UKRAINE CRISIS: German Navy Chief Resigns; Britain Spreads Fears of Russian ‘Coup’ & Wider War

The German admiral’s frank remarks contradict the war hysteria being drummed up by the U.S. and Britain, Joe Lauria reports.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Vice-Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach, the head of the German navy, has resigned after saying talk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine was “nonsense” and that Russia was merely seeking “respect” for its security concerns in Europe.

It is easy to give him the respect he really demands – and probably also deserves,” Schönbach told a meeting of a think tank in New Delhi on Friday.

My minister asked me what does Russia really want?” the vice-admiral said.

Is Russia really interested in having a small, tiny strip of Ukrainian soil to integrate into their country? No. This is nonsense. I think Putin is putting pressure on it because he knows he can do it. And he splits the European Union. But what he really wants is respect. He wants on a high-level, respect. And my God, giving someone respect is low cost, even no cost. So if I were asked, it is easy to give him the respect he really demands – and probably also deserves. Russia is an old country. Russia is an important country.”

Schönbach also acknowledged that “the Crimean peninsula is gone. It will never come back. This is a fact.” That contradicted NATO’s official position.

On Saturday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called in Germany’s ambassador in Kiev to protest “the categorical unacceptability” of Schönbach’s remarks.

After a likely rebuke from the German Defense Ministry, Schönbach resigned on Saturday, saying he wanted “to avoid any more damage being done to the German navy and above all, to the German federal republic.” The German defense ministry accepted Schönbach’s resignation with “immediate effect,” saying his remarks did not represent Germany’s official position.

However, Germany has continued its refusal to allow German weapons to be shipped to Ukraine, ostensibly to help defend Ukraine from Russia, but very likely to arm Kiev for an offensive against the east of the country. “Weapons deliveries would not be helpful at the moment – that is the consensus within the government,” German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Saturday.

That led Kubela to condemn Germany, saying on twitter that “the German partners must stop undermining unity with such words and actions and encouraging Vladimir Putin to launch a new attack on Ukraine.” Calling Germany “partners” seems to reveal Ukraine’s thinking that it considers itself a de facto member of NATO.

Russia is seeking legally-binding agreements with the U.S. and NATO that would create a new European security arrangement, rolling back NATO’s expansion to Russia’s borders, keeping Ukraine out of the Western alliance and preventing long-range U.S. missiles from being deployed there.

Accompanying these demands have been Russian troop deployments in the vicinity of the Ukraine border, which the U.S. and its NATO partners are portraying not as a negotiating tactic but evidence of an “imminent” Russian invasion.

Anglo-American Intentions

Macron leaving European Parliament last Wednesday. (European Parliament)

Germany appears to be joining France in trying to lower the temperature and put the breaks on an Anglo-American rush to war. In an address to the European Parliament on Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron appeared to show Russia the kind of respect Schönbach was talking about. He said:

Europe needs to build a collective security order on our continent. Our continent’s security requires a strategic reinforcement of our Europe as a power of peace, a balancing power, particularly in its dialogue with Russia. I have been advocating this dialogue for several years. It is not optional, for our history and our geography are stubborn, both for ourselves and for Russia. For security in our continent, which is indivisible. We need this dialogue…. What we need to build is a European order founded on principles and rules to which we have committed, and which we established not against or without Russia, but with Russia.”

The dissension by the German admiral and the French president to the U.S. position highlights the war hysteria being stirred up daily over Ukraine as a mostly Anglo-American endeavor.

Britain has begun playing an increasing role with the United States in preparing its populations for war, reminiscent of the lead-up to the 2003 U.S-U.K. invasion of Iraq.

On Saturday, the British Foreign Office said Russia is planning to “install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine.”

The Foreign Office named several Ukrainian politicians it said Russia was considering. “The information being released today shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

The Russian foreign ministry reacted swiftly. “The misinformation spread by the British Foreign Office is another evidence that these are the NATO countries, led by the Anglo-Saxons, that are escalating tensions around Ukraine. We call on the British Foreign Office to stop provocative activities, stop spreading nonsense …,” a foreign ministry spokesman told TASS.

