War and Weapons Are Strictly Business

W.J. Astore

“Strictly Business”

In “The Godfather,” Michael Corleone, played brilliantly by Al Pacino, says that killing a rival mobster and crooked police captain who conspired to kill his father is nothing personal — it’s strictly business. Something similar can be said of America’s wars and weapons trade today. As retired General Smedley Butler said in the 1930s, U.S. military actions often take the form of gangster capitalism. Want to know what’s really going on? Follow the muscle and the money!

America has “invested” itself in the Russia-Ukraine war, and I use that word deliberately. U.S. weapons makers like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin are making a killing, literally and figuratively, on the ongoing war, whether by sending arms to Ukraine or in the major boost forthcoming to Pentagon spending supported by Democrats and Republicans in Congress. (Who said bipartisanship is dead?) For all the blue-and-yellow flags that America is flying in symbolic solidarity with Ukraine, the true colors of this war, as with most wars, is red for blood and green for money.

Economic sanctions against Russia, meanwhile, are meant to damage the financial wellbeing of that country, possibly leading to instability and even collapse. And who would profit from such a collapse? And who is profiting now from restricting fossil fuel exports from Russia? As war drags on in Ukraine, disaster piles on disaster, and capitalism has a way of profiting from war-driven disasters. Why do you think America’s disastrous Afghan War lasted for two decades?

Curiously, investment-speak in the U.S. military is quite common. Generals and admirals talk of “investing” in new nuclear missiles and immense ships. They further talk of “divesting” in certain weapons that have proven to be disasters in their own way, like the F-22 fighter. What’s with all this “investing” and “divesting” in the U.S. military? One thing is certain: Generals won’t have to change their language as they retire and move through the revolving door to join corporate boards at major weapons contractors.

Today’s generals and politicians never display the honesty of President Dwight Eisenhower, who explained nearly seventy years ago that weapons represent a theft from the people and their needs, not an “investment.” Those who say there’s no business like show business may be right, but Hollywood’s a piker compared to the Pentagon, where there’s truly no business like war business.

78 thoughts on “War and Weapons Are Strictly Business

      1. Made in USA at US$175,201 per missile. That does not include the launcher itself! Holy Cow.

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      2. A bargain at twice the price!

        Wait until the “Made in China” knockoff at $5,210 per missile …

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  1. Would I be wrong to infer that the CaptainTrips/COVID19ExistentialCrisis turned crusade, with all of the largely predictable collateral damage/(un)intended consequences [shuttered businesses and layoffs, women forced from the workforce to care for children, unemployment and increased debt, expansion of the monetary supply, et cetera] could then be a ‘divestment of under performing human capital’, especially in rural areas that have fewer options and a more consolidated/concentrated world-view?

    Everything that involves people is personal, something collectivists can’t/won’t consider in a country that was founded by misfits, weirdos, rabble-rousers, and the like. Those who “join in” are easily replaced compared to those who “stand out”. I believe dissent is the 1st American tradition and the low places/fundamentals/theStreet are where truth lives.

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  2. ‘How Pentagon Contractors Are Cashing in on the Ukraine Crisis’

    Even before hostilities broke out, the CEOs of major weapons firms were talking about how tensions in Europe could pad their profits. In a January 2022 call with his company’s investors, Raytheon Technologies CEO Greg Hayes typically bragged that the prospect of conflict in Eastern Europe and other global hot spots would be good for business, adding that “we are seeing, I would say, opportunities for international sales… [T]he tensions in Eastern Europe, the tensions in the South China Sea, all of those things are putting pressure on some of the defense spending over there. So I fully expect we’re going to see some benefit from it.”

    In late March, in an interview with the Harvard Business Review after the war in Ukraine had begun, Hayes defended the way his company would profit from that conflict:

    “So I make no apology for that. I think again recognizing we are there to defend democracy and the fact is eventually we will see some benefit in the business over time. Everything that’s being shipped into Ukraine today, of course, is coming out of stockpiles, either at DoD [the Department of Defense] or from our NATO allies, and that’s all great news. Eventually we’ll have to replenish it and we will see a benefit to the business over the next coming years.”……………………………………………………..

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/04/18/how-pentagon-contractors-are-cashing-in-on-the-ukraine-crisis/

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  3. The Pentagon budget for 2021 lists a new Javelin at $178,000 (launcher and one missile); replacement missiles are $78,000. So to put that into context, one Javelin launcher/missile represents about 50-60% of the average cost of a house in the US. That $178,000 is an opportunity cost for spending on domestic needs, or to benefit our citizens.

    What does the latest $800 million shipments that Biden is sending to Ukraine (without any debate in Congress) represent in spending in other priorities here? And that assumes that the new shipments have any other future other than being destroyed in a Russian deep strike on logistics bases in western Ukraine.

    I noted that the shipments include 18 M114 towed howitzers and 40,000 rounds of ammunition. If they survived destruction in a western Ukrainian logistics base, their utility on any battlefield would be limited to the time before being destroyed by Russian counter-battery fire.

    It is all the above that convinces me this is only about putting more money into the hands of defense contractors.

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  4. In The Grip Of A Permanent War Economy
    by Seymour Melman
    March 17, 2003

    “Now, at the start of the twenty-first century, every major aspect of American life is being shaped by our Permanent War Economy.

