Robert Scheer SI Podcast SI: War & Peace

Patrick Cockburn: Will the Ukraine War End Without Destroying All Life on the Planet?

Veteran award-winning journalists Patrick Cockburn and Robert Scheer, who met in Moscow in 1987 when Mikhail Gorbachev optimistically promised peace, now fear a descent into nuclear war hell.
Will the Ukraine war end without destroying all life on the planet?
Will the Ukraine war end without destroying all life on the planet? [Pixabay]

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Patrick Cockburn who reported for the Financial Times and The Independent from the Middle East and other war zones for decades and now writes for Britain’s i News, joins Robert Scheer on this week’s “Scheer Intelligence” to discuss what could come next in this conflict and how far down the nuclear rabbit hole we really are.

In 1987, the prospects for peace were promising when Gorbachev joined Ronald Reagan in committing to a sharp reversal of hostile relations between the US and the Soviet Union following the precedent set by Cold Warrior Richard Nixon a decade earlier in suddenly negotiating peace with Mao’s China. Today, after steadily worsening US relations with post-Communist Russian leader Vladimir Putin, we face the likelihood of a disastrously ever widening war and the tangible threat of a nuclear holocaust. 

Cockburn, whose  most recent book, “War in the Age of Trump,” put events in the Middle East into the context of what he witnessed in the post-September 11 Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya offers fresh analysis of the war in Ukraine from the vantage point of a former war correspondent. He argues  thatfrom the beginning, it’s been a bizarre conflict, perhaps unlike any other, and that it’s likely that Putin  did not expect Russia’s invasion to go as it has. Regardless of expectations on either side of the conflict, what’s clear to Cockburn and Scheer is that nuclear war becomes more likely with every minute the violence continues. Even though this threat is more real than ever before, including at the height of the Cold War, Cockburn argues that there seems to be less fear and awareness about it than previously. 

As Cockburn and Scheer discuss different ways the conflict may end, Scheer presses his guest to consider the motivations behind American investment in the conflict. Ultimately, the British journalist warns against the liberal hope that Putin is deposed, bringing about the Russian “regime change” US President Joe Biden accidentally let slip as an objective, and that his ouster would somehow lead to a more liberal Russia. 

On the contrary, the journalists agree, it is highly likely that whoever takes over from the current leader may in fact be more aggressively nationalistic than Putin. Listen to the full conversation between Cockburn and Scheer as the two discuss how other countries see American saber-rattling attempts to establish itself once more as the dominant world power, and what effect this has on the ground in Ukraine, where citizens seem to be cannon fodder for the world’s superpowers. 



Robert Scheer


Joshua Scheer


Robert Scheer (00:20):

Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence, where the intelligence comes from my guest. In this case, arguably one of the most intelligent of foreign correspondents, international reporter, Patrick Cockburn, a legendary journalist for The Independent. And now, the iNews publication based in London. But I watched him work in the field, and close to our subject today about Vladimir Putin and the war in Ukraine. And where is this headed now? We were in Moscow and I watched him work when Gorbachev was in power and trying to institute perestroika and glasnost, accuracy, truth, whatever.

Robert Scheer (01:07):

And so, let us, kind of give me the broad picture of how you assess where we are, how we got here, what it’s all about. And I want to say, I enjoy doing these podcasts because I can learn a lot. And I actually do not know what your answer will be, roughly. I do not. I know it’ll be informed, but I just felt the need to call you up, Patrick Cockburn, and ask you, what do you think is going on and where is it at? Okay? And honestly, to people listening, I really don’t know what you’re going to say. So, take it away.

Patrick Cockburn (01:41):

This has turned out to be a much more crucial war, much more decisive in world affairs than people imagined, I think, on the 24th of February, when Putin first invaded Ukraine. It’s obvious that he’s lost the war in Ukraine. If his war aim was to take over Ukraine and have a pro-Russian government there, that’s lost.

Patrick Cockburn (02:10):

One could say it was sort of lost in the first few days when they discovered that the Ukrainians were going to resist, that it just wasn’t going to be a walkover. But since then, the outcome of the war has become even more serious because it’s not just what happens to Ukraine, but what will happen to Russia? Will Russia remain a significant power? Will Putin remain in power? But actually, I think the first question is more important. It was always said in the past, you know, that became something of a cliche, to say that a Russia without control of Ukraine would cease to be serious, a really serious player. So I guess we’re now on the verge of entering a third phase in the Ukraine war. The first one was when the Russians invaded from all quarters. The army offensive broke it up, inadequate everywhere, and there was resistance. But also, because it was a very sort of strange invasion, that they didn’t… It didn’t seem to be properly organized. I’ve seen the US invade Iraq. I’ve seen the Syrian army, supposedly with lots of Russian advisors operating in Syria, invasions in Afghanistan. This seemed sort of a sort of half invasion from the beginning. They didn’t try to destroy the infrastructure like the US did in Iraq in 1990, by destroying the power lines, the oil refineries. It seemed to be a mess. Then it gets, they reorganized things and start an offensive in the Donbas. That again, doesn’t seem to be going too well. And it seemed to be sort of completely lack any element of surprise, that it was on the headlines everywhere, they were going to do this, they are doing this, they’re grinding forward. I guess they’re getting somewhere, but very, very, very slowly.

(04:31): It seems to me, we’re now at a deciding moment: Will there be a third phase when the Russians mobilize their forces? They’ve never had a national mobilization, and after all, for a long time. This was just Putin’s special military operation; it wasn’t a war. And this is more of the matter of rhetoric. They didn’t mobilize what resources they’ve got. Their great military weakness is lack of infantry; you can see that they don’t have the infantry to defend the tanks and they don’t have the infantry to surround cities.

(05:09): So will there be a third round, which they declare national mobilization, martial law within Russia, reorientate industrial production to produce weapons? Which they could do, quite likely they will do because not just the future of the regime, but the future of Russia is on the line now.

Robert Scheer (05:37):

Let’s cut to the chase here. Was Putin provoked, or was he excessively aggressive and ambitious and imperialist to think that they would just crumble? Is it going to be over for Russia and for Putin or can they resist? Do they have the means? You’re quite familiar with that situation. How do you assess it?

Patrick Cockburn (06:06):

Well, there’s no doubt that they had genuine grievances that the NATO, the US had been increasing their influence in Ukraine, particularly since 2014, and were continuing to do so. Putin appears to have thought that time was running out for any military solution that he might try and launch, which is why he did now. There were genuine grievances, but not ones to justify an invasion, to my mind.

(06:49): And also, an extraordinary invasion, because almost everything which he seems to have believed on before it was launched was untrue: that there would be no resistance from the Ukrainian army, that the Zelenskyy government could be easily toppled, that the Russian army would just sort of sweep in from all sides, that there wouldn’t be much reaction from Western Europe, that they’d be divided, that sanctions would easily avoidable. And he seems to have been in this sort of fantasy world. You can see that from the fact that they didn’t even withdraw their… They built up this, what was it? $600 billion reserve, financial reserve, and left much of it accessible to the west to freeze it. I mean, they didn’t even bring that under control, bring it under their own control. There have been very few invasions in history which have been based on so many misconceptions as this one.

(08:07): Why did Putin do it? Well, 22 years in power, always pretty arrogant, surrounded by advisors who are his sort of old gang from the FSB. And before that, the KGB, Russian intelligence services. Even so, a very, very stupid thing to do.

Robert Scheer (08:40):

What I’m worried about more than anything else is the possibility of nuclear war fighting here. I don’t think Putin is going to go quietly into the night or easily be led out in handcuffs or what have you. I have no way of assessing the support he has, or still has in Russia. There is a Russian nationalism that does back him. How do you see this playing out? I think it’s an incredibly risky situation.

Patrick Cockburn (09:12):

Well, they’re really two questions there. I mean, one, let’s take the nuclear threat first. I find it one of the most amazing things about this amazing war, is that it’s not taken more seriously. In the ’50s and ’60s, people were really worried about a nuclear war, a nuclear exchange. This time around, the likelihood is actually much higher, but nobody… You don’t see any demonstrations about it. People don’t even seem particularly worried about it.

(09:44) And you see the same people who say Putin is a mad dictator, his power has gone to his head, he’s completely crazed. And then you say, “Well, hold on a minute, but he’s got nuclear weapons. What if this crazed guy might decide to use them?” And then they say, “Well, no. Well, I think, in that case, he would be behave rather reasonably and can see that was not in his interest to do so.” You can have one or the other, but you can’t have both these arguments, but people do.

(10:18): And you see the most sort of dove-like liberals now advocating basically overthrowing Putin. If that’s the objective and the overthrow of the Russian state, sure. People don’t have nuclear weapons just to keep in their arsenals. And there’ll be a lot of saber rattling, but saber rattling runs out of steam, it runs out of effectiveness until you actually use the saber, or in this case, nuclear weapons. So I find it pretty amazing that people shouldn’t-

(11:03): So, I find it pretty amazing that people shouldn’t be more worried about that. Now, there was a second question.

Robert Scheer (11:09):

Now, let’s talk about the first a little bit here, because this is what has startled me about the whole discussion. There’s almost a giddiness about the nuclear [threat]. Oh, of course, he’s not going to use it. There is even a sense that even if he does, it’s not the end of the world or anything rhetorically. There’s a lack of seriousness of discussion of this risk. And it’s generally put into, oh, it would only will be used to scare us, but he wouldn’t use it. Well, there’s been a lot of talk in our own society, as well as theirs, why do you have weapons if you can never use them? And it may turn out, that’s the only effective way he has of trying to preserve some of his power. It would be self-defeating, of course. But you’ve covered this for a long time. How did we get to this point where we’re indifferent to it now, the nuclear threat?

Patrick Cockburn (12:12):

Well, first of all, like you, I find it very strange and alarming, mysterious, and alarming that people aren’t more worried about this. And we’ve seen this has been a gradual process that people have seen arms limitation agreements discarded, or simply have not been renewed. And they hardly made the front pages. When these were first agreed, they were topping the news. But somehow people … it’s as if the limitations on missiles … was irrelevant, belonged to a previous era. So, I think people just didn’t think about it, and because it hasn’t happened before for a long time, they felt that it wouldn’t happen now.

(13:07) And it was out of mind, but it’s still pretty extraordinary, because it seems very clear to me that if Putin and the regime are in genuine difficulty, they think they might go, then sure, they’ll only threaten to use these. But once you make a threat, to make that threat effective, you have to really, in part of your mind, be willing to follow through on the threat. I think the one thing that happened with the original land invasion in February, the Russian land invasion of Ukraine, was that Putin felt that the sabre-rattling wasn’t getting him anywhere. It seemed to me, it was actually getting him places, but somehow he didn’t see that. So, I think once they start threatening, not threatening to use nuclear weapons, this could [be] dismissed, and it’s almost an act of treachery to say, well, he means it, pursue it. Oh, you’re giving into Putin’s threats. But these are very real. But used in Britain, you used to have a great CND [campaign for nuclear disarmament] … from the nuclear disarmament [movement]. Similarly in the US, people were very conscious of Dr. Strangelove situations. And that seems to have disappeared.

Robert Scheer (14:47):

Well, even in Germany, where there was such a strong resistance to the concern about the threat of nuclear war, now they’re increasing their military spending. And you have this US flooding in what, now 35 billion more dollars of weapons, and the democrats want to increase it by another 8 billion, talking about a lend-lease program like in World War II. And the Russians actually were doing much of the fighting, and then we supported with lend-lease. Now, I guess that’s the model, get the Ukrainians to do the fighting, but support it with a lot of weapons and then ultimately put troops in. But Russians have tested now, according to the reports this week in Odessa, and they did it earlier in the region, right up next to Poland, their new missile delivery system, which evidently can’t be stopped. It’s been conceded and they’ve blown up things with it. And those can be on with the nuclear warhead.

Robert Scheer (15:54):

And then there can be the illusion, the damage will be limited. That’s always been the theory of nuclear war fighting, that it doesn’t have to be all out. But anyone who’s studied it seriously knows that you would not restrict it. The damage would be so awesome and compelling that you would have to write and you would react on the use them or lose them fashion. So, I mean, you’re a journalist, you’re out there, you talk to people. And you mentioned, we don’t even have a peace movement. There’s no real force of anyone anywhere in the world saying, stop, negotiate.

Patrick Cockburn (16:38):

Yeah. And you see that there’s lack of pressure at any level for diplomatic solution. Now, it’s reasonable enough to say Putin won’t accept that at the moment because he’s made no gains and had many losses. But you sense that there’ll almost be disappointment if Russia did go for a diplomatic solution, did accept, did make concessions, and so forth. So, the comparison here is between the atmosphere in 1914, at the beginning of the first world war and now, that the German invasion of Belgium, various atrocities committed by German troops, the great wave of hostility to Germany and patriotism. Turned almost all the political parties who’d been previously anti-war, into advocates of fighting Germany to the finish. I think it’s quite a real comparison.

(17:53): And in both cases, you have this wave of popular hysteria based on real atrocities. I’m not denying that for a second. But there’s a lack of restraint or a lack of foresight of seeing what might happen down the road, and a lack of policy objectives. What is the real objective of the US? Is it to get the Russians out of the Ukraine? Is it to get regime change in Moscow? Is it the permanent strategic defeat of Russia? Which are the feasible to do, incredibly dangerous to my mind, because it’ll bring another round in the war. And not just nuclear weapons, that’s one form of escalation, but what if Putin goes for a national mobilization and other measures, which I mentioned? Imposes Martial law, instead of having a special military operation, choosing instead total war. That’s quite conceivable that would happen. And part of that escalation might be nuclear weapons, but it would only be part of it. And this isn’t just something on the margins of possibility, it’s something which is really quite likely and even probable, if the war goes on.

