Let my people go, by Dr.Bernhard Seitz in Germany

This letter was received as part of the original Saker appeal to the Ukrainians to stop the war. If you would like to join the International appeal then please send us your short appeals to editor@vineyardsaker.ru.

AE


“Let my people go,
Oppress’d so hard they could not stand,
Let my People go.”

The peoples of Europe are suppressed. Don’t fool yourself that living in the EU is good. It is not. The living standard of the average German has fallen in the last 15 years. The living standards of the Greeks, the Spanish and many others have been smashed. The EU is an instrument for the exploitation of the average people to the benefit of the few. And this is why your Oligarchs want you to be in the EU: To institutionalize your suffering and exploitation.

For me, as a German with strong liberal views, it is hard to say this, but it is true: The hope for a better Europe today comes from the East.

If Ukraine goes to the West, it will go into the sunset of a declining part of the world.

If you go East, you will go into the sunrise of a rich and prosperous commonwealth.

I wished we in Germany would have the choice that you have.

Make your choice wisely.

Dr. Bernhard Seitz
Stuttgart
Germany

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Remember that we are Russians, by Andrey Avramenko in Kharkov

This passionate Manifesto is a testament to the immense emotions that have been left bottled up in the people of Ukraine. Emotions that were not allowed to be voiced in the “democratic” Ukraine under US/EU influence.

For one of the conditions of being progressive,evolved and a member of the “International Community” is to be a  rabid russophobe. The demonization of Russia, its culture,its people and history is a norm in western “democracies”.

The Ukrainian and Russian people need not be at war, they have much in common and much to be proud about their shared heritage.

Let not western propaganda ever pass through the lands of those who fought tooth and nail against a great evil that was unleashed on them with Hitler and now again with NATO.

This article originally appeared at The Saker’s Vineyard.

AE


I envy the Russians, I envy these “katsaps” and “the Moskals”!

I envy their Olympics and their army. I have many friends and relatives in Russia. I see how they change and grow. They believe their President. They believe in their army. They are proud of their great history, achievements and victories.

It was once our common history … victories and achievements. Not so long ago. They have found their ground. They don’t care about the West we worship. They move on and grow, despite of what we are told on our TVs and various social forums. I know that it’s us who are losing, and not them. We have become weaker, and they have gotten stronger.

No matter how loud we keep shouting “Glory to Ukraine!” we can’t stop it.

Not so long ago we were gloating when they had Chechnya.

Today the Chechens are no less Russian than the Russians themselves. They are ready to fight for their revived and great country, of which they are a part. Today we are the one to be frightened with the Chechen battalions. How did this happen???

They were killing each other just yesterday. But the reason is simple: the Chechens were able to remember that they were Russian, and they were part of the great Country and the Great People.

We gloat when they have terrorist attacks and disasters.

However, they overcome them over and over again and become stronger! Even though the whole world is against them!

They fall and rise again. Stand and grin. And just spit blood through their teeth.

We are screaming that they are slaves. That they will soon fall apart, the oil will fall, NATO will attack, and they will be struck down with another punishment. But they are us! We spit on our own reflection. On ourselves.

We must remember that we are a whole. And once we begin to understand and realize it, only then will come the feeling that once our ancestors had. A sense of inner strength, hope, faith, and pride that we are also the Russians.

It doesn’t matter who our ancestors were: Ukrainians, Tatars, Jews, Buryats, or Uzbeks. It doesn’t matter who we are by faith: Catholics, Orthodox, Muslims or Jews. This is not important. What’s important is that we are Russians! That we’re a part of the Great people and the Great country.

Yes, our Great Country and our Great People still have a lot of problems. But if we remember that we are Russians, we will change everything forever! Everybody is afraid of that.

They are afraid that we will remember and will be together again.

That’s why they are building spider webs of lies and deceits. This lie and hatred is being maintained by us and in Russia.

They do not allow us to wake up. And if we do not remember who we are, you will never wake up.

About the situation, occupation and others.

Who shouts the loudest that we need to protect “our” independence, unity and freedom? The same officials, oligarchs and parliamentarians. They are terrified that they will have to answer for everything that has happened to our Motherland over the years.

Maybe this is not the occupation? Perhaps, this is the liberation? And our people came, when we lost all our hope, when we almost gave up.

Perhaps, we need to stand together and destroy all these lying politicians, oligarchs, mayors and officials, who are foaming at their mouths and screaming that we need to go and die! To die for their villas, yachts and castles, for their bank accounts, for their freedom to rob us, and for freedom from answering for their actions.

I understand that this Manifesto will be cut out from the web. There will be thousands of angry comments, screams that I’m a traitor, that I was sold out to Putin, that I am katsap and Moskal. I don’t care. I know that the truth is with me.

I am a patriot of Ukraine, a true patriot, and now the fate of my people and my Ukraine is being decided.

Either we remember who we are, or we will perish.

I love my Ukrainian people, our ancestors and our culture.

I’m Ukrainian, but more than that I am Russian!

Andrey Avramenko, Kharkov


source: http://svetoven.pogled.info/news/57531/Andrei-Avramenko-Az-zavizhdam-na-rusnatsite

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The sanction saga

What is at stake

Putin on the Ukrainian-Russian relationship:

“Our countries’ companies have developed close ties in all the basic industries: in the fuel and energy sector, which includes nuclear power, in chemical production, in aviation and machine building, space, metallurgy and metals processing, in construction and agriculture. We have developed unique production chains and created technological alliances. Russian capital represents about 32 percent of the Ukrainian banking system.”[1]

The Russian government has been slowly revealing its posture to the world. It is saying “No” to an unfair assault on the people. Instead business is on the cards, everywhere. To have a good understanding of the bigger picture check out the “Energy ballet” that Pepe Escobar has been so eloquently writing about.

The back and forth tossing around of the likes of Master Card and Visa is a good case in point of Russia’s stronger position now[2]. This is not the 90s and the Russians are keen to assert themselves. Upset at being blocked out of his money, the President’s close friend and billionaire is now banking with Union Pay[3].

“We, Russia, cannot talk about any ceasefire conditions whatsoever, or possible agreements between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk,” Putin stated recently in Minsk[4].

This is the real foreign policy difference that has now emerged from the Russian camp.

We recently saw a press conference of the resistance setting the stage for a wider struggle and now we have a green light from Russia. This is the real story of the week.

International Response

The illusion that the world stands with the aggressor is slowly being replaced as the showdown gains momentum. This is a quick snapshot of some leading headlines.

Brazil
Brazil has not received a request from the EU to halt increasing exports to Russia, but if it does, Brasilia wouldn’t care, Ambassador Antonio Jose Vallim Guerreiro told a news conference in Moscow Thursday.”[5]

Ecuador
On sanctions, President Correa said “I want to immediately say that we don’t need to get anybody’s permission to sell products to friendly countries: as far as we know Latin America isn’t a part of the European Union,” [6]

Spain 
The Spanish have been long protesting Russian sanctions and the crisis is only growing worse.  The EU’s measly allocation of €125 million in emergency support is absurd when you consider the actual cost of Russian sanctions. The trade embargo could cost the EU €6.7 billion ($9 billion) and cost up to 130,000 jobs.[7]

Greece
The civil disobedience movement is gaining ground with strong criticism of the EU sanctions.  The veteran leftist Manolis Glezos has even penned an emotional letter to President Putin urging him to exempt Athens from sanctions[8]. The situation is dire.

Serbia
The Serbs have suffered a lot from Nato and the wounds are still fresh. Their solidarity with Russia, despite being hung out to dry during Clinton’s “democracy initiatives”, is commendable[9].

Germany
The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has been sending mixed signals through out this conflict. While at one hand she seems to be extending the olive branch, on the other she entices the Ukrainian oligarchy with rebuilding the east (post cleansing).

Germany also played an active part in the coup and what followed. It is an active participant in this conflict, it cannot simply be absolved of all blame. Now, as the plan foils and the Nazi regime falters, we have a sudden realization of goals. All of a sudden there is talk of negotiation and federalisation[10].

This is quite a 180 degree U-turn. This could be a ploy as experienced previously, following resistance momentum and territory gains.

Poodle of the week

Canada has won this weeks “Impress the Emperor” contest. It is eager to show the world that it is standing up to big bad Russia[11].

Internal breakdown of the state:

The Ukrainian state is in total disrepair, it was already crumbling under US sponsored “democracy” initiatives that brought about the rabidly russophobic and fascist government in power.

The zombies that form the popular support base of the Ukrainian regime, are not just paying for their “EU dream” in mere street protests. They are now actively brainwashed, recruited and sent to die in a war[12].

The Russian president has already given in his analysis with a whopping 165 billion needed to revive Ukraine[13]. Right now Ukraine is on the operating table, hopelessly unaware, and soon to be woken up when there is no money for morphine.