    Civilian manufacturing industries are being swept away as a war-focused White House and a compliant Congress sponsor deindustrialization of the U.S. They favor production — as in Mexico and China, where government powers bar independent unions. As production of both consumer goods and capital goods are moved out of America, unions and whole communities are decimated. Ghost towns are created across the country. That process is far along in industries that once invented machine tools, radios, and even TV’s. Now the decay proceeds in “new economy” industries like computers and “Palm” type devices. The U.S. firms that sell such equipment typically assemble components that are manufactured elsewhere.

    Capital goods have special importance in all this, for those are the tools and machines used to produce everything else. It is estimated that by 2004, 50% of all the production equipment required in the United States will have to be imported, mainly from Germany and Japan.

    Meanwhile, government financing is lavished without stint to promote every kind of war industry, and foreign investing by U.S. firms. The war priorities have depleted medical and education staffs. U.S. medical planning now includes programs to recruit large numbers of nurses from India. Shortages of housing have caused a swelling of the homeless population in every major city. State and city governments across the country have become trained to bend to the needs of the military — giving automatic approvals to their money spending without limit. The same officials cannot find money for affordable housing.

    The Permanent War Economy of the United States has endured since the end of World War II in 1945. Since then the U.S. has been at war — somewhere — every year: in Korea, Nicaragua, Vietnam, the Balkans, Afghanistan — all this to the accompaniment of shorter military forays in Africa, Chile, Grenada, Panama.

    So it should come as no surprise that there is no public “space” for dialogue on how to improve the quality of our lives. Such topics are subordinate to “how to make war.” Congress under both Republican and Democrat control has voted the same war priorities into the federal budget……………………………………”

    http://www.swans.com/library/art9/melman01.html

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    1. No country knows more about weapons than the USA! Though I admit “control” may be an issue …

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  5. US to Start Training Ukrainians on Howitzers in Coming Days
    A Pentagon official said the training will take place outside of Ukraine
    by Dave DeCamp April 18, 2022

    “A senior Pentagon official told Reuters on Monday that the US plans to start training Ukrainians on how to use howitzers in the coming days. The official said that the training would take place outside of Ukraine.

    The US is giving Ukraine howitzers for the first time as part of a new $800 million weapons package that was announced last week. When announcing the new aid, the Pentagon said the Ukrainians would need training on the howitzers and on advanced radar systems that are also part of the package.

    So far, the US has sent four flights to deliver the new weapons. Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the US has pledged about $2.6 billion in military aid for Ukraine and has delivered the arms rapidly via Eastern European NATO countries that border Ukraine.

    The Pentagon official who spoke with Reuters did not elaborate on where the training will take place outside of Ukraine, but it’s likely it will be in an Eastern European country. Earlier this month, Lithuania announced a plan to start training Ukrainian forces on its territory.

    On Friday, The Times reported British Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers are inside Ukraine training Ukrainian forces on anti-tank weapons that have been provided by London. The SAS deployment is the first known NATO troop presence in Ukraine since Russia invaded and risks provoking Moscow.

    Last week, in a diplomatic letter to the State Department, Russia formally warned the US and NATO to stop arming Ukraine. Russian officials have also warned they would target Western arms shipments entering Ukraine. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russian airstrikes destroyed a large number of foreign-made weapons stored at a Ukrainian military logistics center near Lviv on Monday.”

    I agree with commenter TOM R above…….If these arms survive destruction in a western Ukrainian logistics base, their utility on any battlefield will be limited to the time before being destroyed by Russian counter-battery fire. Like TOM, this also convinces me that this is only about putting more money into the hands of Western defense contractors before the Ukraine is inevitably defeated and the arms gravy train is over.

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  6. This article hits on all cylinders. And we see how much more applicable it is, almost two decades later. Where/how does it end? [rhetorical—I know there isn’t an answer]

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  7. “One less traitor”: Zelensky oversees campaign of assassination, kidnapping and torture of political opposition’

    While claiming to defend democracy, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky has outlawed his opposition, ordered his rivals’ arrest, and presided over the disappearance and assassination of dissidents across the country.

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has framed his country’s war against Russia as a battle for democracy itself. In a carefully choreographed address to US Congress on March 16, Zelensky stated, “Right now, the destiny of our country is being decided. The destiny of our people, whether Ukrainians will be free, whether they will be able to preserve their democracy.”

    US corporate media has responded by showering Zelensky with fawning press, driving a campaign for his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize and inspiring a flamboyant musical tribute to himself and the Ukrainian military during the 2022 Grammy awards ceremony on April 3…………………………………..

    https://thegrayzone.com/2022/04/17/traitor-zelensky-assassination-kidnapping-arrest-political-opposition/

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    1. Nobel Peace Prize? Well, he’d join Obama in the ranks of winners who waged war in the name of peace.

      So maybe we should just call it the Nobel War Prize.

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      1. I sent the following Message to the Nobel Committee in 2011 and didn’t get a reply until 4 years later when the Director of the Nobel Institute retired after 25 years, and wrote a Book saying giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize was a mistake.

