Thursday, March 03, 2022

A few music thoughts

That's "The Nights" by Chase Rice.  I love that song.

Responding to some questions about music my friend Sunny asked me on the phone recently and suggested I note it here.

SLEEP THROUGH THE STATIC is my favorite Jack Johnson album. It opens perfectly with "All At Once." It has the title track, "Angel," "Enemy" and so much more. After LSEEP THROUGH THE STATIC After that one, TO THE SEA would be my favorite followed by IN BETWEEN DREAMS. But I like everything, even the soundtrack he did for the CURIOS GEORGE animated children's film.

George Ezra? I only have WANTED ON VOYAGES. I have that on vinyl and on CD. I bought the vinyl version of the album and then opened it up and it also included the CD inside. I like George and would love to have other albums but I'm just not into ordering. I don't usually have the time.

Sam Smith remains one of my favorite singers but that last album did nothing for me and, yes, I did listen to it again, LOVE GOES, and I still hate it. The first two albums, I love. I love his voice on LOVE GOES but the album's songs are not strong enough. He's one of my favorite singers. But I hate that album.

Kat has a singer she loves who just put out an album. So far, she's not planning to review it. Why? The album sucks. I agree with Kat's assessment. That said, I wish that Kat would write that review.


"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

 Wednesday, March 2n, 2022.  Joe Biden war mongers on TV and the media plays out like an episode of AMERICAN DAD -- only AMERICAN DAD is supposed to be funny.

Fading and senile Joe Biden gave a speech last night.  Some have called it a State of the Union address which has led to a bit of confusion: The State of the Union tradicitionally takes place in January but yesterday was the first of March?  Since FDR, that's when the State of the Union is delivered.

Old and senile, Joe couldn't even manage to deliver the SOU address on time.    He was too old for the job.  Age was weaponized to attack Sarah Palin, do we remember that?  John McCain was too old, too old!!!!  He could die in office!  He could die!!!!!  That was 2008.   He was 71.

In November, Joe Biden will turn 80.  

When Ronald Reagan  won re-election in 1984, he was 73.  And, until Joe won in 2020, Reagan was the oldest person to win the presidency.  Joe was too old to run and he's way too old to run for re-election.

He should be encouraged to resign so that Kamala could run as a sitting president in 2024.

He's too old.  He has no idea what's going on.  His corruption has become as well known as his son's and, as Ruth noted, it is past time a Special Counsil was created to investigate Hunter Biden.  He remains the subject of a grand jury inquiry, he remains the target of a criinal investigation by the FBI.  Joe has repeatedly lied insisting that Hunter did nothg wrong -- even after the election which was a clear violation of his duties as president.  (The proper resonse is always, "I cannot comment on an ongoing ivestigation.")   This is Jonathan Turley commenting on the most recent Hunter Biden scandal:

For those of us who have covered the Hunter Biden scandal for years, one of the most prominent figures in his alleged influence peddling efforts is Devon Archer, his close friend and partner. Archer was sentenced yesterday by federal District Judge Ronnie Abrams to a year in jail. Archer is shown (far left) in this 2014 picture with Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.

Archer was convicted of defrauding the Wakpamni Lake Community Corporation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in the handling of a $60 million bond offering. Hunter Biden was not implicated in those dealings.

Abrams was previously reversed after she set aside his 2018 jury conviction. In United States v. Archer, the Second Circuit found that Abrams abused her discretion in tossing out the verdict.

Abrams actually gave a lighter sentence than the 30 months requested by prosecutors, citing the pandemic conditions in prison as “extraordinarily difficult.”  The lower sentence may have practically undermined any interest of federal prosecutors to reach a cooperation deal with Abrams in their ongoing investigation of Hunter Biden.

Archer was involved with Hunter as a board member on Burisma Holdings, an Ukraine-based energy company. He was also featured in the controversial picture with now President Joe Biden.

Joe Biden has repeatedly denied knowing anything about his son’s foreign dealings, even though Hunter Biden himself contradicted that account and a key witness Anthony Bobulinski has refuted the denial.

After the photo above was posted on the Burisma website, Demetra Lambros, the VP’s Chief Counsel, later called for the photo to be removed.

One of the most extraordinary exchanges found in Hunter’s text messages reportedly dealt with Archer complaining that he was arrested by Biden “appointees.” According to press accounts, Hunter Biden responded by assuring him that he was covered and “family” [. . .]

Here's Joseph Kishore (WSWS) on Joe's embarrassing SOU speech:

US President Joe Biden delivered his annual “State of the Union” address on Tuesday evening. His speech, as could be expected, was full of lies and self-delusions, punctuated by standing applause from the assembled members of Congress.

Biden’s State of the Union was the first to begin with foreign policy since George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” speech in 2002, twenty years ago. Bush spoke in the aftermath of the US invasion of Afghanistan and in the run-up to the war against Iraq. Biden spoke in the midst of an escalating campaign against Russia over Ukraine.

What emerges from the speech above all else is that the drive for war against Russia, along with the extreme bellicosity coming out of the Biden administration and the media, is motivated more than anything else by the social and political crisis within the United States.

“Last year, COVID-19 kept us apart,” Biden began his remarks. “This year, we are finally together again. Tonight, we meet as Democrats, Republicans and Independents. But most importantly, as Americans.” He concluded his speech with an impromptu statement, not included in the official transcript put out by the White House: “Go get him.”

One cannot help but ask, if it were not for the crisis in Ukraine, how would Biden have begun his speech? Perhaps by asking for a moment of silence to honor the memory of 1 million Americans who have died from COVID-19? The pandemic, which has dominated the lives of the entire world’s population over the past two years, was relegated to a minor issue.

I don't care enough about Joe Biden nad his lies to spend two days on that nonsense speech last night.  Meaning?  I don't ahe time to nurture and feed you, Green Party.  Get your sh**ty act together.  Last night they delivered a live response to Biden.  Most Americans didn't even know about it.  Because people will be talking about Joe's speech this morning, it could get some attention if it was posted.

If it was posted.

There's no excuse for this nonsense.  It's still not up.  It didn't need editing, it just needed posting.  Stop wasting people's tiem.  If you're not going to work to be a real political party, just get of the stage.  

Why go to the point of making a response video if no one can see it in a timely manner when it might actually matter?

I don't have time for this crap.  Don't send me it when it posts.  You should have been prepared this morning when people were talking about the speech.  You failed.  You failed again.

There are lot of people -- Sabby Sabs most recently -- who want to whine tht mean old Howie hawkins stole the nomination from former fake wrestler Jesse Ventura.  But Jesse didn't run for the nomination.  I don't get the hate for Howie.  While the national Green Party can't get its own act together, Howie has continued to post content at his YOUTUBE channel every week and sometimes twice a week since the 2020 election.  That's how you bild a party, that's how you make change.  

