Tag Archives: NATO

UK brinkmanship may turn the world into a radioactive cinder

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace: he even looks shifty, doesn’t he?

Why is the UK’s Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, so popular among Tory voters? If he has his way, he’ll turn the world into a radioactive cinder!

Wallace has been making a big show of defiance against Vladimir Putin, saying that the threats of nuclear attack from Russia are worthless because he is outnumbered and outgunned by Nato.

But that won’t help if Putin actually launches a nuclear strike. There is no defence against such an attack.

Wallace reckons that Britain’s nuclear weapon-armed submarines are “deep underwater, hiding, waiting, in case Britain needs to be protected”.

But they’ll only be asked to decide whether to launch their missiles – and even then, only if the United States approves of it – after an enemy (possibly Russia) launches a nuclear attack against the UK.

By then, it will be too late for all of us. We’ll either be dead as a result of bombing, or we’ll die soon after from radiation poisoning, and that’s not a pleasant way to go.

There is only one effective way to use nuclear weapons, and that is not to use them at all.

Wallace is wrong to rattle the sabre at Putin because he is taunting a man who appears willing to go nuclear despite the consequences – which are that his entire country will become a radioactive hell very soon afterwards.

The simple fact is that the UK doesn’t have to broadcast that it is helping Ukraine.

Our government is entirely capable of arming Ukrainian forces to the hilt without ever letting Russia know how its enemy received the weapons.

Shouting about how we can poison Russia as badly as it can poison us does not help anybody.

By doing so, Wallace is attacking his own fellow citizens more than anybody in Russia.

Source: UK warns Putin that he will be ‘outgunned and outnumbered’ after frightening nuclear hint

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Now you can put Boris Johnson in any situation – even a party if you like

He’s so lonely: Boris Johnson was snubbed by world leaders at Nato and now he’s a greenscreen scream.

Kudos to the genius who took footage of Boris Johnson looking uncomfortable as he stood, ignored by other guests at a Nato summit, waiting to be officially greeted.

The original material went viral last week, although it was pointed out that the images were out-of-context as an extended version did show other attendees meeting him.

But now YOU can help Boris Johnson meet… well, anybody you like, courtesy of comedian Matthew Highton:

Some folks have already had a go:

But these are just a few of the masterpieces we’ve seen so far.

If you’ve got the capability, why not try making one yourself?

 

Source: The ‘lonely Boris Johnson’ greenscreen meme might be the funniest thing you’ll see today

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Russians rise to condemn #Ukraine war; #KeirStarmer puts down Labour MPs who do the same

Keir Starmer: Putin down his people (sorry – I couldn’t resist the pun).

People across Russia who have stood up in protest against their country’s invasion of Ukraine are winning praise from politicians in the UK and across the world.

What a stark contrast with the reaction of – for example – UK Labour leader Keir Starmer, who has forced 11 of his MPs to withdraw their protest against the war under threat of losing the party whip!

Here is video evidence of some of the protests in Russia, as citizens there exercised their right to free speech:

All of these protests if they took place in the UK, would soon be illegal under the Tory government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts legislation that is currently working its way through Parliament.

And it seems Labour’s current leadership tacitly supports such suppression; here’s how Starmer reacted to his MPs’ exercise of their right to free speech:

Yes, it seems he demanded that they withdraw their signatures from a statement by the Stop the War Coalition, condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The statement itself is straightforward:

“This dispute could and should be resolved peacefully, and that remains the only basis for a lasting settlement, rather than the imposition of military solutions. That it has not been resolved is not, however, the responsibility of the Russian or Ukrainian governments alone.

“The conflict is the product of thirty years of failed policies, including the expansion of NATO and US hegemony at the expense of other countries as well as major wars of aggression by the USA, Britain and other NATO powers which have undermined international law and the United Nations.

“The British government has played a provocative role in the present crisis, talking up war, decrying diplomacy as appeasement and escalating arms supplies and military deployments to Eastern Europe.

