Wednesday, May 31, 2023

THEY've Decided It's Time To Shut Roger Waters Down....,

 unz  |  The Jews won’t tolerate you disagreeing with them.

They are now going after Roger Waters – a pointed critic of Israel – for being against Nazism, saying that satirizing Nazism is the same thing as being a Nazi.

They’ve been trying to get at this guy for years. This is what they’ve come up with.

These people will not tolerate dissent. They will crush you, whoever you are.

RT:

German police have launched a criminal investigation into English rock legend and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters on suspicion of glorifying Nazism during two concerts in Berlin. The musician has insisted the performance was in opposition to fascism.

On Friday, in a statement quoted by several media outlets, the Berlin police said that Waters was suspected of inciting hatred, and that the probe was centered on his performances on May 17 and 18 in the German capital.

In footage posted on social media, the musician can be seen wearing a leather trench coat resembling a Nazi uniform with two crossed hammers and a red armband. He then proceeds to take a mock gun and shoot into the crowd.

“The context of the clothing worn is deemed capable of approving, glorifying or justifying the violent and arbitrary rule of the Nazi regime in a manner that violates the dignity of the victims and thereby disrupts public peace,” the police said.

The Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon suggested that Waters wanted to compare Israel to the Nazis, describing the musician as “one of the biggest Jew haters of our time.”

On Friday, the musician addressed the controversy, writing on Twitter that he had become a target of “bad faith attacks” from those who disagreed with his political views.

“The elements of my performance that have been questioned are quite clearly a statement in opposition to fascism, injustice and bigotry in all its forms”, he said, adding that he had spent his entire life speaking out “against authoritarianism and oppression.”

What he should have explained, frankly, is the fact that he’s been doing this bit for literally decades. Roger Waters has been performing this show, in this costume, in Germany, for 42 years.

Now, inexplicably, it’s a problem.

Of course, the reason it is a problem is that since 1981, and particularly over the last decade or so, Waters has gotten aggressively political. He is extremely anti-Israel, and he is against this Jewish war in the Ukraine. If you want more information on that, you can really just check the Roger Waters archive on the Daily Stormer.

Probably, the fact that I’ve been so supportive of him is one of the reasons the Jews are so obsessed with him.

What's The Point Of Fighting For The Right To Feel Like What You Can't Be?

jonathanturley  |  We have previously discussed how comedians have been objecting that woke activists are killing comedy. The complaint is that a group of perpetually pissed off, humorless people are remaking the world in their own image. It began with college campuses which comedians are now saying are dead as venues since you cannot safely make any joke that insults any group other than white straight males or Christians or conservatives. Others have objected to hate speech laws limiting comedians, particularly after some comedians have been prosecuted for “malicious communications” or insulting groups or religious figures. Six out of ten students view offensive jokes as hate speech. This week, however, activists appear to have met their match in a legend of comedy who has opposed the cutting of  a scene from the movie The Life of Brian. No, activists are not upset with the endless jokes about Italians, Christians, and Jews. It is the scene involving a man who wants to become a women and have a child. John Cleese is refusing to yield.

In The Life of Brian, the scene involves “Stan” who announces that he wants to be a woman named Loretta and have babies.  Activists objected that it made fun of transgender people and demanded that it be cut from the film.

The scene shows Stan declaring “I want to be a woman… It’s my right as a man. I want to have babies… It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.” After Cleese’s protest, the character snaps, “Don’t you oppress me!”

Some reported that Cleese had agreed to cut the scene. However, Cleese tweeted out a correction of the “misreporting.”

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

I Would Pay Good Money To See Zakharova Kick Ms. Lindsey's Punk Ass...,

SCMP  |  Russia’s interior ministry has put US Senator Lindsey Graham on a wanted list, Russian media reported on Monday, citing the ministry’s database.

In an edited video released by the Ukrainian president’s office of Graham’s meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday, Graham was shown saying “the Russians are dying” and then saying US support was the “best money we’ve ever spent”.


After Russia criticised the remarks, Ukraine released a full video of the meeting which showed the two remarks were not linked.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Sunday that it was opening a criminal probe into Graham’s comments. It did not specify what crime he was suspected of.

In Russia, the comments caused a swell of outrage. Before the criminal proceedings were initiated, the Russian leadership had already verbally criticised Graham.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov spoke of a “disgrace” that such senators represented the United States. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova declared that US investments had caused World War II and the Holocaust.

Now the US was funding “the neo-Nazi Kiev regime,” Zakharova added, reprising the Russian position that its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year was necessary to defeat Nazism.

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev called Graham, a 67-year-old Republican, an old fool.

“The old fool Senator Lindsey Graham said that the United States has never spent money so successfully as on the murder of Russians,” Medvedev said. “He shouldn’t have done that.”

 Graham disputed Russian criticism of his support for Ukraine on Sunday, saying he had simply praised the spirit of Ukrainians in resisting a Russian invasion with assistance provided by Washington.

“As usual the Russia propaganda machine is hard at work,” Graham told Reuters in an emailed statement on Sunday, referring to Medvedev’s comments about his Kyiv visit, which he had used to urge Washington to send more weapons to Ukraine.

Graham said he had mentioned to Zelensky “that Ukraine has adopted the American mantra, ‘Live Free or Die”. It has been a good investment by the United States to help liberate Ukraine from Russian war criminals”.

Ms. Lindsey Graham Out'chere Hugging Ukrainian Men And Running Her Mouth Reckless...,

thehill  |  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) took aim at the defense spending proposed in the debt ceiling deal, saying on Sunday that adopting what he labeled as President Biden’s defense budget would be a “joke.”

“I want to raise the debt ceiling, it would be irresponsible not to do it,” Graham told Shannon Bream on “Fox News Sunday.” “I want to control spending, I’d like to have a smaller IRS, I’d like to clawback the unused COVID money. And I know you can’t get to perfect, but what I will not do is adopt the Biden defense budget and call it as success.”

Graham’s comments comes despite a deal with Biden being struck by fellow Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) who came to an agreement in principle late Saturday to raise the debt ceiling for two years and apply new caps on federal spending. Graham pushed back on McCarthy saying that the defense is fully funded, reiterating that he will give Congress a “hard time” if they send the proposed defense budget to the Senate. 

“So the Biden defense budget was a joke before and if we adopted it as Republicans will be doing a great disservice to the party of Ronald Reagan. The biggest winner of the Biden defense budget is China,” he said.

He added that he wants to raise the debt ceiling, but not at the expense of the military. He said that he will not be “intimidated” by June 5, the deadline set by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to avoid a national default.

