A War in Ukraine?- Again?

Kiev officials continue to describe the Donbass separatists as “terrorists’ even while the Kiev administration has signed up to negotiating with separatists as part of the Normandy and Minsk agreements – but has never actioned that agreement . Defining the separatists as ‘terrorists’ makes it virtually impossible for Kiev to negotiate anything with them. Kiev is supported in this position (at least officially) by Poland, the U.K and U.S.)

The new government in Berlin however appears to be currently more reticent in supporting Kiev in its aggressive stance and has declined Kiev’s request for more weapons. There are real risks to Ukraine’s neighbours of neo-nazi military brigades like the Azov battalion and other extremist groups supported by the Right Sector, that those groups would not only continue to fight against the Donbass separatists , kill Russian speaking Ukrainians in other parts of Ukraine, and, as in the past, Poles and Jews as well as Russian speakers elsewhere, but also foment trouble in disaffected youth in their own countries…

The U.K. and the U.S. continue to support these extremist groups with arms and training , as they have done since the end of the Second World War (using the extremist OUN-B group led by Stepan Bandera ( now an official hero of the Kiev government ), in an effort to destabilize first the Soviet Union, and now the Russian Federation and the Donbass.

Despite the 9/11 blowback that occurred with the U.S. and U.K support of Saudi and Turkish backed wahhabist extremists in Afghanistan against the Soviets, the strategy of using local extremists continues to be a key item in the U.S. destabilisation playbook. Extensive Ukraine government and Right Sector media has portrayed Western Ukrainian as ‘true slavs’, unlike the Russians in the north and east who are deemed to be lesser beings with eastern mongol genes; a strategy that gives permission for extremist groups like the Azov battalions to exterminate Russian speaking eastern Ukrainians with impunity.

Berlin’s current reticence to fully support the NATO and U.K./U.S. agenda in Ukraine appears to come from a sudden realization that they are hugely reliant on Russian gas. The Nordstream 2 gas pipeline from Russian to Germany was initiated at the insistence of Germany with the understanding that Russian gas would not only be much cheaper than U.S. gas shipped across the Atlantic to Germany, but was also both more reliable and able to be delivered in greater volumes than the Americans could ever provide. Germany’s economy therefore relies on cheap Russian gas, particularly now that its coal fired electricity producers have been largely shut down in response to climate change concerns . The German government therefore walks a tightrope between supporting its NATO allies, and getting the energy it needs for its economy .

The Russians have insisted that the expansion of NATO up to its borders be reversed ( an outcome of the negotiations that led to East Germany and the other Easter European countries becoming independent from Russia in the 1990s, on the verbal understanding that NATO would not expand beyond its 1990s borders). U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken and NATO’s Stoltenberg have insisted that that agreement never existed ( despite multiple citings of evidence of its existence) and that NATO will continue to expand its membership and site weapons wherever it wishes to, regardless of the resultant explicit threat to Russia’s existence..

Exactly what NATOs current purpose is now that communist Soviet Russia has gone, is never explicitly stated, but it is clear that its purpose is to stop Russian ‘aggression’ and intimidate Russia through ongoing military threats. U.S. think tanks have also intimated their wish that Russia be balkanised, so that the carve-up of Russia’s economy can continue from the Yeltsin years, and so that Russia does not have the capacity to militarily oppose any Western military plans (as it has done in Syria).

While Western media and the U.S. continue to hype up the threat of a Russian land invasion of the Ukraine ( with extensive videos of Russian tanks conducting military exercises in Russia), the reality is that it would simply not be worth-while for Russia to invade Ukraine with tanks and troops.

It is possible however, that if the Kiev government or its extremist wings were to launch a large scale attack on the Russian speaking Donbass ( emboldened by Western weapons supplies and bombacity) that Russia would feel obliged to protect its Russian speaking neighbours and respond militarily. Sending columns of Russian tanks into Eastern Ukraine, let alone across the Dnieper River into Western Ukraine, where Ukrainian nationalism is most fierce, would however be a suicidal endeavour; not least because the Ukrainian economy is devastated after years of corruption and mismanagement, and Russia would have to take responsibility for economically supporting 37 million Ukrainians, whilst countering an Eastern Ukrainian insurgency (supported and trained by the U.S. and U.K)

Russian not only wants a NATO pullback, but also the Kiev government to officially adhere to and implement the Minsk agreements they signed up to-i.e. negotiate with the Donbass separatists and agree to their self-government within a Ukrainian federal structure. However the level of Kiev propaganda against the ‘terrorists’ in the East and against Russian speaking people generally, seems to indicate that such a compromise is currently not possible; particularly while the extremist right wing groups hold such sway in Kiev. Those groups would also be fearful that a re-integration of the Donbass population into a federal Ukrainian democratic framework, would tip the balance towards a national government that once again would be more favorable to Russia, and likely result in many of the underhand deals that have occurred since 2014 between the Kiev government and Ukrainian oligarchs, being re-aligned once more towards Russian interests.

Ukraine is in crisis; its young people drifting in the multitudes to more favourable economic conditions in Western Europe, and an accelerating drift towards a centralized autocracy in Kiev driven largely by extremist groups like the Right Sector, with corruption widespread throughout the economy. The loss of revenues from Russia from the Russian gas pipeline which passes through Ukraine to Europe (and the siphoning of some of that gas for Ukraine’s use) with the inevitable advent of the opening of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline to Germany and beyond, via the Baltic Sea , will only exacerbate this crisis. The Ukrainian ex-comedian President Zelensky’s position is extremely fragile- torn between the demands of the ever-increasing power of the right wing extremists in Kiev and Western Ukraine, and the demands of the U.S and U.K., while his popularity with the majority of Ukrainians plummets. Zelensky has tried to eliminate some of his key political rivals like Petro Poroshenko and Viktor Medvedchuk, with legal challenges of ‘treason’, but the opposition forces are gathering against him.

