Peter Myers Digest: Gaza etc.

(0) AOC calls Gaza an ‘unfolding genocide’
(1) Scott Ritter shows the Crocus gunmen were mercenaries disguised as Islamic militants
(2) Russian FSB says US, UK and Ukraine behind Moscow attack
(3) NYT retracts claim of ‘Hamas rape’ on Oct 7
(4) NYT views IDF soldier’s video refuting claim of Hamas sexual assault on Oct 7
(5) A Trot among Anarchists
(6) Co-sponsors of UNSC Gaza ceasefire included Japan & South Korea
(7) UNSC Gaza resolution does not merely ‘Call for’ Ceasefire, but DEMANDS it
(8) NYT Misreports Gaza UNSC Resolution; in International Law, it is Legally Binding
(9) The Urgency of Diplomacy—JEFFREY D. SACHS
(10) Stumbling into World War III in Ukraine? Medea Benjamin And Nicolas J. S. Davies

(0) AOC calls Gaza an ‘unfolding genocide’

Watch AOC’s speech (3 min) at

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls Israeli Gaza campaign an ‘unfolding genocide’
The progressive congresswoman also called on the White House to suspend aid to the Israeli military in House speech

Lauren Aratani
Sun 24 Mar 2024 02.08 AEDT

Progressive US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the Israeli military campaign in Gaza an “unfolding genocide” in a scathing speech that demanded the Joe Biden White House suspend aid to Israel’s armed forces.

“As we speak, in this moment, 1.1 million innocents in Gaza are at famine’s door,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a speech on the House floor on Friday.

Citing 30,000 Palestinian deaths in Gaza and noting 70% were women and children, she continued: “A famine … is being intentionally precipitated through the blocking of food and global humanitarian assistance by leaders in the Israeli government. This is a mass starvation of people, engineered and orchestrated.

“This was all accomplished – much of this was accomplished – with US resources and weapons. If you want to know what an unfolding genocide looks like, open your eyes.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s comments marked the first time the congresswoman, one of the most prominent members of the US’s political progressive left, referred to Israel’s assault on Gaza as a genocide. Israel mounted the campaign there in response to the 7 October 2023 attack by Hamas that killed more than 1,100 and took hostages.

While other American progressives – including congresswomen Cori Bush and Rashida Tlaib, who is Palestinian – have used the term “genocide”, Ocasio-Cortez had refrained from doing so until her remarks on Friday. …

(1) Scott Ritter shows the Crocus gunmen were mercenaries disguised as Islamic militants

True North


MAR 27, 2024

Point to point navigation describes the long-lost art of celestial navigation, the ability to use the stars to chart a course across the open seas in the age before compasses. The key to successfully executing point to point navigation lay in fixing one’s position vis-à-vis the North Star. Failure to do so meant risking sailing aimlessly about a sea with no fixed reference points, an act that leads to death or, perhaps worse, becoming a castaway on some unchartered point on earth.

After a storm, a ship’s captain and his navigator would scan the skies for the North Star, from which they could establish not only what direction true north was, but also where they were in reference to the position of the North Star in the sky, so that they might navigate to safety.

When special operations forces are compromised behind enemy lines, they conduct what they call “escape and evasion,” the act of avoiding detection and probable death or capture, while making their way to a pre-designated haven from which they can regroup or be extracted. The CIA trains its operations officers in similar skill sets. Both colloquially refer to such actions as “finding their true north.”

The perpetrators of the horrific attack on the Crocus City Hall and Concert Center in Krasnogorsk, a metropolitan community located to the northwest of Moscow, were no different than any other terrorist/militant before them; after their act of mass murder, they sought out their “true north” to make good their escape.

Western governments, analysts, and pundits have loudly proclaimed that the men who carried out the attack on the Crocus City Hall had nothing whatsoever to do with Ukraine, and instead have collectively embraced a narrative that paints the men as members of the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K). ISIS is an off-shoot of Al-Qaeda-Iraq (AQI) which emerged in 2013 when core AQI members relocated to Syria. In 2014 ISIS declared itself to be a caliphate and began a series of operations which saw it take control on a third of Syria and a quarter of Iraq before being driven back and ultimately defeated by a coalition which included Iraq, the United States and Iran.

