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The immediate beginning of the trouble was a Geneva summit between two presidents that apparently went wrong. We don’t know what went wrong. The pro-Western Russian officials ran away to Georgia and Israel; they are being replaced by anti-Western officials. This East-West break will not be reversed with ease.

Russians are very similar to Ukrainians. Both are stubborn fighters. Throughout the 20th century they chose different strategies: Russians became internationalists, Ukrainians preferred nationalism. The Ukrainian nationalism was anti-Russian, while Russians harbored no negative feeling towards Ukrainians. It was natural for Ukrainians to flirt with anti-Russian powers. Yet when Ukrainian officials began to declare themselves NATO allies, even the most international Russians became alarmed.

Both Rome’s Pope and Noam Chomsky were capable of understanding the immediate casus belli behind Ukraine: NATO had barked at Putin’s door, and he reacted. In December 2021 Putin diplomatically proposed that NATO withdraw to its mid-1990’s line, and moreover he suggested that peaceful discussion about NATO’s borders might prevent future conflict. Putin proposed an international agreement on NATO’s borders, a political solution that everyone could agree on. This proposal was disregarded with nonchalance; NATO refused to discuss the idea. Putin was rightfully irritated. Further attempts to argue across the West/East divide weren’t successful. The West declined Putin’s politics. And the war began.

NATO began shipping in armaments and ammunition, and deployed their spies. Their intelligence gathering allowed them to sink a big Russian ship named Moscow. They provided the coordinates in real-time for Russian ships and planes. From the very beginning it was clear that Russia fights NATO more than Ukrainians, who they consider to be brothers. This wartime pathos was quite an unexpected development. Putin had always been known as a soft leader; he refused to be drawn into wars. Russia has avoided war for many years under Putin’s rule; and generations of Russians have become used to a peaceful and prosperous life. Suddenly, by circumstances beyond their control, they have been switched to life under war and sanctions.

In hindsight there were plenty of warnings. Russians were blocked from the Olympic games by an international conspiracy of blatant hypocrisy. Russian athletes were accused of doping. Now, Western athletes also use doping, but they know how to get around the rules. The Norwegians claimed they have asthma, and they need special performance-enhancing drugs to heal it. The Americans had excuses of their own, and so did the athletes of many other nations. Russian RUSADA man Mr. Grigori Rodchenkov was bribed by the US to deliver proof of Russian doping. The Russians claim the evidence was falsified. In any case the Russian official defected westward, in a step unseen since the Cold War. Russia was tagged as a pariah throughout the games; she was not allowed to play her national anthem nor display her flag. Russians have been persecuted by the Olympic establishment for generations. There is an undeclared war against Russian athletes; here is the full story. The pattern is undeniable. Russian athletes are routinely penalized for activities that other nations practice with impunity. This has to stop.

Fortunately for everyone, the war in Ukraine has practically dried up. The Ukrainian leadership desperately begs for UN help to keep the war going, as if the Azov Battalion and the rest of the violent, cruel, thuggish militants need to be paid to shoot people. US Democrats have drafted a nearly \$40 billion Ukraine War aid package, which was recently single-handedly blocked by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. The Ukraine War has become a political football in the USA. Both the Neocons on the right and the Neoliberals on the left hope to ride this war into Congress.

Russians are unhappy with war as a solution for the Ukraine crisis. They speak of “betrayal”, and that means the political steam behind the offensive is getting thin. Instead, Russians think they can derail the NATO war and the international sanctions by judiciously withholding Europe’s gas and oil. The Arab Oil Embargo brought the US to its knees in the 1970’s using just that strategy. NATO exists to fight wars; bringing war to NATO simply feeds it. The only way to defeat NATO is to starve it. Russia has great quantities of oil, gas and wheat. She produces aluminum, iron, coal, steel, titanium and cheap electricity. The Russian economy has been called “bulletproof” because of its ability to withstand geopolitical shocks.

How exactly are sanctions hurting Russia? Banking freezes are simply pushing Russia into the waiting arms of China, which literally has an unlimited need for Russian energy and commodities. The US Petrodollar is on the cusp of being denominated in Roubles. Stories of boycotts by Twitter, Facebook and Pornhub underscore the ludicrous nature of Western sanctions. “EU blacklists Abramovich, targets energy, luxury sectors…” It seems that only Russia’s Jewish Mafia will be hurt by the international sanctions. The efficacy of Western sanctions is being wildly exaggerated by the Western media and the implacable coming of winter has always been a harbinger of Russian victory. As Biden says, “It will be a very Dark Winter.”

Germany needs Russian energy. It always has. It always will. There is simply no other option for Germany. As the home base of NATO, Germany is in a unique position to forge a lasting peace with Russia. Germans might benefit greatly from increased trade to the East along such routes as the China-Europe Railway Express, but they remain choked by their old millstones. The business of war is no longer profitable. The big players are now supplying China with everything it needs to manufacture the world’s wealth, and Russia is in a unique position to be a major producer. The rest of Europe is also conveniently located to benefit from the new Chinese empire, if they could only cease squabbling long enough to draw a profit. The dying Anglo-American empire is the only entity that profits from division along the Eurasian continent.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Military, NATO, Russia, Ukraine 

The second month of Ukraine War was quite slow moving. Line of contact hardly moved. Ukrainians fought insistently. After one month, the most important event was not a military victory, but financial one. Russians couldn’t sell their oil and gas for euro or dollars. Putin ordered to sell gas for roubles. This is the end of sanctions: Putin turned sanctions upside down. Europeans complained: they say it’s unfair. They proposed to buy gas but to keep Euros on a closed account. They say it would be fair, but Russians refused this scheme. Rouble is going up, dollar and euro are going down to pre-war values.

The Poles plan to enter the war and snatch Western Ukraine. It was part of Poland before the WW2. Before Stalin joined it to Soviet Ukraine. Now is the time to restore it to Poland, decided Poles. Poles think it is the time; some Russians agree, and some Russians disagree. Russia has no interest to keep Galicia.

