Ukraine and the talented Mr Berletic

20 Apr

Before I get to Brian Berletic, four remarks: three of them general and of major importance; the fourth a sneaky but minor amendment to an earlier commitment.

  1. Those who rule the West beneath a thinning veneer of democracy lie routinely about the instigators of and motives for their never-ending wars. They also lie about the progress of those wars. (Witness US defeat in Vietnam, and failure to oust Assad in Syria, despite the American public having been told to the very end that victory was in sight.) In both kinds of flat out falsehood they are hugely aided by media whose business models leave them with no option on matters of such non negotiable import.
  2. The unprecedented rate at which gamekeepers (whistle-blowers like Chelsea Manning, Ed Snowden and Katherine Gunn; or simply disgusted like Scott Ritter, Philip Giraldi and Craig Murray) are turning poacher is more than a sign of our times. It is the canary in the coalmine. At the heart of the US empire is a build-up of political methane.
  3. Some say lying begets credulity. If true, that might explain a recurring theme in Western accounts of the Ukraine War’s progress. Having sold that war – which NATO and Nuland had worked so hard to engineer – as a “Putin land grab”, what likely began as a useful fiction appears to have infected NATO thinking. Russia is fighting a war not of territorial conquest but of attrition. In Kharkov more than a year ago, and at Kherson last autumn, her forces made strategic withdrawals proclaimed – and as far as I can tell believed – by NATO analysts and their media stenographers to be resounding setbacks for the Kremlin. Such triumphalism is now dead in the water.
  4. I recently promised “three discussions which progressively widen the focus: from Alex Mercouris on Kiev’s much heralded spring counter-offensive, through Brian Berletic on strategic aspects of Washington’s war on Russia, to Michael Hudson and Radhika Desai on the momentous import of Moscow’s decisive turning away from the West.”  That phrasing implied a particular order, one I am now disrupting by beginning not with Alex but with Brian – a former US marine and now a vlogger based in Thailand.

I first came across this man eighteen months ago in the context of fake news, run by Murdoch’s Times and Rothermere’s Daily Mail, that pandering to racism had led to a black actor in Dune the movie having her face photoshopped out of promotions across China. Brian’s methodical take-down of that small but scurrilous slur – one of the myriad lies of omission and commission through which public opinion is manufactured – impressed me then, and he continues to do so with his coverage of America’s cold but fast heating war on China, and white-hot proxy war on Russia in the Ukraine.

One last remark before I hand over to his lucid and at every turn informed assessment of Kiev’s forthcoming spring – if we can still call it that – counter-offensive. The other two discussions – with Alex Mercouris, and with Michael Hudson and Radhika Desai – are also filmed but, being ‘talking head’, nothing of substance is lost by listening while driving or doing the ironing. The same almost applies to this one. Almost. But unlike Alex, who should use maps but doesn’t – a sin offset by his many virtues – Brian does. I don’t say they’re vital. Indeed, I often listen to him while working culinary magic in the steel city house kitchen.

It’s just that this April 11 presentation, thirty-one minutes and nine seconds, loses a little when audio is the sole channel.

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5 Replies to “Ukraine and the talented Mr Berletic

  1. Whilst Berletic’s regular reports provide useful SitReps there is also a utility in looking at some of the wider strategic and Geo-strategic features, of which the immediate battlefield is but a part, which Berletic’s updates partially cover.

    The point being, to paraphrase, that war is simply diplomacy by other means. The other non-military features of what is in reality World Ward 3 such as economic sanctions, trade war/restrictions, cultural isolation, etc form part of a wider escalation tool kit which forms a significant contextual background. A contextual background which influences decision makers on all sides.

    Much, for example, has been written and spoken of the way in which the Russian Federation has conducted this conflict in terms of that contextual escalatory background.

    Here is one such recent attempt by a Gaius Baltar writing on Larry Johnson’s blog:

    The point is not whether Baltar is anywhere near accurate or not in the detail of his speculation.

    Just as with this guy, William Schryver:

    It is simply that, regardless of accuracy or otherwise of the speculative details in both these pieces, it seems reasonable to conclude that a primary key in the Russian approach is escalatory management. Not going the NATO gung-ho route to avoid matters getting out of control. A possibility which hides concerns among those of us observing these events in their entirety of risking a NATO scorched earth escalation of the use of nuclear weapons.

    And without any endorsement or otherwise of the source of this next link, uncontrolled escalation to nuclear weapons does not represent the only concern at that level.

    Because one of the issues of concern which seems to have been left further down the list than it warrants is the matter of the bio-weapons labs the US continues to operate in the Ukraine not under the control of the Russian Federation.

    “A Russian parliamentary commission investigation has found that the United States is working on developing a “universal” genetically engineered bioweapon designed to inflict “nuclear winter”-style damage on a target.

    Not content with the horrors it has already inflicted on the world, the U.S. wants to procure new technology that not only infects humans with a deadly bioweapon but also animals and agricultural crops.

    “Its use involves, among other things, the goal of inflicting large-scale and irreparable economic damage on the enemy,” the commission wrote in its final report on the operation, which is currently underway in Ukraine at its various Pentagon-run biolabs.

    “The covert and targeted use of such a weapon in anticipation of a positive inevitable direct military confrontation could create a significant advantage for U.S. forces over the adversary, even against those who possess other types of weapons of mass destruction,” the report adds.

    “The possession of such highly effective biological weapons creates, in the view of the U.S. military, the real prerequisites to change the nature of contemporary armed conflicts.”

    (Related: Since nobody seems to care enough to stop it, the U.S. has resumed operations at its Ukrainian biolabs.)”

    A factor of the US approach which was spelled out specifically in the ‘Project for a New American Century’ document issued almost a quarter a century ago and which mirrors that of the documented Roman response to Carthage following the Punic Wars.

    Successfully neutering this Western cultural nihilism will require a great deal of patience, skill and strategic nous – not to mention some more practical ‘tools’. So far, the Russians seem to have certainly got to grips with the old trade unionist and worker concept of ‘going canny.’

  2. “(Related: Since nobody seems to care enough to stop it, the U.S. has resumed operations at its Ukrainian biolabs.)”
    The Russians very much do, but as long as the UN continues to pander to Washington’s wishes, there really is not much more they can do. Ever since Trump threatened to withhold US funding to the UN the latter have been terrified of losing their main money bank & status. I could be reading the situation wrongly of course!

  3. The first level of “contextual escalatory background” to be considered by Russia even before considering biological and nuclear is the possible introduction of Nato forces into the conflict and the need to have and conserve stocks and troop reserves for such a contingency.
    This possibility will become more acute as the Ukranians suffer more and more attrition of men and material and western resupply dries up.i have little doubt that Russian military strategy has been conceived with just such a development in mind.

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