What options does someone like Zelensky now have in the face of such challenges ? War can so often improve a leader’s political chances..

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Links

CIA: Undermining and Nazifying Ukraine since 1953

The tragedy that is Julian Assange

Julian Assange will one day be universally feted as a hero for the right of men to know the truth about the brutality and lies of their own governments- who talk of freedom and democracy while engaging in never-ending acts of extreme violence against those they wish to exploit, for power and money.

There is not much that can be added to the articles linked below which describe the pathetic show trial that is the U.K. Assange criminal proceedings and their likely approval of his extradition to the United States for a further show trial and imprisonment in the United State’s appallingly brutal criminal ‘justice’ system.

Julian Assange will one day be universally feted as a hero for the right of men to know the truth about the brutality and lies of their own governments- who talk of freedom and democracy while engaging in never-ending acts of extreme violence against those they wish to exploit, for power and money.

Sadly that day has not yet come.

As Chris Hedges notes in his article below:

Let us name Julian Assange’s executioners. Joe Biden. Boris Johnson. Scott Morrison. Theresa May. Lenin Moreno. Donald Trump. Barack Obama. Mike Pompeo. Hillary Clinton. Lord Chief Justice Ian Burnett and Justice Timothy Victor Holroyde. Crown Prosecutors James Lewis, Clair Dobbin and Joel Smith. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser. Assistant US Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia Gordon Kromberg. William Burns, the director of the CIA. Ken McCallum, the Director General of the UK Security Service or MI5.

Those people will be now forever known as the scourge of freedom, justice, human rights, compassion and humanity….. and unlike Julian Assange, they will eventually be given a fair trial for their criminality.

_______________________________________________Links

ttps://scheerpost.com/2021/12/13/hedges-the-execution-of-julian-assange/

Amnesty International : US/UK: “Travesty of justice” as extradition appeal fails to recognise that it would be unsafe for Julian Assange to be sent to the US

https://thedissenter.org/assange-plans-appeal-high-court-decision-extradition/

https://english.almayadeen.net/articles/analysis/classified-documents-cast-doubt-on-us-assurances-for-assange

https://thedissenter.org/assange-plans-appeal-high-court-decision-extradition/

A ‘Terrorist’ in New Zealand

On 3rd September 2021, a Sri Lankan refugee,  Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, 32, living in Auckland New Zealand , stabbed 6 people with a knife he had just picked up from a supermarket shelf.

According to later reports the man had been once again seeking asylum in New Zealand for some years, but had been denied because of previous violent actions and an interest in ISIS literature, and had been released from a New Zealand prison 3 years before the attacks.

During the subsequent years from Ahamed’s release, he had been constantly followed by Police when out and about in Auckland, to monitor his actions and keep others safe.

Auckland was in lockdown 4 at the time of the supermarket attack- masks required and no less than 2 metres between people in places like supermarkets. Within hours the New Zealand prime minister was announcing that this was a ‘terrorist attack’, and that the man was known to her. However Ahamed Aathill Mohamed made no known statements about allegiance to ISIS immediately before his death, and no terrorist organization attributed the stabbings to themselves.

The terror, trauma and physical danger to those he attacked is beyond question, and this blog does not in any way endorse his or any other person’s violent behaviour to others.

With 60 seconds of his knifing of 6 people in the supermarket, he was fatally shot 7 times by Police with semi automatic weapons, who had been following him.

We might contrast his fatal shooting with the response of the Police to a knife attack by a New Zealand European in Dunedin some 4 months before, when at least 4 people were injured. The man was apprehended without injury, and is now in gaol, and has been described as having a mental health issue.

Or again the horrendous Mosque shootings in Christchurch in March 2019 where 51 people were killed and 40 injured, by a white supremacist using automatic rifles, the white male was subdued, unharmed, heroically by a police officer.

While we acknowledge that every violent incident is different and must necessarily be handled differently by Police, it does seem strange that a man in an enclosed supermarket aisle with a kitchen knife, could not be subdued without fatal consequences, by a number of police officers who were presumably wearing protective clothing.

Police subsequently noted that their policy is to shoot for the largest body surface area (i.e. the torso) so that they don’t miss the target, but clearly other options than shooting the attacker were possible, or alternatively those seven shots could have immobilised him in that enclosed space, without causing his death.

We know that Ahamed’s life history before his arrival in New Zealand as a young man was incredibly traumatic- witnessing his father being kidnapped and almost killed, and himself being tortured by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

The Spinoff notes that Ahamed ‘had been in New Zealand since 2011 when he arrived on a student visa. He made a claim for refugee status soon after, but was declined. He appealed, and was granted the status the following year. The prime minister said on Friday that his claim was based on a fraudulent document’

We also know that Ahamed had been on remand (i.e. charged with an offence but not convicted in court) in New Zealand for threatening activities for some years before his conviction – during which time he was held in prison, but was not able to access any supports that might have reduced his risk to himself or others because he had at that stage not been convicted and the government was attempting to deport him. Additionally once released from gaol after his conviction, he was constantly tailed by armed Police; actions which would not have helped his fear and paranoia.

It is clear that Ahamed was acutely distressed because of his trauma, but did not receive the necessary supports by New Zealand authorities to reduce the impacts of that trauma and distress. Instead, he was immediately labelled a ‘terrorist’ by the New Zealand prime minister and the New Zealand media after his death, and there was no call for an independent review into his death.

Is it coincidental that 3 violent attacks were handled so very differently by Police; that a dark skinned man could so easily be deemed a terrorist and shot dead, but two white males, despite the acute violence of their attacks, be subdued without fatality?

