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Aroused by Power: Why Madeleine Albright Was Not Right

When involved in war, those who feel like benefactors are bound to congratulate the gun toting initiators. If you so happen to be on the losing end, sentiments are rather different. Complicity and cause in murder come to mind.

The late US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will always be tied with the appallingly named humanitarian war in Kosovo in 1999, one that saw NATO attacks on Serbian civilian targets while aiding the forces of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). It was a distinct backing of sides in a vicious, tribal conflict, where good might miraculously bubble up, winged by angels. Those angels never came.

Through her tenure in public office, Albright showed a distinct arousal for US military power. In 1992, she rounded on the then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell for refusing to deploy US forces to Bosnia. “What’s the point of having this superb military machine you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”

Too many apologists have come out to explain why Albright was so adamant about the use of such force. Biographical details are cited: born in Czechoslovakia as Marie Jana Korbelová; of Jewish roots rinsed in the blood wine of Roman Catholicism. She fled with her family to Britain, eventually finding refuge in Notting Hill Gate. She went to school, spent time in air raid shelters, sang A Hundred Green Bottles Hanging on the Wall.

The NATO intervention – and this point was never lost on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who reiterated it in his February address – took place without UN Security Council authorisation. For the law abiders and totemic worshipers of the UN Charter keen to get at Russia’s latest misconduct in Ukraine, this served to illustrate the fickleness of international law’s supporters. At a given moment, they are bound to turn tail, becoming might-is-right types. The persecuted, in time, can become persecutors.

NATO, in fact, became an alliance Albright wished to see expanded and fed, not trimmed and diminished. The historical role of Germany and Russia in central and eastern Europe became the rationale for expanding a neutralising alliance that would include previous “victim” countries. A weakened Moscow could be ignored. “We do not need Russia to agree to enlargement,” she told US Senators in 1997.

Paul Wilson, considering the Albright legacy, wrote in 2012 about the danger of following analogies in history to the letter. “Historical analogies are seductive and often treacherous. [Slobodan] Milošević was not Hitler and the Kosovar Liberation Army was not a champion of liberal democracy.”

In fact, the KLA was previously designated by the State Department to be a terrorist organisation. “The Kosovar Albanians,” wrote the regretful former UN Commander in Bosnia Major General Lewis MacKenzie in April 2003, “played us like a Stradivarius violin.” In his view, NATO and the international community had “subsidised and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being perpetrators of violence in the early 1990s, and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today, in spite of evidence to the contrary.”

Such is the treacherous nature of the sort of perverse humanitarianism embraced by Albright and her colleagues. Such a policy, Alan J. Kuperman remarks with gloomy accuracy, “creates a moral hazard that encourages the excessively risky or fraudulent behaviour of rebellion by members of groups that are vulnerable to genocidal retaliation, but it cannot fully protect against the backlash.”

One such encouraged individual, Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani, was all gushing over Albright’s legacy. “She gave us hope when we didn’t have it. She became our voice and our arm and when we had neither voice nor an arm ourselves. She felt our people’s pain because she had experienced herself persecution in childhood.”

The first female Secretary of State will also be linked with the Clinton Administration’s sanctions policy that killed numerous citizens and maimed the country of Iraq, only for it to then be invaded by the venal architects of regime toppling in the succeeding Bush Administration. This sickening episode sank any heroic notions of law and justice, showing that Albright was content using a wretched calculus on life and death when necessary.

On May 12, 1996, Albright was asked by Lesley Stahl on the CBS program 60 Minutes about the impact of the sanctions that served to profitlessly kill hundreds of thousands. “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than have died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” Then US Ambassador Albright did not flinch. “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”

In September 2000, she was still crazed by the sanctions formula against Iraq, telling the United Nations in an absurd address that Baghdad had to be stood up to, being “against the United Nations authority and international law.” Meek acknowledgment was given to the fact that “the hardships faced by Iraq’s people” needed to be dealt with. What came first was “the integrity of this institution, our security, and international law.”

Albright could be sketchy on sanctions. In instances where Congress imposed automatic sanctions, Albright could express furious disagreement. When this happened to both India and Pakistan in 1998 in the aftermath of nuclear weapons testing, she could barely conceal her irritation on CNN’s Late Edition. “I think we must do something about it, because sanctions that have no flexibility, no waiver authority, are just blunt instruments. And diplomacy requires us to have some finesse.”

