The Debrief with Briahna Joy Gray, April 8, 2022.
Question: How much of a similarity maybe do you see between the kind of… the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the way some people handle some of the reactionary and right-wing elements in the Palestinian defense and opposition, versus how some of the left is talking about the Ukraine defense and the Azov battalions… Do you think there’s a comparison? And I’ll just leave the question at that. Thanks.
Norman Finkelstein: Well I have to ask Briahna’s permission to go in a digression…
Norman Finkelstein : Okay. On the question of the Ukraine, the thing that’s troubled me about the public conversation of the Ukraine or hysteria —it’s not even a conversation, it’s hysteria about the Ukraine— is the following: those who are not totally immersed in the mainstream propaganda, some of the people you’ve had on your program and people who are not especially of the left, they have no particular left-wing allegiance, like John Mearsheimer at University of Chicago, or before he passed away Stephen F. Cohen who predicted that if you keep up with this NATO expansion in the Ukraine, there’s going to be a war. He said that in Democracy Now in 2014, and he was right. And other people, Professor Chomsky. I would include in that group several others, and they’ll all say the following thing:
Number one, the Russians were promised that there would be no NATO expansion to the East, that was the quid pro quo for the reunification of Germany after the decomposition of the Soviet Union. The Russians were promised that but the West went ahead. We’re talking about the 1990s: the promises were given, but the West then went ahead and started to expand NATO once, as John Mearsheimer likes to put it there was the first tranche, then the second tranche of expansion… Then NATO starts expanding in Georgia and in the Ukraine. The Soviet Union says it’s a red line.
To stop this, the Soviet Union offers a perfectly reasonable resolution: just neutralize Ukraine like we neutralized Austria after World War II, neither aligned with an Eastern bloc nor aligned with a Western bloc. That seemed to me perfectly reasonable. And the people I mentioned, Mearsheimer, Cohen passed away since but Professor Chomsky and a number of others, they’ll all agree on the reasonableness of Putin’s demands.
And then the reasonableness of those demands, those demands have to, as Briahna says in her paper and as she said this evening, they have to always be seen in context. So what’s the context? The context is the Soviet Union, the former Russia, it lost… the estimates are about 30 million people during World War II. The United States which, if you watch American movies, you would think the US won World War II, it lost about two hundred thousand people. The UK was the second candidate for winning World War II, they lost about four hundred thousand people. The Soviet Union lost 30 million people. Even those who didn’t take courses in the hard sciences can reckon the difference between several hundred thousand and thirty million. Now that’s not an ancient memory for the Russians. If you… I remember Stephen F. Cohen saying “when I grew up in little America —he was from Kentucky— we used to celebrate…” I forgot what was called here Victory Day, V-something, he said “but you know now as adults we don’t celebrate that anymore in the United States, Victory in World War II”, he said, but Russia, he said, they still celebrate V-Day, they still celebrate it. I live in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. A large part is Russian Jews, a large part is Russian Jews. You go out in May, you go out on the V-Day, and you can see that Russians up to 80 and 90 year olds, they’re wearing medals, they’re medals from World War II. That memory is alive.
And now there’s this Ukraine, where Nazis are playing an outsized role. I’m not saying they’re a majority, but in the political and military life, they play an outsized —disproportionate let’s call it— role. This Ukraine where Nazis are playing an outsized role, are aligned with a formidable military bloc called NATO, NATO keeps advancing and advancing and advancing, closing on Russia, trying to suffocate it… And beginning around 2016, under Trump, begins to arm the Ukraine, pouring in weapons, engaging in military exercises with NATO, behaving very provocatively. And then the Foreign Minister Lavrov finally says we’ve reached the boiling point.
Now everything I just told you, Professor Chomsky, John Mearsheimer and others will acknowledge it. The mainstream press won’t even acknowledge that but people who call themselves just, legitimately call themselves dissidents, although Mearsheimer wouldn’t call himself a dissident, he just calls himself a realist. Nice guy, I consider him a friend, I like him. They’ll acknowledge all that. But then they say the invasion was criminal. Criminal invasion, criminal, criminal, criminal. And my question which I’ve constantly been putting in correspondence is a very simple one: if you agree that for 20 years—more than 20 years, more than two decades—, Russia has tried to engage in diplomacy; if you agree that the Russian demand to neutralize Ukraine —not occupy it, not determine its government, its form of economy, just neutralize it like Austria after World War II—, if you agree that was a legitimate demand; if you agree that the West was expanding and expanding NATO; if you agree that Ukraine de facto had become a member of NATO, weapons pouring in, engaging in military exercises in NATO; and if you agree… You know, Russia lost 30 million people during World War II because of the Nazi invasion, so there’s a legitimate concern by Russia with all of these —if you excuse my language— Nazis floating around in the Ukraine, then the simple question is: What was Russia to do?
I’m not saying I agree with the invasion, I’m not saying it went right, but I think one thing: the invasion showed… you know what the one thing the invasion showed, Briahna, was that Russia is kind of weak militarily, which is why all the more they may have been fearful of a NATO-backed Ukraine filled with Nazis, and probably at some point positioning nuclear missiles on its border. And I think 30 million, 30 million people… Listen to this: I think 30 million people is 30 million arguments in favor of Russia. Now I’m not going to say, because I’m not a general and I’m not a diplomat, so I’m not going… I’m not a military strategist so I’m not going to say it was the wisest thing to do. I’m not going to say it was the most prudent thing to do. But I will say —and I’m not afraid to say it because it would dishonor the memory of my parents if i didn’t say it—, I will say that they had the right to do it. And I’m not taking that back. They had the right to do it. They had if I can call it the historic right to do it. 30 million people (killed during WW2), and now you’re starting again, you’re starting again. No, no, you know I can’t go for it, I can’t go for those who acknowledge the legitimacy of the arguments made by Putin but then call the invasion criminal. I don’t see that.
Now you could say the way they executed it may have had criminal elements. However I don’t know… Well, you went to Harvard Law School, I don’t know if you studied the laws of war, but the laws of war make a very big distinction between ‘jus ad bellum’ and ‘jus in bello’, namely whether the launching of the war was legitimate or whether it was an act of aggression versus the way you conduct the war, ‘jus in bello’. Maybe the conduct, targeting of civilians and so forth, that probably violates the laws of war, but that’s a separate issue under law from “did they have the right to attack”. I think they did. I’m not going to back off from that.
You know, these are for me… even at my age, these are acts of deference to the suffering of my parents. My parents felt a very deep love for the Russian people, because they felt the Russian people understood war. They understood what my parents went through [in the Warsaw Ghetto & Auschwitz] during World War II, so there was a very deep affection… My father even, at the end of his life, he learned fluent Russian because neighborhood is all Russian. And you know, Polish to Russian is not a huge leap but also he liked the Russian people. So in my family growing up, the worst curse (insult)… there were two curses, two curses: curse number one was “parasite”. You have to work. My parents had a very… they had a work ethic. Believe me, I could have lived without the idea of pleasure, it didn’t exist in my house: you had to work. And the second word, the second curse, the second epithet was “traitor”. A traitor. And I know my parents would regard me as a traitor if I denounced what the Russians were doing now. How they’re doing it, as they say, probably there are violations and maybe egregious violations of the laws of war, we’ll have to wait to see the evidence, but their right to protect their homeland from this relentless juggernaut, this relentless pressing on their throats, when there was such an easy way to resolve it…
You know, if you read War and peace, and I suspect you did because you’re quite a gifted writer, obviously you were a reader…
Briahna: I confess, there was a copy on my shelf that I have started many times, but I haven’t… I’ve never finished it.
Norman Finkelstein: I’m surprised… In any case, War and peace is about the invasion of Russia, the war of 1812, and Tolstoy, the centerpiece of War and peace is the great battle of Borodino, and he describes it in this kind of terrifying detail. In the battle of Borodino, 25 000 Russians were killed, or maybe it was all together 25 000, I can’t remember, I think was 25 000 Russians were killed. Why do I mention it? So for Russians the seminal event of the 19th century was the war of 1812 and the invasion of Russia. For the 20th century, it’s World War II, and just in the battle of Leningrad, just Leningrad, not Saint-Petersburg, just Leningrad, a million Russians were killed. There was cannibalism! This is serious, World War II for the Russians. And you want me to just forget about that? That’s just a trivial fact? A trivial fact? No! Now you’ll ask yourself: in all the coverage that you’ve heard about your Russian attack on Ukraine, all the coverage you’ve read and listened to, how many times have you heard that 30 million Russians were killed during World War II? How many times?
Briahna Very infrequently. It’s never stated in this context.
Norman Finkelstein: Absolutely. And Stephen F. Cohen… You know, he was my Professor at Princeton and for a while he was my advisor. He… I didn’t know him well and at the end we had a falling down over my whole dissertation catastrophe, debacle, but Cohen had a genuine affection for the Russian people. He did. He loved the Russians. He loved the Russian people. And so when he begins his presentation… There is a Youtube of him debating the former US Ambassador, Mc Faul I think, Michael Mc Faul. How does he begin? He begins with how Russians remember the V-day. You know, that’s the starting point for me, it’s a starting point.
Now you might say well, doesn’t your whole argument then justify what Israel does because of what happened to Jews during World War II? It’s an interesting question because the most moving, the most moving speech in support of the founding of the State of Israel, by far the most moving speech, you know who it was given by at the UN? It was given by the Soviet foreign minister Gromyko. And he said it was another act of generosity. Remember I mentioned to you earlier the boy’s act of generosity where he looks past what Trichka says about Black people, and as a student I thought it was a very generous act. So now the Russians lost 30 million people in World War II, but Gromyko says the suffering of the Jews, it was different, it was horrible. Here is a Russian saying that. And he said if a binational State is not possible, they earned their right to a State. So I say I applied the same standard. Now the way Israel carried out its right to establish a State by expelling the indigenous population, appropriating their land and creating havoc and misery for generation after generation, decade after decade, no I’m not going there. But yes I do believe… in recent correspondence with some friends I use the expression “I think Russia has the historic right to protect itself”, not by violating somebody else’s right to self-determination but neutralization, I think that’s legitimate.
Briahna: So I want to ask you this because you know it wouldn’t be right for me to put this question to Ro Khanna and not put this question to you. You are speaking so compellingly about the kind of moral valences of who’s entitled to feeling insecure as a nation, who’s entitled because of the historical cost it has paid to defend itself and to defend whatever you want to call it, you know, democracy in fascism, all of these kinds of words, has paid in terms of the number of human lives and kind of an unmatched price, and I think that’s…
Norman Finkelstein: The Chinese lost about 26 million to the Japanese, so it was close.
Briahna: It’s close but still… And yet when I was talking to Ro Khanna and he was saying well, ultimately he’s arguing on the other side that America is 100% right, Russia’s 100% wrong and this is a just war regardless of the substance. I would push him on this idea, of even if you believe it to be just kind of morally, the act I’m going to have to as a leftist is pushback against the idea that the preemptiveness of the war is okay, and that war is a solution. It is something that we should be tacitly or implicitly condoning. And I wonder what you make of that question.