In 2014 Central Asian fighters affiliated with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan formed a branch of ISIS in Afghanistan known as ISIS-K, where they stood for Khorasan (ISIS-K). Khorasan is an ancient term for the territory encompassed by modern day Iran, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan. ISIS-K continues to operate today in Afghanistan and Iran, as well as inside the former Soviet Central Asian republics, including Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

According to US officials, the United States collected intelligence that ISIS-K was planning an attack on Moscow in early March. This intelligence was behind a public warning issued by the US embassy in Russia on March 7 that “extremists” were planning an imminent attack on large gatherings in Moscow. “US citizens should be advised to avoid large gatherings over the next 48 hours,” the warning, published on the embassy website, stated. American citizens were warned to avoid crowds, including concerts. These US officials likewise claimed (and Russia has acknowledged) that Russia had been informed about the intelligence behind the March 7 warning. This information was shared based upon the “duty to warn” principle where US intelligence about potential terrorist attacks must be shared with the suspected targets. However, rather than passing this information through formal channels, it was done unofficially, through informal channels, significantly diluting the impact of the information.

The attackers posted a photograph of them reciting the Shahada, or Islamic oath and creed (“I bear witness that there is no deity but God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God”) which, if made sincerely, is all that is required to be identified as a Muslim in the eyes of God. While Islamic scholars note that it is only necessary to recite the words, for jihadists reciting Shahada accompanied by a raised right index finger, has become de riguere—Osama Bin Laden delivered it in this fashion, as did Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the founder of the Islamic State.

Scott discussed the Crocus terrorist attack on <> Ep. 146 of <> Ask the Inspector.

Shahada is a ritual, and those who make Shahada must understand its importance for it to have any meaning. As such, if one incorporates the raising of the right index finger as part of the Shahada ritual, it must be done piously. The use of the right hand is critical—in the Muslim faith, the right hand symbolizes all that is good, and the left is reserved for unclean acts: “No one among you should eat with his left hand or drink with it, for the shaytaan (devil) eats with his left hand and drinks with it.”

The four attackers delivered this oath by raising their left hands.

They also published this photograph with their faces blurred—they were shielding their identity.

There can be no subterfuge when reciting Shahada—it is an oath made before God and in the eyes of men.

Moreover, the blurring of their faces indicated that the attackers intended to survive their mission.


The Crocus City Hall attackers making Shahada

For most militants affiliated with ISIS-K, true north is the path to martyrdom, a one-way ticket to paradise. Their goal is to inflict as much harm as possible before being dispatched from this mortal earth, an act that is usually made certain using a suicide vest detonated at a time when more death and destruction can be wrought.

The perpetrators of the Crocus City Hall attack, however, did not wear suicide vests. Indeed, they had no intention of losing their lives, but rather to live and be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor, a purported $5,500 payment for services rendered.

These weren’t Islamist militants.

These were mercenaries who disguised themselves as Islamic militants.


The Crocus City Hall attackers in their getaway car

And when they finished their murderous rampage, the purported ISIS-K fighters jumped into their car and headed toward their “true north.”


Ukraine. The source of their money.

Ukraine. The source of their motivation.

The Russian investigation into the terror attack is still in its early stages. There are many facts left to be uncovered.

But there is a plethora of data which allows one to populate the puzzle with enough pieces to begin to see a discernable shape take form.

Russian authorities went out of their way to make sure that all four perpetrators were captured alive.

The perpetrators are in the process of being interrogated. Many of the techniques being used by Russia would not be permitted in the United States as they could readily be classified as torture. And many intelligence professionals—me included—discount the value of any confession made under severe duress.

But the Russian interrogations are aided by the fact that the Russian investigators are not engaged in a fishing expedition, but rather are guided by specific facts derived from the forensic examination of the cell phones of the four terrorists, which are currently in the possession of Russian authorities. One of these phones was recovered at the crime scene, and the data contained on this phone was used by Russian security officials to track the terrorists as they drove out of Moscow, toward Ukraine. Telephone numbers contained on the recovered phone allowed the Russians to zero in on the remaining phones, and monitor phone calls made by the terrorists in real time—including numerous calls to persons inside Ukraine who were working to create a gap in the Russian-Ukrainian border that the terrorists could escape through.