The hagiographic salutations have been many. One, from Caroline Kelly at CNN, is simply too much. Albright “championed the expansion of NATO, pushed for the alliance to intervene in the Balkans to stop genocide and ethnic cleansing, sought to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons, and championed human rights democracy across the globe.”

As Secretary of State, she presided in an administration of the world’s only surviving superpower, uncontained, unrestrained, dangerously optimistic. There was much hubris – all that strength, and lack of assuredness as to how to use it. The Cold War narrative and rivals were absent, and the Clinton Administration became a soap opera of scandal and indiscretion.

In her later years, she worried about the onset of authoritarianism, of power going to people’s heads, the inner tyrant unleashed in the playpen of international relations. She had much to complain about regarding Donald Trump, Putin and Brexit. In encouraging the loud return of the US to front and centre of international politics, she ignored its previous abuses, including some perpetrated by her office. When given such power, is it not axiomatic that corruption will follow?

 

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73 comments

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  1. Siew Wong

    This is a succinct example of “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The latter part aptly applies to the US. It is definitely not a force for global good. The world has to recognise the US for what it is – a rogue regime and the world’s biggest bully.

  2. Phil Pryor

    I have a group to address soon and this will be useful for in depth consideration of long term causes in the Ukraine situation today. What Albright did, what Putin “really wants”, what NATO has done over time, what crusades, exceptionalism, supremacy, “manifest destiny” and other text sayings, all must be exposed and offered now in what are very dangerous times. No leader, nation, body, association, organisation, diplomat, sage seems available to initiate essential talks, for only negotiation and compromise will hope to solve these problems, which fester on.

  3. Goran

    Excellent analysis! She was pure evil and the world is a better place without her.

  4. A Commentator

    Let’s talk about the questionable policies and actions of western democracies of a couple of decades ago, rather than the outrageous brutality of Putin today
    “Look over there!”…yet another attempt to minimise the unprovoked war declared by the fascist Putin

  5. Phil Pryor

    More comment from the wilful, blind and unaware. The USA has deliberately pushed Putin through NATO and its policies, will kill Ukraine people and any others to achieve USA goals of the last thirty years under many regimes and office holders. Nato has niggled, pushed, provoked and got what it always wanted, as blurted out by the defective Biden, that “Putin must go”. Putin will never recover, is responsible, is cornered, is threatening all of us in a MAD possiblity with the stupidos of NATO and USA action, and some dimwits cannot see this clearly, through simple minded hatred. We must feel for the deceived in Ukraine who will suffer as have Iraqis, Afghanis, many others, from wilful aggressive expansion by the USA, constantly. In fact, with bases everywhere as targets IF W W 3 happens, the USA will waste and destroy Taiwanese, Poles, Australians, anyone, to achieve destiny, supremacy. Provoked since 1999, Putin is many things, but Trump loved him…hah.

  6. A Commentator

    Does the USA have bases anywhere without the agreement of the national government?
    Ukraine has said it isn’t joining NATO, so what reason does Putin now have to continue his brutal invasion?
    Is Putin so gormless that he reacts to provocation by the US?
    Can you detail the “provocation” by NATO?

  7. Steve Davis

    “Look over there!”…yet another attempt to minimise the unprovoked war declared by the fascist Putin.”

    I wonder what life as a puppet is like? Soul-destroying I suspect.

    I prefer to look at the Ukraine situation this way; “It is not acceptable to be a grown adult in 2022 and believe that the media that lied about every other war is suddenly telling the truth about this one.”

    It must be annoying the hell out of our Commentator that Putin has declared his intention to “de-nazify” Ukraine, has thereby taken control of the word “nazi”, and is using it very effectively to undermine the policies and the pretensions of his Western detractors. This takes all the sting out of the “fascist Putin” label and has left the detractors with nothing to express but rage and frustration.

  8. A Commentator

    Please choose any definition of “fascist” and explain how it doesn’t apply to Putin.
    I’ve previously commented that it’s amazing how many are so disaffected with western democracy, that they are willing to excuse and defend a rich expansionist murderous fascist dictator who happens to invade his neighbour

  9. Steve Davis

    The reason for the rage and frustration shown by Putin’s detractors by his taking control of the word “nazi”, is that any examination of the word or its implications will show that nazism/fascism is alive and well in the West but also elsewhere.

