Thanksgiving Roundup: Ceasefires And Politics
First of all, Thanksgiving wishes to all readers. I know the world is a pretty depressing place these days, but we still have a lot to be thankful for. Starting with greater access to truth.
Yesterday I came across an article (h/t Alexander Mercouris) at a significant US foreign affairs site (The National Interest) that takes up the Neocon fantasy of a “frozen conflict”, a la Korea, as a way to extricate their sorry behinds from the debacle of their war on Russia in Ukraine. Which is to say, to extricate America from Ukraine but—and this is key—without necessarily renouncing the war of the Neocon Empire on Russia and its people. The article is somewhat notable because the author, Matthew Blackburn, eschews pretty much all of the usual incantational scheming that characterizes most such articles. He ruthlessly pops the “it’s a stalemate” balloon along with other Neocon delusions, such as that Russia is being weakened by this despicable war—rather than the American Empire being the major casualty.
What I’ve done is, I’ve basically gone through the article and extracted the theme sentences from each paragraph, to boil it down to essentials. Of course, the author expands on all the points. The organization of the article is commendably straightforward. Blackburn first sets out the preconditions that made the Korean “Frozen Peace” possible, then compares each of those preconditions to the Ukraine situation. He argues—cogently, in my view—that none of those preconditions that were present in the Korean conflict apply in Ukraine. Finally, he asks: What comes next?
The Preconditions of Korea’s Frozen Peace
The freezing of the Korean War was based on three factors. The first was the military stalemate …
The second factor was the agreement of the great powers (China, the USSR, and the United States) that ending the war was in their interests.
The third was ideological.
The election of President Eisenhower on the mandate of a negotiated settlement shifted America closer to a deal and away from anti-communist moralism—a key precondition to striking a deal on the prisoners and securing the frozen peace.
Why the Ukraine War Cannot Be Frozen—Yet
These three preconditions do not currently apply to the war in Ukraine. First, it is an error to characterize the war as a stalemate ...
Another missing precondition is the agreement of the great powers.
Russia appears ready to fight on for years until it has a direct line to Washington or has achieved the collapse of the Ukrainian state.
Another sticking point is whether the West can offer Ukraine a security guarantee acceptable to Russia.
The third precondition—dialing down ideology to make a deal—also looks uncertain.
What comes next?
Given the lack of preconditions for a frozen peace and negotiations not having even started, a further cycle of military escalation is likely.
Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, has admitted the longer the war goes on, the better it is for Russia.
The war is not a stalemate, and further escalations are likely.
A few comments. It seems to me that the claim that the war is somehow in a stalemate—which Blackburn dismisses so ruthlessly—is mostly a ploy of the Neocons for domestic consumption. It’s motivation is to convince the dummies back home in America that there is a strategic basis for the war on Russia—i.e., we might still win. Still, the whole reason for continuing is based on the ideological basis, which Blackburn doesn’t really delve into that deeply. The ostensible reason is that Putin is literally Hitler—I think I’ve got that right? That, too, is mostly a propaganda ploy for domestic consumption. Shopworn 19th century geopolitics does play a role, and that role is especially prominent among British writers stuck in their imperial past. But I agree with economist Michael Hudson that the primary motivation, what I think is a sine qua non in the circumstances, is a Jewish desire for revenge against Russian anti-semitism, as they perceive it. By Hudson’s account, then, the fact that so many—but not all—of the most prominent Russia haters are Jewish Americans is a fact that goes beyond coincidence. Again, I point to my 15 minutes of fame on the Michael Savage show back in August. That was months before the Hamas raid into Israel; the topic was the war on Russia; but Michael’s major concern—as it turned out—was his fear that this war would lead to a wave of anti-semitism. He was on to something.
The other major point that Blackburn makes is that Russia is perfectly willing to play the Great Power game. In point of fact, Putin has made it abundantly clear that he has no intention of dealing with the Western European vassals of the Neocon Empire. What he wants is a new European Security Order—a Yalta 2.0, if you will. That can only be accomplished by dealing directly with the American Empire. Until the Neocons bite the bullet, swallow their ideological bile, that won’t happen. But no matter—Putin is ready to continue the war, secure in the knowledge that Russia will win decisively, and the longer the war the more decisive the victory. The American Empire is being bled of both its military and its diplomatic resources, while Russia grows stronger in both categories. A long war—proposed until recently by most Neocons, and still by many—is a win/win for Russia, barring unforeseen events. Neocon unconditional support for genocide against Arabs simply deepens the pool of doo-doo into which they are plunging the leftovers of the American Republic, which they have attempted to use for their own purposes. Regime change in America seems more likely now, than in Russia.
On the political front, the Neocon war on Palestinians is turning out to be a developing hot potato for the Uniparty. Fox News features an article that suggests that there could be a tectonic shift underway in US politics:
Their frustrations in part arose because of his support for Israel
The article (which is a rehash of a WaPo article) focuses on young liberals who are bummed out by the realization that they voted to empower a gang of genocidal maniacs—it took the war on Gaza to bring that home; the death and destruction in Ukraine apparently didn’t register on these knuckleheads. I’ll skip their concerns, except to note that their are three ways that this could affect voting: These people could simply stay home; they could switch to Trump; they could vote only for candidates that meet their concerns about Palestine. The real bottom line, however, is this:
The article pointed to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll that found 48% of Gen Z and millennial respondents considered Israel's military response to be "too much." Overall, 38% of the public shared the same sentimient.