It will be a painful awakening for a lawless, corrupt puppet state with a federalised oligarchy. The Minister of Economy has resigned[14] and the choco-king is busy cashing out[15]. It is a free for all right now in Ukraine, anything goes.

Protesters are now demanding that the Defence Minister resign and aid to Ilovaysk be sent[16]. Notice how the population is so much under the influence of state propaganda that it is not questioning any logic here. Why are they fighting the residents in the east? Why can they not be left in peace? A war should always be questioned.

Meanwhile, on planet earth, the Novurussiyan Armed Forces (NAF) have been gaining ground with the capture of Novoazovsk[17] and are now reported to be marching further ahead as far as Berdyans’k[18].

Prior to the ingenious decision to hand over “Nuclear Material” security to fascists[19] the government had also struck a deal with Fasington for Nuclear fuel. Nuclear fuel that is not just incompatible in comparison to the Russian made fuel (used previously and made for purpose) but will most likely cause a meltdown[20].

It is inhuman, beyond measure, when someone is willing to risk a nuclear disaster for an agenda.

AE


[1] Speech at the meeting of the Customs Union Heads of State with President of Ukraine and European Union representatives (kremlin.ru, english, 26-08-2014)

[2] Mastercard extension: http://rt.com/business/183124-russia-deadline-visa-mastercard/

[3] http://carnegie.ru/2014/08/24/as-us-eu-close-doors-china-russia-open-new-ones/hm81

[4] Minsk conference: http://rt.com/news/182976-putin-poroshenko-ukraine-talks/

[5] Brazil’s response: http://rt.com/business/181876-brazil-russia-eu-sanctions/

[6] Ecuador’s response: http://rt.com/business/179972-ecuador-russia-agriculture-ban/

[7] Spain sanction protest: http://rt.com/news/181992-spanish-farmers-russia-sanctions/

[8] Letter to Putin: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/08/10/wwii-hero-greek-eurodeputy-letter-putin-embargo-greece/

[9] Serbia on food deliveries: http://rt.com/business/182076-serbia-food-deliveries-russia/

[10] Germany’s U-turn: http://euobserver.com/foreign/125331

[11] Canada in the Arctic: http://rt.com/news/182992-canada-sovereignty-arctic-russia/

[12] Civilian conscription: http://www.kyivpost.com/multimedia/photo/presentation-civil-defence-training-programm-361080.html

[13] Cost to join EU Association Agreement: http://rt.com/business/182868-russia-ukraine-europe-trade/

[14] Minister of Economy resigns
http://www.voanews.com/content/ukraine-economy-minister-resigns-cites-frustrations/2423091.html

[15] Ukrainian PM selling assets: http://en.itar-tass.com/economy/746201

[16] Demand for Defese Minister to resign: http://rt.com/news/183396-kiev-poroshenko-military-protest/

[17] Capture of Novoazovsk
http://rt.com/news/183368-ukraine-novoazovsk-kiev-troops/

[18] Unconfirmed reports of marching on Berdyans’k
http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.nz/2014/08/not-confirmed-but-maybe-open-thread.html

[19] Ukraine’s deterioting situation: http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz/2014/08/20/ukraines-descent-into-chaos-and-the-sanction-recoil/

[20] Nuclear deal with the US: http://rt.com/news/183248-nuclear-ukraine-threat-osce/

 

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Power, Corruption and Lies,by Luc Brunet

Pic4

One of my favorite music album many years ago was edited in 1983 by the British group “New Order”. I still now often recall that album and its title.
 
The title of the album was indeed not invented by New Order. It comes from a German artist called Gerhard Richter who vandalized the wall of an art exhibition in Cologne, using those words. Interestingly Richter was born in East Germany and flew to the West some time before he tagged this in Cologne.
 
“Power, Corruption and Lies” are clearly related to the realities of the world, where three concepts are put together. Most of us, looking at those three words, immediately understand or guess that there is a link between them. Can there be Power without Corruption? Can there be Corruption without Lies? Can you get Power without Lies? Many more questions can come to your mind involving one, two or three of those words, and there shall be even many more answers, depending on your moral values, beliefs and culture. But by all means those three terms are in many cases the instruments used by men to dominate others and satisfy their hunger for wealth and domination.
 
Although those concepts are valid and intensively used across all activities of men from the dark ages of history until our present days, I would just spend some time today playing with those three words in the area of politics, at local level but also at the level of international relations.
 
The order of the words tagged by Richter is in fact very right historically speaking.
 
In old models of society, Power was basically the only instrument to achieve domination. And Power here mainly refers to pure physical force and the fear generated by such force. Nothing else was very much needed to establish and maintain domination in most models of society we can see in history. The fear of God came as a complementary tool to stabilize those societies. The dominant elites could decide to go to war against other elites and simple people (peasants) just went to war without question, as it was the Will of God and the will of the local Lord or whatever his name was. In most cases simple soldiers fought and died without knowing why there was a war, and well possibly without really knowing who were the guys being killed on the other side. The idea to ask and to discuss those questions was totally outside of their area of knowledge and initiative.
 
Such a situation remained for many centuries, but changes in society put an end to that. The major one was the progressive alphabetization of the population, that became generalized in most of western Europe in the 18th and 19th century. The proliferation of books and the apparition of the Press completely changed the rules of domination. Sending people to war or asking them exorbitant taxes to finance a war or the construction of a new castle could not be achieved by force and fear anymore, or it proved very difficult and unreliable. A new concept appeared that would play a key role in the way countries had to be ruled: public opinion. Even before the birth of the first modern democracies in Europe, public opinion started to be important and the elite needed to address that. To make the issue even more complicated, another consequence of alphabetization was the decline of religion, fast or slow depending of the region in Europe. Using the Will of God also became problematic, and often impossible.
 
Other arguments had to be invented to make people march in battalions and attack their neighbors. Patriotism became a key element and was instilled very early into the brain of the population – at school. Patriotism is by far not always a negative state of mind fueled by the hate of the neighbor, and often can be a positive force in society, helping to keep it together and strong. But it was mostly used in the negative way in order to prepare population for the next war. Children in France at the beginning of the 20th century were educated at school to get revenge against the “boches” (Germans) who “stole” Alsace and Lorraine from France during the 1870 war. Entire books were edited for adults and children explaining how Germans behave like beasts and cut the hands of innocent children.

For God, Homeland and King

For God, Homeland and King

All was done to maintain the hate of the German in the population, and when WW I started, although for reasons not at all linked to those lost French regions, people went at war convinced that they were fulfilling the sacred task of getting those martyr regions back to France. They mostly never heard about or did not understand the tectonic changes that were happening between the European superpowers of that time.  
 
But the genuine patriotism of the start of the 20th century had limits, as demonstrated by the growing demoralization of the troops, especially during the second half of the conflict. German and French soldiers on each side of the trenches tended to fraternize and understand that the war was not theirs. Many French soldiers were court marshaled for that and shot, a fact that was kept secret for many years.
 
A new, terribly effective tool had to be invented, and the new raising totalitarian European powers used it as a fundamental building block of their universe: propaganda. Both the Nazi and the Communist regime had specialized groups and ministries working on propaganda, literally building a virtual reality for their population. 
 
For both of them, patriotism (of a negative type) was not enough, and by far. Although it was clearly apparent in their propaganda, it was only a part of a much bigger picture. The Lie had to be enormous and subjugate the crowds. As Goebbels clearly stated:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Joseph Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels

An unhappy Joseph Goebbels upon learning of
An unhappy Joseph Goebbels upon learning of the Jewish photographer

Above, two unique pictures of Goebbels in 1933. He just went through a good photo session (left picture) with a photografer (Alfred Eisenstaedt) but then looks at him with a load of hate, seconds after learning Eisenstaedt was jewish. Showing his real soul…
 
However, the two regimes worked here as well on two different modes. The Nazi regime used a very modern – even in todays terms! – form of propaganda, taking full advantage of all available techniques, including a new technology called radio diffusion. It also made intensive use of esthetically refined techniques, using music, sounds and visual effects to make the demonstration of force not only physically impressive, but also fascinating. The uniform of the Waffen SS were designed to be not only frightening for the enemy, but also elegant and in their own way beautiful for the German public. The soldiers and officers had to be proud to wear it, the public had to be proud to be watch them. Enormous evening events were organized in stadiums with lights, music and a sense of “design” until now never equaled…
 
Do not believe please that I turned into an admirer of the Nazis, but I bet most of us would have been shaken and impressed to be in the Nuremberg stadium in 1938 or 1939. This was the purpose and it worked so well that until 1944, the Nazi regime was never really forced to use a lot of brutal force against its Arian population. It did not need to, and all the hate was focused on the external enemies of the Reich. The German population lived in a virtual world, totally overwhelmed by the formidable propaganda engine, and when they understood, they were already in hell.
 