Norman Finkelstein: Look, Briahna, not to flatter you but you always ask the right questions, and that’s why I was careful in what I said. You referred to the pre-emptiveness. Russia tried for 22 years. That’s giving a lot of time to diplomacy! 22 years is a lot of time!
And the question is: at what point, at what point does Russia get to act? When there are nuclear-tipped missiles on its border? Is that when it gets to act? I don’t agree with that. I think of course you have to give maximum time to see if diplomacy is going to work, absolutely…
Briahna: And then you start fighting? And then you send in troops? Because Norm, this is the… whether or not you believe…
Norman Finkelstein: I’m very happy, I’m very happy to take to heart your question. And that leads me again with the same question that I returned to you and I’ve returned to all of my correspondents over the past six weeks. If it’s clear that all the negotiations are in bad faith, if it’s clear that Ukraine had become de facto a member of NATO, what was Russia supposed to do? You say “don’t send in troops”. Fine. I come from a family that was completely anti-war. My mother used to say “better a hundred years of evolution than one year of revolution”. She had enough of war. I have no problem with your recoiling at the process. But what I’m saying is what was Russia supposed to do?
Briahna: What I’m asking is how you distinguish between your feelings that this is a moral war, this is a justified act, fine, and someone like Ro Khanna’s belief that US intervention, continued support of NATO, Western powers, sending weapons into Ukraine, arming the Azov battalion, is as he puts it a just war. The fact that you are both making these arguments, regardless… I’m not making an equivalent between the value of your arguments but obviously Ro Khanna thinks what he thinks and my point to him was you using vague terms like “just war” is exactly what’s allowed the kind of jingoistic parade to lead us into so many other incursions. So how principally do you distinguish? I understand your feeling and I understand the historical citations and the loss of life that leads you to the conclusions that you’ve been led to, but someone on the other side will say the same thing, someone else said “Well Marshall well this is how many Ukrainians have suffered and this is…”
Norman Finkelstein: But you’re canceling, if I may use that word, you’re canceling the context. You see I began my whole discussion with you, not with the position of Biden or the position of lunatics like Judy Woodruff, you know, and PBS. I said my quarrel is with people on the left who agree with all of my context but then make the leap and say it’s a criminal invasion. And I say to Professor Meirsheimer, Professor Chomsky and many others who acknowledge everything I just said, I say then what was… if you agree with everything I said, what was Putin supposed to do? I don’t see what he was supposed to do. I’m lost. It’s an impasse. I don’t see what…
Briahna: You were making a reference earlier to laws of war and rules before, i don’t know about it, I’ve never studied the laws of war, but it does seem to me that a line is drawn between… and I know that people are going to say something can be constructively war and you know. But in terms of an actual invasion and boots on the ground or missile strikes or things like that, the thing that Russia has to do even if it disadvantages them strategically in some ways is to wait until the other person hits first.
Norman Finkelstein: I don’t agree with that. I would say, as in any case, you have to demonstrate its last resort, and therefore you do have to demonstrate…
Briahna: How do you do that? Because that’s the question, how do you make sure that this is not just the same kind of…
Norman Finkelstein: I’m going to give you a historical analogy, probably the details which you’re unfamiliar with, but just allow me to just sketch it out. So in 1967, Israel launches a war, it occupies the West Bank, Gaza, Syrian Golan heights, and then it occupies this huge area, the Egyptian Sinai. And after the 67 war, about three years later, when Anwar Sadat comes into power, he says “I’m willing to sign a peace treaty with Israel but they have to return the territory they acquired during the 67 war”, because that’s the law : under international law, it’s inadmissible to acquire territory by war. Israel acquired the territory during the june 67 war, so these territories belong to Egypt. Israel says no, we’re not leaving the Sinai. Sadat says “Look, I’m offering you a peace treaty, I’m offering you peace, just return what’s not yours, the Egyptian Sinai”. Israel says no. Then Israel starts creating facts in the ground in the Sinai, it starts building settlements, those same settlements you’re familiar with in the West Bank. And then it announces in 1972 it’s going to rebuild what’s called the old jewish city of Carmel. Egypt says you’re not going to do that. You’re crossing a red line. Egypt says if you don’t stop this we’re going to attack, we’re going to attack. Everybody ignores Egypt because Arabs don’t know how to fight wars. The Arabs were nicknamed after 67, the term of abuse for an Arab was they were “monkeys”, they called them monkeys. They don’t know how to fight wars. Okay? And then come october 1973. Guess what: Sadat attacks. And the Israelis were so shocked they thought the whole thing was over, they called it… Moshe Dayan who was the Defense minister at the time, or the Foreign minister I can’t remember which, I think Defense minister at the time, he says… he made this panicky phone call, he said it’s the end of the third temple. This is it, we’re finished. Well it wasn’t the end of the third temple but it was a significant, heavy loss to Israel, they lost between two and three thousand soldiers, which is the largest number except for the war in 1948.
Now here’s the point: the point is no country in the world, none, including the United States, no country in the world condemned Sadat for aggression, none. And you know, for Israel it was a close call, or it seemed to be. In retrospect it turned out not to me, but it seemed to be a close call. Nobody condemned Egypt. Why? One, its demand was legitimate. Return the Sinai, it’s not yours, it’s our territory. Number two: Sadat tried negotiations for six years. And number three, as hard as he tried to negotiate, Israelis kept provoking and provoking and provoking until they announced rebuilding the old jewish city of Carmel. And Sadat says it’s over and then plans with Syria the attack which happens, what’s called the Yom Kippur war, the october war in 1973.
So now fast forward to Putin: the man was reasonable (neutralize Ukraine), negotiates over 20 years to fighting over this NATO expansion in the East, and then they start provoking them even more, they start pouring weapons into the Ukraine, they start carrying on joint military exercises between Ukraine and NATO. And then all of these swarmy Nazis start to surface. No I’m not saying Nazis control the government but they play an outsized role in the government, in the military. And I don’t see what’s the difference between what Putin did and what Sadat did. I don’t see the difference. I think it was the same thing, and nobody condemns Sadat for aggression. No one.
Briahna: But I’m asking I think a different question. I’m really not interested in litigating any given case mostly because I don’t know what the hell any of these things are about, so like I don’t really… I’m not going to say whether this war is just, that’s for other people to determine. What I do know is that everyone is making that argument on all kinds of sides, including people I know I don’t disagree with. And so many wars have been started with the argument that it is a just war for x, y and z reasons, and it’s okay to act despite there not having been a direct act of aggression against the allegedly aggrieved party. And so all I’m asking is to give some thought to how one would articulate a standard that can’t be so easily abused.
Norman Finkelstein: You know, Rihanna, I agree, it’s like once you grow up in life, you discover that life is very little about principles: it’s mostly about judgment. Principles get you not very far. I remember I got this lesson from Professor Chomsky, as he always puts it in his very lucid, simple terms. He said to me once: “Norman, we all know it’s wrong to lie, but if a rapist knocks in your door and asks “Is your daughter in the bedroom”, there’s a clash of principles there obviously. And so at the end of the day, what is required is not the application of an abstract principle but the faculty of judgment. When principles clash, you have to exercise judgment. You then have to look at particulars, the specifics.
Briahna: Excuse me, I appreciate that, which is probably why, you know, this is the limit, this is the limit of it for me and I’ll… I’m happy to take more questions from people who I’m sure know much more about the particulars. Although your last statement about, you know, principles versus judgment, and you know, the rapist at your door, does make me, it does make me tempted to ask you about what you think about the slap. […]
[If you want to know what Norman Finkelstein thinks about Will Smith’s slap at the Oscars, and other more serious issues, check the full podcast].
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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…”
“Russia is kind of weak militarily ?”
It is remarkably how people manage to waste a good point, good arguments for the sake of never admitting Russia military supremacy. Very sad.
How on earth could 1 mistake waste the 99 good points he makes?
He failed to point the obvious, the fact that would make his argument the absolute winner: Russia didn’t attack first. Russia got in an existing conflict. Russia responded to the cry for help that came from the Donbass people.
People in the Donbass were shelled for 8 years. OSCE has reports about up to +1400 explosions per day inside the separatist areas of the Donbass during the entire week BEFORE Russia decided to intervene. That means the Ukrainian army was violating the ceasse fire, violating the Minsk PEACE agreements.
Also, UN’s Charter declares Self-determination as a Human Right. And the two Donbass Republics declared their independence, and it was recognized by Russia under the previous example made by Western nations: Kosovo. So, Russia, intervened in an existing conflict, to make sure the Donbass’ people Human Right to Self-Determination was respected, and Russia did everything right, legally, with all the patience in the world waiting for a diplomatic solution for 20 years.
This is THE argument of the arguments. Forget (only for the purpose of this discussion) the Victory Day. You can even forget (again, only for the purpose of this discussion of who invaded who, and whose right it was) the existence of near 40% Far-Right extremists in Ukraine’s army (+100k men). The Victory Day is historical context, the Neo-Nazis/Banderists are a rightful concern, but the reason why Russia is right is what I explained before:
– 8 year war in Donbass with +13k deaths
– Ukraine violating both Minsk PEACE agreements
– OSCE reports showing thousands of explosions the week BEFORE Russia intervened
– Self-Determination recognized as a Human Right under UN’s Chart
– The Kosovo legal precedent
That is already enough FACTS to justify Russia’s intervention, but lets add this lunacy to make the case even stronger:
– Zelensky’s speech at the Munich Conference (2022-February-19) threatening with final offensive against Donbass people, threatening war against the Crimean people (here, it doesn’t even matter if some consider ir Russian territory or Ukrainian territory), and threatening to acquire nuclear weapons (with NATO backing) to aim against Russia’s territory.
I rest my case. Z
From a Portuguese Left-Wing (actually Social-Democratic, not “Liberal”) anti-NATO guy, who doesn’t like Putin, but stopped believing western media a long time ago, so I was more than vaccinated against this CoWesternPropagandaVid-22 epidemic…
There is another argument that points at the sheer hypocrisy of the West. The US has been occupying 1/3 of Syria for 8 years now and nobody is saying anything about that.
yep, good one, thank you.
It simply does not matter if Russia is in the right and has the authority morally or legally. The west and NATO will ignore any information or facts that do not agree with their own utterly fake reasons.
It’s like talking to a mad dog, they know you are right but refuse to listen and just want their own agenda. I have seen this approach only coming from the west. The East (Russia, India, China…etc..etc..), they will listen to your facts and will aknowledge you are right but than carry own. The west NATO wil refuse to even listen and talk sensibilities at the negotiation table. Until they see sence, the people in the west will suffer in high inflation, shocking gas and electric prices and a complete breakdown of the supply change. The elites in the west believe it is a price they will happily pay, but they do not ask the people that pay the tax’s to feed this war.
I really appreciate your comment. The violation of the Minsk Peace agreements is scarcely mentioned in the West (and their contents even less).
