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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ScumWatch: CBS Charlie Rose does his best (again) to facilitate Hillary’s lies

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Eye on the Media
PATRICE GREANVILLE

Charlie Rose, the notorious media courtier and imperial apologist who keeps receiving awards from his peers in the whore-riddled American journalism “profession” (they pass these awards like poker hands these days) illustrates on this video clip how to be a harlot for the empire and get away with it.  Actually, let me rephrase that. He does not need to “get away with it” because since everyone does it, what Rose does is the norm, par for the course, in what passes for mainstream journalism in the United States. The only difference is a matter of style. 

TV personality, and new CBS anchor Charlie Rose poses on Oct. 22, 2009, in New York City.

Gifted with Hollywood good looks, and a talent for social climbing, Charlie Rose can survey the horizon with a serene, satisfied look. A multimillionaire with posh residences in several spots around the globe, including Paris and New York, he’s accustomed to rubbing elbows with the world’s celebs in various fields, including politics. The trade has been good for Charlie Rose.

The ostensible “news” here is an interview with Hillary Clinton, supposedly to inquire about her views on [current] US foreign policy.  That in itself is the first lie because any journalist with 5 brain cells still firing knows the answer to that, what Hillary is liable to say and not say. The real purpose is to manufacture a “video op”, a pseudo event (the interview) designed to carry Hillary’s self-promoting bull manure and the imperialist lies she and her accomplices peddle incessantly on behalf of the US plutocracy and its global network of associated kleptocracies. (Read all about this subject on this comprehensive analysis by S. Gowans,  Aspiring to Rule the World: US Capital and the Battle for Syria”. and while you are at it, do yourself a big favor and check Russell Bentley’s own take on the state of the American people, Texac Chronicle No. 10: So What’s for Lunch?).

The lie here—repeated from a thousand platforms over and over again, as befits any self-respecting Big Lie—is that, somehow (no one can advance a cogent argument or evidence except accusations) no peace can come to Syria and the Middle East until president Bashar al-Assad, one of the few genuine figures in the region fighting ISIL, a monster entirely created by Washington and its accomplices in the EU and the Gulf kleptocracies, is removed from power, or consents to step down.

Wishful imperialist thinking: Assad being erased from the Middle East equation.

Wishful imperialist thinking: Assad being erased from the Middle East equation.

Assad, you see, is the only genuine Arab nationalist still standing. Arab nationalists (Muammar Gadaffi was another, properly dispatched by the empire afte rthe usual character assassination barrage, and Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser another, in the 1950s) are a bone on which all imperialists choke, a dangerous presence that might give others the wrong idea about how to run their nations, like using the oil for the benefit of the masses instead of allowing it to be looted by Western oil interests for the expansion of their already eye-popping profits. O yea, because none of these revoltingly cynical wars of choice have anything to do with US national security. It’s a bogus explanation.

So, naturally, all American politicians are going to be singing the same tune, genuflect on the same altar, that Assad must go, go, go, while hypocritically turning a blind eye to the US government support for ISIL (yes, it’s all very complicated because of the multilayered lies the American media and government have been pushing for decades now), while making brave declarations to the effect that the US is actually fighting it. It’s all so repugnantly hypocritical as to be believable by decent—albeit dumb—people, dumbed down by the likes of CBS and its fellow networks. So watch, learn the tricks, fight them, teach others, and have a barf bucket nearby, just in case. It makes my skin crawl to think that numerous kids are this very moment holding these figures up as their model for “professional journalism.”

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[dropcap]S[/dropcap]peaking of unctuous scum doing the imperial bidding, Charlie Rose is hard from alone on that beat. He has had what you might call competition for a long time, chiefly in those two worthless, self-impressed “flagship shows” fielded  by the networks, CBS’ Face the Nation (currently piloted by John Dickerson, even more pathetic than his predecessor, and thats hard to conceive), and NBC’s Meet the Press, hosted by Chuck Todd. Lesser networks have their own “flagships”, notably CNN and MSNBC, the former using Wolf Blitzer as their chief battering ram. But it’s all lies, all pretense, carefully designed to carry only Washington’s propaganda, scrupulously omitting any truth or any witness to truth that might get in the way of a good propaganda line. These shows are of, by, and for establishmentarians, the closest thing that network television has in terms of aping the pseudo gravitas of a New York Times editorial pages, but, ruling class narcissism aside, being carried by the enormous apparatus of Western mass communications, they end up polluting the public mind. Which is their ultimate intent.

The result of the American media’s ministrations. Media rich, information poor. Starving, actually.

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Patrice Greanville is editor in chief of The Greanville Post. 


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Texac Chronicle No. 10: So What’s for Lunch?

