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I am fully aware that this article will anger some of my readers. This is my blog and I write about issues that matter to me. I don’t charge money and I am not looking for votes. If it upsets you, ignore it, bin it, whatever. My views are formed by my life experience, it really annoys me when people who have never been near Eastern Europe, who have never had the opportunity to live and work amongst those people and who have never sat and listened as they explain their experience of what being part of Soviet Russia and living under the subjugation of Moscow for decades was like, are still happy to make excuses for Putin’s aggression. These people will never accept rule from Moscow again. They dreamed for decades of freedom, in the early 90’s they experienced it for the first time. They will fight, to the death if necessary to hold onto it, if that is what it takes. Of course they would much prefer to live in peace with nobody invading THEIR country. I believe in their right to be Independent. I believe in their right to exercise freedom of choice. I support Ukraine! ( except when football is involved).

Just imagine if it was Scotland.

Imagine this situation. 

Scotland has been independent for thirty years. Scotland elects a Government, left or right wing that our large neighbour England does not like. We offer no threat, we have 9% of the population of our large neighbour but they feel “threatened” and feel we are undermining their status as a World power. They want to station their nuclear weapons on our land and reestablish the submarine base at Faslane 

While most Scots are outraged, a grouping blame America and decry US programmes such as Friends and Frasier as being subversive. They think the English are only being aggressive because they lost the American Revolutionary War centuries before. Excuses are made that the English are sadly misunderstood and the 25% of the World they occupied in previous centuries was an enlightening process for the entire world and was motivated by a genuine desire to civilise rather than any interest to profit themselves. God knows how they suffered as they removed vast fortunes from countries around the globe.

The Scottish Government reject being bullied and the Borders region of Scotland which has seen huge population change through incoming English immigration in the years before Independence wants to secede and join the powerful English neighbour. The Scottish Government reject their plan making clear they consider the Borders an integral part of the Independent and Sovereign nation of Scotland.

Not accepting rejection England amasses a big army near the Scottish border, describing this as defence exercises. Meantime they put further demands before the Scottish Government threatening military action and invasion if Scotland does not bow to their demands. English agents are extremely active, encouraging and where possible and necessary offering Scots decision makers bribes to get their support.

If you never studied the history of Scotland you would probably think the above is all very far fetched but in fact it is exactly how Scotland was bullied and bribed into the Union with England in the first place. We are witnessing the same bullying in Ukraine today.

Ukraine has been Independent for around thirty years. It is recognised by the United Nations as a free, independent nation. It’s people have benefited from Independence they have no desire to allow themselves to be bullied by their aggressive large neighbour back into the Russian fold. They like democracy, they chose the Government they wanted. They want freedom of choice. They like freedom of the Press, freedom of religion. They like making their own decisions about what happens in their land. As is being made abundantly clear they are willing as a people to take responsibility for that, to the death if necessary.

People may be surprised at this courage and determination. I am not,  I have sufficient friends in Eastern Europe to know that having experienced freedom, after decades of Russian subjugation, it will not be given up lightly.

What confounds me is those Independence supporters in Scotland whose Twitter feeds are full of anti US rhetoric, providing excuses for Putin’s aggression rather than outrage at Russia’s disgusting attack on an Independent neighbour. How does that serve the innocent Ukrainians today? I have no problem with those who argue the US,indeed the EU, have not been helping over the years but some of it is just ridiculous. NATO has expanded because all these newly Independent countries, free of Soviet control, wanted to join. Nobody forced them, joining Nato had overwhelming public support in every country that joined.. Perhaps it would help if I explained why.

These newly independent countries, after years of being subjugated, against their wishes by Soviet Russia resolved it must never happen again. Now they were Independent NATO offered their best chance of them staying Independent. The article 5 commitment was crucial to them.

They all need to rebuild their economies, how could you possibly attract foreign inward investment unless investors could believe their investment was secure and that it wasn’t just going to disappear anytime Putin decided to invade again? That is why joining NATO was crucial HOWEVER and this is where it could have been handled by NATO better, assurances should have been secured that it would be illegal to station foreign missiles on these new members soil, other than in times of war. That was insensitive and foolish and should be corrected as part of ending the conflict in Ukraine.That would of course have to include the missiles the Russians have placed on the borders of NATO countries like Latvia, Lithuania and Poland through being situated in Belarus,

World pressure on Russia offers the best hope of a peaceful end to the war. Sanctions, despite denials, are having an effect on Russia..

Some absolute guff is being promoted. They call Ukrainians Nazis and it is true around 250,000 of them joined the German army in 1941. No doubt because in the 1930’s the Russians stole and emptied Ukraine’s food stores creating a major famine where 3.8 million Ukrainians starved to death. 4.5 MILLION Ukrainians joined the red army. That is right for every Ukrainian who joined the Nazis EIGHTEEN joined the Red Army. Indeed after 1944 the Ukrainian members of the Red Army consisted of around 40% of the entire strength of the Red Army. Yes the same Red Army that forced the Germans back to Berlin and destroyed the Nazis. Another fact is Ukrainians made up over 40% of the Soviet Union casualties in WW2. Nobody did more to destroy Nazism, it’s pure propaganda to call them Nazis today.