Robert Scheer (19:16):

Time for a break, we’ll be back in a few minutes. We’re back with Scheer Intelligence and our guest. There’s some relief this week in that Putin did not stress that in his victory speech, actually talked about going on domestic life as usual. And with the idea that somehow this would not inconvenience the Russian population very much, but you do wonder how that could last. And the real issue now is with flooding weapons into the Ukraine from the west, whether by accident or intention, if those supply lines get attacked. And certainly in one of the countries where they’re part of NATO that they’re coming from, it’s pretty difficult to see how it could stop. It’s also difficult to see how you can reconcile the rhetoric on the Ukrainian side with the position of the Russians, because they’re now saying they want turn back to before 2014. They wouldn’t even have the Russians stay in the Crimea, right?

Patrick Cockburn (20:28):

Yeah. So, that’s part of the Ukrainian rhetoric. On the other hand, when there were peace talks, they said they’d deal with Crimea in 20 years. And there seemed to be quite reasonable suggestions from the Ukraine side and from the Russian side, but it didn’t, then it seemed to evaporate. Now, it might be that this was all to a degree propagandistic, but these were quite the Ukrainians at that point were talking about, we’re not talking about going back to 2014, but going back to the 23rd of February this year. But that has disappeared since. And there is another question which I think one should touch on, Bob, which is, if Putin went or came under extreme pressure, this seemed to be an assumption that this would be towards making peace, but that isn’t at all really what’s most likely. There is some evidence that the institutions, the most powerful institutions that are now criticizing Putin within the Russian elite, are some parts of the FSB, of the security services in the military, but above all, security services who thinks he’s only half fighting the war.

(22:03) Security services who thinks he’s sort of only half fighting the war. Why doesn’t he get on with it? Why doesn’t he call the National Mobilization? Why did he let conscripts go home? Why did he sort of continue to pretend this is just special military opposition? It’s not going to make life more difficult for Russians.

(22:23) There seems to be a growing a sort of total war element within sort of powerful parts of the Russian elite. Very difficult to identify this. People who say this, “How do they really know? This is deeply secretive system, power is very concentrated on Putin himself.” But these are quite sort of significant, I think, reports, I think, that part of the Russian state system thinks it’s not against the war, it’s against Putin not waging the war effectively and not mobilizing Russian resources.

(23:03) That’s another option that’s going to come in. It’s not going to be the progressive liberals who are going to overthrow him and declare peace.

Robert Scheer (23:13):

Yeah. That is an incredibly important point, because after all, you and I were in the old Soviet Union under Gorbachev. And folks like us thought Gorbachev was a good choice. He was talking about genuine democracy and challenging power of perestroika, glasnost. He talked about all the distortions and so forth.

(23:38) That didn’t play well in the old Soviet Union. And in fact, Gorbachev ended up being a person who was very unpopular. I think one poll he had one or two, 3% support because he was giving away the store. And the irony is that Putin… Yeltsin was then the alternative when you, and well, later when I was there. And what bailed Yeltsin out at the behest, really, of the United States and others was Putin who at least didn’t drink and seemed to be able to make the trains run on time and would be pro Western.

(24:18) And how this thing spun out of control is amazing to me because Putin after all was the one who defeated the old communists. He defeated the old people who thought you had to have more authoritarian power, that Gorbachev was weak. And he comes in and now he’s described everywhere as this Hitler figure.

(24:39) And you make a very important point. Why do we assume? That’s always the assumption that somehow liberal Democrats will emerge. And it happened very often. We just saw in the Philippines, we’ve been waiting for that a long time and we got another Marcos back.

(25:01) So this is a historic trap, I would suggest. And also, let me ask you one other factor, to what degree does the whole Russiagate Democratic Party concern that the Russians were siding with Trump and that domestic politics play into this? Because I feel there’s a big irrational element here in the hostility to Putin in that respect. Well, he hurt us, now we’re going to hurt him. And not sufficient worry to what comes after.

Patrick Cockburn (25:35):

Yeah, I think that that’s definitely the case. I mean, there are two things since 2016, blaming it on the Russians, Hillary Clinton saying… Didn’t she say, “Our big mistake was making an enemy,” or what made her vulnerable was making an enemy of Vladimir Putin? Two things. First of all, it was kind of ridiculous. Those were never the evidence for this, this ridiculous intelligence thing by the former British agent. You looked at it as just complete rubbish.

Robert Scheer (26:11):

The Steele Memo.

Patrick Cockburn (26:12):

The Steele Memo, yeah.

Robert Scheer (26:13):


Patrick Cockburn (26:15):

But suddenly, this bit, things that nobody, no media outlet would run for months and then suddenly as the whole sort of anti-Trump business ratcheted up, this was suddenly treated as if it was sort of a holy rite or something. There was also, I think, a presumption that Russia was amazingly powerful. It could actually, had the means and the to determine or strongly influence the outcome of an American election. And what’s surprising in Britain and America is the way that this currency was accepted, nonsense that it was. You just have to read any of the books about Hillary Clinton’s campaign to discover why she, rather good reasons why she lost it.

(27:12) But you suddenly have people like Steele, and who produced this memo, being interviewed seriously by sort of mainline media in Britain and in the US. So this was always not but it created an atmosphere of hostility and I think a sort of paranoia that somehow the Russians were far more powerful than anybody imagined.

(27:43) I think there were also, Russia, the regime, going in for these kind of infantile sort of gangster-ish attacks or not very important exiles, like the poisoning, attempted poisoning of somebody in Salisbury in England and stuff like this. That showed a sort of something that was both aggressive, crude and pretty dumb.

(28:12) But I think going back to your point that a whole political atmosphere was created in which Russia was sort of assumed to be hostile, which might have been true, but far more powerful than it really was. And that sort of paranoia never ended and has been sort of taken another direction during the war in Ukraine.

(28:42) And again, there’s a contradictory thing on one hand, it’s very clear the Russian armed forces are much weaker than people imagined or in Ukraine. But at the same moment, people say, “Well, what if they attack Poland and Eastern Europe?” Which is they can barely map an offensive in the far east of Ukraine. So I think that it’s this strange mixture of acting as if Russia was very weak, but somehow very strong at the same moment.

Robert Scheer (29:18):

Well, it sort of goes back to your countryman, Orwell, in the search for an enemy. And we’ve been talking about that for a long time, giving first the old Soviet Union and then Russia its own Vietnam, a popular war that they’re saddled with. We thought we did in Afghanistan.

(29:37) But I wonder, maybe we could end this by thinking about what might be the ultimate goal. I think it’s containing China. And you hear increasingly talk of that. And this agreement that Putin made with China, with the Chinese leader, at the time of the Olympics must have been quite alarming.

(29:58) They both challenged American hegemony in a very fundamental way. And you hear a lot of talk about the importance here is to send this big message to China. And I wonder if that is not driving the drama and why we need a humiliating defeat for Putin and a regime change. Anything less won’t do. If he gets to hold onto Crimea, if he gets to survive, he gets to sell his oil, well, that won’t do it.

(30:31) As I see it, the Hawks that used to be the neo-conservatives when they used to be in the Republican Party, they now are the Biden State Department, and the same people who fermented a lot of this issue in the Ukraine. And it seems to me they have a larger picture, which is really that they’re serious about American hegemony.

(30:54) This is a new Rome. This is in no one else in the world, whether it Russia or China is going to make our life more difficult. And I think maybe I’m going too far here, but I think that’s the ultimate game plan.

Patrick Cockburn (31:10):

Yeah. I think, I don’t know how far it’s a motive, but I’m sure it’s a pretty significant motive. And it’s perceived as that, so not so much in Europe, but it is not just in China, but in India and the Far East. They think, “What will be our status if there’s just one single superpower?” And you hear that not just from sort of radical folks, but you hear that from sort of Malaysian business tycoons and significant players in India that there’s this fear that Russia goes that this is kind of a new sort of American West European hegemony, which is going to affect them and not just China, but all the other sort of paths that are sort of feeling that there was more room to maneuver in the last few years. But they can see that disappearing.

Robert Scheer (32:10):

The plates have shifted. This is not the kumbaya moment of the UN where we accept people with different political systems. This could be, if there’s a humiliating defeat of Putin and he’s taken away in handcuffs, this is the crowning day for the Neo-Conservatives. This was their vision. This is what’s supposed to happen. You can’t trust the rest of the world to find its own path, and you have to step in and be the heavy. And it is an ocean of the good Rome. And I think it’s taken seriously.

(32:50) Now, Joe Biden actually seems to have some resistance to that, seems to be a bit more cautious because of his past experience. But then you hear the folks from the Pentagon and the State-


Here are the folks from the Pentagon and the State Department and the CIA; they’re not talking about any hesitation. In fact, let me end on this. I never thought I would read a Thomas Friedman column that I really was cheering for, but he had one this morning, I guess it’s Wednesday… No, it’s still Tuesday, in The New York Times where he cautioned, he cautioned about going too far with this America First example. And he brought up in particular the assassination of these 10 generals that the U.S. seemed to have something to do with, and the blowing up of their flagship, and he said… And they’re boasting about it. And he said, “Wait a minute, this has real consequence. What are we talking about here?” So, do you want to take the last word on that?

Patrick Cockburn (34:00):

Yeah, it goes back to what we were saying earlier, which was this amazing self-confidence based on nothing that this won’t escalate into a much bigger war, which nuclear might be one part, but it wouldn’t necessarily be the only part. We could have a much bigger war without that, but mostly people are extremely lackadaisical about this. It just reminds me, I was in Afghanistan 2001-2, Americans came in, seemed partly successful. Same thing, 2003 in Iraq, at one moment in Syria, all these other places where you had the same self-confident rhetoric coming out of the security establishment in Washington, and then things fell apart for them. I can sense the same rather mindless overconfidence again, taking over. So, I think that… and there’s a sense that we have a total war already. We don’t. This could get an awful lot worse.

Robert Scheer (35:23):

Must take a minute to think about that, even short of nuclear war, which would be the end of humanity, let’s just be clear about that. But it could get, very quickly, a lot messier. Do you have the feeling, I mean, you’re quite knowledgeable about all this. As you say, you’ve covered those other wars. You’ve seen them go south from their rosy expectations. What could happen here? Would it extend into Russia itself? Would the Russian military back Putin? Would they take on this Western force? Where would that leave China? What is your assessment of the risks here?

Patrick Cockburn (36:08):

I think that it could go either way, but people underestimate the way that there are guys sitting in the Russian security forces and then the army thinking “Putin doesn’t know how to fight a war, we need somebody who knows how to fight.” So, this could get, the war, could get an awful lot hotter. I think partly this demonization of Putin, brutal fellow no doubt, but demonization is one aspect of that things can get no worse, but actually they could, because you could have a leader who is rather better at fighting a war than Putin has turned out to be.

Robert Scheer (36:49):

And what would that entail?

Patrick Cockburn (36:52):

Well, it might include nuclear weapons, it might include national mobilization. They’re really rather a small army that’s been doing the fighting. Putin sent the conscripts home after a year. People said, “Oh, but under Russian law, you couldn’t keep them and send them into Ukraine.” I don’t think that in the Second World War under Soviet leaders you would’ve got away with that. So, I think that the chances of this, if there is a regime change in Russia, then there’s a very good chance it’ll only be a much tougher, more militaristic regime, not one that’s going to run up the white flag. I think that all the neocon attitude in Afghanistan and Iraq just seem to think “we win a victory, we run up the stars and stripes and that’s it.” But actually, as they discovered in both countries, worse things can happen and tougher guys can emerge. Tougher enemies can emerge.

Robert Scheer (38:03):

So, you think nationalism and militarism remains a strong force in Russia after the Soviet Union, and this victory day rhetoric and the analogy with defeating the Germans, you think there is… It resonates to some degree?

Patrick Cockburn (38:25):

To some degree it does, but they’re conscious that things haven’t worked out. Somebody who is at one of those Victory Day celebrations in Petersburg was saying there used to be 1 million people out on the streets, now there’re far less. I think people are conscious things are not going well.

(38:47) Do they have an appetite for a bigger war? Most of them probably absolutely don’t want a bigger war, but maybe the guys, in Russian security and elsewhere think differently. I’m not saying it’s going to happen that way. It could fall out, Russia simply agrees to a peace, which is pretty humiliating and so forth. But it seems to me that that’s not very likely, that the Russians are likely to double down on trying to get a victory out of this. And not just Putin doubling down, but I think Russia in general doubling down and trying to win a final victory.

Robert Scheer (39:37):

On that depressing note, because doubling down means doubling down on civilian deaths and casualties and as well as that of conscripts and all that. But on the other hand, you bring a great deal of expertise, you’ve witnessed these wars, and so I want to thank you, Patrick Cockburn, formerly of The Independent for many decades, now of the i publication.

(40:05) And that’s it for this edition of Scheer Intelligence. I want to thank Christopher Ho at KCRW, and the great staff there for posting these shows. Joshua Scheer our executive producer, Natasha Hakimi Zapata who writes the introduction and edits it, Lucy Berbeo does the transcription, and The JKW foundation for helping us with some financial support. See you next week with another edition of Scheer Intelligence.


  1. I couldn’t be bothered reading further after reading Cockburn’s assessment of Russia’s start of the war. Comparing it to the US invasion/demolition of Iraq, criticizing Russia for trying to preserve, not destroy Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, betrays a complete lack of understanding of Russia’s motivations and the tactics they chose as a consequence.