Hungarians want to restore Hungary rule over Western Ukraine. And Romania, too! Then Ukraine will be divided between its four neighbours; Poland, Hungary, Romania and Russia.

NATO planned to enter the war; but didn’t after all. Kosovo is not a part of Ukraine, but Serbia claims it. They say, if Russians claim Crimea, they can claim Kosovo. And China can claim Taiwan. (China claims Taiwan but softly.)

Why the war began? The problem started with a Putin’s complaint. The Russian president wanted NATO to roll back from Eastern Europe to old Soviet borders. The Ukrainian President wanted NATO to stand firm. As the result, Ukrainians were supported by NATO. Russia expected it, and began the war.

The atrocities (Ukrainian upon Russian) are a part of Banderite tactics. Even in 1944 they did it many times, and Ukrainians suffered the results. We know of these tactics, though Mr Khrushchev tried to silence the horror. He sided with Ukrainians, and released captive Banderites. Yesterday in Istanbul there were a peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Surprisingly, the peace talks were successful. The sides agreed to lay off Kiev.

The Russians lost many soldiers; so did the Ukrainians. Now people can’t understand what was the reason for war. Putin is known as hard-line politician; why did he agree to cease-fire? Or maybe he didn’t? In a day or two, we shall know. Today, it’s not clear. Some people claim the agreement of Mr Medinsky with Mr Zelensky is the agreement of Russia and Ukraine; others deny it. Rouble rally is the result, they say.

Very dubious result, anyway. Russia will retreat from this agreement; or will interpret it differently. Rouble is now pegged to gold at 5000 Rouble per gram.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, Ukraine 

After many requests, Russia invaded Ukraine. We all were mistaken; we thought the invasion wouldn’t happen. But it did. The Russian logic is straightforward: if NATO would come that close to Moscow, Russia won’t be able to defend oneself. Time of arrival of a NATO missile from here is 5 minutes. Russia wanted to have a written promise of Ukraine that it will keep out of NATO. The Ukraine refused. Invasion, called The Special Operation, like in Israel, is supposed to eliminate military structures and to impose a friendly-to-Russia government. The army will fight in silk gloves; it won’t cause damage; residential buildings aren’t bombed. That was the idea. Reality was different.

NATO was supposed to bomb Russia, even next day. (9th of March is an improved version). Putin came first, maybe one day only. The information war started right away. Financial war, as well. NATO had blocked trade with Russia. The US called back all civilian airplanes, in leasing in Russia. Russians had no their own planes: only leased ones. Russia divided its forces into four groups: Z, V, O, U. Group Z pushed Ukrainian forces from Donbas and moved towards Odessa. Another group moved to Kharkov and Kiev. The first group seized water channel that carried water to Crimea. It was blocked since 2014, and Crimea had no water.

Ukrainians threatened Russians with nuclear bombs; Russians threatened NATO with their bombs. NATO states were scared by nukes. Sanctions threatened Russia; Russian counter-sanctions threaten livelihood of the West. Russia is the big producer of wheat and fertilizers; if they are boycotted, countries of the Third World will starve.

The world as we know is falling apart in front of our eyes; Russia is too big and too well integrated, thanks to previous round of sanctions (in 2014). Now, every sanction backfired. Companies rolled sanctions back. Toyota began to trade their cars, after a week break. Russians like premium cars, and they can afford it. Now they have again Toyota Lexus.

President Biden was scared by revelation: in the Ukraine, 19 bioweapon labs were discovered. Imported from the US, their discovery triggered the war. Russian Defence Ministry published documents, related to those labs. The Russian case grew stronger. Victoria Nuland is hesitant: she does not want the Russians to make it public. Biden decided to stop purchases of Russian oil: Europeans are in distress. Their oil is too expensive. They freeze in their houses and European governments advise them to lower temperature by some degrees instead of certifying gas pipeline.

Actual fighting petered out. Just threats. Zelensky said he wants to keep neutrality; and keep NATO outside of the Ukraine. Actually this is what Putin wanted. The sides can come to agreement. Israeli Prime Minister came to Russia and Ukraine to mediate. Two meetings passed inconclusive.

Russia suffered information attack, from all mass media of the West. They tell all nasty stories about Russia, killing civilians and raping women. Ukrainian refugees in Poland number two million; and they annoy natives. Good side: the COVID-19 withdrew its viruses from Ukraine and Russia. In Russia Covid is gone from the news.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, Ukraine 

The 16th of February passed without a hitch; but the Ukraine Crisis did not fade out. Now there is a new date for invasion 20 of February, or soon after. On 19 Feb Saturday, Ukrainian right-wingers attacked Donbas and Donbas authorities began the evacuation of its children and women. Putin tried his missiles with nuclear heads; a part of Russian nuclear triad. Nuclear triad is the Russian fleet, aviation and land-based units, that is the basis of Russian power. Now it was tried; at the same time Ukrainians shelled Russian positions in Donbas. The US President expressed his certainty Putin will invade the Ukraine. But meanwhile Ukrainian Army shelled Donbas over 100 shells.

Donbas asked Russia for recognition. They asked it many times; Russia refused each time. This time, the National Security Council had met in unusual place. And it was broadcast live. Putin asked each one, should we recognize LNR-DNR? And they replied positively. Same day, he signed the recognition treaty. That was the end of 8 years war. Since 2014, until now, people of Donbas were hiding in cellars. Ukrainian army shelled them from time to time. Not any more. The Ukrainian army does not dare to shoot at much bigger Russian Army.

Symbolically, a day before the decision, the German magazine Spiegel found the document containing the promise: “We cannot offer NATO membership to Poland and the others”. New find of files from 1991 supports Russian accusation. For decades, Russia has claimed that NATO’s eastward expansion violated Western commitments after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now it is confirmed.

