Ilija Dokmanovic

Flying Cars are a Terrible Idea

Last month, former President Donald Trump made a video announcement about his plans to implement a ‘quantum leap forward’ policy to increase the standard of living in America. He boldly harkened back to the days of Manifest Destiny, of an America that once tamed a continent and built incredible cities from coast-to-coast.

In a video address detailing this policy, the plan is to build new “Freedom Cities” that would be built on pre-existing government-owned land. A way for the American Machine to be restarted once again, to help revitalise the economy through domestic infrastructure projects, bringing back large-scale industrial manufacturing to the United States, and hopefully drawing citizens who are struggling in their own states with rental traps and shoddy housing opportunities to start anew in these proposed cities.

“Reigniting American imagination” as Trump himself puts it.

Personally, I think this is a great idea. It is high time that the United States needs a project such as this to really kick things into gear and realise just what Americans are capable of building when they are not distracted by foreign wars, social malaise, and being at each other’s throats.

Trump’s plan could act as a foundation to creating classically-designed, bold and truly great examples of American civil engineering and architecture. Not only this, but by perhaps emphasising walkable cities, with a second-to-none public transport network (my formerly proposed Great American Hyper-Rail) – it could serve as an inspiration for other American cities to change for the better.

An American city that could be free from needless congestion, have architecture that challenges the glass-and-steel shitboxes for dominance, and creates real job opportunities and a sense of community for the younger generations would be a very welcome change indeed.

Moreso, if conservatives and reactionaries populate these cities primarily (if not exclusively), they could act as much needed metropolitan safe-zones free from the common strife as well as the severe and petty crime that infects most of urban America today.

While we may not have control of the cities today, it doesn’t mean that we can’t create our own cities tomorrow to act as a powerbase for us to focus our efforts and project them onto rival cities.

All in all, a great and visionary proposal from President Trump.

However there is one thing that was tacked-on to this announcement which has me confused, if not completely mortified by.

Trump proposed that the United States should become the leader in developing ‘vertical take-off and landing’ vehicles – VTOLs, for short. He mentioned that currently “Chy-na!” is spearheading current developments of this technology, for both military and civilian use.

Now, while I get excited by the idea of Jetson-style vehicles as much as the next bloke, tutting along in big glass-domed vehicles. But I can’t help but think that having VTOLs becoming widely available for public and government use is, simply put, a fucking terrible idea.

I may sound like a luddite here, but I ask you to reflect on the changing nature of personal transport in just the last 100 years.

The car and combustion-engine, great inventions as they are (and one that I am demonstrably pro), have completely reshaped the way we get around. From the way our cities are laid out, to the way we travel across the country. We have reshaped entire landmasses to be more suited to automobiles – detonating mountains, building massive highways and turnpikes over natural landscapes. It has completely and possibly irreversibly changed both the aesthetic and function of the natural landscape that human-beings inhabit forever.

There are few areas now in nature where you can look over an unspoiled landscape that hasn’t been in some way corrupted by roads, highways, or massive bridges. The places that are few and far between, and they are hard to reach by design.

The whole point of going on massive hikes like the Appalachian Trail for example, is to get away from these reminders of modernity and industry. If we had VTOLs readily available for anyone to use, these final frontiers of natural escape would be corrupted by the sounds of engines, and the sights of zooming aerial vehicles overhead.

It’s bad enough already when you see hordes of foreign tourists powering up their obnoxious drones drowning out the songs of the birds or the sound of the wind through the trees, or teenagers with loudspeakers blasting grime or whatever unpleasant trap shit that comes onto their Spotify.

Imagine that same annoyance, amplified, en masse and inescapable. To look over a landscape, and to see lines of VTOL traffic from one end of the horizon to the other.

I’d be inclined to shoot these aerial vehicles down in whatever way I could, fully embracing the primal nature that has long been cornered and dormant, finally being unleashed when all sense of greenery and the peace of nature has been corrupted.

Not only this, but aerial vehicles means aerial billboards.

Hell, it’s already starting to happen across the world – massive drone light displays sponsored by our corporate overlords carpeting the sky and blocking our view of the stars. The sky, long-untouched other than by those who are able to navigate it by plane, will simply become another piece of real-estate to be bought up.

Who has the rights to the sky? Those who can afford it, of course.

