When In Doubt, Send Troops

W.J. Astore

On that proverbial table in Washington D.C. where all options are allegedly kept, the one option that’s always used is military escalation. First, the U.S. sent more weaponry to Ukraine. Now, America’s commander-in-chief is sending more troops, according to this news update today from the Boston Globe:

President Biden is sending about 2,000 troops from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Poland and Germany this week and sending part of an infantry Stryker squadron of roughly 1,000 troops based in Germany to Romania, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

The military moves come amid stalled talks with Russia over its military buildup at Ukraine’s borders. And they underscore growing fears across Europe that Russian President Vladimir Putin is poised to invade Ukraine — and smaller NATO countries on the eastern flank worry they could be next.

Has Russia given any sign of invading “smaller NATO countries on the eastern flank”? No matter. The solution is obviously to send small contingents of U.S. troops as a sign of resolve. A couple thousand troops split between Poland and Romania will show Vladimir Putin that America means business. (War business, that is.)

Such small troop contingents have negligible military value, so their real significance is in domestic politics. Biden, a typical Democratic president, is forever on guard against accusations of “weakness” vis-a-vis Russia or China or Iran or you-name-it. To minimize such accusations, while keeping the military-industrial complex happy, the go-to option on the table is to send in the weapons and the troops. Who cares about the risk of military escalation and a wider war between major nuclear powers?

One could imagine a different president, a savvier one, winning major international points by offering to defuse tensions between Ukraine and Russia through negotiation. But that option, farfetched as it would be, is never on that table of options kept in Washington. And why Russia would trust the U.S. is beyond me.

Kyiv (Kiev) in Ukraine is roughly 5500 miles from me by airplane. That’s a very long way indeed from what I consider to be my “eastern flank.” Maybe America should practice a new foreign policy in which we learn to mind our own business, or, if you prefer, stay in our own backyard?

A Ukrainian soldier. One imagines he’s hoping for a peaceful solution. But this is not what I think of as America’s (or NATO’s) eastern flank

80 thoughts on “When In Doubt, Send Troops

  1. Well, from where I currently sit to Kiev is approximately 2,015km. Has anyone said anything about protecting American lives yet? I mean, they know I’m here, but … why don’t I feel any safer?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “so their real significance is in domestic politics.”

    What an “ elephant in the room declaration”!

    Here’s Dylan’s take on it!
    And some snarky commentary from some random ME

    “Political World”

    We live in a political world
    Love don’t have any place
    We’re living in times
    Where men commit crimes
    And crime don’t have any face

    Are the faceless the “they” Jeannie?

    We live in a political world
    Icicles hanging down
    Wedding bells ring
    And angels sing
    Clouds cover up the ground.

    Are the clouds the dust up left after a drone blows up a wedding party because a groomsman has a bio-marker that the high-tech flying doomsday drone mis-calculated?

    We live in a political world
    Wisdom is thrown in jail
    It rots in a cell
    Is misguided as hell
    Leaving no one to pick up a trail.

    Maybe Julian Assange can relate to these words and continue to contemplate his commitment to humanities betterment?

    We live in a political world
    Where mercy walks the plank
    Life is in mirrors
    Death disappears
    Up the steps into the nearest bank.

    Merciful Negotiations disappear into the oceans of munitionary contract negotiations
    While Death has been making a “handsome killing” in the markets … inflating personal accounts as Dark Footprints mark a figure stumbling,struggling to climb the steps of the FED under the weight of gains

    We live in a political world
    Where courage is a thing of the past
    Houses are haunted
    Children unwanted
    The next day could be your last.

    Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. Amelia Earhart


    We live in a political world
    The one we can see and feel
    But there’s no one to check
    It’s all a stacked deck
    We all know for sure that it’s real.

    Meanwhile Jeannie’s still looking for “they” the deck stackers ?????

    We live in a political world
    In the cities of lonesome fear
    Little by little
    You turn in the middle
    But you’re never sure why you’re here.
    We live in a political world
    Under the microscope
    You can travel anywhere
    And hang yourself there
    You always got more than enough rope.

    Today I was inside a book on The Trail Of Tears… it seems two folks who were speaking effectively against their removal were arrested in their homes by the “Georgia Guard” and taken to an unknown location and locked away! Inside this “black site” were 2 Cherokee… one a council voice and son of Chief Going Snake, who was chained to a table … another brave soul’s corpse was still hanging from the rafters after his brutal execution weeks earlier.


    We live in a political world
    Turning and trashing about
    As soon as you’re awake
    You’re trained to take
    What looks like the easy way out.

    JUDAS! It would have been better if he hadn’t been born. Isn’t it amazing that when he realized and awakened to his
    “dark natured compromise… he chose an
    “Easy Way Out” … hence the gallows forevermore!

    We live in a political world
    Where peace is not welcome at all
    It’s turned away from the door
    To wonder some more
    Or put up against the wall.

    Peace is not welcome at all…
    Well doesn’t this sum up our “MIC MINDSET”
    Somewhere in some dark spot PEACE is being tortured for what information she knows… because the aggressors haven’t a clue about whatever was in PEACE’S HEART

    We live in a political world
    Everything is hers and his
    Climb into the frame
    And shout God’s name
    But you’re never sure what it is.

    We are lost in these times that the ancient Vedic texts call ….
    The Kali Yuga…defined by density and synthetic nature

    Bob …..
    Oh the shepherd is asleep
    Where the willows weep
    And the mountains are filled
    With lost sheep

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What I am about to say is the truth as I have experienced it in my life concerning the Russians.
    First I want to preface this with my commitment to peace but not at any price.
    Second, I believe we ( the U.S.A. ) should not get involved militarily in the Ukrainian – Russian dispute.
    Third, I do believe we should be involved in negotiations in conjunction with other European nations, but not appeasement in this matter.

    1. The Russians are the aggressors here. They can talk about how NATO is conducting military exercises in Ukraine all they want, but it is a fact that 4 four Russian divisions are poised to invade at the eastern Ukrainian border. I tried to find out if there were any NATO troops in Ukraine now, but did not find specific information. It seems that there are no NATO troops in Ukraine now.

    2. Russia is an aggressive state that has taken parts of Ukraine and Georgia in the last 20 years. Finland lost territory to Russia in WWII.

    3. The Russians have denied the independence of Chechnya and have brutally suppressed the movement for independence there. Ironically, a large percentage of the population of Chechnya is Ukrainian, because many Ukrainians fled to Chechnya when Stalin imposed a famine on Ukraine in the 1930s. Chechnya was also Russofied, like Ukraine, at the end of WWII by having a large part of its population deported to Kazakhstan.

    4. The Russians are now actively trying to subvert the government of Estonia which was also Russofied during the Soviet era.

    5. The Russians have invaded many other independent nations such as Hungary, Poland, East Germany, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and many of the ‘stans’ under the pretense of a ‘Soviet’. The Hungarians and Czechs revolted un-successfully, then finally in 1990, Poland freed itself which began the demise of the U.S.S.R. I hope all of you remember the joy of the Germans demolishing the Berlin Wall.

    6. The Russians tried but failed to conquer Afghanistan in the 1980s. I saw victims of the type of warfare the Russians carried out. Children with arms blown off from mines disguised as toys, torture victims who couldn’t speak, and many widows with children in refugee camps in Pakistan because it was unsafe to remain in Afghanistan.

    7. The Russians want back all the territory they had when they were the U.S.S.R. It took 18 years from the fall of the U.S.S.R. in 1990 until 2008 to regain enough political, economic and military might to start reclaiming those areas. They are not going to stop at eastern Ukraine.

    8. The Russians claim that NATO is the aggressor and that they are merely responding. NATO was formed by the free European nations to stop further Russian advancement in Europe at the end of WWII. Only once did NATO initiate military action against a country, and that was Yugoslavia in 1999. That was prompted by the Yugoslavian government carrying out ‘ethnic cleansing’ against the Muslims. NATO is a defense organization not one of conquest. The only reason that Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are still free, is NATO.

    You may say ‘So what? Why should I care? What has Ukraine done for me or my country?’ I care because I believe in freedom. Freedom like truth is precious. When I say freedom I mean political freedom. Only when a people are free are they able to realize their full potential. As seen from the Soviet era, no great things came out of the satellite states such as Hungary, Poland, etc. The air in a free country is refreshing, that in a conquered country is stifling.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree that freedom is precious, which is why we should fight for it here, in the USA, because freedom is being infringed in our very own country.

      Weapons and troops don’t bring freedom — not usually. They should be a last resort.

      So let us fight for freedom here. Let us fight for a better world here. And let us be humble about our knowledge of other countries and their leaders, because so much of what passes for truth turns out to be lies, as we see so often on the mainstream media. Remember Iraqi WMD? Remember all that “progress” we were making in an Afghan war we were supposedly winning? How do we know what’s really going on between Russia and Ukraine, and America’s role in it? Based on Nuland’s interference in 2014 and reneged promises about limiting NATO expansion, I wouldn’t blame Russia for being more than a little upset. Which doesn’t mean I’m a Putin puppet.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I have lived during a timeframe that has plenty of history stacked up and the foundation of this history has a crimson coat of “colonial red” tinted stain . When I analyze these ancient stones upon which our allotted timeframe sits, I ponder this. Where is the chiseled stone that proves colonization works as a cornerstone on which a stable future can rest. Enough of the madness of conquest. Today so much of our existence is ruled by violence; or fear brought on by the appearances of such forceful madness. As long as money is allowed to seat the guests at the dinner table; populations of this world will be the cannon fodder for elites failed attempts at becoming the supreme mob boss. Every nation is stained with that colonial red hue. Hopefully they’re serving shots of REPENTANCE at the dinner tables of negotiations!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree with you that Russia is acting like the aggressor here, as they have behaved aggressively elsewhere.

