Israel Shamir

The Fighting Optimist

Uncharted Waters

The US has been fighting two wars: with Ukraine against Russia, and with Russia against Climate. Both are very costly, both bring no profit to Americans, both are entirely unnecessary, but both are essential for the Biden regime at this time, as the Covid pandemic runs out of steam. How will matters proceed?

The Ukrainian war may have been postponed. Russian troops withdrew from their forward positions on the Ukrainian border to their permanent bases. Perhaps Putin decided that the threat of a powerful Russian response would suffice for Kiev to give up their plans of a Donbas invasion. It was a close call: Kiev artillery shelled Donbas; Russian tanks faced them waiting for the order to roll westward, but the order didn’t come. It is still too close to call. In the last few days, the shelling of Donbas by the Kiev regime has actually intensified. Kiev troops have moved forward to the frontline separating the regime-controlled areas and free Donbas, and they brought with them more of their heavy weaponry. In Donbas, people are in a wretched mood: they feel abandoned by Russia, or rather have returned to the same hell of intermittent shelling they have lived with for years. They haven’t been allowed to join the Russian Federation as they had hoped. In Kiev, they think Putin blinked first. So say the Brits. Prudent Putin does not want war, but he may still get it. What we have now feels like a lull rather than a stable situation.

Europe Defender, one of the largest US Army-led military exercises in decades has kicked off and will run until June. The Russian Defence Minister Mr. Shoygu called upon his troops to stand ready to respond to any “adverse developments” during the NATO exercises; heavy weapons will remain in forward positions, so troop deployment could be fast. In May, Royal Navy ships will pass the Bosporus, while the Russians have moved their missile boats from the Caspian and Baltic Seas to the Black Sea. So there are still plenty of chances for things to go wrong.

Russia’s relations with the US and its minions are as bad they ever were. As bad as in 1962, during the Caribbean crisis? No, but as bad as in 1952, during the Korean War. The United States is an enemy, declared Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Ryabkov, and such a word has not been used since the Korean War. The US and Britain called Russia their most dangerous enemy, too. Until recently, Putin still believed in the possibility of integrating Russia into the Western world, not as top dog but as a powerful state on a par with Germany or France. The years that have passed have proved to him that this was an impossible pipe dream. He has had to adjust his goals. And besides, the world has changed. There has been a tectonic shift: Russia became stronger; the US antagonised China; the American people are restive and unhappy; Europeans are prisoners in their own homes. In such a world, Russia can’t possibly take US proxy assaults lying down forever.

Relations between Russia and the US have shifted from ‘rivalry’ to ‘confrontation’ and are back to a Cold War level, wrote ex-president Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s number 2 man, who has been considered a more Western-friendly member of the Kremlin team. Russia has sent the US Ambassador back home ‘for consultations’; he tried to disobey with “Hell, no, I won’t go” but eventually relented and departed to Washington, together with ten expelled US diplomats. Russians also forbade the US Embassy from hiring local staff, receiving visiting diplomats and travelling freely in Russia, making diplomatic ties rather strained.

During this time, the plot to assassinate President Lukashenko and/or kidnap his sons was uncovered in Moscow. The plotters enjoyed CIA support, said the Belarusian president, asserting that his assassination had been authorised at the highest level of the Biden administration. This disclosure drew Belarus closer to Moscow. A year ago Minsk and Moscow were cold-shouldering each other. Lukashenko had good reason to suspect that the Russian oligarchs were involved in the colour revolution in his country. They hoped to remove the stubborn president, then privatise and buy Belarus’ industry, as this republic is the only one that preserved and improved the legacy it inherited from Soviet days. Since then, Lukashenko realised that Putin is not against him and relations have begun to improve.

Bearing that in mind, people waited somewhat nervously for Putin’s annual state-of-the-nation address on April 21, expecting some dramatic announcement, be it war, or the integration of Belarus, or recognition of Donbas; however the address mainly dealt with state help to families with children. Putin played Santa Claus: he congratulated the Russian people on almost beating the pandemic; now we have to be fruitful and multiply, he implied. He also gave Russians ten days of paid holiday starting May 1st, presumably for multiplying at leisure in their summer houses. Practically every established Russian city-dwelling family has a country house for exactly such purposes. This year, Russian Easter Sunday will come on May 2nd, so Russians will get the whole Octave of Easter as a fully paid holiday. The state will cover half of children’s summer vacation costs and give a decent lump sum to each child in time for the next school year, enough to buy proper clothes and books. Holidaying in Russia will be subsidised for all, to offset the difficulty of travelling abroad due to corona restrictions. For those who insist on going abroad, Egypt will be soon be open as a holiday destination.

