Sunday, April 24, 2022

Disinfo Wars: Bucha and the Mass Slaughter of Truth in Ukraine

 Nearly two months into Putin's NATO provoked but totally illegal invasion of Ukraine and there is still no light at the end of the tunnel, only the rolling fog of war running through an elaborate house of mirrors erected by two of the world's largest propaganda machines. As the bodies stack up and the refugees flood the capital cities of Eastern Europe, facts remain an increasingly subjective commodity. Everyone has a story to sell, and nobody slings narratives the way Washington and the Kremlin do. 

There seems to be three wars raging simultaneously, the one Moscow has constructed, the one Washington has constructed, and the truth which seems to become more elusive with each passing second as it becomes obscured beneath the overlapping blanket of shadows created by the first two. The First World War was fought in the trenches, the Second World Was fought in the skies, and if this nasty little thing keeps growing, the Third World War will be fought in the newsrooms, a full-blown disinformation war that threatens to become a genocide against facts and anything even mildly resembling objectivity.

Russia's disinformation seems relatively obvious to most Western eyes. Vladimir Putin and his coterie of tinpot deep state wonks would have you believe that this five-alarm dumpster fire that NATO lured them into like children into a flaming van driven by strangers with candy is going exactly according to plan, that every massive misfire and total fuck up are actually carefully thought-out maneuvers on a chessboard that only Putin comprehends. 

According to this sordid lot of social media D-listers, Russia's most calamitous clusterfuck since the Afghan Trap isn't even a war, it's a "Special Operation" fought to prevent a genocide against Ukraine's ethnic Russians by bombing the shit out of Ukraine's ethnic Russians. The sad reality that many of my fellow Russophiles across the globe continue to struggle to contend with is that so far, the greatest achievement of Putin's neocon-esque hissy fit has been rallying yesterday's Antimaidan partisans around an embattled NATO quisling state as they greet Russian tanks with Molotov cocktails.

With all that being said, it is of the utmost importance for Westerners, especially Americans, to recognize that the narrative that we've been force fed by our own supposedly unbiased corporate media is all the product of a concerted State Department campaign to manufacture consent which makes the lies that paved the road to Bagdad look like a goddamn nursery rhyme by comparison. The narrative of a totally one-sided Russian onslaught against the last vestiges of the free world is every bit as fictional as Putin's Special Operation in Ukraine. 

There is no genocide against the Ukrainian people. The reality is that as grotesque and unforgivable as Putin's many war crimes may be, they are remarkably restrained compared to America's own history of initiatory violence. More Iraqis were murdered by American bombs in the first 24 hours of the 2003 War in Iraq than Ukrainians in the first 24 days of Russia's bombardment. The Pentagon's own Defense Intelligence Agency has candidly admitted to their allies in deception over at Newsweek that the number of civilians killed by Russian forces in Ukraine is sadly standard for modern urban combat and that if Putin's true objective was to kill civilians, the body count would be far higher.

None of these inconvenient facts make Russia's brutal invasion any less immoral, but they do fly in the face of the narrative being trafficked by the State Department on cable news 24/7. That's because this narrative itself is the main theater in the Biden Regime's New Cold War and they proudly admit it. Biden's own people have frankly bragged to General Electric's NBC about their sly manipulation of so called "low confidence intelligence" going back before Putin's tanks even crossed the Dnieper River. They all but admit that they basically just made shit up about Putin's imminent use of chemical weapons, being misinformed on the realities of the battlefield by his own brass and receiving military aid from China. 

They claim that they are fighting a propaganda war with propaganda and trying to get inside Putin's head. That may all be true, in fact that may be how they provoked that vain cold warrior into pulling the trigger on a war that he had sharply resisted fighting for eight years straight since we overthrew the government in Kiev back in 2014, but the end result of this disinfo war  has also been getting inside America's head which I have a hard time believing is just a happy coincidence. It also poses a pretty terrifying question of what else have they been lying about and what will they lie about next?

Reasonable doubt. Those two words form the foundation of every fair trial. Does there exist a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty? I want to make it abundantly clear that this is the question I am trying to ask here before I am inevitably charged by a jury of my own peers in the Fifth Estate as a conspiracy theorist and a Bucha denialist. I am not here to deny shit. The wreckage left behind in the ruins of the suburbs of Kiev display a grotesque indifference to human life on all sides, including Russia's, and there exists a very real possibility that they are guilty of every single thing that they have been accused of in Bucha and beyond. The sheer amount of devastation makes their guilt for at least a hefty portion of this violence a forgone conclusion. 

