continuation of this war, even minimizing the dangers posed by Vladimir Putin's nuclear threats," said Marcus Stanley, advocacy director at the Quincy Institute.

"Americans largely agree that efforts to strengthen Ukraine's hand on the battlefield need to be accompanied by efforts to secure lasting peace at the negotiating table. However, as Congress approaches another vote to approve military aid to Ukraine this week, there's no sign Washington is exploring opportunities to seek a settlement that preserves and protects Ukraine's independence."

Toe To Toe, Back To Back, Gat For Gat - It's Like That....,

TAC  |  The same media sources who have been telling us that Putin is a madman now assure us, without any sense of contradiction, that he would never use tactical nuclear weapons to avoid total defeat in Ukraine. “Don’t let Putin bluff us” exhorted Max Boot, an exemplar of hawkish neocon wrongthink ever since he urged us into the Iraq War with lies about WMD and Saddam’s connection to 9/11. Having been wrong about so much over the past twenty years, one would expect more humility and less certainty from Boot as he confidently waves away Putin’s nuclear threat. But in Washington, neoconservatism means never having to say you’re sorry. 

Neocons aren’t the only voices in media and academic circles blithely assuring us that Putin is bluffing. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia, now Stanford professor, Michael McFaul, giddy with the success of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, declared that this is the moment for the U.S. “to go all in” on Ukraine, with “more and better weapons and more and better sanctions.” Clearly, he too dismisses the nuclear threat. 

Charles Pierce mocked Putin in Esquire, saying “he has decided to butch it up quite seriously for the public” and “his speech reeks of a monumental bluff.” Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin shrugged off the threat while calling for the West to escalate its support for Ukraine, writing that “Putin and his circle have made nuclear threats frequently in recent years – and they have always been a bluff.” Michael Clarke, professor of war studies at King’s College London, told NBC News that Putin “is doubling down politically because he is losing militarily… He says, ‘This is not a bluff,’ which shows that it is.”

Cloistered within the high walls of the media, academy, or government bureaucracy, most of these commentators have never held a job that required serious risk-taking. They have not conducted a cost-benefit analysis or even played a hand of high-stakes poker. Yet they claim to know exactly what cards Putin is holding and how he will play them. Smart poker players understand that they can’t precisely know their opponent’s hand, so they seek to put them on a range of possibilities and then evaluate whether their previous actions tell a story more consistent with a credible hand or a bluff. 

What story is Putin telling about Ukraine? Since 2008, Moscow has warned that the admission of Ukraine into NATO was an unacceptable red line for Russian security because it meant American troops, weapons, and bases directly on their most vulnerable border. Current CIA director Bill Burns, who was our emissary to Moscow at the time, conveyed these concerns back to Washington in his now-famous memo Nyet Means Nyet. Since then, Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov have warned repeatedly that Moscow regards NATO weapons inside Ukraine, most particularly American missile systems that could hit Moscow in minutes, as an existential threat. Putin repeatedly warned that he would invade Ukraine if his security concerns weren’t addressed, and indeed he did when they weren’t. This decision was immoral, criminal, and barbaric, but it was not the act of a bluffer.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Poland Looking To Make BANK Off Of Germany With Its Newly Opened Gas Pipeline

sonar21  |  On the very day the world learns about the sabotage of Russia’s Nordstream 1 and Nordstream 2, guess what else happened? Well, Ukrainians from the Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporhyzhia and Kherson oblasts voted in overwhelming numbers to become Russians. While that is a game changer that is not what I had in mind.

How about this–Poland on Tuesday inaugurated a new pipeline that will transport gas from Norway through Denmark and the Baltic Sea? That is it!!! What a coincidence!! Or is it?

There is at least one prominent Polish citizen who believes the United States merits praise for sabotaging the Nordstream pipelines. Former former Polish Defense Minister, Radek Sikorski, who happens to be married to Anne Appelbaum, an enthusiastic neo-con masquerading as a journalist, tweeted the following upon learning that the Nordstream lines were now “złamany” (Polish for”kaput”): “Thank you, USA.”

But, perhaps that is a bit of deflection. Poland has longstanding animus towards Nordstream. In other words, Poland has a clear motive for backing the destruction of the Russian pipeline. More than a year ago -April 2021 to be precise–this appeared in print:

Poland strongly opposes the development of Nord Stream 2, which will give Gazprom a subsea alternative route for supplying natural gas to Western European customers. At present, that gas has to pass through overland pipeline networks in Poland and Ukraine, bringing in valuable transit fees and providing both nations – which do not always have cordial relations with Russia – a measure of energy security.

One month later, Poland pitched a Kielbasi fit:

Poland has reacted angrily to President Joe Biden’s decision to waive US sanctions on Nord Stream II, warning the move could threaten energy security across Central and Eastern Europe.

“The information is definitely not positive from the security point of view, as we know perfectly that Nord Stream II is not only a business project – it is mostly a geopolitical project,” said Piotr Muller, a spokesman for the Polish government. . . .

Announced following a phone-call between Joe Biden and Chancellor Angela Merkel, the US decision to lift sanctions was welcomed in Berlin, with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas noting that “it is an expression of the fact that Germany is an important partner for the US, one that it can count on in the future.”

The highly controversial pipeline has met with vigorous opposition across Central and Eastern Europe, including in Poland and Ukraine where officials say the project would be used by the Kremlin as a geopolitical weapon, de-facto increase Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and threaten energy security in the Eastern half of the continent.

Makes you wonder if there was some wheeling and dealing was going on between Washington and Warsaw. Given Warsaw’s critical location and role in ensuring U.S. and NATO military supplies is delivered to Ukraine, the Poles have a bit of leverage to push the United States to take out the pipelines or to help Poland take out the pipelines. Poland’s message to the United States was simple–reverse course on Nordstream and rupture the pipelines or you can find another way to move your military supplies to Ukraine.