    Such a misguided perspective can only lead to further delusions and nonsense. Not worth reading further.

    1. I think it’s a better practice to read the whole thing, even if it makes you furious.

      1. No. Today national security state propaganda is constantly being generated and I can’t stand it anymore. I couldn’t listen to 5 minutes of this interview before I became completely disgusted. I forget who said it, that the public would be surprised to learn all who are part of the mockingbird flock. Well, a lot of so-called leftists, it seems.

    2. sorry that the obvious truth, namely that the war [excusez-moi, for ye: “special military operation”] has absolutely not gone well. so truth hurts sometimes. get over it. Patrick Cockburn impresses with his knowledge, but only if ye read it….

    3. Ditto.
      Surprisingly uneducated analysis for someone who is supposed to be an expert on Russia.

    4. Clarification: Ditto was for the forceOfHabit’s comment. I’ve seen the string of replies to his comment only after.
      I did read the entire article and it reinforced my original impression: while Mr. Cockburn’s analysis of US’ actions appears to be more or less accurate, he clearly doesn’t have a grasp of the Russian and Ukrainian context, which renders his entire analysis wrong.

      1. dr. seuss – methinks ye left out any and all ‘evidence’ which might refute mr Cockburn’s analysis. just cause ye can’t stand that the russians are losing, and just cause yer getting paid to say all is fine for the ‘special military operation’ don’t mean reality will bend to ye…. Kharkiv was just liberated from the russian invaders. oh please, please tell me how all this was putin’s brilliant plan… i need a good laugh….

    5. Yes! I was dismayed to read Patrick’s initial commentary at the outbreak of the war, and he hasn’t changed. Does he really think the Russian objective was to take over the whole of Ukraine? My God, this assumes the Russians are not only crazy, but stupid. Everything points to Russian objectives that were and ate far more modest, but Cockburn is apparently as convinced as ever of his initial assessment.

  2. This crisis is a life or death conflict for Russia. They know it. The West, led by Washington and NATO are unhinged, drunk on their own cool-aid will continue to escalate. In everything but name this World War has already begun,

    Modern armies are so expensive that the days of old with millions of soldiers on each side are gone. Modern armies on both sides rely on technology and force multipliers to exert their dominance. Because of this, territorial conquest of large areas of enemy territory is impossible. To try to do so stretches the manpower of the invading army so much that it quickly becomes vulnerable to counter-insurgency and special operations along with it’s supply lines.

    This means Russia cannot conquer Europe and Europe cannot conquer Russia. All they can do is blow each other to hell….and they will.

    1. What on Earth makes anyone think the Russians ever thought they could conquer Ukraine, let alone all of Europe? Clearly that was never their intention. However, the US’ intentions are perfectly clear, and that is the destruction of Russia as it exists now. The US started this war, got the war it wanted, and openly states their purpose. The US could declare the war over tomorrow, agree to the terms for peace, and that would be that. But the people running the US are collosally stupid and full of themselves , and really think they can destroy the Russians handily. Short of a miracle, WW3 is unavoidable.

  3. Since Putin branded the pushback counterforce against US Empire Nato expansion/invasion as a limited “Special Operation” it “seems clear” from that and from limited military operations to deNazify and demilitarize – that his war aim was *** NOT *** to take over Ukraine and install a pro-Russian government in Kiev.

    Can you say “straw man?”

    This was clearly from the git-go NOT a Germany-rolls-thru-Belgium operation. Three months on, why do you persist with the cia pentagon state nato narrative that it was and therefore Russia is losing?!

    Re: “If his war aim was to take over Ukraine and have a pro-Russian government there, that’s lost.”

    1. right thomas. the 600-some tanks which underwent spontaneous unscheduled disassembly near Kyiv, why that was a brilliant decoy, and their crews were eminently expendable. no.,putin never wanted to take Kyiv…right, right… i do not envy ye… yer paymasters demand ye sing the song of russian success, but ye know damn well, things are not going as planned….
      my favorite shill-myth, which ye have dished up at times yerself, is that the attack on Kyiv was only a feint, to ‘tie down the Ukrainian army” yeah right… let’s use logic here, not yer strong suit, so the second the russians withdraw them Ukrainian forces are UNTIED, and they can be in Donbass much quicker cause they can go in a straight line through ukraine, whilst the russian forces need twice as long to get there going through belarus…. what a brilliant military maneuver putin thought up!

    2. I’ve followed Scott Ritter’s rather outspoken coverage of the conflict, and he emphasized from the beginning that Russia is not fighting a US-style “shock and awe” style war. Infrastructure, electric power, water production and bridges are largely spared. This “humane war” with civilian corridors so non-combatants could leave the “cauldrons” was distinctly Russian, with their view that they entered to save ethnic Russian Ukrainians from “genocide” at the hands of Amereican/ Ukrainian NAZIs.
      Now Ritter has stated that too many Western weapons are getting through and Russia must move to a real War or they will lose their advantages. While Russia seems to be only concentrating on the East and South, which are mostly ethnic Russian Ukrainians, which have been treated with kid gloves by Putin, with pressure from the more hard core generals look for real War in West Ukraine, Galicia, Lviv and Kiev. This will be to demonstrate what Russia can do, not for teritorial gains.
      The Western coverage (including Cockburn, who I used to admire) is based on Ukrainian news releases. For sure Ukraine is winning the propaganda war, the battles may be another story. Ukraine called the surrender of many Mariupol holdouts to Russians, “evacuation”; this is in line with the Ghost of Kiev and Snake Island. The Ukrainian Kiev victory when 30-60,000 Russians withdrew from a city of two million was obviously a feint, not a real attempt to take the city. If Ritter is correct, things will get more intense and bloodier. As Putin has made clear, nukes will fly if the Russians are beaten.

  4. Patrick: DUH!

    Re: “This seemed sort of a sort of half invasion from the beginning”.

  5. Robert:

    Do you not have better sources on the conditions in Russia, Ukraine and state of the war on the ground? Consider recent interviews by Scott Ritter or an interview from The Duran with Andrei Martyanov about the military situation: They paint a picture of the Ukraine conflict almost the opposite from Cockburn. My understanding is Russia has ground down the Ukrainian forces and has won essentially, but has no intention of conquering Ukraine, and understands the threat of the US, in trying to maintain its economic and military dominance at the expense of the rest of the world.

    I have seen a number of news outlets give deference to Cockburn based on his career as a reporter, but his recent work begs many questions. He could easily be featured at the New York Times or Washington Post to support official US narratives.

    Your comments about the US being a modern Rome, echo those in a recent interview between Michael Hudson and Ben Norton:
    Michael Hudson says that like Rome, the US has become a rentier economy and its version of capitalism is parasitic and ultimately suicidal for its society.

    Please offer Cockburn some of the sources I’ve cited, assuming his mind is open to other perspectives.

    1. I agree with you that Cockburn represents completely one sided misinformed position when he declared Russian failure of achieving goals he himself alone concocted nowhere near of objectives Putin clearly stated in his Feb 24, 2022 speech.

      Such position is characteristic of psychological warfare used to framing nonexistent Ukrainian frontline victories and alleged reconquering of territories never conquered in the first place and only used as locations for staging RF special military operation. Of course that Russian soldiers are dying at a rate of 1 Russian dead for 5 Ukrainian dead.

      In the same token of Cockburn fantasy one can argue that Russians utterly failed to take over moon if one desperately wanted Russia to fail in something.

      In fact so far in this operation Putin achieved more than Denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine (obliterated Kiev’s Navy and Air Force destroy AFU strategic offensive capabilities ) as he secured future of strategic Crimea no longer blockaded, deprived of water and electricity by Kiev regime and recovered all sea ports on Azov sea strengthening security of Black to Caspian sea cargo route and protected Crimean bridge that was under threat of sabotage by Kiev regime. At this point Russia effectively rendered Ukraine land locked as AFU itself destroyed ports of Odessa and Nikolaev to… save them.

      What is still uncertain is political fallout of inevitable deal between Russia and the west which is a key for Russia’s own national security which always will be in context of indivisible European security. The fate of Ukrainian statelet will be important but one of many bargaining chip.

    2. @cynical rex: yes, do look at scott ritter who – before the war – eloquently explained why russia would NEVER invade, then predicted the war over in a week, later predicted any moment now lots of ukrainian army will surrender, scott ritter who haws been consistently wrong ON EVERY SINGLE PREDICTION HE MADE [which anybody can look up on youtube, it’s all right there’
      yes, rex, let’s look at the rosy assessment of the guy who has a flawless record of false predictions so far. makes sense.

      1. Correction: legally RF never invaded Ukraine.

        Ritter was right not calling it technically full scale invasion given size of Russian military groups involved in special military operation as military invasion would require at least 3 to 1 advantage as US had when they invaded much weaker Iraq.

        In fact force ratio was opposite 3 to 1 advantage Ukraine. In such situation no invasion is possible. And it wasn’t one.

        Russian Armed forces intervened on February 24, 2022 on behalf of an ally to defend LDPR from renewed on February 16, 2022 aggression from Kiev regime 130,000 Donbas army group against 40,000 of LPPR militia (3 to 1 AFU invasion force). Check OECD Donbas ceasefire violation records.

        The US presumably would do the same defending any of its NATO allies.

        All that in compliance with Article 51 of UN charter about collective security effectively allowing for pre-emptive military intervention amid imminent threat to the country or an ally according to US doctrine and practice in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        It is simply shameful that 600,000+ NATO trained ar,Ed and supported AFU was defeated in ten days as Ritter pointed out by 240,000 strong Russian alliance and lost all strategic offensive capabilities losing over50,000 soldiers so far and over 2000+ tanks and APC and almost all Air Force and Navy. The situation is forcing AFU General Staff to declare military situation as catastrophic making US secretary Lloyd to plead for immediate ceasefire with his phone calls to RF defense minister and in desperation rushing for yet another round of just announced general mobilization to conscript at east 1,000,000 soldiers what 600,000 could not do namely start to defend their country for real without hiding behind hostages humans shields made of their fellow citizens in violation of Geneva Conventions.

        Ritter is not sympathetic to Russia at all however he coldly and calmly assesses reality on the ground from professional perspective as a former Marine Corp intelligence officer definitely more knowledgeable than avro is with his hopeless MSM propaganda bias.

      2. arvo:

        Part of my skepticism about Patrick Cockburn is that he characterizes Putin differently than I have heard him in his public speeches, for example the joint statement he made with Xi Jinping of China (see:

        I’m giving Scott Ritter the benefit of the doubt, especially after listening to the podcast posted on Scheerpost (see: Scott Ritter himself, experienced as a marine intel officer and weapons investigator in Iraq, has admitted he could be wrong about the situation, despite trying to get a truthful picture of the Ukrainian conflict. You’re giving Cockburn the benefit of the doubt, and that’s fine, but for now I’ll stick with Ritter’s analysis.

        Some aspects that Ritter clarified for me, is how ready NATO would be to challenge Russia (they are not, out of practice in combined arms). He also talked about counter-insurgency against Russia (limited impact, as Russians prepared). I have been uncertain as to whether the weapons the West is sending Ukraine could be used to prolong the war indefinitely (creating a trap for Russia like 1980s Afghanistan), which Ritter says is unlikely, as Ukrainian army is exhausted and logistics ruined. If the reality on the ground is different than Ritter claims (or Andrei Martyanov here on The Duran:, that will become apparent in time.

        I simply do not trust the United States govt and am highly skeptical of the mainstream media’s cheerleading of Ukraine and how the US frames the conflict. The US has a long history of regime change and political interference in Ukraine, including using the IMF to impose austerity, and therefore poverty on most of the Ukrainian people.

      3. This United States of Amnesia is Anglo Land: Don’t trust USA? Try, London, MI6, the lot of the rubbish. Good one by Matthew Ehret,

        Throughout the four-year drama of Russiagate, the hand of British intelligence has revealed itself continuously.

        From the obvious role of Sir Richard Dearlove and his former MI6 underlying Christopher Steele who together played a driving role in shaping the dodgy dossier, to their involvement with Oxford Rhodes Scholar Strobe Talbott in composing, promoting and marketing the fraudulent dossier to targeted members of Congress and media, to British Ambassador Sir Darroch caught “flooding the zone” with British intelligence assets to shape Trump’s perception of the world, to the array of British entrapment operations that targeted Michael Flynn as early as 2014 in London… wherever one looks, the hand of British intelligence seems to be everywhere.

        While vast effort is made to downplay the British roots of the deep state by the media which tends to portray this problem from a partisan narrative of “democratic party corruption”, this sleight of hand misses the causal nexus and demands we believe that the tail truly wags the dog.

        The uncomfortable truth which many are either too afraid, lazy or corrupt to admit is that since the moment John F Kennedy died on November 22, 1963, both the Democratic and Republican Parties have undergone an slow take-over by this foreign parasite. The thing that has come to be known as the “deep state” was never based on one party or another, and never emanated from anything native to the Constitutional traditions of the US government itself as I outlined in my previous article “Understanding the Trifold Nature of the Deep State”.

        While the Republican party of George Bush was in power, this deep state had used its controls of computerized vote counting to rig elections in 2000 and 2004 in its favor as showcased brilliantly in the 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy. Later, when it was time for a controlled opposition to take power in 2008, it did the same thing under a different cast of characters.