        From: rayray@sympatico.ca
        To: postmaster@nobel.no; library@nobel.no
        Subject: Peace Prize/War Prize
        Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 22:35:33 +0000

        Honourable Members of the Nobel Committee,

        Considering the speeches candidate Obama gave before the Global Financial Meltdown-Economic Pearl Harbour-Tsunami of September 2008 under the watch of his predecessor, I was happy when your august Committee awarded the new President the Nobel Peace Prize.

        I supposed at that Time, you awarded it to him knowing the mess he inherited would leave him holding the bag, and at a great disadvantage with the American people to start with, and you hoped awarding him such a prestigious award at the outset of his Presidency might ameliorate the disadvantage of inheriting a failed economy and in those circumstances, help keep him focused on the Prize of Peace.

        I am positive I am not the only resident of earth to see the difference between the words of Candidate Obama and the inexperienced new President Obama you awarded the Peace Prize to, and his actions since then. Since being given the Prize, his actions on the world stage show he resorts to military action 1st and not as a last resort. He is showing by his actions to be undeserving of The Nobel Peace Prize.

        I may not be the 1st person to write to you about this, but I see justifiable reasons to recall the Peace Prize awarded to President Obama prematurely in wishful thinking. He is showing himself by his policies to be unworthy of it. If you can’t take it back, at least make a Public Statement saying in retrospect, The Committee made a hasty decision.

        What moved me Today to write to you was reading the latest article in the Blog of Professor Richard Falk, International Law Scholar titled ‘
        Missing the Point Twice: International Law as Empire’s Sunday Suit
        https://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2011/10/15/missing-the-point-twice-international-law-as-empire%E2%80%99s-sunday-suit/

        Peace
        Ray Joseph Cormier

        GENERAL/PRESIDENT DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER – The Last Real Commander-In-Chief
        http://ray032.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/generalpresident-dwight-d-eisenhower-the-last-real-commander-in-chief/

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  8. Will Americans ever here a speech like this again from their President?
    Probably unlikely. Would be nice though eh?

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  9. Are our kids, grandkids and their grandkids going to be singing peace songs at rock concerts?
    Maybe….

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  10. “Strictly Business” says so well how money makes mayhem, massacres, and misery; the perpetrators go free; spectators, the ignorant masses, cheer for their team and ignore the ultimate consequences.
    Investing in peace is a better deal for everyone, but it requires thought, compassion, self-control. Who can provide the game plan? What bank or stock market will fund a budget for peace?

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  11. Christopher you said “What bank or stock market will fund a “budget” for peace?”
    And as you know what the US military budgets is for Imperial offensive overreach with its 900+ overseas bases.
    Furthermore what the MIC spends is is not technically a “Budget”.
    Its a wild-ass guess of what they can screw out of the American beleaguered taxpayers for another year.
    The US Military has not passed an audit – ever!

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    1. And we all know that U.S. banks, markets, and large corporations are all about realizing profits in the short-term. The benefits of peace (the economic ones, that is) take some time to manifest, so…. There’s no interest in waiting.

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    1. Even without any mention of Religion, The Washington Post deleted a complete thread of my comments in the discussion of this article as I deal with push back for my comments differing from the approved US/NATO WAR narrative, much more than I get from Dennis and Jeanie, this being the latest not deleted yet,
      The old adage is still True. TRUTH is the 1st casualty of WAR.
      This War would not be happening at all if the US, France and Germany used their leverage on Ukraine to negotiate with the Donetsk Republics as Minsk required since Ukraine signed on to it, some form of Autonomy within a Ukraine Federal System. Ukraine refused to negotiate, and while US/NATO War Propaganda will not inform their Public, before the War started, Ukraine was massing up to 80,000 troops along the Donetsk, and dramatically increased the shelling of the CIVILIANS in the Russian speak Ukrainians in the East who refused to accept the US Coup/regime change of the Russian friendly government they voted for, installing a Neo-Nazi anti-Russian government.

      It was that Ukrainian shelling of the Russian speaking Ukrainians in the East that PROVOKED Russia to intervene and stop it.

      Typical inane reply: Thanks for your 2 cents, Boris.

      West sends Ukraine fighter jets, heavy weapons as fighting intensifies in Donbas
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/20/ukraine-russia-fighter-jets-weapons-war/

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    2. I wouldn’t begrudge sending billions in weapons to Ukraine, if we were not simultaneously informed that it’s too expensive to provide comprehensive social/healthcare services to the people of this country, which includes those of us who are bearing the brunt of said weapons costs.

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    1. A simple question that raises so many complex issues. There are books upon books written on “just war” theory.

      My quick take: World War II was a just war. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, both militaristic empires bent on domination through racism and annihilation, had to be defeated.

      Other wars that America has fought are not nearly so clear cut. Vietnam was an unjust war. So were Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Civil War, I’d say, was unjust as fought by the Confederacy (to preserve slavery). One could argue the North/Union fought for a just cause, i.e. to preserve the union, and, later, to end slavery.

      The Korean War: perhaps it was “just” in the sense of the original UN mandate to restore South Korea. Once UN forces moved to unify the entire Korean Peninsula, i.e. to eliminate North Korea, the war became unjust.