But wait, doesn’t this create some real problems for Germany? Sure. But Poland “don’t” (sic) care. There was this little incident called World War II and it seems that the Poles are still miffed at the Germans. If revenge is a dish best served cold, then this sucker is a frozen dinner:

Poland’s top politician said Thursday that the government will seek equivalent of some $1.3 trillion in reparations from Germany for the Nazis’ World War II invasion and occupation of his country.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the Law and Justice party, announced the huge claim at the release of a long-awaited report on the cost to the country of years of Nazi German occupation as it marks 83 years since the start of World War II. . . .

Germany’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday the government’s position remains “unchanged” in that “the question of reparations is concluded.”

With this new supply of Polish controlled natural gas, Germany is in a tough spot. Buy from Poland or buy from the United States. Either way, the Germans pay a premium while the United States and Poland make some bank.

Polacks Blew The Nordstream Pipelines And Were Dumb Enough To Take Credit For It

johnhelmer |  The military operation on Monday night which fired munitions to blow holes in the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, near Bornholm Island,  was executed by the Polish Navy and special forces.

It was aided by the Danish and Swedish military; planned and coordinated with US intelligence and technical support; and approved by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

The operation is a repeat of the Bornholm Bash operation of April 2021, which attempted to sabotage Russian vessels laying the gas pipes, but ended in ignominious retreat by the Polish forces. That was a direct attack on Russia. This time the attack is targeting the Germans, especially the business and union lobby and the East German voters, with a scheme to blame Moscow for the troubles they already have — and their troubles to come with winter.

Morawiecki is bluffing. “It is a very strange coincidence,” he has announced, “that on the same day that the Baltic Gas Pipeline  opens, someone is most likely committing an act of sabotage. This shows what means the Russians can resort to in order to destabilize Europe. They are to blame for the very high gas prices”.   The truth bubbling up from the seabed at Bornholm is the opposite of what Morawiecki says.

But the political value to Morawiecki, already running for the Polish election in eleven months’ time, is his government’s claim to have solved all of Poland’s needs for gas and electricity through the winter — when he knows that won’t come true.  

Inaugurating the 21-year old Baltic Pipe project from the Norwegian and Danish gas networks, Morawiecki announced: “This gas pipeline is the end of the era of dependence on Russian gas. It is also a gas pipeline of security, sovereignty and freedom not only for Polish, but in the future, also for others…[Opposition Civic Platform leader Donald] Tusk’s government preferred Russian gas. They wanted to conclude a deal with the Russians even by 2045…thanks to the Baltic Pipe, extraction from Polish deposits,  LNG supply from the USA and Qatar, as well as interconnection with its neighbours, Poland is now secured in terms of gas supplies.”

Civic Platform’s former defence and foreign minister Radek Sikorski also celebrated the Bornholm Blow-up. “As we say in Polish, a small thing, but so much joy”.  “Thank you USA,” Sikorski added,   diverting the credit for the operation, away from domestic rival Morawiecki to President Joseph Biden; he had publicly threatened to sabotage the line in February.  Biden’s ambassador in Warsaw is also backing Sikorski’s Civic Platform party to replace  Morawiecki next year.  

The attack not only escalates the Polish election campaign. It also continues the Morawiecki government’s plan to attack Germany, first by reviving the reparations claim for the invasion and occupation of 1939-45;  and second, by targeting alleged German complicity, corruption,  and appeasement in the Russian scheme to rule Europe at Poland’s expense. .

“The appeasement policy towards Putin”, announced PISM, the official government think tank in Warsaw in June,  “is part of an American attempt to free itself from its obligations of maintaining peace in Europe. The bargain is that Americans will allow Putin to finish building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in exchange for Putin’s commitment not use it to blackmail Eastern Europe. Sounds convincing? Sounds like something you heard before? It’s not without reason that Winston Churchill commented on the American decision-making process: ‘Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.’ However, by pursuing such a policy now, the Biden administration takes even more responsibility for the security of Europe, including Ukraine, which is the stake for subsequent American mistakes.”

“Where does this place Poland? Almost 18 years ago the Federal Republic of Germany, our European ally, decided to prioritize its own business interests with Putin’s Russia over solidarity and cooperation with allies in Central Europe. It was a wrong decision to make and all Polish governments – regardless of political differences – communicated this clearly and forcefully to Berlin. But since Putin succeeded in corrupting the German elite and already decided to pay the price of infamy, ignoring the Polish objections was the only strategy Germany was left with.”

The explosions at Bornholm are the new Polish strike for war in Europe against Chancellor Olaf Scholz. So far the Chancellery in Berlin is silent, tellingly.

Radek Sikorski Thanks Team USA For Blowing Up The Nordstream Pipelines

MoA  |  The Poles should be reminded that other countries also have the capabilities to sabotage sub sea pipelines.

Radosław Sikorski is a former Minister of Defense and Foreign Minister of Poland. He is now a Member of the European Parliament. Yesterday he posted a picture of the gas escaping the damaged Nord Stream pipelines and thanked the U.S. for blowing them up.

Sikorski is married to the neoconservative writer Anne Appelbaum who is notorious for her anti-Russian and anti-German screeds widely published in U.S. media.

In 2014 during the Maidan coup in Ukraine another notorious neoconservative, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, who should become the new prime minister of the Ukraine. She famously expressed her opinion about European concerns: "Fuck the EU" Nuland said. She is currently the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

Over the last decades Germany has financed the Euro zone with up to 1.24 trillion Euros. (See also this thread). This was possible because Germany was exporting lots of industrial products and had a yearly surplus from its trade. With Germany's industry going down because a lack of cheap energy that surplus will vanish. Europe, all of it, will become a poor continent.

Philip Pilkington @philippilk - 21:23 UTC · Sep 27, 2022

9/ The European energy war will likely go down in history, together with the Treaty of Versailles and the trade wars of the 1930s, as one of the biggest economic policy errors in history.

10/ Another thing: when Trump was elected on a platform of milder protectionism, many people rightly pointed to the 1920s and 1930s and warned against these policies. These same people appear to have supported these much more 1920s/30s-like policies this past year. Ironic.

This does not happen by chance or fate. It is part of a long term neoconservative plan for continued U.S. supremacy over the world. The Anglo-American axis is the only party to benefit from the recent events.