Russians did not understand why they had hostile neighbours. Especially why the Ukrainians are so hostile. Historically, they were friendly. One church, one language.

The US encouraged hostility of Ukrainians after 1945. Russians gave Ukrainians everything; Ukraine became the most prosperous Soviet republic. It didn’t help; they remained hostile. Russians were the least nationalist folk in the USSR. But the Ukrainians thought it is not sufficient.

In 2014 followers of Stefan Bandera (Quisling) started a mutiny. Since that time, the Ukraine does not know peace. Loyalists are killed, everywhere from Odessa to Kharkov. Loyalists were majority in the East and South of Ukraine. In the East Donbas they formed government. That assumed independence. It is similar to Texas claiming independence. Russians were forced to defend Donbas.

The Ukrainian forces shot at Donbas, and Russians had to shoot back.

Israel expressed their support of Putin. First, the Jews couldn’t support Bandera lovers. Second, Israel and Russia agreed regarding Syria. Not fully agreed, but enough. The Ukrainians thought they elected a Jew as President, and that would offset Bandera. And they were mistaken. They couldn’t denounce Bandera; he was their nationalism’ foundation. Israel has their own Banderas: Begin and Shamir and Yair Schtern. They ruled Israel, but not right away after independence.

Israel supported Putin, but mildly. American Jews listened to Israel. President Biden listened to American Jewish community.

US Sanctions against Russian business do not scare Russian businessmen. They are seen as a challenge. They grow stronger with sanctions. Russia produces wheat many times more than it had before sanctions. Especially, oil and gas products aren’t going be sanctioned. Europe would be bankrupted, otherwise. Europe needs Russian gas and oil. The US gas costs twice as much as the Russian price. That’s why President Putin was not frightened.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: NATO, Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin 

The Ukraine crisis bewilders Russians. And Europeans, too. Putin says he does not want to invade Ukraine. NATO has no proof Russia prepares invasion. If Ukraine prepares an attack, it will lose its statehood, Putin says. NATO demands Russia withdraw its 100,000 troops from Ukraine’s vicinity. Russia says the troops are stationed on its territory.

American, Israeli, European media says Russian invasion imminent, and calls its citizens to return home. Russians ask why should they invade now, if they didn’t invade in 2014. Nothing changed to worse since that date. Yes, the things became clear since that time, but not worse.

Every development had been seen through Ukraine prism. Even Kazakhstan had been explained as a part of Putin/Biden plan for Ukraine. The US activated Kazakhstan plot, Russians said; the Kazakhstan plot was Russian, Americans said. Russians said: the US opened Second Front; the US said, Russians added confusion. Only later it was cleared that it was a fight between ethnic subgroops.

The US demanded leave Ukraine inviolate; Russians agreed. The US does not believe it. Putin said that he does not intend to fight Ukraine as Ukrainians and Russians are one nation. Ukrainians said it is two nations.

NATO is convinced Russians want to grab Ukraine. Russians say they do not want. They would do it in 2014; that would be easier. Ukrainian president agreed with NATO. But he changed his mind: he says that such prognoses could be self-fulfilling.

Gas price is the background for this conflict. Green policy brought price hike. Gas became expensive; the Russians offered Europeans gas from pipeline that would . The US offered their own gas instead. That was the trouble behind the Ukraine crisis. The Ukraine suffers from the gas shortage and price rise.

Threat of Russian invasion influences foreign capital flows. Europeans do not want to risk their moneys. Ukraine finds itself without investments. The US called home its diplomats. Israel, NATO states and the UK also called diplomats home. When the tension was at its maximum, the French PM entered the play, he visited Moscow and carried 6 hours long talk with Putin.

That time Biden said he knows for certain Putin will attack at 16 February 2022. From Saturday 12 February England forbade its insurance companies to ensure flights over Ukraine. The sky over Ukraine is incredibly empty- no air liners, no private jets.

Russians are convinced there will be no war, anyway. The US will have to start war themselves. They send weapons to Kiev, hoping Mr Zelensky will employ them. Ukraine unloaded ambassadors, and they went home. Zelensky demands proofs – date and size.

It seems Ukraine and Russia do not want war; only the US and the UK. This is Chinese conclusion; US provocation. 16th came and gone. Chinese conclusion: Russians & Ukrainians do not want to fight.

There were many funny items in news, as media tried to please their owners. One of the best was the claim that Putin waits for Biden to deliver weapons. Now this farce is over; for the last accord Russian Parliament recommended Putin to recognize the split republics. That is the end of the war that was not fought.

 

Rarely has Russia used this sort of language to a top rep of the major Western powers, but she was sorely pushed. Diplomats are usually polite, but Mrs (“F*ck the EU”) Nuland awoke the beast in her Russian counterparts. Probably it was a mistake to insist that she should be the one to deal with the Russians. As a young woman, Victoria Nuland joined the crew of a Russian fishing trawler, and though she no doubt learned many useful words and expletives, she was not prepared for her talk with Mr Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister.

People said she was visibly distressed after her meeting with Ryabkov; she complained she was ill-treated. Well, she took on a hard mission: to force the Russians to trim Russian mission staff in Washington. The Senators demanded they cut the Russian team by 300 diplomats, she said. She brought two lists of names for culling, and proposed that the first fifty be sent home by January. Instead of considering her kind proposal, Mr Ryabkov said that there aren’t that many Russian diplomats in Washington; there are Russian diplomats at the UN, but that has nothing to do with the US. Ryabkov accused Nuland of being a shell game artist because she tried to pass UN diplomats off as diplomats accredited in Washington. Added Ryabkov:

If you will insist, we are ready to close down all US missions in Russia, and to lock down our remaining offices at Washington. We can terminate all diplomatic interaction; if you want our relations be based on the number of our nuclear missiles, we are ready. But it’s your choice, not ours.

