Showing posts from March, 2022

Video | France24 discussion of Putin, Ukraine, Orthodox Churches, etc. | broadcast March 29, 2022

Panelists: Kristina Stoeckl, Professor of sociology at the University of Innsbruck, Antoine Arjakovsky, Founding director of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies in Lviv, Craig Copetas, Contributing Editor, Quartz, Nick Holdsworth, France24 Moscow correspondent, hosted by Francois Picard.    

Chomsky | Freedom, Sovereignty, and Other Endangered Species | excerpt from talk given Feb 26, 2000

Excerpt: ...[W]e could describe [concentrated global power] as an array of megacorporations, often linked to one another by strategic alliances, administering a global economy which is, in fact, a kind of corporate mercantilism tending toward oligopoly in most sectors, heavily reliant on state power to socialize risk and cost and to subdue recalcitrant elements.   full text with Q&A: Freedom, Sovereignty, and Other Endangered Species   Note:   For readers who may not already be certain, as I was not, of the meanings of "mercantilism" and  "oligopoly":   I take corporate mercantilism as used here to mean, roughly, a system in which state and corporate power are significantly merged to exercise control and dominance. This is my working definition. More research is required before I can use the term with a high level of confidence.   Oligopoly is the dominance by a small number of companies over production or sales. (from the Greek oligos "few" an

Volodymyr Ishchenko | Video | Zelensky May Have to Make “Painful Compromises” to End the War | March 23, 2022

"[I]t can end in various scenarios. [N]uclear war is...possible. [T]urning Ukraine into a kind of also possible. [T]here could be a partition of Ukraine..."   "...[T]he United States and the EU could help at this moment [by] giving Ukraine a very clear prospect of EU membership... "[I]f the U.S. strategy would be only about weapons and sanctions, that means that they would only prolong the war. And that would mean only more Ukrainians would be dead, killed by the Russian army. Only more cities in Ukraine would be destroyed, and less of the Ukrainian economy would survive. And so the weapons and sanctions should be absolutely necessarily combined with a very active brokerage of a peace settlement between Ukraine and Russia."   full video and transcript: Zelensky May Have to Make "Painful Compromises" to End the War, Says Ukrainian Scholar Volodymyr Ishchenko    

Yanis Varoufakis | Central banks have humanity’s future in their hands: they must not fail on inflation | March 17, 2022

"[W]e know from history that the cure for inflation tends to devastate the poor even more. The new wrinkle we face today is that the supposed solutions threaten not only to deal another cruel blow to the disadvantaged but, ominously, to snuff out the desperately needed green transition."   article at The Guardian   

Anatol Lieven | Ukraine: there's already a solution | published Nov 21, 2021

"Only the most insane of US politicians and commentators actually want to go to war with Russia in Ukraine. But as the outbreak of World War I demonstrated, leaders who do not intend to go to war may stumble into a situation in which they are unable to stop or turn back. The consequences of a direct US-Russian clash in Ukraine would be catastrophic. A full-scale conventional war would have the strong potential to escalate into nuclear war..."   Ukraine: The Most Dangerous Problem in the World But there's already a solution. Anatol Lieven, The Nation, November 15, 2021

A "cascade of assurances" against the expansion of a hostile military alliance | George Washington University National Security Archive | Dec 2017

"U.S. Secretary of State James Baker's famous 'not one inch eastward' assurance about NATO expansion in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, was part of a cascade of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991, according to declassified U.S., Soviet, German, British and French documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University ( ). NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard at GWU National Security Archive

Thomas Picketty | The western elite is preventing us from going after the assets of Russia’s hyper-rich | published March 16, 2022

"The confrontation between 'democracies' and 'autocracies' is overplayed, forgetting that western countries share with Russia and China an unbridled, hyper-capitalist ideology, and a legal, fiscal and political system that is increasingly favourable to large fortunes." article at The Guardian

Dean Baker | recent comments on inflation | March 3, 2022

"Earlier today, I was on a panel with Jason Furman and Joseph Stiglitz, discussing the recent surge in inflation and the prospects for the future. We took some questions from the audience, but there were a number for which we did not have time. I have picked some of these questions to answer myself, for anyone who may be interested." full post at CEPR  

Yanis Varoufakis | brief Ukraine interview published in Italian newspaper Avvenire | March 5, 2022

"The objective should be to stop the war and secure the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. The only way that could happen is a Washington-Moscow agreement that Russia withdraws in exchange of a commitment of Ukrainian neutrality. Anything else is war mongering. Or, at best, a touching faith that Putin will fall soon and a pro-Western regime will rise in Russia." English version of Avvenire interview at Varoufakis' website English translation by Google at Avvenire website Italian version at Avvenire

Chomsky | video | On the new Trump era | aired Nov 26, 2016

“The most predictable aspect of Trump is unpredictability. I think it’s dangerous, very dangerous,” says Noam Chomsky.    

