European Suicide: The Economic War against Russia

The Goals of the German Federal Government and the Current Situation

The Federal Government dreams of a comprehensive integration of Ukraine into the EU and a prosperous post-war Ukraine. A “confidential memorandum” of the London School of Economics, commissioned jointly by the Foreign and Economic Ministries, envisages a driving private sector run reconstruction backed by active German industrial policy [Luke Cooper, After the Ukraine Recovery Conference 2023: Lessons and themes for 2024. Confidential Memo. London School of Economics, 2023]. Technology transfer should play a central role. The state protects the private sector’s risk—investments. The memo provides close cooperation with USAID and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which is close to the leading Social Democratic Party. According to the memo, reconstruction is in the interests of large German companies. So the plan is to set up an extended workbench in Ukraine as a low-wage country. But the dreams of a “new Singapore in Kiev” only show the government coalition in Berlin’s loss of reality [“A Singapore in Kiev”—that was the tenor of a confidential technical discussion at government level in autumn 2023]. Apparently, the external costs for the German taxpayer are not even evaluated.

That is why I want to present the economic consequences of the Ukraine war based on the studies and forecasts known so far. This includes the dimensions of war, the economic situation of Ukraine, the consequences of a possible EU-membership of Ukraine, the sanction’s impact on Russia, its impact on the German economy, the economic and geostrategic reasons for the Ukraine-war, winners and losers of a “European suicide” and the goverment’s options.

1. Dimensions of War

“War is never an isolated act,” wrote Carl von Clausewitz [On War, Book I, Chapter1, 7]. It must be seen in a political context. In addition to the military dimension, there is also the economic war and the propaganda battle.

1.1. Military Dimension

The military and geostrategic dimension refers to operations on the battlefield, i.e., what the British call “theater of war.” This also concerns the situation in Poland, the Baltics, Romania and around the Black Sea. The war in Gaza also interferes with the Ukraine-Russia conflict. This particularly addresses the Washington’s pressure to drag Germany ever deeper into this war. Soon it will probably be said: “Germans to the front!”—as was the case with the Boxer Rebellion in Quingdao (Tsingtau) in 1900. The discussion about the delivery of German “Taurus” cruise missiles is also ongoing. If the Ukrainians, as expected, attack the Kerch Bridge, this could trigger a massive escalation. What Clausewitz could not yet overlook at the beginning of the 19th century was the risk of nuclear confrontation. This is pointed out by US political scientist John J. Mearsheimer [“A Russian victory significantly reduces the threat of nuclear war, as nuclear escalation is most likely when Ukrainian forces achieve battlefield victories and threaten to recapture all or most of the territory Kiev lost to Moscow. The Russian leadership would certainly seriously consider using nuclear weapons to salvage the situation”], as well as experienced military officials, such as the former Inspector General of the Bundeswehr general Harald Kujat [“However, if one of the two sides assesses the situation differently, which is unlikely, such a wrong decision could have catastrophic consequences for the European continent. Because according to the current doctrines, each side would try to avert an impending conventional defeat through the first use of nuclear weapons”].

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the EU Parliament on September 7, 2023 that Putin had proposed foregoing NATO expansion in exchange for not invading Ukraine. According to Stoltenberg, the Russian President sent NATO a draft treaty in autumn 2021 that NATO should sign:

“The background was that President Putin declared in the autumn of 2021, and actually sent a draft treaty that they wanted NATO to sign, to promise no more NATO enlargement. That was what he sent us. And was a pre-condition for not invade Ukraine. Of course, we didn’t sign that. The opposite happened. He wanted us to sign that promise, never to enlarge NATO. He wanted us to remove our military infrastructure in all Allies that have joined NATO since 1997, meaning half of NATO, all the Central and Eastern Europe, we should remove NATO from that part of our Alliance, introducing some kind of B, or second-class membership. We rejected that. So, he went to war to prevent NATO, more NATO, close to his borders” [Jean Stoltenberg: “Opening remarks” at the joint meeting of the European Parliament’s committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE), followed by an exchange of views with Members of the European Parliament. September 7, 2023].

This means: Firstly, this is not an “unprovoked” war of aggression; NATO provoked him. Secondly, it is a proxy war that is essentially about NATO’s eastward expansion. Jens Stoltenberg said clearly:

“But then there is no other option for us than to ensure peace for NATO Allies, for EU members by investing in defence supporting Ukraine. Because if President Putin wins in Ukraine, it’s a tragedy for the Ukrainians, but it’s also dangerous for us. It sends a message that when they use military force, they get what they want, authoritarian leaders. So it’s in our security interest to support Ukraine, and therefore I’m extremely grateful for all the support that EU members the European Union and NATO Allies are providing to Ukraine.”

Especially after the peace talks in March and April 2022 in Istanbul, there is no longer any trust in Western politics in the Kremlin. To this day, the mainstream press in Germany denies that these negotiations took place. But you only had to read the US magazine “Foreign Affairs”. In September 2022, the magazine published an article co-authored by Fiona Hill. As a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, a former member of the National Security Council and as an advisor to three US presidents, Fiona Hill wrote:

“According to several former senior U.S. officials we spoke with, in April 2022, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators appeared to have tentatively agreed on the broad outlines of a negotiated interim solution: Russia would retreat to its February 23 position, when it controlled part of the Donbass region and all of Crimea, and in return Ukraine would promise not to seek NATO membership and instead receive security guarantees from a number of countries.”

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who was also involved in the peace talks, commented: “But in the end nothing happened. My impression was: Nothing could happen because everything else had been decided in Washington.”

The West has prevented an agreement already initialed. This is simply what research shows. There are at least six different sources independent from each other for such an agreement ready to be signed, five of which were directly involved in the negotiation process. Member of the Kiev delegation, Aleksander Tschaly, also confirmed that an Istanbul communiqué on a peaceful settlement of the conflict had been initialed. International experts agree that, contrary to what US President Joe Biden promised, Ukraine is now in a significantly worse negotiating position. Kiev lost more territory than it regained during the so-called summer offensive.

In December 2023, Russian troops were advancing along the entire front: They captured the Mariinka fortress in front of Donetsk. Avdiivka northwest of Donetsk was surrounded. Bakhmut was conquered. In the north they were advancing on Slavyansk. However, a strategic initiative does not succeed. At the turn of 2023/24, Russia controlled around 18% of Ukrainian territory. Moscow is preparing for a long war. President Putin is firmly in the saddle and even stronger than ever, politically and militarily. A coup in Russia is not expected. The Kremlin’s goal remains “demilitarization,” “denazification” and “neutralization,” i.e., regime change in Kiev. Security Council Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Mykolaev and Kiev were “Russian cities” Dmitry Medvedem on 28.12.2023: “1. Спецоперация продолжится, её целью останется разоружение украинских войск и отказ нынешнего украинского государства от идеологии неонацизма… Одесса, Днепропетровск, Харьков, Николаев, Киев – русские города, как и многие другие временно оккупированные. Все они пока ещё маркированы жёлто-голубым на бумажных картах и в электронных планшетах (“1. The special operation will continue, its goal will remain the disarmament of Ukrainian troops and the rejection of the current Ukrainian state from the ideology of neo-Nazism… 3. Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Nikolaev, Kyiv are Russian cities, like many other temporarily occupied ones. All of them are still marked in yellow-blue on paper maps and on electronic tablets”). Further war aims and territorial claims can be derived from this. Russia’s plan is to reach a comprehensive agreement with the West or to advance further towards the stated goals.

Ukraine controls the western part of the Black Sea and has secured a trade route through the Bosphorus. But the summer offensive collapsed. In Washington, wrote the Swiss military analyst Jacques Baud, this was clear from the very first moment. According to Baud, the entire war was never about success for Ukraine, but about weakening Russia in a battle of attrition.

In fact, Russia is waging a proxy war against NATO, which NATO is in danger of losing. Seymour Hersh quotes a senior US intelligence official:

The war is over. Russia has won. There is no Ukrainian offensive anymore, but the White House and the American media have to keep the lie going. The truth is if the Ukrainian army is ordered to continue the offensive, the army would mutiny. The soldiers aren’t willing to die any more, but this doesn’t fit the B.S. that is being authored by the Biden White House.

Nevertheless, no relent is expected in Washington. The military confrontation continues. The war has become a battle of attrition. The West is at war with Russia. The West pushed Ukraine to keep fighting. The conflict serves primarily the interests of the United States. Neither side will give in: Moscow sees NATO membership for Ukraine as an existential threat. Washington is committed to NATO membership for Ukraine, the reconquest of Russian-occupied territories and the goal of regime change in Moscow. Russian literature argues that the West is providing Ukraine with “strategic depth” through arms supplies, satellite data, training and financial aid. Dmitri Trenin, Member of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy:

In fact, Ukraine plays the role of a spearhead with which the West wants to hit, weaken and, if successful, destroy Russia and destroy it in its current form. The current conflict has the potential for a direct armed conflict up to and including nuclear escalation. (Фактически Украина выполняет роль острия копья, которым Запад стремится поразить, ослабить, а если удастся – уничтожить Россию в её нынешнем виде. В отличие от прошлых времён – включая периоды Наполеоновских и двух мировых войн – Запад сейчас политически и идеологически выступает как единое целое. Россия и современный Запад – антагонисты. Нынешний конфликт чреват непосредственным вооружённым столкновением, вплоть до ядерной эскалации).

This de facto means that a compromise is impossible. But this war of attrition is not a stalemate. Russia clearly has the advantage on the war theatre and in the economic war. NATO lead Ukraine to defeat, and the West is trapped by its own involvement: underestimating the opponent is the best recipe for losing.

1.2. Propaganda War

The propaganda war is part of psychological warfare: NATO calls it “cognitive warfare”: “While actions are carried out in the five military domains (land, sea, air, space and cyber) in order to affect people, Cognitive warfare aims to use every human being as a weapon.” The goal is to exploit the weak points of the human brain and, through deep indoctrination, manipulate the human psyche in a way to make it “war-ready” and immunize it against rational considerations. The mainstream media plays a central role in this.

They demonize Putin, talk about “unprovoked” war of aggression and accuse Russia of being solely responsible for the war, discredit dissenting opinions and follow state propaganda. “The causes of the distorted representation of reality,” said the former Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, General Harald Kujat, “are the unreflective adoption of disinformation and, above all, incompetence and ideological delusion.” There is indeed a journalistic underground in a landscape of mendacious conformity [“An underground of journalism exists… in a landscape of mendacious conformity. Dissenting journalists have been defenestrated from the ‘mainstream’… the media’s task is to invert the truth and support the illusions of democracy, including ‘free press” (the late John Pilger)]. But the representatives of grass-roots media are mostly excluded. The job of the mainstream media is to distort the truth and maintain the illusion of democracy, a free press—and the Illusion of Ukraine’s potential victory.

The syncrisis of German journalism with NATO’s war propaganda is disconcerting, not only in view of the primitiveness of deep indoctrination and its postfactual structure, but even more due to the blind submission to its intolerant claim to exclusivity [“At its summit in Madrid in June, Nato, which is controlled by the United States, adopted a strategy document that militarises the European continent, and escalates the prospect of war with Russia and China. It proposes multi domain warfighting against nuclear-armed peer-competitor. In other words, nuclear war. It says: ‘Nato enlargement has been a historic success.’ I read that in disbelief. A measure of this ‘historic success’ is the war in Ukraine, news of which is mostly not news, but a one-sided litany of jingoism, distortion, omission. I have reported a number of wars and have never known such blanket propaganda.” John Pilger].

But this only shows the degree of self-alignment that extends from talk show hosts to media managers, from radio station directors to desk editors, from foreign correspondents to daily news reporters. By foregoing sober research and rational reasoning, they only differ from other academic henchmen of the elites by their aggressiveness. They only develop a falsifying killer instinct when they outlaw dissent. This exposes the media maker’s indignity. Both the public media and the corporate media are becoming, as the novelist Günter Grass once put it, “court jesters taking into account non-existent courts” (“Princeton-Rede,” p. 112)—the court jesters of NATO. The mainstream media lies by omission, shifts the population’s aggression about social grievances onto external enemies and thus sends people into war hysteria. They have become the central warmonger. [Mark Galliker, Patrik Baab and here, Roberto J. De Lapuente].

However, the propaganda media can only develop their effectiveness in cooperation with other ideological apparatuses. Because state apparatuses are not neutral, but rather ensure the conditions of capital’s reproduction. So they don’t protect people from the market, but the market from people. Like the repressive state apparatuses—judiciary, military and police—ideological state apparatuses such as schools, universities, NGOs, churches and media (even if they are organized privately or under public law) ensure that citizens are loyal to the state and to the market capitalist social order [Louis Althusser, “Idéologie et appareils idéologiques d’État.” La Pensée, No. 151, June 1970; also, Louis Althusser, Positions (Paris. Les Éditions sociales, 1976), pp. 67-125]. They function like communicating tubes.

In addition, the EU Commission is tightening censorship with the so-called “Media Freedom Act”. It actually takes over media supervision, although this is the responsibility of the member states. The EU Commission is already exercising censorship with the “Digital Services Act” and the “Code of Conduct to Combat Disinformation” from June 2022. Online platforms such as Meta, Google, Twitter, TikTok and Microsoft as well as many other players have joined in. They committed to mark providers who, in the Commission’s opinion, spread disinformation as unreliable, to block advertising revenue and to report this to the Commission. Such information must be deleted upon instruction from the Commission. This is the privatization of censorship.

1.3. Economic War

The third area is the economic war the USA, NATO and the EU have been waging against Russia since 2014. This includes the situation in Ukraine, the effects on Russia, the backfire effects in the EU and the particular impact on Germany.

2. The Economic Situation of Ukraine

The biggest loser of the war is Ukraine. The population has fallen from 52 million to 31 million since 1991. The war damage is immense. The population impoverished. The average wage has fallen from around 400 euros to 200 euros in 30 years as a result of Western integration. The West fights Russia at the expense of Ukraine.

Ukrainian losses are high. The sources now speak of a total of up to 500,000 men, which Stoltenberg did not deny in the European Parliament. A Ukrainian mobile phone provider has extrapolated from various estimates and information about deleted SIM cards that up to 400,000 Ukrainian soldiers may have already died. Deputy Chairwoman of the Rada’s Committee on National Security, Defense and Intelligence, Maryana Bezuhla, said that a Ukrainian soldier was wounded or killed every five minutes. That would correspond to a quota of 288 per day or 8640 per month. By December 2023, this would bring the total to 210,000 men in just over 22 months of war. These are clues; both sides keep the actual number of losses secret.

In July 2022, at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano, Switzerland, Ukraine estimated the cost of reconstruction at 750 billion euros. How high the actual amount will be is unclear because the war is going on.
Ukraine has three economic regions that converged in poverty before the start of the war, but also showed extreme divergence: the Rust Belt region in the center and the east, where industrial production fell sharply after the collapse of the Soviet Union and average wages fell by 80% compared to 1990. The service region in Kiev and Kharkiv, where a modern financial and digital sector developed, and in the south a strong sector with transport and logistic services from the Dnipro and to the Black Sea and to Sevastopol in Crimea. Then the agricultural regions in the industrially underdeveloped center with the fertile black earth soil.

Even during Soviet times, Ukraine played an important role in titanium and uranium. The manganese and iron ore reserves are among the largest in the world, as are the mercury ore deposits. This is also important for the EU:

In order to become independent of imports from Russia, shale gas is also important, especially as a transition technology and for future special applications such as fertilizer production. The importance of titanium is particularly noteworthy: currently Ukraine is one of five countries in the world producing titanium ore mineral concentrates (ilmenite5 and rutile6). More than 30 titanium deposits, some in production and some explored in detail, are located on the territory of Ukraine.

In terms of agricultural potential, Ukraine is one of the richest countries in the world and one of the leading producers and exporters. Ukraine’s arable land is three times larger than that of Poland and Romania. In 2021, it covered a total of 32.9 million hectares and in 2023, an estimated 27.9 million hectares due to the consequences of the war.

The industrial potential is also great, there are a number of specialized industries, e.g. for rocket engines and high-performance turbines. As a steel producer, Ukraine had plants such as Azov and Ilyich in Mariupol, Zaporizhstal in Zaporizhia, Kryvorizhstal in Dnipropetrovsk, Dneprospetstal in the Dnipro region, Khartsyzsk Pipe Plant in Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk Metal Plant in Dnipro, Yenakiieve Metallurgical Plant in the Donetsk Region, Nikopol Pipe Plant LLC in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Avdiiv Coke chemical plant near Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk Metallurgical Combine in the Dnipro region and is an important world player.

Ukraine’s well-developed pipeline infrastructure is also suitable for transporting hydrogen and could be used in the future to supply customers within the country and the EU. The power grid is highly integrated and has provided many workarounds for destroyed connections during Russian attacks. From the Soviet era, Ukraine has inherited an efficient energy system with nuclear power plants, thermal power plants and hydroelectric power plants, which, however, needs to be modernized. The nuclear power plants are Soviet-design pressurized water reactors in Rivne (four units commissioned in 1980, 1981, 1896 and 2004), Khmelnitsk (2 units in 1987 and 2004), southern Ukraine (3 units, 1982, 1985 and 1989) and Zaporizhia ( 6 blocks, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1995). Nuclear power supplies about half of the electricity. Thermal and hydroelectric power plants also play an important role. In order to achieve its sustainability goals, Ukraine needs foreign investments, especially in solar panels and wind turbines.

Ukraine has the world’s largest reserves of commercially viable iron ore—30 billion tons, which is a fifth of the world total. There are also large natural gas and oil deposits that are still largely undeveloped, and 4 percent of the world’s coal reserves.

The World Bank has examined the events of the first year of the war and said that the Russian invasion “has taken an unimaginable toll on the people of Ukraine and the country’s economy, whose activity fell by a staggering 29.2% in 2022.” They estimates that damages exceed $135 billion and that about $411 billion will be needed to rebuild Ukraine. The poverty rate “rose from 5.5% in 2021 to 24.1% in 2022, pushing 7.1 million more people into poverty and undoing 15 years of progress.” 62 cities were destroyed, approximately 8 million Ukrainians have fled the country, and there are around 7 million internally displaced people. The United Nations confirmed 8,490 civilian deaths but believes the actual number is “significantly higher.”

In the end, Ukraine will be divided. The Russian-occupied territories are not returning. Where exactly the demarcation line will run is unclear. The Russians try to advance further either to Odessa or northeast of the Dnieper. Russian troops are unlikely to reach the Curzon Line according to the Treaty of Versailles, which was confirmed with some corrections as the Polish-Soviet demarcation line of the Peace of Riga in 1921. It lies well west of Kiev and, after the Yalta Conference, represents today’s eastern border of Poland. The Curzon Line ran well west of Kiev.

Clearing the minefields and cluster munitions alone is likely to cost billions. The LSE also estimates the cost of reconstruction at $411 billion, which is 2.5 times higher than the country’s gross national product. Instead, Ukraine’s resources are likely to be withdrawn from the public sector and privatized. With the entry of Blackrock as a debt and reconstruction manager, the country is de facto falling into the hands of a locust.

