Tuesday 28 November 2023

Ukraine Peace Negotiation proposal by Professors Peter Brandt, Horst Teltschik and Hajo Funke and General Harald Kujat

The proposal is here. I quote from it.

"The war could have been prevented, had the West accepted a neutral status for Ukraine – which Zelensky was initially quite willing to do – renounced NATO membership and enforced the Minsk II agreement on minority rights for the Russian-speaking population. The war could have ended in early April 2022 if the West had allowed the Istanbul negotiations to be concluded. It is now once again, and possibly for the last time, the responsibility of the “collective West” and especially the USA to set a course towards a ceasefire and peace negotiations." 

Retired German General Kujat predicted the Afghan occupation had failed and that the Taliban would return to power back in 2011. In 2016 he praised Russia for enabling peace to come to Syria. 

He is a lot more prescient than Mrs Victoria Nuland. 

I heard of this in this interesting discussion with Colonel Douglas MacGregor at 14.5 minutes. 

I don't listen often to Colonel MacGregor but should do so. He and Alistair Crooke seem the most interesting people discussing the war in Gaza. Colonel MacGregor is also often good on Ukraine though he thinks too kindly of Putin and has no evidence for the huge estimate he makes of Ukrainian casualties.

Ireland is in grave trouble

Ireland is in a disastrous situation. Tim Stanley says today in the Daily Telegraph that Irish President Michael Higgins suggested climate change played a role in the massacre by Boko Haram of 40 Nigerians attending Mass on June 5th last year. More than 126 people were injured.

Monday 27 November 2023

The n-word

Free speech in the UK has been more and restricted since 1965 (before the Race Relations Act 1965 the country had as much free speech as the USA) but the misuse of the word 'antisemitic' by conservatives, who have suddenly become leading advocates of cancel culture, is remarkable.

It now covers all sorts of criticisms of Israeli government actions that are not anti-Jewish, let alone, of course, anti-Semite. 


“It is not the slumber of reason that engenders monsters, but vigilant and insomniac rationality”
Gilles Deleuze

Everyone burns his life and suffers for the desire for the future, for the disgust of the present. But the one who exploits every hour for himself, who manages every day as a life, does not want tomorrow nor fears it. No time can bring a new kind of pleasure. Everything is already known, everything is enjoyed to the fullest. After all, fate decides as it pleases: life is already safe. You can add them, not subtract them, and add them like food to an already satiated and full person, who no longer wants it but still has the capacity to. There is therefore no reason to believe that one has lived long because he has white hair or wrinkles: he didn’t live long, but he was in the world for a long time. How can you believe that it sailed a lot who caught the storm at the exit of the port by taking it here and there in a turbine of opposite winds and making it spin in a circle within the same space. He didn’t sail much, but he rose a lot.”
Seneca, De Brevitate Vitae.


It's strange that Americans owe their country's existence to colonialism but are so prejudiced against it. Other people's colonialism, that is. They have their own colonial empire.

AJP Taylor, the greatest 20th century British historian, said: 

“If the Germans had succeeded in exterminating their Slav neighbors as the Anglo-Saxons in North America succeeded in exterminating the Indians, the effect would have been what it has been on the Americans: the Germans would have become advocates of brotherly love and international reconciliation."

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Daily Telegraph: 'Fragile ceasefire still could provide the mould for a longer peace'

A surprisingly good article in the Telegraph today. Most of its coverage of Ukraine and other foreign wars is simplistic, one-sided and, to be honest, propaganda, but occasionally they publish something incisive.

Israel, too, must face reality, military and political. At the start of the conflict, it estimated there were 30,000-40,000 Hamas fighters in Gaza.

It has since killed an estimated 14,000 people in its stated military objective of “ending” the organisation and its infrastructure in Gaza but, of those, just 4,300 were adult males, according to the Hamas controlled Gazan health authority.

The hard truth Israeli military strategists now face is this: for the most part, Hamas, like legions of terrorist insurgents before them, have stashed their grab-bags and vanished into the general population in the south of the Gaza strip.

Most will go unnoticed for what the vast majority of combatants the world over really are: poor and uneducated boys led by cultish thugs and grasping psychopaths.

Trying to kill them within a zone that Israel itself has asked civilians to move risks collateral damage on a scale that even the cold legal logic of proportionality in war would struggle to justify. The incremental military gain will be too slight to justify the likely civilian carnage.