I can’t think of anything worse than being forced into a scenario where I also have to purchase the real-estate over my house in order to avoid being pestered with unwanted ads, VTOL trespassing, and eyes in the sky.

Perhaps that last example is a little dramatic, but I find it easier to rule nothing out these days, no matter how ridiculous.

The final aspect of why personal VTOLs are such a terrible idea is that it’s completely impractical. With aerial traffic already incredibly congested by planes (look on a free online plane-tracker if you don’t believe me) how does anyone sensibly propose the idea that giving everyone access to the sky won’t lead almost inevitably to disaster?

Car accidents are frequent enough as it is – I can only imagine how much worse, and deadly, they’d be in the sky.

Well to avoid all these issues there would have to be certain controls. Limitations on altitude, certain lanes that aerial vehicles must stick to to avoid collisions, speed limitations, etc, etc. Congratulations, you’re doing all the things that you would’ve been doing in a car anyway, except you are doing them 30-40 metres in the air instead. Such a revolutionary change!

Not to mention, what are these vehicles supposed to look like?

Will they be jet-powered? Say goodbye to little Timmy’s face after he accidentally was standing under one that was flying too low coming in for a landing, and say hello to a frequency of forest-fires!

Will they be powered by rotary propellers? Incredible! You’ve reinvented the helicopter! True leaps and bounds in technology!

Compared to “flying cars”, even personal jetpacks look like more sensible and well thought-out solutions to our current transport problems. Realistically, the only practical implementation of VTOL technology would be usage through military application – and, practically speaking, it already exists through helicopters.

The idea is silly – so how Trump has seriously considered it to the point of outlining it in a policy video makes me laugh. I do sincerely hope that it will remain a mere gimmick of the “futurist” dream, rather than become a reality that will make the world a considerably worse place.

Photo Credit.

Avatar: The Way of Water Review (Magazine Excerpt)

It has been almost 12 years since the release of one of the highest grossing films of all time – that being 2009’s Avatar, James Cameron’s sci-fi epic.

There has been a running meme for the last couple years that despite the first Avatar film’s wild success in the box office, it isn’t a memorable film. The characters aren’t memorable, the storyline is a copy and paste of 1990’s Dances With Wolves, and that its success hinged on the technological breakthroughs in CGI and 3D film that were a staple feature of the film.

In retrospect, the running joke isn’t far from the truth. Avatar is a film that hasn’t held up for casual viewers on its own merits, but rather through nostalgia of a time that has long passed – a time before the insanity of the last 10 years in the social and political scene, where most people were more concerned about the film’s core messages; that being a deeply environmentalist film, a critique on colonialism, and the insatiable appetite of human discovery wreaking havoc on innocent and more noble creatures.

While there are aspects of the original film I enjoy, such as the detailed world-building that Cameron is known for, and the cutting edge visual effects, it still failed to resonate with me the way it has with many other viewers.

The preaching was exhausting when I watched it the first time in 2009, and it is still exhausting today. I get it. Humans are bad, save the trees, the military industrial complex is so evil, etc, etc.While the second installment Avatar: The Way of Water certainly delves a little deeper into the lore and ups the stakes for the protagonists, it still carries the same bare-bones environmentalist sermon that has become all too exhausting in this day and age, especially when we have Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil cronies ruining fine art and causing general inconvenience to all those around them in our current reality.

This is an excerpt from “Provenance”. To continue reading, visit The Mallard’s Shopify.

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Why I Pity Those Who Have Not Known Monarchy

It has been a month since Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has passed away. Having lived to the age of 96, Queen Elizabeth has been the longest reigning British monarch in history, with just over 70 years of a reign that was highlighted by some of the greatest societal transitions, advancements, regressions, and change that has ever been experienced in our human history. Her Majesty would’ve been the longest reigning monarch in human history had it not been for Louis XIV of France ascending to the throne in his childhood.

She had reigned during the tenure of 15 British Prime Ministers since Sir Winston Churchill, 14 American Presidents since Harry Truman, 16 Australian PM’s since Sir Robert Menzies, and overall 179 prime ministers in the various and vast realms and nations of the Commonwealth.

She oversaw the largest transition from the remnants of the Empire to the decolonized and “democratic” world we know today, for better or for worse, with not an ounce of tyrannical fervor or egotistical despotism that would keep those nations who gained their independence.