Cindy Sheehan wanted to let a bad candidate whine about how it was 'funair' the way the process worked out and Howie got the nomination.  This is the man, remember, who slimed Kevin Zeese's wife.  

This is also the man, Darius, who inspired people who heard him speak.  But he thought he could run for the Green Party's presidential nomination without . . . running.  He refused to Tweet on a regular basis, he refused to post videos.  He barely hit the road to speak to groups.  That's not  campaign.  

They have no written statement up, they have failed to post their video from last night.

This is life or death -- for the Green Party, sure, because it's sending a message that it can't keep up with othe others and will drop out of the marathon about thirty seconds after it starts.  But for the people living in Russia and Unrkaine?  It's life or death.  It's a real damn shame that whomever was responsible for recording last night's livesstream couldn't have spared an additional five minutes to get it posted after it aired.  Again, no one cares what you had to say about the speech on Thursday.  You should have been prepared today.  You need to get your act together.

Sarah Abdallah Tweets:

The war in Ukraine didn't start 5 days ago. It started in 2014 when the democratically elected Ukrainian government was overthrown by Obama in an illegal coup and replaced with an anti-Russian regime that would go on to commit daily war crimes against ethnic Russians in Donbass.

In her weekly coluymn at BLACK AGENDA REPORT, Margaret Kimberley observes:

By now everyone knows that Ukraine’s flag is blue and yellow. It is impossible to miss as the Empire State Building in New York, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris have all been bathed in those colors. Nearly every city and town across the United States has followed suit and politicians ranging from local legislators to members of congress shout “Stand with Ukraine!” at every opportunity.

Yet it must be pointed out that those blue and yellow motifs and pleas for solidarity are all about white supremacy. Ukraine is upheld as a bastion of “civilization” which is supposed to put it off limits for war and suffering. The quiet part is now being spoken out loud. We are told that Ukrainians are more deserving of concern because they are Europeans.

Ukraine’s deputy chief prosecutor said as much in a BBC interview. “It is very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed…" He wasn’t alone in his assessment. An NBC reporter was asked why Poland was willing to admit Ukrainians even as it turned away other refugees. "Just to put it bluntly, these are not refugees from Syria, these are refugees from neighboring Ukraine. That, quite frankly, is part of it. These are Christians, they are white, they're ... um... very similar to the people that live in Poland.”

CBS followed suit, "This isn't a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan who has seen conflict rage for decades. This is a relatively civilized, relatively European - I have to choose those words carefully - city where you wouldn't expect that or hope that it was going to happen."

The narrative that only white people deserve peace and security is all the more shameful because the global south suffers from war and privation as a direct result of US/NATO actions. It is NATO that destroyed the nation of Libya, NATO which attempted to do the same in Syria, NATO that occupied Afghanistan, NATO which wages war across African countries with US, French and British troops deployed across the continent. The white world causes suffering and then says that the people of the global south are “uncivilized” with no rights that need to be respected.

A Watson Institute of Brown University study showed that more than 37 million people in North Africa, Western and Central Asia, and the Horn of Africa have been displaced by the US and its allies since 2001. The humanitarian disasters begun years ago are ongoing, as refugees use the Mediterranean and even the US border with Mexico as points of escape. After experiencing wars of aggression these nations are then subjected to punishment as the United States steals Afghanistan’s assets and keeps Syria under the thumb of Caesar Sanctions. These thefts cause more suffering and even death as nations are robbed of the ability to care for their people. Who is civilized and who is not?

Over the weekend, the media couldn't help sporting its racism and making it clear that the push for this war was about racism.  The whole thing played out like Genevieve Vavance on AMERICAN DAD>

This isn't some ugly kid who went missing, no.  This is a person  who matters.


Gloria Methri notes:

The biggest news of the past week has been Russia's invasion of Ukraine amid strong condemnation from the rest of the world. As news channels scrambled to provide round-the-clock coverage of the crisis, many people have pointed out "racism" in the way reports are presented.

Some Twitter users have alleged that media coverage for the Middle East, Asian and African conflict zones does not receive as much footage as the European conflict.

A Twitter thread by journalist Alan MacLeod detailed some of the instances of "racist" media coverage of the Ukraine crisis. The thread points out shocking terms used by leading news organizations including BBC, CBS News, Al Jazeera, BFM TV, The Daily Telegraph, and the ITS (UK).

On BBC News, Ukraine’s deputy chief prosecutor David Sakvarelidze said he was very emotional seeing “European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed every day”.

On CBS News, foreign correspondent Charlie D’Agata while reporting from Kyiv said, “This is a relatively civilized and European city where you wouldn’t expect or hope that it is going to happen.” He also said this wasn't "Iraq or Afghanistan" – countries that have been suffering endless conflict. D'Agata later apologized in a broadcast.

On NBC, a correspondent was asked what has changed in Poland since the last refugee crisis in Europe in 2015, at which time the country had been hesitant to accept refugees.

She shockingly replied, "Just to put it bluntly, these are not refugees from Syria, these are refugees from neighboring Ukraine. That, quite frankly, is part of it. These are Christians, they’re white, they’re very similar people."

On Al Jazeera, Peter Dobbie, while talking about Ukrainians fleeing the country said, "What’s compelling is just looking at them, the way they are dressed. These are prosperous middle-class people. These are not obviously refugees trying to get away from areas in the middle east that are still in a big state of war. These are not people trying to get away from areas in North Africa. They look like any European family that you would live next door to..."

Black Alliance for Peace issued the following:

Black Alliance for Peace Statement on the Situation in the Ukraine

The Black Alliance for Peace emphatically declares that the conflict in the Ukraine emerges from the ceaseless and single-minded drive of the U.S., NATO, and the European Union for global economic and political dominance. The genesis of the current crisis, as BAP has previously asserted, is in the 2014 US-backed coup of Ukraine’s democratically elected government – and in the determination of the U.S./EU/NATO “axis of domination” to convert Ukraine into a heavily-militarized NATO member nation, lurking on the border of the Russian Federation. NATO’s expansion has been a well-known security concern for Russia since 1999, when Bill Clinton inaugurated the official process of growing NATO’s membership to include former nations of the Warsaw Pact. Today, as the conflict escalates, NATO’s expansion has become an existential threat to African people and all oppressed and colonized people around the world. For peace to arrive in the region and in the world, the expansion of this “axis of domination” must be halted and NATO must be dismantled. 

But what is peace? For BAP, peace is not merely the absence of conflict. Peace means the achievement, through popular struggle and self-defense, of a world liberated from militarism and nuclear proliferation, imperialism and unjust war, patriarchy, and white supremacy. Indeed, the resurgence and celebration of Nazism in the Ukraine, as well as in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere, represents a global consolidation of white supremacy as part of the project of imperialism. This consolidation also appears through invocations of and appeals to white, “civilized” nations and peoples and the entrenchment of an unabashedly racist pan-European world. Peace also means dismantling a military-industrial complex that is clearly profiting from endless war and intervention and reinvesting bloated “defense” budgets into education, health and child care, housing, and the battle against global warming. We need to dismantle NATO for the same reasons we need to abolish the police: both serve the interests of capital and empire at the expense of the global working classes. 