I couldn’t even finish reading this! I stopped when he started about the laws of war. The west does not do wars and people should stop referring to them as such. It commits acts of genocide and all so called “wars” by the west since and including Vietnam have, I believe, been illegal so the “laws of war” mean squat.
Russia was backed into a corner and tried for years to achieve an equitable outcome. Russia was perfect in it’s decision , perfect in its timing and I sincerely hope it will be perfect in its desired outcome.
Exactly. I am very very far from where Russia is geographically, not even met a single Russian in my life nor have I ever been to Russia. But I have methodically studied about world war, USSR dissolution and Putin’s journey and significantly following this event since 2014. Russia did this in Ukraine as a last resort and hope they succeed. Russia is fighting this war against expansionist NATO for rest of the world and we should thank them.
Just a comment here: we know Andrei has taken a little time off from manning this site. One has to question Finkelstein’s real awareness when he stated that Russia has a weak military. Really? Even some average-Joes in the US know that Russia has eclipsed the US in many respects to its military and advanced hardware.
Then, he references Mearsheimer – stating he is “a Realist.” Could someone tell us if Mearsheimer even has the credential in being “a Realist???” A military realist? An intellectual “realist” or what? Well, so while Mearsheimer is “a realist” both he and Chomsky state that Russia going into The Ukraine was a criminal activity.
Lastly, we have European friends. They tell us that Mearsheimer, Finkelstein, and for sure, Chomsky have no voice in Western Europe. Chomsky’s supposed “lingusitc” theories have long since been abandoned by most all world linguists.
my LING 201 professor liked to call Chomsky an “academic terrorist”
also, how long did it take for him to stop publicly stanning the Khmer Rouge again? just amazing anyone still accords him any credibility, really
The case for Russian ‘military supremacy’ seems to me to be getting weaker by the day. One hand, I really don’t have any idea of the true state of affairs in Ukraine, I read the Putinistas and I feel confident that Russia will prevail, then I read the critics, and I ponder what has happened thus far, and my confidence disappears.
One of the most troubling things this article on AOL –
Russia’s media propaganda turns to ‘spine-chilling rhetoric’ to intimidate the West https://www.aol.com/news/russia-media-propaganda-turns-spine-083013020.html
Then again today I saw a statement by Medvedev that the west is risking nuclear war with its support of Ukraine.
The world is sleepwalking toward WW III, it would be unbelievable if it weren’t happening.
And another indication of the malfeasance of the Russians – even if they prevail in Ukraine, and I hope they do, quickly, the real enemy, the US and NATO, will be totally unscathed, and with things going south in Sweden and Finland, Russia’s position might be even worse than before the war.
“…Russia’s position might be even worse than before the war.”
No, Russia’s position will be exactly the same. Only difference will be that enemy is pulled out of the shadows, unmasked, revealed fully.
The plan for weakening, than concurring Russia was in the making for a long time. Nothing changed in that. By forcing the Enemies and unvilling vasals to suffer the economic consequences of their formerly clandestine actions, Russia improved its position. We will see who is more ready and willing for prolonged suffering and decline that war of atrition brings. Do not forget that Russia is backed by the largest economy and production in the world. On top of its own huge resource base. While UK/US biggest product – financial shenanigans, becomes worthless in wartime. During war, only physical output matters. But not high tech. It is too vunerable to rare material scarcity. Too complex, long chain of production with many weak, irreplaceable links. The only real advantage West have is in informational sphere and ability to instigate many usefull idiots to support its cause. Will that support be in the form of going against Russia personaly, is yet to be seen. Somehow I doubt that. Primal fears always trumps false beliefs. It’s like good slap that brings hysterics to senses. Recent examples are sniper Walle and his sidekick fellow.
In the end, UK/US oligarchy, that are behind this misery, will have to step in. Or they can wait Russians&friends to come for them.
Russia is not in a hurry, they want to slowly bleed the west to death, financially. The longer the war drags out, the more US Dollars disappear into the Ukrainian sinkhole:
“Russia will probably drag out the war at least until the end of this year in order to put pressure on the West, – adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine
According to Andrusiv, Russia hopes that the energy crisis, which will arise closer to winter, will force the West to negotiate with Russia on its terms.”
I see your point – possible, but this approach needs to be balanced.
Russias military reputation lies to a good share on the saying “…. Russia ends wars”.
Has the war ended? It is the facts on the ground and the results that matter, not the badmouthing of Russian military reputation by the west in its media and teevee. It is not over until its over.
We recommend all readers here to read Pepe Escobar’s new article at The Saker: “Death By a Thousands Cuts.”
Escobar reaches back in history to the Chinese military strategic & The Byzantium Empire who used “logic” in how to wage their own unique war campaigns. This should help us to understand how Russia is “fighting” the war in The Ukraine:
Pepe Escobar: “On Operation Z, the Russians revel in total strategic ambiguity, which has the collective west completely discombobulated. The Pentagon does not have the necessary intellectual firepower to out-smart the Russian General Staff. Only a few outliers understand that this is not a war – since the Ukraine Armed Forces have been irretrievably routed – but actually what Russian military and naval expert Andrei Martyanov calls a “combined arms police operation,” a work-in-progress on demilitarization and denazification.”
“Ambiguity” is the key word in this “war” because Russia surely is observing the level of incompetence by the US’ politicians, military strategists, and the very volatile US financial markets, largely depending on what The Fed is doing. It is, in fact, a “dying empire” and the Russians are weighing all these factors with wisdom, logic, and patience.
I disagree that the Russian position will be weaker than before the war. Let’s be fair here: Russia isn’t doing as well as expected, they really showed themselves at least a little bit below the scope of their supposed capabilities. And yet, they are winning, as we all want here.
Nonetheless, even if Russia ends up emboldening the West a little with this less than stelar display of military power, Russia is going to get much stronger if they really manage to take the South and Eastern Ukraine. We are talking about a wide fertile area with tons of natural resources, as well as a large population.
As important as this, Russia finally managed to destroy the bridges between the West and Belarus due to the Belorussian participation during the SMO, by letting the Russians use their territory.
At the end of all this, Russia will have Belarus under a more tight sphere of influence, probably under the Union State, while Ukraine or the bigger chunk of it will be outright annexed or join the Union State too.
We are talking about more than thirty million people being added to Russia’s population, as well as thousands of miles of buffer zone between Moscow and NATO.
Even if you feature Finland and Sweden, Russia’s position will be stronger, as long as they win the war.
People were expecting Russia to roll over Ukraine like it was Monaco. They’re completely delusional about what a real war is, they’ve been fed too much american interventionism against goat hoarders.
The Russians have shown their missiles to be deadly accurate, their air power and naval supremacy achieved after 3 days. The Ukrainians are, whatever their complaints, fighting Slavs like the Russians. Ukraine’s army was well trained, had a total of 360,000 battle ready troops against 200,000 Russians yet have never won one major battle or one successful counter offensive. Ukraine is losing 500-700 men every single day while Russians lose one tenth of that. That is why Defense Sec. Austin called Gen. Ghoigu of the Russian Stavka and asked for a ceasefire. Winners don’t initiate calls to their opponent. You only do that when you’re losing.
It compromises because for that are not informed minimally on military affairs, the 99 arguments that are valid finish validating the very dangerous notion that Russia is militarily weak and has been fearing the West. Which in turns validates the sensation of security westerns enjoy regarding NATO expansion and else. Russia is not at all weak militarily and can defeat the collective west conventionally in case of War. Indeed, it would be the case that westerners start to press their governs to stop provocative acts against Russia, because things could take a very bad path.
Russia is not at war against Ukraine. It is just a special military operation. There is no serious bombing, and Russia is not deploying even 10% of its full power. Do you really think that if it was a war by Russia against Ukraine, people and non-people (ukronazis) would be still able to use their cell phones to post videos, foreing leaders would be visiting Kiev etc etc…
“Martyanov’s book could be an ideal ‘introduction to military analysis’ or a ‘planning military forces 101’ course… far from being anti-US, Martyanov’s books represent a herculean effort to try to wake up the comatose US public about the reality of modern warfare… I consider both of Martyanov’s books as a ‘must read’…” The Saker, Unz Review
Please, save your fake concern for reddit. Could you be even more obvious?
“The choice that we faced in Ukraine — and I’m using the past tense there intentionally — was whether Russia exercised a veto over NATO involvement in Ukraine on the negotiating table or on the battlefield,” said George Beebe, a former director of Russia analysis at the CIA and special adviser on Russia to former Vice President Dick Cheney. “And we elected to make sure that the veto was exercised on the battlefield, hoping that either Putin would stay his hand or that the military operation would fail.”
As for Russian weakness, you likely watch too many Marvel Studio and DC movies. In real life things are more balanced. Plus, Russia did not want to flatten Ukraine, just to destroy its army and military capabilities with as little human losses on its side as possible. That is like going on a tight rope between the two World Centre towers after the planes have crashed into them, and more planes are coming.
Because it does not look like military supremacy – at least not right now.
It is that simple.
If the course of this war does not change in the coming weeks, Russias military reputation is lost for at least a decade.
How many years did US/Nato fight in Afghanistan? 20 years!
Russia is not in a hurry.
The Empires military reputation is already in tatters.
Indeed. The American Colonel Doug McGregor confirms what you just said:
Simple people, Russia is not playing on the world stage to show the world how mighty she is, she’s simple kicking ass and taking names but yet what happened to that lighting rush all a cross Ukraine to wind it all up in 24 hours or so the armchair generals say, You have a few thousand prisoners to feed and give medical care, thousands of people who suffered under the Ukrainian government, to feed change everything over, so they can receive their pensions, schools have to be reset up so that they can operate along with hospitals and the rest of the infrastructure. True this is something the west has never done for they always bombed countries back into the Stone Age and walked off and left them, and if you really think that if anyone sees what they are doing as a weakness than God help them if they seek a war with them because you ain’t seen anything of what Russia can really do.
This. It doesn’t discussed enough that Russia is running a massive humanitarian campaign parallel to its military campaign. The army is out demining farmers’ fields. Electricity and water are starting to become functional in Mariupol. Pensions are being paid. I read today that 95% of Kherson’s farmland is planted, maybe a bit later than the farmers would like but it’s planted.
This sort of action is as big a deal for the long term as any quick victory in battle. And the degree of logistical effort to complete it as Russia is doing is as big as the military logistical effort. It may be more important.
Compare the liberated areas, even with their destruction, to Ukrainian territory where there’s no fuel and humanitarian supplies are stolen to be sold at a profit. Life is getting worse by the day on one side of the line and better by the day on the other, even if the side getting better experienced great pain before things started getting better.
You are confusing the propaganda you are exposed to with the martial reality. You do not BEG for weapons if you are winning. You do not win if you are running out of fuel. You do not ask for a cease fire if you are winning. You are not winning if you are returning artillary fire at 5 or 10% of incoming.
The bleating of an entirely owned and subserviant media does not make one word of the lies being told true. Serving up shit as wild honey is their speciality, pronouncing it as sweet identifies those who do it as idiots. those who do it.
