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War Diary: Texac Reminisces about His First New Year’s Day in Donetsk

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  =   War Diary by Russell “Texac” Bentley  =

My First Battle, Troishka, New Year’s Day 2015

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EditorsNote_WhiteOur correspondent Russell Bentley has been filing his dispatches from Donetsk for over  a year now. In the process, and chiefly due to the fact he often does his writing literally from the frontlines of the war in Eastern Ukraine, as a regular soldier in the Novorossyian Armed Forces (NAF), the priorities in the publication of his materials have sometimes shifted. This is a report filed by him about one year ago, and subsequently modified. Passages may have been published before. But what he has to say—as always— remains relevant, fresh, and inspiring. —PG

SEE ALSO RELATED ARTICLE: THE SERPENT AND THE CROWN, MY FIRST COMBAT POSITION / We wish to acknowledge Daniel Wirt’s editorial contributions to the final presentation of these materials. Any deficits or shortcomings the readers may encounter are surely not his fault. —PG

BE SURE TO CLICK ON IMAGES FOR BEST APPRECIATION. 


I woke up on New Year’s Day 2015 without a hangover though the night before I had drunk some champagne and a fair amount of vodka. Not a lot, but about as much as I would have drunk on a regular NYE back in the States. I was always pretty careful in that respect, I never got a single DWI. But I didn’t wake up back in the States, I woke up in a convent in the middle of a graveyard in Southeast Ukraine that was a major battlefield in the opening salvos of the Third World War. Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 8.17.06 PM Inside my sleeping bag, I was fully clothed in the Russian Army winter fatigues I had bought, along with the sleeping bag, in Rostov before crossing the border into Novorussia. Disrobing for sleep the night before had consisted of removing my boots, steel Class IV armored vest and kevlar helmet and hanging my AK-74 on a hook with my webgear. Across the room from me, in the frozen pitch black darkness, snored the two Italian volunteers, Spartak and Archangel. Below me, Lataishik, the sniper, and in the bunk next to his, Bielka, the PKM machine-gunner. Above them, the only guy on a top bunk, lay Texas, the New Kid on the Block, who wasn’t from anywhere around there. That would be me, your humble narrator…

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Left to right: Spartak, Archangel, (Italy) Texac, (USA) Alfonzo (Spain) and Orion (Russia)

IT WAS PITCH DARK, totally dark, and it was freezing. The temp was not so bad as long as I only stuck my nose out of the bag. The bag itself was rated for the Arctic, and that, along with my heavy Russian uniform, kept me pretty warm. Except for my nose. The windows were filled with sandbags, to the point that they were almost airtight. They were certainly light tight, and pretty good protection against bullets and artillery shrapnel, which was the main idea. The doors were covered, inside and out by heavy rugs nailed in place over the doors. They too were pretty much airtight. The walls of the building were almost 18 inches thick, including the interior walls and doorways. Airtight, light tight, freezing cold, it was almost like being in a crypt. The only difference was I had to take a piss.


I reached around and felt for my flashlight. Besides guns, food and bullets, a flashlight is one of the most important things you can have at the Front. I’d been in some pretty primitive situations before, and I had an idea about what to bring. I brought three. Two were the kind you wear on your head, and another handheld that could be charged by cranking. I found the one I was feeling around for and turned it on. The wood stove below me was cold and dark. I climbed down and lit a candle, the only source of illumination, besides flashlights. Since I was going outside to piss, I donned my steel vest and grabbed my Kalash. I walked to the end of the hallway and walked down the stairs. There were a few openings in the windows on the first floor, and the dim light of dawn filtered through. Which meant the snipers could see me.

Our position, our building, faced enemy positions on two sides – to the North, straight ahead, the Donetsk Airport control tower raised its head like a ragged viper, 400 meters away. About halfway between was a woodline that was the launching site for the almost daily Ukrop attacks. To the right, to the West, in the direction of Freedom and Prosperity, the New Terminal of the Donetsk Airport was held by the “Cyborgs” a supposedly elite unit of the Ukrainian Army, backed by Pravy Sektor Nazis and Western mercenaries. Our toilet was a small building about 50 meters across open ground, covered by Ukrop sniper fire from the control tower. I asked the guy on guard duty (in sign language, of course) if that was where I had to go to piss. It turned out that I could piss on the floor in one of the downstairs rooms, it was only if I had to take a shit that I’d have to brave the sniper fire. I decided to try that later, and settled for a piss.


[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hat morning it occurred to me that I was among true Freedom Fighters, men who were defending their own homes and families from foreign invaders who were bent on nothing less than enslavement of the locals.  These men were not “defending freedom” by going to a foreign country and shooting people there, they were defending their own freedom, literally in their own backyards, and doing it quite well. We faced 150 infantry, Pravy Sektor and Regular Army, armor and artillery, including Grads (rocket batteries). There were never more than 20 of us there at once, usually a lot less. Firefights every night, and almost every day. Thousands of rounds, each way. Artillery every few days, fifty to a hundred rounds, incoming. But we held our own.

I returned upstairs, where things were starting to stir. The first stove to be lit was in the kitchen. Ammo crates were the preferred firewood, and the majority of what we had to burn. Coffee, nyet, but there was tea, “chai” black and strong, with too much sugar. Breakfast was the leftover potato soup from the night before. As the morning progressed, I began to interact with my comrades, and take stock of them, and them of me. The two combat commanders were Reem and Mir (“Chrome” and “Peace”.)  The following equation may not make sense to the civilians or mathematicians among us, but combat vets will know what I mean – Reem was worth any 10 regular soldiers, and Mir was worth 5, but together they were worth 30, and there were plenty of times when 30 Ukrops were scared to go up against just those two. They ran the “Utes”, and they ran it heavy. The Utes is a heavy machine gun, equal to the US M-2 50 cal. Reem was the gunner, and Mir was his sideman and spotter. Reem was a big man, but he seemed even bigger. Mir was a short guy, but the scarier of the two.

Chrome, Russell and Mir

“Reem” means “Chrome”, and “Mir” means “Peace” or “Earth”. (Mir’s face blurred for the safety of his family, which still resides in Kiev controlled territory).

Reem didn’t say much, and everything that Mir said to me seemed somehow tinged with a threat. When Mir told me he was a dentist, I figured he really meant “dentist” in the mafia sense – he knocked people’s teeth out with his fists for a living. He wasn’t the kind of guy who needed pliers. That evening, over dinner, Mir peppered me with questions, what I knew about Russian history, Russian culture. Well, I knew a bit. Come and See by Elim Klimov, Eta Vso by DDT. The Sacred War. Reem just sat back and listened. He didn’t say much, but like E. F. Hutton, when Reem talked, everybody listened. I did too, of course, but the only difference was I couldn’t understand anything he said. He was that kind of guy, a big, dark Russian with a rumbling voice like the sound of distant artillery that was slowly coming closer. He could say “Merry Christmas” and it would sound like the voice of impending doom. But I could tell he liked me, even if I was pretty sure Mir didn’t. After dinner, Mir invited me back to the Commander’s Room, at the suggestion of Reem.  Of course, I went.

Each room, including the Commander’s, had two double bunks on the North and South walls, for a total of 8 bunks in each room, usually with 4 or 5 soldiers in each. Candles were the only illumination, but Reem’s stove worked better than most, and the room was actually warm. We sat down for some Green Tea.

We had some tea, a Russian tradition that while not as formal as the Japanese ceremony, had its protocols. I sat in a dark room, lit by a single candle and listened to Reem give combat instructions to the other 3 soldiers who were there, then he turned to me and made me understand it was time to fight. The Ukrops would start their attack within the next 10 minutes. I was to got to my room, don my vest, helmet and webgear with 4 loaded magazines and be ready to work. In Russian military circles, the word “robota”, “to work”, means to start shooting. I did as I was told. In my room, I paused for a moment to say a prayer, then donned my gear and reported to the guys who were setting up near the Utes at the front of the building, facing the control tower. I was instructed to take a firing position on the 3rd floor, along with Arik the sniper. It was about 8PM, and a light snow had started to fall. We took up our position just as the Ukrops began to open fire.


 SIDEBAR READ BELOW ABOUT THE MONASTERY TURNED INTO AN STRATEGIC POST WHERE TEXAC WAS STATIONED WITH HIS COMRADES

The war destroys a monastery in Donetsk. Click on this bar to open dossier.
iversky monetary donetskABOVE: The Monastery in 2008. "This church is a part of the monastery and is almost out of the town. Right next to the airport. Normally people came here because of their relatives’ death. There is a cemetery at the church. Now there is no church, no monastery, no cemetery. On May 26th the shelling began. On the 27th there was Easter and many thought we would not survive. But we survived. More people started to come to the church when the war broke out – perhaps because people realized, that we could easily lose our church soon. Sisters lived in the monastery under the shelling for two months. When the danger got extremely high, we took sisters to Larinka. Then several sad pieces of news reached us – on the Internet, we found a video, showing how the monastery was shelled. Later on a fire broke out in the church. After the fire almost all the icons were evacuated. The monastery is destroyed, and the military people are there now, but we believe, everything will be alright. All who are guilty will be punished by God."


