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The last thing we needed was another crazed dictator

The most disturbing feature of the war in Ukraine is the currency of the action, the actual real-time evidence of the destruction, and the sheer number of civilian deaths.

If you have read history, especially the history of the Second World War, you will have seen pictures of dead bodies on streets, and concrete buildings reduced to rubble. Mostly in black and white, they are frozen in time. They are real, and the people are really dead.

The images speak of the unenlightened ‘then’, before mankind’s embrace of globalism, the European Union, the United Nations, trading blocs and global co-operation. Even Russia is a member of the United Nations, and until the February 2022 invasion Russia was seen as a global citizen, paying some of its share, and enjoying a limited post-Soviet rehabilitation.

It was a false dawn. Putin has been building his own version of the Gulag, and his experience as a member of the KGB has informed the structuring of an efficient police state. He has also continued in the bloody tradition of the czars, and the later communist leaders of the Soviet Union.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 Chechnya was ready for post-Soviet life. So was Ukraine. But the new Russia was not. It would attempt to hold on to its past geopolitical primacy, and the battle for Ukraine is yet another episode in Russia’s attempt to recapture lost territory.

If we want to see the dress rehearsal for the war against Ukraine, we need only go back to Boris Yeltsin’s First Chechen War, where for the period 1994 – 1996 Russia ignored the will of the Chechens, and in the process destroyed Grozny and the surrounding countryside.

The reason the West was taken by surprise when Putin invaded Ukraine was that the international media treated the Chechen Wars as internal affairs, rather than attacks on a sovereign state, by another sovereign state, looking to retain territory they had lost, due to a treaty.

Chechen public opinion in 1991 was strongly for independence from Russia. With a turnout of 72%, 90.1% voted for the Chechen leader, Dudayev. Russia began a campaign of harassment and supplied Russian separatists with money, weapons and troops.

It was never anything but the pursuit of territory by force, although the Chechens had voted overwhelmingly for separation. By 1994 President Yeltsin issued an ultimatum to all warring factions in Chechnya, ordering them to disarm and surrender. When the government in Grozny refused, Yeltsin ordered the Russian army to “restore constitutional order” by force.

When the Russians besieged the Chechen capital, thousands of civilians died from a week-long series of air raids and artillery bombardments in the heaviest bombing campaign in Europe since the destruction of Dresden. (Williams, Bryan Glyn (2001)).

Fast forward to Ukraine. Similar tactics, similar disregard of humanitarian principles, similar spurious reasons given for the invasion.

There is one crucial difference, however. Putin’s rigid control of state media in Russia, and his rock solid use of a punitive police presence has kept the Russian public’s support for the war high.

The barrage of misinformation has seen a weakening in the West’s resolve. Hungary has made a virtue of not criticising Russia’s war, and the Republicans, led by Trump, have questioned the general moral outrage.

It is lucky that summer is coming to Europe, otherwise Russia’s gas supplies would have been a necessity for many European countries. The reality appears to be that Russia and Putin will not be shamed into a withdrawal, and we might be stuck with a highly dangerous situation for years to come.

It can safely be said that whenever a dictator is supplied with the means for war, and the requisite power, that the fate of the rest of us depends on our being prepared for the worst, because it can sometimes be as simple as a madman’s whim which causes the boat to capsize.

The Russians will not thank him for destroying their economy, the Russian troops’ parents and families will not thank him for killing their sons, and the Ukrainian people will never accept the reason for the invasion, or its apparent objective: The subjugation of its identity and status as a sovereign nation. The death and destruction means there will never be reconciliation between Russia and Ukraine.

Putin’s war is a grave mistake, and hundreds of thousands will pay the price. The greatest threat comes from Putin, and his absolute hold on power. He, if cornered, might pull out all the stops, and attempt to bluff the Unites States and Europe with the threat of nuclear war.

The possibility is there, and it looks to be Putin’s last card.

 

Mark Buckley is a writer based in regional Victoria. He has a particular interest in politics, history and ethics in public life. He blogs at www.askbucko.com.

 

 

 

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101 comments

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  1. Douglas Pritchard

    I accept all that is said. The Russians do not battle fairly.
    But Zilensky knows, or should know, most of this when he was confronted with Putins proposition.
    The situation would now be so much different. This conflict has got very messy.
    Yes, he chose self determination for Ukraine, and I assume this was supported by the majority of the population.
    But, sure as hell, there must be some Ukrainians now who debate whether being neutral may have been the better option

  2. Andrew J. Smith

    Interesting overview and related, to the comment above ‘But, sure as hell, there must be some Ukrainians now who debate whether being neutral may have been the better option’.

    This has been the messaging from US GOP, Fox News, Koch think tanks and related ‘expert’ input e.g. Mearsheimer (platformed by The Economist and mainstream media); deflecting from Putin, Russia and their shared interests e.g. fossil fuels, autocracy etc. to blame Ukraine and worse, make false claims.

    The latter have been called out by a recent article 18th April from US journalist Judd Legum linking Mearsheimer to Koch (& indirect GOP) support (Koch Industries remain operating in Russia):

    ‘Koch-funded analyst raises doubts about Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians. A foreign policy analyst with extensive ties to the non-profit network operated by Charles Koch publicly cast doubt about whether Russian forces are attacking civilians in Ukraine. The analyst, Professor John Mearsheimer, also suggested that, if Russian forces have attacked civilians, such attacks would be justified. While offering excuses for Russia, Mearsheimer appeared to pin the blame for civilian deaths on the actions of the American government (i.e. making Biden – Democrats appear ‘weak’ for upcoming midterm elections).

    Mearsheimer’s claims — which mirror those from the Russian Defense Ministry — are contradicted by photographic, videographic, and testimonial evidence of what has occurred in Bucha and other areas of Ukraine’

    https://popular.info/p/koch-funded-analyst-raises-doubts?s=r

  3. John OCallaghan

    Hey Mark old mate,no offence meant but your assessment on the situation in Ukraine is totally off the planet and sounds like it was copied and pasted from one of Bidens war mongering cronies like Antony Blinken or the other war mongering psychopath Victoria Nuland!….. No mention of the “Minsk agreement where the US promised Russia they would not expand NATO or practically place missiles on Russia’s borders. ……………. No mention of the US backed regime change supported by the Neo Nazi Azov regiment and their cronies that have murdered at least 15000 Russian speaking citizens since 2014 and stormed the Ukraine parliament at gun point and ousted the democratically elected Govt………..fully funded and backed 100%by the US. Not to mention the total distorted western media propaganda that feed ignorant uninformed people like you into writing this absolute piece of bullshit…….. I suggest you do a remedial course on the “true” situation in Ukraine,or maybe take up a different profession that you may know something about!

  4. Roswell

    John, I think Mark is on the money.

    I would like to know why you consider that you know more about this war than Mark does.

    You’re coming across as a Putin apologist. I can’t see how that position can be defended.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Well that’s certainly the Russian version of events John. I am amazed at how many people accept it.

  6. John OCallaghan

    With all due respect to Roswell and Kaye Lee,what you are both representing to me is a lazy uninformed intellectual argument which is.. I am offering an alternate opinion,therefore i must be a “Putin apologist”…………… A couple of hundred years ago you two would have thrown me in the river as a witch because i didn’t float………………… All i am saying is get out of your MSM comfortable hammock,do some genuine alternate research on the subject, then get back to me with your findings….. If i can do it then anybody can..it’s not difficult,as one of the first things i was taught was to question everything,there is always…..”always’ two sides to every story… havn’t you ever wondered why we keep seeing the same one sided horrendous stories every day spewing out from the corrupt US/NATO backed western media?…..No?… never crossed your minds? gee wake up Australia…come on!….. Sit down,relax,have a cup of your favourite and “think” about it…..You may surprise yourselves…….you may even discover that a coin has two sides…..yes really it does…go on try it,and dont resort to easy PC lazy reasoning like… Oh! he’s got a different opinion,…he must be a “Putin apologist”…it’s not only lazy intellectual thinking it is bloody insulting and disrespecting, not just to me,but also to my family! Now go away and do your homework!