We are informed that the New Zealand government, in a knee-jerk reaction to this attack, now wants to ‘tighten’ the responses around ‘terrorist activities’. Andrew Geddis has noted that the draft legislation’s proposal, allowing for people to be prosecuted for planning an activity, but not actually executing that plan , is currently an unheard of judicial procedure in New Zealand.

Listen to the University of Otago Peace and Conflict studies debate about the ‘terrorist attack’ below.

We need to acknowledge too, that no act of violence is acceptable; whether it be in a persons’ home, a random attack in public, a terrorist attack, or violence by the state.

The terror of those 2997 killed, and the trauma experienced by those many bereaved and the first responders to the 9/11 attacks in New York in 2001, are very real and still raw. However the barbaric responses to those attacks by the United States and their ‘Coalition of the Willing’, defies both logic and humanity. Millions of people in Arab nations killed, economies and environments ravaged, and thousands tortured or drone murdered, with the rationale being suppression of terrorism, rather than the reality of more arms sales and theft of foreign resources, and the resultant creation of more angry terrorists.

As Chris Hedges notes, those responses are the work of evil killers. The fact that ex President George W Bush can stand up on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and be applauded in Western media for his demonic destruction of Iraq, and Afghanistan, defies belief.

In any sane and just society, such a man ( along with the deranged Tony Blair and their other neoliberal cronies)

Tony Blair shaking hands with Mike Pompeo (ex U.S. Secretary of State)

would have long ago been locked away for their lifetimes – for the common good.

What we desperately need now is for ex-colonial states like New Zealand, to show global leadership in addressing terror threats, in the absence of leadership from the larger powers.

We need to undertake more research to explore opportunities to better respond to threats of violence, to implement strategies that reduce group and individual threats of terror; through acknowledging the genuine basis of the anger, trauma and fear that created those threats, acknowledging that often our state responses to ‘terror’ threats by ‘others with dark skins’ is a relic of our racist and colonial history, (as witnessed by New Zealand Police’s infamous ‘anti-terrorist’ raids into the Ureweras in 2007); and beginning to treat responses to terror threats as a normal and just and equitable part of our range of enforcement and judicial responses to violence, which respects everyone’s human rights, rather than something that needs to be responded to beyond the normal rule of law.

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Links

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300384815/man-shot-dead-by-police-six-injured-after-terror-attack-at-aucklands-lynnmall-countdown

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/09/auckland-terror-attack-new-zealand-reacts-in-shock-to-new-lynn-stabbing.html

https://www.dw.com/en/new-zealand-man-stabs-5-in-supermarket-knife-attack/a-57479834

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christchurch_mosque_shootings

https://www.police.govt.nz/major-events/new-lynn-incident-operation-rally

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/05/new-zealand-stabbings-officials-tried-for-years-to-deport-terrorist-prior-to-auckland-attack-jacinda-adern-says

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/341457/ten-years-on-from-the-urewera-raids

‘Highly Likely’ in Afghanistan

The last United States and its ‘partners” troops have now left Afghanistan after almost 20 years of futile war with the Taliban.

The chaotic tragedy over the last week of desperate Afghans wanting to leave Afghanistan via Kabul Airport for a better and safer life, is now also over.

In the final few days of the exodus, the Taliban apparently informed United States forces of a likely threat from ISIS Khorasan forces at Kabul Airport. A suicide bomber duly arrived at one of the U.S. entry points to the airport and blew himself up, killing himself, an indeterminate number of Afghans (in the 100s), and 12 U.S. force personnel.

It would appear from Afghan accounts on the ground that the U.S. soldiers in the surrounding watchtowers then panicked and opened fire with automatic fire on the Afghans below- killing at least another 100 people.

Subsequent to the ISIS attack, the U.S. president stated in the usual petulant child-like way of American presidents that, ‘vengeance shall be ours’; rather than a thoughtful and lawful approach to such acts of premeditated murder which act to limit the risks of further attacks.

 “To those who carried out this attack … we will not forgive, we will not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay.”-Joe Biden

(Interesting to note that President Jo Biden also noted the ‘droned’ Iranian General Suleimani as a terrorist threat they had ‘eliminated’ in the past. Suleimani has been well vindicated as the key person managing the destruction of the ISIS threat in Iraq

Miraculously U.S. forces already knew the location of the planners of the ISIS attack and duly dispatched a drone to kill the planners and further attackers. (why the attackers weren’t arrested or killed before the attack is not explained)

The U.S. subsequently reported (as per usual) that it was ‘highly likely’ that the ISIS K planners and bombers had been killed in the drone attack. Given the history of U.S. drone attacks it is also ‘highly likely’ that those killed were guilty of owning several goats that were coveted by a neighbour who had then reported them as ISIS K combatants to the authorities.

One notes that the images of the vehicle supposedly hit by the subsequent U.S. drone attack show a somewhat burnt out vehicle-not a vehicle with a bomb on board, as claimed by the Americans , which would have disintegrated with the explosion of the ISIS bomb, after the drone missile impact.

Unsurprisingly the ruling Taliban have objected to the U.S. launching drone attacks on sovereign Afghan territory, but any objections by the Taliban will be ignored as the U.S. continues to bomb and drone Afghans that it believes are ‘highly likely’ to be terrorists. Only once the Taliban acquire anti-air missiles ( as the Mujahedeen before them did ) will the scourge of drone warfare be over.

With the elimination of U.S. forces on the ground in Afghanistan, the Taliban are now free to follow up in every corner of the country, the threat that their mortal enemy ISIS, poses to Afghan security.

