Article 43

 

Friday, February 25, 2022

Bad Moon Roising Part 82 - Ukraine Invasion

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The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.
- Wolfowitz Doctrine

Think back to 2014 when the US overthrew the Ukrainian government and installed a neo-Nazi regime. The neocons were smirking, laughing at how easy it was to buffalo the Russians. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland publicly bragged about how the US had spent $5 billion dollars preparing the overthrow of Ukraine. Much cheering of how Ukraine would now be used to destabilize Russia and seize the Russian Black Sea naval base.

After a long frustrating, humiliating 8 years of trying to get the West’s attention that this was not a scheme Russia could accept, and after one last effort which got nowhere, Russia has acted.

In his SPEECH this morning Putin explained the long years of Russian frustration in her efforts to achieve mutual security with the West which remained intent on its own domination.
- They didn’t hear what we told them. They had better hear this time, Paul Craig Roberts, February 24, 2022

The Washington Post asked: “Why is there tension between Russia and Ukraine?” Its answer: In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. A month later, war erupted between Russian-allied separatists and Ukraines military in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. The United Nations human rights office estimates that more than 13,000 people have been killed… But that account is highly misleading, because it leaves out the crucial role the US has played in escalating tensions in the region. In nearly every case we looked at, the reports omitted the US’s extensive role in the 2014 coup that preceded Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Focusing on the latter part only serves to manufacture consent for US intervention abroad.
- What You Should Really Know About Ukraine

Understand that this is not about reabsorbing Donbass into Russia like Crimea, but merely recognizing the republics as independent countries. This will give the protection of international law to the republics, and Russia being a stickler for international law, unlike the West, will see that law defends the republics.
- Russia Has Given Up On Negotiations and Will Resolve the Donbass Issue by Recognizing the Independence of the Republics, Paul Craig Roberts, February 21, 2022.

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NATO leaves little room for diplomacy: How the war machine upped the ante in Ukraine
A new European security framework is desperately needed in this moment

By Norman Soloman
Truthout
February 24, 2022

Nearly 60 years ago, Bob Dylan recorded “With God on Our Side.” You probably haven’t heard it on the radio in a very long time, if ever, but right now you could listen to it as his most evergreen of topical songs:

I’ve learned to hate the Russians
All through my whole life
If another war comes
Its them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side

In recent days, media coverage of a possible summit between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin has taken on almost wistful qualities, as though the horsemen of the apocalypse are already out of the barn. Fatalism is easy for the laptop warriors and blow-dried studio pundits who keep insisting on the need to get tough with “the Russians,” by which they mean the Russian government. Actual people who suffer and die in war, meanwhile, easily become faraway abstractions.

“And you never ask questions / When Gods on your side.”

During the last six decades, the religiosity of U.S. militarism has faded into a more generalized set of assumptions shared, in the current crisis, across traditional political spectrums. Ignorance about NATOҗs history feeds into the good vs. evil bromides that are too easy to ingest and internalize.

On Capitol Hill, its hard to find a single member of Congress willing to call NATO what it has long been: an alliance for war (Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya) with virtually nothing to do with Ғdefense other than the defense of vast weapons sales and, at times, even fantasies of regime change in Russia.

The reverence and adulation gushing from the Capitol and corporate media (including NPR and PBS) toward NATO and its U.S. leadership are wonders of thinly veiled jingoism. About other societies, reviled ones especially, this would be deemed Ӕpropaganda. Here the supposed truisms are laundered and flat-ironed as common sense.

Glimmers of inconvenient truth have flickered only rarely in mainstream U.S. media outlets, while a bit more likely in Europe.

“Biden has said repeatedly that the U.S. is open to diplomacy with Russia, but on the issue that Moscow has most emphasized - NATO enlargement - there has been no American diplomacy at all, Jeffrey Sachs WROTE in the Financial Times as this week began. “Putin has repeatedly demanded that the U.S. forswear NATO’s enlargement into Ukraine, while Biden has repeatedly asserted that membership of the alliance is Ukraine’s choice.”

As Sachs noted, “Russia has adamantly opposed NATO EXPANSION towards the east for 30 years, first under Boris Yeltsin and now Putin. Neither the U.S. nor Russia wants the others military on their doorstep. Pledging “no NATO expansion” is not appeasement. It does not cede Ukrainian territory. It does not undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

Speaking Monday on Democracy Now, Katrina vanden Heuvel - editorial director of The Nation and a longtime Russia expert said that implementing the MINSK ACCORDS COULD BE A PATH TOWARDS PEACE in Ukraine. Also, she pointed out, “there is talk now not just of the NATO issue, which is so key, but also a new security architecture in Europe.”

A new European security framework, to demilitarize and defuse conflicts between Russia and U.S. allies, is desperately needed. But the same approach that for three decades pushed to expand NATO to Russia’s borders is now gung-ho to keep upping the ante, no matter how much doing so increases the chances of a direct clash between the worlds two nuclear-weapons superpowers.

The last U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union before it collapsed, Jack Matlock, wrote last week: “Since President Putin’s major demand is an assurance that NATO will take no further members, and specifically not Ukraine or Georgia, obviously there would have been no basis for the present crisis if there had been no expansion of the alliance following the end of the Cold War, or if the expansion had occurred in harmony with building a security structure in Europe that included Russia.” But excluding Russia from security structures, while encircling it with armed-to-the-teeth adversaries, was a clear goal of NATO’s expansion. Less obvious was the realized goal of turning Eastern European nations into customers for vast arms sales.

A gripping chapter in “The Spoils of War,” a new book by Andrew Cockburn, spells out the mega-corporate zeal behind the massive campaigns to expand NATO beginning in the 1990s. Huge Pentagon contractors like Lockheed Martin were downcast about the dissolution of the USSR and feared that military sales would keep slumping. But there were some potential big new markets on the horizon.

ӔOne especially promising market was among the former members of the defunct Warsaw Pact, Cockburn wrote. ӔWere they to join NATO, they would be natural customers for products such as the F-16 fighter that Lockheed had inherited from General Dynamics. There was one minor impediment: the [George H. W.] Bush administration had already promised Moscow that NATO would not move east, a pledge that was part of the settlement ending the Cold War.

By the time legendary foreign-policy sage George F. Kennan issued his unequivocal warning in 1997 - “expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the post-Cold War era” the expansion was already happening. As Cockburn notes, “By 2014, the 12 new members had purchased close to $17 billion worth of American weapons. If you think those weapons transactions were about keeping up with the Russians, you’ve been trusting way too much U.S. corporate media.” As of late 2020,Cockburns book explains, NATO’s collective military spending had hit $1.03 trillion, or roughly 20 times Russia’s military budget.

So let’s leave the last words here at this solemn time to Bob Dylan, from another song that isnt on radio playlists: “Masters of War.”

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good?
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could?