  7. Canguro

    John OCallaghan, I don’t usually indulge in pile-ons, but you’re new here, aren’t you? Your name hasn’t appeared a great deal within these pages. With respect to Roswell, I can’t say a great deal as he (she?) doesn’t appear often to offer comment, but I am aware he has a respectable longevity of both commentary & administration of this website, and his rare comments have always struck me as nuanced, appropriate & intelligent, unlike the offerings of a few of the many others who contribute their opinions to this special little niche of the internet.

    As for Kaye Lee, she is one of the finest writers here, or indeed, of many of the opinion-based sites on offer, whether locally or offshore; seasoned, highly disciplined, intelligent and across her topics.

    You do them both a disservice by offering your intemperate criticism, such as your above response to their mild questioning of your earlier piece.

    Chill out, bro. This is not the place to spew vitriol or give way to rancour when others question your opinions. Zero tolerance of offensive posts is the primary rule on these pages.

  8. Stan

    John makes valid points. Totalatarianism is not restricted to Russia and is not contained in one person, Putin. The march of totalarianism is the evolution of a negative mindset. Such a controlling mindset, by default, forcefully replaces personal rights with abeyance to a cabal of thugs ruling by decree. Totalarianism is as evident in the sleight of hand of NATO moving against the borders of Russia as with Russia throwing its weight around in a display of State power – a ham-fisted reminder to the collective psyche, a message resonant with ‘resistance is futile’. Perhaps NATO and Russia are providing a sick kind of theatre for the elite, another modern day bloodbath designed to obscure a deeper agenda that both are party to at a higher level. Totalarianism is central to the machinations of the UN and the WHO. If freedom of choice is to have a future then this fog of ‘war’ must be seen through for what it is – World Council for Health #StopTheTreaty.

  9. John OCallaghan

    I am new here?…. I have been a supporter of this publication and a contributor since day one..so there is your first ignorant “fact” blown out of the water. And who gave you permission to speak on behalf of Roswell and Kaye Lee?………… What they cant speak for themselves? Oh! and i am spitting out vitriol by offering a different opinion? So what you are saying is, unless i conform and agree to everybody’s opinion on every subject in this publication i am spitting out “vitriol? I agree Kaye Lee is a fine writer,but in this case i disagree with her,and no!… she has not done proper research on this subject, and im sure she would be the first to agree that i have a right to disagree with her from time to time without some fawning arrogant know it all self opinionated wanker like you telling me how to think and what to write……………… There you go old son!..some “genuine” good old fashioned “vitriol’..ENJOY!

  10. Kaye Lee

    John,

    This conflict is occurring ostensibly because Putin did not want Ukraine to join the EU or NATO. Others believe it is to satisfy Putin’s delusions of grandeur.

    Regardless, he had NO right to invade another sovereign nation and indiscriminately kill civilians and destroy property. Would it be ok for us to have a military invasion of the Solomon Islands because we are worried about what China may do?

    And you have NO right to tell me I haven’t done proper research just because I do not accept your version of events. I am aware of the competing narratives and their sources.

    I would be interested to hear your view on Finland and Sweden now wanting to join NATO. It seems Putin’s neighbours see him as the aggressor rather than the saviour.

    And please try to keep it civil.

  11. Kaye Lee

    I also have a question about the Russian backed separatists in Ukraine. If you want to live under Russian rule, do you move to Russia or do you move Russia to you?

  12. GL

    Kaye Lee,

    Your last sentence reminded me of a saying waayy back when I was a kid: “Visit the Soviet Union before the Soviet Union visits you.”

  13. John OCallaghan

    I have every right to tell you that you have not done proper research because you havn;t… i dont care whether you agree with me or not….I am not trying to change your opinion,i am just stating mine!…. And do not lecture me on keeping it “civil” i have always kept it “civil”…. it seems that some long term contributors on this site have been here for so long they have developed this arrogant How “dare you question my opinion and for god sake keep it”civil” wont you?…….. When i replied to your good self and Roswell the first words i wrote were…. “With all due respect”…………. Just because i or someone else do not agree with your opinion does not give you license to accuse them of being a “Putin” apologist or being uncivil! ……..This is my final “civil” word to you on this subject…..You do not have a clue what is really going on in Ukraine,all you are doing is repeating the lies and propaganda spewing out from the MSM,and it’s quite obvious to myself and a hell of a lot of other independent thinkers and researchers that the truth will one day come out……. and that’s all i really care about…the “TRUTH” …. hopefully your good self will also one day share the same conclusion……….I am not here to insult you or to score cheap points.. I just feel the AIMN needs some alternative narratives,especially regarding the Ukraine/NATO/ Military Industrial Complex,and the role and influence of western media in general…….. I apologise if you think i have offended you in any way….. I am just giving my opinion…that’s all… nothing more, nothing less!…… You must practice what you preach…

  14. A Commentator

    John
    *Lots of assertions
    *Plenty of “blame the media”
    * Thin on facts

  15. Kaye Lee

    By all means disagree with me. Just don’t tell me what I know. That is presuming that, if only I knew what you do, I would agree with you. Have you entertained the thought that I have read maybe even more widely than you, from even more sources than you, and, on the weight of extensive research, have come to a different conclusion to you?

    As for civility, I write on an internet blog and have had everything in the world said to me. Doesn’t bother me. I can just hit the red X.
    But our readers get sick of squabbles. And it is NOT ok to say things like “some fawning arrogant know it all self opinionated wanker like you”.

    You are welcome to make your case but stick to the topic and don’t have a tanty if others disagree.

    I agree there are two sides to the story – more in fact. None of them lead me to excusing Putin’s invasion.

  16. john

    With all due respect to “A Commentator” I urge you to do some alternate fact checking on the situation in Ukraine and the role of the western media……….that’s all im suggesting…. do some homework with media that is not supported by the US/NATO war machine…….I did and it opened up a whole new world and shattered my long held beliefs……

  17. GL

    John,

    You have made a lot of unsupported comments and have provided nothing at all to back up what you have said. It is incumbent upon you to provide evidence and not tell us to do our own “alternate fact checking” otherwise it’s all just your own seemingly ill-informed opinion. It’s the height of intellectual laziness to basically tell others to “Google it.”

    In blunt words: Put up or shut up.

  18. A Commentator

    Like you said a democratic government was overthrown?
    Do you mean in 2014 when the Ukraine legislature voted 318 to zero to remove the former president?
    And are you aware of the reason for that?
    Ukraine spent many decades under Russian domination, they looked west rather than east.
    Who wouldn’t

  19. John OCallaghan

    Oh dear! you just wont let it go will you Kaye Lee……… so how do you know you have read a wider source of information than me? I didn’t realise you were psychic, as well as an expert on every subject on the planet…..Wow! what unbridled arrogance…. and stop telling lies that i have been uncivil to you… just because i had the temerity to question your opinion on a subject… When you write on Australian politics you are spot on,and i mostly agree with you……. But again with “all due respect” you dont have a bloody clue on the situation in Ukraine,on Putin and Russia or US/NATO situation… Im sorry to offend your precious ego but please stick to domestic politics,you’re bloody good at it………. OH! and i meant every word i said about your mate Canguro… he is defintely a wanker and a much bigger know all then even your good self!

  20. Terence Mills

    Whatever we may think of the nuances in this discussion on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there is no escaping the fact that, in my opinion, this was a massive failure in leadership and judgement on Putin’s behalf and history will not regards him well for this act of aggression.

  21. Regional Elder

    Unassuming as I do that always in war, truth is always the first casualty, I provide this article from the Anthony Blinken’s U.S. Secretary of State Department, that actually seeks to understand the historical forces shaping who Putin has become and, specifically how his personal history has shaped his decision to invade Ukraine. Putin was a postwar child of the siege of Leningrad where 1.5 million citizens lost their lives.