“If there is to be a return to diplomacy, as there should be, the British government should pledge to oppose any further eastward expansion of NATO and should encourage a return to the Minsk-2 agreement, already signed by both sides, by all parties as a basis for ending the crisis in relations between Ukraine and Russia.

“Beyond that, there now needs to be a unified effort to develop pan-European security arrangements which meet the needs of all states, something that should have been done when the Warsaw Pact was wound up at the end of the Cold War. The alternative is endless great power conflict with all the attendant waste of resources and danger of bloodshed and destruction.

“We send our solidarity to all those campaigning for an end to the war, often under very difficult conditions, in Russia and Ukraine. Stop the War can best support them by demanding a change in Britain’s own policy, which can be seen to have failed.”

Stop the War expanded on this in a message to followers:

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine overnight is a massive escalation in the conflict there. Stop the War is calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops and for an immediate ceasefire. Our statement is here and our resolution for union branches/CLPs here.

“The danger of war involving nuclear weapons is more real than previously and must be opposed. The real losers will be the ordinary people of Ukraine, Russia, and the rest of Europe.

“We should, however, take no lessons in peacemaking from our own government and its allies. They have brought us decades of escalating wars, each of which has been a failure. They have encouraged a growing arms race internationally. And they have set on a path of Nato expansion which has brought the military alliance to the borders of Russia, in contravention of agreements made at the end of the Cold War.

“Nato is not a defensive alliance but an aggressive one, centrally involved in wars in Afghanistan, Libya and Yugoslavia, and engaged in more and more ‘out of area operations’ including in the Indo-Pacific.

“Our government wants to hide its domestic problems behind its belligerent statements, and we can be certain that this will continue, at the same time that it will provide unlimited money for war but increase student loan repayments and cut the NHS.

“There is a surge or argument in favour of greater sanctions, including from those who purport to be anti war. But sanctions are not an alternative to war – they are economic warfare and therefore a prelude to war. We have seen this in Iraq where all they did was bring war closer, at the same time as bringing real suffering to the people of Iraq.

“As an anti-war and peace movement, our first priority is to stop war. This conflict has not developed in the last few weeks alone, but reflects a society where war is being turned to increasingly to solve other problems. However, we are also aware that this is a different situation from previous wars where our government has been directly involved in military action, and we need to do as much as we can to explain and discuss the issues with those around us.

“We are asking our members, supporters, groups and affiliates to do the following:

  1. Make sure our statement and resolution are disseminated as widely as possible.
  2.  Do everything to publicise and support our international meeting on Saturday 26th February and our in person rally on Wednesday 2nd March in Conway Hall, London.
  3. Hold urgent meetings in all localities – in person where possible – calling for withdrawal of Russian troops, ceasefire now and against Nato expansion.
  4. Attend the demos and actions in support of the NHS with placards linking cuts in public spending with money for war- you can download and print our new placard design from our website.
  5. Prepare for a day of action (tba) where we hold protests and vigils against the war.

“Please contact the office for materials and more information, and for speakers.

“Due to the high volume of traffic we are currently experiencing, we apologise for any difficulties you may encounter whilst trying to access our website today; please keep refreshing or try again later.”

This Writer leans toward the belief that Starmer – who only recently and loudly announced his support for Nato as Labour’s current policy (not that it ever changed from that) – has been incensed by the support of opposition to the organisation by Labour backbenchers.

So he did what bullies do – he threatened them with reprisals.

And to their shame, they caved in:

At a time of blatant hypocrisy by many western leaders, this is extraordinary – for reasons that seem clear:

And he drew comparisons between himself and Russian president Vladimir Putin in an ironic but entirely appropriate unintended consequence:

Damo expands on this in a well-argued ‘rant’ that critics of the Stop the War 11 should consider with care:

And what of Starmer himself? Having signalled a direction of travel, will he follow it through?

And how will this play out in the United Kingdom at large?

Well, with a by-election set to take place in Erdington, Birmingham on March 3, we shouldn’t have long to wait. And people are already making their wishes clear:

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#Nato’s #JensStoltenberg is WRONG: #Russia’s attack on #Ukraine was NOT ‘unprovoked’

Stoltenberg: the Nato Secretary General said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was ‘unprovoked’ – after Nato spent months provoking Russia.