“We should raise the debt ceiling but we should not cripple the military’s ability to defend the nation as a trade off, spending below inflation is not fully funding the military,” he continued.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Fiona Hill: Coming Around To The Realization She Got Played For A Fool?

err.ee  |  "Whataboutism" is not just a feature of Russian rhetoric. The U.S. invasion of Iraq universally undercut U.S. credibility and continues to do so. For many critics of the United States, Iraq was the most recent in a series of American sins stretching back to Vietnam and the precursor of current events. Even though a tiny handful of states have sided with Russia in successive UN resolutions in the General Assembly, significant abstentions, including by China and India, signal displeasure with the United States. As a result, the vital twin tasks of restoring the prohibition against war and the use of force as the critical cornerstone of the United Nations and international system, and of defending Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, get lost in a morass of skepticism and suspicions about the United States. 

In the so-called "Global South," and what I am loosely referring to as the "Rest" (of the world), there is no sense of the U.S. as a virtuous state. Perceptions of American hubris and hypocrisy are widespread. Trust in the international system(s) that the U.S. helped invent and has presided over since World War II is long gone.  Elites and populations in many of these countries believe that the system was imposed on them at a time of weakness when they were only just securing their independence. Even if elites and populations have generally benefitted from pax Americana, they believe the United States and its bloc of countries in the collective West have benefitted far more. For them, this war is about protecting the West's benefits and hegemony, not defending Ukraine. 

Russian false narratives about its invasion of Ukraine and about the U.S. resonate and take root globally because they fall on this fertile soil. Russia's disinformation seems more like information—it comports with "the facts" as others seem them. Non-Western elites share the same belief as some Western analysts that Russia was provoked or pushed into war by the United States and NATO expansion. They resent the power of the U.S. dollar and Washington's frequent punitive use of financial sanctions. They were not consulted by the U.S. on this round of sanctions against Russia. They see Western sanctions constraining their energy and food supplies and pushing up prices. They blame Russia's Black Sea blockade and deliberate disruption of global grain exports on the United States—not on the actual perpetrator, Vladimir Putin. They point out that no-one pushed to sanction the United States when it invaded Afghanistan and then Iraq, even though they were opposed to U.S. intervention, so why should they step up now?

Countries in the Global South's resistance to U.S. and European appeals for solidarity on Ukraine are an open rebellion. This is a mutiny against what they see as the collective West dominating the international discourse and foisting its problems on everyone else, while brushing aside their priorities on climate change compensation, economic development, and debt relief. The Rest feel constantly marginalized in world affairs. Why in fact are they labeled (as I am reflecting here in this speech) the "Global South," having previously been called the Third World or the Developing World? Why are they even the "Rest" of the world? They are the world, representing 6.5 billion people. Our terminology reeks of colonialism.

The Cold War era non-aligned movement has reemerged if it ever went away. At present, this is less a cohesive movement than a desire for distance, to be left out of the European mess around Ukraine. But it is also a very clear negative reaction to the American propensity for defining the global order and forcing countries to take sides.  As one Indian interlocutor recently exclaimed about Ukraine: "this is your conflict! … We have other pressing matters, our own issues … We are in our own lands on our own sides … Where are you when things go wrong for us?"

Most countries—including many in Europe—reject the current U.S. framing of a new "Great Power Competition"—a geopolitical tug-of-war between the United States and China. States and elites bristle at the U.S. idea that "you are either with us or against us," or you are "on the right or wrong side of history" in an epic struggle of democracies versus autocracies. Few outside Europe accept this definition of the war in Ukraine or the geopolitical stakes. They don't want to be assigned to new blocs that are artificially imposed, and no-one wants to be caught in a titanic clash between the United States and China. In contrast to the U.S., as well as others like Japan, South Korea and India, most countries do not see China as a direct military or security threat. They may have serious qualms about China's rough economic and political behavior and its blatant abuse of human rights, but they still see China's value as a trading and investment partner for their future development. The United States and the European Union don't offer sufficient alternatives for countries to turn away from China, including in the security realm—and even within Europe the sense of how much is at stake for individual countries in the larger international system and in relations with China varies.

Outside Europe, the interest in new regional orders is more pronounced. In this context, the BRICS—which, for its members offers an alternative to the G7 and the G20—is now attractive to others. Nineteen countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, purportedly showed interested in joining the organization ahead of its recent April 2023 summit. Countries see the BRICS (and other similar entities like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization or SCO) as offering flexible diplomatic arrangements and possible new strategic alliances as well as different trade opportunities beyond the United States and Europe. BRICS members and aspirants, however, have very disparate interests. We need to consider these as we look ahead to finding a resolution to the war in Ukraine and as we consider the kinds of structures and networks we will have to deal with in the future.

I am going to run through some of the factors that are most relevant to thinking about Ukraine in the BRICS context.

Fiona Hill: Credulous Replacement Negroe Weaponized Against Donald Trump

pbs  |   Judy Woodruff: Ultimately, what was your assessment of Donald Trump as a person and as a president?

Fiona Hill: Well, as a person, he was extremely vulnerable to manipulation. And that became a problem for him as a president.

And what I mean by that is, he had a very fragile ego, and he was very susceptible to flattery, as well as taking massive offense, as we all saw, to any kind of criticism. So, on a personal level, that was also a pretty dangerous flaw.

When you're the president of the United States, it becomes a fatal flaw, because President Trump couldn't disassociate or disentangle himself from many of the issues that were the critical ones to address. So, when people were concerned about Russian influence in the United States election, he only thought about how that affected him, for example.

When people talked about the changes in the U.S. economic structure, he would always think, first of all, about how that might affect him and about how that might affect how people would vote for him. So, as a president, he was uniquely preoccupied with himself, not with the country.

And that, of course, made all of the problems of intelligence risks even higher, because the Russians or others from the outside could also manipulate those tendencies.

Judy Woodruff: So, if you can answer this, is the world safer or is it more dangerous because of his presidency?

Fiona Hill: Well, I think it's become more dangerous, because he was also extremely divisive, because President Trump was very focused on getting reelected, and he wasn't going to do that by appealing to all Americans.

He wanted to appeal to a particular base of people who were attracted by his personality or attracted by the things that he said he was going to do for them. And, of course, that's on different parts of the economic scale and the socioeconomic lower levels. It's the people — he said he was going to find them a job. He was going to fix the economy, so they would have jobs.

At the top end, among millionaires and billionaires, it was that he was going to protect their fortunes, from — being from those circles himself.

Judy Woodruff: What I find so striking is that you weren't so concerned about Donald Trump being controlled by Vladimir Putin, being influenced by Vladimir Putin, as you were concerned about the United States following on the same political path that you see Russia follow under Vladimir Putin.