    One of the facts about Russia that emerges from WW2 is that more than 26 million people lost their lives. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, there were 20 million more women in the Soviet Union, than there were men. Compared with other nations this loss of life and national dislocation is an extraordinary figure (Germany lost about 6 million, the U.K. about 600,000, and other nations involved broadly similar to British losses) and the impact of this catastrophe on the Russian people and on Putin, is not generally acknowledged in the West.

    In her recent excellent book,’ The Shortest History of the Soviet Union ’, Sheila Fitzpatrick estimates Russian population losses during the WW2 years to have be 27 to 28 million, notes that another 12 million citizens were evacuated to the east, and that 5 million Russians were detained in Germany as prisoners of war or as forced labourers. A famine in the western part of Russia in 1946-47 added further fuel to the national devastation.

    Putin is cultural heir to all this, and as a ultra nationalist with a deep sense of history, whose KGB experience feeds into his paranoia about the West, Putin’s fear being that Russia will experience yet again another attempted and costly invasion : France (Napoleon 19th century), Nazi Germany (20th century), and in his view, presumably, the risk is a U.S-backed and an ever expansive NATO of the past 30 years.

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/how-the-brutal-ww-ii-siege-of-leningrad-explains-putins-thinking-on-ukraine-100008346.html

    To make explicit this history is not to be an Putin apologist.
    What Putin has done in invading Ukraine is as tragic as it is vile, and ironically, this ill-conceived invasion this year has elicited from the Ukrainians the same resolve that the Leningrad Russians demonstrated against Hitler’s army, in WW2.

    And in his quest to become the all-knowing all powerful autocrat of the Russian Federation over the past 2 decades, Putin has self- styled himself as a historic defender of the Mother Russia, against what he perceives as the duplicitous West, and the associated rise of an assertive political and military presence in neighbouring Ukraine in recent years, that evokes memories of the WW2 German invasion.

    Here in Australia, on the eve of another ANZAC Day, with all the genuine grief, the reification of mythologies and the flawed imagery what surrounds our national holiday, perhaps we can try to imagine how many of the Russian people warm to the narrow ideology that Putin has constructed about their nation being at risk of invasion. ( while also acknowledging in this nation of 144 million, there are many dissenters from this view).

    After all, we joined the U.S. in Vietnam in the 1960s, against a perceived threat made so strident by the Menzies government that we Australians needed to stop the downward thrust through S.E. Asia, of communism. And was that national fear not influenced by the war against the Japanese 20 years earlier ?

    Perhaps if we combine the narrow nationalist views of Scott Morrison with his powerfully ego-driven persona, imagine that ten-fold, then add in the tortured traumatised history of the Russian people, and we can begin to appreciate how and why Putin has initiated the tragic invasion of Ukraine. And of course, that also makes him, a dangerous historical figure

    An interesting article of relevance, published in May last year

    https://www.rferl.org/a/nato-expansion-russia-mislead/31263602.html

  22. CK

    John O Callaghan:

    You are spot on. Pity the writer needs to resort to statements like ‘I also have a question about the Russian backed separatists in Ukraine. If you want to live under Russian rule, do you move to Russia or do you move Russia to you?’ No real knowledge of Ukraine and Russia, its history and civilisation, and no proper understanding of the human psyche.
    That’s not how different opinions should be dealt with by mature people.
    One just needs to check the internet and one can find plenty of analyses that paint the situation in a different light. It is up to the individual to form his/her opinion based on facts not emotion. To believe the western nations are all about democracy (what an abused term) is really downright naive. Look at the records of illegal wars conducted by the US, Nato and their allies, Australia included-regime change for what purpose? All to fill their coffers with ill gotten gains. And look at the mess left behind-dysfunctional countries, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen etc.
    Didn’t see many people talk about the current war in Yemen-the West is reaping a bonanza by selling arms to the Saudis. Maybe some people are just children of a lesser God or as John Pilger says-the unpeople. Case in point-why is the US not a member of the ICC?
    For those who would like to think about what’s happening in Ukraine, please read this: https://www.unz.com/article/is-it-possible-to-actually-know-what-has-been-and-is-going-on-in-ukraine/

  23. Kaye Lee

    “No mention of the “Minsk agreement where the US promised Russia they would not expand NATO or practically place missiles on Russia’s borders. ”

    The Minsk agreements sought to halt the conflict that began when Russia-backed separatists seized swaths of territory following Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. No-one had attacked Russia. No-one had taken land from Russia. Quite the reverse. Putin tore up the Minsk agreement, which was never really implemented, prior to this latest invasion. The Minsk agreements would undermine the sovereignty of Ukraine and allow Russian military bases in Ukrainian territory. I would add that Ukraine has not been invited to join NATO.

    “No mention of the US backed regime change supported by the Neo Nazi Azov regiment and their cronies that have murdered at least 15000 Russian speaking citizens since 2014 ”

    The UN estimates 14,200-14,400 people were killed in eastern Ukraine between 14 April 2014, when the conflict started, and 21 February 2022, including:

    at least 3,407 civilians
    4,400 Ukrainian forces personnel
    6,500 members of armed groups

    There are some concerns about the Azov regiment as there are about the rise of right wing extremist groups around the world. But Putin’s invasion is more likely to further empower Ukrainian and international neo-Nazis, as the conflict attracts fighters from around the world and provides them with weapons, military training and the combat experience that many of them are hungry for.

    Prior to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the vast majority of Ukrainians felt positively about Russia. These attitudes changed dramatically with the annexation — and have stayed that way, also due to the fighting in the Donbas.

    As for the “coup”, the US backed one side and Russia the other – the Ukrainians voted overwhelmingly for the new government, mainly because they wanted to join the EU.

    It is Russia that is being expansionist, Russia that is annexing another country’s territory, Russia that has invaded another sovereign state.

    PS STOP telling me what I know. THAT is what is arrogant. As I said, you presume I don’t know what you do. If you think that is the case, why not share your information and sources.

  24. john

    Well well….. it seems the majority of people on this site think i am a Putin apologist…OH! and GL? stop telling lies about me,i never asked anyone to “google” it…. and gee i thought we were all supposed to be “civil” on this site…. well it was’nt very civil to tell me to “shut up” now was it GL?… My oh my! a most uncivil thing to say to someone who is just offering his opinion…….. yes most uncivil for sure….. well no i wont “shut up”… You also said i hav’nt given any evidence on my opinions……. well i hav’nt seen any evidence on anyone elses opinion either. Of course i totally disagree with Putin’s invasion of Urkraine…. war is never good, but i can understand why he did it…but that’s because i made it my business to find out…..that is all i am saying…… i dont agree with the majority of the readers on this site….. but that does not make me a Putin apologist,and i strongly resent the inference which to me is a very uncivil thing to say to someone who is simply offering his humble opinion on a subject……… Anyone can disagree with me on a subject,that is fine, but dont insult me just because you dont agree with my opinions……that would be most uncivil of you all…..OH! i will fess up to calling Calguro a ‘Wanker” and an arrogant know nothing know it all……..so sue me! …..

  25. GL

    John,

    Good dog! How petty and childish.

    You wrote: “I urge you to do some alternate fact checking on the situation in Ukraine and the role of the western media……….that’s all im suggesting…. do some homework with media that…” Which is a long winded way of saying “Google it” which I will change to “do your own research”. Does that make you happy.

    Yet again: Provide some links to the “alternate fact checking” and as yet unnamed media and maybe we’ll be a little less annoyed with your now unpleasant behaviour. You say something, even if it’s just your opinion, you should be able to back it up.

  26. John OCallaghan

    Maybe “we” will be a little annoyed…. who is this “we” you speak of? you arrogant smart arse moron…unpleasant? What? did my comments upset your widdle sensitive ego …i gave you my opinion,that’s all,and where is your proof of what you’re talking about….. yea i thought so …you’re just repeating mindless bullshit you hear from the corrupt MSM…. I dont have to prove anything to you or anybody else…. Now you can accuse me of being ‘uncivil” because when it comes to an idiot like you it’s the only way to be…… piss off…………

  27. GL

    Wow,

    Who is being uncivil and downright vicious now? Did I call you nasty, petulant and vindictive names? I’m pretty certain you just described yourself to a tee with that putrid diatribe. Have a nice day!