The Black Alliance for Peace is mindful of the loss of life in Ukraine, but also in Somalia, Yemen, and every nation suffering under NATO wars of domination. We offer our unwavering solidarity with the people of these places. As BAP Coordinating Committee member Rafiki Morris  argues:

 “Our concern for the people of Ukraine must be added to our overarching concern for those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya; coups in Egypt, Honduras, Ukraine, Bolivia, Brazil;  subversion in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba; coups across the African continent with soldiers trained by AFRICOM.” 

We note, for example, that as the U.S. condemned the military actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, its armed drones bombed Somalia. Moreover, as Black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean were abandoned and mistreated in the Ukraine, the 200th deportation flight of the Biden administration sent 129 Haitians to Port-au-Prince, adding to the 21,000 already deported in one year. 

To secure the interests of the Russian and Ukrainian people, there must be good faith negotiations between the Russian Federation, representatives of the peoples of Donbas, and the Ukraine. The EU and the U.S. must end their continuous shipments of arms and other “lethal aid” to Ukraine. Ukraine and Russia must enter into serious discussions with the peoples of the Donbas in order to determine if the Minsk agreement, which was  unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council in 2015, is still applicable.  And NATO must be disbanded.

A cloud of confusion has settled on many people, as the lusty calls for war with Russia grow louder and the propagandistic appeals to patriotism, racial nationalism, and the defense of “white civilization” intensify. For BAP, there is no confusion. The conflict in the Ukraine has only exposed the hypocrisy and contradictions of imperialism, war, and militarism – and the demand for peace means to fight against U.S. imperialism and the U.S./EU/NATO axis of domination.

On this strategic focus, BAP says once again that there will be No Compromise and No Retreat!

The following sites updated:

  • Wednesday, March 02, 2022

    A mess of their own making

    With Joe Biden having nominated  Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court, Jonathan Turley explores ways in which past behavior makes the confirmation more difficult:

    The Democrats maintained a two-year filibuster (yes, the “relic of Jim Crow”) against Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who was seeking to become only the second black woman on the D.C. Circuit.  Brown also had an extensive record of experience and incredible life story. She was born to Alabama sharecroppers and grew up in the segregated South and worked as a single mother. Like the equally moving life story of Clarence Thomas, Brown’s background was largely dismissed or ignored by the media and Democratic senators. She was opposed by two future Democratic presidents: Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

    Democratic senators also used the filibuster to block a vote on Miguel Estrada, who finally relented and withdrew his name. Estrada also had a moving and accomplished background. Arriving at the age of 17 with little English, he went on to graduate magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia and then magna cum laude from Harvard Law School where he served as editor of Harvard Law Review. Sound familiar?

    Estrada was shredded by the Democrats. After he withdrew, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D., Mass.) took a victory lap and said ”This should serve as a wake-up call to the White House that it cannot simply expect the Senate to rubber-stamp judicial nominations.”

    None of this matters, of course. Despite the campaign pledge leading to the Jackson nominee, any reference to the threshold criteria or the campaign on the left will not be tolerated.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

    Tuesday, March 1, 2022.  If only MINT PRESS NEWS was worthy of Alan Macleod's reporting and other sad tales of the same media constructs trying to pass themselves off as "new."

    The late Nanci griffith performing her song "It's A Hard Life Wherever You Go" which first appears on her studio album STORMS.  And it's true.  A neo Nazi regime has the corporate media's sympathies and that about says ti all.

    Well not uite.

    Not sure why Alan Macleod -- a strong writer -- thinks he has any place to call Tucker Carlson out?  I'm confused.  Alan writes for MINT PRESS NEWS.  They feature this video.

    "A really great guest.  Someone who knows what war is.  Who has been in war."  Oh, Scott knows much more than that, Dan.  Why be so modest?

    Dan Cohen, maybe the firt thing to do is to get honest with your viewers?

    Scott Ritter has been arrested multiple times for attempting to have sex with underage girls.  When Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House,, the claim was that this was all political and it was Republicans going after Scott.  Then he got arrested after Barack Obama was president.  And this time, he wasn't given a plea deal or a slap on the writst.  This time, he went on trial and was convicted for his actions.  He's a registered sex criminal.

    And you're not telling people that, Dan?

    And Alan youre off on Tucker Carlson when your own outlet is promoting Scott without noting that he's a sex offender?

    Is Scott such an important voice and analyst that we need him in public disccusion?  I'm not seeing it.  But I can be wrong.

    We've included the video.  We've also included reality: That he's been arrested multiple times for attempting to engage in sex with underage girls.  That he was convicted of that -- and cried in court as he admitted he did it -- and was sentenced and sent to prison for it.

    Apparently, MINT NEWS PRESS doesn't give two s**ts about the safety of young girls.

    Big surprise -- that's sarcasm.  There's nothing at their website that indicates that they value women.  They're like so many 'left' sites in the '00s who don't get caught in 'idnetity politics' -- their excuse for ignoring the rights of women and girls and for ingoring racism.  

    Alan's  a good writer.  But he looks like a hypocrite as he goes after Tucker Carlson while his own site promotes Scott Ritter.

    They don't warn anyone.  And any 14 year old girl that Scott targets next who knows of Scott from MINT PRESS NEWS -- and only from MINT PRESS NEWS -- just knows that he's someone to be 'trusted' per MPN.  

    Long ago I made the proposal that Scott Ritter should come with a warning lable.  Arianna took that over to her own site and then tried to apply it to Republicans running for office.  

    This was not about political differences between myself and Scott Ritter.  This is about him being a convicted sex offender who has a history of attempting to have sex with underage girls.  I have no idea why his wife stayed with him.  I don't care, honestly.  But even before the conviction, we told the truth about Scott.  We did that because a CNN friend -- who was against the Iraq War, by the way -- warned me.  I was told that there were two arrests.  Unlike Sy Hersh, we told the truth and walked away.  

    I don't like him.  I don't like anyone who tries to prey on children.  

    Does he have anything of value to add to the discussion.  I'm not hearing it in the video above.  Maybe you are.  But we noted what he was convicted of and we provided the needed public warning.

    MPN hasn't.  

    Before he was arrested the last time (and convicted) we called out a number of outlets for promoting Scott and acting irresponsible.  It is irresponsible to promote him without nting what he is -- someone convicted of attempting to prey on children.  

    We noted that Ktrina vanden Huevel, Amy Goodman and all the rest were proving just how little they gave a damn about young girls.  Katrina eventually dropped him at THE NATION.  Not because of what we were saying but because what we were saying was hurting her in newsrooms and limitng her media appearances.  She wanted her TV time and she knews she wasn't getting it and why.  