Fiona Hill: That's absolutely right, because Russia went through a similar wrenching economic period and political periods in the 1990s.

So, Russia had its equivalent of a kind of the Great Recession, and, at the end of that decade, President Putin comes in and says, I'm going to fix everything. I'm going to make America great again, which, of course, is what President Trump said in 2016. And what Putin did was basically tie himself up into all of these politics.

He, of course, has extended his terms in office through amending the Constitution. He can essentially be president until 2036. And Donald Trump has also said that he wants to be president in perpetuity. He wouldn't accept that he had lost the 2020 election. He's saying he's going to come back, that he has a right to come back because he was never kicked out of office in the first place.

And he's been spreading lies about essentially his own role in all the events that we have seen over the last years, January 6, for example, and the storming of the Capitol.

Judy Woodruff: Do you believe our democracy is in danger as a result of this?

Fiona Hill: I do.

And I think that danger is increasing by the day, because we're constantly seeing other political figures trying to emulate Trump. We're now in a situation where lies and deceit have become the coin of governance.

Judy Woodruff: It's a disturbing conclusion in this book.

Fiona Hill, thank you very much.


Sunday, May 28, 2023

Fixing America Must Be Taken Out Of The Hands Of The People Who Broke It

kunstler  |  Would it surprise you to learn that children well beneath the age of puberty are not inclined to think about sex at all? In a well-ordered society that recognizes children as different from adults, they don’t. And if something sexual comes to their attention, they are generally perplexed by it. Unless they’re born into an era when adults are busy erasing boundaries, guard-rails, and cultural inhibitions, in which case I must imagine that young children exposed to, say, pornography in a chaotic household find it traumatically sinister. So, why the gleeful celebration about sexualizing children now?

     I’ll tell you why: because we are living in a very badly-ordered society these days, a society in which anything goes and nothing matters, which is a poor principle for civilization. It’s the same principle that has people shitting all over the sidewalks of San Francisco, looting Walgreens stores in broad daylight, pushing ineffective and unsafe vaccines (and lying about it), and arresting people for thought crimes. It’s a degenerate society. Morally bankrupt. Wicked.

    You might ask, how did it get that way? The concise answer is that a broken business model for daily life and a collapsing economy have so disordered millions of minds that values are seen as having no value. The scaffold for truth, beauty, honor, dignity, courage, prudence, generosity, etc., folded some time ago, in slow-motion, so we didn’t notice.

     The keepers of our culture have replaced it with a tacky system of ritual virtue-signaling fakery that they don’t really believe in, that persists simply because the moral vacuum it stands for provokes such unbearable anxiety. The main lesson of the recent Durham Report — missed by even the most punctilious observers — is that our country does not want to fix itself, indeed the whole broken apparatus of fixing it is in the hands of the people who broke it.

     This epic negligence leaves the doors wide open for the broad range of lower-order criminal mischief we’re seeing expressed all around us. Now I will venture into shadowland.  There is a rumor floating around the Internet that this seemingly coordinated campaign to sexualize children and initiate them into marginal behaviors was started to soften up the public for forthcoming shocking revelations contained in the much-whispered-about Jeffrey Epstein archive of videos that show eminent international figures caught in compromising sexual situations that include sexual acts with children.

    I wouldn’t commit to saying there’s anything to that, but there have been an awful lot of signs and portents pointing in that direction, and so I also wouldn’t dismiss it altogether. There can be little doubt that the videos exist, or did exist — we know that Epstein’s various mansions were rigged to the eaves with cameras, and that he was an “asset” of more than one nation’s intel service trafficking in blackmail — and I’d expect that there are at least a few copies of the videos out there, just like there are many copies of Hunter Biden’s laptop hard-drive out there.

     There’s something definitely programmatic about the way the drag queens were rolled out into the kiddie korners the past year. It doesn’t feel organic, shall we say, but rather directed, like a sinister grand opera. And the effort to enlist and initiate schoolchildren into a psychodrama of hyperbolic sexual confusion looks absolutely orchestrated.

     What we might be seeing is the convergence of a world-beating political scandal with an economy-killing financial crisis that will destroy the entire post-WW2 armature of money and credit. That event would usher in a period of appalling turbulence in our everyday life, severing supply chains, killing businesses, and disturbing every imaginable social arrangement as well as public order. If that comes to pass, and it’s looking likely, then that will be the last we hear about personal pronouns and trans influencers for a thousand years.

Legalized Marijuana Will Only Further Devastate Already Compromised American Mental Health

NYTimes  |  Ever since Justin, a 15-year-old high school freshman, tried marijuana on his birthday two years ago, he has smoked almost every day, several times a day, he said.

“If I smoke a blunt, after that blunt I’m going to be chill,” he said on a recent morning at a corner deli near his school, the Bronx Design and Construction Academy. “I’m not going to be stressing about nothing at all.”

Another boy came by and flashed two glass tubes of smokable flower. More students were smoking across the street in a doorway and on a stoop. On another corner, a smoke shop frequented by children in backpacks and uniforms opened about half an hour before the first bell.

While it has long been common for some teens to smoke marijuana, teachers and students say that more and younger students are smoking throughout the day and at school.

There is little definitive data on marijuana use among children, and what information is available can sometimes offer a contradictory picture. Disciplinary data from the city education department reflects a 10 percent increase in alcohol- and drug-related offenses this year compared to 2019. But a city survey found teen cannabis use had declined in 2021, the same year that the state legalized marijuana for recreational use, to the lowest level recorded since the question was added to the survey in 1997.

Still, two dozen students and teachers at public, private and charter schools across the city said in interviews that some classrooms were in disarray as more pupils showed up late and high.

They said that with the proliferation of unlicensed smoke shops and the availability of vape pens and edible products, cannabis has never been more accessible and inconspicuous. They relayed accounts of students taking hits of vaping pens when teachers turned their backs, of bathrooms and stairwells becoming smoking lounges and of the smell of weed wafting through school hallways.

“It really feels like this unstoppable tide that we’re futilely trying to suppress,” said America Billy, 44, who has been teaching at a public high school in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, for over a decade. She said it was hard to know whether a student was out of it because of a lack of sleep, family stress or drugs.

In December, a former principal, April McKoy, described in a letter how students’ cannabis use had spiraled out of control during her last two years in charge of City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology in Brooklyn.

“It felt like more and more were using without knowing the source, impact or consequences of early marijuana use,” Ms. McKoy said in the letter, adding that students had returned after the pandemic “sad, isolated and trying to find ways to cope.”

Freshmen were selling cannabis to each other, and she said she witnessed a smoke shop sell edibles to 14-year-olds with police officers nearby. On another occasion, she sent four students to the hospital because they were sickened from contaminated edibles, she said.