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  =   War Diary by Russell “Texac” Bentley  =  

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[box type=”bio”] The Chief Chef at The Greanville Post has offered Texac a position as Senior Associate Chef at La Hollandaise restaurant.[][/box]


NOTE – I was in Dallas the day JFK was murdered, 52 years ago today. I was only 3 1/2 years old, but I remember it. I was always interested in knowing what really happened, and some years later, in my early 30s, I researched the assassination quite extensively. Some of the best information I found was presented in a book and a film by Mark Lane called Rush to Judgement. He interviewed eyewitnesses who were in Dealy Plaza that day. There was a witness, a veteran of WW II, who said with certainty that he heard shots and saw smoke from the “Grassy Knoll” that day. After the Warren Commission cover-up was published, Lane again interviewed his witness, who then said, “Well, I thought I knew what I saw and heard, but after reading the government’s report, I guess I was wrong”. This article is addressed to that witness, and all those like him in the West today…

I have often been asked by my friends and comrades here in Donbass what kind of people live in the USA, asked whether they know or care about what goes on in the world around them. I say there are good people in the US, who care about others and who are smart enough to understand the interconnectedness we all share, that we are all in this together, and that what goes around, comes around. And that is true. For about 2% of the US population. The rest are something else.

The vast majority of US citizens are cowards and fools. The worst kind of cowards, those who are afraid to know the truth, much less actually do anything about it, and the worst kind of fools, those who have deceived themselves, to the point of refusing to consider even the possibility that they may be wrong, even when they are as absolutely as wrong as they can be. That is the truth about most US citizens today, about 98%, by my estimate, based on the fact that only 2% voted for Nader in the year 2000. Nader was the only candidate willing to speak the truth. Only someone who is as described above could have voted for any major party candidate in that election, or in any US election since. I voted for Nader in 2000, I worked on his campaign in Alaska. I’ve never voted since.


“The game is rigged, folks!”

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(Click to read George’s words.)

[dropcap]V[/dropcap]oting in the USA — what a joke. I used to believe in the system. I voted for Ron Paul back in ’88. I ran for US Senator in Minnesota in 1990. That year, I saw an Anarchist newspaper with a photo of Bush Sr. and Clinton. Above the photo, the headline read , ‘SAME SHIT, DIFFERENT PILE”. I thought that was kind of harsh. It took me ten more years to realize they were right. But I did. How about you? US elections can be compared to a fancy and quite expensive restaurant that has a single item on the menu, but with variations. It’s a shit sandwich, nice and fresh and steaming hot, but you have your choice between white Wonder Bread or organic whole wheat. Of course, they offer every kind of sauce – you can customize your sandwich like a Starbucks Double Mocha Frappe Latte Decaf Cappuccino, but it’s still a shit sandwich. And you may not have any choice whether you have to pay for it or not, but you do have one choice, and that is whether you’re gonna eat it or not. By voting, you take that first big bite. Obama is a bigger war criminal and greater shame to the history of the US than even either Bush was. And whoever comes after Obama, Republican or Democrat, will be worse still. If you vote for either of them, my friends in Cuba have a name for you…

When I went to Cuba, in 1995, I learned that the slang name there for citizens of the US was “Come’ Mierdas”, Spanish for “Shit-Eaters”. Not a very kind sobriquet, but certainly honest and appropriate. People in the US consume a steady and unvaried diet of shit – mainstream news, politics, entertainment, and the food, from McDonald’s, to GMOs, to the filth that contaminates the food produced in factory farms, it’s literally shit.  If a person eats shit for long enough, they eventually get used to it. If they eat it for too long, they start to like it.  That is what has happened to most US and EU citizens today. They eat shit, and they like it, and they are angrily offended by anyone who points this out, and they have exactly zero interest in considering any alternative to the shit they consume on a daily basis.

smedleyButlerQuote

Only 0.0003% of Americans can identify Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler (USMC). Fewer still can remember what he did or said. Accidental? Yet they know what Britney Spears had for lunch.

The social contract in any civilized society, between each member of that society, can only be based on the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number of people. And by “good”, I mean the greatest opportunity for each citizen of that society to fulfill their potential as human beings. This is impossible when people don’t have access to food security, adequate housing, meaningful work and decent medical care and education, when 400 people own more wealth than 150 million, as is exactly the case in the USA today. In the USA, the social contract is based on the proposition that “I will pretend to believe your bullshit if you will pretend to believe mine”, a “positive” feedback loop based on mutual and self deception that is reinforced and increasingly distorted with every bogus interaction, whether voting, watching the news, or simply being asked “How ya doing?” and answering “Fine.”

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The entire history of the USA is based on comforting, but provable and obvious, lies. The USA was founded on genocide and built by slavery. Howard Zinn’s classic People’s History of the United States is an excellent example of how false the prevailing notions, the shared lies, really are. Which is not to say that anyone who has read Zinn’s History is still not fully capable of creating their own false world view. In fact, in the West, there are as many “shit-eaters” on the Left as there are on the Right (ed: for example, the “imperialist left”). Those on the (fake) Left are just as destructive and deluded as their counterparts, their mirror images on the Right, but personally, I find them even more revolting, and I don’t mean in the revolutionary sense….