  28. John OCallaghan

    Yes thank you CK……. amazing how many people just accept the lies and propaganda from the corrupt MSM… the majority of people on this site dont have a clue…. thank you….

  29. Michael Taylor

    John, your reaction to people who have different opinions to yourself is to throw insults at them, which you did from your first comment under this thread. That is not necessary.

    Your input has always been civil and appreciated, so I’m at a loss as to why you’ve chosen a different path this time.

  30. Kaye Lee

    Whilst criticism of the MSM is widespread, in this country, as in the US, we are free to criticise our government. We can listen to and express different opinions. Media ownership concentration is a real problem but not an insurmountable one. We can access information from a multitude of sources.

    That is not the case in Russia.

    Russia’s Media Is Now Totally in Putin’s Hands

  31. Douglas Pritchard

    On the subject of “crazed dictators” did anyone notice “teflon coated” Zilensky telling his community that men will not be allowed to leave, and that they will fight for their country.?
    I can actually recall listening to Churchill on our radio long time ago. Now, in 2022 an impersonator is quoting similar words. Every country is entitled to their Ricky Gervais, so good on the Ukrainians. It`s a democracy, or did he get a little help?
    Now lets see how a Russian service man reacts to this. Putin has briefed him that all the guys are combatents, so you only kill them.When it descends to who is the war criminal US do not subscribe to “International Law”, so who are the baddies? Now our conscripted Russian soldier is having to look down the sights and differentiate male/female. A new level of difficulty when he is being shot at.
    They all speak the same language, and live in a brutal world, but I am not in favour of a another super power bringing petrol to this proxy war.

  32. Canguro

    Long bow I know, but your reference, Douglas Pritchard, to Churchill reminds me of comments made by Arundhati Roy, the Indian author who was the recipient of the 2004 Sydney Peace Prize for her work in social campaigns and her advocacy of non-violence.

    She said the following, at a talk given around 2002…

    “On 11th September 1922, ignoring Arab outrage, the British government proclaimed a mandate in Palestine, a follow-up to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which Imperial Britain issued with its army massed outside the gates of Gaza. The Balfour Declaration promised European Zionists a national home for Jewish people. At the time, the empire on which the sun never sets was free to snatch and bequeath national homes like a school bully distributes marbles.

    How carelessly imperial powers vivisected ancient civilizations. Palestine and Kashmir are Imperial Britain’s sectoring blood-drenched gifts to the modern world. Both are faultlines in the raging international conflicts of today.

    … and continued…

    “In 1937, Winston Churchill said of the Palestinians, “I do not agree that the dog in the manger has a final right to the manger, even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people, by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly-wise race, to put it that way, has come in and taken their place”.

    … and further…

    … in country after country, freedoms are being curtailed in the name of protection of freedom, civil liberties are being suspended in the name of protecting democracy, all kinds of dissent is being defined as terrorism, [and] all kinds of laws are being passed to deal with it.”

    The Churchillian mentality, given reign, has caused, one might aver, irreparable damage to the collective fabric of human society.

  33. Fred

    John: Let’s keep this really simple. It is obvious what the overall public sentiment of the Ukraine is by the direction that mothers that are protecting their children are taking their families. 95+% are heading west. Please wake up to the facts – the Ukraine is not a Russian state and the Russians are not wanted in the country. This is simply a land grab for direct access to the Black sea under the guise of “being threatened by NATO” and a bunch of other Putin lies and misdirection.

  34. Douglas Pritchard

    Hey, Fred, there is a chance of making it even simpler.
    Shut down gas and oil to Europe, and maybe the rest of the world. I never did like Nord stream.
    Increase arms sales by escalating fear. We sell to all comers.
    Prevent this years wheat crop from leaving Ukraine, that will push up the price.
    Impound all Russian money.
    Steal all their yachts.
    And we can try and drag down some of our massive international debt, says Biden.

  35. Fred

    DP: Simplest of all would be to stop the initiator of the war – one life vs tens of thousands. Unfortunately the value of the sanctions is being somewhat offset by Putin’s tight control of the media – the general population is being fed lies and they have no independent/external reference so they don’t know better – they believe they are on the moral high ground. (We are heading there, e.g ScoMo blaming Labor for everything and it being echoed by the MSM ignoring the fact the LNP have been in power for a decade.)

    The “justification” for all wars of the last century has been less than convincing (“WMD” is about as believable as “missiles pointed at Moscow”). All of the major economies have industries that feed their respective war machines and you don’t need to look far to find someone stoking the respective “war mongering” fires (e.g. potato head locally). Of course once the military buy “smart weapons” (cruise/hypersonic missiles etc.) they need to use them before their “best by date” – why waste them on an exercise :).

  36. CK

    Kaye Lee: quote-That is presuming that, if only I knew what you do, I would agree with you. Have you entertained the thought that I have read maybe even more widely than you, from even more sources than you, and, on the weight of extensive research, have come to a different conclusion to you?
    Sheer arrogance on your part. We could say the same that perhaps we have read as extensively as you and come to different conclusions?
    Here we have a very renowned and respected politicical scientist Dr John Mearsheimer on Ukraine and Minsk agreement-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgiZXgYzI84. ‘ blamed NATO’s expansionist agenda as the main reason for Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. This is just one of many analyses by experts.

    Tell me what is your democracy worth if war criminals like Bush, Blair, Howard walk free. Yes we are free to voice opinions, but what is it worth if criminals who orchestrated an illegal and immoral war against hapless countries face no accountability? Neither labour nor Liberal will ever admit to these war crimes.
    Recently another of those war criminals Madeleine Allbright passed to another realm where we can only hope she receives justice finally. Quote-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright did her share of lying. She defended every bomb and rocket launched by the Pentagon and any of the other NATO war machines against Serbia in 1999, including those that hit bridges, schools and television studios, calling them military targets. She lied about the alleged crimes of the leaders of Serbia. And she praised the gangsters leading the Kosovo terrorists.

    Unembarrassed by her lies, she was upended the one time she told the truth. On the interview show “60 Minutes,” May 12, 1996, host Leslie Stahl asked Albright, who was then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, “We have heard that half a million [Iraqi] children have died [from U.S. sanctions]. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

    “I think that is a very hard choice,” Albright answered, “but the price, we think, the price is worth it.”
    500 000 children may I remind you not to mention the adults and the ongoing trauma. Plus failed dysfunctional countries under the thrall of the IMF and World Bank.

    The MSM has been caught repeatedly lying in so many instances. The West is under the full control of the global elite who seek to impose a one world government on the world. Look at us for example, we are beholden to the globalists and not really independent. Countries that are resistant are subject to regime change-propaganda, colour revolutions, economic sanctions and actual war if they don’t capitulate. The Western financial system is simply a Ponzi scheme, at the moment it has been printing money and now needs real resources from countries still sovereign which is the one of the reasons for all these wars or proxy wars. Are you kidding us that the West wants to champion democracy in the world? All they want is is compliant regimes to feed their corporations. Kudos to Putin for resisting this. Do you forget what happened in Russia when communism collapsed-how the western corporations and their oligarch friends were carving up Russia’s assets for a song? Is that acceptable? Putin put a stop to that, no wonder they hate him and demonise him in every possible way. No doubt you will tell me theat Putin is corrupt, but what about western leaders? Even more so because they have learnt the fine art of concealing it multiple ways. The war in Ukraine is simply a ploy to use Ukraine to weaken Russia so they can carve up Russia again and feed it to their corporations.

    Some of us actually know how to read and comprehend and have an understanding of what is happening. The leader of any country should be looking after his people and country’s interests first and foremost, not to sell his country to foreign interests.