In the Soviet Union, the propaganda engine was less sophisticated, and the use of force ( basic power) and fear played a much bigger role compared to Third Reich Germany. This was also due to other differences between the two regimes, Nazis being focused on hating other groups, generally based on ethnic criteria, while the Soviet Union was mostly killing its own population including its own elite. I recommend on that subject the exceptionally detailed study published in 1973 by Hannah Arendt: The Origins of Totalitarianism. 
 
But Lies and propaganda had still an important role in maintaining the Soviet power in place, although its influence on people slowly diminished to be almost a caricature of itself in the stagnation years starting in the 70’s, at a time when Corruption became a more important role to keep the system working.
 
After the end of WW II,  the role of propaganda in Europe at least decreased a lot, except behind the Iron Curtain. However governments in western Europe had to deal with a new technology that would prove much more powerful than the paper press or even radio broadcasting: television.
 
The new media was immediately put under control of the governments just like Radio by the way, that since its first days before the war was strictly under state control. I remember as a child listening to the French “Minister of Information” Alain Peyrefitte . He explained for example at the occasion of a restructuring of the State Radio and TV company what was the role of the news bulletin on TV every evening and what types of messages the government was expecting to be brought to the public. Those were by the way not words only, and the content of each evening news edition had to be validated before diffusion. I also remember the name of the “pirate” UK radio in the 60’s, that was broadcasting from international waters in the English Channel: Radio Caroline. It was broadcasted from a ship, always in fear of being chased by French or UK authorities, and probably remained on-air because of its focus on music and not politics. 

Pic5

The political power had understood that giving full freedom of speech on radio and TV could be dangerous for them. Probably one fear was to see soviet style propaganda being massively broadcasted. But my guess is that they simply were afraid to lose control and see critics build up against them.
 
But the 80’s (earlier in Italy) saw the end of such state control and the rapid proliferation of independent radios, and the slower development of independent TV’s, partly because of the high cost to launch a TV channel. 
 
Started a period of real freedom on the air, and by the way also on state TV. France for example saw the success of very critical programs and humorists like Coluche or Deprosges, who had virulent texts and stories to tell about politicians of all sides. The press also followed the same trend with edition groups like Liberation. Similar tendencies took place in Germany, Italy and other countries.
 
What we have seen over the past 20 years or so is however a very different evolution.
 
The control of the media is today at least as efficient as it was under state control with Alain Peyrefitte, but on a completely different manner. Corruption took over the role of state censorship, a very complex and vicious type of corruption, by far not as simple as the traditional kick-back system.
 
Most media are now controlled by large financial or industrial groups, or media groups linked to the business world. Journalists have now a very limited freedom of speech and anything not in-line with the interests of the “system” may lead to a loss of job, with very little chances to find a new one. The state censorship of the 60’s was replaced by self-censorship. 
 
In parallel we saw a regain in propaganda, not on systematical manner like in the middle of the previous century, but ad hoc, based on the needs of a crisis. The arms of mass destruction given as a reason to invade Iraq are the most blatant Lie that we saw over the past years, although many other cases could be listed. This case is by far not only a Lie. It is also a deliberate effort to fabricate proofs that were displayed at the infamous UN meeting in February 2003 by General Colin Powell, who never recovered from it, feeling very bitter about being used in that way. Did we get explanations on why the famous proofs were just inventions? Of course no. Powell himself asked the CIA and the Pentagon in 2011 for explanations on how comes he was provided with false information. Did he get answers? Probably not.

Evidence man
Evidence man

The words of Richter and the album by New Order (interesting name by the way…) have never been more timely then today. 
 
                                Power, Corruption and Lies
 
The potential for a larger dissemination of truth in books and journals was quickly put under control with censorship. The same happened to radio and TV, initially through censorship, replaced after it became unsustainable by lobbying and self-censorship. Internet is too open and counts too many actors to be controlled in the same manner, but attempts are done to bring it under control, like the RSA scandal demonstrated. However many technical tricks make such control very difficult. Shall Internet survive as a freedom space? Nobody knows, but the answer is in the hands of each of us!

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What is the deal with the Ukie “cauldrons”?, by The Saker

The ongoing war in eastern Ukraine has at times been hard to follow with maps in Russian and an ever changing battlefield. In the last press conference we heard how frontlines change by up to 40km a day!

If you go by the Imperial Mouthpiece, BBC, then it is all glory for the heroes of Nazi Ukraine. The BBC has now laid down it’s bets and is firmly supporting the Nazi agenda.

Back on planet Earth though,  the story is a little different. That is if you are not satisfied with the Psaki-fication of reality and have emerged unscathed from that distortion field, then there is much to know.

The biggest phenomenon of late has been the formation of “Cauldrons” in the battlefield. A cauldron is a hot pot where Ukrainian Nazi soldiers go to join the “heavenly hundred” (of Maidan infamy). Think of it like a venus fly trap[1]; The military tactic draws the enemy in and then extinguishes them.

Here, the Saker clarifies this in much more detail and accuracy. We will let him continue:

Originally published:The Vineyard of the Saker

AE


A lot of people are wondering what the deal is with the so-called “cauldrons” in which the Ukie forces seem to get surrounded over and over again.  Are the Ukie generals simply stupid, or what is the deal?  I will try to explain.

Remember that that Ukie forces are typically “heavy”.  They have lots of tanks, lots of artillery, lost of ammo, lots of soldiers, etc.  At least initially.  They are also much inferior in terms of tactical skills, morale and willpower.  In contrast, the Resistance forces have dramatically fewer tanks, fewer artillery pieces, much less ammo and less soldiers too.  But their morale is sky-high, their tactical skills excellent and they are fighting on their own land – a big “home turf” advantage.  Add to all this the following: the Ukies are desperately trying to prove to the world that they are “winning” whereas the Resistance is trying to eject an occupying force.  Now if you keep all that in mind, you will very easily understand how these “cauldrons” form.  It typically goes like this:

The political powers in Kiev order the commanders of the so-called “anti-terrorist operation” to show some results.  The latter get together and define what they consider a number of key towns and villages.  They then order their forces to go in and take these towns/villages.  The junta forces move in and with much superior firepower typically destroy a few Resistance roadblocks on the main roads and move to seize the said towns.  At this point they report “mission accomplished – our flag is on the administration of town X“.  The BBC picks up the info handed to them by the Ukies and the world learns of yet another Ukie victory.    In the meantime, Ukie terror squads are brought in to smoke out any sympathizers of the Resistances in the occupied towns.  As for the tanks, they are used to protect the Ukie force while their artillery is used long range to terrorize the population of the next town on the list.

Then everything goes down the tubes.

First, a big forces requires lots of petroleum, lubricants, ammo, supplies, food, etc.  But the roads are under constant attack by Resistance forces.  Next, the Novorussians slowly but inevitably bring in some artillery which begins ponding on the Ukie forces.  Gradually, the bigger Ukie forces is forced to dig in while the Resistance take back full control of the main roads and surrounding towns.  That’s it – the circle has closed, the Ukies are surrounded and a ‘cauldron’ has formed.

At that point two things happen: a) the Ukies try to retreat b) reinforcements are sent in to rescue them.  But at this point the density and quality of Resistance forces is sufficient to block the main roads and to prevent both retreats or reinforcements.  In some cases the Ukies succeed in breaking out or reinforcing, but typically at great costs in equipment and lives.  And that brings me to another important point:

The Ukies prefer to fight on the main roads.  The Resistance is at home in the forests, hills, fields and bushes (what the Russian military calls the “The Green”).  That means that Ukie movements are very predictable.  Not so for the Resistance.  The Ukies fear the “Green” – the Novorussians love it.  I don’t know of a single battle so far in which the Ukies attempted to attack through, or from. the “Green”.  The Novorussians do that all the time.

Pretty soon, supplies become a real problem, and with more or less the entire Ukie Air Forces kaput, and the density of anti-air weapons of the Resistance, even large units go from a fighting mode to a survival mode.  At least 4 Ukie death squads are in that mode right now, today.

But remember, the Ukies sill have more armor and more firepower, so it is not that easy to reduce and crush a cauldron – that is why the Resistance needs so much time to eventually finish them off.  They do though, one by one.  If they had the time and forces, they could do it easily, but they don’t.

Right now, the main forces protecting Mariupol are all stuck in 2-3 cauldrons southeast of Donetsk.  But instead of wasting time reducing them, the Novorussian Armed Forces have launched an attack along the sea coast towards Mariupol were the Ukies are already in a panic mode as nothing much stands between them and the Resistance.  And this is the correct move for the Novorussians.