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What the war has done to the Iversky monastery. A war of choice triggered by Western intrigues and plots against Russia. (Wiki photo CC)


Sidebar Ends Here


Sitting there, warmed by a wood stove, lit by a candle, listening to the soft, deep and ominous rumble of Reem’s voice, I felt about as far away as it was possible to be from the conventional reality of my friends and family back in the States. I was living like an outlaw cowboy from the 1800’s, but I was doing so in Eastern Europe in the 21st Century. It was crazy, it was weird, it was hard and it was scary, but there was no place on Earth I would rather have been.

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Texac on guard duty. The bitter cold makes things even more interesting.

We had some tea, a Russian tradition that while not as formal as the Japanese ceremony, had its protocols. I sat in a dark room, lit by a single candle and listened to Reem give combat instructions to the other 3 soldiers who were there, then he turned to me and made me understand it was time to fight. The Ukrops would start their attack within the next 10 minutes. I was to get to my room, don my vest, helmet and webgear with 4 loaded magazines and be ready to work. In Russian military circles, the word “robota”, “to work”, means to start shooting. I did as I was told. In my room, I paused for a moment to say a prayer, then donned my gear and reported to the guys who were setting up near the Utes at the front of the building, facing the control tower. I was instructed to take a firing position on the 3rd floor, along with Arik the sniper. It was about 8PM, and a light snow had started to fall. We took up our position just as the Ukrops began to open fire. church door

One of the first things you learn, instinctively and without instruction, is to tell the difference between bullets being fired in your general direction and bullets being fired directly at you. The latter have a distinctive “crack!”, a mini-sonic boom as they pass, or else you can hear their impact on whatever cover you happen to be using for protection. The tempo and intensity of fire from the Ukrops quickly increased. There were at least 3 separate groups in the woodline, 150 meters to our front – one on the left and two to the right. Probably between 12 and 20 soldiers, laying down a steady stream of fire. …It was a surreal existence, dark, cold, deadly danger. In a strange language. Operating mostly on vibes. They’d look at me and tell me something important, and I’d have absolutely no idea what the words they’d just said meant, but I could catch the vibe. And I have to say I caught on pretty quick. It only took me two days to figure out I was wearing my body armor backwards. Russians don’t teach you, they let you figure it out. And we all had a good laugh when I did. The trick to doing everything the right way, the best way it can be done, is to do it like they do.

 

  Arik and I would take turns firing out the window, then take cover and await the return fire. I would pop up, fire off 5 or 6 rounds in 4 seconds or so, then get down. Arik would wait about 10 or 15 seconds, then take a position at the window and fire 2 or 3 aimed shots with his SVD. We were effective, and soon came under sustained fire. At one point, a green Ukrop tracer came through the window right between us. And of course, when you see a tracer, there are 3 or 4 more non-tracer bullets that you do not see, coming along with it. We both saw the tracer come through the window. We looked at each other and laughed, then got back to work. It did not take for me to empty my 5 magazines, and I headed down to the second floor to reload. The battle was in full pitch. Reem and Mir manned the Utes, and Bielka had the PKM working from the window to the left of the Utes. Reem had a highly effective method of shooting – although the Utes is a fully automatic machine gun, Reem had perfected the technique of firing single shots. It was a steady drumbeat of fire, about one round per second, each round at a different target. The PKM and other shooters developed a rhythm with the Utes, which created a solid stream of hot lead covering all Ukrop firing positions almost constantly. Though we were outnumbered, we maintained the initiative, and controlled the battle.

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] reloaded my mags as quickly as I could, and learned many important lessons in the process. Often, in battles at Troishka, both sides would need to reload at pretty much the same time. Being able to reload quickly is as important as being able to unload accurately. I was pretty slow that first night, but soon learned to get much, much better. I returned to the window where Arik was still working, and took up my firing position. I fired a round, then pulled the trigger again. Nothing happened. I looked down at my rifle and saw the bolt was jammed in a half open position.  I tried pushing forward and pulling back, but it was stuck. Fuck…CB-tower-scope2 The Kalashnikov series of rifles are among the best combat weapons ever produced, and their superior quality has always been their reliability. I thought that either a Ukrop bullet had hit my rifle, or a bad bullet had exploded in the chamber. I went downstairs, not relishing the idea of sitting out the rest of the raging firefight with an inoperable weapon. I showed my rifle to Mongoose, the commander. He also tried to get it to function, to no avail. So he gave me an RPK that was in the arms room, and I continued the fight with that. The battle continued for several hours, until the Ukrops finally withdrew back to the control tower complex. We gathered in the arms room to reload and to smoke cigarettes. It was about midnight, and it had been a long night. I left my AK in the arms room, and took the RPK with me to my bunk. I removed my webgear, helmet, boots and vest, and crawled up onto my bunk. The room was still of course freezing cold, no fire in the stove, only a candle for illumination. I slid into my bag, said a prayer of thanks, and went to sleep, with only my nose sticking out. Tomorrow would be another busy day.


The days and nights consisted of taking care of day to day chores while waiting, and being ready, to be attacked by numerically superior forces at any time. We usually had about 5 minutes warning, from radio intercepts or observation that the attack was coming in the next few minutes, or some Ukrop would open fire early, and let us know they were coming.  When we hit back, it was hard. Reem and Mir were on the Utes heavy machine gun, and we had an AGS automatic grenade launcher, plus maybe 10 or 12 more guys with rifles. Plenty of ammo. Supplies were delivered every day or so, water, food, ammo. At dawn the car or van would arrive, 3 or 4 of us would run across the open terrain to the relative cover in front of the church. And back with heavy burdens, two or three trips. Firewood was a rarity, though there was a big pile of wooden construction debris about 300 meters away, across sniper scanned fields. And we went and got it there too. Nobody got hit, but in retrospect, it seemed crazy. No matter. Within a few days of my arrival, we were shooting so much ammo we had plenty of wooden ammo crates to burn. Plenty.

One night, I was assigned to AGS duty. The AGS is a machine gun that shoots grenades that will cut any exposed meat within a 5 meter radius of where they hit.  But totally ineffective against armor. As the nightly Ukrop attack began, Lataishik, Mas and I unsheathed the monster and prepared for battle. It was pitch dark, and I couldn’t see a thing. We couldn’t use our flashlights because light draws fire, so it was literally touch and go. Lataishik let off about 5 rounds and then turned to me and said “Te agon”, “You shoot”. I felt my way over and went ahead and did. All the while, bullets are impacting within a foot or two of the edge of the window we are firing out of. You just have to ignore them and keep on working. When they shoot at you, you can see the muzzle flash from the rifles. Then you know where to shoot back with a grenade machine gun. I laid some down. I had learned from Mir on the Utes that you never shoot the same target twice, a different one every time, every few seconds, so they never know if the next one’s for them. We ran through six 25 round drums, then it was time to reload. Quickly, because the battle was not over.

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]ataishik assumed sniper duty at the window with his SVD. Mas and I headed up to the ammo room to reload. Reloading AGS belts, under optimum conditions is not an easy task. Barehanded in the freezing dark, for the first time, in the middle of a battle, I have to rate as among the toughest things I have ever done. And that’s how it went. OJT, On the Job Training, but I was catching on. I hadn’t gotten killed yet, or gotten anyone else killed, so I was doing pretty good. I did my share of guard duty – on the stairs by the AGS, guarding the entrance against “surprise visitors” in the form of Pravy Sektor commandos stationed half a kilometer away. The other guard post, manned 24 hours a day, was the PKM window beside the Utes. We had a night vision (light amplification) scope for the Utes, and a handheld thermal imager for observation. Beyond bullets, beyond Grads, my biggest fear was that I would drop the thermal imager on guard duty. I t was one of our most important weapons. Technically, “Non-lethal”, but it multiplied the power of every weapon 20 times, because it could show us where to shoot. Remember that when US government hacks talk about non-lethal aid. Some of the most important weapons in war cannot kill people by themselves.

THE BATTLES OCCURRED WITH REGULARITY, pretty much every day, and every night. Battles lasted at least an hour, sometimes many hours, with literally thousands of rounds fired by each side. One night, Mongoose was at the next position, Milnitsa, (“Windmill”) meeting with other commanders when the Ukrops attacked Troishka. It was a heavy battle, and we soon needed to reload. Unfortunately, Mongoose had the key to the main ammo room, and fire was too heavy for him to make his way back. It was not a pleasant situation – We were literally running out of bullets for all our weapons, and it wouldn’t take the Ukrops and Pravy Sektor nazis long to figure it out. 150 meters across semi-open ground, and they would be at the door. We would be fighting with knives against psychos with loaded machine guns.