These are barely legal conscripts and foreign mercenaries who were sent to occupy an urban area where they were met with unrelenting resistance from a civilian populace that they were told would greet them as heroes. We have heard this story a million times before, from Pinkville to Fellujah. This is how military occupation works and this is why it is always wrong. But the Russians weren't the only monsters in town that weekend in early April and there are facts about Bucha and many other highly publicized war crimes in Ukraine that just simply do not add up with what we have been told by admitted liars.

There are very few things that we do know for sure about the bloodbath in Bucha, but these are a few of them. Russian forces withdrew from the village on March 30, a fact confirmed by the mayor, Anatolii Federick, the next day in a video in which he proudly announced the liberation of the city from "Russian orcs". Federick was all smiles and made absolutely zero reference to bodies in the streets of his liberated city. Footage of the massacre wasn't released until April 2 and on that same day, the New York Times photographed members of the notorious neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, men with a known record of taking violent reprisals against civilians they deem guilty of colluding with Russian forces, patrolling the streets of Bucha. 

That same day Ukraine's National Police, an organization heavily infiltrated by the nation's far-right, publicly announced that they were "cleansing the territory... from the assistants of Russian troops." Satellite imagery purportedly shows the existence of both mass graves and bodies in the streets of Bucha well before Russian forces left but the bodies shown in the images aren't the ones with their arms tied behind their backs and these same images also show what appear to be impact craters from shelling nearby, which would explain why Bucha's mayor did not mention these bodies in his victory speech, because such casualties would be sadly typical of the daily devastation witnessed across Ukraine.

The mass graves that reportedly contain hundreds of bodies are clearly not the work of a single battalion over one long weekend but that doesn't mean that they are all the result of a single massacre or even a single culprit. Bucha was occupied and fiercely fought over for 36 days with intense ground combat and positions changing hands multiple times in a tit-for-tat urban guerrilla campaign. 

There were multiple mass graves discovered across similar battlefields in Yugoslavia during the nineties in which the bodies were all initially declared to be massacred civilians by Western forces only for it to be proven later in international investigations that these had in fact become dumping grounds that included dead soldiers from both sides as well as innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. We hear a lot of reports from the scene of the crime in Bucha but very few of them are independently verified and all have to be taken with a grain of salt considering that they have been collected in a field still governed by possible suspects and those suspects don't just include Azov and the National Police.

Days before the Bucha footage aired, another grizzly video found its way to social media from the bloodlands. This video, taken on March 30 in the village of Dmitrovka just 7 miles down the road from Bucha, showed members of a Ukrainian allied mercenary unit known as the Georgian Legion along with local partisans gleefully celebrating over what appears to be the bloody wreckage of an ambush against a convoy of Russian paratroopers, some of whom appear with their hands clearly bound behind their backs. When one of the casualties was witnessed to still be moving by the victors, he is casually executed with three shots at point blank range. When asked about the video, Georgian Legion commander Mamuka Mamulashvili denied taking part in it but bragged that his men take no prisoners and "Yes, we tie their hands and feet sometimes." 

Reasonable doubt, these are the operative words, and in an ongoing conflict fought on two fronts, both the battlefield and the internet, it is more important than ever to remember these words and not to marry ourselves to shifting narratives based on raw emotions or even pure empathy. This is a war between two propaganda superpowers fought by proxy over the Ukrainian people caught between them. We must mourn the dead regardless of which pack of wolves sank their fangs into them. We must also except the unbearable fact that we may never know the truth. The rolling fog of war may never clear from this bullet riddled house of mirrors. But this is all the more reason to commit ourselves to ending this war and all initiatory violence along with the state itself that thrives on this evil. Only then will the bodies of Bucha be truly avenged. 

Until that fateful day, dearest motherfuckers, question every source with a gun in his hand and demand the ugly truth no matter who it may offend because anyone not offended already is probably a part of the problem.

Peace, Love, and Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

*  Nazi Punks Fuck Off by Dead Kennedys

*  Zombie by the Cranberries

*  Suspect Device by Stiff Little Fingers

*  Polly by Nirvana

*  Eighties by Killing Joke

*  Asking for It by Hole

*  Ex-Lion Tamer by Wire

*  Just by Radiohead

*  Nocturnal Me by Echo & the Bunnymen

*  Liar by Rollins Band

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Don't-Say-Gov: What Queer Kids Need Now is Anarchy

 There is a growing conspiracy against your children in this country and it's being waged by Queer genderbending perverts like me. We have successfully infiltrated your schools and your doctor's offices and we are using them to peddle our evil pagan agenda of sexual liberation. We are grooming your children to reject the gender rewarded to them by God through the blessed miracle of federal government documentation in favor of the wicked contents of their souls. 