SOURCE

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Chronicle of a War Foretold

By Chris Hedges
Sheerpost
February 24, 2022

I was in Eastern Europe in 1989, reporting on the revolutions that overthrew the ossified communist dictatorships that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was a time of hope. NATO, with the breakup of the Soviet empire, became obsolete. President Mikhail Gorbachev reached out to Washington and Europe to build a new security pact that would include Russia. Secretary of State James Baker in the Reagan administration, along with the West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, assured the Soviet leader that if Germany was unified NATO would not be extended beyond the new borders. The commitment not to expand NATO, also made by Great Britain and France, appeared to herald a new global order. We saw the peace dividend dangled before us, the promise that the massive expenditures on weapons that characterized the Cold War would be converted into expenditures on social programs and infrastructures that had long been neglected to feed the insatiable appetite of the military.

There was a near universal understanding among diplomats and political leaders at the time that any attempt to expand NATO was foolish, an unwarranted provocation against Russia that would obliterate the ties and bonds that happily emerged at the end of the Cold War.

How naive we were. The war industry did not intend to shrink its power or its profits. It set out almost immediately to recruit the former Communist Bloc countries into the European Union and NATO. Countries that joined NATO, which now include Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, and North Macedonia were forced to reconfigure their militaries, often through hefty loans, to become compatible with NATO military hardware.

There would be no peace dividend. The expansion of NATO swiftly became a multi-billion-dollar bonanza for the corporations that had profited from the Cold War. (Poland, for example, just agreed to spend $ 6 billion on M1 Abrams tanks and other U.S. military equipment.) If Russia would not acquiesce to again being the enemy, then Russia would be pressured into becoming the enemy. And here we are. On the brink of another Cold War, one from which only the war industry will profit while, as W. H. Auden wrote, the little children die in the streets.

The consequences of pushing NATO up to the borders with Russia - there is now a NATO missile base in Poland 100 miles from the Russian border - were well known to policy makers. Yet they did it anyway. It made no geopolitical sense. But it made commercial sense. War, after all, is a business, a very lucrative one. It is why we spent two decades in Afghanistan although there was near universal consensus after a few years of fruitless fighting that we had waded into a quagmire we could never win.

In a classified diplomatic cable obtained and released by WikiLeaks dated February 1, 2008, written from Moscow, and addressed to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NATO-European Union Cooperative, National Security Council, Russia Moscow Political Collective, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, there was an unequivocal understanding that expanding NATO risked an eventual conflict with Russia, especially over Ukraine.

Not only does Russia perceive encirclement [by NATO], and efforts to undermine Russia’s influence in the region, but it also fears unpredictable and uncontrolled consequences which would seriously affect Russian security interests, the cable reads. “Experts tell us that Russia is particularly worried that the strong divisions in Ukraine over NATO membership, with much of the ethnic-Russian community against membership, could lead to a major split, involving violence or at worst, civil war.” In that eventuality, Russia would have to decide whether to intervene; a decision Russia does not want to have to face. . . “. Dmitri Trenin, Deputy Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, expressed concern that Ukraine was, in the long-term, the most potentially destabilizing factor in U.S.-Russian relations, given the level of emotion and neuralgia triggered by its quest for NATO membership . . . Because membership remained divisive in Ukrainian domestic politics, it created an opening for Russian intervention. Trenin expressed concern that elements within the Russian establishment would be encouraged to meddle, stimulating U.S. overt encouragement of opposing political forces, and leaving the U.S. and Russia in a classic confrontational posture.

The Obama administration, not wanting to further inflame tensions with Russia, blocked arms sales to Kiev. But this act of prudence was abandoned by the Trump and Biden administrations. Weapons from the U.S. and Great Britain are pouring into Ukraine, part of the $1.5 billion in promised military aid. The equipment includes hundreds of sophisticated Javelins and NLAW anti-tank weapons despite repeated protests by Moscow.

The United States and its NATO allies have no intention of sending troops to Ukraine. Rather, they will flood the country with weapons, which is what it did in the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia.

he conflict in Ukraine echoes the novel ԓChronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  In the novel it is acknowledged by the narrator that ԓthere had never been a death more foretold and yet no one was able or willing to stop it. All of us who reported from Eastern Europe in 1989 knew the consequences of provoking Russia, and yet few have raised their voices to halt the madness.  The methodical steps towards war took on a life of their own, moving us like sleepwalkers towards disaster.

Once NATO expanded into Eastern Europe, the Clinton administration promised Moscow that NATO combat troops would not be stationed in Eastern Europe, the defining issue of the 1997 NTO-RUSSIA FOUNDING ACT ON MUTUL RELATIONS\. This promise again turned out to be a lie. Then in 2014 the U.S. backed a coup against the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych who sought to build an economic alliance with Russia rather than the European Union. Of course, once integrated into the European Union, as seen in the rest of Eastern Europe, the next step is integration into NATO.  Russia, spooked by the coup, alarmed at the overtures by the EU and NATO, then annexed Crimea, largely populated by Russian speakers. And the death spiral that led us to the conflict currently underway in Ukraine became unstoppable.

The war state needs enemies to sustain itself. When an enemy can’t be found, an enemy is manufactured. Putin has become, in the words of Senator Angus King, the new Hitler, out to grab Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe. The full-throated cries for war, echoed shamelessly by the press, are justified by draining the conflict of historical context, by elevating ourselves as the saviors and whoever we oppose, from Saddam Hussein to Putin, as the new Nazi leader.

I don’t know where this will end up. We must remember, as Putin reminded us, that Russia is a nuclear power. We must remember that once you open the Pandora’s box of war it unleashes dark and murderous forces no one can control. I know this from personal experience. The match has been lit. The tragedy is that there was never any dispute about how the conflagration would start.

SOURCE

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How and Why the US Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine

By Erc Zuesse
Strategic Culture
June 18, 2018

This will documentthat the ‘new Cold War’ between the US and Russia did not start, as the Western myth has it, with Russias involvement in the breakaway of Crimea and Donbass from Ukraine, after Ukraine - next door to Russia - had suddenly turned rabidly hostile toward Russia in February 2014. Ukraine’s replacing its democratically elected NEUTRALIST Government in February 2014, by a RABIDLY ANTI-RUSSIAN Government, was a violent event, which produced many corpses. Its presented in The West as having been a ґrevolution instead of a coup; but whatever it was, it certainly generated the ‘new Cold War’ (the economic sanctions and NATO buildup on RussiaҒs borders); and, to know whether it was a coup, or instead a revolution, is to know what actually started the ‘new Cold War’, and why. So, this is historically very important.

Incontrovertible proofs will be presented here not only that it was a coup, but that this coup was organized by the US Government - that the US Government initiated the ‘new Cold War’; Russia’s Government reacted to America’s aggression, which aims to place nuclear missiles in Ukraine, less than ten minutes flight-time from Moscow. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, America had reason to fear Soviet nuclear missiles 103 MILES FROM AMERICA’S BORDER. But, after Americas Ukrainian coup in 2014, Russia has reason to fear NATO nuclear missiles not just near, but on, Russia’s border. That would be catastrophic.