What about the far right in Ukraine today then? Well the high point for them was in 2012, under the previous mega corrupt President who left in a hurry in 2014 after over 100 demonstrators were murdered. The far right recorded 10% of the vote at that time. Under the next President it fell to 5%. Under Zelensky it fell to just 2.5%. There is undoubted propaganda on both sides but I am truly shocked at the easy and lazy acceptance of much of Putin’s propaganda in some countries. Not Eastern European countries, they know and have experienced living under Moscow. They all support Ukraine other than the Moscow puppet state of Communist Belarus. Who knows what their view would be if they were allowed free comment?

Scotland can help by ramping up our oil and gas industry and help our European allies in being less reliant on Russian energy. Worldwide oil producing nations should do the same.

Who knows where we will be by the time this article is published. We live in dangerous times but those times are made much more dangerous when there is an outbreak of whitabootery and all too many ready to provide excuses for the aggressor. These are Russian shells, fired from Russian guns, bombs from Russian planes, ordered by Putin. He had no respect for NATIONAL or PERSONAL FREEDOM. He seeks to re enslave the population of the Independent nation of Ukraine. He lied to us all about his military exercises, he insisted he had no plans to invade Ukraine. Even today just calling what is happening in Ukraine as a war sets you up for a fifteen year jail sentence in Russia.

I tell you this for certain, if instead of living in comfort and safety in Scotland you were one of Putin’s neighbours you would be scared about your future freedom and safety and you would be hoping the World can stop him. Freedom is a very precious commodity and people, particularly people who have lost it before, will do whatever it takes to ensure it never happens again. Putin is learning this, he thought he could take Ukraine in a week. He never anticipated the casualties, the huge expense, the World reaction against his actions. He has now retreated to the Donbas region trying to still win the Lithium reserves and other mineral and gas reserves he covets. 

He should be opposed by all independence supporters who believe in the rights of self determination and national and personal freedom. Making excuses for Putin is a very damaging look for those of us who seek the Independence of Scotland. 

I continue to hope he has bitten off more than he can chew.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland.


Sadly some websites that claim to be pro Indy have turned out to be only Pro SNP sites and have sought to ban any websites that dare to question SNP Policy or tactics. They seek to avoid the public being aware that alternatives to waiting for Westminster to “grant” Scotland a Section 30 to hold a referendum exist. Issues like the flawed franchise, the Claim of Right route, the work of the SSRG and Salvo fill them with dread. As this blog promotes all routes, including alternatives I am banned from these sites and am therefore very grateful to my readers, who knowing about these efforts to ban and suppress go out of their way to subscribe and to share my articles far and wide. It is a good thing that attempts to restrict free speech and censor are defeated in this way.


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  1. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is wrong and I condemn it. However, the following should not be seen as condoning the Russian invasion. NATO is being used by the US as a proxy force. To deny US meddling in World affairs is denying reality. Why up until very recently have Sweden and Finland not applied for membership of NATO? Because they didn’t see a need or because, although they aligned themselves with the West they didn’t agree with NATO policy? Genuine questions because I don’t know.


    Liked by 4 people

    1. Easy answer, they thought they were not at risk but Putin has changed that by invading Ukraine. They no longer feel safe and there has been a huge change of mind within their population where NOW there is a huge majority for joining NATO. So who is to blame for that Russia or NATO? Now apply that answer to every other country in Eastern Europe.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Easy answer: NATO/US/UK is to blame. Quite simply because they know exactly what they were doing and knew what would happen if they persisted. They provoked Russia into defending their borders to prevent the likely placement of missiles within quick and easy reach of Moscow. This has been documented in the public sphere (even in the Western press) for decades. It is widely available but only if you actually care to look and see another opinion than that given by our complacent and complicit MSM.

        To say effectively that “NATO could’ve handled this better and assured Russia that no missiles would be placed in Ukraine” is naive in the extreme. Do you actually think Russia trusts the US/NATO after they have already reneged on every promise they’ve ever made?

        Russia had zero intention of “quickly retaking” Ukraine as you suppose or propose in your article, that is also naive in the extreme. The Russian intention is almost certainly to “disrupt” for as long as it takes to prevent Ukraine either joining NATO or parking missiles on the the Russian borders (and/or both). The longer it takes the better as far as they are concerned, or at least until there is absolute certainty that if Ukraine (or the US by proxy) undertakes to do anything like this again it will receive a similar reaction with all associated loss of life and finances.

        Failing to understand how the West has played a major role in bringing about this unnecessary invasion/war/tragedy/ARMS SALES is important when considering how we are so easily being taken for fools by our own mass media’s propaganda. Understanding it and ignoring it or denying makes you as bad as the Western press.

        None of this makes me (or anyone else who sees, understands or even perceives the obvious reality) as a Putin-Apologist or Russia-Apologist. Understanding realpolitik does not make me a warmongering criminal. I’m all about peace and every human being’s right to live a peaceful life. I despise war and unnecessary death and injury. All wars are bad. Russia should not have invaded Ukraine BUT it was predictable if not inevitable. Steps could have been taken by the US to prevent this. They CHOSE not to.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. All very interesting except for the fact that nobody attacked Russia’s borders, nor do you criticise the fact that Russia breached the agreement made that they would respect Ukraine’s borders for all time in return for Russia being able regain their nuclear weapons from Ukraine. Forgot about that did we?