Exiled Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk describes Ukraine as “a European Somalia.” The country is on a list of the most dangerous places in the world. He pointed to forced conscriptions, the destruction of monuments linked to Russia, the media’s aggressive anti-Russian rhetoric, the torture: “All of this happened at the behest of the West, and billions were spent on it, which Western politicians openly admitted.”

3. Consequences of Admitting Ukraine into the EU

In 2023, Ukraine received more than 38 billion euros in international financial aid. This was the only way the country could survive financially and bear the costs of the war—around 120 million euros per day. Nevertheless, the West is divided on the question of further aid. Larger aid packages have been temporarily blocked by Hungary in the EU and by Republicans in the US Congress. That is why Washington is putting increasing pressure on Western countries to seize Russia’s foreign assets of around $300 billion to Ukraine. Moscow has already announced that it will also confiscate foreign, including German, assets in Russia in this case. This would alleviate the West’s financing problems in supporting Ukraine, but would likely come primarily at the expense of EU countries. In Russia, such a seizure is described as “theft,” which will further erode trust in the West and thus “further stimulate the process of de-dollarization and de-Westernization of the planet.” The USA, “which has not succeeded in bringing most of the world under its control,” is prepared to “sacrifice Europe to save itself.” [При этом данные 300 миллиардов во многом виртуальны, а в реальности заполучить удастся куда меньшие суммы. Зато можно быть уверенным в том, что конфискация только подстегнет процесс дедолларизации и девестернизации планеты, поскольку от Запада начнут отгребать еще энергичнее все страны, которые имеют хоть минимальный выбор… Правда, возникает вопрос: а неужто официальные лица в Вашингтоне, Берлине, Париже, Брюсселе и далее по списку не понимают всех этих очевидных обстоятельств? Есть подозрение, что понимают, но в складывающихся обстоятельствах считают это наилучшим из наихудших решений. Во-первых, ухудшающееся экономическое положение вынуждает Запад искать любые возможные источники финансирования, например, Киева. Конфискованные российские активы, до которых удастся реально дотянуться, дадут возможность закрыть данную статью расходов на год-другой. (At the same time, the 300 billion is largely virtual, and in reality it will be possible to get much smaller sums. But we can be sure that confiscation will only spur the process of de-dollarization and de-westernization of the planet, as all countries that have at least a minimal choice will begin to shovel even more vigorously from the West… However, the question arises: do officials in Washington, Berlin, Paris, Brussels and further down the list not understand all these obvious circumstances? It is suspected that they do, but in the current circumstances they consider this to be the best of the worst solutions. First, the deteriorating economic situation is forcing the West to look for any possible sources of funding for Kiev. Confiscated Russian assets, which can be realistically grabbed, will make it possible to cover this item of expenditure for a year or two), Irina Alksnis].

In Brussels’ EU administration, financial aid for Ukraine totaling 77.1 billion euros had been accumulated since January 24, 2022. There is also humanitarian aid worth 2.1 billion euros and military support worth 5.6 billion euros. Over the course of 2023, the willingness to continue for helping Ukraine to the same extent as before began to crumble. Slovakia announced that it would stop arms deliveries, and there were protests in Poland because Ukrainian grain and Ukrainian drivers were entering the market at low wages. Hungary temporarily refused to release the next 50 billion euros for Ukraine.

After the failed summer offensive, Kiev should now be kept happy with the official prospect of joining the EU. But this is likely to cost the EU dearly. The German Economic Institute (IW) assumes that Ukraine would receive extensive financial resources from the EU budget. The institute estimates the financial impact of Ukraine’s full membership in the EU on the EU’s current multi-year budget at around 130 to 190 billion euros. Of this, between 70 and 90 billion euros would go to agricultural subsidies and between 50 to 90 billion euros to cohesion policy. For comparison: The EU’s multi-year community budget for the years 2021-2027 amounts to 1,216 billion euros. The scientists comment:

Given this volume, the EU should be ready to reform. Only in this way can the political decision be credible to bind Ukraine more closely to itself with the prospect of accession. This applies on the one hand at the institutional level, but it also applies at the fiscal level. A shift in the EU budget could help provide the necessary financial resources.

Cohesion policy assumes that redistribution should take place between richer and poorer EU countries. The Cologne economists propose to concentrate resources on poorer countries. Then around 140 billion euros would be available for Ukraine over a seven-year period. If you add cohesion and agricultural subsidies, then Ukraine would be entitled to an amount of 127-187 billion euros based on the multi-year budget 2021-2027. This cannot be done without reallocating or increasing the budget. The richer states would either have to pay more or forego benefits.

If the EU is expanded to include Ukraine, there is a risk of massive social cuts, large-scale farmers dying and massive downward pressure on wages in all EU countries. As a result, it is possible that the EU will collapse. French MPs have already warned that it would be best to leave the EU as quickly as possible. The British say: “The EU will last as long as the Germans pay.” The majority of the war burden and the costs of reconstruction will end up with the German taxpayer. The federal government has not evaluated this either.

In East Saxony’s Pirna there are 12 huge, new granaries. Grain from Poland and Ukraine is delivered there by truck. From Pirna, deliveries are sent by train to the processing industry in Hamburg and other places. This shows the problem. If Ukraine joins the EU and the customs barriers fall, the European market will be flooded with cheap Ukrainian agricultural products. Comparatively low labor costs, the fertile black earth soil and the opening of the Ukrainian market for genetically modified seeds as well as large-scale industrial production by companies such as Monsanto, Elli Lilly, Cargill and John Deere enable an unrivaled range of agricultural products. The land grab by foreign corporations in Ukraine means that farmers across the EU are coming under pressure because they can no longer produce at market prices. This will lead to further concentration in agriculture and farms dying out.

The Polish Minister of Agriculture Robert Telus imposed an import ban on Ukrainian grain from September 15, 2023, thereby entering into a dispute with the EU: “Ukrainian agriculture represents a threat to the agriculture of neighboring countries, but also to the whole of Europe.” He points out that Ukraine increased its overland grain exports from 7.3 million tons to 9.6 million tons during the embargo. Kiev defends the interests of large domestic companies. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán indicated what these are. He explained that the blocked Ukrainian grain was actually more likely to be a US commercial product, because the land on which it is grown “has probably been in the hands of the USA for a long time. Ukrainian agricultural products destined for Africa are flooding Central European markets. The bureaucrats in Brussels are once again turning a blind eye to the problems of local farmers.” US agricultural companies such as Monsanto have invested heavily in Ukrainian black earth soil. On the most fertile soil in the world, they can produce at unrivaled prices using genetically modified seeds and cheap labor. Economist Ernst Wolff: “We are currently experiencing a frontal attack on German medium-sized businesses.” Behind these agricultural giants such as Monsanto, John Deere and Elli Lilly are large financial investors such as Blackrock, that are also invested in the arms industry. They make money both from the war and the deaths of farmers.

Ukraine is not expected to join the EU in the short term. But Washington is increasing pressure for passing the costs of the war can on to the Union. Then Europe will collapse into a collection of failed states—a kind of co-transformation as a consequence of the Ukraine war. An impoverishment of the entire EU and harsh social cuts will follow. A break-up of the EU cannot be ruled out. Europe is becoming not only Washington’s backyard, but also Moscow’s backyard. This shows that US imperialism is a dead end for Europe.

4. The Effect of Sanctions on Russia

In response to the war of aggression against Ukraine, which violates international law, the EU has imposed unprecedented sanctions. They complement the existing measures that have been initiated since 2014 due to the accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation. So far twelve packages include sanctions against individuals, economic sanctions and visa measures. They apply to 1,950 institutions and people, including President Putin, Foreign Minister Lavrov, commanders of the Wagner Group, oligarchs, officials, military personnel and “anti-Ukrainian propagandists,” as well as banks, companies and parties. The economic sanctions affect, among other things, exports of advanced technology, vehicles, the energy sector and goods that can also be used for military purposes, as well as imports into the EU of petroleum products, coal, steel, gold and diamonds. Services such as auditing, IT consulting, legal advice, software and engineering services may no longer be provided. The oil import stop applies to sea routes with exceptions and affects 90% of Russian deliveries. A cap on oil prices was set at $60 per barrel. Transport by EU ships is prohibited. By the end of 2023, 12 sanctions packages were in force.

Even before the invasion, there were 2,695 sanctions against Russian private individuals, companies or state bodies. Since February 22, 2022, 12,077 new punitive measures have been added. The most serious factors were certainly the exclusion of Russian banks from the global financial communications system SWIFT and the confiscation of Russian assets worth around $300 billion. But the sanctions create the breeding ground on which alternative structures for circumvention emerge. By the end of 2022, the German government had no information about the effect of the sanctions. The effect of the first eleven sanctions packages has apparently evaporated: The Financial Times reports that almost no Russian oil is sold below the price cap of 60 USD, but world market prices of more than 80 USD are paid for it. Oil and gas revenues account for more than 28% of Russian state revenue.

Russia has now expanded its transport capacities. A large proportion of oil and gas is now transported via the northern route, even in winter. Russia is the only country to have two nuclear-powered icebreakers. The loading capacities in the ports of Primorsk, Vysotsk and Petersburg are utilized. A new gas liquefaction plant is currently being built in the westernmost Russian Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga.

Industrial warfare, according to former director of the Royal United Services Institute Michael Clarke, is a war between societies. The Russian military budget, he estimates, has tripled since 2021 and will amount to around 30% of government spending in 2024. Russia has proven to be surprisingly weak militarily, but significantly stronger economically than the West expected. [“Because it’s true, the Third World War has begun. True, it started ‘small’ and with two surprises. We went into this war with the idea that Russia’s army was very powerful and its economy very weak. We thought that Ukraine would be crushed militarily and that Russia would be crushed economically by the West. But the opposite happened. Ukraine was not crushed militarily, even though it had lost 16% of its territory by then; Russia was not crushed economically. As I speak, the rouble has gained 8% against the dollar and 18% since the start of the war.” Emmanuel Todd].

The sanctions against Russia have so far largely failed to have any effect. Russia has prepared itself for a war of attrition that will last for years. Moscow wants to advance slowly and exhaust Ukraine in order to dash the West’s hopes of a Ukrainian victory. Putin is still seeking a fundamental security agreement with the West.

At first, the West’s calculations seemed to work: the ruble was in free fall and the stock market practically came to a standstill. However, after initial losses of more than 40% of its value, the Russian currency recovered and reached higher values than before the beginning of the war. In 2022, Russian economy contracted by 2.2%; in January 2024, the IMF forecast growth for 2024 of 2.4%. According to an economic survey by the Russian Central Bank, the average growth forecast for 2023 was 3.1%. Analysts only expected 1.3% for 2024.

Nevertheless, according to a study of the Canadian Central Bank, the standard of living in Russia is falling. However, the analysis shows that these welfare losses are significantly mitigated and the boomerang effects on the sanctioning countries are intensified when third countries such as China, India and Turkey do not play along. These countries benefit: “Our welfare analysis demonstrates that the sanctioned country’s welfare losses are significantly mitigated, and the sanctioning country’s losses are amplified, if the third country does not join the sanctions, but the third country benefits from not joining” (Ghironi, et al.). Therefore, the West can only hope that the measures will have a long-term effect: that there is a lack of investment from abroad and the capital flight from Russia continues. But at best this will slow the growth of the Russian economy.

The sanctions were aimed at cutting off Russia from the international financial system and depriving the country of hundreds of billions in foreign exchange assets in order to make foreign trade impossible for Moscow. But there was an almost complete de-dollarization of Russian trade. Moscow switched to paying in the local currencies of its international partners, primarily China and India. In this way, Russian industry was able to maintain its production level in the first ten months of 2022 and recorded growth in November and December. Even stronger growth is expected for 2023. Nobody would have expected Russia to surpass Germany and Great Britain in economic growth. The sanctions have made Russia the strongest European economy.

Russia is an energy self-sufficient country and has many of the world’s most important raw materials such as oil and natural gas. Moscow also has a dominant position on world markets and is the leading exporter of fertilizers and food. Despite Western sanctions, 80% of the planet is expanding its cooperation with Russia. Giants like China and India are increasing Russian energy imports. The European Council on Foreign Relations found in a study: The West is united but separated from the rest of the world.

There is always talk in the West that Russia has not set up its own microchip production and is dependent on Western and Asian imports for microelectronics. But the West’s sanctions are not effective here either: The import volume of CNC (computer numerical control) machines from China, which are also used in the military sector, has increased tenfold—Customs declarations increased by 6.5 million US dollars in February 2022 to $68 million in July 2023. Chinese machines replaced European imports.

In fact, eyewitnesses report that truckloads of digital technology from China and Taiwan are being imported to the Russian-Kazakh border—from Polish and Lithuanian trucking companies. But with microchips the dependency is mutual. The West has the know-how, but not the necessary raw materials. For example, according to a survey by market research group Techcet, the US must import 90% of semiconductor-grade neon from Ukraine, while 35% of the palladium it needs comes from Russia. This means that the US chip industry is dependent on materials from Russia and Ukraine. So Russia can put as much pressure on the American semiconductor industry as the other way around. That is why Washington is investing in diversifying supply chains and Russia is investing in expanding manufacturing:

The US government has warned domestic chipmakers that they could face a materials supply crunch, reports Reuters, citing “people familiar with the matter.” The warning is based on worries about the potential for conflict between Russia and Ukraine. If Russia does make military advances, there will almost certainly be impacts on industries in Ukraine. Moreover, US sanctions will be implemented on Russia, likely exacerbating supply issues. Some concerning numbers, highlighting the reliance of the US chipmaking industry on Russia/Ukraine-based materials, are shared by the source. For example, market research group Techcet says that 90% of US semiconductor-grade neon supplies come from Ukraine, while 35% of US palladium is sourced from Russia. In addition, other vital materials like C4F6, Helium, and Scandium also come from the flashpoint region… For the potential scale of resource material price increases facing chipmakers, we only need to turn our clocks back to 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. At that time, neon prices rose nearly 600%. Neon is used in semiconductor fabricating machine lasers (Mark Tyson, and also Semiconductors and Changing face of war).

Russia knows, according to French historian Emmanuel Todd, that World War III has already begun. As the military analyst Jacques Baud rightly points out, there has been a sophisticated philosophy of war in Russia since Soviet times, which also includes economic and political considerations. That is why the sanctions against Russia since 2014 have had a double effect. First, the Kremlin realized that this would not be a short-term problem, but a long-term opportunity. They encouraged Russia to increasingly produce previously imported goods itself. Second, it became clear to Moscow that the West would increasingly use economic weapons to set the country under pressure. So Russia had to strengthen its economic self-sufficiency:

This is why the sanctions applied to Russia in 2014 had a double positive effect. The first was the realization that they were not only a short-term problem, but above all a medium- and long-term opportunity. They encouraged Russia to produce goods it had previously preferred to buy ubroad. The second was the signal that the West would increasingly use economic weapons as a means of pressure in the future. It therefore became imperative, for reasons of national independence and sovereignty, to prepare for more far-reaching sanctions affecting the county’s economy (Jacques Baud).

Russia is far from emerging from this war weakened. On the contrary, it appears to be strengthened militarily and economically. General Christopher Cavoli, the US Supreme Commander in Europe (SACEUR), told a US Congressional committee: “Russia’s air, naval, space, digital and strategic capabilities have not suffered significant degradation during this war” (General Christopher Cavoli).

Russia is strategically turning away from Europe. This means that a city like St. Petersburg loses its historical function. An intellectual opposition to this is forming in the metropolitan areas. The country lacks foreign investment and a broader digital economy, meaning future economic development is severely slowed. Ukraine expert Nikolai N. Petro from Staten Island University summarizes:

So, for the West, we can see clearly, that they under-estimated, they really didn’t understand what Russia had achieved at all… The Russian leadership, they were surprised when their efforts to support the Ruble and to engage in import substitution succeeded so quickly. They thought it would work, they had done some preliminary testings, but they didn’t expect that there may be so much speed and flexibility in the Russian economy to switch from old producers to new producers, first of all. And secondly, particularly the willingness of so many non-state actors, in some cases state actors like Iran and China, and North Korea, and Venezuela, but also non-state actors to skirt the impact of sanctions. And so as a result, the West got into, what is essentially a “losing game” (Nikolai N. Petro).

Russia was not “destroyed by sanctions,” as US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen promised. Instead, the country’s economy has grown. The Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, General Valery Zalushny, even stated that the capabilities of the Russian military industry are increasing, despite the introduction of unprecedented sanctions. There is no uprising against the war in Russia, Putin’s popularity is not declining, and Russia is far from diplomatically isolated, as shown by the weak response to boycott calls and the growing interest in Russian-favored organizations such as BRICS.

5. The Impact on the German Economy

In the end, the West will have to pay the price of the war it provoked. But there is an important limitation. In April and May 2022, the US Senate and House of Representatives passed the so-called “Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022”. This new version of the 1941 Lend-Lease Agreement authorizes the President to expeditiously comply with all requests for all existing U.S. equipment from Ukraine and Ukraine’s NATO states. Returns or payments due will not be an issue for another five years. But then most of the weapons will be destroyed. In doing so, Washington has driven Ukraine into a long-term debt trap worth double-digit billions, from which it can hardly escape on its own. The European Union will foot the bill. Ukraine, which is already effectively bankrupt, has been kept afloat financially by the EU and the International Monetary Fund since the 2014 Maidan coup.

For the United States, this arms aid is a bomb deal in the long term. Already after the Maidan, the United States did not transfer its own money, but instead issued bank guarantees. These secured loans amounted to 113 billion euros in 2022 and 2023. This means that the USA does not have to pay a cent as long as Ukraine can service the loans it received from banks, especially from the IMF, on the basis of US guarantees. This money, in turn, came from the EU, either in the form of loans or in the form of economic aid, which Ukraine does not have to pay back. The IMF loans were subject to strict conditions. It was also about the privatization of state property—i.e., the selling off of silverware, e.g. mining rights or black earth soil. US companies have benefited from this. The principle, according to Thomas Röper: “The USA gives guarantees, the US companies earn money and the EU pays the bill.”

The EU and its member states have pledged a total of around 135 billion euros in short and medium-term aid for Ukraine from the start of the war to the end of July 2023, and the USA has pledged almost 70 billion euros. This shows that Washington has increasingly succeeded in holding the EU accountable. When it comes to bilateral aid, Germany is now the second largest supporter of Ukraine after the United States: from the start of the war until the end of October 2023, the United States provided 71.4 billion euros, followed by Germany with a total of 38.3 billion euros including investments on EU aid.

In addition, the EU states also deliver weapons to Ukraine, which they have to replace. A large portion of these orders go to the US defense industry. Orders from US defense companies doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year. In 2021, the US government approved a total of 14 major arms sales to NATO countries worth a total of $15.5 billion. By the end of 2022, there were 24 approved exports worth $28 billion. In short, one could say: the losses are socialized and Germanized, the profits are privatized and Americanized.

