Sunday, March 27, 2022

Violetta's Scars: How Russophobia Became the Wokest Form of Racism

 In my lazy little corner of rural Central Pennsylvanian Trump country there has always been a sizeable minority of Russian emigres. I honestly have zero idea why but at some point, some lonely Soviet refugee found this bucolic blemish on the map and decided to call it home and an exile community was born. Growing up, I always found the Russian kids at my school to be fascinating, especially the girls. With their knock-off high heel boots and their thrift store fur coats, I had never seen other poor people look so glamorous. They seemed to exist in their own little world inside of our little world. I have vivid memories of standing behind these young DIY debutantes in the lunch line and closing my eyes while I secretly listened to them speak to each other in that mysteriously beautiful language. The words seemed to float to the ground like leaves dancing from the branches of a birch tree.

One girl fascinated me more than the rest. She was a couple grades below me, and her name was Violetta. She looked a bit like a young Anna Karina only her porcelain skin was marked by these mysterious scars. Somehow this disfigurement only made her more beautiful to me, like a cracked porcelain doll. Maybe it was that she looked the way I felt on the inside. Growing up trans I often felt like a broken girl inside a male nesting doll, but to me these imperfections only made her more perfect. I used to sing that old Pavement song "Loretta's Scars" softly to myself, changing the lyrics to suit my lesbian loneliness- "How can I, how can I, make my body shed for you? How can I make my body shed around your metal scars, Violetta's scars!" I never spoke a word to her. I don't know why.

Somehow Violetta's scars came to embody the entire Russian spirit to me. She wore those painfully permanent objects like accessories that gave her glamour a deep sadness but also a resilient strength. The Russian people have always carried their tragic history with them like crosses without ever lowering their chins. I found all of this to be fascinating, but my other classmates didn't seem to share my fascination with these people and instead treated them like lepers. When I would ask my friends why they hated these people so damn much when they never seemed to be the least bit interested in getting to know them their response was always blank stares. They seemed perplexed upon frustration as to why I would even ask such a question. I never got a straight answer out of a single one of them. At a certain point it became disturbingly clear to me that they had no idea why they despised these total strangers and perhaps even more frightening, they didn't even seem to want to know why. There was just something about Violetta's scars that frightened them, and they took a perverse kind of pride in this fear. It had somehow come to define them.

It was only later that I came to realize that my colleagues had been carefully programmed to hate these people by an American culture machine that engaged in an aggressive campaign to demonize all things and all people Russian. In every mainstream movie and TV show that addresses their malign existence, even after the Cold War, Russians are consistently presented as the enemy, a race of duplicitous villains who hate America and freedom for no other reason than because they do, because evil defines their national character without meaning. Growing up, I watched Sylvester Stallone and the Brat Pack murder scores of these people like they weren't even human, just soulless props to highlight the blood-spattered glory of American exceptionalism with their primitive inferiority. Their slaughter was comedy.

And all the politicians and history books seemed to take their cues directly from the action movies. There was never any reason provided to explain the deep-seated hostility of our eastern adversaries. There was no Western invasion to strangle their revolution against Czarist tyranny in the cradle as Winston Churchill so eloquently put it. There were no Jupiter missiles on Khrushchev's borders beckoning him to Cuba. They just hated us because we were free and they were evil, and we should hate them too, even the ones who escaped communist tyranny, even their children.

Ironically, considering the sadly real homophobia of the Orthodox Church, the only reason this high-level big business-big government propagandistic synergy didn't work on my supple young mind was probably because I was Queer. I felt like an irredeemable outcast in my own community, and this often led me to secretly root for the "bad guys" in the movies. Nazis were such cunts even if they did have cooler guns and uniforms, but the Soviets made sense. What was their big evil plan, to kill the rich and make everyone poor? Fuck it, I already was. The people beneath the red star always seemed more like anti-villains to me. Like Magneto in the X-Men comics I read, they were just trying to get even. I wanted to get even too.

This led me to take the opposite route as my next-door neighbors. I lionized and fetishized the Russians which was really just its own kind of ignorance. I became a tankie communist in my early twenties and found myself rooting for tyrants like Putin because at least he was getting one over on the real evil empire. I had to grow up a little before I could realize that at the end of the day Russians were just people like anyone else and that their leaders were just tyrants with more reasonable excuses for their tyranny than ours. As Mikhail Bakunin, one of the greatest minds in Russian history, once observed, people aren't much happier to be beaten just because you call the stick you beat them with 'the people's stick.' So, I turned to anarchism, largely inspired by Russian renegades like Bakunin, Kropotkin, and Makhno, and chose to oppose tyranny, wherever I found its looming shadow. But I never forgot Violetta's scars.