Meanwhile, after over a trillion US$ and 20 years the Coalition of the arrogant and stupid walked away from Afghanistan with its arse well and truly whipped, leaving behind enough weapons and material to fuel several regional wars. There is your truth.
Reality bites, Hard.
Here we go again. More defeatist rubbish.
Russia is not waging total war, it as a combined arms operation. Military and civil.
“It is remarkably how people manage to waste a good point, good arguments for the sake of never admitting Russia military supremacy.”
It is perhaps more remarkable that some attempt to restrict the definition of war whilst expanding the practices of war, as has often been the case througout history, and that some others’ perceptions, like the interviewer and the interviewed in this “co-operation”, remain restricted to the definition of war evangelised by others, not the practices of war.
Remarkable inherently contains connotations of being of value to consider in order to be remarked/re-assessed in regard to significance, including in designing vectors of transcendence facilitated in part by “Russia is kind of weak militarily ?” being held by some, but not all, to be self-evident, the regular reaction/resort of those without specific knowledge.
Self-evidentness was and continues to be a facilitator of the ongoing lateral process of the believer’s complicity in their own transcendence, since “war” is not restricted to things that go bang,
Please recap to the point when Prof.Finkelstein speaks this phrase. Put it in the context of his speech.
If I remember well he tells about the time of NATO-expansion (after 1990 – 2008) when Russia definitely was “kind of weak” , not only militarily.
That where “The good old days” when USA + NATO was the absolute hegemon. (with the exception of a certain rough landscape in Asia defended by goatkeepers with rifles)
Sorry , I was mistaken with my before comment.
Finkelstein indeed speaks of russien military weakness at the point of the recent invasion. 2022 .
Probably he bought into the propaganda when the western MSM spoke about the resistance the Russian Army encountered . But Finkelstein is a historian , not a high officer at the General-Staff.
Perhaps he should have a chat with Mr.Martianov.
“Sorry , I was mistaken with my before comment.
Finkelstein indeed speaks of russien military weakness at the point of the recent invasion. 2022 .”
Mr. Finkelstein also speaks the following:
“Then NATO starts expanding in Georgia and in the Ukraine. The Soviet Union says it’s a red line.
To stop this, the Soviet Union offers a perfectly reasonable resolution: just neutralize Ukraine like we neutralized Austria after World War II, neither aligned with an Eastern bloc nor aligned with a Western bloc.”
Mr. Finkelstein also refers to The Russian Federation and Russia as The Soviet Union; a popular conflation in thought hence MrBumble on May 15, 2022 · at 2:39 pm EST/EDT
“Remarkable inherently contains connotations of being of value to consider in order to be remarked/re-assessed in regard to significance, including in designing vectors of transcendence facilitated in part by “Russia is kind of weak militarily ?” being held by some, but not all, to be self-evident, the regular reaction/resort of those without specific knowledge.”
given that Mr. Finkelstein emulated those we the people who hold these truths to be self-evident as a function of lack of specific knowledge as perhaps you agree given your final sentence:
“Perhaps he should have a chat with Mr.Martianov.” although Mr. Martyanov is also not a high officer at the General Staff as he freely acknowledges himself.
It would behoove Finkelstein to listen to Colonel Doug McGregor. Unfortunately, I forget in what video I heard him say that Russian soldiers are very disciplined and an excellent army to tangle with, otherwise I would post it here.
However, I do remember the exact video he said the US Army is in big trouble. Here it is:
The American Military is in Trouble: MacGregor
He also explained he was not a military person and I did not agree with that either ! But one needs to look at the entirety of the discussion and I thought it was excellent putting it in a context that justified Russia’s actions ! Mainstream media would just abuse and shout him down and not listen!
@QuantumBird: “Russia is kind of weak militarily ?”
Finklestein knows 0 about military matters – he’s passing a judgement on something he does not understand, on what basis is Russia’s military weak? Ukraine has the total logistical & material support of NATO, it’s been prepared for a war with Russia for the past 8 years. Then there is Syria, Russia defeated a Salafist Jihadi insurgency – the very same insurgents that defeated the US in Iraq, the leading people in ISIS minus Umar al-Shishani, were all veterans of the insurgency in Iraq against the US.
The problem with people like Finklestein, who identify as being on the Left, is that their ideology totally blinds them to both realities of the world, & basically what is right & just. They (the Left in the west) simply cannot accept that Russia has a right to defend itself, they absolutely 100% deny Russia the right to defend itself, even Finklestein acknowledges that Russia had the right to do something, but still disagrees with what he calls an “invasion”. But all these people, were say Mexican drug cartels launching guerrilla insurgent attacks into the southern US, these people would not object to the US attacking Mexico. When Russia defends itself, they claim it is “imperialism”.
Russia’s military expenses are 8 % of NATO’s. That tells enough, I suppose?
Yes Putin is Superior as are his values, troops etc!
Long Live Putin
I just don’t think he’s looked at this issue from the military perspective, as he said, he’s not a military strategist and has no expertise in that area. Can’t fault him for that. His primary argument falls on the right of Russia to intervene, not on its methods or abilities. I still respect him immensely for sticking to his guns on this issue.
Brianna is such a baby brain: “…the thing that Russia has to do even if it disadvantages them strategically in some ways is to wait until the other person hits first.”
Oh, so Ukraine wasn’t hitting first for 8 years in the Donbass? Finklestein is sometimes too polite.
Solzhenitsyns “200 years together” incl the map, and all will be clear, what this Ukraine business is really about. Putin has simply nipped the khazar devils aspiring to khazaria 2.0 in the bud. Viva Vova Vozdh 2036.
Exactly! Everything you said is 100% what I believe too.
This needs to be recognised and mentioned widely. It is the great unspoken.
Their stolen lands in Palestine/Syria/Egypt will be taken back soon and they know it.
They have been planning a return to their original homeland for quite some time.
Politeness is key today as it never was before…
He knows that all the adult brains reading/watching this thing are understanding his point…
Exactly my point. Russia should have waited till missiles from Ukr had hit Moscow, before responding ? It is like a switch has been thrown on and most of the people in the EOL has become zombies, incapable of thinking for themselves.
Salaam-thanks @ pebird.I re-read twice looking to see if any mention was made of that 7/8 year period when the Donbass was being shelled almost daily-nothing,nothing! No mention of the Minsk-1/2 either,being agreements recognized by the UN,nor Russia’s request / ultimatums for security guarantee.Yet it’s those peskie Russkies again-really-phew!
Odd that Finkelstein doesn’t bring into the discussion the relentless bombardment of the separatist sections of Donbass, the 12,000 people killed, as a powerful additional factor in Russian calculations.
In this context I asked my self why are Russia’s neighbours (Finland, Sweden, Japan, m.m) so obviously going against logic and their own self interest by joining NATO and by sending weapons to Ukraine?
For the populations it is outrageous to see their governments exposing them to raised gasolin and heating prices plus increased security risks and the risk for ending up as Ukraine, when from a superficial standpoint they could have chosen the best and cheapest opportunity.
My analyses says European countries are trapped in their relationship with London/Washington.
As long as US was the unipolar winner they took on themselves to cover and host the worst scum for dollars under the cover of human rights for later use by US:
ISIS, Kurds, Tamil Tigers, PLO, Ukrainian Neo-Nazis, m.m. from the US/UK regime change operations.
Now that the power has changed in Russia’s and China’s favour, they are stuck to the loser.
They cannot change on a coin and suddenly kick these Regime Change operators/Stay behind networks and black sheeps out from their countries and join the new champions on the stage.
Remember when Obama caused 1 million ME refugees running through the whole of Europe without papers all up to Scandinavia.
Europe and Scandinavia are all infested and infiltrated with US/UK deep state, Nato stay behind networks, and all kind of overseas traitors, fraudsters and scums under cover for later use.
So like a drug addict they cant go clean. They are dependent on their drug dealer until a new mafioso kick the old out. Only those who maintained their roots and didnt sold their soul survived and will survive the change without wounds, Hungaria, Serbia, Belarus, m.m..
These were the thoughts after seeing Finland’s shameful vote on membership to NATO considering Finland’s history with Russia, and considering I have fine relationships and good impressions about Finland and therefore feel sad about this stupidity.
I should say Russia has every right too, from the same premisses as the article, to invade and correct both Finland, Sweden and the Baltic “green rainbow shitholes”, m.m.. History unfortunately repeat itself again again.
Finland and Sweden are seeking to join NATO because they have determined there is going to be a war between Russia and the United States. Accept that premise and everything else makes sense.
If they think a war is coming, wouldn’t it make the most sense to stay neutral?
this worked pretty well for them in the past.
To me what Tommy suggests makes sense.
Europe has bet on the wrong horse. Anyone can see this.
I bet the pressure is extreme on Finland, Sweden, Switzerland (Switzerland???!!!) to join the losing party.
I have noticed (in my personal life) that when someone picks a fight, of course they try to drag more and more people into it on their “side”—people who had nothing to do with the fight in the first place. It’s called “enlarging the circle of anger.” The wise stay out of other people’s fights.
Russia has a legitimate beef with Ukraine (NATO). Neutrals and even NATO members should *stay out of it**.
I bet this is what their populations would prefer. Get on with life after the covid op.
So looking at all the possible outcomes Finland is choosing to be on the loosing side? They have a very young, naive, ideological, inexperience leader and the whole leadership of Europe (and the US) is embarrassing. Even if Europe and the US could win a war with Russia Finland would probably be one of the first casualties of the war so the country of Finland would not survive the war so joining NATO is a stupid idea with a death sentence attached to Finland.
The US and Europe cannot defeat Russia and China in a war. The US is a dying empire, like the Ottoman Empire prior to WW1. $30 trillion in debt, a bitterly divided country an old, dying leadership, the military has won 1 war in 70 years, it produces nothing, it imports everything. What happens when the war starts and China and Russia refuse exports to the US, well just about everything that the US needs to survive on? What happens then? Not even the covid debacle which exposed how the US lack of manufacturing caused so much devastation has changed the US way of thinking in regards to manufacturing and cheap imported goods. The US and its people will fall like a house of cards against China and Russia. Finland is placing its bet on a dying empire.
…& because of war between the empire of lies & the defender of truth both choose to join the losing side? finland has done this before bt sweden? i agree the influx of head choppers & the flood of their devastated victims may’ve caused swedes to generally lose all reason bt embracing the side of darkness & debt is beyond suicidal. it’s like revisiting The Man in the Glassbooth syndrome.
I don’t think that’s the reason, and I don’t think there will be a war either.
The Americans own the pathetic clowns which call themselves “governments” in almost all of Europe, NATO, EU or otherwise. One look at Finlands Prime minister and you’ll see that the government is nothing but a scripted play, a show. The PM is a 30-something brat who didn’t realize that her own government has issued a covid lockdown, because she was out clubbing till 5 in the morning. It’s a joke of a government with neither spine nor agency, same with Sweden, the virtue signaling their government is doing rivals the best of the 0-personality Hollywood types.
They received the order from Washington to say publicly that they want to join NATO, so they did, the respective national interest of their nations was never considered.