  37. John OCallaghan

    Dear Mr Taylor,thank you for your feed back on my contributions to this debate on the Ukraine situation……… I foolishly thought that the AIMN would be a great non MSM organisation where i could express a different point of view on this very emotive subject,but apparently l was wrong…………………. I simply expressed my opinion to Mark in a typical Australian yes i admit “colourful” way,but surely we are all big enough to cop a bit of non PC criticism from time to time?…. I dont care if people disagree with me,but when they start hurling filthy disgusting insults like im a Russian puppet,a “Putin apologist”, a liar,a fraud etc… well yes i get my back up by their pious condescending gratuitous how dare you “question us” attitude! I notice Mark the author of the piece has’nt objected to my genuine critque of his work,so take that how you will. If i have offended anyone i apologise,which is a damm site more than anyone here has offered me after their disgusting insults and slurs on my character……Just a word of advice Michael, you may not have noticed but i have noticed over the years a gradual decline in the diversity of views on certain subjects,hence the drubbing i received for stepping out of the box and offering an alternate view on things…………… Maybe have another look at the word”Independent” in AIMN.. Anyway thank you for listening to my rant,and i hope i did’nt offend you for offering my “opinion” on things,if i did then once again i apologise…………. All the best in the future with the AIMN……..John O’Callaghan…..

  38. Michael Taylor

    PS: If you’re referring to Roswell’s comment, he did not say you were a Putin apologist. He said you were coming across as one. Big difference.

  39. John OCallaghan

    It’s okay Michael,i understand,and i wish you and the AIMN all the best for the future,and thank you for allowing me to express my deviation in opinion from the majority of commentators on your site…. All the best for the future…… John O’Callaghan.

  40. Kaye Lee

    CK,

    “Sheer arrogance on your part.”

    The arrogance is not coming from me. It is coming from those who presume that I know nothing about the history of this conflict. It is coming from those who tell me I am unquestioningly following what I have been fed by the MSM. It comes from those who presume that they know something I don’t but won’t elucidate what that might be. It is coming from those who insist that, if I disagree with their take on things, that I must be ignorant of the facts. I did not say I HAVE researched more. I was pointing out that others have no right to tell me I have NOT researched this issue. In case I haven’t made it clear, I do not like being told what I think or what I may or may not know and it is presumptuous to assume I would agree if only I did a bit more homework. We are all entitled to express our opinions on the topic, not on each other.

    ” The West is under the full control of the global elite who seek to impose a one world government on the world.” and ” Kudos to Putin for resisting this.” and “The war in Ukraine is simply a ploy to use Ukraine to weaken Russia so they can carve up Russia again and feed it to their corporations” seems to neglect the fact that it was Putin that just invaded a sovereign nation.

    “Some of us actually know how to read and comprehend and have an understanding of what is happening”. Some people are keen to blame the West for everything but seem blind to Putin’s transgressions. I agree Putin is worried about Ukraine joining the EU and possibly NATO (though they have not been invited to do so). I disagree that gives him the right to invade a sovereign nation.

    You mention John Mearsheimer. He said “If you really want to wreck Russia, what you should do is to encourage it to try to conquer Ukraine. Putin is much too smart to try that”.

    Apparently not.

  41. Fred

    CK: Filter mechanism is needed. The WIKI page on the “very renowned and respected politicical scientist Dr John Mearsheimer” needs to be taken in context with a more renowned top lawyer/politician/Associate Attorney General/(singer?) who has proven to be an all round nut job of late, the one and only Rudy Giuliani. Being renowned does not make what you say necessarily factual or worthy of attention. There’s a lot of reading on the web and quite a lot of it is crap. “He (Dr John Mearsheimer) emphasizes that no one was accusing Putin of expansionist ambitions before February 22nd of 2014, the date on which a US-influenced coup occurred in Ukraine, replacing a pro-Russian leader with a pro-American leader”. Spoiler alert: what a load of BS.

    Let’s be very clear about what happened on that date: Ukraine’s PARLIAMENT voted to remove the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych from office by 328 to 0, repeat 328 to zero, nada, nix (that’s 72.8% of the parliament’s 450 members). Can you imagine that happening in our Federal parliament? Remember that is by elected representatives of the people. The US congress doesn’t see ratios like that. It is delusional to suggest the CIA is capable of that level of influence, particularly if you consider how often they have things go wrong in everything they do. Viktor calling it a “coup” and other things on the way out really is not worthy of oxygen. Viktor was a really bad out-of-touch president with a born-to-rule attitude. Any further argument based on a “US-influenced coup” is not starting with a solid background, so I wouldn’t put much credence on what Dr John says.

  42. Kaye Lee

    And the reason parliament voted to kick Yanukovych out was his refusal to sign the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement.

  43. Barry

    Wow this has to be the best read ive had on this site since joining.Great diversity of opinions here,but i do suggest stopping the mud slinging.I have also done a lot of research,and rarely listen to the propaganda put out by 99% of western media.The fact is they do not provide any factual truth to what their saying.Genocide war crimes,but we only get photos and the Ukrainians themselves saying this.The true independent journalists are not even featured in any mainstream media,and most of these are on the ground in Ukraine where its all happening.The latest’s offering by the US government is some satellite photos of supposed mass graves in Mariupol,i as many of you may have seen these photos,and their is no way im convinced these are graves,yet the masses of western media have already jumped on this,with these flimsy photos.The only way you can convince people you are telling the truth,is to allow for the other side to have a voice.Unfortunately that’s not possible in Ukraine as Mr Zelensky has shut down all TV and Radio stations that have questioned him,and has also shut down elected opposition parties in the Ukraine.We have also witnessed his threat to his own civilians if they accept any food or aid from the Russian,and branding Ivan Stolbovoy, the mayor of Balakleya, as a traitor for helping distribute food for his citizens,true western democracy.Anyway,people like John O Callaghan has made some very good points so as CK,and research is quite easy,the very first place to start is past history,its all their,and it does not matter who tries to hide this,it can be found.So my suggestion is don’t always assume you are hearing the truth.

  44. Terence Mills

    I see they have rolled out John Howard who is still smarting from losing his seat and losing government. He had this to say about Independents :

    “These men and women are all posing as independents. They’re not independents, they’re anti-Liberal groupies.

    “Their aim is to hurt the Liberal party, not to represent the middle ground of their electorates.”

    “They don’t represent disgruntled Liberals. They represent a group in the community that wants to destroy the Liberal government. It’s as simple as that.

    I think John Howard has just given the Independent vote a boost but as regards destroying the Liberal Party I think that has already been done by Scott Morrison.

  45. Kaye Lee

    Barry,

    So does any of that give Putin the right to invade another country?

  46. Canguro

    In the article linked above by GL, Dutton states, in respect to his crazed fabrication of the existential threat China poses to mankind in general, that “It’s conceivable that there could be a chemical warfare attack on a capital city of one of our allies…”, just as, I suppose, he could have said ‘It’s conceivable that there could be a 50 megaton nuclear bomb dropped on Brisbane tomorrow, on Anzac Day’, or ‘It’s conceivable that the planet is about to be attacked by extraterrestrials who want to enslave humanity and suck out their brains and mine them for their DNA’, or even ‘It’s conceivable that little machine creatures live in the dirt underneath our feet and we need to fumigate every square inch of soil on the planet to stop them from entering our bodies through the soles of our feet and eating our livers.’

    He’s well along the path towards irredeemable lunacy, our Minister for Defence and Leader of the House in the Morrison Government, as the photo in the article attests.

  47. Stan

    GL, Xi’s “principle of indivisible security” is Orwellian speak for blue helmeted UN troops. The plan is to use govt assets to control what Klaus Schwab’s right hand man, Yuval Harari, calls a plague of ‘useless eaters’. Xi would be more credible on the topic of security if he personally put an end to organ harvesting in China in 2022 and released from ‘retraining prisons’ minority groups such as Falon Gung practitioners, Uyghurs and Tibetans. That won’t happen though will it. Xi is just another hypocrite on the world stage, up there will Bidden, Macron, Trudeau, Putin, Arden and our homegrown flim-flam man Morrison. I note the Off Guardian has an interesting article on Russia and AstraZeneca this last week.