“The vast majority of US citizens are cowards and fools. The worst kind of cowards, those who are afraid to know the truth, much less actually do anything about it, and the worst kind of fools, those who have deceived themselves, to the point of refusing to consider even the possibility that they may be wrong…”

For example, I know a full grown woman with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy. She drives a Prius, jogs, is “passionate” about recycling her garbage, is very politically correct, votes a straight Democratic Party ticket and considers herself to be intellectual and Progressive. She grew up pampered in a wealthy conservative family, went to a private boarding school, studied abroad and then married a rich husband.  She reads The New York Times, and thinks she is well-informed. But I have personally heard her say “I don’t want to know.”  “I don’t care about virtues or principles.” “I don’t care about other people.” “There’s no such thing as objective truth”. And she certainly meant it. Quite the philosopher, eh? She owns a couple of bars and makes her money selling alcohol to college students, and spends her time writing maudlin poems. She voted for Obama twice, and gets offended if I asks her if she has any regrets about it. She will certainly vote for Hillary Clinton or whatever crypto-fascist the Democratic Party runs, and will consider herself a superior person for doing so.The cognitive dissonance of her phony self and world view, her attempts to convince herself and others that she is a “good” person, while she does actually nothing of any genuine merit in her life, has made her bitter and resentful of anyone who makes a real effort to improve the state of the world. And the more confused and unhappy she becomes, the tighter she clings to her self-deception, the true source of her misery. How do you reach people like that? I don’t know… But I am trying.

sheeple-vote-for-nobody

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] know a man, an arch-conservative, who flunked out of college in his early 20’s during the draft for the Vietnam War. Rather than take a chance on getting drafted and actually serving  in a war that he ardently supported, with his words and with his votes, at least until he himself became eligible for the draft, he used his family’s money and political connections to get an enlistment in the Marine Reserves, the surefire way to guarantee he would not have to go anywhere near the actual fighting. Instead, he played soldier one weekend a month and two weeks every summer, safe in the USA. (George Bush, Junior did the same thing. And then there’s Ted Nugent…)  This Marine Reservist was highly offended when I pointed out that real soldiers, like myself, from the regular full time Armed Services did not really consider reservists to be soldiers. His self deception, to this day, extends to his wearing USMC logo clothing much of the time, having “Semper Fi” stickers on all his cars and going to and financially supporting USMC events. What was truly an act of cowardice and hypocrisy, he now points to as an act of courage and patriotism. He has fetishized his self deception to the point where he is proud of his “service” and the objects that are truly the symbols of his shame. But he will pretend to believe your bullshit, if you will pretend to believe his…


The manufacturing of American stupidity.

The manufacturing of American stupidity. It goes on 24/7.


No one—and we mean no one—has dissected American bullshit better and more fiercely than George Carlin.  The most serious comic of his generation, Carlin was perhaps the most incisive underground social critic the US has ever produced. This routine is one of his signature riffs, sparing no one, and leaving no room for cowardly ambiguity. 

https://youtu.be/qZYY0U3pALk

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his total inversion of truth and of reality is pervasive among the vast majority of US citizens. It is exactly what Orwell described as “Double Think” – “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary…. To use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself – that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypocrisy you had just performed.”  This is the precise mental state of most of the people in The West today, and especially in the USA. It is as dangerous as it is disgusting. People who are capable of such depths of self-deception, such hypocrisy, are not to be trusted. They are not even qualified to have an opinion, much less vote or in any other way attempt to influence the reality they fear and cannot (and will not even try to) comprehend.  As Einstein said, “They are hardly worthy of the brain and spine they were born with.”


Stupid-People-11-02_00010

T-party militant proclaiming his political sagacity.


And the more erroneous, the more false their perception of reality, the tighter they cling to it, the more threatened and offended they are by anyone who even asks them to consider an alternative view. Because as the old saying goes, “It takes a big man to admit he’s wrong”. So, what must it take to admit that your entire world view is not just wrong, but totally 180 degrees divergent from objective reality, to admit that you have a half eaten shit sandwich in your hand? More than most people can muster, apparently. A mistake is not a “mistake” if it is an intentional lie, even if that lie is told to yourself. And if someone does have the courage and integrity to abandon the comforting lie for the hard truth, they are also forced  to understand, to admit, that they have a responsibility to themselves and to the future of Humanity to do something about it. But it is so much easier, safer, and more socially acceptable to turn on the TV, pop open a beer and pretend everything is OK and will remain so.  Because if you pretend to believe their bullshit, they will pretend to believe yours…

Bravo's Southern Charm celebrity cast: Unrepentantly frivolous. Superficiality as an admired way of life.

Bravo’s Southern Charm celebrity cast: Unrepentantly frivolous and privileged. Superficiality as an admired way of life.

This is the same grotesque depth of self-deception and reversal of reality that allows the Nazis of Western Ukraine to idolize a war criminal like Stepan Bandera, and to try to “rehabilitate” Hitler by saying he was “just misunderstood, and really not that bad”. People who are capable of saying this, and believing it, are capable of crimes beyond the imagination of normal human beings. US citizens who ignore the crimes of their government, at home and abroad (as long as it doesn’t affect them personally) are no better than the “Good Germans” who supported Hitler, and will eventually share their same fate. And deserve to.

Cowards hate the brave, idiots hate the wise, and liars hate the truth. It is a hatred born of fear and envy and gross self-centeredness. Those who are brave and wise and speak the truth are not welcome in the circles of the self-deceived. They are hated there, they are attacked, they are killed. But who can teach someone to overcome their cowardice except the brave? Who can teach a fool how to become wise except the wise? The definition of wisdom is “Having the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting”. Only the truth can expose a lie. Anything else is just another lie.