  6. Cockburn seems clueless, based on his light review of the pressures on the Russians that motivated them to act, and his nonsense statement that the Russians “have lost.” Like a typical Brit politician, he seems to not want to face that over half the population of the world opposes sanctions, Russian commodities are instantly far more valuable, and there is no lack of markets for those products. He thinks that because Russia “didn’t destroy the infrastructure like the Americans did in Iraq” they are losing. They are able to destroy any transport that brings highly expensive Western weapons over the border into Ukraine.

    The Russians have secured Donbas and extended it practically to Odessa. They have secured the water supply for Crimea that the Ukrainians shut off, and they have eliminated Ukrainian access to the Black Sea. Hard Right Nationalists in Ukraine who continue to fight continue to die.

    1. I’d add that the corporate media feed us a constant stream of Ukrainian victories and Russian defeats. This is certainly not so one-sided, every so often the Ukranian comedian makes soime desperate plea that argues that it’s not that simple.

      1. Exactly. It’s virtually impossible to find any information on Ukrainian military casualties, as if none have been killed. And yes, Zelensky wanders off-script now and again.

    2. right, Russia is so obviously winning! how could there be any doubt! scott ritter says so, too, AND HE IS NEVER WRONG [do look up his prior predictions , starting before the war when he said russia would never invade….

      what do all ye shills get out of singing the song of russian success [other than money, of course] ? senn thae two failed river crossings just now, all according to putin’s plan no doubt? he already has almost conquered mariupol, and it only took 2.5 months!

      1. Yeah, okay. Mariupol has been conquered. And considering the size of the city and the entrenched Nazis and fascists there (their stronghold) 2 and a half months is quite good. Scott Ritter was among many, many observers, left right and center, who said there would be no invasion.

    3. yes, Kent, the war [excuse moi, ‘special military operation where ye live] is going great! and what a brilliant move by putin to line the road to Kyiv with thousands of destroyed russian tanks and APCs, just to lure the Ukrainian government into a false sense of security! then the scuttling of the MOSKVA and other ships to fool them even more! the two failed river crossings just now, simply superb subterfuge! the deaths of tens of thousands of russian soldiers make the deception perfect! any time now Mariupol will be conquered, too!
      ye should join forces with scott ritter, he is so well known for the uncanny accuracy with which he picks diametrically wrong predictions!

    4. Kent, Kent, Kent – ye have a lot to learn about propaganda. see, ye want to stay in the ‘believable’ zone. yer assertion that “Ukrainian access to the black sea is eliminated’, is so patently, obviously, clearly, demonstrably and laughably wrong that it brings down, by association, all yer other lies which were somewhat more believable. thanks for playing. better luck next time…
      but yeah, the ‘special military operation’ is going swimmingly well! [except, mebbe, for the MOSKVA]

  7. NATO expansion, denazification demilitarization, Donbass !! All this seems to be a lot of red herrings carefully provided to the “useful idiots” in the West ( including here) to hide what I suspect is the real goal of the “special military operation”, !
    Don Putin is just being faithful to his kleptocratic Mafia and tries ( and pretty well already succeeding ) to remove the competition and getting control of the agri- commodities market. Ukraine is already out as a wheat , sunflower etc. exporter and Russia is preparing for the post-carbon era (when oil and gas are shunned and their market value is shrinking).
    In this light also the Russian tactics make sense: they do not care for occupying cities or territory, but only disturbing planting, rail transportation and export hubs such as Black Sea ports.
    Follow the money!!

    1. IMO ideology and influence is always part of politics and its extensions by other means. However, your comment made me consider the greater range of possibilities–I’d bet you’re right about the simplest track to follow: money!

      Evidence? Re-read Ellen Brown’s econ post here 5/4. Wherein she quotes Sergei Glazyev, minister Eurasia Econ Commission, who spoke of a new monetary system made up of several world currencies. Which would liberate participants from $, euro, pound, yen–good for the global South. Default in the old irrelevant for the new.

      When I read that, my over the head light bulb flashed like a lighthouse. This isn’t just about some hurt feelings or a vague attempt to bring back the Tsarist Empire. The Russians are working towards a new econ order–and they might succeed.

  8. It’s great to hear Patrick Cockburn. I mourned the absence of his articles on the Independent until I discovered he switched to i News, but even better to hear in person. Thank you for the interview

    Would like to hear his thoughts about leaving the Independent sometime, shortly after Robert Fisk’s death. Wonder if it’s related somehow.

    1. Prophecy: Patrick Cockburn is drafted into Biden’s coven of advisers.

      1. Maybe got bit by a Vampire?
        No Hegemony to see here… back to your bunkers.

  9. This has to be just plain wrong. Because the US has the strongest economy and the greatest military the world has ever seen. Which is why we’ve always won everything we’ve ever been involved in!

    Wait–you’re telling me I should read “The Best and the Brightest” by David Halberstam about the Vietnam war? Or accurate accounts of various actions in Central America? Or of Iraq and Afghanistan? And to consider what spending trillions for wars does to our domestic situation? Or what war hysteria does to my Constitutional rights? Even if it’s about wars in far, far away places I can’t pronounce or find on a map?

    Worst of all, that we haven’t actually “won” anything in many, many decades? No. That’s un-American; it can’t possibly be true.

    Because if it is, what’s happening is just us digging deeper when what we need is to get out of the hole.

    1. Most recent all mighty US “victory” over shoeless Taliban peasants was on August 31, 2021 after 20 years of .. losing and wasting $6 trillions. Now US regime wants to lose more in Ukraine.

  10. Destroying all life on the planet: they’ve been doing that for quite a while. Some say a very long while. And that we’ve been doing that.

    But for now, WW2 will have to do as a historical turning point. The Bomb, after all, is the big one for the dicks who’ve run the world since then, the ultimate weapon of population control. Call it MADD. Call it preemptive defense. Call it whatever Orwellian euphemism you want. This is the state’s ultimate wet dream, given how power is its ultimate aphrodisiac (Pimp Daddy Kissinger).

    Now once more the masses must huddle like helpless spectators to the grand chessboard of geopolitics, in which nation-states square off in Russian roulette, as gamed by the US-NATO, to cover for war crimes of the ruling class, from covid to Ukraine, playing us off for their ultimate gain of everything for them and nothing for us, enslaved resources at the disposal of the “masters of mankind” (Adam Smith), who’ve been running their pyramid schemes for millennia.

    Of course, these power freaks are psychopathic enough to do it. Hell, Pox Amerikkkana already has done it as a demonstration, not just for the USSR but for subject populations, of how far its protection racket is prepared to go in enforcing deals for carving up the world, with the perpetual “prospects for peace” out of the very nature of slaughtering human resources, including conscripted cannon fodder as the ultimate sacrifice of labor.

    Sooner rather than later, it seems, we’ve got to ask ourselves how helpless we want to be, letting this system set us up to fall into their hands. How numb shall we remain to all the coordinated class war, past-present-future, they wage against us? More than ever since the Bomb began threatening our species, in this new abnormal world order’s crimes against humanity, we’re way past due to rise up against class rule’s idea of civilization.

  11. If Putin for health or other reasons is not in control the probability of an ultra right nationalist taking over is high.For the sake of world peace its imperative that he survives.The drums for war are in full force in the West as they impose themselves apon the World stage.Only a rational strategist can negotiate these waters.
    With a senile” Leprechaun ” & his cronies in charge in Washinton there’s high likelihood of this going down the Rabbit hole into Nuclear Armageddon. We need a some more adults in the room ‘fast’ !

  12. Cockburn says:

    Quote; it was a very sort of strange invasion, that they didn’t… It didn’t seem to be properly organized. I’ve seen the US invade Iraq. ..This seemed sort of a sort of half invasion from the beginning. They didn’t try to destroy the infrastructure like the US did in Iraq in 1990, by destroying the power lines, the oil refineries. It seemed to be a mess.”

    Regrettably Cockburn is not only clueless about political situation as well as ongoing RF military intervention in Ukraine but also tragically misinformed or disinformed by western propaganda about ongoing civil war among Ukrainians.

    Reader May hear in Cockburn’s “assessments” of RF military campaign eerily echoes discredited Institute for study of war (ISW) peddling unfounded fairy tales about Putin declaring mobilization of RF military that is completely uncalled for and not needed tactically and strategically unless NATO steps in directly.

    Total loses of AFU according to Kiev Regime are 50k+ while Russian LPDR losses amount to only 3-4 thousands according to Moscow which in part explains slowing down of continuing offensive to save more Russian military lives.

    ISW is hopeless neocon outfit that professionally assessed in 2021 that it would take Taliban two years to take over Kabul which was actually taken 24 hours after US official withdrawal. I did not expect Cockburn buying their lies about Ukraine.

    This civil war turned international which next chapter we are witnessing today is related to refusal of recognition of legitimacy of blatantly illegal US backed coup of February 2014 ordered to undermine already reached political compromise on relations with EU supported by EU countries as well as Yanukovitch government that signed it and promised new elections in September 2014 and referendum on that very subject.

    Cockburn should remember famous Nuland’s words “F.. EU” as she realized that following democratic path agreed by EU Yanukovitch would have been re-elected and that Ukrainians wouldn’t go for annihilation of their then 90% dependent on Russia economy and free trade based of empty EU promises.

    The legally elected regional and local governments in the east opposed Kiev coup so were millions of Ukrainians in the east and South of the country.

    Among many other legal reasons for mass protests was fact that Kiev regime immediately initiated mass persecution and street terror of Ukrainian citizen of ethnic Russian background banning Russian language, a mother tongue of over 22 millions of Ukrainians, from government and media, intimidating or shutting down Russian language publications, music and art and other businesses and by that Kiev regime institutionalized ethnic hatred borrowed from German Nazi playbook crystal nacht.

    Russophobia among Ukrainian ruling elites became rampant, vicious and deadly, attitude to RF turned aggressive, war like physically attacking diplomats repeatedly burning Russian embassy in Kiev under impotent watch of police in violation of Vienna convention. Former Ukrainian PM Julia Timoshenko publicly wanted Moscow nuked.

    The sudden appearance of openly Ukrainian Nazi characters, previously banned by EU parliament and condemned by US and EU media, on ministerial levels in Kiev coup government and their dominant influence on actual apartheid policies and extreme Russophobia only added fuel to political divisions instigated by US, Canada and Germany by openly supporting ideological descendants of Ukrainian Nazis considered by vast majority of Ukrainians as war criminals.

    President Yanukovitch ran on political platform of stripping Bandera of status of national hero (previously decreed by Yushchenko) and overwhelmingly won.

    The Kiev Nazi regime under Poroshenko immediately reinstated Bandera as National hero with tens of his monuments erected and made birthday of Bandera, Nazi collaborator, believer in Nazi ideology of among others ethnic cleansing of ethnic Russians and criminal responsible for genocide of 250,000 people including 60,000 of Ukrainian political opponents birthday a National Holliday.

    In such political, legal and historical context Cockburn cannot qualify Russian military intervention in 2022 as invasion as it not a any regular or “strange” half invasion or just a rhetoric but simply special military operation with openly defined by RF president political and military goals required for fulfillment of RF military and political treaty obligation to an ally namely LDPR (created according to UN charter self determination of nations clauses that allow for military struggle for independence) in a state of war with Kiev regime since May 2014 (Declaration of Independence of LDPR) according to Article 51 of UN charter.

    While the UN Charter prohibits unilateral acts of war, it also provides, in Article 51, that “..nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense… ”  The same principle of NATO existence and the right of (collective) self-defense is understood by many UN members (including US etc.,) as to permit countries to respond, not only to actual armed attacks (against themselves or their allies) , but also to mere threat of imminent attack on an ally.  

    It was not only imminent attack but actual armed attack on Russia’s ally LDPR that triggered lawful unimpairable by UN charter right of RF to intervene to uphold military treaty obligation. If Cockburn checked the facts and OECD records from Donbas before 24 February 2022 he would not make such blatantly incorrect characterizations.

    Wrongly Assuming that on February 24 there was Russian invasion not limited targeted intervention Cockburn digs himself even bigger hole in his fantasyland about what actually is going on in Ukraine on military fronts where in first ten days 600,000 strong NATO trained AFU, confronted by merely 190k Russian (+40k of LDPR) intervention army of contract volunteers, lost all the strategic offensive capabilities while RF military took over strategic positions in south restoring blockaded vital for Crimea survival electrical power and water from Dnipro river illegally blocked by Kiev for eight years. RF Obliterated Ukrainian Navy and Air Force and took over all Azov sea ports.

    The AFU did not significantly resist but in most cases withdrew without any fight to big cities Russians never intended to take and took hundreds of thousands mostly ethnic Russian civilians as hostages to be used as human shields in violations of Geneva conventions.

    Here goes prized heroism of criminal leadership of AFU (Cockburn seems to admire) who unnecessarily exposed their own troops under a gun to a abandonment and slaughter forced to fight under Ukrainian Nazi battalions terror as hundreds of Ukrainian POWs as well as foreign pro Kiev mercenaries testified after leaving frontlines. Azovstal is just another pathetic attempt to turn war criminals of Nazi brigade and mercenaries hiding behind children and women taken hostage in huge mile long nuclear shelter with hot water, kitchen and showers into martyred heroes of Kiev Nazi regime.

    RF from the beginning promised immediate release of any Ukrainian soldier who laid his arms without any fighting. Geneva Convention allows POWs to be interned to the end of hostilities and now tens of thousands of Ukrainian POWs who actually fought RF military will have to wait.

