How Are We to Understand the Russia-Ukraine War?

Biden, Putin, and Zelensky.

W.J. Astore and M. Davout

My esteemed colleague Davout and I have different ways of looking at the Russia-Ukraine War.  We thought it would be a worthwhile exercise to share our differing perspectives here, allowing our readers to think over the merits of our approaches and the validity of our conclusions.  Davout has framed the questions and made the initial response; I get the last word, so to speak, for each question.  Our mutual intent is not to “win” a pseudo-debate but to pose questions and provide answers that inform and stimulate.  To that end, here we go.

What caused the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Davout: Putin’s desire to reestablish Russian hegemony over Eastern Europe and ensure the stability of his autocratic regime has been the main driver of the invasion. In 2005, Putin declared that the collapse of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” What was catastrophic about it for Putin? The eastern flank of the former Soviet Union, including Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova, and Ukraine shifted from being an appendage of an authoritarian Soviet regime to being a collection of independent democracies or democracies-in-process. Membership in the European Union and in NATO has either been achieved (the Baltic states) or been pursued (Ukraine pursuing both, Moldova pursuing European Union membership only). None of these countries (not to mention the formerly occupied countries of Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia) singly or together have the capacity or will to invade Russia or otherwise project military power across Russian borders. The real threat to which Putin is responding is the example set by the people of former Soviet territories opting for more democratic, less corrupt regimes and societies. That example endangers his own hold on power and pushes his own society toward historical irrelevance.

Astore: Putin was obviously the prime mover of the invasion.  He chose the military option, and he surely believed it would strengthen his authority over a former Soviet republic that was tracking toward joining NATO.

When we speak of causes, however, it’s often wise to take a broad view over a breadth of time.  When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, NATO’s reason for being ended with it.  Nevertheless, NATO persisted, expanding to the very borders of Russia despite assurances to Russian leaders that the alliance would not expand eastwards beyond a newly unified Germany.  Russian leaders, including Putin, had issued clear warnings that NATO expansion into Ukraine would constitute a “red line,” the crossing of which would likely lead to a military response.  Putin’s decision to invade, therefore, was eminently predictable, thus it was also potentially preventable. The United States, which leads NATO, could have sent a clear signal to Russia that Ukraine should and would remain a neutral buffer state.  The US chose not to do so.

One may question the premise of Ukraine as a “more democratic, less corrupt regime.”  In Ukraine, corruption is endemic, exacerbated by extensive U.S. meddling, as in the notorious coup of 2014 orchestrated in part by Victoria Nuland, citing the support of then-Vice President Joe Biden.  And while it’s important to recognize Russian regional hegemonic ambitions, one should never forget the global hegemonic ambitions of the U.S. empire.  In sum, the US has not been an innocent bystander here.  

US proxy war or Ukrainian war of independence?

Davout: A proxy war is a conflict instigated by a state in which it does not directly engage in hostilities. This war was a war of choice on the part of Putin. It has had the unintended result of inspiring patriotic resistance (even amongst Russian-speaking Ukrainians who were formerly pro-Russian like the mayor of Odessa). In the lead up to the invasion, the US and its NATO allies attempted to dissuade Putin from invading. In the invasion’s aftermath, they have provided critical arms and support to Ukraine and have sought economically to undermine Russia’s war-making capacities. While current official US policy may be the crippling of Russia’s capacity to engage in another such invasion in the near future, the US did not instigate this war in pursuit of this aim. While US and NATO armaments are a necessary factor in Ukraine’s continued defense against the Russian invasion, it is Ukrainian solidarity and resolve and Russian refusal to end its invasion that keep this war going.

Astore: Clearly, most Ukrainians believe they are fighting for their independence.  Ukraine has no desire to become a Putin puppet state.  Nor, however, do they wish to become a puppet state to the USA.

Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Defense, spoke clearly that weakening Russia was a key goal of this conflict.  To that end, the US government, in a rare show of bipartisan unity, provided $54 billion in largely military aid to a Ukrainian military with a yearly budget of $6 billion.  Such profligacy is not an example of generosity driven by disinterested ideals.  Clearly, the US sees this war as the latest front in a new cold war, a way to stress Russia to the breaking point.  As President Biden openly stated, that man (Putin) must go.

So, it’s worse than a proxy war: it’s yet another US regime-change war.  The stated goal is to topple Putin and turn Russia into a divided and dysfunctional state, much like it was in the 1990s when Western corporations and financial institutions invaded Russia and exploited it in the name of capitalism and reform.   

Are there any legitimate parallels to draw between Putin and Hitler?

Davout: Yes, though the parallels with Hitler are not the same parallels so often drawn to delegitimize non-interventionists as appeasers. Historian John Lukacs’s various histories of Hitler’s strategizing in that crucial period after the invasion of France to the start of the Battle of Britain paint a picture of Hitler less as the hubristic dictator irrationally striving for world conquest than as a canny but flawed geopolitical strategist, driven by geopolitical grievance and with a large capacity to hate those who opposed him. Lukacs argues that Hitler was prepared to cut a deal with Great Britain on terms that would allow Germany to exercise hegemonic powers on the continent. It was Churchill’s longstanding aversion to Hitler and Hitlerism and his ability to maintain British popular support for the war that blocked Hitler’s strategy to cut a deal. Once his overture was blocked by Churchill, Hitler underestimated British morale in the Battle of Britain. Then, in an effort to circumvent Britain’s resistance, Hitler gambled that he could cripple Stalin’s war making capacity and knock him out of the war and thereby present England with a fait accompli of German hegemony on the continent. The picture of Hitler Lukacs draws can plausibly be applied to Putin—a grievance-driven leader attempting to restore a lost geopolitical sphere of influence, who has miscalculated the resolve of democratic leaders and peoples and has doubled down on violence.

Astore:  In a word, no.  

Whenever American leaders want to justify military action and high spending on weaponry, they turn to Hitler and World War II.  The claim is made that we must stop the “new” Hitler.  We must not be appeasers.  Saddam Hussein was allegedly the new Hitler in 2003; his WMD was supposed to be a mushroom cloud on our horizon.  But there was no WMD and eliminating Saddam by invasion tipped Iraq into a disastrous civil war from which that country has yet to recover. 

Putin isn’t the new Hitler, and his invasion of Ukraine doesn’t represent the kind of existential threat the Third Reich presented to democracies in 1938-39.

Hitler had the finest military machine of his day backed by the economic powerhouse that was Germany in the late 1930s. Putin’s military machine is mediocre at best, and Russia’s economy is smaller than that of California.  Putin doesn’t appear to be seeking a huge empire or world domination, as Hitler was.  And while Hitler may have temporarily played nice with Britain, that didn’t prevent the Nazis from hatching plans to invade and loot Britain and to massacre its Jews as well.

Of course, Putin was wrong to have invaded Ukraine, but George W. Bush was wrong to have invaded Iraq in 2003.  Both these leaders have essentially nothing in common with Hitler, who was sui generis–a tyrannical dictator driven by genocidal fantasies of world dominance by a “master race.”

To what extent is US democracy hurt or helped by the Biden Administration’s policy of military support for Ukrainian resistance?    

Davout: Seeing his country in hostile competition with western democracies, Putin has deployed various forms of soft power and hard power to undermine confidence in, and injure the working of, democratic regimes. Hackers and internet influencers employed by the Russian state have intervened in the elections of established democracies either to foster social distrust or to promote candidates (e.g., Trump) and policies (e.g., Brexit) that weaken adversary countries. Military interventions are carried out on Russia’s border to maintain regimes favorable to Putin (as was the case when a popular uprising against fraudulent elections in Belarus was put down with the help of Russian soldiers). Meanwhile, as was documented by the Panama and Pandora Papers, the huge amounts of money pilfered from the Russian people by oligarchs moves through the banking, legal, and commercial institutions of democratic countries (including South Dakota!) with corrupting effect on people and officials alike. To be sure, the US has corruption problems of its own. And US military support of Ukraine will have the unfortunate result of strengthening the position of defense contractors and their lobbyists, Pentagon brass, and congressional hawks. However, it would be worst for US democracy if Russian ambitions to occupy or dismember Ukraine succeed. This would undermine European democracies whose continued survival and flourishing provide democratic reformers in the US with critically important role models and partners.

Astore: US democracy hasn’t been hurt or helped by this war because the US is a democracy in name only.

In reality, the US is an oligarchy in which the rich and powerful rule at the expense of the many.  The unofficial fourth branch of government is the US National Security State, a leviathan of enormous power. Its biggest component is what President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1961 termed the military-industrial complex (to which he added Congress as well).  This MICC is profiting greatly from this war, not only in the $54 billion in aid provided to Ukraine, but also in the ever-rising Pentagon budget for FY 2023, which will exceed $813 billion, a gargantuan sum justified in part by the Russia-Ukraine War.

The new cold war with Russia, and increasingly with China as well, is strengthening the state of permanent war in America.  As James Madison warned, permanent warfare serves autocracy while insidiously destroying democracy. As militarism becomes more deeply entrenched in the US government, and as that same government continues to send more destructive weaponry to Ukraine such as artillery and missile systems, options for de-escalation narrow even as chances for a nightmarish escalation to nuclear war, whether by design or accident, increase.

What would truly strengthen democracy in America, assuming it could somehow be reanimated, is if the USA pressed ahead with all its strength to broker a peace treaty between Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine is getting wrecked by this war, and our aggressive actions, mainly in providing more and more lethal weaponry together with onerous sanctions, are guaranteed to shred more bodies and aggravate economic dislocation both here and in Europe.

Readers, what are your thoughts here?

Coda by M. Davout (6/6/22)

W. J. Astore has asked me to compose a “coda” of sorts, in which I might add some concluding reflections about the commentary provoked by our different views on the war in Ukraine. 

Yes, there is a relevant pre-2022 history to the current conflict—decades old promises from US officials to Russian officials about not expanding NATO east of the Oder, a popular pro-West Ukrainian uprising (supported by Western intelligence agencies, some have plausibly argued) against a Ukrainian administration’s decision to reject closer ties with the European Union (as was the will of the Ukrainian parliament) in favor of the Ukrainian president’s decision to push the country toward closer ties with Russia, a counter-uprising in the Donbas that drew Russian political and military support, etc. But there is also the fact of a full-scale military invasion against a country that posed little if any military threat to Russian borders, a military invasion that has led to the needless deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and combatants and the uprooting of millions of Ukrainians. 

