Following the past few, truly incredible, days which saw momentous developments taking place at an amazingly rapid pace, I think that it is time to take a moment to calmly and carefully reflect about what I consider to be a historical event of an immense magnitude. Formally, this event will be recorded as the “The address of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the State Duma deputies, Federation Council members, heads of Russian regions and civil society representatives in the Kremlin”. In reality, of course, this was much more. This was the address of the New Russia to the entire world, especially, to the many people worldwide who reject the social, economic and political model embodied in the current Anglo-Zionist Empire otherwise known as “The West”, including those inside the so-called “West”.
Today Every Free Person in the World has Won!
by The Saker
March 19, 2014
The great disconnect between the 1% and the 99%In the hours following Putin's speech I was amazed to see the total disconnect between what I just had heard, the reaction of the people in Russia, and the way the official corporate media covered the event. In Russia senior political figures compared what had just taken place with the victory against Nazi Germany in 1945, they repeated over and over again that what had just taken place would create a new world order and that the nature of the system of international relations had been changed forever. And yet, the Western corporate media spoke about the pomp of the ceremony and how Putin had justified the Russian annexation of Crimea. Had they listened to a different speech?!
But then came the reactions of the readers of my blog who in increasing numbers were reporting that they had listened to Putin's speech with tears in their eyes. Many even praised Putin in terms that would make even a Kremlin PR officer blush with embarrassment. What was going on here? Clearly my readers were not only apprising the contents of Putin's speech and expressing their overall agreement with his views, no, they were having a deeply emotional reaction to something which they had felt deep inside their gut and in their souls, something which powerfully resonated deeply inside them. Why? Very few of these readers had any connections to Russia, even fewer had any Russian roots. Some had even served in the US military against the Soviet-backed Vietnamese. The vast majority were old enough to remember vividly the Cold War and how it felt to live under the bullseye of the Soviet nuclear forces. And yet these people clearly totally rejected the official view of the corporate media and adopted a radically different view. Why?
I have to mention here that ever since my blog acquired a better visibility (roughly over the past 6 months) I have been getting a lot of emails from literally all over the world and that many of these emails were extremely emotional, clearly written “with gut and soul” and they often gave me the feeling that my correspondent was baring his/her soul showing an immense amount of pain, frustration and even rage, and an even bigger gratitude and appreciation for what I was trying to achieve with this blog. And, again, this made me wonder – what was it that I was doing that was eliciting such an outpouring of gratitude and emotions?! After all, I had never intended my blog as a crowd-pleaser, but only as the “thinly anonymous” blog of just one guy speaking his mind and trying to foster a free exchange of views. And yet, some readers have even claimed that reading this blog had “changed their lives”. Why?! How?! I was honestly baffled by such reactions.
And then I understood
People were hungry, they were literally starved for truth, and even when they did not agree with what I wrote, which happened quite often, they were grateful for the fact that I clearly had no agenda and that I simply spoke the truth as I saw it. It became clear to me that a lot of people fully understood that they were being lied to, they just did not always have the means to get to the real story or enough facts to connect the dots for themselves. In the case of my blog, the fact that I was fluent in five languages meant that I could help them cross the language barrier, and my past as a military analyst who had seen the “behind the scenes” true face of the Anglo-Zionist Empire made it rather easy for me to debunk many, even if not all, of the lies of the corporate media. Finally, the fact that I had no political agenda or affiliation of any kind, even if I held strong – and often goofy – views about many subjects, meant that I was not trying to “sell my stuff” — it was here to take it or leave it – and that it made no difference to me what people thought of my views. One of the many positive side-effects of “thin anonymity” (which I define as anonymous enough to have readers focus on ideas and not personalities, anonymous enough not to be bothered by idiots, but not anonymous enough to hide from any person making even a very modest effort to try to identify me) is that I am clearly not trying to sell myself. No, what was going on here is something far more basic, and I will use an image to make my point: it's not that the food I was cooking was so amazingly tasty, it's that my guests were truly starved and, as the Irish say, “hunger is the best sauce”.