Today we find ourselves living at the height of a whole new Cold War and even in an era where perceived wokeness reigns supreme it has never been hipper to hate people just because they're Russian. As the news media hovers with a magnifying glass over every gruesome detail of Putin's violent but complicated war in Ukraine, Russophobia has once again taken the West by storm. Russian restaurants and Orthodox churches are being vandalized and harassed with death threats. Children with Russian names are being taunted and bullied. Sporting events like the Paralympics are barring Russian and Belarussian athletes from competing even as neutrals. Cultural institutions from the Munich Philharmonic to the Met are canceling Russian performers and pressuring others to pass purity tests on their proper hatred for Putin just to remain on stage. Even those sanctimonious self-appointed scions of tolerance at social media conglomerates like Facebook and Instagram have all but greenlit anti-Russian hate-speech and removed their previous ban on neo-Nazi death squads like the Azov Battalion just so long as they exterminate the right variety of untermenschen. 

And once again, our own government can't pretend like they're innocent, as if provoking this heinous bloodbath with decades of reckless NATO expansion wasn't bad enough. The combined forces of the so-called free world have united to punish Putin's first victims within Russia's own borders en masse with a crippling embargo that just keeps tightening like a noose around their throats. Sanctions like the kind being lobbed at Russia from the United States and being celebrated and encouraged by everyone from late night talk show hosts to self-anointed antiwar activists essentially amount to the collective punishment of an entire nation for the crimes of its crooked government. 

These measures won't deprive Putin or his flunkies of a single spoonful of caviar, but they will starve the millions of impoverished Russians who live like dogs on a short leash under his neoliberal austerity regime and sadly that's the point. Sanctions are a form of economic terrorism designed to torture the already desperate into affecting American approved regime change. These actions are every bit as evil and indiscriminate as Putin's cluster bombs and I fear that they and the Russophobic propaganda barrage that goes with them are only the beginning of something far more sadistic. 

America has long used its corporate tentacles across the mass media to soften up America's natural intolerance for total war by systematically demonizing entire races of people. As Japan embraced imperialism in a gruesome attempt to defend their own rich culture from western expansion in the Pacific during the 1930's, everyone from Tinseltown to Dr. Seuss jumped on the bandwagon to demonize the Japanese people themselves as being senseless Oriental savages killing for amusement while the American government upped the ante with crippling sanctions that eventually resulted in a full-blown embargo that provoked the attacks on Pearl Harbor. 

I'm not the only conspiracy nut who believes that this was as intentional as NATO's provocation of Putin's invasion of Ukraine. Navy admirals lost their jobs just trying to warn FDR of the storm he was reaping with arms wide open. I shouldn't have to tell people the results of this frighteningly familiar racist campaign of synergistic propaganda and economic warfare. 120,000 Japanese Americans in concentration camps, whole cities roasted alive with napalm, and 226,000 innocent civilians obliterated by two nuclear bombs after their nation had already thrown in the towel. I don't want this nightmare to repeat itself, but I can't ignore the growing signs all around me. They keep me up at night. 

The Russian people are not the enemy. Russian history and culture is alive with resistance to tyranny and resilience under oppression. You can feel it breathing inside your chest when you read the prose of Tolstoy or listen to the wild mood swings of Tchaikovsky. I saw it in the scars of a 16 year old refugee who refused to allow racism to taint her glamour. As we speak thousands of pissed off Russian kids are being beaten in the streets and thrown in jail for opposing what essentially amounts to Putin's war on other Russian people. Despite all of his ethnic nationalist bullshit, more ethnic Russians have died beneath Putin's bombs than any other group of people and even the ones who despise NATO and their feckless puppet regime in Kiev are dying on the frontlines against this invasion. America doesn't care about these people. To our evil empire they are just cannon fodder to excuse our own war crimes to come. Imperialism thrives on racism and we all need to fight the racism of Russophobia before it gives our own Putins in power the license they seek for atrocity.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

*  Loretta's Scars by Pavement

*  All Apologies by Nirvana

*  Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap

*  Better by Regina Spektor

*  When You Were Young by the Killers

*  Have You Forgotten by Red House Painters

*  Drown by Smashing Pumpkins

*  1812 Overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

*  Times Like These by Foo Fighters

This post is dedicated in loving memory to my grandmother Janet Sullivan Turner and Taylor Hawkins, whose work has been a consistent part of the soundtrack of my work and my life.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Aryan Ukrainistan: A Perfect Recipe for the Next 9/11

 9/11 seemed to come out of nowhere when I was a kid. One minute it was all bubblegum, Britney Spears, Pok√©mon cards, and gender dysphoria and the next the sky was raining commercial airliners and America was at war with an enemy who seemed to be simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. A dozen clean cut young Arabs bought plain tickets one crisp late summer mourning and brought a seemingly impenetrable superpower to its knees with little more than boxcutters and a sense of direction. 