If AMERICA’S SUCCESSFUL FEBRUARY 2014 OVERTHROW AND REPLACEMENT of Ukraines democratically elected NEUTRALIST Government doesnҒt soon produce a world-ending nuclear war (World War III), then there will be historical accounts of that overthrow, and the accounts are already increasingly trending and consolidating toward a historical consensus that it was a coup - that it was imposed by “somebody from the new coalition” - i.e., that the termination of the then-existing democratic (though like all its predecessors, corrupt) Ukrainian Government, wasnt authentically a ‘revolution’ such as the US Government has contended, and certainly wasn’t at all democratic, but was instead a coup (and a very bloody one, at that), and totally illegal (though backed by The West).

The purpose of the present article will be to focus attention on precisely whom the chief people are who were responsible for perpetrating this globally mega-dangerous (’Cold-War’-igniting) coup - and thus for creating the worlds subsequent course increasingly toward global nuclear annihilation.

If there will be future history, then these are the individuals who will be in the docks for that history’s harshest and most damning judgments, even if there will be no legal proceedings brought against them. Who, then, are these people?

Clearly, Victoria Nuland, US President Barack Obama’s central agent overseeing the coup, at least during the month of February 2014 when it climaxed, was crucial not only in overthrowing the existing Ukrainian Government, but in selecting and installing its rabidly anti-Russian replacement. The 27 January 2014 phone-conversation between her and America’s Ambassador in Ukraine, Jeffrey Pyatt was a particularly seminal event, and it was uploaded to youtube on 4 February 2014. I have discussed ELSEWHERE that call and its significance. Nuland there and then abandoned the EU’s hope for a still democratic but less corrupt future government for Ukraine, and Nuland famously said, on that call “Fuck the EU,” and she instructed Pyatt to choose instead the rabidly anti-Russian, and far-right, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. This key event occurred 24 days before Ukraine’s President Victor Yanukovych was overthrown on February 20th, and 30 days before the new person to head Ukraines Government, Yatsenyuk, became officially appointed to rule the NOW CLEARLY FASCIST COUNTRY. He won that official designation on February 26th. However, this was only a formality: Obama’s agent had already chosen him, on January 27th.

The second landmark item of evidence that it had been a coup and nothing at all democratic or a ‘revolution’, was the 26 February 2014 phone-conversation between the EU’s Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton and her agent in Ukraine investigating whether the overthrow had been a revolution or instead a coup; he was Estonias Foreign Minister, Urmas Paet, and HE TOLD HER THAT HE FOUND THAT IT HAD BEEN A COUP, and that “somebody from the new coalition” had engineered it - but he didn;t know whom that “somebody” was. Both Ashton and Paet were shocked at this finding, but they proceeded immediately to ignore that matter, and to discuss only the prospects for Europe’s investors in Ukraine, to be able to get their money back - their obsession was Ukraine’s corruption. Ashton told Paet that she had herself told the Maidan demonstrators, “you need to find ways in which you can establish a process that will have anti-corruption at its heart.” So, though the EU was unhappy that this had been a coup, they were far more concerned to protect their investors. In any case, the EU clearly wasn’t behind Ukraine’s coup. Equally clearly, they didnt much care whether it was a coup or instead what the US Government said, a ‘revolution’.

The network behind this coup had actually STARTED PLANNING for the coup back in 2011. Thats when Eric Schmidt of Google, and Jared Cohen, also now of Google but still continuing though unofficially as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chief person tasked to plan ‘popular movements’ to overthrow both Yanukovych in Ukraine, and Assad in Syria.

Then, on 1 March 2013, THE IMPLEMENTATION of this plan started: the first “tech camp” to train far-right Ukrainians how to organize online the mass-demonstrations against Yanukovych, was held inside the US Embassy in Kiev on that date, which was over nine months before the Maidan demonstrations to overthrow Ukraines democratically elected President started, on 20 November 2013.

The American scholar Gordon M. Hahn has specialized in studying the evidence regarding whom the actual snipers were who committed the murders, but he focuses only on domestic Ukrainian snipers and ignores the foreign ones, who had been hired by the US regime indirectly through Georgian, Lithuanian and other anti-Russian CIA assets (such as via Mikheil Saakashvili, the ousted President of Georgia whom the US regime subsequently selected to become the Governor of the Odessa region of Ukraine). Hahn’s 2018 book UKRAINE OVER THE EDGE states on pages 204-209:

“Yet another pro-Maidan sniper, Ivan Bubenchik, emerged to acknowledge that he shot and killed Berkut [the Government’s police who were protecting Government buildings] before any protesters were shot that day [February 20th]. In a print interview, Bubenchik previews his admission in Vladimir Tikhii’s documentary film, Brantsy, that he shot ahd killed two Berkut commanders in the early morning hours of February 20 on the Maidan. ... Bubenchik claims that [on February 20] the Yanukovich regime started the fire in the Trade Union House - where his and many other EuroMaidan fighters lived during the revolt - prompting the Maidans next reaction. As noted above, however, pro-Maidan neofascists have revealed that the Right Sector started that fire. ... Analysis of the snipers’ massacre shows that the Maidan protesters initiated almost all - at least six out of a possible eight - of the pivotal escalatory moments of violence and/or coercion. ... The 30 November 2013 nighttime assault on the Maidan demonstrators is the only clear exception from a conclusive pattern of escalating revolutionary violence led by the Maidans relatively small but highly motivated and well-organized neofascist element.”

Although Hahns book barely cites the first and most detailed academic study of the climactic coup period of late February, Ivan Katchanovski’s poorly written THE SNIPERS’ MASSACRE ON THE MAIDAN IN UKRAINE, which was issued on 5 September 2015, Hahn’s is consistent with that: both works conclude that the available evidence, as Katchanovski puts it, shows that:

“The massacre was a false flag operation, which was rationally planned and carried out with a goal of the overthrow of the government and seizure of power. It [his investigation] found various evidence of the involvement of an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland. Concealed shooters and spotters were located in at least 20 Maidan-controlled buildings or areas.”

Hahn downplays US heading of the coup. But shortly before the coup, the CIA secretly trained in Poland the Right Sector founder/leader Dmitriy Yarosh ("Dmytro Jarosz"), who headed Ukraines snipers. So, even the Ukrainian ones were working for the US

On 19 November 2017 was issued Gian Micalessin’s THE HIDDEN TRUTH ABOUT THE UKRAINE - PART 1 and THE HIDDEN TRUTH ABOUT THE UKRAINE - PART 2.