The Ukrainian people already installed a pro-Russian leader through the ballot box, Viktor Yanukovych. He was overthrown in an actual U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014, leading to the continuing crisis.

Britain produced no evidence to back up its claim (though it was prominently spread by Western media), unlike the evidence that was produced of the U.S. coup in Kiev. It came in the form of a leaked telephone call between then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and the then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in which they discussed who the new Ukrainian leader would be, weeks before the coup happened.

Britain has released no such intercepts to back its allegation.

Spreading Fear of World War

But Britain has gone a step further. It is spreading alarm that the standoff can lead to a world war. Liz Truss, the British foreign secretary, traveled as far as Australia to raise fears that China might join the war by attacking Taiwan if Russia “invaded” Ukraine.

An interview she gave to The Sydney Morning Herald, under the headline: “Aggressors working together: UK’s Truss warns China could follow Russia into war,” began:

China could use a Russian invasion of Ukraine as an opportunity to launch aggression of its own in the Indo-Pacific, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has warned. ‘I don’t think we can rule that out,” Ms Truss said. … “Russia is working more closely with China than it ever has. Aggressors are working in concert and I think it’s incumbent on countries like ours to work together.’”

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating, trying to inject a measure of sobriety into the debate, wrote:

Remarks by the British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss that China could engage in military aggression in the Pacific, encouraged by Russia’s contingent moves against Ukraine, are nothing short of demented. Not simply irrational, demented. …

The underlying story is the government’s desperate promotion of Britain as a strategic partner of Australia in a policy of containment of China. The reality is Britain does not add up to a row of beans when it comes to East Asia. Britain took its main battle fleet out of East Asia in 1904 and finally packed it in with its ‘East of Suez’ policy in the 1970s. And it has never been back.

Britain suffers delusions of grandeur and relevance deprivation. But there they were at Admiralty House kidding the rest of us that their ‘co-operation’ added up to some viable policy. Australia’s great Foreign ‘non minister’, Marise Payne, supported by the increasingly strident Defence Minister Peter Dutton, standing beside the British Foreign Secretary looking wistfully for Britain’s lost worlds of the 19th and 20th centuries. Really.”

Meanwhile, the Americans and Russians continue to talk past each other over the crisis. Russia demanded the round of diplomacy calling for a new security arrangement in Europe, while U.S. and British leaders and their loyal media think the talks are only about preventing what they alone say is an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe  

45 comments for “UKRAINE CRISIS: German Navy Chief Resigns; Britain Spreads Fears of Russian ‘Coup’ & Wider War

  1. Lois Gagnon
    January 25, 2022 at 16:56

    Is it possible for the people of the US to demand a Nuremberg style tribunal for its own government in order to stop the insane corrupt corporate war mongers from wiping out life on our beautiful planet? Someone has to stop what they are doing.

  2. vinnieoh
    January 25, 2022 at 12:23

    Shall we recap? If memory serves, the hysteria about a Russian invasion of Ukraine started this past summer when Russia suddenly mobilized along its western border. Why? because the Ukraine parliament/congress/whatever had passed a resolution affirming its intent to retake the Crimea and the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk. This Ukraine action (along with pleas to the US/NATO for arms and support) as well as the joint US/NATO/EU military maneuvers on land an in the Black Sea were apparently enough to cause Russian military leaders to ensure they would not be caught off guard should “training maneuvers” turn into a US/Ukraine power play.

    My perspective is that the anti-Russian plotters were incensed that Russia was not fooled, that anti-Russian plots and plans were so easily foiled, and that despite the western dominance/expertise in the field of propaganda that well, it remains as true today as it always has: “Talk is cheap.” The US will never again so easily walk into a nation such as Iraq and enact its misanthropic will. Just as Brittania does not rule the waves, and the sun rises on the British Empire along the Dover Coast and sets in the Sea of Ireland.

  3. Bridget
    January 24, 2022 at 22:04

    Amazing how many people have forgotten who really installed a puppet gov’t in Ukraine.

    hXXps://www.thenation.com/article/archive/not-so-secret-ukraine-phone-call/
    The Not-So-Secret Ukraine Phone Call
    In which our ambassador to the European Union says, rather undiplomatically, “Fuck the EU!”

