Friday, February 17, 2023

NATO Chief Admits: "War Didn't Start In February Last Year, The War Started In 2014"


At last, after a year of war in Ukraine which has been portrayed by political leaders and the mainstream press as an unprovoked assault by mighty Russia on poor little Ukraine but in reality was always a proxy war between NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation,) led by the USA and the Russian Federation, somebody in a position of power in the anti - Russian alliance, NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg this week issued made some rather recealing comments on the origins of the war. What Stoltenberg said was at last an admittion of the essential truth about this war, but was only something many thousands of us in the alt_news community have been saying since it first became apparent that war between Russia and NATO, with Ukraine serving as a proxy for the NATO powers, was inevitable.

Telling the truth, is of course extremely rare among top Western officials these days, and telling it in simple, unequivocal terms rather than dressing it in ambiguous, weasel words that leave room for 'plausible denial,' is almost unheard of, so we Boggart Bloggers, who have been accused by the Zelensky fan club of blindly supporting Russia, but who have in fact never uttered or typed a word in support of Russia's Special Military Operation, but have only pointed out that prior to the invasion Ukraine, backed by NATO, had been consistently trying to provoke a Response from Russia by persecuting ethnic Russian minorities in Ukraine, dared to hope even before we scrutinised Stoltenberg's statement, that it might signal a step back from NATO's policy of doing all it can to escalate the conflict.

Before these remarks made by Stoltenberg while talking to Lorne Cook of associated Press (full transcript,), US and NATO officials including and mainstream media journalists and commentators, have constructed a narrative presenting the invasion as the exclusive promotion of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and an act of 'unprovoked' aggression aimed at incorporating Ukraine in an 'expansionist Russia' as a first step towatds recreating The Soviet Union.

However  Stoltenberg now admits what alt_news reporters and opinion writers have been saying all along, "the war didn't start in February last year. The war started in 2014."

Here's what the NATO chief said in reponse to a question while briefing reporters on camera.

"The other thing I will say is that the war didn't start in February last year. The war started in 2014. And since 2014, NATO Allies have provided support to Ukraine, with training, with equipment, so the Ukrainian Armed Forces were much stronger in 2022, than they were in 2020, and 2014. And of course, that made a huge difference when President Putin decided to attack Ukraine," Stoltenberg said. It is hard to think of any way of putting the point more clearly.

The main provocation for the war, spelled out by by President Putin both in the lead-up to the invasion and after has consistently been that the West was waging an anti-Russia proxy war right at Russia's doorstep, by supporting  Kiev's ethnic cleansing campaign Donbass. 

We should also recall, before responding to anti Russian propaganda from Kiev, Washington, London and Brussels that throughout last year, and especially in the opening months of the major Russian invasion, any author, reporter or blogcaster daring to point out that the conflict in fact originated in 2014 - and that the current fighting is an extension and escalation of the 'long war' - was denounced as somehow 'pro-Kremlin' or else a 'Putin puppet' in mainstream discourse

Image via Reuters/DW
In the Russian view, the United States has the ability and willingness to unilaterally destroy or overthrow any government that does not do its bidding. The experience of Serbia (1999), Iraq (2003), Syria (2011), Libya (2011), and most recently Ukraine (2014) and the attempt in Belarus (2021) seem to support their perspective.

Those who are going on about Russia's "imperial ambitions" under "Communist dictator Vladimir Putin" have little knowledge about any of this, or why the Russians might feel legitimately threatened by having a US-sponsored and NATO-aligned nation run by a crazy, triger happy neo Nazi regime as a neighbor.

Below: a rare past instance of what real journalism looks like, often completely missing in the administration's press briefing rooms...

For over two hundred years, the American "Monroe Doctrine" has stated that no foreign power will be allowed to form a military alliance with any nation in the entire Western Hemisphere. This has always been the bedrock principle of American foreign policy.

Such a policy could never hold in Europe where traditional enemies such as Germany and France must rub shoulders. Kiev and Moscow are separated by a mere 470 miles of flat land. What Russian leader in their right mind would allow an "anti-Russia" to be created and then armed in its own back yard? 

The Russians have been straight forward about this concern since the break up of The Soviet Union, yet despite an informal agreement between presidents Clinton and Yeltsin in 1992, that NATO would not seek to recruit former Soviet Republics, American, EU and NATO leaders were pushing for Ukraine's NATO membership to be fast tracked right up to the last ditch public appeal from Moscow in December. Recall that ideological fanatics in our foreign services who dream of imposing 'western values' on the whole world, responded by sending massive shipments full of weapons into Ukraine, and then tweeted out photos of the cargo aircraft flying them in.

The last year of horrific death and destruction in Ukraine has shown, the necons and wokesters finally got their war. Now, having stymied early atempts by Russia and Ukraine to negotiate a settlement, they're making sure it gets fought down to the last Ukrainian by pandering to warmonger Zelensky's every request for more, and more deadly weapons, resulting in very sad and tragic spectacles we have been seeing on TV and in news pages for far too long now...

Foreign and Ukrainian soldiers cross an improvised path under a destroyed bridge in Kiev.  [Felipe Dana/AP Photo]

In the wake of attacks on the on the Stream pipelines, that effectively halted the flow of natural gas which German industry, commerce, agriculture and society relies on, and the terrorist attack on the Kerch Bridge, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken gloated that the attacks were a “tremendous opportunity” to weaken Moscow.. It quickly emerged that the United States CIA and UK's MI5 state security agencies, if not actually involved in the planning and execution of the attacks, at least knew of the plans in advance (and they were planned in advance, how else could Ukraine's government have issued a postage stamp showing the brige burning only a day after the attck took place?)

