Minsk

Apparently it’s all a bit of a Minsk up!
‘The crisis in Belarus has developed at a scorching pace and some analysts said Putin had misjudged the momentum of the protests.
“Putin has been surprised, perhaps no less than Lukashenko himself, about what’s happened,” said Gould-Davis. “And they don’t know how to effectively respond to a rapidly changing and inherently unpredictable situation. No one does. But they will want to control it.”’ Duh!

Lukashenko has been on the phone to Putin and in desperation would have said something like; ‘If I go, who do you think will be the next cab off the rank Vlad?’  But that logic won’t impress Vlad the audacious!  Anyway a TINA moment has arrived for Vlad or -as he sees this- him on behalf of Mother Russia no less.

A week after the phony elections and the unrest is now peacefully growing but the police after just one death of a demonstrator -from their brutality- have eased up and clearly they are unable to stop the large scale milling around that will now – in the grand tradition of such struggles- become a daily feature of Minsk life as the main square or something has to be occupied immediately.

It may look to the police a bit like visions of the old East German police and look what became of them!  They might not see this as a good bet to stay out of jail themselves now.

Lukashenko is clearly finished if the demonstrators press their advantage now!  The only thing that could keep him going for even a couple of weeks is a lack of immediate action to send him on his way!

Lukashenko is gone but not in the way that Assad was ‘gone’!

BBC reports from Moscow say Lukashenko is seen by Russian insiders as ‘a dead man walking’ and that seems reasonable enough to me so I wonder why he was congratulated for his ‘win’.  Vlad and Jinping, just last week congratulated Lukashenko on his ‘win’.  That was a stupid blunder!  Silence was a no brainer!  What do they look like to the people of Belarus now!   Not pretty!

This is now an inevitable turn to the west and a link to the peoples of the Baltics and Ukraine.

So this week all is apparently forgiven from the recent arrests of Russian mercenaries; whatever that was all about.

The world is starkly divided with such idiocy on full display.   Previous generations just didn’t hold such elections in the first place!  That old form of tyranny makes a bit more sense to me than this farce and that is what it is.  Anti democrats of the world unite because you have empires to lose!  So just as Jinping is reacting to Hong Kong so will Putin react to his ‘territory’ Belarus!  Putin really believes that territory is Russian!  He is not going to bow out of this contest.  That is not the nature of the little Czar.

Yet there is much more than a little truth in this;  ‘While monitoring Belarus closely and discouraging further state violence, U.S. and EU policymakers must start preparing for the potentially much more devastating flashpoint that is Russia. No dictatorship is permanent, and in reaching for an outer empire in Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, Moscow’s inner empire could start to crumble.’ 

Like everyone else I’ve watched the slow train from Minsk for the last few weeks and so far… no surprises!  The week after another election has been blatantly stolen by Lukashenko (as he has done often enough before) and naturally his police state thugs were out beating and arresting anyone who objected.  Calling a clear and big election win a gigantic loss is bound to deliver a mass turnout on the streets so they had quite a few to put in the slammer and it just got bigger.  But his thug state is only going to hold together for a couple of weeks because the rally’s are just not big and angry enough.. just yet.  But events are moving to fast for either tyrant now that me thinks this is starting to get a bit of the Nicolae Ceaușescu feel about it!

So curiously  the ½ theory makes some sense in this instance but why not?  After all, I have always half thought along the lines of the half theorists!

‘Andrej Babiš, the prime minister of the Czech Republic, tweeted on Sunday: “What happened to us in 1968 must not happen in Belarus. The European Union must act.”’ I wonder what he thinks they will do exactly.  They will undoubtedly offer a great deal of revolutionary advice!  That will start by;  ‘keep up the pressure’, ‘keep the masses on the streets’; all the Lenin and Mao stuff for sure!

There has been an election and this can now only be resolved in a hand over to the real winner; for an eventual re-run under proper free and fair conditions and thus for her husband a very probable 2nd win.

Putin is scrambling because there is no legitimate candidate for him.  This is a country that has to go western and that does not fit Putin’s plans in any shape.  The new leadership won’t be any ‘worker’ politicians or Marxist types that’s for sure!  This struggle is for western style democracy in the same manner as the Iberian peninsular in the seventies but it’s without a workable future!  The resolution of this one simple democracy issue is whatever else it is economically doomed from day1.  It will fix nothing of the peoples livelihood issues.  Capitalism is not capable of fixing the current crisis in Belarus. Putin might have to play the long game to get back in to Belarus but I can’t see that working.

Will a big Russian meddling work and Belarus settle down for decades like a 1968 Russian intervention in Czechoslovakia?  Of course not and Putin can’t believe that it would.

On the other hand what else can he do other than meddle?  He might ask his advisors the difficult question ‘Does anyone have an alternative?’  He could be met with silence and a perception of TINA resolves a lot of issues for tyrants.  Let’s see what turns up might be the shrug of shoulders casting of the die.

The more probable course is a stall in the democratic struggle after a short term hand over and then a much more bloody building-up period being required to even get to the first stage of freedom from the gangster rule.  If the army cracks all bets are off. Here’s hoping of course!

So TINA for Russian meddling at some point!

The Russians are making all manner of noises that will either end in some kind of meddling -for the sake of law and order- or the beginning of the end for Putin will have started.

38 Responses to “Minsk”


  1. 1 patrickm

    Virus what virus?

    Today’s human chain demo seems like the continued expected viral conditions milling around or sort of. None of it really makes sense. There is no solidifying core holding together at ‘center stage’ and growing so no real leadership still apparent outside of the truly elected core group who are now under criminal investigation but perhaps just becoming more isolated.