  48. A Commentator

    There is no excuse for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. A verbose, rambling treatise is not justification
    Some are just using lots of word to say-
    * Look over there!
    * But, but, but…look over there!, and
    * I’ve read an article that said- look over there!

  49. GL

    josh,

    The point of your near mindless raving comment is?

  50. The AIM Network

    GL, I suspect Josh is a Russian bot. His comment came from Oslo, though I guess he’s using a proxy server.

    I’ve also blocked him… and removed his abusive comment

  51. GL

    Darn! You ruined it now, I was just waiting for a reply…siigghh (strikes overacting pose). That’s hilarious, thought I type in “overacting pose” to find a good image to add to my post but seeing Google put up “Did you mean: overactive pores” made me change my mind.

  52. Roswell

    Sorry about that, GL.

  53. Douglas Pritchard

    I am not a Putin fan, although I am familiar with a lot of Russian literature, and music, etc. However you guys must be familiar with the auguement that if Russia established a string of weapons along its border with Mexico then the US would have fixed that with no hesitation.
    So elected Putin, we are not quite sure how, is responsible with “Making Russia Great”, or a similar set of words we all know.
    He was provoked to the point when US stepped over the redline that had clearly been defined for quite some time.
    Having committed possibly the most criminal act of foreign policy, they (USA) have now doubled down with all the military hardware it can lay its hands on, and backing this with a snow job publicity campaign.
    Europe will spend next winter being heated from US energy sources, with scant regard for the carbon footprint, which is a very important part of this exercise.
    Refugee Ukrainians, very used to hardship, will be even harder hit.
    Lots of folk will starve, or suffer an early death and the MSM will sheet the blame home entirely to Putin.
    IMHO this is not entirely true, and I am hoping to goodness that some European leaders will publicly correct this, because the script here is completely lop sided.

  54. Kaye Lee

    Douglas Pritchard,

    Speaking of a lop-sided script…..

    The US did not establish a string of weapons on the Ukraine/Russian border. NATO did not accept Ukraine’s request for membership. It was Russia that did the military build-up on the border which they then crossed into another sovereign nation. The US and others sent weapons to the Ukrainians in response

    “He was provoked to the point when US stepped over the redline that had clearly been defined for quite some time.”

    What red line was that?

    “Having committed possibly the most criminal act of foreign policy, they (USA) have now doubled down”

    What act was that?

    “Europe will spend next winter being heated from US energy sources, with scant regard for the carbon footprint,”

    Would the carbon footprint be less if it came from Russia? I think you will find renewables will become even more attractive.

    “Refugee Ukrainians, very used to hardship, will be even harder hit. Lots of folk will starve, or suffer an early death and the MSM will sheet the blame home entirely to Putin.”

    They are refugees because Putin blew up their homes and businesses and the country’s infrastructure. Of COURSE he will be blamed.

  55. Michael Taylor

    Douglas, then why has Putin made veiled threats to Finland and Sweden should they join NATO?

  56. Douglas Pritchard

    Well, Michael, its probably connected to the redline that he has drawn, and while Finland and Sweden do not pose a threat he is OK.
    But if they change status then he is going to get upset.
    And you wouldn’t want to upset a Russian would you?
    During the past 8 years a number of Countries on his border have sucessfully joined NATO, very much thanks to urging from USA.
    I did read that Putin was keen to join NATO at one stage which of course is nonsense because the whole point of NATO is to provoke Russia.
    (I was in NATO uniform in Germany,1962, and Russia was the “enemy” then, and I guess it hasn’t changed).
    I notice “we” have gone bonkers because China “may” build a base on an island 2000kms away, and we are drawing a red line under the direction of Washington.
    Without red lines, war toys are pointless.

  57. Michael Taylor

    Douglas, the situation is this:

    Putin is a murderous thug.
    Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

  58. Kaye Lee

    Douglas,

    No-one is forced to join NATO and I would suggest those that do are not doing it to provoke Russia but to be protected from it. No-one has invaded Russian territory.

    Are you suggesting that we are about to launch a military invasion of the Solomon Islands?

    I agree war toys are pointless. Sadly, too many men think they remain the best way to solve a problem.

  59. CK

    Kaye Lee:

    You omit the fact that the US engineered coup in Maidan 2014 under the guidance of Victoria Nuland ( a notorious neocon in the image of Madeleine Allbright) and that old devil Soros was completely illegal. Is the US really a beacon of democracy? Or Soros a philanthropist guided by sheer altruism? What right has the US to engineer this coup anyway? Look at the history of the US and its regime change coups all to ensure client states obedient to their dictates. No way Russia can put with a hostile state under the thumb of the US right on its borders. And we can see US/Nato has been ramping up their efforts to weaken Russia. I can’t expect any nation to sit quietly and meekly accept its fate.
    You keep harping on the fact that Russia has no right to invade a sovereign country. Well what right has the US/Soros got to overthrow a democratically elected president by engineering the Maidan revolution? None at all. Has the US and its so called allies any right to invade sovereign countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yugoslavia etc on pretexts? None at all. So we should call Bush, Blair, Howard, etc murderous thugs I guess. I see Howadr walking around well respected and no repercussions or remorse at all. Your venom seems to reserved for Putin. As far as I can see, Putin has more justification for his actions.

    Also I would like to remind you that Nuland was forced to admit that US is running bioweapons labs in Ukraine. After all the lies from the White House denying that they had any. Of course she claims it was defensive. Perhaps you should read up on Operation Paperclip where Nazi scientists where smuggled to the US to continue research in all fields including biowarfare. The US is a cunning deceitful entity that covers its tracks by oprerating its illegal operations in client states like Rumania, Ukraine, etc. Just like the western companies that operate sweat shops in poor countries to maximise profits, and then claim that any poor pay and conditions are the fault of the middlemen.

    Your claim that Sweden and Finland wanting to join Nato is somehow vindication of Russia’s aggression is just speculation. As I have remarked, NATO/EU join the US is enforcing regime change is also about economics. The EU is a vast bloated bureaucracy, God only knows its budget requirements. Coupled with grandiose carbon reduction requirements and migrant intake, it needs fresh blood like all vampires. Quantative easing can only go so far, the Shylocks will soon be be demanding their pound of flesh Coupled with the sanctions against Russia, they are going to hurt their own people. Nothing like finding new blood in the shape of Russia, vast untapped resources, farmlands etc. Only problem is that a pesky President stands in their way. That goes for Sweden and Finland too, a chance to grab some of those riches.

    Nazis in Ukraine: https://www.globalresearch.ca/nazis-ukraine-seeing-through-fog-information-war/5776451

    How to destroy Russia-How to Destroy Russia. 2019 Rand Corporation Report: https://www.globalresearch.ca/rand-corp-how-destroy-russia/5678456

    Exposing Some Myths About the Ukraine War: https://www.globalresearch.ca/exposing-some-myths-about-ukraine-war/5778272

    Bottom line is that that article is just a simplistic and superficial article designed to provoke emotive responses and virtue signal.

  60. CK

    Fred:

    Re US involvement in Maidan,( and so many other countries).

