Common Grounds

Our Friday News Analysis | How Do You Love Your Enemies? Have None! (Part 4)

May 12, 2023


Divergent Streams Converging into Still Water

Our Friday News Analysis | How Do You Love Your Enemies? Have None! (Part 4)

Divergent streams of conflicting thoughts converging into a river of living water that flows toward the open seas. Photo shot in New Zealand taken by Abraham A. van Kempen


History Shows Divergence Organically Confluences Toward Convergence


Divergent streams of conflicting thoughts inherently converge into a river of living water that flows toward the open seas. When the river roars, it becomes a whirlpool that scrubs, scours, and launders – like a giant organic washing machine – colliding disputes that catalytically – not cataclysmically – precipitate into a solution toward the open seas. This analogy is like oil and water that become one when adding soap.


The Building, the Bridge Foundation in The Hague, glows in storms. We’re doing our best to report the divergent narratives to help widen horizons; to get you to open seas.


Not one narrative is the “truth and nothing but the truth.” Narratives are building stones to understanding divergent truths that eventually converge into one.


To paraphrase Saint Pope John Paul II:


               Have we not forgotten your hell in too great a hurry?


               Aren’t we erasing the traces of old crimes in our memory and consciousness?

               In which direction should Europe and humanity develop “after Auschwitz “… “after Mauthausen”?

               Are we moving away from the terrible experiences of that time [TO NEVER AGAIN]?

               Tell us how human beings should be and how future generations should live beyond the traces of humanity’s great defeat of humankind?

               How should a person react today to inhuman acts?

               Tell us what should the nations and societies be like.


Speak because you have the right to do so – the person who suffered and lost your life. We must listen to your testimony.


The Hague, 5 May 2023 | If you know of any story that is decisive, tell the world. We're still searching.


Donbas soldier Andrey Korobov-Latyntsev: Here's my chilling warning about where the Russia-Ukraine conflict can lead

Source: RT

By Andrey Korobov-Latintsev, an officer of the People’s Militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic
Published April 14, 2023

An academic turned fighter believes those who think the fighting can be contained are misguided


A serviceman of Russia's private military company Wagner Group's assault detachment walks in the street in the central part of Artyomovsk, also known as Bakhmut, as Russia's military operation in Ukraine continues, Donetsk People's Republic, Russia. © Sputnik/Evgeny Biyatov

Donetsk People’s Republic, 14 April 2023 | For a philosopher, the military path of war is quite natural. In reality, such a scholar is constantly engaged in this process – the conflict of ideas. He understands that war is the forefather of all things. Since he is looking for the origin of everything, turning to war as a subject and an element of existentialism is natural. Of course, it is also a great honor for me to be part of the armed forces of Novorossiya and the Donetsk People’s Republic.


Read more: ‘Donbas soldier Andrey Korobov-Latyntsev: Here's my chilling warning about where the Russia-Ukraine conflict can lead.’


What is the Side of the Story that is Not Yet Decisive? Edited by Abraham A. van Kempen.


Russian President Vladimir Putin Delivers Victory Day Speech


Russian President Vladimir Putin said at Moscow's Red Square Victory Day parade that the world was at a "turning point" and claimed a "war" had been unleashed against Russia.


Read the transcript below!


               I salute you all, people of Russia, veterans of Russia, comrades, soldiers, quartermasters, officers of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, admirals, generals, and commanders in chief of our special military operations.


               I salute you all today to mark the day of our great victory.


               Today is a day where we remember those who came before us, those who fell on the battlefield and, in doing so, became immortals, who joined the regiment of immortals, who gave up their lives for our country in the fight against Nazism.


               And that fight is rearing its head again today.


               Once again, we see a war that is afoot, but we have been pushing back, fighting against international terrorism to protect the people in the Donbas region and to protect our country.




               The only friendships we can have between the East and West around this world, what we want for the future is a future of peace and stability, not blood.


               But the elite in the West keeps talking of their exceptionalism and how they are different, creating a sense of disruption among our people.


               They are destroying traditional family values that make everyone on this planet human.


               They are forcing their will on other nations, forcing their rules on others.


               But it would appear that they have forgotten what Nazism was all about.




               It seems that they have forgotten the scourge that it reeked.


               They have forgotten all that must be done to free Europe from Nazism.


               Nazism was a time when monuments were destroyed.


               And they appeared to have forgotten precisely what Nazism did back in the day when they were wreaking havoc throughout Europe.


               That very act of forgetting is a crime in its own right because in failing that time, they're ignoring the fight that was necessary to rid Europe of that scourge, to rid Europe, the world, of that scourge.


Because Nazism was intended to destroy Russia, the global order, and stifle the new centers of development, we see around the world.




Their impunity is a great tragedy, and that is the very reason why today, Ukrainian people are being held hostage.


               They're being held hostage following a coup and are just puppets in a game that the West is playing.


