The fact that there were at least 36 private jets which flew participants into the COP27 conference, spewing huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere is one small demonstration of what these conferences are about- looking good and taking no action while our living planet dies.
While there were many indigenous peoples attending the COP27 who were able to voice their concerns about the current state of the earth and make suggestions for change, their voice had absolutely no weight in the final decisions made by the big power-brokers ( who depend on a CO2 producing economy to keep the electoral money rolling in).
Those indigenous groups talked not only about climate change, but more importantly, about the loss of biodiversity and our dis-connection with the rest of nature which industrialization and commodification has done to our beautiful living world in the last 200 years. Without our fellow living things on this planet ; we are done .
The idea that giving some money to a poor country to compensate for a now unsolvable problem of environmental destruction is frankly bizarre, and amply demonstrates that mental vacuity of those rich and powerful people.
No doubt the money will be useful and may help poorer countries mitigate the losses to their local ecosystems and help humans survive in their devastated environment a little longer, but in many cases that money will simply be spent on more ‘development’ and ‘progress’ and thus more environmental destruction.
And as we can already begin to see, many of the global ‘rich’ countries are already struggling to cope with the environmental ‘costs’ to their own economies, so their capacity to pay anybody else for their own stupidity is soon going to be substantially diminished.
Everywhere we see the powerful and the media portraying climate change as some little problem we can solve- at some stage- but lets get on with the business of despoiling the planet now -while there’s money to be made!
I see sublime examples of this on my local state television news channel, who in one news segment show how our magnificent government has made some new pledge to reduce carbon emissions and the next news segment extols the virtues of that same government encouraging tourists from half way round the world to travel to New Zealand.(and home again). Those enormous jet plane carbon emissions (about 5 tonnes of Co2 each way) will of course not be counted in New Zealand’s carbon emissions but to the tourist’s home country, so naturally everything is ok!
We will undoubtedly exceed 1.5C increases in global temperatures in the not so distant future , and will also certainly reach 3.5C increases if we do not dramatically reduce our consumption of energy globally. Green energy solutions; solar, wind and wave can make that transition a little easier, but they cannot ever replace the quantity of energy from oil gas and coal we continue to consume at ever increasing rates.
We all need to come to terms with consuming less and helping to recreate the natural world .
If we don’t, and very soon, Nature will decide for us in not so pleasant ways.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has it seems irrevocably pinned her flag to the mast of the ‘dark side’- the U.S. ‘rule based order’ ( not to be confused with the UN charter of human rights or anything silly like that, but with the right of the YS to do anything it damn well likes to any country and people it pleases. (bombing an allies’ gas pipeline is just one of so many examples)
Whil insisting there is only one truth in regard to world conflicts (no room for peace negotiations there!) she also insisted there could only be one view about climate change. As one who does not deny the reality of climate change, I find it astonishing that Ardern suggests we can legislate climate impacts away by saying we will not allow the world to increase global temperatures by 1.5C.
Either she is amazing badly informed by her science advisors about climate change, or she is simply posturing. The reality is that it is now inevitable that the world will experience much more than 1.5C warming. Governments across the world (including her own) have talked a lot about climate change impacts and what should be done- but have in fact done nothing more than pretend to their voters they are doing something. Co2 global production continues to increase, not decrease.
And in fact Ardern’s government has continued to push for more international tourism (which in New Zealand results in massive production of Co2 from the passenger jets winging their way around the world to the South Pacific from the Northern hemisphere), more extensive dairy and agribusiness farming which continues to destroy our environment in multiple ways and generally more ‘progress’ (which means more businesses which inevitably destroy more of the environment and induces more consumption of goods people don’t need.
Ardern and her Labour are like her National Party opposition and all the other New Zealand political parties, locked into requiring financial support from businesses- and ‘more business’ and ‘progress’ are simply euphemisms for making money from environmental destruction.