The U.S. allegedly warned Germany of sabotage of the Nord Stream system (in German).

This reminds of President Joe Biden's warning of a Russian invasion in Ukraine early this year.

It is easy to predict such events when you are the one who intends to cause them.

The U.S. knew that the Ukraine was going to launch an attack on the Donbas republics. The U.S. knew that Russia would intervene to help its brethren. Russia had said so. The Ukrainian attack started with artillery preparations on February 17. Russia intervened on February 24.

The above is a collection of the currently available facts. You can draw your own conclusions from them.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Biden's High On Cornpop Lies - And - Valodya's The Wrong Nigga To Fuck With

antiwar  |   As a child growing up in Leningrad, Vladimir Putin lived in a run-down five-story building. He and his parents shared an apartment with two other families. The yard was filled with garbage, and the garbage was filled with rats.

"Putin and his friends used to chase after them with sticks, until one day a large rat, which he had cornered, turned and attacked him, giving him the fright of his life. The memory stayed with him, and years later he would draw the lesson: ‘No one should be cornered. No one should be put in a situation where they have no way out."

The story is recounted in Philip Short’s biography, Putin. Several lessons from childhood can be found in the biography that seem to have been formative for Putin. Three of them stand out.

No One Should be Cornered

Despite the repeated promises of the US, Germany, the UK and NATO that NATO would not move further east, NATO kept moving east. NATO kept encroaching, moving closer and closer to a Russia that had been explicitly left out of the European Union and now saw the US led military alliance devouring territory as it moved right up to its borders. Russia was being cornered.

As early as 2008, when NATO first announced at the Bucharest summit that Ukraine and Georgia will become members of NATO, the Russian leadership made clear that they saw this decision as an existential threat. Putin warned that NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine was "a direct threat" to Russian security. John Mearsheimer quotes a Russian journalist who reported that Putin "flew into a rage" and warned that "if Ukraine joins NATO, it will do so without Crimea and the eastern regions. It will simply fall apart."

Over a decade later, Putin was issuing the same plea to the US. On December 2, 2021, Putin asked the US for immediate negotiations and sent a proposal on mutual security guarantees. He asked the US for "reliable and long-term security guarantees" that “would exclude any further NATO moves eastward and the deployment of weapons systems that threaten us in close vicinity to Russian territory.”

The US declined and closed the door. Russia had no way out.

With NATO crowding Russia’s borders, Ukraine being flooded with lethal NATO weapons and tens of thousands of elite Ukrainian troops massing along the eastern border with Donbas, like that rat in Putin’s yard, Russia was cornered. With its warnings and pleas for immediate negotiations being ignored, Russia saw no way out.

That does not justify the invasion of Ukraine. But the next move had been learned by Putin in his childhood.

Never Bluff

There were many rules taught by the KGB that Putin had already learned as a child "scrapping with the other kids." One of them was "Don’t reach for a weapon unless you are prepared to use it . . . It was the same on the street. [There] relations were clarified with fists. You didn’t get involved unless you were prepared to see it through."

When Putin said in 2008 that "if Ukraine joins NATO, it will do so without Crimea and the eastern regions," the West ignored him, thinking it was a bluff. But Putin learned as a child not to bluff. You don’t threaten action unless you are "prepared to see it through."

With the US becoming increasingly directly involved in the war, not only providing weapons, training and targeting intelligence, but even going so far as war-gaming with and advising the Ukrainian military, Russia set a new red line.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked the US to go beyond the HIMARS rocket systems with their 50 mile range and provide "a missile system with a range of 190 miles, which could reach far into Russian territory."

On September 15, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova declared that if the US agrees to supply those longer range missiles to the Ukrainian army, "it would cross the red line and become an actual party to the conflict." The Russian spokeswoman then added that "In such a scenario, we would have to come up with an adequate response." Russia, she reminded the West, "reserves the right to defend its territory using any means available."

A week later, on September 21, Putin repeated that warning himself. On top of the threat of longer range missiles, Putin said some leading NATO countries had talked about the possibility of using nuclear weapons against Russia and said, “I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. Putin then said, “This is not a bluff.”

As a child, Putin learned that you "Don’t reach for a weapon unless you are prepared to use it."

Recognizing that providing Ukraine with longer range guided missiles that could strike Russian territory "would likely be seen by Moscow as a major provocation," that that provocation could lead to World War III and that the benefits "during the next stage of the war" "would be minimal," Biden seems to be resisting Zelensky’s latest request.

Never Back Down

Putin is not spontaneous or rash. His ex-wife, Lyudmila, said that "Everything he did was always thought through." A Swedish diplomat who knew him said that "he sizes up his opponents coldly and soberly, and anticipates his own and others’ actions well before he makes the first chess move."

When you do make that move, you commit to the sequence of moves it sets off. "If something happens," Putin once said, "you should proceed from the fact that there is no retreat. It is necessary to carry it through to the end." The KGB taught that rule, but Putin says that he already knew it because he "learnt it much earlier, scrapping with kids."

Putin would repeat that "carry it through to the end" formulation. "If you want to win a fight," he said, "you have to carry it through to the end, as if it were the most decisive battle of your life."

Though the US and its NATO allies repeatedly commit to arming and aiding Ukraine for the duration, Putin has shown no sign of retreating or backing down. Having seemingly now concluded that Russia is fighting, not a regional war against Ukraine, but a protracted global war against "the entire Western military machine," on September 21, Putin ordered a partial mobilization of up to 300,000 reserves. The mobilization will include only military reservists "who served in the armed forces and have specific military occupational specialties and corresponding experience," representing about 1% of Russia’s full potential.

Russia sees NATO encroachment and NATO presence in Ukraine as an existential threat. Putin learned as a child that "there is no retreat" and that "you have to carry it through to the end, as if it were the most decisive battle of your life."