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Iain, I totally oppose Russia’s actions and my heart is with the Ukrainian people – not the politicians who brought them to this pass. However, NATO/the US/the UK have all been pushing Putin’s buttons for decades in Eastern Europe. I feel heart-sorry for the Ukrainian people who were sold this s***e that they were safe. They never were so long as a proxy cold war was being fought against Russia on Ukrainian soil going back to the 2014 coup and even before that. It has nothing to do with nuclear weapons, or are we saying that we need to hang on to the ones on our soil? In that case, arm every country in the world with nuclear weapons, because that is the logic. No, it is the big beasts we should be insisting decommission theirs. They won’t, of course, but we can keep the pressure up to let them know we are watching them and their tactics to destabilise areas of the world.

        No doubt, Russia was involved in Eastern Ukraine and I have little doubt either that they wanted in brought under Russian control. But why? And why Crimea? For the same reasons, Iain: security. Oh, yes, Putin has made a terrible mistake by allowing himself to be goaded into such a move as occupying the Donbas – which was and remains his only goal. The rest was to keep Ukraine as a political basket case for many years, and economically crippled so that it could not join the West. I don’t think Putin is interested in Finland or Sweden unless they directly threaten Russia. They will do that if they join NATO. The US and the UK are encouraging them to join NATO (both are probably compromised already with American subs and bases). Why? To challenge Moscow. The aim is to dismantle the Russian Federation into its component parts. The other thing, of course, that few allude to, is the mass migrations that result from conflicts across the globe. They come to Western Europe and America, Canada, Australia, etc. because these are the countries with the resources.

        Countries that are not powerful or are not attached by an umbilical cord to a powerful one (like the UK to the US) are frequently bartered as cannon fodder, as Ukraine is being right now. I don’t hate the West, and, indeed, there is much that is good about the West (at least on the surface), but neither can I pretend that the West is not responsible for millions of deaths and mutilations all over the globe with its constant interference. It would be deluded to believe that that is not the case. The truth is that none of us counts in the bigger scheme of global power and power geopolitics. It could very easily happen to us. It has happened to us in the distant past when England invaded us time after time. We have known genocide and destruction on a massive scale, the theft and destruction of our national records, the regicide of our kings. Yes, it could happen again. We are all pawns in this game, and the superpowers are concerned only with their own survival and hegemony. If Finland and Sweden join NATO, we are yet another step closer to WW III and annihilation. Should we blame Finland, Sweden or Ukraine for wanting to secure their survival by sheltering under the nuclear umbrella? No. We should, however, be making it plain to the leaders of the superpowers that we know their game and the costs are too high.

        Liked by 8 people

    2. ivorf Scheerpost has some interesting articles on these topics, including “Ukraine: Foolish for Finland and Sweden to Join NATO” by Jan Oberg and “The New Iron Curtain” by Patrick Lawrence.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. England already achieved this with Wales. China used the tactic for Tibet.
    In Ireland the Plantation was less successful due to a stubborn people who had simply had enough. However the social engineering enabled part of the Island to be retained….for the moment.
    Scotland will follow faster now than in the previous 300 years. Those in the South can sell a flat in London and buy a luxury home on the shores of Loch Lomond.
    The tipping point is arriving fast. When we were in the EU we had young families moving to Scotland from Poland etc.. Young families would have changed Scotlands demographics in one direction. Brexit ended that and tilted the balance to those retiring from England. They do not need local jobs or schools. In fact they want a quiet life without annoying locals.

    Part of Brexit was the final chess piece in changing the balance. Instead of a Clearance they will simply let us age as our kids are forced to move on.

    Look at who heads all our major institutions. Have we no talent in Scotland.

    Take a trip to Ireland and see a modern European country and then drive to the North and the contrast..

    The Article is showing the future. The method may be force, threat, bribery or simply outvoting us by settlement. The method may vary but the result will be the same….Scotlandshire , England

    I will probably upset more people than Iain.

    Liked by 13 people

    1. I live in rural Aberdeenshire, I don’t get out much it’s true, however, this week I needed to have either work people at the house or to pop into local shops. Everyone I have spoken to this week has been English. For the first time ever it has occurred to me that we are stuffed, we have been so heavily colonised we will never be free. I am truly fed up.

      Liked by 12 people

  3. This is one article that I wasn’t expecting to read here in the Scottish blogosphere, but it is one with which I totally agree.

    People in the UK/Scotland don’t really have much of a clue as to what is actually going on in or near the Ukraine apart from the usual media news. The further west you get away from the war the less you understand it, it’s a breeding ground for conspiracy theories and nutters.

    I live near Frankfurt, a 12 hour drive to the Ukraine border and I wouldn’t advise people to start mouthing off here about the Ukraine being a Nazi state. The German Chancellor has turned out to be a bit chicken and his reputation is going rapidly down the plughole. People here want the necessary help as well as military hardware to get to the Ukrainians. Same goes for the Baltic States, Poland, Romania, Czechs, Slowakians etc. the doors are open for refugees.