Such generosity has Russians worried. It reminded them of those restful hours and the shot of vodka their fathers were given before being sent to attack the German lines – a respite before battle. However, Putin didn’t mention the Kiev regime and the Ukraine even once.

He promised severe retribution to whoever crosses red lines, and compared the Czechs and Poles with “Tabaqui [the Jackal] hanging around [the man-eating tiger] Shere Khan, howling to appease their sovereign”. Shere Khan is certainly the US, the great enemy of Mowgli [Russia], the human child in the jungle. Rudyard Kipling has been cancelled in the US for his White Man’s Burden, and Tabaqui did not appear in the US cinematic versions of the Jungle Book, but Russians know the character as it appears in their cartoon version.

The Czech jackals have occasioned much mirth among Russians by claiming that their arms depot was blown up in 2014 by Petrov and Boshirov, the legendary GRU agents of Skripal fame. Hundreds of memes appeared right away, appealing to the Russian sense of humour.

The story of the arms depot is murky; the Czechs said that the depot belonged to a Bulgarian arms dealer who promptly denied the allegation; it appears the weapons were going to be smuggled into Ukraine and Syria to be used against Russia while keeping the Czech provenance deniable. A Russian James Bond would deal with the depot exactly as Petrov and Boshirov allegedly did. But why did the Czechs decide to unveil this old story right now?

There are three possible explanations: (1) It was done in order to remove Russia’s Rosatom from the tender for building the nuclear power plant it was poised to win. Without Rosatom, the $5 Billion budget will probably go to the US company Westinghouse, though it is bankrupt and unable to build the plant. (2) To distract attention from the attempt by CIA-connected plotters to kill or kidnap Belarus President Lukashenko and his family. (3) The Czechs are doing what they were told by their American masters, and theirs is not to reason why.

Whatever the reason, the Czechs expelled 18 Russian diplomats; the Russians responded by expelling 20 Czech diplomats; the Czechs upped the stakes by expelling over 60 Russian embassy staff; the Russians responded by forbidding the Czechs to hire local staff. Now they are considering sanctioning Czech beer, the biggest Czech export to Russia, and possibly Skoda cars. Czechs are likely to sanction Russia by stopping the delivery of high-tech parts. Other East European Tabaquis added to the turmoil. The Poles, Bulgarians, and Baltics expelled a few Russian diplomats; Russia did its tit-for-tat expulsion routine.

A few days ago, Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov went to Teheran and declared that Russia-Iran relations are at an ‘unprecedented’ level. The first fruit of this declaration has been announced. Russian Navy ships will escort Iranian tankers delivering Iranian oil and wheat to Syria. This will prevent Israel or the US from attacking the tankers. Israelis gleefully blabbed that they had sabotaged dozens of Iranian tankers causing immense misery to Syrians. Now it is hopefully over (or maybe not. Or maybe yes).

And just in case Israel won’t take this hint into consideration, there was another hint. A Russian C-200 missile launched by Syrians landed ‘by chance’ near an Israeli nuke factory, the Dimona nuclear centre. Israelis tried to minimise the public impact by concocting an improbable story of an old Syrian ground-to-air missile, launched against an Israeli jet that overflew by some 300 km, falling somewhere in the Negev desert. Syrians and Iranians didn’t object to this explanation and claimed that they just repelled an Israeli air attack. But Israeli social networks revealed that the Israeli public is worried, and rightly so, for the US-made Patriot missile defence system failed to stop the incoming missile. The Russian news agency reported that Russian electronic devices based in Syria had jammed the Israeli missile defence system in 12 districts, thus allowing the missile to reach Dimona. “This was a Russian response to Israeli breaches of our understandings on Syria”, the agency added.

As for Afghanistan, when the Biden regime decided to postpone its proposed withdrawal of troops until September 11, Russian experts I spoke to are convinced that the US will never leave Afghanistan by its own free will. They will keep in place thousands of private military contractors, and retain their positions in the airports if a need arises to recapture any ground.