I very much believe that this “hunger” is also what explains the very strong and emotional reaction that so many people have had after listening to Putin. Clearly, this was much bigger than Crimea, the Ukraine or even Russia. These were just triggers which ended up eliciting a Russian reaction which nobody had seriously believed possible. But many felt that something much more important had just happened.
What am I referring to here? Let's turn to Putin's speech and parse some of its most important segments (the full speech is available here and I urge everybody who has not done so yet to read it in its entirety or, better, watch the video here).
Putin's message to the worldPredictably, Putin's speech began by discussing the recent events in Crimea, including the results of the referendum. He spoke about what Crimea and Sevastopol meant for Russian history, culture and nation, and he recalled the horrors suffered by the Tatar people during the Soviet era. He then outlined the circumstances in which Nikita Khrushchev single-handedly (and illegally) transferred Crimea from the Russian Federation to the Ukraine and how, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Ukraine suffered under the rule of corrupt leaders. And then he explained how the legitimate protests of the Ukrainian people were literally hijacked by very different and violent people:
I understand those who came out on the Maidan with peaceful slogans against corruption, inefficient state management and poverty. The right to peaceful protest, democratic procedures and elections exist for the sole purpose of replacing the authorities that do not satisfy the people. However, those who stood behind the latest events in the Ukraine had a different agenda: they were preparing yet another government takeover; they wanted to seize power and would stop at nothing. They resorted to terror, murder and riots. Nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites executed this coup. They continue to set the tone in the Ukraine to this day ... we can all clearly see the intentions of these ideological heirs of Bandera, Hitler’s accomplice during World War II.This reference to WWII is not just a politician's rhetorical exaggeration aimed at eliciting a knee-jerk reaction from the audience, it is something much more important – an unambiguous statement that today, just as during WWII, the very existence of Russia as a country, a culture and a nation was at stake. Of course, the threat to Russia does not come from a few baseball-bat-wielding nationalist thugs in Kiev or from the new regime in power, if only because this new regime is a complete fiction anyway:
It is also obvious that there is no legitimate executive authority in Ukraine now, nobody to talk to. Many government agencies have been taken over by the impostors, but they do not have any control in the country, while they themselves – and I would like to stress this – are often controlled by radicals. In some cases, you need a special permit from the militants on the Maidan to meet with certain ministers of the current government. This is not a joke – this is reality. Those who opposed the coup were immediately threatened with repression.So where does the real danger come from and who is the real aggressor threatening Russia at least as much has Hitler did in WWII? Before answering that question, I would like to note that Putin made a rather candid admission about the so-called “polite armed men in green”. He said (emphasis added):
The President of the Russian Federation received permission from the Upper House of Parliament to use the Armed Forces in Ukraine. However, strictly speaking, nobody has acted on this permission yet. Russia’s Armed Forces never entered Crimea; they were there already in line with an international agreement. True, we did enhance our forces there; however – this is something I would like everyone to hear and know – we did not exceed the personnel limit of our Armed Forces in Crimea, which is set at 25,000, because there was no need to do so.So the mystery of the “polite armed men in green” is now solved: “strictly speaking” they were an “enhancement” to the Russian forces in Crimea which did not exceed the maximal total number of troops allowed by the treaty with the Ukraine. In other words, the number of Spetsnaz GRU troops sent to Crimea was within the terms of the treaty and the other forces seen were, indeed, local self-defense units and not part of the Russian military. Elegant formulation, for sure.