    • rosemerry
      January 25, 2022 at 02:39

      Every “news item” about Ukraine in the last 7 years has included “Russia annexed Crimea” with never any mention of the CIA coup. As for Crimea being “returned to Ukraine” (which it was attached to for 60 years in the past 200 years , and is considered Russia by the inhabitants) that is ridiculous. “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity”, proudly called for by the USA/NATO for Ukraine, was never part of the deal for Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela and others the USA and NATO has assisted to enhance “democracy and freedom.”

  4. John Stanley
    January 24, 2022 at 21:39

    Its time the UK government stopped its schoolboy imperialistic ranting. Forget Eton and Oxbridge. They qualify you for absolutely nothing. The German Navy chief, Macron and Paul Keating bring a touch of reality to the fashion model shrieking and hysteria that Britain keeps generating about a Russian ‘coup’.
    It is certainly time for NATO to get out of Eastern Europe. It has less justification there than the Russian navy sitting off the Florida
    coastline in 1962.
    AUKUS is a farce and the Australian taxpayer is fed up with being bled white for the benefits of the UK and Australian armaments industries.
    john Stanley

  5. CNfan
    January 24, 2022 at 20:42

    The Establishment press in the US and UK behaves like a monopoly. This is possible when controlling stock ownership is held by a small group behind the scenes. Thus the press lied in unison for 20 years about the Afghanistan war. They also lied in unison leading us into the Iraq war. Mainstream reporters who threatened the monopoly’s narrative were quickly fired, like Dan Rather at CBS, Chris Hedges at the New York Times, and Phil Donahue at MSNBC.

    Today this monopoly press is completely omitting the US’s stark lies to Russia about NATO expansion, and Russia’s efforts for peace, explained well by French-American-Russion reporter Vladimir Pozner. “Vladimir Pozner: How the United States Created Vladimir Putin”
    hXXps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X7Ng75e5gQ

    The strategic nonsense of the US provoking a conflict with Russia over Ukraine is explained here by John Mearsheimer. “Why is Ukraine the West’s Fault?”
    hXXps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrMiSQAGOS4

    Why then is the US so deceptively and dishonorably provoking a needless conflict with Russia? In 1791 Tom Paine wrote, “That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is a shocking as it is true.” This explains why a country would push for a war which seems entirely irrational, deluded, even insane on the surface.

    So who are these people behind the Ukraine curtain? Robert Parry gave an early and clear report on the people behind the Ukraine conflict. He found the same people who manipulated the US and UK into the Iraq war! “Neocons and the Ukraine Coup”
    hXXps://consortiumnews.com/2014/02/23/neocons-and-the-ukraine-coup/

    The so-called “neocons”, and the powerful and influential people behind them, have attained corrupt control of both our press and our Congress. This corruption needs to be cleaned out, and these people brought to justice.

  6. Maricata
    January 24, 2022 at 19:19

    The US wants to continue to support the OUN-B (Bandera) fascists and the Brits want to help them.

    England always wanted a pact with Germany under Hitler to fight the Soviets.

    That is why they,and we,collaborated so closely with the post-WWII fascists.

    And this is what we get.

    This is a fight over the Earth Island and a multipolar world.

    It could easily turn to war.

  7. onno37
    January 24, 2022 at 15:57

    The Ukrainian crisis is developed by the US defense industry/Media so NATO nations are going to buy more weapons. Looking at Russia’s history we see that Russia was never a military aggressor First Napoleon attacked Russia & was defeated then Hitler attacked Russia & was defeated while more than 20 million Russiand were BUTCHERED by the Nazi’s. And then the Americans & it’s allies dare to claim victory over the German army! Yes, indeed western governments want to conquer Russia as Us former Foreign secretary Brzezinsky wrote in his book: The Grand Chessboard – America Primary and its Geostrategic Imperatives!USA is a war machine because it has to keep world’s largest military power employed & worldwide activ murdering civilians & tyrannizing nations!