Rather, she welcomed the prospect of nations forging their own path – in good faith and friendship – even if it eventually proved detrimental to the people of those realms, such as the Sino-British Joint Declaration, or the abandoning of British Rhodesia and South Africa to the whims of the communist revolutionaries who destroyed the prosperity and integrity of those nations.

The ‘Second Elizabethan Era’ as it has been promptly named will be remembered as a time of great change, and regardless of many of the criticisms that many on the traditional right may have about Queen Elizabeth II’s lack of action during her reign, justified or unjustified, she will always be known for the reassurance and calm that she brought nationally, and globally, to her subjects.

Having lived in the United States, and especially going through my high school education in the region that was part of the beating heart of the American Revolution, I was often asked by my American classmates and peers as to why the Royal Family was “such a big deal”, or laughing at the idea that people could live under a King or Queen and be absolutely ok with that concept.

“LOL! What makes them so special? We have FREEDOM to choose who rules us!”

Other notable remarks I can remember was when my freshman year history teacher laughed dismissively and regarded the monarchy as a “relic of the past” and proceeded to put on a “Crash Course World History” video for my classmates to gawk at – or my sophomore year civics class where my teacher boastfully claimed that American democracy was the “best system of government that humans have been able to achieve”.

I’ll give them points for patriotism – but sadly the lack of introspection was far too apparent.

Sure – on paper Americans may not have to be subjected to the “tyranny” of a sovereign. But in reality, the “free and equal” society of the United States is neither as free nor equal as they like to boast.

There is still a ruling class that bankrolls Washington, and there are still political dynasties that take advantage of their massive wealth and resources to control the country by coercion rather than direct power.

The middle-class American finds themselves part of a shrinking demographic, as wealth becomes harder and harder to obtain, and the pitfalls of modern America continue to consume all those who find themselves close to the edge.

The “freedom to choose” is a demonstrable illusion, especially on the national level. When one challenges the powers that be, they are either “reinforced” out of the system, made an example of, or imprisoned, given a show-trials and branded as an insurrectionist.

Point this out to most Americans and they will either shrug it off as “the way things are”, laughingly defend the hypocrisy, or show complete apathy as long as it leaves them be.

 Before I continue, I must point out assuredly that I love America. As flawed as it is, and as infuriating as the aforementioned points often make me, the people of the United States are some of the finest I have ever known. Where they may lack education in certain areas, they more than make up for in character.

Even the stubbornness and boastfulness, as tiresome as it may be at times, is a trait that I find rather admirable, if not lacking in nations like Britain and Australia.

If only that energy was put into the right direction, the United States may not be in the rut that it finds itself in today under the corpse of the Biden regime.

Which is why this article isn’t titled “Americans are Foolish for Not Appreciating Monarchy, etc”.

Frankly, how could the current generations of Americans understand just how good, and necessary, it is to have a monarchy? Every four to eight years they have to go through administrative shake-up to administrative shake-up of one incumbent undoing the works of his predecessor – and this exhausting reality is one that they have always known (with the exception of FDR).

I understand completely why Americans wouldn’t care about the longevity or traditions of lengthy leadership. Where we in the commonwealth have been able to rely on the consistency of monarchy, the only consistency of American politics is change – usually for the worst.

Why invest energy into caring or venerating leaders when they often lead to great disappointments, broken promises, and temporary fixtures that will only last a breath in the grand scheme of things.

Referring back to the idea of the “Second Elizabethan Era” – a period of time that encompasses 70 years of gradual change, but preserved traditions. Whereas examples in America, such as the “Jacksonian Era” or the “Progressive Era” and other such periods of time that only ever take up a couple of decades at most, and consist of rapid changes to the nation as a whole, as well as complete reformation, absconding, or complete dissolution of American traditions.

Hell, in the last twenty years alone America has gone through four eras – The War on Terror, the Great Recession, the Trump Era, and now the New Social Revolution. It’s all rather dramatic – and yet there has been no consistent presence tying it all together. Is there anything for people to latch on to for a sense of calm and representation?

The Constitution perhaps? Unfortunately there’s only a limited amount of inspiration one can get from a “living document”, and with the way Washington DC walks all over its traditions it’s hardly consistent.