    Another week drifts by during this underlying pandemic period and western revolutionaries I used to have a bit to do with stay silent about the contradiction. Are these two issues compatible? Can the masses take to the streets and conduct a revolutionary overthrow of an anti democratic regime and deal correctly with the threat from the virus?

    It would seem to me that rank and file formations to build confidence and cooperation with the young fighting men to the front and sides is more to the point than human chains but this can’t really be done in corona pandemic conditions!

    Mass activities and taking the virus seriously is a bit mutually exclusive to me yet the 1/2 theorists that have been pretty forthright over the virus are not very clear on how both activities are compatible. When it was a BLM demo they were a little soft to say the very least! All over the shop was more like it. The double standard is flying from the top of their flag poles.

    OK so no two revolutions are exactly the same but IMV revolution for Belarus will be more like Ukraine a few years back but is this revolution really possible right now? However the masses of people who have had their vote robbed keep the momentum going to get that change of government, when they do the state must then be re-configured. That is a revolution; not a change in the government.

    Egypt shows what happens to governments that don’t accept that they have just had a revolution and require a radical transformation in the whole state structure starting with the army and the courts! All the key personnel and many more than that -as was the case quite recently in Turkey after that deep state killed hundreds and tried to kill the elected president with their coup.

    If you form government and don’t immediately follow through by mobilizing the people and demand the resignations of all of the old and invalid power elite you will be overthrown when those deep state players have the opportunity (and it will come) to fight back. If ‘revolutionaries’ form the government they must immediately disband the old guard. That fightback might become a farce as it did in Russia but come it will eventually and if it fails it will come again in a different form. Again we have to look no further than Putin’s Russia to see how shallow democratic voting is when the vote can be counted by the gangsters. ‘Cast aside illusions prepare for struggle’ was how Mao put it.

    A revolution requires that the momentum be held and that requires that mass actions not replace individual voting but enforce that vote. When the masses do just that (keep up the momentum of the election and form the government) they then MUST disband the then current state apparatus or the tyranny will fight back.

    I don’t think people can do this and deal with the virus in some form of lock down mode at the same time. What have people got to say about this?

    The state authorities in Belarus have naturally enough begun to respond with ‘legal’ violence. A criminal investigation is quickly unfolding to deal with the winners who will eventually be charged with refusing to accept that they lost or some such formula. They will have to flee or be jailed. But Belarus is in economic free fall so nothing is going to work soon. Nothing working requires dramatic action to fix and those that brought this on trying to cling to power will not be able to execute the dramatic actions.

    Hopefully now is just a quiet period before the storm but this looks like people who are being systematically driven back to the isolation and terror that a state can exert on people who do not move quickly when they have a) the mood to fight and b) the ‘big mo’ as the yanks used to say.

    Whatever minor breakdown in the ranks of the authorities have happened to date these have not been high enough to split those forces and generate a peoples armed forces; and ‘without a peoples army the people have nothing’. So it looks (from an uninformed observers POV at the other end of the world) like the demonstrators are not building momentum but rather being too timid. While all the while the never sleeping killer virus carries on.

    At the same time there is the astounding event in Russia of the poisoning of the major opposition leader Alexei Navalny !
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53865811

    That is a blunder of monumental dimensions as far as Belarus is concerned. The people of Belarus will look west quicker than ever.

  2. 2 patrickm

    https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-09-15/russia-says-csto-military-drills-to-take-place-in-belarus-from-oct-12-16

    CSTO 6 for Belarus exercises (scheduled for 12-16 Oct but me thinks they might not all go home!)

    Armenia has now pulled out as it’s a bit busy just now! And what will Putin do for Armenia?

    There is an enclave that is now being unfrozen -whatever Putin thinks or threatens.

    Anti fascists have to consider that Putin has been making war and consequently has to have war made back on him if countries want independence and they do!

    No thoughts from the half theorists but that’s no surprise; after all how the people fight back against the fascist war-making of Putin and his mates has never been a priority over at 21stC. All too hard and anyway it would require dealing with the Syrian Islamic democrats armed and trained by the democratic Turkish government and that are now being deployed -if reports are true and I think they are- via Georgia into Azerbaijan!

    It ought not surprise us that the people in a country like Azerbaijan are going to resolve the enclave that has been occupied in their country. Putin is in a bad position currently to swing his hammer at this nail so I’m glad this fightback is underway.

    Anti fascists have to do better than just fight in their own country when war is all around and that is what this regional war is! The democratic forces must unite and fight! Countries have issue that can’t be ignored just as nations do and the people could never make any kind of class based revolution without these issues being dealt with properly as they come up and as with Kuwait all those years ago and the Falkland Islands this has come up now.

    Let’s not just see who gets it wrong but consider how they get it wrong.

  3. 3 patrickm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrMiSQAGOS4 The Owens/Mearsheimer/Kissinger view is lockstep rightwing drivel! (Perhaps I have missed something). A lifetime of talking twaddle about the captive nations and then it’s under the bus you go! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mCzbiF5TmQ and comrade Switzer!

  4. 4 steve owens
  5. 5 steve owens
  6. 6 patrickm

    What is Putin up to now?

    The large invasion force now permanently stationed and regularly placed on alert on the Ukraine border (and equally regularly shown on western TV’s thanks to satellites) and the buildup of supplies, facilities and troops inside the already occupied enclaves within Ukraine as well as Transnistria and Kaliningrad and the all important (to Putin’s way of thinking, Belarus) are the hammers being polished and waved about and more are being brought FORWARD because quite frankly that is all Putin has in his tool kit. This almost frozen war making is about to be warmed up and resumed.