Summarizing them here: Two Georgian snipers say Saakashvili hired them in Tbilisi for a US-backed operation. But they know only about the “Georgian Legion” part. They think it was patterned on Georgias Rose Revolution. They each got $1000 for the operation and flew to Kiev on 15 January and were promised $5000 on return. (9:00) ғWe had to provoke the ‘Berkut’ police so they would attack the people. By February 15th the situation [at the Maidan] was getting worse every day. Then the first shots were fired. It was February 15 or 16. Mamunashvili [SaakashviliԒs man] introduced them to “an American military guy, Brian Christopher Boyenger” a former sniper for the 101st Airborne Division who “after Maidan he went to Donbass” to fight in the “Georgian Legion” but during the coup-climax, the far-right Andriy ”PARUBIY came very often,” and “Brian always accompanied him” and also instructing there was VLADIMIR PARASYUK, one of the leaders of the Maidan. The snipers were told not to aim but just to kill people randomly, to create chaos. There were also two Lithuanian snipers in the room. Some went down from the Ukraine Hotel to the second floor of the Conservatory Building, balcony. “They started to take out the guns and distributed them to each group.” “Then I heard shots from the next room” It lasted 15 minutes, then they were all ordered to escape.

On 13 February 2015 was telecast a German documentary, MAIDAN SNIPERS GERMN TV EXPOSES ARD MONITOR in which one of the demonstrators said that many of the bullets were fired from buildings controlled by the demonstrators, but that “We were also shot at from the other direction.” However, AST LEAST BEFORE 21 FEBRUARY 2014, police (Berkut) were seized by demonstrators and at least the possibility exists that some of the Right Sector snipers were taking positions in and especially atop some of the government buildings so as to fire down into the crowd and seem to be firing from Yanukovych’s side. Gordon Hahn hasnt been able to verify any firing in February 2014 by the Yanukovych government. Moreover: ”THEY WERE THE SAME SNIPERS KILLING PEOPLE FROM BOTH SIDES.”

On 1 February 2016 was posted to youtube a French documentary, UKRAINE - MASKS OF THE REVOLUTION which shows, from a meeting at Davos, at 48:00, Victoria Nuland, the announcer trying to speak with her and saying to the audience, “The US diplomat who came to support the Revolution, could she really ignore the existence of the paramilitaries?”; 48:50 Larry Summers at a meeting in Kiev during 10-12 September 2015 and then later at the 12TH YES ANNUAL MEETING saying, “Ukraine is an essential outpost of our fundamental military interests”; 49:25: Petraeus also shown there and the announcer says, “He also thinks that Ukraine is essential to block Putin.” Petraeus urges investment in Ukraine to block Russia; 51:00 McChrystal there also urges arming Ukraine; 51:50 Nuland is there and the announcer says: “The country that is most invested in Ukraines future is the US” “She is the architect of America’s influence in Ukraine.” Nuland says there at the “YES meeting, “We had a significant impact on the battlefield.” But the US regime blames Russia for that war.

Gordon Hahns restriction of blame for the coup only to native Ukrainian nazis doesnҒt fit the evidence, because there clearly is leadership of Ukraine’s Nazis by the US regime. Furthermore, the US regime and its Ukrainian client-state are the ONLY TWO NATIONS IN THE U.N. WHO VOTE AND REPETEDLY BACK FASCISM, nazism and Holocaust-denial. The anti-Russia Nazis took over Americas Government, which has taken over UkraineҒs. All of this goes back to the key US decision, which was made on 24 February 1990.

SOURCE

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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Speaking of Capitalism and Fascism

image: corporate rule

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”
- Benito Mussolini

As long as China can pay slave wages it will be impossible to raise wages anywhere else.  Any trade agreement has to include the right of workers to organize, otherwise all the promises by Joe Biden to rebuild the American middle class is a lie.  Between 2001-2011, 2.7 million jobs were lost to China with 2.1 million in manufacturing.  None are coming back if workers in China and other countries that allow corporations to exploit labor and skirt basic environmental and labor regulations are locked in corporate servitude. And while we can chastise China for its labor policies, the United States has crushed its own union movement, allowed its corporations to move manufacturing overseas to profit from the Chinese manufacturing models, suppressed wages, passed anti-labor right-to-work laws, and demolished regulations that once protected workers.  The war on workers is not a Chinese phenomenon. It is a global one. And U.S. corporations are complicit. Apple has 46 percent of its suppliers in China. Walmart has 80 percent of its suppliers in China. Amazon has 63 percent of its suppliers in China.
- Dying For an Iphone, 2021

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
- Abraham Lincoln

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You Can’t Talk to Americans About the Things They Need to Hear Most
Until Americans Open Their Minds, the Prospects of Change Will Remain Weak

By Umair Haque
Eudaimonia
March 8, 2021

There are four small words. If I say them to Americans - I get nowhere. I’ll come back to that. First, let me describe to you the reaction in the rest of the world.

Some countries have lived what these four words describe, and people in them nod along ruefully when I say them. Some countries are educated over and over again about them, and people in them stroke their chins, understanding, reflecting carefully. Some countries chuckle, and just say “America.”

When I say these four words to Americans, though, I get one of three reactions. One, furious rage. “That can’t be true! Don’t be ridiculous!!” Two, a long, perplexing, overcomplicated stream of denial, the recitations of weird, dead, failed ideologies, like a Soviet might have given you in 1989. “That isn’t true! Don’t be absurd!!” Three, the blank stare Americans are now famous for around the world. The walls have gone up. Nothing’s going in. They’re waiting for you to go away, so they can back to watching the Kardashians, or firing a rifle, or reading the Bible.

The four words are “capitalism implodes into fascism.” If I say this to people in Germany, by and large, they understand it, because they’ve lived it. If I say it to people in, for example, Asia, they nod along, reflecting, thinking deeply. If I say them to people in Canada, they think. Anywhere - literally anywhere else in the world, people seem to understand the point I’m making. They might not always fully agree with it, but at least they understand it. Maybe they are thinking critically about it. They are remembering their own history. They’re reflecting on what happened in the world around them. Their minds turn on.

But when I say these four words to Americans, exactly the opposite happens. Their minds turn off. They begin to fight me, in rage and anger. They recite ideas they learned in some classroom - without stopping to think if they’re true or not. They recite the very words pundits and columnists have spent a lifetime beating into them - without hesitating for a second. Capitalism is the greatest wealth creation engine known to - My American friend, I wonder gently, why are you living in lifelong debt then?

Why do Americans minds; shut down when I say my magic four words to them? I’ve questioned several of their most fundamental ideas at once. Capitalism. The idea that society can plunge into fascism. The idea that progress itself can come to a halt. The idea that there are links between systems and paradigms, that they don’t exist in a vacuum.

Americans act as if I’ve personally attacked them when I say “capitalism implodes into fascism.” That’s revealing. It tells us a process of IDENTITY FUSION has occurred. Americans have built their identities on capitalism. Threaten to take that away from them, criticise it, point out a flaw - and you are threatening the very basis of the self.