I remember thinking, who the fuck are these guys? Where did they come from? And why were they so goddamn pissed off? I spent the better part of my life trying to answer those questions and coming to increasingly shocking conclusions. It turned out that these terrorists were the toxic byproduct of a shadowy cabal of Saudi financed madrassas and Wahhabi mercenaries known collectively as Al-Qaeda and it turned out that my own beloved government knew them pretty damn well. In fact, they helped create them as a part of another seemingly endless war with another enemy who was supposedly everywhere and nowhere, until they were dead. 

In 1979, during the heat of the first Cold War, then President Jimmy Carter and his creepy National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezinsky had a brilliant idea. Like any good Cold War chickenhawks, they wanted a war with the Soviet Union, but they didn't want to actually get their freshly manicured hands dirty fighting it. So, they decided that they were not merely going to invent a war, that was so nineteen-sixty-late. No, these geniuses would invent a goddamn army to fight it for them.

A tiny mountainous nation on the Soviet Union's southern border called Afghanistan had recently undergone a communist revolution and while the Kremlin was jazzed to have a newly secular impoverished dependent in the neighborhood, the conservative tribesman in the nation's rural backwaters were not taking the new reforms from a bunch of nosy city kids and their northern white comrades very well. 

In here, Jimmy and Zbig saw their golden opportunity to take a relatively minor dispute between neighbors that wouldn't usually warrant much more than a civil war and turn it into an international catastrophe capable of sinking an entire empire. So, they used their connections in Saudi Arabia to round up a posse of Islamic zealots willing to die in any war that would afford them the privilege of slaughtering godless infidels and had them armed to the teeth and trained by the CIA in Pakistan before sending them into Afghanistan to pour rocket fuel on a smoldering fire.

The idea was to suck the Soviets into an unwinnable quagmire on their own border with the implicit threat of an extremist pathogen that might otherwise spread across it to the other oppressed Muslim populations within their own republics and boy did it work like a Twilight Zone curse. The resulting Soviet Afghan War raged on like a barn fire for a hot decade, sending some 15,000 Russian soldiers home in body bags and creating a humanitarian bloodbath that killed millions. 

The Soviet Union, in their statist hubris, refused to except defeat at the hands of a supposedly inferior foe and attempted to save face by slaughtering whole villages of innocent civilians which only cost them the entirety of their already broke war machine. Shortly after the commies left Kabul with their pointed tails between their legs, the Soviet Union imploded and America officially won their first Cold War with thick cigars and hardy handshakes all around. Jimmy and Zbig's wild adventure had worked, but at what cost?

Once the Russians were gone America lost all interest in the little war torn hellhole that they had helped them turn Afghanistan into in a cynical ploy to win what really amounted to little more than an imperial pissing match. But Afghanistan didn't forget who dug that grave and neither did the psychopaths we gathered to help us dig. America had gathered a sick coalition of over 35,000 bloodthirsty zealots from across 43 countries to fight in our Mujaheddin and tens of thousands more were indoctrinated in the Wahhabi madrassas we built along the Pakistani border. 

The end result wasn't so much a nation as it was an open wound that spread a new strain of Islamic extremism across the globe like an infection with battle hardened soldiers who sharpened their spears on the skulls of red soldiers in a holy war we ignited who were still thirsty for more. It turns out that the communists weren't the only godless heathens these jihadists despised. America attempted to gingerly walk away from this haunted Afghan graveyard but we couldn't leave the Middle East be anymore than the Soviets could and after a few more bloodbaths on holy sand our chickens finally came home to roost on 9/11 with a catastrophic terrorist attack planned and financed by the very monsters we built to bleed the Soviet Union dry.

30 years after the Soviets pulled their mangled leg from our Afghan trap and less than a year after America managed to do the same, Russian soldiers are dying like it's 1979 all over again. Only weeks into invading their former fellow Soviet Republic of Ukraine to rid them of NATO influence and the neo-Nazis we empowered to kill the ethnic Russians who refused to comply with it and Vladimir Putin's fearsome Russian military machine has already lost more young conscripts than America did during the entirety of the Iraq War. 