    What’s very disturbing is that due to his complete misunderstanding of reality on the ground Cockburn seems to judge Russian careful tactics of minimizing civilian casualties and targeting only military, and actually used by military, civilian infrastructure as disorganization, loss direction and strategic weakness seemingly praising US criminal full scale invasion of Iraq in 2003 that resulted in total destruction of Iraqi civil society, and nearly all purely civilian infrastructure, almost ten year war and open ended US occupation. RF attempted none of that since it is not illegal invasion like US but legal intervention to end ongoing eight year war in Donbas. The Kiev regime, responsible for destruction of 90% of all destroyed bridges in Ukraine, itself commits war crimes.

    One may call it puzzling where Cockburn claims that Russian/LDPR offensive in Donbas is not going well while LPR now liberated 95% its territories (only 30% were liberated before Feb 24,) while DPR today controls about 55% vs only 40% of territory as of February 2022.

    The wishful thinking repeated by Cockburn about regime change in Moscow which seems to be real reason why Ukrainians must die for NATO is just that and it is based on wrong premise that Putin is a sole dictator of RF policies while in fact like Biden and EU commission they are all faces of global oligarchy who apparently are engaged in more brutal than usual global competition among themselves amid limited planetary human and material resources of the globe. It manifests itself in recurring global economic financial, political, cultural, social and military crises in last three decades. It is hardly plausible that making at least 50% more profit and Ruble soaring since Russian intervention begun Russian oligarchs would turn against Putin golden goose.

    In such context there are no real ideological or geopolitical conflicts anymore, as globalization is about permeating global influences and sharing spoils of mass global exploitation and expropriation, as all elites want the same namely more power, more profits and more control over entire global population in their specific niches and they stand United in solidarity against working people of the world who, not other oligarchs, are their true enemy to be feared. Putin a globalist wants no harm to fellow western oligarchs he, until just recently, called partners while they called him a pariah.

    That’s why puzzling for Cockburn unconcern about possibility of all out global nuclear war is being dismissed as no one oligarch wants to rig good thing they have going gaining by nuclear war nothing losing nearly everything.

    We all know that without correct facts and evidences on the ground Cockburn or anyone else for that matter cannot make any valid analysis or predictions about future of this conflict in local regional and global scale including nuclear war despite NATO unprecedented escalation by effectively taking over AFU armaments and strategic command, continuing warmongering and propaganda psychological warfare aimed at stoking nuclear confrontation confusing many people like Cockburn and fueling this proxy war which is violation of international law by itself.

    1. Kalen: full disclosure : i tried reading yer post. very soon i cam to the conclusion that yer level of competence is infinitely smaller than mr. Cockburn’s. keep yer dayjob. research is obviously not yer calling….

      1. Sadly but not unexpectedly we again heard ZERO hard arguments covered up by desperate ad hominem insult concocted to distract readers from hard reality on the ground avro tries to cover up as most MSM and social media do.

        The reality is that AFU general staff describes military situation in Ukraine as catastrophic as they are pleading again for NATO no fly zone, unprecedented amount of money and weapons ($40B vastly exceeding Ukrainian annual defense budget ) and immediate ceasefire, a message conveyed by, first ever in this conflict, desperate US DOD chief initiated phone call to Russian defense minister.

        If it is not willful ignorance, I see competence in reading and comprehension is not avro’s calling only emotional insinuations, innuendos and unsolicited personal advices no one wants or needs.

        What’s worse is that such attitude of personal insults attempts to stifle important debate we must have as it dangerously affects all of us already before even first nuke is launched.

  13. Kind of a disappointing interview. Neither guy seemed to be himself.
    It’s like they’ve surrendered their former insights to the NeoCons. Why would men this old be concerned about the post election career prospects?
    Yes, both the USA and the Russian Federation are ineffectual militarily and financially, so there is a risk of board-flipping nuclear war. JustAMaverick is insightful when he says total conventional war is not affordable, not even possible, anymore. Scott Ritter says the same. So the USA/NATO build-up in Ukraine has been stupid and wasteful for a long time. Our war planners have a table game conception of planetary conditions. The war industry has not delivered anything but a $30 trillion debt. I want to thank Cynical Rex for reminding us: “Michael Hudson says that like Rome, the US has become a rentier economy and its version of capitalism is parasitic and ultimately suicidal for its society.” (and for the entire world) And I also thank Rafi Simonton for suggesting: “Re-read Ellen Brown’s econ post here 5/4. Wherein she quotes Sergei Glazyev, minister Eurasia Econ Commission, who spoke of a new monetary system made up of several world currencies. Which would liberate participants from $, euro, pound, yen–good for the global South. Default in the old irrelevant for the new. ” There are enormous issues both Cockburn and Scheer fail to account for, issues that would determine whether our oppressors will use nukes in frustration.
    My estimation is that the weight of the world population has turned against all forms of US hegemony, and that is where the danger arises. Our wealthy class is out of touch and too damned spoiled. If governmental and military vassals can’t deliver for their trans-national oligarchs after disrupting stability and food production then suicidal nuclear panic seems possible.
    Anyway, my confidence in Robert Scheer has been shaken.

    1. @ Red Hornyet,: strange, my confidence in Robert Scheer has been restored… Patrick Cockburn is very clear and concise in his evaluation of this situation -if ye are personally insulted that him no sing da song of Russian Success Success Success, well mebbe dat so cause there ain’t much success to show for thousands of tanks and trucks lost, ships sunk, and tens of thousands of russian soldiers killed and even more wounded…
      even putin’s poodle lukashenko in belarus says war not going well…. only red hornyet still misinformed….

  14. What a mighty gate we operate at Scheerpost!
    Here’s two old farts backtracking on the obvious they highlighted last week.
    Has the protection racket guy been standing on their toes?
    Coffee break’s over…. back to the Cold War.

  15. Funny Cockburn . . . Life on the Planet threatened by BioWeapons Labs, Nazi virus cookers, Japanese toxin brewers, Israeli AI and drone makers, and, oh, UK-USA . . . . And Africa? There’s them gold in those jungles and mountains.

    Here, real research and thinking . . .

    In White Malice, Susan Williams’s careful research reveals the history of the CIA’s damaging interventions in newly independent African nations, finds Elaine Graham-Leigh

    Barack Obama recounts in his memoir Dreams from my Father reading a book about Africa as a young man. He remembered how he was filled with ‘an anger all the more maddening for its lack of a clear target’ at the way that the dominant images of the book shifted from the independence struggles of leaders like Jomo Kenyatta and Kwame Nkrumah to ‘famine, disease, the coups and counter-coups led by illiterate young men wielding AK-47s like shepherd sticks’ (p.515).

    And here, See Gerald Horne’s Article on Obama and White Malice — Barack Obama’s Father Identified as CIA Asset in U.S. Drive to “Recolonize” Africa During Early Days of the Cold War

    As Williams makes clear though, while Obama may not have known who to blame for this, it is not as mysterious as his memoir implies. The development of various African countries in the last seventy or so years has been determined not, as the racist idea has it, by African unfitness for independence and democracy, but by the covert activity of the CIA. Williams uses the examples of Congo and Ghana to show how profoundly the U.S. has shaped the destiny of these countries for the worse in promotion of U.S. interests.

    To the decolonising nations in Africa in the mid-twentieth century, the U.S. could be perceived as a potential supporter. Thus, for example, Patrice Lumumba, Congo’s first democratically elected Prime Minister, approached the U.S. first for support when the Katanga region seceded from Congo shortly after his election. This faith in the U.S. support for self-determination was, however, not justified. The U.S. may have been happy to see European colonisers losing control of their colonies, but only if this could be to the benefit of U.S. interests. In Congo, for example, supporting the removal of Belgian control was not the same thing as supporting genuine independence. Anyone tempted to believe that the U.S. was committed to the cause of freedom should note that it was one of the handful of countries who abstained in December 1960 on UN resolution 1514, which called for self-determination for all, along with colonial powers like France, Belgium and the UK.

    Lumumba was arguably too slow to perceive that U.S. interests in Congo were not going to be benign. He had a well-founded tendency to mistrust Belgians on sight, but unfortunately did not extend this scepticism of white motives to Americans. This resulted, for example, in his use of a translator, at the All African People’s Conference in Accra in 1958, who was actually a CIA agent. U.S. interest in Congo was intense, as it was, as Nkrumah wrote later, the ‘most vital region of Africa strategically, geographically and politically’ (p.34). Congo’s mineral wealth in general made it important to control, but more specifically, it was the source of the richest uranium in the world.

    The U.S. went to some lengths to conceal this, maintaining that their uranium came from Canada and, in the Second World War, labelling barrels of uranium being exported from Congo as cobalt. It is plausible, Williams argues, that this practice of talking about cobalt as code for uranium continued after the war, which reveals discussions in the CIA and U.S. government about securing continuing access to the uranium mine in Congo’s Katanga province in the face of Congolese independence. Katanga’s secession from Congo after the election of Lumumba in 1960 is unlikely to have been a coincidence.

  16. The war on terror does not have the box-office attraction it had. A new enemy was needed. It is Putin’s Russia now.

    I am sick of Ukrainians and Russians being used as cannon fodder so people can make more cannons. This conversation makes me a bit sick too. There seems to be no effort to see this from Putin’s point of view in America.

    War is not justified but it happens. Putin was pushed into a corner by America’s heavy hand in Ukraine. America the black pot calls the kettle black. America would not have liked it if Russia plotted a color revolution in Texas or if Putin sponsored racist Nazis who wanted people in Texas to start speaking Spanish.

    No American would have put up with the shit America was giving Putin. Can somebody here please be honest.

    1. k-dog- oh i will be honest with ye: PUTIN DID NOT HAVE TO GO TO WAR> THERE WAS NO IMMINENT DANGER. only 6% of russia’s land borders are with Nato… some’encirclement this is! no, this is a war of conquest. – i mean, Ukraine isn’t eve a real country, or so putin says. quite often. in writing….he says it is really part of russia so he is ‘bringing it home’ [hitler done used the same logic with ‘sudetenland’]
      barking up da wrong tree, doggie…

      1. Not surrounded? Do your geography. Again no concrete argument but waving hands.

        US has over thousand of foreign located military bases worldwide most from Japan to Europe which geographically surrounds Russia.

        What would US have called itself if Russia had military bases in Nicaragua or Mexico or Cuba or in Canada? not being surrounded?

        And what would US do but not immediately preemptively intervened as Russia did and US itself did in Cuba which was blockaded and if it failed would have been surely invaded by US marines in 1961 exactly on the same premises Russians used in Ukraine as a threat to strategic national security as fight of nukes from Cuba to DC is short it not as short as from Ukraine or Baltic states to St.Petersburg and Moscow.

        It is clear that it is not US but Russia that is more threatened as US soil is located thousands of miles away from Russian border with NATO.

  17. Is Cockburn still an independent journalist or a spokesman for NATO?

    All my readings on the subject of the Ukraine war — from MacGregor, Ritter, Chomsky, Blumenthal, stories on Mint Press, etc. — suggest Russia is winning and can destroy Ukraine whenever it chooses.

    The ruble has gone up in value since the war began. Gas prices in the U.S have soared, inflation has soared, the misery index has skyrocketed, and Biden and his party are headed for a colossal defeat in November.

    1. err, i already have addressed scott ritter’s flawless record of making all the wrong predictions dating back to before this war when he said Russia would never invade Ukraine….
      it is all on youtube, look it up… if ye consider scott ritter [same for macgreg] reliable sources of information ye clearly have never done research past the elementary school level… i feel sorry for ye…..

      1. I don’t know which is more annoying: your ad hominem attacks against people who know much more than you do about Russia and U.S. foreign policy, or your inability to articulate a thought in ellipsis-free, grammatically correct sentences.

        Another expert who gives a decidedly different perspective than your beloved Cockburn is Alfred de Zayas. Those interested in a deep and thoughtful analysis of the Ukraine war should see the interview he gave to Max Blumenthal just a few months ago:

  18. Oh, the nincompoop, Cock-Off- Burn! …

    Mr Lavrov.

    As other analysts suggested we also believe it’s now time for Kremlin to deploy more troops on the rear, the current number of Russian troops involved in the special military operation in Ukraine is enough to win the war but it will take more time than expected and it’s impossible to avoid overstretching as the involved brigades (100/120k soldiers in total) cannot fight simultaneously on too many fronts, latest advances in Donbass have been achieved thanks to a massive redeployment, in the region, of the troops initially deployed in other areas, thus some peripheral areas like several settlements in the Northern Kharkov region lately had to be abandoned without fighting, leaving behind their citizens at mercy of Neo-Nazi militias, which is unacceptable.

    While it was acceptable to withdraw from areas that were under Russian control for just a few days, it’s simply immoral to withdraw from areas that have been under Russian control already for 2 months.



    The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine forbade soldiers and officers to publicly criticize foreign military equipment

    1. A new order was received by the troops.
    2. Servicemen are forbidden to speak publicly in the media and social networks negatively about military equipment supplied from abroad.
    3. Violators are waiting for disciplinary action, as well as removal from office.
    4. The new document was developed at the request of the media people of Zelensky’s office.
    5. The Kiev leadership is closely monitoring the situation. It was revealed that Ukrainian militants are now actively criticizing American M-113 armored personnel carriers, Javelin complexes, and British anti-aircraft systems. In addition, Polish tanks and Czech Dana howitzers began to be criticized.
    Clearly weapons delivery to the Ukraine is not as rosy as what you see in the western reports.