But of course this idea is hardly new. When Marx’s glorious proletarian revolution didn’t happen, in the 1930s, and fascism exploded instead, generations of thinkers went to work. What went wrong? Why was Marx wrong? Why, instead of a revolution of equality, was there one of hate?

The answer turned out to be simple. When people grow suddenly, sharply poor, they punch down on those even more powerless than them. Working and middle classes in decline tend to punch down, therefore, on even more powerless groups, who tend to be long-hated minorities. In Germany, that was Jews, Poles, Roma, gay people. In modern-day America, it’s Mexicans, Latinos, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, women, the LGBTQ, etc.

CAPITALSIM DOES IMPLODE INTO FASCISM It’s hardly a controversial point at this juncture in history. That’s why the entire world doesn’t find it controversial. Only Americans do. And say it to an American, and their mind shuts down, goes blank, their lips twist in rage, they stifle the urge to insult and abuse you.

There’s a funny and tragic wrinkle in that tale. Americans are the people who need to understand what becomes of capitalist nations most. But they are the ones who can understand it least. Marx, too, made sense of all this long ago he called it “false consciousness.” In his language, the prole believes that he is one of capitalism’s chosen people. In more modern parlance, Americans have fused their very identities with capitalism. What does it mean to “fuse an identity” with capitalism, though?

It means that you have to live according to a CERTAIN SET OF VALUES. The ones prized by capitalism.Competitiveness, which becomes hostility and aggression, selfishness, which becomes cruelty and ignorance, vanity, which becomes narcissisms perpetual victimhood and wounds. Have you ever noticed how Americans are at once a) the world’s most cruel people, who make their kids, for example, do “active shooter drills” b) the world’s most SELF-CENTERED people, who know nothing about the rest of the world, because they don’t care for it and c) the world’s biggest victims, who always think everything is against them?

That’s what it means to have an “identity fused to capitalism.” You become a shell of a functioning human being. You can’t act with empathy, courage, truth, grace - the money is what really matters. You cant handle reality - there’s always an episode of reality TV on. You can’t grant anyone else intrinsic worth, so you treat people with aggression and hostility and rage, not, say, Canadian niceness or European gentleness.

You are being traumatised, but you don’t know it. That’s why the three ways Americans react when you say the word capitalism critically perfectly match what happens to a trauma victim: the fight/flight/freeze response is triggered. They rage and attack you: fight. They go into denial, and recite weird facts they’ve read in the New York Times or Wall Street Journal: flight. They give you the blank look: freeze. Americans are people traumatised badly by capitalism - but still fighting desperately for it.

Let me give you another example.

Many Americans will probably object to reading this very article. Just making it this far probably made them mad. But should they be mad?

If I say to you “dogs have four legs,” you’ll probably nod along happily. “What cute little guys,” you might even say, thinking of my puppy Snowy. Here’s the thing. Snowy has four legs. But one of his best friends, little Lammy, has only three. Don’t feel bad for Lammy, though. He’s a tiny little thing with three legs, sure - but he puts most dogs with four legs to shame. He plays ball and fetch and outruns Snowy on. He smiles with delight. He is living a good and beautiful life on those three little legs of his.

All dogs don’t have four legs. Its just that most do. In the same way, not all Americans react in the ways I’ve described. But most do.

And yet even the Americans that get what Ive described often get mad at the way I put it. They want me to constantly say “not all Americans.” If I don’t, they attack me. They think I’m out to get them. I’m not. Of course not. I’m simply speaking the same way we’d speak about, say, puppies, or anything else. Cars have four wheels. Sure, most do. But not all.

These are perfectly valid generalisations to make. And yet Americans cannot handle it when you generalise about Americans at all. Its hardly a point of contention that WHITE AMERICANS ARE THE WORLD’S MOST HOSTILE AND BACKWARD SOCIAL GROUP. That is what a majority of them never having voted for anyone but a Republican for President means. That’s what a majority of them never voting for public healthcare or always voting for guns - choose your poison - means.

But Americans can;t handle this. Almost none of them. Even the Americans who can grapple with “capitalism implodes into fascism” without flying into a rage or staring at you like you’ve just killed their kids will get attack you for saying “Americans are...”

Why is that? Have you ever wondered? It’s not because Americans don’t know how to generalize. Of course they do. They won’t object to “dogs have four legs,” but they will to “Americans are violent and brutal people.” Both statements are true, though, maybe just in a slightly different matter of degree. That only leaves one possibility, really.

Americans feel the need to defend the idea of the perfection of Americans. Any criticism of Americans is not capable of being handled at all. Level a criticism at Americans - as a country, a social group, a majority - and bang! You have attacked all of them. And attacking all of them of course includes even the person you are talking to, who may think they are very enlightened, but still can’t quite handle criticism at the level of society. You cant say “Americans are” anything at all, except something good, because that is an attack on the person you are talking to, who can’t seem to grasp the idea that generalities just mean most of a category. And that in turn is because in this case, no generality can be permitted. If you’re not one of us - you must be the enemy. One of the many, many enemies.

Americans think of America in terms a psychologist would describe as “borderline” and “paranoid.” Black and white. All or nothing. Perfect or irredeemable. You’re either with us or against us. They can’t quite handle the idea of someone who is just criticizing, talking, thinking. That you can be for American, or even Americans, while pointing out flaws and weaknesses and mistakes. That makes you someone dubious, questionable, an enemy.

All that is why AMERICA NEVER GOES ANYWHERE. No real criticism is allowed or permitted. By American culture. To the American mind. It simply can’t be done. I know Americans think it can be, but examine what pundits say closely, and they will never say “Americans are...” They will always hedge and excuse and justify. So of course Americans never have to confront the idea that they are not perfect.

Being able to talk about your flaws and imprefections is what an adult relationship is. Without it, we can’t ever really care for anyone, beginning with ourselves. That never holds truer than for a country. It’s not mean or nasty or insulting to say things like “capitalism implodes into fascism” or “Americans don’t get how badly capitalism ruined them” or “Capitalism made Americans selfish, cruel, ignorant, and hateful.” Those are just facts. And stating those facts is also the only real way anyone can help America right now. Because without a little bit more awareness of such simple truths - which the whole world recognizes - America can HARDLY GO ANYWHERE except around and around in a widening spiral of violent and foolish self-destruction.

A nation in this much distress, though, can’t quite face them, like an addict in the throes of trauma can hardly kick the habit. Where does that leave America? I dont know, my friend. You tell me. All I know is: you can’t talk to Americans about the things they need to understand most.