Putin is clearly in over his head. He has stepped into another grave that America dug for him when they overthrew Ukraine's neutral democracy in 2014 and he has made the selfish and stupid decision to try to slaughter his way out of it with an indiscriminate killing spree against the very people he told his impoverished nation that he was there to liberate.

Based on the history above I have come to the revolting conclusion that this is likely precisely the outcome that America wanted from the get-go. Ukraine is a dirt-poor nation that is of zero importance to anyone but Russia, who views the traditional birthplace of Orthodox culture as sacred land. NATO was never going to absorb this hopelessly corrupt and divided nation into their imperial biome, they simply wanted to use it to bait Russia into another bloody unwinnable quagmire like the one Jimmy and Zbig designed in Afghanistan and these twisted mandarins don't give one solitary shit how many Ukrainians have to die so long as Putin's Russia dies with them.

If Putin doesn't grow a conscience and get the fuck out of this buzzsaw quick it will take off his fucking head. The endgame here isn't simply Russian defeat, it's Russian regime change. The mess this war is creating for a Russia already racked with poverty and disgusted by this hideous slaughter of their own cousins next door is the perfect atmosphere for a good old-fashioned George Soros-style color revolution with the ultimate goal of replacing the rebellious Putin with a more compliant and inept neoliberal flunky like his vodka soaked mentor Boris Yeltsin which will ideally retard efforts by China to integrate Asia with Europe and afford the American Empire with just enough time to engage them in World War 3. 

But what about those Nazis? Not unlike the Wahhabis America empowered in Afghanistan, the neo-Nazi militias like Right Sector and the Azov Battalion who the CIA trained and had integrated into Ukraine's own military to provoke outrage from a nation that lost nearly thirty million people beneath the swastika aren't going to simply disappear when the smoke clears. These are zealots committed to an international holy war against anything darker than a bleached gym sock. None other than Andry Biletsky, founder of the Azov Battalion, pledged to use this glorified death squad to "lead the white races of the world in a final crusade against Semite-led untermeshen." And you better believe that this crusade won't end with Ukraine. 

As we speak, thousands of neo-Nazi whack-jobs from across the globe are flocking to Ukraine to gain battlefield experience and access to advanced American weaponry like Javelin missiles and Stinger rockets. The FBI has already arrested four Azov trainees in California for their role in the Unite the Right Rally and a French holy warrior named Gregoire Montaux was busted several years back at the Ukraine border with an arsenal that included TNT explosives and two grenade launchers and a mission that included attacking a mosque and the Euro 2016 Soccer Championship.  

The neo-Nazi movement in this country has long been a pretty sick joke, a loosely connected network of lone wolf shooters and internet trolls who the FBI could easily hoodwink into plotting elaborate schemes that they would never be capable of pulling off in a million years without being carefully coached by double-agents. But this twisted crusade in Ukraine could change all of this. Ukraine's fascist militias could take a growing scene of pissed-off losers in a dying empire and give them the frontline experience they need to turn their racist pipe dreams into a very real nightmare and all with the full support of the same American war machine who brought 9/11 to your front door with their last manufactured Russian quagmire.

This is the brutal blowback that imperialism always amounts too. No matter how sly your conspiracy is there is no such thing as a clever way to fuck with someone else's country. The war always comes home, and Putin isn't the only one who is setting himself up to learn this lesson he should have learned thirty years ago the hard way. Whether they're Wahhabi or Aryan, most jihadists are essentially just DIY imperialists aping like the fools who birthed them. This is a pandemic with only one cure, anti-imperialism, at home and abroad. That's the only jihad worth dying for and we may not have a choice.

Peace, Love, and Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

*  Just by Radiohead

*  On a Plaine by Nirvana

*  Comeback Kid by Sleigh Bells

*  1979 by Smashing Pumpkins

*  Daytona Sand by Orville Peck

*  My War by Black Flag

*  Harbor Coat by REM

*  100% by Sonic Youth

*  The Lightning, I, II by Arcade Fire

*  National Anthem by Radiohead

*  Young Americans by David Bowie

Sunday, March 13, 2022

The Only Thing That Can Save Ukraine is Secession

 It's super hip to give a fuck about Ukraine right now. Everybody's doing it! All the cool kids anyway. Everywhere you look it's blue and yellow, blue and yellow, blue and yellow. There seems to be a Ukrainian flag on every other flagpole as a strange case of jingoism by proxy takes the country by storm. Social media is awash in posh celebrities and political hopefuls virtue signaling all over the heroism of tiny Ukraine's resistance to what we're told is totally senseless Russian villainy. Volodymyr Zelensky has been transformed by the sexiest cult of personality since the last half-fuckable Kennedy got popped and a strange new "antiwar" movement has hit the streets across the globe demanding peace through crippling sanctions and omnicidal thermonuclear no-fly-zones. And anyone who so much as even suggests that maybe just maybe twenty years of NATO harassment may have played a role in provoking this mess is declared a heretic and burned at the stake while the Ukrainian National Anthem drowns out your screams.