We know for certain that the United States did indeed facilitate the rise of extremist Wahhabist movements including Al Qaeda across the Middle East-in collaboration with U.K. ‘special’ forces, the Saudis, Turkey and some of the Gulf ministates; initially to confront the Russian forces in Afghanistan in the 1990s, and later to attack any secular government that the American and their ‘partners’ saw as a threat to their control of local resources.

We also know that the Iranians, Syrians and Russians have long complained about the U.S. facilitating the rise and ongoing support of ISIS groups in the Middle East, including the transport by helicopter of ISIS remnants from Syria into Afghanistan, and training and support by the Israelis of ISIS Syrian teams. How true are those statements from the Russians Syrians and Iranians? However we do know that the American’s definition of what they have traditionally called ‘moderate’ jihadists in the Middle East, is not one shared by many.

Despite the calls for an end to the drone murders, it is ‘highly likely’ that the Americans will continue to provide any excuse to continue to “precision’ bomb, drone and assassinate anyone they believe is not in their best economic interests and will support a new Mujahideen to confront the now more moderate ruling Afghan Taliban.

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Other Links

https://richardfalk.org/2021/08/29/crime-and-punishment-in-afghanistan/

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/blowback-taliban-target-us-intels-shadow-army/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09592318.2020.1777618

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201802211061871761-us-helicopters-transporting-daesh/

http://www.news.cn/english/2021-08/31/c_1310158468.htm

https://realalexrubi.substack.com/p/did-the-us-support-the-growth-of

http://www.news.cn/english/2021-08/31/c_1310158157.htm

Western Hypocrisy on Afghanistan

As Hollywood has noted, and later U. S. records confirm, the predecessors to the Taliban, the U.S. funded and armed brutal Afghan Mujahideen or jihadist freedom fighters were instrumental in securing the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s , who were supporting the communist secular Afghan government in Kabul. A government it should be noted, who fully supported the rights of Afghan women to be educated, to work and live a life equal to men.

After several years of extreme violence and turmoil across Afghanistan, the Taliban came to power in the late 1990s,

As Consortium News notes: The triumphant Taliban imposed harsh Islamic law on Afghanistan. Their rule was especially cruel to women who had made gains toward equal rights under the communists, but were forced by the Taliban to live under highly restrictive rules, to cover themselves when in public, and to forgo schooling.

The Taliban also granted refuge to Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, who had fought with the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviets in the 1980s. Bin Laden then used Afghanistan as the base of operations for his terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, setting the stage for the next Afghan War in 2001.

After the 9/11 attacks in New York by Al Qaeda, the Taliban agreed to hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States. However their offer was refused, and instead President Bush launched a war to remove the Taliban from power beginning with a brutal bombing campaign in October 2001

If the purpose of Bush’s Afghan war was not to trap Osama bin Laden – what was the purpose?

The United States had been negotiating with the Taliban for an oil pipeline to traverse Afghanistan from Central Asian oil fields, and appeared to be on relatively good terms with them.

It was only much later that the hype about a humanitarian intervention for women’s rights etc came to the fore in Western media. However this supposed human rights agenda by the United States and the United Kingdom is contradicted by their wholehearted support for the brutal Mujahideen the Saudi regime, and their unconditional support for the Israeli genocidal actions against Palestinians (amongst many other brutal regimes supported and armed by Western governments)

This was simply one more racist colonial invasion; putting more money into the pockets of U.S. war profiteers.

See below, John Pilger’s video ‘Breaking the Silence’ from 10 years ago in Afghanistan

http://johnpilger.com/videos/breaking-the-silence-truth-and-lies-in-the-war-on-terror

As a Western person I oppose discrimination against any person of any gender or race- however I also oppose the barbaric use of violence to impose one’s will on others we do not agree with- something my country New Zealand has been complicit in along with other Western white countries.

Setting up an indigenous Afghan army funded and trained and managed by foreigners to oppose local people who they may in fact know by tribe or family, and who are trying to defend their country from invasion, was always a recipe for failure. Such troops’ only motivation could be their paycheck, not patriotism for their country: so when the occupation force goes in the dead of night, the money goes with them and the local funded military disintegrate- they have nothing to fight for.

Similarly a ‘democracy’ funded and approved and beholden to an occupying power is not a democracy -it is a mockery of ‘democracy’.- and an extraordinarily corrupt one at that– why else would you pretend to lead your country whilst under an occupying power?

As Marshall Auerback and Patrick Lawrence note in ‘The Scrum’: Ashraf Ghani, (the last of the U.S. appointed Afghan ‘Presidents’) was among the more preposterous creations of the Obama administration, a man who personified our American presumption that we can go around the world making all others in our image without reference to histories, cultures, or political traditions. 

We know the colonial occupation forces killed many thousands of civilians (through bombing campaigns, drone murders, the brutal occupation and destruction of villages and people’s homes and the use of torture at Bagram airbase and other locations in Afghanistan- civilian losses that the occupying forces continue to largely deny.

New Zealand’s ex-prime minister Helen Clark’s commentary on the resurgence of the Taliban might be interpreted as disingenuous, were it not for the fact that she is a United Nations employee and knows full well the extent of the indiscriminate murder, torture and destruction, let alone the phenomenal levels of corruption by NGOs supposedly ‘re-building Afghanistan’ committed by the occupying powers in their 20 year presence in Afghanistan.

We might also note the opium and heroin rat lines from the Afghan poppy
fields which miraculously came into full bloom (Afghanistan  now supplies by  far the largest  share of opium in  the world), after the American occupation
and which will now , once again, be shut down by the Taliban. Mysteriously drug trafficking explodes in volume in those areas where Western intelligence
operatives, and particularly the CIA, are heavily involved: Colombia,
Afghanistan, Laos….

The New Zealand presence in Afghanistan is one more shameful example of our complicity in the United States’ war crimes..