But, to return to the earlier argument about there being simple single truths about the Ukraine war; that a democratic Ukraine with ‘European’ values of tolerance and freedom is fighting against a relentless ruthless behemoth of Putin’s Russian Empire, we might put forward a counter ‘truth’. That Ukraine is in fact a brutal single party white supremacist state whose only reason for Western support is to defang the Russian bear so that Western corporations can once again (as in the Yeltsin years) begin to appropriate Russian assets at bargain prices.
As the Scrum notes: Incited by Western powers, Poland, Lithuania, and the Habsburg Empire, the key to Ukrainian nationalism was that it was Western, and thus superior. Since Ukrainians and Russians stem from the same population, pro-Western Ukrainian ultra-nationalism was built on imaginary myths of racial differences: Ukrainians were the true Western whatever-it-was, whereas Russians were mixed with “Mongols” and thus an inferior race. Banderist Ukrainian nationalists have openly called for elimination of Russians as such, as inferior beings.
These Ukrainian ultra-nationalists have also been enthusiastically supported by strong Nazi elements in the Baltic States, Germany, Poland and the Ukrainian post WW2 diaspora, particularly in Canada.
So, naturally, any compromise in the grand Western agenda, not to mention a reduction in the Western PR media effort to discredit Russia (and now China) in any way possible how ever implausible, is completely impossible- peace negotiations are not an option. Nuclear war with Russia is also being promoted in Western media as also an option, deliberately misrepresenting (as Scott Ritter-former UN weapons inspector notes)the Russian position on first use of nuclear weapons.
The ‘perhaps’ unintended consequence of this glorification of the ultra-nationalist agenda, along with the self-destruction of European economies causing poverty and anger and demonstrations on the street, is the resurrection of the white supremacist ultranationalist movements, like Zelensky’s, across Europe.
These far-right groups not only celebrate intolerance of minorities, but also any dissent of the view that the state is pre-eminent in all things, that the corporations should rule in tandem with government (as in the US), and that consequently any collective view of humanity outside of the state apparatus is a threat to be stamped out.
However the far-right’s biggest threat to humanity is their denial of the climate change disaster. How can the state become strong in their view, without industrial ‘progress’ and a strong war-machine?
We can already see that view reflected in those European ‘moderate’ parties who currently control the EU. They’ll talk about mitigating climate change and green energy and all those cute things, as long as it doesn’t impact on the economy and the money that rolls into party coffers from the corporations-‘fire up the coal boilers for electricity again ‘cos we need to destroy Russia first!’
We are, after all, talking about Jacinda Ardern’s favourite ‘international rule-based order’ here!
Let’s get our priorities straight with the one true Truth!
The cult of ‘personality’ is not however limited to kings and queens; we see it everywhere in the world; the adulation of rock and movie stars whose lives are constantly shattered by trauma and misadventure and a role model for no-one, the president of an Eastern European country with an addiction to cocaine and ill-gotten gains who sacrifices the lives of thousands of men for his glory, or another Eastern European president whose addiction to patriotism and ‘duty’ has resulted in the ruthless death and destruction of so much
Kings and Queens are human beings too, and the grief and loss they leave behind should be respected and not trivialised..
However, it does astound me how not only people in the U.K. but around the world are now eulogising the late Queen of England for her glorious ‘service’ to the country and (British) Commonwealth. Exactly what that ‘service’ was I am yet to discover.
Was it perhaps those queenly waves from her limousine, or maybe the way she delivered her annual speeches from the Crown which had been written for her by the government of the day, or perhaps the way she shook hands with even the lowliest of commoners and smiled so graciously?.
In compensation for that annual ‘service’ we are told she and her retinue are paid $78million (USD) per annum by the British taxpayer, while the Windsor family’s assets currently stand at $28 billion (USD). The contrast between the royal family’s obscene wealth and the poverty of many in the U.K. could not be more extreme.