In no place is Ukrainian fever thicker than the State Department echo chambers of cable news. People who couldn't be bothered to deviate from their coverage of the cultural significance of Kim Kardashian's latest buttlift for just fifteen seconds to even mention the Washington facilitated genocide in Yemen have suddenly been reborn as stoic, dewy-eyed, war journalists giving round the clock coverage to the plight of the only victims white enough to matter. This isn't to say that this coverage, however drunk on pro-NATO narratives it might be, isn't necessary. What's going on in Ukraine is undeniably despicable. Even if it was provoked by American imperialism, Vladimir Putin is still a baby killing savage engaged in a grotesque regime change campaign that rivals anything that NATO has pulled in the Middle East.

Innocent people are dying, civilian infrastructure is being bombarded, and an entire population is being held hostage by the kind of conquest anti-imperialists like me have devoted our lives to speaking out against. It's just a little disgusting to be joined by the same cable chickenhawks who have either ignored or cheered on identical acts of savagery for decades and not just in the Middle East either. The thing that sickens me most about America's imperial double-standard is that it has totally trivialized the plight of the people who allegedly inspired Putin's rage. Everybody gives a fuck about Ukraine but there are zero fucks left to be given for the people of the Donbas. 

Thousands of Ukrainians have been killed across Ukraine over the last several weeks but over 14,000 people have been killed in the tiny Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine alone over the last eight years. According to the UN 81% of the civilian casualties have been ethnic Russians and their tormentors have been the same supposedly democratic plutocrats in the Ukrainian government that our media so blindly idolizes. The breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk have been virtual microcosms of everything that Ukrainians have suffered under Russia. These poverty-stricken people have spent the better part of a decade under siege, cowering in their basements as crooks like Zelensky have given Neo-Nazi mercenaries like the Azov Battalion the green light to pepper them with indiscriminate shelling that includes the use of cluster munitions. All for the unforgivable sin of seceding from a nation they were never asked to be made a part of in the first place.  

The Donbas region had been a part of Russia for 350 years until Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. They have only been a part this relatively recent Ukrainian experiment for about 31 and their patience for the project officially ran out of steam in 2014 after the US State Department used openly Russophobic  neo-Nazi thugs like Svoboda and Right Sector to hijack a relatively minor pro-EU protest movement in Kiev and used it to overthrow the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych. The Russian-speaking people of Eastern Ukraine had overwhelmingly voted for the Donetsk native who promised to play the middle ground and retain Ukraine's historic connections to their ethnic motherland. 

After seeing the man they elected tossed out and replaced by an American puppet regime who openly celebrated the Ukrainian nationalists who collaborated with the Nazi cunts who murdered their people in the millions, the proud people east of the Dnieper River in a region historically known as Novorossiya took to the streets in an explosion of grassroots outrage. While most of the region wanted nothing more radical than a neutral federalized Ukraine that would grant them nominal sovereignty to defend their culture, the people of the far eastern regions of the Donbas and Crimea overthrew corrupt local officials and held emergency referendums on their national status. The people of Crimea overwhelmingly voted to return to Russia who had unilaterally gifted their region to the Soviet Republic of Ukraine in 1954 after being Russian territory since Catherine the Great took the peninsula back from the Ottoman Empire.

Putin gladly accepted Crimea back into Russia to protect their Black Sea Fleet stationed for centuries in Sevastopol but all but turned his nose up at the impoverished People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk when they voted for their independence the same year. In spite of breathless claims from the western media of a full-blown Russian invasion of the Donbas, no one has ever managed to prove that the Kremlin's support for the breakaway republics ever amounted to much more than the rusty Soviet army surplus and Cossack mercenaries that they usually toss at these ethnic Russian frozen conflicts to placate the hardliners in the Russian military in a gesture equally as empty as the support Middle Eastern dictatorships afford Palestine. In fact, Putin, the great Russian revanchist, actively belittled those republics by selling their sovereignty to Ukraine as part of the Minsk Deal. He only recognized their independence this year to facilitate his campaign to rid Kiev of NATO. 