      People have an unfortunate tendency to justify the behavior of one side as “right“ if they can show how the other side is “wrong“. Some people have used that process to minimize Russian aggression and atrocities because the US, as the opposing side, has committed aggression and atrocities. However, just because one side is “wrong“ doesn’t mean the opposing side is “right“.

      The history of Russia and Ukraine is complex and one of which I know little. I do know that during the forced collectivization of the Ukraine, several million Ukrainians were forcibly started to death. I am sure that and other events of which I am unaware of are relevant.

      The Russians may justify aggression because of NATO encroachment, however Russia’s behavior also seems to be increasing the desire of neighboring countries to have NATO protection. Russia did not seem to use negotiation when it annexed Crimea or started the war with Ukraine several years ago in the Donbas region, a war which continues to the present.

      There are some interesting articles on this topic in the international edition of Der Spiegel. I think it is interesting hearing from another country’s perspective and one that is much closer to the area of conflict. Also hearing from people who have studied the region is nice, rather than people who are just theorizing from abstractions. Interesting, from what I read there the Green party in Germany is more supportive of active intervention in Ukraine, such as sending weapons. I would not have expected that.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. You do discount the Face that since WWII, the US has invaded and bombed only poor, 3rd World Nations, killing MILLIONS in the process, and couldn’t get a win in any of them.

        You also ingnore the FACT, it was only AFTER the US orchestrated the 2014 US orchestrated Coup/regime change of the Elected Russian friendly government, installing the un-Elected Neo-Nazi anti-Russian government.

        The word “Russian invasion of Crimea” is just a Propaganda tool to demonize Russia. Russian troops were not sent from the Russian Mainland to seize Crimea after the US regime change. There were already Russian troops in Crimea by Treaty, and they just came off base to maintain order in majority Russian speaking Crimea after the US Coup.

        Russia has a more legitimate reason to annex Crimea after the People voted to re-join Russia than the US approved Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem, The Golan Heights, and the de facto annexation of the Occupied West Bank, all in violation of International Law and SoS Blinken’s Rules Bases Order as long as the US sets the Rules.

        What kind of invasion is it when nobody is killed? American invasions since WWII killed Millions.
        Americans have been brainwashed since WWII to be BLIND Patriots, only seeing what the US MASS Media projects on the MINDS of the MASSES the US is 100% Good, and Russia is 100% bad.

        Maintaining that delusional attitude going forward will not lead this World to a better Future Place.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Ray, you are justifying Russia’s behavior by pointing out atrocities committed by the US. That is not a valid argument. The pot is calling the kettle black.

          If you use an invalid process you will not get useful results. Here is the process presented abstractly.
          A commits atrocities. B uses that fact to justify B’s commission of atrocities.

          The US presents itself as B and Russia as A. That is not going to lead to peace.
          You are presenting Russia as B and the US as B. That is also not going to lead to peace.

          I do not want war in the Ukraine. I am not sure what course of action is most likely to avert war. But I am quite sure that giving Russia a pass because of US behaviors elsewhere in the world is not an effective process for determining that course of action.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Let the one without SIN cast the 1st stone. That’s also a dynamic in the US-Russia Tug of War over Ukraine and US Propaganda.

            wjastore already pointed out the danger with the US seeing itself as being 100% good and Russia 100% bad. That attitude will lead to War.
            Russia does have legitimate security concerns with NATO, minus any opposition from the non-existant Military Warsaw Pact since 1991, advancing right up to Russia’s border.

            Liked by 1 person

    3. WJS and all, before indicting Russia, please watch this most interesting and detailed interview with Richard Sakwa, a British expert on Putin, Russia and Ukraine who has written two books on the subjects. Yes, it is 45 minutes long, but not a minute is wasted. I learned much from it, realizing how little we know about what goes on behind the scenes that our media doesn’t even begin to address, nor care to. Our ignorance is key to the powerful pursuing whatever agenda they wish.


    1. I didn’t see any valid reasons in that article. The countries that joined NATO after the demise of the U.S.S.R. did so voluntarily and did so because they feared exactly what is happening now to Ukraine. As you may notice, the countries that have had territory seized by Russia are not NATO members. Yes, Russia hates NATO and tries to cast it as a conquering entity but the facts contradict that as I pointed out.

      I have heard the arguments you have cited and it seems many people are trying too hard not to see the dark side of Putin and Russia. I have seen it up close and had a physician friend from Poland who saw it up close also. When I went to Afghanistan in 1987 he told me ‘Don’t get captured, the Russians are a very cruel people’. I am not one to judge an entire people by the actions of their military or I would have to denounce every American who has paid taxes.

      All I wanted to point out with my above essay is for people to take a look at history and ask the question What is really the issue here and does it fit a historical trend?


      1. For me this is a good look at history, and what really is the issue and historical trend.

        “NATO expansion illustrates an intrinsic drive of any governmental body—to continuously enlarge its power and budget.

        And in the Ukraine crisis, we vividly see what Richard Sakwa calls “a fateful geographical paradox: that NATO exists to manage the risks created by its existence.”

        Make no mistake, NATO….exists to enrich the weapons industry, at the expense of citizens whose lives are put in greater jeopardy by NATO’s empire-building, which fosters antagonism with a country armed with 4,500 nuclear weapons.”

        From a well written article……”How NATO Empire-Building Set the Stage for Crisis Over Ukraine
        Since the Cold War’s End. ….https://starkrealities.substack.com/p/how-nato-empire-building-set-the

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “The notion that the United States indulges consensus and consultation among NATO members is an absurd delusion. Washington, as the presumed hegemonic power, decides alone when and when not to go to war, and its NATO subordinates fall into line like the good little flunkeys that they are.

          The militarization in Ukraine is being led by the United States, along with its trusty British bulldog. The conclusion is that Washington has decided to ramp up the push for war against Russia using Ukraine as a proxy – and using a twisted narrative about Russian aggression and invasion. The rebuffing of a historic security detente with Moscow is being disguised by the facade of Washington appearing to be chivalrous and courteous to purportedly find a consensus with allies.”

          U.S. Says ‘Wants Peace Not War’ as It Arms Ukraine to the Teeth
          By Finian Cunningham

          Liked by 1 person

        2. The article you cite is so full of logical errors that it would take too long to refute each one. I will take one point from the article:

          “During the diplomatic maneuvers leading up to the reunification of Germany and the withdrawal of Soviet forces, Western leaders gave repeated assurances to Moscow that NATO wouldn’t grow eastward.”

          Those Western leaders were the secretary of state James Baker of the United States. Who is he and who is the United States to tell the recently freed satellite countries of the defunct U.S.S.R. that they can not join NATO? This is telling a foreign and sovereign state what to do which is nonsense. NATO expanded eastward because the former countries that were under the boot heel of the Russians wanted protection. They were aware that once Russian righted itself from the implosion of the U.S.S.R, that it would be on the march to conquer neighboring states.


          1. The Military Warsaw Pact opposite NATO disappeared with the Soviet Union in 1991. Now it’s the US sphere of Influence NATO with 33 Countries ganging up on 1 Country. What is worse, it the US arms and supports many Dictatorships much worse that Putin


  4. Ya know—and this covers pretty much any front-page news item these days—every once in awhile, I’m just brought up short by the collective insanity, and I think, “HOW did we get so stupid in this country?”


  5. In the previous article, I posted the reply from a US Senator with instant National Name recognition.
    I replied to his email Yesterday. Either his Staff didn’t show it to him, or he completely disregards it going by his comments in The Washington Post and his Twitter Tweets Today.

    He responded to my Message within 2 hours of it being sent Friday, but I don’t think I’ll get a reply to my answer answering him.

    Good Day Senator …….,

    I commend you/or your Office Staff for replying to the Message sent to all 100 US Senators from Thursday to Sunday. In that Message concerning Ukraine, I referred to the Message sent all 100 Senators in early November concerning the leading indicators I see developing in the US watching from CanaDa.. You would have received it November 5. Between that one and the one sent over the weekend, you or someone in your Office is the only one to reply, even though as you wrote “We will not see eye-to-eye on every issue.’

    Your reply Friday said, “I have long believed that Vladimir Putin is not – and has never been – America’s friend.”

    Since the 2014 US orchestrated Coup/regime change of the Russian friendly government, more than a few Times I heard Military, FBI, Intelligence and Think Tank “experts” say “Putin is not America’s friend. He does not have America’s best interests at heart.”
    I thought it was delusional and unrealistic when the experts on CNN & MSNBC said it. Does the US have Russia’s best interests at heart? Obviously some things remain to be worked out with Russia.

    You wrote, “Whether it was the brazen nerve gas attack in England on a former Soviet agent and his daughter.”

