Reposting my friend Bruce Gagnon’s excellent update which contains some images and information that you will not see in the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, CNN, and the rest of the corporate press. These media outlets lied us into war in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan. Hot on the heels of four years of fabricating the Russiagate story, would they lie us into war with Russia? You bet they would.
February 5 protests across the U.S. a success
Here is a brief update on the latest information:
o Increasingly more and more people and peace groups in the U.S. are speaking out to try to stop Washington from pushing Ukraine-Russia (and maybe all of us) into WW III. On February 5 protests like the one just above (in Mid-coast Maine) were held in more than 75 communities across the nation.
o The photo above reveals (never reported in the corporate media) that 150,000 Ukrainian troops (trained, armed and directed by US-UK-NATO) are at the ‘line of contact’ near the Russian-ethnic region (inside Ukraine) called the Donbass (red on the map). Ukraine is repeatedly shelling the Donbass region trying to draw Russia into a full-blown war.
o The photos below are Ukrainian protests in front of the US Embassy in the capital city of Kiev. They reveal that there are many inside Ukraine that do not see the US-UK-NATO military operations since the 2014 U.S. orchestrated coup d’état as a positive.
o Ukraine’s President Zelensky has just blocked and banned the 6th anti-Zelensky TV channel in the last 12 months. So much for democracy from the Nazi-backed regime in Kiev.
o Inside Russia there are growing fears that the US-UK-NATO will implement a tried-and-true ‘false flag’ event that could then be blamed on Moscow. Don’t forget that the US has used false flags in the past (like the Gulf of Tonkin to ramp up Vietnam war).
o Russia continues to say that it has no intention of invading Ukraine. But if Donbass or Crimea are hit by the Ukrainian army then there would likely be a response.
o In recent days the U.S. forced the Slovakian government to allow the Pentagon to set up a base inside that country despite major protests. So clearly the U.S. is using this current Ukraine situation to expand its military operations inside Eastern Europe – the exact opposite of what Russia has demanded. It’s a spit in Russia’s face.
o An international call has gone out for peace activists to use the slogan ‘Disband NATO’ as much as possible. Washington (and allies) promised then President Gorbachev, at the time of the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, that the alliance would not expand ‘one inch’ toward Russia. Clinton broke the promise with his ‘NATO Enhancement’ and today NATO in on the Russian borders. How is Moscow to react?
Protests outside the U.S. embassy in Kiev
The banners in Kiev speak for themselves.
Ukranian activists demand the U.S. return home
You’d never know that there we anti-American protests at the U.S. embassy in Kiev by listening to western corporate-run media. All we get is the opposite. We daily hear that Ukraine is united and ready to defend themselves against the Russian bear.
At the same time we hear that NATO is united – rarely a word about Croatia, Hungary, France, Germany and other NATO members urging peace and rejecting getting involved in any war.
Recently I noted that an interesting aspect of opposing war with Russia in Europe as compared with opposing U.S.-supported wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, or Yemen is hearing from numerous liberal Democrats that are extremely in favor of this war and irate that I am not.
Yesterday I came under attack by two liberal Democrat-types (both of whom happen to be older female academics) because I am insufficiently moved by warmongering propaganda offered up on NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and other corporate media.
This is a common theme of my days.
In the false binary where if Republicans are bad then Democrats must be good because there are always only two choices, if I’m against NATO I must therefore be in favor of Putin. As the avatar of Catherine the Great’s imperial ambitions in one case (what the what?) when I was castigated for sharing a Facebook memory of a talk about Crimea three years ago organized by friends of mine.
I shared this memory with the comment: “Bruce has been paying attention to NATO encroachment on Ukraine for a while now.”
Here’s the pushback:
For weeks I’ve been hounded with gotcha questions from a certain Twitter account. “What are your views on WWII?” was one of her more absurd questions. Was I supposed to answer in tweets?
I suggested that this person could read this blog and search for terms like “WWII” to read my essays on the subject. But I don’t think she is actually interested in doing that.