  8. rick
    January 24, 2022 at 14:07

    In a country which rewards one of its prominent war criminals (Tony Blair)with public accolades and a knighthood we should not be surprised by a tirade of sabre rattling and warmongering from the UK to berate any opposition (Germany and France) to the current US/UK stampede for conflict and war over Ukraine.
    This authoritarian and medievalist state currently ruled by a modern day Prince Hal (Boris Johnson) replete with his court of political cut outs and kleptocrats is no less possessed of an armoury of planet destroying nuclear weapons which is jealously coveted to offset its loss of imperial muscle.. Completely lacking in diplomacy its population has to suffer the vagaries of corrupt statehood
    Its foreign policy is conducted without diplomacy and notably consists of threats and invective directed at Russia and Putin in particular. Its Security Agencies and Military share the same table with Ukraine extremists handsomely training and provisioning the neo Nazis shock troops to fight against Russia. Not forgetting that the Brits have consistently opposed the Minsk agreement from 2015 and sided with the Ukrainian Nationalists to liberate Crimea at all costs.
    Worst of all there is little or no criticism of UK foreign policy by the population at large least of all from the political class and MSM. This public quietism reflects the prevalent climate of fear and impotence cultivated by the insouciance of a neo liberal conservative hegemony that cannot be questioned.

  9. Frank Munley
    January 24, 2022 at 13:38

    Thank you for a great analysis of US-NATO provocations and prevarications. But what about the people in the Donbass region? I don’t think Russia can just ignore their plight. The Minsk-II agreement provides for a negotiated autonomy for the region, something the Kiev government won’t hear of. But Russia has said little about enforcing Minsk to relieve people in Donbass.

    • rosemerry
      January 25, 2022 at 02:45

      Just recently the Russian news has made known the buildup of aggressive forces of the Ukrainian army in the Donbass and they are concerned . Of course this news is not broadcast in the Western MSM. I will try to find the links. The Saker is always a good source of information from the Russian POV.

  10. Martin Zehr
    January 24, 2022 at 13:34

    German hegemony has for some time been focused on its economic domination of Europe through the EU. The sun set long ago on the British Empire. In this context Russia stands as an historical and strategic impediment. The collective security being promoted now is for one reason, the isolation and dismantlement of the Russian Federation. This goal goes back historically to Napoleon and from there World War 2. The “Cold War” was the last time this strategy was apparent. But, it’s always been the objective of the Western European powers. The dismantlement of Yugoslavia was always the intention of NATO’s expansionism. The German admiral came to the same conclusions. Aggression against Russia because it acted in its own defense is transforming the economic competition into a possible world war once again.

  11. Feral Finster
    January 24, 2022 at 11:27

    Keep in mind that Europe, and Germany in particular, gains nothing out of this fight, a fight that they don’t have to start. No wonder they are getting cold feet.

    1. Germany in particular stands to suffer if gas supplies are curtailed. Even if Russian gas were to be replaced by ‘Merikun Freedom Molecules(R), the infrastructure to offload, transport, process and store those molecules is not in place and will take time and money to construct. Even once that infrastructure is built, gas will be much more expensive, and Europe will be at the mercy of a master that has a nasty habit of dragging its vassals into its foreign adventures.

    Of course, the hypocrisy of European Greens replacing a reliable supply of natural gas via existing pipelines (which are a pretty much carbon-neutral means of transport) with future LPG deliveries by supertanker (which are some of the biggest carbon emitters in existence), all because their American masters ordered them to do so, is too rich for words.

    2. Expect a new wave of refugees. Nobody in Europe can say this, but, while these refugees are white Europeans, if Europe accepts this wave of refugees, doing so will make it that much harder to reject the wave of brown non-European refugees that will surely result from America’s future imperialist wars. (For the record, I do not favor creating refugees, white or otherwise. Nor do I favor privileging white refugees over any other. But you know and I know that is what Europeans are thinking, even if they cannot say so.)

    The European Vassals (ex Poland and the Baltics, which are only too happy to cut off their own noses if doing so might somehow spite Russia) cannot be too jazzed about the prospect of 1. or 2., all as the results of a war that in no way benefits them.

    3. Another NATO failure will surely damage its credibility like nothing else.

  12. RYS
    January 24, 2022 at 08:39

    With such idiotic irresponsible and dangerous claims, the British Foreign Minister Truss puts the former Ukrainian MP Yevgeny Murayev in grave danger of his life. In his place I would leave the country if it is not too late. And Truss would have to leave her job immediately because of her incompetence.