Predatory Capitalists Raiding The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves

The Biden administration has depleted the strategic reserve to levels not seen since the 1970s, and lifted exports permitted by Obama for the first time since Carter banned them, in an attempt to limit the rise in US gasoline and natural gas prices before the mid-term elections. Unfortunately, the oil companies have taken the reserves, refined them, and exported most of the resulting fuel, as this allowed them to increase their profits far above their normal larceny. Then, the administration has already committed to replace the reserves at market and given that the oil companies control the fuel price, we know that this will be at the highest price ever achieved in history. In this way, our politicians continue to enable their owners to make out like the looters they are, as usual, at public expense.

schiffgold |  Even as the August inflation data was coming out higher than expected, President Joe Biden was bragging about his “Inflation Reduction Act.” Peter Schiff appeared on NewsMax and argued that the president is putting Americans at risk just so he can improve his image as we approach election time.

Peter pointed out that one reason energy prices have come down is because the Biden administration dumped millions of barrels of oil from the strategic reserve into the market.

That’s not going to last. And if you look below the surface, we’re seeing an acceleration in food prices, in shelter, in health care — so, everything is really going up. We just have one thing right now that’s pulled back. But of course, energy prices are still up dramatically from where they were a year ago. So, the inflation tax is falling even more heavy on middle-class Americans now than it was a few months ago.”

Peter said the “Inflation Reduction Act” is inappropriately named. It should be called “The Inflation Acceleration Act.”

That is going to have consequences next year in helping push that inflation rate even higher than the inflation from 2022.”

As far as the strategic oil reserve goes, now Biden will have to refill it at a much higher price. Peter said he doesn’t think they’ll refill it at all.

I think more likely, they’re going to deplete the reserve until it’s empty. And then what are we going to do? Then we’ll have no oil to sell. And what if we have an actual emergency, and we have shortages? We won’t have any strategic reserve to fall back on.”

Peter reminded the audience that inflation is even worse than advertised because the CPI formula is rigged.

You really have to double the CPI to get the actual increase in prices that Americans are experiencing. Take one example, which is shelter, which I think rose about 6.1%, which really was the highest, I think, since the 1980s. If you look at the real cost of housing, … medium home prices are up 30% and mortgage rates have gone from 3.1 to 6.1. So, the cost of buying a home and paying a mortgage in the last two years is up by 84%. … And of course, rents are skyrocketing too. And so, what the government claims as the increase in the cost of shelter is just a small fraction of what Americans are actually paying for shelter.”

The anchor pointed out that interest rates need to rise above the CPI in order to tame inflation. Meanwhile, we’re already technically in a recession. Peter agreed we are in a recession, as much as the Biden administration and others, including the Fed, try to deny it.

We’ve already had two quarters of falling GDP. We’re about to have a third, because I think this quarter is going to be another negative quarter. And I think the fourth quarter will also be negative.”

And Peter said the anchor was also correct in asserting rates need to go much higher to tackle inflation.


The U.S. Is Winning Its War On Europe's Industries And People

MoA  | On February 7 Professor of Economics Michael Hudson explained why America’s Real Adversaries Are Its European and Other Allies:
What worries American diplomats is that Germany, other NATO nations and countries along the Belt and Road route understand the gains that can be made by opening up peaceful trade and investment. If there is no Russian or Chinese plan to invade or bomb them, what is the need for NATO? And if there is no inherently adversarial relationship, why do foreign countries need to sacrifice their own trade and financial interests by relying exclusively on U.S. exporters and investors?

These are the concerns that have prompted French President Macron to call forth the ghost of Charles de Gaulle and urge Europe to turn away from what he calls NATO’s “brain-dead” Cold War and beak with the pro-U.S. trade arrangements that are imposing rising costs on Europe while denying it potential gains from trade with Eurasia. Even Germany is balking at demands that it freeze by this coming March by going without Russian gas.

Instead of a real military threat from Russia and China, the problem for American strategists is the absence of such a threat.

What the U.S. needed was to provoke Russia, and later China, into reacting to U.S. arranged threats in a way that would oblige its 'allies' to follow its sanction policies.

The rather dimwitted European leadership fell for the trick.

The U.S. arranged for a Ukrainian attack on the rebel held Donbas region. This started on February 17 with intense artillery preparations against Donbas positions as recorded by the OSCE observers at that border. Russia had to react or see the ethnic Russians in those areas getting maimed and killed by Nazi devoting Ukrainians.

There was no way to prevent that but by other than military means. On February 22 Russia recognized the Donbas republics as independent states and signed defense agreements with them.

The same day the German chancellor Olaf Scholz canceled the launch of the undersea Nord Stream II pipeline which was to transport Russian gas to Germany's industries and consumers.

The Europeans launched a sequence of extremely harsh economic sanctions against Russia which, prodded by the U.S., had been prepared months in advance.

Russia's Special Military Operation, under Article 51 of the UN Charter, commenced on February 24.

A follow-up piece by Michael Hudson on February 28 stated that Germany had been defeated for a third time in a century:

The active military force since 1991 has been the United States. Rejecting mutual disarmament of the Warsaw Pact countries and NATO, there was no “peace dividend.” Instead, the U.S. policy by the Clinton administration to wage a new military expansion via NATO has paid a 30-year dividend in the form of shifting the foreign policy of Western Europe and other American allies out of their domestic political sphere into their own “national security” blob (the word for special rentier interests that must not be named). NATO has become Europe’s foreign-policy-making body, even to the point of dominating domestic economic interests.

The recent prodding of Russia by expanding Ukrainian anti-Russian ethnic violence by Ukraine’s neo-Nazi post-2014 Maiden regime aims at forcing a showdown. It comes in response to the fear by U.S. interests that they are losing their economic and political hold on their NATO allies and other Dollar Area satellites as these countries have seen their major opportunities for gain to lie in increasing trade and investment with China and Russia.
As President Biden explained, the current military escalation (“Prodding the Bear”) is not really about Ukraine. Biden promised at the outset that no U.S. troops would be involved. But he has been demanding for over a year that Germany prevent the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from supplying its industry and housing with low-priced gas and turn to the much higher-priced U.S. suppliers.
So the most pressing U.S. strategic aim of NATO confrontation with Russia is soaring oil and gas prices. In addition to creating profits and stock-market gains for U.S. companies, higher energy prices will take much of the steam out of the German economy.

