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‘People’s Plan for Nature’ – a response to UK government’s attack on environmental protection laws

Three of the UK’s biggest conservation charities have joined with
celebrities to launch a new People’s Plan for Nature, in response to the
Government’s “open season” on policy protection for nature, which
could seed hundreds of environmental laws eased.

The National Trust, the RSPB, and WWF have joined forces with celebrity champions Maisie Williams
and Cel Spellman to launch the People’s Plan for Nature, a national
rallying cry for the public to have its say on how to respond to the
ecological crisis. The plan calls on Prime Minister Liz Truss and new
Environment Secretary Ranil Jayawardena to take rapid action on what the
charities describe as “open season” on existing environmental
legislation, with the recent mini-budget and rumours that Defra will U-turn
on its manifesto sparking concerns amongst green groups.

 Edie 30th Sept 2022


September 29, 2022 Posted by | environment, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Electricite de France, (EDF) loaded with debt and safety problems , gets a new CEO

 The French government has picked a senior Schneider Electric executive to
head EDF as it moves to fully renationalise the embattled nuclear power
operator and seeks an end to reactor outages straining electricity supplies
across Europe.

Luc Rémont is set to become chair and chief executive after
President Emmanuel Macron cleared his nomination at the group, which is 84
per state-owned, the Élysée Palace said. His appointment, still subject
to parliamentary checks, comes as the government kicks off a
nationalisation process.

A €9.7bn tender offer to buy out minority
shareholders could be handed to regulators next week, two people close to
the process said. The management overhaul at France’s former electricity
monopoly follows a fraught search for candidates that underscored some of
the turmoil around a group with huge industrial tasks ahead and that has
long been intertwined with politics.

Run-ins between the government and outgoing boss Jean-Bernard Lévy over some of the company’s operational problems have spilled into the public in recent weeks, in a blame game over
the state of its existing reactors and France’s hesitation to invest more in the sector. Already highly indebted, EDF is gearing up to build at least six new nuclear reactors in France, the biggest order in more than a quarter of a century.

It is still struggling with long delays and cost overruns on existing projects. A record number of outages at its 56 reactors have plunged its nuclear output to 30-year lows, torn a hole in its profits and turned France into a net importer of power in the middle of an energy crisis. On Thursday, a series of strikes over wages further squeezed EDF’s output.

 FT 29th Sept 2022

September 29, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Canada and the International Fools-Based Order By Cymry Gomery, Coordinator, Montreal for a World BEYOND War, September 21st, 2022
Statement for World Peace Day, September 21st, 2022

On September 18, 2022, Canadian Minister of National Defence Anita Anand was interrupted as she made a speech promoting Canada’s participation in the war in Ukraine. Caught by surprise when an activist raised a banner with the words, ”Trudeau, Freeland, Anand, Joly : Stop the War – Peace with Ukraine and Russia” Anand invoked the NATO mantra: ”We are defending…. we are defending the International rules-based order to protect you, and everyone in this room, and our country safe [sic] ”

What is this rule-based order that politicians seem to call on whenever they are promoting war?

Some say that the rules-based order is only a vague concept invented by G7 countries to lull us into accepting their presumptive international hegemony. Nonetheless, there is a formal international body that sets rules: the United Nations. And, when it comes to war, or the potential for war, Chapter VI of the UN Charter enjoins all countries to seek to resolve their disputes through peaceful means. If this doesn’t work, they are to refer it to the UN Security Council (UNSC), which could recommend solutions.

But what if countries are considering war and they know in advance that the UNSC would not offer a resolution in their favor, because of their self-serving motives? Take, for example, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, widely considered to be a U.S. proxy war. However, not only the U.S., but also Europe, Canada, Australia and China—just about everyone with an army–has economic interests in this war, which can be seen as a geopolitical tug-of-war for valuable commodities like lithium, gas, and wheat.

How do Canadian interests stand to benefit from the Russia-Ukraine war? It is already happening :

  • Canada increased oil and gas exports in 2022 as Russia’s former customer nations sought alternative energy supplies;
  • The US, EU, Canada, Australia, China, and Russia are all very interested in the Lithium deposits in Ukraine, which are among the largest in the world. The outcome of this war determines which players nab the market for this key climate-change era mineral.
  • Before the Russia-Ukraine war, Russia was expected to become one of the world’s largest exporters of hydrogen, and was poised to supply hydrogen fuel to Germany. However, Russia is now faced with economic sanctions and the unwillingness of the world’s most powerful nations and largest economies to do business with Russia. All this appears very convenient for Justin Trudeau and his government, who can now scoop up hydrogen exports to the EU.

