Websters defines atrocity as “a shockingly bad or atrocious act, object, or situation.”
Russian atrocities on Ukrainian civilians have been the top of the 24 second news cycle since the invasion began. Since the advent of industrial warfare at the end of 19th century, war has been waged increasingly on civilian populations than opposing military forces. Wars of attrition have had the goal of subjecting the populace to “shockingly bad” actions to force the downfall of its ruling regime or submission of a resisting insurgency. The 20th century is full of examples of this by the British, the Germans, the Japanese, the Russians, and of course, the Americans.
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As the stories emerge from the war between Ukraine and Russia, detailing atrocities committed on civilian populations, we thought it was a good moment to talk about some of this history. We start with the Civil War and World War One (early industrial wars), the advent of air power, brutal occupations in Nanking, Korea and Vietnam, bombings of Dresden, Tokyo and Hiroshima, U.S. wars in Korea and Vietnam, Central American death squads and the forever wars in the Middle East.
A mass of western companies are exiting Russia over the war in Ukraine. This has included some major corporate heavyweights, including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Nike, Netflix, Apple, Visa, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Exxon, major western law firms and most major film distributors.
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Jeffry Sonnenfeld at the Yale School of Management compared it to the boycott of apartheid era South Africa. We’ve talked on past shows about the role that multinationals have played in the political economy. But have they developed a new conscience?
In our latest, we talk with investigative journalist and Executive Director of CorpWatch Pratap Chatterjee (@pchatterjee) about the latest round of corporate activism. We talk about who benefits, who’s being hurt and whether it’s having enough of an impact on Russia.
Our latest episode on the Ukraine is a wide-ranging conversation with our good friend Prof. Clinton Fernandes on the U.S. empire and Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. We discuss Russia and Putin’s adventures in Georgia and Ukraine to the lack of strategic empathy from the West (particularly the U.S.). We break down the motives of the U.S. drive to expand NATO and encircle Russia, and the effect it has on global politics.
Listen to part one here: https://apple.co/3I9zY6v
Listen to Part Two Here: https://apple.co/3JlgYn7
We discuss the tensions in the South China Sea and the impact of the Ukraine conflict on Australia’s coming election. Finally, we get an update on Clinton’s law suit trying to get the Australian government to release documents showing intelligence agencies supporting Pinochet’s coup in Chile in 1973.
This week, Russia invaded the Ukraine sparking the largest land assault on the European continent since World War Two. The markets went into turmoil. The price of oil and gas went up. Political and media establishments scrambled to act on what’s next. Biden moved 7000 US troops to the Polish-Ukrainian border and NATO is expected to send more troops. In cities across Russia, antiwar protestors took to the streets to protest Vladimir Putin’s war with over 2000 being arrested. Finally, the Biden administration and allies have begun a sanctions war against Russia’s people, it’s elite institutions and Putin himself.
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In our latest episode, we go deep into the history of the Ukraine-Russian conflict and the bipartisan involvement by the U.S. ruling class. We discuss the break up of the Soviet Union, the expansion of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), the role of the 1999 war in Kosovo in all of this and the Russian invasion of the former Soviet republic of Georgia in 2008. Most importantly, we talk about how U.S. foreign policy has sought to contain Russia and wield economic and political influence over Europe and the former Soviet republics.