First of all, while I’m not a polling guru, my supposition is that an issue like this—especially this particular issue—is a difficult one to conduct a poll on. Unquestioning support for Israel is baked into the American public orthodoxy—violation was, until very recently, grounds for immediate excommunication, cancellation, relegation to non-person status. Respondents will naturally be reluctant to violate that taboo on criticizing Israel. And the fact that as many people as did were willing to register disapproval is signficant.
Naturally, this is a special problem for the Dem branch of the Uniparty, given the demographic breakdown of the results. If Israel continues its genocidal war and wags their American dog along—as they appear to have every intention of doing—this issue will have a serious effect on Dem prospects in 2024.
Normally, one would expect the GOP branch of the Uniparty to make hay from that issue, but the GOP is poorly positioned to do so. And so far general war weariness among Republican voters hasn’t made too much of a dent in their support for Israel.
All we can say at this point is that, the longer this war continues, the more it escalates, the greater the odds become for a more widespread revulsion in America. I don’t believe there is a possibility of growing support for Israel, only for declining. A sign of this dynamic, in my view, is the fact that it has now become increasingly acceptable to speak of The Israel Lobby—previously the elephant in the room that it just wasn’t polite to mention. This alone qualifies as a tectonic shift. Again, I think back to the discussion with Michael Savage. So far, the only response to these developments in the public square has been to double down on the “anti-semite” slur—not a winning strategy. The result is that we’re seeing unprecedented events in public (follow links for videos):
Censored Men @CensoredMen
Ex-Obama advisor [Stuart Seldowitz] has been arrested after footage emerged of him harassing an Egyptian street food vendor for supporting Palestine.
He was arrested on preliminary charges of:
- Hate crime/stalking.
- Second-degree aggravated harassment.
- Stalking causing fear.
- Stalking at employment.
Or a well known British historian:
British author and public historian Alison Weir reveals the secret of Israel's creation
Just as concerning is the effect that Israel’s war, in which Americans are the dog that’s being wagged, could have on warfare going forward. The Neocon war on Russia also features war on civilians, but the war in Palestine is being brought home to Americans in a new way. Alastair Crooke quoted a prominent Israeli cabinet member recently in this regard:
The Chair of B’Tselem’s Executive Board, Orly Noy, has written an article – The Israeli Public has Embraced the Smotrich Doctrine – that underlines how the internalization of Smotrich’s ‘Decisive Plan’ is manifest in popular support for Israel’s ‘emigration or annihilation’ Gaza policy:
“Six years ago, Bezalel Smotrich, then a young Knesset member in his first term, published his thinking of an endgame for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict … Instead of maintaining the illusion that a political agreement is possible, he argued, the issue must be unilaterally resolved once and for all.
[The solution Smotrich proposed was to offer] “the 3 million Palestinian residents a choice: to renounce their national aspirations and continue living on their land in an inferior status, or to emigrate abroad. If, instead, they choose to take up arms against Israel, they will be identified as terrorists and the Israeli army will set about “killing those who need to be killed.” When asked at a meeting, in which he presented his plan to religious-Zionist figures, if he also meant killing families, women, and children, Smotrich replied: “In war as in war””.
Orly Noy argues that this thinking is not simply confined to the Cabinet or the Israeli Right – rather, it has gone mainstream. Israeli media and political discourse shows that when it comes to the current IDF assault on Gaza, large parts of the Israeli public have completely internalized the logic of Smotrich’s thinking.
This is a side of Israel that hasn’t been seen by most Westerners previously. What will be the effect of this new knowledge? How will it affect reaction to escalation? These are reactions that I don’t endorse, but which are predictable:
Bronan The Contrarian @Sothisislife001
Just delete Kyiv.
Israel and USA just set precedence. Deleting cities to solve issues is not morally wrong according to the moral compass of the species.
So delete it and end the war. I mean future gens call you a terrorist, but right now ppl wont care.....
7:50 AM · Nov 23, 2023
Israel has rewritten the script for a warfare! Now Israeli women,adults , old people, kids, hospitals , schools etc would all be legitimate targets incase of another attack. Palestinian doesn’t have anything to loose now they’ve lost sooo much!
8:19 AM · Nov 23, 2023
Many, probably most, Americans would respond: Not in our names! But to do something effective requires political action.
Just found a much more accurate depiction of the spread of jewish settlements (then israeli settlements after independence - note: this includes Israeli Arab living in them) vis-a-vis Palestinian-Arab ones. I think, a real proper solution is a one state solution: State of Israel & Palestine. One that both people can just live and travel freely in both lands... But unfortunately, I'm not sure I will live long enough to see this dream of mine happen. =\
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