 And shortly after news of the Nord Stream sabotage broke on mainstream media, gas supply companies in the USA were offering to supply Europe with shipments of Liquid Natural Gas carried by supertanker to be sold to European nations at vastly inflated prices.

The Nord Stream pipelines are operated by company that is majority owned by Russia’s state gas giant Gazprom. Authorities in Norway and Denmark have refused to allow that company access to the pipelines for the purpose of inspecting the damage done to its own pipelines. That is to say, NATO member states have prevented the Switzerland-based company Nord Stream AG from conducting an investigation into the attacks on its property.

But just as sanctions failed to bring the Russian economy to its knees as US and NATO officials predicted they would, Secretary of State Blinken's “tremendous opportunity” has not had any noticable effect on Russian economic activity as the USA's proxy war on Russia shifts from shooting and bombing to the weaponisation of energy, currency, food, fertilizser and the bitterly cold winter weather.

When santions were imposed poreventing EU vand NATO member states from buying Russia's gas and oil, the Russiansjust shugged and set about finding other customers in Asia, Africa and south America to by their gas and oil. The CPC pipeline out of the Caspian has been monitored from orbit a very long time. The Volga river complex out of the northern Caspian region ditto. In total this flow is 4% of global supply, and much of it is past Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) northward towards Moscow for consumption and export.

Volgograd is less than 100 miles from the eastern border of Donbas and is the chokepoint for nearly 3% of global supply. The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) from Russia's Caspian gas fields to the Black Sea travels through Russia to a Russian Black Sea port.

Kashagan is the notorious oil field in that region and its failures have been monitored from orbit and led to its nickname from the participating companies -- CashIsGone. A very difficult production locale for oil, but those obstacles have been overcome and it is now finally flowing. The lesser known field is Karachaganak, it is mostly gas condensate and GAZPROM is the major player. This dictates realities of the recent economic meetings that warranted Putin's presence.

It will probably come as a shock to political leaders in Washington D C, London and Euopean capitals and financial centres but world trade is not confined to North America and Europe. Turkmenistan (how many people know where that is, I have to admit I could not descripe its exact position,) is bubbling with gas. Kazahkstan has significant oil. That region in total, with bordering countries, has abundant and largely unexploited hydrocarbon reserves. 

Perhaps most amusing, ironic and scanitly reported in mainstream media aspect of this fiasco of failed sanctions, Iran has been running tankers south to north across the Caspian carrying their sanctioned oil to blend with Russia's heading north for export via The Black Sea. Turkey and Syria to Europe and America. All those sanctions imposed by successive US administrations in their efforts to control the world never really had a hope of working.

Meanwhile, on the ground Russia's destruction of Ukraine's electricity grid and generating capacity is almost complete, likewise the water supply, telecommunications networks and transport links. In late November Ukraine admitted that Russian missile strikes have crippled almost half of Ukraine's energy system, the government said on Friday, and authorities in the capital Kyiv warned that the city could face a "complete shutdown" of the power grid as winter sets in.

The wrechage of a Ukrainian electrical grid switching station after an attack by Russian Missiles (Source: )

With temperatures falling and Kyiv seeing its first snow, officials were working to restore power nationwide after some of the heaviest bombardment of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure in nine months of war. The United Nations says Ukraine's electricity and water shortages threaten a humanitarian disaster this winter. "Unfortunately Russia continues to carry out missile strikes on Ukraine's civilian and critical infrastructure. Almost half of our energy system is disabled," Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said. Telecommunications and water systems have been similarly affected by Russia's 'targeted' (but not very accurately according to independent reports,) and life is becoming unbearable for the majority of that nation's 40 million population. In spite of the way westerm politicians and mainstream media and Ukrainian President vobblyvoddymyr Bellendskyyyyy are still spinning the narrative that Ukraine is winning the war on the ground repoorts from inside Ukraine say this is not the case. With estimates of Ukraine's dead or wounded topping 100,000 one wonderrs how long their military can sustain such losses. Yet they continue to launch futile attacks or defend territory against vastly superior forces. The Russian military is still integrating most of the mobilized 300,000+ men and volunteers. According to Putin 25% of the mobilized forces are in combat units, 25% in rear positions, while 50% train in Russia. It does not look like an imminent all out attack on the Ukrainian front lines is in the cards. The expected large winter attack may not be coming at all. Instead the new forces will rotate through the frontline and only attack locally whenever they see an opportunity. The Russian do not need to attack. Their task is to demilitarize Ukraine. As long as the Ukrainians come to the front lines and attack the Russians their is no need to launch a large attack on them. Even as mainstream media celebrates Ukraine's retaking of a few square miles of unpopulated farmland or a town the Russians have reduced to rubble and abandoned as if they are great, strategic vicories, the Russian forces are grinding on.

Things look bad for Ukraine in Bakmut right now. Last time things looked so bad for them was Lisichansk. There is a rumor that Ukraine is plugging the front with totally untrained conscripts. I hope that RU's small successes on the Donbass front are not only happening because Ukraine is pooling its best troops and weapons for a major offensive elsewhere, like it did a few months ago. The Zaphorozie front has been very quiet lately. A successful UA drive to Melitopol would be very bad. 

Bakhmut, where the heaviest fighting on the front line is focused now, is the gateway to Ukrainian strongholds in Donetsk. Taking Bakhmut would rupture Ukraine's supply lines and open a route for Russian forces to press on toward Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, key Ukrainian strongholds in Donetsk. Russia has battered Bakhmut with rockets for more than six months now

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