The proliferation of unlicensed smoke shops, which the city says may number as many as 1,500, could be one factor driving marijuana use among children, officials said.

Gale Brewer, a city councilwoman, said that though she had counted fewer than 10 of them in her district on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in September, there were 64 by March. Several school administrators have complained to her about merchants selling joints and infused candies as well as high-potency concentrates and vapes to students.

“We were all saying we need social workers, we need psychologists, we need mental health support in the schools,” she said. But dealing with smoke shops selling to children “was not on the list.”

Saturday, May 27, 2023

The Curious Phenomenon Of Mexican And South Asian Neo-Nazis...,

richardhanania  |  Ron: That’s very interesting, Marius. But I’d like to go back to the strangeness of this group and their complaints. When you’re talking about crime and the destruction of our great cities, aren’t you really talking about, well, since you like the euphemism of “Foundational American,” I’ll call them “1619 Americans”…

Brahmin: In a way, yes, but preserving the Foundational American stock is important. Whenever there is diversity, you see division, chaos, bloodshed. That’s the rule here, that’s the rule everywhere. Have you ever read Precambrian Pederast? He taught us about all that is wrong with this disgusting era. Ethnic homogeneity must be preserved, above all else.

Ron: That certainly doesn’t seem to be the rule here. Today, I live in the Bay Area. California is a majority-minority state. And yet we see very little of the violence you fear. In 1970, California was 76% white. It’s now 35% white. You know what’s happened to the murder rate in that time? It’s been cut by two-thirds! As far as racial strife, you may have seen recent news stories about the California reparations commission and San Francisco wanting to offer blacks ungodly amounts of money to compensate them for past and present racism. The Bay Area is like 8% black, they’re the smallest population of the major American “races.” Yet if you follow racial issues in the state, if you went into a coma in the late 1960s and woke up in 2020, you would be amazed at how little had changed. Well, pronouns and that stuff would be new. But on race, you have income and test score disparities, crime that we can’t be honest about, so-called “police brutality.” Only if anything, California is a lot more peaceful due to the demographic change you all decry so much…

Allison: But they vote, Ron! Who gave us these crazy policies?

Ron: I won’t dispute that Hispanic and Asian immigrants tend to vote Democrat. But look at it another way. Republicans in 2016 nominated the guy whose main message was “Mexicans are rapists.” In 2020, he still won 40% of them. Can you imagine if Republicans could actually pretend to like these people? Italians ended up pretty evenly divided between the two parties, and even Jews are headed in the conservative direction thanks to differential birth rates. I see no reason why there’s some impossible barrier to overcome between Mestizos and white Americans. I mean look at this room…

[In addition to the clearly swarthy Romero and Brahmin, at least a third of the room looks to be of either Hispanic or South Asian descent.]

Ron: You doubt that you can have a multiracial country? You all have built a multiracial movement based on the idea of maintaining racial purity. Don’t check your phones, you might see another alert of a Neo-Nazi Mexican mass shooter, there have been a few of those lately, and a right-wing Indian just tried to kill Biden I believe. Remember not that long ago when there was a mass shooting, and everyone would either hope it was a right-wing white male or a Muslim, depending on their politics? Well, now we have the brown white supremacist, which right-wingers on Twitter tell me can’t possibly exist, even though it’s like half their movement now.

When was the last time you even heard of Muslim terrorism? Is a brown mass shooter these days more likely to be a Muslim extremist or someone whose brain has been melted by the online right? This question would’ve been laughable a few years ago, and I guess it’s still laughable now, but for a different reason.

And the funniest part is that I suspect that all of this results from a fear of talking about what is arguably the main issue at the heart of the American experiment. That’s right, it’s the weird, sadomasochistic relationship between whites and blacks that was so well dramatized by Tom Wolfe when he was alive. Oh sure, you guys talk about race and crime. But it seems like you need your “racism” to be more inclusive. You need to pretend to exclude everyone, because it seems more consistent with universalist principles. “We just want to preserve the demographic majority, the same right that anyone else has. Oh, it’s not any particular group that’s the problem, it’s the principle of diversity. Can’t we just have a world where every nation is homogenous to the greatest extent possible and then we can all get along?”

[At this point I burst out laughing]

Me: Ron, so wait, what you’re saying is that when we see a Klansman walking around in a hood and screaming about defending the white race, we should pity him for how much his mind has been captured by political correctness? That’s quite a funny image, in fact, it alone has made my night here worthwhile.

Ron: Indeed, Richard, that is what I’m saying. And these poor kids worried about the future of the American right, are digging their own grave, because, guess what? The die has been cast, and we’re headed to a non-white majority. And so conservatism is shaping up to be a movement that represents a coalition of overweight rural whites from left behind areas of the country and short Mestizos, all crying about the passing of whiteness and also about how much the country sucks because everyone is so fat. This probably isn’t a winning message. Of course, there’s overwhelming public support for clamping down on crime and making institutions color-blind, or, as you would put it, going after civil rights law. This is what turned whites towards the Republican Party in the first place, or the disgusting ways in which white elites have let our cities be destroyed and gone to war with every American principle — merit, freedom of speech, rule of law, you name it — in the name of anti-racism.

But instead of focusing on those things and fixing the country, the American right has decided to get distracted by doubling down on becoming a movement of brown white nationalists, in a country where the majority of children born are already non-white.

[At this point, I can feel the energy go out of the room. A few of the attendees pick at one or another of Ron’s points, but they’re clearly deflated and realize that he has given them a lot to think about. An hour and a half later, he is driving me home.]

Me: Wow, Ron, that was something else. I really wish you would’ve elaborated on the vaccine thing a little bit more. Their desire to “own the libs” has really swallowed every other part of their brain, even though they like to think they’re more sophisticated than regular conservatives, and I appreciated you recently taking apart some of the most ridiculous claims of the anti-vaxxers.

Ron: Thank you, Richard. We’ll have to do this again some time.

Me: Oh yeah, I had a lot of fun. What do you think you should try to convince people of next time?

Ron: I believe that covid-19 has a non-zoonotic origin.

Me: So lab leak? That’s it? That’s very mainstream at this point, it’s impossible to find a right-winger who doesn’t believe that this was all the fault of the Chinese.

Ron: Who said anything about the Chinese?

Me: Wait, is this another one of your anti-American conspiracy theories? You’re now going to tell me that the US government accidentally inflicted covid on the world?

Ron: Who said anything about it being an accident?

