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Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts

Blok To the Rescue: A Page from the History of World Revolution


Blok To the Rescue: A Page from the History of World Revolution

By Prof. Vladimir Golstein

As we watch and experience protests, riots and looting, I can’t help but think of various revolutionary riots, some of which crushed, some resulting in a drastic change, some petering out.

There is a fascinating, brilliant, and paradoxical essay on the subject, written in 1918 by Alexander Blok: Catiline. With the subtitle: A Page from the History of World Revolution. The essay muses on the Roman rebel, Catiline, who led a failed coup in 63 BC. This essay is worth revisiting.

So this Catiline was an aristocrat, notorious for his crimes and scandals. Propagandists of his day, tried to present him as a mixture of Weinstein and Epstein. The biggest of these propagandists Cicero, Christian Amanpour or Rachel Maddow of his day, who spent endless amount of time exposing “Catiline’s conspiracy.” And of course, pseudo pundits pitched in, like this hypocritical historian, Sallust. Who probably worked in some Roman Think Tank, called Mediterranean Security Council.

Forced to study Cicero in schools, the later generations, continued to malign Catiline, all the way to Voltaire. Virtue signaling and cheap showing off is the vice that even the greatest can’t escape. Until Cateline’s story reached Ibsen and then Blok.

What's happened? Both Ibsen and Blok understood that Rome of Catiline’s day, was the epitome of the stifling, materialistic, delusional empire bound to collapse. Referring to Rome as "triumphantly decomposing,” Blok claims that the heart of Rome stopped when Christ was born. The Rome continued like a zombie, until it fully collapsed not only under the external pressure, but more importantly, under its own weight and moral bankruptcy.

So for Blok, the only interesting way to interpret Catiline was to see him as a symptom. Catiline was obviously pursuing his own goals and vendettas, yet his rebellion served a lighting rod, attracting many people marginalized and crushed by the decaying Roman Empire. The revolt was a reminder that something was rotten and was bound to be shaken up. As Blok puts it: "Roman culture was indicted forever in a different non-hypocritical court, the court of Jesus Christ."

So yes, the old order, the Washington consensus of the last seventy years, is being shaken up. Scandals, military adventurism, the abuse of its Praetorian guards, lies, spinning, failure to take care of the weakest and helpless members of the society.

Many decaying regimes exhibit similar features. But Rome was clearly the father of them all. Blok, therefore writes in his diary: "Catiline. What a close, FAMILIAR, sad world!" He keeps on returning to the theme: referring to Rome’s "old, provincial, vulgar, positivist morality."

Besides indictment of Rome, what is fascinating about Blok’s analysis is his creative reading of Catiline. He sees him as "created by social inequality, suckled in its suffocating atmosphere.” Yet, despite Catiline’s personal failings, he –and his movement- got transformed, caught in the revolutionary upheaval. That’s how Blok describes Catiline gang’s march through Rome: “This is the same Catiline, the recent pet of the lionesses of Roman society and the demi-monde, the criminal ringleader of a debauched band. He walks with the same "now lazy, now hurried" gait, but his fury and rage have communicated a musical rhythm to his walk, as if this were no longer the same mercenary and debauched Catiline; in the tread of this man are revolt, uprising, and the furies of the people's anger.” What a great line: “In the tread of this man are revolt, uprising, and the furies of the people's anger.”

Blok was clearly fascinated by this revolutionary march through Rome. He knew that the uprising was to be crushed. That it would take another few centuries for Pax Romana to find its way into the dustbin of history. Yet, he could not help but hear the sound of liberation in this hurried march through Roman squares: "Do you hear that uneven, hurried step of the condemned man, the step of the revolutionary, the step in which the storm of fury sounds, resolving itself in staccato musical sounds?"

And no amount of Cicero eloquence can cover the fact, that there is a "non-hypocritical court" of history, or God, or whatever one wants to call it, that has already pronounced its verdict. In fact, Ciceros of today can go on, expressing their anger at racism, or Trump, or looting, or any other subject one is allowed to criticize by the Praetorian guards of the mass media. The system based on making rich richer and poor –poorer is wrong. The system based on the endless fear-mongering is wrong. The system that can’t see beyond bread and circus is sick to the core. The system that serves shareholders of military corporations and not the sick and the needy has only one way to go. If the system still divides the world into Rome and Barbarians, into aristocrats and sans-quilots, into exceptional Atlantists and its resources, it cannot last. I trust Blok on that.

