Eurasia note #71 - Bloody Anniversary Of The First Woke War
Same corporations aim to reshape Western society and profit from death
One year into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Putin vows to press onwards.
U.S. to announce $2 bn more in military aid, taking total to about $80 bn.
Nuland: “We don’t seek conflict with Russia, we seek Russia’s departure.
Estimates of 300,000 dead, 10 million civilians displaced from their homes.
Exports from the “bread basket” of Ukraine are sharply lower, hurting the poorest.
NGOs help to build war narrative in conflict zone and in the war-supporting nations.
Woke corporations plan to reconstruct Ukraine but not before they profit from war.
BlackRock increased its stake in Lockheed just before invasion. Is that ESGs or SDGs?
Anti-war movement must look beyond slogans and see that conflict has wider agenda.
Watch out for the upcoming Moneycircus: The Public-Private Censorship Industry
(1,950 words or nine minutes of your company.)
Batumi, Feb 24, 2023
Writing and watching the waves that mirror the grey sky crash on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, not far from where a mine exploded a week ago. No-one was hurt, unlike a similar blast in Zatoka, Odesa, that killed three people last August. Romanian, Turkish, and Bulgarian authorities have also had to clear mines. 
Land and sea mines are one of the brutalities of war and, while they appear to pick victims indiscriminately, they are not random acts. Those who place them in the sea know they will stray just like petal mines dispersed into residential areas.
Last month Human Rights Watch highlighted the use of banned landmines.  It was a welcome, even-handed alarum — for the primary offender scattering petal mines, one inch thick, camouflaged to blend in with grass and leaves around homes and gardens in Donbas, appears to be the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Mines are a symbol of war whose lethal consequences can be unleashed but not always controlled.
The common good
Charities and NGOs are more conflicted in war than state media suggests: they provide humanitarian aid, but often are co-opted to form the narrative. They are not always neutral: they can be hijacked by the vested interests with the deepest pockets.
Nominally independently of government control, “with the objective of provoking social, political or economic change,” the past two decades have seen NGOs play an increasing role in war. 
Good intentions are not enough when accountability and regulation in conflict zones is near impossible.
Aid is increasingly politicised when it is directed at specific regions and peoples. In Afghanistan, aid went overwhelmingly to the Mujahidin and its allies (Bergen and Fishman, 2008), and thus by aiding certain groups the West amplified social divisions.
Secondly, aid can perpetuate war by taking care of the people, diverting their anger and pressure away from warmongers, and freeing competing factions to focus on conflict. (Beswick and Jackson, 2015). Propaganda and behaviour management performs a similar role on the domestic populations in countries that are third parties to war.
Thirdly, humanitarian aid, like military materiel, can be stolen and resold, leading to immeasurable consequences, as happened in Afghanistan, Somalia and now in Ukraine. U.S. and European officials insisted there was no evidence that aid was being stolen until a corruption scandal erupted in Ukraine. 
Should aid be impartial, or can a broader role give a voice to the marginalized, amplifying the call for peace and holding warmakers to account, without powerful outside forces manipulationg that voice?
For example Israel has guaranteed $200 million for humanitarian NGOs, including Community Self-Help (CSH) whose stated mission is broad: medical aid to hospitals and defenders of Ukraine, psychological care, and “fighting the information war against Russian disinformation through newsletters, oral histories, and more.”
Talks in stalemate
Three hundred thousand estimated to have died, two thirds or more soldiers. An estimated 10 million people are displaced from their homes, up to eight million taking refuge elsewhere in Europe.
Rich countries feel the pinch of higher energy costs with the loss of Russian gas. The pain of the poor gets less attention. Shipments from Ukraine, which before the war supplied a tenth of the world’s maize and wheat, were 44 per cent lower this past six months compared with the same period a year ago. 
President Vladimir Putin in his state of the union address this week vowed to press on; the United Nations General Assembly called by an (slightly shrunken margin) for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine but pointedly made no such reference to NATO; and the U.S. State Department continued to insist it had no interest in war with Russia, but left its presence in the region undefined.
Putin signaled no changes in his speech (last year’s SOTU was cancelled) though he blamed Western countries for letting “the genie out of the bottle” and plunging the region into chaos. “It is they who unleashed the war,” he said, referring to the coup of 2014 which led to eight years of fighting between Ukraininans of different ethnicities, including 14,000 dead in Donbas before Russia invaded a year ago. “We’re using force to stop it.”
By escalating the conflict he said Western politicians bore responsibility for the casualties.
The UN voted 141 to seven, with 32 abstentions in its call for Russia to withdraw unconditionally from Ukraine.
Before the vote, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken claimed countries like India were moving closer to Washington’s point of view. In contrast, however, to India’s Security Council vote against Russia last August, this time India abstained. In October the General Assembly condemned Russia 143 to five, with 35 abstentions.
China again proposed a ceasefire, security guarantees for Russia and a dialogue on territorial integrity.
Profiting from peace…
As Russia’s invasion enters its second year, NGOs and their corporate financial backers are positioning themselves to shape events in the region. The asset manager BlackRock last year signed an agreement with Ukraine’s economics ministry to create “opportunities for both public and private investors.”
BlackRock is the champion of Woke investing and the bandwagon that goes with it. 
While it is facing a backlash from hurt investors and a ban from some U.S. states, some of the world’s biggest companies are vocal in its defence — Unilever’s CEO: “we will never back down… This anti-sustainability backlash, this anti-Woke backlash is incredibly dangerous for the world.”
… but first from war
There is no telling when the profits of reconstruction will flow. Currently asset manager BlackRock and its peers Vanguard and State Street are profiting from weapons sales.
On Feb 3, 2022, just weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, BlackRock increased its stake in Lockheed Martin, which makes the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), from 5.9 to 6.4 per cent, not quite catching up with the other top asset managers State Street, at 14.6 and Vanguard at 7.8 per cent. 
When Ukraine’s Washington DC embassy hosted a reception to mark the 31st anniversary of the country’s armed forces last December, the invitation card was emblazoned with the logos of Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Pratt & Whitney, and Lockheed Martin. 
What kind of society are NGOs laying the ground for? What kind of society do BlackRock and friends envisage, or plan to build? We already know something from president Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s pitches to the World Economic Forum.
Only a third of Ukrainian refugees plan to return home, according to Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Just 34 per cent of those questioned said they would move back immediately once the war ended. 
In societies outside the theatre of war this debate will only intensify with former Washington Post editors calling for the end of objective reporting, the pouring of corporate finance into fack checkers and disinformation monitors, and government sponsorship of hate speech laws — all lof which are nothing but propaganda operations justified in the name of the common good. 
It is hardly surprising that this call coincided with the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine — for the war in Ukraine is the first Woke war.
Not just because people shimmied as an obedient horde from one issue to The Next Big Thing, swapping their mask emojies for Ukrainian flags. People may be forgiven their “low information status” — although swallowing the Covid narrative comes at a personal cost, while failing to question the war costs primarily Ukrainian lives. In this case there is an obligation to be informed.
Who is the enemy?
In this Woke war the prime beneficiaries dress their venal interests in a Progressive platform, from sustainable development goals to the (trans) gender smorgasbord — a neat trick that lumps all so-called issues as one, so that you cannot question any plank of the platform and still be a good person. You must sign up to all or nothing.
This was prefigured by the media and behavioural psychology during the Trump presidency: the people were polarised, Now we are told that polarization in the media is a bad thing — we must all think as one. More of which later.
Britain’s former prime minister Tony Blair — who had to cancel his book tour over his unpopularity for lying his way into war with Iraq — popped up this month yet again promoting digital passports and the Rockefeller-backed Common Pass as the only path to... … …
If biometric ID is ever implemented to limit access to the Internet so that commentary critical of war or medical tyranny can be shunted into a siding, allowing only compliant thinking rubber-stamped by Newsguard or Politifact to gain visiblity, while hate speech laws censor the public square in the name of equity and One Love, it will suit precisely smooth-talking Tony and the people he represents.
Unfortunately a large swathe of society has been trained to go along. Group think and a reflexive need to quash any divergence of thought has been pushed in schools for at least two generations and has permeated not just universities and journalism schools but newsrooms and the corporate ranks.
Britain’s Gen Sir Nick Carter, former head of the army, is just one of several military figures to spell out the doctrine of hybrid war, in which there is no longer a state of war and peace but a permanent struggle against an enemy that is at home as well as abroad.
This may sound like the ravings of Gen Jack D. Ripper in Dr Strangelove but it is closely linked to concepts like whole-of-society control of information.
Simple question: are you sure you will not one day be declared the enemy?
Those who think political correctness is “just being polite” are marching in Woke-step, in a hybrid war in which no-one knows who or what shall be demonised tomorrow.
Those who protest against war must realize that more is at stake, even than the lives of Russians and Ukrainians. This is a proxy war and it is being waged as much upon populations in the West as those in Eastern Europe.
Look for the upcoming Moneycircus: The Public-Private Censorship Industry.
There is no longer time for argument whether this abominable future looks more like fascism, national socialism or communism. It is a tyranny that must be stopped.
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 Meduza, Feb 17, 2023 — Drifting sea mine explodes off Georgia’s Black Sea coast near Batumi
 HRW, Jan 31, 2023 -- https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/01/31/ukraine-banned-landmines-harm-civilians
 Dynamic Development, 2017 — Do NGOs do More Harm than Good in Conflict Zones?
 NYT, Jan 27, 2023 — U.S. Officials Overseeing Aid Say Ukrainian Leaders Are Tackling Corruption
 Marine Link, Feb 24, 2023 — A Toll of War: Ukraine’s Dry Bulk Exports Plunge 77.8%
 Charles Gasparino, NYP, 2021 — BlackRock’s ‘No. 1’ goal in ‘woke’ investing: Huge ESG-funds haul
 Fintel, Feb 2022 -- BlackRock Inc. increases ownership in LMT / Lockheed Martin Corporation
 Ukraine army day invitation obtained by Vox
 BAMF, Feb 16, 2023 -- Forschungsbericht: Geflüchtete aus der Ukraine in Deutschland
 Jonathan Turley, Feb 1, 2023 — News Leaders Call For The End Of Objective Reporting
"Group think and a reflexive need to quash any divergence of thought has been pushed in schools for at least two generations "
KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov was right back in 1984. The dead hand of the USSR is responsible for the destruction of the US. The communist and leftist propaganda applied for decades to the grade schools and universities in the US has now born fruit. The philosophy of acquiring political power regardless of the means - fake crisis, created crisis, lies, polarization by slander, assassination, riots and violence, war - in in full bloom.
The majority in the West have now fallen victim to the promises of a virtualized world where everything is financialized gambling and pharma stupor with security guaranteed by a lying government.
Luckily for me I lived through the good post WWII years. What's coming is ugly and unavoidable.
Sucks to be young.
I thank you for being a rare being of objective reporting. Given what I perceive as having had a lifetime of experience few others can only imagine, I thank you for putting it to good use for those of us who seek the truth. It must be very hard sometimes to put into words what is actually happening in places with so much death and destruction every second of the day; it is very hard to read sometimes; but that is my job at this point.
The state of the world's humans and all other living things of Nature that support life on this planet does not portend what I think the Universe had in mind.