It is undeniable that the invasion has promoted patriotic solidarity among different language speakers within Ukraine against the invasion, including Russian speaking Ukrainians whose rights Putin’s invasion was presumably intended to defend. It is also undeniable that voter support for Ukraine’s resistance to the invasion is very high in Eastern European countries. More noteworthy is the fact that in Western European countries, governments have been forced to respond to the pro-Ukrainian sentiments of their voters by sending arms to Ukraine and destroying longstanding economic relationships with Russia to the financial detriment of both European businesses and consumers.   

So the situation is nowhere near as neat or clear as either my contributions or Astore’s contributions or the contributions of the majority of the commentators would have it be. In this regard, the comments of Denise Donaldson strike me as the most interesting. You can tell that she can see the issue from both sides and is struggling with that ambiguity. 

That is the place to be on the Ukraine war, I think: struggling with ambiguity. There is no clearly right answer: the war is not solely a product of American empire, nor is it solely a product of Russian empire. And there are no good outcomes, only bad or worse outcomes. 

But, in politics, one has to make choices and, for now, I choose align myself with current US and NATO policy. Not because I am a dupe of the mainstream media or a supporter of the Establishment or the MIC (my earlier posts on this website should put those notions to rest) but because I believe the expulsion of the Russian military from the Ukrainian lands it currently occupies (maybe including Crimea, maybe not) is both possible and more likely to lead to a lasting peace in eastern Europe. And my taking that position does not mean that I do not also see some merit in the points my esteemed colleague WJ Astore (and his many followers) make.

Response by Astore (6/6/22)

I would like to thank M. Davout for his reasoned response and for continuing this important discussion. One thing I can say with certainty: you won’t hear such a nuanced and broad debate in the mainstream media, which basically just sells U.S. weaponry while waving Ukrainian flags in our faces.

Davout suggests that Ukraine posed no threat to Russia. Alone, that is true. But Ukraine was planning to join NATO, a powerful alliance led by the world’s most hegemonic country. Surely, that combination was something for Russia to be wary of, and even to fear.

When Americans think of Russia, many negative images come to mind. The evils of communism. A charging and rampaging Russian bear. But Russia has had its share of devastation. Davout certainly knows the rampage of Napoleon’s empire in 1812. Russia and the Soviet Union were almost destroyed by World Wars I and II. Russian leaders have been reassured by Western leaders before that “we come in peace,” but surely 1812, 1914, and 1941 taught Russia much about trusting Western assurances.

Look at a map. From a Russian perspective, NATO surrounds them. Look at military budgets. The U.S. and NATO combined spend more than 20 times what Russia spends. If the roles were reversed and we were the Russians, might we see this differently?

My point is not to excuse Russia’s invasion but to offer a partial explanation.

I agree with Davout that by this point “there are no good outcomes, only bad or worse outcomes.” Therefore, I choose not to align myself with current US and NATO policy, since I see this as recklessly escalatory and focused primarily on providing more and more weaponry to kill more and more Russians (and Ukrainians too). I propose an immediate cease fire, the end of arms shipments to Ukraine, and negotiation that would end with some territory being ceded to Russia, a promise from NATO and Ukraine that the latter will remain neutral, and a promise from Russia that Ukraine will not be attacked again, and that its territorial integrity will be respected. I would also insist on Russia paying reparations dedicated to rebuilding Ukraine. Finally, the U.S. should end all sanctions on Russia and redirect its aid entirely to rebuilding Ukraine rather than to more weaponry.

I think this approach would save lives and restore equilibrium to Europe while avoiding dangerous escalation that could conceivably end in nuclear war. It’s time for statesmanship and compromise, rather than militaristic grandstanding and mendacious obstinacy.

Sadly, I see no one in the US government with the sagacity and cojones to join Putin and Zelensky in working to stop this war reasonably and quickly.

207 thoughts on “How Are We to Understand the Russia-Ukraine War?

  1. People like Davout always come back to the Putin quote to “prove” that Putin is trying to reconstitute the Soviet Union. But what if that interpretation is wrong? What did Putin mean when he said the collapse of the Soviet Union was a disaster? From what I’ve seen and read Putin’s main concern is on the welfare of his fellow Russians, defined by their culture, ethnicity, and language. Unfortunately for him the collapse of the Soviet Union left millions of Russians in countries where they are a minority, perhaps even a persecuted minority. In Putin’s view he is trying to protect his fellow Russians. So why war? In a word, because attempts at peace didn’t work. One has to go into the pre-2022 history of the conflict, Crimea, the Donbas, and the Minsk agreements to see this problem in action. The Ukraine government wants to be able to do with its Russians whatever it wants to do – outlaw their language, ignore the Minsk agreements, even conduct military operations against them. The Russian government disagrees, wants to protect them, and thinks that peaceful means have been tried and have not worked. Hence the “special military operation”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My thoughts on this issue have been all over the map, and the more I read, the less sure I am that I really know anything.

    A few things seem clear, though: Russia was in the wrong to invade Ukraine, provocations notwithstanding. Making the first move against another country is wrong in any scenario I can think of. The U.S. was just as wrong in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Also, stated policy positions aside, a main reason (THE main reason?) the U.S. is providing tens of billions in military support is simple greed and profiteering, from Raytheon to the halls of the House and Senate. Meaning that any blathering coming from the Beltway should be taken with a pound of salt. Is military aid a bad idea or morally wrong regardless of the motives? I don’t know. I do think negotiation is the answer, though. Along with aid of every other kind: supplies, medicines, evacuation, refugee assistance, etc.

    Lastly, despite any declarations Putin has made, I doubt anyone really knows what’s in his mind. Certainly, Western talking heads don’t. As with most heads of state, what Putin says and what he intends may be entirely opposite.

    One aspect of the controversy that seems pivotal is Ukraine’s membership in NATO. NATO’s existence and mandate may indeed be debatable, but joining the organization should be entirely Ukraine’s prerogative. If the desire for membership comes solely at the behest of the U.S., then shame on the U.S., and the record needs to be set straight on that, with any movement toward membership rescinded. Do we know that, absent U.S. involvement, Ukraine would still want to join NATO? It’s definitely worth finding out.

    Like

    1. “. . . Making the first move against another country is wrong in any scenario I can think of. . . .”

      Clarification on scenarios: The Russian Federation did not make the first move against another country {if by “country” you mean “Ukraine”). The US/UK/NATO/EU did that in 1999 when this hostile military alliance — in search of something to do to justify its gargantuan budgets — started expanding eastward towards Russia in violation of a promise not to do that if Russia would agree to the reunification of Germany. Facts and context count.

      There. Fixed it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry. Wasn’t aware that we’d invaded Russia.

        Absent that action, Russia was still the first one to cross the line. Putin doesn’t get to make demands and issue ultimatums if his country remains un-attacked. Any more than any other country has a right to do that.

        Like

        1. I suppose it depends on how one defines “crossing the line”. While, as a lifelong anti-war / peace activist I agree with the principle of non-aggression except in the cause of defense of a nation’s own right to exist, these ‘lines’ become a bit fuzzier when one looks at what’s going on. ‘Preventive war’ can be both morally wrong (as when, say, in the case of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, there is no real danger to the U.S.), and morally justified, as say, when a nation has declared its intention to place security-weakening weapons on your border.

          A number of former high-ranking U.S. officers in military, intelligence and diplomatic corps, as well as Russia-expert international relations scholars, have for a long time made clear that Russia saw the hostile militarization of Ukraine as a “red line” as far as its national security concerns go. Some had warned against expansion of NATO in breach of the Baker-Shevardnaze (Bush-Gorbachev) agreement that in return for Russia’s non-interference in the German reunification, NATO wouldn’t expand “one inch eastward” (into the former USSR republics); but they were ignored, leading others to opine that NATO’s expansions were dangerous provocations.

          That the U.S. and Ukraine were openly promoting the idea of Ukraine’s entry to NATO, which would then place U.S. ABMs and other tactical/strategic weaponry on Russia’s western border was a crossing of the brightest of red lines. One should keep in mind that Russia had lost an est. 27M of its people from the last invasion from the West. That the neoNazis of Ukraine are leading the charge for anti-Russian ethnic cleansing of Ukraine, etc., could only make those un-erasable nightmares worse.

          Keep in mind, too, that Zelensky, capitulating to the Nazi elements (which had threatened to kill him should he ‘stoop’ to negotiation with Russia), and completely abandoning the campaign promises of bringing about peace in Ukraine and with Russia, had also recently stated intention to take back Crimea, even as the shelling attacks on the Donbass had been increasing. (An est. 14,000 already having lost their lives since the 2014 coup.)
          Given that its naval base at Sevastopol, Crimea, would once again (as following the 2014 coup) be threatened and its Black Sea access effectively eliminated, and that these actions would place it in strategic jeopardy, the threat of a NATO-ized Ukraine retaking Crimea represents an existential danger. One must ask what would the U.S. response be if these same conditions were faced by it. Would we simply let all those steps be concluded- hunker down and wait for the first missiles to hit our cities before reacting?

          Like

          1. I define crossing the line as invading another country absent a direct attack. There either is a military incursion or there isn’t.

            I’m sure the answer to your last question is, “no,” but if the U.S. invaded, say, Mexico because Mexico had deployed defensive weapons along the Rio Grande, it would be no more justified than Russia is.

            At this point, Putin has threatened to attack Sweden and Finland if they join NATO. I simply don’t believe that any given country has a moral right to make demands such as, “If you join this alliance,” “If you have this person as leader,” “If you run your government this way,” we’re going to attack you. No leader has a right to dictate what another country can or cannot do, lest it be punished. My opinion.

            Like

            1. Thanks for an honest answer to the question. Clearly it exposes a dilemma (and probably more) in this regard. I should let this rest at that but it is too troubling.

              You (and to the degree we’re in agreement, I) recognize that there is a very big difference between the moral philosophy (which insists that no nation should invade another unless it has itself been invaded by that nation) and what is in practice.
              Philosophically, in general I might agree. However, we’d be in a very tiny minority.