Ryabkov said there was no progress in negotiations; we do not rule out certain escalations, he added. Such a pessimistic press release after the first day of meetings is quite uncommon. But US-Russian relations are uncommonly bad.

Perhaps you’d remember at Geneva Summit there were hopes and expectations of a Grand Slam, of a long-term agreement between the US and Russia. (Our friend Thierry Meyssan called it even A New Yalta and provided lurid details). I didn’t believe it then. I thought I’d get a whisper of such a deal in Moscow or Tel Aviv; and there was no deal. Since Geneva, things didn’t improve much. Nuland didn’t meet with Foreign Minister Lavrov (that would be above her pay grade), but she got a letter from Lavrov explaining that it was impossible to cut the staff, that is unless the US wants to cut it to zero.

The other topics they discussed were also doomed to fail. Mrs Nuland brought up Mali, a North African state where the presence of Russian private military contractors has incited political anger and displeasure. Mali is a part of a whole chain of French ex-colonies. Though they are ostensibly independent, the French still want to keep them. There used to be a solid French military presence; but the Africans got tired of useless French soldiers standing around, and invited the Russians into the Central African Republic, into Mali and elsewhere. Russians enjoy their African adventures; in the Soviet days they fought in Ethiopia and Somalia; now it is time for the sequel. Western media writes of ‘Russian atrocities’, but that is something they have always said. The best soldiers in Africa are Cubans; if they return en masse, they will sweep Africa off its feet. Now the US and its Western allies are trying to keep Russians out of Africa. They tell Russians that they should not dare enter Africa; it is not theirs. But the Russian side responds that the Russian PMC was invited by the government of Mali; neither Bamako, nor Moscow needs a green light from Washington.

Libya was also discussed. It seems that a few American ladies employed by the UN are arranging the forthcoming elections so as to leave the country under American control. There will be Presidential elections in December, and for the legislature in January. Meanwhile the election process has not been working out as well as some Libyans wanted. It is still not clear who has been selected to run for President: will it be Khalifa Haftar, or Seif al Islam Kaddafi, a son of the late leader, or somebody else. The State Department representative expected to get full Russian cooperation while keeping the Russians completely out of oil exploration. This American plan didn’t work out well. Mr Ryabkov said to Mrs Nuland: the US tries to assign guilt over the destruction of Libya to innocent parties. As we know, Libya was destroyed by NATO forces in 2011 while Russia was making another one of its attempts to fit into the Western agenda. However, these days the Russians are less placid and obedient, and not so eager to accept Nuland’s guidance.

Another point was connected with post-Afghanistan arrangements. The Russians refused the US request to extend facilities to their intelligence in Central Asia. It became a problem after the fall of Afghanistan. For a while, the US demanded a temporary military base in Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. It was discussed at Geneva at Biden-Putin summit. In a very typical Russian manner, Putin told Biden: Why do you need a base? Be a guest at our base! Alas, these Russian offers usually mean much less than what they sound like. The US climbed down to a facility for their intelligence; if there is no choice, it could be located at a Russian air base in Central Asia. However, the Russians refused that, too. Tomorrow they will receive Taliban’s delegacy in Moscow, and such intelligence-sharing arrangement would be misconstrued.

Russia took Nuland off its list of sanctioned US officials to allow her to enter Russia; this was the result of a tit-for-tat after the US banned quite a few Russian officials from visiting the US. And although this could do little to help the cases of the other officials, it seems that Mrs Nuland was definitely not the flavour of the month with Russian diplomats. The Foreign Ministry in Moscow was strongly against rescinding the ban, but a powerful if unconstitutional body called Administratsiya Prezidenta insisted on allowing her in. (Here is an interesting short essay explaining its role). More specifically, its Deputy Head Dmitri Kozak lobbied for the unbanning of Nuland; he spoke with her at length and he provided his version of their conversation.

Kozak is an old hand: a native of the Ukraine, a grim-faced KGB/GRU man, Putin’s henchman since early 90’s; he served in a few governments with little noticeable success. He is best remembered by his hare-brained idea of keeping all government deliberations secret from the public. Usually, the Administratsiya Prezidenta keeps out of foreign affairs. Their main occupation is the manipulation of public opinion and election trickery. Now it seems Kozak wants to build up some pro-Western credit in his name, to become an American agent in the power structure. To get Americans to support him at the inevitable mess after Putin day. Or, perhaps, he wants to please Putin by claiming that Russo-American relations are fine. Reality is very different. The relations between the US and Russia are as bad as we can remember; in spite of this Kozak has published a triumphalist communiqué expressing nothing but joy after meeting Mme Nuland.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: NATO, Russia, Ukraine, Victoria Nuland 

An interesting coincidence: the beginning of October ushered in a double crisis: the first collapse of the Internet and the final failure of the Green Economy. Facebook employees used saws and axes to get into their working places, for the smart doors stubbornly refused to yield the way and their badges had lost their magic touch. It seems the Internet trouble had been initiated by some unknown forces outside of Facebook. These forces have access to the inner working of the Internet. Perhaps it was military; or some obscure technicians guarding Internet secrets. They proved their power: even Facebook’s domain was placed up for sale. Mark Zuckerberg could not do it, I was told. Was it a blackmailer’s threat to global finance? Or an attempt to deflect Congressional hearings? Perhaps it was a simple demonstration of naked power.

At the same time, the first blow of winter revealed the inability of green energy to heat our homes and energise industry. Nature proved its abilities: all of a sudden, Europe’s winds refused to move the turbines. An unusual calm settled in the North, as if the winds were confined by Aeolus in his bag. Energy prices skyrocketed. The excellent future planned for mankind, all digital, internet-based and free of fossil remains, failed to materialise. Instead of continuing our march towards the dreadful New Normal, we shifted back to our troublesome but familiar normality when things went awry. The cowboy hat of Big Tech was too large for its head. Mercifully, this misfortune occurred well before the whole of mankind had been railroaded into smart dwellings heated by the mischievous wind. Otherwise, last weekend could have been the end of Homo Sapiens: we would have frozen outside, unable even to pass through the smart doors.

