The US wants this war to go on and on

25 Mar

This war was engineered in Washington, and could be over this afternoon should Washington make the modest concessions needed to stop it. But that’s the last thing DC desires. Ukrainians and Russians will die needlessly. Plummeting living standards in the global south and north (including Main Street America) are assured. Life expectancy will fall due to lethal sanctions. Above all the escalations and arrogance of Blinken et al have made nuclear confrontation more likely than at any time in my life, Cuba ’62 not excepted.

See below

Russia has not fully taken on board the extent to which the US will go to destroy her. Similarly, China seems to have some residual trust in a degree of sanity prevailing in international affairs.

Jams O’Donnell, comment on the previous post


I’m a slow learner. Even after the trail of carnage, chaos and terror left by the US Empire’s wars on the disobedient Ba’athist states of Iraq and Libya, only with the dirty war on Syria did I join that growing but still pitifully small band of those who pay less heed to what our rulers (aided by corporate media) say about themselves; more to what they actually do.

But I will say this much. Once you’ve truly and with every fibre of your being pierced the most powerful and sophisticated propaganda system ever, there’s no going back. It doesn’t put you in a comfortable place vis a vis friends, family, neighbours and colleagues – I liken it to knowing the world to be a sphere which orbits the sun when everyone else insists it’s a disk orbited by the same – but the truth, once seen, is a stubborn thing. It can’t be unlearned just because the personal consequences offer only discomfort and heartache.

The truth, once seen … You may discern the messianic certainty of a born zealot, but the truth I speak of did not come from countless hours of fasting and meditation, or sitting at the feet of a giggling guru or Zen master. Nor was it the product of powerful hallucinogens, a blow to the head or burst of blinding sun on the road to Damascus. It came, as stated, from looking to the facts rather than the outpourings of the most dazzling spin machine of all time. By no means confined to corporate media, whose systemic corruption I speak of often, this machine – there are better metaphors for its depth and subtlety but I’ll stick with machine – operates in every branch of our culture – in education, arts, entertainment, religion and philosophy as much as in “news” media – and was unerringly depicted well before Libya, Syria, Yemen and now Ukraine in the 2005 Nobel acceptance speech of the late British playwright, Harold Pinter:

The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War … Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile. The horror the US inflicted on Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.

Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn’t know it.

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the USA have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few have talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. It’s a winner.

And so to Ukraine. I’ve had close friends and family damn Russia, an entity childishly reduced to a single man likened to Hitler but more often confused with Stalin. I’ve seen otherwise sensible folk take to social media in swooning admiration for another Vladimir: Volodymyr Zelensky, the comic who got stinking rich after the US-led Maidan Coup of 2014 not only put us all in the fast lane for WW3 but, after a scandal or two in Kiev, led to his presidency – poisoned chalice? – on a relatively moderate ticket of easing ethnic tensions in his polarised country, only to see him a captive on the one hand of Ukraine’s powerful Nazi current, on the other of Washington.

Which – I speak here to those still taken in by the perennial fiction of the USA as ruled by and for the American people – means Wall Street.

(Of its junior partners in crime, none are more dependable than my own country’s leaders, now personified by a Boris Johnson in his favourite role as Churchillian statesman, rid for the time being – and, if his luck holds, forever – of ‘Partygate’ and car crash implementation of Brexit.)

Yes, corporate media are doing their damnedest to hide the fact. Yes, social media oligarchs like Zuckerberg have thrown all pretence of impartiality out the window. And yes, Russia’s cats are pariahs while her celebs must condemn their own country or pay the price. But the enormity of Washington’s crime over Ukraine, set out in more than thirty posts I’ve dedicated to this subject since January, is a matter of incontestable fact. I’ve written of little else, so feel no need here to go yet again into the evidence …

… other than to unfurl one more time my most overworked image …

It’s frighteningly simple. America pushed and provoked, refusing all meaningful dialogue over Russia’s entirely reasonable demands – see previous post – because it does not want and never has wanted peace. What is happening could not be more to Washington’s liking:

  • Russia, the most powerful of the Empire disobedient nations to date, bogged down in a war of attrition which bleeds her economy as Afghanistan had once bled the Soviet economy. (Brzezinski had bragged of his “Afghan Trap” to “give the USSR its own Vietnam”, but the analogy breaks down because, unlike either the Soviet or today’s Russian economy, the US economy is structured – a titanic, revolving-door-greased transfer of wealth from the many to the few – to make war profitable for its ruling class. 1 ) Better yet, such a war offers the tantalising prize of a change of leadership in Moscow to a US-compliant regime comparable to that of Boris Yeltsin; catastrophic for ordinary Russians, but very much to Washington and Wall Street tastes. 2
  • A Russia subdued so the US Empire can turn its attention fully on China isolated, with Taiwan the likeliest casus belli.