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      1. Of course, I would in no way advocate slavery, but from the South’s point of view, wasn’t the Civil War about states’ rights, versus federalism, or was that merely a fig leaf, do you think?

        Asking because I have a friend who’s a transplant to the South, and when they re-fight the war, I hear it’s all states’ rights.

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            1. Yes. To secede so that slavery could be preserved. As Lincoln said, everyone knew that slavery was the root cause of the war. Not the only one — simply the main one.

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              1. According to the Library of Congress, that is not what Lincoln to media mogul Horace Greeley in his August 22, 1862 letter:

                I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. MY PARAMOUNT OBJECT IN THIS STRUGGLE IS TO SAVE THE UNION, AND IS NOT EITHER TO SAVE OR TO DESTROY SLAVERY. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. [EMPHASIS added.]

                Full text at https://www.loc.gov/resource/mal.4233400/?st=text

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              2. I was citing Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, his deepest statement on the war and, I’d argue, the finest speech ever made by a U.S. president.

                “One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.”

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        1. The thought occurred to me, Ray. Certainly, the Vietnam War was propelled by racism and annihilation. All credit to MLK for his brilliant speech attacking that war and America’s spiritual death due to racism, materialism, and militarism.

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          1. Remembering April 4, 1967

            In Your recent post “What Would It Take for the Pentagon Budget to Shrink?”, Colonel, You concluded : “We have become George Orwell’s Oceania, where war is peace, surveillance is privacy, and censorship is free speech. Such is the fate of a people who make war and empire their way of life.”

            A nation and a people get the government, the system of governance, and the governors that they deserve.

            And for Our sins, we have the GoatRope that is American Politics today; and that has been for a long, long time. And the disasters that its foreign and domestic military, political, economic, environmental, and social policies and programs have been, are, and promise only to continue to be.

            Monday, April 4, 2022, was the 55th anniversary of the day that the Doctor and Reverend Martin Luther King, in a Church in New York City, declared War against America’s War in, on, and against the People ~ and Their Land, Country, and Nation ~ of Vietnam in his epochal oration ” Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.”

            To hear and perhaps listen to it, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJhgXKGldUk. To read it: https://www.crmvet.org/info/mlk_viet.pdf. And an excellent survey and analysis of it is available at https://original.antiwar.com/david-bromwich/2008/05/16/martin-luther-kings-speech-against-the-vietnam-war/ .

            It was on this day that he delivered a declaration that ~ in many ways ~ was, is, and forever will be the most important and impactful statement he ever made. Beyond even his “Letter From Birmingham City Jail,” “I have a Dream…,” and “I’ve been to the Mountaintop.”

            And in Breaking That Silence on that day in April 1967, Dr King initiated [and, in fact, initialed] his own Death Warrant; to be filled out in full exactly one year to the bloody day later ~ April 4, 1968 ~ in a place called Memphis. The morning after his Mountaintop report.

            Dr King began “Beyond Vietnam” with the simple statement: “A time comes when silence is betrayal. In Vietnam, that time has come for us.”

            i would suggest that if silence is indeed betrayal, then that time has come for those of us who are concerned about America’s [and indeed, Humanity’s] collision course with Reality and the grim future that that present course promises.

            And near the end of his speech, Dr King made “incandescently clear” one bottom line, bullet-hits-the-bone Truth: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” And fifty-five years later, here we are.

            The only way that this nation’s military and other criminally wasteful budgets are ever going to go down is if and when a critical mass of American Citizen/Taxpayers DEMAND that that happen, and refuse to accept its Not happening. Which, of course, is not very likely to happen any time soon. Or to happen at least soon enough to avert the looming catastrophe.

            How many candidates for federal office in this year’s elections are calling for a reduction on defense spending? Any?

            A prolonged War in Europe; global food and fuel shortages and supply line chokepoints; a resurgent, alien strain of COVID; inflation reaching hyper- proportions; a climate increasingly manifesting increasingly powerful and destructive weather events…. .

            One is reminded of REM’s classic: “It’s The End of The World As We Know It.” But also, as Patti Smith put it, that “The People Have The Power…”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iwK0IFgZyQ .

            Jeffrey G Moebus
            Master Sergeant, US Army [Retired]
            Veterans Against War, Sitka Platoon]
            Sitka, Alaska

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Note: The individual most responsible for Doctor King’s coming out against the American war in Viet Nam was a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk: Thich Nhat Hahn.

            For a brief overview of their relationship and Nhat Hahn’s impact on Dr King, see the article “When Giants Meet” at the Thich Nhat Hahn Foundation website: https://thichnhathanhfoundation.org/blog/2017/8/9/when-giants-meet .

            For beautifully written, in-depth history of the two Peacemakers and their relationship, check out BROTHERS IN THE BELOVED COMMUNITY: The Friendship of Thich Nhat Hanh and Martin Luther King Jr., by Marc Andrus: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08W9QTY8P/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 .

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    2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church lays out the conditions for just war in paragraph 2309:

      1.The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain.
      2.All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective.
      3. There must be serious prospects of success.
      4. The use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

      The Catechism goes on to conclude in that same paragraph. These are the traditional elements the Catholic Church enumerates in what is called the “just war” doctrine. The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.