Just as in chess a blocked figure is essentially useless, so is a Ukie force in a cauldron.  The important thing is to keep the initiative and press the advantage.  This is why the Resistance is pushing towards Mariupol.  If that city is taken, or even surrounded,  or if the cauldrons south of Donetsk are reduced, that will mean a collapse of the entire southern front of the Ukie attack on Novorussia.

There are risks however.  First, any Novorussian force moved in or towards Mariupol risks been cut off and surrounded by Ukie reinforcements.  Now, I don’t know for a fact what the Ukies are up to, but I bet you that there is total panic in Kiev and that reinforcements are sent from all over the country to prevent Mariupol from falling into Novorussian hands.  The Novorussians need to keep a very careful eye over their shoulder (but then, I am pretty sure that the many GRU eyes in space and on the ground are already doing that for them).  Second, the surrounded Ukies can try to join forces and then either break out or attack towards the north.  If they fail, they will probably either do what they have done in the past – run for their lives and abandon all their heavy equipment or fight to the last man.  Either way is fine for the Novorussians.

I hope that the short (and somewhat simplified) explanation above explain, at least in general lines, why and how these “cauldrons” are constantly forming.

Cheers and kind regards,

The Saker

 


[1] Venus Fly Trap: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_flytrap

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The war in Ukraine enters the next stage

This is no ordinary run of the mill press conference, this is a formation of a framework of a resistance army. Not a resistance militia. There is a big difference. One belongs to a territory and the other to a state.

The tone throughout the press conference has been in the typical underplayed Russian fashion on the surface but if words are taken as a measure, then this is a serious escalation in the game. This is a setting of direction for the rest of the Ukrainian phase of this conflict.

The perfectly structured explanation of events by the Defense Minister is a clear indication of how serious the people in eastern Ukraine have taken this situation. They know exactly what they are up against and are sending a strong signal; We are prepared mentally, emotionally and physically.

They no longer represent a rag tag militia. This is a well oiled fighting machine with International volunteers joining the cause.  Though, always being the people to play by the rules, the Russians have left a door open to negotiate.

A.Zakharchenko has clearly laid down the offer when he said: “You don’t have to recognize our status, just leave us alone within our borders of Donetsk and Lugansk republics” . The Russians of course would like this matter to be resolved as soon as possible. Though, I have doubts if they really would want to. A reversal in the momentum under some peace pretext would perhaps be the biggest mistake now. This war machine has gone too far already.

The crisis in Ukraine is nothing but a joint ethnic cleansing campaign by the US and EU via their SS division in Ukraine. It really is as simple as that. To hesitate now would mean certain doom tomorrow. The EU & US cannot be trusted anymore. The only solution is total control over Ukraine; Kiev must be liberated.

The press conference served not as just a statement of events but a carefully coordinated delivery of a few key messages. Some of the main ones are:

The ferocity of the  war

A few times the subject of a futile war is brought up in the context of miners,farmers and hard working eastern Ukrainians picking up arms. It is stated that if this were to happen then Kiev stands no chance.

The casualty count of the Junta is highlighted with clear knowledge of facts and figures regarding the enemy. Mothers are warned that a “missing in action” letter is more likely a death certificate.

A rejection of the mainstream narrative and a proposition for peace

Mothers (of army conscripts) are told “…do not send your sons here. Leave us alone. Let us live free and in peace. ” and reminded that war was imposed on eastern Ukraine. A way out of the mess is even offered with a plea to “…a political conscience, a will and a courage of a real man” to stop the operation (The so-called Anti-Terrorist Operation).

The patience of the resistance is truly outstanding, even after all that has transpired they say “You don’t have to recognize our status, just leave us alone within our borders of Donetsk and Lugansk republics, and we will kiss each other goodbye.”

Symbolism & International revolutionaries in Donbas

It must be noted that the symbolism in parading the troops as they were in Moscow July 1944[1] is a very strong emotional tactic. This really in one stroke, puts things in perspective for the average babushka and beer belly joe.  It not only conveys a firm grasp of history in the resistance, but a setting of the parameters of discussion.

The narrative is being redesigned, correctly, by the resistance to highlight the core issue: a US/EU sponsored Nazi onslaught on a peaceful east Ukraine.

But this is not all, we are also told that there are now international volunteers in Ukraine. There is even mention of inviting French Navy personal to fight amongst the anti-fascist resistance. If this is verified then this would be quite serious[2].

* An Interview with French volunteers has surfaced on twitter. Thank you to @Catherina_News for highlighting this *[7]

We have already seen an Spanish freedom fighters[3] and even an Afghan fighter paying back his “dues” for the all that the Soviet Union did for him[4]. This is indeed a PR nightmare for the western press!

Who in their right mind would tune into the fruitcake pro-Nazi propaganda being blown out of every imperial mouthpiece!? But alas, that benchmark of absurdity, the BBC, is still living in fairytale land with its latest accusation of Russian soldiers invading Ukraine[5]. Planet Neptune sure is a strange place.

A rejection of Federalization

This too late to the party monotonic utterings from the protoplasmic jellies (of Boris Johnson fame) of the EU is categorically rejected with:

“Let me clarify. No federalization can be possible today. There is time for everything. We asked for the federalization 3 months ago, then we asked for a permission to hold a referendum. That time has passed, now we want to live independently.”

Formation of a State

Just when the barrage of counter-Nazi-narrative viewpoints was almost over, the resistance mentioned something that I believe conveys the steadfast resolve of the government. A government that now has a Defense Minister and Army. Notice, how the key role and instrument for protection are the major themes here.

This point is further driven home by the discussion on the death penalty and its reinstatement by the supreme council. The council in the Donetsk National Republic, that is.

This was not just a press conference but a state of affairs; a definition of boundaries, illustration of ground realities, terms of peace, confirmation of hostilities and even a small reference to the genocide for shale gas project in eastern Ukraine[6].

This is a  nation state that will most likely be a launch pad for the liberation of Kiev. The Junta and their pimps in Fashington must be convulsing right about now, foaming at the mouth to be precise.

AE


[1]POW parade July 1944 in Moscow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC6oJURg6Pk

[2]French in Ukraine: http://www.thelocal.fr/20140825/ukraine-french-experts-to-join-rebel-fighters

[3]Spanish fighters in Donbas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV_z3Pz21PI&index=7&list=LL6i5m2kR0LQt4p-3MT-3YcA

[4] Afghan freedom fighter in Donbas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc2KeSkl5H0&index=25&list=LL6i5m2kR0LQt4p-3MT-3YcA

[5] The BBC reporting Russians in Ukraine (again): http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28934213

[6] Shale Gas: http://slavyangrad.org/2014/08/05/naked-goals-of-ukrainian-genocide-part-i/

[7] French volunteers in Donbas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qCAsyKOE9Y&feature=youtu.be

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INDIA IS WHERE? ON TWO CHAIRS!, by André Vltchek

India, where are you? Are you really in the BRICS camp, fighting for a new, free world, or are you now in bed with your former colonial master and her mighty offshoot?

India, a BRICS country, is actually nowhere to be seen while Brazil, South Africa, Russia and China are increasingly facing hostile attacks. India is not helping, as the United States and Europe are now manufacturing all sorts of ‘opposition movements’ inside countries that are still in the West’s path to total and unopposed global dominance.

India, a BRICS country, is silent as both China and Russia are being encircled, provoked and stabbed; at a time when their neighboring countries are constantly being pitched against them, ideologically and militarily.

India, a BRICS country, does not seem to mind as the US increases its military presence in Asia, from Okinawa to the Philippines and Qatar, or when Russia is being demonized and provoked by insane propaganda and by lunatic sanctions, imposed by the West which is actually the one that overthrew the Ukrainian government, putting in place a brutal fascist dictatorship.

And as the Western mass media outlets are now in top gear, spreading propaganda all over the world; the Indian newspapers, magazines and television stations, are dutifully reprinting and repeating the many vitriolic lies and fabrications, in exactly the same way as the Philippine and Indonesian business-owned media outlets are doing. But the Philippines and Indonesia are the West’s client states, and they do not belong to BRICS, while India does, at least on paper.

In the Economic & Political Weekly, published in 2013, Atul Bhardwaj wrote:

India has got itself trapped into an anti-Chinese matrix set in place by the United States. This has led to a situation where the military is increasing its say in foreign and domestic policy and pushing aggressive postures on to the civilian government. Unless India abandons its aspirations to great power status and pursues a foreign policy which builds on Asian cooperation and strengths, it will continue to become cannon fodder for western strategic aims.”

That’s correct, but it is not only the anti-Chinese matrix; it is the staunchly pro-Western matrix that is serving India’s ruling elites, and it is the matrix of disinformation and ignorance imposed on the members of the underprivileged majority.