In the years leading up to Russia's invasion, Novorossiya was treated to a relentless campaign of terror launched by the neo-Nazis who had successfully infiltrated Ukraine's military and law enforcement establishments. Anti-Russian vigilante groups like C14 and the Azov Battalion's National Corps freely roamed the streets under the color of the authority granted to them by the National Police and the Interior Ministry and violently reigned in the AntiMaiden Movement popular in Eastern and Southern Ukraine culminating in a brutal terrorist attack in the city of Odessa, where members of Right Sector, flanked by police escorts, rounded up peaceful protesters into the Trade Unions Building and burned them alive. At least 48 people were killed, and more than 200 others were injured. 

All part of Kiev's forced "Ukrainization" project. Volodymyr Zelensky was actually elected with the popular support of many Novorossiyans who took him at his word that he would reign in the racist mayhem. They probably should have seen his capitulation coming considering that Zelensky's top campaign financier was none other than Igor Kolomoisky, the same billionaire oligarch who financed the white supremacist Azov Battalion to protect his energy interests in the Donbas, but desperation leaves little room for scrutiny. The violence just kept coming and no one felt it harder than the few Novorossiyans who took a stand and made the unforgivable choice to leave this mess behind and rule themselves in the absence of cellophane saviors like Putin and Zelensksy.

If Vladimir Putin was right about one thing it was that Ukraine's borders are a fickle and contrived invention. No Ukrainian border has ever lasted much longer than a few decades. It is a land that has been tragically defined by conquest and shifting alliances whose boundaries make about as much sense as those drawn by the English in the Middle East and for the same malevolent reasons, to divide and conquer. Ukrainian nationalism took shape in the mid 19th Century as a celebration of western peasant resistance to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the region in and around Galicia. Sovereignty was only granted to the region by the Bolsheviks in order to create a buffer zone between Moscow and the western invaders who stoked the White Terror, and saddled traditional Ukrainian territory with Novorossiyan territory in order to keep both under their thumb.

Since then, these two regions have been used routinely by outside forces as proxies against each other's sovereignty. Stalin starved 15% of the ethnic Ukrainian population during the Holodomor famines, killing millions, and packed the Donbas with penniless Russian peasants to safeguard its industries. Ukrainian thirst for vengeance was manipulated masterfully by Hitler during Operation Barbarossa when Ukrainian ethnic nationalists carried out genocidal pogroms of their own and this vicious cycle continues to this day with the imperial pissing match between Putin's Russia and Satan's NATO.

This is why I support secession, not just for the people of Donetsk and Luhansk but for those who have been manipulated into becoming their enemies in places like Galicia. The borders of the Westphalian nation state that the United Nations holds so sacred have always been used as weapons by those powerful enough to draw them against those poor enough to be corralled by them like cattle. The only solution to this evil is a system of pan-secession where popular autonomy is placed above state power as a fundamental human right. Novorossiya has as much right to independence from Ukraine as Ukraine has to independence from Russia and there exists zero reason why this sovereignty should even be completely territorial in nature. 

The only just nation is one that exists with the complete consent of its citizenry and that citizenry should be defined by the consensual bonds of the social contracts that once bound tribes long before the shallow rule of blood and soil. In no place does this practice make more sense than in the fields of the Wild Steppes where Nestor Makhno's Black Army and the Zaporizhian Sich bravely defied the empires to their east and their west. People say secession is anarchy. I say exactly. What has the state ever done but pit impoverished neighbors against one another when they could peacefully coexist without it?

Fuck NATO and fuck Putin. The only thing that can save Ukraine is secession. I'll proudly salute the blue and yellow flag so long as it stands tall with a thousand others.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs That Influenced This Post

*  There is a Light That Never Goes Out by the Smiths

*  Hurts to Love by Beach House

*  Hey by the Pixies

*  Stay Soft by Mitski

*  Unnecessary Drama by Belle & Sebastian

*  Heroes by David Bowie

*  Jesus by the Velvet Underground

*  Night Shift by Lucy Dacus 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

The Ukrainian Beartrap: When Simulacrum Bites Back

"Our entire linear and accumulative culture collapses if we cannot stockpile the past in plain view."

Jean Baudrillard, The Procession of Simulacra

"I would die happy if I knew that on my tombstone could be written these words, "This man was an absolute fool. None of the disastrous things that he reluctantly predicted ever came to pass!""