And yet, the downtrodden poor of Britain and many across the world have wept real tears of grief and loss at her passing- creating an account of a person whose apparent only wish was to ‘serve’ her people. (it is in passing, extraordinary how the entire Western media have all enthusiastically leapt onto the bandwagon of the Queen’s ‘service’ terminology , as one )
There are of course many in the world who do not share those views of a noble and glorious British monarchy- but most Western media are careful to avoid such inglorious inputations.
But let us leave those who wish to mourn, to do so in peace. Their grief is no doubt in most cases genuine- their loss is real..
And all the while, the voices of those who are calm and rational; who call for a safer, sustainable, kinder and compassionate world, are silenced by demagoguery and the power of the corporate media who attach themselves so comfortably to that demagoguery- there is, after all- money to be made with the latest craze…
The cult of ‘personality’ is not however limited to kings and queens; we see it everywhere in the world; the adulation of rock and movie stars whose lives are constantly shattered by trauma and misadventure and a role model for no-one, the president of an Eastern European country with an addiction to cocaine and ill-gotten gains, who sacrifices the lives of thousands of men for his glory, or another Eastern European president whose addiction to patriotism and ‘duty’ has resulted in the ruthless death and destruction of so much. And then, for many Americans, the eulogising of the latest president-whoever he is , to our ‘democracy’ and our ‘exceptional nation’, and the consequent demonisation of those who disagree with us.
What is it in the human psyche that permits many of us to succumb to this irrational and dangerous fervour?- to march in lock step with our current hero to oblivion? For our ‘hero’ will soon become our next ‘monster’ when the current vogue for them has dissipated.
We desperately need to let go of those ‘heroes’, we need to focus instead on what we all need to do right now to save as much as we can of what is left of this planet- both for ourselves and the other living things we have imperiously assumed dominion over.
All wars are, without doubt, pointless, tragic and foolish affairs that also play a significant part in destroying the remainder of our natural environment and a future for our children.
Western media are continuously playing a looped recording that Ukraine and its president Zelensky are defending the ‘free world’ – democratic ‘white” nations- against the evil Russian hordes. What is most interesting is that the language used in this messaging is consistent right across the Western media, regardless of the country you live in .
That the Kiev armies are undoubtedly shelling the former Ukrainian nuclear power plant near Zaporizhzhia: presumably to create more support for more weapons from the ‘white’ world.
That the Kiev government and its Western government supporters have been deliberately shelling civilian areas of the Donbass held by Russian speaking Ukrainians since 2014 , with over 14,000 deaths from shelling, and more recently with illegal ‘butterfly’ or ‘petal’ anti-personnel mines.
In the last few days we have also heard about the killing of the daughter of the ‘ultra-nationalist” Alexander Dugin. Dugin is, in my opinion, an obnoxious idealogue who has for many years promoted a Russia first meme. However nobody deserves to die because of their beliefs, (let alone their children) – be they Russian, Ukrainian or any other nationality.
What is however scary, is the identical use of language by Western media in describing Dugin as an ‘ultra-nationalist” – what exactly an ‘ultra-nationalist’ is, as opposed to simply being a ‘nationalist’, is somewhat unclear- but one is left with the clear understanding that only Russians can be ‘ultranationalists’ (or for that matter ‘oligarchs’) and never of course those Americans who have the ludicrous belief in the United States as the ‘exceptional nation’ who wanders the world doing good deeds for the benefit of those of us who are less enlightened.
Patriotism is one of the scourges of humanity; an absurd belief in the superiority of the culture and land to which you were accidentally born into. A scourge that blights and distorts the mind into believing that any action ; however intrinsically evil it is, is good as long as it benefits the country you were born in.
We see that evil in the blue and gold banners that enswathes everything in Ukraine, the United State’s ‘Stars and Stripes’, and the blue white and red flag of Russia, to name but three.
So now, as Westerners, we are told to hate all Russians, all Chinese, because they are a threat to our expensive lifestyles….And as true patriots, we should consume more, build more and destroy more , because we are the epitome of ‘civilisation’.