              How would we apply that principle retroactively, to Nazi Germany, for instance? Germany certainly hadn’t invaded the U.S. (And even before declaring war on Germany, the U.S. had been involved; supplying arms, intel, and other assistance to Britain, et al).
              I’m sure that you see where this is going. Perhaps you (as a very minute number of others, including one I ‘knew’) would say still… the U.S. was wrong to declare war on Germany even though Hitler’s and the Reich’s ambitions made it likely that sooner or later, it might prove a much more dangerous threat to us?

              “Just war” may seem an oxymoron, but as you speak of “punishment” for those who invade other nations, it appears from your remarks (about punishing transgressors) that you are NOT saying that war is NEVER morally defensible. And a basic principle underlying theories of “jus ad bellum” is that states have a duty to defend justice and their citizens. Whether or not you can agree that Russia (/Putin and his council) were acting on that duty, or had any basis for perceiving threat, it is clear to many that Putin & Co. perceived both the threat and the duty. In that case, perception is equally if not more important. Old hands on Russia have made this eminently clear in their own analyses and warnings.

              At any rate, I think the case can be made on the basis of the historical facts (and I tried, in summary fashion, to make that case ) that Russia was pushed to a situation where it felt compelled to act to ensure its continuity (against threats by NATO and its de facto driver, the U.S., which has been in one form of proxy war or another against it for decades, and which has been aggressively pursuing economic warfare in addition.

              You also say, that “No leader has a right to dictate what another country can or cannot do, lest it be punished. ”
              That, too illustrates the dilemma. For who is going to hold the violating nation to account? How can anyone, for instance, hold the U.S. to account for any, much less ALL of its transgressions. You seem to ignore the fact that telling other nations what it can and can not do is SOP for the U.S. We are both the global military and financial hegemon. Do you not understand this? Surely, when we depose democratically elected leaders around the globe, as we have practically countless times, simply because they refused to follow Washington’s dictates, then it must be punished.

              But that’s the crux of the problem in a nutshell. There is NO ONE holding the U.S. to account – not for any single violation, not for the millions we have slaughtered directly nor the millions whose deaths we’ve caused indirectly with our imperialism. No nation or assembly of nations exist which can do so.

              And the citizenry – yes, our fellow citizens – tolerate it with nary more than a few peeps and squawks from those of us who even bother to pay attention.

              The political system itself is corrupted but citizens dutifully play along and enable these travesties of justice by voting faithfully, each time, for one of the two proxies for corporate imperialism, and as concentrated capital largely controls policy anyway, we certainly aren’t experiencing any functional democracy…but we nod and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, celebrating ourselves in the myth of American Exceptionalism and that we’re the good guys representing democracy.

              And NEVER ONCE, since VietNam, at least, has there been a mass uprising to force the leadershp to stop a war, much less prevent one, though each succeeding war (proxy or otherwise), regime change coup, economic attack, etc., has been even less justifiable than VietNam.

              So again…. who will hold the major violators to account? How will it be done?
              And if no one can or will, then should all the other nations in our crosshairs, including Russia, for instance, just patiently wait for the final invasions (or nukes) to come across the border, while those who declare them sworn enemies whittle away at their defenses and put ABMs and other weapons on their borders?

              Philosophy makes for nice visions… but how do we get to that envisioned world from the very different one we live in?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. In December, 1941, Hitler made it easy for us. He and Nazi Germany declared war on the U.S. first. Our declaration of war came after his. Thus you could argue it was justified and we were responding defensively and morally.

                But of course Congress hasn’t formally declared war since World War II. That tells you almost all you need to know about America’s wars since 1945.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. I see I wasn’t clear in my point about “being punished.” What I meant was that I believe no nation/leader has a right to say, as Russia did to Ukraine, and then later to Sweden and Finland, “Do as I say, or we’ll attack/invade [punish] you.”

                You said, “You seem to ignore the fact that telling other nations what it can and can not do is SOP for the U.S. We are both the global military and financial hegemon. Do you not understand this?”

                Yes, sir, I understand it quite well. Do you see anywhere in my comments a defense of U.S. actions in that regard? When I said that no nation has a right to dictate to others, I thought it went without saying that I included all nations. Be assured that I did mean ALL nations.

                Like

            1. If RT is subjective because it hails from Russia, then networks like NBC, CNN, and so on are also subjective because they’re owned by American corporate conglomerates that largely support US government agendas.

              Looking for perfect objectivity from Russian or U.S. sources is truly a wild goose chase.

              Liked by 3 people

                1. @DENISE DONALDSON @WJASTORE
                  IMHO to criticize RT because it is Russian is racist and Xenophobic.

                  Like

                2. Agree, Dennis. I’d say that most Westerners have no way of knowing if RT is as….misleading as U.S. MSM. My point is that, by their very nature, all media outlets are biased in some way. I say this as someone who was in media for almost 20 years. The very choice of which news gets coverage shows bias. Above vs. below the fold shows bias. Choice of wording for headlines, length of story, POV—all intrinsic forms of bias. And the preceding apply to outlets that do their best to be objective. Consider Fox News, and all pretense to objectivity goes out the window.

                  Like

        2. Denise, I informed everybody here before the War started, I started goijng to the OSCE site Daily, to see the reports of Truce violations between Ukraine government forces in the 8 year civil War between the Russian speaking Ukrainians in the Donbas who rejected the 2014 US/CIA Coup/regime change of the Russian friendly government they voted for, changing it for a Neo-Nazi anti-Russian government.

          US/NATO WAR PROPAGANDA does not inform their Public there was a dramatic 30 fold increase in Ukrainian government shelling of the Russian speaking Ukrainians as they report Putin invaded Ukraine without provocation when there was plenty of provocation over those 8 years Ukraine ignored the Minsk Peace Process.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Before the invasion when President Putin declared Minsk is Dead, recognizing the Independence of the Republics of Donbas and Luhansk, Russia did not annex them to be part of Russia. Those new States on Russia’s border are like the 3 minuscule Baltic States in NATO directly bordering Russia and subject to the provision of NATO article 5 calling on the US and the other NATO Nations to come to their defence if Russia attacks.

              The newly Independent States of the Donbas and Luhansk asked for Russia’s help in defending against the increased Ukraine government shelling of the Russian speaking Ukrainian Civilians in the East.

              This War was in the planning for a long Time.

              Liked by 1 person

            1. The 2014 US/CIA Coup/regime change of the Russian friendly government for an anti-Russian government obviously is an inconvenient Truth you cannot countenance.
              This blog in an earlier article posted the recording of US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland caught on tape saying who she wanted to lead the changed Ukraine government before the Coup was even completed and she got her man in power.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes, it is impossible to be both honest and informed and maintain positions to the contrary. The facts contradicting the U.S./western narrative that is repeated here make it clear that the narrative is a fiction.

                Liked by 1 person

      2. Michael, a couple of points:
        1) Your knowledge of how and why NATO expanded in 1990s is clearly very limited. I am inviting you to read my co-authored and co-edited books – you can find them here https://www.amazon.com/Defense-policies-East-Central-European-countries/dp/1526110423/ref=sr_1_13?crid=1R183TGAR7N23&keywords=lubecki&qid=1655041000&sprefix=lubecki%2Caps%2C160&sr=8-13 and here https://www.amazon.com/Defending-Eastern-Europe-defense-policies/dp/1526147564/ref=sr_1_2?crid=XLBSWD1PRWN3&keywords=lubecki+and+peterson&qid=1655041122&sprefix=lubecki+and+peterso%2Caps%2C111&sr=8-2. Your (typical of left- and right-wing ideologues) thinking which adscribes all the agency to “NATO” and the “US” (imperialism or “freedom fighting”) denies the agency of Eastern Europeans. Your mythologizing of the non-expansion promise (verbal, to the Soviet Union) is also typical.
        2) NATO expanded, to a large extent, not against Russia but because Eastern Europeans felt insecure – they were looking at the wars of Yugoslavian succession, not at Russia. Russia was not much of a threat in 1990s, Russia’s instability was.
        3) What followed NATO expansion was disarmament or reorientation of Eastern Europeans towards non-conventional warfare. Russia faced lesser, instead of greater, military threat as a result of NATO expansion. In the meantime NATO did honor its informal promise not to station troops or bases in the new members. By realist criteria, Russia was not threatened by NATO expansion.
        4) Significantly, what followed Poland’s admission into NATO was a love-feast between Poland and Russia between 2000-2003. Far from making the relationship worse, it made it better. How do you explain it?

        Cheers,
        Jacek Lubecki

        Like

        1. Jacek, not sure Russia thinks they face less threat with NATO expansion. Their speeches suggest otherwise. Does their thinking count on this or do we just tell them what think?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Why did Polish entry into NATO resulted in a dramatic improvement in the Polish-Russian relations between 2000-2004?

            Like

            1. I would think that to attribute better Polish-Russia relations to NATO expansion one would have to argue that Russia considered NATO expansion as advantageous to them. Is that what you are claiming? Not clear why they would think that. They don’t seem to think that now.

              Like

            2. You imply that correlation (to whatever extent there is any), proves causation. There may not be any relationship at all between changes that you claim. Two things could be simultaneously true: Russia felt the threat of NATOs expansion (and its gradual encirclement) AND Russia and Poland had other mutual interests.

              Like

        2. Jacek, I agree with Michael.
          As for your point 1, you offer nothing to substantiate your opinion, “of how and why NATO expanded in 1990s except to disparage Michael and his opinion. Independently of him, I also see NATO expansion to the border of Russia as representing an existential threat to Russia. As the biggest Arms Merchant in the History of Nations, the US hasn’t changed it’s spots.

          Point 2. Don’t doubt for a moment the US exaggerated the anxieties of the former Warsaw Pact nations and most probably used economic pressures on them to join NATO in my opinion. It was the US/NATO 4 month bombing of Yugoslavia in violation of the same International Law Russia is demonized for violating that brought the 1st War to Europe since WWII, not Russia.
          You believe ‘Russia was not much of a threat in 1990s, Russia’s instability was.’ I believe NATO expansion toward Russia exacerbated those insecurities for no good reason just like the US had no good reason to be the only Nation to nuke and burn alive over 200,000 Civilians other to signal the World ‘the British Empire is Dead. Long live the American Empire!”