    And now it' hilarious to watch her try to work 'littl emedia' after big media got done with her.  See her on Katie Halper because Katie wants to promote the Council of and for Foreign Relations?  Is that it, Katie?  Do you even know who you bring on?  Do you even know that Ava and I tracked Katty's record at THE NATION and saw her publis 149 female bylines in the same year she published 491 male bylines?  Does that count as equality to you, Katie?  I'm confused what it is that you think Katrina has to offer to the conversation?

    Maybe it's her skin color/  Maybe you don't feel that you have enough White people on your show and bringing on Katrina lets you reach 99%.  I'm nost sure.  

    But Katty Van Van burned her bridges at ABC -- viewers didn't like her and THIS WEEK producers and crew found her problematic and dictatorial   I dug a few inches of her grave, yes, but I didn't dig the grave by myself.  She's done.  And so now she wants to be on emerging media and Katie's either a whore or stupid and wants to promote her.  

    I think Katie needs to figure out where she stands.  I support war resisters, for example.  Katty Van Van doesn't and saw to it that they were not covered by THE NATION.  

    I support artists.  Katty is rich because her grandfather exploited them -- especially artis of color.  She's also rich because she refused to pay the required taxes and took the matter to court.  Remember that when she's playing her just-folks-Katty. 

    Katrina's led on nothing.  She betryaed her own husband during Russiagate.  Had to appear neutral.  Excuse me "HAT TO APPEAR NEUTRAL!"  That's what Stephen yelled in disbelief over the phone at me.  He was furious and rightly so.  Aaron Mate sucks up to her because she published his writings.

    Of course she did.  He has a penis.  She's never had a problem publishing men.  She's never had a problem discriiminating against women.

    So excuse the f**k out of me, Katie halper, if I'm appalled by your deicsision to promote her.  There are qualified guest sho have something to offer.  Katrina has vague, pie-in-the-sky pronouncements.  Nothing more.

    I've streamed the video with Scott.  I don't see the point of bringing him on.  I wonder if all these people bringing on Katty and Scotty took the time to bring on, for example, Ajamu Baraka, if the world might move towards a better place?

    Thing is, the way things are going right now, we'll never know.  

    The people who say they want to change the system, the podcasters and the YOUTUBErs -- are simply recreating the same discriminating world and they're either too damn dumb to notice or they really don't care.

    Alan, you're a great writer.  But before you pick on Tucker Carlson again (I pick on him all the time and have for years -- check out what Ava and I have written at THIRD -- most recently about his nipple obsession), ask your outlet why it is that they have a convicted felon on, someone who remains a threat to girls, and they don't feel the need to air a warning?

    Again, there's a reason we don't live in a better world.

    Racism was on full display in the coverage of Ukraine.  We called it out Saturday and Monday.  

    Richard Medhurst did an excellent commentary on it below.

    Where are the others?

    Katie?  Bri-Bri?  Marianne?  Gilligang?

    The news personalities got away with their on air racism because to the people thty ewere talking to, it was normal and acceptable.  And we see that on YOUTUBE as people rush to ignore what happened.

    The racism alone is frightening.  But there's also the fact, that as we have repeatedly noted, the western coverag of Iraq left out so much.  Now we know why.  The people the corporations had covering Iraq saw the people as less-than.  They weren't real people.  Not to the western press.  They were, apparently, 'savages' like in the DISNEY 'kid's musical' POCAHONTAS.  

    The Iraqi people have never gotten their due from the western press and now we have a good reason why that's the case: Racism.  

    Marianne Williamson knows all about racism.  After all, it was racism that led her to bring on non-AFghans to address AFghanistan.  Remember that show?  SHe brought on a woman from the US who ivnaded Afghanistan.  All these years later, it was still too much for Marianne to allow the Afghan people to tell their own story.  Instead, she needed someone who invaded tehir country -- some dumb bitch who thought she had a right to speak for the Afghan people.  Racism is the term for what you did Marianne.  You owe everyone an apology.  

    Self-dterimination and democracy are just buzz words for the 'little media' which doesn't care about the principles involved anymore than corporate media does to judge by their own actions.

    The US government installed neo-Nazis in the government of Ukraine.  It's ab asic fact.  But it's one everyone works overtime to avoid.

    That's not me saying that the people are all Nazis.  They're not.  But the ones in charge are, the ones that the corpoarte media is backing and that's because the corporate media is ab unch of Nazis as well.  When CBS refuses to fire a staff member who makes racist statements on air?  They're making clear that they agree with those statements.  They're saying those statements are their own belief.  And suddenly you understand why the same press obsessed with blone hair and blue eyes -- as another one of the corporate press said on air -- is bacing neo-Nazis.  Hilter was also obsessed with blue eyes and blond hair, he just used terms like "Ayran."

    It was a very revealing moments, watching the press speak its mind over the weekend.

    The second revealing moment?  Watching so many in 'independent' media feel that this was nothing to comment on.  Oh well, maybe Bri-Bri and Katie and Mariane can drive tehir Carava of the Useless onto another fundraiser for politicians.  Hey, the ones that they promoted last time failed you but send moneyt his time because the gals want you to.

    Big news out of Iraq today.  No, the political stalemate has not ended.  Elections were held October 10th.  Still no president, still no prime minister.  The Parliament is currently in violation of the country's Constitution, having missedt he last day possible by which they should declare a president.

    The court declred that Hoshyar Zebari couldn't run for president.  Everyone rushed to make up a new list of presidential candidates.  And? Dilan Sirwan (RUDAW) reports the latest:

    Iraq's Federal Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled the parliament's decision to re-open registration of presidency candidates as "unconstitutional".

    The decision came following a closed hearing by the court which no media was allowed to attend. The court's session came after the case was adjourned on February 23.

    The session reviewed the Iraqi parliament's decision to reopen the registration for presidential candidates after the parliament failed to meet quorum to elect a president last month.

    The parliamentary speaker announced the reopening of registration for presidential candidates on February 8, as the legislature failed to vote in a new president a day earlier due to the absence of prominent parties.

    The court set the grounds for its decision on the fact that "there is no constitutional or legal text giving the Parliamentary speaker the power to reopen the registration of candidates," Iraqi state media reported, adding that the possibility of once again re-opening registrations would be in accordance to a decision from the parliament, and not the speaker alone.

    ,Basim Khashan filed the motion that led to this verdict.  He's an MP whom the press idnentifies as independent but he teamed with Mahmoud al-Mashhadani back in January to try to remove the Speaker of Parliament.  Back then, Arabic social media was noting his close ties to Nouri al-Maliki.  Who?  You know, the former prime minister and forever thug that has worked hard to defeat 'king maker' Moqtada al-Sadr in the post-election period.  Blood in the water these days.  Enough to make the sharks circle Moqtada?  Maybe not yet but Nouri keeps delivering body blows to Moqtada and is making Moqtada look dumb, unskilled and inept.  How long do you think Moqtada can keep his exasperated coaltion together?  Clearly, Nouri thinks he can exhaust them.

