Where is the sun? Have we been marching through this darkness forever? It's barely December but it already feels like the longest winter in recent memory. In fact, it feels like last winter never really ended. That was when Putin's army foolishly goosestepped into a NATO-baited trap in Ukraine and then proceeded to ruthlessly attempt to kill their way out of their own imperial hubris. That was nine months ago but it feels a lot more like nine years. Nine years of indiscriminate carpet bombing and bottomless mass graves. Nine years of crippling economic terrorism and recession inducing embargoes. Nine years of collapsing empires collapsing the world for the egos of delusional old men who should have died and gone to hell decades ago. Nine years of a pointless death march to a third world war that can only end in thermonuclear oblivion. Nine goddamn years of winter darkness with no sign of light in sight.
During this darkness the only thing that has become frighteningly clear is that there are no more good guys left alive in this fight. No heroes to give this endless graveyard some assemblance of meaning. Just thieves and killers and their victims piling up between them. Vladimir Putin has made this painfully clear by checking off every box in the neocon guide to imperial lunacy and Volodymyr Zelensky has made this even more painfully clear as that so-called beacon of democracy has used the NATO provoked invasion of his country as an excuse to rule it like Putin's Russia. Whatever heroes that might have once existed on this battlefield are all dead now. The Donbass rebels and Kharkiv partisans who both bravely sacrificed themselves to kick some marauding army of assholes off their lawn have been replaced by two armies of conscripted slaves.
Your average Russian invader is a mirror image of your average Ukrainian Nazi. Just some poor 19-year-old kid who should be getting stoned and laid back in the sleepy ruins of an abandoned factory town he never stepped two feet from before a cigar chomping monster with brass stars on his shoulders sent him to kill some other poor 19-year-old kid he'd probably much rather split a spliff with than blow away. All so two crypts of ancient oligarchs can sell missiles and prove that their dicks can still get hard like the bad old days. World war three is nothing but Viagra for the monied predator class and apparently it takes an entire generation of shredded corpse meat to get those rapists off.
In a nine-month long season like this hope becomes as rare as sunlight but strange things have been unfolding over the last few weeks that could tempt even the most suicidal of pessimists to pull that cocked revolver from their mouth. In fact, if you study the ruins of Kherson with just the right set of eyes at just the right time of night, you might just be able to spot a fleeting ray of sunlight threatening to warm the frozen horizon. I myself had no choice but to drop my loaded Nagant as I reached for my dusty old pair of binoculars this November while a curious series of events unfolded like a holiday miracle on ice.
On November 6th, news hit my dark corner of the net that after months of virtual radio silence National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had made contact with Putin's Foreign Policy Advisor Yuri Ushakov and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. This news was followed shortly by word that Sullivan had also been privately pushing Volodymyr Zelensky to drop his refusal to even engage in peace talks before a mythical regime change in Moscow took place.
On November 7th, more information leaked to La Republica that both the US and NATO had floated the notion that once unthought of peace talks could become a possibility if Ukraine managed to take back the Russian occupied territory of Kherson before the first winter freeze. This message was quickly confirmed by a separate report by NBC News. On November 8th, Zelensky publicly announced a willingness to talk to the devil himself, Vladimir Putin, under certain circumstances. The next day certain circumstances shifted in his favor.
On November 9th, Russia began a hasty withdrawal from the capitol of Kherson which they had previously shown a willingness to sacrifice thousands of soldiers and threaten nuclear war just to keep beneath the Russian flag. Even stranger was the fact that they managed to do so without a single casualty despite being wide open to a Ukrainian assault. The entire scene felt strangely staged. It looked more like a well-choreographed handover than a defeat. The next day things only got stranger when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley announced in a speech to the Economic Club in New York that the withdrawal from Kherson City could provide an opportunity to end this war peacefully, stating boldly that "When there's an opportunity to negotiate, when peace can be achieved, seize it."
What the fuck is happening here? I find myself asking as the binoculars join my revolver on the carpet. This is the same administration that baited this trap with months of nuclear war games in the Black Sea and has refused to so much as even return Putin's phone calls after he marched into it. This regime has dumped billions of dollars into turning Ukraine into a well-armed dumpster fire for the Kremlin to burn in while Putin has similarly put his entire legacy on the line to kill his way out of the flames. Why in God's name would such loathsome butchers choose now to dawn love beads and give peace a chance?