    In 2018 England lost out to Russia in the competition to host the FIFA Soccer World Cup, one of the biggest money making Tourist attractions in the World.
    We were told at that time only Russia had the Novichok nerve agent which was so deadly, only a drop killed instantly.
    It was a British false flag in the vain attempt to discourage the passionate British soccer fans from going to Russia spending money and seeing it’s not as bad a place as Western Propaganda projects.
    Sergi Skirpal was a convicted Russian double Agent Traitor and was in a Russian prison from 2006 until he was released in a spy swap in 2010. It defies all logic and reason to believe Putin would wait until Russia was
    about to host one of the most prestigious sports events of this World
    and have Skirpal killed in England when he had 4 years to have the job done in a Russian prison.
    It’s old news and no questions are asked as MI6 made the Skirpals disappear who were not killed instantly contrary to Western Propaganda about the Novichok nerve agent at the Time.

    I posted this comment in another News Site Friday, “The Military Warsaw Pact dissolved with the Soviet Union in 1991. American Analysts thinking they can read Putin’s mind say they know he’s an aggressor ready to invade Ukraine. The only evidence given to us is the same pictures of snow covered trucks parked, that have been parked in the same spot since before the US created a crisis over it.

    We are living in Dangerous Times when a small cabal of powerful people can possibly lead this world to Armageddon-WWIII and tell us they can’t make the evidence Public for National Security reasons. That’s Orwellian!
    Russia was at Berlin and East Germany only as a consequence of WWII, and as an ally of the US and the West. When WWII ended, suddenly the Russian ally that did more to defeat Hitler than the US and England was enemy #1. American and Soviet troops were facing each other in place until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 during the H.R. Bush Presidency. US propaganda says Putin is bad because he was a low level KGB Agent but ignore the fact Bush was DIRECTOR of the CIA before he was President. That’s like being without sin and casting the 1st stone.

    The US made the verbal promise to the weakened Russia if they repatriated their troops in East Germany, NATO would not move East toward Russia. I totally understand and can see the massive inflow of US weapons and Military advisors already in non-NATO Ukraine, with all the NATO War exercises in the Black Sea and constant rotating Military exercises in all those NATO Nations added since 1991, Putin has solid reasons to see that NATO advance to Russia’s border as an EXISTENTIAL THREAT and OFFENSIVE, not DEFENSIVE in Nature.

    It’s so absurdist! US SoS Blinken proclaims in the US-Russia Tug of War over Ukraine as the last buffer between Russia and NATO the “bedrock principle” that means no tolerance for overt or tacit spheres of influence, no restrictions on the sovereign right of nations to choose their own alliances, no privileging one state’s security requirements over those of another.” What BS! As if NATO and the Monroe Doctrine is not a sphere of US influence.

    As Putin saw constant NATO War exercises close to Russia, under the bedrock principle of “the sovereign right of nations to choose their own alliances” Russia exercised that same principle having military exercises with it’s ally Belarus in face of advancing NATO Militarization. The US and NATO call that “aggression.”
    Putin rightly sees the weapons transfers and NATO getting closer and closer to Russia’s border, confirm his outlook NATO is bringing on an EXISTENTIAL threat not only to Russia, but to all of us.

    Only the American Public can stop the unimaginable from becoming real. All it takes is speaking up!
    Of course it would reinforce my view published by the Kansas City Times over 2 Generations ago, on September 13, 1976, this 1 line among so many, “He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a War with Russia.” That 1976 FUTURE is NOW with the Revelation of the details GENERALLY unfolding in the spirit of the letter. The American People have been prepared, and are being prepared, to distract them from facing the growing Divisions and problems within the UN-United States.

    Senator, this is the underlying reason the US is hyping an imaginary Russian invasion of Ukraine as posted in a News site this morning, “Under Trump, there was a concerted US effort to get Germany to kill the Nordstream 2 project before it was completed. It’s now complete and ready to open the taps to provide Germany and Western Europe with a steady supply of Energy at a fair price as Russia has done reliably for Decades.

    Even after the 2014 US orchestrated Coup/regime change of the Russian friendly government, putting an anti-Russian government in place, Russia continued to pay Ukraine about $2 BILLION every year in pipeline transit fees.

    If Nordstream 2 goes online, Russia will stop those payments and the US Taxpayer will have to make up the difference. Ukraine knows that, and it’s a consideration when President Zelensky tells the US it’s overreacting with MSM hype mirroring the Official line, and to cool it.

    It’s obvious the US is trying to pressure Putin to react Militarily to the increasingly strident threats of more Economic Sanctions, even preemptive sanctions, which are in effect, Acts of War.
    The objective is to give the US leverage to pressure Germany to have Nordstream 2 killed so Europe buys more expensive US LNG.

    Putin is too smart to fall for that US trap, so the US will continue to howl and flail, exposing itself to the World as the major threat to Peace.

    War is always over money and natural resources, sold to the People under the false cover of Human Rights!


  6. “Mind your own business.” As a slogan you can’t beat it. Like any great slogan, like “Lock her up” or “Make love not war,” it combines brevity, evokes a strong emotional response, and bears little to no relationship to the real world.

    Let’s consider your second slogan-as-policy, “stay in our own backyard.” Do you mean that literally? If you hear the woman next door being beaten by her husband, will you do something? She is, quite literally, not in your backyard.

    How about a man killed by police a thousand miles from where you live? Definitely outside your backyard, yet I have no doubt that you considered that man someone for whom you felt compelled to act, in whatever way you saw fit.

    Let’s take you further afield, to a refugee camp filled with starving women and children who have fled ISIS atrocities. Do you rationalize your refuse to donate to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders because you must “mind your own business”?

    I think what you actually mean is some formulation along the lines of: “We should be extraordinarily careful when it comes to the application of national power in foreign lands. We should maintain maximum flexibility, while staying true to our beliefs about human dignity, in order to conduct just actions where necessary, yet not limit ourselves to a Lindburgh-esque isolationism.”

    Am I close? Even after tweaking it won’t fit on a bumper sticker. But it has real meaning that can be applied in the real world.

    At the very least you need to reconsider slogans as acceptable stand-ins for meaningful analysis. Learning history, geography, language, and culture is hard. Applying all that learning in conjunction with your own experience and wisdom to come up with solutions that are effective (both in the short and long term), moral, and feasible is really hard. I get it. But it’s necessary.

    WJA, you’ve got that lifetime of learning and experience. Start providing real answers to difficult questions. Leave the easy sloganeering to the Goebbels and Hannitys of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Slogans — yes, they have their limits. But “stay in our own backyard” is basically the “spheres of influence” policy supported by people like Henry Kissinger. The USA had its sphere, the USSR had its own as well, and each superpower agreed to stay pretty much in its sphere. “Stay in your lane” is the US Army equivalent.

      Mind your own business — that’s basically what we told the world with the Monroe Doctrine, when we defined the Americas as ours to dominate, supported as we were in that endeavor by the British Empire and its Navy.

      So, yes, slogans can be simplistic; they can also provide a kind of clarity that can prevent, or at least limit, the sort of global hubris and folly the U.S. routinely engages in today.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. The varied comments of readers suggest to me the need to be humble — to admit how much we don’t know about the motives of Russia, Ukraine, and the USA, not to mention European countries as well.

    It’s not simply about “supporting democracy in Ukraine” or “resisting Russian aggression,” as the MSM would have it. Nor is Russia or its leader blameless. What exactly the USA is up to, or Russia is up to, or Ukraine, etc., is not easily discerned, and perhaps it’s not even clear to those in power.

    The big problem is an escalation of tensions, together with inflammatory rhetoric, which could lead to miscalculation and/or provocation. Events can spiral out of control, as anyone who’s studied the summer of 1914 will tell you.

    We are not there — we have no direct evidence — and we are constantly being lied to or misled by our own media talking heads. So caution should be our byword; moderate should be our actions.

    Sending weapons and troops, I submit, are actions that are neither cautious nor moderate, especially from a Russian perspective.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agree wholeheartedly, Bill. Given the ramifications and fallout (perhaps literal) from escalation, it only makes sense to stand down across the board, and engage in diplomacy. But NOT diplomacy used as a veil for military action.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Bill, this excellent article was published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in June of last year. It is titled “Grand Illusions: The Impact of Misperceptions About Russia on U.S. Policy” .
      It is a thorough discussion of the impacts of the need to get Russia right—assessing its capabilities and intentions, the long-term drivers of its policy and threat perceptions, as well as its accomplishments, Essential because the alternative of misreading them is a recipe for wasted resources, distorted national priorities, and increased risk of confrontation. Here is its preamble:

      “A critical examination of U.S. policy misfires in dealing with Russia and its intentions and capabilities over the past several decades is long overdue. Three factors largely account for this problem. All of them continue to affect contemporary policymakers’ approach to a deeply troubled relationship with Moscow. By unpacking the analytical assumptions that underlie these misconceptions, President Joe Biden’s administration and other important policy players will be better equipped to ensure that U.S. policy going forward is grounded in the most realistic understanding of the challenge that Russia poses and the right kinds of tools that the United States should use to contend with it.”

