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War in Europe: Schaff Annotated

A dangerous escalation.

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Lars Schaff published a much needed op-ed today. Called 'Brainwashed Lemmings Towards the Cliff', it's a call to sense and sensibility in the face of mounting tensions over Ukraine, the kind of idiocy that could lead to a major world conflict just as it did 100 years ago.


Lars has to be somewhat brief in his piece in order to not incur the dreaded TL;DR syndrome; but perhaps this complement can now be read by those who bravely made it to the end.

Don't we see those dead children in Gaza, with their small white faces and their mutilated bodies? Don't we see the horror beaming from the eyes of the physically and mentally maimed small ones, many still babies?

Some of us do. For anyone at all unfamiliar with what's going on, especially from the human angle, the blog and Twitter feed of actress Vera Filatova are recommended.


When the Soviet Union lost its power, to a large extent through popular struggle

True. The best way to put it. But behind the scenes, the US State Department betrayed Gorby to rip up the Soviet Union. The ostensible objective of the summits that began in Geneva in 1985 was detente - State and Ronnie capitalised on this to destroy the enemy who suddenly was a friend.

Then we approached those nations in attempts to bring them into our power field.

Sweden's glorious CIA informer Carl Bildt was a big help here. Compare NATO maps from 1991 with ones of today.

Among those Ukraine was the chief prize, according to a US official.

That's not hard to understand. Khrushchev, himself a Ukrainian, donated Crimea to the country in 1954. Crimea, part of the Russian empire since 1783, is largely populated by Russians, and Crimea has the all-important port of Sevastopol, Russia's only access route to the Med.

[But it's still a long sail, so purchasing use of a minor port in Syria for repairs is vital. Now you know why the US went after Assad. Ed.]

For more than 40 years we had been taught that Soviet Communism, with its ambition to conquer the world, was the prime rot that had to be destroyed at any price. NATO was formed for this sole purpose, it was said.

Coming home to roost in 2014: here began the lies perpetrated on generation after generation. A quick look at the agreed facts of course turns up something else.

  1. NATO formed in 1949 to thwart the 'ostensible' threat of a land invasion from the east; but
  2. Russia lost nearly 30,000,000 people in WW2 and were hardly in a position to do anything; and
  3. The Warsaw Pact formed first 6 years later in 1955 as a direct response to the NATO threat; but
  4. Western propaganda of course turned that around completely (and successfully).

It turned out that no one really had imagined the Soviet Union capable of conquering anything.

Nope. Because no one heeded the warnings of Dwight Eisenhower. The poor Russkies played 'catch up' for 40 years. This was covered in John le Carré's excellent Russia House (movie version starring Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer) but of course that's all fiction, right? Not quite.

The actual enemy was in fact all kinds of egalitarian politics, which threatened to distribute other countries' assets to their own populations, instead of delivering them to their rightful owners, namely us.

That's the way it's always been. Persia, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile... The strategy of the US has always been to destabilise, then let the big corps in, then plunder the victim - and it doesn't really matter how bad the people have it, because that's why you backed that cruel dictator in the first place, right? Get anything you can by historian Michael Parenti, and don't forget the great Bill Blum.

Now we had a crippled Russia which first of all had to be purged from any trace of egalitarian delusion. A handful of US experts in that field (and a Swedish one) helped Yeltsin and Gaidar to give the country's valuable assets away to a bunch of oligarchs, then force a steamroller over the Russian industry, totally wiping out half of it, and in the process drive ten million people into death. It all seemed to run smoothly.

Almost unknown to outsiders, but Yeltsin was not just a drunk, he was also a national catastrophe. And yes, there was a Swedish economist from Ronnie's beloved Milton Friedman school who was also involved. Life expectancy dropped to a staggering 55. An estimated 10 million people died as a result. All this as people feeding on Western media kept up the mantra 'the Cold War's over and we won!'

But then came Vladimir Putin and destroyed most of the joy.

Yes. Read the accounts of Sharon Tennison for some background on the guy. He was considered an anomaly - he was considered totally incorruptible - ten years earlier, then to the shock of many, was suddenly chosen by Yeltsin as his successor.