With the adoption of the 2 percent target, all NATO states must increase their defense spending to two percent of GDP by 2024. For Germany, this means defense spending of around 80 billion euros, almost 30 billion euros more than in 2023. In addition, the federal government has taken out a “special fund” of loans worth 100 billion euros, which is to be spent on armaments purposes. A large part of this money goes to the US defense industry, e.g., for the overpriced F-35 breakdown jet.

In the medium term, the USA will shift the burden of the war and reconstruction onto the EU. The costs of the Ukraine war are gigantic. Jens Berger from the online-magazine Nachdenkseiten puts the total costs of German war policy in May 2023 at 577.4 billion euros. By the middle of the year, every German household was burdened with the war to the tune of 14,000 euros. Further social cuts are pending. At the cabinet meeting in December 2023, savings of 200 million euros in the education sector and 800 million euros in civil international engagement as well as tax increases were decided to cover the “unexpectedly” budget gap of 30 billion euros. At the same time, the military aid for Ukraine amounting to 8 billion euros should remain untouched and be increased, if necessary.

In 2023, the Federal Republic of Germany was the worst-performing industrialized country in the world. Both the IMF and the EU expect its economy to continue to shrink. Economists see Germany in a downward spiral: “Germany will not go down with a big bang. Rather, we will experience a state of infirmity, as has been the case in Italy for around 20 years.” A decisive factor in this is that the energy trap has been closed for Germany with the blowing up of the Nord Stream pipelines.

According to researcher Seymour Hersh, the destruction of Nord Stream is attributable to the USA. This is supported by the regular announcements of such a measure from American politicians. Here are some examples:

Then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2020: “To stop the energy cooperation between Europe and Russia) A first step would involve stopping Nord Stream-2.”

US Senator Tom Cotton in 2021: “There is still time to stop it… Kill Nord Stream 2 now, and let it rust beneath the waves of the Baltic.”

Jake Sullivan, US National Security Advisor in 2022: “We have made clear to the Russians that pipeline is at risk if they move further into Ukraine.”

Senator Ted Cruz in 2022: “The pipeline must be stopped and the only way to prevent its completion is to use all the tools available to do that.”

US President Joe Biden, standing next to Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz in 2022: “There will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

Victoria Nuland, Undersecretary of State for Policy: “I want to be very clear: If Russia invades Ukraine one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward.”

After the Nord Stream 2 was sabotaged, former Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorsky tweeted: “Thank you, USA.” The very next day, leading politicians from Poland, Norway and Denmark were present to open the new Norwegian-Polish Baltic Sea pipeline as an alternative to Nord Stream.

Nuland expressed her enthusiasm. “I am, and I think the government is too, very pleased to know that Nord Stream 2 is now, as they say, a pile of metal at the bottom of the sea.”

The Washington Post’s White House correspondent and confidante of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, David Ignatius, described in May 2022 that US President Biden and then-Chancellor Angela Merkel had decided in early summer 2021 to seize Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the event of a Russian attack to cancel:

Germany has been a reluctant but indispensable ally, and the Biden administration made a controversial decision last summer to win Germany’s support. Biden waived a first round of sanctions against a company that built the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, in return for a commitment from Chancellor Angela Merkel that Nord Stream 2 would be canceled in the event of a Russian invasion. When the invasion came, Merkel was no longer there, but her successor Olaf Scholz kept the promise.

Germany is by far the biggest loser from the sanctions against Russia. Economically, they have a boomerang effect. The Federal Republic can neither replace Russian gas and oil at similarly competitive prices nor the huge Russian market. The impact of the sanctions has not been evaluated. The federal government misjudged the impact of the economic war. Cheap Russian natural gas must be replaced by expensive and ecologically problematic American fracking gas. Exploding energy prices are deteriorating the competitiveness of the German economy. The hasty decoupling from the Russian market and its resources plunged the economy into recession. BRICS observers speak of a “reversal of the German economic miracle”:

Germany is by far the biggest loser in this case, as its industrial might has experienced an unprecedented unraveling, almost a sort of reverse of what was once called the “German economic miracle” in the aftermath of the Second World War. Berlin wrongfully assessed Moscow’s resilience as it anticipated that launching the unparalleled sanctions war against Russia will actually work.

The sanctions act like a boomerang and destroy not the Russian, but the German economy. All business associations have warned against de-industrialization. ZF Saarbrücken has announced that it will cut up to 7,000 jobs from 10,000. BASF is cutting 2,600 jobs, including 700 at the main plant in Ludwigshafen. These are just two examples, but they represent a comprehensive process of de-industrialization. The former economic engine Germany is also dragging its partner countries into recession. The entire EU is on the path to de-industrialization and permanent impoverishment.

In particular, medium-sized businesses are the ones who suffer from this development. The Leibnitz Institute for Economic Research in Halle confirms that the number of bankruptcies continued to rise in October. Researchers tallied more than 1,000 bankruptcies, 2% more than in September and 44% more than in October of the previous year.

According to the current poverty report from the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband, the poverty rate in Germany was already 16.9% in 2021. This means that 14.1 million people were living in poverty even before the war. The trend is also increasing as a result of the war. The transformation from a welfare state to an arms state is progressing. The focus of political argumentation is no longer social balance, but rather the creation of war capability.

Immigration pressure from Ukraine also continues. In October 2023, 1.16 million Ukrainian refugees were counted. However, they partly do not come from their mother country, but from the Netherlands and other neighboring countries and immigrate into the social systems. In Ukraine the minimum wage is 1.41 euros. There is no incentive to return to a poor, war-ravaged country. There is considerable social explosiveness lurking in all of these points. The growing dissatisfaction with the federal government’s policies and their social consequences is grist for the AfD’s mill.

Russian Security Council’s Scientific board member Sergei Karaganov said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta:

Russia has completed its European journey… The European and especially the German elites are in a state of historical failure. The foundation of their 500-year dominance—the military superiority on which the West’s economic, political and cultural dominance was built—has been stripped away from them. Current Western elites cannot cope with the plethora of problems growing in their societies . These include a shrinking middle class and increasing inequality. Almost all of their initiatives have failed. The European Union is moving… slowly but surely towards disintegration. For this reason, European elites have shown a hostile attitude towards Russia for about 15 years. They need an external enemy.

Sergei Karaganov follows the official Russian line, which he helps shape in a responsible position. Nevertheless, his description of the shrinking middle class, a growing inequality and massive centrifugal forces within the EU is correct. The fact that Moscow is turning away from Europe is likely to have consequences that will hit Europe much harder than Russia. All of these trends represent social explosives that could easily push Europe and Germany to the brink of ungovernability.

Washington will shift the burden of war and reconstruction onto the EU. The result is a three-digit billion sum. The USA has concluded “land and lease” agreements with Ukraine based on the model of the Second World War for arms deliveries. Ukraine still has to pay for the borrowed weapons. These are billions. US Senator James Vance recently asked pointedly why one should believe that the $61 billion planned in Joe Biden’s budget will help Ukraine win when the $111 billion paid so far has not brought a breakthrough. These are the previous dimensions, and the costs of reconstruction are not included.

Overall, the war in Ukraine brings about a redistribution of the capital earned for Germany from bottom to top and from Europe to America.

6. Economic and Geostrategic Reasons for War

The Soviet Union tried to create a European peace order as early as the 1950s. This was rejected by the West. Irish historian Geoffrey Roberts has discovered documents showing that Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov proposed the USSR join NATO. The reason was the Soviet campaign for a European security order as an alternative to the European Defense Community. The proposal also included the idea of a reunified, neutral Germany. The West rejected this for two reasons: Firstly, the proposal only granted the USA and China observer status. Secondly, the West suspected that the proposal was only intended to weaken NATO’s cohesion and prevent the establishment of the EDC.

However, this rejection is an early part of the United States’ strategy to implement regime change in the Soviet Union and currently in Russia. DIA Director General Vincent R. Stewart quoted a document before the US Congress in 2017, showing that Washington was well aware of how much Moscow perceived regime change efforts as a threat:

The Kremlin is convinced the United States is laying the groundwork for regime change in Russia, a conviction further reinforced by the events in Ukraine. Moscow views the United States as the critical driver behind the crisis in Ukraine and the Arab Spring and believes that the overthrow of former Ukrainian President Yanukovych is the latest move in a long-established pattern of U.S.-orchestrated regime change efforts, including the Kosovo campaign, Iraq, Libya, and the 2003–05 “color revolutions” in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan (Vincent R. Stewart, pp. 15ff).

The West is acting side by side in Ukraine, but not as one. With the aim of weakening and dividing Russia, as long-time US security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski suggested in the 1990s, the current generation of European politicians is following the US-Neocons. The federal government is also actively helping to drive a wedge between Germany and Russia. The German government is trying to save its leadership role within the EU by remaining loyal to the United States. In doing so, Berlin has further damaged German-French cooperation and destroyed its effectiveness, which was still working when they jointly rejected the Second Iraq War in 2003. Washington, on the other hand, is increasingly dividing the European Union along the Vilnius-Warsaw-Kiev axis, thereby forcing an eastward shift of political and military weight towards new anti-Russian front lines.

The EU wants to get access to the Ukrainian mineral resources (lithium), the black earth soil, the sea routes, the sales markets, the cheap labor. If the West breaks away from Russia and China equally, then the EU will need Ukrainian rare earths, for example, for its decarbonization strategy. Conversely, large US agricultural companies are concerned with controlling the food chain. Monsanto, Elly Lilly, John Deere etc. have bought into the Ukrainian black earth soil. They own an area larger than the entire agricultural area of Italy. These are the most fertile soil in the world. The EU and USA have enforced the use of genetically modified seeds. This guarantees maximum productivity in the short term at minimum wages. Not only the Americans, but also the Europeans are dependent on Ukraine’s mineral resources.

The member of the Bundestag of the Christian Democratic Party and his parliamentary group’s military expert, Roderich Kiesewetter, revealed what it was really about. In the program “Report from Berlin Extra” he explained that the war in Ukraine is a proxy war not only for NATO, but also for Germany, which is essentially about natural resources:

If Europe wants to complete the energy transition, it needs its own lithium deposits. The largest lithium deposits in Europe are in the Donetsk-Lugansk region… So we also have completely different goals in the background here. And that’s why we need one. The combined efforts of citizens to ensure that our politicians have the backing to do more for Ukraine (Alexej Danckwardt).

Kiesewetter was also surprisingly open on another point: “It (Ukraine) is waging a proxy war.”

This is also proven by relevant studies. Ulrich Blum, Gregor Borg, Nico Krapp, Hanna Liventseva and Iewvgeniia Rozhkova have highlighted the geostrategic importance of raw materials in Ukraine:

Ukraine is rich in raw materials, especially in the Donbas region. These include raw materials such as iron ore and coal, which were important for the first industrial revolution. But the wealth also includes non-ferrous metals and battery-related minerals, especially lithium, which is of outstanding importance for the modern and especially a green economy (Blum, et al.)

This points to the deeper reasons for the war. For the European Union, it is not just about permanently weakening Russia alongside the USA. It is also about wresting important raw material deposits from the Russian orbit. Specifically: On Ukraine’s soil, the EU is fighting for its future raw material base. The study cited states:

An independent Ukraine could become a major competitor to Russia in the raw materials and minerals market. A Ukraine that belongs to the EU would be able to develop into a strategic network partner within Western economies. Magnesium plays an important role here: China currently produces over 80 percent of the world’s reserves of magnesium, an important alloying element for aluminum. If magnesium were no longer supplied due to a conflict, a large part of the aluminum industry—and thus also the vehicle industry—would come to a standstill within a short period of time (Blum, et al.).

In the territories occupied by Russia and incorporated into the Russian Federation, deposits can be found that could give Russia a market monopoly:

Under the conditions of the global energy transition, especially decarbonization, from Russia’s perspective the value of its fossil resources must inevitably erode. It can therefore be assumed that his attack on Ukraine was not only motivated by power politics, but was aimed at gaining access to Ukrainian raw materials and materials that could ensure Russia’s dominant position as a raw material supplier again in the age of a decarbonized economy. Such an approach has a tradition, because from a Russian perspective, the east of Ukraine—the Donbass—has long been considered central to the development and survival of the Russian economy (Blum, et al.).

Lithium deposits in particular play an important role in the EU’s decarbonization strategy for electromobility, renewable energies and energy storage. The low level of exploration makes it difficult to evaluate the resources. Deposits of pegmatite and spodumene are documented in the districts of Zaporizhzhia (Kruta Balka), Kirovohrad (Dobra Block) and Donetsk (Shevchenkivske): The grade and tonnage of the deposits are lower than world-class deposits, but they are still little explored and could have “considerable potential.”

This roughly outlines the geostrategic and economic reasons for war. But it is becoming apparent that a divided Europe will be unable to achieve either its political or economic goals and will instead be stuck with the costs over the long term.

7. Winners and Losers

Sustainable tectonic shifts are taking place in geopolitics and thus also in the global economy. The weight of the West is decreasing, the political and economic force is moving to the global south. The United States is fighting for its supremacy, for “full spectrum dominance”. Even if Washington is the beneficiary of the war in Ukraine—the USA is a phoenix in nosedive. While states like Russia, China, Brazil, South Africa and India are distancing themselves, Washington is preparing to drag its European satraps into the depths with it. As early as 2003, Jonathan Schell identified the USA’s pursuit of “full spectrum dominance” as the central cause of wars and crises worldwide.

The Ukraine war accelerates China’s rise to become the second superpower. China supports Russia because it does not want a weak state dependent on Washington in its north. In doing so, it also secures Russian raw material reserves. However, the threats of a nuclear strike are a thorn in Beijing’s side.

The war in Ukraine is also accelerating the independence of the BRICS and BRICS Plus states. But this is a long and contradictory process. The de-dollarization of international trade, especially oil and gas, has begun but will take a long time. Washington will defend itself against this with all its means. Because without linking energy transactions to the dollar, the United States can no longer go into endless debt and print money. But the trend towards a multipolar world continues. In the end, a new bipolar world will emerge, with Beijing and Washington as the antagonistic poles.

The EU has degenerated into a collection of satrap states of Washington, a subdivision of NATO. The EU once started out as a peace project; now this peace project is dead. As early as 2016, Richard Sakwa spoke of a “European suicide” with a view to the looming war in Ukraine:

We can talk of a ‘new suicide’ as the idealism associated with a whole era of European integration has been revealed as nugatory and an illusion. At the heart of the EU is a peace project, and it delivered on this promise in Western Europe before 1989. However, when faced with a no less demanding challenge in the post-Communist era – to heal the Cold War divisions and to build the foundations for a united continent – the EU has spectacularly failed. Instead of a vision embracing the whole continent, it has become little more than the civilian wing of the Atlantic security alliance… Atlanticism is becoming increasingly ramified, while Russia is left out in the cold (Richard Sakwa, p. 227).

The European Union has thus lost its central function. Historically, it has failed as a peace project. Overzealous transatlanticists in the federal government do not represent the interests of the German population, but rather those of the USA. The German-French axis no longer sets the tone. The tandem is not functional anymore. The reason is that Germany is increasingly trying to maintain its own leadership role within the EU. But the Washington-Vilnius-Warsaw-Kiev axis now sets the tone. US Deputy Secretary of State James O’Brien emphasized in December 2023:

Without referring to the past, I would like to emphasize that security cooperation between Poland and the United States has always been very close, regardless of what the American government and the Polish government were. Today we really want Poland to take a leading role in the European Union. And that is the declared goal of the new government.

By upgrading the EU’s eastern flank, the United States has succeeded in dividing the European Union. The eastern neighbors are now being integrated and supported as a bulwark against Russia—militarily, politically and financially. This puts Germany and Europe in the slipstream of geo-economic developments. We are becoming not only the backyard of the United States, but also the backyard of Russia. The energy flows and container traffic, the economic centers are moving eastwards, forming along the Budapest-Moscow-Astana-Beijing axis. The Silk and Road Summit in the Hungarian capital ten days ago clearly demonstrated this.

8. Conclusions and Policy Measures

Congress in Washington is currently blocking further aid to Ukraine. This leaves the Biden administration in a bind. The US government cannot keep its promises to Kiev. This shows that Biden has failed to convince skeptics in Congress that it is in the US interest to defeat Moscow in Ukraine. This also shows that Russia is NATO’s main target in the Ukraine war. The purpose of Ukraine support is not to defend Ukraine, but to exhaust Russia. The Ukrainians are just cannon fodder in the eyes of NATO. This shows the full cynicism of this war:

Ultimately, the game between the US and Europe in aiding Ukraine is that the purpose of the aid is not to defend Ukraine but to consume Russia. Ukraine is seen as a “consumable product” in the eyes of the West, and no country will pay a higher price for Ukraine’s security. This once again demonstrates the sad reality: Ukraine is the biggest loser in the entire conflict.

The United States is the biggest winner in this armed conflict. Through the Ukraine war, they have consolidated their control over their European and Asia-Pacific allies, achieving a level of hegemony that even exceeds that of the Cold War. The European Union has been reduced to a ward. Their governments behave like governors of Washington.

Ukraine is suffering the greatest damage from this policy. It can only survive thanks to the help of the USA and the EU. The country is effectively bankrupt. On the one hand, the US government is trying to fuel the war between Russia and Ukraine by increasing arms aid, but on the other hand, due to a lack of majorities in Congress, it cannot ensure follow-up funding. The war in Gaza is consuming the attention of the US government elite, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for lawmakers to win the support of war-weary US voters. This means that US politics is in a dilemma.

Despite these setbacks, the US government will not stop aiding Ukraine, because it has a demonstration effect: if Washington stops its support, European countries would follow suit. Therefore, a dirty game has begun: If the USA reduces its aid, then the EU countries will be forced to provide more support to Ukraine. But in the European Union the first governments are backing out. Six countries have not joined the declaration on security guarantees for Kiev.

These cracks in the front of the “values” West are deepening the longer the battle of attrition lasts in Ukraine. The West is unable to weaken Russia militarily, propagandistically and economically. For the Biden administration, the Ukraine war is becoming a burden in the election campaign. Nevertheless, the war will continue: The president wants to sell a Ukrainian victory as a diplomatic success. That is why there is no scope for peace talks.

The second loser is the European Union, especially Germany. There is nothing left of the “European values”: ammunition with depleted uranium; area bombings; cluster munitions; bombing of civilian targets by Ukrainians; an alliance with Nazis in militias and the Ukrainian army; ignoring Ukrainian atrocities—the West has lost all credibility, all moral integrity in the rest of the world. Not Russia, the West is isolated worldwide. People in Asia, Africa and South America look at Germany and Europe with contempt. Most of the world is united in rejecting this war provoked by NATO and in which the Ukrainian people are being burned. No one in the rest of the world is surprised that Russia does not want to see NATO missiles under its nose. People in the global South find the West’s phrases of an “unprovoked war of aggression” disgusting. Their governments don’t join in with the sanctions and laugh at Germany’s economic suicide.