Bourbons, when they were restored in France, also tried to present French revolution as nothing but murderous fury, and tried to turn the clock back, but obviously, history has its own logic. Ancient Regime was done for; it simply took it another fifty years to realize it.

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Will US Elites Give Détente With Russia a Chance? By Prof. Stephen F. Cohen

The Trump-Putin meeting in Japan is crucial for both leaders—and for the world.


Despite determined attempts in Washington to sabotage such a “summit,” as I reported previously, President Trump and Russian President Putin are still scheduled to meet at the G-20 gathering in Japan this week. Iran will be at the top of their agenda. The Trump administration seems determined to wage cold, possibly even hot, war against the Islamic Republic, while for Moscow, as emphasized by the Kremlin’s national security adviser, Nikolai Patrushev, on June 25, “Iran has been and will be an ally and partner of ours.”

Indeed, the importance of Iran (along with China) to Russia can hardly be overstated. Among other reasons, as the West’s military alliance encroaches ever more along Russia’s western borders, Iran is a large, vital non-NATO neighbor. Still more, Teheran has done nothing to incite Russia’s own millions of Muslim citizens against Moscow. Well before Trump, powerful forces in Washington have long sought to project Iran as America’s primary enemy in the Middle East, but for Moscow it is a necessary “ally and partner.”

In normal political circumstances, Trump and Putin could probably diminish any potential US-Russian conflict over Iran—and the one still brewing in Syria as well. But both leaders come to the summit with related political problems at home. For Trump, they are the unproven but persistent allegations of “Russiagate.” For Putin, they are economic.


As I have also previously explained, while there was fairly traditional “meddling,” there was no “Russian attack” on the 2016 American presidential election. But for many mainstream American commentators, including the editorial page editor of The Washington Post, it is an “obvious truth” and likely to happen again in 2020, adding ominously that Trump is still “cozying up to the chief perpetrator, Russian President Vladimir Putin.” A New York Times columnist goes further, insisting that Russia “helped to throw the election” to Trump. Again, there is no evidence whatsoever for these allegations. Also consider the ongoing assault on Attorney General William Barr, whose current investigation into the origins of “Russiagate” threatens to conclude that the scandal originated not with Russia but with US intelligence agencies under President Obama, in particular with the CIA under John Brennan.

We should therefore not be surprised, despite possible positive national security results of the Trump-Putin summit in Japan, if the US president is again widely accused of “treason,” as he so shamefully was following his meeting with Putin in Helsinki in July 2018, and as I protested at that time. Even the Times’ once-dignified columnist pages thundered, “Trump, Treasonous Traitor” and “Putin’s Lackey,” while senior US senators, Democrat and Republican alike, did much the same.
Putin’s domestic problem, on the other hand, is economic and social. Russia’s annual growth rate is barely 2 percent, real wages are declining, popular protests against officialdom’s historically endemic corruption are on the rise, and Putin’s approval rating, while still high, is declining. A public dispute between two of Putin’s advisers has broken out over what to do. On the one side is Alexei Kudrin, the leading monetarist who has long warned against using billions of dollars in Russia’s “rainy day” funds to spur investment and economic growth. On the other is Sergei Glaziev, a kind of Keynesian, FDR New Dealer who has no less persistently urged investing these funds in new domestic infrastructure that would, he argues, result in rapid economic growth.

During his nearly 20 years as Kremlin leader, Putin has generally sided with the “rainy day” monetarists. But on June 20, during his annual television call-in event, he suddenly, and elliptically, remarked that even Kudrin “has been drifting towards” Glaziev. Not surprisingly, many Russian commentators think this means that Putin himself is now “leaning toward Glaziev.” If so, it is another reason why Putin has no interest in waging cold war with the United States—why he wants instead, indeed even needs, a historic, long-term détente.

It seems unlikely that President Trump or any of the advisers currently around him understand this important struggle—and it is a struggle—unfolding in the Russian policy elite. But if Trump wants a major détente (or “cooperation,” as he has termed it) with Russia, anyone who cares about international security and about the well-being of the Russian people should support him in this pursuit. Especially at this moment, when we are told by the director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research that “the risks of the use of nuclear weapons…are higher now than at any time since World War Two.”

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen’s most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show. Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com.

