Wednesday 25 January 2023

Opinion: The House is Crumbling in Ukraine

Photo Credit: Fadel SENNA (AFP)

It's not about cheerleading: These are facts.

Russia has "escalation dominance" in that part of the world and will prevail under any and all circumstances of war.

It is inhumane for the West to have prolonged the initial civil war by duping Russia and the Russian-speaking Donbas population into signing the Minsk Peace Accords as a ruse to build up the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Since the Russian intervention, assorted weapons supplied to the Ukrainians have been announced as "game changers": Stinger missiles, HIMARS rocket launchers and now German Leopard tanks.

But put aside the false propaganda of an "incompetent" Russian military and over 100,000 Russian soldiers lost and the reality is that much of the Ukrainian Army has been destroyed and cannot be rebuilt overnight.

Russia has sustained losses and continues to do so but at a much lower rate than Ukraine.

Artillery is king and many Ukrainian soldiers have been wiped out in this way. Further compounding the Ukrainian losses is their tactic of battling to hold on to territory. When army units are destroyed or severely debilitated, more reserves (the equivalent of National Guardsmen) are simply sent in to suffer the same fate.

The Russians have conducted several withdrawals such as in Kherson which the Ukrainian and Western media have been quick to call "defeats", but which have been conducted in an orderly fashion with minimal loss of life and equipment.

You get the picture?

While the Ukrainians are seemingly obsessed with the optics of gaining or holding onto territory, Russian manoeuvre warfare is more concerned with annihilating the opposing army.

Incidentally, most of the Russian Army is not involved as the coalition force fighting to remove Ukrainian forces from the Donbas are majoritively composed of Donbas militia (Luhansk and Donetsk), Chechens and the Wagner Group.

The forced resignation of Oleksiy Arestovych who spoke the truth about a Ukrainian defence missile hitting a Russian offensive missile as the cause of the destruction of a building in Dnipro along with his admission that Ukraine has been losing the war may be a turning point when Ukrainian officials start jumping ship.

Many are corrupt and will flee to various destinations in Western Europe and North America in the very near future.

This conflict was an unnecessary one and those with the greatest responsibility are those insane US neoconservative ideologues enmeshed in an unholy alliance with Ukrainian neo-Nazis and ultranationalists who have deliberately prodded the Russian bear.

And as was the case with Afghanistan, the greed of the military industry, and corrupt US politicians and their families (Joe and Hunter Biden primary among them) has also underpinned the relationship with Ukraine since 2014. It has involved a great transfer of wealth from American taxpayers to defence contractors and the looting of Ukraine's resources by US corporate interests.

The propagandised "war for democracy" against the "belligerent dictator" Putin is a sham of which many are increasingly becoming aware.

Don't believe me? You will soon enough when the United States government abandons the Ukrainians just as they abandoned the Kurds in Syria, "Moderate" Afghans in Afghanistan and the South Vietnamese in the mid-1970s.

In the meantime sit back and watch as the Atlantic Alliance (backed by the corrupt EU) fights Russia to the last Ukrainian.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2023).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.

Thursday 5 January 2023

Dada and the Dictator

Dada Maravilha with General Emilio Medici

Dada Maravilha was notoriously favoured by the head of the Brazilian military dictatorship General Emilio Medici who told Brazil's manager Joao Saldanha, a socialist who was against the right-wing junta, to bring Dada Maravilha into the national squad.

Saldanha told the press that just as he did not tell Medici how to run the country, he would run the Brazilian national team without interference.

Saldanha was forced out under the pretext of player unrest (there was some truth to this because of his hardline managerial style) and Mario Zagalo took his place.

Dada Maravilha was included in the squad which went to Mexico, but he did not feature in the 1970 World Cup.


Dada Maravilha (real name Dario José dos Santos) is not to be confused with the Flamengo striker João Batista de Sales better known as "Fio Maravilha", who inspired the song of his name written by Jorge Ben.

"Always keep Ithaca in your mind. To arrive there is your ultimate goal."

As you set out for Ithaka

hope your road is a long one,

full of adventure, full of discovery.

Laistrygonians, Cyclops,

angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:

you’ll never find things like that on your way

as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,

as long as a rare excitement

stirs your spirit and your body.

Laistrygonians, Cyclops,

wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them

unless you bring them along inside your soul,

unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.

May there be many summer mornings when,

with what pleasure, what joy,

you enter harbours you’re seeing for the first time;

may you stop at Phoenician trading stations

to buy fine things,

mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,

sensual perfume of every kind—

as many sensual perfumes as you can;

and may you visit many Egyptian cities

to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.

Arriving there is what you’re destined for.

But don’t hurry the journey at all.

Better if it lasts for years,

so you’re old by the time you reach the island,

wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way,

not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvellous journey.

Without her you wouldn't have set out.

She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.

Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,

you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

© C. P. Cavafy.