NATO Summit Turns Its Back On Zelensky And Pivots To China

As the collective West turned its back on a bad actor, Russia turned its back on a grain deal that was supposed to feed the Global South.

Many have commented on — and photoshopped — what is by now an iconic photo from last week’s NATO summit in Vilnius. For example:

This rendition plays on the fact that Ukrainian President Zelensky’s image seems to demand he dress in pseudo Army fatigues at all times, even formal dinners in a European capitol. So, he looks more like the janitor than a power broker. The yellow bucket plays nicely next to Mrs. Zelensky’s blue dress to invoke the ubiquitous flag adopted by liberals in support of the Democratic Party’s signature proxy war. (Said flags are looking rather tattered and faded these days as Ukraine’s spring-no-wait-more-like-summer offensive sputters out with little accomplished.)

President Zelensky was possibly the only person in Vilnius who expected Ukraine to be invited to join NATO. Instead he was rebuffed but told that his real soldiers can keep fighting and dying while the West dials back its financial support and supplies of military equipment. Consolation prize: cluster bombs for Ukraine! These are on the shelf in the U.S. arsenal, mostly because when used they are extremely destructive of both children and public approval.

(Note that Politico’s National Security Daily is brought to you by one of the big dogs of the U.S. military industrial complex, the true winners of the proxy war on Russia via Ukraine.)

President Zelensky lashed out at being snubbed and a UK government official admonished him to show more gratitude for what he’s already received. (President Zelensky has reportedly become immensely wealthy skimming off foreign aid and can easily afford a business suit to wear to these sort of gatherings. His public relations staff no doubt advised against it.)

What was most significant about the NATO summit lay to the east. This surprised no one who has recognized that weakening Russia is merely the prelude to taking on the West’s major competitor, China. Why? “The deepening strategic partnership between the PRC and Russia and their mutually reinforcing attempts to undercut the rules-based international order run counter to our values and interests.”

Since when is Japan in NATO? Or Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea for that matter? ODD ANDERSEN/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

From NATO’s Vilnius Summit Communique:

The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) stated ambitions and coercive policies challenge our interests, security and values. We remain open to constructive engagement with the PRC, including to build reciprocal transparency, with a view to safeguarding the Alliance’s security interests.

As reported by Shannon Tiezzi in The Diplomat,

NATO leaders called out China for “malicious hybrid and cyber operations and its confrontational rhetoric and disinformation” and accused Beijing of striving “to subvert the rules-based international order, including in the space, cyber and maritime domains.” The statement also expressed concern over China’s attempts to “ to control key technological and industrial sectors, critical infrastructure, and strategic materials and supply chains” and “create strategic dependencies.” 

Note: the U.S. has relied heavily in recent years on its made-up concept “rules-based international order” which translates to “f**k international law and the UN, the powerful do as they will and the weak submit as they must.”

China was not slow to respond. The Chinese mission to the EU had its spokesperson issue a statement that included the following:

the Communiqué arbitrarily distorts China’s stance and policies, and deliberately smears China. We firmly oppose and reject this accusation..

The trend of the world is surging forward. We urge NATO to go with the trend of the times, listen to the just call of the international community for peace, development and cooperation, correct its misperceptions and policies, and play a constructive role in world peace and stability. 

We would like to make it clear to NATO that the Chinese side is firm in its resolve to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests. We firmly oppose NATO’s eastward movement into the Asia-Pacific region and any action that jeopardizes China’s legitimate rights and interests will be met with a resolute response.

Meanwhile, Russia announced it was withdrawing from the cooperative agreement to allow grain shipping through the Black Sea. Intended as a way to mute the effects of the Ukraine war on food supplies in the Global South, instead the deal resulted in Ukraine re-selling the grain to Europe. Russia had warned several times that if the other part of the deal, that of lifting restrictions on their export of food and fertilizer, they would let the agreement expire.

The West can now claim that Russia has abandoned the humanitarian goals of the grain shipping deal. And the heavily propagandized public in NATO nations will eat this analysis up, much like they still cling to the absurd notion that Russia’s entry into Ukraine’s civil war in February 2022 was “unprovoked.”

Some are suggesting that the straw that broke the grain deal’s back was the use of a civilian ship carrying grain to launch drones that blew up the Kerch Strait bridge, injuring a teenager and killing her parents. But actually the cancellation announcement preceded the attack. (Ukraine recently took belated credit for the October 2022 attack on the bridge that links Russia and Crimea, an attack that used a suicide truck bomber rather than underwater drones.)

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out that NATO players are likely involved, too. 

Decisions are made by Ukrainian officials and the military with the direct participation of American and British intelligence agencies and politicians. The U.S. and Britain are in charge of a terrorist state structure.

Meanwhile you may be wondering, who will be the proxy assigned to fight China on behalf of NATO? Taiwan, Japan, and Australia are all in the running. Maybe Hong Kong and New Zealand too? Stay tuned. 

What’s Wrong About Public-Private Partnerships?

Aside from the fact that public-private partnership is a euphemism for fascism (or, as Mussolini preferred, corporatism) what is wrong about this structure of taxpayer-funded quasi- government? Public-private partnerships are all the rage these days e.g. the State of Maine just created a Space Corporation to enable private profits based on public infrastructure, and Ukraine relies heavily on Elon Musk’s Starlink network for the communications needed to conduct its war on Russian-speaking Ukrainians. 

Or at least it has until now.

Word on Twitter is that Ukraine asked Elon to hook them up in Crimea but he declined, citing the heightened risk of nuclear war following Ukraine’s terror attack on the Kerch Bridge linking Crimea and Russia.

“The aftermath of a large explosion that heavily damaged the strategic Crimea Bridge, also known as the Kerch Strait Bridge, which connects the Crimean peninsula with the Russian mainland, on Saturday | ©2022 MAXAR TECHNOLOGIESsource: Japan Times

I seldom agree with Elon “We-will-coup-whoever-we-want” Musk and have always wondered about that “we” in his infamous statement. But I have to admit in this case he’s spot on.

Nuclear war is something to be actively avoided, and calling for a negotiated settlement between Ukraine and Russia should be job right now.

Given the fact that the UK (most likely with U.S. encouragement) actively halted peace talks in Turkey back in April, one could be forgiven for thinking we’re safer in Elon’s hands.

But this is really only the case because our national government was long since captured by corporate interests. President Biden called in reps from the big weapons manufacturers to make plans about arming Ukraine, and then Congress handed taxpayers the bill for $17,000,000,000. Some of that went to pay Starlink.

Of course Twitter is awash with accounts calling Musk a traitor, a Putin puppet, and lots more unsavory names for taking this position.

They’ve identified what the problem is with public-private partnerships: use of public resources to advance private agendas. 

This is routinely viewed as a good thing by those who think capitalism is the official religion of the U.S., and that adherence to its profit agenda is equivalent to patriotism.

It’s the same kind of twisted thinking that fails to count military emissions when reckoning with how to address climate crisis. Somehow the planet’s atmosphere is assumed to be patriotic. As if politics dictates to science.

Billionaires can take their ball and go home if they decide they don’t like the way the partnership is going. And calling them unpatriotic is just about the only leverage the public has.