The US is losing legitimacy, and so is NATO. Everyone knows that the Ukrainians are basically a NATO Army at this point, and by everybody I mean the governments around the world. They know that the Russians are plowing through them like a knife through butter in spite of all the training and equipment they received from NATO. They also remember the images from Kabul a few months ago and the comparisons to Saigon. The US military is being exposed for the fraud that it is. That’s one reason for this idiotic move. But it never is just one.
The other reason is that the US is crumbling, it’s dying, it needs more and more money just to sustain itself, Swedish and Finnish tax payer money is within their grasp, so they are going for it. What will happen once these countries join NATO? They will order expensive, overpriced, useless junk from american arms manufacturers.
You may think this last point is counter to their push for 40 Billion dollars in so called “aid” to Ukraine, but it really isn’t. For over 100 years the US had to spend more and more on defense because that’s, essentially, the QE mechanism for their economy. 99% of that money would never leave the US.
@Nurbacker: “Finland and Sweden are seeking to join NATO because they have determined there is going to be a war between Russia and the United States …”
… and they have also determined to back the loser or help the loser. Like last time.
Nutbacker I think Taffyboy’s suggesting makes more sense. If a WWIII will come, it makes much more sense for Finland to stay neutral.
Finland is more clean than Sweden and the rest of the North, and should have stayed that way, as the benefits from their neighbourship with Russia is and also could be huge in the future.
What Finland is doing is suicide.
I dont think we can blame the Finnish PM or the politicians only, but the oligarchy Elite in Finland are probably infested and dependent on G7 in trade and finance.
I am *not* “Taffyboy”!!!
I am Taffy.
I have been posting as Taffy for some time.
Some fellow came along and chose the name “Taffyboy” and created confusion.
I wish he (or she, or “she/her/its” whatever) would come up with a different name.
Thanks in advance.
Finland has an ugly fascist past, which it contunies to deny with even more deceit than the Japanese. If they somehow imagine that they are strong enough to challenge Russia, then good luck to them. Their entire industry and economic base will relocate to Michigan and Minnesota and their leaders will relocate to the Cayman Islands. Fortunately, the Finnish people will always survive and prevail, thanks to their strategic reserves of reindeer milk.
Logical sincerity. Historical truth cannot be dismissed or denied, but the West continues to lie and will lie to it’s last breath. So Russia must exercise the “Right is Might,” option. Righteousness will prevail.
It is well worth revisiting Putin’s speech in Munich 2007, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ58Yv6kP44 and to then ponder what transpired in Libya and Syria afterwards, to see just how brazen the USCIA reacted in response to what he said 15 years ago. There has not been one iota of consideration, quite the opposite – if you don’t capitulate, this is what will happen…destabilized countries, chaos and hardship.
Good leaders look after the people that elected them to power – and clearly, there was no other option since the small rotten hypercapitalistic elite of the US can’t help sowing misery around the world.
My heart goes out to all the normal citizens and soldiers of all the countries decimated in this never ending loop of insanity. It’s shocking to see how polarized the world has become, and how humanity for our fellow humans gets thrown out the window – easy to type: “bomb them to smithereens”…until it is your country, your town, your house and your own family, because of some corrupt political agenda of a corrupt “leader” that you don’t necessarily even support or voted for.
I truly hope this will be a turning point, although I’m not very optimistic, since the real rot is still residing deep in the folds of the exceptional nation, policeman of the world and all the other self aggrandizing titles they heap upon themselves.
Peace on earth. Amen
Why are journalists only concerned about “moral” wars when someone else is fighting them? Did any American journalist ever ask Bush, Obama, Trump or Biden if any of America’s wars were “moral”? Did they ever parse and nitpick over America’s wars? No, they never did. But all of a sudden we’re supposed to believe that US journalists are concerned about morality? This is a sick joke.
One wonders at the mental contortions self-proclaimed “good” liberals/lefties have to endure in order to acknowledge the moral rightness of Russia’s position on Ukraine, bur never approve of the military action it took in order to finish off the 8-year slaughter of Russians in the east and elsewhere in the country.
Their emotional enslavement to “peace” at all costs – regardless of all diplomatic efforts Russia endured for 8 years with no hope of success (duly admitted by this author) – makes them unable to concede the possibility that a war may be just, unavoidable and thereby compulsory, which is what Mr Putin has stated on several occasions.
The same mental/emotional enslavement is found on the Grey Zone and similar sites.
Is it possible that these people live in a permanent state of having to look over their shoulder for their wide exposure of western wicked deeds carried out in all their criminal wars of aggression, and are not emotionally/mentally able to make the difference between a criminal war of aggression and a war of liberation?
It also answers, perhaps, to the permanent – and uncomfortable – sitting on the fence of the “intellectual”.
Such lack of commitment to a just cause is not to their credit.
Finkelstein and Briahna totally ignore that the LGR and DPR asked for Russia’s military assistance. The native Russian population of those 2 republics were being genocided by the Ukrainian Nazis. Russia went in to stop the genocide. Where the Ukrainian/NATO Nazis have troops, they continue to use those to kill LGR and DPR civilians. That is the real and on going war crime. And who ordered that. It was Obama who ordered it. Read Eric Zeusse. Obama selected Victoria Nuland as his instrument for carrying out the ethnic cleansing of Russians in Ukraine. And for a start look was happene3d in Odessa in February, 2014. In summary, Finkelstein and Briahna’s discussion is very incomplete.
by Olga Sukharevskaya
Lets not start dreaming up a leadership of LGR/DPR that acted independentaly on that. Just like Zelensky is not in any way. In the ideal world we could speak of independant actors protecting their nations. However this is not the case with the borderlands at this stage. The bottom line is that the coup in 2014 should have been rejected by the NAVO/EU block but instead they were instrumental in guiding and encouraging such event.
The borderlands LPR/DPR were threatened with genocide by the Zelensky regime. Why wouldn’t they independently ask their big Russian brother for help??
A source close to the Zelensky regime called for the “extermination” of the Donbass Russians on one of Ukraine’s main media sources, Hromadske:
Salaam- Yea,yea John.Not forgetting VVP did state too the precedent of the Serbia / Kosovo conflict.
perhaps if there were several dozen aerosoled drones filled with deadly germs over Briahna’s house blaring hatred 24/7 for the occupants
… I can not help myself…j lowrie… let us where it hurts??…Observes saying only true…there is very few exceptions in the Arab world -Nasralah(spell) and Dr.Assad…..
I concur. Finkelstein never hides where he is speaking from, in the guise of some sort of a vague and all the more untouchable sets of principles. All the contrary, he makes sure, all the time, that the points he makes here or there, we can can, all of us, refute it or relate to it in by crossing his Jew family background. Falsifiable, honest to the core, I think.
Regarding the comment form the interviewer “… and it’s okay to act despite there not having been a direct act of aggression against the allegedly aggrieved party.”
I’m quite disappointed that Mr. Finklestien missed this opportunity as he also danced around the same point when trying to come up (in his mind) with a rationalization between his belief that Russia has a right to act and his very strong anti-war sentiments, namely that the Donbass republics are also an “aggrieved party” upon which direct acts of aggression were committed, over eight years and escalated just before their (the republics) calls to be saved by Russia. The interviewer seemed to be pushing for Finklestien to condemn the invasion itself and he repeatedly couldn’t come up with what is a valid rebuttal to those who don’t see the consistent and repeated Ukrainian violence needing condemnation and justfuing direct action by Russia. The interviewer admits to the erasing of context in regards what justifications Russia might have but at the same time seems to have herself erased the Donbass from the equation.
so we recognize, how uninformed even the “informed america” is
In fact the war was not started by Russia. It was started by Ukraine if we look at the data of the OSCE agency that monitored what was happening in Donbass. If Russia did not intervene when it did Donbass would have seen a genocide. We all know that Ukraine wanted a military solution to the problem and they were encouraged by the US-EU-Nato.
The February 15 report of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine recorded some 41 explosions in the ceasefire areas. This increased to 76 explosions on Feb 16, 316 on Feb 17, 654 on Feb 18, 1413 on Feb 19, a total of 2026 of Feb 20 and 21 and 1484 on Feb 22.
Thank you (whoever you are) for posting this very thoughtful discussion on the roots and principles of war, in general; but, in particular, for the roots and principles of the war in Ukraine.
And thank you, also, for introducing me to Mr. Finkelstein
“. . . But in terms of an actual invasion and boots on the ground or missile strikes or things like that, the thing that Russia has to do even if it disadvantages them strategically in some ways is to wait until the other person hits first.”
The war in Ukraine did *not* start in February 2022 — this is a myth, a story concocted by Western media and propagandists. Even in October of 2021 Europe was sending weapons to Donbas:
“The Turkish-made deadly Bayraktar TB2 external link combat drone has been deployed at Donbas by the Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation (JFO) for the first time. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Valeriy Zaluzhny, has ordered the deployment of Bayraktar TB2s in Donbas to force the “enemy” for a ceasefire.”
Defense Industry Daily, Oct. 2021
The above is one of many examples.
This interview shows — as if we needed more confirmation — that the left in the west is an irrelevant basket case. No mention of the 8 year war crime in the Donbas or the crescendo it was reaching in late February. Thank God Putin, Lavrov, Shoigu and the Russian people pay no attention to these idiots. The resistance nations need to arm up, kick out western NGOs and deal with collaborators any way they see fit. The empire is always guilty until proven guilty.
MSM ….in the western world and EU never info about those 13,000 killed russian speaking Ukrainians…
It’s really too bad we can’t seem to have a substantive dialog between two equally knowledgeable and gifted intellects on this subject. Briahna is just not up to Finkelstein speed. Maybe the real reason we never get such a dialog is because the Meirsheimers and Chomsky’s in the NATO camp are so wickedly defective and wrong….and ALL are of inferior intellect to…..Vladimir Putin.
Briahna: “But I’m asking I think a different question. I’m really not interested in litigating any given case mostly because I don’t know what the hell any of these things are about, so like I don’t really…”
She is suppose to be a journalist yet she is ignorant when it comes to history, warfare, literature, international, law, and the topic of the interview yet she acts and believes her opinion is on the same level as Mr Finkelstein. This is the problem people who are ignorant let’s be honest, stupid, as they scream the loudest with their opinions.
Investigative journalism is dead in the mainstream media, they’re all bootlickers to their governement. A sad state of affairs.
I mistakenly posted the comment below on the wrong thread.
I am posting it again here.–Taffy.
Why so many words?
I respect Finkelstein, so I don’t understand why he makes this so complicated.
Every person, every country, has a right to self-defense.
It is patently obvious that Russia has been under attack since the breakup of the USSR.
There has been a decades-long unremitting escalation of the forms and avenues of attack: economic, political, psy-ops, false flags, creeping militarization and nazification of Ukraine, behind-the-scenes maneuvers to push the EU to make it more challenging for Gazprom to conduct business (also using Ukraine as a proxy in this little subplot) and to view Russian gas a bad, communist gas, and on and on. This is easily tracked.