    Nuland’s involvement ( as well as Soros) is well documented. See https://www.unz.com/article/the-us-is-culpable-in-todays-ukraine-crisis/?highlight=victoria+nuland

    Four Years of Ukraine and the Myths of Maidan
    The history of the Ukrainian crisis, which has made everything it affected worse, is distorted by political myths and American media malpractice–
    https://www.unz.com/scohen/four-years-of-ukraine-and-the-myths-of-maidan/?highlight=maidan+coup+ukraine

    By Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton:

    Some excerpts: ‘ another prevailing media myth: that what occurred on Maidan in February 2014 was a “democratic revolution.” Whether it was in fact a “revolution” can be left to future historians, though most of the oligarchic powers that afflicted Ukraine before 2014 remain in place four years later, along with their corrupt practices. As for “democratic,” removing a legally elected president by threatening his life hardly qualifies. Nor does the peremptory way the new government was formed, the constitution changed, and pro-Yanukovych parties banned. Though the overthrow involved people in the streets, this was a coup. How much of it was spontaneous and how much directed, or inspired, by high-level actors in the West also remains unclear. But one other myth needs to be dispelled. The rush to seize Yanukovych’s residence was triggered by snipers who killed some 80 or more protesters and policemen on Maidan. It was long said that the snipers had been sent by Yanukovych, but it has now been virtually proven that the shooters were instead from the neofascist group Right Sector among the protesters on the square. ‘

    Also ‘ Its president, Petro Poroshenko, is intensely unpopular at home. It remains pervasively corrupt. Its Western-financed economy continues to fail, as even some of its ardent American cheerleaders now admit. And for the most part it continues to refuse to implement its obligations under the 2015 Minsk II peace accords, above all granting the rebel Donbass territories enough home rule to keep them in the Ukrainian state. Meanwhile, Kiev is semi-hostage to armed ultranationalist battalions, whose ideology and symbols include proudly neofascist ones, which hate Russia and today’s Western “civilizational” values almost equally. It may be said that the Donbass rebel “republics” have their own ugly traits, but it should be added that they fight only in defense of their own territory against the armies of Kiev and are not sponsored by the US government…..
    (This was written in 2018).

    Perhaps you can also read this: https://www.conservapedia.com/Maidan_coup

  61. Michael Taylor

    CK, the Swedish and Finnish parliaments have voted overwhelmingly to join NATO. America didn’t influence them. NATO didn’t influence them. Putin influenced them.

  62. Michael Taylor

    The Clintons. George Soros. 🤦🏻‍♂️

    OMG. Please make it stop.

  63. CK

    MT
    Well the motives for joining NATO can only be known fully to the Finns/Swedes. Watching the NATO gang take on Libya, Yugoslavia when there was no danger to them (my what bravery) it is clear to me at least that part of the reason is economic. Europe is facing financial upheavals as well as US etc-forced covid lockdowns, sanctions on Russia backfiring etc.
    Regime change failed in Libya (like in Afghanistan) but certainly it was successful in Croatia, Bosnia H, and Kosovo. New markets for their bankers and financiers and their industries. What is in it for me is the cynical approach by the leaders of their countries. Not to mention a wonderful chance to give their forces real war experience. John Howard was astute enough to join the coalition of the willing against Iraq, knowing how easy it would be to take out Iraq, and also full well the rewards coming his way as a result of taking over Iraq-US style, destroy, bomb, privatise whatever could be privatised to western corporations, contracts to rebuild what was bombed. Then he and Costello could take credit for strong economy.

  64. Michael Taylor

    Even this website was once ‘accused’ of being funded by Soros.

  65. Michael Taylor

    CK, Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. It’s simple.

  66. Michael Taylor

    I think I’ll close comments on this thread. I’m fed up with the conspiracy bullshit.

  67. Kaye Lee

    Michael, I removed my comment when I saw the sources from CK. All conspiracy sites with an anti-western and anti-semitic bent.

  68. Michael Taylor

    Oops. I just restored it.

    Btw, you’re not the conspiracy theorist here, Kaye. You’re the only one making sense.

  69. Michael Taylor

    PS: Kaye, my Soros/Clinton’s comment to please make it stop wasn’t directed at you.

  70. Kaye Lee

    I know….I had the same reaction. I was typing my reply as I was reading and when I got to that I just snorted – here we go again. That’s why I started looking at sources and realised it was pointless. Everything that goes wrong in the entire world, including Putin invading Ukraine, is the fault of the West, Jewish bankers, Bill Gates, the Clintons, but mostly George Soros who, according to some, is Zelenskyy’s cousin…..sigh….

  71. Michael Taylor

    If there are votes in it… he’ll imitate anybody.

  72. A Commentator

    Yes, the convoluted logic and verbosity can’t conceal the paucity of justification for Putin’s brutality. Spewing out irrational conspiracy theories isn’t logic

  73. Stan

    Chinese dissident Dr Yan Li-Meng has made a couple of interesting points re Russia and China in regards to their expansionist plans. How can anyone with a dram of foresight support either group of gangsters? Cairns News had an article yesterday ‘China makes a land grab in WA’ which ties in nicely with Dr Yan’s view that the CCP meddles with the intent of fomenting disunity and mistrust in National and State govts and other bodies (FIRB in this instance) so as to hasten collapse of trust and functionality of society.

  74. GL

    CK,

    UNZ has a low to very low rating for factual reporting and an extreme right wing bias and is a conspiracy laden site. Zero credibility.

    Conservapedia has a mixed factual reporting but like UNZ is rated as extreme right wing. It’s also run by fundamentalist and creationist (the young earthers part of the gang) christians. Again, zero credibility.

    One more:
    Globalresearch has low factual reporting, “Tin foil Hat” (nothing higher) conspiracy level and Pseudo-Science level of Strong. Yet another zero credibility site.

    Stop trying to use sites such as those above to bolster your comments because they can be picked apart if you do some digging.

  75. Michael Taylor

    AC, good to see you agreeing with Kaye Lee and I.

    Your rehabilitation is progressing well. 😁

  76. Barry Richards

    Kaye Lee,at least Putin did not invade under the pretense of weapons of mass destruction,and kill over a million people,this coming from the very mouths of the ones accusing Putin of genocide and war crimes,get real,you can try to forget history but it will still be their,no matter how much bullshit the West uses to try to cover it up,or you for that matter

  77. Kaye Lee

    Barry, Putin has falsely claimed that the US was producing bioweapons in Ukraine.

    And I am most certainly not forgetting history. Nor does the history provide any justification for Putin’s current invasion of a sovereign nation.

  78. Michael Taylor

    Barry, if we are going to look at history as justification (and an excuse) for Russia invading Ukraine then I think we’re joining some fairly distant dots.

    Maybe we could use the same excuse for:

    The Norman invasion of England in 1066.
    The Japanese invasion of China pre WW2.
    The Russian invasion of Finland in 1939.
    The German invasion of Poland.
    The Russian invasion of Hungary etc etc.

    But hey, it’s OK for Russia to invade Ukraine because invasions are the norm. The pages of history are littered with them, but there’s always someone who will find an excuse and claim they were justified.

    No. They are not justified.

    I have some American friends who are Trump loyalists. Without success, they try to convince me that the invasion of Ukraine is Biden’s fault. 🤦🏻‍♂️

  79. Kaye Lee

    I think Greg Carleton summed it up best for me….

    “The thinking is like this: We’ve got a hostile neighbor—or a potentially hostile neighbor—so the best thing to do to protect ourselves is to cross our border and squash that neighbor. And then the next thing is, well, now we’ve got a new border, with a new hostile neighbor. And so we attack—ad infinitum. That’s defensive expansion.”

    Ivan the Terrible justified the invasion of Kazan by claiming that Orthodox Christians there were being persecuted. Russia “said it was ‘defending our brethren from essentially a genocidal threat,’” It’s an age old playbook.

  80. Mark Buckley

    “When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 Chechnya was ready for post-Soviet life. So was Ukraine. But the new Russia was not. It would attempt to hold on to its past geopolitical primacy, and the battle for Ukraine is yet another episode in Russia’s attempt to recapture lost territory.”
    My History teachers always marked us hard if we did not answer the question.
    My task in this article was to try and frame the thinking behind Putin’s invasion. In my opinion Putin has merely followed Yeltsin’s playbook in the First Chechen War, and then ran his own version in the second Chechen War. The article was never meant to be an exhaustive analysis of the situation, nor of its beginnings. In reality, Putin is on a hiding to nothing with this adventure, and I want to understand why he would take such a risk.
    I must say John’s characterisation of me as “ignorant uninformed people like you into writing this absolute piece of bullshit” is not remotely civil, and he seems upset that I did not write the article he wanted to see. As Michael said, the writers on this forum have autonomy as to the nature and subject matter of their articles. Maybe write a better article, John. And try to remember that saying something anodyne like “with all due respect” does not really provide you with a leave pass to be be abusive. The secret is to address the questions posed by the article.

  81. Michael Taylor

    Mark,

    I’m sorry that you had to cop that abuse. It’s not the norm here.