    Mussolini described fascism as a relationship between government and the corporate sector, a little too brief to be comprehensive, but close enough.

    Which means that we have in the US a form of fascism where the corporate sector controls the government, and in China where the government controls the corporate sector.

    So things are not so simple as some would have us believe.

  10. Phil Pryor

    Well said, Steve. Treat your head carefully, for brick walls are hard…unfortunately, many are not aware of the messianistic and crusading nature of “eternal goals”, with manifest destiny, new Romes, world supremacy, etc. So, China, USA, older Germany, Russia, the British and French, all have seen their destiny as all pervading, righteous, imperious, the ultimate in leadership and to be universally admired. It all means war, eternal war…

  11. A Commentator

    This seems to describe Putin’s dictatorship.
    “Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and the economy that rose to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.”

    Only the apologists for the fascist would try to contextualise, justify or defend his brutality

  12. A Commentator

    …and no one bothers to address the 4 straight forward questions I posted.
    Here’s a 5th-
    Are apologists for the fascist any different to the fascists?

  13. Steve Davis

    “Are apologists for the fascists any different to the fascists?”

    Are you asking questions of yourself?

    Wow.

  14. A Commentator

    No, clearly you didn’t read (or address) the definition of fascism.
    It absolutely applies to Putin, but does it apply to his supporters and those that give him cover?
    …and just explain what reason Putin has to continue the invasion, since Ukraine has advised it won’t join NATO

  15. Phil Pryor

    A self exposing fascist commentates.., on and on, without any awareness, subtlety, diplomacy. No peace there.

  16. A Commentator

    “No peace”
    I’ll pose a straight forward question again.
    Can you explain why Putin is continuing the invasion of Ukraine, even though Ukraine has said they won’t join NATO.
    If you are unable to deal with a single straight forward question, you’re excusing the fascist Putin.

  17. Steve Davis

    Those interested in looking up a definition of fascism should be aware that if the source of a definition is located in a fascist country, the definition will be misleading, so as to steer the reader away from the implications of a more accurate definition. After all, we can’t have people wondering if their own system is tending towards fascism, can we?

    Mussolini’s doctrine attempted to establish a spiritual sense of national unity in which all sectors of society (corporations, incl trade unions) worked for a common goal. An intellectual version of One Nation perhaps.

    It sounds reasonable at one level, but it overlooks the fact that the wealthier groups eg. the business sector, will always find ways to grab an unfair advantage at the expense of other sectors.

    The national unity aspect of fascism obscures an underlying question of some importance. Unity against what?

    Unless the unity is for a clearly defined neutral objective, it can easily lead to notions of superiority and imperialism.

    I don’t know that Mussolini was into national or racial superiority, but he was into imperialism.

    And when we see the huge number of US military bases scattered around the world, and then look at Russian military bases, well, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

  18. Michael Taylor

    I don’t know much about the tangled political web between the USA, NATO, Ukraine and Russia so I can’t comment on that with any confidence. So, excluding what I don’t know, from where I sit I see a murderous thug – Putin – ordering the invasion of another country.

    I hope it’s the beginning of his downfall.

  19. Steve Davis

    “Ukraine has said they won’t join NATO.”

    Personally, I would not accept a word that comes out of the mouth of a president who ordered or allowed the shelling of his own people for 8 years, with over 10,000 deaths.

    I doubt that any sane person would accept his word.

    And it also must annoy the hell out of our Commentator that his pet obsession Dr Binoy Kampmark has global coverage for his excellent articles.

    Well done Dr. !

  20. Steve Davis

    Michael, anyone hoping for the downfall of Putin is hoping for a repeat of the Yeltsin years, where Russia was pillaged by the US.

    I’m sure that’s not what you want.

  21. A Commentator

    And now we’re apparently using the Humpty Dumpty standard for the use of the English language.
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    Apparently only a fascist can define fascism.
    However, the interesting corollary is that it means Putin is a Nazi, because he’s (equally) only entitled to identify Nazism
    ++++++
    Yes MT, I note now that Ukraine has conceded that it is willing to become neutral.
    There appears to be no possible reason for Putin’s brutality, other than – because he can

  22. leefe

    ” … Putin has declared his intention to “de-nazify” Ukraine … ”

    It’s rather frightening how you trust every single word out of Putin’s mouth as absolute truth. Also how you ignore the civilian deaths as … what? Collateral damage? Irrelevant? Their own fault for being Ukrainian?