    Liked by 10 people

  4. Another good post and agree with your take on what is turning out to be messy and costly war. I see Henry Kissinger calling for Ukraine to give up some land for peace which would just be rewarding Putin for his aggression and a mistake in my book. He has already taken Crimea in 2014 and I suspect the lack of a firm response from the West helped him decide he good get away with a similar stunt this time round. No one predicted the people of Ukraine could mount such an effective defence least of all those in Putin’s inner circle though god knows how this war will pan out.

    Liked by 8 people

      1. Self interest is rearing its head. The global food concerns are going to show a lot of nation state integrity hitting the deck.

        We told the Ukraine it was safe to part with the nukes – what a price they have paid for trusting us!
        NATO does have blame at its door: if they knew they were not going to let the Ukraine join they should have been clear on that, rather than allowing the situation to evolve where the Ukraine repeatedly banged on the door and brought Russia down on themselves. That said, I think NATO did not let the Ukraine join because Putin was always going to do this. So fair enough – it would have meant WW3. But it also highlights that we had absolutely no right to tell them it was safe to give up the nukes. No right at all.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Marion: the nukes belonged to Russia. Russia dismantled them within two years. The UN applauded that. Had Ukraine kept them, that would have been considered, by the international community, a proliferation of nuclear weapons, and, by Russia, as an act of aggression. Just imagine if Scotland tried to keep the UK nuclear weapons and turned them southwards to point at England. I understand what Iain is saying, and, if I were Ukrainian, I’d be totally opposed to the Russian invasion and expect my country to resist, but it should never have flirted with NAO expansion and EU membership, but opted for a neutral stance until the waters had settled. That, of course, was never on the cards because the US was pushing Ukraine’s leadership to join. They had the opportunity to have Russia join the EU during the Gorbachev/Yeltsin era, but America downed it, when it would have brought Ukraine in as well at that time. Why? Because the US wants Russia crippled and dismembered. It is geopolitics, and we are helpless to prevent it except by peaceful pressure.

        Liked by 7 people

  5. Thanks for this Iain. It’s very refreshing to read a Scotland/Ukraine analogy and an account of the recent history of Ukraine that contain no mention whatever of the word “coup”.

    But you’re in good company. I understand that as part of their campaign to counter disinformation, Youtube are now removing all copies of the telephone conversation between Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt. In times to come no one will have to listen to two senior American politicians casually and cynically discussing who they are going to allow to be President, and who they are going to allow to be in the government, of a supposed sovereign democracy on the other side of the planet in the aftermath of a thing that never happened.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Iain I’m at a loss to understand why you felt the need to write this article ; how does arguing about what is after all a foreign conflict help our own situation ? All it does is deepen the already fractious atmosphere within the Movement .

    We can condemn to our hearts content the Russian invasion of Ukraine , we can applaud the response of the Ukrainians , likewise the response of the ” West ” , we can join in the absurd caricature of * Mad Vlad * intent on reinstating the Soviet Empire and , for good measure , invading the rest of Europe , we can agree with the banning of every aspect of Russian artistic , literary , musical culture from our screens , magazines and concert halls . Even the ludicrous banning of the * Meercats ” adverts is accepted as * appropriate *.

    What we can’t do – though yourself and too many others are – is somehow pretend/ignore the U.S and it’s rubber-stamp operation NATO have no role in this : were not in fact the instigators of this grim situation .

    Don’t give us the * whatboutery * argument please . That term along with * Conspiracy Theory * * Anti-Science * * Anti-Vax * should be added to the lexicon of redundant phrases .Of course it’s legitimate to compare behaviours . responses , justifications etc . The hypocrisy of the U.S/UK in this is nauseating ; ignoring/justifying this hypocrisy is moral cowardice .

    If you really think pouring $ Billions of weaponry into the political/psychological maelstrom of Ukraine is a good idea , will be productive of a peaceful outcome , if you actually believe the US is interested in such an outcome , if you can’t see what is actually going on here – how Ukraine is being used as a proxy/pawn in the utterly insane US War Economy don’t take my word for it ; please read the linked article by Chris Hedges , one of best , honest , astute commentators on American/Global Politics

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Robert – I see relevance to Scotland in this way:
      The UK and the US assured the Ukraine they would be safe if they gave up the nukes they had. That assurance was worth nothing
      Now the concerns are shifting to global food supply the Ukraine interests are being downplayed – give up some land and get back to shipping grain!

      Seeking global agreements and protection is as reliable as democracy and adherence to treaties. EFTA, EU, UN, NATO – all nice but in the end they are fair weather friends driven first and foremost by their own national interests. Countries are on their own. We need to care a lot less about the world opinions and a lot more about how we own our own risks and walk our own path. Ourselves, alone.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Fair point/s Marion , but let’s not forget how the US also assured Gorbachov/ Russia that if they * allowed * the break-up of the Soviet Union the US/NATO would not continue expanding eastwards ie the Minsk Agreement . Those assurances were not worth the paper they were written on .