      And the conclusion:
      “There is no ready-made recipe for translating these insights into off-the-shelf policies for the current U.S. administration. But internalizing the lessons from hard-edged encounters with Russian power as well as the sources of U.S. misperceptions and miscalculations that contributed to the development of sub-optimal policies, would be a good place to start.”


      Liked by 2 people

      1. This article is more sophisticated that the previous one but is still an apology for Russian aggression. They do get many things right about Russia’s history of insecurity due to the invasions of Germans in WWI and WWII. All Americans should know that it was the Russians who defeated the Nazis in WWII. They suffered a 15% loss of their population during that war. Surely that does affect their outlook on foreign affairs.

        This does not excuse their aggression and atrocities committed against other countries. Here is a quote from the article that is trying to cast Russia as a weak nation that should be pitied:

        “the United States forced it to end the decade-long war in Afghanistan. The withdrawal from Afghanistan was followed by a far greater retreat from Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics. The extent of Russia’s retreat and collapse of its military power was demonstrated during the disastrous campaign in Chechnya, in which its once-mighty army struggled for years to extinguish the separatist insurgency fought by small bands of irregulars.”

        The United States did not force Russia to withdraw from Afghanistan. The courageous and unrelenting resistance by the mujahideen is what convinced the Russians to get out. Yes, the stinger missile supplied by the U.S.A was a large factor in that resistance because it nullified the attack helicopters used by the Russians. The stinger missile alone could not have defeated the Russians.

        The second part of the article is trying hard to cast the Russians as weak. The reason the Russians had a hard time crushing the revolt in Chechnya is the heroic commitment to the cause of freedom by the Chechnyan fighters. Unfortunately for Chechnya, only a small portion of its territory is mountainous, unlike Afghanistan. The fighters had a limited space in which to hide. Also they did not get stinger missiles to counter the attack helicopters. The article casts the freedom fighters in Chechnya as a “small band of irregulars” and their quest for freedom as a “separatist insurgency”. This is a subtle way of saying it was not a legitimate rebellion for freedom.

        I am going to stop here because it takes too much space to go over all the fallacious and apologetic arguments in the article. Again, I say it seems that many people are too willing to ignore, excuse or even approve of Russian aggression. Please do not cite U.S. aggression as a counter-argument because that is not a valid form of refutation.


    3. CNN is reporting with this new US provocation of deploying more US troops to Poland and Roumania, Russia is adding more troops along the Ukraine border.

      The US killed the 1972 SALT Treaty with the Soviets only in 2001 so the US could deploy anti-missile missiles that SALT Treaty banned now in Poland and Roumania. That gives the US 1st strike capabilities.
      Naturally, Russia wouls see that as US/NATO aggression.

      Don’t forget in 1962, the US was so deranged with the Soviets putting their missiles in Cuba AFTER the US put their missiles in new NATO Member Turkey, the US was ready to start Armageddon/WWIII with the Act of War the Cuban Blockade was.

      Putin is following that 1962 US playbook now that Russia drew it’s Red Line over NATO advancing toward Russia’s borders.

      I don’t think the US or Russia wants War, but with US brinkmanship raising tensions near Russia, the chance of unintended accidents increases.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In one of his recent blog videos, the Russian-American analyst Andrei Martyanov used an ugly-but-accurate expression for these pitiful handfuls of American “troops” (rumored or imagined as) possibly deployed to “Eastern Europe” (i.e., Russia’s western border) for the putative purpose of frightening “the Russians” into desisting from from one or another form of alleged misconduct. He called them “corpses, although God forbid we ever have to go there.” Owing to my own experiences in the now-long-defunct Republic of South Vietnam, I prefer to use the phrase “increasing the target density” in discussions about sending increased numbers of American military personnel into foreign environments where they have no business except the generation of profits for an international class of comprador* oligarchs.

        Note* from Google: Comprador noun: a person who acts as an agent for foreign organizations engaged in investment, trade, or economic or political exploitation. Example: “Successful compradors made vast fortunes.”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Andrei Martyanov – “Russians also have a saying: once every century Europeans gather their forces and go to Russia to get the shit beaten out of them”.

          Liked by 1 person

    4. Well put WJA. Like you I am a history addict and am drawn particularly to World War I. The alliances formed by the major players in that war spiraled rapidly to total war just as NATO and Russia / Belarus are facing each other with hostility. Ukraine is playing the part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a nation caught between two great powers. All that is lacking is a Gavrilo Princip to instigate some atrocity worthy of inciting one of the belligerents to start the war.

      I have the most dire feelings about this situation because it is the first time in many years that American troops have faced off against Russian troops. Does one of the forces have a tactical nuclear weapon as a last resort to being defeated?

      Not sleeping well since Biden sent the sacrificial lambs to Romania and Poland. Just like FDR sacrificed Americans at Pearl Harbor, these troops may be that spark that starts the thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. William Hartung, Mission (Im)possible — and You’re Paying for It
    Whatever the U.S. military may be considered, it isn’t usually thought of as a scam operation. Maybe it’s time to change that way of thinking, though. After all, we’re talking about a crew with a larger “defense” budget than the next 11 countries combined (and no, that’s not a misprint). Mind you, I’m not even focusing here on how a military funded, supplied, and armed like no other on this planet has proven incapable of winning a war in this century, no matter the money and effort put out. No, what’s on my mind is its weaponry in which American taxpayers have invested so many endless billions of dollars.

    From TomDispatch


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray, a book review in the New York Times in 1975 – 47-years ago!

      “The Permanent War Economy: American Capitalism in Decline” by Seymour Melman 384 pp. New York: Simon and Schuster. $9.95.

      “The great virtue of Seymour Melman’s new book is that it addresses…..the fact that military expenditures are destroying the very economy they were supposed to prop up. Melman has made this case before, with negligible results, in his books “Our Depleted Society” (1965) and “Pentagon Capitalism” (1970). But it is 1975 now, with recession upon us and more inflation ahead, and the time may finally be right for these sensible ideas”

      Sadly William Hartung’s words will fall on deaf ears – as did Melmans.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. So sickening to see Biden crowing about killing the ISIS leader in Syria along with so many women and Children. Of course the US says they’re not responsible accusing the target of blowing up his Wife and children when the US special ops started. Totally illogical, yet brainwashed Americans will accept it without question.

    Despite SoS Blinken self-righteously declaring the US stands for a “Rules Based Order” the US is in Syria illegally in violation of the existing Rules Based Order as represented by the United Nations and International Law since WWII.
    The US/Blinken Rules Based Order is predicated on the US setting the Rules.


    1. Why doesn’t Biden just pull the plug on having US military action in Syria? As you say the US troops are there illegally. And its a futile mission. Killing one ISIS terrorist just creates three more. And I don’t thing we will soon see an ISIS terrorist in Madison Wisconsin! Its Assad’s problem – let the Syrians deal with ISIS. This is what wja means by mind your own business.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It seems that our Vaunted Visigoths (uniformed U.S. military, dogs–of-war mercenaries, and corporate camp followers) have scored another huge win for “freedom” and “democracy” and other wonderful stuff. From the Moon of Alabama blog:

    [begin quote]

    ‘The Mission Was Successful.’

    DoD Statement on Feb. 2, 2022 Counterterrorism Operation in Northwest Syria

    The following statement is attributable to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby:

    “U.S. Special Operations forces under the control of U.S. Central Command conducted a counterterrorism mission this evening in northwest Syria. The mission was successful. There were no U.S. casualties. More information will be provided as it becomes available.”


    The years long arming and nurturing of radical Islamists by the CIA was ‘successful’.

    The creation of an al-Qaeda infested area in north-west Syria was ‘successful’.

    To arrange protection of that area from Syrian and Russian forces by NATO member Turkey was ‘successful’.

    Providing housing for the first ISIS leader in Barisha, 5 km from the Turkish border, was ‘successful’.

    Providing housing for the second ISIS leader in Atmeh, 2 km from the Turkish border, was ‘successful’.

    The two and a half hour long firefight during yesterday’s raid in Atmeh was ‘successful’.

    The killing of six children, four women and at least three men during the raid was ‘successful’.

    The mechanical damage (friendly fire?) on one U.S. helicopter was ‘successful’.

    The complete destruction of said helicopter by bombing it was ‘successful’.

    The killing of one ISIS honcho Mohamad Saeed Abdul Rahman aka Abdalla Kardas aka Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi was ‘successful’.

    The ongoing creation of more ISIS honchos at the U.S. base at the al-Tanf border crossing between Syria and Iraq will be ‘successful’.

    So much success.

    The leaders of Russia and China must shiver with fear when they recognized that their opponent is so very ‘successful’.

    [end quote]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the comments section following MoA‘s blog posting, retired U.S. Army officer Don Bacon replied:

      “Those poor people lost their commander. . . So what? . . .The US annually rotated commanders in and out of Afghanistan for twenty years, and one was as bad as the others.”

      Liked by 2 people

  11. In Andrei Martyanov’s latest video on Wednesday…… He mentions the US sending another 2,000 troupes to Europe. He then said, “In a real war, it’s an additional 2,000 corpses.”