The flag? Americans are meant to salute a new flag now, the rainbow flag of diversity and tolerance. The only thing close to a national flag being seen in the public square isn’t even American, but rather Ukrainian.

Suffice to say, the America of today is a shadow of its former self at best, and a completely transformed nation at worst. Realistically, what values and traditions of the Founding Fathers have carried on to the present-day United States?

Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth that have retained the monarch as their head of state may share some of these major problems, but through preserving the vital traditions and venerations of the monarchy it is more likely that these nations will be able to emerge from the current troubles of the world we live in without major identity issues, or lack of an inner cultural understanding.

In fact, the current troubles can largely be attributed to the “Americanization” of these countries – and the push for so-called “independence” which takes power and authority away from age-old institutions and into the hands of corrupt bureaucrats, politicians who only have vision that is contained to their own lives, and lobby groups who by-and-large hate the nation they advocate on “fixing”.

When watching the funeral procession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, I, along with millions of others across the world were reminded of why we celebrate the traditions, importance, and lives of our monarchs. They represent us on a far deeper scale than as mere political representatives. They represent us in character, in spirit, and as physical embodiments of the realm. They are in many ways a link to the past, and a constant reminder of where we have been, what we are now, and where we ought to be going.

An example for us to aspire to, and a standard for us to maintain in our own personal kingdoms and households.

Dare I say that the effects of this phenomenon were witnessed fully during the weeks of mourning for Her Majesty. Hundreds of thousands paying their respects in person, billions watching at home and abroad. Reflection and respect being paid by the generations of people who lived under her reign.

When was the last time a President or a Prime Minister received such a widely observed departure? Polls of confidence in Charles III as a monarch went from being below fifty percent to skyrocketing across Britain and the Commonwealth.

         I have written previously about the rise of Republicanism in Australia as being a large threat – but after having seen the reaction and subsequent rise in support for monarchy, I think I can rest a little easier knowing that there is still an incredibly large amount of support for the Royal Family and the monarchy that exists in my country.

My hope for the reign of His Majesty King Charles III is that the monarchy may take a more active role in guiding the realm rather than being a passive observer and a symbolic figurehead (especially as it seems that Parliament and the current Tory government is in utter shambles).

But even if he still retains the attitude of his predecessor and remains a mere symbol of tradition, that would be far better than having nothing at all.

Governments may come and go, times may get tougher, but we’d still have that link to our ancient heritage as a people, our noble traditions, and our timeless culture remain steadfast against the tides of change.

That isn’t something you can vote for. Nor is it something you can buy. Which is why we ought to protect and preserve it as best as we can for future generations.

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Manufactured Consent: The Growth of the Republican Movement in Australia

At the start of June we at The Mallard along with millions of others across the globe celebrated the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In the UK especially there was a great show of affection from the people to the Queen, with tens of thousands flocking to The Mall to witness the various parades of the guard, the cavalry, and communities from Britain and the commonwealth celebrating 70 years of Elizabeth II’s reign. For many within conservative circles, the amount of people who showed up seemed to be a clear indicator that the Republican movement in Britain is dead in the water, and far less influential than many smug liberals like to think it is.

Despite a tough couple of years for the Royal Family between the media crucifixion from the Megan Markle debacle and the loss of Prince Philip last year, not to mention the decades of having to adapt to a rapidly changing world, it is clear from the Platinum Jubilee celebration that the monarchy is here to stay, and I for one am happy to see that is the case.

However, the monarchy doesn’t just represent the people of Britain – it is an institution that is supposed to represent the larger commonwealth.

For Australia, in the aftermath of the recent Federal election and the victory of Anthony Albanese and the Labor government, new questions have arisen about the future of the monarchy in Australia.

Albanese’s appointment of Matt Thistlethwaite as the assistant minister for the republic has raised the issue of Australia’s position in becoming a fully independent republic, removing a British monarch as the head of state for a President-type figurehead for the Australian nation.

Of course, this role of “Assistant Minister for the Republic” is an indicator that the current government wants to transition into the “progressive” future of denying Australia’s cultural and historical ties with its mother nation in Europe, and embracing the Asia and America-centric world. Stripping the old oak timber foundations for the steel-beams and glass-panels of the New World Order.