Jack F. Matlock, Jr. | I was there: NATO and the origins of the Ukraine crisis | published Feb 15, 2022

After the fall of the Soviet Union, I told the Senate that expansion would lead us to where we are today.   "NATO expansion was the most profound strategic blunder made since the end of the Cold War. In 1997, when the question of adding more NATO members arose, I was asked to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In my introductory remarks, I made the following statement: "I consider the administration’s recommendation to take new members into NATO at this time misguided. If it should be approved by the United States Senate, it may well go down in history as the most profound strategic blunder made since the end of the Cold War. Far from improving the security of the United States, its Allies, and the nations that wish to enter the Alliance, it could well encourage a chain of events that could produce the most serious security threat to this nation since the Soviet Union collapsed." Indeed, our nuclear arsenals were capable of ending the pos

Andrew Bacevich | video | Ukraine is Paying the Price for the U.S. “Recklessly” Pushing NATO Expansion | aired March 11, 2022

"Current director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns wrote, 'sitting at the embassy in Moscow in the mid-nineties, it seemed to me that NATO expansion was premature at best and needlessly provocative at worst.' And then in 1995, Burns wrote a memo saying, 'Hostility to early NATO expansion is almost universally felt across the domestic political spectrum here.' He’s talking about Russia. In another memo Burns wrote, 'Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin). In more than two and a half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin’s sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests.'"  

Andrew Bacevich | U.S. Can’t Absolve Itself of Responsibility for Putin’s Ukraine Invasion | published Feb 25, 2022

Andrew Bacevich is President of the Quincy Insitutue, a retired West Point graduate, Colonel, Vietnam War veteran, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University, and has held fellowships at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the American Academy in Berlin. He is author, co-author, or editor of more than a dozen books, including: The New America Militarism (2005), The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008), Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War (2010), America’s War for the Greater Middle East (2016), and The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory (January 2020).   Andrew Bacevich Responsible Statecraft profile     U.S. Can’t Absolve Itself of Responsibility for Putin’s Ukraine Invasion   The conflict renders a judgment on post-Cold War US policy. That policy has now culminated in a massiv

Anatol Lieven | It’s time to ask: what would a Ukraine-Russia peace deal look like? | published March 4, 2022

"There is still the possibility of a diplomatic settlement that would bring an early end to this dreadful war and Russian military withdrawal while safeguarding the vital interests of Ukraine. Indeed, if the Russians are ever to withdraw, a diplomatic agreement on the terms of withdrawal will be necessary." full version published March 4, 2022 | The Guardian breif version published March 4, 2022 | The Quincy Institute

Anatol Lieven | video | Freeze NATO expansion now or risk war | published Jan 22, 2022

"Following talks between the U.S. and Russia this month, the landscape looks bleaker than ever in regards to avoiding a clash with Russia over Ukraine. While President Biden has promised a 'swift, severe and united' response to any Russian incursion into Ukrainian territory, administration officials are now publicly declaring they are 'united for Ukraine' on social media."   Responsible Statecraft Editor Kelley Vlahos speaks with Qi's Senior Research Fellow Anatol Lieven. published Jan 22, 2022 at Responsible Statecraft

Anatol Lieven and William Hartung | Biden is right to rule out a ‘no-fly zone’ in Ukraine | published March 7-8, 2022

            "It would not only split NATO, but could end up being one of the most disastrous foreign policy gambits ever taken by the US." "[A] group of 27 foreign policy analysts and former government officials, including Philip Breedlove, the former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, released an open letter that stated that a 'U.S.-NATO enforced No-Fly Zone to protect humanitarian corridors and additional military means for Ukrainian self-defense are desperately needed, and needed now.' The letter says nothing about the risks of its recommended course of action." RESPONSIBLE STATECRAFT | Biden is right to rule out a ‘no-fly zone’ in Ukraine  published March 7-8, 2022 at Responsible    

Masha Gessen | How the Kosovo Air War Foreshadowed the Crisis in Ukraine | published Feb 15, 2022

"... the Kosovo air war showed that anything was still possible, including bombs falling in the center of a city where people had felt worldly and safe and couldn’t believe war could come for them, even after it had been near for a while. If Putin ultimately stops entertaining Western negotiators and unleashes the big war, the death and misery that it will cause will be his responsibility. But the world in which such a war is possible has been forged jointly by Russia and the United States, starting twenty-three years ago." How the Kosovo Air War Foreshadowed the Crisis in Ukraine | Masha Gessen | published Feb 15, 2022

Chomsky | video | includes comments about tensions at Russian border regions | aired Jan 22, 2016

Chomsky is questioned by Mehdi Hasan and occasionally allowed to give a full answer. Air date Jan 22, 2016   Noam Chomsky on ISIL, Turkey and Ukraine | UpFront | Al Jazeera | aired Jan 22, 2022

Chomsky | excerpts of Ukraine comments published March 1, 2022

On the criminality of the invasion: [W]e should settle a few facts that are incontestable. The most crucial one is that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a major war crime, ranking alongside the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the Hitler-Stalin invasion of Poland in September 1939, to take only two salient examples. It always makes sense to seek explanations, but there is no justification, no extenuation. On the question of why Putin is invading: [T]here are plenty of supremely confident outpourings about Putin’s mind. The usual story is that he is caught up in paranoid fantasies, acting alone, surrounded by groveling courtiers of the kind familiar here in what’s left of the Republican Party traipsing to Mar-a-Lago for the Leader’s blessing. The flood of invective might be accurate, but perhaps other possibilities might be considered. Perhaps Putin meant what he and his associates have been saying loud and clear for years. It might be , for example, that, “Since Putin’s major d