We're indoctrinating them into our twisted ideology by teaching them the evils of bodily autonomy and sickening predatory notions about adults not being allowed to define their sexuality against their will. We're desegregating public spaces and pushing weird harmless medications on them used for decades to safely regulate a wide variety of adolescent hormonal conditions. We're erasing the imaginary line drawn by the scholars of the Puritanical Era dividing human beings into two exclusive classes based solely on the aesthetics of their outward genitalia. In other words, crazy faggots like me are bringing on the decline of Western Civilization and only a vote for the humble heroes in your local Republican Party can stop us.

This is what those howling Karens of the GOP would have you believe but even this big bad wolf ain't that bad. As much as I would love to take credit for the razing of Protestant values in this country, I regret to inform you that this conspiracy to liberate your children from the bondage of the gender binary with the bulldozer of the public school system is little more than an election year partisan hoax. What little information that actually reaches your precious darlings through the bars on their classroom windows about their own bodies and their right to define them is few and far between. 

Oh, there is a fucking revolution going on. The caskets you built for this nation's youth that you call closets are exploding left and right across the country but this righteous leveling is being carried out by a grass roots movement led by the children themselves. In fact, a lot of Queer adults like myself owe our own liberation to the pint-sized gender outlaws that arrived a generation after our government facilitated indoctrination into the gender binary and our hearts break to see you fuckers use them as scapegoats to prove how conservative you are to their terrified elders, all in the name of saving the children from themselves.

Across the country, Rockefeller Republicans like Ron DeSantis are trying to throw irate populists off the trail of their deep state connections and Wall Street donors by demonizing Queer children and the few brave adults who support them with a slew of laws that use the tools of big government to regulate everything from their free speech rights to their private medical decisions, and bills that silence classroom discussions on gender and sexuality like the tactically broad Don't-Say-Gay bill are just the tip of the spear. Five states have passed anti-Queer legislation this year alone. In fact, nearly 240 state bills to regulate sexuality and gender in minors have been filed in the last three months, part of a bigoted barrage that includes 670 such bills since 2018. 

Some of these laws threaten to charge doctors with felonies for child abuse just for treating transgender minors with proven suicide reducing hormone treatments like puberty blockers. Some of them are going after their parents and threatening to rob them of the custody of their children for their own private medical decisions. Most of these laws will likely never pass but the damage is already done. They've created a campaign of terror targeting some of the kids at the greatest risk of suicide and self-harm in the country, and for what? 

This isn't conservatism. Every fucking one of these bills grows the government like vines that reach directly into our already over regulated classrooms and doctor's offices. This is big government social engineering for the sole purpose of allowing rich Washington crooks to virtue signal to backwoods bigots who don't know the first goddamn thing about my people other than the fact that they want us all to fucking disappear.

But never fear, Queer people! Here come the Democrats on their gallant white steed to save us from the evils of government intrusion with more government intrusion. Crooked gangsters like Joe Biden have promised to save us from crooked gangsters like Ron DeSantis as long as we agree to look the other way while they instigate World War 3 in Ukraine. I can't possibly be the only Queer person who is sick to death of this fucking culture war shell game. 

The state terrorizes us, the state saves us, the lord giveth and lord taketh away. Is this what we bloodied our knuckles for at Stonewall? To be at the mercy of the charity of powerful straight warmongers? Is this really what Queer liberation looks like in 2022? I think we can do better, in fact I know we can and we owe it to our kids, the ones who showed us the way. Any institution granted with the power to crush our children doesn't require reform, it requires destruction. This includes the police, this includes prisons, and hell yes this includes compulsory schooling.

You cannot reform an institution designed to enslave and police poor people, and if that doesn't include the compulsory school system then I don't know what does. The public school system in this country was not built to educate, it was built to indoctrinate. This was an apparatus originally erected to propagate the puritanical tyranny of the King James Bible. It has been used for generations as a tool to colonize and Americanize Black folk, Native Americans, and immigrants and it has been a consistent tool of abuse against Queer children. 

My people are defined by a spiritual and biological drive to be free from the harsh restrictions of sexual and gender conformity, and we have always languished in the factories of conformity that make up this nation's school system. A system which grants typically cis-hetero authority figures with total hegemony over our bodies and our minds. These are institutions designed for the express purpose of instilling the kind of compliance and rigidity that runs contrary to our very nature. Is it really any wonder that so many Queer kids kill themselves under these conditions? What Republican national socialists like Ron DeSantis are advocating isn't a deviation from this cruel tradition, it's a return to form and I for one have had enough of it.