Unfortunately this is nothing new. For decades the Australian government and politicians, both Labor and troublingly Liberal, have exercised their power in order to do away with any formal legal ties to Britain, from the Australia Act 1986, to the Referendum in 1999.

In the case of the 1986 Australia Act, while it may have been seen as a new chapter for Australian sovereignty and control over its own laws instead of being subjected to the whims of a British parliament – it was largely symbolic as Australia had been exercising sovereignty over its own country since its federation in 1901. 

As for the 1999 Referendum, while the media and political class, as well as the metropolitan urbanites in Australian cities overwhelmingly backed the transition towards an Australian Republic, the “Yes” vote failed due to the overwhelmingly popular support that the monarchy had in rural and semi-rural areas.

Looking at the map of the vote, it’s clear to see that it would have been a disastrous imbalance for urban hubs to decide the entire fate of the country in relation to the monarchy and having the Queen as head of state.

While past attempts to make Australia a republic failed, that was a vastly different Australia, almost foreign to the one that exists today.

With the massive demographic shifts that have occured in Australian population hubs, both in terms of the sheer scale of the population and the ethnic make-up of these urban areas, the cultural ties that once existed with Britain and the monarchy are growing weaker. This hasn’t been by choice, but rather by effective action by both the government, education, and media to out-populate loyalists of tradition and those with ties to Britain, and guilt-trip any association with the colonial past and the great achievements of Britons in Australia.

In the last 20 years, Australia’s urban demographic has shifted considerably. Particularly due to the influx of immigrants from China and India, and Asia in general. While the majority of the population are still descendants of European immigrants, in urban constituencies the large swathes of non-European immigration have become a point of contention for many issues – most importantly integration into Australian culture. Anyone who has been to Box Hill in Melbourne can attest to the fact that this once very Australian suburb is now just a mini-Beijing.

These sub-communities exist across Australia, focused in the cities, where the votes count most crucially come election time. While some may discount this statement as blatant bigotry or intolerance, it is interesting to note that in the most recent federal election, the traditionally Labor seat of Fowler was won by the independent incumbent, Dai Le, with the constituencies large Asian population playing a huge role in her success.

Trends exist for a reason, and if immigrants or second/third-generation Australians are more likely to vote for candidates that look like them rather than one of the traditional parties, as horrible as they are, what is to say that these same demographics of people feel absolutely no cultural or historical ties with the monarchy and what it represents?

With more and more “New Australians”, what protects the wills and the interests of those who have had family here going back to the First Fleet?

The demographic change is just one issue – the other issue is the shaming of British achievements in Australia, and the constant bleeding-heart antics of politicians and the media to try and make a show of how “sorry” they are because of their ancestors success in building one of the modern world’s most impressive nations.

From Kevin Rudd’s national apology to the Aborigines (aka traditional land-owners) to the consistent vandalization of anything commemorating Captain Cook, and the cringe-inducing rants of “Abolish Australia Day” that is heard around campuses and TV panelists every year in January, the latest generations of Australians, “new” or old, have been taught to hate themselves, hate those who came before them, not see their country as their own but rather that they are trespassers, and that they should do everything in their power to disassemble the “racist past” and “build the Australia for all!”.

It’s become so ridiculous that you have every other person claiming Aboriginal ancestry in the style of Elizabeth Warren, in order to distance themselves from the “evil British settlers” – insufferably referring to Melbourne as “Naarm” or Sydney as “Ku-Ring-Gai” showing the rest of us how “in touch” they are with the land.

While these sentiments may come from a good place, the truth or the matter is that if “Australia is for all” it is really for no one. It is simply just another landmass with a smorgasbord population of random groups who have no ties to each other, no ties to a greater ideal or tradition, and no real unique identity.

Just another “progressive” nation, that progresses nothing other than endless consumption and existence for existence’s sake.

Frankly, if Australia was to have another referendum on the monarchy question I’m not confident that we’d get the same result as we did in 1999 with a rejection of such a blatantly anti-traditional notion. The country has changed too much, too fast, and too little has been done to oppose this in government or on the streets.