Lewis Mumford

Well dearest motherfuckers, after months of pushing, Putin has finally pushed back and made the mainstream media's make-believe war in Ukraine a very visceral reality. It took months of poking. Months of prodding. Months of the most relentless propaganda campaign in the sordid history of the Military-Media Industrial Complex. Months of far-flung conspiracy theories, baseless accusations, and nearly weekly predictions of an imminent invasion. A 24/7 news circus of when-not-if. But all that hard work has finally paid off. After spending the better part of four months in a propaganda pressure cooker, Ukraine has finally exploded into total war. 

The news faked it until Putin made it and the neocons on the prior's pay dole couldn't be more ecstatic if you clamped jumper cables to their nipples and fed them a live puppy. Those expanded cable psychopaths are lined around the block like call-girls of color outside CPAC, waiting for their turn to finally be right about something for a change. There were no weapons of mass destruction, Muammar Gadhafi wasn't the Devil, but Vladimir Putin has finally invaded Ukraine! If you listen very carefully from any quiet corner of this country, you can hear Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow slapping five and shouting "We did it!" The bastard simulacra of the news machine has finally grown fangs and bitten back. But this heinous thing didn't start in November. The provocation of Putin's Russia is the product of a concerted NATO strategy of tension that goes back decades.

In 1989, as the Soviet Union began to circle the drain, then President George HW Bush and Secretary of State James Baker gave Mikhail Gorbachev their solemn word that if the USSR allowed the Berlin Wall to fall then NATO wouldn't move one inch to the east of the Elbe River. Being the gullible optimist that he was, Gorbachev took these two mincing war criminals at their word and never had it put on paper, but multiple sources on both sides witnessed the promise and the whole world watched it break in 1999 when a military alliance designed for the express purpose of destroying the Evil Empire that had ceased to exist for seven years crossed the Elbe and swallowed up four former members of the Warsaw Pact; Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, whole. 

Less than a year later, NATO violently dismembered Russia's closest ally in Europe, Yugoslavia, and gifted Kosovo to a motley crew of Islamic extremist kidney thieves. The message was frighteningly clear to Russia, NATO lives, and it was on the warpath. That same year, the deeply distrusted Yankee stooge Boris Yeltsin was pushed out for his intransigence and replaced by his more capable dauphin, Vladimir Putin, who had no doubt learned a very harsh lesson from his mentor's fall from grace. Russia was through with being fucked with and their patience was running thin. Still, NATO's march east continued.

The early 2000's were marked by a wave of carefully choreographed uprisings funded by the State Department's National Endowment for Democracy that put decidedly pro-American neoliberal gangsters in charge of countries across the former Soviet Union, including Georgia with the Rose Revolution of 2003 and Ukraine with the Orange Revolution of 2004-05. Also, in 2004, NATO expanded right to the Russian border with the absorption of seven nations, including three former Soviet republics in the Baltics. American boots were literally on Ivan's doorstep. 

In 2008 things went from bad to worse with the Bucharest Declaration where NATO announced its intention to put both Ukraine and Georgia on the path to full membership. That same year, Georgia launched an unprovoked assault on the ethnic Russian autonomous region of South Ossetia, murdering several Russian peacekeepers in the process. Putin responded with a quick assault on Georgia followed by the recognition of the sovereignty of the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This message should have been loud and clear to NATO, there was a new sheriff in town, and he wasn't respecting prior arrangements. But NATO just kept on pushing.

The beginning of the end came in 2014 with the so-called Maiden Revolution. After the democratically elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected a shitty economic deal from the EU that would have pulled his nation farther west and excepted a better package from Russia instead, he was subjected to a brutal campaign of media demonization from pro-western cable news oligarchs like future President Petro Poroshenko and violently overthrown by a gang of American backed neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists like Svoboda and Right Sector. 

This isn't a conspiracy theory. Leaked wiretaps revealed phone calls from this time between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and American Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, plotting every last detail of the so-called revolution down to who would fill which cabinet positions, and the aforementioned National Endowment for Democracy openly admits to supplying their Ukrainian collaborators with five billion dollars in aid over the last two decades. For Russia this was one push too far. It was for the ethnic Russian regions that had been unilaterally gifted to Ukraine by the Soviet Union as well.

Upon witnessing known skinheads who openly advocated for their ethnic cleansing take control of Ukraine's National Guard and National Police, the Russian speaking provinces known collectively as Novorossiya went into open revolt. These people had lost millions defeating Hitler and voted for Yanukovych by margins as high as 90%. They were goddamned if they were going to just lie down and allow people carrying the flags that flew above the Ukrainian collaborationists who massacred their grandfathers rule them. Crimea held a popular referendum and overwhelmingly voted to rejoin Russia. Putin was more than happy to except these results as it insured the safety of Russia's Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol but left the People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk to virtually fend for themselves when they voted to declare independence. 