SOURCE

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U.S. Approaching Fascism? - Economic Update with Richard Wolff

By Richard Wolff
Democracy At Work Youtube Channel
February 15, 2022

Capitalism was content with and satisfied with what we are familiar with as parliamentary democratic government. Elections every year, people elected to one or two house legislature like our Congress and going about the normal business of running a capitalist society. The capitalism that was normally perfectly happy with conventional representative electoral democracy was falling apart. The capitalism was producing such suffering, such anger, such bitterness among the mass of people that there was a developing, anti-capitalist movement. And this scared the capitalist class, and when that happens, there’s a strong push - doesn’t always succeed but a strong push - to push aside representative democracy, all of that, and have the iron heel, the iron fist. Change the government from that game to one where its job is to control the society [and] repress every critic of capitalism you can find. So, don’t be surprised if you hear the American version of all of this. Here’s how it works. Mr. Trump and the people around him are saying, “Well, we have to exalt the nation.” Mussolini promised to make Italy great again. Hitler promised to make Germany great again.  Franco promised to make Spain great again. Hint: Mr. Trump promises to make [America great] again.  And he declares who’s not really quite part of the nation. That’s people who aren’t white. You don’t have to be too subtle to get the parallels here. But now, let’s look at the opposition to Mr. Trump because there’s a lesson there too. 

When the folks around Mr. Biden tell us that they are protecting democracy by focusing, for example, on the January 6 activities of the Trump people around the capitol in Washington, yeah, yeah. I know what they mean. They want the elections to go on, but if you look at it historically, what you’re really getting is a demand for how things were before. It’s a demand of people who don’t want to see or face that capitalism is in deep trouble, and if something isn’t done about that, the turn towards fascism will only accumulate more steam, more support, more momentum.

Against Mussolini, there were Italians who wanted to protect parliamentary democracy in Italy. They lost. Against Hitler, there were all kinds of liberal Germans who wanted to protect their parliamentary democracy. They lost. The same thing: the government in Spain wanted to continue to be a representative electorate, and they were destroyed. 

This is a problem. The problem is the debate about protecting democracy versus protecting the nation, the racial soul, the aryan whatever it be… These are disguises for two alternative ways of protecting capitalism. But because they can’t say that, and because they can’t really face it, they can’t deal with it either. So, the problem keeps getting worse. That’s why Americans rightly have the sense that the underlying difficulties keep getting worse. 

Our job situation, our income situation, the fact that the shelves in our supermarkets can’t be maintained: these are all signs of a system that isn’t working, and Americans know it. Trump promised everything - delivered very little.  The gap between rich and poor got much worse under Trump. It is GETTING WORSE under Biden.  They’re not dealing with the underlying problems, and those are at root what is shaking this system to the foundation. Glorifying the nation and using that to come down: will that happen in the United States? It certainly may. 

It certainly may. That is the historical pattern.  We are not exempt from that. Why would you imagine that American capitalists, also confronted by a system that is not only breaking down but is generating a greater degree of questioning and opposition to capitalism than we’ve seen in this country since when since the 1930s (and what was that period? Gee, that was the breakdown of capitalism that likewise generated a powerful anti-capitalist thrust in American society). So, we are at a crossroads in our society. Fascism is one “solution” that the capitalists may opt for, and the real political question is whether an opposition to that solution is possible. Saying we want to protect democracy, go back to the way things were - I frankly don’t think that’s an available option. And that means, maybe the time has come when the left has to be able to say, “We really do want, not to save capitalism, but to go to a new different and better system.” Because saving capitalism has had this hundred year history from the March on Rome, fascist solution to the present moment when we face something so very similar.

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Posted by Elvis on 02/15/22 •
Section Dying America
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Friday, February 11, 2022

Rise of the Temp Workers Part 13 - How the Economy Got Restructured to Screw Workers

image: goig economy

Globalism is a plot against American workers (and all workers), just as neoconservatism is a plot against all Americans.
- Controlling the Planned Collapse, 2007

The destruction of labor has been so comprehensive that first-world nations now offshore their jobs to the U.S. In other words, WE’VE BECOME THE NEW INDIA.  Foreign companies now see us as the world’s cheap labor force.
- America Resembles A Banana Republic, 2013

There exists a common theme amidst these signs of societal decay: The super-rich keep taking from the middle class as the middle class becomes a massive lower class. Yet the myth persists that we should all look up with admiration at the “self-made” takers who are ripping our society apart.
- Signs of a Dying Society, Paul Buchheit, 2015

[L]ivery car driver Douglas Schifter killed himself outside the gates of City Hall, after writing in a suicide note posted to Facebook, “I will not be a slave working for chump change. I would rather be dead.”
- Democracy Now, March 22, 2018

The structure of the labour market has fundamentally changed, and what we used to think of as unemployment has been replaced by mass part-time work, much of it unwanted.
- Business Insider, December 2019

Corporate chieftains (backed by the economists and politicians they purchase) are creating what they call a workforce of non-employees for one reason: Greed. It directly transfers more money and power from workaday families into the coffers of moneyed elites.
- Rise Of The Temp Workers Part 9 - The Gig Economy, 2016

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How the Economy Got Restructured to Screw Workers
Why should capital bother to enslave labor when it can eliminate it instead?

By Timothy Noah
New Republic
February 7, 2022

A lot of people think the gig economy is what ails the labor market, but that isnt quite right. Granted, there’s ample potential for corporations to abuse workers by misclassifying them as independent contractors. It’s pretty easy. You congratulate your plucky recruits for their entrepreneurship and then you pay them less than the minimum wage (and no benefits). I explained how that works in my last piece: REPUBLICANS ARE TTACKING A BIDEN NOMINEE OVER HIS STANCE ON THE GIG ECONOMY. But as best anyone can tell, the proportion of the workforce that consists of independent contractors (6.9 PRCENT) is smaller than it was in 2005 (7.4 percent). That was four years before UBER’S founding.

WHAT MOST OFTEN AILS THE LABOR MARKET is the typical corporation’s off-loading of lower-wage workers (and therefore any responsibility to treat them properly) onto another, usually smaller company. That frees both businesses to concentrate on core strengths. For the corporation, that’s producing Product X or Service X.  For the subcontractor or franchisee, that’s skirting Labor Law Y or Labor Law Z.

The janitors who clean your office at night? Fifty years ago, they’d almost certainly have worked for the same company as you did. Today they almost certainly do not. Either they work for a subcontractor or they work for a franchisee for one of the big janitorial franchise outfits like CLEANNET USAand COVERALL.

David Weil, an economist and dean at Brandeis’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management and the subject of my previous two dispatches, would say that janitors have been fissured. “Fissured” is a geological term to describe the spread of narrow cracks inside a rock. (Weil’s wife is a geologist.) The modernpday workforce can be thought of as a giant boulder webbed with ever-widening fissures. Janitors and hotel clerks and, increasingly, people higher up the food chain - even human resources workers! - have systematically gotten separated financially from the companies where they work. THEY MAY STILL WEAR THE UNIFORM, but the company name on it no longer matches the company name on their PAYCHECKS.