    Putin is letting his military be very aggressive and they are ordering bombers (with the emphasis that they are nuclear capable) to fly over Belarus and hundreds of paratroops to drop in and exercise with Lukashenko’s thugs as these Lukashenko troops literally force feed Europe with a now blocked stream of Middle Eastern refugees! Most notably these people are from Iraq in particular and the western media report accordingly. But back in mother Russia the media is even more dutiful as it reports on the terrible plight of those that are fleeing the US caused disaster of Iraq!!

    These refugees were not only flying into Minsk but also Moscow and then transferring to Minsk so Putin was/is openly breaking any flight restrictions imposed on Belarus by the European powers.

    Then an old Russian satellite is shot down in the clearest message of ‘I do what I like, regardless of the risks’, as the now dangerous space junk literally stuns the space minded world of astronomers and other scientists and researchers. You could physically see the breath taken look as these people were interviewed on the BBC/ABC!

    Russia’s dictator has another big problem on his hands and he is letting the world know about it. The struggle of the Belarus people to overthrow their dictator and institute an anti Putin style democracy in Belarus, is producing some strange results. A democracy in Belarus would distance itself from the Putin empire as quickly as it possibly could and the West would assist the new government to enable it to do so. Putin would suffer a push back and be set back over Ukraine ambitions as well. So he has drawn a ‘red line’.

    Putin will not allow the people of Belarus to overthrow Lukashenko and organise a democracy with free and fair elections. He is committed to preventing a genuine democracy replacing the corrupt Lukashenko regime. Putin’s goal is for a Russian takeover and a reincorporation of Belarus. (An old and obviously recurrent goal. So the people of Belarus, hating their thug government and wanting rid of them, has a big and porous border and people might flee their enslavement but the Lukashenko regime can’t build a ‘wall’ and man it to keep them in. We saw this once in the people of Berlin hating their ruling thugs and where the problem of people leaving en-masse was for 3 decades ‘fixed’ with a wall manned by guards that would shoot escapes! After Poland got a Pope everything changed and the Warsaw Pact countries saw East Germany depart as quick as they could go.

    So I wonder if the current gangsters have come up with a plot to get the West to do the fencing in!

    Putin can’t just step in and take over but the situation is continuing to deteriorate from the gangsters POV and because countries will still want to be independent and nations will still want their liberation and the people will still want the revolution that is democracy so an armed confrontation is on the horizon. Eventually Putin and all other thugs have to resort to war to prevent all these progressive developments. Even though this is history repeating as farce and where it meanders who could guess. The fascists are on the march and are currently making more war all over the world and on this front the useful idiots are going to blame NATO expansion! China is going to take advantage of any European war; hot or cold!

  7. 7 patrickm

    ‘So I wonder if the current gangsters have come up with a plot to get the West to do the fencing in!’ Answer; Yep! Poland has announced it will do the building and provide the troops on its section of the border! These Putin types are pretty gross!

    ‘Mukhtar Umbetov, a rights activist who took part in protests in Aktau, said that while the turmoil may have been sparked by economic grievances and the pandemic, the root cause was the absence of democratic processes. The Kazakh government, he said, “has removed all legal ways to participate in politics.”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/05/world/europe/kazakhstan-protests-gas-prices.html

    There is only one trick in a one-trick pony so no surprise that Russian troops are already on the way to yet another intervention. We can guess that Putin will intervene against anti-authoritarian revolutionaries now struggling for greater democracy in Kazakhstan. The ‘terrorist’ trope was immediately rolled out as the local police state elite called for help. The Russian fascists are not about to back down on any front at all. 2022 is beginning to look like the end of the Covid19 Pandemic and the resumption of the era of dramatic class struggle.

    The dramatic events in Kazakhstan have undoubtedly rocked the Russian world and consequently imposed a pause in ‘plans’ for Ukraine and Belarus. Russia will be drawn into this storm even if only barely behind the scenes. Fuel price inflation is said to have been the spark but it’s obviously reached another ‘Lukashenko’ moment where the people want a revolution. Currently, the militant proletariat look like they are the leading force as well as the main force. have the initiative but setting fire to the president’s (Kassym-Jomart Tokayev is his name) For all the gaudy pomp and ceremony Putin has been around for almost as long so he can start looking over his shoulder! But whatever the delay (planned or unplanned) the Putin gangster empire is always only months away from performing the tired old trick. If fascism means war (and it does) Putin will inevitably make yet more war on Ukraine; it’s only a matter of when. Meanwhile, some level of meddling is required to ensure that a democratic revolution does not win out in Kazakhstan. THAT is now the Russian and Chinese priority.

    Putin’s regime is like Assad’s and Lukashenko’s. Russia is rotting and heading the same way as the Chinese real estate behemoth Ever Grande. Trading is eventually going to be suspended in western markets because of yet more Russian war-making. It really is inevitable and with the western world in the state of woke confusion that it is, both China and Russia will ‘push and shove’ this year.

  8. 8 steve owens

    “If fascism means war (and it does) Putin will inevitably make yet more war on Ukraine; it’s only a matter of when.”
    Really?
    You might not like Putin but is he a fascist? Not in my book he’s just a Russian nationalist strong man which awful though it might be is well short of fascism. Putin grabbed the parts of Ukraine where he is popular but why would he grab the parts where he’s hated. Makes no sense. Is he short of wheat?
    George Orwell stated some 70 years ago that the term fascist was redundant due to its overuse according to him Fascist now means someone you disagree with. I think Orwell was right.