    1. Yes. I mentioned Andrei Martyanov’s video above in a reply to Ray Joseph Cormier.

      Relative to the topic of U.S. “troops” and their tediously venal deployments abroad, another (recently repatriated) Russian analyst and author with long experience in America, Dmitri Orlov, had an essay of his cross posted to Andrei Raevski’s blog Vineyard of the Saker, A Short-Term Geopolitical Forecast. In addition to the essay, Mr Orlov had some typically pithy remarks in the comments section. For example, in reply to someone repeating the boilerplate “Western” (i.e., U.S.) narrative about an “imminent” Russian invasion of “Ukraine”:

      Dmitry Orlov on January 21, 2022 at 1:41 am EST/EDT
      I don’t know that I can plug up all the holes in your knowledge in a single comment, but I’ll try. The Ukrainian military does not have a winning strategy in the Donbass—never had, never will. What inevitably happens is that they try to punch through the densely settled areas and try to get control of the Russian border. This puts them inside a cauldron where they run out of food and munitions and get destroyed. Then they sue for peace and sign Minsk agreements. And the Kiev government isn’t run by Nazi freaks but by self-serving oligarchs. The freaks are just the street muscle. They’ve already been trashed but they never learn their lessons. Finally, there will be no war with NATO over the Ukraine. It is not a member and no NATO members will fight Russia over it [emphasis added.
      . . .
      Ivan Freely on January 21, 2022 at 5:20 am EST/EDT
      The Chinese did NOT eradicate corruption. They have a better handle on it; keeping corruption to a MANAGEABLE level. Meanwhile, the USA *promotes* corruption and have shown zero interest in tackling it.

      Dmitry Orlov on January 21, 2022 at 6:56 am EST/EDT
      That’s not quite right. In the US corruption is legal. It is not a corrupt system, it is a system OF corruption. Fighting corruption in the US would involve destroying the entire system [emphasis added].
      . . .
      Dmitry Orlov on January 21, 2022 at 7:03 am EST/EDT
      As I wrote, [“Ukraine”] is on its merry way to becoming “an ethnic theme park and nature preserve”… with a bunch of nuke plants that need to be decommissioned, and Russia isn’t going to pay for that, so the US and the EU should get a piggy bank together soonish.
      . . .
      unimperator on January 21, 2022 at 5:46 am EST/EDT
      Ukraine will be holding 9 different exercises with Nato between February/March – December. Collectively this puts about 45 000 NATO mercs in Ukraine at the same time, for most of the year. Seems like quite a risk of something happening!

      Dmitry Orlov on January 21, 2022 at 6:58 am EST/EDT
      A risk of them getting hurt? That would be a shame. But they already declared that NATO won’t fight to defend the Ukraine from Russia, so this is just typical useless NATO activity required to soak up the funds [emphasis added].

      Dmitry Orlov on January 21, 2022 at 4:19 pm EST/EDT
      Another poor victim who thinks that the Ukraine is somehow important. It isn’t. None of this has to do with the Ukraine. The problem is with the US/NATO posing a threat to Russian security.
      What is critical for Russia is to make sure that the Ukraine remains Europe’s problem, forever. It has over a dozen nuclear reactors that the Europeans will have to pay to dismantle—and that’s just a start. They will also have to absorb an influx of several million Ukrainian economic refugees as that economy falls apart. They will have to provide humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian population in order to limit the extent of a Ukrainian crime wave pouring across EU’s borders. Meanwhile, the Russians will simply look the other way because the Ukraine will be Somebody Else’s Problem. You broke it—you own it [emphasis added].

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Again, relative to the topic of U.S./NATO military troops and weaponry officially called “troops” vs troops and weaponry unofficially called something else — “trainers,” “suppliers,” “visiting observers,” etc. — Something of interest from Gilbert Doctorow, a Brussels-based American analyst of Russian affairs: ‘Fly on the wall’ at the press conference of Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, Russian Embassy, Brussels, 12 January 2022.

    I link to this article chiefly because of the embedded video interview at approximately the [7:59] mark:

    Gilbert Doctorow: “… the formal accession [Sweden and Finland] to NATO would not change much in the military sense. And I’d say there is a parallel here between what’s being discussed about Sweden and Finland and what is going on, from the Russian perspective, on the territory of Ukraine. None of these countries is a member of NATO, however de facto NATO has been seeking to obtain the military advantages by putting men and material and training in place in these countries all with the intent of weakening Russia’s strategic position. . . .”

    U.S./NATO troops and weaponry as facts on the ground in Eastern Europe concern the Russian Federation and its present government, as well they should. Bullshit euphemistic nomenclature (CorpGov Newspeak) seeking to disguise their presence and activities may serve to browbeat and intimidate the largely apathetic U.S. domestic political audience into paying for this charade, but the Russian Federation refuses to dignify such rhetorical duplicity with serious attention. They know thieves with weapons on their front porch when they see and hear them planning and practicing how best to beat down the door.


  13. Another similar observation by globetrotting journalist Pepe Escobar in an interview with Max Blumenthal of The Grayzone: Kazakhstan coup fails, US-Russia talks go nowhere. Is war on horizon?

    [40:07] Pepe Escobar “[NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg] gave away the game yesterday when he said: ‘We decided in 2008 that Ukraine and Georgia will become part of NATO.’ As far as I remember nobody said that on the record like this. Straightforward. ‘We decided.’ . . . But saying that now, you give away the game, obviously. And what is happening already in Ukraine is Ukraine as part of NATO informally, but for all practical purposes when you have American and British ‘instructors,’ as the Russians describe them, could be 3,000 4,000 etc., you are part of NATO.

    Max Blumenthal: “Along with all the weapons sales . . .”


  14. Saw this headline at NBC and had to laugh to hide the tears:

    U.S. kills ISIS leader, but another is already waiting in the wings
    Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi’s successor has yet to be revealed, but he’ll most likely be another Iraqi steeped in Islamic fanaticism, experts said.

    Oh well. So much for victory, let alone progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Presidents love “pelts” for their trophy room. Hopefully the carnage will be on full display; along with all the “collateral pelts”!
      But, the official narrative may just be that they were blown up in a suicidal blast; so do those folks really get to become part of a presidential resume? ….. Maybe? Just another sloppy job. Why use intelligence that has no clue as to when a target will not be surrounded by women and children….


  15. Another headline at NBC News just now:

    Russia has plan to stage attack as pretext for Ukraine invasion, U.S. alleges
    “We don’t know that this is the route they are going to take, but we know that this is an option under consideration that would involve actors,” said Deputy NSA adviser Jon Finer

    OK, there’s an allegation, we don’t know if it’s true, but it’s possible, so let’s put it out there, because this will surely help calm the waters …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Our government mouthpieces tell us these awful, frightening, threatening things about some place called “Russia” because a “community” of “intelligence agencies” (many of them outsourced to private corporate grifters) tell them (although not for attribution) really scary stuff. In other words:

      “Intelligence” à la carte

      The two-faced puppet show called “government”
      has outsourced its “intelligence” to those
      who offer up themselves for sale or rent
      in open “secrecy.” That makes them foes
      of public purpose. Still, the billions spent
      explains their slogan: “That’s the way it goes.”
      Our spooks “assess,” they say, as if they’ve weighed
      the consequences of their War For Wealth,
      assuming, as they do, the costs defrayed
      by others while they profit from pure stealth.
      The poor find force against their class arrayed
      while those in power drink each other’s health.
      The pompous frauds speak noises like “assess,”
      when what they really mean is “wild-ass guess.”

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2022


    2. “The play’s the thing…”
      Yes, it’s hackneyed and so transparent in its intent as to be laughable … but now the thought is out there. That little bit of energy has been let loose. Who will watch any footage that may come out of that area and not think, “Yes, but is it real?”

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Moving right along, another view of the (laughable) difference between “official” and unacknowledged-but-de-facto NATO membership. See: Putin Speaks, by Patrick Lawrence, Consortium News (December 28, 2021)

    [begin quoted excerpt]

    NATO & Ukraine

    [Ukrainian President] Zelensky wanted assurances that the Biden regime would hold his hand as he continued to ignore Ukraine’s Minsk II commitments and stoked increasing tensions with Russia. He got that. But he didn’t get what he truly came for: As noted in this space at the time, Biden stopped well short of any commitment to advance Ukraine toward membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

    I may have misread that occasion as more of a setback than it was for the corrupt, Nazi–supported Russophobes running the Kiev regime.

    What has since ensued leaves NATO membership well in the distance, but there are treaty documents and there are weapons shipments, infrastructure contracts, foreign mercenaries, purposeful naval provocations, and assorted other “facts on the ground.” [emphasis added]

    So far this year the Biden regime has approved $450 million is security assistance to Ukraine, bringing the total allotted since the U.S. inspired the February 2014 coup in Kiev to $2.5 billion.

    During their Oval Office sit-down, Biden stayed awake long enough to promise Zelenskyy $60 million more in small arms, ammunition and radar systems. This materiel began arriving on Dec. 10 and will continue into the new year. Beyond that more, surely.

    Britain is now at work constructing two naval ports along Ukraine’s Black Sea shoreline; in October the U.K. agreed to lend Kiev $1.6 billion to pay for an assortment of British-made naval vessels, some new, some outdated scows of the kind the West typically sells the non–West.