    Is he also going to invade every single country with neo-nazis and remove any and all influence they have world-wide? Such altruism.

    “Personally, I would not accept a word that comes out of the mouth of a president who ordered or allowed the shelling of his own people for 8 years, with over 10,000 deaths.

    I doubt that any sane person would accept his word.”

    a) Volodymyr Zelenskyy came to power in the 2019 election.

    b) But you are prepared to accept Putin’s despite his history.

    I’ve said it before but it bears repeating:
    USA = bad does not mean Russia = good. It is possible for both to be at fault.

  23. GL

    Michael,

    The downfall of Putin has as much chance as Scummo discovering honesty and integrity.

  24. Steve Davis

    Zelensky was voted into power on the promise that he would end the war in the Donbass.

    He did not end it.

    He allowed the shelling to continue, and allowed Ukraine to be flooded with weapons.

    Don’t make any plans to fly to Europe for the next few years, as anti-aircraft weapons have been handed out like lollies and will be lost in the confusion, available to the highest bidder.

    “It’s possible for both to be at fault.”

    Indeed it is. If only global affairs were that simple.

  25. Michael Taylor

    Steve, I don’t trust Putin one little bit. He’s a murderous dictator.

    But neither do I trust the USA.

    Too many nasty players in this game.

  26. Steve Davis

    Exactly Michael.

    Cheers.

  27. A Commentator

    There is a purpose in providing an unequivocal condemnation of Putin. It is to express disapproval of a murderous fascist and an unjustified invasion.
    Continually adding- “but look at the USA”, provides cover and an excuse.
    So far no one has even attempted to address the question- “now that Ukraine has said it won’t join NATO, what possible reason is there for continuing its invasion?”
    Those that contextualise war and brutality, are encouraging and supporting it.

  28. Steve Davis

    Isn’t it great that we have two heroes “holding the fort of basic decency.”

    I wonder where they were when the US was carrying out its acts of barbarity?

    “But you can’t bring that up” they moan, “we’re only interested in barbarity that’s happening now!”

    The trouble with that pathetic argument is that it’s also happening now.

    Since 2017 there have been 70,000 deaths in Venezuela from US sanctions, according to a US economist. Still ongoing.

    Same thing happening right now in Afghanistan.

    And I don’t want these two heroes to grudgingly concede that I have a point.

    I want them to be as shrill and hyperventilating as they are about Putin, or they will be exposed as the blowhards that I suspect they are.

  29. A Commentator

    “I wonder where they were when the US was carrying out its acts of barbarity?”
    Another excuse for murder, barbarity and war.
    Another “look over there!”
    Where you excusing the USA in Afghanistan because the USSR had invaded 15 years earlier?
    An apologist for a fascist is no different to a fascist.

  30. Steve Davis

    It’s interesting that modern dictionaries pride themselves on giving evolved definitions of words, modern and more illustrative meanings.

    But not in the case of hegemony.

    Hegemony is still defined simply as leadership, despite Gramsci giving a far more detailed explanation almost a century ago.

    He defined it (don’t quote me on this, I’m going from memory which can be a bit off in the later years) as the situation that exists when a dominated people see the values and priorities of the dominating class as valid and justifiable, even worth fighting and dying for, even when those values and priorities are detrimental to the dominated group.

    We see that clearly in the case of US hegemony and Australia’s participation in it’s wars of aggression even when not asked to assist. (Vietnam)

    The same is happening now with the EU being totally under US influence, stopping trade with Russia, which will help the US economy and harm the EU economy.

    When we see it in comments throughout the media, we should understand hegemony as a form of hypnotic suggestion.

    And there’s a reason that Gramsci’s explanation is not disseminated.

    If more people were aware of it, more would question it, would look at their own beliefs and ask, “Is that actually my belief?”

  31. A Commentator

    Hypnotic suggestion?
    Are you serious?? And just explain why you’re immune to it. But apparently people like me aren’t.
    Do you think you read more widely? Or have travelled more extensively? Or is it just your natural intelligence?
    Is that an odd conspiracy theory or just old fashioned arrogance?