This situation is a great chance for the global south: It can take advantage of unimagined opportunities: China has replaced European car manufacturers as a supplier to the Russian market. India and Saudi Arabia buy Russian oil and resell it to the stupid Europeans at a premium. A dozen large countries have demonstratively joined the BRICS alliance since the start of the war. In the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, China and India are also in a military alliance with Russia. The sanctions have resulted in Europe completely destroying its reputation as a safe haven for investors. The seizure of Russian assets was legally, morally and economically insane. The exclusion of Russian athletes, artists and scientists cannot be justified and is a declaration of bankruptcy.

A change of course in German politics is therefore urgent. The federal government should end its political allegiance to Washington and focus more on an independent course. In terms of foreign policy, it would be advisable to advocate for an immediate ceasefire and the start of peace negotiations. This is the only way to stop further bloodshed and the complete destruction of Ukraine. Berlin should withdraw from military aid for Kiev and link further economic aid to Ukraine to the fact that the attack on the Nordstream pipeline is investigated and the perpetrator is punished and forced to make amends. The necessary political weight can be achieved by reactivating the German-French axis. Together with Paris and Rome, a peace policy alternative to the course of the US neocons can be formulated. In terms of economic policy, I suggest unilaterally withdrawing from the self-destructive sanctions against Russia, negotiating with Moscow about repairing Nord Stream 1 and putting the pipeline back into operation. Domestically, an active industrial, structural and educational policy would be required, which could put the 100 billion Euro package earmarked for armaments to sensible use. In my opinion, in the long term, leaving NATO, which is led by Washington, is a necessary step.

The war in Ukraine is the West’s greatest military, geopolitical and economic defeat since World War II. But that is not the worst of it. The West, especially the Federal Republic of Germany, betrayed all of its moral values in this war. We are stained with the blood of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians, for whose deaths we, the German politicians, military officers, arms managers and journalists, are also responsible. Again, we sit defiled among the nations.


Patrik Baab is a political scientist and journalist. His reports and research on secret services and wars do not fit in with the propaganda of states and corporate media. He has reported from Russia, Great Britain, the Balkans, Poland, the Baltic states and Afghanistan. His most recent book is Auf beiden Seiten der Front—Meine Reisen in die Ukraine (On Both Sides of the Front—My Travels in Ukraine). More about him is found on his website.


These Murderous and Predatory Hordes of Peasants

And now the farmers are also getting nailed: they are being labeled as “the Right”—the protest against the government is making this happen.

So now things are getting serious. Farmers are chugging onto the roads, blocking them and making their displeasure known. It’s about subsidies no longer being paid, about vehicle tax and reimbursement of diesel revenue. But other issues are also driving farmers to protest. They must produce cheaply, ecologically and to a high quality: But how, at such a high cost?

Last week, angry farmers refused to let the Minister of Economic Affairs get ashore. The fact that he still sees land at all is surprising enough. But from the ferry he was on, he was apparently able to catch a glimpse of the mainland. Not for long, because the angry crowd wouldn’t let him get ashore. Berlin’s politicians, who are usually quite sympathetic when young people glue themselves on the asphalt and deny citizens access, were instead thoroughly outraged.

The Tractors of the Right

The police in some parts of the country are said to have been trained as early as mid-November on how to unlock tractors without keys in order to break up blockades. This was reported to me by a source close to the Fendt company. Fendt manufactures agricultural machinery. If this is indeed the case, then people in Berlin had already thought about a protest beforehand. They were expecting it—and preparing for it. So, the fact that the strikes were about to happen was on the agenda after all. Who says that Berlin has no foresight? They do—just not in the way that the majority of citizens would like.

Another measure is currently taking effect. People who demonstrate in large numbers in this country must be given a label. At least when it is against the federal government and not “for the climate.” The answer to the question of how to label such infamous groups who dare to leave their place in society, i.e., who forget themselves, is simple—move them to the right. And as soon as Robert Habeck was not allowed onto the German mainland, Tagesschau asked: “Are the farmers’ protests being hijacked by the Right?”

There are also groups involved that are questionable, the audience was told. The offshoot organization of the NPD, for example, was spotted. The farmers’ association promptly distanced itself—it thus fell into a trap and invalidated its own protest. Of course, it is possible that groups with a strange world view are also involved in demonstrations. A farmer confirmed this to me in conversation; he is from Mecklenburg, and in his community of 1000 people, the AfD received many votes in the last state election. Should he now stop talking to his neighbors? What is he being asked to do?

Nevertheless, those on the Right are in the minority. They were also in the minority during the Covid protests, or when it came to opposing the TTIP free trade agreement. For certain “left-wing intellectuals,” the presence of a few such fellows at the TTIP demonstration in Berlin several years ago was reason enough to deny the legitimacy of the entire demonstration—without naming names, with a view to the north of Frankfurt, where this verbal delegitimization of the protest came from; insiders probably know where to look discreetly: they really wanted to do a service to the federal government at the time—these luminaries of “left-wing thinking” were not often closer to the government.

The Delegitimization Machine Starts Up

So now the farmers. Are they somehow Nazis? What is needed now—the train drivers are also about to go on strike. I wonder if one of them might happen to sympathize with the NPD offshoot “Heimat?” Perhaps we can find a train driver who cried when Bruno Ganz, who had become Adolf Hitler in Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Downfall, shot himself? Is there someone among them who was rooting for the Nazis in Inglourious Basterds? If so, the Tagesschau can get going on framing these strikes too. Any bets that the GDL will also go that way over the next few days? Who can deny it?

Seriously, it’s not just the Tagesschau that is postulating the farmers’ shift to the Right. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution warns of “subversive riots” and refers to right-wing groups and dissident thinkers who have infiltrated the protests—and this discredits the entire protest action. Dissident thinkers are now also involved. People who think outside the box and do not toe the line: Is that the accusation?

The delegitimization-of-the-state industry is currently producing the latest suspected case. This criminal offense, which is being handled by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, seems to be the only way this federal government intends to counter dissatisfied citizens. Gregor Gysi recently stated quite rightly that the political class is no longer discussing how it can regain the trust of citizens. Throwing everything into the delegitimization machine: Is that supposed to create trust? Or the opposite?

A look at the website of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution speaks volumes. Namely, where it explains what this delegitimization of the state is all about. We find a brief description: “Various actors instrumentalized the protests against Covid protection measures in order to pursue an actual anti-constitutional agenda, detached from any factual criticism. This manifests itself, among other things, in aggressive agitation against representatives and institutions of the state, in order to systematically undermine its legitimacy.” Next to it is a picture: a man wearing an FFP2 mask holding up a sign with the words “This policy is destroying us all.” Is such a statement even relevant for the Office for the Protection of the Constitution? If so, it becomes clear what this criminal offense actually seeks: to quash criticism of the federal government.

A Country Full of Right-Wingers

This realization is neither new nor original. Many people in the country have long since realized that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution is a government protection agency. Lawyer Peter Schindler has already pointed this out. Haldenwang’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution is the cognitive Praetorian Guard of the Chancellery—no one really knows whether it is possible to make this statement without making oneself vulnerable. That’s the trick about “delegitimizing the state”: it can be anything—or nothing. A slogan like the one just quoted from the accompanying photo on the constitution protection page may be enough. But nobody seems concerned about the delegitimizing behavior of the political class.

Incidentally, the fact that farmers are now being associated with the Right is not original either—we should have seen this coming. It is simply the only remaining administrative act of a policy that has long since abandoned the people. You can’t replace the people, but putting them in a corner works brilliantly. And so, Germany is increasingly becoming a country full of right-wingers. Not because the citizens are moving to the Right, but because such an affiliation is being constructed. The fight against the Right is largely nothing more than a construct of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and is because of the defamation campaign of social protests.

And it works. As soon as the accusation was made, some farmers were encouraged via social media to post the slogan, “Agriculture is colorful, not brown.” There were prompt discussions; some farmers didn’t want to be colorful either because they associated it with the Greens. There have always been farmer protests in Germany. But they were often regionally limited individual actions—the now more centralized protest must of course be fragmented, from the point of view of those in power. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is actually nothing more than a federal office for divisive issues.


Roberto J. De Lapuente is a journalist who writes from Germany. He is the author of Rechts gewinnt, weil Links versagt [The Right Wins because the Left Fails]. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Overton Magazin.


A Tale of the Palestine Archaeological Museum

Abdullah Jaddallah was a native of Jerusalem. He was a devoted husband and father to seven children. Highly favored for his education, Jaddallah was employed by the British army during the years of British Mandate rule in Palestine. Following a successful career with the British military, in which he traveled across the Middle East on various assignments, Jaddallah permanently settled in Jordan. Jaddallah enjoyed drinking his black tea with milk, a ritual adopted during his tenure in the military; tea with milk would become a fond family tradition upheld by successive generations. Two generations later, and from a much farther distance, I was transfixed by the story of my grandfather, a man that I barely knew. Immersed in his memory, my practice as an artist evolved into one that traced lineage, familial histories, and, subsequently, the geopolitical forces which catalyzed our migration. I was left to wonder: What historical circumstances created these conditions? What constraints did he endure, and how did it impact his movement? How am I implicated within this meshwork of history, chance, and fate? Meditating on his story and the complexities of these intersections, a larger research project unfolded; while its major thrusts are historical, it still resides between the poles of fact and fiction.

In 2014, I stumbled upon the story of the Palestine Archaeological Museum; however, the brief history that I encountered felt wholly insufficient. While the Israel Antiquities Authority foregrounds central figures who oversaw the erection of the museum (like John D. Rockefeller and Henry Breasted, whom I introduce later in this essay), these historical ac-counts neglect to acknowledge the violent seizure of land that altered the fate of this institution. It is through colonial theft that a more complex picture emerges of the Palestine Archaeological Museum; however, extant histories proffer a depoliticized image of the museum impacted by the occupation of Palestinian land. Meditating on the erasures in the museum’s history, I could not help but feel that this story was an allegory for larger, more persistent efforts to suppress Palestinian history.

This spurred the creation of A Partial Restoration of the Palestine Archaeological Museum (2014–19), a multimedia project that restores the memory of the former Palestine Archaeological Museum in Jerusalem, an institution entrenched in geopolitical turmoil and precarity. A Partial Restoration of the Palestine Archaeological Museum is presented as a museological installation, with an exhibition space formerly held online. Before embarking on this project, I had never been to Palestine, nor to the museum, and so my research and art making was carried out at a distance. Due to these constraints, imagination served as a vehicle that stitched together an otherwise fragmented history. Suddenly I stepped into the role of a collector, driven by an impulse to salvage any valuable material I could find. This collection became a bridge to a site that I could not physically access.

A Partial Restoration of the Palestine Archaeological Museum is composed of this makeshift archive; the collection also contains personal, familial heirlooms. By juxtaposing these intimate mementos with historical ephemera, I reclaim authority over personal experience, validating its role in the pro-duction of knowledge. Furthermore, it is through these personal histories and experiences that cultural memory is shaped and transmitted. Hours were spent mining and excavating hidden corners of internet marketplaces. I purchased photographs, stamps, and pamphlets from independent eBay and Etsy merchants. Some merchants sold aged books and press clippings as their official business line. Others sold more sporadically, auctioning off junk culled from drawers and cabinets. This collection does not, in fact, belong to the Palestine Archaeological Museum proper; however, it became a speculative archive for the “restored” iteration of the museum that I introduced to the public. Digitized portions of this collection were shared on an exhibition webpage [no longer online]. This website played an integral role in the afterlife of the installation, connecting me to other Palestinian artists, researchers, and writers, all producing their own unique historical and archive-based research projects.

(In 2019, I received a note from Yazan Kopty, a writer, oral historian, and National Geographic Explorer. Kopty is currently the lead investigator on an archive- based research project titled Imagining the Holy, which examines images of historic Palestine from the National Geographic Society archive. Kopty makes space for the Palestinian community, providing opportunities to collaborate and restore Indigenous knowledge and narratives to the images in the archive. The photographic archive can be accessed on Instagram via @imaginingtheholy.)

The story of the Palestine Archaeological Museum begins with its founding mission: preserving and recording the diverse cultures of the region. However, this vision was stymied in its infancy. By engaging the fraught trajectory of the museum, my project questions the ways that didactic institutions are implicated in the erasure of subjugated peoples and histories. Furthermore, the project confronts the colonial legacies of the institution as we know it. A Partial Restoration of the Palestine Archaeological Museum considers the rich possibilities in creating our own imaginative histories, institutions, and archives to bridge gaps in history and distance.

Ruminating on my grandfather’s story and the course of his career, it became more pressing to consider how colonial entanglements played out across personal, political, and cultural registers. This led me to broader questions about archaeological practice, soft power, and Western cultural hegemony, and how this impacted Palestine in particular. These forces undoubtedly led to the erection of the Palestine Archaeological Museum. This museum was only one chapter within a larger history of extractive archaeological projects taking place in the Middle East at this time, initiated under the jurisdiction of colonial governments. James Henry Breasted, America’s first formally trained Egyptologist and a professor at the University of Chicago, spearheaded the birth of the museum. Breasted also founded the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, with generous philanthropic support from John D. Rockefeller. Breasted and Rockefeller formed a mutually beneficial relationship; between 1924 and 1927, Rocke-feller supported Breasted’s archaeological projects in the Middle East. Breasted insisted that archaeological artifacts had a home in the heart of Jerusalem. Following an unsuccessful attempt to open an Egyptian antiquities museum and research center in Cairo, Breasted proposed opening the Palestine Archaeological Museum in Jerusalem. In January 1927, Rockefeller approved the museum’s initial development plans, allotting two million dollars to subsidize construction costs and operating expenses. The British government provided necessary approvals for Breasted and fellow organizers to erect the museum. Austen St. Barbe Harrison, the architect at the helm of the project, combined contemporary European design with local architectural traditions, a style later defined as Mediterranean Modern-ism. The fusion of these aesthetics asserted British cultural prestige and further expressed its paternalistic role as a colonial occupier. The Palestine Archaeological Museum was built on a hill overlooking the northeast corner of the Old City, officially opening to the public on January 13, 1938.

The museum endeavored to catalog and preserve the rich diversity within the region. But as political tensions heightened, the museum’s mis-sion was further out of reach. On April 1, 1948, the British government closed the museum to the public. The high commissioner assembled an international board of trustees to preside over the institution. The makeup of the board traced back to Britain and France, with members also recruited from various antiquities departments across Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, among others. The international board remained effective until November 1966, when King Hussein of Jordan nationalized the museum. During the Six-Day War of 1967, Israeli military forces seized control over the Old City of Jerusalem, and, as a result, the Palestine Archaeological Museum was captured and relinquished to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Bullet holes still line the library walls, serving as a memento from the battle. Following the end of the war, the institution was officially renamed the Rockefeller Museum. It remains unclear who authorized changing the identity of the museum. However, the decision to rename the museum has remained a point of contention. The Rockefeller Museum continues to operate today, instilling a new collective memory throughout the region, one that undermines histories of Palestinian indigeneity.

In 2017, I left Ohio and journeyed to the Rockefeller Museum, which still stands on that hill overlooking the Old City. The edifice is officially deemed a historical landmark; old etchings, markings, and carvings on the muse-um’s facade reveal its conflicted past. Exterior entrance halls direct visitors to the Government of Palestine Department of Antiquities offices. Upon entering through the front doors, patrons encounter the building’s floor plan, guiding them to the exhibition halls. Above the map reads “Palestine Archaeological Museum,” its maiden name hand-carved into the limestone wall. Wandering through these hallways, the museum felt virtually untouched—its interior halls unfixed and unchanged from the photographs I examined in the archives. While these appearances remained frozen on the surface, the wall text was quietly confrontational, promoting a narrative positioning Palestinians as “visitors” of their native land. The story of the Palestine Archaeological Museum is a painfully layered one, replete with the haunt-ings of colonial power and historical erasure. In many ways, its story is only a modicum of the more pervasive effacement of Palestinian historical and cultural memory that occurs ad infinitum. This institution was born out of a deep entanglement with colonialism and Western expansion, only to become the spoils of its new colonial occupier. Palestine was forcefully re-moved from its name, much like our names on villages, streets, and maps effectively erased by the violent workings of a settler-colonial regime. Re-claiming this institution’s fraught history opened a pathway to creating A Partial Restoration of the Palestine Archaeological Museum, an imaginative space that reclaims and resuscitates the elisions of history.

Dareen Hussein is a writer, curator, and multimedia artist based in Ohio. She is a PhD student in the Department of History of Art at the Ohio State University. This essay appears in FUTURE/PRESENT. Arts in a Changing America, Duke University Press (2024).


Trump’s War on the Deep State

Donald Trump ended a recent statement with the words, “I will destroy the deep state and restore a government controlled by the people and for the people.” This ten-point statement is a declaration of war on the deep state. This state, whose existence cannot be denied, is behind the assassination of John Kennedy, and most likely behind the impeachment of Richard Nixon, not to mention the one planned for Donald Trump. To say such things is almost suicidal. What would happen if he disappeared from the political scene?

Listening to the former president’s words, two of John Kennedy’s speeches come to mind: his graduation speech at American University on June 10, 1963, and his address to the Media and Publishers Association on April 27, 1961.

In the first, eight months after the Cuban crisis, Kennedy advocated peace—by which he meant a lull in US-Soviet relations. On that day, he signed his own death warrant, even if there were other factors to consider in his assassination.

In the second speech, he bluntly described his loneliness in the face of what he calls “a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on secret practices to increase its sphere of influence.” Faced with this deep state that had to be destroyed, he asked for the media’s assistance: “I ask for your help in the face of this immense task in order to inform and alert the American people.” With the benefit of hindsight, we are tempted to think that this was an innocent, even naive step on his part.

Trump’s words are reminiscent of Kennedy’s. Like Kennedy, he seems to have taken a great risk. Underneath the apparent calm, tensions are extremely high in the United States. Some analysts do not hesitate to evoke the possibility of a new civil war. But what then? Fortunately, the worst is never certain.


Jean-Luc Basle is a former Vice President of the Citigroup New York (retired).


The Russian Art of War: How the West Led Ukraine to Defeat

We are very happy to bring you this excerpt (along with the Table of Contents) from Colonel Jacques Baud’s latest book, The Russian Art of War: How the West Led Ukraine to Defeat (L’art de la guerre russe: Comment l’occident conduire l’ukraine a la echec). This is a detailed study of the two-year old conflict in which the West has brutally used the Ukrainians to pursue an old pipedream: the conquest of Russia.

Please support the work of Colonel Baud and purchase a copy at Amazon, or at Barnes & Noble. And please ask all your family and friends to get a copy of this important and timely book as well.

Russian Military Thought

Throughout the Cold War period, the Soviet Union saw itself as the spearhead of a historical struggle that would lead to a confrontation between the “capitalist” system and “progressive forces.” This perception of a permanent and inescapable war led the Soviets to study war in a quasi-scientific way, and to structure this thinking into an architecture of military thought that has no equal in the Western world.