      It has been argued that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine clearly fails to meet three of the four criteria set forth in Catholic teaching. But others argue vehemently that NATO/WESTERN military aggression toward Russia would also clearly fail to meet three of the four.
      criteria.https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2022/03/05/just-war-theory-and-the-russo-ukrainian-war/

      Is it just me Colonel , or does it seem that The Catholic Church is sitting on the fence here? Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin!

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        1. If the Church did that, just think: There would have never been any Crusades. Or 40-year Wars of Religion in Europe. Or Conquistadors making The New World safe for Catholics, Or The Vatican, and its relationships with Mussolini and Hitler.

          Of course, we could talk about the Church and “Thou shalt not Steal”; but the point is made.

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    1. We’ve been warned!

      I hope it doesn’t come to this but it could, because the US Wants War to vanquish Russia like it was at the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 90s. Russia was weak and the US wanted it that way.

      From the 90s Putin restored Worth and Pride to the Russian People and made Russia strong again, so he’s the devil to the US plan for total spectrum dominance of this World.

      I really believe, because of what I see the MSM, the 5th Horseman of the Apocalypse in this World is projecting, this World is heading toward Mutually Assured Destruction. like this,

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    2. But…if this weapon system is invincible, why would Putin be worried about NATO encroachment in the first place? If this thing can defeat anything else, NATO is no longer a threat.

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      1. Denise, If NATO gets boots on the ground in Ukraine, which it had since the 2014 Coup/regime change of the Elected Russian friendly government, and it’s anti-missiles like it already has in Poland and Roumania, Moscow could be destroyed within 5 minutes of launch.
        There would not be enough Time to determine if it’s a false alarm or not, making this World a much more dangerous place, that’s why!

        The Warsaw Military Pact opposite NATO disappeared along with the Soviet Union in 1991. There was no military need for NATO to advance to the Border of Russia except as an aggressive move and a threat to Russia.

        For those who followed the link to ‘US POLITICIANS ARE SLEEPWALKING TOWARD THE NUCLEAR ABYSS’ in my reply to Congressman Swalwell, I wrote what I see in the purpose of US/NATO aggression toward Russia, “That 8 year Civil War was precipitated by the 2014 US orchestrated Coup/regime change of the Russian friendly government the Russian speaking Ukrainians in the East and Crimea VOTED for, installing a puppet Neo-Nazi anti-Russian government headed by the man US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland was caught on tape saying she wanted to head the changed Ukraine government before it was changed. This was not a co-incidence but long planned to bring about Zbigniew Brzezinski vision who said “Ukraine should not be allowed to side with Russia. With Ukraine, Russia is a great power, while without Ukraine, it is a regional player.”

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  12. Biden Expected Announce Another $800 Million Weapons Package for Ukraine
    The new package would bring total military aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded to well over $3 billion
    by Dave DeCamp Posted on April 19, 2022

    “President Biden is preparing to announce a new massive military aid package for Ukraine that will be about the same size as the previous $800 million one, Reuters reported Tuesday.

    If announced, the new package would bring the total military aid for Ukraine pledged by the Biden administration since Russia invaded on February 24 to well over $3 billion. Two US officials told NBC News that the new aid will include artillery and tens of thousands of artillery rounds.

    President Biden also said Tuesday that the US will give Ukraine more artillery. The US is giving Ukraine heavy artillery for the first time as part of the $800 million weapons package that was announced last week, which includes howitzers and 40,000 artillery rounds.

    Other military equipment the US has sent to Ukraine since Russia invaded includes thousands of Javelin anti-tank missiles and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, armed switchblade drones, armored vehicles, helicopters, and sea drones. The US is pulling most of the weapons from its own stockpiles, and the Pentagon is scrambling to replenish them, which means long-term profits for US arms makers.

    The flow of US weapons into Ukraine shows no sign of slowing down. Matt Miller, a White House official on the National Security Council, told MSNBC on Tuesday that the US is “always” preparing new weapons packages for the Ukrainians. “The question about another package is really the easiest one you could ask me. The answer is yes, of course, we are always preparing the next package of security assistance to get into Ukraine,” he said”

    https://news.antiwar.com/2022/04/19/biden-expected-announce-another-800-million-weapons-package-for-ukraine/

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  13. China is going to be the challenge that will finally bring a stop to US empire. The reason is simple, the Chinese keep the US consumer, whether an individual or a business, going. The consumer economy is 70%+ of our GNP. We may have an impressive weapons production line, but for everything else, the world looks to China. This means any proposals to economically sanction China by the US would be so counterproductive as to be what the British call an own goal.

    The economic equivalent of the nuclear weapon has been achieved. This all-out jump on Russia is the last chance for self-righteousness to flood the nation while benefiting the weapons industry and even in this case we are seeing effects here that hurt.

    We’ve reached the end of a long period of expansion of US hegemony, the opening bell sounded at Bretton Woods, where our economic status has insured expansion in spite of military blunders bringing pointless loss of life both foreign and American. We fashioned the golden key for ourselves in 1944 and have finally encountered the one lock it cannot open.

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  14. As someone who has served in the U.S military, what one person said in this video is completely true. If you’re any good at what you do in the military, you’re not in the military anymore. The biggest problem with private military company’s is that they never want to put an end to any conflict because the longer it goes on, the more money they make.