    U.S. and British naval maneuvers off Russia’s Black Sea coast are now routine. Western military officials now talk of deploying potent new technology, all the way up to nuclear-capable missiles, along the alliance’s Russia-facing eastern front. We now have Russian reports that British mercenaries have joined the forces from NATO members already deployed in Ukraine. The numbers Russia is (unofficially) putting out: 10,000 troops and mercs from NATO members on Ukrainian soil, 4,000 from the U.S.

    NATO–schmATO, if you see what I mean. The thought in Washington, London and Brussels seems to be, Well, we can’t put Ukrainian membership to paper —that might be a provocation too far — but, the hell with it, we can treat Kiev as more or less a member anyway [italics for emphasis in the original].

    Since the autumn we have had incessantly alarmist reports that the Russian Federation is amassing troops and materiel in its western region near the border with Ukraine. I read everything from 60,000 Russian soldiers to 175,000. Who knows? Maybe none, maybe the higher number (or higher than the higher number).
    . . .
    Our only certainty is that we cannot logically take the word of the Pentagon and its clerks in the press for what Russia is doing (on its own soil).

    [end quoted excerpt]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops. Sorry. I should have closed the HTML italics tag after “Consortium News,” leaving only the originally emphasized by Patrick Lawrence, “Well, we can’t put Ukrainian membership to paper —that might be a provocation too far — but, the hell with it, we can treat Kiev as more or less a member anyway” in italics. Everything else, standard font. My apologies.


  17. Recent interview of Jack Matlock, US Ambassador to the Soviet Union 1987-1991. I got it in an email PDF so there’s no link to a website.

    Hanna Notte
    Thank you so much for that. Ambassador Matlock, we have talked a lot about the Soviet period. We’ve talked about the 1990s. I want to come to 9/11 as an inflection point. You point out in your books that perhaps after 9/11, there was a chance to change the dynamics of the U.S.-Russia relationship when President Putin decided to cooperate with the United States in the so-called global war on terror.

    But what then followed instead was the U.S.’s unilateral abrogation of the ABM treaty, the invasion of Iraq in 2003, further NATO eastward expansion, and so on and so forth. And then, eventually, we ended up with President Putin’s famous 2007 Munich speech, and the Russia-Georgia war of 2008. So, I want to ask you, do you think there really was a chance in 2001 to set the relationship onto a different trajectory, considering all that had gone wrong in the 1990s already?

    Ambassador Matlock
    Yes. I think we would’ve had a much better relationship if our policy had been different during the second Bush administration. I think that continuing to expand NATO, I think, was a mistake. I think, frankly, that once we took in Czechoslovakia and Hungary and Poland, we almost had to include the three Baltic states. And I think Putin reluctantly accepted that. I remember he was asked about it before it happened, in a speech in New York. And he said, “Well, I don’t think it’s necessary, but it’s not…” In other words, they did understand that, as far as the three Baltic countries are concerned, that they, you might say, historically, legally and other things, are in a different position from the other countries in the so-called near abroad, that is the other ex-Soviet republics.

    But what happened was that not only did we continue to expand NATO, not only did we conduct an aggressive war against Iraq without UN sanctions and actually against opinion not only of Russia, but also allies Germany and France, and, at the same time, we were going out of arms control treaties. The ABM treaty, which had been, you might say, the anchor of arms reduction with the Soviet Union. We then signed an agreement which was so general. We had no verification, nor did we destroy those weapons that were taken off alert; until we got the New START treaty in the Obama administration, we, in effect, had walked out of all the verification measures that had taken us decades to negotiate during the Cold War.
    So, I think these were all very serious mistakes, and then, as we began to take the countries in the Balkans into NATO, and then to talk about, and by 2008, actually vote to put Ukraine and Georgia on, you might say, on a road to NATO membership. This was crossing a very clear red line. And so that, I do think that at that time, different policies could have brought about an entirely different result. Now, I would say that if we expected Russia to become a ‘democracy’, I’ll put that in quotes, if it operates just like it does in the United States, then no, I think that was, that was an impossible dream, at least at the time.

    And frankly, some of our problems developed because, clearly, we were expressing strong preferences over some factions over others. We like to talk now about foreign interference in American elections. I would say, for several decades, the U.S. interfered whenever it thought its national interests were involved, and deterred only by not appearing to do so, because they knew that could backfire. So, this idea that nations shouldn’t interfere in elections of others, well, nations do. And usually, they create more harm for their candidates than support if they do it too openly.
    But to continue, I would say the speech that President Putin made in Munich listed the problems he had. And, I would say, in my opinion, none of those things were necessary to American security. We would have been better off without them. And in general, our overt support for the so-called color revolutions, I think were quite unwise. Now, it’s not that the people that were demonstrating did not have valid grievances; they did. But to appear to be trying to support unconstitutional changes, not just influence elections, but trying the overthrow of other governments by a faction that favored us and, in many cases, had the goal of NATO membership – I think this became very destructive, because one thing no Russian government could tolerate would be taking countries like Ukraine or Georgia into an alliance, a military alliance hostile to Russia.
    These were, I think, very big mistakes. And now, I think that Putin’s reactions sometimes have, and often have not been in the interest of Russia. So yes, there was a, you might say, a mutual escalation. I do think it started with the actions by the United States. I think there was overreaction on the other side, and then the development of a personalization of the problem has only made it more difficult. But to get back to your question, yes, I think there was a possibility of having, of developing much more normal relations, relations which would not have been a Russia with a system precisely like ours. How could that possibly be the case: two countries with such different history and such different, you might say, geographical locations.

    After all, we have two oceans separating us from Eurasia on each side, whereas Russia occupies a very large part of Eurasia with most of its neighbors along land borders. The situation of the two is quite different. So, I think that, as I had mentioned earlier, the effort that we made, a quixotic effort to quote ‘support democracy’, and the methods that we used, didn’t actually support democracy but actually exacerbated problems that developed there and elsewhere in the world.

    Hanna Notte
    Thank you for that, Ambassador Matlock. I think we have covered a lot of ground in our conversation about the things that didn’t go quite right in the relationship over the past decades. I want to come to today. It appears to me sometimes that, nowadays, Russia uses ‘whataboutism’: a criticism of what it sees as U.S. double standards; criticism of past U.S. foreign policy mistakes, almost as a sort of knockout argument to stifle any substantive discussion on any policy issue. I’ll give you one example: the moment that you criticize, for instance, Russian policy in Syria, Russian diplomats will make references to the United States’ mistakes in Iraq in 2003, or in Libya in 2011.
    And this doesn’t always make for the most constructive or substantive debate on the actual issue at hand. So I want to ask you, given all that happened, how do we overcome this vicious cycle of both sides constantly dishing up the other side’s past policy mistakes?

    Ambassador Matlock
    I think there is a way to get away from that. You know, when I helped draft a speech that President Reagan gave about U.S.-Soviet relations that was given actually a year before Gorbachev came into the general secretaryship in the Soviet Union, what we did instead of…We set forth what we called a four-part agenda of things that we wanted to do with the Soviet Union. One of these was to reduce arms. And another was to reduce our confrontation, military confrontation, in third areas where we were backing different factions in local wars.
    Third, and one of the most important, was to improve human rights. And then the fourth was to try to break down the iron curtain and have more, actually, communication between our countries.
    Now, how do you phrase that? Do you say they’ve got to reduce their arms? They’ve got to stop interfering in foreign countries, they must respect more human rights? And by the way, they need to open up their country? That’s not the way we put it. What we said is we must cooperate to achieve arms reduction. We must cooperate to withdraw from involvement in other people’s wars. We must cooperate to improve human rights. We must cooperate to improve our bilateral relationship. We didn’t say, “Tear down the iron curtain.” We said, “Let’s develop a better working relationship.”


  18. I posted in ‘Why It’s So Hard to Give Peace A Chance in America’ the Message sent to all 100 US Senators last weekend, this being the 1st sentence, “As a World Citizen Child of God at 77, and a Canadian,”

    Receiving this reply this morning on the Senator’s Senate Letterhead, it’s concrete evidence his support staff looked, but didn’t see. If that is typical for any Senator’s support Staff, what can the Senator know?
    Between the Message I sent in November and last week, I have a Senate Majority that replied like this,

    February 3, 2022

    Dear Mr. Cormier,

    Thank you for contacting me to share your views and concerns, and thank you for your patience waiting for my response. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on issues affecting our nation and our state.

    Serving and advocating for the people of Utah is my highest priority. I rely deeply on your perspective and experiences to help guide my approach as the United States Senate considers policy issues that affect all of us. As your senator, my commitment is to do what I believe is in the best interests of Utah and our country.

    Thank you again for contacting me. Please reach out anytime about this or any other matter of concern. You may also be interested in visiting my website, http://romney.senate.gov, for news and legislative updates.


    Mitt Romney
    United States Senator


    1. As for that other Senator, this is what he sent within 2 hours of sending the Message Friday,

      Responding to your message
      01/28/2022 14:44
      Dear Mr. Cormier:

      Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns about Russia. I appreciate the opportunity to hear from you on this issue.

      I have long believed that Vladimir Putin is not – and has never been – America’s friend. Whether it was the brazen nerve gas attack in England on a former Soviet agent and his daughter, cyber attacks on the American electrical grid and institutions, meddling in American elections, aggressions against Ukraine, or continued actions in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad, Putin is committed to harming the security and well-being of the United States.