    Now that you’ve seen the mod report, it should be easy to follow the detail from Readovka – here machine translated:

    Over the past day, the topic of the loss of an entire battalion at the Seversky Donets River crossing near Belogorovka was actively discussed. There are a lot of versions of events: from the negligent attitude of the command staff on the ground, to the heroic feat of the soldiers of the Russian Armed Forces during heavy battles. For example, former DPR Defense Minister Igor Strelkov chose an interesting tactic – ” I know, but I won’t tell you about the BTGr’s personal losses at the crossing.” One thing is for sure-the losses are great, but without having been in this “infernal hell” it is impossible to say with certainty why they were incurred.

    The situation on the fronts today is as follows:

    The situation on the Kharkiv front continues to be very tense. Units of the Russian Armed Forces shelled the positions of Ukrainian troops in the areas of the settlements of Petrovka, Nursery, Russkie Tishki and Ternovaya in order to prevent their further advance.

    The Izyum front. Last night, the village of Dolgenkoe was liberated from the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Slavyansk direction. Unfortunately, traces of terrible outrages were once again found on the site. Ukrainian nationalists abused and killed a woman in Kharkiv region. The body was found in the village of Dolgenke, liberated from the Ukrainian Armed Forces last night, by Ukrainian militants against the civilian population. According to unconfirmed reports, another Ukrainian Air Force plane was shot down north-west of Izyum.

    Luhansk front. The bridge connecting Rubizhne and Severodonetsk was blown up. The main supply route Soledar-Lisichansk is under fire from the Allied forces. To the north of Popasnaya, an offensive is developing in the direction of Kamyshevakha. The beginning of the battles for Privolye is celebrated. In turn, the AFU command continues to strengthen the group in Artemivsk (Bakhmut )in order to prevent a breakthrough from Popasna.

    On the Donetsk front, the Allied forces are trying to advance towards the settlements of Marinka and Novomikhailovka. In the afternoon, it was reported that the People’s Militia of the DPR and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation stormed the settlements of Kamenka and Novoselovka-2.

    Zaporozhye front. Heavy fighting is taking place on the outskirts of Ugledar. The locality of Pavlovka, which is adjacent to the south-western outskirts of Ugledar, passed several times from the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

    On the southern front, there is another loss of the Ukrainian Air Force near Zmeyny. This time, a 4th-generation MiG-29 fighter crashed into the Black Sea. The Ukrainian command is preparing an offensive by the forces of the 28th and 60th Separate Mechanized Brigade in the Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih directions. There is a systematic artillery attack on the positions of our troops in Vysokopolye and Knyazevka.

    Calibration today looked as follows: In Nikolaev the warehouse with ammunition of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is destroyed. Eyewitnesses report a column of black smoke at the rear of the Ukrainian Armed Forces; 3 bridges necessary for the transfer of Ukrainian forces were blown up in the Kharkiv region; work was carried out on separate objects in Odessa.

    Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to shell Kherson. The cities of the Donetsk People’s Republic continue to be under heavy shelling. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have been shelling the territory of the DPR since morning. Two people were killed, at least eight were injured, and the Kuibyshevsky, Petrovsky, and Kirovsky districts of Donetsk and Staromikhailovka were the most affected. Also, the Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled Dokuchaevsk – one person was killed, four were wounded, among them two RT cameramen were injured.

    The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation will conduct an investigation into the fact of the shelling of the Belgorod region. Bastrykin instructed to open a criminal case.

    An interesting fact is that NATO, in the course of saturating the Ukrainian front with its own weapons samples, sends outdated Western scrap metal under the “Russian press”. Surprisingly, sometimes it even comes to anti-aircraft guns of the Second World War.

    1. this was yer treatment to the kremlin’s alternate reality. well shilled, my respect. all is well in the war [my apologies, Paul. i noticed ye are only allowed to say ‘special military operation’

    2. People must be aware of however valuable The South Front blog and others who claims Russian defeats as they almost uncritically repeat Kiev claims sometimes without looking what Russian MOD or the west has to say or publishing independent analysis of events. The case in point was SF coverage of Snake Island battle when SF created impression that RF abandoned the island while in fact Russians temporarily withdrew to lure Ukrainians into attempt to take it over at cost of 100+ special forces 6 warplanes and several MI8 helicopters and military boats lost over three days. One thing is to show that not only Ukrainians are dying or are wounded although ratio is 5-10 to one Russian but the other thing is to fabricate Russian defeats or setbacks.

      Another example are Exclusively Ukrainian Claims neither confirmed by Russian MOD nor by pentagon about alleged Russian battle at crossing of Seversky Donetsk River are highly questionable and definitely Kiev is well known for fabricating evidences and lying about Russian loses or atrocities.

      Some analysis of Kiev regime provided images allegedly at Seversky Donets river crossing by MOA:

      “ The British Ministry of Defense claims that Russia lost a significant amount of material and men in an attempt to cross the Seversky Donets river. However the aerial pictures published by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry show that about half of the destroyed vehicles are BMP-1 with the original small one man turret and the stubby 73 mm gun. Russia is said to no longer have these. All its active service BMP-1 are said to have been upgraded and now have different turrets with 30 mm machine cannons with longer rifles. ”

      The rest of burned vehicles types and temporary military bridges are used by both sides suggesting that it could be Ukrainian combat groupings that was hit while trying to deploy their own temporary bridge or take over or cross Russian built bridge.

      The damage may as well come from Close Air support only Russian infantry effectively have not from long range Ukrainian artillery or helicopters Ukrainians don’t have in appropriate numbers. The fact that on one hand Russians already are on western side of the river and on the other hand AFU blew up all bridges in the area and hence would need a temporary river crossing for maneuvering or counterattack.

      1. thanks, @Kalen, for today’s Kremlin- rose-colored view of the amazing success of the russian liberators who, i am told, did NOT invade Ukraine, them just took a wrong turn in Albuquerque…
        what’s next? yer explanation of how the MOSKVA went on a special submarine operation totally unrelated to Ukrainian missiles?

      2. Today we have confirmation that AFU uses military pontoon bridges in the same battlefield area of Seversky Donets river.

        “ One of the Ukrainian attempts to cross Seversky Donets river was thwarted on May 14th, when the ponton crossing was destroyed by the Russian artillery. The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation published footage of the destruction of the pontoon crossing of the AFU.

        “While mechanised infantry units of the Russian Armed Forces were carrying out reconnaissance activity, an unmanned aviation crew detected a unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) with infantry combat vehicles trying to cross an installed pontoon bridge on Severny Donetsk.

        The pontoon bridge has been completely destroyed by artillery fire. The enemy’s vehicles that had succeeded in crossing the pontoons were destroyed by Russian artillery and infantry combat vehicle crews during the combat. Some vehicles of the AFU has been captured by the Russian servicemen.” the report of the Russian MoD reads.”

  19. Why don’t you goddamn “independent fearless investigative journalists” get it?!

    It’s your responsibility to help expose the crime of the century! Perhaps the most blatant, brazen, horrific and successful crime against the United States of America its history!!!: PNAC’s powerful catalyst of 911, unabated 20 years on! It’s high time to flip their catalyst! It’s high time to change the tide! America is well on its way to becoming the most fascist country in human history! with no bill of rights no healthcare no education no livable environment no security no freedom! No life! FLIP THEIR CATALYSTS! Use your freedom of speech While still can! Simultaneously declare your solidarity with the 3500+ architects and engineers for 911 truth! Signed the petition! write an open letter! There is strength in numbers the official story mafia will instantly be rendered powerless! Academically, 9/11 truth has already won! We must have brave free fearless independent investigative journalists, our 4th estate, to expose The United States of America and it’s Bush- Cheney Administration for committing the crime of 911! ASAFP!

    We have met the enemy and he is us.

    Inside out:

    Number one documentary in human history! Fahrenheit 911:

    15 years later: on the physics of high-rise building collapses

    The web traffic to this story crashed Europhysicsnews website! Still their number one story in their history!

    Biggest arson insurance fraud in human history!

    911 – WTC7 – Larry Silverstein says “Pull it”

    Building 7

    Towers exploding

  20. Towers down, bodies hacked.

    The provisional results of evidence being collected about the work of U.S. bioweapons in Ukraine are simply astonishing. These are the main takeaways.

    U.S. bioweapon ideologues comprise the leadership of the Democratic Party. By linking with non-governmental biotechnology organizations, using the investment funds of the Clintons, Rockefellers, Soros and Biden, they profited from additional campaign financing – all duly concealed. In parallel, they assembled the legislative basis for financing the bioweapons program directly from the federal budget.

    COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, as well as Merck and Gilead – of Donald “known unknowns” fame, and affiliated with the Pentagon – were directly involved.

    U.S. specialists tested new drugs in the Ukraine biolabs in circumvention of international safety standards. According to Kirillov, acting this way “Western companies seriously reduce the costs of research programs and gain significant competitive advantages.”

    According to Kirillov, “along with U.S. pharmaceutical companies and Pentagon contractors, Ukrainian government agencies are involved in military biotechnology activities, whose main tasks are to conceal illegal activities, conduct field and clinical trials and provide the necessary biomaterial.”

    The Pentagon, Kirillov pointed out, expanded its research potential not only in terms of producing biological weapons, but also gathering information on antibiotic resistance and the presence of antibodies to certain diseases among the population in specific regions. The testing ground in Ukraine was practically outside the control of the so-called “international community”.

  21. note to Bob Scheer: thank you for introducing the voice of Patrick Cockburn who openly calls a spade a spade without fudging. as expected, the united shill company has turned on ye, since even suggesting the’special military operation’ is actually going very poorly, is in clear violation of direct kremlin doctrine…., but don’t ye be shill-shocked, after all if ye don’t catch flak from both sides ye are not doing yer job. audiate et altera pars…..
    thanks again.

  22. Odd thoughts:
    Can Putin win a war of attrition?
    The Ukraine seems to be hanging in there, in the field.
    But it is slowly leaking from the news, which for it is bad news insofar as they need the support of the American public.
    Natural and man-made disasters will command chunks of time. The January 6 committee is fighting for time, and now congressional and senate primaries are being contested, the ’22 elections being less than 6 months away. These latter two matters concern our democracy, which must be continually be promoted, legitimized and reinforced. This is even more important than the war.
    From the Trump years, the obligatory, always record breaking Republican tax cuts. The Covid-19 small business aid – administered by Wall Street – was a total flush… necessarily. Trump bought a proper pile of hydroxychloroquine, and handed out a number of stimulus checks. There’s certainly more.
    Biden pushed Covid-19 vaccinations and made them free, and biotech Pharma made a killing at government expense. Biden hasn’t gotten even half of what he ostensibly wanted, but he’s done his share of spending.
    American debt is been continually swelling, and it’s now a serious problem.
    How do governments lighten debt? They inflate their way out of it. Covid-19 compounded debt and inflamed inflation, and now, for the war, we’re throwing lots of money and (not inexpensive) weaponry at Zelensky.

    Biden is bombing and getting bombed, suffering a steady decline in the polls. Conventional (sick) wisdom has the Dems losing in ’22, and if Trump can stay vertical through ’24, he seems likely to win. This can only work in Putin’s favor.

    Back to that debt and inflation: I’m not so sure the perennially docile residents of America are going to stand for being subject to continued and enhanced austerity, or a democracy whose only tangible benefit is the right (or not) to vote every couple years.
    Maybe Putin isn’t as crazy as American pundits make out. He may be calling devils up on his own people, but (maybe) the Americans and (surely) the Europeans are liable to endure no less misery than the Russians, and are likely far less fit to do so.
    Think it’s bad now?

  23. Patrick Coburn is either an idiot or is doubling down as agent for international Whiteness like most White liberals do.

    To perceive that, as point of departure, this. conflict as merely about Russia and Ukraine and only grudgingly suggest wider implications without historical memory is painful to hear from a titular doyen of journalism.

    No contextualization of the historical hatred by Western powers of the Russian people. No location of the roots of the war in the encirclement of Russia. And on and on.

    We have lost all confidence in these apologists for Western domination of the world forever under the rubric of leftist orientations when in truth and in fact they are merely sheep dogs for empire. Coburn is not dissimilar to those on so-called mainstream media as apologists for entrenched Whiteness.

    1. @pachamama “‘encirclement of russia'” oh, please -never mind Goebbels, even if ye repeat it ad nauseam, a lie is still a lie… russia [if ye look at land borders, which be far less than half of russia’s overall borders] shares a whopping 6% borderline with Nato. some encirclement this is. well, looks like it is now about to DOUBLE with Finland joining Nato… what is it with those Finnish Nazis, always picking on russia, like in the second world war when they unprovokedly invaded russia and took huge chunks of land away from them… google ‘winter war’…
      see, ye shills always whine how Nato is ‘DOING THIS TO RUSSIA’ when the truth is all the neighbors, all the states who KNOW russia so much better than ye ever will, are BEGGING to be admitted, cause they are SCARED…. if all yer neighbors told me ye was a murderous thug, then mebbe that’s cause ye ARE a murderous thug? dat possible?
      one more thing about yer ‘encirclement’ shill-myth: the baltic states Estonia and Latvia, [both , collectively, doing one third of the current, stifling encirclement of Russia], never had more than a thousand Nato troops and under 10 [TEN!!!] Nato planes each. no rockets, missiles, nada…. just a MINIMAL presence of Nato. ye could look these things up, ye do not need to stay this ignorant..[though it pays ye well, que no?]
      so then, where was the threat? putin scared of Estonia? Latvia? they might attack any moment now! and the Swedes, PROUDLY NEUTRAL FOR 200 YEARS , why them Swedish Nazis are currently ganging up on putin, too! can’t a murderous dictator catch a break?

      1. arvo

        Yours is the propaganda. Why up to 14 new members when cia agents were in every RF government agency since 1991?