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  15. i am looking forward, Colonel, to Your thoughts on the British Court decision to extradite WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange to the US, where he faces up to 175 years in prison on charges of “spying,” among other things.

    “The Assange Story” provides a detailed look at What Mr Assange did, and How and Why he did it. And it is very easy to understand why the United States government has painted a bullseye on his back. Viewer discretion is definitely advised; particularly if the idea of showing American helicopters slaughtering unarmed civilians on the streets of Baghdad ~ and laughing about it ~ is offensive:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvrUiAFhDe8 .

    Liked by 2 people

      1. i just read it. Outstanding. May i encourage You to update that to include the Extradition Order and get it posted as widely as possible?

        Like

  16. My intro to this video on my Public FB page, shortened and edited for Twitter, and now here,
    Like the increasing hatred and killings on our streets, US dominated NATO European Vassal States, in recent years conducted more and more “WAR GAMES” among themselves up to and including Poland, only separated by Ukraine from Russia, were training to defeat “THE ENEMY” we all know is Russia.
    We’ve become NUMBED and OBLIVIOUS to it all.

    This is no longer a WAR GAME but THE REAL WAR NATO has been planning for a long time, and still there is no Good Faith Diplomacy by the US West, but escalation.
    You don’t have to be an Einstein to know where that will lead!!!
    SILENCE is CONSENT!!!

    With all the anti-aircraft weaponry NATO has provided Ukraine, just imagine if an Azov Nazi extremist got hold of one, and shot down one of those Russian planes on Russia’s side of the border? as reported by this video.

    ALL bets would be off, and we would see Hellfire take over this Earth.

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    1. Re-posting my comment and the link in the Washington Post just now, got me this instant 1 Day suspension,
      “Your account is currently suspended until 4/22/2022.”

      They hate it and demonize Russia for suppressing information like that, but it’s good when they do the same thing.

      Like

      1. The full Message on refreshing the Page to the Washington Post and wanting to comment on any article on the War.
        Your account has been temporarily suspended from commenting
        In accordance with The Washington Post’s community guidelines your account has been temporarily suspended. While suspended you will not be able to comment, use reactions or report comments.
        Please rejoin the conversation on April 22, 2022, 4:13 PM

        All I did was post the comment and the video link!

        Like

  17. An excellent interview of Vijay Prashad, an Indian Marxist historian and commentator, an executive-director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, the Chief Editor of LeftWord Books, and a senior non-resident fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China by Paul Jay on :
    Ukraine a Pawn in a Larger Struggle.

    Like

  18. re: The “Real Cause” of the First American Civil War

    Colonel, You cited Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address as Your source for the assertion that Slavery was the real cause of that War.

    Lincoln made that speech five weeks before Appomattox and the end of that War. The South was totally and completely defeated, devastated, and destroyed by victorious Union forces.

    On the other hand, Lincoln’s letter to Horace Greeley was written one month after the disastrous Union defeat at Manassas [the First Battle of Bull Run], and a whole string of Confederate victories in Virginia, West Virginia, and Missouri.

    My question is: Which statement more accurately expresses what Lincoln really thought about that War: The one made when victory was at hand in the spring of 1865; or the one when defeat was all over the place in the late summer of 1862?

    The simple fact of the matter is that the Northern States could not maintain and sustain their level of economic well-being if, all of a sudden, the Southern States were no longer part of the Union, and could trade directly with foreign nations without Washington taking its cut in taxes, tariffs, and other fees.

    That is the reason that Slavery was written into the Constitution [along with the “3/5 Rule” and a Fugitive Slave Mandate] in the first place. Because if it hadn’t been, the Constitution would not have been ratified, and the “United States of America” would not have come into existence. At least not at that time.

    And that is the reason that Lincoln gave to Greeley at those very darkest days at the beginning of that War.

    And as far as “freeing the Slaves” went: Lincoln’s beloved Emancipation Proclamation freed only those Slaves in the States that had seceded from the Union. Slavery was still completely and totally legal in those loyal border States that had not joined the CSA.

    Like

    1. I understand. Historians differ on these questions.

      My take is that Lincoln’s views on slavery evolved over time. He’s on the record as saying he’d preserve the union, if he had to, while still maintaining slavery. But as the war came, as Lincoln would say, and as hundreds of thousands of troops died on both sides, including, critically, African-American troops, Lincoln’s views changed, as did those of many of his countrymen. I think his “true” views, i.e. his views, informed and hardened, in the crucible of an awful war, are reflected in that 2nd Inaugural Address. He had come to see that slavery had to end. That it was wrong, intolerably wrong.

      If only he had lived to help forge a more peaceable re-union after the South’s surrender. Lincoln wanted comity and victory without vengeance.

      Like

      1. If that is the case, Colonel, then why didn’t he order the “loyal” Border States who still had Slavery to release their Slaves?

        Was it because he knew that if he did that, that they would probably secede as well, and join the CSA? He didn’t do that precisely because he needed those Border States to wage his War.

        One wonders what would have happened if Lincoln had offered the same deal to the seceding southern, Slave-holding States: If You stay in the Union, You can keep Your Slaves; just like the loyal Border States.