    • Piotr Berman
      January 25, 2022 at 08:41

      I follow news on Ukraine, and there is a substantial sector of Ukrainian public that cherishes Russian language as the preferred medium of communication and would like much closer relationship with Russia, bad relations lead to the loss of many jobs, high utility rates (big part of Ukrainian family budgets, many times larger than in Russia and Belarus). Politicians operating in that field are clearly divided by some being repressed, their TV channels closed, phony “treason” cases persecuting them, having followers beaten up and even murdered with impunity, and those who are very cosy with authorities for overlapping reasons: making splinter movements that do not get any mandates nationally and locally and being “personal projects” of oligarchs, primarily Rinat Akhmetov. Murayev is clearly in the second category, so (a) everything should be fine with him (b) in Ukraine, everybody knows that the story is phony.

  13. Aaron
    January 24, 2022 at 06:23

    Somebody once observed “when all else fails, they take you to war”. That is my fear at this point. Inflation is out of control, the pandemic is out of control, violence and crime is high, the nation is bitterly divided and has more guns than ever, climate change is out of control, and the pressure on the leaders, with the obsequious and eager war profiteers and corporate media and military lifers whispering in their ears, is creating this false choice regarding Russia and the deeply corrupt Ukraine. Clearly, there are some Westerners getting rich from corruption in Ukraine, and they are worried about losing that gravy train.
    The very last thing the world needs right now is this war, it’s totally insane.

  14. Tony
    January 24, 2022 at 05:36

    “Remarks by the British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss that China could engage in military aggression in the Pacific, encouraged by Russia’s contingent moves against Ukraine, are nothing short of demented. Not simply irrational, demented. …”

    Widely seen as the front-runner to succeed Boris Johnson as U K prime minister.

    • Ian Stevenson
      January 24, 2022 at 10:54

      I am British and I agree with Paul Keating. Brexit was the biggest mistake we have made since 1945. Europe has no wish for war, even if Russia is an authoritarian state.
      I can see no reason for even a short invasion of Ukraine by Russia. I have no doubt that Putin is driven by the humiliating experience of the shock therapy of the transition to capitalism. He wants his country to be taken seriously and with respect. There is a deal to be done.
      In the past things to do with membership of a state have often been decided by referendum the Saar, Czechoslovakia, Northern Ireland. Why not have a well supervised referendum in Crimea and then when it is decided, stop the San tions and we can deal with the real problem – climate change

      • rosemerry
        January 24, 2022 at 12:45

        Excuse me- the Iraq War was not important, and Tony Blair???? As for “authoritarian state”, and Putin shock therapy- this again is Western arrogance in the pretence of democracy by USA, UK and others. By the way, a bloodless referendum WAS taken before Crimea was returned to Russia. (unlike the NATO destruction of Yugoslavia and taking of Kosovo from Serbia and calling it a “nation” in 1999.
        If the NATO intransigence continues and is encouraged by certain members, we will see how seriously the Russian response is accepted.

      • Bridget
        January 24, 2022 at 22:13

        Yikes! Rosemerry is **right, you’re way out of your depth on this issue/

        ** There was a Crimean referendum. A final one. (And others before that with similar sentiment.) Maybe it had something to do with the burning alive of folk in Odessa, or the Kievists threat to kill a million ethnic Russians.

  15. Darno
    January 24, 2022 at 04:56

    Oh Joe! From the perspective of a French citizen living in Russia, it is so good to read you. And the best news is that I can show your paper to Russian friends to prove not all Americans, Australians have lost their minds.

    About the sanity of high ranking Brits though… in my view the question remains open!

  16. Moi
    January 24, 2022 at 01:51

    You might like this snippet from Reuters about 12 hours ago:

    Ukrainian politician mocks ‘stupid’ UK claims he could lead Kremlin puppet government

    Former Ukrainian lawmaker Yevhen Murayev derided British allegations that he could be installed as leader of a Kremlin puppet government in Kyiv, and told Reuters in an interview that he was considering legal action.

    He denied having any contact with Russian intelligence officers and dismissed the idea that he could be in league with the Kremlin as “stupid”, given he was placed under Russian sanctions in 2018.