  32. Steve Davis

    “Hypnotic suggestion? Are you serious??”

    Did I mention you? That tells us something.

    If you want to deny Gramsci’s explanation you first have to refute it.

    There could be a refutation, I don’t know.

    But it sounds reasonable to me as it explains so much.

  33. A Commentator

    No, you’ve explained zero. You can’t even explain a justification for the continuing invasion of Ukraine, since they have advised they won’t join NATO.
    It seems that your antipathy towards western democracy is so powerful,
    that you’re willing to find excuses for the brutal murderous fascist dictator, Putin

  34. Phil Pryor

    Our R Stella has popped out over the years with comment, from Craig Thomson to Hugh Hefner, always with sharp and wild assertion mixed with professional shrewd experience, so it seems, though this seems very Santamaria-like, but who knows out here. We could all try to face the real necessity of discourse to find peace here, with less unflinching aggression behind names. Putin is gone, sooner or later, will pay, will poison much of world stability, yet it could have been avoided years ago with less ignorant pushy wilful triumphalism by the USA, prodding NATO to exploit the vacuum of the Yeltsin days and years. The old central Europe of the Warsaw pact areas will curseand doom us yet. Perhaps Adolf and Josef would chuckle, but there is no “heaven” for those types. Khrushchev wanted “peaceful co-existence” and the idea seems enticing even now. So, chat away, attack, defend and we may all learn a little, but I doubt it will stick…

  35. Steve Davis

    Brutal. Murderous. Fascist. Dictator.

    Did you run out of superlatives?

    That’s what hyperventilation does to you.

    I suggest a Bex and a good lie down.

    While you’re at it, have a think about hegemony.

  36. A Commentator

    Yes, brutal murderous fascist dictator.
    I left out rich.
    Which of those is incorrect?
    But more importantly, what possible reason does Putin have for continuing the invasion of Ukraine?

  37. Steve Davis

    It is not acceptable to be a grown adult in 2022 and believe that the media that lied about every other war is suddenly telling the truth about this one.

  38. A Commentator

    I see
    Were you one of those saying (6 weeks ago) the statements about the invasion of Ukraine were a media beatup?
    Do you have some source of information that reports that Russia isn’t invading?
    Do you have an explanation for the continuing invasion (even though Ukraine is not going to join NATO)?
    Do you have any points to make that aren’t intended to provide cover for the rich brutal murderous fascist dictator Putin?

  39. Michael Taylor

    Well, at least we can all be grateful for one thing:

    That this bloke isn’t POTUS.

  40. A Commentator

    Yes Michael, Trump had a single term, and that was largely courtesy of Julian Assange.
    With plenty of help from Putin.
    That’s to the everlasting shame of both.

  41. Michael Taylor

    I don’t blame Julian Assange. I blame the FBI head for releasing the correspondence on the eve of the 2016 election. If anything swung the election, that was it.

  42. A Commentator

    The timing and tactical release of the emails by Assange was designed to limit the ability of Hilary Clinton to respond and fight back.
    I happened to be in the US at that time, and during the last part of the election, it was blanket coverage of those emails.
    Yet Trump claims media bias against him.
    He’s a f*ckwit that was helped by Assange and Putin
    And thanks for reminding us of another intervention by the fascist Putin

  43. New England Cocky

    @ Michael Taylor!!! FREE JULIAN ASSANGE IMMEDIATELY!! It is never a criminal act to expose war criminals even when they include successive POTUSes (POTII?) for engaging in warfare on foreign soil using weapons causing mass civilian destruction and casualties.

    With allies like the USA (United States of Apartheid) countries do NOT need any other enemies.

  44. Terence Mills

    The enormous fundamental failure here and one that we have none of us come to terms with is the impotency of the United Nations.

    If you look at article one of the UN charter you can see what I mean :

    Article 1

    The Purposes of the United Nations are:

    To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace

    There was a fundamental assumption that the UN and its members were the good guys, yet we see a permanent member of the UN Security Council (Russia) has gone rogue and nobody can do anything about it because to do so may lead to a broader conflict : Putin has effectively neutered the UN and NATO.

    We need to urgently find a mediator of sufficient standing that Putin will respect his or her appointment and we need to urgently bring about a cease fire while negotiation and diplomacy does its work.