I don’t trust the same Australian politicians who overwhelmingly supported lockdowns and imprisonments for dissenters as people capable enough, or morally sound enough to be given the reins of full independence. But, if things continue the way they do, and if Albanese moves in the direction he’s indicated – there will be no stopping these sycophants from cutting the final ties of Australia to its kin on the other side of the globe, and enter the brave new world of Asia-Pacific “progressivism”.

The truth is simple; the Republican movement in Australia isn’t just anti-monarchy or anti-British – it’s anti-Australian.

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The Dishonorable Victoria Nuland

As the Russia-Ukraine Crisis crawls into the second month of conflict, humanitarian disaster, and media sensationalism, many passive observers of the situation have been wondering who is to blame for the biggest military conflict in Europe since 1990’s Yugoslavia.

            Mainstream media, OSNIT Twitter experts, and heads of state all make substantial claims about the culprits, the causes, a variety of predictions for the outcomes, and “solutions” that do nothing to actually solve the issue other than to speculate needlessly and obfuscate the reality on the ground in order to garner as much engagement as possible from the online community, and inflame hatred on both sides – dumbing down the debate to kindergarten levels of maturity, driveling the issue down to just another “Kony 2012” bandwagon for everyone to jump on.

            In the West – particularly NATO member nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom – there has been a certain disregard for introspection and self-criticism in regards to the lead up to the current conflict. While the reality may not be as clean or as pleasant as we want, the current crisis in Ukraine is hardly a new development, nor had the invasion of Ukraine been completely out-of-the-blue as many pundits make it out to be.

            This conflict has been ongoing for the last decade – it seems that most discussing the current escalation are willfully ignorant of that fact.

The people of Donbass, Luhansk and other Eastern oblasts of Ukraine have suffered under similar war-like conditions and humanitarian crisis since the beginning of the Ukrainian Civil War in 2014. No one in the West has cared about it, nor paid any thought, hashtags, or great displays of solidarity for those who have suffered since then – only now paying attention as the conflict escalated from a local regional conflict to a nation-wide one as soon as the Russians directly became involved – all with the help of actually being televised, of course.

            Framing the issue as an “attack on the territorial sovereignty”, “democracy”, or “self-determination” of Ukraine is not only blatantly dishonest – it’s entirely hypocritical. Where were the calls to recognize the territorial sovereignty or democratic will of the separatist regions who no longer felt that their interests were represented in Kiev?

            Nowhere, of course. Because it wasn’t “our side”.

For most, the finger of blame for the escalation of tensions to all-out war in Ukraine has been pointed directly at Russian President Vladimir Putin for activating the “special military operation” and invading Ukraine. For others the responsibility lies with Ukrainian leadership not compromising on territory claims and security concerns the Russian government has had, and the failure to follow the standards set by the Minsk II protocol signed in 2015. Many others lay the blame with NATO for encroachment and not taking Russia seriously or engaging in any sort of constructive dialogue with Moscow.

As the issue has been brushed aside, ignored, and unaddressed by Western powers who could’ve negotiated a peaceful resolution that would’ve put an end to the bloodshed years ago, the cock has truly come home to roost – metaphorically speaking. By not seriously engaging with any sort of dialogue with the Putin regime, attempting to make a buffer of any sort that addressed the security concerns of both sides, and by not prioritizing the safety of civilians on the ground but rather their own expansion, NATO has done nothing but help fan the flames of this conflict.

            NATO, of course, cannot be “blamed” necessarily for the conflict at large. For what it’s worth, as a security organization it has been rather beneficial in creating a level of stability and bipolarity in European politics. It wasn’t always ideal, nor fair, but as a product of its time – the Cold War – it did a lot more good than harm in balancing power and security in the 20th century.

It may have acted as a bulwark against the threat of Soviet Communism back then, but as the Cold War ended it has changed with the unipolarity of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

Today, NATO is merely an extension of American security and political power. It has shaped the Western world and its response to threats from an American perspective, prioritizing Washington’s concerns above all others. It is entirely a fabrication that the responsibility and configuration of NATO is somehow shared between its member nations; that’s symbolic rather than the actuality. This has been observable in the past couple of years as the projected power of NATO has been growing weaker without an immediate perceived threat, and European member states skimping out on funding the organization or actively seeking alternate security solutions – such as the push for a militarized European Union separate from NATO.