True North.

The Russians have been able to identify the core structure of a support network in Moscow which provided the four terrorists with transportation and housing.

Eleven arrests have been made in this regard.

The Russians have identified a network operating in Turkey who were affiliated with the recruitment, training and logistical preparation and support of the terrorist operation in Moscow.

Forty arrests have been made as a result.

But more importantly, Russia has gathered enough information to issue a warrant for the head of the Ukrainian security service, Vasyl Malyuk, on charges of public incitement of terrorism. Likewise, the head of the Russian security service, Alexander Boritnikov, has stated that when it comes to delivering justice to Ukrainians who may have been involved in the attack on the Crocus concert venue, “Everything is ahead of us.”

Russia, it seems, is navigating point to point.

Not toward a safe haven, but rather on a path of retribution.

And its “true north” is the same as that of the terrorists.


(2) Russian FSB says US, UK and Ukraine behind Moscow attack

By Euronews with Associated Press

Published on 26/03/2024 – 18:25

The director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Alexander Bortnikov, said on Tuesday that the US, UK and Ukraine were behind the Moscow concert hall attack that killed at least 139 people on Friday – despite repeated claims of responsibility by Islamic State.

Russian officials persisted in saying Ukraine and the West had a role in last week’s deadly Moscow concert hall attack despite vehement denials of involvement by Kyiv and a claim of responsibility by an affiliate of the Islamic State group. …

(3) NYT retracts claim of ‘Hamas rape’ on Oct 7

NYT refutes previous claim of ‘Hamas rape’ on 7 Oct

Israel’s claims that Hamas committed mass rape and sexual violence on 7 October continue to prove false

MAR 26, 2024

A new video has emerged refuting claims previously published by the New York Times alleging that Hamas fighters raped two young Israeli girls during the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood attack on Israel on 7 October.

The NYT claimed in a <> report in December that its investigation had discovered “a broader pattern of gender-based violence on Oct. 7.”

However, the NYT report provided no evidence of Hamas carrying out mass rapes as Israel claimed and was quickly <>debunked by The Grayzone.

The NYT report included claims from an anonymous Israeli military paramedic who said that “he discovered the bodies of two partially clothed teenage girls in a home in Kibbutz Be’eri that bore signs of sexual violence.”

However, the NYT <>acknowledged on 26 March that the claims of the paramedic are likely false after the paper reviewed video footage taken by an Israeli soldier on 7 October from the home where the two girls were allegedly raped.

The soldier showed the footage to residents of Kibbutz Be’eri as well.

The video shows the “bodies of three female victims, fully clothed and with no apparent signs of sexual violence, at a home where many residents had believed the assaults occurred.”

The NYT identified the victims as two sisters and their mother after speaking with kibbutz members who knew them.

Kibbutz members first became aware of the video on 12 February when soldiers in the unit that had found the girls’ bodies returned to Be’eri for a tour led by kibbutz members.

“What happened to them was horrifying, but it was a great relief to find out they weren’t sexually assaulted,” Ms. Bar Sinai, a resident of the kibbutz, stated.

It is unclear how the mother and her two daughters were killed. …

(4) NYT views IDF soldier’s video refuting claim of Hamas sexual assault on Oct 7

Congratulations to that IDF soldier for having the courage to come forward—Peter M.

Israeli Soldier’s Video Undercuts Medic’s Account of Sexual Assault

Kibbutz residents concluded that two sisters killed on Oct. 7 were not victims of sexual violence.

By Adam Rasgon and Natan Odenheimer

Reporting from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

March 25, 2024

New video has surfaced that undercuts the account of an Israeli military paramedic who said two teenagers killed in the Hamas-led terrorist attack on Oct. 7 were sexually assaulted.