The *final* final straw (sic) was intel of a “conventional” invasion of the Donbass (as opposed to merely ongoing shelling of Russian speakers and others there0, one commonly recognized as an actual military attack. A
Of course Russia has the right to act preemptively to prevent further attacks.
The discovery of extremely unsalubrious biolabs on the territory of the Ukraine just ups the volume. The West has known perfectly well what it was doing, and why. Zelensky’s election was a clear signal that most Ukrainians wanted the craziness to stop.
By this time Ukrainians of all political stripes should have figured out that they are the fall guys here—the dispensable population who have been duped and used over and over all along the line. By Neonazis, by the West, by Zelensky and the other oligarchs. Really, the only entity that has dealt fairly with the Ukrainians seems to be Putin and Russia. .
The West continues to “celebrate” via nauseating PR and propaganda the victimization of Ukrainians, but of course gets the villain wrong.
In the Finkelstein piece, furthermore, there are too many weasley statements meant to make his comments “acceptable” to some imagined mainstream audience via his partially accepting certain notions and even basic premises that actually are not true or that are irrelevant in the current situ.
Kind of like a physics teacher I had who caught the unwary on tests by providing extra data points that were not needed to solve the problem. Those who tried to figure out how use those red herrings got the answer wrong.
I don’t know who he is, a General I see.
“You know, Rihanna, I agree, it’s like once you grow up in life, you discover that life is very little about principles: it’s mostly about judgment. Principles get you not very far. I remember I got this lesson from Professor Chomsky [….] so at the end of the day, what is required is not the application of an abstract principle but the faculty of judgment. When principles clash, you have to exercise judgment. You then have to look at particulars, the specifics.”
That’s just another principle, though. Situational factors don’t abolish principles, or “war” would abolish all principles. It doesn’t. In his example, “lying to the rapist at the door” is like the war situation for the victim. “Sports” also are not abolishing principles. In sports like basketball and soccer you have to “deceive” the adversary all the time, but it’s not “judgment” superseding “principles.” You never make “judgment” the opponent of “principle”, since men with no principles have no judgment and are also not trusted.
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) said that principles “contain the grounds” for judgments. Kant says there’s also “the principle of sufficient reason.” (Source: “Kant Dictionary”.)
here is a principle: Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
Let us see that one honoured and respected by the idiot Briahna before we are subjected to any more of his witless bullshit.
Stop personal attacks. Any more will go to trash. Mod.
Russia has to follow all the rules and wait till the good guys westerners who are exempt from all the rules hit them first with nuclear weapon, then Russian zombies are allowed to retaliate otherwise they are criminal. LMAO. Western leftist are such weak brained people or are they morally corrupt!
Rights are what power affords.
Putin/Russia should have waited up until the Donbass was under Nazi control to intervene with the resulting genocide of the Russian speaking population. Toss in Crimea for good luck. Madness!
Russia, if strong enough should have intervened in 2014, but it wasn’t or didn’t feel it was; still it was strong enough to take Crimea which was more strategic in nature. 8 years of training, arming, building fortifications, including biolabs and missile defence systems, not to forget US-NATO were building a port, another threat to regional peace.
I love Norman, listened to him for 20 + years. Still, no mention of the 8 year constant bombardment/shelling of Donbass, which without Russian MDS’s the 15k who perished would have increased 10-20 fold, aka, mass genocide.
Russia were the patsies at the table in the 90’s, however, unlike the Europeans today, Russia played their weak hand brilliantly. So much so they now have the Royal Flush to Euro/West’s 3 Queens, and yet these western entitled parasites believe they can still call the shots.
There’s no negotiating with psychopaths.
Europe is stuck between anglo warmongers and baltic states enraged beasts. You can bet Italy, France, Germany, Hungary and Spain would be more than happy to see that whole debacle resolved quickly, but they have to play pretend with the 22 other members foaming at the mouth and the AUKUS to not be pummeled by them. That’s the reality of the EU, a bloated and completely failed organisation. They accepted a bunch of corrupt fascist states in their ranks to enhance their economical power, and now they face a possible collapse for that senseless decision.
“They accepted a bunch of corrupt fascist states in their ranks to enhance their economical power, and now they face a possible collapse for that senseless decision.”
In the vulgarity of Erica de Jong – there is no zipless fuck – or in the polite version: choices always have consequences.
Such good replies, a brilliant interview just a pity about the skirt and jobs for those not capable of understanding logic and rhetoric.
Aye… it makes me wonder why on earth get, probably and most likely a lovely person, to gurgle nonsense to life changing military facts, legal and historical events, like Brianna.
You should never get any position, unless capable of understanding the ambiguities, never, just because of your sex!
“that Russia is kind of weak militarily, which is why all the more they may have been fearful of a NATO-backed Ukraine filled with Nazis”
not sure where they’re getting this but i keep seeing otherwise intelligent people saying russia is losing or getting its ass kicked or the ukies are taking moscow or etc.
haven’t seen a ton of war porn on MCNNBC. or parties in the streets of european capitals. or biden drooling at a teleprompter and talking about “corn pop putin”. or an explanation of why a “l33t” NATO-trained military needs $40 billion when they’re “winning”.
i like norm and he’s great on some palestinian issues but maybe not so much outside of that arena.
That’s because most western neurotypicals assimilate themselves to their nation. Even if they morally support Russia, they can’t reconcile with the fact it’s stronger than what they’ve been taught by their culture. It’s a defense mechanism against the fear of annihilation. It’s very clear when you see all the warmongers pushing for a global conflict who would potentially lead to a nuclear war. Their mind denies them the possibility their life would be at risk, for them the enemy simply cannot represent a serious threat. Ego taking the lead over reasoning is a dangerous thing, and unfortunately it’s an extremely common occurence.
I mentioned neurotypicals because autistic and sociopathic people typically reason on cold facts rather than emotions even in time of existential menace, unlike the formers. Not to point fingers since the two latters have an unfortunate reputation, but the few leaders we have still acting rationally are in majority obviously neurodivergent to anyone with a basic knowledge of psychological diagnostic. After an extensive observation of their behavior of course, we’re not talking about armchair psychologists pretending Putin is insane, which quite obviously he’s not.
“I mentioned neurotypicals because autistic and sociopathic people typically reason on cold facts rather than emotions even in time of existential menace, unlike the formers.”
Part of the reasons why autistic and sociopathic are deemed to be pejoratives by “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident” and a contribution to why Mr. Asperger arranged the demise of his “objects of study”, emulating “The United States of America” in sawing off the branches upon which Mr. Asperger sat, and “The United States of America” sits.
“but the few leaders we have still acting rationally are in majority obviously neurodivergent to anyone with a basic knowledge of psychological diagnostic.”
Research suggests that neurotypical/neurodiverent are false binaries restricting research, hence the present notion of spectra which as a function of framing are perceived largely to be linear, which continues to restrict research including in areas of neurological lateral change as a function of framing linearly.
Consequently the efforts of “dumbing down” by some renders them complicit in their own transcendence.
bottomline: it’s the ongoing problem of jewish entity refusing to melt into the societies they live into and wanting again again to dominate and control. what to do with them now??!!
“what to do with them now??”
A solution is needed. And one that is final!!
An interview that utterly fails to provide any evidence under international law for the statement in the title and then spews a bunch of utter nonsense.
I’m surprised to see such junk posted here.
Russia is 100 percent right! Putin is 100 percent right! Really like Finkelstein, but he is maybe too careful – talking about laws of war – previous commenter absolutely right – the west does genocide not wars. And let’s keep in mind here please, that although the Ukraine situation was of course provoked by the west very purposefully for its own evil purposes, this whole thing is very helpful as a big distraction from the fact that all WHO member countries are about to give away their sovereignty to the WHO in the areas of health rights and freedoms in the meeting in Geneva May22-28 of the World Health Assembly. Amendments to the International Health Regulations are to be voted on – all put together under the radar. WHO mandates on health will be international law. This is in addition to the Pandemic Treaty. You can check out out at DontYouDare.INFO or James Roguski.substack.com. This is urgent.
At the Eurovision show the gay dominated event gave the win to Ukraine (seriously,no surprise there). And then the “performers” break the rules of the event by bringing up politics in their acceptance speech. And the host replies with the nazi salute of “glory Ukraine” used by the Ukrainian SS and now used as the offical Ukrainian military salute. After that she throws up what certainly looks to be a nazi salute.
When we talk about the start of the SMO, why do so many overlook this:
The February 15 report of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine recorded some 41 explosions in the ceasefire areas. This increased to 76 explosions on Feb 16, 316 on Feb 17, 654 on Feb 18, 1413 on Feb 19, a total of 2026 of Feb 20 and 21 and 1484 on Feb 22?
Clearly, this points to the impending attack by the Kiev regime as do the ceased documents outlining their plans.
I am from and live in the US so not don’t say this lightly, but the US .gov is NEVER to be trusted regarding foreign policy, They are evil personified when it comes to foreign policy. At home there are actually decent programs for citizens in certain situations. Otherwise they incarcerate people for profit and systematically ruin people’s lives through the injustice system here.
EVERYTHING here is for profit. It is capitalism gone mad. Hypercapitalism…
Definitely have no desire to be invaded by anyone, but how can any rational person expect other countries to let the US carry on like this? They can’t. The US is finally being called on it’s bs.
I have a 3 year old and want the best for him, but there is major pain coming to this country because of these maniacs in power. Scary time to be a new parent here in the US and anywhere else in the world right now really. Again rational people in the US want no problem with Russia. Russia’s hand has been forced on purpose. Putin would be completely irresponsible to his people if he did not act. He waited longer than I would have(which is admirable), he is not the one causing these problems. He is the one cleaning up these problems. Messy and probably very stressful place to have in history I imagine. Someone eventually had to do it though.
Major problem here in the US is that it has become a complete police state. Police won’t hesitate at all to crush any dissent and they will actually go home thinking they did something good for the day and the country. This is a 90%+ brainwashed nation. Wish I had a solution to solve this Gordian knot.
p.s. Chomsky is controlled opposition. He proved this with his position on 9/11. People who still believe Osama bin Laden orchestrated and carried out 9/11 from a cave in Afghanistan and shut down US air defenses over DC and Manhattan are a special kind of stupid. Not even mentioning the physics of how those buildings fell. Saying that politely as possible. Especially given what 9/11 did for the US military industrial complex. Who benefited most? Sure as hell not him nor islamic countries…
I think it’s very telling about the state of the war how Putin was visibly incredibly stressed in the first months of the conflict, and how he’s visibly ostensibly more relaxed now. Also shows he’s certainly not the maniac the western medias paint him to be, he knew how precarious the situation was.
Agreed. Putin is anything but a maniac.
I honestly wish, as an American, that the US miltary would try to be involved conventionally. They would get their teeth kicked in. It would put the lie to citicenz gaining shit from the MIC. Outspend rest of world combined & can’t beat goat herders in sandals. What a f’ng waste of productive capacity.