    It may be that only Xi Jingpin has that authority and we need to call on him respectfully to assume the role of mediator. In the meantime it would help if people like Dutton and Morrison were to stop insulting the Chinese leader for purely base domestic political reasons.

  45. Michael Taylor

    Some trivia:

    In 2015 Carol and I were to fly over Ukraine on our way to Helsinki, but after the Malaysian Airlines jet was shot down over said country our flight was re-routed.

    Carol woke me in the middle of the night, pointing to city lights which turned out to be St Petersburg. We were over fkn Russia.

    It was a bit eerie to later learn it was the Russians – by order of Putin – who shot down the jet.

    Ukraine might have been the safest option after all.

    A highlight of the flight though was that we flew over the Himalayas. The lowlight … it was 1am and pitch black. And I was so hoping to see a yeti.

  46. corvusboreus

    ‘In the 4 weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, the war has cost the lives of about 10,000 Russian soldiers.’

    In Putin’s Russia, simply typing that evidence-based statement constitutes a criminal offense carrying a sentence of up to 15 years.

    In the month since the’ special military operation’ to ‘liberate’ & ‘de-nazify’ Ukraine commenced, over 10,000 Russians have been arrested for peacefully expressing opposition.

    Not that authoritarian crackdowns on dissenting opinions is a characteristic of fascism.

  47. corvusboreus

    On 2nd thought, phuq all those disloyal traitors to the motherland, they all deserve to be slung into prison for daring to call Vlad the Great’s ‘special military operation’ a “war”.

    The REAL danger currently imperilling TRUE free speech is faecebook & yewchoob deplatforming alex jones.

    Ps, did you know that here in straya, thousands of housecats are currently suffering the serious abuse of being kept inside at night, thus being denied the basic right to satisfy their nocturnal hunting instincts.
    This unjust imprisonment of cats constitutes TORTUOUS ENSLAVEMENT!

  48. Jack Cade

    A Commentator is the first and only poster – anywhere – to support the torture of Julian Assange…

  49. Samuel W

    Terence, Russia has been with the UN since 1945, Communists with the power to veto. Fair enough I suppose. It’s a recurrent theme, either Russia vetoes or China or the USA. The current Sec-Gen of the UN is António Guterres, started his career as an electrical engineer, teaching Telecom Signals & Systems Theory as assistant professor. When advised in 2018 by Claire Edwards that UN staff were being exposed to high levels of EMF (wifi), he pleaded ignorance about such things. https://cairnsnews.org/2020/01/19/telstra-urgently-installing-dangerous-5g-networks-in-the-suburbs/ I wouldn’t be in a rush to trust anything UN, it seems to be a managed by idiots. As far as Xi Jingpin saving the day, look to our east. The Solomon Islands is on the verge of falling into tin pot dictatorship if the politicians elected not to represent the people can’t hold their own against China. I’d say it a done deal. The bribes must be hard to ignore. On the topic, what do you think of the LNPs chances of getting up at the next election?

  50. A Commentator

    I’m not sure that anything I’ve said justifies that bizarre comment.
    To make it simply demonstrates the paucity of your logic

  51. Michael Taylor

    cb, the Russian casualties after one month of fighting in Ukraine are about 75% of the casualties they suffered in Afghanistan over a ten-year period.

    This invasion isn’t going to plan.

  52. Phil Pryor

    So, Samuel W (who?) would tell the P M of the Solomons what to think and what to do, for his people and nation? Laughable. And the UNO is not to be trusted and is run by idiots. Amusing. And, those who relate to China are bribe takers and inferior. (Colour? Culture?) The USA and other powers with veto rights ignore the UNO on major matters as one will always seem to oppose, covering up investigation, revelation. The USA however does exploit NATO which is effectively above the law and can be manipulated for partisan advantage. Of course, no-one of the five big veto holders believes in law. They are all governments descended from illegal, murdering, rebellious, civil war and uprising sources, 1642 and 1688, 1776, 1789, 1917, 1949. Law is imperium; it is how it is made and enforced by imperious makers. And, may the haemorrhoidal LNP bleed to death…

  53. corvusboreus

    MT,
    Depends upon whose estimates are cited.
    Ukraine claims 20,000 kills, Russia admits 2000 deaths. NATO estimates 7-15,000 Russian KIAs, and +/-10,000 is generally accepted as a reasonablly accurate figure by most relatively independent observers.