The problem with the vast majority of our so-called military experts is their inability to understand the Russian approach to war. It is the result of an approach we have already seen in waves of terrorist attacks—the adversary is so stupidly demonized that we refrain from understanding his way of thinking. As a result, we are unable to develop strategies, articulate our forces, or even equip them for the realities of war. The corollary of this approach is that our frustrations are translated by unscrupulous media into a narrative that feeds hatred and increases our vulnerability. We are thus unable to find rational, effective solutions to the problem.

The way Russians understand conflict is holistic. In other words, they see the processes that develop and lead to the situation at any given moment. This explains why Vladimir Putin’s speeches invariably include a return to history. In the West, we tend to focus on X moment and try to see how it might evolve. We want an immediate response to the situation we see today. The idea that “from the understanding of how the crisis arose comes the way to resolve it” is totally foreign to the West. In September 2023, an English-speaking journalist even pulled out the “duck test” for me: “if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.” In other words, all the West needs to assess a situation is an image that fits their prejudices. Reality is much more subtle than the duck model….

The reason the Russians are better than the West in Ukraine is that they see the conflict as a process; whereas we see it as a series of separate actions. The Russians see events as a film. We see them as photographs. They see the forest, while we focus on the trees. That is why we place the start of the conflict on February 24, 2022, or the start of the Palestinian conflict on October 7, 2023. We ignore the contexts that bother us and wage conflicts we do not understand. That is why we lose our wars…

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In Russia, unsurprisingly, the principles of the military art of the Soviet forces inspired those currently in use:

  • readiness to carry out assigned missions;
  • concentration of efforts on solving a specific mission;
  • surprise (unconventionality) of military action vis-à-vis the enemy;
  • finality determines a set of tasks and the level of resolution of each one;
  • totality of available means determines the way to resolve the mission and achieve the objective (correlation of forces);
  • coherence of leadership (unity of command);
  • economy of forces, resources, time and space;
  • support and restoration of combat capability;
  • freedom of maneuver.

It should be noted that these principles apply not only to the implementation of military action as such. They are also applicable as a system of thought to other non-operational activities.

An honest analysis of the conflict in Ukraine would have identified these various principles and drawn useful conclusions for Ukraine. But none of the self-proclaimed experts on TV were intellectually able to do so.

Thus, Westerners are systematically surprised by the Russians in the fields of technology (e.g., hypersonic weapons), doctrine (e.g., operative art) and economics (e.g., resilience to sanctions). In a way, the Russians are taking advantage of our prejudices to exploit the principle of surprise. We can see this in the Ukrainian conflict, where the Western narrative led Ukraine to totally underestimate Russian capabilities, which was a major factor in its defeat. That is why Russia did not really try to counter this narrative and let it play out—the belief that we are superior makes us vulnerable….

Correlation of Forces

Russian military thought is traditionally linked to a holistic approach to warfare, which involves the integration of a large number of factors in the development of a strategy. This approach is materialized by the concept of “correlation of forces” (Соотношение сил).

Often translated as “balance of forces” or “ratio of forces,” this concept is only understood by Westerners as a quantitative quantity, limited to the military domain. In Soviet thinking, however, the correlation of forces reflected a more holistic reading of war:

There are several criteria for assessing the correlation of strengths. In the economic sphere, the factors usually compared are gross national product per capita, labor productivity, the dynamics of economic growth, the level of industrial production, particularly in high-tech sectors, the technical infrastructure of the production tool, the resources and degree of qualification of the workforce, the number of specialists and the level of development of theoretical and applied sciences.

In the military field, the factors compared are the quantity and quality of armaments, the firepower of the armed forces, the fighting and moral qualities of the soldiers, the level of staff training, the organization of the troops and their combat experience, the character of the military doctrine and the methods of strategic, operative and tactical thinking.

In the political sphere, the factors that come into consideration are the breadth of the social base of state authority, its organization, the constitutional procedure for relations between the government and legislative bodies, the ability to take operational decisions, and the degree and character of popular support for domestic and foreign policy.

Finally, when assessing the strength of the international movement, the factors taken into consideration are its quantitative composition, its influence with the masses, its position in the political life of each country, the principles and norms of relations between its components and the degree of their cohesion.

In other words, the assessment of the situation is not limited to the balance of forces on the battlefield, but takes into account all the elements that have an impact on the evolution of the conflict. Thus, for their Special Military Operation, the Russian authorities had planned to support the war effort through the economy, without moving to a “war economy” regimen. Thus, unlike in Ukraine, there was no interruption in the tax and welfare mechanisms.

This is why the sanctions applied to Russia in 2014 had a double positive effect. The first was the realization that they were not only a short-term problem, but above all a medium- and long-term opportunity. They encouraged Russia to produce goods it had previously preferred to buy abroad. The second was the signal that the West would increasingly use economic weapons as a means of pressure in the future. It therefore became imperative, for reasons of national independence and sovereignty, to prepare for more far-reaching sanctions affecting the country’s economy.

In reality, it has long been known that sanctions do not work. Logically enough, they have had the opposite effect, acting as protectionist measures for Russia, which has thus been able to consolidate its economy, as had been the case after the 2014 sanctions. A sanctions strategy might have paid off if the Russian economy had effectively been the equivalent of the Italian or Spanish economy, i.e., with a high level of debt; and if the entire planet had acted in unison to isolate Russia.

The inclusion of the correlation of forces in the decision-making process is a fundamental difference from Western decision-making processes, which are linked more to a policy of communication than to a rational approach to problems.

This explains, for example, Russia’s limited objectives in the Ukraine, where it does not seek to occupy the entire territory, as the correlation of forces in the western part of the country would be unfavorable.

At every level of leadership, the correlation of forces is part of situation assessment. At the operational level, it is defined as follows:

The result of comparing the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the forces and resources (sub-units, units, weapons, military equipment, etc.) of one’s own troops (forces) and those of the enemy. It is calculated on an operational and tactical scale throughout the area of operations, in the main and other directions, in order to determine the degree of objective superiority of one of the opposing camps. Force correlation assessment is used to make an informed decision about an operation (battle), and to establish and maintain the necessary superiority over the enemy for as long as possible, when decisions are redefined (modified) during military (combat) operations.

This simple definition is the reason why the Russians committed themselves with forces inferior to those of Ukraine in February 2022, or why they withdrew from Kiev, Kharkov and Kherson in March, September and October 2022.

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Structure of the Doctrine

The Russians have always attached particular importance to doctrine. Better than the West, they have understood that “a common way of seeing, thinking and acting”—as Marshal Foch put it—gives coherence, while allowing for infinite variations in the conception of operations. Military doctrine is a kind of “common core” that serves as a reference for designing operations.

Russian military doctrine divides military art into three main components: strategy (strategiya), operative art (operativnoe iskoustvo) and tactics (taktika). Each of these components has its own characteristics, very similar to those found in Western doctrines. Using the terminology of French doctrine on the use of forces:

  • The strategic level is that of conception. The aim of strategic action is to lead the adversary to negotiation or defeat.
  • The operative level is that of cooperation and coordination of inter-force actions, with a view to achieving a given military objective.
  • The tactical level, finally, is that of maneuver execution at weapon level as an integral part of the operational maneuver.

These three components correspond to levels of leadership, which translate into leadership structures and the space in which military operations are conducted. For simplicity’s sake, let us say that the strategic level ensures the management of the theater of war (Театр Войны) (TV); a geographically vast entity, with its own command and control structures, within which there are one or more strategic directions. The theater of war comprises a set of theaters of military operations (Театр Военных Действий) (TVD), which represent a strategic direction and are the domain of operative action. These various theaters have no predetermined structure and are defined according to the situation. For example, although we commonly speak of the “war in Afghanistan” (1979-1989) or the “war in Syria” (2015-), these countries are considered in Russian terminology as TVDs and not TVs.

The same applies to Ukraine, which Russia sees as a theater of military operations (TVD) and not a theater of war (TV), which explains why the action in Ukraine is designated as a “Special Military Operation” (Специальная Военая Операция—Spetsialaya). A Special Military Operation” (Специальная Военная Операция – Spetsial’naya Voyennaya Operatsiya—SVO, or SMO in English abbreviation) and not a “war.”

The use of the word “war” would imply a different structure of conduct than that envisaged by the Russians in Ukraine, and would have other structural implications in Russia itself. Moreover—and this is a central point—as NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg himself acknowledges, “the war began in 2014” and should have been ended by the Minsk Agreements. The SMO is therefore a “military operation” and not a new “war,” as many Western “experts” claim.

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The Special Military Operation in Ukraine

The Correlation of Forces

Consider all the factors that directly or indirectly influence the conflict. Conversely, as we have seen in Ukraine and elsewhere, Westerners have a much more political reading of the war, and end up mixing the two. This is why communication plays such an essential role in the conduct of war: the perception of the conflict plays an almost more important role than its reality. This is why, in Iraq, the Americans literally invented episodes that glorified their troops.

Russia’s analysis of the situation in February 2022 was undoubtedly considerably more pertinent than that of the West. They knew that a Ukrainian offensive against the Donbass was underway and that it could endanger the government. In 2014-2015, after the massacres in Odessa and Mariupol, the Russian population was very much in favor of intervention. Vladimir Putin’s stubborn clinging to the Minsk Agreements was poorly understood in Russia.

The factors that contributed to Russia’s decision to intervene were twofold: the expected support of Ukraine’s ethnically Russian population (which we will call “Russian-speaking” for convenience) and an economy robust enough to withstand sanctions.

The Russian-speaking population had risen up en masse against the new authorities following the coup d’état of February 2014, whose first decision had been to strip the Russian language of its official status. Kiev tried to backtrack, but in April 2019, the 2014 decision was definitively confirmed.

Since the adoption of the Law on Indigenous Peoples on July 1, 2021, Russian speakers (ethnic Russians) are no longer considered normal Ukrainian citizens and no longer enjoy the same rights as ethnic Ukrainians. They can therefore be expected to offer no resistance to the Russian coalition in the eastern part of the country….

Since March 24, 2021, Ukrainian forces have been stepping up their presence around the Donbass and have increased the pressure against the autonomists with their fire.

Zelensky’s decree of March 24, 2021 for the reconquest of Crimea and the Donbass was the real trigger for the SMO. From that moment on, the Russians understood that if there was military action against them, they would have to intervene. But they also knew that the cause of the Ukrainian operation was NATO membership, as Oleksei Arestovitch had explained. That is why, in mid-December 2021, they were submitting proposals to the USA and NATO on extending the Alliance: their aim was then to remove Ukraine’s motive for an offensive in the Donbass.

The reason for the Russian Special Military Operation (SMO) is indeed the protection of the populations of Donbass; but this protection was necessary because of Kiev’s desire to go through a confrontation to enter NATO. The extension of NATO is therefore only the indirect cause of the conflict in Ukraine. The latter could have spared itself this ordeal by implementing the Minsk Agreements—but what we wanted was a defeat for Russia.

In 2008, Russia intervened in Georgia to protect the Russian minority then being bombed by its government, as confirmed by the Swiss ambassador, Heidi Tagliavini, who was responsible for investigating this event. In 2014, many voices were raised in Russia to demand intervention when the new regime in Kiev had engaged its army against the civilian population of the five autonomist oblasts (Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov, Lugansk and Donetsk) and applied a fierce repression. In 2022, it could be expected that the population of Russia would not understand the government’s inaction, after no efforts were made from the Ukrainian and Western sides to enforce the Minsk Agreements. They knew that they did not have the means to launch an economic retaliation. But they also knew that an economic war against Russia would inevitably backfire on Western countries.

An important element of Russian military and political thinking is its legalistic dimension. The way our media present events, systematically omitting facts that could explain, justify, legitimize or even legalize Russia’s actions. We tend to think that Russia is acting outside any legal framework. For example, our media present the Russian intervention in Syria as having been decided unilaterally by Moscow; whereas it was carried out at the request of the Syrian government, after the West had allowed the Islamic State to move closer to Damascus, as confessed by John Kerry, then Secretary of State. Nevertheless, there is never any mention of the occupation of eastern Syria by American troops, who were never even invited there!

We could multiply the examples, to which our journalists will counter with the war crimes committed by Russian forces. This may well be true, but the simple fact that these accusations are not based on any impartial and neutral investigation (as required by humanitarian doctrine), nor on any international one, since Russia is systematically refused participation, casts a shadow over the honesty of these accusations. For example, the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines was immediately attributed to Russia, which was accused of violating international law.

In fact, unlike the West, which advocates a “rules-based international order,” the Russians insist on a “law-based international order.” Unlike the West, they will apply the law to the letter. No more, no less.

The legal framework for Russia’s intervention in Ukraine has been meticulously planned. As this subject has already been covered in one of my previous books, I will not go into details here…

****

The Objectives and Strategy of Russia

On February 23, 2023, Swiss military “expert” Alexandre Vautravers commented on Russia’s objectives in Ukraine:

The aim of the Special Military Operation was to decapitate Ukrainian political and military governance in the space of five, ten, maybe even two weeks. The Russians then changed their plan and their objectives with a number of other failures; so they change their objectives and their strategic orientations almost every week or every month.

The problem is that our “experts” themselves define Russia’s objectives according to what they imagine, only to be able to say that it has not achieved them. So. Let us get back to the facts.

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched its “Special Military Operation” (SMO) in Ukraine “at short notice.” In his televised address, Vladimir Putin explained that its strategic objective was to protect the population of Donbass. This objective can be broken down into two parts:

  • “demilitarize” the Ukrainian armed forces regrouped in the Donbass in preparation for the offensive against the DPR and LPR; and
  • “denazify” (i.e. “neutralize”) the ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi paramilitary militias in the Mariupol area.

The formulation chosen by Vladimir Putin has been very poorly analyzed in the West. It is inspired by the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, which envisaged the development of defeated Germany according to four principles: demilitarization, denazification, democratization and decentralization.

The Russians understand war from a Clausewitzian perspective: war is the pursuit of politics by other means. This then means that they seek to transform operational successes into strategic successes, and military successes into political objectives. So, while the demilitarization evoked by Putin is clearly linked to the military threat to the populations of the Donbass in application of the decree of March 24, 2021, signed by Zelensky.

But this objective conceals a second: the neutralization of Ukraine as a future NATO member. This is what Zelensky understood when he proposed a resolution to the conflict in March 2022. At first, his proposal was supported by Western countries, probably because at this stage they believed that Russia had failed in its bid to take over Ukraine in three days, and that it would not be able to sustain its war effort because of the massive sanctions imposed on it. But at the NATO meeting of March 24, 2022, the Allies decided not to support Zelensky’s proposition.

Nevertheless, on March 27, Zelensky publicly defended his proposal and on March 28, as a gesture of support for this effort, Vladimir Putin eased the pressure on the capital and withdrew his troops from the area. Zelensky’s proposal served as the basis for the Istanbul Communiqué of March 29, 2022, a ceasefire agreement as a prelude to a peace agreement. It was this document that Vladimir Putin presented in June 2023, when an African delegation visited Moscow. It was Boris Johnson’s intervention that prompted Zelensky to withdraw his proposal, exchanging peace and the lives of his men for support “for as long as it takes.”

This version of events—which I have already presented in my previous works—was finally confirmed in early November 2023 by David Arakhamia, then chief negotiator for Ukraine196. He explained that Russia had never intended to seize Kiev.

In essence, Russia agreed to withdraw to the borders of February 23, 2022, in exchange for a ceiling on Ukrainian forces and a commitment not to become a NATO member, along with security guarantees from a number of countries….

Two conclusions can be drawn:

  • Russia’s objective was not to conquer territory. If the West had not intervened to push Zelensky to withdraw his offer, Ukraine would probably still have its army.
  • While the Russians intervened to ensure the security and protection of the population of the Donbass, their SMO enabled them to achieve a broader objective, which involves Russia’s security.

This means that, although this objective is not formulated, the demilitarization of Ukraine could open the door to its neutralization. This is not surprising since, conversely, in an interview with the Ukrainian channel Apostrof’ on March 18, 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky’s advisor Oleksei Arestovitch cynically explains that, because Ukraine wants to join NATO, it will have to create the conditions for Russia to attack Ukraine and be definitively defeated.

The problem is that Ukrainian and Western analysis is fueled by their own narratives. The conviction that Russia will lose has meant that no alternative contingency has been prepared. In September 2023, the West, beginning to see the collapse of this narrative and its implementation, tried to move towards a “freeze” in the conflict, without taking into account the opinion of the Russians, who dominate on the ground.

Yet Russia would have been satisfied with a situation such as that proposed by Zelensky in March 2022. What the West wants in September 2023 is merely a pause until an even more violent conflict breaks out, after Ukrainian forces have been rearmed and reconstituted.

****

Ukrainian Strategy

The strategic objective of Volodymyr Zelensky and his team is to join NATO, as a prelude to a brighter future within the EU. It complements that of the Americans (and therefore of the Europeans). The problem is that tensions with Russia, particularly over Crimea, are causing NATO members to put off Ukraine’s participation. In March 2022, Zelensky revealed on CNN that this is exactly what the Americans told him.

Before coming to power in April 2019, Volodymyr Zelensky’s discourse was divided between two antagonistic policies: the reconciliation with Russia promised during his presidential campaign and his goal of joining NATO. He knows that these two policies are mutually exclusive, as Russia does not want to see NATO and its nuclear weapons installed in Ukraine and wanted neutrality or non-alignment.

What is more, he knows that his ultra-nationalist allies will refuse to negotiate with Russia. This was confirmed by Praviy Sektor leader Dmitro Yarosh, who openly threatened him with death in the Ukrainian media a month after his election. Zelensky therefore knew from the start of the election campaign that he would not be able to fulfill his promise of reconciliation, and that there was only one solution left: confrontation with Russia.

But this confrontation could not be waged by Ukraine alone against Russia, and it would need the material support of the West. The strategy devised by Zelensky and his team was revealed before his election in March 2019 by Oleksei Arestovitch, his personal advisor, on the Ukrainian media Apostrof’. Arestovitch explained that it would take an attack by Russia to provoke an international mobilization that would enable Ukraine to defeat Russia once and for all, with the help of Western countries and NATO. With astonishing precision, he described the course of the Russian attack as it would unfold three years later, between February and March 2022. Not only did he explain that this conflict was unavoidable if Ukraine is to join NATO, but he also placed this confrontation in 2021-2022! He outlined the main areas of Western aid:

In this conflict, we will be very actively supported by the West. Weapons. Equipment. Assistance. New sanctions against Russia. Most likely, the introduction of a NATO contingent. A no-fly zone, and so on. In other words, we won’t lose it.

As we can see, this strategy has much in common with the one described by the RAND Corporation at the same time. So much so, in fact, that it is hard not to see it as a strategy strongly inspired by the United States. In his interview, Arestovitch singled out four elements that would become the pillars of the Ukrainian strategy against Russia, and to which Zelensky returned regularly:

  • International aid and arms supplies,
  • International sanctions,
  • NATO intervention,
  • Creation of a no-fly zone.

It should be noted that these four pillars are understood by Zelensky as promises whose fulfillment is essential to the success of this strategy. In February 2023, Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine’s Defense and National Security Council, declared in The Kyiv Independent that Ukraine’s objective was the disintegration of Russia. The mobilization of Western countries to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons then seems to give substance to this objective, which is consistent with what Oleksiy Arestovich had declared in March 2019.