What would you do if your neighbor was shooting from his porch at your family for eight years and the government officials did no justice for you ? You would be justified to either pack up and move, or fight back. Russia is totally justified by the previous agreements with nato to do what they are doing and even more so. The aggression by leaders of western nations on Russia and Russian speaking populations is initiated by a desire to divide Russia thus breaking its power and influence. The west has lost it’s moral compass many years ago and many of us here in the USA are supportive of the position Russia has taken to protect the Russian people, and reclaim what is rightfully their state. This action is legal and moral being fully justified.
It’s easy. Whenever someone says that the war is illegal, ask them the following: if a neighboring state would shell and kill your kind for 8 years, deny them your language and culture, treat them like animals, have Nazi regiments, send those Nazi regiments to hunt your people down, Nazi coalition government, talking about getting Nukes, talking about joining a a military alliance who’s sole purpose is war with your country.. Wouldn’t you support war? History is on the side of Russia. Only thing the Kremlin got wrong was FSB inaction during and after the Maidan coup and how Ukrainians would receive Russian soldiers. In my opinion that is the real failure of Russia here. Not the war, but that Nuland was allowed to fart down the streets of Kiev and hand out cookies and cash for Nazis with clubs.
You realize it took the US months of bombing before its forces could even advance in Iraq right? The power disparity was far greater too.
Russia’s advance is already one of the most rapid in world history.
The only people that Russia looks weak to are brainwashed lemmings and people who think war lasts too long if it’s not over in 2 hours like in a Hollywood movie.
I see people commenting that the Russian military supremacy is not on display. How so?
Some of the more oblivious people are still unaware that the Russian military in Ukraine is the restrained Russian military.
Gloves have not even come off yet.
Briahna does not grasp the difference between defensive aggression and aggressive aggression. She thinks all aggression is aggressive. So she misses Finkelstein’s point, which is valid on its face. The Russian SMO is classic defensive aggression. When you conclude that the bully will not relent and is coming to blows no matter what you do, you strike first. This is what Russia has done. And shown the bully — Nuland/NATO — up as merely a bully into the bargain. World-shaking, history-making stuff.
The interviewer says “the thing that Russia has to do even if it disadvantages them strategically in some ways is to wait until the other person hits first”. This is ignorance of the fact that the Ukrainian army was poised to hit the Donbass and was maybe/probably intending to do just that. This would have been a recipe for losing the war and having a catastrophe in the Donbass. Finkelstein would have deserved a better interview partner.
Whether or not Russia had the right to do it is a Western concept and is irrelevant in Russian psych. What Russia should do is treat the West as being irrelevant, pull out diplomats, assets and trade from unfriendly countries and go her own way disregarding whatever the West thinks or puts a label to. Regarding NATO, maybe Russia should reneg the Treaty made with Finland and take her territory back; sitting back and observing events, procrastinating and then try to encounter any actions taken by NATO is a dead end and will only end up as the same mess as in Ukraine, Syria and Libya. The West/NATO wants Russian territory and they have been preparing for this since the dissolvement of the USSR and will do anything to get it.
“Whether or not Russia had the right to do it is a Western concept and is irrelevant in Russian psych.”
Perhaps you are being over inclusive by reference to “Russian psych” since research of a defined moment in a lateral process where change is a constant suggests that only circa 70% of the population were of that view of the irrelevance of a Western concept at a defined moment.
“What Russia should do is treat the West as being irrelevant”
Most Russian people do perceive “Western concepts” as being largely irrelevant, but you interpret failing to ” pull out diplomats, assets and trade from unfriendly countries” in specific contexts ” as an indication that Russia does not perceive “Western concepts” as being largely irrelevant, a belief/hope and practice shared by many of the opponents of The Russian Federation.
“The West/NATO wants Russian territory and they have been preparing for this since the dissolvement of the USSR and will do anything to get it.”
Anything ? – then why doesn’t NATO invade The Russian Federation?
Nice rebuttal MrBumble.
NATO has been doing the invasion ever since the disintegration of the USSR. Ever since the US occupation of Russian power houses directly after the USSR ceased to exist to Russia being a member of the INF and having them dictate commerce and having their constitution rewitten by the US. There are many more instances and one doesn’t have to invade territorily to invade a Nation, there are other methods available and terrorism is just one arm of the West that is used.
The adjective ‘disintigration’ is not meant to be critical and it is well known that the USSR ceased to exist due to agreements made with the US/EU/NATO.
“The adjective ‘disintigration’ is not meant to be critical and it is well known that the USSR ceased to exist due to agreements made with the US/EU/NATO.”
The archives have not been released given the continuing utilities of the continuing ignorances of the opponents.
However at some point the archives will be released and suggest that the lateral process of disintigration of “The Soviet Union” commenced on its creation in 1922, as a consequence of inherent contradictions of seeking to transcend coercive social relations by emulating them.
“The adjective ‘disintigration’ is not meant to be critical”
To some degrees all interactions are critical as a function of the various interpretations of “critical”.
“The adjective ‘disintigration’ is not meant to be critical and it is well known that the USSR ceased to exist due to agreements made with the US/EU/NATO.”
Since that was not the case it is not well known, but believed by many, obfuscated by some through the conflations of believe/think and a contributory reason/the reason,
Another illustration of the belief/think conflation is:
“NATO has been doing the invasion ever since the disintegration of the USSR.”
Invasions of “The Soviet Union” were attempted before the creation of NATO, including but not limited to incursions by The Second Polish Republic in Ukraine from 1922 until 1938, The Ukrainian Insurgency between 1943 until circa 1954, both of which in modified forms “informed” NATO’s efforts in Ukraine from 1991 onwards, Mr Brzezinsky even regurgitating the “strategies” of The Second Polish and presenting them as his own work.
Hence the conversation of which a transcript is given above, is in large measure an exhalation of wind signifying nothing,except perhaps a level of immersion in the illusions of democracy where everybody is entitled to their opinion as long as they don’t seek to act on it.
Briana Joy Grey. There were 14,000 acts of agression against Russian ethic people in the East Ukraine. 14,000 of these people died over the last 8 years. 60 000 troops lined up on the border of East Ukraine ready to invade East Ukraine and kill the ethnic Russians in The Donbass. Either do better research before you start mouthing off or be quiet an don’t talk about things you know little about. Yes war is bad.
I thank the Saker and his staff for posting this.
The underlying principles of war are presented in a way that any, whose life has spanned this history, would completely understand.
The discussion between some commenters (Nurbacker, Taffy, Joe and others) revolves around the ‘why Sweden and Finland choose the loser in a war between USA and China/Russia. My 3cents worth is the slightly counterintuitive thinking -namely: if the West gets defeated militarily and economically, then Russia will not be able to cash in on selling to the West and not to China, which itself will be losing the export market to USA and Western Europe. This scenario could lead to social unrest especially in China, with 1.4 B population. This is my point for discussion, I wish I am wrong. And another point of ‘neutrality’ – and its worth is the big and strangely absent discussion of neutrality of Switzerland. I do not believe that Swiss would want to join NATO, and neither the oligarchs of the world would want that, hahaha…where would they come to meet if not at Davos with Mr Schwab and his friends?
There is loose talk about Nato in Switzerland but that will never happen. We and the Austrians are not as stupid as Sweden and Finland who court doom. Switzerland is buying the US F-35, but only I would say to please the US Micimatt complex. The government rushes to please Washington and Brussels as far as sanctions are concerned in a measure not previously known, but still balks at weapons exports.
Despite having three main ethnic groups Switzerland has remarkable equity and social cohesion. Ukrainians should have come here to inform themselves about that at least 8 or more years ago, not now when it is too late.
I used to be in Ro Khannas district. Now i live one over. Sorry if this has been answered but does anyone have a link to the Briahnna interview/ podcast mentioned?
Great stuff, I am always impressed with Norman Finkelstein and what he has to say. I have been following him for years and will continue to do so.
You can hear and read for yourselves: Briahna knows nothing about what the issues are about. Besides this, she knows nothing about English grammar, despite being a native speaker. Disgusting this may be, she represents the vast 99.99% majority of Americans.
People need to realise WW3 has begun. The events today mirror 1939 starkly. The motivations in 2022 are the same as in 1939. The politics are the same. The propaganda is the same. The weaponry is largely the same: ballistic, chemical, biological, nuclear. The focus is the same: Russia.
The only difference is capacity and scale.
Russia’s military is weak? No. Could it be defeated by the full, combined strengths of USA, NATO, AUKUS, Japan? Yes. But only with nuclear weapons, and Russia has the ability to counter-strike the entire world. A full war against Russia means the end of life on Earth as we know it. Only insects could survive, and what evolves thereafter is a guess.
Dumbed-down drugged-up Americans, Europeans, Australians are hell-bent to pump $trillions into their war machines, $billions into propaganda, to prepare for the big fight. All we need is a small spark.
“A full war against Russia means…” a full war against China as well. — Chinese foreign ministry.
Is NATZO up to it? Serbia was easily dismembered by NATZO’s “irresistible military might”. Iraq and Libya less easily. Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Iran not at all. Seems to me that NATZO is a paper tiger.
“A full war against Russia” is just a dream by the paper tiger. But it seems that even the paper tiger dares not dream of facing the combined resources of 2 Billion highly industrialized and highly cohesive people fully armed with conventional weapons and able to deploy samples of cutting edge military technology as well — technology that NATZO can only dream of matching in the future, but does not possess at present.
Russia seems a little too naive to comprehend that the West has been on a slow-walk course to destroy Russia for two decades. The constant vilification of Russia in the West has been a theme on American political talk shows and in culture for at two decades.
The plans to economically destroy Russia and weaken Russia through proxy war has been in the works for a while and Western actors were able to successfully goad Russia into the bear trap. The West even openly predicted the Russian move. When Russia made the move into Ukraine which was planned by the West, the West simply activated their phase 2. It kind of shows you how much more sophisticated the West is in being able control things and accomplish its big goals. And don’t bring up the 20 years in Afghanistan canard. The U.S. really wasn’t at war in Afghanistan, it was simply about having a U.S. military presence in Central Asia for positioning on the geopolitical chessboard. And the U.S. suffered less casualties in 2 decades than Russia suffered in 2 months in Ukraine with a 2022 military.
Russians are stoically stubborn but need to realize there are only three possible outcomes here.
Russia will face death by a thousand cuts and its carcass will be divided and its natural resources controlled by the West. Or death by 750 cuts followed by a coup de grâce throat slashing and decapitation followed by a dividing of Russia and Western control of its natural resources. Or Russia decides to fight back— and if it actually has the capability— by taking out space satellites and going DEFCON 1 with its nuclear forces.*
*I’m pretty sure that the Pentagon is fairly dubious at this point about the effectiveness of Russia’s nuclear systems and I’m sure U.S. Delta Force operators are training for the eventual strike force to seize and control Russian nukes.
Astute comment you made here…
I fear that you may be correct here. The Russians have always been shown to be the bad guys in movies, TV shows, etc… here in the US for decades. Long game psy-op.