    It appears that Murayev was named as putative leader because he opposes Nato (and Russia in equal measure) and wants Ukraine to remain neutral like Switzerland.

  17. Andrew Peter Nichols
    January 24, 2022 at 01:14

    Britain has begun playing an increasing role with the United States in preparing its populations for war, reminiscent of the lead-up to the 2003 U.S-U.K. invasion of Iraq.

    All this coming at a time when Johnson political career is under serious threat….useful distraction you’d have to say…of course the sate friendly Brit media couldnt possibly suggest such a thing…

    • JohnA
      January 24, 2022 at 04:49

      As a resident of Britain, I can assure everyone that the BBC is leading the propaganda charge against Russia and ‘Russian aggression’, just as it did with Iraq and more recently about ‘barrel bombs’ and ‘gas attacks’ by the Syrian governent. Closely followed by the vast majority of British media.

      • rosemerry
        January 24, 2022 at 12:51

        Readers may be interested in the new BBC Hardtalk interview with Prof Mohammed Marandi from Teheran University about the sanctions on Iran and the “maximum pressure campaign”. Marandi in his courteous, knowledgeable responses and explanations shows up the BBC extreme biases. Marandi is a delegate to the present “negotiations” and advised the Iranian JCPOA team in 2015. He also was injured by chemical weapons from “our side” (Iraq!)during the Iran-Iraq conflict 1980-88)

      • Maricata
        January 24, 2022 at 19:21

        Yep. That is the anglo elite corporate press’s role.

        Psyops

  18. john
    January 23, 2022 at 16:08

    The Chinese Curse about “living in interesting times” certainly applies here.

    Seems to me that we’re about to see another 1/6 “coup” as American Political Leadership fails America over and over and over again. The “apparent” Fascist leader is Trump, but I truly have no idea who might really end up on top.

    After the events of the last 20 years, I no longer consider myself to be an “American”. I want to see the Oligarchy destroyed even at an extreme cost to myself.

    • Lois Gagnon
      January 25, 2022 at 17:11

      Right there with you. This insanity needs to be stopped.

  19. Leroy Campbell
    January 23, 2022 at 15:57

    Thank you, Joe, for continuing this site’s long-time balanced coverage of Russia. The mainstream coverage is nothing
    short of dismaying/infuriating. One “event” which I vividly recall was the derision heaped on Putin based on a picture
    taken while he was on vacation on the Black Sea coast.”Putin is trying to awe his admirers, and cow his adversaries, is the impression I got from the coverage. I’m old enough to remember a similar photo of JFK at Cape Cod, and I don’t remember it eliciting any such derisive remarks, like Kennedy is trying to intimidate Kruschev and attract possible Goldwater voters with this totally unnecessary display of his pectorals.
    Thanks for the continuing balanced coverage of Russia. It is a relief.

  20. Realist
    January 23, 2022 at 14:53

    The public figures who speak the truth get sh!tcanned every day in this “free” and “democratic” West. The sensible people who want to live in peace rather than brew up wars to enable Washington’s firm hold on its long and bloody hegemony are disappearing, being deliberately driven to extinction by the herd of small-minded lemmings propping up the war hawks. Admiral Schonbach, you did your duty to your people and humankind. Too bad your superiors had not the proper respect for you. You have infinite more integrity than that carnival barker Stoltenberg who shills for NATO. Hold your head up, at least until the warmongers in Washington start the war that incinerates us all.

  21. robert e williamson jr
    January 23, 2022 at 13:50

    The statement here by French President Emmanuel Macron is the most intelligent statement I’ve have seen on this issue except maybe the words by the German Vice Admiral Schonbach.

    I’ll likely never know why the U.S. intelligence managed to totally misplay their hand with Putin and Russian but it must have been something huge. Like lots O’ money.

    So here we witness those who should know best seeming to know best and the American State Department and Intelligence communities fumbling like fools. Not a good look when dealing with someone the likes of Mr. Putin.

    I said it before in comments, Putin he needs to allowed to save face and the U.S. foriegn policy needs to focus on things other than spreading hate, lies and death around the world.

    • evelync
      January 23, 2022 at 19:13

      thanks robert e williamson jr.

      re: “I’ll likely never know why the U.S. intelligence managed to totally misplay their hand with Putin and Russian but it must have been something huge. Like lots O’ money.”