          Russia occupied the Eastern block only as a consequence of WWII and as an ally of the US, and did more to defeat Hitler than the Yanks, French, British and Canadians together.

          When the Warsaw Military Pact facing NATO disappeared along with the Soviet Union in 1991, in it’s delusional hubris of winning the Cold War and being the singular Superpower remaining, as you rightly point out, Russia was weak and no threat to anybody, so why should the US be too concerned with Russia’s legitimate Security interests?

          You say, “Russia was not threatened by NATO expansion.” I believe Russia became acutely aware of the US/NATO threat in 2001when the US withdrew from the ABM treaty banning anti-missile missiles, just so the the US could deploy them now in Poland and Roumania aimed at Russia. Naturally, Russia is not happy with US missiles in Poland
          Americans may be ignorant of the consequences giving the US 1st strike capability vis a vis Russia. That American act significantly reduced the Time for Russia to determine if notice of a launch is a False alarm or a real attack, that US move making this World a more dangerous place.
          Contrary to your thinking, “Far from making the relationship worse, it made it better” when the US announced it was putting it’s missiles in Poland, good relations with Poland got much worse.

          If that wasn’t enough to put Russia in defensive mode, the 2014 US Coup/regime change of the elected Russian friendly government, replacing it with a Neo-Nazi anti-Russian government and the 8 year Ukraine Civil War that Coup precipitated was the last straw for Russia, waking them up to the folly of appeasing the US for better relations.

          Fyi, US Oligarchs are getting much more rich er off the Ukraine War than the Russian Oligarchs and their money in the West. Will they have their wealth, yachts and mansions seized like the Russians?

          I’m only an amateur, but more and more paid professionals are openly stating the US is “sleepwalking” toward War with Russia, and using the term sleepwalking since I posted this to my Blog April 13,

          US POLITICIANS ARE SLEEPWALKING TOWARD THE NUCLEAR ABYSS

          Like

          1. Ray, I completely disagree with you and your arguments:
            1) My books include substantive arguments, which I cannot repeat in the post, as it is physically impossible. There, you will find objective data: national security doctrines and how they evolved in East Central Europe (not one of them mentioned Russia as a threat until 2014), data on budgetary spending (military spending, on balance, diminished in EE/EC Europe after joining NATO) – both verbal and material evidence backing my point.
            2) Provide any substantial evidence that the US exaggerated EE anxieties. In Poland, Clinton administration was busy DIMINSHING anxieties about Russia and pushing for PfP and Russia-NATO founding act, against Polish anxieties about Russia. I speak Polish, I know Polish sources and literature. If you have evidence to the contrary based on actual documented facts, present it. The rest of your point is just rhetoric.
            3) Actually, Polish-Russian relationship was at it best between 2000-2004, so after the ABM announcement. I know the history of the relationship, present your evidence to the contrary.
            4) The “Neo-Nazi” government in Ukraine of 2014 (Poroshenko is a neo-Nazi) is frankly, ludicrous, and a Russian propaganda point.

            Like

            1. Jacek, respectfully, I completely disagree with you and your perception of the Realities with so many Sins of Historical Omission.. So far you offer only opinion, not the proofs you demand of me.

              As I said, respectfully, Dr. Lubecki with your comment starting this thread, as a Canadian, I would not pay $94 US dollars for your book when this site is not Twitter or the character limiting Main Newspapers that limit characters for any in-depth discussion. So far you have only made assertions as all of us do in seeking the Truth.

              Since the War started, because I point out all the Sins of Historical Omission in the prescribed US/NATO War Narrative/Propaganda, The Washington Post suspended me from commenting twice for a week, and once for a Day in addition to just deleting my comments so no one can even consider other possibilities. That’s doing the same thing Putin is demonized for.
              2004 was only 3 years before Russia drew it’s red line about Ukraine in NATO.

              With all your expertise, you can offer a detailed explanation and chronology here why Polish-Russian relations deteriorated to the low point they are at now?

              Liked by 1 person

          2. again, an illuminating elucubration, RJC. thank you. you may classify yourself as “only an amateur”, but you are a well-informed, perfervid, and principled one. autodidacts are often more broadminded and seekers of light through more comprehensive spectra than are the narrowly-focussed ‘experts’ who specialize in this or that professional pursuit.

            i had to bow in deference and humility to the far deeper, broader and nuanced knowledge base of the artisanal fishermen along the coast of sierra leone during our marine biological research investigations in the late 1970’s~early 1980’s. all my putative ‘knowledge’ was textbook bombast.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. On the Hitler/Putin comparison. Both of you make some good points but I think it is just too complicated to compare these two (or any two leaders). Each must be assessed on their own actions. Hitler has been studied to death and at the end of the day, some of his characteristics can be attributed to almost any leader. Trump, for that matter, has the authoritarian instincts of Hitler.

    But, Putin, like Hitler, must be stopped from continuing this unprovoked horror show. How dare he kill innocent people. How dare he kick down the door, kill the husband and child and rape the wife. We must give the Ukrainian people all the help they need to defend themselves and send the Russians out of Ukraine. Period.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Concerning the scurrilous rumors about Russian armed forces “raping” Ukrainian civilians, the Kiev coup authorities — more of a cable television profuction than an actual governmental administration — had to fire their own chief propagandist for ludicrous, Russophobic, evidence-free accusations too bizarre and extreme for even them to condone. Lots of reports on this, but see, for one example: UKRAINE Fires Propagandist Who Spread Fake Russian War Crime Stories, Jimmy Dore (June 5, 2002). Even from a garage in Pasadena, California, the truth of things can reveal itself to those who take the trouble to look for it.

      On a personal note, a younger relative of mine back in the U.S. berated me for not accepting these lurid Russophobic accusations. I reminded him of our age and the fact that both of us had lived through The Great Gulf Battle (slaughter) of 1991 justified by U.S. President George H. W. Bush on the grounds that Iraqi soldiers had taken Kuwaiti babies out of their incubators and dashed them on the floor. The source for this heinous accusation? The Kuwaiti Ambassador’s daughter reading from a script prepared especially for her tearful performance. Then, too, I reminded my younger relative of the time the U.S. accused Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi of feeding his soldiers Viagra so that they would rape a bunch of Jihadi terrorists in Benghazi funded and armed by the U.S to overthrow Gaddafi’s government.

      I, of course, remember the Gulf of Tonkin Incident (Vietnam) and any number of other cheesy, sleazy lies promulgated by my own government every time the fuck-up-and-move-up U.S. military caste demands to “play a role” in the foreign policy of the United States. Most humiliating, though, is knowing that millions of ill-informed and impressionable Americans will reliably fall for the same unadulterated duplicity over and over and over again.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Davout says the war reflects “Putin’s desire to reestablish Russian hegemony over Eastern Europe and ensure the stability of his autocratic regime…”. But this is not only completely speculative, but such a conclusion is contradicted by the facts.

    For one, Russia has made it clear for some time that having Ukraine militarily neutral, a la Austria, was essential to its national security. A hostile military alliance on its Western flank, and which might strip it not only of its naval base at Sevastopol and thereby of Black Sea access, but also put ABMs (easily reconfigurable to offensive weapons but a threat in their own right) on its border.

    Its representatives (Putin and Lavrov) have also stated uncategorically that while NATO must not expand to Ukraine, Russia acknowledged Ukraine’s freedom to pursue whatever economic relations it wished.

    in fact, Putin and Ukraine’s Pres. Yanukovych had agreed to an economic deal- one far more appealing to Ukraine than the more onerous one offered by the EU, in 2014. Why would Russia go to that trouble if it had sought to reestablish the U.S.S.R. as Davout implies? And why would Russia sign onto the Minsk Accords, Ukraine’s honoring of which had been part of Russia’s ongoing demands in addition to keeping NATO out of Ukraine.

    Furthermore, relations were fairly smooth up until the Washington-engineered ‘regime change’ coup, which not by mere coincidence, was initiated soon after that agreement was announced. That the replacement government soon thereafter adopted legislation specifically hostile to the ethnic Russian majority in E. Ukraine, and that it was enabling neo Nazi paramilitaries free reign to conduct its ethnic cleansing pogroms in the East (with the burning alive of dozens of ethnic Russian separatists in the Odessa Union Hall one vivid illustration) led Crimeans to overwhelming support annexation by Russia; and triggered similar reactions in the Donestsk and Lugansk autonomous regions- followed, of course, by brutal assaults by those same paramilitaries-which were eventually folded into Ukraine’s National security forces.

    This was always more than about a civil war, however. Civil war in fact was encouraged by CIA recruitment of, and aid to the Ukrainian neo-Nazi factions. This is, indeed, a proxy war. One that the U.S., which was pulling many of the strings, could have easily prevented had it actually wanted a peaceful resolution and an independent Ukraine rather than a long proxy war to drain Russia along with the strengthening of European support for its already-ongoing economic warfare against Russia.

    No, Col. Astore, you have it right here, and your friend, wrong. Sadly he is only repeating the same lies and spin that originate with the very ones who scripted and brought this scenario to life. Looking at the long history of those in the Biden foreign policy agencies ( e.g. Jake Sullivan, Victoria Nuland, Anthony Blinken, among many), the ideologically imperialistic and militaristic manifestos driving them (e.g. the Project for a New American Century), one can see an amazing consistency in both the policies and actions that have maintained Russia as an enemy long after NATO’s raison d’être (supposed fear of the USSR) disappeared.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Roger, due to some technical problem, I can’t register a “like” for any comment on this article and I have read many I like. My like for the article itself doesn’t register. What’s worse, for all the Time I’ve been a supporter and participant of Bracing Views, recently, obstacles to participating appeared like this.
      Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
      Email (required)
      Name (required)
      Website.

      The annoyance is I don’t have to fill in all that information once visiting this page, but for each and every comment I reply to, this being the 3rd time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Once I press Post Comment, I’m redirected to this from WordPress. Never happened before this week,
        Are you Ray Joseph Cormier?

        You are being asked to login because ray***@sympatico.ca is used by an account you are not logged into now.
        By logging in you’ll post the following comment to How Are We to Understand the Russia-Ukraine War?:

        Having to do this every time I want to reply to someone is getting annoying. Maybe that’s why it just started happening?