               But in Russia, we pay homage to the fallen soldiers.


               We pay tribute to the veterans of America and the United Kingdom.


We pay homage to the heroes, the war heroes, from China. We pay tribute to the past.




We see international cooperation as a great strength, which holds today as it did in the past. Today, we envision and witness a multipolar world with fair opportunities and development for all.


               What I see in the world is one where we can pay homage to our ancestors, our shared ancestors who fought together, who fought towards a joint victory.


               And we pay tribute to that shared victory today.


               We take a knee to all those who put their life on the line to ensure victory.


We pay homage to the mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, and children; in their memory, I call for a minute of silence.




Citizens of Russia, the battles that will forever shape our history are sacred, and we understand what it means to be worthy, to be esteemed as to what those people who came before we have given us, those people on the front line, those people who are facing the heavy fire.


               We know what it means to be worthy of their legacy.


               We know what it means to fight for one's country.


               And you, current soldiers, you are worthy.


               You are fighting for your friends, loved ones, and family.


               And I know that you feel the great love we have for you, that they have for you.


Everyone, everyone is ready to support you and to give you any that you need, any prayers that you need.




To the Russian people, today, we are commemorating our nation's fallen heroes. And here we are today on the Red Square. And we can remember people such as Dmitry Donskoy and others who fell between 1941 and 1945.


We pay homage to them.


We also pay tribute to the fighters who are part of the extraordinary military operations, those who took arms as part of our partial mobilization, the soldiers, and representatives from the Ministry of the Interior who are here today to pay homage to you.


I esteem all of you who defend Russia on the battlefield. All of you are serving your nation as part of the great patriotic war. Because thanks to you, we can prove that nothing is more potent than national unity.


And for Russia, for our brave armed forces, victory for all.







May 9, 2023
New York Times
By Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist


               “I have not written much about the war in Ukraine lately because so little has changed strategically since the first few months of this conflict when three overarching facts drove everything — and still do.

               Fact No. 1: As I wrote at the outset, when a war of this magnitude begins, the critical question you ask yourself as a foreign affairs columnist is straightforward: Where should I be? Should I be in Kyiv, the Donbas, Crimea, Moscow, Warsaw, Berlin, Brussels, or Washington?

And from the start of this war, there has been only one place to be to understand its timing and direction — and that’s in Vladimir Putin’s head. Unfortunately, Putin doesn’t grant visas to his brain.


               That’s a real problem because this war emerged entirely from there — with, we now know, almost no input from his cabinet or military commanders — and certainly with no mass urging from the Russian people. So Russia will be stopped in Ukraine, whether it’s winning or losing, only when Putin decides to stop.”


Read more: Vladimir Putin Is the World’s Most Dangerous Fool, by Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist, New York Times, 9 May 2023.



Putin Drops TRUTH BOMBS In Victory Day Speech


Click Here to Watch the Video (26 minutes, 29 seconds)

The Dive with Jackson Hinkle


We all saw this coming...


Click Here to Watch the Video (7 minutes, 46 seconds)


Source: Project Syndicate, A George Soros Publication
Published May 5, 2023


For the last 14 months, the world economy has undergone an unprecedented experiment: severing trade, financial, and personal links with a country spanning 11 time zones and at the heart of globalization. Can it work?

ROME/BERLIN – According to the International Monetary Fund’s latest forecast, Russia’s economy will grow faster than Germany or the United Kingdom this year. It will keep pace with growth in France and Italy.

Thus, Russia’s economy is expected to hold its own against, or even outpace, four of the G7 countries leading efforts to maintain and strengthen the crippling international sanctions imposed on Vladimir Putin’s regime more than a year ago following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Read more: How Russia Survives, by Federico Fubini and Alexandra Prokopenko, Project Syndicate, a George Soros Publication, 5 May 2023.




By Dr. Ramzy Baroud

28 April 2023

Who would have expected that the BRICS nations could rise as the potential rival of the G7 countries, the World Bank, and the IMF combined? But that once seemingly distant possibility now has real prospects which could change the political equilibrium of world politics.

BRICS is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. It was supposedly coined by the Chief Economist of Goldman Sachs in 2001 as a reference to the world’s emerging economies. It was then known as BRIC, with the ‘S’ added later when South Africa formally joined the group in 2010.


BRIC’s first official summit took place in 2009. Then, the discussion seemed largely abstract. However, not until 2014 did BRICS begin taking serious steps towards greater integration, when the nascent alliance, now including South Africa, launched the New Development Bank with seed money of $50 billion. This decision meant that the group was now ready to take its first practical steps in challenging the dominance of the West over international monetary institutions, namely the World Bank and the IMF.


The global geopolitical conflict, thus shifts, resulting from the Russia-Ukraine war, however, proved to be the driving force behind the massive expansion underway at BRICS, especially as financially powerful countries began showing interest in the initiative. They include Argentina, UAE, Mexico, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia.