        That’s why the Emancipation Proclamation released only those Slaves in States that had seceded, and nowhere else.

        To me, a bigger question than what would have happened as far as post-War America had Lincoln lived is as follows: Why, with the exception of Haiti, is the United States the only major nation on the Planet that needed a War to end Slavery?

        I’m sure the Historians differ on that, as well. Part of the joys of History, eh?

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        1. Lincoln was nothing if not practical. He didn’t emancipate all the slaves initially because he knew it would cost him those border states. That doesn’t mean Lincoln supported slavery or was a hypocrite. It means he did what he had to do to win the war. And when the war was won, he could then free all the slaves. Again, Lincoln was much impressed by the performance and sacrifice of Black troops in the Union Army. I believe his views on slavery did evolve over time …

          Liked by 1 person

          1. In other words, he did what he did in order to save the Union. Just exactly like he said he would do in his letter to Greeley. That’s why they call him “Honest Abe,” eh?

            Along with full-bore press censorship, the suspension of habeus corpus [to throw in a little “lawyer talk”], and the suppression of all anti-war sentiment, activity, or action. Among other direct and indirect violations of the Constitution.

            “But, but, but,,,, there’s a [expletive deleted]ing WAR going on!!!” How many times have we Americans heard and bought that exact same song and dance refrain since then? How many times has what Lincoln did ~ and got away with ~ because “There’s a War Going On” been played out again and again over the past 160 years?

            In any event: It would be interesting to know how many Free Blacks from the Northern States were in the Union Army, and what their casualty rates were [as compared, say, to Blacks who were killed or maimed in Viet Nam, or in The Forever War since.

            It would be even more interesting to know how many Slaves in those Loyal Border States traded their Slavery for service in the Union Army. And what their casualty rates were.

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  19. I’ve recommended reading Professor Michael Brenner the Historian to this group, but you have to subscribe to get on his email list to get his latest writing. This is the 1st Time I’ve come across a webpage interview of the Professor by Robert Scheer of Scheerpost.

    In an email with the subject line “Quittin’ Time,” Brenner recently declared that, aside from having already said his piece on Ukraine, one of the main reasons he sees for giving up on expressing his opinions on the subject is that “it is manifestly obvious that our society is not capable of conducting an honest, logical, reasonably informed discourse on matters of consequence. Instead, we experience fantasy, fabrication, fatuousness and fulmination.” He goes on to decry President Joe Biden’s alarming comments in Poland when he all but revealed that the U.S. is—and perhaps has always been—interested in a Russian regime change.

    On this week’s “Scheer Intelligence,” Brenner tells host Robert Scheer how the recent attacks he received—many of a personal, ad hominem nature—were some of the most vitriolic he’s ever experienced. The two discuss how many media narratives completely leave out that the eastward expansion of NATO, among other Western aggressions against Russia, played an important part in fueling the current humanitarian crisis. Corporate media’s “cartoonish” depiction of Russian president Vladimir Putin, adds Brenner, is not only misleading, but dangerous given the nuclear brinkmanship that has ensued. Listen to the full discussion between Brenner and Scheer as they continue to dissent despite living in an America that is seemingly increasingly hostile to any opinion that strays from the official line………………………….

    ‘Michael Brenner: American Dissent on Ukraine Is Dying in Darkness’

    https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/15/michael-brenner-american-dissent-on-ukraine-is-dying-in-darkness/

    Like

    1. Been meaning to write about this. Dissent, or even critical thinking, is being reinterpreted as dangerous, dishonest, and traitorous.

      We’re in a lot of trouble in the USA.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was surprised at how fact adverse the Initiates in Trump’s Cult of Personalty were. It was like a complete takeover of their minds, but I took solace it was still a minority of the American People.

        It’s much worse now with the 24/7 Mass Media Manipulating the Minds of the Masses to see the US Tug of War with Russia over Ukraine and the actual War Emotionally, with too many SINS of Historical OMISSION out of the conversation. There is no discussion.
        Now the greater majority of the American People have been whipped up into a lemming frenzy by the MSM, the previously unknown 5th Horseman Of The Apocalypse, inciting for evermore Weapons and War.

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      2. They say knowledge is power. But power is the ability to create knowledge, to manipulate it, to persuade others to think as you want them to think, and to act as you want them to act.

        That is true power. To tell a lie and to present it as truth.

        I can see why Satan was called the great deceiver, because the ability to deceive, to lie persuasively and convincingly, is power indeed.