While there will be many in Kabul and other major Afghan cities who have come to enjoy Western values, comforts and the easy money that came with the occupiers, there will be many many more Afghans who are thankful that the brutality and systematic racism of the Western occupying powers is finally at an end.

The lessons other vulnerable countries have learnt from Western occupying powers’ brutal occupation of Afghanistan will not be soon forgotten..

Nor will the boys coming home from that 20 year war be immune to its effects on the psyche..

“One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.”
– Booker T. Washington

That is not to say Afghanistan is going to become some liberal, rights respecting country any time soon: traditional rigid views about women’s rights and other ethnicities and belief systems -particularly in rural areas, are gong to prevail for some time to come. And Sharia law is not exactly a very forgiving dogma; but there are signs that the new Taliban leadership recognise that they will have to adapt to the modern world if they are to be accepted by the wider international community, especially investment from Chinese and  other neighbouring countries. Certainly, as of 17th August 2021, the Taliban command have so far largely behaved with honour and discipline for the defeated.

It should also be noted that the Taliban are not ‘terrorists’ and in no way resemble ISIS or the earlier Mujahideen . While they may have sheltered Al Qaeda in the past, they have no record and no stated intent of terrorist actions outside (or within) Afghanistan.

And it should also be remembered that the Taliban’s astonishing victory in the past week has been at minimal cost of human life and suffering; a victory, as Pepe Escobar notes, contrived by ” lots of persuasion, tribal deals, zero columns of tanks (and) minimal loss of blood”.

It is  time now for the new Afghan  government to  demand reparations from all those Western  occupation governments for the deaths,  torture,  trauma and misery;  and land and property losses of the last 20  years.

Perhaps Westerners could also remember, for the future, that the way for outsiders to encourage change in any other society, is to demonstrate your positive values: your generosity, your honesty, your capacity to forgive and your willingness to listen…

Postscript

As Richard Falks  and others note, what follows next in Afghanistan  will  depend not only on how the Taliban keep  their promises of greater tolerance , but also  on  the United States and its Western  occupying allies respond to the Taliban in power.  To  date Western media is hyping up  the threat  and supposed savagery of the Taliban  to extraordinary  degrees  (my local  New Zealand  TV news channel  interspersed commentary of the Taliban  with video of ISIS troops marching in uniform) and the  U.S.  withholding of Afghan federal  reserve money  and aid by  other Western countries . Without the  Western aid that  Afghanistan infrastructure has come to  rely on  over the last 20  years,  severe hardship  and starvation will  be the lot of Afghans already  brutalised by  this pointless war.

It is now likely that  further Western brutal  adventures, such  as the Afghan occupation , will not be viable options , as China particularly expands its  somewhat  more benign influence in  the region.

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Links

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/16/20-years-invasion-afghanistan-unnecessary-post-imperial-fantasy

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/126081418/utterly-surreal-and-devastating-former-pm-helen-clark-shellshocked-to-be-back-where-we-were-in-afghanistan-as-taliban-take-over

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/16/diplomacy-not-bombs-anti-war-voices-say-afghanistan-shows-need-stop-any-further?

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/the-islamic-emirate-of-afghanistan-back-with-a-bang/

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/08/16/afghanistan-history-taliban-collapse-504977

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/08/afghanistan-taliban-press-conference-notes.html#more

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/08/16/hollywoods-dangerous-afghan-illusion-2/

https://thescrum.substack.com/p/and-now?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents/

https://scheerpost.com/2021/08/17/the-u-s-government-lied-for-two-decades-about-afghanistan/

https://scheerpost.com/2021/08/16/what-the-classroom-didnt-teach-me-about-the-american-empire/

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/we-failed-afghanistan-not-the-other?

https://www.sigar.mil/interactive-reports/corruption-in-conflict/lessons.html

As Kabul Is Retaken, Papers Look Back in Erasure

https://annebonnypirate.org/2021/08/17/afghanistan-the-end-of-the-occupation/

https://wikileaks.org/wiki/CIA_report_into_shoring_up_Afghan_war_support_in_Western_Europe,_11_Mar_2010

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202108/1232167.shtml

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202108/1232142.shtml

https://richardfalk.org/2021/08/23/everything-went-wrong-in-afghanistan/

John Pilger: The Great Game of Smashing Nations

https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/wests-meddling-has-caused-calamity-afghanistan

The Russophobe Farcical Ride to War

Apparently we are expected to now believe that the Russians have now not only been paying the Taliban to kill U.S. occupying troops (likely ‘admitted’ after a little bit of healthy torture of a Talban suspect) but have also been blowing up Czech munitions dumps.

Apparently we are expected to now believe that the Russians have now not only been paying the Taliban to kill U.S. occupying troops (likely ‘admitted’ after a little bit of healthy torture of a Talban suspect) but have also been blowing up Czech munitions dumps. And that those pesky Russian GRU ‘intelligence’ operatives Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, identified by the ‘brilliant’ Western intelligence funded masterminds at Bellingcat (using Google Photos and other hi tech equipment) not only botched the poisoning of Sergie Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in March 2018 , but had, 4 years earlier, botched the blowing up a Czech munitions dump, whose armaments were supposedly destined for the Ukraine after the Maidan anti-Russian coup in Ukraine.

This fits with the Skripal chain of events, where the most senior nurse in the entire British Army just happened to stumble across the Skripals, and where “military grade’ Novichok takes hours to actually work and then doesn’t kill the victims but then kills an innocent bystander some months later.

Curiously the Czech allegations were suddenly revealed 7 years later after the information had suddenly come to the hand of the newly installed Czech foreign minister, Jan Hamacek  (an enthusiastic supporter of NATO) , just before the Czech president was to have headed to Moscow to sign up for Sputnik V vaccines for the country, when tenders for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Czechia are just about to begin, (and which Russian companies would have had a good chance of winning), and a day after the Americans had announced more sanctions against Russians for somehow trying to influence U. S. elections in impossible ways.