    Never forget that in 2010, Nouri lost the election.  But he refused to step down as prime minister.  For oever eight months, he refused to step down.  And then Joe Biden, on behalf of the US government, oversaw The Erbil Agreement that gave loser Nouri a second term.  Moqtada may not grasp it but the press should -- Nouri fights a long and slow war of attrition.

    The following sites updated:


    Monday, February 28, 2022

    Jonathan Turley, Ava and C.I., George Ezra

    Who is Ketanji Brown Jackson?  Probably the next Supreme Court Justice.  Jonathan Turley explains:

    For many liberal groups, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is a supreme “deliverable” by President Biden. Activist groups have pushed her nomination to the Supreme Court while opposing the consideration of fellow short-lister District Judge J. Michelle Childs. These groups clearly did not like Childs and her more moderate take on legal issues. Yet the interesting question is, what did they see in Judge Jackson that made her the preferred choice? It seems to be widely understood but barely discussed.

    Jackson received a rather unenviable start to her nomination. Without any real pressure on timing, the White House announced its selection of the D.C. circuit judge even as Ukrainians were fighting street by street for their freedom. The “now for something completely different” moment was quickly overshadowed by images of the agony abroad.

    That decision follows Biden’s unnecessaryunprecedented pledge to consider only Black females for a vacancy on the court — the very type of threshold criteria that the court has declared unconstitutional or unlawful for schools or businesses. (Jackson herself previously rejected Biden’s premise for imposing his threshold racial and gender exclusion, stating during her appellate confirmation hearing that “I don’t think that race plays a role in the kind of judge that I have been and would be.”)

    With a sterling academic and professional resume, she deserved a much better framing and timing for her nomination.

    Jackson always has been the front-runner in this process. Activist groups such as Demand Justice, which has led efforts to pack the court and to hound Justice Stephen Breyer into retiring, pushed her nomination while opposing Judge Childs, whom they considered too moderate and tough on crime. This concerted opposition campaign, which included the Our Revolution group aligned with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), painted Childs as anti-union and pro-employer too.

    While these advocates and others all agreed that Jackson was the best choice, they have not explained clearly why. NBC News declared that “Jackson fits well with the Democratic Party and the progressive movement’s agenda.” Yet the confirmation process is designed to guarantee that we do not have wink-and-a-nod nominations where agendas are to be fulfilled but not discussed.

    Jackson has an extremely limited written record to review — something considered an advantage for a nominee. Most of her district court opinions are not very illustrative of her views or approach to the law. She did write several very long opinions as a district court judge but has only one published opinion as an appellate judge. That opinion, a win for unions against a federal agency, was released roughly 24 hours before her nomination. She has remarkably little else written beyond these limited opinions.

    I'm less bothered by her lack of judicial writings than I am by the fact that 24 hou4s before her nomination she publishes an opinion.  Makes me wonder if the opinion is actually structured to put her on the Court and not truly representative of what she would actually do.

    I don't really care too much one way or the other if she sits on the bench.  I don't think we get candidates from or the people when the duopoly picks our choices for us.

    "TV: Cringe-worthy TV" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):

    At the end of the long interview, Nick went off screen (replacing himself for a moment with an avatar) and (we assume) cried.  

    Our hearts went out to him.

    Sabby had been asking if rumors meant that Movement for a People's Party would be better off without him as national chair?

    Nick started the political party.  And he tried to answer Sabby's question -- after a great many tough ones had already come before -- but was clearly struggling not to cry.  

    It was hard to watch.  We had to put it on pause for a moment.

    Sabby -- unlike the five women noted at the end of last week's piece -- actually believes in something beyond the corporate duopoly.  So this topic matters to her immensely.  But as she spoke about state level and members being represented, honestly, we did recall that it was the week before where she had a Green Party member on and was saying that Jesse Ventura should have been the party's presidential nominee.  What is it about YOUTUBE personalities that they keep insisting that someone who would not run for the nomination of a political party should be gifted with it?  How is that democracy?  And having argued that position on a previous show, how did that jibe with some of the questions she was now asking of Nick.

    It came off, honestly, like badgering.

    Guess what?  Interviews don't have to be soft balls.  Sabby may be playing devil's advocate in either of the two instances we've cited or in only one or in none.

    She's allowed to define her style just as much as she's allowed to define her scope.

    Equally true, she took the issues at play seriously.  What Mikea was wrongly praised for pretending to do with Joe Biden regarding Tara Reade's charges, Sabby actually did.

    Nick is accused of inappropriate behavior.


    Charges like that need to be taken seriously and praise to Sabby for doing that.

    However, with Tara, she came forward.  

    Agreed.  I am tired of people wanting to make accusations of assault but do not want to come forward.  That especially applies to the lunatic claiming Bob Dylan assaulted her in the 60s who won't come forward even though she's accusing him an it's been over 60 years.

    C.I. asked me on Sunday, "Are you planning on noting George Ezra's new video?"  Me: New video?  C.I.: Well, it's about a month old now.  

    That;s; it above, "Anyone For You."

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):

    Monday, February 28, 2022.  Leaders?  A title that's rarely earned or deserved.


    SEveral outlets have, while cheerleading events in Ukraine and war on Russia, fingered their inner ractists.  Among those jizzing in public?   Ben Kesslen (NEW YORK POST) reports on Charlie D'Agata:

    A senior foreign correspondent at CBS News apologized Saturday after he said on air that the war in Ukraine can’t be compared to those in Iraq and Afghanistan — because the Eastern European nation is more “civilized.”

    Correspondent Charlie D’Agata was reporting from Kyiv, Ukraine when he said Friday that Ukraine “isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen conflict raging for decades.

    “This is a relatively civilized, relatively European — I have to choose those words carefully, too — city, where you wouldn’t expect that or hope that it’s going to happen,” he continued.

    D’Agata issued an apology on the broadcaster’s streaming network Saturday, after his comments went viral — racking up more than 1.5 million views on Twitter — and were swiftly condemned as racist and historically inaccurate.

    At THE WRAP, Harper Lambert notes:

    Imraan Siddiqi, the executive director of Muslim grassroots advocacy and civil rights organization CAIR Washington, expressed his criticism by simply tweeting the clip with the caption “Civilized”.

    “Matter of Fact” host and “Real Sports with Brian Gumbel” correspondent Soledad O’Brien also reacted on Twitter.

    “‘Relatively civilized, relatively European': when the white dude reporter knows he’s being kinda racist but carries on anyway. Whew,” she wrote. “Can we please diversify news coverage and get rid of this crap. Please.”