So, how can we really keep a straight face when Anand invokes the International Rules-based order? Perhaps we should call it what it really is, an attempt to hoodwink the gullible public into thinking the Canadian government is sending weapons to Ukraine for altruistic, morally sound reasons, when in fact the Liberals are just doing what they do best : looking after the ”economy” (read corporate profits) and protecting their own assets.

On this International Day of Peace, we will put on our good faith hat (not to be confused with a fools cap) and respectfully ask the Canadian government to take these measures :

As the image below suggests, (Anand’s comment about our safety notwithstanding), defense spending is more indicative of a nation’s geopolitical aggressiveness than its concern for the well-being of its citizens.

2021 Defense expenditures – Costs of war – Brown University

The Canadian government (our representatives, in case they forgot) could use the money thus saved to implement the Green New Deal and basic income, to address climate change, to build houses, to protect Canada’s remaining wild spaces, to make national parks into Indigenous protected areas, and so much more.

We will need a nationwide consultation to decide on how best to spend this money creatively, in a life-affirming way, which is something we are not yet that experienced doing. But I am sure we will manage.

So, on this day dedicated to world peace, let’s chart a new course. Let us repudiate a foolish, nihilistic world order predicated on militarism and destruction, and vow henceforth to champion and advance a hopeful, loving world order that outlaws war.

September 29, 2022 Posted by | Canada, politics international | Leave a comment

TODAY. Don’t be fooled by the sly inclusion of nuclear as “clean” energy. NUCLEAR POWER IS DIRTY POWER.

Sometimes I think that the Tories are just more honest. They don’t give a damn about the environment, whereas UK Labour, (and the USA “progressives, Democrats etc) use weasel words to sneak nuclear in amongst genuinely clean systems like solar.

“A Labour government would set up a “Great British Energy” company to generate more clean power for the nation – a “100 per cent clean power system” with wind, solar, tidal, energy efficiency, and including nuclear.

It’s a lie, and they know it – having sold their soul to the powerful nuclear lobby.

Nuclear power is dirty. Above all – its sole real purpose is to further the nuclear weapons industry, and thus increase the risks of destroying the environment and its species (us included).

Even without accidents, the entire nuclear fuel cycle from uranium mining through to accumulation of dead reactors and toxic wastes emits ionising radiation that causes cancer, other diseases and birth defects. For most of this fuel cycle, much carbon is emitted. The risk of accidents is ever present, – as illustrated in today’s dangerous situation in Ukraine, as sell as in past history.

Nuclear power leaves toxic wastes that will remain toxic for many many centuries, and they don’t know how to get rid of it. No real toilet for nuclear – how dare they call this “clean”!!

September 28, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

The real Winners of Ukraine war – the USA weapons manufacturers! U.S. Announces $1.1 Billion In Aid For Building Ukraine’s Military

The United States has now committed approximately $16.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since January 2021

Radio Free Europe, 29 Sept 22, The United States will provide an additional $1.1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including funding for about 18 more advanced rocket systems and other weapons to counter drones, the White House announced on September 28.

The package is aimed at helping Ukraine secure its longer-term defense needs under the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which funds the purchase of weapons and equipment. This means it could take a year or more for Ukraine to get the systems.

Most of the other military aid packages announced by the United States have thus far used Pentagon drawdown authority to provide weapons more immediately.

The new package “represents a multi-year investment in critical capabilities to build the enduring strength of Ukraine’s Armed Forces” as they continue to battle the invading Russian Army, the Pentagon said in a statement.

The package includes funding for 18 units of the High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as HIMARS, and 12 Titan systems, which are used to counter drones………………

Also in the package is funding for about 150 armored vehicles, 150 tactical vehicles for towing weapons, trucks and trailers, and a variety of radars, communications, and surveillance equipment.

The United States has now committed approximately $16.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since January 2021.

September 28, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US, UK sabotaged peace deal because they ‘don’t care about Ukraine’: fmr. NATO adviser AARON MATÉ· SEPTEMBER 27, 2022,

Former Swiss intelligence officer and NATO adviser Jacques Baud on the next phase of the Russia-Ukraine war and new allegations that the US and UK undermined a peace deal that could have ended it.