The unnamed paramedic, from an Israeli commando unit, was among dozens of people interviewed for a Dec. 28 article by The New York Times that examined sexual violence on Oct. 7. He said he discovered the bodies of two partially clothed teenage girls in a home in Kibbutz Be’eri that bore signs of sexual violence.

The Associated Press, CNN and The Washington Post reported similar accounts from a military paramedic who spoke on condition of anonymity.

But footage taken by an Israeli soldier who was in Be’eri on Oct. 7, which was viewed by leading community members in February and by The Times this month, shows the bodies of three female victims, fully clothed and with no apparent signs of sexual violence, at a home where many residents had believed the assaults occurred.

Though it is unclear if the medic was referring to the same scene, residents said that in no other home in Be’eri were two teenage girls killed, and they concluded from the video that the girls had not been sexually assaulted.

Nili Bar Sinai, a member of a group from the kibbutz that looked into claims of sexual assault at the house, said, “This story is false.”

Adam Rasgon reports from Israel for The Times’s Jerusalem bureau. More about Adam Rasgon

A version of this article appears in print on March 26, 2024, Section A, Page 10 of the New York edition with the headline: Medic’s Account of Sexual Assaults Is Undercut by Israeli Soldier’s Video.

(5) A Trot among Anarchists

by Peter Gerard Myers, March 26, 2024

I have been examining Anarchism, Antifa and the Antifascist movement.

Anarchist Germaine Greer and feminist J. K. Rowling have repeatedly been de-platformed. Those doing the de-platforming are further Left than they are; meaning, they are Trotskyists/Trotskyoids.

I searched Australian universities (Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra) for political clubs. Each had one Trotskyist club that mobilises on campus and mounts street demonstarions; eg Socialist Alternative, Democratic Socialists.

These groups try to deplatform any speaker on campus who promotes an alternative view, e.g. Bettina Arndt. De-platforming began in 1974 at the NUS of the UK. It was initiated by Trotskyists (International Marxist Group (IMG) and International Socialists (IS)). Since then it’s spread throughout the West. One result is that Uni students are not exposed to anti-Communist speakers.

Courses also push a Far Left line. I used to buy books at Academic Remainders, and noticed a Left bias; anti-Communist books were not sold at university bookstores. One result is that Left political parties have been brainwashed by the LGBT identity politics pushed by Trots on campus.

Back to university clubs: NOTE : I did not find any Anarchist clubs at universities. So where does Antifa come from? Basically, Antifa is a label, not a group. Anyone who’s like-minded can put on a mask, or black clothes, and take part in an event. This includes Trotskyists; I’m sure many do.

Shane Burley purports to be an Anarchist, and has been writing books about Antifascism. He advocates de-platforming Leftists who oppose Zionism, including Gilad Atzmon (ex-Jew), Norman Finkelstein and David Rovics (both Jewish), and Kalle Lasn (convener of Occupy Wall Street) and Alison Weir (of If Americans Knew). What to make of that?

Burley appears to be Jewish, but he has not come out explicitly and said so. He’s been published in Haaretz, as a self-proclaimed expert on the anti-Zionists of Left and Right (but he tends to bracket them all as Far Right).

What is his real agenda? Where is he coming from?

Historically, from the time of Proudhon and Bakunin, the difference between Anarchists and Marxists has been that Anarchists oppose the Authoritarian tendencies in Marxism. De-platforming and Cancel Culture are examples of that. So Anarchists oppose them, and Marxists support them.

Burley falls into the Marxist category, and on account of his pro-Zionism, we can narrow it down to the Trotskyist camp. He’s not necessarily card-carrying, so the term ‘Trotskyoid’ is more accurate. But he appears to be a closet Trotskyoid.

His strategy is the old Trotskyist practice of Entrism: penetrating another group in order to influence it. In this case, he’s penetrating Anarchist groups. Most have not yet woken up to him, but David Rovics has; he suggests that Burley is a Mossad agent.