Medusa

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he vast majority of US citizens are fools and cowards, and their rulers know this, and act accordingly. The impudence of the rulers of the USA is a measure of the impotence and futility of their subjects. And the rulers are very impudent. Every day, the rulers feel less and less compelled to even try to hide their crimes. Why bother? Obvious false flags like 9/11 or MH17 were executed in a way that shows the perpetrators did not even care if they left incontrovertible evidence behind. The majority of the people will believe what they are told to believe, what it is convenient and comfortable to believe, regardless of the evidence, and they will resent and violently resist anyone who holds the evidence up to the light and asks them to look at it. So they cower in their darkened corners, hugging their chains and licking the boots of their masters, eating their shit, while congratulating each other on their bravery and freedom, snarling at anyone with genuine courage and compassion who tries to help them to see the truth, to do what is right, and to truly be free.

Courage and compassion are the greatest human virtues, but they are not only to be found in the human realm. There are many examples of these qualities being exhibited by animals, so what does that make those creatures, those simulacra of human beings, who are devoid of these very traits?  I say it makes them evil. The old saying about “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing” is not true. People who do nothing when confronted with evil are not “good people”, They are complicit in that evil, and they are evil too. What is “evil”? I have been face to face with cannibals and mass murderers, so I will tell you, because I know. Scott Peck wrote a book called People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil. He described evil as “militant ignorance”, as “a willingness to impose suffering on others in order to avoid one’s own spiritual growth”. Both definitions are spot on, and describe perfectly the US government, the majority of the US citizenry, the Kiev regime and their psychopathic henchmen.

“We are defined by what we do, and what we don’t do. That is what truly tells ourselves and others who and what we really are…”

Is there hope? Is there an answer?  I don’t know.  But I will speak the truth, and I will stand up for what is right. I’ve got a brain and a spine, and I’m going to use them, come what may. Even if defeat were to be inevitable, (which I do NOT believe) even if this was the Alamo or Thermopylae, that would never stop me from doing everything I can to defeat this genuine evil that is attacking Donbass and in fact, attacking the whole world.. We are defined by what we do, and what we don’t do. That is what truly tells ourselves and others who and what we really are. Words mean nothing if they are not corroborated and combined with actions. I do not consider myself a “hero”. I am just a regular guy who is doing the right thing. Yes, it is sometimes hard and dangerous, but it’s not that big of a deal. It is also sometimes very cool and very fun, so virtue really is its own reward. But if I’m just a regular guy, what does that make those who have less courage and compassion ( and less grasp of reality) than a water buffalo? It makes them part of the problem. I will help them if I can, with my words and by my example. But I will fight them if I must. There is objective truth, and it is clear to any honest person, who is right and who is wrong here, and elsewhere.

Those who deceive themselves are their own worst enemies, and ours. Our work, our work, speaks for itself, mine and yours, and for us, you and me. We are what we do. If there is hope, it lies with those who are willing to face the truth, and to speak it, and to defend it. And to do something about it. Everybody else is just a shit-eater… So, what’s for lunch?



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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Donbass Correspondent Russell Bentley (aka “Texac”) joined the Novorossiyan Armed Forces Vostok Battalion to fight what he (correctly) 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 using color revolution technology. 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 seamless, formidable  package.


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ALL CAPTIONS AND PULL-QUOTES BY THE EDITORS, NOT THE AUTHORS.





Texac’s Chronicle No. 8: THE SERPENT AND THE CROWN—My First Combat Position, “Troishka”

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  =   War Diary by Russell “Texac” Bentley  =

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russell-new term troishka

Russell Bentley (Texac) in the troishka area, daily facing eternity. Like many soldiers before him, defending what seems like an unimportant patch of earth. The image was taken several months after the events in this article; the New Terminal is on the right; Troishka on the left. Two CB soldiers were killed in almost the exact spot where Texac is standing, the day after this photo was taken. (Click on image.)

 


EditorsNote_White

[box type=”bio”] This is the Fourth  Part of Texac’ diary.  The First Part, BIRTH OF A NATION, covering his departure from the U.S., arrival in Moscow, visit to Volgograd (Stalingrad), travel to Rostov, crossing the border into Donbass and arrival in Donetsk can be found here.  The Second Part, THE RED CAT, THE DRAGON AND THE SBU is found here.  In the Third Part, THERE IS NO WATER IN YASYNUVATA, Texac (pronounced “Tay-HASS” by Mexicans and Russians) joins the Novorossiyan Armed Forces (NAF) and undergoes basic training in the Vostok Battalion boot camp in Yasynuvata, along with Orion and Toro.   Texac channels the Lincoln Brigade, Jack London and Ernest Hemingway — journalism as compelling literature in a hurry… —Daniel Wirt[/box]

 

Texac Chronicle No. 8:  THE SERPENT AND THE CROWN —My First Combat Position, “Troishka”

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There are people in this world, men and women, who are born to be Warriors.  Hunters, natural apex predators, who are experts at the job of hunting and killing and butchering.  Some are good, some are bad, but I am not one of them.  Though I can do it if I have to. There are things worth dying for, so there are things worth killing for.  And there are things worse than death.  And when someone comes to do something worse than death to you and yours, you have a right to kill them.  An obligation.  Before I came to Donbass, I had a couple of experiences in Mexico.  Some guys were coming to kill me, or they were coming to kill me and my friends.  They died trying.  Self defense.  No apologies, end of story.  That was the extent of my combat experience before I got to the airport.

CB tower scope
 

New Year’s Eve, 2014, I left Yasynuvata at 4 o’clock in the morning in the back of a dark blue mini-bus.  I had two backpacks full of clothes and gear.  I had a good kevlar helmet with a defective chin strap, and I had the best type of body armor that I have ever seen anybody wear in the Novorossiyan Armed Forces — Class 4 steel in a slim black vest. Heavy, about ten kilos, but worth it.  In Russian, body armor is called “Bronik-gilette”, or just “Bronik”.  Your bronik is your friend…

 

I also had an AK-74 “Avtomat”, and five loaded magazines — one in the gun and four in the web gear I had bought in Rostov.  My sleeping bag, also bought in Rostov, was a 3XL bag rated for the Arctic.  It was reasonably priced and turned out to be one of the best investments I have ever made in my life.  I learned to love that sleeping bag like a beautiful girlfriend.  My Avtomat too, like a girlfriend, even if they weren’t always faithful.  Everybody at the front has a name for their rifle.  Mine was named “Софи”, “Sophie”, after my youngest niece.

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The van had ultra dark tinted windows, but it didn’t really matter because they were frosted up on both sides a quarter of an inch thick.  As the saying goes, “you couldn’t see shit.”  I was crammed in with half a dozen other soldiers, along with so much stuff — food, water, soup, ammo, clothes, blankets and weapons that we barely had room to breathe.  The mood was somber, serious.  It reminded me of the US Marshal vans I had ridden in, on my way to prison, back when I was doing my bit.  Heading into the unknown, where the only thing known was that it was not going to be pleasant.

 

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t took us almost an hour to get to the Airport.  25 km from Yasynuvata to Donetsk, then about 10 km to the Airport.  My Russian language skills were so poor, I couldn’t really say anything, and the few comments the other guys made were totally incomprehensible.  I had expected Orion to be with me as interpreter, but he was in the hospital with a lung infection.  I had the same bad cough, and it was bad, but I’ve never missed a day of work because of being sick, or even hungover, and I wasn’t going to start now.  I did not come to Donbass to check into the hospital.  Finally, the van came to a stop and the side door slid open.  It was dawn on the morning of December 31st, 2014.  Still dark, and very, very cold.  The driver motioned for me to get out, and I did.  I thought we all would, but it was only me and the driver.  I looked around…

tower 1chart

 

We were standing in front of what was left of an Eastern Orthodox church that had been heavily, heavily bombed.  The roof was blown down, and there was not a square meter of the exterior that did not have several dozen bullet holes or shrapnel scars.  500 meters directly behind the church was the New Terminal, occupied by the “Cyborgs” of the Ukrainian Army.  Everything between the church and New Terminal was just an open field.  Actually, I looked a little closer and realized it was not an open field, it was a cemetery.  A big one, with a couple of thousand graves.  It reminded me of the cemetery in the final scene of the movie “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.  The scene I was in would be the first in this, my own real life movie, but it also might be my last.

I was standing next to a blown up church in the middle of a grave yard, going to war in a strange foreign country that I had been in for less than a month.  I realized I could get killed today, any second, starting right now.  It felt like I was standing outside of time, but I knew I didn’t really have time to stand outside of time right then.  I was “all in” as we say in Texas Hold ‘Em, and now I had to play the hand I had dealt myself. 


BELOW: Texac offers a view of the bombed church and explains the events in which the site played a pivotal role. 


We unloaded our share of the supplies in front of the church, and as we did, four soldiers approached from the monastery, where the combat position “Troishka” was located.  (“Troishka” because the monastery had three stories — or used to have three stories.)  They were regular looking guys, except for the fact they all carried machine guns and wore helmets and bulletproof vests, with ammo clips and grenades festooned all over their torsos, and they were very serious.  Very serious.  Fortunately, our first conversation was easy. The word for “sniper” in Russian is pronounced almost the same as in English, kind of like “shnaypair”.  When they pointed towards the New Terminal and control tower and said that word, I knew exactly what they were talking about. I understood.

It took us a few trips to hump all the gear the 100 meters or so from the drop off point in front of the church to the ground floor of Troishka.  The ammo first, then the food and water, then my personal gear.  Two backpacks.  Before I left Yasynavata, I was told I would only be at the airport a day or two.  Good thing I packed.  You know the old saying about “I spent a week in Moscow one night”?  Well, I spent half my life at Troishka in a couple of weeks.  Time is relative.  Especially when you’re standing outside of it.


 

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The Essence of Time movement red flag, proudly flying atop the troishka fortifications.

What is the Essence of Time movement (CB)? Click the bar below for an insight into its principles.

[learn_more] ESSENCE OF TIME (Russian: Суть времени) is a Russian communist movement,[1] founded and led by political scientist, philosopher and theater director Sergei Kurginyan.[2][3]


PRINCIPLES: The movement’s ideology is a mixture of Russian patriotic ideas with communist elements, giving Russia a messianist role on a global scale. Its principles are explained in the manifesto of the movement “Essence of Time”.[1] The manifesto declares that the Dissolution of the Soviet Union was a great tragedy. The objective of the movement is to restitute the USSR in a better and more capable form. The ascertainment of what and who was responsible for the USSR’s fall is considered a key step in this process. According to Kurginyan, capitalism is inherently incompatible with Russian historical and cultural heritage. Since the fall of the USSR in 1991 “capitalism in Russia has not built anything, and destroyed everything”, but, fortunately, after 20 years, Russia is slowly starting to “wake up”. The Fall of the USSR was just a part of a game, played by postmodern entities against “history and humanity”. Kurginyan considers his manifesto to be a new Communist manifesto, [citation needed] analysis of new bourgeoisie, whose nature has evolved since Marx’s time.


S.E. Kurgunyan

S.E. Kurgunyan

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he movement is grounded in modern philosophy and incorporates the ideas of Karl Marx, Max Weber, Erich Fromm, Antonio Gramsci, Alexander Bogdanov, Viktor Frankl, and others. One of the main principles of the movement’s ideology is the ascription of great importance to the human spirit as a philosophical category, which is considered to be linked directly to the question of the ascent of humanity. The project subscribes to conception of uber-modernity (in Russian сверхмодерн, tr. sverkhmodern), not to be confused with post-modernity, and on this principle hopes to build a new historical project for Russia. The project conceives of a great historical role for Russia in moving the world out of the global crisis of capitalism, based on the country’s experience of alternatives to capitalist modernity and so-called post-modernity. The movement seeks to unite people with socialist and communist political views as well as those with patriotic views and Orthodox Christian values, hoping on this basis to create a spiritual synthesis. One of the main aims of the movement is a revival of the Soviet Union on new principles, taking into account the mistakes of the past (the project is thus dubbed USSR 2.0). EoT envisions a new red union state – a union of equal nations where the Russian nation plays the role of the state’s core. The ultimate goal of the movement is the bringing to life the best of communism’s ideas -namely a state of being in society which provides for the awakening and development of the higher creative abilities of every human being under justice. SOURCE (edited): WIKIPEDIA [/learn_more]

 

We ran across the hundred yards between the front of the church and the door of the monastery.  Every move we made outside was under Ukrop observation and therefore, potentially fatal.  So we moved quickly.  Once inside the door of the three story monastery, we turned right and went up the stairs, passing a switchback landing with a guard post and an AGS automatic grenade launcher.  The door to the second floor was sealed by a sheet of plastic and a heavy rug.  Almost completely airtight and light tight.  I stepped inside, into almost total darkness, and a thick haze of smoke from the wood burning stoves that were the only source of heat for our quarters and for cooking.  Even though the sun had begun to rise outside, the darkness inside was pervasive, due to the fact that all the windows had been sealed with sandbags against the frequent artillery.  Only small firing ports were open to the outside.  You literally needed a flashlight, even during the day, just to move around.  Good thing I had brought three.  I was going to need them.

 

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he monastery was a rectangular building, with a north-south axis.  Directly to our north was the airport control tower, about 400 meters away, behind a treeline and small radar station only about 150 meters away.  The New Terminal, or what was left of it, was about 500 meters to our East.  Both the control tower and New Terminal were held by Ukrop Army “Cyborgs”, along with Pravy Sektor Nazis and US and EU mercenaries.  Within less than a kilometer’s range, the enemy forces arrayed against us outnumbered us about 10 to 1.  There were never more that 20 of us at Troishka, and usually closer to a dozen.  Against at least 200 Nazis and Ukrop soldiers.  Long odds, but somewhat better than the odds at The Alamo or Thermopylae.  Still, we would get plenty of chances to die like heroes here, and some of us would.

troishka snow

 

Our main positions were on the second floor.  The building had originally been three stories, but the roof had been completely bombed and burned off, so the floor of the third floor was now the roof.  Needless to say, it leaked.  The layout of the second floor was a long narrow hallway with six rooms on each side.  The ones on the right were all firing positions facing towards the New Terminal, and our food storage room.  The rooms on the left were, from back to front, commander’s room, eight-man room, kitchen, two eight-man rooms and the ammo room, located just behind the forward firing points facing the control tower.  There were three firing points; the main one at the end of the hall was for the “Uchos”, a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun, comparable to the US M2 .50 caliber.  To the left of the Uchos was a window for observation and for the PKM when there was something to shoot at.  To the right was a small room that had firing ports cut through the walls to the north and east.  This small room was destined to become my office, and I would do a lot of work there.


 

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After a quick tour of the position, I was taken to the room where I would be sleeping.  There were eight bunks, and four guys — Arik, sniper, who never said much,  Bielka (“Squirrel”) a local veteran of over six months of fighting, and two Italian volunteers, “Spartak” and “Archangel”.  I was placed with the Italians, because I speak rudimentary and imperfect Spanish, and it was considered that Italian was similar enough to Spanish that I could communicate with them.  Well, almost  At that time, my Russian was so limited as to be of virtually no use at all, and my Italian skills were hardly better.  I was going to be operating with sign language and on the basis of “vibes”.  Good luck and pass the ammo…

“Every time I stood at the window on guard duty, I wondered if my thermal signature was in the crosshairs of a Nazi sniper’s thermal scope, made in the good ol’ USA…”

 

The other soldiers there that day were Mos, Vetter and Krugly, who had arrived the day before and were in my basic training class at Yasynuvata; I knew and liked them.  They were good soldiers and I had lent them many cigarettes.  I met there for the first time Mongoose, a CB (Суть Времени, Essence of Time) administrative commander, and Reem and Mir, two best friends who were the combat commanders of the position and were the main gunners on the Uchos heavy MG.  Eleven of us total, though subsequently, soldiers would arrive and depart on a daily basis.  But on that day, new Year’s Eve day, 2014, there was just the eleven of us.  About 500 meters to our West, we had a two-man PL/OP called “Ushi” at the Pinocchio Nursery School.  500 meters to the south and behind us was the “Milnitsia” position, a radio hub and communication center, usually manned by between six to ten comrades.
 

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s dawn turned into day, the dull light of grey overcast snow clouds filtered through the few small openings, but the temperature remained below zero.  It was very fuckin’ cold.  Each bunkroom had a small metal wood burning stove for warmth, and candles provided the light, along with the ever present flashlights that most wore on their heads or around their necks at all times.  After weapon and body armor, a flashlight was one of the most vital items for work and survival.  The stoves were very important too, but there were two problems with the stoves —first a severe lack of firewood, and second, the smoke.  All the stoves were on the same side of the building, facing west.  And there was a western wind, strong and cold, blowing most of the time.  Blowing the smoke right back down the chimneys.  It was smokier than the smokiest smoke-filled barroom you have ever been in, by a factor of ten.  I am sure firefighters are the only ones who have been in smokier conditions than we had there.  The smoke would drive you crazy, make you want to cry, but you kept the fire going, because it was either that or freeze.  All day, every day, 24/7.  Of all the things I remember about Troishka, the smoke is always what first comes to mind.  I already had a real bad cough before I left Yasynavata, and this smoke situation sure did not help.

 

And speaking of smoke, I had only brought a few packs of cigarettes, having erroneously been told by Orion before he left to the hospital that I would be at the airport for only a day or two.  Upon arrival, I was told the rotation would last for at least two weeks, maybe a month.  And there was no going to the store from there.  But Vostok Battalion understood how important cigarettes are for soldiers in a combat zone (and they really are), and so we had a big pile of cigarette packs, sitting on a corner of the kitchen table, and take all you want.  The cigarettes were called “Prima”, in a red cardboard pack.  Filterless and strong, along the lines of French Gauloises or Mexican Delicados, both of which I had smoked before.  But the interesting thing I noticed about these Primas was written on the top of each pack – “CCCP”.  I wasn’t too good at reading Russian then, but I knew what “CCCP” meant.  It meant that those cigarettes had been waiting for at least 25 years to be smoked.  And now, we smoked them.

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]unch was pig liver paté (“pashtet”) on hard dry crackers.  It was served cold, but at least not frozen, and the tea was boiling hot, strong and sweet.  Protein, carbs, caffeine and sugar.  A soldier’s diet.  Dinner was soup and fresh bread.  For Novorossiyan soldiers, bread is a delicacy, add mayonnaise or ketchup to just plain bread, and it is a gourmet delicacy.  They were right.  It went well with the soup, which was twice as good (or half as horrible) as the soup in Yasynuvata.  Front line soldiers are either always first, or always last, in line when it comes to supplies.  It depends on the Commander.  We had a good one, “Volga”, but there wasn’t a lot to go around, and everybody had to get something, so we didn’t get much, even at the front of the line.  The food was sometimes quite meager, and always very basic, but there was almost always tea, and sometimes instant coffee.  But there were plenty of bullets, and they brought plenty more every day.  And we certainly used them.

 

As the day progressed, the rumble of (not too) distant cannon and gunfire was constant, but was not directed at us.  But we knew it was directed at somebody.  On a battlefront, you generally don’t shoot unless you see something.  But if you see something, you shoot to kill.  And there was a lot of shooting going on around us.  Shooting to kill.  As the short and overcast day began to fade into night, New Year’s Eve, I was told that for the Ukrops to go a whole day without attacking or at least firing on on our position was quite unusual. That was OK by me.  I figured I could use at least a couple of hours to get acclimated.  Before I started shooting and getting shot at…

pale blue horizAt this point in our narrative, a pause to pay homage to departed comrades.

Song translation provided by Karina Antimaydan. 

Tribute to fallen at the Donetsk Airport/Памяти наших товарищей, павших в бою за донецкий аэропорт

https://youtu.be/gxvxt6cXN2M

 

If you have a heart, and some knowledge of the conflict in Ukraine, while watching this homage it will be difficult to hold back the tears. These young men died because the enormous forces of US imperialism, cloaked in ignorance and selfishness, are still free to roam the world plotting, funding, organizing, committing, and triggering appalling crimes with almost total impunity. Let us all honor these real heroes for a better world.  They stood for a most honorable cause. They will not be forgotten!



 

Dinner was soup and crackers.  Vegetable soup, long on the potatoes and short on everything else.  It also had some “Tashunka”, canned beef that reminded me of the pieces of cow divided up among the Partisans in the movie “Come and See”.  (If you haven’t seen this movie, you should watch it as soon as you finish this article. Seriously.)  I found it a bit interesting and amusing that the Russian word for “canned beef” was pronounced almost exactly the same as the Lakota word for “horse”.  But I had no idea how to explain this fact to my comrades, so I kept it to myself.
 
 

As night fell, what had been the deep blinding darkness of the day became the absolute total darkness of the night, where not a single photon touches the optic nerve.  Darkness within darkness.  Outside it was a Winter night with low, dark clouds reflecting the almost complete absence of light from the ground.  There was no electricity, and to show any light from flashlight or fire was to invite bullets, many and big ones, and that right quickly.  So, darkness was the name of the game.  Walking down the hallway, you could not see the soldier walking a single meter ahead of you.  Not an outline, not any visual indication he was there at all.  Only what you could hear and smell, and sense and feel.  It was like walking down the hall with my eyes closed, and sometimes I did, and sometimes I could see better that way.

 

"Ucho" mounted on anti-aircraft tripod.

“Ucho” mounted on anti-aircraft tripod.

At the end of the hall was a firing port for the “Uchos” , the 12.7 mm heavy machine gun that was our main armament.  It sat by the window, which was fully sealed with sandbags except for a small firing port that was usually sealed wih a piece of plywood for light discipline, and only opened when a target had been acquired.  About ten feet to the left was our observation post, equipped with a PKM general purpose 7.62 mm machine gun.  The PKM was Bielka’s weapon, and not to be fired by anyone else except in emergencies. But it was always there if we needed it.  Both the Uchos and PKM firing/observation points faced north looking directly at the Donetsk airport control tower, which was a Ukrainian Army fighting position about 400 meters away.  There was also a small radar building and long treeline about 150 meters away, from which the Ukrops would usually launch their attacks.  There were always at least two soldiers on guard duty, one at the PKM window, and another on the landing with the AGS guarding the door.  The shifts were four hours, and we each pulled two shifts a day. We had a night vision scope for the Uchos, and a handheld thermal imager that was most effective at detecting advancing enemy troops.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hermal imagers are among the most important weapons in modern combat.  We had one, but it didn’t always work.  The Ukrainian Army had plenty of them, thanks to the “non-lethal aid” from the their masters in the USA.  Every time I stood at the window on guard duty, I wondered if my thermal signature was in the crosshairs of a Nazi sniper’s thermal scope, made in the good ol’ USA.  I would bob and weave at the window, hoping I would move enough between the time the trigger was pulled and the time the bullet arrived. The veterans would just stand there, perfectly still, facing death fearlessly.


I learned to emulate what the veterans did.  They would communicate what I needed to know, but would mostly say nothing and see how long it took me to figure things out for myself.  It wasn’t that they didn’t care, it was simply that they were soldiers in a combat zone and they had other things to do besides babysit me.  I had volunteered to be a soldier, so I was expected to look after myself.  It was a steep learning curve, but I did my best, and that was good enough.  Good enough to keep me alive.
 

The control tower was the prominent terrain feature and the focus of our attention.  To me, the control tower, which had sustained hundreds of impacts from all types of weapons, looked like a serpent ready to strike, with a crown on its head.  The Serpent of Fascism had raised its ugly head in Novorossiya, and we were there to prevent it from advancing any further.  Or die trying.  I was ready, or as we say in Russian, “Gatov”.

sarpent of fascism

 

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, several Commanders from Milnitsa arrived with a couple of bottles of champagne.  We gathered in the kitchen and toasted to victory.  The Commanders, Mongoose, Caluchi, and XXXXXXX invited me to the Commander’s room, and a couple of bottles of vodka were shared.  I actually got a pretty good buzz going, and was glad I was not on the guard roster that night.  I made my way through the pitch dark to my room, where Bielka and the two Italians were already snoring away.  I made my way through the choking haze of smoke, hung my rifle on a nail, removed my bronik and boots, and climbed up onto my bunk.  I slid fully clothed into my beloved sleeping bag.  After a few minutes of hacking, wracking coughs, I began to fall asleep.  Tomorrow would be a busy day.  New Year’s Day, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 10.18.20 AMRussell Bentley (Texac) is an advocate and defender of the victims of the Novorossiyan War, and war correspondent for anti-imperialist media outlets, especially for The Greanville Post, the online magazine“New Eastern Outlook”, and a select number of other leading political sites. 



 

Lizard

FIFTH ITERATION REV. 11.15.15 19:11

ADDENDUM
“COME AND SEE” (1985)


Come And See (1985) pt. 1 by karimberdi


Come And See (1985) pt. 2 by karimberdi


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