Fires in the west, floods in the east. Welcome to Australia as Autumn arrives. Meanwhile, in the Northern Hemisphere, Ukraine has skipped Spring and plunged into a Russian Winter of discontent.
VRA in Bega, ABC News: Romy Stephens
The Guardian online reports ‘The “rain bomb” that soaked Brisbane and triggered record floods in northern New South Wales will develop into an east coast low and dump as much as 150mm of rain on Sydney with “life-threatening” risks on Wednesday… Warragamba Dam, Sydney’s main reservoir, is discharging water at the rate of more than 360 gigalitres a day and rising, a government official tells us. The spill, which began at 3am on Wednesday, is much more than authorities had expected.’
Parts of Western Sydney are being evacuated. Even as far south as my home base in the Bega Valley Shire the council has issued flood warnings. I’m not sure how many people have drowned. Across New South Wales 50,000 people are subject to evacuation orders. NSW Premier Domicron Parrotwat has labelled this crisis a “once-in-a-1000-years” flood. By my count we have had at least three of these “once-in-a-1000-years” floods in the past decade! But, being a reactionary, neo-con, god-bothering LIEbral, neither Dom nor his Federal counterpart Sideshow Scott Morrison will ever dare utter the words “climate change” or “global warming”.
Meanwhile bushfires are still burning in Western Australia and Covid-19 continues to kill people. There are 3,261,365 “active” cases across Australia, with 29,177 new cases reported in the past 24 hours. There are 1,859 people hospitalised with the virus, with 121 in Intensive Care. Confirmed deaths number 5,273, 61 in the past 24 hours. My home state of NSW now has the most new Covid cases so far this year. Would that have anything to do with the fact that it is no longer mandatory for people to wear safety masks? Hmm??
As for the long expected Russian invasion of Ukraine, while Ukranian citizens suffer Australia’s febrile anti-vax groups seethe with loony conspiracy theories praising Tsar Putin.
Hitler fan-boy Clive the Cane Toad
These hateful, hair-brained groups are packed with white supremacists, neo-Nazis and numbskulls, so the corrupt billionaire Clive Palmer (who concocted and finances the right-wing United Australia Party) buying Hitler’s immaculately restored staff car should be a real vote winner! That’s right folks! After two years of negotiations, Cane Toad Clive has purchased Der Fuhrer’s 1939 Mercedes-Benz 770 Grosser Offener Tourenwagen from an unnamed Russian billionaire for more than $200,000.
UAP followers, anti-vaxers and Qanon nutters will be thrilled. After all, they all promote religious bigotry, blinkered nationalism and rabid intolerance, and sneer at science, reason and democracy. No wonder they are fans of Vlad the Impaler! Even though global sanctions against all things Russian have been almost uniformly imposed, including no-fly zones, the immediate effects will be negligible as far as “facts on the ground” are concerned. None of this will halt a single Russian tank or missile. Putin’s terrorism will continue unabated.
Dan Murphy and BWS stores withdrawing Russian vodka from their shelves is not only a futile gesture (The idiots have already purchased the stock FFS!) but also a travesty. A travesty I say!
Again, The Guardian online reports: ‘Ukraine’s besieged cities have come under more heavy bombardment after Russian commanders facing fierce resistance intensified their shelling of urban areas. As US president Joe Biden warned Vladimir Putin that he would “pay a price” for his aggression, the Russia leader’s forces have shown no sign of stopping an assault that has included strikes on the capital Kyiv and rocket attacks in the second city of Kharkiv, resulting in the deaths of dozens of people. Ukrainian security chiefs said on Wednesday morning that Russian paratroopers had landed in Kharkiv and engaged in heavy fighting with Ukrainian forces. At least 21 people have been killed and 112 wounded in shelling in Ukraine’s second most populous city… Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have fled the fighting as a miles-long Russian military convoy north of Kyiv advances toward the city…’
Tsar Vlad the Impaler
For all its growing outrage and lofty talk, will the European Union send its armies and air forces to Ukraine’s aid? Nope. Will the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ride to the rescue of its outgunned and outnumbered neighbour? Diddly!
Ignoring the stench of its own hypocrisy, will the USA send in the marines? Not a feckin’ chance. Ukraine fights alone against one of the two mightiest armed forces on the planet, betrayed by the very nations who condemn Vladimir Putin most loudly.
Let’s face it the US only ever attacks those least able to defend themselves. Since World War Two, when is the last time the US “won” a war or conflict it has started or inserted itself into? Granada?? Panama??? As appalling and unjustifiable as the Russian assault on Ukraine unquestionably is, it helps to have context. It helps to have at least a glimmer of history. It helps to know what the fuck we are talking about.
The total death toll suffered by the Soviet Union during WW2 was around 26,600,000 people. The USSR – and post Communist Russia – has subsequently always viewed its Western flank with suspicion and alarm. In 1991 after the demise of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact, Russian suspicions only grew when NATO continued to expand. And over the decades since, NATO has expanded up to Russia’s very borders.
White House press secretary Jan Psaki says Russia is not under threat but that counts for nothing if Russia THINKS it is under threat. That said, despite legitimate security concerns, I reckon Vladimir Putin’s motivation is something else again. And that is the really scary part because we don’t really know what his end goal is but – being an armchair historian and lounge room warrior like the rest of you fine folk out there – I have my theory.
I reckon Tsar Putin wants all of Ukraine’s regions along the Black Sea coast. He especially wants the great port city of Odessa. Ukraine would thus be landlocked and Russia would have wholesale access for its navy.
Bottom line: the US and NATO will do little to defend Ukraine because Russia is not Afghanistan. Russia is not Iraq. Russia is not some poor third-world country that cannot defend itself. The limits of US power are clear. Even the Taliban knew that! Eventually – after too many Ukrainian deaths and too much destruction – there will be a negotiated settlement. Ukraine will lose some if not all of its sovereignty and Russia will get everything it wanted years ago.
But really, Ukrainians have nothing to fear because Australia’s prime minister, Pastor Scott Morrison, has put on a very serious facial expression and pledged a generous $70m to a Ukraine weapons fund.
Pastor Scott Morescum
The fact that his pledges never amount to anything and that he showered at least $500m just to turn the Australian War Memorial in Canberra into a khaki Disneyland is neither here nor there! What Sideshow Scott says, goes… straight down the bottomless Aussie memory hole alongside the linked history of Russia and Ukraine.
And whatever you do, do not mention Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Brigade!