      Putin’s actions and intentions against United States citizens – and our allies – go far beyond one election. Putin’s Russia is attempting to strike at the very heart of the freedoms, democratic values, and liberty all Americans hold dear. As you senator, I will ensure that the current administration takes the necessary steps to curtail Russian aggression and influence here at home and abroad.

      As your United States Senator, my primary job is to understand and represent the interests of all South Carolinians. The opportunity to hear from you about the issues confronting our nation is not only essential to representative democracy, but allows me to better serve the people of South Carolina. We will not see eye-to-eye on every issue; however, I promise to always give your concerns the consideration they deserve.

      I encourage you to visit my website — http://lgraham.senate.gov — as it will have information on the most recent activities before the U.S. Senate. You can also sign up for our e-mail newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages which will provide the latest information and updates on the major issues facing our state and our nation.

      Thank you again for contacting me. I truly appreciate the opportunity to hear from you and am honored to have the opportunity to represent your interests in the U.S. Senate.


      Lindsey O. Graham
      United States Senator


      1. What else did you expect from Lindsey Graham? He is the necon’s neocon! A real piece of work!


  19. This reply is the most sincere. Graham and Romney came from a do not reply email account. Senator Kennedy replied with his actual Senate email address.

    A message from Senator Kennedy
    02/02/2022 17:02
    Dear Mr. Cormier:

    Thank you for contacting me about Ukraine. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

    As you may know, Ukraine became an independent nation when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Since then, Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to expand Russian territory and influence in Eastern Europe. In 2014, Putin illegally invaded and annexed Crimea, a region of Ukraine. More recently, Russia has amassed over 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border as it threatens a violent takeover of the nation.

    A full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine would be a mass-casualty event and represent the largest ground combat operation in the region since World War II. It would also signify a stunning failure of American leadership around the world. President Trump wisely sent military arms and other supplies to Ukraine to ward off Russian aggression. Unfortunately, this administration has shown total capitulation to Putin at every turn, including removing sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline which will give Putin enormous leverage over Europe’s energy supply. Moreover, President Biden has made no effort to unite our European allies against a Russian attack and seemingly implied that a “minor incursion” in Ukraine would have little to no repercussions. Weakness invites the wolves, and if Ukraine falls to Russia, I fear that sends the signal to China to invade Taiwan. I do not support going to war with Russia, but leaving the Ukrainians out to slaughter would send a chilling message to our allies and embolden our enemies.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about other issues that are important to you and your family.


    John Kennedy
    United States Senator


  20. I can think of many instances of American leadership failures around the World Senator without looking for another one!


  21. Sources Say

    Sources say the system’s working great,
    and the government is your friend.
    Commerce is the same as freedom
    and wealth is the same as happiness,
    according to sources familiar with the matter.

    Sources say you should hate the Russians,
    and also you should hate the Chinese,
    and also you should hate Iran,
    and also you should hate anti-vaxxers,
    and also you should hate disobedient podcasters,
    and really just hate anyone but your owners.

    Sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, say we would never lie to you.
    We’ve been speaking to you since you were young.
    You can trust us with your mind.
    If we were lying to everyone
    everything would be a mess,
    and the system would be a failure,
    but it isn’t,
    so we can’t be,
    sources say,
    sources say.

    Sources say that you are finite,
    and that a better world is impossible.
    Sources say there is no magic coursing through your veins,
    no miracles lurking in the great unknown,
    no potentiality crackling within our species,
    no leviathans swimming in our inner oceans,
    no dragons soaring through our mind’s sky.

    Sources say you are your body,
    and you are your thoughts and your labels
    and what you’ve been told you are since birth.
    Sources say that small child’s voice within you
    whispering your primordial name
    is a liar
    and you should drown it in a bowl of Netflix and whiskey.

    Sources say sources say sources say
    look at this shiny thing over here,
    look how interesting it is,
    keep looking at this,
    don’t look within,
    don’t look without,
    pay no attention to the gasping biosphere,
    pay no attention to our nuclear Russian roulette,
    pay no attention to that man starving from sanctions,
    pay no attention to that man shivering on the street,
    pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,
    pay no attention to those angels in the attic,
    pay no attention to the swelling music of the forgotten gods,
    just look over here,
    just stare at this vapid celebrity wankface nothingman,
    look look,
    he is doing a thing,
    ha ha ha ha he is so interesting and so relevant to our present situation.

    Sources say don’t trust your own Sources.
    Trust our sources; they are official and authorized.
    The world is predictable and revolution impossible;
    stomp down that light that’s been emanating from your chest cave.
    Your Source is a liar.
    Your Source can’t take care of you.
    Your Source probably doesn’t even own any aircraft carriers.

    Our sources say no one else will ever love you.
    Shut up and get back to work,
    sources say.
    Ignore your Source
    and keep cranking that gear
    for as long as your worthless body will let you,
    and then get out of the way
    and get into the hole
    with the rest of the corpses
    in our thriving corpse economy
    on our spinning corpse planet
    as we exterminate our way into paradise,
    sources say.



    1. In other words, propaganda is everywhere, each side—through bought-and-paid-for or controlled media—pointing a finger at the other. While I think the U.S. bears its share of blame, it’s almost impossible to know what the whole truth is at this point, imo.

      The [American] talking heads at the Olympics opening ceremony this morning were commenting on how “significant” it was that Putin attended in person. They never explained what the significance consisted of, however.


  22. Denise if you want to know just much of the blame the US shares for this current conflict you would do no better than reading this Jan 2021 Counterpunch article by Gary Leupp, the Professor of History at Tufts University,


    The answer is more than quite a lot! Nuland’s task over the years has been to exploit the pain and suffering caused by the implosion of the Soviet Union to assert greater U.S. hegemony over Eurasia, using the traditional mix of covert operations, National Endowment for Democracy meddling, “color revolutions,” aid promises, etc.

    “Now why would a Jew and Zionist, married to a Jewish Zionist neocon, align herself and Washington with Ukrainian fascists who glorify Stephan Bandera, the Ukrainian anti-Soviet pro-Nazi leader in the 1940s who rounded up Jews at the Germans’ behest?

    Is it not clear? The vicious anti-Russian racism of the Ukrainian fascists is useful for the U.S. as it strives to expand the anti-Russian military alliance, NATO. The more hatred for Russia, the better.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a very low opinion of Ms. Noland, to be sure. That said, Professor Leupp’s article, accurate though it may be, is part of the story. My point being that the nuances in this situation are myriad. The truth about the extent of blame to be placed in any one quarter is many faceted. I’m certainly no defender of U.S. foreign policy; never have been. But just as with the backstory of the American Revolution, the “real” story of Ukraine at this moment depends largely on where one is standing.


    2. Thanks for the link and comment, Dennis. Regarding “Cookies” Nuland and what she likes to call “impressive statecraft,” something along these same lines from late last year:

      Make-it-up-as-you-go-along Gulag
      (after the sonnet style of Alexander Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin”)

      “Rules-based Order,” Blinken tells us
      means whatever Nuland says.
      Thus, the bullshit that he sells us
      reeks of “Biden,” U.S. Prez,
      whose demented babbling frightens
      while The Corporation tightens
      ownership of “government”:
      cops and guards and soldiers sent
      to enforce passivity
      in the Populi whose Vox
      disappears where power stalks
      handing out captivity
      till Poe’s bird above the door
      croaks in triumph: “Ever More!”

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2021

      Liked by 1 person

      1. . . . and something else — reflecting on recent scurrilous performances by U.S. government spokespersons — from late last night and early this morning:

        Red Lines and Red-Baiting
        (after the sonnet style of Alexander Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin”)

        Looks like Mother Russia’s patience
        With the “West” has now expired.
        Faced with arrogant complacence
        Something more than talk’s required.
        Present danger monumental:
        Missiles “merely” continental
        Now move into nearby yards.
        “Not to worry! Best Regards!”
        Gorbachev or Yeltsin, maybe,
        Might (to Russia’s detriment)
        Buy such bovine excrement.
        Putin, though, is no one’s baby.
        Better now to clear the porch.
        Wait, and fools will light the torch.

        Take your surplus junk and vacate
        Lands where no one needs your stuff.
        Empty words no longer placate.
        Now let’s see who’ll call whose bluff.
        Back to where you came from, quickly,
        Or expose your “army,” sickly,
        Overstretched, and way too few:
        U.S., NATO, nothing new.
        Best “get while the good’s worth getting.”
        Saigon/Kabul time draws near.
        Planned retreats leave less to fear.
        Bankrupt Empire’s sun is setting.
        Eastern Europe’s neighborhood
        Need not threaten. Understood?

        Nixon and McCarthy, low road.
        Tricky Dick, Tailgunner Joe.
        Found the all-too-easy, no load
        Path to bash their “lefist” foe.
        Simply call them “red” or “pinky”
        Voters then would find them stinky.
        Democrats curled up and hid,
        Lost, no matter what they did.
        “Red” meant “communist” or “Russian,”
        “Soviet,” or something worse.
        Easy. No need to rehearse.
        Not the slightest repercussion.
        Now the Democrats think they
        Can do the same, and thus make hay.