Israel also has a unique humanitarian crisis on its hands, and one that could yet prove its undoing.

In most wars of the type being fought in Gaza, much of the potential humanitarian fallout is mitigated by people fleeing. But in Gaza, mass migration is not possible. Some 2.3 million people are sealed into a crowded hellhole into which only a trickle of food, water and power is currently flowing.

Israel’s hardmen like to say they don’t care what the world thinks when it comes to protecting the Jewish homeland. But if Gaza’s ragged millions start to starve or succumb to infectious diseases such as cholera and typhoid this winter it won’t be long before commentators like me start to recall the ghettos of Poland and Ukraine that our great grandparents died in.

Monday 20 November 2023

R.I.P. Nick Brind

'You know you've been in Romania too long when you can tell someone's star sign from their date of birth and talk animatedly about it.'

Nick Brind, one of the funniest and wisest men I ever knew, said that. He died on Thursday, I think, and will be very much missed. His was the best firm of architects in Romania for many years. He had previously worked in Africa and been manager of Steeleye Span.

Sunday 19 November 2023


'When I was 17, the schoolmaster tasked with overseeing my moral development frowned at my show of indecision about the future direction of my education and, as if letting me into a trade secret, carefully explained: “Look, clever people go to Cambridge, and pretty people: they go to Oxford.' 

Saturday 18 November 2023

The rules based order that America champions

From the Pakistani English language newspaper Dawn, May 5, 2008.

The United States had threatened to use force against Saudi Arabia in 1973 after King Faisal and other Arab and Muslim leaders imposed an embargo on oil shipments to western countries which supported Israel during the October War, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, said in an interview with the Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat.

In the interview that appeared ahead of a seminar on King Faisal, Prince Turki, son of the former Saudi king, shed light on important events that took place during his father’s rule.

Prince Turki, who was an adviser at the Royal Court in 1973 when King Faisal took the oil embargo decision, said the king was not shaken by the US threat and stood firm.

He added that the embargo was instrumental in encouraging the US to find a quick and just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. “King Faisal and other Arab leaders were forced to take the decision as a result of America’s unprecedented support for Israel during the (1973 Arab-Israel) war,” the prince said. The embargo resulted in almost quadrupling of the world oil prices in what is termed the ‘first oil shock.’

Daniel McCarthy in the Spectator today

'Westerners are a minority in the world just as Israelis are a minority in their region. The conceit of liberalism has been that the rest of the world — after centuries of chafing at European and American dominance — would spontaneously adopt the West’s values and way of life once the West proclaimed the gospel of liberalism and democracy. For a time, such was the prestige of Western power that newborn states such as Turkey, India, Israel, Pakistan and post-Soviet Russia did indeed try to conform to Western models.

'Today, however, they have turned back toward their own pre-liberal roots. Will the West do the same, or will it ultimately “decolonize” itself — becoming instead what Senator Eugene McCarthy called “a colony of the world”?'

Friday 17 November 2023

In Praise of Stupidity

William Butler Yeats wrote in “The Second Coming” (1920),

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst 

Are full of passionate intensity.”

That was true in Ireland and elsewhere then and now. It was quoted by Roy Jenkins when he left the Labour Party and is the cry of the centrists.

On the other hand, this famous remark of 
Bertrand Russell’s, from his 1933 essay “The Triumph of Stupidity", seems to me not true at all.

“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”

I would say now the opposite is much more often true. 

Stupidity is close to common sense, cleverness to silliness. 

The stupid by not thinking for themselves embody the wisdom of ancient peoples, while the cocksure intellectuals ignore them.

I am the exception to my rules, naturally.

Thursday 16 November 2023

'The Ukrainian war is an old fashioned great power conflict. Gaza is a rebellion against the American empire.' Discuss.

America is an empire, as candid Americans admit. 

All European countries are US satellites except Hungary, Serbia, Belarus and Russia. 

Empires often do much good. The world would be a better place if the Habsburg, Czarist and Ottoman empires had not been broken up. 