And now we have the Le Monde in Paris creating little stories that the GRU had an espionage base deep in the Swiss Alps ( its gone now they say)

Presumably Western intelligence and their media arms are vying with each other on how far Western publics can be sucked in with ludicrous Russian plots.

“Hey guys, they swallowed that ridiculous story we made up about Gadaffi and the boxes of viagra for his troops to rape civilians, I’ll bet they swallow this one about Petrov and Boshirov again!”

The Russian government it would appear, has now lost its patience with the Americans after Biden deliberately insulted the Russian president as a ‘soul-less killer’, after years of sanctions of the Russian state, and will now make life very difficult for the remaining American diplomats in Moscow .

Diplomacy is thus now at an end between the two countries. In addition, the forceful tit for tat Russian response to the Czech expulsion of Russian diplomatic staff will mean that diplomatic efforts are also unlikely to occur in Eastern Europe in the near future.

The recent attempted coup and assassination of Belarus president Lukashenko, which Russia alleges was planned by Western intelligence operatives, has also not helped the current crisis.

War is becoming increasingly likely.

40,000 NATO troops are massed near Russian borders and 80,000 Russian troops and other units are stationed close to the Russian border with Ukraine.

Steadily increasing NATO military exercises along the border with Russia seem to presage an attempt by NATO forces to probe for weaknesses and then attack Russia, or at least provoke a response from Russia that Western media can proclaim is proof of Russian evil.

Not content with setting the scene for a war over Crimea (a territory occupied by the Russians since it ‘acquired’ it from the Turks in 1774), and the festering Donbass civil war in Russian speaking Eastern Ukraine; the Ukrainian Kiev government is now bizarrely accusing another Russian ally, Iran, of deliberately downing a Ukrainian airliner in the confused aftermath of the Soleimani execution by the United States.

Along with the escalation along Russian borders by the U.S. and its ‘allies’ – particularly the Baltic states, the Poles, Ukrainians, the English and the Australians-we see escalations by the Israeli racist regime against the Iranians, in the form of constant provocations , the most recent being the sabotage at the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran, and the provocations by the Americans in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

The decision by the Biden administration to withdraw some of it’s forces from Afghanistan by September 11 2021 , is indeed welcome and indicative of the total pointlessness of that 19 year war- other than to maintain a lucrative heroin supply trail for Western intelligence services. However the withdrawal is possibly also indicative of the American military’s recognition that fighting too many wars on two many fronts, is a recipe for defeat.

Alongside these aggressive actions go the sanctions designed to weaken Russia, Iran and China (and Syria, Venezuela and North Korea) for their temerity in not kowtowing to the American ‘world order’.

As American society and their economy continues to implode, we see increasingly desperate measures by the U.S. and their remaining ‘allies’ to try and contain and destroy those governments which do not support the American way of brutal colonial aggression.

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This short and innocuous tweet from U.S. Strategic Command on April 20th 2021, gives Russian and China clear warning that the U.S. is quite prepared to use nuclear weapons as a first option in resolving their differences.

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Links

https://www.rt.com/russia/521369-czech-republic-expels-russian-diplomats/

https://thegrayzone.com/2021/04/16/biden-afghanistan-war-privatizing-contractors/

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/521315-biden-sanctions-russia-putin/

Complicity

We are all in desperate need of real investigative journalism which is not paid, bullied or feel obliged to follow the current state propaganda line.

There is not much more one can say about Media Lens’ concise summary of the activities of Western countries- particularly the United States and its closest ally, the United Kingdom, in engaging in serial murder over many years, against countries and peoples more vulnerable than their own, whose misery and deaths can be exploited for profit.

While the barbarity of the U.S. and U.K is documented elsewhere in great detail, Media Lens’ great strength is to outline the consistent role Western mainstream media have played in actively supporting those wars and the lies they knowingly propagated ( or in a few cases simply failed to do their journalistic duty of investigation)

As the wheel turns, the U.S. will in a few short years, no longer have the preeminent global role it has acquired through military domination. As the U.S. global role declines, so the need for justice for those many millions victimised by that imperial power will steadily rise until those responsible are indeed facing the court at the Hague for their war crimes .

Alongside them in the dock will surely be those media propagandists who knowingly aided and abetted their crimes with media lies and encouraged the lust for war.

On a more absurd and light-hearted note, we note the allegations from an Australian TV channel, Channel 9, that Vladimir Putin hacked their TV broadcast because he didn’t like what they said about him . While the ridiculous allegations are unsurprising from such a news source, there will be any number of gullible xenophobic Australians ready to be whipped up into a frenzy about malign state actors ( any one of either China, Russia, North Korea or Iran-take your pick) interfering with their TV viewing !

We are all in desperate need of real investigative journalism which is not paid, bullied or feels obliged to follow the current state propaganda line.

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Links

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9411375/Did-Russian-hackers-force-Australian-TV-station-air-showing-Putin-investigation.html

War with China

John Pilger has for several years now been talking about the ‘Coming War with China’-something I had in earlier years regarded as foolish speculation . However, in recent times I now hear much more loudly the drumbeats of war from America, and its more foolish and racist allies.

John Pilger has for several years now been talking about the ‘Coming War with China’-something I had in earlier years regarded as foolish speculation . However, in recent times I now hear much more loudly the drumbeats of war from America, and its more foolish and racist allies.

And in a more recent John Pilger article about the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima ‘ANOTHER HIROSHIMA IS COMING… UNLESS WE STOP IT NOW‘ he notes: “No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin” said The New York Times front page on 13 September, 1945, a classic of planted disinformation. “General Farrell,” reported William H. Lawrence, “denied categorically that [the atomic bomb] produced a dangerous, lingering radioactivity.”-John Pilger .