How coincidental that as the crisis in Ukraine has developed, the re-emphasis of NATO power has occurred as it was staring at its dissolution after American security failures in Afghanistan and the rest of the Middle East?

NATO, of course, is composed of all sorts of characters and figureheads – both military and political – who maintain and grow the institution the way Washington needs it to. In the last two decades one of the largest forces in shaping how NATO (i.e. Washington D.C.) operates in Eastern Europe and in regards to Russia has been Victoria Nuland, who is currently serving as the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the Joe Biden administration.

            If anyone can be sourced as holding key responsibility for laying out the foundations for the current crisis unfolding between Ukraine and Russia, it is her.

            Victoria Nuland has been described as “brash” “blunt” and “crude” by many who have worked with her, either through the State Department or as her counterparts across Eurasia. The Washington careerist Nuland has spent most of her life entrenched firmly in the circus of the US State Department, climbing the ladder of power with a ferocious tenacity and iron-set will to shape Washington’s policies across the world.

It would be commendable, if her efforts weren’t completely driven by neoliberal globalist ideology that props up the status quo powers and elite D.C. political class. We can see how close she is to the establishment elites, after all she’s married to the co-founder of the Project for the New American Century and Council on Foreign Relations member, Robert Kagan.

            Nuland has found herself in a variety of powerful positions throughout her tenure in Washington – from deputy director of Soviet Union Affairs under Clinton, to being the US Ambassador to NATO during the Bush administration, to Assistant Secretary of State under Obama’s 8 year reign. The Under Secretary has previously worked closely with some of the most hawkish characters in Washington, having directly answered to Dick Cheney as his deputy national security advisor, and with Hillary Clinton as the spokeswoman for the State Department.

            With mentors and colleagues like these, it is no wonder that Nuland has been able to entrench herself into the new administration rather safely. She doesn’t pull her punches, even if it would be the smart thing to do – preferring to ideologically shoot from the hip with her diplomacy and think later about the consequences of her actions – if at all.

            Her attitude and approach to diplomacy may have allowed her to gain many fans in Washington, as brazen approaches are often applauded in the D.C. swamp – but it hasn’t gained her much of a fanbase among European diplomats. Her policy of ignoring the efforts of EU leadership to try and fix diplomatic relations with Russia, and by shipping weapons to Ukraine during the Obama years directly acted against the advice and fears of many EU nations who worried it would escalate tensions with Moscow.

            Rather than her actions being a product of her career, Nuland seems to be a true believer in the diplomacy she practices, almost delusionally so. In 1997, along with former Senator Richard Lugar, Nuland published Russia, Its Neighbors, and an Enlarging NATO: An Independent Task Force Report; in which it was “concluded” that NATO should be able to expand into Europe, and that Russian concerns or perceived security threats were unjustified – any attempt to negotiate or compromise should be disregarded. The report is rather short, but statements and conclusions are entirely delusional and a product of liberal elitist thought – the only way for Russia to participate in this changing world would be to cede its own sovereignty and self-determination in order to join the “New Europe” and the authority of NATO (ie. Washington).

            I imagine that any Russian authority who were in the effort of trying to rebuild a nation after almost a century of communism and centralized bureaucracy would see the terms laid out in the Nuland report and laugh in disbelief. Trading one bureaucracy for another, but this time with less sovereignty and being subjected to the whims of a former rival.

            In the very same report, the issue of Ukraine is emphasized. The task force agreed that NATO’s “doors shall remain open” for Ukrainian membership. Of course we know today this has been one of the driving motivations for Russian engagement in Ukraine, has been the threat of NATO expansion towards Russia’s border with Eastern Europe and one of Russia’s vulnerable corridors for invasion.

            Nuland has been wanting, and working hard to ensure that Ukraine joins the American sphere of influence. Whether this is a personal mission, given her Jewish-Ukrainian ancestry, or whether this is completely career-driven doesn’t matter. It has led to disastrous consequences regardless of the motives.

One only needs to look at the Maidan protests and 2014 coup d’etat that Nuland was a key figurehead in orchestrating – a leaked phone call with the then US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt shows how instrumental Nuland was in hand picking the pro-West Ukrainian Arseniy Yatsenyuk administration that took over after the expulsion of Viktor Yanukovych’s Moscow-friendly government during the “Revolution of Dignity”. Whether or not the previous government was a “Moscow puppet” matters little, when the United States and NATO conduct the same actions that they accuse Russia of – infringing Ukrainian democracy and self-determination – even if it is through more covert means.