(Some people currently peddle a 'Secret RAND study from January 2022'. It is obviously faked. It is simply a write up of Hudson's analysis.)

Nord Stream II was created to make Germany independent from pipelines running through Poland and the Ukraine. Blocking it was the most stupid thing for Germany to do and thus chancellor Scholz did it.

In the following months Poland blocked the Yamal pipeline which also brought Russian gas to Germany. Ukraine followed up with cutting off two Russian pipelines. The main compressor stations of the Nord Stream I pipeline, which the German company Siemens had build and has the maintenance contract, failed one after the other. Sanction are prohibiting Siemens from repairing them.

It is not Russia that has blocked its gas and oil from European markets. It were the German, Polish and Ukrainian governments that did it.

Russia would in fact be happy to sell more. Putin has recently again offered to push as much Russian gas as possible through Nord Stream II to Germany:

After all, if they need it urgently, if things are so bad, just go ahead and lift sanctions against Nord Stream 2, with its 55 billion cubic metres per year – all they have to do is press the button and they will get it going. But they chose to shut it off themselves; they cannot repair one pipeline and imposed sanctions against the new Nord Stream 2 and will not open it. Are we to blame for this?

It is the German government that is to blame for rejecting that offer.

The economic war against Russia that the sanctions against were meant to win has failed to move Russia. The Rubel is stronger than ever. Russia is making record profits even while selling fewer gas and oil than before the war. Russia may have a small recession this year but its standard of living is not in decline.

As was easy predictable and, as Michael Hudson explained, the economic consequences of the anti-Russian sanctions within Europe have in contrast huge catastrophic consequences for the Europe's industries, its societies and its political standing in the world.

Governments and the media had so far refrained from noting the gigantic problems that are coming up and which industry leaders had pointed out early on. Only over the last two weeks or so have they picked up the urgent warnings.

Der Spiegel, Germany's major weekly, asks: How Bad Will the German Recession Be? and states the obvious:

The first German companies have begun throwing in the towel and consumption is collapsing in response to the fallout from exploding energy prices. The economy is sliding almost uncontrolled into a crisis that could permanently weaken the country.

The piece discusses the five stages along which the catastrophe will happen.

Act One: Freezing Production - It is becoming prohibitively expensive to produce in Germany.
Act Two: The Price Trap - No one buys at the high prices German products now cost.
Act Three: The Consumer Crisis - Needing to pay high energy prices German consumers buy less of everything else.
Act Four: The Wave of Bankruptcies.
Act Five: The Final Act on the Labor Market.

When Germany will have some 6 to 10 million unemployed people, and the government less tax income as only a few companies will be profitable, the social system will break down.

European industry buckles under weight of soaring energy prices headlines the Irish Examiner:

Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, warned last week that it could reallocate production out of Germany and eastern Europe if energy prices don’t come down.

Europe is paying seven times as much for gas as the US, underscoring a dramatic erosion of the continent’s industrial competitiveness that threatens to cause lasting damage to its economy. With Russian President Vladimir Putin redoubling his war efforts in Ukraine, there’s little sign that gas flows - and substantially lower prices - would be restored to Europe in the near term. provides that Europe Faces An Exodus Of Energy-Intensive Industries.

In fact The EU is sleepwalking into anarchy:

All eyes may be on the Italian election results this morning, but Europe’s got much bigger problems on its hands than the prospect of a Right-wing government. Winter is coming, and the catastrophic consequences of Europe’s self-imposed energy crisis are already being felt across the continent.
As politicians continue to devise unrealistic plans for energy rationing, the reality is that soaring energy prices and falling demand have already caused dozens of plants across a diverse range of energy-intensive industries — glass, steel, aluminium, zinc, fertilisers, chemicals — to cut back production or shut down, causing thousands of workers to be laid off. Even the pro-war New York Times was recently forced to acknowledge the “crippling” impact that Brussels’s sanctions are having on industry and the working class in Europe. “High energy prices are lashing European industry, forcing factories to cut production quickly and put tens of thousands of employees on furlough,” it reported.
It’s truly a sign of the feebleness of Europe’s politicians that despite the fast-approaching cliff, no one can bring themselves to state the obvious: that the sanctions need to end. There’s simply no moral justification for destroying the livelihoods of millions of Europeans simply to school Putin, even if the sanctions were helping to achieve that aim, which they clearly aren’t.

The U.S., while also going into a recession, will profit, as it had planned, from the European catastrophe.

The Handelsblatt, a business daily, reports that Germany companies are moving production to North America.

Washington is attracting German companies with cheap energy and low taxes.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Despite Ukraine's Violent Objections - Turnout Is High In The Rejoin Russia Referenda

RT  |  Preliminary results on the third of five voting days shows the threshold having been reached in Donbass and Zaporozhye and almost met in Kherson 

The referendums on joining Russia are continuing in the Donbass republics and Russian-controlled regions of southern Ukraine. On Sunday, the turnout already reached the required 50% threshold in the Donetsk and Lugansk republics and Zaporozhye Region, with only Kherson lagging behind.

In the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), more than 76% of eligible voters have already cast their votes, according to official figures. The referendum in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) is proceeding at a similar pace, with some 77% of voters having shown up at the polling stations.

Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, which were largely seized by Russian forces amid the ongoing conflict, have demonstrated a lower turnout. Still, the latter region has already met the required legal threshold, with some 51.55% of registered voters already casting their ballots, according to the head of the Zaporozhye electoral committee, Galina Katyshenko. Kherson has so far demonstrated lower turnout, with nearly 49% of voters showing up for the referendum. Polls across the two regions and in the Donbass republics are set to stay open for the next two days.

Ukraine and its Western backers have rejected the referendums on joining Russia as illegal and have vowed to not recognize them regardless of their outcome. Speaking to US broadcaster CBS on Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky warned that should Russia complete the referendums, it would “make it impossible, in any case, to continue any diplomatic negotiations” with Moscow.

