Thursday Thoughts

W.J. Astore

The U.S. government continues to denounce Putin for “genocidal” war crimes yet continues to persecute journalist Julian Assange for revealing war crimes. Contradiction?

Julian Assange’s persecution really isn’t about Assange anymore. It’s about intimidating other journalists and whistleblowers who’d dare to reveal the crimes of empire committed by the United States.

If I suggest that NATO expansion to the borders of Russia was a provocative move that was almost guaranteed to provoke hostility with Russia, as prominent experts like George Kennan and Henry Kissinger warned us about in the 1990s, does that make me a Putin puppet? Are Kennan and Kissinger retroactive puppets?

If I suggest that sending billions of dollars in weaponry to Ukraine is not in the cause of peace, that more people will die as a result, Ukrainian and Russian, does that make me a Putin puppet?

They say that bipartisanship is dead in Washington, yet why are both parties boosting Pentagon spending and competing with one another on how much weaponry can be sent to Ukraine without provoking nuclear Armageddon? That last part — do we trust the geniuses in Washington to walk that nuclear tightrope?

The Saudis recently made a major $2 billion investment in Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law. Looks like they’re betting on a Trump victory in 2024. Speaking of Kushner, he gained admittance to Harvard only after his father made a mega-donation to the school. Or maybe it was a MAGA-donation?

I was asked what I thought of Russia’s new offensive in eastern Ukraine. Here was my response:

The short answer is war is war and it’s going to be ugly, especially in cities and other built-up areas.

Of course, there’s new technology like drones and guided missiles, e.g. Javelin and Stinger.  Those missiles will make it more difficult for Russia to prevail.  I’m guessing the Russians will use more artillery as a way of neutralizing Stinger and Javelin operators.  What that means is more destruction, more “collateral damage.”  More blood and guts.

I expect the Russians will lean on “combined arms” operations, meaning closer coordination among infantry, tanks, artillery, and airpower.  If you just send in tanks without cover, they’re going to get knocked out, which we’ve seen in videos.

What we could see is guerrilla warfare by Ukrainian forces in smashed cities, which is truly terrible for the people of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the U.S. keeps sending weapons in the name of peace …

I also got asked whether Putin would resort to nuclear weapons if the war in Ukraine went poorly for him. Here was my response to that:

Putin won’t use nuclear weapons against Ukraine.  He’d have nothing to gain here.

The danger of nuclear weapons arises if the war were to widen outside of Ukraine.  For example, if NATO enforced a no-fly zone and started shooting down Russian planes, I could see Putin responding with a tactical nuclear strike against a NATO airbase.  That would risk a wider nuclear war, truly a horrifying scenario, which is why those who are calling for NATO escalation and direct involvement in the war are being irresponsible.

Of course, “irresponsible” is putting it mildly. “Batshit crazy” is more like it.

If more of America’s politicians were historians, or indeed almost any profession other than “lawyer,” would we see a bit more care and humility in their words and deeds? Sophistry, cleverness with words, fancy rhetoric, and blatant hypocrisy may play well in court when it’s all backed up by money, and lots of it, but it doesn’t necessarily play well on the battlefield. If lawyer-speak and lies won wars, America would be undefeated. (With apologies to principled lawyers everywhere who know the value of personal integrity and who fight for justice.)

“Dream it true” is a slogan I see in ads today in America. MLK had a dream, but he sure worked hard to put it in motion, and for all his work he paid for it with his life. Meanwhile, the dream still isn’t true, which isn’t the fault of MLK, who gave his life for his dream of a better America.

People may think Greta Thunberg is being overly dramatic here in her speech about climate change and the empty words of elite powerbrokers, but I think these are the sanest words I’ve ever heard.

Did you know the USA plans to “invest” $2 trillion in new nuclear weapons over the next 30-50 years? Imagine what $2 trillion could do if focused on green energy and a greener, cleaner environment. More nukes, or cleaner water and air: which should we be investing in? Hmm … I wonder.