While the massive shake-up of the government took place, NATO also funded and armed the infamous neo-nazi “Azov Battalion” to conduct operations in the Eastern Ukranian separatist regions, with disastrous humanitarian consequences for civilians in those regions. Everything from wanton destruction to residential areas, kidnappings, and even crucifixions – Azov Battalions have not only been blamed for this, they take pride in their cruelty.

It seems that the US State Department made it a policy during the 2000’s and 2010’s to arm and aid the most depraved groups of people, whether it has been Islamsist militias in the Syria or neo-nazi paramilitaries in Ukraine in order to fulfill their policy goals without getting their own hands dirty – with innocent civilians suffering the most due to this short-sighted, or willfully ignorant decisions.

Of course in the mind of someone like Victoria Nuland, the ends justify the means. But what exactly are the ends?

Is it to “stabilize” Ukrainian democracy?

As Zelensky has purged opposition parties and political rivals have been arrested and tortured, we can see by the lack of condemnation that that’s hardly the priority.

Is it to “secure the sovereignty” of Ukraine?

The whole reason this mess has occurred is because Nuland ignored Ukraine’s sovereignty in order to place her own political pawns into positions of power – so claiming that they’re trying to do this is laughable.

Is it to “prevent the humanitarian crisis and deaths of civilians”?

This conflict has been ongoing for a decade, with tens of thousand already dead or displaced before Russia stepped foot into the region. Where were the actions to prevent the humanitarian crisis that has existed for the past decade?

So what are the ends? Because the narrative that Washington and the mainstream media are pumping out are hardly grounded in reality.

If I was a gambling man, I would wager that the end goal of this crisis that has been created is multifaceted; waging the media war against the Russian Federation has been ongoing for the past decade – many Americans, particularly those in red states and from working class backgrounds see the more conservative culture of Russia and the strongman figure embodied by a leader such as Putin as a viable alternative to the current American society that empowers the elite Washington D.C. political class and desecrates the rest of the country. Many saw Trump as a leader like that, after all.

Regime change in Russia to bring it into the “global society” and the confines of internationalism is also a possibility. Nations can’t be seen as breaking away from the “rules-based order”, as that would not benefit Washington D.C. or global institutions like the United Nations or World Economic Forum that have infiltrated the top levels of government and society in order to push their own agendas under the guise of “democratic will”. However, I think this is far stretched and I think the horse has bolted in regards to this scenario – Russia has been cut-off, and I don’t think anyone at the Pentagon or the State Department wants to get involved with what would be a severely messy operation to pull off in trying to oust Putin and his loyalists from power.

What I think is the most plausible situation is actually rather outside the box. As the United States recedes as a global superpower under the weight of its recent failures and crumbling domestic situation, the best way to prevent any other rising power from gaining a foothold at the top is to make a chaotic situation that is so out of control that no-one could possibly control it.

Ukraine has so far proven to be far from a “clean” operation on the ground for the Russians. Victoria Nuland has done a rather outstanding job of shaping Ukraine to be so emboldened by their own ideas of fighting for their “sovereignty” and crafted such a unique identity separate from Russia that they will likely continue to be a rather large thorn in the side of Russia for decades to come, regardless of the outcome of this current war. Russia will be exhausting itself and its resources trying to control the situation.

So while the United States may not be “directly” involved with securing the situation on the ground, at least Washington can be guaranteed that Russia won’t be able to do it either despite their close proximity. All the Americans have to do is keep pumping weapons and resources to keep ground-forces fighting or causing a logistical headache, and in the meantime they can refocus their priorities to other, more pressing situations – namely domestic security.

But if those are indeed the “ends”, are they justified?

To any rational, morally sound and peace-loving person, of course not.

But as we have seen time and time again, Washington D.C. and the elitists that occupy the highest seats of government will create their own justifications, even if completely false or out-of-touch, in order to fulfill their own goals of self-preservation and holding on to power.

This reason, above all, is why Victoria Nuland has been perfectly fit for the job that she has undertaken for the past two decades. Because she embodies those very same insane values.

And Washington D.C. loves her for it.

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