Hillary Clinton Compares Trump Supporters To Nazis Following Hitler

voltairenet  |  It was immediately after the creation of the United Nations that American leaders found it necessary—as a matter of interest—to break the new rules they publicly lauded. In doing so, they developed new systems by which to evade accountability for lawbreaking–including an enormous apparatus for covert intervention–and, by means of extraordinary effort, to present the United States’ actions, whatever their nature, as in accord with international law. [5]

At the same time as the west was planning its covert actions against its WWII ally, it also created the formation of the terror club known as NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Almost in its entirety it was a Nazi enterprise. Nazi General Reinhard Gehlen, for example, who had headed the Russia Desk in the Oberkommando der Wermacht (OKW - Hitler’s Supreme Headquarters) and a consultant on the Final Solution, was secretly brought to the United States where he would deliver his vast storehouse of previously hidden files on the Soviet Union and then set up the Russia Desk for the soon-to-be-formed CIA. [6]

Gehlen would then be returned to postwar Germany where he was put in position as head of Germany’s new Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the German Secret Intelligence Service. In essence, two Russia desks (at least) now functioned instead of just one; both with the same ultimate aim: destroy the Soviet Union and communism.

Hundreds if not thousands of old Nazis found new life working for the US, Britain, and Canada as the Cold War was cranked up and now the mass murderers were brought into policy making for the same Lords of the Manor who had supported Hitler to begin with. And, with the same old Nazis back in charge, every foul means was employed against the Soviets to prevent any challenge of global capital’s right to dictate the terms of enslavement.

West Germany, now being run by ex-Nazis under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, joined NATO in 1954 and Gehlen liaised with his pro-Nazi mentor Allen Dulles who would become head of the CIA, with brother John Foster as Secretary of State. Soon NATO began appointing the old tried and true Nazis into high positions within the organization.

General Hans Speidel, for example, became commander-in-chief in 1957 of AFCENT (Allied Forces Central Europe). Nazi Admiral Friedrich Guggenberger joined the highly important NATO military committee in Washington and General Adolf Heusinger (Gehlen’s old chief at Hitler’s OKW), became its chairman. At Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe (SHAPE), Gehlen managed to install several Nazi collaborators into vital positions [7]. Amongst these was Col. Hennig Strumpell, who became deputy to British Maj. Gen. Charles Traver, the Assistant Chief of Staff (Intelligence) at SHAPE. Col. Heinz Koller-Kraus was made head of logistics at Speidel’s AFCENT. Many other Gehlen men would soon join NATO to define its policies. [8]

With the same Nazis well integrated into NATO and the CIA becoming an extension of Gehlen’s old Nazi intelligence agency, the Nieue World Ordnung was essentially relocated from the Reichstag in Berlin and dropped into the Pentagon and CIA Langley, Virginia.

Added to the anti-Soviet battle plans, US elites recognized the value of Goebbel’s Ministry of Truth and turned the lessons learned into the world’s most sophisticated propaganda network ever created. All western wars would now be given illusionary titles, such as: "wars for democracy", "wars for peace", "wars for justice", "wars for humanitarianism" and on and on. The corporate funded elites that run the UK and Canada were quick to adopt the same essential elements.

Two of those components of the propaganda wars for the US/UK/Nazi Nieue World Ordnung was the creation of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty - both staffed with Gehlen’s old Nazis and funded by the CIA. [9]

These Nazi mass murderers set up an Hungarian Desk, provided arms and assistance to underground pro-Nazi elements in Hungary and together with the CIA, instigated the Hungarian uprising - which the Soviets brutally put down [10]. The prime use of this episode however, had little to do with the dead and dying, rather it was the propaganda value which portrayed an "Evil Empire" that had to be destroyed. [11]

Dr. Eberhardt Taubert joined the Nazi party in 1931 and was soon promoted to the rank of Sturmführer, following Goebbels to the Ministry of Propaganda. After the war Taubert slid down to South Africa where he found comfort among the neo-Nazis in power in Johannesburg busy designing the apartheid system. In 1950 he returned to Germany and joined his old Nazi pal Reinhard Gehlen, becoming a member of the BND. In his new BND/CIA post, Taubert became chairman of the CIA-backed "National Association for Peace and Freedom" becoming also an adviser to German Minister of Defense, ex-Nazi Franz Josef Strauss and was then assigned by Strauss to NATO as adviser to the "Psychological Warfare Department". Goebbel’s Ministry of Truth being recirculated to feed the Christian fundamentalists some newly constructed, yet old and familiar Tales from the Dark, only having different packaging. [12]

NATO has also been closely linked to a series of terrorist bombings in Italy in the 1980s in order to create a "Strategy of Tension" designed to allow the fascist right wing into power and thereby bring "stability" to the country. This program made use of numerous far right terrorists like Stefano Delle Chiaie of Ordine Nuovo and other demented souls who planted bombs in public places that killed hundreds, aided in implementation by Gehlen’s NATO/Nazi terrorists. Though well covered in Europe, thanks to media complicity, the story barely made a blip here.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Is Truth-Telling The Very Best Weapon We Have?

kunstler  |  Historians of the future, grilling spatchcocked plovers over their campfires, will need not ponder for even a New York minute who started World War Three in the rockin’ 2020s. They will point straight to the waxy, furtive, larval figure known as “Joe Biden,” by then judged a moral weevil of such epic low degree that he became an embarrassment to all the other sewer-dwelling denizens of the dank DC underworld, including the roaches, the rats, the humble shipworms eating through sunk oaken foundations of buildings long forgotten, the writhing maggots rinsed from a thousand restaurant dumpsters, the slithering hellgrammites, millipedes, silverfish, pillbugs, termites, dung-beetles, woodlice, and, not least, the scaly lawyers spawned out of the infestation beneath K Street called Perkins Coie LLP. Even these would loathe and disdain the thing that came into this world as “Joe Biden.”