      I think you answered your own question, rew jr!

      it’s the money that goes to the wealthy who buy the politicians to serve their interests on profitable wars….

      And I finally began to understand since pondering the why’s since Vietnam – the intelligence services were intended from the beginning to talk like they’re serving the country but in reality they serve the short term financial interests of the elite who profit from wars.

      isn’t that the Occam’s Rasor of this whole costly tragedy of endless wars and failures at home?….sad…tragic

    • Altruist
      January 24, 2022 at 17:35

      Robert, I fully agree with you that the statements by President Macron and Vice Admiral Schönbach are among the most intelligent remarks on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis made by Western leaders, most of which are the usual we-versus-them, black-and-white claptrap.

      There is a very good article by Anatol Lieven that just appeared in Responsible Statecraft (the site of the Quincy Institute) arguing that only Macron has it in his hands to solve the issue -to get the Minsk process underway again, put the Ukrainian jingoists in their place, and help build a new European security infrastructure that will include Russia and not simply push it further and further back – which of course generates a counter-reaction from Russia.

      The big question is whether Macron really “has what it takes” to do this, and if he can really fill the shoes of his great predecessor Charles de Gaulle, who with remarkable prescience foresaw the end of Communism and the need to reintegrate Russia into Europe. And make Europe provide a necessary counterweight to the megalomaniac Anglo-American neo-cons, neo-libs and neo-imperialists who would like to take over the world – all of it – overtly or covertly.

      The Germans seem to be a rather weak second fiddle in all this – Chancellor Scholz is taking sound positions, but constantly has to look over both shoulders, once over to the US big brother, then over to the German little sister, the liberal interventionist Green foreign minister Annalena Baerbock. Germany has to silently suffer verbal abuse from the Ukrainians and is forced to cashier its outspoken Vice Admiral. Hardly the actions of a confident, great power. It’s time for the French to take the rudder.

      As you say, there must be a comprehensive settlement implemented in a face-saving way. Not with the usual Western “my way or the highway” approach.

      (BTW: thanks for your kind response to my comment on the recent CN article on the Schism in US Judaism – I saw it only after comments were closed, so couldn’t respond.)

  22. mgr
    January 23, 2022 at 13:49

    Just to add, Biden and the Democrats are monsters. They cultivated this situation with years of hysterical anti-Russian propaganda to deflect from their party’s profoundly undemocratic actions in the 2016 primaries in favor of their top neocon HRC when that truth became known. Now they intend for us all to pay the price for their banal fecklessness. Even worse now because even beyond what happens in Ukraine their actions have undermined any cooperation for mitigating global climate effects. Note that the covid pandemic, burning forests world-wide and now Ukraine are all part of the growing cascade of climate effects we are seeing from the continued use of fossil fuels. I say, not a vote nor dime more for the abysmally-named “Democratic Party.” Starve the beast and start over.

    • Geoff Burns
      January 24, 2022 at 10:42

      Yes, we’ve had five plus years of unrelenting demonization of Putin. When I ask my Democrat friends what they think of Shawn Henry’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee I get blank stares. Shawn who? Ditto the Durham investigation. The U.S. political landscape is incredibly depressing. I applaud Schonbach for his honesty and his courage. Macron’s statement gives me a glimmer of hope. U.S. hegemony rests largely on not just its military power, but it’s dominance of the world banking system. That could change, and rather abruptly. It seems that even Europe is tiring of U.S. bullying.

      • mgr
        January 25, 2022 at 11:58

        Geoff Burns: Yes, thank you, exactly right about Shawn Henry and the rest. Same here. Like most things now, America’s lofty rhetoric on “rule of law,” democracy, the people, etc. has descended into mere marketing slogans. And yes about America’s bullying (for its own self-interest). What I want to see now is a campaign by the citizens of the EU to get America out of Europe. In the US, the inmates are running the asylum and trying to infect the entire world. Treat US insanity like a disease and quarantine the country.