        Reminds me of ‘he came unto his own and his own received him not!’

        Like

        1. Sorry for this! I was having some trouble too. It went away when I disabled my cookie blocker on Safari.

          It might be the product of a setting in your browser. If you block cookies and/or have really tight security, your computer’s browser may not “remember” the site.

          I’m not aware of any behind the scenes monitor — I assure you it’s not me! 🙂

          Like

          1. Problem fixed!
            If a site seems broken, try turning off Enhanced Tracking Protection. It allows trackers to load on that site only. Enhanced Tracking Protection will continue to block trackers on other sites.

            Click on the shield Fx89ShieldIcon to the left of the address bar.
            Toggle the switch Fx91ETPbluetoggle at the top of the panel.

            Like

          2. I’m not a cyber expert, but the circumstantial evidence indicates some group or organization is interested in knowing what you write Bill, and the name, email address and website of some of your regular viewers?

            Like

            1. Sure, it’s possible. But we’re all out in the open here. There’s very little (if any) privacy online.

              If anyone wants to know what I think, they can read all my blog postings and comments. It’s all public.

              Liked by 1 person

      2. It sounds annoying, but so far I haven’t encountered the problem. It sounds as if possibly a problem with cookies. Assuming you have your account info intact, I’d try deleting all cookies & history for this and maybe your wordpress.com acc’t; then go back, log in and try again. otherwise, maybe there’s a behind-the-scenes monitor/moderator who likes to make it difficult for some?

        Like

    2. Yep, everything in the world is “engineered” by the US, people of Ukraine have no agency. Between left-wing and right-wing conspiracy theories there is no ontological difference, just a change of subjects to the blamed. The same mindset is at stake – a mindset that denies local agency, and blames everything on CIA plots, Jewish plots, Liberal plots, etc. This is an excuse for analysis, not analysis.

      Like

      1. As to any failing of ‘analysis’, with exactly which statements in my comment do you disagree and why? The facts are fairly well documented, so I advise caution in your reply. If you disagree with the relationship between any of them, please also explain.

        This “denies local agency” spin is just that. No one here – not myself nor the O.P. nor the other commenters- has denied ‘local agency’. Of COURSE there are forces within Ukraine itself: oligarchs, the Euro-oriented Ukrainianian majority of Western Ukraine, neo-Nazi ultranationalists, and ethnic Russians who make up the majorities of E. Ukraine; and their roles and takes on the Maidan and subsequent actions by Ukraine are different and part of the story.

        The charge that pointing a finger of blame at the U.S. (where it is deserved) somehow “dismisses local agency” is just the spin frequently repeated by those who seek to dismiss the facts at hand, which make clear that the U.S. had a major hand in seeking, planning, coordinating and aiding the Maidan coup; and that the coup followed soon after Yanukovych’s announcement of the deal with Russia (one that obviated the necessity for any of the austerity measures demanded in the EU proposed deal).

        You aggravate this dismissal of unassailable facts with the sweeping generalization and lumping together of actual, demonstrated conspiracy (i.e. that by the U.S. State Dep’t and CIA) with any and all other ‘conspiracy theories’ – suggesting of course in the process that agencies with a long documented history of coup-engineering and initiating are just like any other demographic persecuted because of its heritage or social traits.

        As the young folk say, “Get the F out of here” with this manure; peddle it somewhere else. There isn’t anyone here who’s going to buy any of it.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Well, I can see that you use nuanced and polite language, which certainly enhances your credibility.

          What actual evidence do you have that the whole complicated episode of 2014 revolution (which you call a “CIA coup” with no real evidence) was “engineered by the CIA” (which claims that Russian propaganda repeats all the time and you just parrot)?

          For instance, read this:

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/22/ukraine-european-union-trade-russia

          Apparently, 50% of Ukrainians supported the EU deal. Was that state of Ukrainian public opinion “engineered by the CIA.”

          Free speech, man. You will not silence me with your crude language and assertions.

          Like

          1. I know better than to feed trolls, and your posts thus far all give evidence of same. In any case, I have a very long list of references to which I could point you. These include news reports both on generally U.S.-favoring Main Stream and alternative outlets, articles by Russia-experts among former U.S. high-ranking officials in military, intelligence and diplomatic corps, as well as international relations scholars/ historians. Also the damning internet-published recording of the State Dep’t’s Victoria Nuland & Jeffrey Pyatt discussing the forthcoming coup and who they wanted in government (with Biden’s approval).

            I will NOT waste my time printing out this long list for you for two reasons: first, they are easily searchable on the web; and second, I have almost no trust that you would bother looking at/ listening to a single one of them. Why the latter? Because I have seen your remarks almost verbatim from a host of others who similarly deflect, ignore the facts and substitute their own opinions and baseless conclusions in their rebuttal. I’ve dealt with that kind of denialism not only with those defending the imperial narrative vis a vis Ukraine, but also with those who deny climate change or its causes, and other such issues.

            So keep up your trolling. I’m not going to waste another minute responding to it.

            Like

        2. Point of order, Mr. Hoffmann: when you say, “…anyone here….,” you are presuming to speak for all followers/commenters of this blog, and it stands to reason that you don’t know whether or not we all think the same way you do. I, for one, like hearing all viewpoints. As for your characterization of jlubecki’s comments, the fecal content is in the eye of the beholder, and your tone is not one of civil discourse.

          Like

          1. I stand corrected. At least one person here is buying it. When people ignore the facts and make claims that are contradicted by them, I think that it’s pretty easy for most to decide which is manure and which is not. But you’re entitled to your opinion.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Thank you for allowing me my opinion! And by the way, I never said whether or not I “buy” jlubecki’s version of the conflict, but merely because I pointed out that by definition, you don’t know if you speak for everyone, you made an assumption. In any case, your unrelentingly sarcastic tone is definitely out of place in a civilized discussion.

              Like

              1. Sarcasm abounds here and it isn’t exclusive to me. I’ll use it when it seems appropriate and I don’t believe that I’ve done that much throughout this comment section. I was wrong if I implied that I speak for everyone…I certainly know that not to be the case. On the other hand, almost all of the other commenters here have evidenced both a knowledge of the history, a willingness to discuss the fine points, and the ability to discern between facts and fictions.

                And if you aren’t defending JLubecki’s arguments, just why are you intruding on that exchange? And who appointed you as forum moderator, anyway?

                Like

                1. may i oppugn you, den-don, on your declarative of roger mann-of-hoff as engaging in “sheer nastiness”? apologies from my opaque perspective to your alternative perspective, but i do not share it. hoff’s remarks seem far less scornful than others’ witheringly contemptuous rejoinders on this and other sites. au contraire, roger’s remarks seem prudent, constrained, and purveyors of ‘civilized discourse’.

                  Like

                2. @JEANIE MCEACHERN
                  It’ a minefield trying to moderated an internet forum. You cannot please everybody.
                  Indeed many sites I have been on – just give up and eliminate the comment section altogether.
                  Sad commentary on human nature eh?

                  Liked by 1 person

                3. w/ certitude, den-mer, our noble and dedicated wja observer, reflector and argute critic. i too, shut off the burner when the frying pan’s oil begins to sizzle and burn. life’s too truncated to perpetually abjure craven poltroonism; ofttimes, it is the only remaining source of tranquillitude.

                  Liked by 1 person

              1. One indisputable FACT Professor Lubecki, is the US IS the BIGGEST ARMS MERCHANT in the History of Nations and there are American Agencies who want to see those US ARMS sales increase like the FACTS show is happening on a large scale in this Ukraine War.

                Liked by 1 person

            2. Allow me to repeat Bill and Ted’s sage advice: “Be excellent to each other.”

              Start with: “I think you’re wrong or misguided, and here’s why” followed by the facts and your interpretation of them.

              As you’ve doubtless heard before, we can disagree without being disagreeable.

              I see someone here has said that Putin is a polite man. Be like Putin! 🙂

              Like

          2. we all have bucketloads of faeces to shovel out of our respective augean stables, eh den, rog, and lub? collective discourse helps denitrify the mephitic stench.

            Liked by 2 people

        3. tnx for the eloquent clarifications, roger-mann-of-hoff.

          in defence of the ‘young folk’ here in the philippines [of my acquaintance at least], they are a noticeably different species of young folk; they would not consider, nor countenance from their chums, such a hispid declarative to their elders as “get the f out of here”.

          recognizing this objection is at the level of trivialities and specious cavilling, i couldn’t resist remonstrating against anyone’s maculating our fine filipino/-a youngsters w/ a simulacrum of the toxic behaviours young people indulge in elsewhere.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Fair enough! I should have clarified as, “some of the younger folk (btw, that includes on its face a whole lot of people!) in my own country”. And thanks for adding to my lexicon, “hispid”. Be well, over there.

            Like

        4. Yes, Roger, your last paragraph here was uncalled for. In a way, it’s you who appointed yourself “site moderator” by vulgarly ordering someone to “Get the F out of here.”

          So, I ask that you stop issuing orders to others. Again, we can agree to disagree, based on our knowledge of the evidence, which is always incomplete, and probably inflected (or infected?) by our own biases.

          Play nice, everyone. Be excellent to each other.

          Liked by 2 people

            1. @ROGER HOFFMAN
              Roger I agree 100% with take on the facts of this conflict.
              And enjoy very much your excellent posts to this forum
              Cheers mate from sown under.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. den, i too appreciate what i’ve learned from our consociate commenter, rog-hof. his posts are never lucifugous [avoiding the light]; they endeavour to be lucid and argute, and they succeed in that endeavour [unlike my inarticulate clatter].

                Like

          1. Lt. Col., further to my “issuing orders”: my exclamation was a (admittedly less than polite) crude, common figure of speech, not to be taken any more literally than dozens of others that could be substituted. It was not an order, but rather a stern note of disapproval, in reaction to the persistent repeating of claims already proven false. I think we can agree that while our conclusions and opinions will not always be the same about the facts, it is NOT OK in honest discourse to call well-evidenced & documented facts “lies” nor promulgate actual lies instead.