Let us agree that the place called Ukraine was never any of America’s business. For centuries we ignored it, through all the colorful cavalry charges to-and-fro of Turks and Tatars, the reign of the dashing Zaporozhian Cossacks, the cruel abuses of Stalin, then Hitler, and the dull, gray Khrushchev-to-Yeltsin years. But then, having destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and sundry other places all on a great hegemonic lark, the professional warmongers of our land and their catamites in Washington made Ukraine their next special project.  They engineered the 2014 coup in Kiev that ousted the elected president, Mr. Yanyukovich, to set up a giant grifting parlor and international money-laundromat. The other strategic aim was to prepare Ukraine for NATO membership, which would have made it, in effect, a forward missile base right up against Russia’s border. Because, well, Russia, Russia, Russia!

An early beneficiary of these arrangements, you might recall, was one Hunter Biden, the drug-addicted, sex-obsessed, no-account son of Barack Obama’s no-account vice-president then known simply as Joe Biden sans quote-marks — because in 2014, he was a closer approximation of a real person than is sadly now the case. In fact, he was known as “The Big Guy” among Hunter’s business coterie (though listed as “Pedo Peter” on Hunter’s speed-dial). After the 2014 coup, and for years beyond, Hunter pulled a steady revenue stream out of Ukraine’s Burisma Holdings, a natgas distributor (among other things), serving as a know-nothing, no-show board member. When this monkey business came to the attention of President Trump, and he made a telephone inquiry about it, he was instantly beset by swarms of DC swamp vermin hoisting writs of impeachment.

Fast forward through the past eight years and you have Kiev’s persecution of the Russian-speaking Donbas provinces, the constant shelling and harassment by Banderite Nazis. Between that and the ever more strident urgings for Ukraine to join NATO, President Putin of Russia, Russia, Russia apparently had enough. In February of this year, he started the Special Military Operation to put an end to these hostilities. By April, when whole battalions of Ukrainian Nazis had been exterminated, a call to peace talks was issued by Mr. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister. This was shot-down without ceremony by “Joe Biden” (that is, by the junta behind him). The genius strategists in Foggy Bottom aimed to “weaken” Russia. To what end? (you might ask). Okay: Reasons….

Hence, many hard-fought battles on-the-ground later, Ukraine has lost roughly 70,000 troops killed to Russia’s roughly 6,000 KIA. The USA pours $10-billion-a-month into this venture, including missiles aplenty and other ordnance, in a stupid effort to prolong the conflict and bankrupt our own land. Thus, Mr. Putin has decided to stop pussyfooting around Ukraine, and declared an upgrade in Russia’s effort to put a conclusive end to these shenanigans. He set this forth clearly in a sober speech Wednesday, which included a reminder to the geniuses in the White House basement game room that Russia is a nuclear power.

“Joe Biden” (looking like the ghost of Konstantin Chernenko) answered in a speech to the UN General Assembly the next day, a maundering recitation of sanctimonious bluster, larded with climate hysteria to alarm and bamboozle the UN’s scores of Third World delegates, with not a word about any possible peace talks — because peaceful resolution of the conflict is the last thing that our government wants. It wants war, meaning we citizens of this land will get it, good and hard, if the puppeteers working “Joe Biden’s” mouth get their way. Prepare to live in an ashtray.

When Law And Governance Are Used To Suffocate And Suppress The Truth

alexberenson  |  The First Amendment does not apply to private companies like Twitter. But if the companies are acting on behalf of the federal government they can become “state actors” that must allow free speech and debate, just as the government does.

Previous efforts to file state action lawsuits against the government and social media companies for working together to ban users have failed. Courts have universally held that people who have been banned have not shown the specific demands from government officials that are necessary to support state action claims.

In my case, though, federal officials appear to have gone far beyond generically encouraging Twitter to support Covid vaccines or discourage “misinformation” (i.e. information that the government does not like).

Instead, top officials targeted me personally.

Andrew Slavitt, senior advisor to President Biden’s Covid response team, complained specifically about me, according to a Twitter employee in another Slack conversation discussing the White House meeting.

“They really wanted to know about Alex Berenson,” the employee wrote. “Andy Slavitt suggested they had seen data viz [visualization] that had showed he was the epicenter of disinfo that radiated outwards to the persuadable public.”

According to an interview he gave to the Washington Post in June 2021, Slavitt worked directly with the most powerful officials in the federal government, including Ron Klain, President Biden’s chief of staff, and Biden himself.

The Slack conversations also show the pressure Twitter employees felt internally to respond to the government’s questions about whether the company was doing enough to suppress “misinformation” about Covid and the vaccines. An employee writes that the questions at the meeting were “pointed” but “mercifully, we had answers.”

At the time, employees said internally they did not believe I had broken the company’s rules. “I’ve taken a pretty close look at his account and I don’t think any of it’s violative,” an employee wrote on the Slack conversation a few minutes after the "really tough question about why Alex Berenson hasn’t been kicked off.”

But the pressure on Twitter to take action against me and other mRNA vaccine skeptics steadily increased after that April meeting, and especially in July and August, as the government began to consider the unprecedented step of mandating Covid vaccines for adults.

On July 16, 2021, President Biden complained publicly that social media companies were “killing people” by encouraging vaccine hesitancy. A few hours after Biden’s comment, Twitter suspended my account for the first time.

On August 28, 2021, barely four months after the meeting, Twitter banned me - for a tweet that it has now acknowledged “should not have led to my suspension.”

I obtained the message and other documents related to Twitter’s censorship of me as part of my lawsuit against Twitter over my August 2021 ban. I filed the suit in federal court in San Francisco in December 2021. Twitter and I settled it last month, when Twitter restored my account and acknowledged it had erred in banning me.



Sunday, September 25, 2022

Let's See If Valodya Declares Something Close To Martial Law In Russia

herson.tsargrad  |  Question:  Do you concede  that not only in the territory of the border regions of Russia – that’s to say, the Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh, Rostov regions, and Crimea —  but martial law may be declared throughout the country?