        I must say that until now I had a pretty good impression of Ursala Von Der Leyen. No more. She should go and take her American lapdog act with her. Apparently she does not recognize that her most important task is to restrain America’s worst impulses, not augment them. That, to me, is an unforgivable flaw. In contrast, Emmanuel Macron, in his recent speech on EU relations with Russia demonstrated actual thought and understanding. We shall see, but it was impressive.

  23. Dan Leatherman
    January 23, 2022 at 13:45

    The English-speaking “Five Eyes” nations evoke a “family” metaphor. Britain is the old Mother with increasing dementia that her big bully oldest son USA removed from EU “nursing home” so she would not be unduly influenced by anyone other than himself.
    His oldest sister Canada lives next door and is willing to be totally dominated by him. His younger brother Australia moved halfway around the world but tries to imitate big brother’s bullying tactics in his own smaller space. Finally, the younger sister New Zealnd also moved as far away as possible from ll of them and shows the most independence.

    • Rob Roy
      January 23, 2022 at 19:40

      Good one, Dan, and got a chuckle, too.

  24. Martin - Swedish citizen
    January 23, 2022 at 13:32

    Thanks for lifting this issue and putting it in the right perspective, as always!

    I find it is usually revealing to turn the Western accusations around; the British think the Russians plot a coup in Kiev. In reality, that is what the Us and British already did in 2014. It is a common error of thought to think others think and plot the way oneself does.
    The Russians are being “aggressive “ – well who has really been aggressive since the 1990’s?

    • stephen kelley
      January 23, 2022 at 21:14

      i do agree. psychologists call this phenomenon cognitive dissonance.

      • Andrew Thomas
        January 24, 2022 at 15:23

        And projection. With malice aforethought.

  25. vinnieoh
    January 23, 2022 at 13:20

    Thanks Joe. US media is so invested in this giant lie that they can’t go back now. Frightening.

    To hell with Great Britian, and good on Paul Keating for saying what needed to be said.

    “On Saturday, the British Foreign Office said Russia is planning to “install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine.”” I know Joe already gave a good reply to that, but some other replies could be made:

    Turnabout is fair play;

    What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

    A part of me is suspicious that the US/Anglos want to unload that overcooked corrupt turkey known as Ukraine, but hey they bought it (literally) – they own it. In lieu of affordable workable US health care we will now prop up Ukraine for the next 20 years ($$$$$$). Responsible democratic government my ass. I knew that Biden was inserted into the D candidacy to block real healthcare reform, but I did not foresee this route they are taking. Too bizarre? As the US is Europe’s – and especially Britian’s – bastard child, our unelected deep state is just as insane as the Brits’. I guess it runs in the family.

    Sorry for the wild speculations. Keep speaking the truth Joe Lauria. I agree that the propaganda is just as thick as in 2002/2003, and that indeed is very frightening; this is not 2003, and the unipolar moment passed some years ago. Someone forgot to tell the MICIMATT.

  26. Sam F
    January 23, 2022 at 10:15

    The constant US bullying on the borders of Russia and China in the absence of any plausible threat is the clearest evidence that US foreign policy consists solely of political scams by tyrant demagogues and the MIC to steal public funds.
    They seek to create similar right-wing factions in Russia and China to create mutual fake threats for personal gain.
    The success of their constant faking-up of monsters, provocations, and false-flag attacks proves the failure of the US to educate citizens in the basics of democracy and its real threats: tyranny, demagogues, and their constant lies about external threats.
    US institutions of government and mass media are in ruins, no more than a rotted pretense of democracy.
    The federal government must be re-designed to exclude such elements.

  27. Hujjatullah M.H.B. Sahib
    January 23, 2022 at 10:13

    What a totally rational retort by Keating. It sounds as though there is not just fissures at the All European camp but also within the Anglo-Saxon nitch. This is definitely a responsible put down of the Up Above by the Down Under underdogs !

  28. mgr
    January 23, 2022 at 09:21

    What stupidity, let’s by all means remove anyone rational. If truth does damage, then Germany has become far too much like America. America’s ideological agenda distorts and endagers the entire world, even more so when mutual respect and cooperation are not just a “nice idea” but a bedrock necessity if our species is to survive on this planet. If not, we are down to our last few generations. Time to shun the spoilers who prefer living in caves and using stone utensils while worshiping their wooden spears.

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