Me: Please stop Ron, there are only so many mind-blowing ideas I can digest in one night. Let’s talk about the pleasant California weather for the rest of our trip, and how nice it is to live in a state with such natural beauty and low levels of violent crime.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Dressing the Reich: The Fear and Elegance in Nazi Uniforms

iu.edu  |  The omission of clothing from historians’ discussion of the effect of Nazi propaganda is not by accident. It was Joseph Goebbels, the Nazis’ Reich Minister of Propaganda, who famously said, “Propaganda becomes ineffective the moment we become aware of it.” The power in the uniform therein lies in its silence. The uniform is not a poster, a film, or a speech, but a silent, omnipresent actor that, like these media, is a piece of the Nazi propaganda machine. Goebbels’ quote perfectly encapsulates the propagandistic impact of the uniforms worn during the time of the Third Reich. Consequently, Nazi dress and regalia are not the most talked about aspects of the Nazis’ propaganda machine, but more than likely, the least touched upon.

Regardless of silence and scarcity in conversation however, Nazi uniforms may have been the most effective for the very reason that Goebbels outlined: German citizens, enemies of the Nazi regime and foreigners alike were unaware that the Nazis they viewed were walking advertisements for the Reich. These uniforms may have been mute, but they constantly operated in service of the regime through their utilisation of both style and menace.

Uniforms, which have come to be known as one of the most visually-striking elements of Nazi aesthetics, served as one of the principal vectors of propaganda in the Third Reich. In biology, a vector is an organism, typically of the biting sort, that transfers a disease from one being to another– Nazi uniforms did just that. However, instead of fleas transferring the plague, the Nazis used clothing to present propaganda that conveyed their message of racial dominance and militarism without uttering a word. Uniforms operated as an arm of the Nazi ideals of Volksgemeinschaft, in English, a people’s community and Gleichschaltung, the idea of bringing everything in line with the values of national socialism. The Nazi uniform aided in the destruction of personal identity and smoothed out the differences between German citizens thereby constructing both an egalitarian and passive society.

The main question of this paper is: how did the Nazi Party use its uniforms to exude elegance whilst eliciting fear in order to further its ideology into the minds of wearers, viewers and enemies? In other words, how was the uniform a piece of propaganda? I will argue that the  Nazis used uniforms to produce a fashionable aesthetic to serve as another arm of the Third Reich’s propaganda machine– specifically, through the stark uniform that so occupies our memory of the image of the Nazis. I will look at the structure and implementation of the Nazi uniform and how it pertained to the promotion of the ideals of the Reich. By then using primary sources from vantage points, the perception and effect of these uniforms can be analysed and their propagandistic effect better understood.

This paper arises out of my own interests in the ability fashion to speak. A natural reaction of impressedness from seeing images of Nazi men clad in strong and svelte clothing forced me to recognise this regalia as different from ordinary uniforms. In other words these were the propagandistic impacts of Nazi fashion, generated from viewing images of Nazi elites and soldiers, felt decades after their design to have just that effect. I was interested in separating the crimes of the Third Reich and understanding how the regime’s look could be evil, investigating whether the fear we associate with the Nazi uniform was an intention in design, or a function of the crimes committed by the Nazis. Did the Nazi uniform have a unique look for its time? Would an allied uniform look ‘evil’ if it was placed into the context of crimes such as the Holocaust? This question can be answered through the juxtaposition of the uniform against those of concurrent, non-German armies and peoples. Isolating an intention to create a uniform that functioned in such a multifaceted way spurred an interest within me to explore the possible depth of the Nazi uniform.

What I believe makes this paper special is that it explores an important and relevant topic: the usage of inanimate and non-vocal (through sound, text or image) techniques to disseminate information. My hope is that this paper will enlighten the reader to look more critically at the ability of potential actors at play in the political sphere. When it comes to gaining and maintaining power, anything can be in service of a regime– including fashion.

20th Century Fascism As Type Formations

johnganz  |  A little while ago, I came up with the idea that that the difference between Italian Fascism and German Nazism was that Fascism essentially had “Jock-Douche” vibes while Nazism had “Creep-Loser” vibes. Now, I’m going to try to develop this fancy into a full-blown (or rather, half-baked) theory.

“But, John, this is absurd,” you might immediately object, “How can you reduce an entire political ideology to categories drawn from American high school movies.” Well, try to think of them as ideal-types like the sociologist Max Weber developed. Here’s what Weber wrote of his ideal-type methodology: “An ideal type is formed by the one-sided accentuation of one or more points of view and by the synthesis of a great many diffuse, discrete, more or less present and occasionally absent concrete individual phenomena, which are arranged according to those onesidedly emphasized viewpoints into a unified analytical construct...” That is to say, they are sort of made up. Still, I believe that this theory, while it does not pretend to be a definitive explanation, may help to illuminate aspects of the far right today.

The Categories Considered in their Ideal-Typical Formation

First, some preliminary definitions. The Jock-Douche ideal-type proceeds in the world with confidence and the presumption of immediate physical domination, while the Creep-Loser ideal-type has been thwarted some way and is therefore reflective, and is resentful, a plotter, a schemer, and a fantasist dreaming up grand historical vistas of triumph or doom. Again, keep in mind these are purely ideal-types. Rarely does an individual totally embody either one or the other idea. One could speculate that in many cases the superficial confidence of the Jock-Douche type is merely psychological compensation for the feelings of inadequacy of the Creep-Loser. On the converse, the intellectual limitations of the Jock-Douche type leads to an imaginative perspective that cannot escape the relatively crude thought-world of Nerd-dom. Considered from either an existential or psychoanalytic lens, it seems likely that these two are actual facets of single complex or form of being-in-the-world, manifested in different ways under different circumstances. Fascism as its own ideal-type can be understood as a synthesis between the Jock-Douche and the Creep-Loser: a cult of sheer physical of strength and action wedded to a wounded and brooding consciousness of impotence and humiliation.

I should address the specifically national character of the division proposed here, that Italian Fascism and German Nazism represent two different affective dimensions of the fascist consciousness or self. Again, this is purely ideal-typical: both movements and nationalities naturally contain examples of the opposite tendency, but for the sake of illustration it is convenient to divide them in this manner. I also believe one finds that these two different spirits do actually predominate more or less in these respective national movements. Now, one might object here that making a division according to national origin recapitulates the very sort of national or even racial essentialism of fascist ideology itself, and that I am stereotyping Italians as impulsive, hot-blooded, and unintellectual while painting Germans, from “the land of poets and thinkers,” as either speculative dreamers or ratiocinators. I would just say to that to a large degree that these different modes of behavior and thinking are representations and projections of fascists’ own fantasies about their national qualities.

The Categories Expressed in Historical Examples

The most obvious representation of the Jock-Douche and Creep-Loser duality is in the leadership of the respective movements: Benito Mussolini vs. Adolf Hitler. Mussolini was socially successful, a popular and esteemed figure in the Italian socialist party. In fact, his turn to nationalism and war-mongering can be considered as a result of the desire for continued popularity, or even identification with popular enthusiasm as such, when his initial pacifist line as editor of the socialist newspaper failed to capture the national imagination.