Fortunately, Orion, who had arrived a few days after me, came up with a solution, not elegant, but effective – a wood-splitting maul makes a passable field expedient door key when your life is on the line, and within minutes, the door was in splinters, and we were opening ammo cans and reloading mags and ammo belts as if our lives depended on it. Which, of course, they did. Reloading is as important a skill as shooting. There are tricks to it, as with everything here. When you’ve loaded up all your mags, you take a big handful of loose rounds and put them in the right hand pocket of your coat. Not the left side pocket, because then you have to transfer every round to the right hand before you put it in the mag, and it takes almost twice as long to re-load. With our mags topped off, we suddenly began returning heavy fire towards the Ukrops who were advancing, much to their surprise and dismay. We owed a debt of thanks to Orion, and after the battle, we all gave him a pat on the back.

Each day was like a week, and filled with learning experiences. I was promoted to a front firing position, to the right of the Utes, my “office” with a small firing port that had been chipped out of the wall. I often shared my office with Mars, the top sniper in the Essence of Time combat unit and one of the best snipers in the NAF.

I was asked if I wanted to train as a sniper, but declined. Sniper is a young man’s job, and I was a bit old, and my eyesight was not quite up to snuff. I was pretty good with the Kalashnikov and PKM, but was reluctant to take up the sniper’s SVD. The war continued…

On the 12th of January, Motorola and Spartak Battalion moved into the Cachigarka position under heavy fire. Cachigarka is halfway between Troishka and the New Terminal. That evening, the Utes was moved from it’s usual position to a window facing New Terminal. We were given a warning order that Sparta would assault the New terminal that night, and we would provide covering fire for their approach.

At 22:00 Hours (10 PM) the attack began. The entire New terminal was lit by muzzle flashes and incoming tracers. Mortar and artillery fire was constant. It was an important engagement with more than a hundred soldiers on each side. As Sparta entered the Terminal on the left, we were instructed to shift our fire to the right end of the Terminal. At about 1 AM, a magazine of green tracer was fired straight up into the air, the signal that the New Terminal had been taken. It was a major victory for the NAF. At 4 AM, I was posted to guard duty at the door. In the last few minutes of my 3 hour shift, exhausted, I started to doze off, only to awaken moments later to Mars standing above me on the stairs, understandably very angry. I would be assigned “robot duty” as punishment for my infraction. Orion would also be joining me. Under artillery attack the night before, he was reporting to Milnitsa, and was saying over open radio frequencies that Ukrop rounds were landing “300 meters to our left.” As Mars pointed out, he was inadvertently acting as an artillery spotter for the Ukrops. So, the next day, Orion and I made our way under intense artillery fire to the Gavin position.

black-horizontal[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hey had a basement there that was to be used as a bomb shelter, but was filled with junk, old food and other miscellaneous debris. Our job was to clean the basement. Although it was a punishment mission, the weather was clear and not too bitterly cold, and we were several hundred meters back from Troishka, in relative safety. It was almost a holiday. We spent a few hours working hard to clear out the basement, then lounged around in the sunlight and clean, crisp, smoke-free air. While we were there, Somali Brigade brought up several tanks and began a sustained fire attack on the control tower. Just after lunch, it was cut down. The ukrops still held the buildings in the control tower complex, but had been deprived of an important observation post, at the probable cost of several of their lives. Another major victory for us. We were kickin’ ass and taking names…

I had picked up a bad lung infection in training at Ysynavada, and I continued to have a serious cough. During my weeks at Troishka, it had not gotten any better. It could not have gotten any worse, because it was already as bad as it could get. The frigid temperatures and dense smoke that were ever-present did not help any, either. It was really bad, but not bad enough for me to ask to go to the hospital. I had not come to Donbass to check into a hospital of my own volition. But on the 14th of January, the Vostok Battalion doctor came to Troishka to visit me. He asked many questions, listened to my chest and noted the lung-crushing conditions of smoke and cold. He did his best to talk me into coming back with him, but I refused. I did not intend to leave before my comrades did. But the next evening, having green tea with Reem, a message came over the radio – I was ordered to be ready to move to the hospital the next morning at dawn, and to leave when the supply van departed. Conditions were very harsh, and honestly, I was very sick, but I was more dismayed than relieved by the order. In my rudimentary Russian, I conveyed to Reem that I did not want to go and had not asked to. He understood.

At dawn on the 16th of January, I bid my comrades good luck and boarded the van back to civilization. After a little over two weeks in heavy combat, my entire perspective on life had changed, and I finally had a realistic idea about what my new life was really going to be like. As the van made its way from combat zone to city center, it was like going from one world to another, though separated by only a few thousand meters. At the Vostok hospital, I was prescribed 4 days of bed rest. Rather than stay at the hospital, I prevailed on my doctor to allow me to stay ay the apartment of my friend Christian Malaparte. Ti was warmer and more comfortable, the food was better and most of all I could communicate in English. Between basic training and combat at Troishka, it had been over a month without a single day off, without a doubt, the hardest month I had ever spent in my life. I was ready for a little R&R, and felt I deserved it. I got to Christian’s apartment, was fed royally, chugged down most of a bottle of Armenian cognac and passed out for the next 16 hours. Meanwhile, back at the airport, Troishka was about to become the scene of one of the biggest and most important battles of the war…


ADDENDUM
Days of war and comradeship…la lotta continua.

Reem, Poet, and Texac

Reem, Poet, and Texac

This one’s me, Reem and Poet. Poet joined the NAF in Summer 2014. He was 16, told ’em he was 19, they let him in. He served 6 months in Vostok Bn. Artillery, then came to CB in March 2015. He was at the front line Ushi position and Milnitsa with me and also at the hottest of them all, Blisna. We tried to protect him as much as we could, but he still got in the thick of things many times. He was a good soldier, tough and brave. He’s 18 now, and retired. But he’ll come back if we need him. Spetznaz Donbass.

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The battle of Donetsk Airport was one of the earliest and fiercest encounters of this war.
This is our salute to the heroic defenders of this important position.

Glyph


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New Year’s Greeting from Donetsk

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  =   War Diary by Russell “Texac” Bentley  =  

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Russell Bentley (Texac)
Mike Kuhlenbeck
DISPATCH FROM DONETSK

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 Russell “Texas” Bentley is an American fighting fascism in the Donbass region of Southeast Ukraine. Since the NATO-supported coup in 2014 that swept the fascists into power, he has been serving alongside anti-fascist comrades since December of that year. From January-June 2015, he was a soldier in the Essence of Time combat unit of the Novorussian Armed Forces at the Donetsk People’s Republic airport and Spartak as a rifleman and RPG gunner. Currently he is engaging in “Information Warfare” on behalf of Donetsk.  “The war in Donbass is only one Front in a global war,” Bentley has said. “Fascism has again raised its ugly head, and we are here to fight and defeat it. Truth is one of our most powerful weapons, and my job is to get the truth to the people of the Western world.” Looking at the New Year with optimism, these are his remarks from the frontlines of Donetsk, December 31, 2015:

“So, to all my friends, I say this–Courage is the key to happiness. The key. It is impossible to be happy if you are afraid. Be brave, and do the right thing…”

This was the best New Year’s Eve of my life. I lived through a year I never expected to, found a new home that was everything I ever dreamed of, and made the best friends of my life. I have helped to make the world a better place, and did it on the global stage. “In my own little way,” as Maude told Harold.

The President of my new country knows my name, I’ve heard him say it, and he had nice things to say about me and my Mom. Thanks, Big Z [DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko].

And there’s a man named Vladimir and a boy named Barry, and I bet if they hear the name “Texas” they know who it means.

But becoming famous is not what I came here to do. I came here to help the good people, the “dobry ludy” of Donbass. And I came here to kick some fascist ass. After one year here, and still alive, my work speaks for itself.

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No brag, just fact. And thanks to everyone who has helped me.

I couldn’t have done it without you.

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So, to all my friends, I say this–Courage is the key to happiness. The key. It is impossible to be happy if you are afraid. Be brave, and do the right thing. It’s not that tough, once you get used to it. It takes some practice, though, so if you’re making a New Year’s resolution, let it be that.

Together we can make the world a better place. Поехали! [Let’s go!]

See you in 2016, we lived through 2015.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
russell-dIRreD5mOAYRussell “Texas” Bentley, serves as Information Warrior for the Donetsk People’s Republic. For more information, visit http://www.russelltexasbentley.com/ MIKE KUHLENBECKMike Kuhlenbeck is a journalist, activist and National Writers Union UAW Local 1981/AFL-CIO member from Des Moines, Iowa.