        Why break all promises made?

        Why turn down RF last entreaties?

        Why continue to build military bases around the RF?

        Why renew your support for Nazis who are showing their fangs at home and abroad?

        This is about the maintenance of Anglo-Saxon racist supremacy in the world. Our contention is that the risks of nuclear holocaust or nuclear annihilation itself should be preferred.

    2. It is not hard to understand why so many people are so anxious impatient waiting for Zelensky clique to quickly fall as a result of Russian intervention. And wrongly interpreted the situation as supposed reversal of military initiative which it is definitely not.

      In fact RF forces were specifically ordered not to go for regime change in Kiev as such action would not fall under legality of this intervention under Article 51 of UN charter under collective self defense clause Russia claimed at UN (US used it in Iraq and Afghanistan).

      And hence toppling Kiev regime and takeover by Russian military administration would have constituted supreme crime of aggression making Russian legal intervention to assist an ally LDPR under attack into illegal invasion and occupation.

      In fact self disintegration of Kiev regime now would been bad for Russian strategic objectives.

      The reality is that Zelensky is still in Kiev because both US and Russia want him there as a puppet for totally different reasons.

      He is there because he will parrot everything he is told and because of plausible western deniability of otherwise hard fact that it is war between NATO and Russia where Ukraine is treated as de facto NATO member and its defense forces are de facto under NATO command.

      For Russia he is there to discredit himself in Russia, China India and the west by supporting Ukro-NAZI and either break and be replaced or capitulate and sign acceptable for Russia peace treaty of Demilitarization, Denazification recognition of LDPR and Crimea as Russian and presence of Russian control over the south and Black Sea Ukrainian ports , in fact his refusal to negotiate allows Russia to still secure strategic interests, seize Azov sea and its ports and land bridge to Crimea which is main base for Black Sea fleet while slowly with least possible casualties, at economically sustainable pace and without endangering strategic defensive capabilities of entire Russian territory amid NATO expansion and aggressive militarization of Japan and South Korea and ASEAN allies.

      Not too many people are aware that not as much command but wise war economics is what wins wars. So far anti Russian sanctions utterly failed while ricocheted hurting west badly and will continue to do into winter of huge discontent.

      Even people like Scott Ritter who acknowledged complete Ukrainian military defeat seems to show signs of political uneasiness about Russian strategy, he should have been familiar with, by asking questions why Kiev regime is still there and why western weapons are still flowing in. Why Russia would not finish it and save AFU embarrassment as it has another 200,000 army group in central Russia ready to roll?

      Along this lines one may ask question why Russia still supplies fuel and other strategic commodities to use in western war machine against them.

      The answer is the same legality, international law, compliance with commercial contracts as to retain credibility and dissuade any notions of possible internal instability or panic, strategic global defense interests including relations with China and India and actual failure of NATO military support that so far achieved nothing of strategic impact but sowed seeds of mass terrorism worldwide in next decades as especially hand held weapon systems that are being hijacked at Ukraine territorial defense units checkpoints or simply sold or stolen by armed gangs as all the weapons transports are done using commercial trucks not in protected convoys.

      Smuggling via Moldova or selling western weapons to LDPR for peanuts as numerous videos proved ($10,000 per full APC load of American ATGMs NLAWs with APC on a house) as well as massive complaints about malfunction or failures of such weapons is another side of NATO failure.

      Now many LDPR militia units show western ATGMs as their primary anti tank weapons. Even Pentagon officials complains that they lost track of weapons as they entered Ukraine which prompted senator Paul to delay Ukrainian war funding unless all weapons are accounted for.

      Another question that Russian skeptics are asking is why Ukrainian Air Force is still flying after supposedly two months of Russian Air Supremacy. In fact daily sorties or UAF average 5-10 per day except of small drones while Russians flying about 300+ sorties daily.

      And the only reason why some old helicopters are still in Ukrainian hands and occasionally flying and occasionally invading Russia border area is because they are buried in huge nuclear shelters underneath every airport in every major city in Ukraine. I know that for a fact because in 2014 it took five months of fighting for Donbas militia to take over Donetsk international airport where in underground nuclear shelter helicopters and entire mechanized brigade with tanks were hiding. Russians clearly periodically pretend weakness of their air defense system allowing few sorries to provoke Kiev to use those few dozens of remaining hidden aircraft in operations like Snake Island only to be later shot down.

      Over all it will be a grinder with many Ukrainians dead but that is choice of desperate NATO as so far diminished their combat readiness by dumping useless junk on Ukraine amid completely depleted fuel putting Ukrainian military into grounding halt.

      Unprecedented high prices and Long lines for gasoline and diesel not only in Ukraine but in Europe have economic impact as military is hoarding scarce fuel ax its shortage makes them vulnerable.

      1. I wanted to thank-you for your posts, Kalen, as I’ve gotten better understanding of history (the origins of the term facism) and details on the Ukraine war (underground nuclear shelters used as bases).

        An illusion that is dispelling for me, is the might of the American armed forces. The idea that NATO is not prepared for the Russians, who spend 1/10th or less on its army, that the equipment sent to the Ukrainians is old or faulty, when the Americans spend roughly $1 trillion a year on the military and neglect their own citizens, blows the mind. Have the Americans gotten over-reliant on hi-tech (the problems developing the F-35 come to mind)?

        I’ve heard it discussed the US doesn’t care about winning a war, as much as continuing one and continuing the flow of money through the MIC. Perhaps the money going to the MIC has also been more important than the equipment itself being effective in combat. For example, Scott Ritter has spoken about the Chinese naval missiles rendering the US pacific fleet obsolete. What a sad testament that the US could become an old, toothless lion, no matter how loud its roar.

  24. I can’t help but wonder why Robert Scheer has not yet published Glenn Greenwald’s most recent lopsided SUBSTACK screed, “The Bizarre, Unanimous Dem Support for the $40b War Package to Raytheon and CIA: ‘For Ukraine.'” More than a few acquaintances and family members who are Trump supporters forwarded Greenwald’s latest observations to me yesterday. Maybe Bob has seen the light and has decided not to published Greenwalds one sided observations?

    1. Citykid_ as long as Bob Scheer publishes the one-sided observations FROM BOTH SIDES, he would appear to be doing his job…

  25. Bob Sheer is doing good job as he can interview anyone who may contribute to debate but the problem is that Cockburn practically follows official western narrative most people here know well, being bombarded by it from everywhere daily, and flatly rejected as one sided, highly ideological and shamefully Russophobic as Sheer experienced personally being called Putin stooge by his former LAT colleagues for years now.

    May be better priority for Sheer Post would be more focusing on countering official propaganda (although it does that a lot today) than on repeating it on precious few pages of still existing independent blogs amid Orwellian crackdown on dissenting voices especially when we, holders of independent, alternative opinions, have no such chance to exercise our free speech rights and convey our point of view in corporate MSM and social media amid rampant censorship and banning as people like avro who continuously peddle official propaganda narrative are graciously afforded here.

    The problem is that Cockburn seems completely unaware of deep psychological impact on Russians of eight year conflict in Donbas terrorizing fellow ethnic Russians in Ukraine that preceded 2022 intervention and twenty years of relentless NATO expansion to the east that despite western declarations de facto threatens Russian strategic defense interests as Russian military Alliance with Nicaragua, Cuba and Mexico would have threaten US.

    I am personally against something like spheres of influence of global superpowers but that is reality on the ground that cannot be ignored. They can be criticized or condemned but must be understood.

    All that are not some esoteric speculations but Global geopolitics 101 Cockburn should have known and acknowledge but chose to ignore and instead is buying western Russophobic propaganda aimed for simple masses.

    One would expect more recognition of Realpolitik from Cockburn which means that Russia won’t lose this battle no matter what and no matter how high casualties and costs could be as it is existential battle for future security and the very right to existence of RF as a independent country as Putin outlined in his February 24, 2022 speech emphasizing harsh criticism of Stalin for endangering the very existence of Soviet Union and Russia by among other factors policies of appeasement to Nazis in 1939 that lead to national catastrophe.

    Putin above all other reasons wants to defeat reborn in Ukraine Nazism when it is still weak and defeatable. That fact alone should have made Cockburn to re-examine official western narratives about real military situation assessments and future development of this conflict.

    1. Kalen – the reason i do not engage with ye is that battle of wits with the unarmed is boring… anyone who describes the 1939 Hitler-Stalin pact as “appeasement’ OF hitler BY stalin has obviously never even read up on it…. it was two murderous dictators dividing eastern europe between them, and this is all ye will hear from me, yer ignorance offends me!

      1. @Arvo;
        Insulting, assaulting, smearing, verbally abusive, disinterested, dismissive, intimidating, aggravated, bored, close minded, ignorant, disengaged, offended by other people’s free speech etc., … ok, ok you made your point. We know now that you are not here to debate anything or anyone but rather to stifle this debate, intimidate and force people to swallow your supreme delusions of self proclaimed authority over “little people” and by that behaving like little annoying bully who apparently sings songs only of those whose bread he eats.

        I wonder what the hell else are you doing here on this blog beside your verbal masochistic sessions of sheer boredom. Or you’re not allowed to say.

    1. Miks
      pray elaborate… due to family links with Estonia, i know of the teutonic knights, at least the old ones [who, in the middle ages, went to christianize the baltics, and, by some queer coincidence, ended up owning all the lands] but ye talk of something else,here, no?

  26. This misses the mark so badly due to inadequate research. The intervention in Ukraine is not some parochial enterprise to secure Russian interest & security. It is a purposeful move by Russia with support of the global east & south to *end* the US empire.
    See: ‘Mapping The Escher-like Landscape Of United States Fossil Fuel Sanctions’

    1. Finkelstein gets it mostly right,

      To stop this, the Soviet Union offers a perfectly reasonable resolution: just neutralize Ukraine like we neutralized Austria after World War II, neither aligned with an Eastern bloc nor aligned with a Western bloc. That seemed to me perfectly reasonable. And the people I mentioned, Mearsheimer, Cohen passed away since but Professor Chomsky and a number of others, they’ll all agree on the reasonableness of Putin’s demands.

      And then the reasonableness of those demands, those demands have to, as Briahna says in her paper and as she said this evening, they have to always be seen in context. So what’s the context? The context is the Soviet Union, the former Russia, it lost… the estimates are about 30 million people during World War II. The United States which, if you watch American movies, you would think the US won World War II, it lost about two hundred thousand people. The UK was the second candidate for winning World War II, they lost about four hundred thousand people. The Soviet Union lost 30 million people. Even those who didn’t take courses in the hard sciences can reckon the difference between several hundred thousand and thirty million. Now that’s not an ancient memory for the Russians. If you… I remember Stephen F. Cohen saying “when I grew up in little America —he was from Kentucky— we used to celebrate…” I forgot what was called here Victory Day, V-something, he said “but you know now as adults we don’t celebrate that anymore in the United States, Victory in World War II”, he said, but Russia, he said, they still celebrate V-Day, they still celebrate it. I live in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. A large part is Russian Jews, a large part is Russian Jews. You go out in May, you go out on the V-Day, and you can see that Russians up to 80 and 90 year olds, they’re wearing medals, they’re medals from World War II. That memory is alive.

      And now there’s this Ukraine, where Nazis are playing an outsized role. I’m not saying they’re a majority, but in the political and military life, they play an outsized —disproportionate let’s call it— role. This Ukraine where Nazis are playing an outsized role, are aligned with a formidable military bloc called NATO, NATO keeps advancing and advancing and advancing, closing on Russia, trying to suffocate it… And beginning around 2016, under Trump, begins to arm the Ukraine, pouring in weapons, engaging in military exercises with NATO, behaving very provocatively. And then the Foreign Minister Lavrov finally says we’ve reached the boiling point.

      Now everything I just told you, Professor Chomsky, John Mearsheimer and others will acknowledge it. The mainstream press won’t even acknowledge that but people who call themselves just, legitimately call themselves dissidents, although Mearsheimer wouldn’t call himself a dissident, he just calls himself a realist. Nice guy, I consider him a friend, I like him. They’ll acknowledge all that. But then they say the invasion was criminal. Criminal invasion, criminal, criminal, criminal. And my question which I’ve constantly been putting in correspondence is a very simple one: if you agree that for 20 years—more than 20 years, more than two decades—, Russia has tried to engage in diplomacy; if you agree that the Russian demand to neutralize Ukraine —not occupy it, not determine its government, its form of economy, just neutralize it like Austria after World War II—, if you agree that was a legitimate demand; if you agree that the West was expanding and expanding NATO; if you agree that Ukraine de facto had become a member of NATO, weapons pouring in, engaging in military exercises in NATO; and if you agree… You know, Russia lost 30 million people during World War II because of the Nazi invasion, so there’s a legitimate concern by Russia with all of these —if you excuse my language— Nazis floating around in the Ukraine, then the simple question is: What was Russia to do?

      1. This is really good , but makes one very common error, of assuming that it was the Trump administration which began the pouring of military aid on Ukraine, when it was in fact the *Obama* administration that began it to the tune of tens of billions of dollars in direct aid and loan guarantees. (See links below.)

        The Obama administration provided *massive* amounts of military equipment and training to Kiev, with the sole *exception* of *offensive* weapons. Kiev would not have been able to bomb Donbas from 2014 to 2022 nonstop without Obama’s aid, which massively bolstered Kiev’s military capability, and most importantly freed up money for Kiev so that it could *buy* offensive weaponry. From 2014 to 2016 the Obama administration provided over $200 million in military aid to Ukraine.