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg has given a press conference in which he has said Russia’s attack on Ukraine was “unprovoked”. This is simply untrue.

Nato itself has provoked aggression between Russia and Ukraine by trying to expand into that country – putting Western troops on Russia’s border.

Boris Johnson and his UK Tory government have provoked it by their insistent jingoism and sabre-rattling, refusing to acknowledge any of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s grievances and screaming their own aggression at him instead.

And US President Joe Biden has provoked it by doing the same.

The sane response, when Russia complained about Nato expansion, would have been to step back, acknowledge that fear, and hold talks on how all parties could come to a mutually-acceptable agreement – but Nato and the West didn’t do that.

Instead, they told Mr Putin that they were going to do whatever the hell they wanted, whether he liked it or not.

They can hardly complain at his decision to do the same.

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#Ukraine: #BorisJohnson wanted a #war; now he’s got it. What is he going to do?

Pointing the finger: Vladimir Putin is blaming Ukraine, Nato and the west for backing him into a corner from which he considers his only option to be invading Ukraine. It’s a point well-made.

The unthinkable has happened, then.

Faced with Western determination to put Nato troops on Ukraine’s border with Russia – in territory that is currently disputed, with three regions trying to break away  – Vladimir Putin has launched an invasion.

Clearly Boris Johnson’s sanctions have caused the Russian president no concern at all. In fact, the measures against a tiny number of Russian banks and billionaires have given the so-called oligarchs who have donated to Johnson’s Conservatives a chance to withdraw their cash, making the UK more vulnerable to attack from Russia, if any response to the invasion is made.

And Russia has stated that it will respond instantly if any other nation tries to interfere.

The UK is absolutely unprepared for such a response. Johnson and Tory governments preceding him have reduced our conventional military capability to a fraction of what it once was. He can’t send troops to Ukraine and expect to win.

If Johnson takes the nuclear option, it’s the end for all of us. He is stupid enough to do it (if Joe Biden lets him, and I have no doubt that Biden would authorise it if his military-industrial backers told him to).

Johnson has said Putin has taken a path of “bloodshed and destruction”, saying it is a “catastrophe for our continent” – and he’s not wrong in that. But has he stopped for a moment to consider the effect of his own jingoism, sabre-rattling and provocation?

Putin made it clear that he feared encirclement by Nato forces and Johnson, Biden and Nato ignored those fears, claiming that Putin was the aggressor.

As a result, Putin can say that he was forced into this invasion in order to defend the people of his country.

To provide a comparison with nature, when you’ve backed a wild animal into a corner and it is baring its fangs at you, you don’t scream at it. It will have no choice but to attack you.

Don’t get me wrong. Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine is unacceptable. But he is absolutely not the only one to blame for it.

Here in the UK, we have leaders who are not only corrupt and criminal; they are also stupid.

They will be delighted to risk millions of deaths across Europe and in this country, simply to take attention away from themselves.

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There’s no call for war in #Ukraine but Johnson and Truss are not helping

Who is this clown? You can almost see that question written across Vladimir Putin’s face as Boris Johnson rambles.

If the Ukraine crisis is to be ended, Boris Johnson won’t have anything to do with it.

Both he and US President Joe Biden – and all their lieutenants – seem determined to ramp up the aggression until it breaks out into open war, and never mind how many people die in the process or how much damage is caused.

They are the aggressors here. How many news reports on this crisis mention US deployment in Europe of new nuclear-capable, medium-range missiles? Biden says he’s willing to limit this Cold War-style escalation of hostilities – but only, unrealistically, if Russia withdraws from Ukraine’s borders first.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been massing troops on the Ukrainian border because he reckons a plan for that country to join Nato represents a threat to his nation’s security – and he has a point.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, agreements were made to ensure that Nato would not be expanded to put that bloc’s troops on the border of Russia – and this would break that.