Putin then quoted the position of the UN International Court and the United States on the issue of the secession of Kosovo: “General international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence” (UNIC) and “ Declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legislation. However, this does not make them violations of international law” (USA) and added:
For some reason, things that Kosovo Albanians (and we have full respect for them) were permitted to do, Russians, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in Crimea are not allowed to do. Again, one wonders why.Here we are getting at the core of his argument: the Anglo-Zionist Empire has no other use for international law then to use it as a fig leaf for its project of world hegemony, and when that is not possible, then the Empire simply ignores it and uses brute force:
This is not even double standards; this is amazing, primitive, blunt cynicism. One should not try so crudely to make everything suit their interests, calling the same thing white today and black tomorrow ... After the dissolution of bipolarity on the planet, we no longer have stability. Key international institutions are not getting any stronger; on the contrary, in many cases, they are sadly degrading. Our Western partners, led by the United States of America, prefer not to be guided by international law in their practical policies, but by the rule of the gun. They have come to believe in their exclusivity and exceptionalism, that they can decide the destinies of the world, that only they can ever be right. They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle “If you are not with us, you are against us.” To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions from international organisations, and if for some reason this does not work, they simply ignore the UN Security Council and the UN overall. ... We understand what is happening; we understand that these actions were aimed against the Ukraine and Russia and against Eurasian integration ... We have every reason to assume that the infamous policy of containment, of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, continues today. They are constantly trying to sweep us into a corner because we have an independent position, because we maintain it and because we call things like they are and do not engage in hypocrisy. But there is a limit to everything. And with the Ukraine, our Western partners have crossed the line, playing the bear and acting irresponsibly and unprofessionally.Amazing words coming from the President of a nuclear-armed superpower: not only does he denounce the complete and total hypocrisy of the Anglo-Zionist Empire, he even places it in the direct continuation of three centuries of anti-Russian policies by Western European powers! Not only does he denounce the Empire's double standards, he even openly ridicules the incompetence of its leaders:
After all, they were fully aware that there are millions of Russians living in Ukraine and in Crimea. They must have really lacked political instinct and common sense not to foresee all the consequences of their actions. Russia found itself in a position it could not retreat from. If you compress the spring all the way to its limit, it will snap back hard. You must always remember this.Indeed, one can only wonder what in the world they were thinking in the “imperial high command” when they decided to use Nazis in the Ukraine just like they used al-Qaeda in Afghanistan: did they really think that Russia would yield yet again? Did it even have such an option? Not according to Putin:It is at historic turning points such as these that a nation demonstrates its maturity and strength of spirit. The Russian people showed this maturity and strength through their united support for their compatriots. Russia’s foreign policy position on this matter drew its firmness from the will of millions of our people, our national unity and the support of our country’s main political and public forces. ... Obviously, we will encounter external opposition, but this is a decision that we need to make for ourselves. Are we ready to consistently defend our national interests, or will we forever give in, retreat to who knows where? ... Russia will also have to make a difficult decision now, taking into account the various domestic and external considerations. What do people here in Russia think? Here, like in any democratic country, people have different points of view, but I want to make the point that the absolute majority of our people clearly do support what is happening.Let's sum up. Putin has now openly stated that:
(1) There is no limit to the hypocrisy, lies, evil, stupidity and aggressive nature of the Anglo-Zionist Empire.
(2) That this Empire represents by its very nature an existential threat to Russia.
(3) That the Russian people are united in their determination to resist this Empire.
Frankly, to me this sounds very much like a declaration of war. Not necessarily a hot war with military forces fighting each other, but something more than a Cold War in which the status quo is an acceptable option. Putin is suggesting that the next war will be a civilizational one, a cultural one and even a moral one, a war in which one side will stand for absolute rule of a cynical world hegemon and the other side for a multi-polar world in which all countries are to be subjected to the same set of rules and principles. But even more importantly than a single set of rules, the kind of international system Russia is seeking to establish is one in which each nation, culture and religion would have the actual, not just theoretical, freedom to live as it wants to. He clearly said so in his 2013 annual Presidential address to the Federal Assembly when he said:
Today, many nations are revising their moral values and ethical norms, eroding ethnic traditions and differences between peoples and cultures. Society is now required not only to recognise everyone’s right to the freedom of consciousness, political views and privacy, but also to accept without question the equality of good and evil, strange as it seems, concepts that are opposite in meaning. This destruction of traditional values from above not only leads to negative consequences for society, but is also essentially anti-democratic, since it is carried out on the basis of abstract, speculative ideas, contrary to the will of the majority, which does not accept the changes occurring or the proposed revision of values. We know that there are more and more people in the world who support our position on defending traditional values that have made up the spiritual and moral foundation of civilisation in every nation for thousands of years: the values of traditional families, real human life, including religious life, not just material existence but also spirituality, the values of humanism and global diversity. Of course, this is a conservative position. But speaking in the words of Nikolai Berdyaev, the point of conservatism is not that it prevents movement forward and upward, but that it prevents movement backward and downward, into chaotic darkness and a return to a primitive state.It is pretty clear that this last sentence expresses Russia's view on the level of civilizational and cultural degradation the Anglo-Zionist Empire has imposed upon the people of Europe and the USA. Furthermore, when Putin says that “destruction of traditional values from above not only leads to negative consequences for society, but is also essentially anti-democratic, since it is carried out on the basis of abstract, speculative ideas, contrary to the will of the majority” he is clearly stating that the Anglo-Zionist Empire is not ruled by the people which live in it, but by minorities, special interest groups, behind-the-scenes lobbies and cabals who impose their warped agenda upon the rest of the people.