This war was engineered in Washington, and could be over this afternoon should Washington make the modest concessions needed to stop it. But that’s the last thing DC desires. Ukrainians and Russians will die needlessly. Plummeting living standards in the global south and north (including Main Street America) are assured. Life expectancy will fall due to lethal sanctions. Above all the escalations and arrogance of Blinken et al have made nuclear confrontation more likely than at any time in my life, Cuba ’62 not excepted.

The western world is run by gangsters. They will stop at nothing to preserve their rule of the planet, and control of its dwindling resources. All who do not submit must be brought to heel. The rulers of the  Exceptionalist Nation will stop at nothing.


Something for the weekend? A few resources, curated by steel city scribe:

Michael Hudson, held in the highest esteem on this site, interviewed by RT on the economics of sanctions. Video here, transcript in the saker

Defend Democracy on the inhumanity of sanctions

Brian Becker, Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolare: Let it burn (audio). The first 45 mins of this offering by an American socialist radio station cover how the war is progressing, give a portrait of Anthony Blinken and make an interesting analogy with Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. 3

WSWS on vigilantism in Ukraine

Defend Democracy – a glimpse of fascism in Ukraine

Max Blumenthal in GrayZone on false flag attacks

* * *

  1. See our beautifully democratic wars and think tanks for warfare.
  2. For a closely documented but readable account of the Yeltsin years and the chaos wrought on the Russian economy – and of how it went sour for Western investors as former apparatchiks snatched the fruits of privatisation in front of their noses – see Chapters 10-11 of Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine. I might add that the targeting of post Yeltsin Russia in Cold War 2 only makes sense when we grasp two related things. One, Cold War 1 was never fully or even mainly ideological. It was about Capital’s systemic inability to tolerate one sixth of the world’s land mass, its immense assets and markets, being closed off to Private Profit. (The West’s 500 year old fear of an alliance of both ends of Eurasia had at this point been allayed by the Moscow-Beijing split of the sixties, and Nixon’s diplomatic triumph in 1972.) Two, since the fruits of Cold War 1 victory were snatched by the locals as documented by Klein, and Yeltsin succeeded by a much tougher nationalist, Cold War 2 is in reality Cold War 1 Part 2. The replacement of the Putin led government with one more open to unregulated capital inflows is a Wall Street wet dream. (And that fear of Eurasia united is now, thanks to Washington ineptitude and desperation, stronger than ever.)
  3. At the time of the invasion of Kuwait, and Bush senior’s crushing response, ‘quality’ media did report on Saddam having ‘misread’ US intentions. I recall the Guardian offering the absurdly idealist analysis that the Iraqi leader ‘did not understand the West as he seldom left Iraq’ . These media “explained” Bagdadh’s move as stemming from the “mistaken” perception that Washington would stay out of it. We now know Saddam was wilfully misled – the US Ambassador to Iraq having told him that DC had “no interest in inter-Arab affairs” – into the first of two wars which would put control of Iraqi oil back in Western hands. It’s all about privatisation, stupid!

    The link in this map, from a 2018 post on Syria and the Golan, has broken. But a Guardian story from March 2014, Iraq invasion was about oil, ran this kicker: “Maximising Persian Gulf oil flows to avert a potential global energy crisis motivated Iraq War planners – not WMD or democracy”. Thus was one fat lie replaced by a half-truth which – though itself contemptuous of the public – was silent on the enrichment of Western shareholders.

    Well, not quite “all”. An even bigger game was being played out in the context of Eurasia Rising. One in which Iraq was but an early chapter. One in which Ukraine is but the most recent.

8 Replies to “The US wants this war to go on and on

  1. Hi Phil, good article with lots of embeds to follow, which I did because I have a naff memory.

    I do remember reading, many years ago, from a trusted and unbiased source, that Kuwait was in fact stealing Iraqi oil, which prompted SH to attack it. I can’t remember the details of how, but it was near Basra. Needless to say Thatcher buried the information and she was apparently quite cognisant of the fact. Funny how some red lines are crossed and others just swept away.
    Thanks for the links.