  82. Mark Buckley

    No problem, Michael. It sort of reflects my experience elsewhere. The comments seem to always become about the commenters, and seldom about the piece they are ‘discussing’. Still a great experience, and we’re always learning. Cheers Mark B

  83. Douglas Pritchard

    Mark, the temptation is to to shut up here, but your discourse on this subject does not close with a QED. It lacks any sort of context of USA involvement in NATO, and its ramping up of provocation against Russia. NATO is only there to resist Russia. Is that of USA’s choosing only? I mean their help in WW2 was significant. In UK we extended our family courtesy to a captain on a Russian tanker who bravely skippered from some very cold port to give us oil. So Russians haven’t always been the enemy. Putin is KGB, and we should never forget that. And i know some contributors dismiss any interest or interference from USA, but thats what the current propaganda from MSM is all about. Americans have fought against Nord Stream 2, and Trump was very rude about how Germany was not spending enough on US weapons. Now they have secured lucrative contracts on both of these. For USA its business as usual after the Afghanistan debacle, and they managed to coax Putin into the net they thought they had made. I may be wrong but this is not simply about territory as you suggest, Mark.

  84. Kaye Lee

    DP,

    What do you think Mark is trying to prove? QED? You sound like Malcolm Roberts. The empirical evidence is that Putin invaded another country. No-one invaded Russia. That is not propaganda. That is undeniable fact.

  85. Douglas Pritchard

    KL
    Mark is trying to set out an arguement that Putin is a crazed dictator.
    You are doing a good imitation of Andrew Bolt, and I would not give MR the time of day.
    Have you heard of provocation? Its when heavily armed ships cruise the water between China and Taiwan.
    Its less about rights, and more about trying to start conflict, and USA thrives on it.
    They wield a disproportionate influence in NATO, and European`s future.
    I deny you any right to rule this as “undeniable fact” on such a flimsy evidence.

  86. Kaye Lee

    You don’t think Putin invaded Ukraine? Even HE says he has – a “special military operation,” to “de-Nazify and demilitarize” the neighboring “illegitimate” country which is run by “neo-Nazis” and “drug addicts” who take orders from Washington. Aside from the fact that they have a democratically elected government, is Putin suggesting that their country be abolished and they should be forced to take orders from him instead under his rule?

    https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-ukraine-war-tv-brainwashing/31776244.html

    Why he invaded another sovereign nation is another matter. The fact that he DID remains undeniable fact. As Mark explained, he wants to understand why he would take such a risk. You seem to be suggesting Putin is a fool who has fallen into a trap. You say Mark paints him as a crazed dictator. Which characterisation do you think Putin would prefer?

    PS China hasn’t attacked Taiwan or vice versa.

  87. mark buckley

    Douglas, why don’t you read the article? Not the book, the article, with a discrete subject. Not encyclopaedic, because I meant to make it short, to the point, and to include some context as to the actuality of the invasion, to the tactics used, and to compare them with some recent Russian adventures. I achieved what I wanted to. The cold war warriors who disapprove of my narrow focus have never studied history, it seems.
    I was taught to answer the question. Anything outside the scope is extraneous. I didn’t include all the other stuff, not because I am ignorant of the matters raised, but because it was not part of the article I wanted to write. Simple really.

  88. Michael Taylor

    Douglas, I don’t think Mark needed to set out an argument that Putin is a crazed dictator. Putin’s actions alone have established that.

  89. Douglas Pritchard

    I Remain unconvinced about your prefered description of Putin as crazed.
    He may have miscalculated, but from 2014 coup he has seen 14,000 Ukraine /Russians killled by the Ukraine army…do you deny this?
    He has watched while more countries on the Riussian border are encouraged to join NATO, and Ukraine was next in line.
    We have discussed the red line, and having commited to that he was then duty bound to follow through.
    Not crazed, simply assertive.
    And I persist because our Australian culture is dominated by Washington interests, and we have this ability to never find fault (unless its a journalist who they dont like so they lock him in Belmarsh etc).
    Putins special military operation is the result of a ghastly mistake by US inteligence. QED

  90. Consume Less

    There are roughly 750 US foreign military bases; they are spread across 80 nations! After the U.S is the UK, but they only have 145 bases. Russia has about 3 dozen bases, and China just five. This implies that the U.S has three times as many bases as all other countries combined.
    Seems like the yanks have this planet pretty much covered.

  91. Kaye Lee

    “from 2014 coup he has seen 14,000 Ukraine /Russians killled by the Ukraine army…do you deny this?”

    Absolutely. That is complete rubbish. Yes, over 14,000 have died. 3,404 civilians, 4,641 UAF, NGU and volunteer forces, 6,517 DPR and LPR forces and 400–500 Russian Armed Forces. It is a lie to say the Ukraine army has killed all those people. If people want to live in Russia, they should move to Russia rather than try and carve off a chunk of another country.

    Do you recall that Russia annexed Crimea. Then they backed separatists who tried to divide the country and caused the war in Donbas. Then Putin invaded.

    You can’t set a red line by dictating to another sovereign country what they must do. he has no right just as we have no right to dictate to the Solomon Islands what they must do. Do you expect us to launch a military invasion of the Solomons because of Morrisons parroting of the US red line rhetoric? What red line was crossed anyway? They didn’t join NATO. There was no foreign military in Ukraine other than Russians stirring up trouble.

    Putin’s special military operation (a ridiculous euphamism for invasion and war) is the result of him ordering his soldiers to invade another country and bomb the shit out of it.

    You keep deflecting to other issues to try to excuse this madness. And you are the person who has described Putin as crazed, not me. Speak for yourself, not others.

  92. Roswell

    And here’s me thinking all this time that the 2014 and 2022 invasions of Ukraine were Putin’s doing. Silly me.

    Seriously, it is implausible to think otherwise. It’s like blaming the First Nations People of Australia for the English invasion of their traditional lands.

  93. Kaye Lee

    Why are Ukrainians fleeing west rather than east? Why are Finland and Sweden considering joining NATO? Why did the Baltic nations join NATO? Why did Turkey and Poland join? No-one is compelled to join, same as the EU. No-one is threatening Putin in Russia. Everyone is warning him to stay there. Maybe the same as we are trying to do to Xi Jinping.

    Consume Less,

    It’s hard to accept the hypocrisy from the US and their vassals. And I do agree with Doug that the arms industry have their own profit agenda. Apparently we can’t co-exist peacefully let alone collaboratively unless we play some global real life version of Risk dependent on alliances and growing pointless weapon stockpiles.

  94. Consume Less

    Just our emissions from the world’s military alone is probably enough to send us over 1.5 degrees. Wonder if the military does carbon offsetting. Dutton could get defence ( or is it offence ) to organise tree planting days for the troops.

  95. Stan

    Good question Consume Less. I googled ‘NATO – carbon offset – geo-engineering’ to see what they are admitting. To my surprise, the top result was this – https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/geoengineering-marks-scientific-gains-un-report-dire-climate-future-2021-08-10/ In a prime example of doublespeak on the topic of ‘solar radiation management’, this – “For example, humans could spray sulfate aerosols – tiny reflective particles – into the stratosphere 20 to 25 kilometers (12 to 16 miles) above the earth’s surface to reflect more sunlight back into space, which lowers global temperatures. But sulfate aerosols have the side effect of also lowering average precipitation. A separate method to thin out cirrus clouds in the upper atmosphere could offset the effect and increase precipitation, Bala said. “The science is there,” Bala said.”
    Notice the “could spray” versus ‘have sprayed’. Long story short, that cover of high level cirrus clouds that you might observe blanketing skies (and thereby warming the planet to the degree that night skies do not clear) on any given day is more than likely not a natural phenomena but geo-engineering in action, an experiment in progress they don’t want to admit to it as yet.
    On the topic of crazed dictators, why do Labor and LNP never broach the subject of organ harvesting with a major trading partner? Why did The Vatican defend its decision to invite China to a conference on organ trafficking despite its record of using executed inmates as organ donors back in 2017?

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