Again, the bottom line is this: the President of Russia has made an open declaration of war against the 1% elite which currently is in control of the Anglo-Zionist Empire. This war will be a multi-level one combining “soft power” (cultural resistance, religious resistance, informational resistance, financial and economic warfare) with “hard power” (a military ready fight the US/NATO if necessary, the use of the “energy weapon” to retaliate against economic warfare). In an ironical twist of history, especially for a capitalist society which has ridiculed Marx and repudiated the concept of class warfare, this war will also profoundly be a class war in which oligarchs from different countries will support each other and in which the regular, 99%, people will work together on, for example, the “virtual battlefields” of the Internet.
The crucial battlefield: “global information operations”Information Operations is the term used by the US military to refer to “direct and indirect support operations for the United States Military”. Psychological operations, or PSYOPs, are seen as a subset of IO. For our purposes, however, this concept may be extended not only to military operations but also to the full spectrum of national security policies of a country and to the “deep state” which holds the reins of power in the Anglo-Zionist Empire. I will thus speak of Global Information Operations or GIOs, the core component of which is represented by the Western corporate media.
For a while in my life I, like many other military analysts, made my living by, among other things, reading the Soviet press every day. Not just Pravda or Izvestia, but also even more boring or specialized newspapers, magazines and reviews. I listen to the Soviet radio as often as I could, and I never missed a chance to watch the Soviet TV, especially the news shows. At the time I was young, very naïve and very dumb, and I sincerely believed that the Soviet Union was a mortal threat to Western Europe and that the only thing which stood between them, the evil commies, and us, the free world, was the military power of the NATO alliance. Looking back at myself and the utter garbage I had in my brain then, I feel embarrassed and, frankly, ashamed of my total credulity. But at the time I was a dedicated soldier of the Cold War whose motto was “know thy enemy”. And I knew my “enemy” really, really well. I want to explain all of the above before stating the following:
In all honesty and sincerity, I have to say here that in comparison to the modern Western corporate media the Soviet press was far more pluralistic, more diverse and more trustworthy. True, the Soviet press simply did not mention certain topics, but that goes to show that, unlike the Western corporate media, it did not feel that it could brazenly lie to the point where even what is obvious is categorically and totally denied. For one thing, the Soviet public was far better educated. We all, including myself, used to poke fun at the obligatory lessons in Marxism-Leninism in Soviet schools, but we overlooked that any halfway decent course in Marxism-Leninism will include topics like dialectics, historical materialism and economics: stuff that makes you think. This is not to say that the Soviet people could not be lied to – they could be and they have been – but only that the lies had to be at least halfway credible and present a plausible scenario. In contrast, for a public raised on CNN, BBC or MTV, the lies need not be even capable of passing a basic common sense test (as is so vividly illustrated by the Western corporate media's coverage of the 08.08.08 war or the events in the Ukraine): the Doublethink predicted by Orwell in his book 1984 is now fully upon us and black can be called white and vice-versa with no problems at all. I would even argue that, in comparison, even the Nazi Völkischer Beobachter contained more information than, say, the NYT, WSJ or the BBC, whose level of brazen lying I could only compare to, maybe, Der Stürmer.