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        1. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”- the famous quote wrested by Ron Suskind from a “senior adviser” to president G W Bush.
          Long thought of it as a coda to the refusal to see reality in the fiasco of the Iraq war and the failure of the Afghanistan war

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks for the notorious quote from “Without a Doubt,” by Ron Suskind, The New York Times Magazine (October 17, 2004). Absolutely appropriate for the present moment. For those who don’t remember it, the full quote reads as follows:

            “The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

            I often reflect upon of this quote since it puts me in mind of O’Brien torturing Winston Smith in the Ministry of Love (1984Book III Chapter II):

            “You are here because you have failed in humility, in self-discipline. You would not make the act of submission which is the price of sanity. You preferred to be a lunatic, a minority of one. Only the disciplined mind can see reality, Winston. You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn, Winston. It needs an act of self-destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.” [emphasis added]

            Sorry for the length of this comment, but I need to one more example of this kind of arrogant, power-mad “reality control.” The epiphany hit me while laboriously typing up a transcript [still a work in progress] of a two-hour long panel discussion featuring Scott Ritter, Alastair Crooke, and Max Blumenthal, moderated by Seyed Mohammad Marandi (of the University of Tehran) entitled: “The War in Ukraine and the Collapsing World Order.” The subject of Scott Ritter getting taken off Twitter for not conforming to the establishment narrative of heroic “democratic” Ukraine consistently getting the better of Count Vladimir Dracula came up and Alastaire Crooke observed:

            [39:59] “But I want to go back just a little bit because of something that Max said about this and about Twitter and how sad it was that no one, you know, wasn’t on Twitter anymore. You know, I’m not on Twitter, but I think there’s a fundamental thing that was implicit in what he was saying. It’s as if there could be a debate in the U.S. And if Twitter wasn’t there and other things, then that debate wouldn’t happen. And I challenge that because I spent years, I mean I even started back in Afghanistan. You remember in 2006 I remember one of the neocon people saying very explicitly, and explicitly to me: ‘Listen. When it comes to tweaking the humanitarian, the heartstrings, we write the script. We hire the film makers. We hire the team that is going to produce the film. We direct the film. We distribute the film. And the other side just has to sit quietly in silence and fume with anger. Because they can do nothing about it’.” [emphasis added]

            Ron Suskind dated his quote from 2002. Alastair Crooke dated his from 2006 (still in the Deputy Dubya Bush administration, Neocon Central). But George Orwell laid out the psychotic lunacy of power in 1949 when he published his masterpiece. So it has always seemed to me that the power-mad maniacs who have wrecked America and much of the world for the entirety of my lifetime never saw 1984 as a dystopian nightmare but as an operations manual laying out all the necessary technological, psychological, and linguistic techniques of what I like to call Manufactured Mendacity and Managed Mystification.

            Alastair Crooke had more to say on this subject, all of it relevant to the current “everything including the kitchen sink” proxy military war on the Russian Federation — and all of it failing miserably — but I’ll save those quotes for a later comment. This one has already gone on too long. Sorry about that.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. This is all vitally important. They believe they can create their own reality, then impose it on us, while forcing us to deny the reality around us. Thus 2+2=5 if they say it’s so, and if you refuse, you will most certainly pay a steep price.

              Another oft-cited Orwell quote/image: the future as a boot stamping on a human face — forever. It doesn’t have to be a literal boot and a literal face. It’s all about being pushed down and stamped on, over and over again, until you submit to the narrative of the Party. More than anything, it’s about squelching dissent, and in fact making dissent impossible, by controlling what we know and how we think.

              One trivial example: tennis players from Russia and Belarus are not being allowed to play at Wimbledon. How is this in any way a principled and honorable decision? It’s one step away from “the only good Russian is a dead one.” This is not in any way a “good” decision: it is petty and vindictive and corrosive to sport and to fairness.

              Absolute power doesn’t corrupt “them” so much as it corrupts those who serve it and submit to it. Sauron wasn’t corrupted by the Ring; he was fulfilled by it. It’s the rest of us who must be willing to resist that corruption.

              Or so it seems to me …

              Liked by 1 person

              1. With US dominated NATO and their 1 sided War Propaganda with so many SINS of Historical OMISSION left out as if the War just came up out if a vacuum, we’re already here ,” It’s one step away from “the only good Russian is a dead one.” This is not in any way a “good” decision: it is petty and vindictive and corrosive to sport and to fairness.”

                It was the Russians who liberated Auschwitz in Poland, and since 2014, every year the US/West commemorates it’s liberation, Russia is not invited to attend.

                I always though that was so petty and small minded in denial of Reality on the part of the US and it’s European NATO Client States.

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        2. Just read today that Kevin McCarthy is denying he ever said anything negative about the Orange Menace. Nope, never called for his resignation after 1/6/21, never said we needed to be rid of him. When confronted with recordings of himself making the statements, he’s still keeping up the front. So, obviously, Orangettes can’t believe their lyin’ ears, in addition to their eyes. If McCarthy gets away with it, THAT will be a measure of the power of deceit.

          Like

            1. So said many of the comments on that article.

              But someone else made a comment that really made me stop and think: [paraphrasing] “Cowards know the right thing to do, but are afraid to do it. The likes of McCarthy and McConnell know the right thing to do but disdain to do it. They’re not cowards, they’re just evil.”

              Liked by 1 person

  20. US Trashes ICC, But Wants It to Charge Russians
    Although the United States has tried mightily to undermine the International Criminal Court since it became operational in 2002, the U.S. government is now pushing for the ICC to prosecute Russian leaders for war crimes in Ukraine. Apparently, Washington thinks the ICC is reliable enough to try Russians but not to bring U.S. or Israeli officials to justice…………………………………………………………

    https://consortiumnews.com/2022/04/21/us-trashes-icc-but-wants-it-to-charge-russians/

    The US put Sanctions on the ICC Prosecutor opening an investigation into Israeli War Crimes.

    Liked by 1 person

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