I spent the first decade of my childhood rotting like a Jack-o-lantern in a stifling Catholic gulag with textbooks. I had no idea who or what the fuck I was because nobody ever taught me that I had any goddamn choice in the matter. I was indoctrinated into believing that boys and girls were two separate and distinct species and that anyone like me who didn't quite fit into one of these tight little boxes was a pervert and a sinner and was probably going to burn in hell. I grew up lonely and afraid, believing that there wasn't another single human being like me on the planet. 

When I finally left this parochial hellhole, I welcomed the promise of the supposedly secular public school system with open arms, believing foolishly that I would finally find my people and an identity that didn't fit like a crown of thorns. What I found was more of the same. More conformity. More forced genderization. More ridicule from bullies, only now the bullies had tenure and a union to back them up. I didn't find my people until well after I graduated and by this time, I was already suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by decades of spiritual abuse, isolation, and stigma. I dearly wish I could tell you that I was the only one but quite literally every single Queer person I know has shockingly similar horror stories and I'm sick of hearing excuses to keep an industry running that produces more of them like a machine fueled by broken childhoods. It's a fucking disgrace.

Before I knew what the fuck Queer even was, I called myself an anarchist and as far as I'm concerned, the two will always be synonymous. There was no chickenhawk faggot to groom me with suggestions for alternative pronouns. I just knew instinctively that I needed to break free from all the rules and institutions that made me want to die. That's because there is absolutely nothing new or unnatural about my identity. Third genders had existed for a millennia before a bunch of dudes in cassocks clutching crucifixes stomped all over us with their laws and their lies about our existential wickedness.

What's unnatural is the state and carceral institutions like schools that disconnect us from our elders and our communities. What we need is an education free from classrooms and curriculums where children are treated as equals and not segregated from the rest of society. The kind of education envisioned by Queer mavericks like Paul Goodman who dreamed of free schools held in urban storefronts where educators served as guides that taught children how to exist with pride and confidence on the city streets around them.

And there is no reason why this Queer anarchy should end with deschooling society. We don't need powerful breeders to liberate us from their own devices. We don't even need a revolution, at least not in the macho Bolshevik sense of the word. All we really need is a direct democratic system of alternatives to the straight world. Queer militias to protect us from the police state with dayglow ski masks and matching Kalashnikovs. Mutual aid societies to protect us from the powerful predators of the mental health industry who try to diagnose our way of life as a treatable illness. Truly free pink markets on the dark web to protect us from the hormone Nazis in Big Pharma. We don't need a state. We need a community that makes the existence of the state totally irrelevant. We need to build a new Queer society inside the cracking shell of this old puritanical empire so that when Western Civilization finally does collapse, we'll be ready to catch fireflies on the ruins.   

And it all starts with smashing the prison of your local schoolhouse. Our kids ignited a revolution by reminding us of who we've always been. Let's return the favor by setting them free.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: songs that influenced this post

*  All Apologies by Nirvana

*  Changes by David Bowie

*  Lunchbox by Marilyn Manson

*  Lola by the Raincoats

*  Boys and Girls by Blur

*  Candy Says by the Velvet Underground

*  Today by Smashing Pumpkins

*  Teenage Dirtbag by Phoebe Bridgers

*  Rock Star by Hole

*  Chick Habit by April March

*  Young Americans by David Bowie

*  Personality Crisis by New York Dolls

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Together We Are Tito!: A Call for a New Non-Aligned Movement

 There are few places on this wretched ball of shit we call earth that could benefit more from the concept of neutrality than the territory currently classified as Ukraine. For centuries these fields and forests have been the chessboards for one cruel imperial death match after another and the poor people who've had the misfortune of existing between the masters of the universe have long served as their unwilling pawns. Whether it was the Czars and the Ottomans, the Soviets and the Nazis, or now Putin and NATO, the permanently ravaged people of the Wild Steppes have long led an existence defined by being trapped between the locking horns of colliding giants. Their only real sin is living on an eight-lane highway between continents and for this they must suffer the wrath of the very worst that both have to offer. The unspeakable horrors of 2022 are but the latest chapter in this tragic saga.