        In both instances of bad faith the ultimate victims are the Ukrainian people . I’ll say no more on the subject .

        Ourselves , alone . Indeed

        Liked by 6 people

  7. Another refreshing and educational article, Iain. Thank you very much for explaining a lot of Ukrainian background of which I was totally ignorant. It makes so much sense and the analogy with Scotland brings the situation closer to home. Oh, for a proper free press and honest reporting.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Iain, There is a ring of truth to the information your article advances but the truth has many faces and they all need to be aired so that the uninformed can be best advised of the intent of all who are at war in Ukraine.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I agree and am intent on making that possible. I am however meeting opposition, indeed censorship, to voicing any narrative that does not go along with the anti West narrative. We have to be careful at all times to defend freedom of speech and choice. If we don’t then they will be lost. Nobody is taking mine without a fight.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Censorship in all its guises is unacceptable. I understand the reasoning in defence of your assertions and the contrary views of others who oppose you and am of the opinion the gap between yourself and them may be impossible to bridge at this time.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It isn’t necessarily anti West, though, Iain. For my part, I see little difference between the Russian and West’s approaches to global problems. It does us no good to not understand that the West is just as culpable. There’s not a helluva lot we can do about either the West or Russia, or China or any other aggressive state, except not to take sides and see all points of view. Moreover, we need to see the suffering of people who are caught up in the geopolitics of the powerful players, and offer what help we can. In the end, we can’t save Ukraine because it is a proxy for both sides. It’s like the big bully in the playground: you want to smash his/her face in, but you know it’s not the answer because everyone around will just blame you and the bully will stand back and play the innocent. That is what is happening here, except that there are two opposing bullies involved.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well said, Iain. After a lifetime of travelling, a good deal of which has been behind the former Iron Curtain I , more than ever, am more in favour of The West, warts and all. Some people on this list still cannot resist their in-built, anti-West rhetoric and their illogical hatred of Nato, when what they fail to understand is that the alternative, living in a Putin-run dictatorship, would be far, far worse.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so glad that you have written this.
    I’ve been thinking the same for some time, imagining scenarios where England would use similar argument to those that Russia does in order to invade an independent Scotland.

    After all, it was bullying of the Scots nation and bribery of a few Scots that dragged us into the ‘union’ in the first place..

    Although the background is different, we also see a version of this in the north of Ireland which GB holds onto because of the historical Scots and English ethnicity of a portion of its population.

    I appreciate however that there are significant differences between Scotland and Ukraine in that Scotland was one of the earliest nations to declare its nationhood and sovereignty and to have this accepted internationally via the Declaration of Arbroath. Ukraine’s position, as I understand it, is different. I am not aware of it having been a distinct nation until the breakup of the Soviet Union. Happy to be corrected if I am wrong in this.

    In the interest of fairness I am also looking at a different scenario: the possibility of areas of the borders or the Highlands and Islands that have been more or less bought out by English colonials, declaring, say Mull, an independent country called Little England, and part of the Windsor family form ‘commonwealth’. Would Little England gain acceptance by the United Nations?
    Was Ukraine’s sovereignty established along similar lines?

    Irrespective of such debates, there’s one thing that I am clear about: certain bloggers and podcasters who deliver an unmitigated, unbalanced attack on the ‘West’ would not be allowed to criticise never mind deliver programmes that criticised their government if they lived in the Soviet Union. They can also leave this country or whichever western country they have set up home within, whenever they please. If they were Russians living in Russia they would not be free to leave.

    Of course the ‘west’ should be subject to criticism. And it is. And of course the ‘west’ looks to its own interests and has motives not of the purest. At the same time, reports of Russian atrocities in Ukraine, are not merely ‘western propaganda’ as we are unreliably informed by contributors to a certain, weel kent pro Indy podcast. These atrocities are certified by Amnesty International and UNICEF among other global NGOs.

    Similarly the determinedly blinkered, one sided attacks on the ‘west’ by the same pontificators seek to whitewash one of the most evil regimes possible and ignore its invidious activities. The Taliban. One such contributor, who appears to have a form of Stockholm syndrome and be close enough to the Taliban to be allowed to fly in and out of Kabul at will (presumably as its mouthpiece) actually claimed that it was untrue that women in Afghanistan are required once more to cover their faces as well as their bodies and turn themselves into moving tents. Such a ridiculous denial is so clearly refuted now by evidence that the woman appears to have given up saying so.

    Such individuals are so motivated by hatred of the ‘west’ that they blithely ignore every area of progress for women and children that took place during the western coalition’s occupation and which have been dismantled since. Maternal mortality in childbirth and pregnancy in Afghanistan dropped by 70% during the 20 year occupation ; infant mortality by 50%. The improvements would have been even better if not for the fact that much of rural Afghanistan continued to be dominated by the same ideology as that of the Taliban and resistant to seeing women as anything other than chattels.

    In focusing entirely on negative (sometimes true) aspects of ‘western’ involvement in Afghanistan, its critics, some unwitting, others seemingly not, give carte blanche to behaviours by the Taliban that are invidious in any terms of human rights. The author of ‘My Hidden Face’, an autobiography by a woman living through the first Taliban occupation, explains that women could only get medical treatment if their husbands or fathers were medics. Women could not work or train to be doctors, and could not be seen or examined by males other than close relatives. Hence they died untreated of appendicitis, cancer, heart attacks etc as well as during childbirth and pregnancy.