Weil explains all this in his 2014 book, FISSURED WORKPLACE: WHY WORK BECAME SO BAD FOR SO MANY AND WHAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE IT. I can’t name a more important volume published about the economy during the past decade; it’s a kind of update to John Kenneth Galbraith’s THE NEW INDUSTRIAL STATE (1967). Like that book, Weil’s is an eye-opening guide to the ecology of ECONOMIC ARRANGEMENTS. It isn’t as witty as Galbraith- Weil is no prose master - but then again the story Weil tells is a lot gloomier. You really should read The Fissured Workplace, but if you’re impatient for a quick-and-dirty summary, TRY THIS.

Weil is President Joe Biden’s nominee to be administrator of the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, a job he previously held under President Barack Obama. The business lobby is trying to block Weil’s Senate confirmation, and it may succeed; Senator Joe Manchin isn’t keen on him. That would be a significant setback for Democrats. But Weil’s ideas about how to enforce decades-old labor protections in the fissured workforce will likely drive Biden’s labor policy whether Weil’s confirmed or not.

The Fissured Workplace describes with admirable clarity capital’s disentanglement, over the past few decades, from labor. In the modern economy, capital no longer wants to make labor its slave, as Karl Marx would frame it. It wants to get rid of labor altogether. Since automation can’t yet achieve that to any satisfactory degree, the job of siphoning away workers falls to the aforementioned temp firms, franchisees, and other suppliers of contingent labor, few of which you’ve likely heard of.

But wait, you protest. We have a labor shortage! Doesn’t that contradict Weil’s thesis? Isn’t capital desperate for labor these days?

Yes. But the reason capital is desperate for labor - under unique circumstances created by a global pandemic - is that the fissuring workforce weakened whatever links in the chain connected corporations to workers. Covid-19 broke them, and the labor shortage that resulted created a temporary increase in the price of hiring someone new.

But don’t let’s kid ourselves. Capital still holds the whip hand. As The New York Times Noam Schreiber reported February 1, “There is little evidence that service workers are winning any meaningful, long-term gains.” Wages are up, but they aren’t keeping pace with inflation. Union membership is declining. Even as the omicron virus raged in January, the workforce grew by nearly half a million people. And economic growth during the last quarter of 2021 was nothing short of astonishing.

In this booming economy, the problem of involuntary part-time work remains every bit as bad as it was before Covid, and at restaurants and hotels, its slightly worse. Last-minute scheduling of hours, which plays havoc with family responsibilities, is no less prevalent. Neither is outsourcing. Gig work, despite its long-term decline, saw an uptick during the pandemic, preliminary data suggest. ThatҒs what youd expect after the unemployment surge we saw in the spring of 2020.

When Weil was ObamaҒs Wage and Hour administrator, he wrote a guidance documentaddressing how to enforce labor laws when workers are, at least on paper, employed by a company other than the one that they actually work for. The chief tool is a concept called joint employment.Ӕ If the government can demonstrate that the employee of one company is controlled to a meaningful degree by another company, then it can hold both companies legally accountable for any wage theft or other labor violations that occur.

Obama’s National Labor Relations Board was extremely successful in assigning joint-employer liability to McDonalds. McDonalds is a corporation that can feed 25 million customers per day with a payroll of only 200,000. This latter-day miracle is made possible by an additional two million burger-flippers employed by franchisees. The NLRB made a persuasive case that the Chicago-based corporation exerted sufficient control over these franchisees’ employees to be on the hook for their labor violations, which were many. That prompted McDonalds to settle the case. Unfortunately, by the time that happened, Donald Trump was president, and his NLRB was eager to put the matter behind it. As a consequence, the settlement was for a mere $170,000, a price that wouldn’t buy a decent one-bedroom condominium in Chicago.

Franchising, I have explained elsewhere, is a bit of a racket. A corporation absolves itself, in writing, of all responsibility for its franchisees workers. Then that same contract exerts so much control over every other aspect of the franchisee’s business that it becomes extremely difficult for the franchisee to eke out any profit at all without squeezing workers, often illegally. The franchiser doesn’t especially care whether or how the franchisee clears a profit because it takes its money off the top.

In the McDonald’s case, the NLRB was able to demonstrate that corporate headquarters was giving the lie to its written claim of noninvolvement with its franchisees employees by, for instance, tracking how fast Employee A filled an order as compared to Employee B. (For additional examples of ways McDonalds kept its eye on franchise workers, according to lawsuits filed by McDonalds franchise employees in 2014, click here.) The degree of control a franchiser exerts over its franchisees varies from company to company, and some franchisees have found a way to make franchising profitable (usually by scaling up). But in many cases the arrangement amounts to latter-day sharecropping. Friends don’t let friends put their life savings into sucker franchise ventures.

The NLRB’s joint-employment case against McDonald’s was brought under the National Labor Relations Act (1935), which defines employment somewhat narrowly. While the NLRB case was moving forward under Obama, Weil observed that it was much, much easier to make a joint-employer case under two other statutes: the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (1983). He then shared that observation in his 2016 guidance documenton joint employment.

Weil concluded his guidance by writing that, going forward, the Wage and Hour Division would “consider the possibility of joint employment to ensure that all responsible employers are aware of their obligations.” Weil didn’t say he was going to bulldoze the franchise model out of the modern economy. In fact, he didn’t mention franchising at all. (Subcontractors tend to be worse offenders.) But that’s how the business lobby took it. It persuaded Trump’s Labor Department to withdraw the document, along with Weil’s 2015 guidance documentabout gig work.

Now Biden has withdrawn the Trump Labor Department’s withdrawals of both directives. Going forward, the Labor Department will almost certainly follow Weil’s roadmap for enforcing labor laws written nearly a century ago. It would be better to have Weil lead this effort, because he understands the fissured workplace better than anyone else. But if Weil doesn’t do this job, someone else will. You can expect Biden’s Labor Department to continue to police labor violations in this fashion for at least two years more - even if Republicans win congressional majorities in November.

We have laws in this country about how much you have to pay people, and how many hours you can work them before you have to pay time and a half, and whether they can join a union or engage in less formal “concerted activity” concerning working conditions, and a variety of other matters, too. Enforcement of these laws has for many years been a joke. Replacing them with more up-do-date laws would be the best path, but that isn’t going to happen until the Democrats secure a bigger majority in Congress and rekindle their New Deal-era commitment to solving the problems of working people. Meanwhile, the Labor Department is hiring 100 new investigators to police wage and hour violations. That’s a good step. Getting Weil confirmed would be another one.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 02/11/22 •
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Thursday, February 10, 2022

Self Sabotage

image: bravest thing

3 Ways People Weaponize the Term ‘Self-Sabotage’

By Amelia Reese
The Mighty
May 3, 2021

Self-sabotage was a term I heard frequently at the beginning of my mental health journey. I heard it from health care professionals, family and anyone who felt the need to weigh in on my struggles.