As I've said here too many times to count, the only hope for peace that these people have if they are even to remain a singular people has always been a precarious balancing act of neutrality governed by decentralized regional autonomy. Western observers, in their infinite wisdom, present this fate as some form of capitulation to their ghoulish Eastern adversaries but monsters like Putin only advocate such a fate because the crumbling post-Soviet Kremlin is simply too goddamn poor to afford the puppet states of yesteryear. The truth is that there is nothing stronger than a people united only by the common dream of retaining their indigenous diversity while minding their own goddamn business and we could all benefit from embracing these values. Marshal Tito understood this a century ago and helped design both Yugoslavia and the Non-Aligned Movement for just that purpose.

I may have come a long way in my journey from worshipping communist strongmen to embracing my own unique blend of Queer post-left market anarchism, but any self-respecting armchair historian would be hard pressed not to at least begrudgingly admire the creative tenacity of an iconoclastic creature like Josip Broz Tito. A founding father of the Comintern, this noble Marxist Croat first rose to international infamy by uniting the seemingly un-unite-able people of the Balkans against fascist occupation with his shoestring Partisan Uprising and bogging the Axis Powers down in a quagmire in those perilous mountains just long enough for the Red Army to catch the upper hand in Stalingrad. 

For this Tito became a communist rock star, the apple of Josef Stalin's yellowy eye, but the good Marshal had zero intentions of ever being anybody's fucking monkey-wrench. Instead, he defied Soviet hegemony and split from an irate Stalin in 1948 to forge his own kind of worker's paradise in a land long hopelessly divided by the same kind of outside imperial interference that defines Ukraine.

Tito brought the diverse republics of the newly formed Yugoslavian Federation together by granting them autonomy in the form of decentralized communal governments who operated in a partnership rather than a centralized mono-state. Tito still played the strongman and had the final say but each region was given room to forge their own path just like each factory was given room to forge their own direct democracy and it was this very degree of radical independence that encouraged a land long plagued by war to work together because no one held enough power to go it alone. But for this sin against Bolshevik heterodoxy, Yugoslavia was forced to go it alone, isolated in post-war poverty from the neighbors they helped liberate on three sides in the Warsaw Pact. So, Tito said fuck the Warsaw Pact, fuck all pacts, and turned to the newly liberated colonies of the Global South for both inspiration and comradery. 

Empowered by his position of neutrality during the savage puppet war in Korea and building on the principles of the 1955 Bandung Conference which brought together the long-subjugated peoples of Asia and Africa in fraternity against their shared colonial big brothers in the Global North, Tito formed an alliance in 1961 with four other eccentric gadflies who had grown sick upon death of the endless imperial pissing matches of the Cold War, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Gamel Abdul Nasser of Egypt, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Sukarno of Indonesia. Together they formed the Non-Aligned Movement, an organization that celebrated strength through neutrality, diversity, and autonomy. 

None of these men were saints by any measure but they had all been burned by capitalists and communists alike and united to forge a third way that rejected the omnicidal nuclear duel of the Cold War while refusing to pick a side in a battle between two mobs of despotic pricks. Instead, they embraced values like mutual non-aggression and peaceful coexistence, what essentially amounted to minding your own goddamn business. Their membership rapidly swelled and for a couple decades both the Non-Aligned Movement and the Federation of Yugoslavia flourished. Then the rats came in.

Western imperium dismantled Yugoslavia with the same parasitic weapon it would later use to castrate the Non-Aligned Movement, debt. The IMF and the World Bank offered the cash-strapped Yugoslavia massive loans that seemed too good to be true because they were. They propped up the Federation as a wedge against the Soviet Union and then juiced them with massive amounts of debt once the USSR collapsed and the Yugoslavians ceased to be useful to their imperial designs. They dismantled their banking system and sold their assets to the highest bidders on the global capitalist market. 

Then once the Federation was in ruins, the victorious American imperialists came in with the National Endowment for Democracy and heavily invested in ethnic nationalist candidates for local elections who blamed the shared plight of the Balkans on different tribes of victims rather than the banks who robbed them all blind. Civil war and genocide followed shortly behind. Meanwhile this same international banking system used Yugoslavia like a crack dealer at the conferences of the Non-Aligned Movement and slung debt to their comrades who followed the same tragic fate which ultimately led the once proud Third World directly back into an eerily familiar colonial desert of crooked trade agreements and foreign military installations.    