And all the while, we move ever faster into a new world where the climate is already more unpredictable and dangerous, where global warming and sea-levels continue to rise and rise for the next hundred, maybe thousand years, and where we ever more rapidly, destroy what is left of our living world.
And why?- because their media profit margins and their sponsors depend on more economic ‘growth’.
So it becomes clear that the only path to ‘de-growth’, and retaining some semblance of a live-able world for humans and other species, is one where Gaia herself creates that economic destruction.
When hurricanes, huge storms, enormous amounts of rainfall, oppressive high temperatures and sea level rise ( among many other ‘natural’ impacts), result in it being impossible to buy insurance for industry to sell your products or to have a market where people can no longer afford to buy your useless junk; only then will we start to see a return to a sustainable (but hotter) world where all species can live in harmony, and even some contentment!
Media have indoctrinated us all to believe that we need to consume more, do more, travel more – that we cannot live lives of contentment without all those things we need to buy and consume..
The great Sam Cooke’s beautiful and visionary song ‘A Change Gonna Come’ epitomises the tipping point of a global transition we are now living through.
It seems astonishing that it cannot be understood that, as with individual’s power and influence, so too do nations rise and fall; from luck and opportunity -rarely from great leaders, and certainly never from the superiority of ‘race’.
It should be noted that the concept of human ‘races’ dates from deliberate misinterpretations of genetic theory.
The genetic variations between different human populations are so small that differing individual aptitudes of ‘intelligence’ -a quality entirely defined by culture and environments which either support or diminishes their mental and physical opportunities. Racial superiority is therefore a completely foolish myth used by those who wish to manipulate others for their own nefarious purposes.
A superb modern example of this cartoon-like myth of genetic superiority can be seen in this ‘white” ( more appropriately termed ‘pink’) supremacy painting circulated by one Carl Bildt – a former prime minister of Sweden and who one would have presumed to be an ‘intelligent’ man- alas not.
The painting depicts ‘racially superior’ Western Ukrainian Knights (descended from ‘Aryan’ Vikings in their myths) heroically destroying the evil Russian ‘orcs’ ( who are apparently ‘genetically inferior’ Asians , according to those same myths.)
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is to be condemned- as is any violence directed against another country or peoples, but likewise, so are the actions of the Kiev government army in Donbass , killing its own population since 2014. There is good evidence to suggest that Western European countries and the U.S. actively encouraged , financed and weaponised the Kiev government to fight the Russian speaking Donbass ‘separatists’ for 8 years, and ignore the Minsk agreements Kiev had signed up to- agreements that would have restored peace to Ukraine.
Perhaps Carl Bildt’s tweet is one clue to the West’s determination to ensure a war between Russia and Ukraine.
And we can see racial prejudice in the extreme brutality against the Korean people in the Korean war ( what can only be called genocide)– a war between Europeanised countries supporting a brutal dictatorship in South Korea against a nationalist Korean communist army in the North supported by the Chinese and Russians.
Or perhaps we can see it in the savagery Western armies fought against a Vietnamese army trying to restore their country’s independence. Or the obliteration by the U.S. of an almost defenceless Iraqi army and Iraqi civilian infrastructure ( a society battered to its knees by remorseless evil sanctions that killed half a million Iraqi children to the apparent delight of that much esteemed U.S. stateswoman Madeline Albright) prior to the Iraq war.
Or perhaps in Libya, where Libyan society was obliterated by Western powers in a mad grab for its oil. Or the well-documented use of jihadists in Syria by Western governments attempting to overthrow the Damascus government. Or the unconditional U.S. and U.K. support of Israeli European ‘settlers’ who have steadily continued to violently steal the lands of those ‘dirty Arabs’ in Palestine for the past 74 years.