    • Hi Susan

      Kuwait was in fact stealing Iraqi oil, which prompted SH to attack it

      I didn’t know much about that aspect of the matter, but the very existence of Kuwait is, from an Arab Nationalist perspective, an act of grand larceny. The average Westerner understands Kuwait (and Ukraine) to be sovereign states like France or Denmark: stable entities rooted in centuries if not millennia of nationhood. A look at the straight borders of the middle east (like post Potsdam Africa in fact) shows this to be nonsense. As I put it in a 2019 post on Israel:

      Since Arabs, should they transcend their differences, could control … the world’s greatest concentrations of [oil] such a coming together is to be averted by all available means … For instance by doing as Britain and France did, and carving the Arab world into artificial states as WW1 synchronised the fall of the Ottoman Empire with the rising importance of oil – which is why on the one hand Nasser’s pan-Arabism, on the other Ba’athist Iraq and Syria, had to be crushed with help from Israel and, in Syria’s case, ‘moderate Islamists’.

      We know the Ba’athisms of the middle east looked to Nasser’s Pan Arabism, from which perspective Kuwait was an illegitimate state. If Saddam “misunderstood” anything, it was the nature of the USA as the latest and most powerful of a string of imperialists. As such, it had the same desire to divide and rule.

  2. Some observations:

    Firstly: The propaganda level is certainly unprecedented. The question is; where is it working? Is it working across the entire planet except Russia and China or is it just working in that self appointed entity which refers to itself as ‘The International Community’? (USA/Canada/Europe/Japan & South Korea/Australasia)

    There seems to be a plausible case for the latter rather then the former. With many countries abstaining the other week at the UN or just going through the motions. India is committed to buying four times the amount of RF oil it purchased last year via a mechanism involving a Roubles/Rupee exchange rate. The Saudi’s are starting to trade some of their oil in Roubles.

    Germany is reported to be moving its gold reserves stored in New York back to Germany (though the value is likely to transfer back via its purchase of US arms – that is if the money is not needed to feed and heat its population and keep its industry afloat by the end of the year).

    A move which will no doubt be replicated in various forms as the Global South follow suit now that a realistic alternative exists where their assets are not stolen by the imperial powers of the past half millennium if they don’t behave themselves.

    After all, whose going to trust a bunch of pirates given the track record of those pirates – the Gold reserves of Iran, Afghanistan, Venezuela, and now Russia have all been very publicly stolen by them.

    On which note, as an aside; finally watching Rachel Marsden’s interview with Pepe Escobar last night (from last Monday) the penny dropped as to why the RF government re-appointed the numpty head of the RF Central Bank who stored half the gold reserves in the vaults of the pirates.

    For all practical purposes this is now a non-job with zero practical relevance or clout/influence given that the new economic paradigm forming before our eyes now has its own higher level banking system and bank being slotted into place to operate at the Eurasian continental level.*

    Secondly; the question of the strategy of the US/NATO/West (Zone A) does not seem to be receiving anywhere near the same level of scrutiny of the RF and its allies.

    The consensus seems to be that they want to keep the Ukraine conflict going as long as possible and to bog down the RF in the same way as the Soviets were in Afghanistan in order to provide room for maneuver to instigate regime change in the RF.

    I’m not convinced this represents a realistic practical strategy. Firstly because no one is that dumb, in military and geo-political terms, to fall for that twice. Having demonstrated the ability to successfully strike and destroy Western supplied military and personnel assets at will the enthusiasm of the ‘Redditt Brigades’ for virtue signalling seems to have waned as even those with military experience are leaving the area (hopefully, not with any Stinger of Javelin missiles to play with across the West).

    That’s not to say that the current operation will not take some time to complete within its operational parameters. Parameters which may need to change in intensity depending upon how desperate the Azov Battalions incorporated into the Ukraine military become in what is a lost cause as they are squeezed into smaller and smaller cauldrons with not logistical supplies getting through and no integrated communications beyond the tactical level.

    The sanctions element of the US/NATO/West strategy is already producing blowback effects which even the most obtuse sections of the Zone A elites are recognising. In this regard the military strategy of fighting to the last Ukrainian seems set to be replicated via a strategy of sanctioning down to last Western serf and blame the Russians and, if need be, the other 70% of the planet.

    From that perspective the thought occurs as to if that’s all we’ve got on this side of the house we are in deep shit. Coupled with the effects of de-dollerisation there seems little option left to at some stage to escalate to nuclear weapons. Particularly once the current Ukraine operation reaches a point in which the operational objectives of the RF are increasingly met and some degree of civil society free of extremists/Western backed terrorists starts to spread out across areas of the Ukraine.