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his new book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition.
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EUROPE SHOULD BECOME AN “EMPIRE” SAYS FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER

France’s finance minister has called on Europe to become an “empire” so that it can better compete with the United States and China.
Asserting that “it takes courage to stand in the way of the government” of Donald Trump, Bruno Le Maire told Handelsblatt newspaper that, “Europe should no longer be afraid of using its power and [become] an empire of peace.”
“I’m talking about a peaceful empire which is a constitutional state,” he added.
Le Maire’s statement follows French President Macron’s call for a “real European army” to counter Russian threats and reduce dependence on the U.S.
During yesterday’s Armistice centenary in Paris, Macron also urged world leaders to reject nationalism, claiming it represented a “betrayal of patriotism”.
Given the internal situation in France, it might be advisable for Le Maire and Macron to focus on their own country’s problems.
In an interview published last month, the country’s former Interior Minister warned that mass immigration could bring societal breakdown within five years.
“Communities in France are engaging in conflict with one another more and more and it’s becoming very violent,” said Gérard Collomb, agreeing with the interviewer that some form of societal breakdown like partition or secession was a major concern.
“How much time do we have before it’s too late?” the interviewer asked Collomb, to which he replied, “I don’t want to create fear, but I think there’s very little time left….It’s difficult to estimate, but I would say that within five years the situation could become irreversible. Yes, we have five, six years to avoid the worst.”
President Macron’s failure to deal with Islamic extremism and tensions caused by dislocated communities of migrants has contributed to his approval rating continuing to plummet.
poll published at the end of last month found that Macron’s approval had dropped a further 4 percentage points to just 26 per cent.

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17 Years After 911, US Backs Al Qaeda in Syria



By Finian CUNNINGHAM

17 Years After 911, US Backs Al Qaeda in Syria

The September 11 terror incidents in 2001 are said to be the biggest-ever deadly attack on US soil. Shamefully, exactly 17 years later, the US president and Pentagon military chiefs are threatening to go to war in Syria – to defend the same ilk of terrorists.

“Shamefully” is perhaps not the most fitting word here. “Consistently” would be more appropriate.

Officially, the spectacular plane-crashing mayhem 17 years ago in New York City was due to 19 Arab hijackers affiliated with the Al Qaeda terror network.

That account of the world-changing event has been hotly disputed, with many respected authors and organizations claiming that evidence shows the US intelligence agencies are implicated in an inside job. The death of some 3,000 American citizens was hence exploited as a pretext for launching a series of US overseas wars, whose hidden agenda was for promoting imperialist objectives.

In any case, the official story is that Al Qaeda operatives hijacked four airliners on the morning of September 11, 2001, and flew them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, as well as into the Pentagon building near Washington. The fourth plane crashed in a rural area in Pennsylvania, allegedly after passengers challenged
the terrorist pilots.

The Al Qaeda terror network, with its ideological links to Saudi-sponsored Wahhabism, was declared “enemy number one” by then President George W Bush, who proceeded to launch wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, supposedly to avenge the 911 atrocity perpetrated against
American civilians.

The so-called “war on terror” has since become a much-overused blank check for successive US governments and their NATO allies to launch wars anywhere in the world to “defeat terrorists”. It has been used to justify increasing Western state surveillance powers against its own citizens in the name of counter-terrorism.

To be sure, the official story on 911 and subsequent US and NATO military rampaging around the globe has been challenged by skeptics and critics.

One of the key lines of contesting the official narrative is the documented evolution of the Al Qaeda terror franchise, which grew out of US sponsorship of motley radical Islamist groups in Afghanistan during the 1980s. That covert ploy was to give then occupying Soviet troops “their Vietnam”. American and British military intelligence along with lavish Saudi funding created the Frankenstein Monster of Islamic terrorism that mutated and spread across the Middle East and beyond.

So, the very notion that, post-911, the American creators of the terrorist monster would serve to protect the civilized world from their own creation was always a deeply suspect proposition.

The truth is that the US never stopped colluding with these terror groups since the days of the putative Afghan Vietnam for the Soviet Union.

The 911 incidents may have been some form of “blowback” or, plausibly, it was American intelligence handlers contriving a plot which would give imperialist planners their much-desired “new Pearl Harbor” – a blank check to declare war on the planet for the benefit of advancing US strategic interests.

Granted, the success of that nefarious covert scheme is questionable given the unforeseen huge financial and social costs to American society, as well as from general bedlam undermining global security.