Recent financial reports suggest that BRICS is already the world’s most significant gross domestic product (GDP) bloc, as it currently contributes 31.5% to the global GDP, ahead of the G7, which contributes 30.7%.


One of the greatest opportunities and challenges facing BRICS is its ability to expand its membership base while maintaining its current growth. Helping new members maintain economic and political independence is particularly vital.


The IMF and World Bank are notorious for stipulating their monetary support of countries, especially in the Global South, on political conditions. This position is often justified under human rights and democracy, though it is entirely related to privatization and opening markets for foreign investors – read Western corporations.


As BRICS strengthens, it will have the potential to help poorer countries without pushing a self-serving political agenda or indirectly manipulating and controlling local economies.
As inflation is hitting many Western countries, resulting in slower economic growth and causing social unrest, nations in the Global South use this as an opportunity to develop their economic alternative. This means that groups like BRICS will cease being exclusively financial institutions. The struggle is now very political.


For decades, the US’s greatest weapon has been its dollar. In time, it might cease being a standard currency per se to become an actual commodity. Wars have been fought to ensure countries like Iraq and Libya remain committed to the dollar. Following the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Baghdad returned to selling its oil in US dollars. This struggle over the dollar's dominance was also painfully felt in Venezuela, which has the world’s largest oil reserve, yet was reduced to abject poverty for attempting to challenge the supremacy of Washington, its currency.


Though it will take time, the process of lessening the reliance on US dollars is now in full swing. On March 30, Brazil and China announced a trade agreement allowing them to use the two countries’ national currencies, the yuan, and the reais, respectively. This step shall prove consequential, encouraging other South American countries to follow suit. But that move was neither the first nor will it be the last of its kind.


One of the significant decisions by finance ministers and central bank governors of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) following their March 30-31 meeting in Indonesia is to reduce their reliance on the US dollar. They agree to “reinforce financial resilience … through the use of local currency to support cross-border trade and investment in the ASEAN region.” This, too, is a game-changer.


The BRICS countries, in particular, are leading the charge and are set to facilitate rearranging the world’s economic and financial map. While the West is busy trying to keep its economies afloat, it remains wary of the changes underway in the Global South. Washington and other Western capitals are worried. They ought to be.


Following a meeting between US President Joe Biden and 40 African leaders at the White House last December, it was clear that African countries were not interested in taking sides in the ongoing war in Ukraine. Consequently, US Vice President Kamala Harris flew to Africa on March 26 to meet African leaders, pushing them away from China and Russia. That effort is likely to fail.


A perfect illustration of Africa’s refusal to abandon its neutrality is the press conference between Harris and the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, on March 28. “There may be an obsession in America about Chinese activity on the continent, but there is no such obsession here,” Akufo-Addo told reporters.


Arguing that BRICS is a purely economic group ignores much of the story. The timing of BRICS’ expansion, the stern political discourse of its members, potential members, and allies, the repeated visits by top Russian and Chinese diplomats to Africa and other regions in the Global South, etc., indicate that BRICS has become the South’s new platform for geopolitics, economy, and diplomacy.


The more successful BRICS becomes the weaker Western hegemony over the South will grow. Though some Western politicians and media insist on downplaying BRICS’ role in shaping the new world order, the change seems fundamental and irreversible.

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author, and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books.




Editor's Note |

Multipolarity is healthier than unipolarity, even if each of the most potent regions on earth believes: “What is mine is mine. What is yours is mine also. And dance in lockstep to my music!”


It doesn’t matter if they all think that way.
Their respective national souls will cancel the other out in a multipolar world.


And yes, we all need to grow up.

No one wants a nuclear crater in their backyard. 



Related Articles Recently Posted on


Our Friday News Analysis | 'How Do You Love Your Enemies? Have None! (Part 3),' 4 May 2023.

Our Wednesday News Analysis | 'Why I'm Saying No to the IDF as a 17-Year-Old,' 10 May 2023.

The Evangelical Pope| 'We are All Brothers and Sisters,' 8 May 2023.




Next Week

Iranian Insider and British Spy: How a Double Life Ended on the Gallows


1 May 2023
New York Times
By Farnaz Fassihi and Ronen Bergman


Western intelligence officials said Iran executed a former deputy defense minister in January 2023 who provided Britain with valuable intelligence on Iranian nuclear and military programs over a decade.


Alireza Akbari during an interview in Tehran. Iran announced in January that Mr. Akbari had been executed on espionage charges for Britain. Credit: Khabar Online News Agency


The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of the Building the Bridge Foundation, The Hague.




Fill in the field below to share your opinion and post your comment.

Some information is missing or incorrect

The form cannot be sent because it is incorrect.


This article has 0 comments at this time. We invoke you to participate the discussion and leave your comment below. Share your opinion and let the world know.






Latest Blog Articles

Latest Comments