(6) Co-sponsors of UNSC Gaza ceasefire included Japan & South Korea

UN Security Council adopts call for Gaza ceasefire, hostage release as US abstains

US argues resolution is non-binding ‘so there’s no impact on Israel’s ability to continue to go after Hamas’; indicates inclusion of call to free hostages led it to forgo veto


March 26, 2024, 10:17 am

(THE TIMES OF ISRAEL) The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Monday demanding an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, after the United States withheld its veto and abstained from the vote.

It was the first time that the Security Council passed a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza since the start of the war in October. …

The resolution’s cosponsors — Algeria, Ecuador, Guyana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, South Korea, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, and Switzerland — sought to include the phrase “permanent sustainable ceasefire” into that line, but the US rejected the term and the final text uses the phrase “lasting sustainable ceasefire.”

While this was the first adopted Security Council resolution calling for a Gaza ceasefire, the body has passed two other resolutions that aimed to boost aid to Gaza and called for extended pauses in fighting.

The US has asserted that the new resolution is non-binding.

“It’s a non-binding resolution, so there’s no impact at all on Israel’s ability to continue to go after Hamas,” White House National Security Council John Kirby said in a press briefing. The position appears to be shared by South Korea and other members as well.

Algeria, Malta, Mozambique, Sierra Lione have all disputed this interpretation. But given that the US can block members from trying to sanction Israel for failing to abide by the resolution, Washington’s interpretation seems to carry more weight. …

Comment (Peter M.):

How would the US look to the rest of the world, if it blocks Sanctions against Israel fore violating this UNSC demand? Like a puppet of Israel? In that case, USA would lose the respect of the world.

(7) UNSC Gaza resolution does not merely ‘Call for’ Ceasefire, but DEMANDS it

UN Security Council demands ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza, ending months-long deadlock

UN Security Council demands ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza, ending months-long deadlock
The UN Security Council adopted a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in war-ravaged Gaza during Ramadan and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

MARCH 26, 2024

The UN Security Council on Monday adopted a resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in war-ravaged Gaza during Ramadan and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. …

Reacting immediately after Monday’s vote, the UN chief said on X that the long-awaited resolution must be implemented.

The Council’s failure to do so “would be unforgivable”, he stated.

Security Council’s demands

Resolution 2728 (2024), adopted with 14 votes in favour and one abstention (United States), “demands” an immediate ceasefire for the remainder of Ramadan, respected by all parties and “leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire”.

It also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and calls for ensuring humanitarian access to address their medical and other humanitarian needs.

The Council further demands that the parties comply with their obligations under international law in relation to all persons they detain. …

Prior to the adoption, elected Council member Mozambique introduced the draft text on behalf of the group of 10 elected members, known as the “E-10”. …

Alongside Mozambique, the elected members of the Security Council are Algeria, Ecuador, Guyana, Japan, Malta, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, Slovenia and Switzerland.

(8) NYT Misreports Gaza UNSC Resolution; in International Law, it is Legally Binding

March 26, 2024

New York Times Misreports Gaza UNSC Resolution

To no ones surprise the very same New York Times which relied on lying witnesses to falsely claim that Hamas had raped Israeli women is also lying about a ceasefire resolution for Gaza that yesterday passed the United Nations Security Council.

U.N. Security Council Calls for Immediate Cease-Fire in Gaza as U.S. Abstains

The United Nations Security Council on Monday passed a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip during the remaining weeks of Ramadan, breaking a five-month impasse during which the United States vetoed three calls for a halt to the fighting.

The resolution passed with 14 votes in favor and the United States abstaining, which U.S. officials said they did in part because the resolution did not condemn Hamas. In addition to a cease-fire, the resolution also called for the “immediate and unconditional release of all hostages” and the lifting of “all barriers to the provision of humanitarian assistance.”

UNSC resolutions are legally binding documents under international law. They therefore use a very specific language. If the UNSC ‘calls upon’ someone to do something it is the legal equivalent of asking ‘pretty please’. It has no real consequences.

However, UNSC Resolution 2728 which passed yesterday on a 14 to 0 vote with the U.S. abstaining, does not ‘call upon’ Israel or Hamas to do this or that.