I went back to India to see where the country really stands in relation to BRICS. I opted for a very much unplanned, chaotic, jazzy and spontaneous journey. I wanted to speak to those of the Indian majority; to people in the villages and towns, to ask them what they really know about BRICS, about the new winds of freedom and progress that are blowing all over Latin America, about tremendous social changes in China, and about their own lives in the country, which the West continually defines as ‘the largest democracy on earth’.

***

Two village women are covered from head to toe in colorful fabric, and unlike in Saudi Arabia where only the eyes are visible, but totally. They are carrying huge crooked tin plates on their heads, and those plates are full of cow dung.

The village is called Karora, it is located almost 200 kilometers north from New Delhi, in Haryana State.

It is here that, in 2007, a newlywed couple was murdered in cold blood, after the assembly of village elders, Panchayat, passed ‘the verdict’. Both the girl (18) and boy (23) were only ‘guilty’ of belonging to the same sub-clan.

The Deccan Herald reported then:

In June 2007, the couple was dragged out of a Karnal-bound bus by the girl’s relatives and was brutally murdered. Their bodies were paraded in the village and then dumped in a canal.”

We did not come here to only discuss honor killing and the horrible lot of Indian women; we came here to this remote corner of Haryana to discuss what the West calls ‘the biggest democracy on earth’, and above all, how India really fits into the BRICS, and to their determined fight against Western imperialism and market fundamentalism.

Yes, India is part of BRICS; but it is feudal in the countryside and capitalist in the cities. It is increasingly close to its colonial master and to the grand Empire.

We could not see the expression on the faces of the two Karora village women when we asked them about democracy, voting, women’s rights, caste oppression and honor killing. But the first female began speaking, bravely if reluctantly, in front of an entire army of onlookers:

“I’m only a poor village woman, how can I know such things? I have to work for 14 hours every day to make out a living for my family. My husband doesn’t have any regular work, and he is an alcoholic. I’m constantly worried about my children going hungry. The government doesn’t care about people like us and I don’t know who else could help. I’m very afraid so I can’t talk more about the caste system or honor killings. Women have no freedom here. “

The second lady echoes her, and then adds:

“I know the family of the eloped couple who suffered at the hands of Panchayat but I can’t talk about it. I’m afraid of such things. Women have no freedom here. Most of us are struggling to survive and I don’t know how things could be better, anytime soon. About democracy: I don’t know how the election could improve living conditions in this village and I don’t know about people’s movement in other countries or about things that are happening elsewhere.”

Soon, the crowd of onlookers begins to participate in the discussion.

The youths surrounded us to find out the reason for our sudden appearance in their village.

A boy named Biswan, wearing a black T-shirt, explained:

“My impression of what they call ‘Indian democracy’ and of the political parties that are participating in this game is… that it is a pattern of appealing for votes by some political party, with the inducement of local liquor by their men to the villagers, one day before every election day, then disappearing, to be never seen again for the next 5 years. We don’t have work here nor can anyone make a decent living with earnings here. I don’t feel this type of democracy works for us… We still haven’t got real freedom.”

Then the village youths begin speaking over each other:

“Money talks here, we are all educated to some degree, but only those who can afford to bribe some officials manage to get regular employment. We are poor villagers and unaware of developments in our own country, then how can we know about China, Latin America or other countries?”

The forlorn expression on the faces of the villagers showed their frustration, even resignation. Most certainly, we saw no hope and no enthusiasm here.

Our driver, Sunil, appeared to be extremely unhappy to be here. “In these villages, they have already torched so many cars belonging to those who came to ask questions!”

I insist that we have to finish our work here, in the heart of Haryana State. The driver fumes. He drives us around, missing the motorway a few times, but after we activate our navigation system, he gives up and just gets us where we want to go.

Later, in Delhi, my good friend and colleague, Anish, calls me and explains:

“Before he dropped me home, he said that he was so mad at you, he was ready to drive into a tree and kill us all.

“Kill us?” I thought I misunderstood.

“Yes. You may want to know that he was a soldier, serving in Kashmir… He told me that much, just a few minutes ago. We had a chat… He said he was court-martialed, because he killed a few civilians there. In Kashmir, in 1996, he was on a mission to capture members of some insurgency group, but things went wrong and the people he was after, had fled… So he opened fire on civilians, killing several of them. He said he used a LMG inside the house, emptying 2 magazines of ammunition, killing at least 3 civilians… Just like that!”

“Why is he driving a taxi?” I asked. “Isn’t he supposed to be in prison?”

Anish just commented, laconically:

“When we discussed this, he was depressed. Not because of what he had done, but because he was caught and punished. He said to me: ‘was I to have managed to kill at least one insurgent, then even if I killed dozens of civilians, I would never have got court-martialed.”

I wondered whether this approach is one that would really serve as an inspiration for the BRICS countries.

***

Some 1,500 kilometers from Karora Village, in Mumbai, a monster building belonging to the richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, is allegedly the most expensive dwelling ever constructed on this planet.

Arundhati Roy describes Ambani’s home in her book “Capitalism A Ghost Story”:

…The twenty seven floors, three helipads, nine lifts, hanging gardens, ballrooms, weather rooms, gymnasiums, six floors of parking, and six hundred servants… In a nation of 1.2 billion, India’s one hundred richest people own assets equivalent to one-fourth of the GDP.”

But to own all those billions is not enough. In order to rule, in order to fully control society, this small group of modern day rajas has to always find a way to morally justify their medieval, feudalist behavior.

The most effective way to do it is through almost total control of the media. Arundhati Roy continues:

Mukesh Ambani is personally worth $20 billion. He holds a majority-controlling share in Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)… RIL recently bought 95 shares in Infotel, a TV consortium that controls twenty-seven TV news and entertainment channels, including CNN-IBN, IBN Live, CNBC, IBN Lokmat, and ETV in almost every regional language. Infotel owns the only nation-wide license for 4G broadband, a high-speed information pipeline which, if the technology works, could be the future of information exchange.”

The criticism of Indian elites does not only come from the Left. Conservative British news magazine, The Economist, recently ran its cover story about Ambani: “An Unloved Billionaire”, asking the rhetorical question “Why Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, needs to reform his empire”:

Reliance’s relationship with the government is even more troubling. Anti-corruption campaigners claim Mr Ambani is the power behind the throne of India’s political leaders…”

In Indian ‘democracy’, the real rulers of the country pay politicians, to get to the top, while the voters get paid to vote a certain way, which is suitable to the regime. Mass media shapes public opinion constantly, so it stays exactly where the elites want it to stay.

From an amazing tolerance level for medieval oppressive ‘cultural practices’, to the gross cruelty towards women and ethnic/religious minorities, India is hardly a beacon of light for other BRICS nations, or, for the rest of the world. The way its economy, election practices, foreign policy and government systems are structured, the Indian state is much closer to MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey – although in this group, too, there is Mexico, which is, despite everything, culturally and historically, in the Social Democratic camp), a group which, if allowed to join BRICS, would surely destroy their political and social direction: (http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/15/the-challenge-to-the-west/).

But the West is always extremely generous towards its allies and economic cohorts. It promotes and glorifies those countries that are willing to sacrifice their people, throwing them on the sacrificial altar of global market fundamentalism.

Therefore, for the West, both Indonesia and India, two enormous and impoverished countries, are the true democratic and economic stars!

***

DLF Promenade in Vasant Kunj is a symbol of new wealth, hosting some of the top international retail brands, from Armani to Prada.

There are literally armies of guards, some in their white butler informs, others armed with guns. Photographing is prohibited. Surveillance is constant, just as in every place frequented by the elites.

Situated right near the DLF Promenade is the Khushampur Pahari slum, a place that is miserable and rough. Children move around aimlessly and barefoot. It is not as dirty as many of the much bigger settlements in Mumbai or Calcutta are, but still, people here are clearly desperate and deprived.

Mr. Jagdish is a ‘wage laborer’, not permanently employed:

“I have no regular work and the system is geared for the rich. We, poor people who form the great majority in India, don’t count.”

I ask him about the mall, but he insists on calling it ‘that huge building’:

“There is that huge building, but I don’t go there. They built it nearby, but I would never be allowed to enter. I would be beaten up if I try to go there.”

He looks into the distance:

“We are struggling here to meet basic needs. We don’t have clean drinking water and before each election they offer us free electricity supply and water. Promises that are never fulfilled; they lie to us. And they have always lied, whether it is the Congress Party or BJP…”

Electric poles and wires hang loosely above the roofs of the settlement. I ask whether people here are managing to get free electricity supply, by simply stealing the juice as they do in Peru or in Haiti, but the answer is resolutely ‘no’. They check on them, constantly. In fact, people here suffer from gross overcharging by the private company, Reliance Energy(owned by Anil Ambani, brother of the richest man in the country, the abovementioned Mukesh Ambani), which supplies power to this entire area.