 

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Annals of Imperial Sociopathy: Bringing Up Baby in Perfidious Albion (or, The Adventures of the Tufthunters)

OpEds



Daniel Wirt

Archibald-Philip-Primrose-roseberry2

Archibald Philip Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery, first Earl of Midlothian and later British Prime Minister.  Among many other distinctions and privileges, “Rosebery was one of the last undergraduates of Christ Church who wore the gold tassel, known by the name of ‘tuft’, which was the distinguishing mark of noblemen and the sons of noblemen.”  Despite fleeting lapses into a semblance of a populist tribune, Rosebery, eccentric by design, incarnated the essence of all haughty toffs.

Physicians gravitate to certain cases of disease, usually because they represent exceptional, classic examples of known pathophysiology for teaching purposes, and sometimes because individual cases or small groups of cases provide clues to the underlying pathophysiology of poorly understood disease states.  Examples of this process of case reporting leading eventually to detailed pathophysiologic understanding abound in the history of medicine; for example, the thread of knowledge extending from case reports of acromegaly to the eventual discovery of pituitary adenomas producing excess human growth hormone and the biochemistry and physiology of growth hormone.

I am submitting the following case to the Annals of Imperial Sociopathy as an outstanding case for teaching purposes.  The role of academia in the Military-Industrial-Media-Academia complex is well known.  The academic institutions of the imperialists produce the compliant workers and propagandists for Western (Atlanticist) hegemonic imperialism, necessary to justify and maintain the militarism and fascism inherent in and required by late-stage capitalism.  These academic institutions and their associated think tanks produce thoroughly indoctrinated courtiers of the corporate oligarchy/plutocracy which is the controlling force behind the puppet politicians and the governments in the United States and the several lesser imperialist lapdogs of the U.S.  In exchange for the juicy bones thrown to them by the plutocracy, these courtiers and puppets are faithfully compliant, deviating from the script only rarely — and the punishment for deviation is severe.

Here is an outstanding case of bringing up baby courtiers of imperialism, not at Harvard or Yale or Brown University in the U.S., but in Great Britain:  bringing up baby at the University of St. Andrews in Perfidious Albion.  Why is this an example of imperial sociopathy?

Sociopaths have the capacity to harm others without being restrained by a sense of conscience or with a defective sense of conscience.  They variably lack empathy.  They employ several defense mechanisms to avoid taking responsibility for their harmful behavior, including denial, rationalization and projection. They are unburdened or insufficiently restrained by conscience and empathy because of these defense mechanisms.  The lower class of sociopaths includes the street thug who mugs old ladies, snatching their purses, knocking them down, causing femoral neck fractures, even blaming the victim (“if she had just given me the dollar I asked for… but she called me a thug…”).   The upper class sociopaths include imperialist thugs trained at prestigious academic institutions in the West.


 

In order to play French resistance fighter, one must have the proper accoutrements.

jonMorganBarth-FB-maquisard

M. Jon Morgan Barth play-acting maquisard — French Resistance Fighter — in 2013.  What would real French Maquis — like Jean Moulin — think of M. Barth’s 2015 essay disparaging the anti-fascist fighters in the Donbass region of Ukraine? (See Text Below)

 

jonMorganBarth-%22containers%22-FB JonMorganB-%22goodSelection%22-FB

Real French maquis: their backgrounds were diverse.

Real French Maquis, tactically modern guerrillas:  their backgrounds were diverse, with a predominance of leftwing militants, anarchists, and young men fleeing the Nazis’ Obligatory Work Service (STO).  Their formal name was FFI, or Forces Françaises del l’Interieur for “French Forces of the Interior”.  Of Note:  “Some Maquis bands that operated in southwest France, were composed entirely of left-wing Spanish veterans of the Spanish Civil War.”  (Further historical documentation of the important role that foreign volunteers have played in the fight against fascism.)


 

Jean Moulin (1899 - 1943), leader of the National Council of the French Resistance. Codenamed 'Max', he was arrested by Klaus Barbie of the Gestapo in 1943 and died in custody after weeks of torture. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Jean Moulin (1899 – 1943), leader of the National Council of the French Resistance. Codenamed ‘Max’, he was arrested by Klaus Barbie of the Gestapo in 1943 and died in custody after weeks of torture.

Observe imperialist shills-in-training at one of those academic institutions — the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, members of the St. Andrews Foreign Affairs Society, writing  for their student publication, Foreign Affairs Review (http://foreignaffairsreview.co.uk/about/).  There are numerous specimens here to examine under the dissecting microscope — young courtiers of imperialism in intellectual short-pants tottering along on their two-wheelers with training wheels, earnestly learning their Orwellian craft.

For example, go to The Foreign Affairs Review website and put “Putin” in the search engine.  One is treated to the following (and these are just on the first page of the search results):

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y initial response to these pieces is to refute the errors of omission and commission, the claims unsupported by evidence and counter to abundant evidence, the outright falsifications —- but to do a comprehensive job of this would require a lean 10,000 word article.  Theirs is an amazing job of intellectual laziness and dishonesty.  These short essays are a confused tangle of faulty premises and non sequiturs.  No doubt these students pleased their professors, however, regurgitating the standard, worn falsifications of the western Russophobes and anti-communists, in that long line of liberal fascists reacting at a spinal cord reflex level to any socialist ideology threatening the hegemony of their viciously exploitative capitalism, mandatorily married to imperialism and fascism like a conjoined twin joined at the head, chest and abdomen.  Virtually every sentence is a monument to intellectual dishonesty and disregard for evidence, a Mobius strip of Orwellian Doublethink.  I’ll forego the detailed deconstruction of the gems cited above and just mention a few of the clinkers:

-“Nonetheless, the tentative winding down of the conflict in Ukraine and the simultaneous ramping up of conflict in Syria should be seen as presaging the final desperate chest-thumping of  the Putinist ideology… War and propaganda are the political solutions that Putin provides to the country’s economic problems. For most of his fifteen years in power, Putin has been able to garner support by creating the perception of Russia as locked in inextricable conflict with the West. Cultivating a siege-mentality has enabled the Kremlin to present sanctions and a declining economy as an international conspiracy against Russia… With a tumbling economy and a  violent quagmire in Syria, Putinism may finally run out of money and options.”

-Characterization of the response to Pussy Riot’s desecration of an Orthodox Church as evidence of “increasing repression”.  No mention of the massive harm done to the Russian people in multiple spheres after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, engineered by Gorbachev, in the Yeltsin era of grand theft by predatory capitalists — Yeltsin, a corrupt, alcoholic stooge for US imperialism (for example, see here, here, here and here).  Then there is the obligatory, standard demonization of Stalin with no context.  “Sixty years ago Stalin died, putting an end to twenty-seven years of terror, disappearances and arbitrary killings.”

-And the uncritical propagation of the Holodomor (deliberate famine) myth, a proven hoax to a high degree of historical certainty.  “Since 2006, Ukrainians have commemorated the Holodomor on the fourth Saturday of November. This year will mark 82 years since the 1932-33 famine that occurred, in the words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, ‘without drought and without war.’ The commemoration comes with the knowledge that the devastating famine was more than a naturally occurring event – it was a deliberate policy of the Stalinist regime to exterminate the Ukrainian population. The Ukrainian government recognises that the famine was caused by state practices and this view has been widely accepted by historians. More than two thirds of the Ukrainian public subscribe to this view of history, according to a poll in October 2013 carried out by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Democratic (sic) Initiatives Foundation and the Ukrainian Sociology Service.”

It is not surprising that these students are content with simply parroting and regurgitating the lies of rabidly Russophobic Ukrainians, ideological descendants of Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, and the falsifications of historians such as Robert Conquest and Timothy Snyder.  After all, these are not history students — they are not interested in how an appropriate level of historical certainty is derived from the weight of PRIMARY source evidence.  As shills-in-training for imperialism, they are not interested in historical accuracy or context — they are interested in propagating the most effective lies to maintain the momentum of mass brainwashing, as required by the masters of the corrupt system to which they aspire to become privileged and comfortable members.

The test of intellectually honest historians is reliance on evidence and data from PRIMARY sources to support an appropriate level of historical certainty.  Conquest repeatedly failed the test.  Like Timothy Snyder, Robert Conquest was not intellectually honest in his use of sources, and thus produced falsifications, not history.  Conquest was a political prostitute, in the service of some very unsavory anticommunists — a very prolific imperialist shill, an Energizer Bunny serving the imperialists.  A good student would check all the source footnotes of Conquest and Snyder (which would require fluency in Polish and Russian).  In fact, Dr. Grover Furr has done just that and published a book about it, “Blood Lies:  The Evidence that Every Accusation Against Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union in Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands is False”.  What Dr. Furr has found is very revealing.  Dr. Furr has done an incredible job peeling away the scandalously cynical crust of lies deforming the history of Russia and Stalin, not to mention staining the very idea of socialism.