As usual, I can only speculate, but historically speaking even monsters will embrace the forbidden fruit of pacifism when their precious wars begin to threaten their grip on power. Both sides lost this war months ago in every way that counts. It is highly unlikely that Russia or Ukraine is capable of making any more lasting territorial gains without committing nuclear suicide. An endless stalemate was probably the goal of America's Military Industrial Complex. Raytheon is practically printing their own fucking money at this point. But the economic effects of their proxy war have reached far beyond the killing fields of some shithole country and have become downright devastating on the home front.
The largest embargo in human history has resulted in record shattering inflation and the worst energy crisis to rack the western world since the seventies. This hasn't kept the usual suspects in the oil and arms industries from seeing record profits, but it has scared the shit out of the military brass back in Brussels and beyond as this economic turmoil has stoked a rising wave of dissent across Central Europe among working class schmucks on both the left and the right who would much rather see NATO smashed than burn their own furniture for heat this winter. Hundreds of thousands have gathered in the streets of the Czech Republic alone to oppose their nation's involvement in a war against a country that once enslaved them. In other words, the shit is getting real.
NATO's Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, has warned about the dangers of growing instability in the dark heart of the alliance himself and in a country already coming apart at the seams from twenty years of failed forever wars and coked out Wall Street hijinks, there is every reason to believe that this pathogen could spread across the pond to Babylon like Monkeypox. This is what ended the war in Vietnam. America was more than willing to keep that dumpster fire burning indefinitely the way they did in Korea until dissent spread from Berkley to the barracks and the generals chose to pull the plug before they could get fragged by their own slave armies of indentured dope smokers.
This is far from a guarantee for peace this winter, however. This nation's deep state would be wise to heed General Milley's warnings but there is ample evidence that the State Department is not on the same page as the Pentagon when it comes to knowing when to fold em. In the weeks following the Kherson peace offensive word has come down that Antony Blinken and even Jake Sullivan are in bitter disagreement with Milley's sobering assessment and continue to encourage Ukraine to keep the charnels burning.
It appears now that Sullivan's suggestions to Zelensky about dropping his hardline stance may have had more to do with the dissent riling optics of an unhinged NATO quisling declaring he'd rather blow up the world than hand over the Donbass than it did anything in the way of diplomacy. Further proof of Zelensky's lack of commitment to moderation was on terrifying display late last month when that little Putin wannabe bombed his NATO neighbors in Poland during a Russian offensive and then tried to stoke an apocalypse over what I pray was a mistake.
So, what does this all mean and what do we do now? America's chickenhawks are divided in ways too big to conceal, so we the peaceful must become united in sewing these divisions the same way we did back in 1973. That means that we have to get our hands dirty and bring the war home again. We have to fill the streets with fire and make it clear to the holdouts in the State Department that Milley and Stoltenberg's fears are more than warranted.
In other words, the villagers have to threaten to burn Camelot to the fucking ground if the King doesn't end the siege. And then, when he does, we need to burn it down anyway, so this sick shit never happens again, and we have to hope that our dope smoking counterparts in the streets of Moscow follow our example and do the same. Then and only then will this endless imperial winter cease and peace-loving people will know the heat of the sun on their flesh again.
Yeah, it's a longshot, but Christmas miracles are the only thing that keep the revolver out of my mouth during this time of year and I haven't heard any better ideas lately. So, come on people now, lean on your brother, pick up a brick and give peace a chance.
Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH
Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this piece
* London Calling by the Clash
* Give Peace a Chance by the Plastic Ono Band
* Lessons Learned by Matt & Kim
* Peace Sells by Megadeath
* Get Together by the Young Bloods
* I'm Allowed by Buffalo Tom
* The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
* War Pigs by Black Sabbath
* The Worst Day Since Yesterday by Flogging Molly
* Orgasm Addict by the Buzzcocks
* The Universal by Blur
* No Children by the Mountain Goats