The West’s aim “is not the victory of Ukraine, It’s the defeat of Russia,” Baud says. “The problem is that nobody cares about Ukraine. We have just instrumentalized Ukraine for the purpose of US strategic interests — not even European interests.”

Guest: Jacques Baud. Former intelligence officer with the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service who has served in a number of senior security and advisory positions at NATO, the United Nations, and with the Swiss military.


  • In his Sept. 21 speech, Putin did not make an explicit threat to use nuclear weapons. He vowed to “make use of all weapon systems available to us,” in the event of “a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people.”

On nuclear weapons, the US did not have a “No First Use” policy. On the 2020 campaign trail, Joe Biden said that he supported the idea of “No First Use.” He abandoned that in his presidential nuclear posture; but that was reversing his campaign stance, not official US policy.

September 27, 2022 Posted by | politics international, UK, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

What are tactical nuclear weapons? An international security expert explains and assesses what they mean for the war in Ukraine

I believe Russian use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine would not achieve any military goal. It would contaminate the territory that Russia claims as part of its historic empire and possibly drift into Russia itself. It would increase the likelihood of direct NATO intervention and destroy Russia’s image in the world.

The Conversation, Nina Srinivasan Rathbun, Professor of International Relations, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, 28 Sept 22,

Tactical nuclear weapons have burst onto the international stage as Russian President Vladimir Putin, facing battlefield losses in eastern Ukraine, has threatened that Russia will “make use of all weapon systems available to us” if Russia’s territorial integrity is threatened. Putin has characterized the war in Ukraine as an existential battle against the West, which he said wants to weaken, divide and destroy Russia.

U.S. President Joe Biden criticized Putin’s overt nuclear threats against Europe. Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg downplayed the threat, saying Putin “knows very well that a nuclear war should never be fought and cannot be won.” This is not the first time Putin has invoked nuclear weapons in an attempt to deter NATO.

I am an international security scholar who has worked on and researched nuclear restraintnonproliferation and costly signaling theory applied to international relations for two decades. Russia’s large arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons, which are not governed by international treaties, and Putin’s doctrine of threatening their use have raised tensions, but tactical nuclear weapons are not simply another type of battlefield weapon.

Tactical by the numbers

Tactical nuclear weapons, sometimes called battlefield or nonstrategic nuclear weapons, were designed to be used on the battlefield – for example, to counter overwhelming conventional forces like large formations of infantry and armor. They are smaller than strategic nuclear weapons like the warheads carried on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

While experts disagree about precise definitions of tactical nuclear weapons, lower explosive yields, measured in kilotons, and shorter-range delivery vehicles are commonly identified characteristics. Tactical nuclear weapons vary in yields from fractions of 1 kiloton to about 50 kilotons, compared with strategic nuclear weapons, which have yields that range from about 100 kilotons to over a megaton, though much more powerful warheads were developed during the Cold War.

For reference, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 15 kilotons, so some tactical nuclear weapons are capable of causing widespread destruction. The largest conventional bomb, the Mother of All Bombs or MOAB, that the U.S. has dropped has a 0.011-kiloton yield.

Delivery systems for tactical nuclear weapons also tend to have shorter ranges, typically under 310 miles (500 kilometers) compared with strategic nuclear weapons, which are typically designed to cross continents.

Because low-yield nuclear weapons’ explosive force is not much greater than that of increasingly powerful conventional weapons, the U.S. military has reduced its reliance on them. Most of its remaining stockpile, about 150 B61 gravity bombs, is deployed in Europe. The U.K. and France have completely eliminated their tactical stockpiles. Pakistan, China, India, Israel and North Korea all have several types of tactical nuclear weaponry.

Russia has retained more tactical nuclear weapons, estimated to be around 2,000, and relied more heavily on them in its nuclear strategy than the U.S. has, mostly due to Russia’s less advanced conventional weaponry and capabilities.

Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons can be deployed by ships, planes and ground forces. Most are deployed on air-to-surface missiles, short-range ballistic missiles, gravity bombs and depth charges delivered by medium-range and tactical bombers, or naval anti-ship and anti-submarine torpedoes. These missiles are mostly held in reserve in central depots in Russia.

Russia has updated its delivery systems to be able to carry either nuclear or conventional bombs. There is heightened concern over these dual capability delivery systems because Russia has used many of these short-range missile systems, particularly the Iskander-M, to bombard Ukraine.

Tactical nuclear weapons are substantially more destructive than their conventional counterparts even at the same explosive energy. Nuclear explosions are more powerful by factors of 10 million to 100 million than chemical explosions, and leave deadly radiation fallout that would contaminate air, soil, water and food supplies, similar to the disastrous Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown in 1986. The interactive simulation site NUKEMAP by Alex Wellerstein depicts the multiple effects of nuclear explosions at various yields………………………………

Tactical nuclear weapons are substantially more destructive than their conventional counterparts even at the same explosive energy. Nuclear explosions are more powerful by factors of 10 million to 100 million than chemical explosions, and leave deadly radiation fallout that would contaminate air, soil, water and food supplies, similar to the disastrous Chernobyl nuclear reactor meltdown in 1986. The interactive simulation site NUKEMAP by Alex Wellerstein depicts the multiple effects of nuclear explosions at various yields…………………….

While there is disagreement among experts, Russian and U.S. nuclear strategies focus on deterrence, and so involve large-scale retaliatory nuclear attacks in the face of any first-nuclear weapon use. This means that Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons as a deterrent to conventional war is threatening an action that would, under nuclear warfare doctrine, invite a retaliatory nuclear strike if aimed at the U.S. or NATO.

Nukes and Ukraine

I believe Russian use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine would not achieve any military goal. It would contaminate the territory that Russia claims as part of its historic empire and possibly drift into Russia itself. It would increase the likelihood of direct NATO intervention and destroy Russia’s image in the world.

Putin aims to deter Ukraine’s continued successes in regaining territory by preemptively annexing regions in the east of the country after holding staged referendums. He could then declare that Russia would use nuclear weapons to defend the new territory as though the existence of the Russian state were threatened. But I believe this claim stretches Russia’s nuclear strategy beyond belief.

Putin has explicitly claimed that his threat to use tactical nuclear weapons is not a bluff precisely because, from a strategic standpoint, using them is not credible. In other words, under any reasonable strategy, using the weapons is unthinkable and so threatening their use is by definition a bluff.

September 27, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Zelensky Reveals How Much US Taxpayers Give Ukraine Monthly

He immediately pivoted to repeating Kyiv’s longtime complaint that it’s not enough – because it’s never enough – though by and large the common American taxpayer seems oblivious amid the onslaught of constant war headlines. MCViewPoint, ByTyler Durden, Zero Hedge 28 Sept 22,

Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky boasted in a CBS “Face the Nation” interview which aired Sunday that Washington is providing him with a whopping $1.5 billion per month for state coffers as the country piles up a large war-time deficit.

“The United States gives us $1.5 billion every month to support our budget to fight” against Russia the Ukrainian leader explained, but pointed out there remains “a deficit of $5 billion in our budget.” He immediately pivoted to repeating Kyiv’s longtime complaint that it’s not enough – because it’s never enough – though by and large the common American taxpayer seems oblivious amid the onslaught of constant war headlines.

Zelensky said, after revealing the astonishing $1.5 billion in aid on a monthly basis figure, “But believe me, it’s not even nearly enough to cover the civilian infrastructure, schools, hospitals, universities, homes of Ukrainians. Why do we need this? We need the security in order to attract our Ukrainians to come back home.”

“If it’s safe, they will come, settle, work here and will pay taxes and then we won’t have a deficit of $5 billion in our budget. So it will be a positive for everybody,” the Ukrainian leader continued. “Because as of today the United States gives us $1.5 billion every month to support our budget to fight- fight this war. However, if our people will come back- and they do want to come back very much, they have a lot of motivation- they will work here.”

And then the United States will not have to continue, give us this support,” he concluded, though the way things are going it could be years before the US might “not have to continue” the nonstop aid. Zelensky appeared to be trying to present a strange “win-win” for American, though again if average US taxpayers grasped the full enormity of it, they certainly might question that narrative.

Ironically, or tiresomely, just a day after Zelensky complained “But believe me, it’s not even nearly enough”… Congress is poised to push through another $12 billion, according Reuters.

“Negotiators to a stop-gap spending bill in the U.S. Congress have agreed to include about $12 billion in new aid to Ukraine in response to a request from the Biden administration, a source familiar with the talks said on Monday,” Reuters detailed. “Earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden asked Congress to provide $11.7 billion in new emergency military and economic aid for Ukraine.”

It should be recalled that it was only in July that the Associated Press and NPR called attention to a hugely inconvenient fact and problem which never went away:

As it presses ahead with providing tens of billions of dollars in military, economic and direct financial support aid to Ukraine and encourages its allies to do the same, the Biden administration is now once again grappling with longstanding worries about Ukraine’s suitability as a recipient of massive infusions of American aid.

Those issues, which date back decades and were not an insignificant part of former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment, had been largely pushed to the back burner in the immediate run-up to Russia’s invasion and during the first months of the conflict as the U.S. and its partners rallied to Ukraine’s defense.

But Zelenskyy’s weekend firings of his top prosecutor, intelligence chief and other senior officials have resurfaced those concerns and may have inadvertently given fresh attention to allegations of high-level corruption in Kyiv made by one outspoken U.S. lawmaker.

September 27, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

USA government, Pentagon, happy to escalate to a nuclear war – at the behest of Volodymyr Zelensky ?

As I really dislike Rupert Murdoch’s News Corpse, Tucker Carlson, and the whole pro Trump brigade, it pains me to have to promote them in any way. BUT – if they happen to be telling the facts, with a credible interpretation of what is going on in Ukraine – can we afford to just dismiss them, while the “respectable” corporate Western media idolises Zelensky, and promotes the escalation of the war?

September 27, 2022 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Opposition in New Zealand to Military Space Launches

September 27, 2022 Posted by | New Zealand, opposition to nuclear, space travel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear power classed as “amber”, not “green”. Is it officially accepted as Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance (ESG) ?

the Commission applies a number of screening and disclosure conditions to nuclear’s taxonomy inclusion. For instance, there are screens based on scientific advice such as requiring disposal facilities for low-level radioactive waste to already be operational, member states having a plan for high-level waste disposal by 2050 and a ban on exporting radioactive waste to developing countries for disposal.

Does the EU taxonomy vote mean nuclear is officially ESG? ETF Stream, By Jamie Gordon, 26 Sep 2022,

The implementation of the Delegated Act will test both the EU’s credibility and investors’ appetite to adhere to prescriptive ESG frameworks

The European Parliament took the contentious step in July of voting to include nuclear energy within its taxonomy of sustainable activities, however, it remains to be seen whether other ESG frameworks will follow suit and if any naysayer investors will be swayed by the regulator’s decision.

Almost three years after first being discussed, nuclear energy, along with natural gas, look set to be added to the EU’s taxonomy via the Complementary Climate Delegated Act from 1 January 2023, earmarking them as sustainable investments for the time being.

The road to this verdict was not only meandering but full of obstacles, with Kenneth Lamont, senior research analyst at Morningstar, previously describing nuclear as being “stony on a political level” for investors and policymakers.

It began with the European Commission’s Technical Expert Group publishing the Taxonomy Technical Report in March 2020, which notably snubbed nuclear from its list of green activities.

A year later, leaders of seven EU member states wrote a letter calling on the European Commission to accommodate all paths to climate neutrality while the Commission’s Joint Research Centre argued nuclear should be eligible for ESG investment.

Even though the Commission announced a month later it would bootstrap nuclear and gas to its taxonomy via a Delegated Act, in October, a ‘Nuclear Alliance’ of 15 European Ministers called for the energy source to be included in the main body of the taxonomy by the end of 2021.

Ignoring these calls, the Commission published a draft of the Delegated Act on 31 December, which was soon met by fierce opposition as Austria and Luxembourg threatened to bring a lawsuit before the European Court of Justice.

Despite members of the Environment and Economic Affairs committees later voting against the proposed taxonomy changes in June, the defeat of the motion to block the Delegated Act in the European Parliament in July means nuclear will soon make its delayed entry into the taxonomy.

Conditional inclusion

While the move is significant for challenging the nuclear exclusions applied to many ESG frameworks and products, it bears remembering the Commission’s Platform on Sustainable Finance views nuclear as an ‘amber’ rather than ‘green’ activity – and its inclusion in the taxonomy is both conditional and time-limited………………………………..

Despite nuclear’s seemingly low-carbon credentials, the European countries most active in building new plants – Ukraine, the UK and France – currently only have a combined five plants under construction versus 17 for China alone.

Similarly, 27 out of the 31 reactors that have been under construction since 2017 are of Russian or Chinese design, according to analysis by SocGen.

……………………………..  there are several compelling arguments against nuclear being in the taxonomy such as what to do with thousands of tonnes of radioactive waste, concerns around directing capital away from renewables and the worthwhile geopolitical point that in 2020, 20.2% of the EU’s uranium supply came from Russia and 19.2% from its ally, Kazakhstan, according to Eurostat.

It is also worth noting the size of political opposition to nuclear as a ‘transition energy’, with 278 of 639 MEPs opposing the Delegated Act in July’s motion.

Considering these points, the Commission applies a number of screening and disclosure conditions to nuclear’s taxonomy inclusion. For instance, there are screens based on scientific advice such as requiring disposal facilities for low-level radioactive waste to already be operational, member states having a plan for high-level waste disposal by 2050 and a ban on exporting radioactive waste to developing countries for disposal.

Also, large listed non-financial and financial companies will be required to disclose what portion of their activities are linked to the energies included in the Delegated Act.

Greater complexity across EU policy……………………………………………………………………..

The ultimate test, however, will be if taxonomy inclusion changes investor attitudes towards nuclear, given its aim is to act as a framework for guiding capital towards worthy recipients.

………………………………. Many index providers will remove nuclear power operators from their exclusion lists and will become more flexible in including utilities that generate power from nuclear facilities in their indices,” he added.

However, he warned others with their own internal rules and those fulfilling client mandates would be less likely to change their indices in fear of losing business.

FTSE Russell, for instance, continues to categorise nuclear as tier three under its Green Revenues Classification System, meaning it has some environmental benefit but this is overall net neutral or negative……………………………………

Some investors might also be put off by the fact the technical screening criteria of the Delegated Act will be reviewed every three years, which includes time limits for the contribution of nuclear and gas to climate change mitigation efforts. If the EU reverses its recent taxonomy changes in future, investors in nuclear and gas will have to rush to get rid of these exposures in order to remain aligned.

For now, ESG might like nuclear a little more than it did a year ago but EU taxonomy support only applies to certain subsectors, subject to conditions and set to be reviewed over time.

Overall, though, the Delegated Act should be understood as more an act of EU pragmatism than moral change of heart on what it means to be sustainable. Nuclear may have a role to play in net-zero efforts but will face an uphill battle to convert its detractors.

September 27, 2022 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment


Why do we tolerate the threat of another world war in our name? Why do we allow lies that justify this risk? The scale of our indoctrination, wrote Harold Pinter, is a “brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis”, as if the truth “never happened even while it was happening”.

Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his “updated summary of the record of U.S. foreign policy” which shows that, since 1945, the U.S. has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders.

In many cases Britain has been a collaborator. The degree of human suffering, let alone criminality, is little acknowledged in the west, despite the presence of the world’s most advanced communications and nominally most free journalism. That the most numerous victims of terrorism – “our” terrorism – are Muslims, is unsayable. That extreme jihadism, which led to 9/11, was nurtured as a weapon of Anglo-American policy (Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan) is suppressed. In April the U.S. state department noted that, following Nato’s campaign in 2011, “Libya has become a terrorist safe haven“.

The name of “our” enemy has changed over the years, from communism to Islamism, but generally it is any society independent of western power and occupying strategically useful or resource-rich territory, or merely offering an alternative to U.S. domination.

The leaders of these obstructive nations are usually violently shoved aside, such as the democrats Muhammad Mossedeq in Iran, Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala and Salvador Allende in Chile, or they are murdered like Patrice Lumumba in the Democratic Republic of Congo. All are subjected to a western media campaign of vilification – think Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, now Vladimir Putin.

Washington’s role in Ukraine is different only in its implications for the rest of us. For the first time since the Reagan years, the U.S. is threatening to take the world to war. With eastern Europe and the Balkans now military outposts of Nato, the last “buffer state” bordering Russia – Ukraine – is being torn apart by fascist forces unleashed by the U.S. and the EU. We in the west are now backing neo-Nazis in a country where Ukrainian Nazis backed Hitler.

Having masterminded the coup in February against the democratically elected government in Kiev, Washington’s planned seizure of Russia’s historic, legitimate warm-water naval base in Crimea failed. The Russians defended themselves, as they have done against every threat and invasion from the west for almost a century.

But Nato’s military encirclement has accelerated, along with U.S.-orchestrated attacks on ethnic Russians in Ukraine. If Putin can be provoked into coming to their aid, his pre-ordained “pariah” role will justify a Nato-run guerrilla war that is likely to spill into Russia itself.

Instead, Putin has confounded the war party by seeking an accommodation with Washington and the EU, by withdrawing Russian troops from the Ukrainian border and urging ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine to abandon the weekend’s provocative referendum.

These Russian-speaking and bilingual people – a third of Ukraine’s population – have long sought a democratic federation that reflects the country’s ethnic diversity and is both autonomous of Kiev and independent of Moscow. Most are neither “separatists” nor “rebels”, as the western media calls them, but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland.

Like the ruins of Iraq and Afghanistan, Ukraine has been turned into a C.I.A. theme park – run personally by C.I.A. director John Brennan in Kiev, with dozens of “special units” from the C.I.A. and F.B.I. setting up a “security structure” that oversees savage attacks on those who opposed the February coup. Watch the videos, read the eye-witness reports from the massacre in Odessa this month. Bussed fascist thugs burned the trade union headquarters, killing 41 people trapped inside. Watch the police standing by.

A doctor described trying to rescue people, “but I was stopped by pro-Ukrainian Nazi radicals. One of them pushed me away rudely, promising that soon me and other Jews of Odessa are going to meet the same fate. What occurred yesterday didn’t even take place during the fascist occupation in my town in world war two. I wonder, why the whole world is keeping silent.” [see footnote]

Russian-speaking Ukrainians are fighting for survival. When Putin announced the withdrawal of Russian troops from the border, the Kiev junta’s defence secretary, Andriy Parubiy – a founding member of the fascist Svoboda party – boasted that attacks on “insurgents” would continue. In Orwellian style, propaganda in the west has inverted this to Moscow “trying to orchestrate conflict and provocation“, according to William Hague. His cynicism is matched by Obama’s grotesque congratulations to the coup junta on its “remarkable restraint” after the Odessa massacre. The junta, says Obama, is “duly elected”. As Henry Kissinger once said: “It is not a matter of what is true that counts, but what is perceived to be true.”

In the U.S. media the Odessa atrocity has been played down as “murky” and a “tragedy” in which “nationalists” (neo-Nazis) attacked “separatists” (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine). Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal damned the victims – “Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says“. Propaganda in Germany has been pure cold war, with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung warning its readers of Russia’s “undeclared war”. For the Germans, it is a poignant irony that Putin is the only leader to condemn the rise of fascism in 21st-century Europe.

A popular truism is that “the world changed” following 9/11. But what has changed? According to the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, a silent coup has taken place in Washington and rampant militarism now rules. The Pentagon currently runs “special operations” – secret wars – in 124 countries. At home, rising poverty and a loss of liberty are the historic corollary of a perpetual war state. Add the risk of nuclear war, and the question is: why do we tolerate this?

September 27, 2022 Posted by | politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Labour’s ‘Great British Energy’ Company likely to be a nuclear turkey

My ears perked up in eager anticipation when Keir Starmer, in his address to Labour’s Conference, started talking about setting up a state-backed renewable energy development company. But I sighed with
despair when it became clearer that this would be an investment conduit for what would be failing, black hole-type, nuclear projects.

Unless it is ring-fenced for renewable energy, and nuclear kept out, this will sink like a stone. If it is to be a vehicle for investing in new nuclear power plant, small or large, it will be like attaching a ship anchor to a rowing boat. It will sink. Quite fast in fact. The whole thing now sounds like an impractical soundbite meant to satisfy a committee on which sits Labour’s prime pro-nuclear donor, the GMB.

It’s actually a great pity that this is being spoiled by the nuclear-damned notion of this ‘Great British
Energy’ Company. I’m sorry Keir, I’d really like to be impressed by this, but it is a loser, certainly in the way it is being spun. When will politicians get it into their heads that new nuclear investment won’t and
can’t make money? Or maybe it’s just the soundbite that counts and they just don’t care that it doesn’t make sense?

 100% Renewable UK 27th Sept 2022

September 27, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK Government to speed through nuclear development by making a bonfire of existing environmental regulations.

 Whilst the media may have focused on the Chancellor’s contentious plan
to make the rich richer by cutting tax for higher earners, anti-nuclear
campaign groups, including and the Nuclear Free Local Authorities, are
concerned that buried within the finer print of the HM Treasury Growth
Plan, which was published alongside Kwasi Kwarteng’s speech in
Parliament, is a clear plot to streamline planning regulations and stifle
public objections to civil nuclear projects.

Treasury mandarins have identified Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C, numbered 115 and 116
respectively, as amongst the large infrastructure projects earmarked to be
fast-tracked by the end of next year by creating a bonfire of existing
regulations covering protection of the natural environment
and the rights
and opportunity of the public and other stakeholders to object.

According to departmental officials new legislation will be brought forward to
‘address barriers by reducing unnecessary burdens to speed-up the
delivery of much-needed infrastructure’.

 NFLA 27th Sept 2022

September 27, 2022 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment

The New York Times on Ukraine: Vietnam Déjà Vu

Zelensky did not explain how Ukraine was going to accomplish this, short of a U.S./NATO war with Russia. That’s the rub.

the Times wants to pre-empt Biden from doing the only sensible thing: tell Zelensky to stop the extreme rhetoric and talk to the Russians., by Ray McGovern 

The New York Times is going full-bore for war in Ukraine. It is difficult to explain the yellow journalism, but the so-called “paper of record” did the same thing on Vietnam (see below). In other words, the Gray Lady is whoring again.

It may be, as some allege, that the NYT has never met a war it did not want to get the U.S. involved in – or, once in, to escalate. However true that may be, I still cannot figure out why – why again.

With four Ukrainian oblasts about to join Russia and a mercurial President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, making outlandish threats to take them – and Crimea – back, perhaps the Times believes it must move decisively to make it as difficult as possible for President Biden to behave more sensibly.

The Guardian reported yesterday that “Zelensky has vowed to liberate the entire country as Russia pressed on with its supposed referendum in occupied areas of Ukraine …” Zelensky said Ukraine’s armed forces would throw the Russian forces out and retaliate against “every strike of the aggressor.” He pledged that Ukraine’s armed forces would regain control of the southern Kherson region and the eastern Donbas, which includes Luhansk province and Crimea.

Shades of Zelensky’s Feb. 24, 2021 Presidential Decree No. 117 “Approving the Strategy for de-occupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol” – which gave the major push to growing tension in and around Ukraine.

Zelensky did not explain how Ukraine was going to accomplish this, short of a U.S./NATO war with Russia. That’s the rub.

Must Biden Appear Tough Before Midterms?

The Times seems out to use the prelude to the midterms to advantage. If past is prologue, the Times wants to pre-empt Biden from doing the only sensible thing: tell Zelensky to stop the extreme rhetoric and talk to the Russians.

The Times may fear the off-chance that an adult will come into the room and persuade President Biden that:

  • He does not have to keep being diddled by Zelensky and his neocon supporters;
  • Ukraine is not winning the war, despite recent successes on the battlefield;
  • The US cannot seriously “weaken” Russia without risking wider war;
  • On the sanctions front, German politicians may not be able to resist turning on the spigot to North Stream 2, lest the European economy and the European people freeze this winter.


Never having been held accountable for reporting as flat fact that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and cheerleading for the US/UK war of aggression starting in March 2003, the New York Times seems to feel it has carte blanche to demonize Russian President Vladimir Putin, in exactly the same way it did Saddam Hussein – and Ho Chi Minh, for god’s sake, four decades earlier.

Over the weekend the Times’s reporting has been slanted to lead readers to conclude that Putin is some kind of monster with whom no one could possibly negotiate. NYT reporters and also opinion writers rely now on Ukrainian officials; then on US intelligence officials. The collective performance is truly a travesty.

On Saturday, for example, opinion writer David Brooks tells us Putin is “a deeply wounded tiger.” And ( get this!)……………………………………………..

that our major newspapers propagated a view that “the only way out of the crisis … was a military victory over the forces of Ho Chi Minh.” In other words, no negotiations.

Actually, the American public had been coming to the conclusion that the war was a mistake, but having been indoctrinated for so many years about our “vital interests” in Vietnam, opposition did not really gather steam until it was too late.

And today, for the Establishment media, it is déjà vu all over again, to quote Yogi Berra – again.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

September 27, 2022 Posted by | media, Ukraine | Leave a comment