    I give these examples of how a form of self-hatred of everything to do with ‘western’ philosophy and culture ignores the harsh reality of its enemies’ regimes. This does not mean that the ‘west’ is without greed, selfishness or irrational ideologies of its own (such as gender theory), but I would rather live within its scope and seek to change it, than within a primitive theocracy that cuts off heads in football stadia (yes, that’s Saudi Arabia too, a ‘western’ ally, to our shame) or a ‘pretendy communist’ Russian regime that lines its oligarchs’ and dictator’s pockets whilst oppressing its population.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You make some very good points, Joan, and the history of Ukraine goes way back, too.

      “… At the same time, reports of Russian atrocities in Ukraine, are not merely ‘western propaganda’ as we are unreliably informed by contributors to a certain, weel kent pro Indy podcast… ” That is what happens in wars and conflicts, and we must assume that both Russia and the West were happy to let atrocities happen. There are also reports of atrocities by Ukrainian forces on Russian soldiers. It is always tit-for-tat in these situations. The Taliban often skinned alive Russian soldiers they captured in Afghanistan. We are a barbarous species.

      ‘Jaw-jaw not war-war’ is the only maxim we can reasonably live by in this truly compromised world of ours, but too many have too much to lose on all sides. We see another school shooting in the US and Joe Biden blabbers on about putting a stop to such things. He and his son are heavily involved in the arms industry in the US and which is so massive it sucks in a huge part of America’s GDP. It is rumoured that Hunter Biden was in Ukraine before the conflict selling arms. So, the American arms industry kills people in other parts of the world and at home. I don’t know, but I would suspect that the Russian big boys are just as heavily invested in their arms industry, too, as our politicians are in ours. There ain’t no goodies in this story; they are all baddies.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Joe Biden has just announced that the US will involve itself militarily against China if the Chinese ever look as though they’re about to reclaim the island of Taiwan. This was an off-the-cuff comment, apparently, one that produced near audible groans of consternation throughout the US Department of State and the Pentagon too, no doubt. That kind of irresponsibility from a world-leader who can’t do a damn thing, it seems, about the murderous gun-lobby in his own country, we’d do well to remember: is what is passing for geo-diplomacy today. What the same President Biden might have told Zelensky regarding a Russian invasion, is anybody’s guess.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The US and the UK told the Ukraine they would be safe if they gave up their nukes. We were wrong and the Ukraine has paid the terrible price.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If Ukraine had nukes, Marion, we might even now be knee-deep in WW III, with Scotland no longer existing. The US and UK told the gullible Zelenskyy that they would not stand back and see Ukraine crushed. They would tell us the same and do the same. One of these fine days, some real nutjob of a politician somewhere is going to loose nukes. No weapon has never been used and no weapon is quite deadly enough to stop someone using it.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Dear Iain

    You have just written an outstanding article which I agree with 100%. The sad thing is that you are now very much a lone voice in Alba circles. Time and time again you find Putin’s trolls pushing his lies. Keep up the battle for truth.

    Putin has now accounted for 5 million refugees and tens of thousands of dead in our continent of Europe. His goal is to eliminate a great nation of over 40 million people. He has used poison gas and blanket bombing in Syria and caused another 5 million refugees. His minions in Venezuela are upholding the rotten corrupt regime of Maduro and low and behold, you have another 5 million refugees. (You have seen Eastern Europe upfront and I have seen Latin America). Putin is now deliberately waging a hunger war against the World’s poorest.

    Putin’s goons are now spreading out into the Third World especially Africa. He now plays an incompetent, but dangerous Mussolini to Xi’s cautious, brutal Stalin.

    Yet many think that Putin represents no threat and the USA and the UK are the warmongers!

    Keep up the good work and pass the ammunition.


    Liked by 3 people

    1. Pass the ammunition you say, keep up the good work. Just like the Uvalde school massacre quips like this just roll off the tongue William.

      Great comment that man, great comment indeed.


      1. Long live the truth, from Iain Lawson, the man who lived and worked in Estonia for a number of years, which is more than most of these self-loathing fools in Alba have ever done. I wonder what the Estonians take is on all of this. Probably the same as the Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Georgians, Moldovans, Slovakians et al. I am pro-West because it has much of humanity with a standard of living along with freedom of speech for its citizens. If the Putin apologists love Putin’s Russia so much then my message is – f*** off and go and live there.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s a great pity that NATO assured Russia on more than one occasion that it would not extend further into Russia’s sphere of Influence, and has broken such assurance on several occasions. Somewhere in the Russian psyche is a picture of invading Nazi hordes sweeping across the Ukranian plains into Russia in 1941. Perhaps the thought of having NATO missiles deployed in Ukraine was intolerable – after all, look and the US reaction when the Soviet Union tried to deploy missiles in Cuba. Had NATO not broken its assurances, had Ukraine not applied to join NATO, I suppose it could be argued that this war would not have occurred.