It should therefore be no surprise that Western governments have lied and lied again in their pursuit of war and profit. The ongoing deluge of Western propaganda against China and its ally Russia, is clearly designed to ‘soften up’ Western publics for a war with those ‘evil orientals’.

The Western media claims of Uyghur genocide by the Chinese government have been largely constructed from one source; a somewhat ‘unusual’ gentleman called Adrian Zenz, a Christian fundamentalist evangelist and devout anti-communist. The Gray-Zone has published a damning report on the curious ways Mr Zenz has used public data to support his beliefs that Uyghur genocide is occurring. Western intelligence has latched onto Mr Zenz fundamentalist fervour to promote his views to the wider world, because it fits so well with their need to portray the Chinese government (and all things mainland Chinese) as evil .

As the GrayZone outlines in its article on the U.S. based Uyghur American Association (UAA), the Altay Club and other organisations determined to once again create an independent state in Xinjiang since its re-incorporation into the Chinese state in the 18th Century, there are multiple organisations both internal and external to China, determined to overthrow the current status quo in Xinjiang.

The Chinese government is now in the process of suing Zenz for libel in the courts.

Numerous Muslim Uyghur have in fact been radicalised by the Saudi Wahabbi doctrine and continue to play an important role as Salafi jihadi soldiers in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries, with funding and support from the Saudis and Western intelligence operatives. It is likely therefore that the Chinese government has put considerable effort into reducing the risk of Uyghur radicalisation in mainland China; the truth of how much repression of the Uyghur population in China is occurring is unknown at this point-although the Chinese government denies any such repression. It is however certain, given current population counts, that a Uyghur ‘genocide’ is not happening.

As one of the Chinese government’s representative Yang Jiechi so rightly put it at the recent Alaska China/U.S. Anchorage summit at the Captain Cook Hotel;’ the United States uses its financial and military might to bully other countries. …(and that) America had its own long history of human rights problems and foolish actions abroad. ‘Foolish actions’ is a wonderful euphemism for the scale of genocidal war and terror inflicted by the United States on ‘non-compliant’ countries over the past century and more ( i.e. countries that do not comply with the United States view of it’s ‘international rules based order’- not to be confused in any way with U.N. declarations)

Alistair Crooke summarises the theme of the anti-Russia-China rhetoric as ‘the U.S. thinks to lead the maritime and rim-land powers in imposing a searing psychological, technological and economic defeat on the Russia-China-Iran alliance’.

As with all colonial powers, the current arrogance and bellicosity of the Americans is premised on racism- the view that the Chinese are somehow an inferior nation who need education and ‘realignment’ with Western values and principles of what the Americans call ‘democracy and freedom’-but which in reality are principles based on the exploitation and subjugation of others.

The United States’ personal delusions of their exceptionalism – which align closely to Nazi views on the superiority of the German ‘race’- also play an important role in their incapacity to peacefully collaborate with others.

Given the United States appalling centuries long history of abuse of the vulnerable, at home and abroad, its view of itself as a pure, supremely democratic and exceptional nation (which many in the States undeniably believe) is psychotic, and indicative of the level of risk the world is facing when delusional people hold the reins of power in the worlds’ most militaristic country.

The United States appears ‘hell-bent’ on ensuring that no other country can get in the way of ‘rule-based order’ where the United States can and does whatever it likes, to whomever it likes, to ensure the money keeps rolling into the troughs of its billionaires.

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Links

https://thegrayzone.com/2021/03/17/report-uyghur-genocide-sham-university-neocon-punish-china/

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/03/15/leviathan-mobilises-for-decisive-battle/

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/56466.htm

https://thegrayzone.com/2021/03/31/china-uyghur-gun-soldiers-empire/

An Australia We Can Believe In

Australian  Prime Minister Scott  Morrison is apparently incensed about  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian’s posting of an image of  an Australian  soldier slitting the throat  of a young Afghan boy.

Chin'as constrcuted image of Aussie war crimes in Afghanistan

The  ‘constructed’  image  that  Zhao Lijian  used  was based on  an  Australian government  report into  Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan,  which  found   ‘credible information of 23 incidents of unlawful killing of 39 people “by or at the direction of members of the Special Operations Task Group in circumstances which, if accepted by a jury, would be the war crime of murder. None of these are incidents of disputable decisions made under pressure in the heat of battle, found the inquiry.” Those 39 prisoners and civilians were unlawfully killed and two treated so cruelly, the soldiers’ conduct amounted to a war crime.

This new report follows on  from  previous allegations of misconduct  by  New Zealand troops in  Afghanistan, by  journalists Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager where New Zealand “Defence” Force personnel  breached rules of engagement in an SAS-led raid in Afghanistan in 2010 and covered up the resulting civilian deaths.

Why  such a report about  murders and abuse should be a surprise to  anyone, is a mystery. Western  countries have prided themselves on their superiority to  the ‘less than pink’  skinned races of the world  in  their  centuries’ old thrust  to control  the world’s resources for their exclusive benefit. Such  superiority extends to  a  war culture that dehumanises the ‘enemy’  as ‘gooks’,   ‘rag-heads’ and the ‘yellow peril’, among many other perjorative names..

Australia and the Western media at large depict their country as an innocent victim of ‘Chinese bullying’, ‘coercion’ and ‘aggression’, through  China’s use of  tarriffs, border controls and  monitoring of import goods’ quality,  to  press its argument that  Australia needs to  learn which side its bread is buttered on.