The American empire has unfortunately not been much of a force for good since the First Gulf War.
"The Gaza conflict, so long as it is confined to the narrow strip of scrubland on the shores of the eastern Mediterranean that is home to two million Palestinians, is unlikely to disrupt global energy markets to the same extent as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which caused a dramatic spike in prices. Given the broader threat Putin’s aggression poses, Western military support for Ukraine has been motivated as much by the desire to give the Russian military a bloody nose as the principle of defending territorial integrity."

Con Coughlin today in the Telegraph admits that the Anglo-Americans are not backing Ukraine for Ukraine's sake. He is right and right too that NATO countries have no real selfish interests in the Gaza war.

Why do the UK and EU countries back Israel?

I can only think that it is a form of vassalage they pay to their American masters. 

Why the British Labour leader, the wooden Sir Keir Starmer, is firing frontbenchers who vote for a ceasefire is beyond me.

Why does it matter what their views on Gaza are? 

Why should it be illegal in Great Britain, come to that, to express liking for Hamas, a bunch of unsavoury fanatics on another continent? 

And why should RIGHT-WING conservatives like Mrs Braverman, who has been called 'a pound shop Enoch Powell' despite being a British Indian, be calling for bans on pro-Palestinian marches? 

Enoch Powell, a passionate believer in freedom, would be horrified. 

He'd be horrified by a lot of things. 

Sunday 12 November 2023

This cannot go on

From the Sunday Telegraph. 

America bestrides the world, but so did Europe in 1939 yet it was cankered. By 1945 it was in ruins and ruled by America and Bolshevik Russia. 

Now America is in very grave trouble and Biden is given the task of handling two wars in which America's standing, but not her real interests, is at stake.  


From Catholic daily newspaper La Croix international - this has been ignored by the English language press


The press is hopelessly unreliable on the Middle East, pretty unreliable on Ukraine and worst of all on the papacy, because the Catholic and non-Catholic press likes the Pope. In the cases of Grassi, Barros, Zanchetta, Rupnik and Gisana Pope Francis is accused of failing to help alleged victims of wrong doing but protecting the alleged wrongdoers. You wouldn't know this from the press. I know it from following Damian Thompson on Twitter.

Saturday 11 November 2023

Madness of crowds

The English newspapers are incomprehensible to me today. 

I cannot imagine anything more appropriate than a march demanding an armistice on Armistice Day. 

Any protest is fine on Armistice Day, or any day, if it's within the law. 

The Home Secretary Suella Braverman is right that the police are soft on left-wing demonstrations and hard on right-wing ones but Sadiq Khan the Mayor of London is, I think, right when he says she has encouraged far right protesters to make trouble at the pro-Palestinian protests. 

Now the trouble has occurred.

Wednesday 8 November 2023

Gaza and Ukraine are part of a larger war

"We must fight terrorism as if there's no peace process and work to achieve peace as if there's no terror."

Yitzhak Rabin. As Rabin tried to achieve peace and a Palestinian state, Likud rallies involved depictions of Rabin in an SS uniform or in the crosshairs of a gun. In July 1995, Netanyahu led a mock funeral procession featuring a coffin and hangman's noose at an anti-Rabin rally where protesters chanted, "Death to Rabin". The chief of internal security then told Netanyahu of a plot on Rabin's life and asked him to moderate the protests, which Netanyahu declined to do. Rabin was then assassinated by a supporter of Netanyahu. Netanyahu did not press the trigger of the assassin's gun.

Saturday 4 November 2023

The truth about October 7

I found the October 7 atrocities very puzzling. Why did Hamas do this? 

Is the Israeli account completely to be trusted? That would be rare in the fog of war. 

This blog post by left-wing journalist Jonathan Cook explains what we know and suggests very many of the dead were Israeli soldiers killed by other Israeli soldiers. 

The Western media display the sublime lack of curiosity about this which is their hallmark. 

There is no evidence that any women were raped.

Friday 3 November 2023

I love Vovan and Lexus

I absolutely love Vovan and Lexus, the Russian pranksters of whom pompous people disapprove.

One of them called Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni claiming to be “an African politician” and asking her about the war in Ukraine. The whole conversation is very well worth listening to.

“There is a lot of tiredness on all sides,” she said. “The moment is approaching when everyone will understand that we need a way out. Ukraine’s counteroffensive is not going as expected … It has not changed the fate of the conflict, and everyone understands that it could last many years if we don’t find a solution. The Ukrainians are doing what they have to do and we are trying to help them.”