And shall we remember the barbarous futility of the war in Afghanistan?- where the United States continues to believe it has the right to steal Afghan state bank money ( along with the theft of Venezuelan government and Russian state funds)
And we do not need to go back more than a century to know about the complete lack of morality of European and United States colonial troops or their proxies in Africa, India, South America or the Philippines.
We are talking about centuries of barbaric ‘white ‘ conquest and exploitation of most of the globe by force. And now, the times they are a changing.
With Russia being forced to turn East because of Western sanctions, and China now a very much an ascendant super-power, previously ‘third-world’ countries are beginning to asset themselves in the face of Western blackmail, bribery and military coercion.
Pacific nations are well aware of the bizarre racist viciousness from the whole Australian political spectrum against refugees and migrants, or indeed the decades long exploitation of seasonal Pasifika workers who harvest crops in Queensland and New Zealand.
Western media portrays these agreements with China as threats to the ‘rule based order’: the United States’ unilateral and often erratic and nonsensical set of decisions to exploit other countries, (‘rules’ much quoted by New Zealand’s Jacinda Adern), on what other countries should do unless they want to be threatened militarily, rather than an extension of China’s mutual trade agreements to supplement her hugely ambitious Belt and Road commerce initiative across the globe.
As has been often noted, China has one foreign military base, while the United States has at last count, 800 overseas military bases; all designed to intimidate at least one other country, or to intimidate the very country in which the military base is itself located, to follow the ‘rules’.
China has never been a colonial power. However, let us not be fooled into thinking that just because a currently weaker or emerging country does not as yet display the barbarity of the current ascendant countries (like the U.S. and U.K.) that does not mean that those arising powers will not descend into the same myopic and racist stupidity of thinking that they are somehow the exceptional nation, somehow always bound for glory.
Racism is not the distinct province of ‘white’ people, as those who were brutalised by the Japanese in the Second World War well remember.
All nations, when they ‘ascend’ to a position of power and global influence, are wont to believe in the fantasy that they are somehow naturally superior to others.
But we are definitively all equal as human beings.
My hope is that some time in the not too distant future, we realise that all other species are our equals too. Different skills, different attributes, but equal. Without that realisation we humans will continue to exploit this world until the natural world collapses around us – perhaps at that point we may realise we are an intrinsic and inseparable part of that natural world and that we need to cooperate – not destroy.
As two of the world’s ‘superpowers’ fight it out in Ukraine for the spoils of war, the world descends into a dystopian whirlpool of economic stagflation and environmental catastrophe.
While the Western propaganda war of obvious lies to its populations about the war in Ukraine is deeply disturbing, what is far far worse is the psychotic behaviour of all the world’s political classes in talking about the need to address climate change while doing the exact opposite- promoting ‘growth’, trying to revitalise tourist air travel, more production of goods, more industry..
The evidence is unequivocal; only a reduction and stabilization of human ‘growth’ will allow species on this planet to barely cope with the ongoing and now inevitable climate and ecocide we are experiencing. Promoting more growth is simply going to push us all faster off the cliff to a far deeper environmental catastrophe.
Sadly the Ukraine war has given us ample evidence of the concerted activity of Western media to consistently lie to its populations. The refusal to acknowledge the war of terror by the Kiev government on its Donbas population for 8 years since 2014 ( with 14,000 deaths), the refusal to acknowledge the existence of the well documented neo-nazi military groups working to eliminate Ukrainian Russian speakers (even while promoting videos made by them), or even the refusal to acknowledge that much of the fighting against Western Ukrainians is being carried out by Russian speaking Ukrainians from the Donbas against Western Ukrainians and the neonazis, are all examples of the subterfuge Western governments are required to commit to ensure a compliant population supports their war against Russia, while ignoring the horrors of Palestine’s slow genocide by Israel or the rapid genocide in Yemen by the Saudis, both enthusiastically supported by the U.S. and U.K.