I seriously doubt if any of the St. Andrews students writing these shoddy essays would have the intellectual curiosity and integrity to even read “Blood Lies”, let alone have the gonads to challenge the imperialist propaganda line — I’m sure they have a keen sense of which side their bread is buttered on.  Thus, these “tuft-hunters” of St. Andrews will probably never understand the lies vs the truth regarding:  the Famine of 1932-33, the “Polish operation”, the “Great Terror”, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the “Soviet Invasion of Poland”, the “Katyn Massacre”, the Warsaw Uprising and “Stalin’s Anti-Semitism”.  Their livelihoods require that they regurgitate the lies and disregard the truth.  Historical truth (via intellectually honest evaluation of primary source evidence) need not apply.  “…but at the length truth will out” (1-4)

[dropcap]B[/dropcap]ut the sociopathic pièce de résistance among these intellectually shoddy essays is that of Jon Morgan Barth, titled “Microcosm of Radicalism: Foreign Volunteers in Donbas”
(http://foreignaffairsreview.co.uk/2015/10/microcosm-of-radicalism-foreign-volunteers-in-donbas/ and copied in the sidebar below).  This is truly an epitome, a perfect teaching case demonstrating all of the defense mechanisms of denial, rationalization and projection in the service of imperial sociopathy.  Barth argues that the foreign volunteers fighting in Donbass pose a terrorist threat to their home countries and deserve to be prosecuted in their home countries.  He is dismissive of the claim that the struggle in Donbass is against fascist aggression, without providing any evidence about the etiology or nature of the conflict or identities of the fighters.  His Russophobia is evident.  He is also dismissive of the parallel between the international volunteers in Donbass with the international volunteers assisting the Republican side against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War — I get the distinct impression that he does not view the latter as a noble effort.  He certainly does not mention the international volunteers assisting the Republican side against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War in any positive light or context.  Ironically, if Barth had studied his history with the same care that he devoted to his French Resistance costume, he would know that “Some Maquis bands that operated in southwest France, were composed entirely of left-wing Spanish veterans of the Spanish Civil War.”   In other words, foreign volunteers helped the Republicans fight the fascists in the Spanish Civil War, and Spanish volunteers returned the favor by volunteering in France to fight the Nazis — further historical documentation of the important role that foreign volunteers have played in the fight against fascism — a role that continues to the present (in Donbass…).


 

Sidebar Read here M. Barth’s essay, in toto.  Click the bar below.  IF FOR ANY REASON YOU CANNOT OPEN THE BAR WITH JON MORGAN BARTH’S ARTICLE, PLEASE READ IT BELOW, ON PAGE 2.

END OF SIDEBAR

The evidence regarding the identity and nature of the aggressors in Donbass is massive and incontrovertible — many tens of thousands of witnesses and pieces of documentary evidence.   In light of that evidence, the failure to clearly identify and distinguish the victimizers and the victimized is an exercise of denial and rationalization — effectively excusing the victimizers and avoiding the true explanation.  This then allows the projection of the terrorist threat from its true source — the fascist and neo-Nazi-riddled Kiev junta and its supporters and handlers in the U.S. and Europe — onto the victims and defenders of Donbass.  This complete Orwellian inversion of victimizer and victim, terrorists and terrorized, aggressors and defenders is a standard tool in the toolbox of the imperialists and fascists — those attempting to defend the victims and even the victims themselves are identified as the terrorists in the propaganda of the imperialists and fascists.  Barth is clearly projecting when he identifies the defenders of Donbass as a terrorist threat and ignores the real terrorists — the Kiev junta even calls their assault on Donbass the “ATO” (“Anti-terrorist Operation).  Donbass has not moved heavy weapons to Kiev.  It is the Kiev junta that has surrounded Donbass, the separatist southeast and ethnically Russian region of Ukraine, and relentlessly targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure with heavy weapons, killing and horrifically injuring thousands and creating hundreds of thousands of refugees (5).

 “This complete Orwellian inversion of victimizer and victim, terrorists and terrorized, aggressors and defenders is a standard tool in the toolbox of the imperialists and fascists — those attempting to defend the victims and even the victims themselves are identified as the terrorists in the propaganda of the imperialists and fascists.”

The Atlanticist West has a long history of apologetics and support for fascism, and this essay by Barth fits in this genre (in the subcategory of ignoring who the fascists are and identifying those actually resisting and fighting against fascism as terrorists  — employing projection).  Prior to the University of St. Andrews (Class of 2019), Barth was a student at the Hotchkiss School (Class of 2015), a private college preparatory boarding school in Lakeville, Connecticut in the New York metropolitan area, with tuition of about $50,000 per year (6).  Barth is apparently from Alexandria, Virginia, and is likely a U.S. citizen, but it doesn’t matter where Barth holds citizenship.   After graduating in 2015 from this exclusive private college preparatory boarding school in the Northeast U.S., he wrote his essay as a freshman student in a prestigious university in Perfidious Albion, the oldest university in Scotland (7).  It is not difficult to identify strong support (currently and historically) for fascism and Naziism in both the U.S. and Perfidious Albion.  Many Americans and Brits [including Churchill who urged this position as official policy] supported the Nazi scourge as long as it was pointed east, and only belatedly fought against it when it veered west (8,9).  Regarding international volunteers fighting on the side of the Republicans against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War, it is understandable that apologists for and supporters of fascism would be hostile, but for anti-fascists, their actions were highly moral, noble and courageous (10,11).

I note Barth’s dishonesty in his citation of the El Pais article.  Barth says,  “A number of Spanish volunteers who served in the separatist forces attempted to return to Spain, and are now facing terrorism charges.[7]” (emphasis added).   In fact, the El Pais article DOES NOT say that these Spanish volunteers are “…facing terrorism charges” — it says, “The eight detainees are suspected to have participated in armed conflict in the Donbass region, and will be facing charges of compromising the peace and interests of Spain, homicide, and possession of arms and explosives.”  The issue of whether it is illegal for American volunteers to fight in Donbass is complex and an issue that Barth, as an undergraduate (class of 2019) is undoubtedly not qualified to analyze definitively (12,13).

However, perhaps the biggest contradiction in Barth’s essay is to fixate on the MYTHICAL terrorist threat of a few brave souls with a strong sense of empathy for the victims of fascism in Donbass, who are volunteering there to fight the fascists — instead of addressing the REAL terrorist threat of ISIS, which has resulted in a flood of refugees fleeing ISIS Takfiri terror in Syria and a long string of terrorist bombings, both significantly antedating Barth’s essay — the ISIS bombings in Beirut and Paris and the Russian Metrojet bombing being only the most recent examples in a long history.  This is particularly ironic given that Perfidious Albion, France and the U.S. in particular bear great responsibility for the genesis and support of Takfiri terrorists in the Middle East.

ISIS mass execution of Syrian soldiers at Palmyra.

ISIS mass execution of Syrian soldiers at Palmyra.  Real, cold-blooded terrorism as propaganda spectacle.

 

FOR THE RECORD: ISIS terrorist (of the real kind) beheading a prisoner. This is the murderous lunatics and mercenaries that Washington and its accomplices support while pretending to fight them.

FOR THE RECORD: ISIS terrorist (of the real kind) beheading a prisoner. These are the kind of murderous lunatics and mercenaries that Washington and its accomplices in Europe and the kleptocrats in the Gulf support while pretending to fight them.  Useful idiots serving the empire as proxy armies, unfortunately, in a broken down world, they abound.

Furthermore, it is particularly ironic (and distasteful) that Barth should produce this defamatory hit piece about courageous antifascist volunteer fighters in Novorossiya (Donbass), risking their lives to protect ethnic Russian civilians from savage attacks by fascists and neo-Nazis.  It is dangerous and unpaid, but highly moral and noble work.  Russell Bonner Bentley is singled out by Barth.  Bentley is in his 50s and has sacrificed a great deal in order to volunteer as an anti-fascist fighter in Donbass.  Why do I say, “particularly ironic”?  Because it turns out (as earlier images illustrate) that Barth likes to dress up and play French Resistance fighter — and let’s see…  Oh yes, now I remember — the French Resistance were fighting against fascists and Nazis.  So it turns out that Bentley is a real anti-fascist fighter, Barth plays anti-fascist fighter, and Barth defames the real anti-fascist fighter.  And the real fight is dangerous indeed.  “Owl” was only a couple years older than Barth when he was killed in action recently, but obviously the moral antithesis of Mr. Barth (https://www.greanvillepost.com/2015/11/28/texacs-chronicles-donbass-front-no-9/).

Fedorov Ruslan Petrovich, “Eagle Owl”.

Fedorov Ruslan Petrovich, “Eagle Owl”.  Donbass fighter and exemplary patriot.  What kind of deformed moral compass can call such men and the foreign volunteers fighting alongside them “terrorists”?

Prior to playing French Resistance fighter against the “Bosch” [Germans; (14)] at the “Tank Farm” (15) in 2013, Barth was playing war games in 2011 at the “Tank Farm” as documented at “Red Alliance, Eastern-Bloc Airsoft, Militeria and Reenactment” (16).