  9. 9 patrickm

    Orwell’s remarks make sense in reference to people that call Howard, Bush, Blair or Trump and Abbott etc fascist and many in the pseudoleft do exactly that! But Putin is a different matter as is his Nth Korean, Chinese, Syrian, Egyptian or Belarus equivalents.

    There is a gulf between the head of the Iranian State and the former genuinely democratically elected president.

    Don’t quibble about what they all exactly are, just tell us why you are about to again recommend that nothing be done but accept Putin’s anti-democratic war-making! Because that really is your point isn’t it?

  10. 10 steve owens

    No my point is that Putin will huff and he will puff but he wont invade Ukraine. If he tried he would get a blood nose. The UK have been supplying Ukraine with short range anti tank missiles which seems very sensible.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/18/uk-gives-ukraine-anti-tank-weapons-as-canada-sends-special-forces
    Putin is demanding the Ukraine not be allowed to join NATO. I think they should sign Ukraine up just to show him that he has no standing.
    Lets see, invades Ukraine a country with a well armed military, 43 million extremely hostile people and friends with some real military clout. He’s not going anywhere he’s a bully and will always want overwhelming odds which Ukraine just doesnt give him.
    Just look at recent wars they are all Goliath attacking David never the reverse.
    US attacks Lybia
    US attacks Iraq
    Russia attacks Georgia
    US attacks Serbia
    UK attacks Argentina
    Iraq attacks Kuwait
    The constant is the asymmetry
    People only start war if they think that their chances of winning are very very good. People make mistakes but Putin doesnt have a record of making mistakes his decisions are cautious and calculated.

  11. 11 Stephen Owens

    Heres something else to consider. Russia’s biggest exports are
    1 Crude Petroleum
    2 Refined Petroleum
    3 Petroleum Gas
    Its biggest export market is Western Europe. An invasion of Ukraine would not only be a military disaster but would also be an economic one as well. We are heading into European summer not a good time to have your main customers start an economic boycott.
    Just point out what vital interest is involved with Russia invading Ukraine what question will war resolve?

  12. 12 Stephen Owens

    See to get beyond sloganeering “Fascism means war” you need an analysis. When fascist Germany initiated war a number of conditions had to be present such as a pro war ideology, the Nazis glorified war saw it as cleansing the nation. They argued for territorial conquest “living space” they wanted to “resolve” the Jewish question they had successfully divided their opponents through the Munich agreement and the Molotov Ribbentrop pact. Plus there was opportunity, the French were incredibly badly lead with Gamelin (Gamelin was Hitlers lucky break) refusing to believe reports of what was happening (Gamilin also refused to use telephones, didn’t trust them) plus the Soviets were in the middle of a reorganisation. (Where’s Tukhachevsky when you need him. Stalin’s expert on mobile armored warfare)
    Hitler needed to invade Ukraine as Germany was in the grip of a food crisis which gaining the Ukraine resolved. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger_Plan
    So this is what I mean when I say what questions were answered
    1 How can Germanies military prestige be restored
    2 How can we conquer land for living space
    3 How can we eliminate the Jewish race
    4 How can we defeat Bolshevism
    5 Does the opportunity exist ie weak opponents
    Now this doesnt mean that people cant makes wrong judgements and Hilter made plenty
    He was wrong about Britain accepting peace
    He was wrong about the USA in that he didnt think that the USA could land an army in Europe until 1970
    And most importantly he was dead wrong about the USSR
    Germany was under Hitler an autarky Russia under Putin as I pointed out is not. In 1941-2 Hitler needed Ukranian wheat because the German people were hungry. Today Russia is the worlds largest exporter of wheat Putin does need Ukrainian wheat.
    Putin may fantasize about getting the old USSR back together but the people of those countries dont.
    Of course I will look pretty stupid if Putin invades but if that happens I will examine why I got it wrong.

  13. 13 patrickm

    The best way to think about the current enemies of all progress is with direct reference to fascism. For example, rightists like Bolt will refer to the current Chinese leadership as running a ‘communist party’ and all that does is speak volumes about the rightist’s ignorance of the struggle against the revisionists and those in power taking the capitalist road.

    Naturally, at the time of the Chinese coup, the western rightists called the people whose basic dishonesty precluded them from ever after being taken seriously, the moderates! But they were indeed (as Mao insisted they would turn out to be if they were to come to power) fascists.

    For the democratically-minded individual who wants to end any tyranny at all, ‘fascism means war’ is not a slogan but rather the reality they must grasp. Anti-democratic individuals can’t (in any long-run sense) hold power any other way than through the use of force and that direct force of the few on the few is the terror relied on to intimidate the masses; so a fightback against terror must evolve from few to many as the violence escalates; war is the inevitable result.

    It isn’t just Assad who becomes a murderous fascist through this process.

    The problem with your very first sentence when you say ‘he won’t invade Ukraine’ is that the anti-democratic dictator of Russia (forget the form and deal with the reality) already did that whole invade thing some years ago. That’s when he was in a barefaced manner telling the world that he was doing nothing of the kind. Consequent to his singular decision and all his subsequent lying 1.5 million people have now been displaced with 14,000+ killed.

    Now the thing is that though opposing troops have been pot shot shooting at each other from their ‘trenches’ for over 7 years this almost frozen conflict is not resolving itself in a satisfactory manner for the Russian invaders. So the ball has returned to Putin in our new post mother Merkel, Sleepy Joe context.

    Perhaps mother Merkel who helped him get a gas pipeline built was trying to tell him that if he did things a little differently and promised to play nice then all could return to normal and even get better! I don’t know but that pipeline is not delivering gas yet!