“We are receiving a 1,000 Rs (approximately US$16) bill, every month”, explains an old couple next door. “On top of it we have to bribe employees of the electric company, to keep the connection. We have to go begging to more fortunate neighborhoods for water, and it is not always that the people there are willing to help us.”

An old man in the house actually follows what is happening in the world:

“I am aware of changes that are taking place in China, but our government is not doing the same things for us. Here, things are so bad that if we fall seriously ill, we simply die.”

“What about democracy?” I ask.

“Democracy is for the rich.”

Mr. Jagdish chips in: “As you heard, political parties come here, and they promise us free electricity and water, but nothing happens after the elections. Democracy is not working for us; it is the tool for the people with money to keep in power.”

Down an alley, a lady with a child confirms that there is no supply of clean water to this settlement.

Eventually, small barefoot children begin begging.

***

The ITC Hotel manager in Jaipur, Rajasthan, philosophizes:

“Arvind Kejriwal from AAM Admi Party (AAP) was very critical of the private media, and the mass media got extremely angry with him… You see; Arvind Kejriwal could become the Indian answer to the Latin American leadership!”

So I go to see him and his people.

On 3 August 2014, at the ancient star observatory, Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi, Aam Aadmi party held a mass gathering consisting of around 5,000 local residents, who were demanding fresh elections. There were fiery speeches coming from the podium and the AAP’s leader, Arwind Kerjiwal, agitated the dense crowd with anti-corruption slogans, swearing he would implement reforms, were he to be voted in, back into the office. He was also promising to improve the lot of common man. The reigning cry of the day was of getting rid of the oppressor ruling class through the democratic contest of the ballot boxes.

Here, surely, people knew something about BRICS and the Latin American revolutions?

But it was not the case. The campaign was almost exclusively about corruption.

Mr.Pawan Das, a cable manufacturer from the Shahdara constituency, spoke about the impact of AAP and the ex-chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, and his former 49 days rule in Delhi:

“I noticed the policeman in our factory who used to extort Rs.300 bribe money from me every month, didn’t turn up for 3 months. I egged him on to collect his extortion dues on coming across him, and enquired as to why he didn’t come to get the money, to which he replied, evasively, that he was posted on an election duty. I retorted: ‘were you really engaged in any election duty or got scared by the fear of prosecution instituted by Arvind Kejriwal’s strong anti-corruption measures?’

But BRICS or the fight against Western imperialism – definitely not!

“On asking about their stance on India’s strengthening alliance with the American government and India’s unassuming posture at BRICS meeting, all of them expressed their unawareness about such matters”, explained Anish, in rather decorative language.

Then, at Jantar Mantar, we encountered several individuals who clearly demonstrated the art of sitting on two chairs.

Both Mr. Deepak Lal and his wife voiced their favorable opinion about the strengthening of ties with America:

It’s in the interest of India to be a great partner in creating alternatives to the dominant paradigm offered by the U.S., but at the same time India-US relations should remain unaffected”.

Another old couple went on in an even more Kafkaesque manner:

“US-India relation is the way to the rise of India along with creating alignments leading to a multipolar world”.

***

At the May Day Bookstore in New Delhi, after an avant-garde theatre performance, I met my friend Sudhanva. Comrade Sudhanva Deshpande, is the editor of LeftWord Books, as well as a famous Indian intellectual and actor. He explained:

You are absolutely right posing the question: “Where is India in all this? It is very a good question because it is well known that for the last several years, a decade or more, Indian foreign policy had turned more and more towards the US. A few years ago, India conducted the Indo-US nuclear deal. That led to a lot of opposition back home, here in India, but the government went ahead with the deal. The Hindu right became more and more oriented towards the US. The government also argued for much closer ties with the Israel. As you know, India is the biggest buyer of Israeli arms in the world today.”

Earlier this year, in May, in the general elections, the party of the Hindu right, which is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), came to power. It is led by Narendra Modi, the man who is widely seen as being complicit in the pogrom of Muslims, in his homestay, Gujarat, in 2002, when he was a chief minister. His campaign was a very muscular campaign, a very macho campaign… He presented himself and his party as aggressively nationalist. The pre-election campaign was marked by anti-Muslim violence and rhetoric. As for foreign policy, there had been a long-term trend for more and more orientation towards the West, towards the US. In the current aggression on Gaza, for instance, the Indian government took the stand of so-called ‘equidistance’ from both Israel and Hamas, and this is really… this is compromising India’s long-term commitment to the cause of Palestinian independence. And this goes back to even the 1940’s, when India was not even independent.

The fact that India itself was a colony, and that it fought an anti-colonial struggle – it all seems now as a distant memory.”

I asked Sudhanva about BRICS, concretely: “Is it even possible that India, where it stands right now, could and should be considered as a member of BRICS?”

“I think right now, Indian foreign policy is trying to calibrate its position”, he replies”.

And he continued:

On one hand there is a trend towards more and more alignment with the US, and on closer and closer ties with Israel. So that’s on the one side. On the other side there are also hard economic realities. And that is what forced the Indian establishment to look towards formations like the BRICS. If indeed it so happens that BRICS will not be just an economic club, but if it starts taking a more determined anti-imperialist position, then the Indian establishment would have to really decide, where it stands. I don’t see India taking an anti-imperialist stand anytime soon, beyond some lip service.”

We talk about the past, about India’s determined anti-imperialist stand in its post-colonial period. Nehru brought this country to Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955, where the Non-Aligned movement was created.

Sudhanva explains:

India abandoned the Non-Alignment movement, effectively, in the late 80’s. In some sense you can say that it happened in Delhi, in the early 80’s, that it was the swansong of the non-alignment movement… The fact was that India became more and more ambivalent towards the idea of non-alignment, which helped to terminate the movement, because India was such an important part of it.”

And then India took a neo-liberal turn, in the early 90’s, and even the past was forgotten.

***

What can be expected of the present nationalist government of Narendra Modi, in relation to BRICS?

Benny Kuruvilla is from Kerala, a recognized expert on BRICS, and political lead at the ‘South Solidarity Initiative’. I met him, and his Chilean wife, Susana Barria, a labor organizer, after a demonstration in support of Palestine, in front of the Kerala House, in the center of New Delhi.

Benny readily clarified:

Modi and his government would be happy to be part of the Western alliance and of the BRICS… This is really an ultra-nationalist government, and it has to reassert its ideology… In the past it was all very different: during the Cold War, India was very close to Cuba, and to the USSR. Now that India has a very pronounced right-wing government, it is very reluctant to side with the anti-Western block. I don’t think India will go along with the idea that the Western concept should be cancelled. Indian Left-wing forces are very weak now, and this government is so happy to be part of big-boy’s club; for them it is the place in the sun! What is happening in BRICS and in Latin America is mainly monitored by the local intelligentsia; mainly by the upper class.”

Susana appeared to be more optimistic and hopeful, believing in change, and in a way she echoed what Noam Chomsky told me about the Arab world, several years ago:

Look, some 5 years before Hugo Chavez came to power in Venezuela, everything was bleak, in many parts of Latin America. We did not think that everything would be reversed so fast. We should not underestimate that things could change very fast.”

But India is not Venezuela. All three of us agreed that the Indian Left is too ‘purist’. It is stuck in theoretical definitions of what Communism or Socialism should be. For its taste, China is not socialist enough; most of the Latin American countries are not really purely Marxist. In the end, much is being discussed here, but very little achieved.

The next day I asked my friend Anish Gopinathan, a former international banker who spent several years working in Dubai, before returning, disgusted, back to India and began studying the Chinese language, and culture, whether all that I asked and heard so far made any sense. He replied:

Yes. In 2002 MP Modi was the Chief Minister in Gujarat, during the pogrom. For years, there was a US ban on him, a refusal to issue him an entry visa. That ban was lifted around the time of elections…”

The same happened in Indonesia, against Prabowo, an ultra-nationalist who was accused of crimes against humanity in Indonesia and blacklisted by the US Department of the State, but was quickly rehabilitated when he almost won the presidential elections earlier this year.

Anish concluded:

Modi is pro-business and pro-West. But in a way, he can also sometimes stand against the West, and for India. You often mentioned the Indian colonial hangover, when Indian elites shamefully idealize the colonial era. Well, Modi is one politician who does not have this hangover… For instance, he insists on using Hindi at international meetings. All our elites were conditioned in the West: Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Manmohan Singh… But not Modi! In fact he represents a big break against that colonial hangover… But the price is – he wants his Hindu state!”

***

Hindu state… We flew to Varanasi, to the ‘holy city’ built on the banks of Ganga River. It is a depressing, oppressed and miserably poor city, but at the same time it is the place that the current MP – Mr. Modi – was elected from.

We went to Kashi Vishwanath Temple, to talk to Brahmin priests, about their vision for India.