But who is M. Jon Morgan Barth anyway?  Perhaps Sir Walter Scott’s line from his epic poem Marmion applies:  “Oh, what a tangled web we weave / When first we practise to deceive!”  How can his essay for the St. Andrews Foreign Affairs Society  be reconciled with his posts in the Facebook groups “North American Support for Donetsk and Luhansk” and “Communist Discussion” (in 2014) which indicate sympathy for Donbass, even suggesting “…help(ing) to channel material aid to Donetsk…”?  (See images below).

Was Barth just acting as a mole in these groups?  Did he write this essay in 2015 to please new professors, trying to match the ideological bent of a professor or department and not really believing what he wrote?  Or did he have a profound ideological epiphany shortly after beginning studies at St Andrews, and this essay accurately represents his ideology?  Or was the epiphany not ideological but practical and realistic — a surrender to the reality of which side the bread is buttered on in academic institutions such as St Andrews, suppressing his previous idealism and ideological path as self destructive and impractical in terms of academic and career advancement, an inner split that might manifest itself in various ways depending on the level of suppression?

(I suspect this is the psychological mechanism behind the “balance” that many in academia and the mainstream media advocate and manifest in their analyses and reporting, a function of the cognitive dissonance that results from these inner and external forces. Perhaps we will see additional exercises of “balance” in future essays from  Barth…  But, to borrow from “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”, we don’t need no stinkin’ balance.  Bias is desirable and necessary if it is supported by good evidence.  We need to go wherever good evidence leads.  We need evidence, not “a curse on both your houses” balance in the service of career advancement.)

CLICK IMAGES FOR BEST RESOLUTION
JonMorganBarth-PreachingtoChoir-FB
JonMorgan-CommunistDiscuss-FB
ABOVE: Wherein M. Barth appears keen on helping the Donbass resistance!  Allons-y, brave maquisard! (Click for best resolution)

No matter what the explanation, Mr. Barth owes the international volunteers resisting fascist aggression in Donbass, as well as the victims of that fascist aggression, an unequivocal apology.  His essay defames and disrespects both the anti-fascist fighters and the victims of the fascist aggression by the Kiev junta, supported/directed by the U.S. and E.U.

Considering his obvious gifts, what happened to Barth?  A year or two before beginning studies at St Andrews, here is what he thought about Cuba:

According to Moon, Cuba is safe and comfortable, with a low crime rate. Jon Morgan Barth ’15, who also traveled with Moon to Russia in 2012, said the Cuba experience was “incredibly powerful.” The two saw Lenin’s tomb together, then two years later, the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana.

Happy traveller in Cuba. Screengrab from posted video of the school trip. Barth is second from right.

Happy traveller in Cuba. Screengrab from posted video of the school trip to the island. Barth is second from right. Hotchkiss has a reputation for intellectual integrity.

“It was a joy to see a place I had read so much about,” says Jon Morgan. “What astounded me most was the fact that the whole country seemed to be on track. Too often we, as Americans, think of Cuba as a Caribbean backwater, ruled by an outdated and flawed system. The Cuba I saw was instead one where the people honestly embraced a system that has benefitted them as individuals, and as a nation. There was genuine affection for the Castro brothers and the other heroes of their Revolution who helped turn an exploited pawn in the international game into a prosperous nation with a thriving culture, a system that provides for those who work, and freedom from exploitation.”

The acquisition of imperialist/fascist ideology in Western academic institutions is analogous to the process of malignant transformation, progressing through dysplasic, in situ and invasive phases, and then finally to a lethal metastatic stage (graduation?).  Or perhaps there is some virulent moral/intellectual hemorrhagic fever virus infecting academic institutions in the West, a kind of moral/intellectual Ebola.  Whatever it is, neoplastic or infectious, I think the student essays cited above are a relatively early stage in the disease process, although it is certain that these students come to university primed (burdened) with the indoctrination of the Media element of the Military-Industrial-Media-Academia complex.

“Bringing Up Baby” is a comic masterpiece (17), but the indoctrination and acculturation of students in Western educational institutions to the dominant culture of imperialism (with its conjoined twin of fascism, driven by end-stage capitalism) is no laughing matter.  The features of the case described are consistent with an early step in the evolution of that acculturation in a prestigious university.

POSTSCRIPT


The disconnect between Jon Morgan Barth’s essay in Foreign Affairs Review and his previous expressions of sympathy for Donbass is further evidenced by the following messenger conversation in June 2015 between Mr. Barth and Russell Bentley.  The real nature of Barth’s ideology regarding Western imperialism/fascism and the reasons and motivations for the obvious disconnect between his essay and his previous various expressions of sympathy and support for Donbass are uncertain at this point in time.  Perhaps Mr. Barth did travel to Donbass as “…an independent photojournalist… trying to capture the stories of the international volunteers and citizens of Donetsk… (to) tell the REAL story of what is happening to the people of Donbas…”  If he did travel to Donbass, he did not meet with Russell Bentley (and thus he wrote his essay without interviewing Russell Bentley either electronically or in person).  If he did travel to Donbass, The Greanville Post invites him to submit a report of his trip for consideration for publication at The Greanville Post.


 

Dateline: Jun 9th, 9:28am (2015); situ: Facebook

JonMorganBarth-thumb2(https://www.facebook.com/jon.m.barth )
Hello Mr. Bentley, Sorry for taking down your post! While the sentiment is appreciated, keeping my support for the donbas on the down low is pretty important. I’m sure you know ho well the government treated the Americans who came back from Spanish Civil War, and in these day and age, they can get paint you as anti-American for being anti-fascist. I’m an independent photojournalist who will be in Donbas later this summer, trying to capture the stories of the international volunteers and citizens of Donetsk. While I am still working out logistics, I would love to get to meet you. I’ll be in Donetsk as a guest of the Interbrigada group, who are a branch of the Other Russia party. Good communists, and anti-fascists! My major concern at this point is getting to Donetsk. I’ll be coming from Ukraine, and crossing into Donetsk, rather than flying to Russia and going from there. While the Ukrops instinctively love Americans, I’m worried about getting through checkpoints manned by NAF troops. Do you know anyone I could contact to help with that? Stay safe, and best of luck, Jonathan

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.36.43 PM(Russell Bentley)
No. If you want to cone to Donetsk, you would be foolish not to come via Rostov. To come here and have not made arrangements with Ukrop gov to be a spy, THEY will give you trouble. If you are planning to come here as an American, that’s already one strike against you. Your named after a Confederate general who was also a Freemason. I know history, and mos Russians and Novorussians know history better than me. Or you. If you come through the Ukrop lines, you will find it very hard to earn their trust. Or mine.  Which interbrigada group? There are several. I will tell you now, not all the guys fighting the Kiev fascists are good guys, It is Big Boy Rules here, and you have to be creful who you trust.

Jun 9th, 2:37pm (2015)
JonMorganBarth-thumb2(https://www.facebook.com/jon.m.barth)
I’ll be registering as a journalist with the Kiev authorities, and have spoken with other American journalists who have done the same. They were all solid guys who were sympathetic to Novorossiya, but still got through. My contact in Interbrigada is guy named Valeriy Kolotsei, who painted himself as a moderate member of the Other Russia group, which was an evolution of the National Bolsheviks following Alexander Dugin leaving and the party losing its radical right branch.  The issue with going through Rostov is that I’d need a visa to get to Russia in the first place, then papers allowing travel.  The visa process is really daunting, from my understanding, and not cheap.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.36.43 PM(Russell Bentley)
You will not be trusted by anyone here, including me, if you come through Kiev. PERIOD. You are obviously from a rich family, so the cost is a bullshit excuse. Visa takes about a month, and 3 or 4 hundred bucks. Americans who come from Kiev side are not liked or trusted by anyone here, including me. Like I tell volunteers, getting here is the easy part. It is serious business here. If you are on the up and up, come through Rostov. If you are thinking about being a junior James Bond, DO NOT COME. We do not play games here. I hope you understand and make the right choice. удачи.

Jul 14th, 12:06am (2015)

JonMorganBarth-thumb2(https://www.facebook.com/jon.m.barth)
Hello again. After a lot of soul searching, I have decided to come to Donetsk, to serve as a photographer and journalist, and most importantly, tell the REAL story of what is happening to the people of Donbas. I have plane tickets to Rostov and will be getting my visa back in two days. My flights in Rostov on the 22nd of July and fly out on the 5th of August.


 

APPENDIX

What is this tribe we call “tuft-hunters”?

“toffee-nosed”  

“If it’s a lady and gentleman, then we cries, ‘A toff and a doll!’

toff-cap[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is widely agreed amongst etymologists that ‘toff’ was a corruption of ‘tuft’, which has a clear aristocratic pedigree, being the ornamental tassel on an academic cap. Specifically, a tuft was the gold tassel originally worn on academic caps at Oxford University by the sons of those peers who had a vote in the House of Lords. They were worn on the celebratory ‘Gaudy Days’, that is, the university’s twice-yearly feast days (which sound a good deal more fun than ‘Dress-down Fridays’). The wearers of the prestigious tufts became known as tufts themselves, even having their own sycophantic crowd of wannabees, known as the ‘tufthunters’.”