        U.S.A., two right-wing factions
        One for sale and one for rent.
        Both sling slurs without retractions
        Pissing into their own tent.
        Vitriol, prevarication,
        Towards the Russian Federation;
        Sanctions hurting us as well.
        Soon, our friends say “Go to Hell!”
        Their red lines, and our red-baiting
        Which will shape the coming times?
        They save nickles, we spend dimes.
        Western currencies inflating.
        Russia/China projects huge.
        First the clouds, and then deluge.

        Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2022

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Only the 3rd Senator actually paying attention. I will reply with my alternate perspective and understanding paragraph by paragraph.

    Response from Senator Casey
    02/04/2022 16:51
    Dear Mr. Cormier:

    Thank you for taking the time to contact me about the escalation in tensions between Ukraine and Russia. I appreciate hearing from you about this important issue.

    Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine has worked to reduce its economic dependence on Russia and develop its own national identity more closely aligned with the West. In 2013, Ukraine’s progress stalled when then-President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign a treaty negotiated with the European Union (EU) to increase political and economic cooperation, even though the Ukrainian parliament supported the treaty. In response, protests began in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in February 2014, ultimately resulting in the removal of Yanukovych and the election of pro-Western president Petro Poroshenko.

    Russia responded by annexing Crimea and supporting pro-Russian separatist forces in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donbas and Luhansk. The proxy war between the two sides has been raging for several years. The violence has not only affected Ukrainian troops and separatists. In August 2014, pro-Russian separatist forces shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, killing nearly three-hundred civilians, mostly from the Netherlands, Malaysia and Australia.

    In the fall of 2021, Ukrainian troops held standard training exercises with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces. In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that NATO was approaching several “red lines” for Russia, specifically warning against the inclusion of Ukraine in NATO and the placement of long-range missiles or missile defense systems in Ukraine. Russia moved tens of thousands of troops and significant military infrastructure to the country’s western border with Ukraine. This troop buildup has positioned Russia to rapidly conduct a full-scale invasion of eastern Ukraine.

    I am a strong supporter of Ukrainian self-determination and believe that Russia cannot hold veto power over whether Ukraine can join NATO. To that end, I am a cosponsor S.Res. 480, which reaffirms the Senate’s support for an independent Ukraine and condemns Russia for its increased military presence along the border with Ukraine. The United States must remain unequivocal in its denunciation of Russian aggression and clearly state that Russia will face significant repercussions for further military action.

    I have also cosponsored S. 3488, the Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act, which, upon the determination by the president that Russia has further escalated tensions in Ukraine, would inflict major costs on Russia. First, it would impose strict, mandatory sanctions against Russian political and military leaders and financial institutions, and would require the president to identify other Russian industries to sanction based on the nature of the conflict. Second, it would assert that Congress views the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a means of Russian manipulation and encourages the administration to use all tools available to hinder its construction. Third, the bill would expand financial support for Ukraine, including an additional $500 million in supplemental emergency security assistance and $3 million in military training support. Lastly, the bill would expand existing programs to curb Russian influence in Eastern Europe like Radio Free Europe and the Countering Russian Influence Fund.

    Notably, these provisions would only take effect if Russia invades Ukraine or otherwise increases the likelihood of armed conflict, not before such an event. While I hope that Russia will respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and that the provisions of the Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act will be unnecessary, I believe that we must pass this bill to be prepared to respond to continued Russian incendiary measures.

    I have heard from many constituents who oppose entering a new conflict abroad. I hear these concerns and understand the gravity of putting American soldiers in harm’s way. I too hope to avoid such a conflict. Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to declare war. I understand the importance of this responsibility and will continue to ensure appropriate Congressional involvement before any decision to enter an armed conflict.

    Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.

    For more information on this or other issues, I encourage you to visit my website, https://casey.senate.gov. I hope you will find this online office a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.

    Bob Casey
    United States Senator


  24. Hey! I see an empty soapbox underneath my feet! Well, never let an opportunistic soap box go to waste!!!
    I’m not the only one. Generally consciousness percolates through a multitude of human frames; and each human temple begins to realize similar strains of thought. What I am beginning to understand and so have many others is, that for decades maybe even centuries; the citizens of the world, under whatever “ISM” is governing their borders, well, they have done a miserable job of perceiving that they have been had. Instead of a wholistic approach to world government; the elite leadership of all nations have been playing “footsie” in bed with each other; and the “trists” have been … for their benefit only! All negotiations have been performed under the guise of “political theatre” for the masses. Telling us,”always” that “they”, we assure you all, that “they” are doing their darndest to protect the citizens and that “they” have our best interests at heart.
    Well, how’s the set up working for any of today’s working class? When you read this article, if it doesn’t set your hair on fire; you are not paying attention!


    I’ve been asking if anyone on this site has been paying attention to the ionization of our atmosphere. So far no one has replied, yes I have! Well, the elites have completed most of the infrastructure around the globe to perform amazing energetic feats of dazzling connectivity. Your skies have been sprayed with nano particulate metals to perform the feats of harvesting energy by connecting the poles between the sun and the earth and using the heavenly circuits for the completion of the circuitry that Nikola Tesla discovered during his lifetime.
    The elites love to telegraph the next phase of their plan for our future; and this week they started to bleed out little nuggets of truth about what their capabilities are in this regard. Eventually, after enough story telling… we will become comfortable with their accomplishments and according to their stage presentations; we are all going to be able to use this new connectivity for humane purposes. Better connectivity will mean better functioning internet capabilities.
    You are now being told that “Havana Syndrome “ is probably being caused by pulsed energy weapons. Well, if you’ve been following the science of these energy waves weapons; you would find that they don’t work well in the natural atmosphere that lies between the earth and the Van Allen Belts. Therefore they needed to seed it for optimum performance. That sky has to become ionized for better and continual connectivity. The millimeter waves will then have a charged canvass to function within.
    Nobody has commented on the investigative journalism of scientists who are knowledgeable about these happenings. I asked if anyone has looked into the 1987 patent filed by Bernard Eastland on the HAARP ionosphere heater. No responses. These ionospheric heaters and the infrastructure to operate them and their lasers and scaler energy wave emitters have been tested for a long long time; all under our bonded vision. I truly believe this is what scared Eisenhower and caused him to leave us with a mysterious warning.
    You’ve been told that all the orbiting satellites that are being launched by Musk, Bezos, Google, Defense Departments, scientists, universities China, Russia, etc. are going to help us facilitate the IOT… the internet of everything. We will be able to connect everywhere always.
    What they aren’t admitting yet… it’s all dual use technology and you are now being bathed with pulsed millimeter waves from towers, rooftops, atmosphere etc. They are thumping the ionosphere with these ionospheric heaters and shaking down electrons and seeding the skies with ionic metal nano particles to create a field that is dependable.
    Their will be a net of satellites meshed in the stratosphere facilitating this gigantic electro magnetic machine. Do you know that the earth now has it’s own ring of ions that circle around the equator and looks a lot like a Saturnal ring from space?
    You are welcome to call me crazy, and a nut job wacko; but until you look at the patents and science behind this fantastic knowledge brought to our earthly stage by Tesla; you are screaming without really being aware of what has already taken place with our earth and is just now being seeded into our consciousness by those who have trillions resting on these technological investments.
    Think Elana Freeland and continue from her work into the “Brave New World.”



    1. One of my favorite Tesla quotations….
      Nikola said, “Man could tap the breast of The Mother Sun and release her energy toward earth as needed, magnetic as well as light.”




    1. I don’t know about “pointless.” There’s nothing like a few thousand American troops to spread freedom, democracy, humility, and peace to Poland and Romania and elsewhere 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. James Jeffrey, former special envoy to Syria, publicly acknowledged that he and his colleagues were hiding real troop numbers from the president himself. “We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” he said in an interview published last year.


    1. Ah, yes. Those counters of beans (on the fingers of three hands) in the U.S. “intelligence community.” [thinking especially of David Petraeus and Mike Pompeo here] . . .

      Oath of Orifice

      You swore you wouldn’t lie or cheat or steal,
      or tolerate among you those who do:
      an oath expressive of a high ideal;
      but rare in practice as a flying seal;
      which is to say exceedingly unreal
      like body-counts and budgets, neither true;
      or “taking out” Jihadi Number Two;
      or weaponry that works when ordered to,
      regardless of effect on troop and crew
      who anyway have not the slightest clue
      why they should fight and die for such as you.

      In Orifice, that is, within the hole
      from out of which emerges turds and gas
      you decorated leaders on the dole
      persist in playing your anointed role:
      to slide and slither up the greasy pole;
      displaying proudly tits and balls of brass;
      while kissing up to some “commanding” ass;
      and kicking down upon the lower class;
      not giving one’s “commander” any sass.
      You “fight” by leading with your jaw of glass.
      Why so surprised at what has come to pass?

      Two decades in Afghanistan you spent.
      Like Vietnam, a loss that means “success”
      because back home few own while most must rent.
      So who cares if you didn’t make a dent
      in propaganda “goals” you never meant?
      What counts is that you’ve made a bloody mess
      without the slightest sweat or strain or stress.
      You’ve taken much but given only less
      for which the bible thumpers shout “Gawd Bless!”
      saluting while they beg for more duress
      which you’ll see that they get. So just swear: “Yes!”

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2022

      Liked by 1 person

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