    At which point the question arises as to why the threat has not already been made? Is it because the US/NATA/West are too confident in or cocky about their current strategy or could there be other factors operating below the radar?

    I ask this because I was intrigued the other week about these two reports of the same incident from the same source:

    These short reports details an RF electronic jamming facility which screwed up the navigation system of a NATO military aircraft approaching the Syrian coast from the Mediterranean. Which initially appeared to veer of course towards Cyprus before heading to and landing in Egypt.

    Which raises the question of how sophisticated that capability might be? Point being, if its possible to undermine the navigational electronics of an aircraft coming in at speed it should be possible to do the same to other types of flying objects. Helicopters, drones, missiles even?

    Question is, what type of missiles – supersonic or even hypersonic? And in what way? Jamming away from designated target would be basic level. Ability to hack in mid flight to other chosen target options (Pentagon/Langley/Brussels) would be a game changer.

    Not that we are ever likely to know whether this is or is not the case?

    I suppose the best we can do right now is hunker down for what is likely to be a prolonged deterioration of conditions in Zone A as the new reality asserts itself across the rest of the planet. Its not likely to be very comfortable. We may even see rationing suggested at some point should things be allowed to reach that point. Though, given the absence of any evidence of sufficient organisational ability across the West its difficult to envisage any practical application of such a suggestion taking place.

  3. What the elites/establishments of the West/Davos/WEF want seems unlikely to prevail in the face of the wider realities on the ground far from the front line:

    This graph showing the spike in fertilizer prices (which exceed those of the 2007/08 GFC) are eye watering given we are entering in the growing season.

    Those 2007/08 increases fed back into increased global food prices and shortages. Which provided a major driver for the “Arab Spring.”

    Given we are unlikely to see staple crops from Ukraine this season and the Globalists across Europe (EU+UK) have effectively indicated publicly they would rather their populations freeze and starve than buy anything from the RF or pay in Rubles we are in for ‘interesting’ rest of the year.

    Particularly given the RCB just tied its currency to gold

    “here’s the gig, Russia won’t be selling any gold. They’re buying it…..

    …..The Bank of Russia is now a buyer of gold at 5000 rubles to the gram, or 155,500 rubles to the troy ounce. At a Friday March 25th closing price of RUB96.62 vs. the USD that implies a gold price of $1610 per ounce.

    The ruble is now freely strengthening versus the US dollar…..

    ….. 1: At $1550 per ounce the first order effect here is that is implies a RUB/USD rate of around 75. Incentivizing those holding RUB to continue and those needing them to bid up the price from current levels.

    2: This creates a positive incentive loop to bring the ruble back to pre-war levels. Then after that market effects take over as ruble demand becomes structural, based on Russia’s trade balance.

    3: Once that happens and the RUB/USD falls below 75, then the USD price of gold rises structurally draining the paper gold markets and collapsing the financial system based on leveraged/hypothecated gold.

    So, this scheme incentivizes Russians to hold savings in rubles, because the ruble is undervalued. It also incentivizes foreign traders to hold rubles because the ruble is undervalued relative to an overvalued open gold price.

    Clearly currency speculators in Moscow, Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai and Hong Kong are having a field day with this.

    Coupled with Putin demanding ‘unfriendly countries’ paying for their Russian imports with either gold or the ruble, the natural choice is for them to buy rubles until such time as the price of gold and the ruble are in sync on international markets.

    The effects of this have hardly worked through in terms of their systemic effect. Yet there are already howls of helpless pain and indignation coming from the Globalists.

    This conflict is not just taking place in kinetic terms or limited to the Ukraine. The blowback from the sanctions imposed by the self-appointed Parish Guardians of the Universe will further erode their already diminished credibility and ability to act.

    • You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Evidently the EU is going to refuse to buy gas in roubles – which means Russian gas to Europe will probably be cut off, though this is not definite yet. If it does happen, it’s only a matter of time before Russian oil will be priced in roubles too. If the EU again refuses it will either be ‘revolution time’ led by German industry, or ‘Revolution time’ led by German and French ‘Yellow Vests’.

      Unfortunately I don’t see the equivalent forces in the UK having the balls to join in, though it would be nice. Maybe we could form a ‘Steel City Insurrection Band’ – although I could only aspire to the triangle or kazoo.

      • Being tone death I’ve long been barred from singing in this household Jams.

        However, given my dexterity with a cable jointers screwdriver (a hammer – you try screwing in three six inch nails to fix a block terminal at the top of a pole at minus 3 in a blizzard) I’d probably be best employed in the percussion section.

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