Both Yugoslavia and the Non-Aligned Movement failed because they failed to recognize that the greatest evil of the Cold War was not the United Sates or the Soviet Union, communism or capitalism, but the centralization of power itself that only constant global warfare renders possible. It's disturbingly telling that through all the bloodbaths and Third World battlefields of the first Cold War, an American never put a single bullet in a Russian body or vice versa. They were both too damn busy counting the money they made off the children of their own poor and the darker children that they slaughtered for the glory and prestige of monsters who never even bothered to remember their names. And the banks played the whole fucking war like one big casino game, betting on one side or the other as the wind changed and slowly killing the nations sharp enough not to get enslaved by the poison gift of their loans with "humanitarian" interventions.

But the failures of the Non-Aligned Movement cannot be blamed on banks alone. As ballsy and brazen as leaders like Marshal Tito and Colonel Nasser may have been, they failed miserably to practice what they preached on the world stage at home which is what made their regimes susceptible to the tantalizing vices of the World Bank to begin with. With their top-down systems of autocratic rule, the founding fathers of one of the most strategically important revolutionary movements in modern history were little better than benevolent dictators at best, leaving their people just one coup-de-tat away from falling into the hands of a rat with a price tag hanging from his ear. Sukarno and Nkrumah were both overthrown by the CIA with help from the thugs in their own governments and Tito, Nasser, and Nehru were all seceded upon their natural deaths by equally lecherous scoundrels who sold off their revolutions like used cars at a swap meet.

Unlike Yugoslavia, the Non-Aligned Movement continues to exist and by some measures it is stronger than ever, the largest non-Western international institution representing roughly two thirds of the globe with 120 members. But it only stands as a sad Disneyfied shell of its former glory, a ghost devoid of any tangible values beyond stale nostalgia and pseudo-anti-imperialist virtue signaling. Global superpowers like China and Russia are observers, peddling their influence to their former adversaries, and N-AM's own members include unapologetic petite-imperialists like the Saudis and their current chairman Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan who ethnically cleanses the Armenian colony of Artsakh as we speak. 

But as a tragic as this fate may be, as inevitable as this fate may have been, it doesn't change what Yugoslavia and the Non-Aligned Movement represented at their peak, a united front of poor nations defined by their total rejection of imperialism and the endless wars it thrives on, and with the bodies stacking up in Ukraine over another duel between oligarchs with the privilege of profiting from the bloodshed, these ideals have never been more important, they just need to be revised in the shadow of fractured giants like Josip Broz Tito who failed to follow through with a consistency that even benevolent strongmen aren't capable of. 

What the world needs now is a new Non-Aligned Movement for a new Cold War, one that recognizes the true enemy of sovereignty in the light of the last's fatal mistakes. We need a Non-Aligned Movement united against the common enemy of bigness- big business, big government, big banking- and all the foul institutions that represent it. We need a movement that stands united against NATO, against the WTO, against the World Bank and the IMF and the EU, against globalism itself. We need a movement that stands against the very premise of the superstate, one that recognizes that any state the size of America, China, the European Union, or Russia is an existential threat to sovereignty everywhere unless they can be regulated by their own people in the form of decentralized confederations that grant every republic with the basic human right of secession. 

We need a diverse union of confederations, microstates, autonomous zones, and militias that challenge the monopoly the failed Westphalian nation state still holds on governance and recognizes the diversity of a thousand forms of autonomous indigenous rule governed not by men but by voluntary contracts between individuals and communities. This is the kind of Non-Aligned Movement the world needs today. One where the Uyghurs needn't rely on the Americans and Ryukyu needn't rely on China and the Donbas needn't rely on Russia and Ukraine needn't rely on NATO because we should all rely on each other against the real fucking enemy, the oligarchs of the global elite who cloak themselves in the flags of international order. Let's shatter that order together and shove the jagged pieces up their fucking ass.

Because only together are we heavy, dearest motherfuckers. Together we are Tito! 

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: songs that influenced this post

*  Expressway to Yr. Skull by Sonic Youth

*  Miss Atomic Bomb by the Killers

*  Radio Free Europe by REM

*  Shotgun by Soccer Mommy

*  London Calling by the Clash

*  Monkeywrench by Foo Fighters

*  Faith Healer by Julien Baker

*  Not to Soon by Throwing Muses

*  Rock Star by Hole

*  Harborcoat by REM

*  Dirty Boots by Sonic Youth

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Will the Real Volodymyr Zelensky Please Stand Up?

"Man looks in the abyss, there's nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss."