Yesterday’s gotcha question:
Since I’ve been on the receiving end of these gotcha questions for weeks, I’m clear that the subtext is that I appear to be favoring the kind of appeasement that scholars of WWII think led to Hitler’s Germany expanding its territory without much opposition.
I’m not going to concede that Putin is the reincarnation of Hitler no matter how many gotcha questions I am asked.
When I was a young history major the essential question in this field was, How did the German people let the Nazis take over their country?
As I’ve noted in this blog many times, since the unfortunate events of 9/11 it is horrifyingly clear how that happened — because we’re living through it. Information control is an essential part of the military takeover of a society, well along in the case of the U.S. in 2022.
The U.S. imperial project has hundreds (some say 800, depending on how you define “military base”) of military installations in other countries. It has invaded and occupied numerous countries, and coup’d or regime changed a long list of others. Its leading space entrepreneur, a man who is deeply embedded in U.S. programs to militarize space, has tweeted “We’ll coup anyone we want” in reference to toppling democratically elected governments to gain access to their mineral reserves.
Or just take a look at NATO and how it has been used to expand U.S. imperial ambitions steadily since its inception.
There are some salient facts about the current crisis that those jumping on the bandwagon to demonize Putin either don’t know about or tend to forget.
#1 is expressed well here by Nina Beety, an anti-nuclear activist and academic who is able to see past the corporate media narrative of “Putin Bad” that we are all supposed to adhere to:
The 2015 Minsk-2 agreement required dialogue between Donetsk, Lugansk, and Kiev, which Kiev has refused to do, and all foreign actors were to withdraw personnel and equipment from Ukraine, which the U.S., UK, and Poland have refused to do [emphasis mine].
Instead, 150,000 Ukrainian soldiers, U.S., UK, and Polish personnel and increasing amounts of weaponry are massing near the communities of eastern Ukraine, reportedly preparing to attack, in violation of Minsk.
#2 can be found by perusing George Washington University’s National Security Archives website. Their 2017 article on this topic begins:
U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s famous “not one inch eastward” assurance about NATO expansion in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, was part of a cascade of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991, according to declassified U.S., Soviet, German, British and French documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (http://nsarchive.gwu.edu).
The documents show that multiple national leaders were considering and rejecting Central and Eastern European membership in NATO as of early 1990 and through 1991, that discussions of NATO in the context of German unification negotiations in 1990 were not at all narrowly limited to the status of East German territory, and that subsequent Soviet and Russian complaints about being misled about NATO expansion were founded in written contemporaneous memcons and telcons at the highest levels.
The documents reinforce former CIA Director Robert Gates’s criticism of “pressing ahead with expansion of NATO eastward [in the 1990s], when Gorbachev and others were led to believe that wouldn’t happen.”…
The key phrase, buttressed by the documents, is “led to believe.”
#3 is a fact that few know about but which I haven’t been able to get out of my head since I heard it shared on an antiwar organizing call last week: after the 2014 coup, the U.S. intended to put a naval base in Crimea. This led to a vote on whether or not the people favored annexation by Russia and, in a landslide, they did.
#4 is an example of so-called “facts on the ground” which are easily documented but which the corporate press in the U.S. steadfastly refuse to report: Ukraine has been shelling civilians in the Donbass region — i.e. on their border with Russia — for years and has killed around 14,000 and injured many others.
But, yeah, Putin bad. All you need to know. Get back to work or playing wordle.
You’ll need to look up when WWIII begins with another land war in Europe. At that point, probably the only salient fact left will be that the Russian Federation has pledged no first use of nukes, while the U.S. has adamantly refused to promise the same security measures to preserve life on the planet.
There’s an old Russian saying that in really sophisticated propaganda, even its opposite is not true.
So if “Putin bad” is not true, maybe “Putin good” is not true either.
That said, I would appreciate it if my critics would stop imposing their false binary on me.