My ‘favourite’ so far from New Zealand state tv , TVNZ, is their recent video clip of an interview with an elderly man in Donetsk (a Donbass city held by Russian speaking Ukrainians and constantly bombarded by Kiev’s troops since 2014) after shelling of his apartment building by the Western Ukrainians, while the commentator pretends the damage has been caused by Russian shelling.
When media have no compunction to consistently lie to get their ‘message’ across, one knows we have no hope of the media presenting an honest case about the desperate need for genuine action about climate change. We are instead presented with occasional short media articles about climate change, followed by a psychotic switch to the main propaganda barrage of ‘produce more, work more, buy more, sell more, fly more’. Greenwashing is now the ‘in thing’. Half-truths and pure lies infest our mainstream media.
Perhaps the one saving grace of our incompetent leaders is that they are, through their own incompetence, leading the world into a severe economic depression, which, together with the impacts of climate change, will inevitably reduce consumption and consequently allow some restoration of our natural world.
Sadly however that economic depression will lead to much suffering and many deaths. A planned and systematic approach to de-growth would have been a far more humane response.
Unfortunately , politicians’ and bureaucrats’ responses to the various crises enveloping the world is either to make war, or ‘grow’ economies more.
I would appreciate if you could publish the following letter
While any invasion of another country is deplorable and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is to be condemned, one needs to remember that prior to this invasion, more than 10,000 Russian speaking Ukrainians have been killed by the Kiev government in the Donbass since 2014; predominantly by neo-nazi groups like the Azov Battalion- the very same neonazi group that Brenton Tarrant , the Christchurch mosque shooter, was an ardent adherent of.
We should all be aware that truth is the first casualty of war, but the level of war hysteria and blatantly distorted propaganda we are seeing across the Western world about this tragedy in Ukraine, is extremely alarming- our media now howls for World War Three.
Our prime minister talks about how New Zealand supports the “rule based international order”; the U.S. imposed version of how they believe the world should be; not United Nation’s rules.
It is time to step back from the brink of a massive, potentially nuclear, war which would involve China Russia and its allies, and the Western camp.
Saner heads need to prevail; we need peace and an effective response to the imminent climate catastrophe unfolding, not this foolish provocation by New Zealand.
In my ‘neck of the woods’ in New Zealand I am entertained each evening by the propaganda from TVNZ1 -one of our government funded TV channels. In their extensive coverage of the tragedy in Ukraine they somehow fail to mention:
That the Kiev government has been fighting a war with Eastern Ukrainians that they call ‘terrorists’ (or if you’re a neo-nazi, ‘cockroaches’) for 8 years with over 13,000 deaths with active support from NATO; and that Ukrainian shelling of civilian infrastructure in the Donbass is ongoing.
That British, American and German military ‘advisors’ have been training and providing ‘defensive’ weapons to these rabidly anti-Russian groups for those 8 years (and more) (note that there is militarily no such thing as a defensive weapon-anything that makes you safer in war also makes you more capable of fighting offensively)
That civilian casualty figures for the 12 days of war so far are astoundingly low ( 407 in 12 days), in comparison with say America’s ‘shock and awe’ terror campaign in Iraq ( 6,700 deaths in the first 3 weeks)– but noting that every death is a tragedy.
That all the while this hellish Ukraine war is going on, the Americans and the British are actively supporting a decidedly more hellish genocide in Yemen by the Saudis and other gulf states.
That the Russian Army and separatists from the Donbass have now encircled in a ‘cauldron’ the majority of the Ukrainian army in the East.
That the Russians claim to have found evidence of a number of American sponsored Ukrainian biolabs producing germ warfare agents, which the Americans both confess to and deny!
That the Russians claim to have found documental evidence of the Ukrainian Army’s intent to destroy the Donbass separatists in an offensive starting 25h February.
That the maternity hospital in Mariupal had been publicly identified by the Russians as having been turned into a Ukrainian military base 3 days before the shelling by the Russians of the building.
