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By John Helmer, Moscow

Set your clocks forward from 1337 and from 1618.

We are in Europe’s second Hundred Years War, and at the end of the first year of Europe’s second Thirty Years War. What we have to look forward to next year is an armistice on the Ukrainian battlefield, but not an end to the war.

This is because President Biden (lead image, front 1st right) aims to fight it until Russia’s destruction, as do Olaf Scholz (rear left), Andrzej Duda (rear, centre), Vladimir Zelensky (rear, right), Giorgia Meloni (front, half, right) and Emmanuel Macron (front, full  right). Like the European princelings and principates who fought each other to standstill and penury the last time around, none of them has long to look forward to, and certainly no victory-in-Europe parade.

Russia’s offer to them for the future, for mutual security without defeat on the battlefield, was  tabled as treaties of non-aggression and security for Europe last Christmas, on December 17, 2021.  After the Russian offer was dismissed by Biden and the others a month later, President Vladimir Putin had no choice but to launch the special military operation. This is now a general military operation because Biden and his allies have committed themselves to that. Scholz’s one hundred billion Euro rearmament of Germany  to reinvigorate the war against Russia after the armistice on the Ukrainian battlefield leaves Zelensky’s Ukraine with a future shrinking as fast as his territorial capacity to threaten; Scholz’s Germany ditto.  

Hitler is in this picture because the ruination of Europe and the US in fighting this war can only be sustained inside their countries by the methods of fascism – force, fraud and propaganda — which Hitler introduced more systematically than had been attempted before; and before he ran into a Russian army which was magnitudes weaker than it is today.

Today we are in a fresh war for Europe, Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu declared this week.   “It is well known that the military potential and capabilities of almost all major NATO countries are being widely used against Russia,” Putin said. “Today in Ukraine, Russia is fighting against the collective forces of the West,” Shoigu added.

In their speeches at the National Defence Control Centre on December 21, they presented the expansion of the Russian Army to a fighting size which has not been seen for a hundred years, with capacities which have never been seen before.  

A day later, General Valery Gerasimov (right), the Chief of the Russian General Staff, added details in his briefing to foreign military attachés in Moscow.   He also redrew the map of the general war from the 815-kilometre Ukraine front northwards to the continental shelf beyond Russia’s exclusive economic zone in the Arctic, and southwards  to the Asia-Pacific region from the Russian Kuriles to US bases around Darwin, in Australia; that’s a front of almost 6,500 kms.   

The Russian warfighting clock – that’s the one on the wall of the General Staff —  started when the troops of the British and their empire, allied with the US, Germans, French,  Czechs, and Japanese started their march toward St Petersburg and Moscow in 1918; the Japanese reopened their offensive in 1937; the Germans in 1941.

Next to this clock on this wall are the invasion maps of 1918 and 1941. They are more than souvenirs of Russia’s defeats of every invasion attempted against the country over the past hundred years. They are the reminder for those Russians who believed until February 24, or who still believe, that non-aggression security pacts with the US and NATO and a peace treaty with Japan can be negotiated, signed and honoured with the leaders of those countries – without an armistice enforced by the Russian Army.  It is now clear that without that, treaty papers are  fraud and propaganda, and therefore worthless in the territorial defence of Russia. Force, fraud and propaganda, we must keep repeating, are the methods of fascism.




In retrospect, you can see that all the arrows on these maps represent the hopes of those states whose leaders are now aiming to try again.  Their propaganda keeps reassuring them that the hopes will not be in vain this time round – that they are already winning against Russia. If you let hopes like these come down your chimney this Christmas, you had better have an alternative source of supply of heat, light, and water.

This is the season for hope, and even in war hope dies last.

That  was the 168th of Francois de La Rochefoucauld’s maxims, to which he added: “though it be exceedingly deceitful, yet it is of this good use to us, that while we are traveling through life it conducts us in an easier and more pleasant way to our journey’s end.”  Himself one of the great losers in the civil warfighting of 17th century France, La Rochefoucauld was in chronic pain from battle wounds when he composed that one. Much earlier he had composed his 38th maxim: “We promise according to our hopes; we perform according to our fears.”

The task of our work this year past, and for the new year coming, is to report the hopes and fears of others – the Bears with whom we have been dancing these past 33 years – and to  perform according to the truth. Fears we have for them, to be sure, as for ourselves. But if we perform according to our fears, then we too will turn into fraud and propaganda. We count on you, dear reader, to keep watch.

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