An energy crisis combined with an Internet failure is very dangerous. Why don’t we encounter extra-terrestrials? Here’s a possible answer: every sapient civilisation destroys itself before it achieves the capability to venture to the stars. Intelligent creatures tend to overestimate their thinking abilities; instead of sticking to known technologies and implementing small improvements, they want to make a giant leap forward. The results are gloomy, as we learn now.

It turns out that overriding smart doors requires a sturdy axe; perhaps green policy and green politicians should be subjected to the same solution. Some energy prices are incompatible with human life.

The Green New Deal turned out to be a quixotic fantasy. We aren’t ready to switch to futuristic sources of energy. Not now, anyway. We might as well stop calling oil, gas and coal by this fancy “fossil” name: they are combustible fuels. The war on combustibles, led by the Rockefeller Fund and joined by young futurists, was extremely successful, perhaps too successful for its own good. Europe and North America, as well as China and Russia have declared their desire to achieve a carbonless world. The contrary opinion, namely that man-made climate change aka global warming is just a hoax, has been officially banned.

China was the first to make the U-turn. They were already decommissioning coal mines in Inner Mongolia when they discovered that they need energy to power their plants. Surprise! Now they are in a national emergency in winter, forced to re-activate mothballed coal mines. The setup for the crisis was the closure of coal mines in Mongolia for globalist political reasons, and the completion of the crisis was stopping the import of Australian coal over a political dispute. Apparently, China’s leaders had been persuaded that the climate is rapidly becoming warmer, and that the Green New Deal means they no longer have to power their factories and heat their homes. It turned out that the globalists were premature, and they are switching back to proven energy solutions.

However, Europe is stubborn. Europeans have been convinced that there is no other way; they have to give up the usual fuels and switch to “clean” ones. Even if they would freeze to death, they will stick to clean energy. The German Green Party leader Annalena Baerbock was asked where she would get energy if the winds were becalmed and the sun was covered by clouds? (It happened this September). Electricity will continue to come from the sockets; but it will be carbon-neutral electricity, she said. “Where should the electricity come from? Of course, further from the socket and of course further from the factories, through the power lines that we have. But this electricity must be climate-neutral in the future.” She doesn’t seem to understand that it takes energy to create electricity.

The Greens are well-intentioned, but indoctrinated and opinionated. In Ghost Busters (1984), a Green activist shuts off the electricity to Ghostbusters’ HQ and disaster befalls New York City. Likewise, the Greens are actively destroying Europe’s traditional energy supplies. Probably it will spell the end of the Green Deal; that is, once people understand that this is a suicidal course.

Recently, natural gas, a convenient source of energy, was subjected to steep price rises over purely political manipulations. Instead of paying so much, the Germans could use Russian natural gas. The Russians have completed laying down the Nord Stream 2, a pipeline for natural gas that leads directly to Germany. If it became operative, the price for natural gas will go down and the German people will be warm this coming winter. But first, NS 2 has to be licensed; it has to satisfy some political conditions that were established some time ago in order to block the NS 2 from delivering cheap gas. Politicians demand that the pipeline must have more than one owner, because it was built by Russia’s Gazprom. Furthermore, they say Poland and Ukraine must be allowed to voice their objections before cheap Russian gas is permitted to cross the German border. Yet Poland and Ukraine are Gazprom’s competitors! If it depends on their permission, no gas will ever come via NS 2; rather it will continue to be delivered for much higher price via strongly anti-Russian Ukraine and Poland.

Putin broke the rise in gas prices by expressing his confidence that the problem will be resolved soon. If he had pointed out that it is far from certain, the price would stayed sky-high, bringing yet more dividends to Gazprom investors. Did Putin act against his (and Russia’s) interests out of pure altruism? Well, no. But Putin wants a healthy, sustainable business, bringing stable profits every year; on the other hand, German and European negotiators want natural gas prices intolerably high, forcing citizens to switch to electricity. Russia could profit a lot today, but there would be nothing for tomorrow. Putin prefers to have satisfied gas customers in Europe.

Europeans could have cheaper energy, both for heating and driving, but their leaders won’t allow that. They decided that energy prices will be high, very high; so you’ll feel every degree of Centigrade/Fahrenheit in your pocket. Putin stated the Europeans miscalculated when they decided to abandon traditional fuels. Perhaps he said so out of kindness, because there is not the slightest doubt: the European and North American leaders knew that ‘clean’ fuels are much more expensive and much less reliable, and still they chose it.

 

President Putin has gone into hiding. Well, sort of. On September 14, he said that many people (“dozens”) in his inner circle have tested positive for the virus, and as a result he has to self-isolate. His sudden seclusion has sent waves of anguish across this huge country. His explanation was met with disbelief. Everybody around Putin is vaccinated and so is Putin, or so he claimed. Why would he need to self-isolate; how could all these vaccinated people become sick? Is the vaccine – fake? Or should we look for another explanation. Did he fall, or was he pushed? Will he come back? Is this the end of Putin’s era? Is Putin ill, or was he forced into isolation? Is it a conspiracy? The Russian government is, and always was manual, not automatic; the absence of the ruler at the helm of the mighty ship of the Russian state could spell trouble. The Russians do not believe the official version, but what is the truth?

A week before his announcement, on September 8th, a close friend of Putin and his former bodyguard, the man considered as a probable successor, the Minister for Emergencies, Mr Yevgeny Zinichev, died in unusual circumstances during an Arctic drill. The head of RT Margarita Simonyan said he died while trying to save a cameraman who fell off a cliff. Perhaps he was targeted as Putin’s successor, said rumours. Just before that, on September 7th, Putin went to a Siberian retreat with his Defence Minister, Mr Shoygu. What did they discuss far away from eavesdroppers? There were rumours that Putin suspected or uncovered a plot against him and preferred to minimise his contacts with the outside world and even with his own bodyguards. A very cautious man, President Putin knows that there are many powerful people and organisations that would like to see him dead and he doesn’t want to give them this satisfaction. For this reason, his enemies call him ‘The Old Man in the Bunker”. Still, Putin appeared on TV from his hideaway.