That the Western media’s constant pressure on the Americans and their European allies to implement Zelinsky’s plan for a NATO ‘no fly zone’ over Ukraine would result in shooting war that could easily end in nuclear war. (It would be like America having dog-fights and missile strikes over Canada or Mexico)
I guess TVNZ and the rest of the Western media are just trying to protect me from Russian propaganda- so I really feel quite relieved that I don’t need to know about any of this! Let’s keep it simple after all….
The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and the subsequent explosion of sanctions on Russian oil and natural gas, wheat and other products by Western nations, is likely to result in a substantial long-term economic downturn in both the West and Russia because of rapidly escalating oil, natural gas and nickel and paladium prices, consequent substantial increases in global transport costs, supply chain disruptions and inflation.
Food costs will also rise from shortages of chemical fertilizers, increased wheat prices and transport costs for many in the West and the third world , and this will have the most impact on those who are already struggling.
The only upside from all this chaos is that consumption in the West is likely to substantially diminish in the short to medium to…… Given that, per head of population, the West is by far the biggest producer of CO2 and the cause of much of the deforestation, species loss and environmental destruction in non Western countries, Gaia will be smiling.
Along with the impacts on consumption because of COVID- (less air travel, less conspicuous consumption because of lockdowns etc), we are likely to see a significant reduction in the production of CO2 into the atmosphere with a higher proportion of renewable energy sources, and a higher proportion of more organic fertlizers .
Of course the actual measurable processes and outcomes are much more complex than the above simplistic outline. Just two examples ; possibly coal production will increase significantly in Europe to cope with the reductions of access to natural gas and oil resulting in, at best, a status quo level of CO2 production, and/or commodity prices in the West increase to such an extent that revolutions on the street occur, and result in even more violent and extremist governments than we already have…
One of the biggest likely impacts will be on the confidence of European and U.S. populations that this current way of life of excessive consumption is both realistic, sustainable or even possible.
Combine that with the predicted but certain dire impacts on climate and global livability by the recent IPCC report on climate change, and we have an existential crisis of confidence in the Western way of ‘life’- ( or should that be ‘way of consumption’?)
Of course the other option for Gaia is nuclear war- not an impossibility given Vladimir Putin’s insistence that there can be no world without Russia, and Washington’s neoliberal and media blood-lusting for ‘no flight zones’ over Ukraine and their wish for dismemberment of Russia. Human beings have some significant cognitive problems with resolving conflict issues in reasonable ways.
Gaia may well be calculating that human beings were an unfortunate and highly destructive anomaly, and we need to start from scratch again…
In Europe, the ongoing hype that the Russians are about to invade the Ukraine and massing troops on the border, is mounting, while the Russians report their concerns that the Ukraine Army is poised to attack the semi- autonomous Russian-speaking Ukrainian regions of the Donbass and Lugansk.
The Minsk agreement that was brokered by the Normandy Four Powers (Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France,) in 2015 which established Donbass as a Ukrainian semi-autonomous region, is in practice no longer supported by Ukraine, Germany and France. With the Ukrainian economy deteriorating ever more sharply, Ukrainian President Zelensky is desperate for some salvation. Provoking a ‘little war’ with Russia he supposedly anticipates, will be enough to keep him holding onto power and acquire that much needed support from NATO and the European Union.
What the truth on the ground really is- we may never know, but there is a high probability that the Russians would not want to invade Ukraine and acquire a completely dysfunctional and hostile entity, but would be prepared to militarily support their Ukrainian Russian-speaking cousins if the Ukrainian national army attacked the Donbass.
As has been noted elsewhere, a Russian attack across the Ukrainian border would be the gift to the United States that just keeps on giving- confirmation that Russia truly is that evil rapacious empire they have always been described as in mainstream Western media, and an opportunity to further isolate and sanction Russia and shut down Russian gas supplies to Europe.
The high risk of a wider war does not seem to be factored into Western media and politician’s view of the issues-naturally so for the Americans who can watch the destruction from a distance. However, given that the Russians have put their military on high alert and dispersed their Pacific submarine nuclear fleet from their bases in Siberia- that alone must be causing some concern in Washington.