The problem, she said, was “finding a way out that is acceptable for both sides without destroying international law. I have some ideas on how to manage this situation, but I’m waiting for the right moment to put them on the table.”

It's encouraging that she is thinking like this. Of course, a ceasefire that hardens into a permanent division of Ukraine is the solution. Foolish people clutch for smelling salts at this idea.

The last time I heard of the pair one called Kissinger pretending to be Zelensky and asking him who he thought had destroyed the Nord Stream pipeline. A very long pause ensued, then "I thought you did".

In 2022 they talked to the British Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace and the British Home Secretary Priti Patel. After this prank, the British Ministry of Defence had YouTube remove all videos of calls by the pair. 

They are solemnly accused of being pro-Russian which is hardly surprising as they are Russian. They are now on Rumble.

More power to their elbows.

Thursday 2 November 2023

Hamas put Israel in a lose lose situation, as America did Russia

When Russia invaded Ukraine a Romanian friend said America had put Russia in a lose-lose situation. 

Russia lost by invading or not invading. I argued against her back then but she was right, though I do not think that the Americans wanted the invasion. They are naïve Wilsonian liberals in many ways. 

Hamas which is not naïve has deliberately put Israel in a lose lose situation.

The reaction in the UK horrifies me. Conservatives and centrists who opposed cancel culture and tendentious accusations of racism are now demanding demonstrations in favour of Palestine be banned. Often they accuse people who oppose Israeli actions of anti-Semitism.

Universities are suddenly losing donors in the USA because of events in Israel who had tolerated the excesses of anti-whiteness hitherto.

Meanwhile the pro-Palestinian left accuses Israel of being a colonial project. This is unanswerably true but is fiercely denied. 

Nobody is saying colonialism did a huge amount of good or that the Arab-Israel dispute is not about Western civilisation but is a tribal conflict.

Israelis are colonists but also the colony of America. It suits the American defence establishment to have a fifty first state close to the oilfields. 

Despite the outpouring of feeling in the newspapers in the UK against pro-Palestinian Muslims (not among the public) no journalist or politician in the UK suggests taking in no more refugees and no more immigrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Their emotions instead are channelled into anger about terrorism on another continent.

How much better even the useless George W Bush was than Biden is shown in this cutting.

Wednesday 1 November 2023

Time magazine is telling us Ukraine has lost?

Time Magazine reports that a top Ukrainian presidential advisor warns that "people are stealing like there's no tomorrow".

People who live in Eastern Europe take that for granted but in my experience (in real life) American Democrats get angry if Ukrainian misuse of US funds is suggested.

Corruption remains widespread in Ukraine despite Zelensky firing numerous people including the Defence Minister.

Zelensky's close advisor warns that “He deludes himself. We’re out of options. We’re not winning. But try telling him that.” His attitude is heroic, necessary for a war leader, but what will be the result?

'In some branches of the military, the shortage of personnel has become even more dire than the deficit in arms and ammunition. One of Zelensky’s close aides tells me that even if the U.S. and its allies come through with all the weapons they have pledged, “we don’t have the men to use them.”'

Men are dragged off trains and buses and sent to the front. The average age of a Ukrainian soldier has risen to around 43.

Why are Time Magazine and mainstream US media starting to throw Ukraine and Zelensky under the bus?

A pro-Russian journalist whom I know says 'More than anything else this was MI6's war' and is angry that UK sent HMS Defender to the coast of Crimea to scupper, as he thinks, talks in Geneva in 2021 between Biden and Putin. 

I have no idea about whether this was what happened but the Anglo-Americans pursued entirely the wrong strategy for years, after Obama left office and Trump (to prove he was not being blackmailed by the Kremlin?) started to arm Ukraine with lethal weapons. 

The Russiagate hoax and the law of unintended consequences.. though Boris Johnson's admiration for Churchill is also to blame

Very interesting tweet about American carpet bombing

I imagine when ISIS was defeated equally cruel things happened or worse - but they were not filmed and put on Twitter.

I was in Iraq in 2003 - Just an 8 years old kid The American troops destroying the city was similar to the Mongols sacking Baghdad in 1258 AD. The absence of social media spared you scenes 10 times worse than what's happening in Gaza now. You can read about some of those heinous crimes in Julian Assange's leaks.