    But I don’t think that’s any justification to what is currently being done to Ukraine. However, I am sickened by Western hypocrisy over the whole thing – after all, isn’t what Putin is doing to Ukraine virtually the same as what we did to Iraq in 2003? If Putin is guilty of war crimes, why isn’t Tony Blair and George Bush? And I maybe have to admit that to a certain extent that hypocrisy tends to overshadow some of the indignation I should feel about Russia’s actions.

    Incidentally, William, I was very happy with Russia’s actions in both Syria and Venezuela.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Long live the dictators then, Davey. 600,000 people (the population of Glasgow) died in Syria at the hands of Assad and the Jihadis yet you support that? True, Western inertia and confusion was unforgiveable but the tyrant is still in control. No doubt that you would say that it would become a Western puppet state but so what? What’s wrong with that? Peace and prosperity are what most people want. And as for Venezuela? They are certainly less repressive than Assad and the Iranians and co, but how on earth have they managed to squander the greatest oil riches in the planet and turn the country into a dystopian basket case? It is one of the great mysteries of our age.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Davey

    I am sorry to see you on the wrong track and I don’t have time to fully respond.

    I say only one thing. I have been involved with Venezuela since 1989. My wife and son are Venezuelans. We speak to Venezuela everyday. If you are happy with what the Russians did and are doing in Venezuela Davey then I can assure you that you have no idea of reality. Count yourself glad to be very very far away from Chavez and Castro.



    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ah clarity of understanding of the nature of geo politics on the world stage. Russia bad, Ukraine good. China bad US good. It’s a simple narrative.

    Of course there are many who see it as a little less simple than that. A cold war that never ended. The disregard of a treaty like the Minsk Treaty. How powerful nations can create proxy wars to suit their bigger agenda. And of course the bigger agenda is now that of the economic sanction war involving Russia and to a lesser extent China.

    And the economic impact. Well that’s going to be immense. But these sanctions were all pre planned. Tallies of the ups and down, positives and negatives, impacts and effects were all modelled. To think otherwise I suggest would be befuddled thinking.

    And Ukraine, poor Ukraine, they do seem to be the football of a proxy war. But again that may be befuddled thinking.

    One thing for sure though is that the Ukraine conflict is now very much dropping down the MSM news headlines. That there’s two sides to every story one can only wonder why this is.

    Meanwhile the weapons industry corporates see their share prices soar as sales soar. And ditto the oil and gas corporates and that must be good thing as inflation soars, and many many things start to go scarce.

    Thanks for publishing the article Iain and for letting folks comment. If we can all do that then we are all better placed to do the right thing, not that ordinary folks have much, if any say, in matters either here or elsewhere..

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Even the Russian arms industry it seems is sustaining a war bounce in increased turnover, profits and share price whilst some EU countries, aside of countries elsewhere in the world, are now paying for Russian *energy supplies in Rubles.

    And that is quite interesting and more so with the sanction war now appearing to closer align Russia and China with other countries like India and similar in tow, Not all countries it seem identify with the Russia and China bad and the US and West good. mantra.

    One thing for sure, folks life savings, pension pots, and living standards here look set for the mega chop with the soaring inflation Of that I think we can have absolute clarity, But at least God and Right is on our side and draining our deepest veins, to coin a phrase, for this new cold war, is the least we can do


  16. I am genuinely busy today and cannot be posting too much, but I diid want to repeat Willie’s short comment about my use of the word ammunition. Here it is:

    “Pass the ammunition you say, keep up the good work. Just like the Uvalde school massacre quips like this just roll off the tongue William.

    Great comment that man, great comment indeed.”

    To try to link my statement on ammunition (figuratively arguments for the Ukraine or, more literally ammunition for Ukrainian patriots) with a sick child killer is not worthy of comment by me. I am glad that unlike Putin’s Russia we do live in a free society and we are also on a blog, in which comments like Willie’s can still be freely made.


    Liked by 1 person

      1. No I was talking about the over 100,000 removed from the Baltic countries to Siberia and their homes then filled with incoming ethnic Russians. Does that help?


      2. No offence intended on what is your blog, which I respect. But my comment wasn’t directed to you. It was directed to gonzalo.

        Incidentally, I see that according to that well-known Putin propaganda sheet, the Washington Post, a middle-ranking officer in a Ukrainian volunteer company has been taken into custody for talking to the WaPo honestly about the conditions they are experiencing on the front line, together with some of his men.

        You scour the planet for someone whose gaining from this war – cui bono? Russia? Nope. Ukraine? Nope. EU? Nope. Scandinavia ? Nope. Eastern Europe? Nope. Anywhere in the rest of the World? Nope. Ordinary Americans? Nope.

        But eventually, if you keep scouring hard enough, you eventually find a small group of mighty, influential, sub-human scum who are benefiting in spades. The US Military Industrial Complex. Absolutely raking it in. Lying in bed every night literally hugging themselves with glee…

        “Don’t stop guys! Don’t stop! Fight on, you assholes! You’re defending your land and your people! Here’s another potato and an RPG. It’s all that’s left of the 40 billion. I know it’s not much, but we needed our cut!””