The results were shocking.

Mr. Pandey spoke to us in front of two military sentinels guarding the entrance to the temple. He was a Brahmin priest, associated with this place of worship since his childhood:

I am here, I am a priest, because… actually… I couldn’t get a job anywhere else. Really, no regular employment for me… And so, this is how I make a living… To me, religion is important, because it gives me some income… I like Americans, because they come here, and give us money… Somehow I sense that they feel good, giving us money… I have no idea about the developments in China, Russia or Latin America… I really don’t care.”

Mr. Shyama Prasad Sharma who also works for the temple, clarified his views:

“Latin America? BRICS? No, we don’t have time for stuff like that. We are busy here, at this temple, with business, with trade.”

What about something higher, more enlightened than that?

He walks away.

Anish is outraged:

This is like some market place; market mentality. It is like some fish market or vegetable market, or stock market! No time for any big questions in life! This is what BJP is fighting for. Hindu state… It is exactly what the mullahs in Pakistan are trying to create in their madrasahs. A cold, religious society; the code of primitive society…”

Desperate, we approach a simple man, a vegetarian food vendor. His name is Mr. Anoop Upadhyaya and he somehow brings things into perspective:

I voted for Modi because my parents ordered me to do it. I don’t expect much improvement from his government. If they deliver even some 25% of what they were promising us, I would be satisfied. We are always ‘Bhajpa’ (BJP)… That is what we are. We don’t think about it, don’t question it.”

We ask about BRICS.

He does not react, as if we were talking about some distant planet.

***

At some point I had had enough and I expressed a desire to visit some old-fashioned school to talk to teachers who were already there, teaching, before India entered the pragmatically-oblivious realm.

I was taken to Bhigan, just across the border from the capital, on the very edge of Haryana State, to a well-organized, clean and optimistic looking primary school.

I don’t know if what I saw was true or whether my friends were just being too kind to me, creating a spectacle, similar to that in the film ‘Goodbye Lenin’.

The educators and the principal – Mr. Kuldeep Singh Chavhan, as well as the history and physical education teacher – were extremely kind, knowledgeable and supportive.

We all expressed our admiration for the Soviet Union, and then we condemned Western imperialism.

“Friendship with Russia!” Screamed one of the teachers.

“Israel is the oppressor! US are behind Israel!”

Then the Principal spoke:

“We are very well aware that the US is trying to buy India through its multi-national companies!’

Then I spoke.

It all felt like a scene from a long time ago, even before I was born…

We did not hug, kiss or embrace. We did not sing. But it all felt fantastic.

A dog barked outside.

Children began leaving the school. We were still speaking.

Then I asked about BRICS.

“There is an issue,” the Principal admitted. “I am not really aware of the BRICS’s cooperation with India.”

“But…” I howled: “India is member of BRICS.”

Silence.

“But Modi went to Brazil!”

“I don’t know”, said the Principal, sadly.

‘It’s better if we sing!’ I thought.

***

From the other geographical extreme of the country, in the poorest Dalit villages around Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, my dear friend Venkat (he wanted to use only his first name for this report), a Cambridge-educated Brahmin, who was so appalled by the helplessness of the poor people, that he went against all that the upper cast and the elites represent, wrote to me:

The Indian social and political landscape hasn’t changed in years. Like the distant mirage, new governments come and go giving hope to the parched souls who are soon left out to die with still hope in their eyes!

The new middle class, thanks to the growth of IT, has often been praised and written about but this is only a small percentage although in a country of this size even such small percentages works out to be huge in numbers!

An average rural person is still struggling to make ends meet and still hoping for the “paradise’ that every politician promises! There is no time to read, think, discuss about other issues that affect the nation or the world. Cricket stars, film stars and sleazy politics fascinate conveniently Indian media, as the mass media are only concerned about TRP ratings and not about what people think and want!

So, discussions about BRICS or what happens in Syria or Iraq doesn’t really matter. Many villagers accept the stereotypes that the western media has painted. For example – the US is the land of wealth; China means cheap goods, Latin America – Che on your T-shirts and Cigars, Africa- famine and dangerous diseases, Middle East- only war!

The education system is being so commercialized that Indian youth are actually produced in large numbers, lacking even the skills that Industry wants!

Unless ‘real’ education is given to our children, we may not have a ‘thinking’ population in the future. But only if people are educated, can we hope for a greater critical mass of intellectuals who can guide the country.”

***

After having our boarding passes scanned at the gate and before entering the airplane, passengers had to go through three more military checkpoints! The entire state of affairs appeared to be thoroughly Kafkaesque. This confused, frustrated ‘police state’ was using its military, cops and other armed forces to intimidate and to keep at bay its own citizens. It has been doing it, for decades, in the most open and despicable way.

I still remember how in Gujarat, after that horrid sectarian pogrom of 2002, the Akshardham Temple killing and both (then) Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Sonia Gandhi, decided to visit the area. A huge crowd gathered, to welcome the politicians. It was a very peaceful crowd, consisting mainly of poor onlookers. But the police began beating the people with batons, savagely, just ‘preventively’ I was told, as if it were the most natural thing on earth: ‘The largest democracy on earth at work’. Nobody dared to protest against such treatment.

After talking to many, it appears that the poor see it all very clearly now: in the villages and in the slums, they laugh and cry or gesticulate angrily whenever the word ‘democracy’ is uttered in front of them. Most of the poor (that is the great majority of the country) have no doubts that they are living in a country whose rulers and oligarchs, backed by the security apparatus, are alimenting on their sweat, misery and blood.

Those ‘educated classes’, including most of the intellectuals from the Indian ‘Left’, live in a continuous and great deception. Most of them are desperately clinging to the notion that has been spread by the old and new Western colonial masters: that India is actually the largest democracy on earth.

Even those individuals in India who see clearly that both European and North American ‘democracies’ are increasingly becoming nothing else other than a grand farce, do not dare to admit that their own, Indian, multi-party system (aped from the West) in which all major political parties are controlled by corporate interests, as most of the mass media is, have been totally failing to represent the interests of the Indian majority.

‘Democracy’ is not a secretive and complicated scientific formula. It only means, in Greek, ‘the rule of the people’. And it goes without saying that most of the long-suffering Indian people that I spoke to, do not feel that they are ruling their own country!

***

Just before I took off from Delhi, I found myself sitting right next to a member of the new local elites. A Sikh man, who began with the usual line of interrogation: where am I from, where do I live, what is my line of work? Dutifully and calmly, I replied. Then he offered his short biography: he was a manufacturer and owned 3 homes in 3 different parts of the world: one in India, one in Bangkok and one in Vancouver. “I am taking my family back to Bangkok, now”, he explained. “I have a wonderful house there. It is such a great place to live.”

“It is quite complicated there, lately”, I suggested, neutrally. “After the coup…”

My statement shocked him: “Why do you say that? It is all very simple. One and a half months ago it was complicated, but after the army took over, everything is great.”

“For you, maybe”, I said, “And for the Thai elites, as well as for their Western handlers.”

He gave me that look, indicating that I was actually nothing more than a piece of dirt to him; that very look, which has increasingly began appearing on the faces of the new Indian ‘elites’, in those 5 star malls and hotels, in both India itself, and in countries like Thailand and Malaysia, which are now inundated by corrupt Indian officials and businessmen.

The conversation ended: from then on, arrogantly, he refused to reply to anything that I uttered, ignoring my attempts to be at least essentially civil and polite to someone who was occupying the seat next to me.

I did not ask about BRICS. I knew what he would reply: “They should all go to hell!” or something of that nature.

***

BRICS countries have to maintain high standards, if they are to make a significant difference in this world. Their determination to fight against colonialism, imperialism and for true freedom for countries worldwide cannot and should not be diluted.

If states like Indonesia, with governments full of war criminals and mass murderers, and one of the most inhumane economic/social systems on earth, are allowed to join, if Turkey, a member of NATO and one of the closest allies of the West in the Middle East, with several Western air force and military bases, is allowed to join; if India, which is openly and shamelessly collaborating with the West while sitting on two chairs is allowed to maintain its membership, then BRICS will soon lose all of its clout as well as its moral upper-hand.

If such a scenario takes place, the world will lose an alternative, and that would be an enormous tragedy.

India matters. Its people matter! It is a great and important nation. It used to be ‘our nation’. It used to stand firmly against colonialism and imperialism. In many ways, and in many of its parts, it still does.

India should wake up. It is needed. It should rebel against the oppressive system, both domestic and global. And it should become a proud BRICS nation: with all its heart, and not just on paper!

Symbol of Indian democracy

Symbol of Indian democracy

Arwind Kerjiwal

Arwind Kerjiwal

Gujarat 2002
Gujarat 2002

In Karora Village, two women with covered faces
In Karora Village, two women with covered faces

In Varanasi - believers and the army
In Varanasi – believers and the army

Khushampur Pahari slum
Khushampur Pahari slum

Sudhanva at his May Day Bookstore.
Sudhanva at his May Day Bookstore.

André Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. The result is his latest book: Fighting Against Western Imperialism‘Pluto’ published his discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. His feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” is about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

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Revolution in Pakistan

Pakistan Protest
The people of the Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaaf (PTI) ready to march on the capital, Islamabad.

While most of the world is busy following the turmoil and war theatre in the Middle East and Ukraine, another war is continuing in Pakistan.

There is a revolution brewing which does not bear the hallmarks of the US sponsored kind. And as such is being opposed by every organ of the Pakistani puppet state.

There is a slow motion civil war where 40,000 Pakistanis have lost lives because of America’s Global War on Terror. A gift that keeps on giving as Pepe Escobar so aptly puts it. Thousands of civilians have perished and the government continues to dance to the tunes set by the IMF, United States and it’s cronies & the local puppet oligarchy.

As with most vassal states, the establishment and the status quo is ferociously defended by the Imperial Mouthpieces. And as with most conscious people, the majority of the country has grown weary of the false empty promises of a puppet state masquerading as Pakistan’s embryonic “democracy”.

The most revolutionary voice out of Pakistan right now is Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaaf’s Imran Khan. Who is a popular cricket star turned politician. He has had a string of successes right from the cricketing world to his ambitious social project of a free cancer care hospital in Lahore, Pakistan. He has been in politics for approximately 18 years and has grown year on year, made mistakes, learned from mistakes and has kept marching on. He is a man with a vision and destiny, regardless of what his opponents say.

Imran is an ethnic Pushtun from the central province of Punjab and is unique in his appeal to a cross section of a strong 180 million Pakistani population divided across ethnic and religious lines.

Of course  for anyone who speaks about national interest and an independent foreign & domestic policy, Imran Khan is maligned daily by the elitists in Pakistani society. The usual hand picked puppet class vis a vis other client states.

Imran Khan has long been ridiculed in the national English press, especially Dawn. Which is the usual colonial chapter instrument of the Ministry of Propaganda. The NY Times, Washington Post or Kyiv Post of Pakistan. Imran Khan has been called even Taleban Khan for trying to negotiate with the Taleban.

The neoliberal puppet regime’s idea of a solution is to continue US drone strikes and military operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas where every man is a trained,seasoned and willing warrior. What was a few thousand militants has now, thanks to the “War on Terror”, grown into a full blown insurgency with a sympathetic population. Imran Khan has correctly stated that when the local population considers the militants as freedom fighters, then the war is already lost.

To take a gun from a tribal is like trying to take jewelry from a woman. What is the end game here? Kill 1 million Pakistanis so that America will be satisfied?

Of course the only solution is to eliminate the root cause of terrorism; American interference and drone strikes on the innocent civilians of Pakistan. Then only can Pakistan address it’s internal problems with extremism, an inadequate education system and poverty amongst a host of issues that have been left hanging for 60 odd years.

The biggest threat geopolitically to any puppet state is a united nation be it under an ayatollah or a dictator. A sovereign domestic and foreign policy is of primal importance. Without it, there is no democracy.  So who benefits from the status quo pathetic excuse for a democracy?

The answer always seems to be the US sympathetic oligarchy (include your industrialists, bankers, waderas etc). Oligarchy is not just restricted to the post soviet space, its a class that exists in most countries in varying shades and may easily work against the national interest.

The current billionaire Prime Minister,who is in power despite unaddressed claims of evidence of electoral fraud (a special Imperial gift to the 3rd world vis a vis Columbia and other vassal states), Nawaz Sharif was hosted in exile by Saudi Arabia and is an ally of the United States of America. Do I really need to explain further?

Everything is being analyzed on a micro level on an insane notion that free market hinged neoliberal democracy (that is literally destroying the planet) is good and will, and here is the kicker, save Pakistan from imminent doom should a social revolution succeed.

The typical establishment apologist jabs, like the one in yesterday’s Dawn newspaper, are replicas of “intellectual opinion” found across the mainstream presstitute media[1].

The aforementioned piece is essentially centered on two threats, to the social movement’s stated objectives, by the vassal state’s prime ally, the central bank.

The protesters at the capital on 16 August, two days after the National Day triggered a march on the capital.
The protesters at the capital on 16 August, two days after the National Day triggered march on the capital.

The following is very telling of what passes for normal in a vassal state.

“They could continue running the government and meeting its bills by running into overdraft with the State Bank, but they should know that the bank has in the past felt free to bounce provincial government cheques when it felt that the provincial authorities were being irresponsible in managing their finances.”
(Khurram Husain, “PTI’s empty threats”)

Translation: The central government can cut you off financially and watch you starve. A pretty brutal neoliberal “democratic” principle. A completely savage approach to collectively punish a people for dissent.

The idea of force is dismissed out of hand with one quick quip: “… threats that nobody is likely to take seriously.” and then another swift blow is dealt with “Without the revenue, will it also cut expenditures accordingly? “. The author is a classic mainstream journalist the likes of whom are now well known in other Imperial Mouthpieces like the NY Times, Guardian, Economist etc. 

I simply do not see why there is such hatred,contempt (and ultimately fear) of a social movement? Why not suggest ideas or perhaps entertain the idea of well, a revolution. 

IK at rally
Imran Khan addressing the protesters in Islamabad.

In a revolution, you do use force where necessary. You do perhaps divert revenue from elsewhere and when the centre cuts you off, you march to the capital. But wait, they are already in the capital. This could actually happen, even if the chance is remote. That is why the organs of state are working overtime to kill the threat to the status quo.

Noam Chomsky beautifully sums it up when he says : “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”

The spectrum of Pakistani neoliberal elite opinion rests on the foundations of a unicorn utopian democracy emerging from a corrupt rotten system that murders its citizens for dollars. Not just that but a system that has been pillaging the country for decades. But if any attempt to circumvent this “colonial democracy” is made, it will jeopardise the fairytale chance of Pakistan correcting course via the ballot box (which is routinely rigged in favor of the puppet oligarch of the hour).

Recently the Finance minister flew back from Dubai to answer Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s white paper on government corruption[2]. He was attending the latest round of meetings with the IMF which has been raping Pakistan for decades. 

So, who benefits from all this? The establishment,it’s sycophants and the classic hodge podge of neoliberal elites.

AE


[1] A typical establishment example of journalism http://www.dawn.com/news/1126607

[2]http://www.nation.com.pk/national/11-Aug-2014/finance-secretary-summoned-from-dubai-to-prepare-reply-on-pti-white-paper

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Quote of the hour, by Paul Craig Roberts

Sometimes a well stated, even though it might be obvious, fact can really jolt you back down to reality.

Russia is doing all it can to avoid a war which seems more and more likely with each passing month. No matter what they do they will always be at fault. It is very hard to maneuver when the opposing power wants war at all costs. It is even more difficult when the behaviour of the offending nation is ungentlemanly.

The Russians are constantly under attack, 24/7. According to the mainstream media, they can never get anything right. They are not only led by an evil demonic Putin but are so under privileged that the so-called sanctions will soon form bread queues vis a visa the 1990’s.

When heads of state compare Putin to Hitler, and others directly hold him responsible on absolutely no evidence then what can you do?[1]

Recently, President Obama said that Russia “…doesn’t make anything” and that “Immigrants aren’t rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. ” [2] Such language is unbefitting of a head of State. This is not someone who seeks peace, he seeks war.

The United States is on a march to war by any means and it will not drag but take its willing European ruling elite to war. War after all means money and the US has promised much riches in Russia. Everyone will get a share of the spoils.

This of course is a delusional project doomed to failure.  But just because it is delusional to us does not mean it is not perfectly sane to the US and its concubines in Europe.

Paul Craig Roberts very eloquently captures the point in his latest piece on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Kiev’s military assault on eastern and southern Ukraine is not going to stop because Europeans finally see the light and object.  Europeans not only stood aside for 13 years while Washington bombed civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, and organized outside forces to attack Syrians, while isolating Iran for military attack, but also actively participated in the attacks.  Europe has stood aside while Israel has massacred Palestinians on numerous occasions. For Russia to rely on Europe’s moral conscience is to rely on something that does not exist.

(Paul Craig Roberts, The ongoing Crisis in Ukraine)[3]

The Russians should (begrudgingly), if they have not already, start their march to war, psychologically at least.

AE


[1] http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/25/world/europe/hillary-clinton-vladimir-putin-mh17/

[2] http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/03/us-ukraine-crisis-obama-idUSKBN0G30Q920140803

[3] http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/20/the-ongoing-crisis-in-ukraine/

 

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The Vineyard Saker in Oceania