China is particularly annoyed with  Australia  foolishly following the Trump  propaganda line  that  COVID19  is a Chinese  communist government threat  to  the world. Startling, when it is China who  has done most to  show the world how to  limit infection spread…

Australia’s former finance minister, Joe Hockey, labeled China’s President  Xi’s actions “economic coercion.” As Hockey told Bloomberg in a Nov. 3 interview: “That’s not the China that I knew when I was treasurer” for two years until September 2015. This “immature action,” Hockey says, is “not the behavior of a great power.”.

One might be forgiven  for laughing at Joe Hockey’s ‘belief’  that Western  ‘great powers’   never use extortion,  threat  and violence to  get their  economic way. The creation of economic sanctions  and wars of aggression on countries the West  does not like,  is a time honoured tradition- not the sole prerogative  of Donald Trump!

We are now subjected to  the shameful  behaviour of both  the Australian  and New Zealand prime ministers whitewashing these current war  crimes by  claiming that  the images posted by  Zhao Lijian were ‘fake news’. Clearly the images posted were indeed not taken  in the heat of  Australians  killing Afghan children for fun; they  were intended as representations of real  events. Apparently,  ‘an obscure artist in China made an art about the tragedy which was widely circulated in Chinese social media, and which Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Li JianZhao tweeted.’

Human  Right Watch  notes that: The former military lawyer and whistleblower David McBride, who was deployed to Afghanistan with the special operations task group, was charged with a number of offenses in 2017 after he spoke to reporters about the alleged abuses, and his trial is ongoing. He is the only person who was charged, and the charges are unrelated to his conduct in Afghanistan.

One should therefore not be surprised by  a  Chinese (and North  Korean,  Vietnamese,  Syrian, Iraqi,  Libyan etc etc )  call  in  the future  to  demand reparations for all  those countries Australia and the other Five Eyes and Fourteen Eyes countries ( In addition to the Anglo-Saxon countries, the group includes Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Sweden and Norway), that have ‘bullied’ with  war and sanctions  over the past 60  years- the genocidal  wars in  Korea and Vietnam   come to  mind;  let alone Iraq, Libya or Syria…..and recently American  sponsored atrocities have come to  light….

That  Australia  and New Zealand  continue  to  defend  their  positions as  ex-colonial  powers  allied to  racist  and war-mongering  Western European states and the U.S., is no  surprise; but it does give an indication of the intelligence and humanity  of their political  and ‘intelligence’ communities, and their capacity  to grasp where  the future lies.


Links

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/508216-china-australia-soldier-afghanistan/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/11/19/australia-follow-afghan-report-prosecutions

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/11/no-comparison-between-alleged-australian-defence-force-atrocities-in-afghanistan-and-kiwis-actions-in-operation-burnham-kiwi-war-journalist-jon-stephenson.html

https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/China-s-bullying-of-Australia-is-bound-to-backfire

Australian Lowlifes – American Empire’s Bitches

Stealing Mineral Wealth for Corporate Interests: U.S. Bankrolled Mass Murder of Millions in Central Africa

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/secret-docs-reveal-dubious-details-of-targeted-killings-in-afghanistan-a-1010358.html

 

Assange’s Show Trial

As the  tragi- comedy trial of Julian Assange in London wends its way  to its inevitable conclusion: (extradition to  the United States); the day  to  day  accounts of those few people (noted below in  the links)  permitted by  the Court to  view ‘proceedings’,  shows a client British  state determined to  kowtow to  the United States,  regardless of the cost to its intended credibility as an upholder of international  human rights.

We are reminded of  Gilbert & Sullivan’s  comic-opera, ‘Trial  by Jury’ of Victorian times in its absurdities: from  the bombastic prosecutor, to  the Judge  who  chooses to pretend the terrors inflicted by her government simply do  not exist,

The contrast  between  Assange’s courage and morals  in the face of the “Exceptional  Empire”, and the duplicity  of  the mainstream media in either not reporting about the trial or continuing to  excuse the depravity of the U.K and U.S.  court systems,  could not be more complete.

And once Assange is extradited  and sent to  the   Eastern District of Virginia, where thousands of  CIA staff  are based at  Langley,   where traditionally “whistleblowers’  are tried and prosecuted and sent to  jail , we will  once again be reminded of those great  freedoms we posses in  the West- (provided we toe the line).

The longer Assange languishes (and perhaps dies) in  some American  prison for ‘terrorists” ( perhaps he can be sent to Guantanamo Bay so any actions against  can  be ‘extra-judicial’?)  the more the United States “Shining City of the Hill  will be exposed as the house of horrors it truly is.

And one last thought. How is it that the  great  ‘democratic’ institutions of the  U.S.  and U.K. government have spent millions on  hunting down  and imprisoning Assange for reporting the truth  about their crimes,  and not one dollar or pound has been spent in  tracking down,  trying and imprisoning those ‘patriots’  who  have engaged in  these war  crimes by either  those governments or their mainstream  media?

The current actions of the U.K.  and U.S.  governments, in trying to  suppress and punish  Assange and Wikileaks, have demonstrated very  clearly that  those governments and state apparatus continue to  fully support the  very genocide,  mass murder and  torture that Wikileaks has exposed to  the world.


Links

Waiting for the Old Bailey: Julian Assange and Britain’s Judicial Establishment

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/julian-assange-prometheus-bound/

As British judge made rulings against Julian Assange, her husband was involved with right-wing lobby group briefing against WikiLeaks founder

Julian Assange Show Trial Resumes: Why the U.S. Government Wants Him Silenced

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-09-04-as-british-judge-made-rulings-against-julian-assange-her-husband-was-involved-with-right-wing-lobby-group-briefing-against-wikileaks-founder/

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/500083-assange-pilger-court-trial/

As Assange extradition hearing resumes, the future of a free press is on trial

Media Freedom? Show me the MSM Journalist Opposing the Torture of Assange