    Sana Saaed Tweets:

    CBS News’ Charlie D'Agata said unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, Kiev/Ukraine is civilized, it is European. Journalist & former UK politician Daniel Hannan (Tory) writes “they seem so like us”. The quiet part is being screamed everywhere. Take note & don’t forget it.

    “It is very emotional for me..I see European ppl with blond hair, blue eyes, children being killed..” David Sakvarelidze, former Ukrainian deputy prosecutor. Appeals for humanity based on phenotype in the midst of ‘protect civilization’ discourse is..

    0:09 / 0:27
    Want to acknowledge that being a Ukrainian is an ethnicity and a nationality ie Afro-Ukrainians. These appeals - whether from journalists or politicians - hurt Ukrainians, rely on dehumanizing others & should be pushed back against ..especially by journalists.

    Ghami Tweets:

    Hi it’s me Almas from uncivilized Afghanistan logging from civilized Oceana, so even more civilized from all of USA. Shame Charlie D’Agata.

    is this the type of ignorant bigots you hire? Do better.

    9:26 PM · Feb 26, 2022

    Gwen Wren rejects Charlies/ faux apology:

    #CharlieDAgataRacist #CharlieDAgata Charlie D'Agata's apology... He did not compare conflicts, he compared people... the civilized whites vs the non-civilized browns. Europeans good Middle Easterns bad. We got the message, charlie.

    SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE decided to show 'solidarity' with the White peopole -- something they've never done for the Haitians or the Palestinians or . . . They took to the stage to note that they stood with Urkaine.  

    Acadmy Award winner Sean Penn took a break from his non-stop homophobia,  abusing women and accidentally -- or 'accidentally' -- getting his buddy El Chapo arrested to note that he stood with Ukraine.  Well, shen you've got Sean Penn on your side . . . you're screwed.

    Sean's homophboia was once weell known but apparently all it took was a cameo on ELLEN and portraying Harvey Milk for Sean to be forgiven.  Others who've made mistakes as juveniles haven't been extended the same rehab.  Sean's so untouchable for some that he thinks he can question the masculinity of other men if they do something he sees as feminine (such as how they dress).  

    He bonded with Ukraine over mutual Whitness and Whitness certainly explains how he directed five films and cast them.  Where did we ever get the idea that Sean was of the left?

    Sexist, homophobic, racist.  That's Sean Penn.  And, so sad, that's also a great number in the media.  Josephine Harvey (HUFFINGTON POST) notes:

    Daniel Hannan, a British journalist and former pro-Brexit politician, wrote in The Telegraph, “They seem so like us. That is what makes it so shocking. War is no longer something visited upon impoverished and remote populations. It can happen to anyone.”

    And Al Jazeera English anchor Peter Dobbie said it was “compelling” that the refugees appeared to be “middle-class people.”

    “These are not obviously refugees trying to get away from areas in the Middle East that are still in a big state of war. These are not people trying to get away from areas in North Africa,” he said. “They look like any European family that you would live next door to.”

    In addition to accusations of racism, several critics called out the inaccurate implication that this type of conflict has been limited to countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia in recent history, pointing to wars in Europe in the 1990s.


    The Party for Socialism and Liberation issued the following statement:

    The Russian military operation in Ukraine highlights that the world has reached a dangerous fork in the road. It is critically important for people in the United States, who are receiving the bulk of their information from the capitalist media that functions as an echo chamber for the U.S. government, to know that the current crisis is the byproduct of a long effort by the United States to establish absolute domination throughout Europe. The U.S. policy is aimed at undermining Russia’s security by surrounding it with advanced missiles that can reach their Russian targets in less than 10 minutes. 

    For the last three months, the Russian government simultaneously called for negotiations about their security concerns while at the same time amassing troops at the Russia-Ukraine border and at the border of Ukraine and Belarus. Putin announced that Russia would militarily intervene in Ukraine after the United States and NATO rejected their fundamental demands that Ukraine not be incorporated into NATO and that Ukraine, which shares a 1,200-mile border with Russia, not be used as a staging ground for advanced missiles that target Russia. 

    In essence, Putin and Russia were demanding that Ukraine be a neutral country and never a member of NATO. It was precisely through the territory of Ukraine that Russia was subjected to the Nazi invasion of World War Two and earlier invasions by Western powers. In World War Two, when Ukraine and Russia were one country (the Soviet Union), more than 27 million people died resisting the Nazi invasion of their homelands. 

    At this critical moment, it is imperative that the U.S. government change its reckless, provocative stance of encircling Russia and relentlessly expanding NATO eastward. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States has attempted to incorporate almost every former Soviet/Russian European ally into NATO, which is an offensive military alliance. 

    After having all of its demands rejected by the United States and NATO, the Russian government decided to invade Ukraine. As of this moment, major military operations are underway. The Russian government said it will not occupy Ukraine but that it intends to carry out the “demilitarization” and “de-Nazification” of the country. It is unclear what these terms actually mean. In some segments of the Ukrainian state – particularly the police and military – there is considerable Nazi influence. In the political life of Ukraine, the power of fascist groups has waned considerably in recent years and they do not exercise decisive influence inside of the administration of President Zelenskyy. 

    The United States and European powers have vowed to impose a total sanctions regime on Russia, cutting the country off from the world economy and targeting its most vital industries. An initial volley of sanctions was announced by Biden today. These target some of the largest banks and corporations in Russia and are especially aimed at limiting Russia’s ability to access foreign currency and high tech markets. A series of sanctions have already been imposed since 2014, with Russia’s incorporation of Crimea after the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev. More measures are likely to follow. Taken together, the events of the last two days constitute a profound and historic rupture in the existing geopolitical order and will have cascading consequences for years to come.

    A preventable tragedy 

    The deadly fighting currently raging across Ukraine is a tragedy. In any war, the working class of the nations involved are the ones to bear the brunt of the hardship and suffering. From 1922 until the dissolution of the Soviet Union the peoples of Ukraine and Russia lived in peace. They were partners in a socialist planned economy and together they defeated the fascist, Nazi invasion of 1941 at the cost of 27 million Soviet lives. The bourgeois-led counter-revolution that dissolved the Soviet Union separated the peoples and republics. This animus and hostility that followed was the predictable outcome of the end of socialism and the beginning of capitalist competition. 

    While we do not support the Russian invasion, we reserve our strongest condemnation for the U.S. government, which rejected Russia’s legitimate security concerns in the region, with total intransigence that they knew could provoke such a war. This is the consequence of decades of U.S.-NATO bullying and humiliating Russia. The Party for Socialism and Liberation demands that the U.S. government and its allies in the imperialist NATO military alliance immediately cease their provocative behavior designed to escalate the crisis and provide security guarantees that can be the foundation for the restoration of peace – the cornerstone of which must be a pledge to end NATO expansion. This is what can bring relief to the people of Ukraine. 

    A highly explosive situation has been developing in Eastern Europe not only in recent weeks and months, but for many years. What happened last night and the terrible violence to come was preventable, but decisions made by NATO powers at every key juncture since the end of the Cold War set the region on a collision course that was bound to come to a head sooner or later.

    Since the breakup of the Soviet Union and the socialist camp of Eastern Europe, the imperialist NATO military alliance has steadily expanded eastward, absorbing 14 formerly socialist states between 1999 and 2020. Three of these countries — Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — were former republics of the Soviet Union itself. In 2008, a war broke out between Russia and Western-allied Georgia after Georgian forces attacked the pro-Russia breakaway region of South Ossetia. 

    In 2014, a coup supported by the West took place in Ukraine that replaced the neutral government of Viktor Yanukovych with a staunchly anti-Russia government. This coup created the essential preconditions for the current crisis and war. It did not come out of nowhere in the last few months. Under the Trump administration, the United States withdrew from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty, which were cornerstones of the arms control architecture of Europe. 

    Actions elsewhere in the world compounded the tensions. In 2011, NATO carried out the destruction of Libya on the basis of UN Security Council resolution 1973 – which Russia allowed to pass based on false assurances from the West that it would not be used to justify a regime change operation. Around the same time, a civil war broke out in Syria, a close Russian ally. Russia intervened in Syria militarily to prevent U.S.-backed reactionary fundamentalist forces from seizing control of the country. 

    A turning point in world politics

    The speech given by Vladimir Putin last night announcing the invasion made it clear that he was prepared for an intense and long-term confrontation with the West. Starting with the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, Putin listed a litany of aggressive actions by the West and called on all segments of Russian society – military and non-military – to do their part in the coming mobilization, which undoubtedly will involve profound economic turmoil inside of Russia. Putin’s intention appears to be to change the balance of forces in Europe and turn the geopolitical tide with a major military intervention. 

    The plight of ethnic Russians, especially those in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine, factored heavily into the speech delivered by Putin, which was directed towards the Russian public. Putin has been outspoken in recent days about his opposition to the Soviet policy on nationalities and considers the creation of modern Ukraine to have been a grave error on the part of Vladimir Lenin. As the PSL pointed out in our Feb. 22 statement:

    “[T]he policy promoted by Lenin was the cornerstone of maintaining peaceful relations and unity among the peoples of the Soviet Union from the Russian Revolution until the beginning of the USSR’s collapse. By organizing the new, socialist state along the lines of the right to self-determination, Lenin was striking a blow at what was called “Great Russian chauvinism” — the domination of the Russian state and the Russian nationality in the territory of the just-overthrown Russian empire. Along with the administrative transfer of territories, this was a way of ensuring that the peoples of the newly formed socialist state could live together in peace and equality, replacing the brutal domination characteristic of the Czar’s regime. The principle of self-determination laid the basis for multinational unity that was the foundation of the Soviet Union’s great successes — for instance, 4.5 million Ukrainians fought alongside Russians to defeat fascism in World War II.” 

    There is no guarantee that Russia’s effort to reverse the geopolitical situation in its favor will succeed. So far, the events of the past several days have allowed U.S. imperialism to secure key objectives. The critical NordStream 2 pipeline that would have brought massive amounts of Russian gas into the European market is no longer going forward. NATO troops have been and will continue to flood into the Eastern European members of the alliance, including the Baltic countries that share a border with Russia. Just today, the Pentagon announced that it was sending 7,000 additional soldiers to Europe. While Russia clearly aims to install a friendly government in power in Kiev, public support inside of Ukraine for the country’s membership in NATO – which has never been a completely dominant position – will undoubtedly surge in the aftermath of the invasion.

    The conflict currently exploding in Ukraine and rippling throughout the region and the entire world is hugely dangerous. The reckless and provocative actions of the U.S. government and its allies must cease immediately. The economic warfare being unleashed against Russia – which will first and foremost affect the country’s working class – will only deepen the crisis, as would troop deployments anywhere in Europe. 

    Recognizing that Russia has legitimate security concerns does not require an endorsement of all its military actions, nor Putin’s suggestion that Ukraine has no basis to exist as an independent county, nor his larger geopolitical strategies. The role of the U.S. anti-war movement is not to follow the line of countries in conflict with U.S. imperialism, but to present an independent program of peace and solidarity and anti-imperialism.

    The menace of war can only be defeated by international solidarity among the peoples of the world and a resolute struggle against U.S. imperialism, which must demand the abolition of NATO. No war on Russia!


    Ajamu Baraka Tweets:

    For people too young to have gone through the war-madness in the run up to the Iraq war, this period is worst. It seems as though folks have completely lost their minds. Now you can see why so many of the left along with the working class supported their rulers in WWI.

    Meanwhile the always ridiculous US President Joe Biden Tweets:

    America stands up to bullies. We stand up for freedom. That’s who we are.

    America may stand up to bullies, but Joe doesn't.  Joe is the bully.  Lying and schemining to discredit Tara Reade.  Refusing to open his records to this day.  He does know that history will learn the truth, irght?  

    He's bellowing for Russians to be brought to their knees.  What is fhe same tactis were brought to bear on Joe?

    GUESS WHO DON"T SUE.  This former US senator had a lengthy love affair with a high profile abortion rights activist.  While she supported abortion rights and advocated for them, she didn't want an abortion herslef but the senator coerced into one when she ended up pregnant saying his wife would tolerate affairs but not children from mistresses.  

    WSWS issued the following statement:

    Sixty years after the Cuban Missile crisis, the war in Ukraine has brought the world to the point where the exchange of nuclear weapons is a real danger.

    On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin took the unprecedented post-Cold War action of placing the country’s nuclear deterrent forces on alert. In televised comments delivered at a meeting with military officials in the Kremlin, Putin said that Russia’s nuclear weapons would be transferred to what he described as a “special combat service regime.”

    Explaining the decision, Putin said that “Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding the country.” 

     The World Socialist Web Site denounces the nuclear brinkmanship of the Putin government. The disaster created by the breakup of the Soviet Union three decades ago cannot be reversed through increasingly reckless militarism. In an act that reflects the desperation and disorientation of the regime, Putin and the faction of the Russian oligarchy cling to the self-deluding hope that they can threaten the imperialist powers into shifting their policies and recognizing Russian security interests in Ukraine.

    Putin’s recklessness, however, does not alter the fact that principal responsibility for the present crisis and all its potentially catastrophic consequences lies with American imperialism and its NATO allies.

    White House press secretary Jen Psaki declared in response to Putin’s statement that it is part of “a pattern we’ve seen from President Putin through the course of this conflict, which is manufacturing threats that don’t exist in order to justify further aggression.” A senior White House official was quoted by CNN as saying that Russia “was never under threat from Ukraine or from NATO, which is a defensive alliance that will not fight in Ukraine.”

    The claims that Russia’s action is a response to merely “manufactured threats” to Russia are contradicted by the US/NATO powers, whose statements and actions over the past three days are seen unavoidably by Putin as an effort to destroy the Russian economy and overthrow his government.

    On Saturday evening, the White House, along with France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Canada announced that they would expel some Russian banks from the SWIFT financial transaction network.

    French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire had earlier referred to removing Russian access to SWIFT as a “financial nuclear weapon.” He added, “The fact remains that when you have a nuclear weapon in your hands, you think before you use it.” He added provocatively that “we are not reluctant to use all necessary weapons, without exception, against the Russia of Vladimir Putin.”

    The statement of the US and European powers on Saturday also announced a commitment “to imposing restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves.” The Washington Post noted, “The United States has never taken this step against any country with nuclear weapons or an economy as large as Russia.”

    These acts of economic warfare are being implemented in the context of what has become de facto a war of NATO against Russia, with Ukraine serving only as the physical battleground.

    The war rhetoric coming out of Germany, unlike anything seen since the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union during the Second World War, is particularly incendiary. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Sunday that the German military would receive additional financing of $110 billion, nearly twice the amount of its annual budget, and that Germany will also be providing direct military aid to Ukraine.

    On Sunday, EU Commission President and former German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced that the European Union, for the first time, will begin financing the purchase and delivery of weaponry to Ukraine, escalating its direct involvement in the war.

    Even the claim that NATO forces will not be directly involved in Ukraine was undermined by British Foreign Minister Liz Truss’s declaration that she would encourage youth in Britain to join the fight against Russia.

    These statements follow the announcement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the US would be sending an additional $350 million in military aid to the country, bringing the total over just the past year to more than $1 billion. On Friday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg activated, for the first time since it was created in 2003, NATO’s 40,000-strong “rapid reaction force” in anticipation of a war with Russia.

    Top officials in all the major NATO countries are calling for even more aggressive actions. US Congressman Adam Kinzinger has called for the declaration of a “no-fly” zone over Ukraine, which would involve NATO forces shooting down Russian aircraft. Putin is no doubt aware that the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya in 2011 was the initial step in a war that culminated in the overthrow of the Libyan government and the torture and murder of Muammar Gaddafi.

    Richard Haass, the president of the Council of Foreign Relations, tweeted Sunday morning that “the conversation” over the war in Ukraine “has shifted to include the possibility of desired regime change in Russia.”

    The threats directed against Russia have been accompanied by the promotion of vile anti-Russian propaganda in the media. While claiming that the US is not targeting the Russian people, it is encouraging punitive actions against Russian citizens, such as banning performances of Russian composers and musicians and canceling appearances of the Bolshoi ballet.

    Putin’s belief that American and European imperialism will be compelled to back down is a disastrous miscalculation. On the contrary, the US and its NATO allies have seized on the invasion of Ukraine to intensify their warmongering.

    One of the worst consequences of the invasion of Ukraine is the level of disorientation it has produced within significant sections of the population. Yesterday, 100,000 people participated in a demonstration in Berlin to oppose the Russian invasion.

    No doubt many who took part are motivated by humanitarian sentiments, though it must be noted that there have not been mass demonstrations against the brutal wars launched by the US and NATO during the last 15 years. In any case, the NATO powers are seeking to exploit popular confusion to press forward with its own reactionary militarist agenda. They also hope to use the campaign against Russia to distract attention from the intractable internal crises of all the major capitalist powers, above all the United States, which have been enormously intensified by the ruling class response to the pandemic.

    The international working class must adopt an independent position in response to the escalating crisis. It is necessary to oppose imperialism without adapting to Russian nationalism, and to oppose Russian nationalism without adapting to imperialism.

    At the international online webinar, “Stop the Drive to World War III,” hosted by the World Socialist Web Site on Saturday, WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North explained, “In determining one’s attitude to a given war, there is no approach more politically and intellectually bankrupt than that which focuses and obsesses on the question, ‘Who fired the first shot?’

    This question abstracts a single incident from the vast complex of interacting economic, political, social and geostrategic interests and circumstances, with deep historical roots and operating on a global scale, that suddenly obtain the political equivalent of critical mass, and trigger the eruption of military violence.

    Accepting the narrative that the danger of a Third World War, waged with nuclear weapons, arises out of the actions of one individual, Putin, North noted, “requires not only a suspension of all the faculties of critical thought, but also mass amnesia.”

    Elements of this amnesia include forgetting the background to the conflict in Ukraine itself, including the 2014 US-backed coup that placed an anti-Russian government in power, and the relentless expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe. And it requires that one forget that the United States took the lead in planning for the use of nuclear weapons by withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, stationing of offensive missile in Romania and Poland, and undertaking a multitrillion-dollar expansion of US nuclear forces.

    We encourage all of our readers to watch and share the recording of the online webinar, “Fight Covid! Save Lives! Stop the Drive to World War III

    Here's the thing, like the War Criminals before them (see Bully Boy Bush), Joe and Vladimir are set for life and will not face consequences for their actions.  It's the people of various countries who will suffer.  Tht is always the way it goes. 

    And when Joe's lost interest in Ukraine, he'll act as though it never happened.  The same way he acts as though the US government did not destroy Iraq.

    Politicians are craven and don't care about the people.  AA reports:

    Former Iraqi Prime Minister, Ayad Allawi, has called on his country to prevent any infiltration by PKK terrorist group into Turkish territory, noting that it was "unacceptable" to protest Turkiye’s response to the terror group’s attacks.

    In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Allawi said the Iranian political influence in Iraq has declined over the past years following a wave of popular protests in the central and southern provinces of the country.

    "Issues should not remain suspended with Iran and Turkiye, but there should be a direct dialogue," Allawi said.

    “Dialogue should conclude with solving problems with Iran and Turkiye. Iraq should not allow PKK members to breach Turkish territory,” Allawi said.

    “We protest when Turkiye intervenes to respond to the PKK attacks, and this is unacceptable. Remedies should be found for serious issues with neighboring countries,” he added.

    There was a moment, 2010, when Allawi could have risen to be what Iraq needed.  That moment has passed.  When he's equating the PKK targeting Turkey with the government of Turkey invading Kurdistan (northern Iraq), bombing Kurdistan, burning down Kurdistan forests and setting up military bases in Kurdistan, he's just another whore who ran for office.

    Turkey and the PKK is a historical struggle and that's one issue.  Turkey violating Iraq's sovereignty and killing civilians is another issue and a more important one because we are supposed to hold governments to certain standards.  It's amazing the Biden wants war with Russia when Turkey has violated the rights of Kurdistan repeatedly and Joe has nothing to say about that.

    New content at THIRD:

    The following sites updated: