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THE PISCES FESTIVAL 2022
18 MAR 2022
© Malvin Artley
A few statements on the conflict
The media horror show
My experience with the news
The passing of Pisces
The West and the 6th ray
The 6th ray, Pisces and nations
The full moon
Bypassing the dollar
Viewing the conflict
Must we forgive?
We all awoke on the 24th of February to the news coming out of Ukraine. That date will be marked as one of great significance in the evolution of international affairs, for many reasons. We will address the more significant aspects of the changes we are witnessing in this letter. As to the conflict itself, I have addressed the physical and the psychological aspects of it in two posts, listed at the end of this letter. We will not be examining Ukraine here except for a few pertinent aspects. But one thing that must be mentioned and held in mind is that what is happening in Ukraine now is but another escalation of a civil war that has been ongoing in Ukraine since 2014. The Western media tries its best to cast the Russian actions in Ukraine as somehow a separate and unprovoked event. This is propaganda. The conflict we see now has a long history. But the propaganda has served its purpose remarkably well, sadly. In the heat of emotions on all sides there is little in the way of critical thought and investigation. Beliefs will drown out examination of facts every time. Well, the facts about the present situation are about to bring home to all of us that we cannot isolate ourselves from each other or from other nations, much as our governments may try to do otherwise.
The 24th: When the fighting broke out on the 24th my wife had turned on the news that evening and was horrified by what she was seeing. Many people were. For myself, as I watched her reactions and what I saw on the screen, I felt a tide of anger arising – not at the military actions, terrible as they are, but at the way the news was being presented. Notice I am avoiding words like ‘war’, ‘invasion’ and so forth. These are loaded and emotional terms, yet that is how the news was presenting the situation. There was an immediate and scripted rush to judgement with no examination of facts. The reason for the anger I was feeling was because I have lived long enough to see this kind of ‘journalism’ before, and most especially what it produced once the event was finished. Really, what it amounts to is tabloid journalism, propaganda by another name. There is no nuance in reporting on Ukraine, no examination of the underlying causes, no presentation of other sides of the conflict and most especially, no one talking to the Russians and asking why. All the old memes about Russia and blatant emotional hooks to pull nations into line along a certain narrative are on full display. And when I feel that sort of emotional hooking now, it is almost an automatic response for me to avoid it and to start searching far and wide from as many sources as I can find in order to get some idea of the truth behind events.
I will just state outright: The ‘Russian invasion of Ukraine’ is not at all as it is being presented by the talking heads and script writers in news rooms across the West. The reasons for the Russian intervention in Ukraine are far more nuanced than is being presented and with a history stretching back at least a century, and there is plenty of blame to go around, on all sides of this conflict. How many readers know, for instance, that Ukrainians have been shelling Ukrainians for the past 8 years? Or that tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops had amassed in the two Donbas republics in the months leading up to the precipitation of this present event and had increased their shelling of the region in the days leading up to the 24th? Probably not many readers would have heard, or you may have heard it was ‘Russian aggression’. And we are certainly not shown the horrors Ukrainians in the Donbas have endured at the hands of nationalist Ukrainians. If the preceding comments challenge your beliefs, cause anger and disbelief to arise in you regarding these statements, you may want to stop here. Or, you may see an opportunity to examine more. You may even agree with these statements. Whatever the case, I expect this open warfare to finish soon, as in a matter of a week or two. Decisions are being made now and the Russians want a quick resolution to the conflict, one that will have plusses and minuses for both sides – a negotiated settlement in other words, and one more amenable to Russian security concerns.
A few statements on the conflict: There are a few statements to make about the conflict and then we will move on to the major themes of this letter. There is a lot of wishful thinking about Russia and Putin now across the West, none of it based in fact. Much of what we hear in Western media about the conflict is opposite to the facts on the ground. Despite what you are hearing in the Western press, the Russians are winning the war (please watch the first part of the video and understand) and there has been a major turning point on the 15th of this month. Ukraine has lost the war. Western leaders are approaching their counterparts in Moscow seeking a resolution to the conflict. Macron in France has come out and stated there will be no peace in Europe unless Russia is taken seriously and Russian concerns are properly addressed. I expect negotiations to accelerate markedly from here on and the major part of the fighting to end over the next couple of weeks. The Russians are fighting a type of warfare that is different from what we normally imagine, in that they are going slowly, avoiding large-scale destruction and civilian casualties. And believe it or not, they are trying to spare as many of the regular Ukrainian troops as they can. It is the hardline and extremist troops the Russians are after. The Russians have no interest in western Ukraine except for the staging areas for foreign mercenaries, like the one just destroyed outside Lvov. As well, the Russian intervention will not involve other nations unless those nations try to intervene directly against Russia. Forget the no-fly zone. It would mean open warfare with Russia.
Foreign mercenaries who try to go to Ukraine to fight for Ukrainians are being used by the nationalist Ukrainians as cannon fodder. If you know someone who wants to go and fight for Ukraine, please tell them to stay home. It’s not a video game. Their families and community need them at home. The vested interests in Washington want to draw this conflict out as long as possible, but it will cause serious problems for the West the longer it is drawn out. Russia is in no danger of collapse and public support in Russia for Putin has risen. I realize these statements will not sit well and be at odds with the beliefs of many readers, but it is better to know the facts of any matter rather than simply accepting one side of any story. The view of this war outside of the West is very different from what we are being told. And people across the West are gradually beginning to wake up to what is going on. Basically, the war will end when Biden tells Zelenskyy to surrender, or until the Russians find him.
The media horror show: When the media cranked up Wisner’s Mighty Wurlitzer on the 24th and my wife started to react in horror to what she was seeing, I advised her to change the channel or to turn off the TV. So, instead of the news, we watched Homestead Rescue, a show about folks helping other folks survive their attempts at living off-grid. I never knew the Raneys spoke Italian so well. Joking aside, we get a lot of American shows here, all overdubbed in Italian, of course. The point here is to either turn off the TV if one wants to get accurate reporting on this conflict, except maybe for local news, and instead watch something uplifting. I have some personal experience to relate regarding news coverage for readers who may get their news largely from mainstream sources in the West.
My experience with the news: I was living in the US during the Vietnam War and the 1st war in Iraq. I have vague memories of the Cuban Missile crisis. I was in Australia for the other American wars, like Yugoslavia, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq no. 2. While living in the US I thought our media was giving us accurate accounting of events, that we were the ‘good guys’ with every foreign intervention, that Vietnam was for a just cause and that we were liberating Kuwait. Of course, no background was given for the events. But at least in the first years of my life we did have the requirement that US media had to always present opposing points of view to any argument. That is no longer the case. Then I moved to Australia and my eyes began to open. This was in the early ‘90s and I began to see that American news was quite one-sided. I started to look outside of mainstream news and print media. That was about the time the internet really began to take off as a source of information, and along with it, a copious amount of garbage.
I left Australia in 2012 and came back to the US for a couple of years. The change in the news was quite striking, along with the rest of televised media – pharmaceutical advertising as one example. We do not get the latter here in Italy. Basically, I could not watch the news on TV in the US. It was too jarring, too much like ‘infotainment’ and quite negative, with pronounced violence and emotional steering. Ratings mattered far more than truth. And people ingest that sort of thing while they sit down to dinner. I understand why many Americans think the way they do about foreign affairs, having seen all this. In the first part of my life I was quite indoctrinated to greatly distrust Russia, China and so forth. And I also tended to believe Italy was full of pickpockets and Mafiosi through media stereotyping. I was pleasantly surprised to find out otherwise when I came to Italy in 2014. Travel does indeed open one’s eyes to many things, and one thing one finds is that the common people are basically the same everywhere, with a few cultural differences.
My views on geopolitics changed sharply after the Bataclan massacre in 2015 and the Russian intervention in Syria, along with the migrant crisis that year. What I saw in the Western news and what I was reading in independent journalism did not tally. I had to delve deeper into what I was seeing and gradually a picture emerged, as you have been reading in these letters, some of you for years. You may have seen the evolution of my thinking. One thing I found to be necessary was a study of Russia, China and other demonized nations, as well as looking at the history and causes of Western conflicts, especially since the end of WWII. The point to this recollection is that without historical context, without investigating and even living in other cultures and without looking at all sides in a conflict it is very easy to be misled by what one sees in media, to accept false narratives, to consent to things to which we would never otherwise do if we knew the truth of matters and to set ourselves apart from other nations and cultures.
Manufacturing consent: Just so you know, as a result of the Russian intervention in Ukraine the Western public via the media and government pronouncements is being steered to consent to policy which will be very damaging to us and to world peace and goodwill, perhaps for a generation. I hope I am wrong on the generational thing. It is called ‘manufacturing consent’ and if one has a visceral dislike of one side or the other, of personalities, or the absolute conviction of right and wrong, good and evil and so forth, just be aware it leaves one open and ripe to manipulation. It is the lower aspect of Neptune in action – deception and obscuration of the facts – which brings us to Pisces. Neptune is held to be the modern ruler of Pisces. All I can say is, please read widely, especially from points of view with which we may not agree, and seek understanding. Our world is not black and white. It is full of colors of all shades and descriptions, and every one of them plays its part in the great tapestry we call life.
The passing of Pisces: From astrology we know the Piscean Age is passing and gradually merging in the Aquarian Age, with all that means. As the old age passes everything it represents is being crystallized and broken down as the new age waxes in strength. Hence, we see a rapidly changing world replete with instability. It may be helpful to see such events as the birth pangs of the Aquarian Age. Regarding Pisces, it is said there are several main areas where this crystallization and breaking down are occurring:
Underlying the preceding ideas are the subtexts of ‘vertical organization’, the necessity of eradicating diverse points of view in any group setting, the idea that successful people must by necessity be well-off materially and that if one is not materially successful then one is not on the correct path, the notion that our world is black and white, that there is only one true path to enlightenment, and so on. There are many aspects to this 6th ray expression, but as with all the rays there is a duality of expression, one personal and one soul-directed. The personal expression of the 6th ray tends toward fanaticism while the soul-expressed 6th ray tends toward various higher ideals.
The West and the 6th ray: It has been said that our Western society is immersed in the thoughtforms of the Piscean Age, the age of the 6th ray, with its strong focus on ideals and devotion. It has become a real problem for Western societies as that ray passes out and the 7th ray waxes in strength. There is a particular idea to grasp when considering the West and the passing 6th ray:
“…each age has a differing standard of adequacy. The Piscean Age dealt with the detail of the endeavour to measure up to a sensed ideal. Hence we have a history which covers the method whereby tribes acquired national status through aggression, war and conquest. That has been indicative of racial achievement.
Geography has been based on a similar reaction to an idea of expansion, and through it the child learns how men, driven by economic and other necessities, have conquered territory and absorbed lands. This too has been regarded, and rightly so, as a racial achievement. The various branches of science are also regarded as constituting the conquest of areas of territory, and this again is acclaimed as racial achievement. The conquests of science, the conquests of nations, and the conquests of territory are all indicative of the Piscean method, with its idealism, its militancy, and its separativeness in all fields—religious, political and economic. But the age of synthesis, of inclusiveness and of understanding is upon us, and the new education of the Aquarian Age must begin very gently to penetrate the human aura.”
And just so you know, in the Ukrainian crisis the Russians are not seeking territory. They see this as a police action. But returning to the quote, think about it for a moment. In our Western language we hear of the necessity to ‘beat the virus’, for instance, referring to the pandemic. We must ‘conquer’ this, that or the other thing. “We must uphold the highest ideals of freedom and democracy!” (so we are told). Territorial integrity is a ‘sacred right’. The rights of the individual are sacrosanct (also a 6th ray manifestation. Aquarius emphasizes the group over the individual). And then there is this beauty from a recent opinion piece in the New York Times:
“The creed of liberalism is getting a second wind [and has] reminded us not only what it looks like to believe in democracy, the liberal order and national honour; but also to act bravely on behalf of these things. They’ve reminded us how the setbacks [may] have caused us to doubt and be passive about the gospel of democracy. But despite all our failings, the gospel is still glowingly true”.
And apparently Russia had to wake us up to it. There you have, in true American 6th ray personality style – the ‘Gospel of Democracy’. Well, break out the John Philip Sousa (“The Liberty Bell” is a personal fave) and the marching bands, wave the Red, White and Blue, call for the jet flyovers and set off the fireworks. The gospel of democracy is on full display now in Western media. And from the pulpits and talking heads of the media to Jen Psaki’s lectern, the gospel shall be preached. If you are American, you know exactly what I mean. Forgive my cynicism, but I have seen far too much of this sort of thing in my lifetime and it always leads to a bad end. We can do without all the emotionalism and jingoism. What we need is calm analysis and dialog.
The 6th ray, Pisces and nations: The nations that most powerfully express this 6th ray are the United States, Italy, Spain and Russia. One of the manifestations of that ray is often an overpowering emotional glamour that will sweep across nations, especially those endowed with that ray. This primarily affects the masses in every nation, those people who simply react without thinking. The desire to believe is very powerful, though the will to know is lacking. It is seen in the rush to believe the media presentations, imbued with the ideals of the nation, manipulated to ensure adherence to ‘the narrative’ – for instance in the present case, Russia is bad, Putin is evil, this is a fight of good against evil, and so forth. The point must be made here that we know neither Putin nor Russia unless we have had direct experience with them. Even then, it is not for any of us to say, and the same for any other nation or leader. We aren’t lords of karma. Putin may be a disciple of Shamballa, or a very misguided individual. He could be a great statesman, as many people in the world see him, or an autocratic bureaucrat. Who are we to say? But he is the current leader of Russia, and as far as this author has been able to tell, he is enacting the will of the majority of the Russian people.
All of the 6th ray nations have had empires at one point or another. Italy and Spain have the 6th ray as an emerging soul expression, as well as Tokyo, while Russia and the US express it as personalities, with the US expressing it more radically at present. The nations expressing Piscean energies are France (soul), Germany, Ireland and Warsaw (personality). We see all these nations involved in the present conflict in one way or another. The present conflict is in the nature of resolution and breaking down the old order rather than being one of conquest. We are watching the Plutonian aspect of Pisces in operation and the death of old ideals that separate nations. This will be more apparent over the next few years.
From esoteric astrology we know Pisces expresses Jupiter as the orthodox ruler, Pluto as the esoteric ruler and Pluto also as the hierarchical ruler of the sign. Jupiter has ruled the outer (orthodox) expression of Pisces throughout the Piscean Age, seen in the accumulation of wealth, the growth and evolution of empires, and the production of material comfort. With the end of each astrological age the esoteric ruler comes increasingly into force, and we see the actions of Pluto most clearly now, bringing about the death and destruction of anything that inhibits the incoming energy. The age of empire is drawing to a quick close, whether the empire is militaristic, economic or even religious. What is most interesting to us now is the collapse of the economic empire that has existed since WWII, headed by the West out of Washington and the City of London. This conflict in Ukraine is proving to be an accelerant to the demise of that empire and most especially the financial control over other nations Washington is able to exert over nations thereby. It is not entirely visible yet, but it soon will be, fulfilling the transit of Uranus through Taurus as it signals a major change in economic orders and in the care and handling of resources. In that respect, the crisis in Ukraine will prove to be America’s last battle for financial and economic hegemony. Its military hegemony was lost years ago, starting with the collapse of the Soviet Union. But that is another story. We will have a look at the how and why of the loss of hegemony after a quick look at the full moon.
The full moon takes place on 18 March 2022 at 7:17 UT (6:17 PM AEDT). In the last full moon figure we noted Ceres and Sedna squaring the full moon axis, denoting a turning point in events and the end of an era. Well, we certainly got it, and in spades! This full moon, in contrast, shows a ‘hard kite’ configuration, with the Sun involved in a stellium in Pisces, conjunct Jupiter and Neptune and in a wide conjunction with Mercury. The wide end of the kite, which includes the stellium, is bounded by a square with a Venus/Mars conjunction at one end and Uranus at the other, the Sun sitting at the midpoint. The Moon is sesquisquare Venus and Uranus. The entire picture of the kite denotes the political conflicts that will be addressed during this Pisces interval and after. It also points to the birth of a new order. Mercury is square to Ceres in this figure, showing a turning point in the negotiations, and with the Mercury sextile to Uranus showing some surprising turns, but in a better direction.
It is obvious now that Europe especially must address its internal security, which must also include Russia. Russia will no longer be ignored by NATO. Washington will be facing a steady withdrawal from influence in Europe as a result of what is about to eventuate. To summarize, this full moon figure represents a difficult period ahead, but one which must be addressed, with difficult conversations and new agreements being formed across the board. The world order has been turned on its ear as a result of the precipitation of this conflict. With this in mind we may as well jump straight into what is immediately ahead.
Sanction mania!: The folks in Washington, meaning the hawkish factions of the foreign policy establishment, have this strange idea they can sanction Russia into oblivion. We are told the vaunted ‘sanctions from Hell’ will bring about Russia’s collapse and cause Putin’s downfall. These people have not bothered to study Russia, or to look at what past sanctions have done. If they had then they would know that sanctions cause Russia to become increasingly autarkic and independent, instead of collapsing. They completely underestimate the resilience of Russia and the Russian establishment and people, evidenced whenever their homeland is threatened, as it has been in recent years. We might suppose Washington’s thinking goes along the line of, “Well, it didn’t work the first time (or the time after or the time after that), so we will just have to double down.” Our present crisis is an example of one of the main reasons we have been examining Russia off and on in these letters over the years. What the ‘experts’ in media say about Russia and what the facts are regarding Russia display a distinct cognitive dissonance, and that is going to cause huge problems for the West. As a result of our sanctions mania, Russia has prepared a blacklist of ‘enemy states’, and those states are going to be facing Russian counter-sanctions. People may laugh now, but the laughter won’t last long.
So, we are told Russia is a collapsing state, a ‘gas station with nukes’ and poor. We are about to find out very differently. Russia has resources, and lots of them, and a thousand ways to Sunday to turn up the pain dial on the West. To put it simply, the sanctions from Hell is a very bad idea, does nothing for world security, is a knee jerk and desperate action and they will hurt the West more than Russia. We’ll give a short answer why here in what follows. Europe is especially vulnerable to Russian countersanctions, which have yet to be imposed, and which will probably be imposed on a case-by-case basis. Germany in particular is very vulnerable to the sanctions regime. What Europe has done with these sanctions has been likened to a ‘circular firing squad’. Unless some sensible and strong leadership intervenes and calls a halt to it, Europe in particular and the West in general face a rapid and unsettling chain of events. But it is the United States that is the ultimate target. The longer this conflict drags on, the more this will hurt the US.
Stopping Russia?: Some readers may be thinking, “Well, we have to do something to stop Russia!” Yes, we do. We have to sit at the negotiating table and take their security concerns seriously. But Washington will not do so, given past behavior. That should greatly alarm Europeans and other Western powers. And in the most recent spectacular display of ill will and stupidity, Biden and the US Congress called Putin a war criminal. In doing so, and for some senators calling for Putin’s assassination, they have set an outrageous and very dangerous precedent. The story from which this travesty was aroused is based in one of the latest false stories coming out of Mariupol. The civilians in the building had been evacuated before the blast. But for that matter, most US presidents could be tried as war criminals, too, under international law. If Putin were somehow to be assassinated it would mean nuclear war with Russia. This is how bad the rhetoric out of the United States has become. The very people calling Putin ‘unhinged’ have become unhinged themselves. This incident goes to show how far and how existential the conflict has gone. This is no longer a small regional conflict. It is a proxy war between the US and Russia.
The other thing we have to do in stopping Russia is to realize the Russians will not stop this conflict until Russian demands are met by Ukrainians. That means putting pressure on Ukrainian authorities to negotiate seriously instead of stalling for time, calling for NATO intervention and no-fly zones and greater Western involvement in the conflict in general. That also means Ukrainian neutrality, recognition of the Donbas republics and recognition of Crimea as Russian territory. Again, Washington will refuse to do so, so instead we keep pouring weapons into Ukraine. Doing so will only destabilize Eastern Europe into the future. The conflict has gone past the point of no return. This conflict is existential to the Russians. This cannot be stressed enough. It doesn’t matter if we agree with the view or not, it is how the Russians see the matter. But it is also existential to the United States, or more to the point, the vested interests in the United States. The American people just want the conflict to end.
Bypassing the dollar: Why is this conflict existential to the United States, though? This is something about which there is very little mention in the US. Here is the crux of the matter: It involves the hegemony of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency and as a tool for coercive foreign policy. By so heavily sanctioning Russia, the collective West has now greatly accelerated nation after nation in seeking to bypass the US dollar as a standard of payment. That will mean the collapse of the value of the US dollar, which will also drive the US into at least a deep recession if not a depression. In that regard we have to keep a close eye on what is happening with Saudi Arabia, because the US dollar’s power derives from its connection with Saudi Arabia and the oil-for-dollars payment system, also known as the petro-dollar. Here is the thing – as a result of this war, the Saudis have approached China to set up a payment system in yuan for Saudi oil, bypassing the dollar. If this becomes a reality, look for a serious US intervention in Saudi Arabia. There is a wider picture here.
Because the US has cut off Russian oil imports and Europeans have expressed a panic about removing dependence on Russian oil and gas, European and American leaders are frantically approaching erstwhile enemies with outstretched hands: Please sirs, may we have a cup of oil? The US has approached Venezuela looking to somehow normalize relations after trying to impose Juan Guaidò as a puppet ruler there in the past. We are still waiting for Guaidò. The Venezuelans told the Americans, sure – just release our gold reserves, remove all the sanctions and stop interfering in our affairs and we will be happy to sell you some oil. The Americans left disappointed – rebuffed, actually. Maduro remains in power.
Then, in Iran, or more precisely in Vienna where the JCPOA talks have seen some progress, the US is looking at lifting the terrorist label off the IRGC, is making concessions in what is seen as a terrible about-face given Trump’s abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal, the Russians have received written guarantees from the US that it will not interfere in cooperation between Iran and Russia in implementation of the deal, and the British have agreed to pay a £400 million debt from 1979 to Iran in exchange for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anousheh Ashouri, held as prisoners in Iran for years. Boris Johnson is on the case, though, having been to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, seeking the UK’s cup of oil, briefly mentioning the Saudis’ human rights record (Let’s put aside the fact they just beheaded 81 people in one day the other day, shall we?), to which the Saudis shrugged. We’ll see how that pans out. But neither the Saudis nor the UAE agreed to raise oil production to lower oil prices. And the UAE, too, is busy striking deals with Russia. The hypocrisy and double standards of Western leadership are on full display. Apparently human rights only matter when things are going our way. But wait, there’s more when it comes to de-dollarization.
The Central and Northern Asian nations are already moving toward de-dollarization. Translated from the original article:
“The member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and China will develop a project for an independent international monetary and financial system. This was agreed upon by the participants in the economic dialogue “A New Stage of Monetary, Financial and Economic Cooperation between the EAEU and the PRC. Global Transformations: Challenges and Solutions”, which was held on March 11 via videoconference. It is envisaged that the system will be based on a new international currency, which will be calculated as an index of the national currencies of the participating countries and commodity prices. The first draft will be submitted for discussion by the end of March. As Sergei Glazyev, Minister for Integration and Macroeconomics of the EEC, emphasized, China was the first in the world to move to the stage of national economic recovery.”
In addition, India is moving quickly to work out an alternative payment system with Russia that will bypass the US dollar.
“India is stepping closer to setting up an alternative payments system to maintain its trade with Russia, identifying a potential bank, as a top panel examining the issue recommended prioritising edible oil and fertiliser imports as well as payments owed to India, an official aware of the development has said. When an Indian bank is finalised, Russia will deposit ruble in it, while India will deposit rupees. A notional exchange rate will be arrived at by pegging it to an international currency.”
And what might that international currency be? We could hazard a guess, looking east. The Indian initiative, no doubt, would eventually meld into the EAEU-China initiative. It would be a huge blow to the dominance of the dollar. Once implemented and seen to be functioning properly, there can be no doubt nation after nation would be lining up to sign on to the new initiative. Sanctions as a weapon would be ineffective, signaling the death knell for US hegemony. That has existential implications for the average US citizen, because once the dollar dominance is done, the value of the dollar would crash and inflation would skyrocket. Nations after nation would be calling in American debt, demanding payment in gold and other commodities – all this the result of decades of poor planning and policy by the think tanks in Washington and the oligarch class in America that has sought to grab all it can for itself. America would become like Ukraine – poor, deindustrialized, dispirited. This is the indication shown by the Pluto return in the American national chart. We can always change this, of course, but by now we are looking at some sort of revolution, by removing the warmongers and financial interests from power. We won’t go further into it here, but as it evolves we will address it. And we haven’t even started on the Russian counter-sanctions.
Russian resources: Take a gander at this shortlist of Russian exports, which will be very cheap to friendly nations in the near future:
“Russia exports essential materials and products that the world needs at least in the coming days, months or years. It exports yearly oil worth $141 billion (35% of its export), iron and steel worth $16 billion (4.8 %), precious stones and minerals worth $30.4 billion (9%), grains worth $9.5 billion (2.8 %), machinery including computers worth $8.3 billion (2.5 %), wood worth $8.2 billion (2.5 %), fertilizers worth $7.5 billion (2.8 %), copper worth $5.6 billion (1.7 %), aluminium worth $5.5 billion (1.8 %), and fish worth $4.6 billion (1.4 %).
Russia says it will not stop its exports until a list of its “non-friends” who imposed sanctions and allies is prepared in detail. This means that, sometime in the future, it is likely to stop exporting gas to some European countries with a hostile stance towards it (led by Britain) and other US allies.
Russia will also announce sanctions against the US, the first-ever, particularly in its export of platinum, titanium, palladium, nickel and neon [all essential for electronics and aerospace industries, notably the ‘defense’ industry]. Moreover, amid the Spring planting season, Russia is dropping European and American farmers in line with the political decision to meet Western sanctions with similar hurtful ones. Russia’s share in the world markets represents a third of the global production of potash fertilizers, about 10 per cent of nitrogen fertilizers, and about 20 per cent of all other fertilizers. Russia is considered the premier supplier of rare natural stone materials.”
Just looking at this little bit regarding resources and de-dollarization, perhaps it is a little clearer why we stand at a turning point in our international relations. There will be an urgent need for reconciliation and forgiveness once the conflict is finished. European leaders need to be able to stand up to Washington and state clearly that without security guarantees for Russia, none of Europe is secure. We need to step back from the knee-jerk sanctions and take a sober look at what they will actually mean. Europe will in no way benefit from them. Neither will the United States. Sanctions will only harden cooperation between Russia and non-Western nations. Keep in mind, the collective West represents a minority of the world’s population and it is largely only the West that is imposing sanctions on Russia. China and India alone represent two of the largest economies in the world, have roughly 35% of the world’s population and have good relations with Russia, despite the conflict. I have heard comment to the effect that ‘the whole world is against Russia/Putin’. Maybe the whole of the West is, but the rest of the world is not, and they are watching this conflict closely. They see that NATO nations are not intervening in Ukraine. They saw what happened in Afghanistan. They are quickly losing their fear of the United States and NATO. And many people would say it is about time.
Viewing the conflict: It is easy to look at this conflict in isolation – too easy – and to blame Putin or Russia. But this is a false view. From Montesquieu, “…in matters of war one should not confuse the apparent causes with the root causes, and the second that one should not confuse those who triggered it with those who made it inevitable.” The root cause of the present conflict is financial and about control of the world’s resources. It is twofold: Russia felt threatened and Washington amplified the threat. The belligerent power who made this war possible is clearly the United States, by pushing NATO right up to Russia’s borders after being clearly warned 25 years ago that it was an extremely bad idea to do so. And who warned against it? – some of the most experienced men in the Washington foreign policy establishment, men who knew Russia and what would happen. Twenty-five years later, their prescience has been confirmed. And now Ukrainians are paying the price for it. We cannot go into all that here. It is just too involved. Suffice it to say, Ukraine has been promised the sun and the stars, wealth and prosperity by Washington and other NATO powers, and then thrown under the bus once it was clear Russia intervened and put a stop to NATO expansion. But it is going to blow back spectacularly on the United States. We can only hold the thought now that European leaders will come to their senses and tell Washington to butt out of their affairs. Sadly, I may not see it in my lifetime. I hope I am wrong. From the last link, preceding and regarding this conflict:
“Seen in this light, the battle for Ukraine takes another dimension. This is nothing less than a war for world supremacy, with some seeking to restore their complete hegemony while vassalizing Europe, while others are fighting for a multipolar world. A new version of the centuries-old struggle of the white world against the coalition of Blacks, Colored and Yellows. This would explain why the 40 Asian, African and Latin American countries that supported or refrained from sanctioning Russia in the UNITED Nations vote, and representing 4.5 billion human beings, are watching the spectacle from afar and with the secret hope that Russia will win its tug-of-war. They know the taste for bombs, assassinations and dictatorships imposed by foreign powers. They have come to know the rapacity, greed and cynicism of a West that has oppressed them for centuries in the name of civilization, democracy and human rights, but does the opposite when its interests are at stake.”
Must we forgive?: In reading all the preceding, one might be led to think I stand with Russia in this fight or that I am anti-American. I understand Russia’s reasons for it, but on the whole I am anti-war except in rare cases. What I would say is that if most thinking Americans knew what our government had been up to in Ukraine, the factions we were training and arming and the true purpose for doing so – to bring Russia under Washington’s control, as it was in the ‘90s – then this war could well have been avoided. It could also have been avoided if certain of the EU powers were not weak or complicit in it and instead called the arming of Ukraine to a halt. The only people benefitting from this conflict are the arms manufacturers and the donor class in the United States and EU powers who essentially control their respective governments. Meanwhile, Ukrainians, Russians and people of many nationalities suffer and die, and not just in Ukraine. All of us, instead, will suffer from this conflict while a very few people will grow still further in material wealth. Where is the soul in that?
We all hope for a speedy end to this conflict. For all the people calling Putin this and that, claiming to know his motives, his karma, his orientation and so on, my advice would be to make a concerted study of Russia instead, and understand. What we need after the conflict is finished is reconciliation, forgiveness, most especially dialog with all parties and an end to antagonism. That will stick in the throats of some readers. But forgiveness was one of the main teachings of Christ, the prime representative of the Piscean Age, and is recited daily by millions, if not billions of people in the Lord’s Prayer and its variants in other religions. Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts and attainments of the spiritual aspect of the Piscean Age – the ability to see ourselves in the place of someone else and to recognize that we, too, may be mistaken or have contributed to any given conflict, be it personal or international. Meanwhile, we meditate for peace and for Ukrainians to return safely home to a more secure future. Let peace prevail on Earth.
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Extra reading, viewing and recommended posts from the start of this letter:
Neptune fountain at Bologna: Wikimedia commons
Monument at the ‘Alley of Angels’ in Donetsk, to the children killed in the Donbas over the last eight years: https://twitter.com/bks27091983/status/1497115775995416576
George Orwell 2022: https://twitter.com/bobscartoons/status/1504542582424150032
The Borg: https://twitter.com/dmorey/status/1291846823930462209?lang=hi
Full moon chart: author
Russia man bad: https://twitter.com/bobscartoons/status/1503154614929141763/photo/1
Gasoline prices: https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2022/us-gasoline-prices-hit-an-all-time-high/
Montesquieu on war: https://www.azquotes.com/quote/902322