The turn to war-making and nationalism also appealed to Mussolini’s belief in a mystique of violence and action, leavened by his interest in Georges Sorel’s irrationalism and political vitalism. Here’s how a fellow socialist described him in 1914: “Nothing matters to him now except to win. What matters is to triumph over timidity, fear and prudence which impede and arrest the revolutionary advance of the proletariat.” And Mussolini adulated the proletariat, not so much for its Marxist-assigned historical role of overthrowing the capitalist mode of production, but for its heroism, masculinity and toughness. Mussolini’s he-man histrionics as fascist leader, the jaw-jutting and arm crossing etc. project this pure masculinity. And although he was an intellectual, his statements reflect a proud and defiant anti-intellectualism. Speaking of an anti-fascist newspaper, Mussolini famously remarked, “The democrats of Il Mondo want to know our programme? It is to break the bones of the democrats of Il Mondo. And the sooner the better.” In other words, bullying brought to the level of political theory.

On the other hand, Hitler was a loser. A marginal type in post-war Munich, he was a failure at his chosen vocation as artist. In an unintentionally revealing passage in Mein Kampf, Hitler describes how he was bullied and chased away from a construction job by union organizers. The fact this probably never happened in reality is all the more revealing: it reveals an essential fantasy at play. Mein Kampf itself is the ranting and grandiose fantasies of an embittered man, which provided a good deal of its rhetorical appeal to other members of his pseudo-intellectual milieu, the “intellectual precariat of bohemians and academic dropouts, throwing together various elements that they have found in the neurotic overproduction of private mythologies” as Albert Koschorke describes them in his essay on Mein Kampf.

Even the most casual observer of Nazism has no doubt noted the absurd difference in Hitler’s actual meager appearance and silly histrionics with his professed Aryan ideal. This feature extends across the Nazi leadership, and is especially notable in the figure of Heinrich Himmler. Himmler’s unassuming appearance betrays his essential difference from the mob figures of the early Nazi party, men like the predatory bully Ernst RΓΆhm. He was a petit bourgeois philistine preoccupied with eugenic fantasies drawn from his time as a chicken farmer. He also believed himself to be the reincarnation of an ancient Aryan king.
 

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Guns Make It SOOO HARD To Control American Narrative Hegemony

consentfactory  |  GloboCap, Inc. and its innumerable subsidiaries, agents, assigns, political puppets, media goons, and other loyal minions are desperately endeavoring to enshrine the official Covid-19 narrative in the annals of “history.” According to new figures from the WHO, “almost 15 million excess deaths” (or “a total of 336.8 million lost life-years”) had been caused by the virus by the end of 2021, none of which had anything to do with ventilators, or the classification of anyone who died of anything (i.e., cancer, heart disease, an auto accident, etc.) who had also tested positive as a “Covid death.”

Previously perfectly healthy young people are dropping dead left and right from heart attacks and other “natural” (or “undisclosed”) causes that have nothing to do with the experimental “vaccines” that they did not need but were coerced into taking, which saved millions or 100 million lives. The masks that didn’t work worked, except that they didn’t, but that was only if you studied how they worked in reality. Being locked down, forced to wear medical-looking masks, gaslighted and terrorized by official propaganda, bullied, segregated, censored, demonized, and otherwise systematically tortured, was actually good for people’s mental health, except for “people with existing mental health conditions, and children, and people with disabilities, and adolescents, and people without financial or social security nets.”

Meanwhile, cognitively dissonant New Normals are taking to the Internet to claim that no one knew better at the time, and that, OK, sure, “mistakes were made,” but if we “science-denying conspiracy theorists,” who they censored, demonized, and systematically persecuted for over two years, had just spoken up …

I could go on, but you get the picture … or, rather, you either do or you don’t. Because it’s not just the folks at GloboCap, Inc. that are fanatically waging this War on Reality. Everybody and their brother is trying to ram their “reality” down everyone’s throat. You got the “Viruses Do Not Exist” people. You got the “There Are No Neo-Nazis in Ukraine” people. The “Putin Is Our Savior” people. The Vote Blue Cult. The Multipolar people. The Transgendered People’s Army. The Doomsday Clock Hucksters. The Folks Who Still Listen to NPR. The Insurrection Truthers. The Insurrection Deniers. The 9/11 Truthers. The Moon-Landing Truthers. The Cult of Trump. The Church of Russiagate. The Rothschild Obsessives. The Anti-Racism Racists. The Anti-Anti-Semitism Anti-Semites. The Mass Formation Movement. The Cult of Marx. The Cult of Capital. The Climate Change Fanatics. The Musk Cult. The list goes on and on.

Historically, we humans have not done very well in such psychotic ontological environments. When “reality” is shattered into a thousand little shards, and things fall apart, and the center does not hold, we tend to get rather scared, and confused, and agitated. We start to panic. We try to put “reality” back together again. This does not work. This worsens our panic. We start looking around for a new “reality

Think'em Bilderbergers Wuz Talm'bout Flushing These Epstein-Tainted Turds?

WaPo  | As government attorneys unravel Jeffrey Epstein’s complex finances and sex trafficking ring, officials are training their focus on other high-wealth individuals with whom the disgraced financier may have done business.

One of the most closely watched cases comes from the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Epstein maintained a residence, as it pursues a lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase, Epstein’s bank of 15 years. The suit alleges that the institution profited from keeping Epstein on as a client and was complicit in funding his long history of abuse and child sex trafficking.

Deutsche Bank, where Epstein took much of his wealth after leaving JPMorgan in 2013, has already settled a similar case for $75 million. But legal observers say the claims against JPMorgan are far more sweeping than those against Deutsche Bank, covering a period when his trafficking operation was more robust and sophisticated.

Here are the figures surrounding the JPMorgan-Epstein case, and what you need to know about them.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Having Lost BOTH Narrative Control AND The War In Ukraine - What Were The Bilderbergers Talm'bout?

theautomaticearth  |  In Bakhmut/Artyomovsk, all of NATO, all 31 member nations, were defeated by a restaurant owner and a bunch of convicts, is how I saw someone describe it. That of course caricatures the situation somewhat (Wagner is well-organized), but it’s not that far off. And that spells a serious problem for NATO. All of those 31 members may have lots of control over their media, but in the end you can’t endlessly deny being defeated.