It demands them to do something:

The Security Council, …

1. Demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan respected by all parties leading to a lasting sustainable ceasefire, and also demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, as well as ensuring humanitarian access to address their medical and other humanitarian needs, and further demands that the parties comply with their obligations under international law in relation to all persons they detain;
2. Emphasizes the urgent need to expand the flow of humanitarian assistance to and reinforce the protection of civilians in the entire Gaza Strip and reiterates its demand for the lifting of all barriers to the provision of humanitarian assistance at scale, in line with international humanitarian law as well as resolutions 2712 (2023) and 2720 (2023); …

Soon after the resolution passed the U.S. falsely claimed that it is not legally binding:

Heidi Matthews @Heidi__Matthews – 22:45 UTC · Mar 25, 2024

The U.S. is unilaterally claiming that Security Council resolution 2728 is non-binding and therefore has no impact on its policy or the legality of Israel’s continued war. This is not so obvious… ??

How do we figure out the will of the UNSC (the 14 members that voted in favour)? We turn to the principles of treaty interpretation contained in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. We try to figure out the ‘ordinary meaning of the text in light of its object & purpose’.

This could be a looong discussion. But for now, note that para 1 of the resolution uses exhortatory language: “*Demands* an immediate ceasefire”. “Demands” looks a lot more like it creates an obligation than, for example, language of “emphasizing”, “calling upon”, “urging”, etc.

Finally, many of the states who spoke at the session today noted their understanding of the resolution as binding. (I’d have to go back to the transcript for a fuller picture, but several so noted). …

Verfassungsblog – On Matters Constitutional agrees:

In conclusion, the resolution is – despite statements to the contrary – legally binding and creates a legally binding request for an immediate ceasefire during Ramadan and a legally binding request to immediately release all hostages.

The obvious elephant in the room is enforcement: who is to enforce the Security Council resolution in the current situation? It ultimately falls to the parties of the conflict to heed the Security Council’s call, and to the Council itself to enforce its requests. Given the experience of the past months, this is no cause for enthusiasm. Yet, the fact that the Council could agree on the text, after five vetoes on the matter, is, perhaps, a shred of hope.
By using the ‘calls for’ wording instead of the ‘demand’ used in the real resolution the New York Times is deceiving its readers about the obligations the resolution created.

The Washington Post is, in comparison, using the correct language:

The latest resolution, demanding an end to fighting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the release of all hostages, was backed by 14 nations including China and Russia. The United States abstained, allowing it to pass.

While the language is correct even the Washington Post report is still a bit deceiving. The U.S. and Israel have tried to combine the two issues of a ceasefire and of a hostage release into one issues. The ceasefire would depend on the hostage release and vice versa.

But the UNSC resolution has explicitly separated those issues into two different demands and has added the immediate provision of food as another one.

It demand that both sides cease fire. It demands that both sides release hostages. It does not connect the two items.

Posted by b on March 26, 2024 at 14:39 UTC

(9) The Urgency of Diplomacy—JEFFREY D. SACHS

The Urgency of Diplomacy

Now is the time for talks that will bring us closer to peace and away from a deadly and destructive war with no end in sight.


Mar 20, 2024

There has been a complete collapse of diplomacy between the US and Russia, and a near-total collapse between the US and China. Europe, which has made itself far too dependent on the US for its own good, simply follows the Washington line. The absence of diplomacy creates a dynamic of escalation that can lead to nuclear war. The highest priority for global peace is to re-establish US diplomacy with Russia and China.

The state of affairs is encapsulated by President Joe Biden’s incessant personal insults of his Russian and Chinese counterparts. Instead of focusing on policy, Biden focuses on the personal vis-à-vis President Vladimir Putin. Recently, he referred to President Putin as “<> a crazy SOB.” In March 2022, he stated that “<> For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” Just after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last fall, Biden called him a “<> dictator.”

This crude personalization of complex superpower relations is inimical to peace and problem solving. Moreover, the crudity of this rhetoric and absence of serious diplomacy has opened the floodgates of shocking rhetorical irresponsibility. The President of Latvia recently <,est!%22%2C%20he%20wrote.> tweeted “Russia delenda est” (“Russia must be destroyed”), paraphrasing the ancient refrain of Cato the Elder in calling for the destruction of Carthage by Rome prior to the Third Punic War.