I learned early on that the term “self-sabotage” was being used by some as an insult, a judgment. It was used to describe a deliberate act. An act that was completely under your control. An act that you chose to inflict upon yourself. It was used to describe a character flaw, a defect, but still intentional. I don’t agree with this definition of self-sabotage. I believe that self-sabotage is generally unintentional and a subconscious act. However, this is the definition that was being used in my experience.

I have heard the term “self-sabotage” used incorrectly so many times I still cringe when I hear it. I refuse to use that phrase myself because of the negative connotations associated with it. The things that used to fall under the category of self-sabotage infuriated me. They still do. These are some of the situations that were deemed self-sabotage that aren’t.

1. Relapsing is not self-sabotage.

Every time my depression, anxiety or any other mental health condition flared up, I was accused of self-sabotage. It was my deliberate attempt to destroy all the progress I had made. It should really go without saying that this is not self-sabotage! Relapsing or having ғflare-ups is not self-sabotage. It’s to be expected in many cases. It is not shameful. It is not deliberate. It is not a character flaw. It is not, as my mother used to say, “cutting your nose off to spite your face.”

2. Quitting your job or study due to your mental or physical health is not self-sabotage.

Over the years, I’ve had to quit study and work. I didn’t want to. I loved both. I couldn’t work and survive. I couldn’t study and survive. Again, I was accused of self-sabotage. I quit work and study to prevent myself from “getting ahead in life.” My aunty told me, “if you were a horse, they would take you out and shoot you.”

Sometimes quitting work or study is an act of SELF-CARE or self-preservation. Sometimes, it is essential due to our health. Many times, it’s the hardest decision we;ve ever had to make. It’s a decision we grieve over. We’ve lost something. To many of us, work or study is part of our identity. It’s part of our future. To lose that can be one of our biggest losses in life. It is not self-sabotage. It is not a deliberate act to bring ourselves down to possibly one of our lowest points. It is not a character flaw.

3. Changing your mind is not self-sabotage.

Everyone is entitled to change their mind at any time and for any reason. However, if you have a mental or physical health condition of any kind, this rule doesn’t seem to apply.

Every time I changed my mind about something, even something as simple as whether or not I wanted to go out, I was accused of self-sabotage. I should be going out. I should be socializing with people and by not doing these things, I was self-sabotaging.

Sometimes, staying in is self-care. Maybe I decided I didn’t want to get involved with a certain group of people or a certain activity. Maybe I needed to recharge my batteries. Maybe I just felt like changing my mind.

Just because you have a mental or physical health condition doesn’t mean you are constantly on a mission to self-sabotage. Situations or circumstances will sometimes go wrong in life. You might make a bad decision. You may do something you regret. This makes you like 100% of the population. It doesn’t mean you’re on a mission to destroy your life. I generally steer clear of any phrase like “self-sabotage” because of the tendency of others to weaponize them and use them to their advantage. Regardless of health status, we are human and we will do human things, like make mistakes, change our minds or fall down. We don’t need catchphrases to describe these human experiences just because of our health conditions.

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Posted by Elvis on 02/10/22 •
Section Spiritual Diversions
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Democracy Hollowed Out Part 42 - Domestic Terrorists

image: truth doesnt mind being questioned

DHS Suggests Those Who Spread ‘Misleading Narratives’ That Undermine Trust in US Government are Terrorists

By Matt Agorist
Free Though Project
February 9, 2022

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Monday ISSUED A BULLETIN warning of a heightened terrorism alert in the United States. One of the “key factors” for the heightened threat, which the DHS considers terrorism, is “the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions.”

Naturally, this has many folks concerned, especially considering the examples cited in the bulletin which include “false or misleading narratives” about “unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19.”

While parts of the memo cite calls for violence and attacks by foreign terrorist organizations - which are actual terror threats - as cause for concern, the idea that the governments definition of misinformation could potentially earn you the label of “terrorist,” is shocking.

The bulletin is titled, SUMMARY OF TERRORISM THREAT TO THE U.S. HOMELAND and reads as follows:

The United States remains in a heightened threat environment fueled by several factors, including an online environment filled with false or misleading narratives and conspiracy theories, and other forms of MIS- DIS- AND MAL-INFORMATION (MDM) introduced and/or amplified by foreign and domestic threat actors.

These threat actors seek to exacerbate societal friction to sow discord and undermine public trust in government institutions to encourage unrest, which could potentially inspire acts of violence.

Mass casualty attacks and other acts of targeted violence conducted by lone offenders and small groups acting in furtherance of ideological beliefs and/or personal grievances pose an ongoing threat to the nation.

While the conditions underlying the heightened threat landscape have not significantly changed over the last year, the convergence of the following factors has increased the volatility, unpredictability, and complexity of the threat environment:

(1) the proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions;

(2) continued calls for violence directed at U.S. critical infrastructure; soft targets and mass gatherings; faith-based institutions, such as churches, synagogues, and mosques; institutions of higher education; racial and religious minorities; government facilities and personnel, including law enforcement and the military; the media; and perceived ideological opponents; and

(3) calls by foreign terrorist organizations for attacks on the United States based on recent events.

It is the job of a true journalist to undermine trust in the government and given the shifting goal posts on what is defined as “misinformation” over just the last two years, literally anyone could find themselves subject to this definition. To hammer their point home, DHS specifically calls out misinformation on COVID-19.

Key factors contributing to the current heightened threat environment include:

The proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions:

For example, there is widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19.

Remember in 2020, when any talk of a potential LAB LEAK THEORY was considered “misinformation”? By this definition, everyone who talked about the lab leak theory was a potential terrorist.

Doctors like ROBERT MALONE and Peter McCullough, who challenge the vaccination mandate, are now, according to this bulletin, terrorists. Given the fact that the GOVERNMENT IS URGING Spotify to censor Joe Rogan for “misinformation,” according to this bulletin, Rogan is also a terrorist. Their information and discussions on Covid-19 have certainly sown discord and undermined public trust - and rightfully so - but does this make them a terror threat?

Obviously, it does not. The ONLY PEOPLE who would be threatened by healthy, science-based skepticism as espoused by doctors like these two, are tyrants who wish to control the narrative.

Given the extremely broad definition of what the government considers ‘misinformation,’ this bulletin is one of the most worrisome documents to come from the feds in recent history. Whats more, the mere act of releasing such a document, actually ‘undermines public trust in U.S. government institutions’ by threatening those who would dare question the status quo.

Make no mistake, this is a move to criminalize free speech by allowing the executive to declare anyone who disagrees with their dictates, a terrorist. With declarations like this, the government doesn’t need terrorist organizations to “sow discord” - they are doing it themselves.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 02/10/22 •
Section Dying America
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