And now for the climate war. Putin and Xi had been invited (among others) by President Biden to participate at the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate. (Biden was the only one wearing a mask at the virtual summit.) The Covid pandemic smoothly transforms into Global Warming in the plans of our masters. These plans are so outlandish that unhappy Donbas might as well be on another planet. Among others, they include terminating meat production and switching to producing insects for food. “Agriculture is the biggest driver of global biodiversity loss and a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Farmed insects could help tackle two of the world’s biggest problems at once: food insecurity and the climate crisis”, preached the BBC.

The US top spook (naturally a female; you can’t allow a white male to occupy such an important position unless he is a demented prompter-reader) Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said that climate change has to be “at the center of a country’s national security and foreign policy”. Climate change “needs to be fully integrated with every aspect of our analysis in order to allow us not only to monitor the threat but also, critically, to ensure that policymakers understand the importance of climate change on seemingly unrelated policies.” In plain words, from now on, the CIA will tell policymakers (including kings and presidents, senators and ministers) what they may and may not do. And presumably they won’t be allowed to complain about the American military complex, the biggest single polluter on Earth. Goodbye sovereign states; welcome, one world government!

President Trump (for all his faults) was the last leader of the Free World who tried to fight against the double agenda of pandemic-and-warming. Not surprisingly, he was fraudulently deprived of his high position. Biden is all for Covid and Climate, just like Greta Thunberg. Alas, no leader objects to this agenda. Brazilian President Bolsonaro who bravely spoke against both C&C repented; now he agrees, and even asks to borrow money to better fight global warming.

For Russia, the coldest inhabited country in the world, global warming could only be good (even today, April 25, it’s 2°C in Moscow). Russians are not misled by the US green agenda. “The latest US remark on the green agenda is nothing but blackmail and an attempt to create an environmental and climate screen, and use foreign economic levers to force its partners and clients to pay for modernizing its energy complex”, a top Russian expert said. However, Putin is not the man to go against such a universally accepted agenda. He tries to find a position that will profit Russia and minimise its dangers, while paying lip service to the Biden regime’s demands. Russia is successfully competing against US-supplied LNG [liquefied natural gas] with her own plentiful gas resources. If China is forced to switch from coal to natural gas, Russia will undercut the US and sell her gas to Beijing. Nuclear power plants have no CO2 output, and Russians are the best at nuclear power. Despite overall hostility, Biden welcomed Putin’s contribution to the Green Deal.

At the summit, Putin said Russia has nearly halved its emissions compared to 1990. He didn’t mention that this great achievement had been made by the destruction of the USSR, by the de-industrialisation of Russia and by a huge drop in the living standards of the Russian people. People still shudder when they remember the Nineties with its poverty, and that is what ‘halving of emissions’ means. This is what Biden has prepared for the Americans: poverty, insects for dinner, and workers reduced to delivering packages for Amazon. Perhaps the choice of dying in a nuclear holocaust is not too bad an option.

Mike Whitney recently asked me, why hasn’t Russia’s change from Communist to Capitalist made any difference in Washington’s foreign policy posture? The US is still as relentlessly hostile towards the Russian Federation as it was towards the Soviet Union. It is a good sign. Washington was friendly to Moscow when Boris Yeltsin shelled its own parliament, when Russian scientists sold their belongings in improvised flea markets at railway stations, when Russian girls sold their charms for a few dollars to visiting foreigners – in those days, Russia was popular and loved. Why is Russia treated with such hostility now?

There could be a few answers: (1) The Capitalists think that the spirit of Communism still lives in Russia, unvanquished despite everything. Indeed millions of Russians (more than 60%) say the Soviet Union was good for them; they remember or heard from their parents how socialism once worked for them. (2) For the Core, it does not matter what is the creed of the Periphery. (3) For the Satanic forces, Russia bears the light of Christ. (4) Hegemony will not suffer an independent spirit. You may choose your own answer. Perhaps all the answers are correct.

Russia, despite her efforts to fit into the global agenda, always sticks out. It is the only country in the world where masculinity is not toxic; whites feel no guilt; people eat meat and heat their homes so they are warm; despite the pandemic, theatres and churches are open; there is no #MeToo; Russian producers and directors can frolic with actresses; education and medicine are (largely) free for all. Outside Moscow, even parking is free, if you can find it. You can get vaccinated if you wish, for free, any day, yet nobody forces you to do it. There are no lockdowns, no covid passports, no mandatory masks. It would be a shame if such a country were destroyed.

Israel Shamir can be reached at

This article was first published at The Unz Review.

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