A few months later, however, it became clear that the equipment supplied to Ukraine was not sufficient to ensure the success of its counter-offensive, and Zelensky asked for additional, better-adapted equipment. At this point, there was a certain amount of Western irritation at these repeated demands. Former British Defense Minister Ben Wallace declared that Westerners “are not Amazon.” In fact, the West does not respect its commitments.

Contrary to what our media and pseudo-military experts tell us, since February 2022, it has been clear that Ukraine cannot defeat Russia on its own. As Obama put it, “Russia [there] will always be able to maintain its escalation dominance.” In other words, Ukraine will only be able to achieve its goals with the involvement of NATO countries. This means that its fate will depend on the goodwill of Western countries. So, we need to maintain a narrative that encourages the West to keep up this effort. This narrative will then become what we call, in strategic terms, its “center of gravity.”

As the months went by, the course of operations showed that the prospect of a Ukrainian victory was becoming increasingly remote, as Russia, far from being weakened, was growing stronger, militarily and economically. Even General Christopher Cavoli, Supreme American Commander Europe (SACEUR), told a US congressional committee that “Russia’s air, naval, space, digital and strategic capabilities have not suffered significant degradation during this war.”

The West, expecting a short conflict, is no longer able to maintain the effort promised to Ukraine. The NATO summit in Vilnius (July 11-12, 2023) ended in partial success for Ukraine. Its membership is postponed indefinitely. Its situation is even worse than it was at the beginning of 2022, since there is no more justification for its entry into NATO than there was before the SMO.

Ukraine then turned its attention to a more concrete objective: regaining sovereignty over its entire 1991 territory.

Thus, the Ukrainian notion of “victory” rapidly evolved. The idea of a “collapse of Russia” quickly faded, as did that of its dismemberment. There was talk of “regime change,” which Zelensky made his objective by forbidding any negotiations as long as Vladimir Putin was in power. Then came the reconquest of lost territories, thanks to the counter-offensive of 2023. But here, too, hopes quickly faded. The plan was simply to cut the Russian forces in two, with a thrust towards the Sea of Azov. But by September 2023, this objective had been reduced to the liberation of three cities.

In the absence of concrete successes, narrative remains the only element Ukraine can rely on to maintain Western attention and willingness to support it. For, as Ben Wallace, ex-Defence Minister, put it in The Telegraph on October 1, 2023: “The most precious commodity is hope.” True enough. But Western appraisal of the situation must be based on realistic analyses of the adversary. However, since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis, Western analyses have been based on prejudice.

****

The Notion of Victory

Russia operates within a framework of Clausewitzian thinking, in which operational successes are exploited for strategic ends. Operational strategy (“operative art”) therefore plays an essential role in the definition of what is considered a victory.

As we saw during the battle of Bakhmut, the Russians adapted perfectly to the strategy imposed on Ukraine by the West, which prioritizes the defense of every square meter. The Ukrainians thus played into the hands of the attrition strategy officially announced by Russia. Conversely, in Kharkov and Kherson, the Russians preferred to cede territory in exchange for the lives of their men. In the context of a war of attrition, sacrificing potential in exchange for territory, as Ukraine is doing, is the worst strategy of all.

This is why General Zaluzhny, commander of the Ukrainian forces, tried to oppose Zelensky and proposed withdrawing his forces from Bakhmut. But in Ukraine, it is the Western narrative that guides military decisions. Zelensky preferred to follow the path laid out for him by our media, in order to retain the support of Western opinion. In November 2023, General Zaluzhny had to openly admit that this decision was a mistake, because prolonging the war will only favor Russia.

The Ukrainian conflict was inherently asymmetrical. The West wanted to turn it into a symmetrical conflict, proclaiming that Ukraine’s capabilities could be enough to topple Russia. But this was clearly wishful thinking from the outset, and its sole purpose was to justify non-compliance with the Minsk Agreements. Russian strategists have turned it into an asymmetrical conflict.

Ukraine’s problem in this conflict is that it has no rational relationship with the notion of victory. By comparison, the Palestinians, who are aware of their quantitative inferiority, have switched to a way of thinking that gives the simple act of resisting a sense of victory. This is the asymmetrical nature of the conflict that Israel has never managed to understand in 75 years, and which it is reduced to overcoming through tactical superiority rather than strategic finesse. In Ukraine, it is the same phenomenon. By clinging to a notion of victory linked to the recovery of territory, Ukraine has locked itself into a logic that can only lead to defeat.

On November 20, 2023, Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, painted a gloomy picture of Ukrainian prospects for 2024. His speech showed that Ukraine had neither a plan to emerge from the conflict, nor an approach that would associate a sense of victory with that emergence: he was reduced to linking Ukraine’s victory to that of the West. In the West, however, the end of the conflict in Ukraine is increasingly perceived as a military, political, human and economic debacle.

In an asymmetrical situation, each protagonist is free to define his or her own criteria for victory, and to choose from a range of criteria under his or her control. This is why Egypt (1973), Hezbollah (2006), the Islamic State (2017), the Palestinian resistance since 1948 and Hamas in 2023 are victorious, despite massive losses. This seems counter-intuitive to a Western mind, but it is what explains why Westerners are unable to really “win” their wars.

In Ukraine, the political leadership has locked itself into a narrative that precludes a way out of the crisis without losing face. The asymmetrical situation now working to Ukraine’s disadvantage stems from a narrative that has been confused with reality, and has led to a response that is ill-suited to the nature of the Russian operation.


Featured: Defend Sevastopol, by Vassily Nesterenko; painted in 2005.


Why India, China and Russia Oppose Plans to Triple Renewable Energy

The climate summit of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) ended in Dubai on December 13. It lasted a day longer than planned as participants disagreed on the final document.

COP28 ended with the first ever pledge to phase out fossil fuel use and triple renewable energy capacity by 2030.

By the same time, emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, including methane, must be reduced. Within two years, countries must submit a detailed action plan to implement their programs.

130 UN member states signed the resolution, although the largest countries India and China, which also produce the most greenhouse gases and consume huge amounts of fuel, did not sign.

However, the document is not legally binding. And no one will be able to force any “violators” or outsiders of the agreement to change the course of their policies. Like the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, this plan, although ambitious, is difficult to implement for objective reasons.

Not so “Green”

The current commitment is one of the International Energy Agency’s five imperatives to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. The signatory countries together account for 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion, 37% of total global energy demand and 56% of global GDP.

It is noted that 2023 is one of the hottest years in decades. Environmental activists cite various natural disasters around the world that they believe are consequences of current warming.

However, there is no objective scientific correlation between these events. Moreover, analysis of weather patterns of previous centuries based on archaeological materials, as well as ice samples in Antarctica and other sources, has shown that throughout history there have been periods of cooling and warming on Earth. It turns out that human activity has nothing to do with it.

Although eco-activists have an argument that anthropogenic activity has worsened the overall state of the planet, so adjustments are needed. This requires limiting emissions of CO2, methane, and other harmful substances into the atmosphere. It is also necessary to move to technologies that will be friendlier to the environment, both in energy production and for human needs.

However, a number of nuances arise.

So-called green technologies are by no means environmentally friendly. The production of electric cars and batteries requires lithium, the mining of which causes serious damage to the environment. The same is true for cobalt, which is needed to produce lithium-ion batteries.

As for the plates of wind turbines, there is still no way to recycle them. The wind turbines themselves need careful and regular maintenance to avoid breakages and fires caused by friction.

The same is true for solar panels—their disposal and recycling is a costly process, if all environmental safety requirements are met and the framework for reducing hydrocarbon emissions is adhered to.

The EU has No Way Out, but India and China Do

As is well known, energy based on sunlight and wind depends on the vagaries of nature.

In this regard, projects are being created to transport electricity from regions where the intensity of sunlight is high, for example, from Africa to Europe through underwater electric cables. However, the risk of their destruction by an earthquake or man-made damage, for example from a ship’s anchor, also remains high.

Then there is nuclear power.

Back in 2021, the European Commission prepared a detailed report, according to which by most indicators it is more acceptable and safer for both humans and the environment. The extraction of uranium, its direct use in nuclear power plants and proper utilization have a much smaller impact on the landscape, flora and fauna than wind and solar power. Given that it is low-carbon energy, it is far ahead of all types of thermal power plants.

The same European researchers have previously included natural gas in the low-carbon fuel mix.

But the EU is gradually abandoning Russian gas, and there is really nothing to replace it with. Given the reorientation of markets for Russian gas, it is likely to go more to Asian giants—to China and, in the long term, probably to India. This explains the frenzy around “green” technologies in the EU—they simply have no other choice.

Although China and India are not involved in the COP28 plans, they signed the Leaders’ Declaration at the G20 summit in New Delhi in September. According to this document, they are to “pursue and promote efforts to triple renewable energy capacity worldwide” by 2030. In addition, China also agreed on the same thing with the US about two weeks before COP28.

Technically, both China and India can ramp up renewables. The Middle Kingdom alone is the world leader in solar panel production and is also expanding its production of electric cars, wind turbines and batteries. In addition, China is engaged in offshore wind energy projects all over the world, actually becoming a monopoly in this regard. Even the EU lags behind it in these areas.

India has become the third largest renewable energy market in the world in terms of annual growth and total capacity in 2021, behind only China and the United States.

Difficult Promises

The promise to reduce methane (CH4) emissions will be even harder to fulfill than the other stated goals. CH4 is expected to be responsible for 45% of the planet’s warming this decade. Even though it does not stay in the atmosphere as long as CO2.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Dec. 2, during the summit, that it had finalized a long-awaited rule to reduce CH4 emissions from the oil and gas sector by about 80% within 15 years. This news was accompanied by a commitment to provide $1 billion in aid to smaller countries to tackle the same problem.

This prompted several countries to join the global commitment to reduce overall CH4 emissions by 30% by 2030. Many developed countries at the summit publicly insisted, albeit with reservations, on phasing out coal, oil and gas.

Earlier, the EU passed a law setting strict standards for methane leakage, although the results of this provision will have an impact far beyond European borders. At issue are technologies to capture the gas so that it is not released into the atmosphere and flared, as has been done to date.

It seems that the authors of such initiatives are lobbying for the interests of manufacturers of special equipment to impose them on other countries.

Probably for this reason, Saudi Arabia and several allied countries were in a small minority that publicly voiced strong objections to the inclusion of any reference to reducing fossil fuel production and consumption in the text of a potential deal.

Representatives of the Russian Ministry of Energy traditionally spoke of the low-carbon nature of the Russian energy sector (referring to nuclear, hydro and gas generation). They also talked about the lack of common sense in the development of renewable energy sources on such a scale as is happening in the EU. The Russian delegation advocated a rational approach to decarbonization, calling plans to triple renewable energy sources by 2030 “slogans and extremism.”

It turns out that the most vulnerable countries are not the main polluters, which, given the growth of their own economies, can gradually adjust to the trend. Some producers and buyers of energy resources, especially those with limited capacity, are in an unequal position.

In addition, developing countries need financing to achieve these goals. It is needed to meet their growing demand for affordable energy to power their economies and growing populations. India will need to find $293 billion to triple its renewable energy capacity by 2030. And an additional $101 billion to align with the IEA’s net zero greenhouse gas emissions scenario.

In addition, investors in many countries often face payment delays, red tape, protectionist rules and regulations, and domestic policy uncertainty. This may discourage them from working with renewable energy in such regions.

There are other risks as well.

Prices for key materials for renewable energy—aluminum, copper, steel and polysilicon—could rise because of supply shortages. Transportation and labor costs may also exceed expectations. There is also a labor shortage per se. Not all countries have the necessary programs and vocational schools to provide workers with the necessary knowledge, especially in manufacturing and new construction.

In the end, even if the signed agreement is followed, there remains the equally daunting task of measuring, reporting, verifying and enforcing the commitments made.

Most likely, despite further summits (the next one will be held in Baku), the signatory and non-signatory countries will move along their own trajectories. Technologically advanced states will try to impose their developments on everyone else and oblige them to follow their agenda through such climate treaties.

Independent actors will continue to consume fossil energy, but at the same time develop alternative sources, including hydrogen and nuclear energy production. Russia will probably follow this path.

Those who depend on supplies and foreign aid will balance opportunities and offers, regularly appealing to justice and the notion of humanity’s “common home.”


Leonid Savin is Editor-in-Chief of the Geopolitika.ru Analytical Center, General Director of the Cultural and Territorial Spaces Monitoring and Forecasting Foundation and Head of the International Eurasia Movement Administration. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitika.


My Story 40 Years Ago on Israeli Apartheid and Palestinian Resistance

Since this important article is difficult to find, we are republishing it, with the kind permission of the author.

I wrote about Israeli apartheid over 40 years ago. I visited Israel and the West Bank in 1981. Egyptian president Anwar Sadat had just been assassinated, though my visit had been planned before that. This is what I wrote for The Nation (May 29, 1982), prescient in the title, “The West Bank as Bantustan.”

Hebron, West Bank

On the map of Israel put out by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, there is no line separating the West Bank from Israel proper. A small caveat at the bottom of the sheet says, “This map is not an authority on international boundaries,” but what it represents is indeed the policy of the government of Menachem Begin toward the occupied territory. The West Bank, once the ancient Hebrew kingdoms of Judea and Samaria is held to be religiously and historically part of “Eretz Israel,” the land of Israel—or, as Regin has taken to calling it, “Western Eretz Israel.”

As part of its scarcely disguised goal of annexing the West Bank, Israel has recently stepped up its attacks on Palestinian leaders and has attempted either to force out the Arabs living here or to encourage them to leave through restrictive policies on economic activity, education, housing and political life. One example of that campaign can be seen here in the battle for Hebron, twenty-two miles south of Jerusalem.

Mustafa Natshi, acting mayor of Hebron, told me that | Jewish settlers had attacked Arab schoolgirls, that they regularly threw rocks at Arabs’ windows, that they had uprooted 1,000 olive trees belonging to two Arab families and that they had broken into the shop of an Arab quiltmaker and destroyed his machinery. All these have been confirmed. A correspondent from Ha’aretz, the most respected Hebrew daily, arrived at the scene of the settler-student clash and found blood on one girl’s hand and the rest of the children crying hysterically. Shulamit Aloni, a member of the Knesset, reported seeing Jewish settlers throwing rocks at Arab houses. The military governor of the territory ruled that the uprooting of the trees had taken place and was illegal. And the quiltmaker showed to the press the damaged machinery from his shop, which the Israelis had wanted to take over and use as an entrance to an attached communal house.

That house is the center—and Hebron the symbol—of the efforts by the ultra-Orthodox Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful) to establish a Jewish presence throughout the West Bank. Inside the two-story Ottoman-era stone building, where twenty families live, a young woman told me that Hebron was “as much a part of Israel as Haifa,” and that Jews would never leave it. Outside, at a sandbag fortification, two Israeli soldiers and an armed settler stood guard with M-16s and Uzi machine guns, while other soldiers watched from posts atop nearby buildings.

The Gush Emunim also took over part of the great Hebron mosque, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, said to contain the burial places of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, a place holy to both Moslems and Jews. A few rooms have been cleared of Moslem prayer rugs and fitted with wood cabinets that hold the Torah scrolls. Soldiers stand guard there, too. A settler walking to the shrine carried an automatic rifle.

Some 23,000 Jews now live in eighty settlements on the West Bank, along with 800,000 Arabs. The first Jewish settlements, established under Labor Party governments, were located along the border with Jordan and were intended as a defense against attack, but the settlement policy was expanded substantially under Begin, and now the interior is dotted with new Jewish towns. As much as 30 percent of the West Bank land has been taken by Israelis during the fourteen-year occupation. About half the confiscated property had been held by the Jordanian government; the rest had absentee owners, or was used communally for grazing or privately for growing crops.

To drum up Jewish nationalistic support, the Israeli government runs tours of the settlements. I booked one with Yossi Meshulam, a legal adviser in the Ministry of Agriculture. In Ariel, Meshulam stood at the barbed wire fence at the perimeter and pointed to the rolling landscape spotted with rocks. “They don’t have anything here but olive trees,” he said. He turned to the shells of new buildings that will house electronics and manufacturing plants: “This will benefit the Arab villages—they can work here.” The inexorable move toward annexation is a time bomb. Israel does not dare to make West Bank Palestinians citizens because, added to the Arab population in Israel itself, they would number 1.8 million, compared with 3.2 million Jews. With their higher birth rate, they would become a majority in just a few decades, and Israel would cease to be a Jewish state. Nor can it permanently maintain its occupation over the Arabs here, because that would increase international hostility to Israel, prolong Arab terrorist attacks and increase the likelihood of another war. And ultimately, the repressive measures required to maintain the occupation would corrode Israeli democracy.

About 3,000 Palestinians are already in Israeli jails for crimes ranging from throwing explosives and possession of weaponsto membership in banned organizations. Four Arab newspapers are subject to stringent censorship, and three editors are under “town arrest,” unable to go to their East Jerusalem offices. Bir Zeit University has frequently been closed in response to student demonstrations. Although university administrator Gaby Baramki says there has been “no problem in teaching, no direct interference” by authorities, it has been difficult for him to get work permits for some of the foreign professors who are a substantial part of his staff, and several hundred Arab books and journals have been banned at Bir Zeit (although many of these publications are available at Hebrew University in Jerusalem). A new regulation gives Israeli authorities the power to approve student admissions and faculty hiring.

Some expressions of resistance have been allowed. I saw a surprising example one night in Jericho, about six miles from the Allenby Bridge on the Jordanian border. A troupe of young actors from East Jerusalem who call themselves The Storyteller put on an agitprop farce in an old theater. An Israeli soldier searches an Arab cafeand finds a stack of leaflets. He reads one aloud: “To our people who are struggling in all areas of occupied territory.” The theatergoers cheered. Then the title character, Mahjoob Mahjoob, accepts a job in Israel, gets threatening notes denouncing his collaboration and finally quits. Loud applause.

The problem of Arabs having to work in Israel or for Israeli companies is a real one, as the play indicates. Some 50,000 Palestinians from the occupied territories, most of them unskilled, work in restaurant kitchens or on construction gangs or at one or another menial job. There is little work for them on the West Bank, which was deliberately left undeveloped during Jordanian rule. Today, Israel exploits the cheap labor and captured customers for its products. It discourages new indigenous Arab industry while aiding Jewish settlers who want to set up factories. The West Bank and Gaza have been absorbed into the Israeli economy, just a step away from political annexation. The Israeli settlements are already under Israeli law, not West Bank jurisdiction.

Labor Party critics have described the occupied territories as “Little Bantustans.” The comparison is apt. And the lesson should be that such a system won’t work for Israel any more than it does for South Africa.


Lucy Komisar is a well-known investigative journalist. Her website is The Komisar Scoop.


Featured: Mother and Child, by Sliman Mansour; painted in 2009.