I first noticed this absolutely unprecedented level of outright lying by the Western corporate media during the US/NATO war on Yugoslavia (Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo), but I think that it has only gotten worse since. In contrast, the modern Russian press is extremely diverse and the people in Russia are regularly shown the type of coverage the current events in the Ukraine get in the Western press and it leave them baffled. They simply cannot understand how this is possible in a society which externally seems to have all the characteristics of a free and pluralistic society. In the bad old days of the USSR, it was all simple: there was state censorship. But there is no state censorship in the West, no Glavlit and no Goskomizdat, and yet the Western press is far more monolithic and dishonest then even the official party press in the USSR. But there is one crucial difference between the USSR and today's Anglo-Zionist Empire: the Internet.
Simply put, the Internet is the only global media not controlled by either governments or corporations (which is really the same thing). Yes, there are numerous attempts by both governments and corporations to change this, but at least for the time being, information is circulating freely throughout the Internet. This introduced amazing changes:
(1) a single citizen with a minimal income now had the means to meaningfully oppose the lies of even major corporations or governments: the case of Alain Soral in France is typical of this amazing trend.
(2) the resistance to the Empire is now geographically decentralized: as this blog illustrates so well with the amazing diversity of its readers.
(3) information simply cannot be suppressed: the world learned of the massacres and atrocities of the Wahabi insurgents in Syria even though the corporate media tried hard to ignore them.
(4) low-level classified government documents do regularly get compromised by various individuals who can then leak them without anybody being able to stop it (Assange, Snowden, Manning).
(5) an increasing number of people sever their exposure to the corporate media which now mostly subsists on government grants.
(6) even those who still watch TV or read the press are aware that they are being lied to.
All this means that we live in a new reality in which the global Anglo-Zionist Empire is now actively opposed by a global resistance which knows no borders, no nationalities and no religions: people from different countries, nations and religions stand together against a common hegemon not just in theory like in he “Proletarians of all countries – unite!” slogan but in actuality, and they actively collaborate with each other.
It is to this global resistance to the Empire and its GIOs that Putin addressed his words yesterday. Sure, of course, he was primarily speaking to the people of Russia, Crimea and the Ukraine, but he was also reaching beyond, to all those, probably many millions, who would make the effort to listen to him on YouTube or read a transcript of his speech. Because, of course, all this is much bigger than just a power struggle over a relatively small peninsula in the Black Sea: yesterday, for the first time, a powerful and determined leader openly told the Empire: we know you, we understand what you are trying to do, and we are not going to let you do it. In fact, we reject everything you stand for and we will never let you rule the planet. And today, we have the means to stop you!
Dust storms reported world wideI think that we are entering a new era which many of us had been hoping for for a very long time. An era when a resistance which used to be only local has finally found a leader capable not of commanding it, no, but capable of representing and inspiring it. I honestly don't think that Putin wanted that. He would have much preferred to be in the shoes of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who fully supports Putin but who prefers to avoid an open confrontation with the Empire, at least until such time as China becomes truly powerful. Iran and Hezbollah have been openly resisting for many years, but they simply did not have the means to reach much further beyond the Middle East. As for the resistance in Latin America (Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia) it has not been able to effectively deal with more lukewarm or hesitating leaders (Brazil, Chile, Argentina) or with outright US puppet states (Colombia). If anything, the recent vote at the UNSC in which only China abstained and every other member voted against Russia goes to show that on the global scale Russia is alone and that no world leader has the courage to openly stand next to Putin.
Even though I had been following Putin's career very carefully since 1999, it took me until 2008 to fully get a sense of what this man was all about. Still, I know that a lot of people remained skeptical: was he really what he appeared to be or was he simply playing a sophisticated game of “good cop – bad cop” with Medvedev, with each of them catering to their own audience? When Russia was invited to the G8 and when it acceded to the WTO a lot of careful observers wondered whether Putin was really as "anti-Empire" as he claimed to be, or whether he was just conducting a hard bargain for better conditions inside the Empire's international system. I hope that they today these skeptics see that Putin is “for real” and that he is now the de facto leader of the global resistance against the Anglo-Zionist Empire.