He reclaimed some of the nation's wealth from the thieves

He couldn't get the money back that the oligarchs had already stolen, but he could stop them from stealing more.

restored the public finances so that doctors and teachers who had been working for months and years without salary could be paid. In the process he also put an end to the genocide of the 1990s

Yes. People who regularly visit the country see the slow and steady progress. Things get better all the time. Putin's got his eye on consolidation, not some fartsy war that only the likes of John Kerry and his mates could be interested in.

That's when we started to strike our claws into Ukraine in a rather aggressive way, totally neglecting the old ties between that country and Russia, and disregarding the Russian wishes not to have its prime enemy close to its borders.

No one knows what Hillary would have done - she may have been just as disastrous - but there's no argument that John Kerry has brought the very powerful US State Department into a new era of classic clownsmanship. Kerry frothed at the mouth at the prospect of invading Syria, and the brass in the Pentagon had to knock him down every time. It wasn't just that Kerry wanted to strike Syria, he wanted to do it overnight, he couldn't understand you had to prepare for things like that. Much like an Austrian 70 years earlier.

We have openly cooperated with pure Nazis and spread Ukrainian demagogy, disinformation and the silliest propaganda.

Banderstan, Lviv: look 'em up. The cruelty of the Nazi SS never matched that of the Ukrainians under Stepan Bandera. They're all over that putsch government that Kerry, Nuland, and Pyatt installed in Kiev. There's the Right Sector, Yarosh, the Svoboda party, Tyahnybok often photographed with John McCain - and none of these groups do well in elections. Yet they're shuffled into power by you-know-who. The realisation that the neocons in State, already infamous for embracing the prospect of all-out nuclear war they think they can win, show that they still don't get the heavy lesson of the previous world war. And that is perhaps the most dangerous element of all.

We have swallowed the almost Goebbels-like claims that Ukrainian authority's murdering of their own citizens, women and children must be blamed on Putin.

It's done reliably and systematically. Julian Assange's show was financed by a 'Kremlin mouthpiece'; a Russia constantly under attack during the Olympic winter games in Sochi; all the scare stories of Russian involvement in Donbass, yet not a one of those stories ever being backed up. Breathtaking performances by State briefers Psaki and Harf that time and again fall on their faces; 'evidence' sent from Kiev to Washington to the New York Times (but not to Judith Miller - she's gone now guys) that turns out to be rum within a single day.

Not to speak of the MH17 disaster. For those who already forgot, MH17 was a Malaysian airliner that crashed over Donbass. No one knew who was responsible even though it was Putin personally. A month's gone by and those black boxes which were to take only 48 hours to investigate have somehow held things up for over thirty days. And now there's word that all involved countries have had to sign an NDA so no one will ever know what happened.

as hundreds of thousands of Donbas citizens are fleeing for their lives, many of them to Russia

At least hundreds of thousands, and not only many to Russia, but most. Strange as it may seem to the modern Western couch potato, Russia is seen as a good place by those fleeing. Wages are better, health care is better, prices are lower, and all around it's just a lot more secure. The only people who have an issue with Russia are the Banderstan-Lviv fascists - and by the looks of things, they'll probably self-destruct anyway.

Time for the Postcards punch line.

This absolutely uncritical and apologetic attitude towards the Ukrainian strongmen is our contribution to enhancing the risk of war in Europe.

Yes. Nazism was never purged from the Ukraine. That's Nazism in its purest, most naked, cruelest form. Mania on steroids.

There are 'doves' like Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski who advise the US to guarantee Ukraine never join NATO.

This is news! Kissinger is one of the biggest war criminals in modern times, and Zbig is the man who wrote the instruction manual for the US State Department. And it's his son who's installed as ambassador in Stockholm, and they're of course all good friends with Carl Bildt.

That not even these two elder statesmen make an impression on the Obama administration raises doubts about US intentions.

That's the decisive fact here: there are no two more far right maniacs than Zbig and Kissinger, yet bashful Kerry, Kristol, Nuland, Kagan, McCain, and all the rest - who've shown they can push Obama into almost anything - are even more maniacal. And that's a very scary fact.

Is a dangerous war in Europe a realistic option for this administration?
 - Lars Schaff

See Also
Postcards from Sweden: Brainwashed lemmings towards the cliff?

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