And to the east, the Americans are continually hyping up the Chinese Communist threat. The ‘Chinese mainlanders are about to invade Taiwan’, they have trampled on human rights in Hong Kong and conducted genocide against Uighurs, let alone the sexual abuse of star tennis players!
China, having eradicated the threat to China/Hong Kong integration without loss of life , Western governments are now desperate to portray the Chinese government’s response to the terrorism by Uighur separatists as a ‘genocide’. Unfortunately for anti-communist religious cranks like Adrian Zenz, the latest ‘leaked reports’ indicate that far from there being ‘genocide’, some of the Chinese government’s concerns relate to Uighurs having a much more favourable policy to permit them to have more children that Han Chinese. The Uighur population has in fact increased at a far higher rate than the Han population over the past few years. The ‘genocide’ argument is a fiction. The need to non-violently suppress the Uighur terrorist violence in Xinjiang, is not.
Former U.S. ambassador Chas Freeman, has an excellent summary of the United States’ duplicitous responses towards Taiwan over the years: for the first 20 odd years after the end of the Chinese Communist/Kuomintang war, unequivocally supporting Taiwan as the real Chinese mainland government, despite being a brutal dictatorship run by the Kuomintang, then pivoting to Communist mainland China to try and split China away from its informal alliance with the Soviet Union, and now recently, once again supporting Taiwan as an independent democratic country that must be defended against the communists. The fact that the Chinese government has repeatedly called for a peaceful reunification of Taiwan with the mainland has been completely ignored by most Western media.
It is however undoubtedly true that China; its economic and military power having expanded hugely over the past 30 years, has become more assertive and wishes to reassert its historical territorial claims in the South China Sea and elsewhere, but there is no reason to believe that Mainland China intends to invade any country, let alone Taiwan, despite all the hype coming out of the United States and Australia.
And finally, the bizarre response to the posts from Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai about her apparent sexual abuse by a senior Chinese Communist Official. The English translation to her original post below indicates that her lover Zhang Gaoli (former Chinese government vice-president), is an unscrupulous and unpleasant man who exploits women, but that her love for him was the driving force of her distress, not a rape allegation. Given that Peng Shuai has been on Zoom video twice with the International Olympic Committee since her post, along with multiple pictures of her at social events , one wonders what it would really take for the Women’s Tennis Association to really really believe she was safe and ok. The impossibility of proving the absence of an allegation, has always been a key ploy of Western propaganda.
And now we have Washington saying they will diplomatically boycott the Chinese winter Olympics because of Uighur genocide etc. Given that the United States (along with the U.K.) is in fact guilty of the most horrendous genocide and human rights abuses of foreign populations over its 200 years of existence; including its more recent barbarities in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, with millions killed , tortured and displaced, along with its support for some of the most brutal regimes like Saudi Arabia and Israel, it is surprising that a permanent ban and sanctions on all United States’ global activities, and extradition of those multiple U.S. war criminals to the Hague , has not been launched before now.
In addition the United States seeks to demonise the Russians sufficiently so that they can be viewed as a constant threat to democracy. The recent demolition of Russia-gate is just one example where, while the truth of the matter is finally out and no Russians did in fact attempt to undermine any U.S. elections, the smear continues to do its work with the public.
But the world is changing; Western powers no longer have that supreme authority to dictate ‘the truth’ to other countries- much of the world sees the economic benefits of China’s Belt and Road initiative (despite the enormous environmental destruction it causes), and the Russians are a trusted intermediary in many parts of Middle East and beyond.
Nevertheless the colonial ‘white powers”; the U.K. the U.S., Canada, Australia and to a smaller extent New Zealand, will continue to cling to a past where (even if historical reality tells a different story) they are the epitome of truth, democracy, justice and human rights.
Holding on to a past that never was, is a dangerous fiction…