As I have mentioned above, a lot of readers of this blog, with no personal connections to Russia at all, reported yesterday that they had listened to Putin's address with tears in their eyes. This resulted in a rather moving discussion of red-eye triggering “dust storms” reported from various parts of the world (Germany, USA, Uruguay, Austria, Canada and, of course, Russia). One anonymous poster though did not want to use a cute euphemism and simply wrote : “Here it wasn't a dust storm, it was just a sincere pure cry for the hope of the all humanity around the world, that we can live in peace, mutual respect, abundance and prosperity for everyone around this beautiful Earth. I do believe that this is the start of the new era.” In other words: Putin – we heard you!
Conclusion – a victory which belongs to every free personFirst, let me be clear about this: what happened in Crimea is definitely a victory, but only one in a much wider war which is far from over. The first rule of warfare is never to underestimate your enemy and never to do what the French call “sell the bear's skin before having killed it”. This is far from over, and if this is indeed the “beginning of the end” for the Empire, this is still only the very beginning of a long and most dangerous process. Some Empires die more or less peacefully, destroyed by economic ruin and overreach, but others need to be defeated in an orgy of violence. Though on my bad days I sometimes daydream about seeing a private of the Russian army plant a Russian flag on the Capitol as Meliton Kantaria did over the Reichstag, I don't think that this would be much of a cause for joy in the midst of a nuclear winter. So the task is to bring down the Empire without bringing down the rest of the planet with it.
Those parts of the planet which have been “liberated” (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, China, Iran, etc.) need to resist, if needed, by force, and remain free. Those parts which are still fought over (Syria, Lebanon, Venezuela, etc.) need to continue their struggle; as for the rest of the world it needs to continue its non-violent, ideological and informational resistance against the Empire and its lies. We can use the well-known image of a swarm of bees attacking a large animal – individually the bees can do little, but in a coordinated attack they can defeat and even kill the much larger animal.
In the meantime, yes, we can rejoice over our common victory this week and paraphrase the words of Hassan Nasrallah in his absolutely beautiful “Divine Victory” speech and say: “We feel that we won; Russia won; Crimea won; the Slavic nations won, and every oppressed, aggrieved person in this world also won. It is not the victory of a party or a community; rather it is a victory for true Russia, the true European people, and every free person in the world. Don’t distort this big historic victory. Do not contain it in party, sectarian, communal, or regional clans. This victory is too big to be comprehended by us”.
There is a song about war as a metaphor for any resistance to evil and brutality which is very popular in Russia called “A toast to” which has the following words (see home-made music video here):
Let's toast to life, come on brother, until the end
Let's toast to those who were with us then
Let's toast to life, and may all wars be accursed!
We'll remember those
Who were with us then.
A toast to them, a toast to us
And to Siberia and the Caucasus
To light of distant cities
And to friendship and to love
A toast to you, a toast for us,
To the Airborne Troops and the Spetsnaz
To combat decorations
Let's lift a toast, my old friend!
In the same spirit, I toast to you, all my readers and friends in the resistance, and I wish you courage and steadfastness in the long struggle ahead. But today, let us celebrate indeed!
This article first appeared on The Vineyard of the Saker.
Republished with permission on Serendipity on March 20, 2014.
Selected articles about the Ukraine by The Saker:
- Ukraine's "civilizational choice" — a Pyrrhic victory for Russia? (2013-11-24)
- The gates of Hell are opening for the Ukraine (2013-11-30)
- The geopolitics of the Ukrainian conflict: back to basics (2014-02-20)
- Ukrainian nationalism — its roots and nature (2014-02-24)
- Follow up to my post about the roots and nature of Ukrainian nationalism (2014-02-26)
- The Kremlin's response to the events in the Ukraine gradually becomes more apparent (2014-02-27)
- Obama just made things much, much worse in the Ukraine — now Russia is ready for war (2014-03-01)
- The Self-defeating Fuite en Avant of the US in the Ukraine (2014-03-03)
- How the US dream of world supremacy was buried in Crimea (2014-03-17)
- Today every free person in the world has won! (2014-03-19)
Serendipity Home Page