20 thoughts on “Thursday Thoughts

  1. I remain optimistic that when a talking head tells the marching cheerleaders something about a war criminal and genocide, a photo of GWB is shown. Cheney. Or HRC. Or any number of “leaders” the SecretCervix can arrest without delay.


  2. As you noted, military aid is bi-partisan – so we can assume no Republicans will question Biden on the announcement this morning of another $800 million of equipment to be sent to Ukraine.

    I’ve read there is no tracking of military aid once it’s given – so could we assume that small arms, anti-tank weapons, drones, and Stingers will wind up in the black market?

    I think the answer is yes. Larry Johnson (former CIA and State Department) said in an interview on RT that French police have already seized weapons and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles in Paris. Of course, just like Libya, the use of similar black-market weapons will not be fault of the US – there will be bi-partisan agreement on that.

    But not to worry, Biden told Obama he plans to run again in 2024. Everything will be fine.


    1. An excellent citation, Tom R. I spent this morning typing up a transcript” of the interview with former CIA analyst Larry Johnson at (April 20, 2022). Some key excerpts from his conclusion:

      You cannot conduct a war simply with psychological operations. And that seems to be what Ukraine has relied upon. Making outlandish claims. A fighter pilot shot down six Russian planes. It turns out that’s from a video game. Or that they’ve killed or captured twenty-eight Russian generals. I mean, the lies go on.”

      “What I find shocking is I know for a fact that some of the key analysts in the intelligence community have been buying this nonsense. The question of skepticism toward these claims has not even arisen. So I think, really, that the United States has become just a big, bloated, overfed, unhealthy blob. …We’ve been beating up on little brown people for thirty years; people that didn’t have real air forces; didn’t have a real armies. And we imagined ourselves to be extremely viable as a military force. But coming up against, essentially, as I see it: the Ukrainian army is fighting a proxy war for NATO, for the United States. And we’re finding out that everything we thought the Ukrainians could do, they can’t do. And Russia has been pretty effective in countering them“.

      Again, an excellent interview. Short, clear questions and short, clear answers.


  3. I hope Greta becomes a Teacher! She has a brain, a heart and a good soul. Lets be hopeful they listen, but this girl has a definite Calling…We’re all becoming far too consumed with this material World that’s blocking out our senses to realize the wrongful course our Country & World is heading. Lets hope we realize before its too late! Earth Day is tomorrow we are so blessed on this tiny World in the vastness of the Universe that so far shows no other life… Lets listen to what Mother Earth has to teach us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. tnx philip. if kismet-timing had kissed you both, you could have been greta’s teacher and role model prior to your firefighting profession.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The Australian politicians are useless POS!
    Puppets of their US masters.
    That they can stand by and let this happen to an innocent Australian citizen makes one want to puke!
    New Zealanders are ashamed and appalled at our neighbours across the ditch.


      1. Thank You for sharing that. He nailed it exactly.

        On the other hand, it’s a shame the Chinese don’t have what the spokesman termed “freedom of speech and the press” than he complains that Americans don’t have, eh?


      2. From the New China news agency, will it soon be banned as is RT? Surely everyone can agree that truth is best approached when all sides are heard from.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Congratulations, i guess. But sorry; don’t do Twitter or any social media. Not since Snowden.


  5. Thank You, Colonel, for “Thursday Thoughts.” Lots to chew on there.

    But most of all, Thank You for including Greta Thunberg’s address to the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit.

    It has been a couple of years since i last watched, listened to, and read Miss Thunberg’s message to world leaders. And watching, listening to, and especially reading her rant today, she could begin in exactly the same way: “We’ll be watching you.” “This is all wrong.” “How dare you!” “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying.”

    Permit me to share a piece i wrote about Miss Thunberg after her speech at the UN CAS, while she was sailing her way across the Atlantic Ocean from America to engage with the folks at COP25 in Madrid.

    Dreamers With Eyes Wide Open

    On 03dec19, La Vagabonde ~ the 45′ ocean sailing catamaran transporting Greta Thunberg from the United States across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe to take her message to the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference [COP25] in Madrid ~ will complete its 3,000 mile, 22-day voyage to its landfall destination: Doca de Alcantara, Lisbon, Portugal.