            Like

  5. That was wonderful! Thank you and I’m sending it to others _ I’m interested in seeing who or what they now believe. I’m pretty sure most people will be with Davout whoever he/she is; that is what our MSM is aiming for and what all our news reports subscribe to.
    I am totally in agreement with you, William Astore. Though I think we differ slightly on how or why this war began. My understanding is that the Azov and/or Svoboda battalions et al ( i.e. Nazis) were gearing up to make a strong concerted war effort to totally defeat the protestors in the Donbas area, and they were amassing soldiers and equipment to do that. Putin, of course saw that and concluded that striking first would be better than waiting for the attack. He also knew that the US and NATO would subject Russia to every possible embargo and it didn’t matter to the West that he was attempting to protect ethnic russians.
    The US has been Russia’s enemy from the beginning; even when we were allies in WWII, top government comments were to the effect that we will help them with guns and ammunition and food to fight the germans, but literally immediately when it was all over we became enemies again. The reason for that is because they were communist and our government HATES anything that smacks of socialism or communism – it’s not compatible with oligarchical capitalism. That is why we are still essentially at war with Russia. Putin made a mistake thinking he might as well just go ahead and destroy Ukraine’s military and “denazify” Ukraine which I thought was a good idea, but he didn’t realize the extent that the US was going to go to keep Nazis in Ukraine (we – the US- PUT THEM THERE, as we have done over and over in various countries we “regime change”. We put in dictators, fascists and totalitarians who are willing to do what we say to keep their power position). So yes, I agree with you, this war is wrong, but I think Putin had good reasons to start it even though I wish he hadn’t. If we (the US) hadn’t insisted on continuing this war by sending vast amounts of arms and encouraging the EU to do the same, this war would have been over in a month or less and we would have a verifiable agreement. But Biden and CO. won’t stop because they can see that they will get their wish if they keep going, which is to weaken Russia, so it will play out to the “last Ukranian” as we keep hearing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for all your comments. Keep ’em coming!

    One thing I know little about is the great power competition over pipelines, oil, and natural gas in Europe. How much of this war is being driven or influenced by fossil fuels and profits from the same?

    Russia is a huge supplier of fossil fuels to Europe. Cut Russia off and you inflict on them a major if not mortal wound. Meanwhile, who picks up the slack but primarily US suppliers of natural gas?

    Are sanctions directed against Russia a legitimate punishment? Who suffers most, Russia’s leaders or the Russian people? Or are sanctions a way for Western fossil fuel companies to make even more money while grabbing more market share?

    For example, I haven’t heard of gasoline shortages in the U.S. even as prices hit $6 and $7 a gallon. If there’s not a shortage, what’s driving major price hikes and who’s profiting the most from them?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad that you raise this question, and feel it very important in understanding the context and purposes of the war at least related to the U.S. involvement. Very often, the explanations for war are distilled into an oversimplified narrative that omits some lesser-obvious but very important factors- one of which you touch upon here.

      When we consider that the 2014 economic deal between Russia & Ukraine involved the latter’s receiving of discounted Russian natural gas, and that said deal may have triggered the U.S. decision to mount the regime change op in Ukraine (which converged nicely with the ultra-nationalistic and anti-Russian passions of those who led the Maidan coup), this does look a bit suspicious, no? And when we consider American displeasure with the planned Nord Stream 2 project to supply natural gas to Germany, a project now potentially scotched by the war, there are further hints that the U.S.’s decisions (from Obama forward) were motivated by desires to limit Russia’s markets for its copious supplies of natural gas.

      Killing those markets would naturally further two ends. One would be to give more control over pricing and markets for U.S. natural gas. At the same time, limiting markets would further squeeze Russia’s economy- perhaps even more successfully than the ever-increasing economic sanctions have, depending on how influential the U.S. is in trying to limit other nations’ purchases.

      (I’m certainly not expert in the economics of fossil fuels much less anything else, but I think these conclusions are logical enough.)

      There is another, rather related aspect of this: the need for near-total hegemony of the U.S. dollar. As the de facto controller of the World Bank, IMF, and money exchanges, the U.S. enjoys unparalleled supremacy when it comes to a nation’s ability to maintain its currency as a global standard, to maintain its value (even in the lack of backing by, say, gold). Indeed, the U.S. is not only the global military hegemon, but simultaneously it dictates monetary policy to much of the world. One consequence of this seems to be that the U.S. can remain unconcerned about the amount of its national debt, on which annual interest alone is over a $0.5 Trillion, and print money with abandon. It will, for a time at least, prop up the financial markets by creating artificial demand, say, for stock equities. And of course, its perpetual war-making means that many of its biggest corporations will continue to get record profits.

      Now, all of this depends on keeping the U.S. in the financial driver’s seat.

      When oil-rich Libya’s Gadaffi decided to break out of the petro-dollar system, and to demand that oil payments be made in it’s own (significantly gold-backed) currency – we see what happened to him.
      (Madam Clinton comes to mind with her giddy cackle: “We came, we saw, he died.”)

      I don’t think Russia had insisted on being paid for its gas in rubles before the war. But it is not inconceivable that, given its outsized role in production, that it might not have tried to go the same route as Gadaffi.

      At any rate, the rise of other currencies might challenge U.S. hegemony in the control of financial transactions, and should the U.S. dollar be significantly devalued (i.e. confidence drops….e.g. due to the presence of so much debt and the potential of many of the current holders to sell their dollar holdings), major impacts across the economy would be felt.

      Again, I’m not an economist or particularly knowledgeable about any of these topics – and i hope i haven’t misstated anything here out of some over-simplification on my part.
      The bottom line is that there is far more to the context of the U.S. involvement in Ukraine than, certainly, the stated concerns about ‘protecting a democracy from a megalomaniac autocrat’ ; and far more certainly than containing an Empire-seeking Russia. And I suspect that most of our wars, interventions and coups fall along similar lines – it’s about the money, ultimately.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I’ve never danced in that world, so I just don’t know.

        But there are trillions of dollars at stake with respect to who controls trade in fossil fuels and which currency is the standard. We hear a lot about the petrodollar. Will we soon be hearing about the petro-ruble?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The CEO of Exxon Mobil was on CNBC and he said they had just had the largest single day profit in US history of 217 billion dollars but that it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the price of a gallon of gas had gone up over a dollar in just one week.
          He insisted the two things were just a coincidence and had nothing to do with each other.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. Excellent points, Roger. And all of Your conclusions are perfectly logical and justified.

        The America-Russia War in Ukraine is not just the beginning of Cold War II, with the overt challenge to and beginning of the end of America’s 30-year reign of global, unipolar hegemony since the end of Cold War I.

        It is also the beginning of the first serious and sustained challenge to the U.S. Dollar’s hegemonic supremacy as The Global Reserve Currency as dictated by the 74-year reign of the Bretton Wood System, which birthed the World Bank, IMF, and so forth.

        And there is something else that also needs to be considered when exploring the “contexts and purposes of the war.”

        Specifically, that this war started just as The Pandemic Event was seriously winding down, and the politicians and bureaucrats running the show desperately needed someone or something to blame for the effects of their political and bureaucratic responses to the Pandemic: particularly inflation and food and fuel shortages.

        And what better way to divert everybody’s attention from current and promised looming economic misery at home than a new Hitler and the possibility of World War III starting someplace over there in Europe?

        That there were and are no massive protests in the streets demanding that Congress NOT send $54 billion in “aid” to Ukraine indicates just how successful this latest context and purpose of the war has been.

        And also don’t forget that this is an election year. All sorts of opportunities for all sorts of “October Surprises,” eh?

        Your bottom line nails it exactly: “The bottom line is that there is far more to the context of the U.S. involvement in Ukraine than, certainly, the stated concerns about ‘protecting a democracy from a megalomaniac autocrat’ ; and far more certainly than containing an Empire-seeking Russia.”

        And Your suspicion that “most of our wars, interventions and coups fall along similar lines – it’s about the money, ultimately” can be said about not just “most of our wars, etc,” but about all of America’s wars, with the possible exception of the First American War of Secession, started back in 1776.

        And, if one digs deeply enough, one will discover that almost ALL Wars waged by anybody throughout all of Human History have overwhelmingly and ultimately been “about the money,” as well.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. From folks who probably know what they are talking about, the World Economic Forum out of Davos…

        THIS IS WHY THE US DOLLAR IS A POTENT SANCTIONS WEAPON… FOR NOW by John Letzing
        Digital Editor, Strategic Intelligence, World Economic Forum

        About a decade ago, Swiss banks did something unthinkable. One by one, they set aside secrecy previously upheld for centuries and handed sensitive information to a US government in search of tax cheats. A key reason for the turnabout: the dollar.

        The currency provided a means to legally pursue even small Swiss financial institutions from across the Atlantic. It was not the first instance of the greenback being used to pull geopolitical levers. For at least the past 78 years, the global economy has more or less revolved around it.

        Now, a major part of sanctioning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine involves obstructing its access to dollars. And some experts think this use of the currency to wear down a “rogue nation,” and the fracturing of global economy likely to result, may have a similarly taxing impact on the currency itself – hastening a process already underway.

        Last year, the IMF noted that dollar reserves held by central banks had hit their lowest level in a quarter century, reflecting what some saw as the currency’s “declining role.”

        IN FACT, ONE REASON CITED FOR RUSSIA’S RESILIENCE TO SANCTIONS SO FAR IS AN EFFORT LONG UNDERWAY TO PREEMPTIVELY RID ITS ECONOMY OF DOLLARS. FRESH CALLS FOR CHINA TO REDUCE ITS RELIANCE ON THE DOLLAR SYSTEM HAVE ONLY FURTHERED SPECULATION ABOUT THE AMERICAN CURRENCY’S STATUS. [EMPHASIS added.]

        Projecting the end of dollar dominance is longstanding practice, however. The economist Paul Krugman recently noted that he’d published his first paper on the topic, and that was more than 40 years ago. Even as US soft power and credibility have waxed and waned, its currency seems to abide.

        But if the dollar’s reign is truly now drawing to a close, what comes next?