The junta in Kiev launched a brutal campaign which they unironically called a war on terror against the rebel republics using neo-Nazi militias like the Azov Battalion who themselves openly recruited mercenaries from known American domestic terrorist organizations like Atomwaffen and The Base. Putin signed the Minsk Agreement with Ukraine in 2015 that promised to demilitarize the two republics in exchange for autonomy and local elections, but Ukraine never held up their end of the bargain. Finally, after years of NATO training missions and wargames waged with nuclear capable battleships and bombers on their border and months of brazenly blind media speculation, Putin finally snapped and launched a brutal invasion of the rampaging dumpster fire next door.

Wouldn't you? Wouldn't anybody? Putin's war in Ukraine is a lot of things including immoral and inexcusably brutal but one thing it is definitely not is unprovoked. NATO has been brutally provoking Russia for twenty goddamn years. What's happening in Ukraine right now, as tragic as it may be, is a case of imperial blowback just like 9/11. You can only fucking push people so far before they push back. Even so, I honestly didn't see this one coming, not like this. People who read my shit regularly will remember that just a month ago I wrote a piece boldly titled "The War in Ukraine Will Not Occur." But I wasn't alone in making that prediction. 

Ukraine's own American backed plutocracy including Saint Zelensky were right there with me telling the world that Biden and the hounds of cable news were full of shit. I never mistook Vladimir Putin for a good person, but I didn't think he was a fucking imbecile either and that's exactly how he's fighting this war. This isn't the master chess match we're used to seeing Putin play in places like Georgia. This is a balls out naked regime change campaign. What the fuck happened? This war may have been inevitable but what led a cold-blooded KGB neck-snapper like Vladimir Putin to fight it like George W. Bush?

I can only speculate, and I wouldn't blame anyone for taking my speculations with a grain of salt, but I still honestly don't believe that this invasion was ever Putin's first choice. His intention with the buildup on the border was to tell the world enough in a language they would understand in order to force America and Ukraine to the negotiation table. This plan backfired when Putin underestimated the power of the Military-Media Industrial Complex. To a strongman left over from the Soviet era, the notion of the media becoming more powerful than the government itself is probably inconceivable, but once the deep state monsters on cable news got a hold of the narrative, they ran with it.

I believe that the final straw for Putin came the week before the invasion when Volodymyr Zelensky suggested leaving the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and bringing back Ukraine's nuclear weapons program at the Munich Security Conference. Ukraine still possesses all the enrichment technology from the Soviet era along with the aircrafts and short-range missiles capable of delivering it to Putin's doorstep. A Ukrainian nuclear weapons program could be operational within years if not months. The very real prospect of a NATO allied military deeply integrated with neo-Nazi whack-jobs pointing a doomsday pistol at the Kremlin's temple was a step too far and I don't believe that Zelensky ever would have taken it if the media hadn't subjected his nation to such levels of manufactured hysteria.

Putin chose Plan B and has given those fucking ghouls in the War Machine exactly what they wanted. He has blindly stepped foot into the quicksand of an unwinnable quagmire that could quite easily drain his already impoverished nation of its already limited resources and single-handedly isolate them indefinitely from the European integration that could have been their salvation. And I'm not convinced that this wasn't the point all along. It wasn't so long ago that the United States manufactured a frighteningly similar quagmire in Afghanistan for the Soviet Union with their invention of modern-day Islamic terrorism. This Afghan trap sped up the demise of the USSR and gave America its victory in the first Cold War. Now a media baited Ukrainian beartrap threatens to derail our true target in the second one, the Eurasian Century. If Putin doesn't stand up quick and pull a miracle out of his ass, this despicable war could easily create the conditions perfect for another Color War that could take his head and baste it on an American stake. This could put the American Century on life support and give it just enough time to start a Third World War with China.

God help us all. I pray to Kali that I'm wrong again.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: songs that influenced this post

*  What a Wonderful World by Joey Ramone

*  Finest Work Song by REM

*  The Future by Leonard Cohen

*  The Captain by Casey Chambers

*  Time For Heroes by the Libertines

*  Get Me Away from Here I'm Dying by Belle & Sebastian

*  Friend or Foe by Adam Ant

*  Blacktop by Julien Baker

*  Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads