Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Two New Countries

 Keeping Count,

  Russia recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics yesterday, after being asked to do so for 8 years. (It is not perfectly clear what borders are recognized, which likely include areas currently held militarily by the Ukrainian army.) Right now, Russia will enforce a cease-fire in the areas. 
What next? NATO/Ukraine/EU moves...

The Saker had this:
​  ​The first thing which I want to point out is that this was a very carefully orchestrated event, and I don’t just mean today’s live meetings and signing.  For those of us who follow Russian politics very closely there can be no doubts that all this was prepared long BEFORE the Russian ultimatum to the West.
​  ​This is “the plan” which Putin once openly referred to.
​  ​Let me make this clear: this recognition should NOT, repeat, NOT, be seen in isolation.  It is just ONE PHASE in a PROCESS which began at least a year ago, or more, and there is much more to come.
​  ​Next, that must be repeated again, this is NOT about the LDNR, the Donbass or even the Ukraine, this is about a new security architecture on Europe and, therefore, on our entire planet.
​  ​This means that Russia expected exactly the reaction she eventually got (western politicians are fantastically predictable, being both ignorant, stupid and arrogant) and that gave her a legal basis to take the current action (call it R2P, or moral duty, or genocide prevention or whatever else you wish).​..
​.​..Let it be clearly told: whatever sanctions the West now agrees upon will be what they would have done in any case.​..
...I want to mention four specific threats made by Putin today​...​
Those responsible for the massacre in Odessa will be punished by Russia.
Putin is demanding an immediate cessation of the shelling and shooting along the LOC.
Russia will physically prevent the Ukraine from US/NATO deploying offensive weapons to threaten Russia.
Russia will show Banderastan how to organize a *real* “decommunization” (after indicating that the Ukraine was created by the CPSU).

​Moon of Alabama has more insights/updates and perspective:
  The German chancellor Olaf Scholz has halted the certification of the Nordstream II pipeline that is supposed to bring natural gas from Russia to Germany. That means higher energy prices for Germany and higher inflation... It is political harakiri and will therefore most likely be reversed.
  I find it likely that the sudden increase of artillery explosions from 80 per day to over 1,200 per day over the last week had an effect on the timing of Putin's decision.

​  ​The Duma last week passed a resolution recommending that Putin recognize the provinces’ independence from Ukraine.
Putin had resisted for eight years recognizing the independence of the self-declared republics of Lugansk and Donetsk in the Donbass, insisting instead that Kiev implement the 2014-15 Minsk agreements that would have given autonomy to the provinces, while they remained within Ukrainian territory.
​  ​The decision by Putin effectively declares that the Minsk process is over.
It does not mean at this point, however, that the people of Lugansk and Donetsk are ready to hold a referendum to join Russia or that Moscow is interested in making them part of Russia, as happened in Crimea in 2014.

​Belarus next?​ China eventually? It might be awkward for China, since so many parts of "China" would prefer independence, like they had before.
Syria backs Russian recognition of east Ukraine breakaway regions
Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad says Syrian government ‘will cooperate’ with the two Moscow-backed separatist-held regions.

​No threat to cut it off, or fail to meet contractual obligations, just "market pricing" purgatory.
Russia Warns Of "Brave New World" Of Higher Gas Prices After Germany Halts Nord Stream 2

Glenn Greenwald:  The Neoliberal War on Dissent in the West
​  ​When it comes to distant and adversarial countries, we are taught to recognize tyranny through the use of telltale tactics of repression. Dissent from orthodoxies is censored. Protests against the state are outlawed. Dissenters are harshly punished with no due process. Long prison terms are doled out for political transgressions rather than crimes of violence. Journalists are treated as criminals and spies. Opposition to the policies of political leaders are recast as crimes against the state.
​  ​When a government that is adverse to the West engages in such conduct, it is not just easy but obligatory to malign it as despotic. Thus can one find, on a virtually daily basis, articles in the Western press citing the government's use of those tactics in Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela and whatever other countries the West has an interest in disparaging (articles about identical tactics from regimes supported by the West — from Riyadh to Cairo — are much rarer). That the use of these repressive tactics render these countries and their populations subject to autocratic regimes is considered undebatable.
​  ​But when these weapons are wielded by Western governments, the precise opposite framework is imposed: describing them as despotic is no longer obligatory but virtually prohibited. That tyranny exists only in Western adversaries but never in the West itself is treated as a permanent axiom of international affairs, as if Western democracies are divinely shielded from the temptations of genuine repression. Indeed, to suggest that a Western democracy has descended to the same level of authoritarian repression as the West's official enemies is to assert a proposition deemed intrinsically absurd or even vaguely treasonous.

​This was a divided Parliament. Some spoke with conviction of the rights being abolished by decree.
​  ​OTTAWA, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Canada's parliament on Monday backed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision to invoke rarely-used emergency powers to end pandemic-related protests that have blocked streets in the capital Ottawa for more than three weeks.
​  ​The Emergencies Act was approved in parliament by 185 to 151, with the minority Liberal government getting support from left-leaning New Democrats.
The special measures, announced by Trudeau a week ago, have been deemed unnecessary and an abuse of power by some opposition politicians.

​WEF Young Global Leaders are fulfilling yesterday's promise-of-tomorrow, TODAY, for the multinational public-private-partnership! 
From "Canada, with the usual long list of successful grads, still instrumental in ongoing advances: Thanks Red.
​  ​The purpose from the beginning has been to “identify and advance a future-oriented global agenda, focusing on issues at the intersection of the public and private sectors.”
​  ​Public–Private Partnerships is one of the cornerstones of the World Economic Forum philosophy. That is, a merger between state and large companies (also known as corporativism) with the aim of solving global problems of in a more “effective” way. The choice of leaders clearly reflects this aspiration.
​  ​The Young Global Leaders group was initially instructed to identify the major challenges of the 21st century. These included peace, the environment, education, technology and health – areas which these upcoming leaders could exploit politically, economically, and culturally in the new millennium.

Pluto returns to America Today, after last visiting in 1776.
  Nothing says a cosmic rebirth like enigmatic Pluto, the power-hungry dwarf planet that symbolizes transformation and renewal. According to the stars, the United States is finally getting a spiritual makeover with its first-ever Pluto Return on Feb. 22, 2022. Astrologically, a Pluto return is when the heavenly body returns to the same position in a birth chart where it was when the chart began. It happens around every 248 years, meaning this is the Pluto return in the United States since the country was founded in 1776.
  “Pluto rules death and rebirth, influencing the end and beginning of new karmic cycles. It also rules things like interpersonal skills, power struggles, and shows the source of your personal power. This planet is the portal through which your spiritual and shadow energy is transformed and released into the exterior world,” astrologer Lauren Ash tells Bustle.

War Correspondent
(pictured with Jim in dramatization of tree-pruning)

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