-Oliver Stone

 Neoliberalism has a brand-new rock star, and his name is Volodymyr Zelensky. You can't turn on the news in any given country west of the Danube without stumbling over some starry-eyed career war apologist creaming their knickers like a boomer teeny bopper at the height of Beatlemania over their new idol's latest hit and Volodymyr Zelensky plays all the hits. Ever since the first bombs dropped on Ukraine, that nation's embattled young heartthrob of a president has been on a world tour begging Western leaders to sack up and bail him out of the war they used him to provoke, and he always plays masterfully to his fickle audience's insecurities. In Israel he invokes the Nazis who we all pretend aren't already in his army. In England he paraphrases their favorite Nazi, Winston Churchill. And of course, in Washington he plays the shit out of the 9/11 card like fucking Rain Man. 

But every heartfelt serenade ends the same way, with this dreamy icon for social justice demanding peace through nuclear holocaust by way of a no-fly-zone. From anyone else this bit might come across as campy or even downright gross but with his boyish good looks bathed in the rugged charm of his ever present five o'clock shadow and an army green t-shirt just tight enough to show off his pecs, Zelensky sells it like Xanax to soccer moms, and while most of his adoring groupies aren't quite moony enough to give him World War 3 on a silver platter, the weapons are pouring into L'viv like wine. The arms industry hasn't had a pitch man like this since Osama Bin Laden. Yet Zelensky appears to be growing weary with his newfound superstardom. There are even rumors circulating of him giving it all up for a peace deal with Putin's Russia. which begs the question, who exactly is Volodymyr Zelensky and how exactly did he become the poster boy for a NATO alliance that even he admits doesn't appear to give a fuck about the perilous plight of his people?

To answer these questions, you have to go back in time a few years to 2019, the year Volodymyr Zelensky was propelled from local fame to international superstardom by becoming Ukraine's most unlikely new president. Five years after Joe Biden and Victoria Nuland had the democratically elected government in Kiev overthrown by a pack of rabid neo-Nazi soccer hooligans, the neoliberal miracle of the so-called Maidan Revolution wasn't looking so hot. The place had become an embarrassing snake's nest of lawlessness and corruption, and even the suckers in the Fourth Estate were taking notice. Said neo-Nazi soccer hooligans had thoroughly infiltrated the highest ranks of power with known white nationalists like Andriy Biletsky and Andrei Paruby running the parliament while swastika-clad street gangs like C14 and the Azov Battalion freely roamed the streets as newly deputized members of Ukraine's fastly growing defense establishment, clubbing Gypsies, bashing gay pride parades, and hurling acid in the faces of anyone who dared to bitch about their reign of terror.

Meanwhile, sleazy billionaires like then-President Petro Poroshenko were robbing the country blind and using these racist armed thugs to protect their Eastern industrial assets by ethnically cleansing whole swaths of the Donbas. Something had to change. Photos of heavily attended torch-lit marches in honor of known genocidal Nazi collaborators had made their way to the pages of the Guardian and Newsweek, and some of the more progressive Democrats like Ro Khanna were even attempting to have entire battalions of Ukraine's new National Guard rightfully designated as international terrorists. Both NATO and the wilier oligarchs who stood to profit from their occupation of the country had a lot riding on Ukraine's future as a glorified stick to jam in Putin's eye and the very thugs they used to hijack the nation were threatening to fuck it all up. They needed a ringer. A human air freshener to hang on the rearview mirror of this wreck. Not a reformer, just someone who smells like one and who better than a man who literally plays one on TV. 

On the surface, Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to be the ultimate outsider candidate, a secular Jew from a Russian speaking family whose main claim to fame was playing a pissed off history teacher on a popular comedy who finds himself catapulted to Ukraine's presidency after a student posts a rant of his against corruption online that goes viral. Servant of the People had become Ukraine's new favorite TV show by skewering the very oligarchs who defined their post-Maidan purgatory and Zelensky essentially ran for office as the hit show's main character, promising to cleanse the sewars of Kiev of corruption and to bring peace to the war torn East. 

But from day one something wasn't quite right about this narrative. Zelensky's biggest campaign donor was the man who owned the network that produced his show, Igor Kolomoisky, a billionaire oligarch so odious that even the United States sanctioned him for robbing his own bank of $5.5 billion. As if this wasn't gross enough, in spite of being Jewish and a dual citizen of Israel, Igor was also the top financier of neo-Nazi battalions like Azov and Aidar who he used to terrorize his business rivals and secure assets under threat of being nationalized by ethnic Russian rebels in the Donbas. Kolomoisky had been hiding out in Switzerland since having a very public falling out with the incumbent Petro Poroshenko, but his money and the favors it provoked hadn't left the country. 