    Putin does bluff and will again, but all along he kept sending out his boys to kill people on the streets of Europe and even started to play with US elections. He bombs hospitals and drives out refugees, and has launched many more acts of war since 2014 especially in what was formerly Syria.

    Right now, for example, the disruptive cyber-attacks are underway directed against Ukraine as no doubt are the stealth preparations to match the open sabre waving he has conducted over the last year; more or less ever since Belarus imploded for Lukashenko. Russian state-run cyber-attacks are in truth acts of war and at some point will cost lives as well as ‘treasure’ so the invasion and general war-making are hotting up.

    So Putin’s options as far as I can see are to;
    1/ concede and withdraw from his Ukraine adventure, (and there is not much chance of that methinks) or;
    2/ do nothing in the face of this unsatisfactory current freeze which is not currently working to his advantage. But this choice would over time only give further advantage to Ukraine. That’s because there is wide support for western powers pumping in special forces, more arms and training etc; even the sentiment for calling Putin’s bluff by making Ukraine a member of NATO might grow. So time is most probably on Ukraine’s side and not Russia’s and this is thus a bad choice for Putin or;
    3/ he must unfreeze proceedings and resume the large scale killing! He must in short choose (as simply the best from a bad lot) the most unthinkable and audacious choice and count on terror to carry the next stage forward before western economic strength alters the military situation.

    What you are saying won’t happen now, already did, and the only question for Putin is what to do NEXT from these 3 choices for this ongoing area of conflict, in his world of constant military deployments. All his options are predictably bad for all concerned but they stem from his original choice to make an aggressive counter-revolutionary war after Ukraine made the first stage of a democratic revolution to rid itself of its anti-democratic, pro-Russian Oligarchs.

    Many people in the west were at that time painting the Ukrainian revolutionaries as some form of a reboot of the old Ukrainian fascist nationalists, but I took the view that things had turned into their opposites.

    Meanwhile, down south beyond the Black Sea in what used to be the country of Syria, Putin has NOT done so well with his HIRISE war-making once he was pitted against the Erdogan run, NATO number 2 giant Turkey at about 86million strong. Turkey is not just strategically better placed either, it is well led by a democratic Islamist, who has had to fight for his life. But note well that the western MSM like the ABC/BBC is hostile to the conservative and Islamist (totally un-woke) Erdogan government! Of course, the PKK war is the backdrop for much of the confusion on this front as has been amply demonstrated by not just my former ‘comrades’ in Melbourne but by almost all of the world’s ‘progressives’ as with Steve Owens. But ALL are clearly being blindsided by events now progressed a decade further on from when I first began to write during that long ago Arab Spring about the big war coming. You even proclaimed some time back that the war that came -where you at one time supported the FSA- was some years after Putin’s intervention lost! In short, you proclaimed that Putin had won. But I know I would much rather be an FSA fighter now than in 2012. No hesitation. I adopted the Maoist longer-term revolutionary perspective and events have not proved me wrong.

    In the interests of preventing the spread of not quite latter-day western-oriented democracy, just very basic democracy, Putin has caused all manner of astute political analysts to get ‘it’ totally wrong. Putin pushed back in support of tyranny!

    I thought about his actions in a far less sophisticated manner and consequently ‘knew’ who he intended to bomb and where his fighting strength would come from as it unfolded. The Turkish backed FSA was the main target. Putin worked in a ‘coalition’ and sent forces to fight the very complex revolution that was underway.

    Civil and regionally influenced war in Syria had kicked off at this time and in this Friday’s prayer manner as part of what was called the Arab Spring. But this was a Spring fully predicted by we few Australian communists and less clearly but more publicly by people like Hitchens; Arthur most coherently put the case, even if with some very big blind spots as are inevitable and to be expected in all advanced theory. I and several others made more modest contributions but we all followed the same basic revolutionary communist logic. The Arab Spring was predicted from 2002. That is when we advocated ripping the fascist heart out of the ME by liberating the three peoples of Iraq from the Baathists.

    Who on earth but fellow fascists can side with the ‘resistance’ now!! Some prominent ‘leftists’ did in the past; yet what changed?

    At least you won’t deny that Saddam Hussein was leading a very powerful regionally dominant fascist regime who had killed millions in his totally unnecessary war-making activities designed to either enslave more people on every occasion that he made war or preserve his murderous power. You won’t try to paint that fascist as just a nasty nationalist as you are now trying to paint Putin and I assume the Chinese fascists. I know what is currently waging war on the masses across the world and it is not reactionary nationalism as the Ukrainians were painted in 20014.

    When -after several rounds of free and fair elections in Iraq and with the liberated Islamist revolutionaries fighting from the front foot against the underground enemies of all progress- the democratic spring finally did come, you -being totally familiar with our anti-fascist (not necessarily communist) theorising- were no more surprised by this regional yearning for democracy turning into action than I was!

    Western ruling classes plus their elites of the MSM and intelligentsia are 20 years on from 2002 still clueless as usual but even they can spot the coming spread of warfare in Belarus and Ukraine! Yet you cant.

    The regional revolution in the MENA had morphed into the protracted struggle that Mao had told the world to fully expect if they wanted to achieve an overthrow of their armed oppressors. Assad’s tyranny constitutes well-armed and murderously intentioned oppressors that will not give up without a fight to the finish and Putin is on the same trajectory. How could I be surprised by the protracted nature of developing effective peoples armies to progress the worldwide trend? How could I deny the strength of the fascists? Whenever was it not so?

    After the Turks shot down the Russian jet the 2 leaders managed to avoid a direct war and yet the Turks HAVE subsequently advanced thousands of elite mechanized troops into Syria and positioned themselves to shoot down more jets and barrel bombing helios etc The No 2 military power in NATO has created more no-fly zones that HIRISE makes future war in at their peril!

    Now the reality is that in this expanded footprint an army of the Syrian peoples is growing under the supervision (if you like) of the democratically-minded Turkish Islamists. These peoples and this Turkish government are by western standards very conservative but they also had to fight off their own murderous military sorts just a few years back!

    It was, you recall, the ragtag army that had grown over about 4 years from a core of army deserters and civilian refugees into the army that was winning the war, until Russia and the rest of HIRISE stepped in back in September 2015 and despite the ½ theorists scoffing, reversed the flow of the fighting! But they are not really winning this protracted war. Peoples war is nothing but protracted. The peoples’ army continues to be built!

    Nevertheless, Putin is meddling even further south with a footprint in Lybia where the Egyptians play the larger role on the anti-Islamic and thus anti-democratic side with Erdogan led Nato no 2 leading the Islamist and thus more democratically minded side! And yes there are Islamofascists who hide among the ranks of the democratic Islamists as we all ought to suspect they would and will. Nevertheless, the choice for westerners is between allowing the Islamically minded peoples to elect their own governments or we return to the rightist ‘realist policies’ and back the military coups that Abbott for example was so glad to see come to power with Sisi. This is no real choice for a genuine democrat.

    In further partnership with Eygpt, Putin meddles in other parts of Africa; and so do the Chinese. All this meddling is clearly against the interests of any democratically minded individuals who live on planet earth!

    Putin is undoubtedly going to intervene further in Belarus and large scale military ‘exercises’ are already underway even though they are scheduled for February. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/17/russia-moves-troops-to-belarus-for-joint-exercises-near-ukraine-border

    I’m pleased to hear that you think NATO ought to sign Ukraine up but as you know that is NOT currently even on the table and we could guess that the remnant ‘Stoke the war coalitions’ types are opposed to NATO growing larger so glad to hear you are not. You may before very much longer regain your cruise missal status. We may get you to the missile stage yet. Some say prayers are better than nothing; I don’t.

    The Russian dictator who just for the sake of current comparison (for example) poisons his political opponents and assassinates investigative journalists etc; runs a terror police state! That is who he is and what he does whatever the nationalist background that he claims motivates his decisions but what’s in his interests as he sees it, come well ahead of what’s in Russia’s national interest.

    Putin’s troops are not really going to go home from Belarus!

    Ukraine will face a large scale Russian invasion it is only a matter of when. I guess it will be soon but it might come next year after Putin swallows Belarus.

    But more war will come to Ukraine and in this sense fascism is a one-trick pony.

    BTW
    ‘US attacks Iraq’ ought to read US-led international coalition in conjunction with the Kurds directly liberated the 3 peoples that constitute the Iraqi masses from the Iraqi fascist tyranny.
    ‘US attacks Lybia’ must read US saves Libyan revolutionaries from a fascist slaughter.
    ‘US attacks Serbia’ could well read; an exasperated US government finally forces Serbian Fascists to desist from their vicious war-making!

    ‘UK attacks Argentina’ must-read; Argentinian fascist military Junta attacks the UK and many thought the UK would be defeated but after the heavy effort and loss of so many ships and men the fascists were defeated instead.

    Iraq attacks Kuwait and Russia attacks Georgia are accurate; and in the end, in the evolution of the democratic revolution both invasions will not stand!

  14. 14 Stephen Owens

    I dont think that Putin would win if he advanced into Ukraine. This is for several reasons.
    1 The fighting in the East is going in favour of Ukraine I dont think that the conflict is frozen I think that Putin is slowly losing.
    2 Theres always a dynamic in war. Do tanks have the advantage or do anti tank weapons have the advantage. Currently anti tank weapons have the advantage.
    3 Morale. The advantage goes to people fighting for their home.
    On paper Russia can defeat Ukraine but war rarely reflects the on paper projections as Turkey discovered in Syria but where would victory leave Putin? It would leave him much worse off he could recreate Russia’s experience in Afghanistan.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q83AIJCGaQ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6nZvDn6gRQ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpPpCWEZjSo

  15. 15 patrickm

    BTW
    I really hope I am proved wrong and Putin does not advance further into Ukraine, and that his troops do not remain in Belarus. But hope is not a tool in my kit. All I can point to is his track record and that of others. For instance, with hindsight, I’m sure that the western incompetents who did not take action in Syria when even people like me could spot the need and “called for it”, now ALL regret their failure and the strategic mess that resulted from it. But regrets are in the same tool kit as hope. All that we can do now is to dig into that kit and pull out a wish and use it for our current crop of incompetents to have drawn some worthwhile lessons from these last 20 odd years. But with the continuing dribble about the liberation of Iraq being a disaster, I just shake my head and return to reality.

  16. 16 Stephen Owens

    Do you really want to bring up Iraq? You mean the war to replace Saddam with Muqtada al-Sadr.
    https://www.dw.com/en/new-iraqi-government-more-democracy-or-civil-war/a-60464202
    I read a comment the other day it went something like 20 years, 2 Trillion dollars, 4,000 US lives, 46,000 civilians, 69,000 police and Afghan military lives.
    To replace the Taliban with the Taliban.

  17. 17 Stephen Owens

    meanwhile in Egypt they havent solved their national shortage of shirts problem.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUj-EGTJc3E

  18. 18 Stephen Owens

    As I said before professionals talk logistics

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb_-MPExGlQ

  19. 19 Stephen Owens

    The vid that I just posted has an error at the 1min 50 sec mark Narrator says that Russia and surrounding countries have different rail gauges. This is incorrect the USSR and surrounding countries had different rail gauges but old Soviet Republics like Ukraine and Baltic states have the Russian gauge. It wont matter too much as I would assume that as soon as a Russian soldier steps foot on free Ukraine the rail head will be blown.

  20. 20 patrickm

    So to refocus… Putin’s options as far as I can see are to; 1/ concede and withdraw from his Ukraine adventure, (and there is not much chance of that methinks) or; 2/ do nothing in the face of this unsatisfactory current freeze which is not currently working to his advantage. But this choice would over time only give further advantage to Ukraine. That’s because there is wide support for western powers pumping in more arms and the special forces for training more Ukrainians to use the more advanced western weapons; even the sentiment for calling Putin’s bluff by making Ukraine a member of NATO might well grow given sufficient time. So time is undoubtedly on Ukraine’s side and not Russia’s and number 2/ is thus a bad choice for Putin or; 3/ he must unfreeze proceedings and resume the large scale killing! He must in short choose (as simply the best from a bad lot) what was previously the most unthinkable and audacious choice and count on terror to carry the next stage forward before western economic strength alters the military situation.

  21. 21 Stephen Owens

    Neither NATO or Russia want Ukraine to join NATO so I think we can draw a line through that.
    A full invasion of Ukraine doesn’t seem to be on the cards for lots of reasons so I think that we can draw a line through that.
    There are areas of Ukraine that might welcome Russian troops so he might bite off a bit more particularly near Crimea which doesn’t have a secure water supply so he might fix that.
    My best guess is that he’s just fucking with NATO seeing the division that he can stir up just by moving troops about which is probably enough for him.
    I see him a little bit like North Korea who would regularly threaten war but be appeased by some concession usually food aid.
    For some reason NATO have pledged to not retaliate with boots on the ground so that gives Putin a free hand. Why anyone would foreshadow that they won’t put boots on the ground is a mystery to me.

  22. 22 Stephen Owens

    Oh I forgot to mention that Putin could bring Moldova and Transnistria into play. I think that there are still Russian troops stationed there. Grab territory along the Ukrainian southern border there by linking up the Donetsk Peoples Republic – Crimea – Transnistria. That’s doable.
    The advantage would be that all the pro Russian areas in Ukraine and Moldova would have a land link plus Crimea could access water.

  23. 23 Stephen Owens

    I dont know why people talk like an invasion will be a walk in the park. Ukraine is armed to the teeth and has a motivated populous. I used to work with a Ukrainian guy he hated Russians told me that during WW2 Russians dressed up in German uniforms and did atrocities to make the Germans look bad.
    Heres a vid about Ukrainian military capacity pity about the navy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m6bGC6q_ro

  24. 24 Stephen Owens

    This doesnt have anything to do with the conflict but I thought that I would share.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXzhcfYlKFQ

  25. 25 Stephen Owens

    Putin attacked in Syria, Georgia and Crimea. My recollection is that he did these things with minimal warning. How much warning has he given with the Ukraine build up? Well this has been going on for almost a year. Troops have been there so long that some have been rotated out for leave. This is all show and no go. If he was going to invade Ukraine his troops would be in Kiev by now.
    Wont I look stupid when he attacks.

  26. 26 Stephen Owens

    Putin must be laughing. All he has done is run some war games in Belarus and move 100K troops up to the border of a country that boasts 255,000 active soldiers and 900,000 reservists.
    Well the pigeons are off and racing.
    Biden states that there will be big consequences if Russia makes a move but smaller consequences if the move is small. Zelensky went ballistic.
    The UK is sending anti tank weapons but Germany will not allow those weapons to pass through German air space.
    The Americans have threatened to cut Russia out of the SWIFT global messaging system to which Germany has said no that aint happening.

  27. 27 patrickm

    Just finished watching Tony Robinson Forgotten War Stories. My spot-on comment from just a few days back is worth repeating ‘US attacks Serbia’ could well read; an exasperated US government finally forces Serbian Fascists to desist from their vicious war-making!
    Only adding; With British and French ground troops!

  28. 28 Stephen Owens

    I haven’t seen the Tony Robinson doco. I like his stuff, he is usually pretty fair.
    Did he mention that the initial killings in the conflict was kicked off by the KLA with a campaign of murder? Did he mention that the ethnic cleansing only hit high gear after NATO started bombing? Did he mention that targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure is a war crime? Did he mention the precision bombing? Did he mention that the US once bombed the wrong country? Did he mention the lax rules of engagement that lead the US to attack a Kosovar refugee column? Did he mention that the ethnic cleansing continued after the war stopped with 200,000 Serbs and Roma fleeing.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/jun/27/balkans2

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEhgwdJldeU

  29. 29 Stephen Owens

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/aug/27/balkans

    I mean you have to love a policy that leads to the ethnic cleansing of Roma (gypsies) being described as humanitarian. Just refresh my memory, who was the last European politician whose policies lead to a cleansing of Gypsies?

  30. 30 Stephen Owens

    I know that you are desperate to portray humanitarian military intervention as a success but is it really?
    In Iraq we are about to witness a government dominated by Muqtada al-Sadr. At what point did you come to the conclusion that represents success?
    In Kosovo NATO are still there attempting to keep the peace.
    In Afghanistan we have replaced the Taliban with the Taliban.
    Libya is a disaster.
    Syria is a disaster.
    Arthur claimed that the invasion of Iraq may only incur casualties numbering in the hundreds. He argued that Putin would bring democracy to Syria, that US withdrawal from Afghanistan would result in regional war and that the US would broker an end to to occupation in Palestine.
    This stuff is delusional and worse its dropped as soon as it fails there’s no attempt at analyzing mistakes its just forget about it and move on to the next topic.

  31. 31 Stephen Owens

    The first victim of the Ukrainan matter is a Vice Admiral. Didn’t see that coming.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-23/german-navy-chief-steps-down-vladimir-putin-comments/100775958

  32. 32 Stephen Owens

    I’m still interested in that Tony Robinson doco. Did he mention the precision bombing. The way they could pick out the Chinese embassy like that very impressive. Dropping bombs on Bulgaria 5 times well may be not so impressive. But he did mention this stuff, yes?
    The Chinese embassy stuff usually gets a run in most docos because well it was such a big story at the time you know China blocking NATO bombing in the UN has NATO precision guided bomb hit its embassy.
    As the yank’s said at the time just a case of bad luck.

  33. 33 patrickm

    The following quote is adequate for the big picture that as is usual escapes you.
    ‘On 31 May 2006, Brad DeLong rebutted Chomsky and quoted from elsewhere in the passage which Chomsky had cited,[220] “the Kosovo crisis was fueled by frustration with Milošević and the legitimate fear that instability and conflict might spread further in the region” and also that “Only a decade of death, destruction, and Milošević brinkmanship pushed NATO to act when the Rambouillet talks collapsed. Most of the leaders of NATO’s major powers were proponents of ‘third way’ politics and headed socially progressive, economically centrist governments. None of these men were particularly hawkish, and Milošević did not allow them the political breathing room to look past his abuses.”

    You are refusing to even address the logic that is as I have indicated above, impelling Vlad the fascist into further war-making. But at least you understand that all 3 Baltic states are sending anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons and more war is more than just possible it looks to many of us as most probable. If further war is avoided Ukraine will be better off, but Belarus will be taken ‘en passant’

  34. 34 Stephen Owens

    I have been searching and searching for Tony Robinson’s doco on Kosovo but now realise that you must be talking about his excellent doco on the Bosnian war.
    A couple of points yes you are correct that NATO bombing forced the Serbs to the negotiating table but here’s the rub the Dayton agreement as the documentary points out solidified the victories of the war lords. The tragedy of Dayton apart from it just freezing the conflict gave leaders of the former Yugoslavia a template in how to run future conflicts.
    People learnt that the West would intervein if you dialed up the violence and that Western intervention would ratify your territorial gains.
    These lessons were not lost on the KLA or on Milosevic and are partly responsible for the next conflict in Kosovo.
    As you can see from this article the peace keeping force is still there after 25 years and Bosnia is still at risk of the conflict reigniting.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/02/bosnia-is-in-danger-of-breaking-up-warns-eus-top-official-in-the-state

  35. 35 Stephen Owens

    Rambouillet
    In commentary released to the press, former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger declared that:

    The Rambouillet text, which called on Serbia to admit NATO troops throughout Yugoslavia, was a provocation, an excuse to start bombing. Rambouillet is not a document that an angelic Serb could have accepted. It was a terrible diplomatic document that should never have been presented in that form.[9]

    — Henry Kissinger, The Daily Telegraph, 28 June 1999
    The historian Christopher Clark supports this view, asserting that the terms of the 1914 Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia appear lenient compared to the NATO demands.[10]

    A former hand on the State Department’s Yugoslavia desk, George Kenney, reported in May 1999 that a senior State Department official had briefed journalists off the record that “[we] deliberately set the bar higher than the Serbs could accept”.
    Big picture anyone?

  36. 36 Stephen Owens

    Do you really want to go with Brad DeLong? OK if you must lead with your chin you must.

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2003/07/25/refuting-brad-delong-s-smear-job-on-chomsky/

  37. 37 patrickm

    You Steve are now just spinning around and not even noticing that you are -by confirming with your current assertions about who is in contention to run the government in Iraq- also confirming my exposure of Chomsky! Chomsky Drowning not Waving http://strangetimes.lastsuperpower.net/?cat=124 Liberation and democracy are the result reconfirmed many times over that Chomsky could not see coming. He could not see it when it -quite quickly and organically driven by the three Iraqi peoples with the highly respected South African twist that leftists had never been critical of- got to the formally established stage, and he dare not speak about it now nor what it means for his silly oil theory.

    What else can one do other than also ridicule the oil pipeline through the Balkans rumour-mongering that the Chomsky cultists got on with?

    ISIS was the straw that broke Noam!

    Looks like more Putin political attacks on democracy is going to lead to the fascist war-making that you have scoffed at above.

    Nevertheless, I fundamentally agree with you that this will not end well for the fascist leader Czar Vlad the Audacious! BUT the worlds democratically-minded masses are in for decades more anti-democratic war-making right across the planet in the ‘short term’ not less.

    I would like to be able to nominate the next looming people’s victory but am struck with the notion that this is the Biden / Trudeau / Johnson / Macron era and I tremble with the magnitude of the illusions we need to cast aside!

  38. 38 Stephen Owens

    BTW thanks for raising Mearsheimer. In the last few days I have reviewed a lot of his you tube lectures. He’s a situationist funny thing is that I’m more of a situationist than he is and he’s pretty solidly in that camp. Didn’t realise that he was a fan of Bernie Sanders as am I.
    I think that I am more a situationist because he thinks that the US foreign office had some leverage over creating an economic giant in China but I think that economics trumps the will. When China opened up to the world if the US didn’t give them their business then the EU would have and would have obtained an economic advantage over the USA

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