    That is comparable to the butchers bill inflicted upon Soviet forces during the entire Afgan war (10000 combat KIAs, 15000 overall losses)

    Another comparison is that, in a month of fighting in Ukraine, Russia has suffered more combat deaths than the combined total suffered by all US forces during their entire spectrum of misadventurous deployments (‘dirty wars’ included) since Vietnam.

    Oops.

  54. Michael Taylor

    cb, I read it on MSNBC about a week ago. I’m guessing that the numbers were from US spying agencies.

  55. corvusboreus

    MT,
    MSNBC may have been ‘spook-fed’, but is just as likely that they ran with figures published by another media agency (eg Reuters) which were probably sourced from private ‘data analysis consultants’.
    Modern media tends to regurgitatively feed.

    Ps, given that the quoted figures are a week old, & factoring in the increasing flow of arms into Ukraine, the Russian military deathtoll has more than likely exceeded 10,000 by now.

  56. Michael Taylor

    cb, I’m with you on that one.

  57. A Commentator

    The address to parliament by Zelensky certainly put more than a little context around the juvenile point scoring between our politicians

  58. Michael Taylor

    Damn. I forgot about his address and spent the arvo in the garden. What were his key points, if I may ask?

  59. corvusboreus

    MT,
    Here be:

  60. Kaye Lee

    MT,

    My favourite part was when Zelensky asked us to send him our Bushmasters because they are no use just sitting parked here somewhere.

    Billions on armoured vehicles that we will NEVER use.

  61. Michael Taylor

    Thanks, guys.

    I’ll watch that and Albo’s address.

  62. Michael Taylor

    Btw, did Morrison turn his back on him?

  63. Florence Howarth

    Do you mean Albanese? Morrison sat there side-on, pretending he was falling asleep. Josh glared the whole speech. I have never seen the chamber empty so quick. ABC switched over before Albanese said his last word. An inane interview by Leigh Abanese shot her down on every question.

  64. Whale Oil Beef Hooked

    The argument about fascism here speaks volumes of some of the posters infantile nescience.
    Here’s a helpful guide and it reads like America and is America and her allies.

    The 14 Characteristics of Fascism
    by Lawrence Britt
    Spring 2003
    Free Inquiry magazine

    Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt recently wrote an article about fascism ("Fascism Anyone?," Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20). Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine's policy.

    The 14 characteristics are:

    Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
    Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are een everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

    Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
    Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

    Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
    The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

    Supremacy of the Military
    Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

    Rampant Sexism
    The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.

    Controlled Mass Media
    Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

    Obsession with National Security
    Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

    Religion and Government are Intertwined
    Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

    Corporate Power is Protected
    The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

    Labor Power is Suppressed
    Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .

    Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
    Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

    Obsession with Crime and Punishment
    Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

    Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
    Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

    Fraudulent Elections
    Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

    Copyright © 2003 Free Inquiry magazine
    Reprinted for Fair Use Only.

    So cogitate on that!

  65. A Commentator

    Actually, that reads exactly like Putin’s fascist dictatorship.
    * I can, as can you, access any number of sites to express my dissatisfaction with any government policy. Not in Russia
    * Have you seen the outrageous suppression of homosexuality in Russia?
    * Militarism- did you notice that Russia has invaded Ukraine?
    * Democracy- how does Russia rank on the democratic index?
    * Cronyism- Did you read up on Putin’s amazing wealth? The watch he wears is worth more than his annual salary.
    * Crime and punishment- how many anti war protesters have been locked up?
    * Please compare the Amnesty International report on Russia, vs any western democracy.
    * It’s amazing that anyone could be so blinded by their disdain for western democracy, that they would suggest that the article isn’t directly applicable to Putin’s fascist, sexist, militaristic, brutal dictatorship

  66. Fred

    Dr K: Not sure about the context of this “history lesson” relative to current events but if you are implying that Putin is somehow justified in starting/increasing a war based on anything to do with what Madeleine Albright did/said/supported is frankly silly. Putin’s Feb ’22 speech, as he recognises the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent countries, is a bit like your article: a certain amount of truth, selective pieces of history, opinion phrased to sound like truth, “alternate” truths and creates an “enemy”. It would appear that you write these sorts of articles full of misdirection just to see what reaction they receive.