The only person looking for peace appears to be French President Emmanuel Macron, who sketched out a possible deal in face-to-face talks last week – proposing neutrality for Ukraine.

His solution leans toward supporting Putin’s demand for “indivisible security” – meaning one state’s security does not undermine another’s.

And it acknowledges that US-led Nato doesn’t even want Ukraine to join.

But Boris Johnson is trying to undermine Macron at every turn. Officials and government sources have accused Macron of betraying Nato, rewarding aggression, electioneering, and “waving a white flag”.

Johnson’s policy is to shout at Putin to back off. Or what? Years of Tory underfunding and depletion means the UK’s armed forces don’t even figure in Moscow’s plans.

It has been suggested that Johnson wants a war because he thinks it will boost his popularity, as the Falklands War did for Margaret Thatcher in 1982. But he isn’t Thatcher; he’s a small-minded, unimaginative crook.

After Foreign Secretary Liz Truss visited Moscow to issue a series of vacuous threats, her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov laughed at her spouted “slogans”.

She had said said the UK supports Ukraine’s right to “self-determination”, did not accept that “improving the security of one country harms the security of another”, threatened “harsh sanctions” if Russia invades Ukraine and demanded an end to “brazen aggression”.

She was said to have left Lavrov in no doubt as to the UK’s position.

In response, Lavrov described the UK’s position as “nothing secret, no trust. Just slogans shouted from the tribunes.”

It’s a murky situation – as any foreign crisis involving Russia inevitably becomes.

But while that country’s ultimate intentions are unclear, it is obvious that Macron is the good guy while Biden, Johnson and Truss are the villains.

If war happens, it will be because the UK and US governments are demanding it.

Source: As Europe pushes for peace, clueless Johnson snipes from the sidelines

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NATO and the Economic Exploitation of Eastern Europe – Beastrabban\’s Weblog (and Russell Brand)

NATO expands: On the left, the situation in 1990; on the right, the scene in 2009 - NATO expanded right up to Russia's borders.

NATO expands: On the left, the situation in 1990; on the right, the scene in 2009 – NATO expanded right up to Russia’s borders.

Isn’t it interesting, how concepts coincide?

Only last night I read, in Russell Brand’s Revolution: “When Mikhail Gorbachev, who it turns out was a lovely fella who bent over backwards to prevent nuclear war and deserved to be remembered for more than that birthmark on his head, allowed a unified Germany to enter NATO, a hostile military alliance, on the condition that ‘NATO would not expand one inch to the east,’ the US agreed. Then they expanded right into East Germany, likely giggling as they went. This dunderheaded truculence persisted under every US regime change… Clinton in his tenure expanded NATO right up to Russia’s borders. Chomsky says all this aggro we’re having today in the Crimea and Ukraine is because of these unreported acts of military expansionism by the West.”

Now here’s the Beast: “I … found this little piece in ‘The View from the Bridge’ column in Lobster 45, reproducing statements from elsewhere that NATO was being used to exploit the former eastern bloc countries that have joined it after the fall of Communism. Although over a decade old [bolding mine], it’s relevant now as we are in period of diplomatic tension with Russia over the civil war in Ukraine. This has been presented as a case of pro-Western Ukrainian patriots attempting to free themselves from Russian domination. The reality is somewhat murkier, as the pro-Western side themselves were guilty of considerable corruption. It also includes open Neo-Nazis.”

The stories quoted are about NATO bullying eastern European countries into selling off their national economic assets to foreigners and spending huge amounts of money on US-manufactured military hardware, under threat of losing a place in NATO military committees and command structures.

The Beast writes: “This makes you really wonder what the reality behind the ousting of President Yanukovych in Ukraine really was, and who was supposed to benefit: the Ukrainian people, or Western multinationals.”

And now Greece is rolling back the privatisation programme imposed by the West, against hugely unreasonable – yet mounting – opposition from the Troika and Western right-wingers.

The UK, it seems, is on the side of NATO, and – as long as we have a right-wing government – the privateers. This leads to a very worrying question:

When did we become the bad guys?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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