[“The meaning and origin of the expression: Toffee-nosed: See the full explanation here.]


 

maxresdefault

Additional example of a toffee-nosed imperialist-in-training elsewhere in Perfidious Albion:  Durham University (https://www.dur.ac.uk/about/)

And here, Harpal Brar (Indian-born communist politician, writer and businessman based in Britain, who is the Chairman of the Communist Party of Great Britain) deconstructs the anti-communist / anti-Soviet propaganda, including intentional famine


BELOW: This lecture by frequent correspondent Caleb Maupin also does an excellent job of combatting long-implanted lies about communism as a viable alternative to a bankrupt capitalism.


REFERENCES:

1) https://www.greanvillepost.com/2015/08/10/the-holodomor-hoax-joseph-stalins-crime-that-never-took-place/

2) https://www.greanvillepost.com/2015/08/10/anti-obits-response-to-the-death-of-robert-conquest/

3) https://www.greanvillepost.com/2015/09/08/on-the-little-matter-of-robert-conquest-open-letter-to-binoy-kampmark/

4) http://sputniknews.com/russia/20151112/1029956744/holodomor-hoax-ussr-ukraine-starikov.html

5) https://www.greanvillepost.com/2015/10/17/texac-chronicle-3-what-are-we-fighting-for/

 
6)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotchkiss_School
 
7) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_St_Andrews

8) http://orientalreview.org/2014/05/10/western-reset-of-fascist-aggression-towards-russia/

9) https://futiledemocracy.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/my-dear-fuhrer-a-quick-history-of-daily-mail-fascism/

10) https://www.greanvillepost.com/2015/10/16/2-the-lincoln-battalion-lives-again-in-novorossiya/

11) http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2007/12/abraham-lincoln-brigade-profile-in.html

12) http://foreignpolicy.com/2011/09/02/is-it-legal-for-americans-to-fight-in-another-countrys-army/

 

13) http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/23/1-000-americans-are-serving-in-the-israeli-army-and-they-aren-t-alone.html

14) http://www.billcasselman.com/wording_room/boche.htm
 
15) http://www.vmmv.org/
 
16) http://www.red-alliance.net/forum/index.php?action=printpage;topic=17580.0
 
17) http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2011/06/2377316/why-bringing-baby-secretly-dirty-movie-about-crazy-people-work-geniu


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 11.02.36 PMDANIEL WIRT, M.D., is Associate Editor, Special Editor for Politics & History; and Liaison, Novorossiya and Eastern Europe. Wirt is a pathologist practicing near Houston, Texas, who considers the advanced stage of capitalism in which we live to be the ultimate public health issue — the proximate cause of the rapid destruction of the biosphere and epidemic plague of fascism afflicting humans (including the many “glad tidings of liberal fascism”, per Norman Pollack).  He believes that a multipolar world is necessary for more equitable sharing of resources and more peaceful relationships among human populations.  Daniel is a long-time advocate of single-payer healthcare reform in the United States. In his free time, he works as Executive Chef at La Hollandaise restaurant, where he is held in high regard as the creator of many (and much acclaimed) exotic recipes celebrated by political connoisseurs everywhere. His cookbook, Cuisine Pour les Justes, Recettes pour la disposition des salauds hautement toxiques (Gallimerde) is currently in its fourth edition.  

 




The Great American Political Dilemma: How to Respond to the Corrupt, Corporatist Two Party Duopoly

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OpEds


Thomas Baldwin
PROGRESSIVE ACTIVISTS VOICE

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From the cover of an Ebook, “Is It Fascism Yet” by Jill Dalton.

 

BACKGROUND

Much has been written about the chronic corrupt, corporate infested two party political duopoly.  Each election cycle, Americans begin again wringing their hands when the campaign season begins as the corporate media bombards us with talk shows arguing which political party is least corrupt and present us with candidates who represent the “lesser evil”.  Of course, the talking points are designed and prepared by high-priced marketing consultants who paint a picture  of a flawless candidate running against corrupt others whose lies have been well polished.  The truth is seldom revealed and replaced with an even bigger lie.  The electoral system has no integrity and yet Americans are asked to select leaders whom they “trust” to best represent them.

This dilemma of what to do seems to get larger and larger each election cycle and now with much greater access to information through the internet, including social media, nearly everyone can choose to participate in sharing their thoughts and those of others.  Information overload is becoming an increasing problem and may force some to just drop out.  In 2014, an off presidential election year, there was a near record of non voters, with about 65%, or nearly 2/3 of eligible voters, not participating.

The Democratic Party suffered large losses in members of Congress, losing control of both the House and Senate.  Approval ratings of Congress had reached all time lows of about 7% and now typically ranges between this low and “highs” of about 14%. In other words, well over 80% of Americans are consistently quite unhappy with the performance of Congress no matter which political party is in control and yet elections fail to significantly change because nearly 90% of incumbents are returned to Congress! And those are the ones who spend the most money being re-elected.

The wealthy elite who make up the “ruling class”—yes, America, there IS a ruling class— realize that and don’t hesitate to spend larger and larger sums of money to elect (or bribe) THEIR PERSONAL representatives.

Corrupt Political System[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he principal problem has been recognized, written and spoken about often in the “alternative” media.  And that problem is the total corporate control through the wealthy elites of all aspects of our political system.  The Supreme Court with its Citizens United decision in 2010 made it worse by refusing to set limits on campaign contributions, declaring corporations as  “persons” and money as “free speech”.  In effect, they opened the door wide open for Corporate Fascism—the complete merger of corporations with the state, thus giving these corporate owners a license to bribe public elected officials with unlimited amounts of cash, which they naturally have in abundance, thanks to the grotesque amounts they siphon off our income via a multitude of policies and devious maneuvers.

Several of us have written about this severe problem for a supposedly democratic republic, the presumed government of the U.S.  But this illusion of a “democracy” is nothing but a giant farce, a big lie, and our corrupt electoral system continues to propagate this lie by its very existence in its current form.

In 2014, two professors,  Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page  demonstrated through a thorough research project that ordinary Americans—the overwhelming majority, including the middle class— had essentially zero influence on nearly all legislation being considered by Congress.

Eric Zuesse in Common Dreams summarized that reseach with an article entitled “The U.S. is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy, Says Scientific Study”:

“A study, which will appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question, “Who governs? Who really rules?” in this country, is:

“Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But, …” and then they go on to say, it’s not true, and that, “America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened” by the findings in this, the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject, which shows that there is instead “the nearly total failure of ‘median voter’ and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

To put it short: The United States is no democracy, but actually an oligarchy.

The authors of this historically important study are Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, and their article is titled “Testing Theories of American Politics.” The authors clarify that the data available are probably under-representing the actual extent of control of the U.S. by the super-rich:

Economic Elite Domination theories do rather well in our analysis, even though our findings probably understate the political influence of elites. Our measure of the preferences of wealthy or elite Americans – though useful, and the best we could generate for a large set of policy cases – is probably less consistent with the relevant preferences than are our measures of the views of ordinary citizens or the alignments of engaged interest groups. Yet we found substantial estimated effects even when using this imperfect measure. The real-world impact of elites upon public policy may be still greater.”

(On this topic, we also suggest this: Inequality in America: The Fish That Rots from the Head)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n his most recent book and accompanying speeches entitled “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt (2015)” Chris Hedges has stated clearly that we must overthrow the corporate state as an imperative.  In several articles, I have been advocating for at least three years that we must “destroy the two party corporate fascist duopoly”. The electoral system, elected bodies, political parties, legislation, the judicial system and all aspects of our political and judicial systems are all owned and controlled by large corporations and their wealthy owners.  Outside of the political system (and even some few places inside) there is a strong consensus that this conclusion of corporate ownership and control is accurate.  Ralph Nader and Abby Martin have recently summarized that in an excellent video segment.

Evil and Corrupt Duopoly

The corporate state, the two-party duopoly system, corporate media, etc. are all one and the same “body”;  in effect they constitute a “Corporatist Political Party” monopoly.  It doesn’t matter who wins an election because it’s only an illusion that you are making a choice. Policies don’t significantly change.  Individual citizens are not even recognized as part of that system and thus have no influence.  It is far past time that “We the People” recognize that and come out of our delusional state of denial!  In fact, if we are logical, voting amounts to an act of complicity that you are participating in the prevailing corruption which permeates all major institutions in America.  As George Carlin explains (with rather blunt language) in this brief clip on “The American Dream”, the politicians and the corporations have their own “club” and you ain’t in it!

 

METHODS TO ADDRESS THE CORRUPTION

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n social media and via many articles and blogs, there is an active discussion occurring about how to address this documented worsening corruption of the political system.  Methods include support for “third parties”, boycotting elections, formal methods to overturn or overule the Supreme Court Citizens United decision, and even dropping out and ignoring the criminal abuse.  However one thing is very clear to me:  For things to have a chance to improve—at all—there must be an intervention, disruption, or destruction of the two party corporatist Duopoly.

If we had a system of justice, which we don’t, the Duopoly would be dismantled.  But those who have the power to limit monopolies or duopolies through antitrust measures (rarely exercised!), are the same political forces in Congress and the Executive Branch who want to perpetuate it.  It’s naive to expect the same forces which are the problem to do something about it!. Thus it’s safe to expect that their absolute addiction to enrich themselves from corrupt practices will continue, and, if unopposed, grow ever more malignant. 

In the Democratic Party establishment, it does not matter that their principal candidate, Hillary Clinton, has been amply shown to violate federal law in her handling of confidential or even secret emails (a minor issue in any case considering the magnitude of the real crimes we witness every day) until the FBI investigation leads to an indictment. Some have naturally expressed doubt about the Obama administration ever enforcing penalties issuing from such findings.

Along the same lines, it does not seem to matter to the establishment that Bill and Hillary Clinton have used their power to control the electoral process, including having their stooge, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, as the Democratic Party Chairperson, to manage even the debates to favor Hillary.   It doesn’t matter that Clinton has blatantly pandered to Wall Street for support and huge donations, even though those entities are clearly responsible for the 2008 financial crash which ruined the lives of millions of Americans and have a noxious influence on all manner of national policy, including the country’s foreign posture.  None have been prosecuted by the Obama Justice department.

Along the same lines, it doesn’t seem to matter that the Clintons have used their  (non profit) foundation to build a multi-million dollar campaign chest and acquire huge personal wealth. It doesn’t yet matter enough that the head of that party and president, Barack Obama, is strongly championing his trade agreements like TPP, TPIP, and TISA, which allow corporations to use their own private courts to challenge U.S. and other laws which impede their profits, offshore jobs, destroy civil liberties, and labor and environmental laws which protect workers and the public. Passage of these agreements will cement the complete corporate coup which has been enabled and supported by both political parties.

Voter and illusion of choice--Totalitarian controlMeantime, as mentioned earlier, every criminal foreign intervention, war and deprivation of constitutional rights, is “justified” in the name of “National Defense”, whether Constitutional or not.  Things are actually worse than they were under George Bush, but the Democratic Party ignores Obama’s actions because they have a “D” under their name.

However, in the Republican Party, the establishment faces a challenge by a very wealthy outsider, Donald Trump, who is financing his own campaign for election. In effect, whether one agrees or disagrees with his statements and the divisiveness they create, he is acting as a one man “disruptionist” to the established Republican order by drawing many disgruntled and unhappy people to his tent.  There is still a question, of course, as to whether this trend will continue as Ted Cruz is currently one of Trump’s main challengers and he is uniformly disliked by the party establishment as well.

The situation sketched out above is a clear portent of worse things to come.

Everything occurring within the political system signifies another strong shift to the “right” and more support for Neoliberal and Neoconservative policies and practices—more wars, more corporate and wealthy elite control, more obscene capitalist rule, and away from support for social systems for the 99%, not to mention the environment and global peace.  In effect, as the American “democratic” republic declines, the republic is lurching full speed ahead toward death and destruction on an unprecedented scale.

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[dropcap]S[/dropcap]o what are “we the people” to do?  Continuing to do the same things year after year is not an option unless one is content to admit helplessness and insanity as an option.  Things are only going to get worse if this closed system is allowed to prevail;  that is nearly guaranteed! Even the basic laws of the universe tell us that:  The Law of Entropy says that in a closed system, the “energy” to do useful work is continually diminished until the system eventually dies.  Many of us had been led to believe in Obama’s promise of “Hope and Change.”  Guess what: It didn’t happen! If eight years of one disaster and broken promise after another, of empty posturing, do not convince you, nothing will.

Thus we need to focus on the overthrow of the corporate state and the associated destruction of the political duopoly.  Until we build a strong political movement which emanates from a strong unified “movement” it will not happen —and it certainly won’t happen according to the rules of the existing political electoral system.

Even then, the movement —to have a chance of success—must have clearly defined values and goals shared by a sizable portion of the electorate.  Movemeents which are showing signs of building strength include the climate movement (anti fossil fuels and toxic gases of any kind); various justice movements, the antiwar/anti imperialism movement, income/wealth inequity movement, etc.  These are groups emphasizing common values and principles which stand for peace, justice, human rights and sustainability. They are also groups which already recognize that our capitalistic economic system—the much vaunted “free enterprise system”— is failing the vast majority of the population, regardless of religion, creed, nationality or ethnicity. Simply put, the problem confronting all Americans who are not in the 0.00001% of the population is class privilege, yes, it’s a class question. These movements —as a whole— constitute a paradigm shift away from our tolerance of greed, excessive consumerism, and lack of concern for the welfare of people.

For the immediate future we have to actively protest and boycott the current electoral system and the 2016 elections, refusing to donate money to these parties while recognizing that a “third party” is extremely unlikely to represent anything but a protest action.

The corporations and the wealthy elite control the money on the front end and the money to bribe elected officials. Actions against individual policies and measures must be demonstrated with protests in the streets and civil disobedience starting right now with opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement  (TPP) which is likely to be imminent thanks to Obama’s unrelenting efforts and political shenanigans.

We must also actively protest our utterly criminal foreign policy of advocating for “regime change”, especially in the Middle East, and in other nations in turmoil such as in Latin America, in the name of “national security”, not to mention our lies about “humanitarian relief” for “victims” of government which refuse to follow our every wish and command.

Show your support for those who continually educate and advocate these changes, such as Chris Hedges, Ralph Nader, Tim Anderson, Jeff Brown, Caleb Maupin, Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers (Popular Resistance), Naomi Klein, Eric Draitser, Eric Zuesse, Andre Vltchek, Russell Bentley, and the editors and writers of publications such as this.  These are some of the real leaders and not just political hacks with their slogans. Join their groups and write your own articles and blogs;  create the image that a real “progressive” movement which stands for values and principles is both afoot and growing!  Urge cooperation and sacrifice! This will be the real war of our lifetimes!


 

ABOUT THE EDITOR AND AUTHOR: THOMAS BALDWIN
thomasBaldwinThomas Baldwin holds a Ph.D in Physics and an MBA in Management. He was a Solid State researcher  at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory specializing in neutron radiation damage of metals.  In 1969 he received  the national Sidhu Award for being “an outstanding young scientist for contributions in the field of diffraction.”  He went on to Southern Illinois University to become a professor and Chair of the Department of Physics.  In 1980 he moved to Boulder, Co., and became an independent  consultant in energy related issues at the Colorado Research Institute.  He is now formally retired and focusing on writing blogs on the political sector at his blog site: www.proactvoice.wordpress.com  He resides in Biloxi, Mississippi. His chief focus remains problems with democracy, capitalism and socio-economic issues. He can be reached at doctom2010@yahoo.com


 

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Texac Celebrates Christmas in Donbass

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  =   War Diary by Russell “Texac” Bentley  =  

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Christmas was celebrated by Orthodox Christians last week, on January 7, 2016 in the Gregorian calendar — December 25, 2015 in the Julian calendar.

Last year, in December 2013/January 2014, Texac was fighting the Kiev fascists in Yasynuvata (outskirts of Donetsk) and Troishka (Donetsk Airport), and it was hot, despite the cold weather.

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In the Christmas/New Year season this year (December 2014/January 2015), although the fascists are still killing Novorossiyan civilians in the outskirts of Donetsk, the intensity of the attacks has (perhaps only temporarily) decreased, allowing for more normal Christmas celebrations, at least in central Donetsk, as readers can see in the three videos below.  (The Kiev fascists are still massed on the front in the outskirts of Donetsk, and they could resume a full-scale attack at any time.)

 russellBentley2RUSSEL BONNER BENTLEY, Senior Contributing Editor, Novorossiya Correspondent, Donbass Chronicles Most of our editors and contributors are gifted in many areas, but few merit the label of “polymath” as richly as our Novorossiya correspondent, Russell Bentley, “Texac”. He has been called poet, musician, soldier, political activist, outlaw, smuggler, convict, fugitive, philosopher, lover, teacher and friend—and, indeed, he is all those things, but his course is always guided by an unswerving commitment to the construction of a better world in which peace, genuine freedom, and social justice reign supreme. A native of Texas, Russell joined—at the tender age of 54— the Novorossiyan Armed Forces (NAF) to fight what he sees as the attack on the Donbass people by an illegitimate fascist entity: the Kiev regime installed and supported by the US after a thinly-veiled coup. His example evokes the deeds of the Lincoln Battalion, the American volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War. As his writing gifts abundantly prove, he also channels John Reed and Hemingway in a rare, seamless, package. 

 


 

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