At one level, these utterly puerile statements all <> recall the admonition of President John F. Kennedy, who drew the most important lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis as the need to avoid humiliating a nuclear-armed adversary: “Above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy—or of a collective death-wish for the world.”

But there is an even deeper problem at hand. All of US foreign policy is currently based on asserting the motives of the counterparts rather than actually negotiating with them. The US refrain is that the other side can’t be trusted to negotiate, so that it’s not worth trying.

Negotiations today are denounced as <> pointless, <> untimely, <> and a show of weakness. We are repeatedly told that Britain’s Neville Chamberlain tried to negotiate with Hitler in 1938, but that Hitler tricked him, and that the very same would happen with negotiations today. To underscore the point, every US adversary is branded as a new Hitler — <> Saddam Hussein, <> Bashar al-Assad, <> Vladimir Putin, <> Xi Jinping, and others – so any negotiation would be in vain.

The problem is that this trivialization of history and of today’s conflicts is leading us to the brink of nuclear war. …

(10) Stumbling into World War III in Ukraine? Medea Benjamin And Nicolas J. S. Davies

Stumbling into World War III in Ukraine?

Posted by MLToday | Mar 24, 2024 | Other Featured Posts | 0

Stumbling into World War III in Ukraine?

By Medea Benjamin And Nicolas J. S. Davies

March 14, 2024 CODEPINK

The imperative must be to chart a path back from this hopeless but ever-escalating war of attrition to the negotiating table that the U.S. and Britain upended nearly two years ago. …

This could have been one of the shortest wars in history, if President Biden had just supported a peace and neutrality agreement negotiated in Turkey in March and April 2022 that already had champagne corks popping in Kyiv, according to Ukrainian negotiator Oleksiy Arestovych. Instead, the U.S. and NATO chose to prolong and escalate the war as a means to try to defeat and weaken Russia.

Two days before Biden’s State of the Union speech, Secretary of State Blinken announced the early retirement of Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, one of the officials most responsible for a decade of disastrous U.S. policy toward Ukraine.

On one hand, we believe President Biden when he says he does not want to start World War III. On the other hand, that is what his policy of incremental escalation is inexorably leading towards.

Two weeks before the announcement of Nuland’s retirement at the age of 62, she acknowledged in a talk at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that the war in Ukraine had degenerated into a war of attrition that she compared to the First World War, and she admitted that the Biden administration had no Plan B for Ukraine if Congress doesn’t cough up $61 billion for more weapons.

We don’t know whether Nuland was forced out, or perhaps quit in protest over a policy that she fought for and lost. Either way, her ride into the sunset opens the door for others to fashion a badly needed Plan B for Ukraine.

The imperative must be to chart a path back from this hopeless but ever-escalating war of attrition to the negotiating table that the U.S. and Britain upended in April 2022—or at least to new negotiations on the basis that President Zelenskyy defined on March 27, 2022, when he told his people, “Our goal is obvious: peace and the restoration of normal life in our native state as soon as possible.”

Instead, on February 26, in a very worrying sign of where NATO’s current policy is leading, French President Emmanuel Macron revealed that European leaders meeting in Paris discussed sending larger numbers of Western ground troops to Ukraine.

Macron pointed out that NATO members have steadily increased their support to levels unthinkable when the war began. He highlighted the example of Germany, which offered Ukraine only helmets and sleeping bags at the outset of the conflict and is now saying Ukraine needs more missiles and tanks. “The people that said “never ever” today were the same ones who said never ever planes, never ever long-range missiles, never ever trucks. They said all that two years ago,” Macron recalled. “We have to be humble and realize that we (have) always been six to eight months late.”

Macron implied that, as the war escalates, NATO countries may eventually have to deploy their own forces to Ukraine, and he argued that they should do so sooner rather than later if they want to recover the initiative in the war.

We are sure there are wiser heads within the U.S., French and other NATO governments who are saying this too, behind closed doors, and that may be precisely why Nuland is out…