Alternately, there are precedents of rulers claiming force majeure when they wanted to miss an event or to avoid a meeting.

President Gorbachev learned of a plot hatched by Soviet hardliners and decided to stay away hoping to enjoy the benefits should the plot succeed and have his alibi if the plot fails. He went to his Crimean Phoros Palace during a tumultuous August 1991 and claimed he was detained by plotters; the plot failed, he returned to the capital, but he never got his powers back.

Likewise, the last Russian Emperor, Tsar Nicolas II learned of the planned demo of peasants and workers who intended to come to the Winter Palace to plead with the Tsar. He decided to stay away from possible trouble and went to his country residence Tsarskoe Selo. His officials machine-gunned the pleaders on the Bloody Sunday. This massacre caused the first Russian revolution of 1905-07, and the Tsar’s absence didn’t help him at all. On a different scale, President Trump went to play golf while his supporters gathered at the White House. It didn’t help him: he had lost the White House and he was accused of illegal actions. In short, staying away is not a good option for the ruler, but it is done, sometimes.

Let us consider this possibility. What could move Putin to do a Phoros-2? Now is a very eventful time and a healthy Putin would have to visit Dushanbe and deal with Russian parliamentary elections, among other things.

Dushanbe Summit

On September 16 and 17, there was the double summit of the SCO and the CSTO in Dushanbe. The SCO and the CSTO are two different international organisations, though their membership partly coincides. Putin was expected to come in person and deal with post-Afghanistan arrangements; though it could be dealt with remotely. But he was also supposed to meet with the leaders of China, India and Iran. Especially important was the planned summit with Chairman Xi, as the two leaders haven’t met face to face for a long time. There were rumours in Moscow that Putin is avoiding meeting the Chinese leader, though it was pre-planned for immediately after Geneva summit with Joe Biden. The Putin – Xi summit had been planned even earlier, to coincide with 20th anniversary of Russo-Chinese Friendship Treaty; then it was postponed because of the Geneva summit, and then just cancelled. Xi was supposed to come to Dushanbe to the SCO summit. When he learned that Putin wouldn’t come, he stayed at home, too. Thus this very important summit of two leaders didn’t materialise. Could it be that Putin does not want to be seen siding with China, in the context of the fateful triangle Washington-Moscow-Beijing? Perhaps. The Russian elites are divided; some prefer close relations with China, and others want to throw Russia’s lot in with the West. Putin is balancing these groups. Who will be first to make a deal with Biden, Putin or Xi? Perhaps Putin prefers to sit it out and allow Xi to try his hand first, at the next summit of the G2.

The physical place of Putin at Dushanbe had been taken by Alexander Lukashenko, the stalwart President of Belarus, and he visibly enjoyed the task. Years ago, after Belarus and Russia entered the Union State agreement, people mused that Lukashenko would lead both states, or at least deal with Russian domestic affairs, too. There was a feeling that Lukashenko would be better for economics, for agriculture, industry and social structure than Putin, who was more involved with foreign affairs. If Russia and Belarus would vote for the president, Belarusians would vote for Putin, while Russians would vote for Lukashenko, it was said jokingly. However, it didn’t happen. Lukashenko managed the Dushanbe session just fine and Putin spoke to them via video link.

It seems they failed to bring some sense into the stubborn head of Mr Rahmon, though they tried. Russia is ready to defend Tajikistan in case of a Taliban offensive or infiltration. But the Tajik President has much more daring plans. He speaks against Taliban interference in Tajikistan, but has hopes to resurrect the Northern Alliance, the group of Northern warlords, the enemies of Taliban. They are predominantly members of ethnic minority groups; many of them Tajiks, the second biggest (after Pashtun) ethnic group of Afghanistan. It seems Rahmon would like to break Afghanistan up and create there the second Tajik state and it would mean a new bout of civil war, something nobody else wants.

There was a report that Rahmon received and entertained Ahmad Massoud, the ‘Panjshir rebel’, and the former vice-president of Afghanistan Amrullah Saleh (who declared himself “acting president of Afghanistan”, after the flight of Ghani). It is not clear whether such a meeting actually took place. It may be just one of many examples of fake news from Afghanistan produced by Indian fake news factories. If it were true it would cross the red line in relations between the two neighbouring countries.

 

Heroes are rare; they are tragic and inspiring at the same time. Such a real-life hero is Zakaria Zubeidi, 45, from Jenin in Palestine. A man of brawn and brain, of sword and harp, he was an al Aqsa Brigade commander as well as the director of the Freedom Theatre. Years ago, the Sunday Times called him ‘one of Israel’s most wanted and implacable enemies’. A cat of nine lives, he survived many Israeli assassination attempts; he had been in and out of jail many times; he got his first Israeli bullet at 13; his film premiere at 14.

A few days ago, he staged an audacious escape from Israel’s high security prison, together with five other convicts. They dug a 20 yard-long tunnel with their spoons, just like the Count of Monte Cristo, and emerged outside the walls, squeezing through a narrow communication channel. This brave, nay impossible feat encouraged the captive Palestinians and gave them a second wind when they were exhausted and desperate. The people in the Holy Land and the large Palestinian diaspora held its collective breath following their escape and prayed for them to reach safety.