So what will NATO do now? They will double down, and then again. And at the end of the “doubling down road” lie nuclear weapons. Not Russian nukes, because as my friend Wayne wrote the other day, their high-precision hypersonic missiles make nukes look crude and primitive, Middle Ages territory. But NATO/US never developed such weapons. They spent 10+ times as much money on weapons, still do, and -comparatively – ended up with bows and arrows.

Nuclear bombs are good only to create widespread panic and destruction. But that includes your own destruction, because of Mutually Assured Destruction protocols. Which also go back almost as far as the bow and arrow. If you fire a nuclear missile, one very much like it will land on your head a few minutes later. End of story, end of you.

US/NATO, the “collective west”, the hegemon, has lost. And has missed the moment when that occurred. Because hegemon equals hubris. Look at what they’ve all still been saying, and you notice they can’t see, and can’t acknowledge, that -and how- the world has changed. Not just this weekend, and the 9 months before, in Artyomovsk. It’s the entire story of Ukraine: it illustrates how the West “lost it”.

The US plotted a coup and moved NATO’s borders east, and Russia reacted exactly how they said they would. No nukes, no nazis, no NATO. They got the last two, and know they can expect the first too. But still the west maintains Russia’s special operation was entirely unprovoked. Look, they’re not even listening anymore. They would like to negotiate and end all this, but negotiate about what? Putting AZOV back on the borders of the Donbass, so they can kill more Russians there? Not going to happen.

It’s not only about weaponry, though that plays a major role: the hegemon can no longer make its demands based on military might. It’s been surpassed. Nor can it make demands based on the dollar’s reserve currency status, and it caused that itself. Weaponization of the currency has backfired to the extent that de-dollarization has become a process that can no longer be halted.

The moment that Saudi prince MbS turned his back on “Joe Biden” is a milestone. Because once he did that, it was obvious many would follow. In central Asia, if you are Kazachstan or Uzbekistan, why on earth would you opt to go with G7/US/NATO instead of BRICS? Why go with the power that is waning, and not the one in ascendancy? Russia is your biggest neighbor, strongly connected to China which is building its BRI network in your region, and the nearby Arab states are about to join that network. Why would you link yourself to the G7? When you know all your neighbors do not?

Then there are the voices that say the US will push for a bigger and wider war, perhaps including American troops. First, because NATO is losing, and second, because it could mean American boots on the ground, and presidents don’t lose elections in wartime. I’ve said before, I would expect them to go with Polish troops first, possibly on Polish territory too. But the Polish don’t appear all that eager anymore. And neither would any other European NATO country. German and French and Dutch troops are in no shape for war, and in the US over 70% of potential troops are grossly overweight and/or handicapped in some other way.

Ukraine had perhaps the best boots on the ground force in Europe, financed and trained since 2014 by NATO, and they lost to a caterer and a loose group of hired hands. You’re not going to win that. Your only option is long distance weapons, missiles, planes, you name it. But NATO has no advantage in that over Russia. To put it mildly.

The sole thing that’s in your favor is that Russia doesn’t seek to destroy you. They want to live in peace and trade with you. Same thing for China. NATO equals unipolar. But the world has moved towards multipolar. Ergo, NATO is obsolete. Ukraine will never reconquer its “lost” territories, and Zelensky will move to some property in Italy or Florida, never to be heard from again, unless perhaps in his obituary. The deaths of some 300,000 of his countrymen will be on his conscience.

But also on that of all the “leaders” who have sent their second-hand armory to Kiev. They are just as responsible for all those deaths. The world has changed a lot in the past few years, and ignorance is no excuse if you are a “leader”, or a “Joe Biden”. Not even if you’re “just” a voter or reader. Those deaths will be on your head when you go see St. Peter at the gate.

PS: Don’t be surprised if “Joe Biden” sends US boots on the ground anyway. No hegemon has ever given up power lightly. That part of the road is yours, US and EU voters. You may have to fill up the streets like you’ve never seen. The rest, the majority, of the world will be waiting to see if you do or not. They’re prepared for either of the two options.

Gen. Mark Milley Spouts Absurdities While Col. Douglas MacGregor Tells It Like It T.I.Is...,

AmericanConservative |  Until the fighting begins, national military strategy developed in peacetime shapes thinking about warfare and its objectives. Then the fighting creates a new logic of its own. Strategy is adjusted. Objectives change. The battle for Bakhmut illustrates this point very well. 

When General Sergey Vladimirovich Surovikin, commander of Russian aerospace forces, assumed command of the Russian military in the Ukrainian theater last year, President Vladimir Putin and his senior military advisors concluded that their original assumptions about the war were wrong. Washington had proved incurably hostile to Moscow’s offers to negotiate, and the ground force Moscow had committed to compel Kiev to negotiate had proved too small.

Surovikin was given wide latitude to streamline command relationships and reorganize the theater. Most importantly, Surovikin was also given the freedom of action to implement a defensive strategy that maximized the use of stand-off attack or strike systems while Russian ground forces expanded in size and striking power. The Bakhmut “Meatgrinder” was the result. 

When it became clear that Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and his government regarded Bakhmut as a symbol of Ukrainian resistance to Russian military power, Surovikin turned Bakhmut into the graveyard of Ukrainian military power. From the fall of 2022 onward, Surovikin exploited Zalenskiy’s obsession with Bakhmut to engage in a bloody tug-of-war for control of the city. As a result, thousands of Ukrainian soldiers died in Bakhmut and many more were wounded. 

Surovkin’s performance is reminiscent of another Russian military officer: General Aleksei Antonov. As the first deputy chief of the Soviet general staff, Surovikin was, in Western parlance, the director of strategic planning. When Stalin demanded a new summer offensive in a May 1943 meeting, Antonov, the son and grandson of imperial Russian army officers, argued for a defensive strategy. Antonov insisted that Hitler, if allowed, would inevitably attack the Soviet defenses in the Kursk salient and waste German resources doing so.

Stalin, like Hitler, believed that wars were won with offensive action, not defensive operations.

Stalin was unmoved by Soviet losses. Antonov presented his arguments for the defensive strategy in a climate of fear, knowing that contradicting Stalin could cost him his life. To the surprise of Marshals Aleksandr Vasilevsky and Georgy Zhukov, who were present at the meeting, Stalin relented and approved Antonov’s operational concept. The rest, as historians say, is history.

If President Putin and his senior military leaders wanted outside evidence for Surovikin’s strategic success in Bakhmut, a Western admission appears to provide it: Washington and her European allies seem to think that a frozen conflict—in which fighting pauses but neither side is victorious, nor does either side agree that the war is officially over—could be the most politically palatable long-term outcome for NATO. In other words, Zelensky’s supporters no longer believe in the myth of Ukrainian victory.

The question on everyone’s mind is, what’s next? 