So, what the hell was going on here? Why was the man who seemed to represent all the evils that Zelensky was allegedly running against bankrolling his meteoric rise to power? Poroshenko's people claimed to have the answer when they accused Zelensky's Kvartal 95 production company of receiving $41 million from Privatbank, the same bank Kolomoisky had looted. The accusation was unfounded but seemed to be corroborated when the Pandora Papers revealed that the same people behind this company had set up a network of illegal offshore companies in countries like Belize and Cyprus back in 2012, the same year Kvartal entered into a production deal with Igor Kolomoisky's 1+1 Group. But by the time these papers had leaked it was 2021 and Zelensky had already been elected president with 73% of the vote, making his longshot presidential campaign the most successful in Ukrainian history. His newly formed Servant of the People Party even sweeped many of the more ghoulish fascists out of parliament. The sun was finally shining again in Kiev as Mr. Kolomoisky returned to Ukraine from hiding just after the boy king's sensational victory. 

Nevertheless, corrupt or not, Zelensky did appear to at least be somewhat earnest about attempting to bring peace to the Russian speaking eastern region of Ukraine who had overwhelmingly voted for the plucky outsider. This led to a showdown in the tiny village of Zolote on the Luhansk border where Zelensky had ordered a minor pullback of his countries National Guard only to be met with an armed occupation by Kolomoisky's Heroes in the Azov Battalion. In a downright surreal case of life imitating art, local news footage of a Jewish comedian shouting down known neo-Nazi war criminals went viral, but the reaction from Zelensky's own government was far from a rave review. Members of parliament made open death threats as the oligarch run media raked Zelensky over the fucking coals for appeasing Russia. The Azov Furher turned parliamentarian, Andriy Biletsky, took to his YouTube channel like a man possessed, making thinly veiled threats and promising to send 10,000 Nazi stormtroopers to Zolote. Zelensky backed down. It had been made crystal clear to him that even if his nation's fascist usurpers had next to zero representation in parliament, they still controlled the battlefield and any attempt to legislate this fact would only bring that battlefield to Kiev. President or not, these forces answered to a higher power. 

 It's this cataclysmic dichotomy that seems to define Zelensky. On the one hand, the man is a corrupt stooge in the pocket of Ukraine's most notorious gangster. On the other, he seems to suffer from downright inspiring flourishes of the delusion that he really is the leader Kolomoisky hired him to play. Like any great method actor, Zelensky occasionally seems to lose himself completely in the role. So, then which one is the real Volodymyr Zelensky? On one day he's calling for peace in the Donbas, on the next he's rewarding the Nazi scum who routinely violate it with his nation's most prestigious awards. In no place has this political schizophrenia been more pronounced than during the buildup to his NATO stoked collision with Putin's Russia. 

Zelensky came to the White House late last year, practically begging Biden for NATO membership. He then spent the next several months desperately trying to pour cold water on Biden's flaming campaign to escalate tensions with Russia. Zelensky had all but told Biden to shut the fuck up and seemed to legitimately believe, as did I, that a Russian invasion was far from imminent. But Zelensky doesn't control his Nazi infiltrated military, NATO does. Even without the membership that Zelensky foolishly sought, Ukraine's National Guard has been thoroughly integrated into the Alliance, with NATO commanders capable of giving direct commands to the very battalions Zelensky clashed with in Zolote, the same battalions who drastically increased their shelling of the Donbas just days before Putin invaded. 

Whoever the fuck Volodymyr Zelensky is, he's walking a dangerous tightrope without a net. As he becomes increasingly disgusted by NATO's failure to protect the nation they actively pushed into provoking their Russian invaders and he begins to openly toy with the notion of embracing neutrality, Zelensky is surrounded by fanatics with long knives who view such common sense as outright blasphemy and I'm not just talking about Azov. America doesn't want peace for Ukraine, they want endless war for Russia and they don't care how many Ukrainians or Russians have to die to get it. I can't help but to think of JFK, another sexy liberal rock star who took his role too seriously and dared to make peace with Russia. We all know how that story ended. I hope that the real Volodymyr Zelensky does stand up and come to his senses by embracing the neutrality that we should all embrace. I also hope he looks out for those Grassy Knolls.

Peace, Love, and Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

*  Helter Skelter by the Beatles

*  The Pretender by Foo Fighters

*  Crash by the Primitives

*  TV Eye by the Stooges

*  Today by Smashing Pumpkins

*  Just by Radiohead

*  Queen Bitch by David Bowie

*  Smile Like You Mean It by the Killers

*  Sappy by Nirvana

*  Teenage Riot by Sonic Youth