It is normal for humans to empathise with fugitives, rather than pursuers. Young readers of Uncle Tom’s Cabin thus followed the plight of Eliza, child in tow, crossing the frozen Ohio River from bondage to freedom, escaping the murderous dogs and slave catchers. Alas, Zakaria never reached the safe shore. In the Dixie of the 1830s, there were courageous and noble white people who harboured the runaway black slaves. Germans and Russians, Poles and Frenchmen provided refuge for the Jews that escaped from the camps. In Israel 2021, not a single Jew offered the fugitives water and food nor helped a Palestinian runaway; everyone who saw them immediately informed police, said the authorities. In a few days, four starved prisoners were hunted down, beaten up and taken back to jail; two are still at large.

I saw on Israeli TV news four shackled prisoners in the court. Zakaria had been badly beaten. His capturers broke his ribs and jaw, while he was already handcuffed. His face was grim and stern like that of a suffering Christ before the crooked court of Synedrion. It was a sad sight, the return of the hero to the dark dungeons of the Jewish state. But then, he was born and brought up under the occupation. His story is the story of the cheated generation that came to the fore after the great betrayal.

In 1993, the State of Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo accords; this agreement certified by handshake on the White House lawn promised Palestinians full independence after five years of transition. The Jews reneged on the deal. While individual Jews can be honest and honourable; as a collective they are extremely untrustworthy. It comes from a Jewish superiority complex, of a refusal to obey the rules established for lesser species; of feeling they can do whatever they find expedient. Fair play is not a Jewish idea at all.

The Palestinians, swindled by Israel, had nobody to turn to; they responded by initiating the Second Intifada, the rising taking place in 2000. It was the pivotal event for Zakaria’s generation; for me, too. I was radicalised by the Intifada, by the dishonesty and cruelty of the Jewish state and by the courage of Palestinian resisters. In 2001, I began writing in English to an international audience; next year, in 2002, I entered the church, parting with Jewry.

The Jews became radicalised, too: The support of US Jewry for the 9/11 narrative and for the War on Terror can’t be understood outside of this context: the Oslo accords, reneging on Oslo, the Intifada and 9/11 are links of one chain. Before 9/11, Jews were condemned for reneging on Oslo and for the bloody suppression of the Intifada. After 9/11 they could smash the Palestinians with all their might. For young men like Zakaria even survival was problematic.

Zakaria deserves a Plutarch to write up his life, but I’ll do what I can, until a Plutarch comes along. Zakaria was born and grew up in the Jenin Refugee Camp, a place where the expelled Palestinians from Haifa’s Carmel were corralled in 1948 by the victorious Jews. His father was an English language teacher; he died rather young, leaving his widow and their eight children to survive.

Zakaria was 11, when the First Intifada began. It was a spontaneous protest, caused by the enclosure of common Palestinian lands and their transfer to Jewish settlers. Jewish lawyers, predominantly ladies of liberal persuasion, applied the English 16th century idea of ‘enclosure of the commons’ and claimed all commonly held lands as belonging to Jews only. In England this policy caused ‘enclosure riots’; as it did in Palestine. In response to Jewish land grabbing, unarmed peasants took the nearest handy stone and threw it at Jewish settlers’ cars. The Jews replied with fire. Hundreds of unarmed Palestinians were shot and killed. The children suffered most.

Boys like Zakaria lived dangerously in the camp. The Israeli army treated refugee camps as their hunting ground. They would drive in on their Jeeps and shoot around, terrorising children and grown ups. Chris Hedges, of the New York Times, wrote of their modus operandi in his Gaza Diary, published in Harper’s Magazine: “the refugee camp … is still and peaceful. Children play with scrap-paper kites and ragged soccer balls. Suddenly two IDF jeeps with loudspeakers pull up. They immediately taunt the boys with obscenities, luring them up to the fence. Then [a] percussion grenade explodes. The boys, most no more than 10 or 11 years old, scatter, running clumsily across the heavy sand. They descend out of sight behind a sandbank in front of me… The soldiers shoot; the bullets from the M-16s tumble end over end through the children’s slight bodies. Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.”

Instead of being cowed, the camp boys like Zakaria took the danger in their stride. The daredevils would throw stones at invading jeeps like the 13-year old boy, Farris Odeh did. Farris was the Palestinian kid we saw throwing stones at Israeli tanks with the nonchalance of a village boy chasing away a ferocious dog. It was a dangerous game: the famous picture of Farris was taken on October 29, and a week later, on 8th of November, a Jewish sniper murdered him in cold blood.

In similar circumstances, 13-year-old Zakaria had been shot by a Jewish soldier. The bullet entered his leg; he spent six months in hospital and went through multiple operations. He remains lame to this very day. The soldier has never been tried or punished for shooting a child, but a Jewish soldier is practically never tried or punished for wounding or murdering a Palestinian child, and there are thousands of murdered children.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy, History • Tags: Israel, Israel/Palestine 

Closing the circle, completing Gestalt, opening a new chapter – any simile you like, but choosing 9/11 for inauguration day calls for a heavy-duty sense of humour. This is what the Taliban decided. Their new government, the first in 20 years to rule from Kabul, will be inaugurated on 9/11. They decided to troll Uncle Sam. In addition to choosing this auspicious date, the Talibs staffed top positions in the interim government with Gitmo graduates, while the Interior Minister has a \$5 million bounty on his head offered by the US. These are the leaders every country should be proud to be led by. The Russians and the Chinese promised to attend the inauguration at ambassadorial level. Even better, the Russians and the Chinese refused to attend a West-led conference on Afghanistan. We need less harmony and less agreement so the word ‘freedom’ retains some meaning.

Just a few days ago the Taliban succeeded in subduing the last sizeable enclave controlled by warlords: Panjshir gorge, a mountain valley in the spurs of the Hindu Kush, a hard-to-get-in place (getting out is even harder), populated by Tajik and other ethnics, it was a natural place to excite tribal enmity against the predominantly Pashto Taliban. With luck, Panjshir could be used to block the road to Mazar-i-Sharif, to cut off the North and the possibility of rekindling civil war.

Two people stood behind this effort; the former vice-president, Amrullah Saleh, and the son of the Northern warlord Ahmad Massoud. Saleh called himself the “legitimate head” of Afghanistan – after the shameful flight of President Ghani, he felt he was entitled to inherit the country. Saleh was closely associated with the CIA, according to American sources.

Massoud Jr. studied in England; he is advised by BHL (Bernard-Henri Lévy), the French-Jewish provocateur and adventurer, the master of discourse who always comes before the storm. (Victor Pelevin drew on BHL in his novel S.N.U.F.F. Yes, it is Pelevin’s world!) Massoud called his gang “Resistance forces”; for sure it was a BHL idea. As with every good Jew, BHL is forever doomed to live and re-live WWII, and what could be better than La Resistance, something straight from Casablanca?

The Washington Post published the appeal of Massoud to Americans to support him with money and arms in the name of “democracy and human rights”. The Neocons were delighted. A chance had dawned for renewed strife in the country. Massoud and Saleh walked out of the Taliban’s proposed reconciliation plan. They thought that the Taliban wouldn’t dare to enter their mountain area, but they miscalculated. On Monday, September 6, the Taliban took the valley; Saleh allegedly has fled to Tajikistan. Massoud Jr. escaped to a nook in the high mountains and promised to be back. Will he return?

British journalists sympathetic to Massoud believe that he has no chance after this defeat. He can talk about his will to win and his determination to keep on fighting, but he has fewer than a hundred fighters with him, and no sign of mass support. He is capable of a sortie, of an ambush, but he is not a serious threat to the Taliban; at least for now. We shall hear of him as we do of another Guaido; many Afghan embassies in the world said they recognise and represent Saleh. But without actual control of land, this thing will mean nothing beyond an excuse to loot some Afghan assets.

Massoud and Saleh have repeated the mistake of Ashraf Ghani, the former president. They thought they could keep negotiating for a long while and improve their hand at the same time; eventually they would get better terms. It turned out that the Taliban were not inclined to haggle. They offered yesterday’s enemy to join their ranks; a generous offer, but on condition of their deferring to Taliban supreme command. Massoud hoped to retain full autonomy, but that was an empty dream.

Everybody wants the Taliban to form a broad government coalition in Afghanistan; a government to include representation of Tajik, Uzbek and other ethnic groups. It seems that this idea is acceptable for the Taliban as well. But they do not want to grant broad autonomy to these groups and give them a chance to secede. Cohesive ethnic autonomous regions spell trouble. They undermined the USSR; threaten Spain and the United Kingdom, while France prospers without granting autonomy to Catalan, Breton etc.

So, while the idea of inclusive government is a good one, let the Afghans sort it out among themselves, without Western interference. The West had 20 years to form governments in Afghanistan, now it is the Afghans turn. Yesterday’s occupiers claim moral superiority and tell liberated people how they should form a government based on Western ideas. It is hypocritical BS as always. If they value ethnic inclusivity so much, let them convince the Jews to give equal rights and an equal number of government portfolios to Palestinians. If they value ideological inclusivity, let them share power with big parties, with Le Pen in France, with the AfD in Germany, with Trump in the US. Oh, it is easier to advise than to do.

Despite their brilliant military victory, the Taliban will have difficult time with the US-trained viragos who already marching on the streets of Kabul as their sisters and mentors did in Washington in January 2017. This gender mischief is the biggest damage caused by the US to the world fabric. Hopefully, equipped with their tradition and sharia justice, the Afghan Talibs will manage better than the US Deplorables. Ferocious Lesbians are a hardy enemy, as Western white men have been thoroughly cowed and unable to resist them.

While preparing for 9/11 commemorations, you should read an excellent long piece by Ron Unz written especially for this occasion, and/or a short piece I wrote and published 20 years ago. Unz says Mossad did it; I am reluctant to give Mossad this credit. Whoever did the attack on 2001, Sep 11, enacted an audacious deed and brought much pleasure to the world abused by the US. The vast majority of mankind enjoyed seeing their abusers being hit. Yes, the consequence of 9/11, the War on Terror, was horrible, but the same culprits could do it with a smaller pretext, or no pretext whatsoever. Yes, the official story of 9/11 was implausible, but not more implausible than Covid-19.

Like the Four Riders of the Apocalypse, the unknown kamikaze rode their giant crafts into the two visible symbols of American world domination, Wall Street and the Pentagon. They vanished in flames and smoke, and we do not yet know who they were. They could be practically anybody:

American Nationalists, American Communists, American Fundamentalist Christians, American Anarchists, anybody who rejects the twin gods of the dollar and the M-16, who hates the stock market and interventions overseas, who dreams of America for Americans, who does not want to support the drive for world domination. They could be Native Americans returning to Manhattan, or Afro-Americans who still have not received compensation for slavery.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy, History • Tags: 9/11, Afghanistan, Taliban 
Israel Shamir
About Israel Shamir

Israel Shamir has written extensively on public affairs, primarily relating to the Israel/Palestine conflict and Russia, including three books, Galilee Flowers, Cabbala of Power and Masters of Discourse available in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Norwegian, Swedish, Italian, and Hungarian.

He describes himself as a native of Novosibirsk, Siberia, who he moved to Israel in 1969, served as paratrooper in the army and fought in the 1973 war, afterwards turning to journalism and writing. During the late 1970s, he joined the BBC in London later living in Japan. After returning to Israel in 1980, Shamir wrote for the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, and was the Knesset spokesman for the Israel Socialist Party (Mapam), also translating and annotating the cryptic works of S.Y. Agnon, the only Hebrew Nobel Prize winning writer, from the original Hebrew into Russian.

His perspective on the Israel/Palestine conflict was summed up in The Pine and the Olive, published in 1988 and republished in 2004. That same year, he was received in the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and Holy Land, being baptised Adam by Archbishop Theodosius Attalla Hanna. He now lives in Jaffa and spends much time in Moscow and Stockholm; he is father of three sons.