In Washington, conventional wisdom dictates that Ukrainian forces launch a counteroffensive to retake Southern Ukraine. Of course, conventional wisdom is frequently high on convention and low on wisdom. On the assumption that Ukraine’s black earth will dry sufficiently to support ground maneuver forces before mid-June, Ukrainian forces will strike Russian defenses on multiple axes and win back control of Southern Ukraine in late May or June. Roughly 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers training in Great Britain, Germany, and other NATO member states are expected to return to Ukraine and provide the foundation for the Ukrainian counterattack force.

General Valery Gerasimov, who now commands the Russian forces in the Ukrainian theater, knows what to expect, and he is undoubtedly preparing for the Ukrainian offensive. The partial mobilization of Russian forces means that Russian ground forces are now much larger than they have been since the mid-1980s. 

Given the paucity of ammunition available to adequately supply one operational axis, it seems unlikely that a Ukrainian offensive involving two or more axes could succeed in penetrating Russian defenses. Persistent overhead surveillance makes it nearly impossible for Ukrainian forces to move through the twenty- to twenty-five-kilometer security zone and close with Russian forces before Ukrainian formations take significant losses. 

Once Ukraine’s offensive resources are exhausted Russia will likely take the offense. There is no incentive to delay Russian offensive operations. As Ukrainian forces repeatedly demonstrate, paralysis is always temporary. Infrastructure and equipment are repaired. Manpower is conscripted to rebuild destroyed formations. If Russia is to achieve its aim of demilitarizing Ukraine, Gerasimov surely knows he must still close with and complete the destruction of the Ukrainian ground forces that remain. 

Why not spare the people of Ukraine further bloodletting and negotiate with Moscow for peace while Ukraine still possesses an army? Unfortunately, to be effective, diplomacy requires mutual respect, and Washington’s effusive hatred for Russia makes diplomacy impossible. That hatred is rivaled only by the arrogance of much of the ruling class, who denigrate Russian military power largely because U.S. forces have been lucky enough to avoid conflict with a major power since the Korean War. More sober-minded leaders in Washington, Paris, Berlin, and other NATO capitols should urge a different course of action.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Biden And Captive Media Fling So Much Bullshit They're Lost In It

gilbertdoctorow  |  The many months long battle for the provincial Donbas city of Bakhmut, or Artyomovsk as it is known in Russia, has been described variously from on high in Washington, London and Berlin. When the likely outcome was unclear, the defense of Bakhmut was called heroic and demonstrative of the brave fighting spirit of the Ukrainians.

Casualty figures issued by Kiev and then trumpeted from Washington suggested that the Russians were stupidly throwing away the lives of their fighting men by using WWI style human waves of attackers who were decimated by the defenders. Russian lives are cheap was the message. The fact that Russian artillery on site outnumbered and outperformed Ukrainian artillery by a factor of five or seven to one was freely admitted by the Western propagandists as they pleaded for increased supplies to Kiev. They,  nonetheless, issued casualty reports for the Russians that inverted the force correlation. It was assumed, obviously with reason, that the public was too lazy or too uninterested to do the arithmetic.

At one moment, the spin doctors in Washington, London and Berlin said that Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut made sense because it was pinning down Russian forces and giving time to the Ukrainians to train and position their men for the heralded “counter offensive” during which they would overrun Russian positions at chosen points in the 600 mile line of combat and drive a wedge through to the Sea of Azov, opening the way for recapture of Crimea. Those were grand words and ambitions to justify continued and ever rising Western military assistance to Kiev.

At another point, the spin doctors said it would be better if Ukraine stopped losing men in Bakhmut and launched instead that much vaunted counter-offensive. Now we were told that Bakhmut is just a Russian fantasy, that it has no strategic value.

In the past couple of weeks, the Russian command has issued daily reports on the progressive capture by Russian forces of Bakhmut, square kilometer after square kilometer. We were told they controlled 75%, then 80% and most recently more than 90% of the city proper while artillery bombardment of the remaining blocks of high rise residential buildings that were being used by Ukrainian defenders for their sniper attacks and intelligence reports on Russian troop movements pulverized everything in their path.

At this point, the attention of Western media defending truth against Russian disinformation was directed at the Ukrainian “successes” in recapturing settlements on the flanks of Bakhmut.  Just three days ago The New York Times was telling its readers that these “breakthroughs” by the Ukrainians put in jeopardy the Russian forces holding the city proper: they might be surrounded and compelled to surrender or die. The possibility that the offensives on the flanks were only intended to facilitate withdrawal of remaining Ukrainian soldiers from Bakhmut and were tolerated by the Russians to avoid bloody fights to the death – that possibility crossed no one’s mind at the NYT, it seems.

Midday yesterday, 20 May, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner Group which did most of the fighting for Bakhmut on the ground, claimed total victory.  In the evening, President Vladimir Putin announced to the Russian public that Bakhmut was taken. Joyous messages of congratulations filled the internet message services in Russia as the broad public celebrated a victory as iconic as the Battle for Stalingrad.

Meanwhile, the defenders of the Western public against Russian “disinformation” were hard at work, straining their brains to find what to say. This morning’s New York Times still speaks of the battle for Bakhmut as undecided, pointing yet again to the Ukrainian hold on the flanks.

Given their losses in men and materiel defending Bakhmut, the surrender of the city to the Russians will be a great blow to Ukrainian fighting morale when it is finally admitted. So will the fate of their Commander in Chief General Zaluzhny who, according to Russian sources, has been hospitalized for the past two weeks and remains in critical condition after falling victim to a Russian strike on a provincial command center which killed most of the high officers around him. If nothing else, this speaks to the amazing success of Russian military intelligence directing their firepower.

Meanwhile, Western media attention to Ukraine is conveniently redirected at the nonstop travels of President Zalensky who went from his European tour on to the Middle East, where he attended the meeting of the Arab League, and thence via French military jet to the G7 gathering in Hiroshima where he held talks with fellow heads of state and joined them for the obligatory group photos. All the talk was about when the U.S. will formally give its consent to the dispatch of F16s to Kiev. For the disseminators of Western disinformation this is a wonderful distraction from a war that clearly is going badly for Kiev and in particular a distraction from the counter offensive that looks less likely with each passing day of Russian military strikes on the command centers and weapons stores of the Ukrainian side.

The plume of radioactive smoke and ash that rose from the Khmelnitsky store of British depleted uranium artillery shells in Western Ukraine after a Russian missile strike, just like the extensive damage to the Patriot air defense installation near Kiev by a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile tell us all what will be the fate of future Western arms deliveries to Ukraine. It is an interesting question how much longer the Ukrainian military or politicians will put up with their high flying, good life President while the country is well on its way to hell.