An Act of State Terrorism

Introduction

In Part One of “An Act of State Terrorism,” our article examining the decision by the United States to drop a plutonium bomb on the largest Catholic community in Japan in 1945, we explored five aspects of this tragedy and this crime.

We discussed the 400 year old Catholic heritage of Nagasaki; the frightful death toll and ghastly material devastation wrought by the detonation of the 21 kiloton Fat Man bomb over that city; the unresolved question of how Nagasaki appeared, suddenly, almost at the last minute, and by an anonymous hand, on the target list for nuclear incineration; the opposition of many American military leaders to the use of atomic weapons against civilians; and, finally, the false narrative of bomb proponents who claimed that the Soviet declaration of war against Japan was unexpected, reactive and opportunistic.

In Part Two, I propose to begin the examination of those, in the United States government, who were responsible for the unprecedented decision to terrify an enemy into surrender, by utilizing the then unimaginable destructive force of nuclear weapons, and using it on civilians, resulting in the deaths of perhaps two hundred thousand innocent human beings.

Our focus in this installment will be on the Cabinet official under whose authority the bomb was developed and deployed, the Secretary of War, Henry Stimson.

An Act of State Terrorism, Part Two

At the end of 1945, following the conclusion of the Second World War, the Armed Forces of the United States of America had eight five star officers, four Fleet Admirals — William Leahy, Ernest King, Chester Nimitz and William Halsey — and four Generals of the Army — George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Henry “Hap” Arnold and Dwight Eisenhower.

Leahy and MacArthur would later express moral objections to the atomic bombing of civilians. Halsey called it “a mistake.” Eisenhower thought the first use of such weapons by America was inexpedient. All, with the exception of Marshall, thought their use was unnecessary.

Even Army Chief of Staff George Marshall, who would later defend the dropping of the two atomic bombs, initially advocated for their deployment against military targets only. After the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Marshall urged that the atomic bombing of cities be halted, as America’s limited supply of these new bombs needed to be conserved as potential tactical weapons, for battlefield use, in the invasion of Japan.

It was America’s political leadership, not its military and naval commanders, who wanted and decided to use nuclear weapons in 1945.

A Very Different Government

Hilaire Belloc warned of the danger of “reading history backwards,” of assuming that the standards, structures and practices of today obtained in the past. Compared to 2023, America had a profoundly different federal government in 1945.

At the end of the Second World War, the vast civilian architecture of the modern national security state had not yet been created. That creation would come in two phases, the first in the immediate post-war period, and the second, after the 9/11 attacks.

When the U.S. government considered the military application of atomic power in 1945, those advisory, policy making, and executive institutions so preeminent in our own time — the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council and the Department of Defense — did not yet exist.

There was no Cabinet level Ambassador to the United Nations, and there was, certainly, no all powerful Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, who could, like Henry Kissinger or Zbigniew Brzezinski, rival or displace the Secretary of State in influence.

The National Director of Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security would be 21st century constructions.

That contemporary Colossus of centralized power, the Executive Office of the President, with its cabinet department size and its myriad councils and agencies, was unknown in 1945. Nor was there a prime ministerial White House Chief of Staff, who could treat Cabinet secretaries as functionaries, and control, or even restrict, their access to the President.

In 1945, the Vice-President had no voice in the counsels of the Executive branch, and no presence or staff in the White House. In fact, he had, virtually, no staff at all, only a small office in the Capitol, from which he would emerge to discharge his constitutional obligation to preside over the Senate.

As the 25th Amendment, governing presidential and vice-presidential succession, was only proposed after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, the office of Vice-President was vacant during the first Truman administration.

In the eighty-two days, from January 20 to April 12, 1945, during which time Harry Truman served as Vice-President of the United States, he only met with President Franklin Roosevelt, alone, on two occasions. On neither of those occasions, did FDR bother to tell him about the Manhattan Engineer District Project, a.k.a., the atomic bomb.

Three Civilian Advisors

At the end of the Second World War, the President of the United States had just three principal civilian advisors in matters of foreign policy and national defense. These were the Secretary of State, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of the Navy.

Their significance in the government was underscored by their proximity to the President. Their offices were located in the Old Executive Office Building, colloquially referred to, simply, as the State, War and Navy Building — that great, 19th century Second Empire edifice next to the White House, and connected to it by an underground passageway. It is now called the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

In 1945, the U. S. Secretary of State was James F. Byrnes. The Secretary of War was Henry L. Stimson, and the Secretary of the Navy was James Vincent Forrestal. Both Byrnes and Forrestal were baptized Catholics. Only one however, still adhered to the religion of his baptism.

The Grey Eminence

The actual management of the atomic bomb project was in the hands of the War Department.

Seventy-seven years old in the summer of 1945, Secretary of War Henry Stimson was the U.S. government’s most distinguished and experienced grey eminence. Harry Truman was the sixth American President whom he served.

By birth, ancestry, religion, economic status and education, Stimson was an archetypical member of the American nomenklatura, sometimes called the Eastern Establishment.

Born in New York City in September of 1867, to a family of pious Presbyterians, he was the son of a surgeon and the grandson of a banker. His father sent him to Phillips Andover Academy, Yale University (where he joined Skull and Bones) and Harvard Law School.

A successful Wall Street attorney with the white shoe firm of Root and Clark, Stimson, by the time he was in his mid-thirties, was earning an annual income of $20,000, the equivalent of nearly $700,000 per year today.

Appointed, by President Theodore Roosevelt, as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1906, Stimson served until 1909, prosecuting antitrust cases. In his only attempt at elective office, Stimson became, with Roosevelt’s endorsement, the Republican nominee for Governor of New York in 1910, losing in the general election to Democrat John Dix.

From 1911 to 1913, Stimson served in the Cabinet of President William Howard Taft as the U.S. Secretary of War, the same office he would hold thirty years later in the Second World War. As a Regular Army Colonel in the Field Artillery in the First World War, he spent nine months in France, from 1917 to 1918, at the American General Staff College in Langres.

After the war, Stimson resumed his law practice, was made a Brigadier General in the Reserves, and became, in 1921, one of the founders of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge named Stimson an Envoy Extraordinary to the Republic of Nicaragua — then a de facto American protectorate — to settle that country’s electoral dispute. Later that year, Coolidge appointed him Governor-General of the Philippines.

In 1929, President Herbert Hoover recalled Stimson to Washington to confer upon him the highest gift in the providence of the Presidency. Hoover appointed him U.S. Secretary of State.

Serving until the end of the Hoover Administration in 1933, Stimson was the American delegate to the London Naval Conference in 1930, and would later proclaim the Stimson Doctrine, a policy of sanctions and non-recognition, aimed at containing Japanese aggression in Manchuria.

In July of 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, intent on running for an unprecedented third term, and seeking bi-partisan support for his foreign policy of all aid to Britain short of war, returned the 72 year old Henry Stimson, after an absence of 27 years, to the War Department.

For Roosevelt’s purposes, Stimson was an inspired choice. Although a prominent Republican with an impeccable reputation, Stimson was an internationalist, and therefore an interventionist, and more significantly, was an old retainer to the Oyster Bay branch of the Roosevelt family.

A Bureaucratic Interest

No cabinet official had a more compelling bureaucratic self interest in the successful use of atomic weapons than Henry Stimson. After all, he had just spent more than two billion, in 1940’s dollars, ($33 billion today) on the Manhattan Project, and he spent it surreptitiously, without the direct knowledge of Congress.

One of the congressional officials from whom he concealed the details of the project was the Chairman of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program, the junior Senator from Missouri, one Harry S. Truman.

Stimson then spent another three billion dollars ($49 billion in today’s money) on the development and production of the delivery system for the atomic bomb, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the most expensive weapons system in the history of the planet up to that time.

The B-29 proved to be a spectacular triumph of American aircraft design and engineering, a veritable quantum leap in aviation technology. It remained a front line American aircraft into the jet age of the Strategic Air Command, and was the principal U.S. heavy bomber in the Korean War.

In the middle of World War II however, Stimson had no way of knowing that. So, hedging his bets against the possible failure of the B-29 program, he then spent another $124 million ($2 billion in 2023 dollars) on a second delivery system, the now forgotten Consolidated B-32 Dominator.

In total, Stimson’s War Department expended $84 billion, in real dollars, to develop and deliver the atomic bomb.

Far from being an enthusiast for his own creation, Stimson was afflicted with a moral ambivalence about the bomb that bordered on schizophrenia. In policy terms, Stimson’s position was one of protracted inconsistency about the use of the weapon.

The Targeting of Civilians

In May of 1945, the Truman Administration established an inter-departmental Committee, known as the Interim Committee on the Military Use of the Atomic Bomb, to formulate policy about the deployment of the bomb, and to craft public statements explaining its existence to the American people.

The Chairman of the Interim Committee was Henry Stimson. The Committee was advised by a technical body called the Scientific Panel.

From its very beginning, the committee determined that civilian losses concomitant with the use of the bomb were not to be viewed as collateral casualties. The bomb was specifically intended to be a terror weapon which explicitly targeted civilians and maximized civilian deaths.

The second of the committee’s first three recommendations, adopted unanimously and issued on June 1, 1945, was: “It should be used on a dual target plant surrounded by or adjacent to houses and other buildings most susceptible to damage;”

The Target Committee, headed by the Director of the Manhattan Project, Major General Leslie Groves, had already come to the same conclusion. On May 12, 1945, that committee decided that the bomb should be used against “important targets in an urban area of more than three miles diameter,” — area bombing on an immense scale.

On June 6, 1945, Stimson met with President Truman to discuss the Interim Committee recommendations. According to Stimson’s memorandum on the meeting, Truman, already briefed by his aide, (and soon to be Secretary of State) James Byrnes, expressed no concerns with the committee report, beyond what to tell the Russians in the upcoming Potsdam Conference.

Nor did Stimson register any objection to the targeting of homes in a nuclear attack. At the very end of the meeting, however, Stimson, in a reference to the conventional firebombing of Japanese cities, told Truman “I did not want to have the United States get the reputation of outdoing Hitler in atrocities.”

It makes no sense, of course, to support the atomic bombing of civilians while condemning conventional area bombing as Hitlerian. Was Stimson reluctant to challenge the findings of his own committee? Why did he not raise this issue in the committee which he chaired? Was this remark a subtle means of implanting doubt in Truman’s mind?

Stimson Begins To Dissent

Twelve days later, on June 18th, President Truman held a meeting at the White House, with both his military and civilian advisors, to discuss the invasion of Japan. While most of those present supported a landing in the Japanese Home Islands in November, Stimson, seconded by his Assistant Secretary of War, John McCloy, suggested that an invasion would solidify Japanese resistance in a fight to the death.

An even more dramatic intervention was made by Fleet Admiral William Leahy, who told the President that the unconditional surrender of Japan was not necessary to the successful conclusion of the war.

Truman, revealingly, told Leahy that he could leave the issue to Congress, but he could not change public opinion in this matter.

On July 2nd, Stimson sent a memorandum to the President, entitled a Proposed Program for Japan. It is a remarkable document. While arguing, ostensibly, against an invasion of Japan, Stimson raises issues directly related to the use of atomic weapons.

Stimson told Truman that Japan was under blockade, had no allies and no navy, and was increasingly vulnerable to air attacks. He went on to say, contrary to the pervasive racial hatred of the time, that “Japan is not a nation composed wholly of mad fanatics of an entirely different mentality from ours.”

Addressing the policy of unconditional surrender, Stimson asserted that a Japanese surrender could be facilitated if we “do not exclude a constitutional monarchy under her present dynasty.”

In a seeming repudiation of his own committee, Stimson concluded the memorandum by stating that “Our own bombing should be confined to military objectives as far as possible.”

Stimson would lose the first of these arguments, and only prevail, belatedly, in the second. The bomb would be used on civilians, and Truman would only agree to the preservation of the monarchy after the destruction of Nagasaki.

With the successful test of the atomic bomb at Alamogordo in New Mexico on July 16th, the bureaucratic momentum for its use became inexorable. By the beginning of August, 1945, Stimson, the Administration loyalist, was busy monitoring last minute preparations for the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Saving Kyoto, Sacrificing Nagasaki

Henry Stimson’s last known intervention about the use of the atomic bomb, prior to the bombings, was his direct appeal to President Truman on July 24th to spare the city of Kyoto, the historic center of Buddhism and Shintoism in Japan, by removing it from the target list. It was immediately thereafter that Nagasaki was added to the list.

Was Henry Stimson the anonymous decision maker who selected Catholic Nagasaki for destruction to save pagan Kyoto? The archival record offers no clues, but we do know that Stimson embraced all the prejudices of his time, his class, and his religious sect.

As a young lawyer in the 1890’s, Stimson was a committed “goo-goo,” a member of the Good Government Club of New York, dedicated to stamping out patronage and corruption in local government, i.e., Irish control of municipal politics.

Stimson entered government as an appointee and a disciple of Theodore Roosevelt, a President notorious for his nativism and bigotry. As a diplomat and colonial administrator, Stimson believed that Catholic Filipinos and Latin Americans were incapable of democratic self-government, requiring, instead, the firm hand of Anglo-Saxon tutelage.

Like every other rich WASP in the FDR Administration, Stimson had a visceral animus against the Catholic leader of Free France, once telling Harry Truman that Charles De Gaulle was “psychopathic.”

In his last public comments, a few months before his death in 1950, Stimson, in a letter to the editor of The New York Times, denounced Senator Joseph McCarthy.

The Tragedy of Henry Stimson

An attorney represents the position of his client. A mandarin — a high civil servant — learns the values of obedience, discretion, compliance with the institutional consensus, and acquiescence in decisions, once made.

Stimson was both of these in his long career. The tragedy of Henry Stimson was that he was inclined to do right, in a vague, Protestant/humanitarian sort of way, but lacked the moral clarity that the Catholic Faith would have imparted.

He had principles, and personal probity, but no concept of unbreachable moral prohibitions, rooted in Divine and natural law. In the end, everything was negotiable, where compromise was permitted and expected.

Like Pontius Pilate, Henry Stimson was morally discomforted by the decisions confronting him, and like Pilate, he preferred the acceptance of a crime to the uncertainties and unpleasantness of political discord.

On two occasions in his career, Stimson rejected the elite consensus. He argued against the vengeful Morgenthau Plan, which would have destituted the German people and depopulated the country by de-industrializing Germany.

Like General George Marshall, Stimson believed that American support for a Jewish National Home in Palestine would be inimical to U.S. interests in the Middle East.

On August 10, 1945, the day after the bombing of Nagasaki, Stimson, with the support of the Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, appealed to the President to halt all attacks, both atomic and conventional, on Japan, to give that country an opportunity to surrender.

Stimson and Colonel William H. Kyle (right) arriving at the Gatow Airport in Berlin, Germany to attend the Potsdam Conference (July 16, 1945). Source.

After the war, towards the end of his life, Henry Stimson’s institutional loyalties and ruling class sensibilities proved impossible to discard. In a February, 1947 article in Harper’s Magazine, Stimson not only defended the killing of innocent civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but assumed responsibility for carrying out the decision: “I approved four other targets including the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

Ironically, Stimson, one of the few cabinet officials who expressed moral reservations about the killing of civilians in wartime, would, in this article written in his retirement, provide the official narrative justifying the use of atomic weapons on the innocent as “our least abhorrent choice.”


C. Joseph Doyle is the Executive Director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts. Doyle is also the Director of Communications for the Friends of Saint Benedict Center.


Featured: Henry Lewis Stimson, by Ellen Emmet Rand; painted in 1933.


Hunkagate, or How “Inglourious Basterds” Eat Crow

Note to self: The Nazis are no longer the bad guys, the Russians are.

So, why is it so surprising that Justin Trudeau honored a former Waffen SS veteran (Yaroslav Hunka), in parliament, on September 22, 2023? There is no point in insulting our own intelligence by even considering that it was solely the fault of one man (Anthony Rota), and no one else even knew what Rota was up to. The fact is, Canada has long protected and nurtured Ukrainian Nazis and many other extremists. It is a venerable Canadian tradition.

As well, it is also a long tradition that Ukrainians very closely police their history, to make sure that their Nazism is played down, and Russia’s is always vilified. So, Mr. Trudeau’s honoring of Hunka is the way things are done in Canada. Hunka was honored back in 2007, by the Canadian Congress of Ukrainians, which is closely associated with Mr. Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland, his Deputy Prime Minister and Canada’s Minister of Finance:

So, the whole drama of never knowing who Hunka is, that he was foisted upon the well-meaning, unsuspecting parliamentarians by Rota is simply false. The man was moving about a lot in government circles.

This honoring of a Ukrainian and Canadian “hero” appears to be carefully scripted to please the neo-Nazis in Ukraine who are the real powers broker in that sad country. Hunka was Trudeau’s bowing to that power.

As well, it is an old custom among Ukrainian nationalists to mitigate the Nazis and deflect to Russia as evil. This is something that the West has been doing ever since the war in Ukraine began, where it has become an attempt to rewrite history: not all Nazis were bad, while all Russians are evil, always have been and are the natural enemy of mankind, ever since Adam and Co wended their way east of Eden.

This sort of re-imagining of history has been done before (and successfully) with ancient Egypt, which has been transformed into a sub-Saharan (Bantu) civilization, which it most certainly never was. In the same way, the Nazis are being re-imagined as fighters against the Russians, the new bad guys.

Mr. Trudeau’s honoring of Hunka was mirrored later in Mr. Anthony Blinken’s recent Tweet, in which he mentioned the slaughter at Babiy Yar—in order to vilify Russia. Here is what he said:

The Nazis are being erased from atrocities so that Russians can be photo-shopped in, because the past is fluid, like gender. Therefore, like Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Blinken must de-emphasize the truth of history in order to traduce the Russians—even though it was Ukrainian Nazis (men like Hunka) who played an integral role in the slaughter at Babiy Yar.

Maria Zakharova, representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, gave the perfect response to all this re-imagining:

Anthony Blinken allowed himself to lie about one of the most horrific tragedies of the Second World War: the execution of the civilian population of Soviet Kyiv on September 29-30, 1941 in the Babi Yar tract. Then the Nazis, having occupied the territory of the city, began “cleansing” operations. Within a few days, tens of thousands of Jews, Gypsies, and Soviet prisoners of war were killed. On the 29th and 30th alone, the German fascists brutally literally destroyed 34 thousand people – this is exactly what Blinken remembered, cynically lying (more about this below) about the memory of this tragedy in the USSR, and also “forgetting” that executions continued until the liberation of Kiev by the Red Army in November 1943.

Also, on September 20, 2023, Ursula von der Leyen gave a speech to the Atlantic Council, in which she indulged in the same re-imagining of history:

Distinguished guests, there is a Japanese proverb that tells a lot about the country and about its prime minister. It says onkochishin and it means “explore the past to learn new things.” You, dear Prime Minister, showed me the meaning of this proverb during the G7 summit in Japan last year. You brought us to your hometown of Hiroshima, the place where you have your roots and which has deeply shaped your life and leadership. Many of your relatives lost their life when the atomic bomb razed Hiroshima to the ground. You have grown up with the stories of the survivors. And you wanted us to listen to the same stories, to face the past, and learn something about the future.