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Maybe you are right Iain. Maybe we in Scotland should fight to the death to remove perfidious Albion from our country. Death is a price to pay for freedom you argue. Pass the ammunition as William says.

    Seems very much to be the message.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Iain:

    A) “… Today, fourteen of the fifteen successor states to the Soviet Union are nuclear weapons-free. When the U.S.S.R. disappeared, 3,200 strategic nuclear warheads remained in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus, most of them atop intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that stood on alert, ready to be fired at targets in the U.S. Today, every one of the nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus has been deactivated and returned to Russia, where they were dismantled and the nuclear material in the warheads blended down to produce fuel for civilian reactors… ” Professor Graham Allison, Harvard.

    B) This agreement consisted of a package of measures, including a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line, release of prisoners of war, constitutional reform in Ukraine granting self-government to certain areas of Donbas and restoring control of the state border to the Ukrainian government – Minsk Agreement.

    C) “… That conversation between Baker and Gorbachev was not the last time that U.S. and Russian leaders had a conversation about NATO’s future in which the Russian side came away believing that NATO was not going to extend membership to countries of the former Soviet bloc…

    “… President Bill Clinton, believed he could satisfy demands from Central and Eastern Europe to join the West while also placating his pal, Russian president Boris Yeltsin, who wanted Russia to have its own place in Europe…

    “… Moscow in October 1993. U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher had traveled to Moscow to explain in advance of the January 1994 NATO summit that the United States would not support new members joining the alliance, but would rather develop a Partnership for Peace that would include all states of the former Warsaw Pact. Yeltsin’s relief was palpable. He thought he had dodged the NATO enlargement bullet at a time at which he was in a raging political battle against hardliners at home. A year later, when he discovered that enlargement was not only on the table but would in fact be proceeding, Yeltsin was apoplectic, and he railed against Clinton publicly at a meeting in Budapest…

    “… the United States saw itself as the Cold War victor and had the power to shape the security dynamic across Europe. Yeltsin, meanwhile, believed he had been responsible for the overthrow of communism and wanted his country’s place in Europe recognized, but had no power to push back against U.S. initiatives that he believed only served to strengthen his more nationalist opponents within Russia.. .

    “… Yet while NATO enlargement spread security across a region more accustomed to insecurity or unwelcome domination, the failure to provide a place for Russia in the European security framework (for which Russia is responsible as well) left a zone of insecurity between NATO and Russia that continues to bedevil policymakers… ”

    Jim Goldgeier, Texas National Security Review.



  19. Off topic, Iain, and I’m taking no sides, but I was quite shocked to read the Grouse Beater article by Mr McCann. He and I have more or less similar takes on the Ukraine-Russia conflict’s origins and so on, but I was disappointed by his attack on you for having a different take on it. I did comment, but I think my comment was removed, which is also disappointing. Having a different point of view is perfectly respectable if your arguments stand up to scrutiny, and, often two people will have opposing interpretations of the same facts. We only have to look at the Union to see that. I made the point that Mr McCann’s view of the trans issue could be classed as anti intellectual, which I think is true. In the same man, we have two very different intellectual approaches, yet he berates you for yours. It is strange, to say the least that he accuses you of the very anti intellectualism he himself shows on a different topic. Very odd.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jason is a priest and is in the forgiveness business. He has forgiven the Soviet Union. In a week or two he will be forgiving Putin’s Russia. He is also very left wing in his views. I had not known about this article until today. As I stated at the beginning of my article if folk did not like it they should just bin it or ignore it. His main attack seemed to be that I was not an intellectual as he obviously considers himself to be. I was brought up in a home and have lived my life trying to identify right from wrong. In my opinion you do not need to be an intellectual to do that, merely use your personal experience to push you in the right direction. Jason revealed he had never worked or lived in Eastern Europe so I will let Jason get back to his books!

      P.S. I was never an “employee” of the Estonian Government. I might have thought a clever intellectual like Jason would have checked his facts better. Mind you it was not the only error in what he wrote.


  20. Yes, Iain, that was the source of my disappointment: it was a rather demeaning sort of attack. As you are aware, my views on the Ukraine/Eastern Europe situation chime more with his views, but I don’t see it as an intellectual exercise and people are entitled to their own views, while others are entitled to challenge them. I find it very strange that two such obviously well-educated and clever men such as Mr McCann and Craig Murray can hold such contradictory views on other matters, neglecting to apply the same intellectual rigour to those topics. It does none of us any credit to try and belittle people whom we regard, often erroneously, as not being our intellectual equals. So much is subjective and down to emotive responses. It is when facts are applied to a problem that partisanship seems to occur because someone cannot get past their own emotional response. That, again, is very different from a delusion. You are not deluded; you just see things very differently from a personal perspective, and that is fair enough; and you don’t set out to knowingly hurt others or take away from them. I am so sorry that you and the other bloggers do not see eye to eye, but I’m glad that you are all still singing from the same hymn sheet on independence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you look at what I wrote and what Jason wrote the main difference is that I made no attempt to make it personal. It is a weakness of Jason that he often flies into attack dog mode. I have told him before about this as I know from messages I received that he has lost support both now and in the past for doing so. Each to his own style tho!


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