        And this US direct military aid was just the tip of the iceberg. From 2014 to 2016 the US and other western nations provided $30 BILLION in international loan guarantees ($3 billion of which came from the US) giving Kiev the ability to buy as much ‘lethal aid’ weaponry as it need to prosecute NATO’s proxy war with Russia in Donbas.

        So it is just not correct to imply that the US and NATO did not provide military aid and money for lethal aid under Obama. They most certainly did. Bigtime.

        Here are two links to Obama White House briefing documents which detail this US aid, and the loan guarantees, to Kiev’s war.



      2. Oh, funding and torture techniques for UkiNaziStan were deployed by USA and UK a long long time ago. Finkelstein says some good stuff, but the fact is, how many Russian speakers and Russian backers were murdered in Donbass? And, then, how many Americans murdered in Panama for that “invasion?”

        RIght! You won’t get movies like this on that Holly-Dirt Oscars Night, and a speech like this would be cut ten seconds in!

        Academy Awards® Acceptance Speech
        Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

        Director/Producer, “The Panama Deception”
        Best Documentary Feature
        March 29,1993

        Thank you. First, I’d like to acknowledge a most remarkable man, the writer and editor, one of the producers, the co-founder and co-director ofthe Empowerment Project which supports many filmmakers every year, David Kasper (applause) as well as the other two producers without whose perseverance the film would never have been completed, Nico Panlgutti andJoanne Doroshow.

        We’d like to take a moment and dedicate this film to all the people who have worked so hard for justice and truth and peace around the world, particularly the four people who died who were working in association with this film; and the hundreds and possibly thousands of Panamanians who died in this invasion, whose stories might never otherwise be told because of the deceptive practices and tactics of our government, with the complicity (scattered audience hissing) – I don’t like it either, but it’s the way it is – with the complicity of the major media.

        We would also like to dedicate the film to the courageous Panamanian journalists and human rights activists who have defied the Panamanian ban against the screening of this film at personal risk, to show it in the last few weeks in Panama which, by the way, reversed the censorship ban which was nationwide; and to the millions of Americans who may or may not get to see this film now that public TV has also refused a broadcast.

        In closing, I’d just like to say we have a tremendous amount of potential in the world. Those of us here have a tremendous amount of potential to impact the world. Let’s use it. Let’s challenge this new Administration to reverse the legacy that we have left through our policies in the world, and become the Americans that we’re capable of. Thank you very, very much.


        In fact, this Western attitude was already expected by all analysts who study the Ukrainian case. Silence and disdain have already become central hallmarks of the way Kiev’s allies deal with the countless evidence of war crimes, genocide and torture committed by the Ukrainian armed forces and Russophobic neo-Nazi militias. Russia has been trying to resolve the case in international instances for a long time, but without success, as is the case with the lawsuit filed within the European Court and ignored by the judges. The impossibility of peaceful resolution was one of the reasons why the military operation became inevitable.

        What seems most shocking, however, is the fact that the reports pointed out by Van den Ende states as a conclusion that there is a similarity in practices between the acts of torture witnessed in the Donbass and those practiced by US agents in other parts of the world. Some of the journalists who participated in the investigations in Donbass, including Sonja herself, had previously participated in similar activities elsewhere, investigating crimes of torture committed by Americans. These professionals see an extreme similarity of practices in both cases and believe that this is not a mere coincidence.

        The Dutch journalist stated that the torture techniques she saw practiced in a secret Ukrainian prison in Mariupol are strikingly similar to those practiced by the CIA in clandestine detention sites around the world. These techniques include acts of extreme violence, such as the so-called “enhanced interrogations”, where the interrogated are physically hurt in order to give information – a practice that was already confirmed by the US Senate, in 2014, to have been used by the CIA against prisoners.

        Furthermore, Van den Ende claims that she has found evidence that Ukrainian neo-Nazis practice the so-called “waterboarding”, a drowning technique that is also widely used by the CIA, which leads her to believe that the Azov Battalion and other Ukrainian nationalist militias have been specifically trained by the Americans on “how to torture” their detainees.

        Considering the high level of proximity between US intelligence and Ukrainian neo-Nazis, it does not seem surprising that the US has in fact operated some sort of clandestine training, teaching torture techniques considered “efficient”. What is surprising is that international organizations remain silent in the face of such an absurd fact. Something so serious cannot in any way be ignored: sanctions must be applied against the US for its connivance with Ukrainian crimes in Donbass.

  27. @ erik brooks – and the russians need to employ theft, torture, rape and murder to end the aforementioned US empire? mebbe not a great alternative, methinks…. some might prefer the US empire as the lesser of two evils….

    1. Yeah, I think the issue is a lot more complicated than that — the need for a multi-polar world, the threat of nuclear armageddon, that this supports the dominance of the military-industrial complex for another 30 years, etc.

      1. Nonetheless, a war and economic re-alliance of the global East and South against the US empire is what is happening, whether we consider it preferable or not. I recently sketched out an essay, at the following link (with fossil fuel access as a focus) which lays out these dynamics. The links to sources at the end of the essay show a comprehensive panorama of what is happening.

        Mapping The Escher-like Landscape Of United States Fossil Fuel Sanctions:
        Dynamics of United States Manipulation of Fossil Fuel Supply & Prices Since 2009

    2. That’s specious propaganda. Russia is not doing anything of the kind. (See the link to the US Pentagon leak below.)

      And the idea that the US empire (which since 1945 has unleashed an unmitigated economic and military reign and rain of terror on the entire planet, making war on scores of countries, killing tens of millions of innocent people and displacing even more) – the idea that US rule is somehow preferable to a measured Russian intervention to ensure that Ukraine remains neutral, and that the US empire is stopped from insanely expanding any further, is utterly laughable on its face.

      “Pentagon Drops Truth Bombs to Stave Off War With Russia”

  28. V. Arkhipov, 1962, prevented use of nuclear weapons in the Cuban missile crisis— the world still does not appreciate its fortunate of avoiding nuclear war.

    Today, there are very many war enthusiasts, war profiteers, and war mongers, mostly in the Western world and in desperate Russia.
    Khrushcez and Kennedy desperately sought to defuse the crisis but today Biden and all Nato desperately seek to inflame the war ( with tons of weapons and about $ 40 billions of arms) which is no different from the Cuban missile crisis but in Ukraine instead of Carribean.

    This time, the globe will not be as lucky as 1962 as there is no V. Arkhipov to save us today but lots of Dr. Strangeloves.

    If a nuclear war destroys the world , at least Ukraine will not have to pay back $ 40 – 60 billion to M I complex.
    UK took over 60 years to pay USA for WW2 debts so, Ukraine takes?? 260 years??

    1. Interest accumulates in a geometric progression, so that most of these large debts can never be repaid, no matter how severe the austerity imposed and how thoroughly the common assets are privatized. The only way out is if the sheriff dies (the USA war machine loses the power to collect). Climate instability is here. The western USA has an unfixable drought, and the powers that be are in denial. I’ve planted my victory garden, have you?

  29. Simple Question: “Will the Ukraine War End Without Destroying All Life on the Planet?”
    Short Answer: Not if the U.S. hegemon continues unabated to be the soulless, inhumane, puppet master!

  30. Em
    Second, slightly more complex questions:
    How close is humanity to nuclear war?
    The nuclear detonator has been triggered.
    If the doomsday clock was already reading 3 seconds to midnight, prior to the ‘special operation’ is there time, and is there a viable procedure for countering/reversing this action, at this late stage, before the final explosion?
    It is always said, with positive blind faith emphasis, by optimists that: “If there is a will there is a way!”
    Guess I’m not seeing the will, which makes me a pessimist! Perhaps, though, skeptic permits of a tinge of optimism, yet being a cynic, this makes believing more difficult…

  31. Oh, come on, the elephant in the room — ZioLensky stated, “Ukraine will be the next Israel.” And, well, the Jewish funders and the Jewish politicians, are very very happy!

    Author and jazz & world music artist of note, Gilad Atzmon, to discuss the incredible drama at the Azovstal Industrial Plant in Mariupol, where Ukraine’s Zelensky regime and its western media counterparts attempted to erect a modern mythology and grand narrative around the Azov Battalion holdouts hiding underneath the city’s final battle zone. Gilad also discusses the construction of Zelensky’s public image in the West, his Jewish identity and relationship to Israel. Combined together, many of these facets reveal the inconvenient truth about the West’s Ukraine project, and how far western democracies have drifted from their Athenian morals, ethics and principles.

    See Gilad’s work at:

  32. Well we are certainly seeing ‘Total Propaganda War’. ALL assets are being used…
    With several nonsense statements in this article, Cockburn has destroyed his credibility for me… Maybe he is just getting old, but I have re-evaluated him. For instance Skripal and Salisbury was MI6 in a panic. Where are the Skripals now? ‘Novichok’? The head nurse of the British army suddenly appearing? Doorknobs? ROFL

  33. I think that a lot of people ARE worried about a nuclear war. I am and rpeverybody I talk to are worried too! .but, it appears that nobody, knows what to do about it, especially since the US practically pushed Putin into the attack, rather than try and negotiate!!!

    1. Practically pushed Putin?

      Oh, you miss all the points.

      And, here, even this story points to the Nazi’s of Ukraine:

      Katerina Yushenko: First Lady, CIA Asset

      Katerina Chumachenko, which is her real name, is the wife of former Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko (2005-2010), who came to power after a first American coloured revolution, called the Orange Revolution. It took place in the winter of 2004-2005 and was the first attempt by the United States to destabilize Ukraine, but was swept away in 2010 by the victory in the presidential elections of the pro-Russian president Yanukovych, who was elected with the large vote of ethnic Russians from the east of the country. The story of this couple is interesting because it sheds light on the long struggle that has been going on in Ukraine for nearly 20 years, and the slow American undermining of this region that is key to stability in Europe. Let’s follow this lady’s steps… through the corridors of the White House and into the Ukrainian presidency.

      CIA agent and key player in the destabilization of Ukraine.

       Born in Chicago in 1961 into a family of Ukrainian immigrants, she studied at Georgetown University. In the early 1980s, she was recruited by the American intelligence services as the Cold War was coming to an end. She met Yaroslav Stetsko, a close associate of Bandera, who was in exile in the United States and had founded an anti-Soviet organisation, the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations, ABN (1946), which was headed by the nationalist leader until his death in 1986. Ekaterina worked for this organisation, and from 1985 became an analyst in the US State Department and National Security Council. The following year, she worked in the Human Rights Office and supervised activities towards the countries of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. She then served as Deputy Director of the International Department, where she wrote analytical papers for Ronald Reagan himself. In 1989 she moved to the US Treasury and until 1991 worked on the Congressional Economic Committee. She has always refused to talk about this period of her life and her intelligence work for the USA. However, the tracks are clear, they lead to the CIA, but also to Ukrainian and German neo-Nazi circles, courted by the Americans during the Cold War and later recycled in the great manœuvres aimed at undermining Russia’s influence in Ukraine. As soon as the country became independent, she moved to Ukraine, where she created the Ukrainian American Foundation.  It was then at the centre of many transactions and operations, notably around USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, managing the distribution of ‘financial aid’, a powerful organisation managed by the American presidency and a huge spy and infiltration machine around the world.

      The neo-Nazi affiliations of the future First Lady of Ukraine.

       She had very close relations with former Nazis, notably the German Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Oberlander (1905-1998), a former officer of the Nachtigall Battalion, a proven Nazi and convinced of having participated in the massacres against Jews and Poles in Ukraine. He was also suspected of war crimes against the Red Army on the Eastern Front, and was a member of the staff of the Liberation Army of the famous Vlassov. He was recycled by the Americans and became, ironically, a member of the West German Parliament (1953-1965), a member of the Bavarian Parliament (1950-1953), in charge in the Federal Ministry for Displaced Persons, Refugees and War Victims in several cabinets of Chancellor Conrad Adenauer. His mentor was the Ukrainian collaborator of Nazi Germany, Yaroslav Stetsko (1912-1986).  This character had declared the independence of Ukraine in Lvov (June 1941), attracting the wrath of Germany, as Hitler’s plans had never been to favor this option, but to pressurise Ukraine as a simple occupied territory. As an agent of the Abwehr, the Nazi secret service, he gnawed his teeth in prison but wrote his memoirs, in which he unequivocally described the Muscovite as the absolute enemy… along with the Jew, and even wrote that he approved of the total extermination of the latter and the German methods. He was recycled in view of the danger of an imminent Soviet invasion, and put back in the saddle by the SS (1944). It was then that the UAI was formed, out of the UPA, an army of Ukrainian partisans serving alongside Hitler’s groups, whose HQ was in Berlin. Wounded during a bombing (April 1945), he managed to sneak into the Allied-controlled zone and was soon hired by the American secret service. It was in this milieu that the wife of the Ukrainian president was raised… and propelled into the highest US spheres.


      Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Moscow, May 18, 2022 (Extensive)

      The Russian Federation has obtained materials indicating that biological laboratories in Ukraine operating with support from the Pentagon’s Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and its affiliated companies – Black and Veatch and CH2M Hill – engaged in biological warfare research in violation of Articles I and IV of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC).

      The laboratories conducted research into dangerous and highly dangerous pathogens in the interests of the Pentagon’s National Centre for Medical Intelligence, with the BSL-3 Central Reference Laboratory based at Ukraine’s Mechnikov Anti-Plague Research Institute in Odessa playing the key role in these programmes.

      “CH2M Hill, we had to deal with that chickenshit outfit when we were fighting the UC. Doesn’t surprise me at all that they are engaged in biological warfare in the Ukraine.”

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