        Continued at https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/06/this-is-why-the-us-dollar-is-a-potent-sanctions-weapon-for-now/

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Roger it is my understanding that the US would have difficulties shipping enough LNG gas to Europe in the quantities required if Russia turned off the spigot. Europe’s LNG terminals have limited available capacity to absorb extra supply from the United States in the event gas from Russia is disrupted.

        https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/could-us-ship-more-lng-europe-2022-03-25/
        https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/brimming-european-lng-terminals-have-limited-space-more-gas-2022-02-17/

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you Lt. Co. I am more in agreement with you than esteemed colleague Davout.
    I recently stumbled upon this talk. Prof John J. Mearsheimer’s thoughts on Ukraine, on the West, and on the East are as relevant now as they were when this talk was given. A valuable, prescient and enlightening talk.
    Reflect that you are watching this video in 2022, 7-years after the ongoing conflict turned into war.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for sharing that, Colonel. If i may, my first question is: Who is M Davout? A Google search reveals nothing.

    Like

    1. My guess: Marshall Davout, one of Napoleon’s best commanders, cleverly resurrected just for this conversation.

      Like

      1. Yeah; that’s the only “M Davout” i could come up with, as well. It’d be interesting to learn how he became an “esteemed colleague” of the Colonel, eh?

        Like

        1. I also know R.E. Lee, U.S. Grant, M. Ney, and other esteemed colleagues. When I need to talk to them, I get out my Ouija Board. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Ahhh. i need to get one of those boards. How about Sun Tzu? Is he accessible? Or Vo Nguyen Giap? Or TE Lawrence?

            Like

  9. i expressed my understanding of the Russia-Ukraine War [better termed “the America-Russia War in Ukraine”] back on March 5 when Colonel Astore kindly published my rant “Orwell’s ‘1984’ Holds Many Lessons for the New Cold War”:

    Anybody attempting to understand what is unfolding in Ukraine and over in the South China Sea and Taiwan should read George Orwell’s 1984. When you do, you will recognize and realize the following.

    To use Orwell’s terms: What we have here and now is a Eurasia with its Putin and an Eastasia with its Xi. All that is lacking is an Oceania with its Big Brother. And we have a whole gaggle of folks on the American political landscape ~ on the Left and on the Right ~ who would love to have the chance to fill that slot.

    America’s twenty year “Forever War” after 9/11 was, is, and ever will be a half-time show designed to keep the troops occupied, the defense contractors profitable, and the American people comfortably numb to protracted conflicts in places many of them cannot find on a map of the world.

    For now, Russia has recovered from the disintegration of European Communism and the USSR ~ and China has recovered from the madness of Mao ~ sufficiently for either [or especially both] to present viable, credible “threats” to America’s 30-year reign of global, unipolar hegemony since the end of Cold War I in December, 1991.

    For now looms Cold War II, with Ukraine, the South China Sea, and/or Taiwan set to kick it off in fine fashion.

    And to understand what is happening in Ukraine, in particular, one must also be familiar with the history of Russia’s interaction with Western Europe over the past 200 years. Napoleon and Hitler both tried to bring the “blessings” of the West to Mother Russia, and failed at terrible cost, particularly to the Land, Country, Nation, and People that was ~ and still is ~ Russia.

    NATO is hard on all of Russia’s borders except in Ukraine; and, given that history spanning over two centuries, it is not at all difficult to understand why Russia wants to keep it that way. This in no way justifies, excuses, or exonerates Putin and his illegal, immoral, and quite insane invasion of Ukraine. It merely speculates on a very real possible motive.

    Continued at https://bracingviews.com/2022/03/05/orwells-1984-holds-many-lessons-for-the-new-cold-war/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, Orwell’s 1984 holds many lessons and the years since 9/11 have seemed only to hammer home the scope and meaning of some of these lessons. Hello Big Brother!

      And, Orwell knew the hypocrisy, the sheer Pharisaic quality of war. He had the balls to fight against Franco in the Spanish Civil War, a war that was seen by many as a ”good” war to fight – a justifiable war. But he came away disillusioned. His Homage to Catalonia is this testament, a fine read.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Meanwhile…

    This Year’s EARTH OVERSHOOT DAY Falls On July 28

    OAKLAND, CA — June 5th, 2022 — Earth Overshoot Day 2022 lands on July 28, earlier than last year. Over 50 years of global overshoot have led to a world where aggravated drought and food insecurity are compounded by unseasonably warm temperatures. As the date indicates, humanity continues to widen its annual ecological deficit two years after the pandemic-induced resource-use reductions exceptionally pushed the date back temporarily by 24 days.

    “Between the pandemic, wilder weather patterns, and the resurgence or intensification of wars on several continents leading to massive food insecurity, the importance of fostering one’s resource security to support one’s economic prosperity is becoming ever more critical for cities, countries, and business entities,” said Global Footprint Network President Mathis Wackernagel.

    Each year, Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has used all the biological resources that Earth regenerates during the entire year. Humanity currently uses 75% more than what the planet’s ecosystems can regenerate—or “1.75 Earths.” From Earth Overshoot Day until the end of the year, humanity operates on ecological deficit spending. This deficit spending is currently the largest since the world entered into ecological overshoot in the early 1970s, according to the National Footprint & Biocapacity Accounts (NFA) based on UN datasets now produced by FoDaFo and York University.

    Go to https://www.overshootday.org/newsroom/press-release-june-2022-english/ to see:

    How Earth Overshoot Day 2022 was calculated
    How to compare the date of Earth Overshoot Day to previous years
    Ecological Footprint data for more than 200 countries and regions
    Infographics and videos available for media
    BLOG: 50 years since Stockholm

    Liked by 1 person

  11. In my mind, the outstanding similarity between Hitler and Putin is the blatantly cynical, unfounded and specious propaganda they vomited to justify their aggression toward a peaceful neighbour.

    Like

    1. Please give examples of the ‘specious propaganda’ that Putin allegedly used. My own sense from reading their remarks over the past 8 years is that Putin and Lavrov have been fairly honest about both their needs (before the invasion) and their goals once the invasion itself was launched.

      Also, I find it incredible that anyone would call Ukraine “peaceful”, given that, following the Washington-engineered regime change op (aka “the Maidan”), it reflected hostility to ethnic Russians not only in legislation but via the war in the Donbass against the ethnic Russian majority who understood they were in the neoNazis’ crosshairs; as pretty well illustrated by the burning alive of dozens of pro-Russia activists in the Odessa Union Hall; and as Ukraine had declared intentions to retake Crimea despite the overwhelming preference of its people first to annex to Russia and to stay that way; and also as Zelensky openly sought, with Washington’s approval, admittance to NATO which would bring its (primarily U.S.) weapons onto Russia’s western border. And also, as Zelensky (along with the Biden Administration) had dismissed numerous appeals to negotiate with Russia the latter’s security concerns.

      Those were not the actions of a peaceful neighbor, but one clearly provoking a fight.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And it’s odd that while you claim propaganda by Putin, you mention nothing of the massive amount of propaganda emanating from what I assume is the core of the deep state – the security establishment in the U.S. with respect to Ukraine and Russia. So many examples of this, but the entirety of the Russiagate narratives themselves were the setting of the table. Politicians and the western press had howled that “Russia invaded” Ukraine in 2014, when Crimeans sought, and Russia agreed, to annex Crimea to Russia in a defensive move against the anti-Russian ethnic cleansing that Ukraine forces had already begun. In 2016, “Russiagate” was birthed by (debunked, admittedly evidence-free) claims of a Russian hacking of DNC server and of Russian ‘disinformation’ attempts to elect Trump and other election meddling.

        In fact, the claims of Russian interference (in U.S. and Ukraine) are especially laughable when one considers that the global nonpareil of international meddling (the good ol’ USA) had (as it so often does) helped engineer the coup to depose a democratically elected President Yanukovych and replaced his Administration with one acceptable to Washington… thereby setting the stage for the events that provoked Russia.

        While I and most others who write about this agree that all of those provocations perhaps still don’t justify the invasion, I’ve scratched my head unsuccessfully trying to find a reasonable alternative strategy that Russia could have employed that hadn’t already been tried. (You’ll recall that in 2014, Yanukovych had just announced a peace-ensuring economic deal with Russia… which, as we know, was immediately followed by the coup.) Russia’s many entreaties to the U.S., NATO and to Ukraine to return the latter to the Minsk Accord, and to drop the idea of NATO expansion to Ukraine, were dismissed.

        And then, of course, there is that same question that so many refuse to answer: Just what should the U.S.’
        response be, if Russia helped install a Russia-friendly/ U.S.-hostile government in Mexico, and a new military alliance put ‘defensive’ weaponry on the Mexican side of its border with the U.S.? What WOULD be our response? We all know very well the answer to the latter.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. your commentary, exegeses, and rejoinders, roger hoffmann, convey simulacra of my own conclusions. i appreciate how adept you are at articulating them so lucidly… concomitantly, how skilled you are at gathering factual material and organizing their complexities in such categorically comprehensive schemata that even a dim-witted donnard like myself can make sense of and absorb the material you offer. i too, as w/ you, would be eager to uncover the commenter paul’s facts, evidence, and sources of information. throwaway declaratives are just that… pourriture to be dismissed and discarded.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Propagandists seek to instill, in the target population, hatred of the enemy. The easiest way to do this is to piggyback on the hatred people already have for an existing or previous enemy. Hence the comparison between Hitler and Putin. They want people to hate Putin and it’s likely people already hate Hitler so they just keep saying Putin is the new Hitler. If they say it enough times it will work on most people. That’s what Joseph Goebbels, late of the Third Reich, perfected. That’s propaganda.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. i’m curious, Paul. Do You find any similarity between “the blatantly cynical, unfounded and specious propaganda [Hitler and Putin] vomited to justify their aggression toward a peaceful neighbour,” and the open, bald-face lies that this government told this nation and the world about the Tonkin Gulf Incident in 1964? Or about the Kuwaiti Incubator Babies in 1991? Or about Saddam’s WMDs and ties to al-Qaeda in 2003? Or the 2008 financial “cri$i$”?

    Makes one wonder about what lies it may be telling us about The COVID Event and our war with Russia in Ukraine, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. JG Moebus – I certainly agree that the USA/UK invasion of Iraq was justified by propaganda of the same ilk as Putin/Hitler’s. Gross falsifications. And so many paid the price with their lives. Going to war without justification is a war crime and all of these leaders should be called to account. (but of course they won’t).