YP: Very had to believe, but I cannot rule out this possibility. This is because, in my opinion, the question of creating the State Defense Committee is already overdue and even overready. We now live under the laws of peacetime. Accordingly, we can influence certain structures, including state power and elected power, only through the laws of peacetime. Holding referendums raises the stakes and already implies a war to the bitter end, because neither Kiev nor the West will agree to the outcomes of the referendums. Therefore, everything will depend on the military, there will be no negotiations. The essence of the special operation must change – this is inevitable.

Question: Does this mean that the Special Military Operation itself will change in its essence?

YP: I really hope for it. I think it’s inevitable. Because it makes no sense to announce even partial mobilization within the framework of the Special Military Operation [SMO] – and this cannot solve the problem of a referendum. It is clear that the status of the SMO should be changed; this has been under discussion for a long time. If, nevertheless, martial law is declared on the territory of Russia, then we can expect the termination of the transit of natural gas through the territory of Ukraine and many other negative economic consequences. Right now I believe that strikes against the critical infrastructure of Ukraine should simply be unavoidable. And this will quickly put Kiev in an uncomfortable position. Military operations must now proceed differently.

Question: But do I understand correctly that there will be an escalation?

YP: Of course, this is the next stage of escalation, and at the highest level. The next stage is the direct and open declaration of war. Although the war has in fact already been under way. You can call this a special military operation as much as you like, but the essence of it will now change.

Question: How do you think the situation will develop? You have already said that this is an escalation, that these are quite tough measures. I have a certain suspicion that Russian society for the most part is not ready for such a development of the situation. How to convey to people that this is important? That this is necessary — partial mobilization and the introduction of martial law?

YP: We woke up on February 24 in a completely different country. It’s just that people still try not to notice it. But this is to be expected, really. After all, both at the beginning of the First World War and at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, people also did not fully understand the essence of the events that took place at the beginning. And even the leadership of the Soviet Union finally designated the Great Patriotic War as the Great Patriotic War only on August 10–11, 1941, and not on June 22 at all. It’s the same with us now.  The war is already underway, and we have had another country since February 24.  In gradual steps our society should mature to understanding. And yet we are not going anywhere else.  The country will be different. The world will be different. And we, accordingly, must win our place under the sun in the new world for our country. There are no other options. If we do not do this, then we will be in the dustbin of history.

Question: What will this mean from the practical point of view of our compatriots, ordinary Russians?

YP: In fact, for the ordinary person, nothing fundamentally will change, not yet. But the rules of the game in the country will change. That is, many things that could still be done – to criticize the special military operation, to criticize the army, to express, as some say, ‘their personal opinion’ about these events which harm Russian society — all this will gradually be curtailed. It is clear that you cannot conduct military operations when a powerful fifth column is fighting against you in the rear. This, first of all, the ordinary Russian will have to understand.

There is one more problem. Many officials are waiting for everything to come back to where it was in the expectation that the Russian army will lose in Ukraine. I feel and see it when I communicate with people. And I really hope that after Vladimir Putin’s address, all this will stay  in the past. Each official will be subject to completely different requirements. They will either have to support what is happening, or they will be removed from their places.

Question: So you are convinced that the behaviour and thinking of the so-called elite will change?

YP:  Not right away. But things will change very quickly. However, the mobilization will affect a very small number of people. It will be no more than a few hundred thousand people.

Question: I understand what the transition to the mobilization model of the economy means. However, I have very significant doubts, taking into account the structure of the domestic economy, taking into account those owners who control the assets. I am skeptical that this entire group will begin to change. What do you think the mobilization economy means?

YP: The mobilization economy can be different – ​​full, partial, and so on. I do not think that the same emphasis will be placed on this now as it was in the Soviet Union in 1941. That is, everything for victory, and nothing else for anything. However, the production of weapons will be increased; we will see some changes in priorities. We urgently need to make ourselves independent now, including in the information space, in the computer business. And if earlier we tried persuading the asset owners to do this, now we must compel them by state order.


The Effect Of Anti-Russian Propaganda On Russian Minds

theatlantic  |   After President Vladimir Putin announced this week that Russia was conscripting some 300,000 reservists and military veterans to reinforce its war effort in Ukraine, international flights out of Russian cities quickly sold out. This latest wave of Russia’s exodus included Anton Shalaev, a 38-year-old senior manager at an IT company, and 15 colleagues.

On less than a day’s notice, these men of military age all left their relatively comfortable lives in downtown Moscow to fly to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Because of Putin’s war, Shalaev tossed a book, an iPad, and a laptop in a backpack and got out of Dodge.

Shalaev and his co-workers are true tech geeks, producers of high-value computer games. They represent their country’s brightest and best, members of a tech elite that was the economic foundation of Russia’s new middle class. In a last selfie from Moscow, Shalaev brandished a coffee mug that bore the slogan Not today, Satan.

Anna Nemtsova: Why didn’t you want to be drafted to fight in Ukraine?

Anton Shalaev: On the day Putin declared the war, I knew I would never fight on behalf of this new Nazi Reich. They are my personal enemies: mercenaries who steal my country from me, occupy foreign territories, and kill innocent people. Putin’s army commanders have had plenty of time to turn down their contracts; instead, they are recruiting more cannon fodder now.

So I chose to help Ukrainians suffering from this horror—pay for shelters in Kyiv with cryptocurrency and write antiwar posts on social media. To encourage Russians at home, I said: “Guys, look, I am writing this from Moscow.”

Nemtsova: What do you think of the Kremlin’s decision making?

Shalaev: A few old men and an army of zombies are leading us to hell. I say that because people around me in Russia behaved as if they had been bitten by a zombie, dragging my entire country into a dreadful war. All I saw was Russian loser husbands beating their wives, while the entire rotting house of the state system has turned my people into an army of the dead.

They are my enemies.

Nemtsova: What do you know of the situation in Ukraine?

Shalaev: I constantly follow the war news in Ukraine—and I seek out the best, most objective analysts. My main sources on the atrocities are Ukrainian refugees from cities bombed by Russian forces.

I realize that I would rather go to prison than go to fight against the Ukrainian army. I openly embrace my antiwar position. I urge my social-media followers to donate to Ukrainians. This entire war is a crime against humanity.



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