For observers willing to see, it seems indisputable that there is something of a symbiotic relationship between Islamist terror proxies and the US imperialist state. The official “enemy” is a boon for justifying oppressive state powers against citizens; it serves as a pump for bloated budgets to the military-industrial complex at the heart of the American capitalist economy; and this enemy can also serve as target practice for illegal military intervention in foreign countries – US interventions that would otherwise be seen for what they are, as “criminal aggression”.

Further, the terror proxies continue to serve as a cat’s paws for US imperialism, as in the earlier formation in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. Rather than direct large-scale American military involvement, the Al Qaeda brigades are deployed to do Washington’s dirty work. Syria is emerging as the new Afghanistan.

Officially, the Pentagon and US corporate news media scoff at these claims of collusion with terrorists. “We are bombing Syria to defeat terrorists,” so goes the mantra. Substitute any number of countries for “Syria”, as required.

Well, if that’s the case why have senior US military people like Michael Flynn admitted that the former Obama administration deliberately cultivated the terror brigades in Syria? Why have hundreds of millions of dollars gone into forming a non-existent “moderate rebel army” in Syria only for the American weaponry to end up in the hands of terror groups like Nusra Front?
What about credible reports of US military helicopters airlifting Nusra commanders out of harm’s way to other, safer parts of Syria? Similar reports of airlifting, or airdropping weapons, have come out of Afghanistan, where the Pentagon is still “fighting terrorists” – 17 years after 911.

It has taken a painfully long time over the eight years of war in Syria to uncover the full and real extent of criminality by the US and its British and French allies, along with the Saudis, Turks and Israelis.

But now we are coming full circle. President Donald Trump and his officials are warning that they will launch military strikes on Syria if the Syrian army and its Russian and Iranian allies proceed with the offensive to retake Idlib province. The northwest province is the last-remaining stronghold of anti-government militants. These militants are not the illusory “moderate rebels” the Western media have long bamboozled the public with. The militants comprise Nusra Front, Ahrar al Sham, Islamic State, and other self-professed Wahhabi jihadists of the Al Qaeda franchise. The myriad, mercurial names are merely part of the US cynical cover.

Trump – the supposed non-interventionist president – has even discarded the earlier ruse of invoking “chemical weapons” as a pretext for a US military attack on Syria. He and his officials are simply saying that any offensive by the Syrian army to retake all of its territory is an “unacceptable escalation” that will be met with a US military response.

There is no other credible rationale for such military deployment by Washington in Syria. The Western media are as usual riding shotgun with the mendacity, claiming that the Syrian army offensive will trigger a “humanitarian crisis”, rather than reporting the salient fact that the offensive is aimed at eradicating the most vile terror groups from that country.

In Syria, today, 17 years after 911, the real relationship between US authorities and terrorism is on display. The United States of Anarchy.

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Iran Must Destroy Sedition As China Did In 1989

Iran Must Destroy Sedition As China Did In 1989

(A Russia Truth exclusive article by Adam Garrie)



In the 1980s, the market socialism reforms of Deng Xiaoping helped China to modernise its economy without compromising the ideological, social and cultural integrity of the state. Deng’s model is, for all intents and purposes, responsible for transforming China from a large but struggling agrarian economy into the leading industrial economy of the world which it is today. The fact that China’s great cities are among the most modern, beautiful, cleanest and safest in the world today, is owed to the thought and policies of Deng Xiaoping, as much as it is to contemporary leaders.

The reforms of Deng Xiaoping contrast sharply with those of his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev and his chief ideologue Alexander Yakovlev. Whereas Deng Xiaoping transformed the Chinese economy while strengthening existing cultural institutions, Gorbachev set out to destroy the most important institutions of the nation while allowing a “liberalised” economy to eventually collapse under its own chaotic weight. The reforms predictably ended in a nightmare for the vast majority of Soviet citizens.

However, all great reforms whether successful ones like Deng Xiaoping’s or failed ones such as those of Gorbachev, have their incomplete components which are rife for exploitation.

During China in the 1980s, an increased number of so-called intellectuals went to academic institutions in the United States where they became seduced by and intentionally programmed by US government operatives keen to see a seditious revolt in the People’s Republic of China--one with the ultimate goal of bringing the regime in Chinese Taipei (aka Taiwan) back to power in Beijing.