    E.g. Please explain the construct where you begin paragraph 4 with: “Too many apologists have come out to explain why Albright was so adamant about the use of such force” followed by 2 sentences of “Biographical details” … ending with “sang A Hundred Green Bottles Hanging on the Wall”. I don’t see the second and third sentences as adding any weight to the first sentence. They make as much sense as saying that anybody who grew up in Whitechapel has “Jack the ripper” tendencies.

    Please don’t tell me that you read a full transcript of Putin’s Feb ’22 speech and believed every word of it! Most of it is utter BS. A couple of stand-outs: “We are well aware that last year, under the guise of war games, NATO countries’ military contingents were deployed in Ukraine” and “The Ukrainian army is already integrated into NATO”. Really? If so, where’s the no-fly zone? I bet a few people in NATO were left scratching their heads on that one…

    Seriously though, apparently “International Law” forms part of your stock and trade as a day job. Although the basis of international law has many flaws (including veto???) and not all countries subscribe, I would rather see an article from you on how the system can be made better or propose a workable alternative rather than “For the law abiders and totemic worshipers of the UN Charter keen to get at Russia’s latest misconduct in Ukraine…”. If there is no law then you have anarchy – what are you proposing?

    As for those “anti-western” supporters that agree with Dr K’s “Russia’s latest misconduct in Ukraine” euphemism and other misdirection that supposedly justifies/downplays the severity, get a grip on reality, it’s another effing useless WAR. All wars are ended by political outcome, which should have been applied before the wars were started. Unfortunately, it appears to be a human trait for those in power to send their minions into battle only to negotiate an outcome when one side clearly has the upper hand.

  67. corvusboreus

    Randalstella,
    I do not think that ‘drongo’ is a situationally appropriate term to use.

    Spangled drongos are the only drongo type known in Australia, and are a pretty cool breed of bird.
    Apparently the use of ‘drongo’ as a pejorative stems from some racehorse of that name whose track performances disappointed a bunch of gamblers (hardly a noble etymological derivation).

    A more appropriate term for the Putin apologists would be ‘tankies’, as a historical nod to the western leftists who supported the soviet army’s use of tanks to crush civilian uprisings in Hungary & Czechoslovakia.

  68. Kaye Lee

    Nothing that has happened in the past can in any way justify Putin’s invasion of a sovereign nation and the murder of its citizens. Full stop.

    One can only hope it leads to him being unseated from within – probably a vain hope when, like Kim Jong-un, he murders his own with seeming impunity and locks up anyone who dares call for peace. Are there no courageous Russians left who can save them from this madman?

  69. I.P.Freely

    Kaye Lee wrote. “Nothing that has happened in the past can in any way justify Putin’s invasion of a sovereign nation and the murder of it’s citizens. Full stop”.

    So you will have to agree then that Americas invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Granada etc are international war crimes!

    America Philes and apologists for American Imperialist fascism should realize that you cannot have it both ways. You cannot throw stones while living in glass houses, you cannot be the pot calling the kettle black.

    Hypocrisy is an evil thing and so are selective morals.

  70. Kaye Lee

    I,P,Freely,

    Don’t put words in my mouth and do not presume to tell me what I think. I at no stage even mentioned America so keep your accusations about hypocrisy and selective morals to yourself.

    I stand by my statement which referred to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The extrapolation is all yours and an unjustified presumption.

  71. GL

    Kaye Lee,

    “I.P.Freely” has the stink of being part of the Putin troll patrol.

    By the way Freely, it’s “Americanophile” and not “America Philes”.

  72. Fred

    Randalstella: I’m disappointed by the continual stream of articles from the “internationally acclaimed” Dr K which appear to approve of Putin’s war on the basis of comparison to wars and actions involving the west, while intentionally not acknowledging that in absolute terms the war is unjustifiable and war crimes are being committed. It’s like comparing mass shootings in America in intricate detail without stepping back and condemning them all. All wars are wrong, as are mass shootings.

    His articles may be written just to elicit response from the AIMN, which has robust discussion. However if he gives the same feed to his students, I’m concerned they may being corrupted because they probably don’t have the temerity to challenge him and simply echo his views in any tutorials.

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