Russians = bad has been thoroughly planted in the subconscious of most people here in the US. Most in the US auto-respond without any thought whatsoever that whatever the Russians are doing is bad/nefarious.
Imagine being brainwashed since birth. Doesn’t exactly allow you to see things clearly until something smacks you awake, which is usually quite unpleasant in my experience. But once you see the propaganda for what it is you don’t go back to totally unseeing it.
Also believe you are right that this whole Ukraine mess was a deliberate tactic to get Putin to do exactly what he has done. What else was he to do though?
Another point I agree on is it’s either go big or give in. I don’t want a massive war also don’t wan’t the world to be destroyed. He needs to embarrass them. That is worse than anything for these Nuland type creatures. Disprove their lies definitively in front of the world.
Luckily the universe seems to be a self-correcting organism of some sort so all the $hit these maniacs have pulled on others will come back on them. Some call it karma. $hitty part is that it is quite probable it’s going to hurt a ton of innocent people here in the US and worldwide who had nothing at all to do with this.
Think it’s very important for the RF to slap awake the general public here in the US and worldwide. Then things may change, but it’s going to take something drastic.
Disclaimer: I’m just some rando commenting on the internet. Not naive enough to believe I’m smarter than any of these decision makers, just wanted to put this out there.
No mention of the Maidan coup.
No mention of the burnt bodies in Odessa.
No mention of 14,000+ deaths over 8 years of Kiev military action people in the east.
Was that representative of a tertiary level of discussion of Ukraine in the US?
By the time this ended, I felt my ears were bleeding.
Why does Finkelstein not mention the 2014 coup?
Well yes, one could have mentioned the responsibility to protect (known in America as r2p) and recognized by the UN. There was perhaps not a genocide, but there was in those 8 years the russophobia, a low-grade civil war, and a kind of institutionalized ethnic hatred, a systemic ethnic persecution against the Russian speaking population. This is never mentioned in the main stream media in the West, at least not here in Europe, or I have not seen it. Europe supported the Maidan Coup. Perhaps the interviewer did not think about it and so Norman Finkelstein did not respond. He does allude to it by mentioning 1) the context of WWII, 2) that the Nazis are playing an “outsized role” in Ukraine, 3) and that Ukraine, i. e. Nazified Ukraine, is aligning itself with Nato. In general Americans like to discuss endlessly about legal technicalities at the cost of reasonableness, which Finkelstein puts in the forefront. One must definitely bring up the topics you mention, if one is concerned about human rights and does not just instrumentalize them as the Americans do. Americans side with the worst elements, don’t they, a Nazified (and corrupt) Ukraine, terrorists in Syria, bin Laden in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein in the Irak-Iran War?
To make visible this great divide in the so-called civilised world could be done by two politicians, if would clarify the state of the alleged democracy: A discussion between Paris’s Finkelkraut and New York’s Finkelstein. The cultural microclimate of these two cities is so different as Trump was different from the little “blond avenging angel of the petit bourgeois”, Mrs. Lepen and her disastrous party comrades who more than doubled the debt of every municipality in which they had taken over the government.They don’t have the slightest idea of national economy. The compares Finkelstein does regarding JomKippur is interesting…
I am sure that Vlad the Great will come up with some Wonder-Weapons and strike the NAZI’s from Europe! It is horrible to think that Finland and Sweden are joining the NAZI block of countries that oppose our great Leader Vlad Putin. He is every grandmothers dream!
All these silly NAZI supporting countries like Lithuania, Latvia, Estonian, Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Germany, Romania, Ukraine, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Portugal, UK, Turkey, USA, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand.
Yes Vlad Putin and Russia can be proud that they have the support of Belarus….North Korea….. and China…. all are great countries who have understood how senseless it is by giving their people the Vote!
Infinite Wisdom from life time self appointed leaders is the very best!
As Norman Finkelstein says he new some people who went to Harvard….That is fine….I went to the University of Auckland! And then I moved to Brisbane, Australia and became a School Teacher. I started following RT, The Saker, and Veterans Today after I was made redundant because I didn’t fit in and my ideas became more radicle! I don’t trust mainstream media… I haven’t done for years! I love the Saker
I agree with most all of what the author here is arguing, but like another commentator here Jose Oliveira would add the inherent right of self-defense, obvious and necessitated by the continuing attack of the Ukraine army against the Donbass region. That right is even prominently listed in the UN Charter as a justified reason for war. The 8 years of continued indiscriminate shelling were all war crimes by definition, regardless of any claims to territory or civil war by the W. of Ukraine. Those facts alone were sufficient justification as the only way for Russia to aid the victims and stop the shelling was to roll back the entire Ukraine army. However enlarge the focus of the threat to Russia and draw back a bit and see the U.S. military bases encircling and threatening Russia from all directions, foremost of course being the invasion from the W. by NATO, and again we arrive at the imminent necessity of Self Defense, the intent of NATO is clear, following its past atrocious behavior in so many other places such as Libya and etc., and ongoing war games all directly aimed against Russia, although one mistake I would argue with the author, is to list Kosovo as a legal precedent, more like an illegal precedent that had Zero to do with any legitimate self-defense. Further I would argue that Russia is striking a first blow here, now against the Ukraine, but in larger context against the Enemy of all mankind, this NWO monied elitist scum floating on its self created pond of Fiat dollars, the 500 years of European Rothchild scum that is now fighting for its Supremacy of the Banking Elites, and the potential for the subjugation of all the peoples of earth to this Fiat dollar scheme of Forever Debt. This larger war is far from over and eventually all the people on earth are going to have to wake up and get involved. But for now Thank You to Vladimir Putin and Russia for that first punch right to the nose of the Big Bully, Uncle Schmuell, who ain’t nobodys friend.
I have often wondered about Noam Chomsky, if perhaps he might be a part of a controlled opposition. He seems to be a fatalist. What the US does is quite terrible and we must put up with it, that seems to be his message. Does he have contact with the State/CIA/NED people? If so, he would in my opinion be contaminated, as it were.
I have Norman Finkelstein’s book, “Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict”. I found it very informative. That conundrum is a result of WWII. He a person of integrity, as was the Israeli essayist Uri Avnery.
As a contrast, the German Foreign-Minister Annalena Baerbock is not a person of integrity (aside from plagiarism). Yesterday she said “it is a deliberately chosen instrument in a hybrid war that is currently being waged” in order to weaken the international front against Russia. She is referring to the bombing of the power plants of the railways. What she should say is this: “By flooding Ukraine with weapons in order to prolong the war and weaken Russia, my Anglo-Saxon friends have forced Russia to cut off transport links, which makes the export of wheat and oilseeds quite difficult, thus aggravating world hunger.”
very disappointed with his answers. No depth no understanding of the real issue. The struggle between falsehood destruction decadence in short the devolution into barbarism and the reign of death, which is the hallmark of the west versus the hope of a future of thrust respect cooperation a humanity with a deep spiritual basis leading to a new epoch for humanity for human progress
the u.s., west, israel use terrorism, lies, snipers, false flags.
russia has acted properly.
don,t waste time, kindness when dealing with rabid dogs.
And oh, seeing all this squirming to occupy the high moral ground with the “Oh, but it started a war and invaded a country”! The US is now occupying 1/3 of Syria for 8 years and nobody is batting an eyelid. Where is the principled stance there, where is the moral outrage?
Briahna: “But in terms of an actual invasion and boots on the ground or missile strikes or things like that, the thing that Russia has to do even if it disadvantages them strategically in some ways is to wait until the other person hits first.”
The lady has obviously not followed what happened since the early ’90’s and seems totally unaware of the endless attacks on Donbass and continuous killings of Russians since the Maidan and coup d’état of 2014. It was way beyond the “wait until the other person hits first” point in time.
The cleverest people. Fairly conceited, I’m sure, in a quiet way. They’d certainly not take umbrage if I referred to them as ‘clever’, ‘above the norm’, ‘well informed’, etc., etc., etc.. The Briahna type people that initiate and setup these ‘discussions’.
Well qualified, they think themselves, to discuss topics like this and arrive at conclusions we can all adopt because they came from such clever people.
But they never answer his simple question: ‘What was Putin supposed to do?’
Unless the answer was in that ‘wait till the other person hits first’ ? If so it’s downright stupid. The ‘other fellow’ has been hitting for years.
Another sublime illustration of the futility of watching/listening to our ‘intellectual classes ‘ or whatever you might call them.
Russia collapsed and could no longer hold E Germany, so why were they given any quid pro quo. They were weak and they fell apart. Russia was supporting the Donbas seperatists….ie they were fostering a civil war. Ukraine had a right to protect itself form the Great Bear meddling in their internal governance.
Putin will destroy Ukraine before he allows the west to convert into a NATO state. International Affairs 101. He told the world this after Maidan 2013/2014.
Yes he is right, Russia has the right to claim Ukraine just as Germany has the right to claim Kaliningrad. The UK has the right to claim the USA, Canada, Australia and India, etc!
However I do believe that Russia can claim Ukraine
Go The Saker! And stuff the Liberal Elite, Stuff the USA
Love to Putin and Russia from Robert Agnew from Australia
Why is he referring to the Soviet Union in place of Russia? Freudian slip or not, I stopped reading at that point.
I believe that the comparison of Mr Finkelstein’s attempt to retake Sinai by Egypt to the attempt by Russia to occupy Ukraine is misguided.
Sinai was part of Egypt.
Ukraine is a state.
I also consider the comparison of Russia’s situation to the Second World War to be inappropriate.
Until June 22, 1941, the USSR was an informal ally of Germany.
After the German attack on Poland, on September 1, 1939, the Polish Army withdrew to the line of the Bug River, where it began the process of reconstruction and preparation for the second stage of the fight.
There was time for this, the Wehrmacht was concentrated under the capital of Polish, Warsaw.
The deliveries were to be delivered by Romania, which was bound by agreements with Poland and France.
At that time, the French Army carried out the first attack and prepared for a second, large, aimed at occupying the industrial center of Germany – the Ruhr area.
On September 17, the Red Army opened the Second Front of the war on the side of Germany. The Polish Supreme Command ordered the army not to fight the Red Army, but only to break through to France and Great Britain.
From November 1939 to April 1940, 4 conferences of the Soviet and German political police were held: the NKVD and the Gestapo, the subject of which was to combat the Polish independence conspiracy.
The German and Soviet authorities ordered the mass killing and displacement of Poles.
Then, for 20 months, the USSR supplied Germany with the raw materials needed to conduct the war. The USSR conquered Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, occupied a fragment of Finland and Romania.
Then he brought Russian colonists there. Their descendants live in these places to this day.
These countries are not yet decolonized.
The fact that both these countries – Germany and the USSR planned to attack each other does not change anything here.
During that war, Germany also attacked its formal allies – Italy, Hungary, Romania. The Italians, Hungarians and Romanians killed by the Germans are also not an excuse for anything.
If Mr. Norman Finkelstein really thinks that a large state has the right to attack a small one, to establish buffer zones, to impose its governments, to kill people, to deport, to kidnap children to make them Russians (or other nationalities) – then I think he should look in the mirror.