Because a readymade regime in Chinese Taipei existed which salivated for power over all of China, the CIA and other aggressive actors did not need to go to the effort of forging a new regime or political model—they simply needed to create agitation among a class of elites in Beijing in order to try and bring down the People’s Republic of China.

Hu Yaobang became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1982 and by the middle of the decade, he became increasingly seduced by the liberal fantasies peddled by western “educated” academics.

His open flirtations with liberal social ideology proved too much to Deng and other social traditionalists and he was removed from power in favour of Zhao Ziyang in 1987. 

When Hu died in 1989, subversive western orchestrated “protests” among “students” and their academic masters began to foment with Tiananmen Square being a focal point. Rather than put a quick end to the numerically small displays, Zhao Ziyang instead offered sympathy to many of the “protesters”.

Zhao was in many ways one part traitor and one part naive. A man of great experience and with a deeply important political position such as Zhao should have been aware, as others including Deng were, that the “protests” were neither genuine nor spontaneous. He should have realised that the “protests” were an attempt to overthrow the very institutions of the state, paving the way for a pro-western regime. To deny this, as he did, was a sign of both carelessness and a dereliction of duty.

Part of Zhao however did likely feel for the fact that young useful idiots of a western plot essentially volunteered themselves to be on the front line of a proxy war. However, his interventions proved totally insufficient and even had the effect of encouraging the conspirators.

The western orchestrators of the “protests” coordinated them to coincide with the official state visit of Mikhail Gorbachev. A visit which heralded the reconciliation between the two great Communist superpowers, instead became an attempt by the west to embarrass both China and the USSR in the same place and at the same time.

Zhao was finally removed from power in 1989 as China sent out the People’s Liberation Army to cleanse the streets of the western agents and restore order.

The vast majority of the Chinese population was unaffected by the events of 1989, but the ruling elite realised that they needed to take precautions to avoid such western meddling in the future. 

China rapidly recovered because of the ultimately decisive action the government took in putting an end to the “protests” and as a result, China is the unshakable powerhouse that it is today.

Although Iran is smaller than China, the west and “Israel” remain frightened of the prospect of direct military confrontation. They are equally afraid to take on Iran in Syria or Iraq by engaging with the limited number of Iranian anti-terrorist military advisors in the Arab nations.

Because of this, the US and “Israel” have devised a plan to “counter Iran” the sparse details of which have been published in Zionist media.

Like clockwork, “protests” in Tehran and several other Iranian cities broke out simultaneous to the publication of reports on an anti-Iranian agreement made between the US regime and the Zionist entity. Allegedly, the protesters are agitating for economic reform and price controls, but anyone who is not totally naive can see the direct correlation between the reports from Zionist media and the western orchestrated protests in Iran.

This is not the first time the west has attempted to use “protesters” to attempt and destroy the Islamic Revolution. So-called Iranian liberals were mobilised by western and “Israeli” actors in 2011.

In reality these “liberals” are a combination of reactionary monarchists, counter-revolutionary hooligans and useful idiots taking orders from Iranians going back and forth between California and Iran, acting under the same kinds of orders as the Chinese “academics” of the 1980s who conspired against the People’s Republic of China.

It is an open secret that “Israel” pours millions into Iranian groups based primarily in the US whose goal is to destroy the Islamic Revolution and restore the pro-western monarchy whose obscenely gluttonous leaders remain in exile, primarily in the US.

As I write this piece, it has been confirmed that an al-Qaeda linked group of terrorists from Iranian Balochistan have blown up a major oil pipeline in western Iran. This is what happens when traitors are not dealt with—the terrorists rush in.

Iran cannot take any further chances. As China learned, a short but hard crackdown on sedition is necessary in order to avoid the total destruction of the state, its people and society.

Many Iranians will not want to hear this. Many wish to pretend that the protests will simply fizzle out due to their small size and seemingly innocent origins. This attitude however is ultimately one derived from fiction, one which puts the lives of every Iranian man, woman and child in danger. 

Western backed so-called “colour revolutions” generally begin with an irritating whimper and end with a blood-soaked bang.

Like China, Iran has it within its power to easily crush the seditious radicals. If Iran is to avoid the fate of Libya and others, it must act swiftly and decisively. The Zionist regime is using the events in Tehran and elsewhere as a test to see how far they can push Iran. The government must not allow the enemy to gain an inch.

It is time for a 1989 Chinese style law and order operation in Iran.
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