It was a sobering start to the G7, and one that I will not forget, especially at a time when Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons once again. It is heinous. It is dangerous. And in the shadow of Hiroshima, it is unforgivable.

Onkochishin, indeed. “Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons once again.” This time the USA has been erased and Russia photo-shopped in. In Ms. von der Leyen’s mind, the Russians dropped two bombs on Japan, and we cannot let them do that again, can we. And the USA comes out smelling like a proverbial rose, like the Ukrainians. This is not historical revisionism at all, but a complete erasing the recent past, all played out for a public that is brainwashed by Hollywood as per fare like Inglourious Basterds.

Returning to our “hero,” notice how carefully he was scriped: seated, front-and-center in the gallery where all could easily see him. Notice the Canadian army officers, smiling and clapping (impossible that even they knew no Canadian history).

The careful packaging of Hunka is also evident in the introduction that the now ex-Speaker of the House, Anthony Rota, gave before the yappy seals, aka, members of Parliament. Here’s the script that he was handed, and which, to his great credit, he read very awkwardly. These were not words that he was not comfortable with, but was forced to perform them:

We have here in the Chamber today a Ukrainian-Canadian World… veteran, from the Second World War, who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians, and continues to support the troops today, at the venerable age of 98 (spontaneous standing ovation and cheering). His name is Yaroslav Hunka. And I was going to say that he’s in the gallery, but I think you beat me to that (self-congratulatory laughter). But I am very proud to say that he is from North Bay and from my riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming (more applause). He’s a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero, and we thank him for all his service. Thank you. (More applause).

The official state propagandists, the CBC, blithely reported that while Zelensky’s “speech received at least a dozen standing ovations. There was also one for this man (a shot of Hunka sitting in the gallery), a 98-year-old Ukrainian-Canadian who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians during the Second World War” (CBC News). Notice the same careful scripting: dim the Nazis and in order to asperse the Russians.

And this packaging nearly worked. Who wouldn’t feel grateful to a 98-year-old war veteran? And the general public wouldn’t even know when World War Two happened.

Enter Warren Thornton, in Britian. It was he who first noticed as to what had happened in the Canadian Parliament. He just pointed out the obvious: in World War Two, the only ones fighting the Russians were the Nazis and their ilk, because the Russians (or Soviets at that time) were “our” allies. Ergo, Hunka could not be anything other than a Nazi.

Unwittingly backing up Mr. Thornton was AP, which non-chalantly noted that Hunka had been a member of the “First Ukrainian Division.” Sounds harmless enough and armyish, as befits a veteran. AP just threw this bit of information out there, confident that their readers would nary blink an eyelid.

Those who know a little about such things will immediately spot the problem: “First Ukrainian Division” was a later name for the 1st Galician Division , or the 14th Grenadiers of the Waffen SS. The Division had a lackluster career as a fighting Nazi unit, and it was involved in various atrocities, largely against Poles, Jews and other Ukrainians.

Back in the day, there was also much controvery when these Ukronazis were brought into Canada in the late 1940s and 1950s; for various reasons, the government supported and protected them (the Cold War, in which Nazis were now friends and the Russians the enemy). With great loyalty, Canada has always protected Ukrainian Nazis. For example, in 1986, a Commission, looking into the “alleged” crimes of the 1st Galician, concluded: “If the only allegation against a resident of Canada is that he was a member of the Galicia Division that is not an individual which we consider should be made the subject of an investigation by your Commission. If the allegation is that while he was a member of the Division, he committed atrocities at such-and-such a place, if there is evidence of the committing of atrocities alleged in the information which was conveyed to us, then that person becomes of interest to your Commission.”

The logic of this conclusion is still prevalent, where simply being a member of the Waffen SS does not automatically make you a criminal. Crime has to be proven first, since we all know that the majority of the SS were just regular guys doing doing charity work. And the Banderite stalwarts at the BBC agree: “The Galicia Division has been accused of committing war crimes, but its members have never been found guilty in a court of law.” So, there. What’s the problem of honoring a Waffen SS veteran? They were doing great work in Europe against the Russians, and they still are!

Back in Britian, Mr. Thornton was rewarded for all his hard work by being promptly arrested for spreading “malinformation.” This is information that is true but which the government feels can cause “harm.” So, British authorities were busy protecting Hunka, since we can’t have anyone maligning the Nazis, can we? Thankfully, Mr. Thornton was released because he hung tough.

Having been caught in the ensuing ruckus that Mr. Thornton started, the Canadian MPs, including Mr. Trudeau, gave vent to all manner of condemnation—of an event that they themselves planned and implemented, and in which they themselves enthusiastically participated.

Video evidence clearly shows that they were all applauding—including Pierre Poilievre, the leader of the Conservative Party (and all his MPs) and Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the lefty New Democratic Party (and all his MPs), and of course Trudeau and all his crowd.

In fact, all 338 MPs (no matter what their affiliation) were on their feet applauding Hunka of the SS, who, it must be said, rather masterfully controlled his instinct to give a “proper” salute from the balcony, and went instead with a raised, clenched fist.

Yarosalv Hunka in the Canadian parliament (September 22, 2023).

And this same Mr. Poilievre, now so outraged, had this to say to Christine Anderson of the German AfD, who was visiting Canada back in February 2023: “Frankly, it would be better if Anderson never visited Canada in the first place. She and her racist, hateful views are not welcome here.”

But Mr. Poilievre gave Hunka two standing ovations, because Hunka’s “racist, hateful views” are perfectly welcome, and belong in Canada’s House of Commons, since they are against a common enemy (Russia). Like Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Singh (the less said about him, the better), Mr. Poilievre understands perfectly which side his globalist bread is buttered on.

The concerted outrage came two days late and a dollar short, because it was so convenient and thus contrived.

Why did all these now-outraged MPs not loudly boo and hiss the presence of Hunka on September 22nd? Why did none of them angrily storm out of the chamber? Why did none of them refuse to stand up? Why did none of them refuse to clap? Why did none of them denounce Hunka precisely when Rota introduced him? Why only after Mr. Thornton’s revelations? Only when their gamble failed, for they were rightly counting on the public’s ignorance. Notice it was only Mr. Thornton who noticed. No one else.

The Government House Leader, Karina Gould, explained what truly, truly (honestly) happened:

Mr. Speaker, like all members of this chamber, I am incredibly disappointed in the fact that this individual was invited, as you yourself, Mr. Speaker, have confirmed by you, was recognized in the gallery. I found out just like every other member in this house at that time that this individual was present. This is deeply embarrassing for us as parliamentarians, as Canadians, and it is something that I think all of us take extremely seriously, and I would ask my honorable colleagues not to politicize this moment. Thank you, Mr. Speaker… Mr. Speaker as a descendant of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, I am personally very hurt by the fact that this chamber recognized this individual, and I am sure that everyone feels the same way in this chamber. The Parliamentary Protective Service had the appropriate screening in place to ensure the security of last Friday’s event and that is what I was referring to. Mr. Speaker. But what I can continue to say is that we all must take this seriously because it is hurting many communities.

Translation:

Look. We’re all guilty as Hell. We all clapped like trained seals. But since we’re all birds of a feather, let’s put this behind us, and let’s just stop talking about it, and soon the Great Unwashed will forget that any of this ever happened. Why pee and pooh in the trough where we all feed. The more you talk about this, the more Putin wins. Is that what you really want? Let’s move on and do what we’re really here to do, which is to bring about the New World Order. Besides, can you imagine what it’s going to be like for me at my synagogue now? Have a heart. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Her claim of not knowing who Hunka is, is very odd, since there is a selfie of her warmly clutching Hunka’s hand and smiling with much joy (a selfie that she has since deleted… and which is now being scrubbed from the Internet, so we’re saving it). Ms. Gould’s Jewishness was not an issue at the time of the selfie.

Can anyone still argue with a straight face that there are no Nazis in Ukraine because Zelensky is a Jew?

And if Ms. Gould is now so upset, why not simply resign? In fact, the entire 338 members of Parliament should resign—starting with Trudeau, and they all should never be allowed to set foot inside the Parliament buildings again. They have thoroughly sullied them.

Karina Gould, a relative of Mr. Hunka, Anthony Rota, Mr. Hunka (seated).

Later, Ms. Gould introduced a motion to strike Hunka from the parliamentary records—to wash the slate clean; nothing happened. Zelensky came, we gve him tons of cash, and he left. Yawn. Cancel culture is a Canadian “value.” And how quiet is Zelelnsky about all this…

Another egregious example of this outrage is one Ya’ara Saks, a Liberal MP from a Toronto riding, and who is also Jewish. Back when the Truckers’ Protest was labeled a “Nazi-rally” by Trudeau, Ms. Saks (a Trudeau stalwart), angrily stood up in parliament and declared that when truckers honked their horns, it actually meant “Hail Hitler.”

So, what does Ms. Saks applauding (thrice) for Hunka actually mean for Ms. Saks? There are other MPs who are Jews (including Melissa Lantzman, a Conservative)—all of them applauded. Only after being exposed are they now outraged. Ah, yes, Jews can’t be Nazis.

Some context: Back in April 7, 2022, Zelensky was invited to speak, via video, to the Greek parliament. Part of his speech included exhortations by two members of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion. All the Greek parliamentarians at once condemned what Zelensky had done, since he had foisted Nazis upon them without forewarning. They did not applaud and did not take two days to be outraged.

Why did the Canadian parlimentarians not behave this way? In fact, why did Zelensky say nothing; instead he was fist-pumping and beaming, since he knows who keeps him in power; or rather who holds him hostage.

One might wonder, why was this done? The official version—it was entirely Rota’s doing, and Hunka is from his riding. And, dutifully, Rota assumed the posture of the scapegoat, apologized and resigned (doubtless he will be amply rewarded down the road). Of course, had Trudeau and his MPs known what Rota was up to, they would have kiboshed the whole thing at once, because Mr. Trudeau’s moral compass is second to none when it comes to spotting Nazis, especially among people he dislikes.

But this “defense,” this evocation of ignorance by all 338 MPs, just does not wash. Rota very clearly announced what he was about to do—and only then did all 338 of them leap to their feet in Russophobic zealotry, and before Rota could even finish the introduction proper, which even he found a tad surprising: “You beat me to that.” What, a Ukrainian “freedom fighter” battling the evil Russians from long ago, living right here in Canada? Huzzah!

This appeal to ignorance is given the lie by a photo, taken by a granddaughter of Hunka’s, in which she explains that he is waiting to meet both Zelensky and Trudeau. Who are we to believe? Trudeau or the rather innocent remark of granddaughter? What a tough choice!

The image in full, in case the photo also disappears:

But then, the Nazis and the Trudeaus are old acquaintances. His father (Pierre Eliot), during the Second World War, rode around on a motorbike wearing a Nazi helmet to stick it to the Anglos, since their war against Hitler was not his war. And the current Deputy Prime Minister (the eminence grise behind Justin), Chrystia Freeland, her grandfather ran a pro-Nazi newspaper in Ukraine during those years in which Hunka was a “hero.” And her uncle (Myroslav Shkandrij) has just published a book defending the actions of the 1st Galician Division and whitewashing all their atrocities as “unstantiated,” unproven in any court of law (see BBC above), and therefore claims of Ukrainian brutality are nothing but… you guessed it, “Russian propaganda.”

In Trudeau’s Canada, the government has also been busy removing and, yes, destroying statues that might be reminders of the many achievements of Old Stock Canadians—but try defacing a monument to Roman Shukhevych, the man deeply involved in the Holocaust in Ukraine, and you will be arrested and charged. There are various Ukronazi monuments in Canada, a country in which 4 percent of the population is of Ukrainian origin: after the Second World War, 45,000 Ukrainians were brought into the country, and many thousands of these were from disbanded Nazi units.

Trudeau’s affinity for Nazsim gets darker yet. Why does he believe that to say there are Nazis in Ukraine is Russian propaganda? In his visit to Ukraine, in June 2023, he met with Andrij Melnyk, who is the lead proponent of this school of thought, where history must be reimagined in order to malign the Russians and who has famously said: “That is the narrative [Nazi-Ukraine] that the Russians are pushing to this day, and that has support in Germany, in Poland, and also in Israel.” History is just a narrative. History has no facts. From his actions in Parliament and elsewhere, it would seem that is is also what Mr. Trudeau believes.

Mr. Trudeau further echoed Melnyk when he came out in his own defense in Hunkagate: “It’s going to be really important that all of us push back against Russian propaganda, Russian disinformation, and continue our steadfast and unequivocal support for Ukraine.” We will soon discover that it was the Russians who brought Hunka to the House of Commons; it was the Russians who forced Mr. Trudeau to clap and nod his head approvingly; it was the Russians that forced all 338 MPs to jump to their feet and applaud wildly. The depth of Russian connivance knows no bounds, but they’re also weak and stupid.

This statement by Trudeau is also a directive to the Canadian legacy media, which he richly funds. He is tellng them to now drop the whole matter, bury the story and move on. If you keep repeating this story, you are working for Putin. Many have gotten the message: “Canada just made Vladimir Putin’s day, a chance for him to try to claim he’s fighting Nazis in Ukraine, an idea dismissed as nonsense by most of the world but a favourite topic of the Russian leader” (Rick Bell, Calgary Sun). Notice the lie, which is not even subtle… “dismissed as nonsense by most of the world.” Amazing how one reporter, in one Canadian newspaper, can speak with authority for “most of the world.” Ignorance—the most vital ingredient for success in propaganda.

So, the message to the legacy media is that if you keep repeating this story, you will prove Putin right—Ukraine does indeed have a serious and deep-seated Nazi problem. Stay on narrative… In Mr. Trudeau’s world, the only Nazis are the Trucker Protestors, and anyone else who disagrees with him. Therefore, “honk-honk” really does mean, “Hail Hitler,” and it’s OK for a Jew to clutch a Nazi’s hand for a heart-warming selfie. This is why Hunka is a Canadian hero—for the real enemy of Canada is not the Nazis, they never were; it’s the Russians. The jig might be up for Hunka as Poland wants him extradited for crimes his Division committed there. But Hunka need not worry. Canada will never extradict him.

And by the time elections come around (2025), all this will be long forgotten, and Canadians will once again blithely vote for the Uniparty agenda: climate change and gender equality. Hunka can live out his days in peace. But who will speak for the victims of his SS Division?

In the meantime, in the words of Melnyk:


C.B. Forde lives in a small community, in Ontario, Canada.


Breaking Away from the Civilization of Death

We need to do a mental experiment and imagine what else—other than a nuclear strike—could the West at war with us do to us? What sanctions to impose? Who to expel? How to humiliate? Kick us out of where? Deprive us of what? (We are not considering a nuclear strike, because they won’t, and if they do, it won’t matter, because we will).

Well, the West will do it all. And nothing will stop it.

And there is no need to build illusions here—in fact, the West does not depend on us for almost anything substantial. And if it does, it is intensively looking for a replacement. And more often than not, it finds one. Trying to pin it down with some natural resources or something else is unlikely to have any effect. It is good that we have stopped reassuring ourselves with “severe European winter, which Europe will not survive, allegedly, without us.” It survived the last one and it will survive this one. And Ukraine will not collapse and surrender by itself—until we ruin it and force it to surrender. By will, by force and by relying on ourselves. Only on ourselves.

We have to learn to live without the West. Completely.

We simply discard everything that binds us to it. Radically cut off all contacts, cut off all forms of dependence, stop all transactions, stop all interaction in the technical, economic and humanitarian spheres.

No grain and no fertilizer. No publications in Western scientific journals, withdrawal from SCORUS, revision of RINC criteria. Not waiting until Russian scientists are given an ultimatum: either betray your homeland or you are no longer scientists. And even now it is already practically so.

In sports that is how it is. In politics, it’s even more than that. In economics and finance—everything is moving in the same direction.

The West is cutting us off from itself, and putting forward conditions as to not cut us off further—betray the country, the people, the society, Russia, betray Putin. And then we will see whether you are still an oligarch or no longer an oligarch, a scientist or no longer a scientist, a politician or no longer a politician.
Anything that they can hit us with, the West will hit us with it. With whatever it has already; and with what it does not yet have, it will hit us gradually.

It’s easy to imagine. And if you imagine it, prepare yourself.

We are condemned henceforth to live without the West.

It’s completely unexpected. But it makes perfect sense.

Everything Western is deeply toxic from now on (frankly, it always has been). It is, after all, an addiction to what we do not control, but what the enemy controls. Any hint of liberalism, any recognition of Western universalism, any acceptance of the normativity of anything that comes from the West, any acceptance of Western rules, criteria, practices, anywhere and in anything, is already a step toward betrayal, if not betrayal itself.

That’s what it means to be a Civilized State.

Not to depend in anything and in any way on another civilization, and above all on the one that is waging a merciless war against us.

Once we completely sever all relations with this global model (of degeneration and dehumanization) called the modern “collective West,” we can focus on establishing our own civilizational foundations.

Frankly speaking, we have not looked in this direction at all yet. Everyone has tried to integrate into the West while preserving sovereignty. It is impossible, unrealistic and pointless. And that is exactly what it was at once. The West does not need any “corporation Russia,” even if it is loyal to the West. The good Russia for them is the absent Russia. It is not even Yeltsin’s Russia; it simply does not exist.

It is costly to prolong this process. It is time to cut this thread, because these are civilizational fetters, not the desire to join the “mainstream of development.” The West is a dead end. But that is their business. For us it is just an enemy, death and the end.

Russia will live only in a world where the West does not decide and means nothing. At least for us. In any other cases, it will be the torture of the Etruscan bride, when the criminal was tied alive to a decomposing corpse. There is nothing more horrible than such torture. A man dies slowly, necrosis enters his body cell by cell.

The modern West, too, is a decaying, rotting corpse tied to humanity.

It is not enough for it to perish; it wants to drag everyone else with it into the abyss.

Look at Ukraine, what they have done to it—a poisoned, twisted, psychologically broken people. A destroyed state. Massively crushed on the fronts of a senseless and obviously lost war, or a distraught society fleeing the country. The dead bride of Western control is firmly bolted to that still (barely) breathing country. But death in Ukraine is winning. Staring out of the eyes of its rabid rulers—already crossed over to the other side, already dead but still outwardly alive.

Complete liberation from the West is the only way to salvation. Everything bad in modern Russia is from it. Its miasmas have eaten away our politics, economy, culture, science, psychology, everyday life, youth. This is a carcinogenic process. And the faster and harder we cut off the affected cells, the more chances for salvation and revival of our Motherland, the great Russia.


Alexander Dugin is a widely-known and influential Russian philosopher. His most famous work is The Fourth Political Theory (a book banned by major book retailers), in which he proposes a new polity, one that transcends liberal democracy, Marxism and fascism. He has also introduced and developed the idea of Eurasianism, rooted in traditionalism. This article appears through the kind courtesy of Geopolitica.


Featured: Disparate n. 7, Disparate matrimonial, by Francisco Goya, ca. 1816 and 1823.