    La Vagabonde is carrying the sort of people TE Lawrence [“of Arabia”] was referring to when he noted:

    “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”

    That’s why La V’s hooking up with Miss Thunberg is so profound; for She too, is a dreamer with “eyes wide open.” And if enough “Dreamers of The Day” can get together ~ and get their acts together ~ and become a critical mass…; Well then, something very profound could, would, and will happen, indeed. And, in fact, it already has and is; in deed and indeed.

    Miss Thunberg is like one of those “hotshots” who smoke-jump into the periphery of a totally uncontrolled wildfire, and sets about setting counter- or back-fires [termed “Controlled Prescribed Burns”], so as to starve that wildfire of the fuel it needs in order to survive, thrive, grow, and sow further destruction.

    In this case, her CPBs consist of attempting to burn off the arrogance, indifference, deception, deceit, and betrayal of those occupying the highest seats of power, wealth, and information on this Planet; and she has succeeded in rattling more than just a few cages, here and there.

    She is also attempting to burn off the ignorance and indifference of those who have up to now refused to ~ but will soon, and ultimately must ~ confront and deal with Climate Change. Or “Climate Changed,” as has taken to calling that now-regular news feature item. Hence, the rise of the Extinction Rebellion, the whole “Climate Kids” meme, and the like.

    And, as a Scandinavian, she knows better than anybody that The Arctic Is Burning: literally, figuratively, metaphorically, metaphysically, existentially, ecologically, physically, and ~ by golly, all You Climate Change Deniers out there ~ no shit actually, and [expletive deleted]ing really. And as with the Arctic, so with the whole Planet. Including right here in Alaska.

    She has taken her message to The Belly of The Beast, those very seats of power, wealth, and information on this Planet. What she will actually, really accomplish remains to be seen. What Ms Thunberg is attempting to accomplish ~ and what La Vagabonde is helping her attempt to accomplish ~ is to find and present the Answers to one of the most important Questions confronting this Planet today.

    The question is not whether or not the Climate is Changing, or has already Changed. Rather, the question is:
    OK… . It has and is. So What? And, more importantly, Now What?

    Thank You to Captain Whitelum, First Mate Carausu, Master Lenny, and Captain Henderson for making this happen and for sharing it with the Whole Earth. And Thank You for letting that young rabble-rouser get to her next venue [and to Fru and Herr Thunberg for their roles in all this].

    jeff moebus
    S/V WayFinder
    Eliason Harbor
    Sitka, Alaska, USA


    Liked by 2 people

  6. There is a presumptive, and perhaps even arrogant, concept of American leadership as somehow, unless directly militarily provoked, being morally/ethically above using nuclear weapons internationally. But how can one know this as a fact? Literally any atrocity can be justified via that potentially very dangerous philosophy, ‘the end justifies the means’.

    The most frightful example of that philosophical justification is/was the pogrom, the primary implementers of which know they’re committing mass murder yet still genuinely perceive it all as part of an ultimately greater good.

    Every culture/nation has its own propaganda and core beliefs, true and false; though some culture/nations — usually the biggest, most powerful — are much more corrupt and brutal than the smaller, weaker ones. And western mainstream news-media are a significant part of this moral problem. Yet, the editors/journalists likely sleep well at night, nonetheless.


    1. FGS, You wrote: “There is a presumptive, and perhaps even arrogant, concept of American leadership as somehow, unless directly militarily provoked, being morally/ethically above using nuclear weapons internationally. But how can one know this as a fact?”

      One can know that this is Fact by the very fact that America got away with it at Hiroshima and Nagasaki because~ ultimately ~ it was “militarily provoked” at Pearl Harbor.

      And it got away with what it did in Viet Nam because it was “militarily provoked” in the Gulf of Tonkin.

      And of course, it has gotten away with its Forever War because it was “militarily provoked” by 9/11 and Saddam’s WMDs.

      One can only wonder what it will take to get America “militarily provoked” by the situation in Ukraine.

      Liked by 2 people

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