      Of COVID, the number of ”excess deaths” (14.9M as of 5 May) speaks for itself and I won’t go down THAT rabbit hole.

      https://www.who.int/news/item/05-05-2022-14.9-million-excess-deaths-were-associated-with-the-covid-19-pandemic-in-2020-and-2021

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m currently reading “Propaganda” by Jacques Ellul. Wonderful little book. Wonderfully frightening that is. What he describes is exactly what is being done to us.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Using what I hope is the better side of the internet…to track down who
    your “esteemed colleague” M. Davout might be… The entirety of your
    post this time was more than just a little bit too obtuse for me.

    If the filthy rich on earth don’t clean up their act (and use their $$
    to help make a necessary transition to a non-$$ based “privacy” system
    of life on earth) all future survival of life on earth may be doomed.

    I believe the Russia-Ukraine War is a warning of how life on earth could
    end… (I also believe that most nation-states are part of the problem
    not the solution, and that we don’t need nations we need clean, healthy,
    happy neighborhoods that are totally “equitable” and fair, if not
    totally “equal” in every way.  (There’s a big difference between equity
    and equality that should be better understood by everyone.)

    And so I finally believe that a totally new United Neighborhoods of
    Earth political system (that starts in each newly defined neighborhood
    on earth and builds up from there…)   is what we need to heed what
    Buckminster Fuller warned of in June 1969, “Utopia or Oblivion:  the
    Prospects for Humanity”
    *

    *

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It appears that sanctions and indirect support (money, weapons) are now Washington’s preferred method for participating in localized foreign wars. They tried direct intervention with draftees (Vietnam). That didn’t work. They tried direct intervention with professional soldiers (Iraq, Afghanistan) but the public and the politicians soured on that too. So now it’s money (we apparently have an inexhaustible supply), weapons (not inexhaustible but we have, or at least had a lot of them), and sanctions. Did you know we have sanctions against 25 different countries or at least some of their people)? Sanctions are a tricky thing. It’s one thing to sanction Cuba. Mostly what it means is more expensive sugar for us and it’s more difficult to get fine cigars. But now we’ve sanctioned a major supplier of food, energy, and fertilizer. So the prices of food, energy, and fertilizer have gone up and shortages are also popping up. I think sanctions on Russia will turn out to be a disaster for us and for Europe. They’ve driven Russia and China closer together. Even as we speak African representatives are in Moscow discussing getting the food they need. So we’ve driven Africa closer to Russia/China as well. Our Russian sanctions are undoing decades of work in trying to get the less developed world closer to us. And we have higher inflation for ourselves as well. And for what? So we can feel better emotionally about punishing a foreign country? And their leader? Wouldn’t it be better if instead of weapons, money, and sanctions, if the Washington hawks were to meet in an auditorium, display a large picture of Vladimir Putin on the screen and chant “hate, hate, hate …” (Hmm. Where have I read that somewhere?) It would be better for the rest of us anyway. Much better for the rest of us.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. One basic point that people often miss in this discussion: Why is the U.S. getting involved in a big way in a war that poses no direct threat to national security?

    What gives us the right to provide arms, to sanction, to threaten even the overthrow of Russia’s leader, in a war between Russia and a former Soviet republic on its border? Put differently, how did Ukraine become America’s eastern flank?

    As I’ve asked before, why does America have to become involved in one way or another in just about every global conflict? Isn’t national defense about, well, defense? If Russia wins this war, does anyone fear that the U.S. is next, or even Germany or Poland for that matter?

    And, in the case of Ukraine, extensive American aid, notably expensive weaponry, may be only prolonging the inevitable. Does anyone really expect that Ukraine can “win” at any tolerable price to that country and its people?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nobody expects the Ukraine can “win” Lt.Gol.
      But everybody expects the US to “interfere” – after all they are the self-appointed World Policeman.
      Since World War II the United States military has killed some 20-million people, overthrown at least 36- governments, interfered in at least 85-foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50-foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over-30 countries.
      What’s different, or special with the Ukraine that they should be spared?

      Like

    2. All good questions / points.
      I will say that Finland and Sweden (or, at least their security establishment) have been somehow ‘persuaded’ that they might be Russia’s next victim if Russia isn’t stopped. Tragic irony is that they are arguably about to become less secure by joining NATO.

      I know that you were asking these questions rhetorically, but I, too have long felt offended by the pretense that America’s huge annual budget is for “national defense”, about the name of the DoD, and the reality that bozos like Adam Schiff can continue to say such things that we’re funding war over there so that we don’t have to fight them over here.

      And you’re asking, what gives us ‘the right’ to act, without authorization, as the world’s police force… to enforce laws that we ourselves break and for which crimes we refuse to submit to any tribunal?

      I don’t know why, but all of your / these points seem to go right over the heads of those who cheer on our war(s). I think that is one hallmark of American Exceptionalism.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, as is almost all so-called “defense” spending. They’re ‘borrowing’ it from the younger generations… just like bank robbers are taking out a ‘loan’ from the banks.

          Like

          1. Every dime of the $8 trillion spent on The Forever War was “borrowed” from the younger generations.

            Unless and Until Millennials, Zers, and Xers wake up to that fact and do something about it, ain’t nuthin gonna change until this nation goes into default and bankruptcy. Because We, the Boomers, are not going to make any attempt to undo what We have inflicted on our Children and Grandchildren.

            Liked by 2 people

    3. This comment is anecdotal, absolutely, but a friend has family in Poland who are actually very much afraid their country is next on Russia’s hit list; they’ve commented that generations have grown up feeling that way. And it would appear that Sweden and Finland are apprehensive, as well. There may be no actual basis for any of these fears, but they seem to be pervasive.

      As for why the U.S. has to be involved, as has been discussed here repeatedly, it’s all about the Benjamin’s, one way or another.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That makes sense. Poland was devastated in WW2 by both the Nazis and Stalin. Finland also fought against Stalin in WW2. Proximity and bad memories drive fear.

        Still, I don’t think Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will be followed by an invasion of Finland or Poland or any other country. For one thing, the cost to Russia would be far too high, and Russia is already paying a high price in Ukraine. The main U.S. strategy seems to be to make Russia bleed by fighting to the last Ukrainian. Somehow that’s framed as “defending Democracy.”

        Liked by 3 people

    4. You asked a number of questions, Colonel. Permit me to offer some answers. You asked:

      1. “Why is the U.S. getting involved in a big way in a war that poses no direct threat to national security?”

      >>> Because that is what America does, and has done for a very long time. Every war that America has started and/or supported or been directly involved in since the end of WW II had absolutely nothing to do with any kind of an Actual, Real THREAT to national security.

      2. “What gives us the right to provide arms, to sanction, to threaten even the overthrow of Russia’s leader, in a war between Russia and a former Soviet republic on its border?”

      >>> Because we are ~ or were ~ the planet’s ruling global, unipolar hegemonic Super Power, that’s what. Plus, now that The Forever War is over and lost, our MICC needs something to keep it profitable. And, finally, as Yossarian put it in CATCH-22: “They can do anything nobody can stop them from doing.”

      3. “Put differently, how did Ukraine become America’s eastern flank?”

      >>> Because America got its ass kicked out of its fronts further east [ie Afghanistan and Iraq]. And when things heat up with China over Taiwan, or the South China Sea, or bases in Fiji, the Solomons, or something else or all of the above, will that then become the “Western front”? And don’t forget that, with the Arctic heating up, that it will soon become a theatre of operations for America’s northern flank. Another job for a NATO northerly expanded to Sweden and Finland, eh? Long term planning at work.

      4. “Why does America have to become involved in one way or another in just about every global conflict?”

      >>> See answers to Questions 1 and 2.

      5. “Isn’t national defense about, well, defense?”

      >>> That depends entirely upon who’s national defense is being discussed, and who gets to define the term “defense.”

      6. “If Russia wins this war, does anyone fear that the U.S. is next, or even Germany or Poland for that matter?”

      >>> If by “next,” You mean “next to be invaded,” then obviously, the U.S. is not “next.” Unless, of course, the whole show goes nuclear; then all bets are off.

      But neither You nor i nor anybody else here in America has a clue as to what is going thru the minds of the Peoples [and, by extension, the Governments] of Germany, Poland, and the rest of [particularly Eastern] Europe right now as a result of the America-Russia War in Ukraine.

      Everybody over the age of thirty in the nations of the former Warsaw Bloc has direct personal experience with what their nations went thru under Soviet rule after WW II, and remember very well Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. And if Putin invaded Ukraine because of NATO’s expansion there, what might he do when Sweden and Finland join the club and get their own sets of missiles? And if he does, who’s going to stop him?

      7. “Does anyone really expect that Ukraine can ‘win’ at any tolerable price to that country and its people?”

      >>> First of all, the “price” paid by the People, Land, Country, and Nation of Ukraine has been, is, and ever will be: 1. Incalculable; and 2. Of no concern whatsoever to Russia, the United States, NATO, or the Ukrainian leadership.

      Second of all, the strategic intent of the United States is not to “win” its war with Russia in Ukraine. It is simply to have it so as:

      1. To ramp up MICC profits for as long as possible without having American troops coming home in body bags.

      2. To divert attention from looming hyper-inflation, food, fuel, and electrical power shortages, a resurgent Pandemic of one sort or another, climate-related weather disasters, mass shootings, record suicides, overdoses, and violent crimes against persons and property, the criminalization of abortion, and everything else that is going so well in America in this Midterm election year.

      3. To demonstrate to the American People and the rest of the world that Cold War II is here; that it is just as real and fraught with existential threats as was the first one that ended 30 years ago; and that the folks at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, over in Langley and Foggy Bottom, and at the Pentagon know Exactly what they are doing; and that we will emerge from this Cold War as triumphant and at the top of the heap of Nations that are left after it is over as we did 30 years ago.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. As we have found out with Julian Assange, Britain is just a US sock puppets….

    “Britain is to supply long-range rocket artillery to Ukraine, despite a threat on Sunday from Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, to bomb fresh targets if similar weapons from the US were delivered to Kyiv.

    The UK will send a handful of tracked M270 multiple launch rocket systems, which can hit targets up to 50 miles away, in the hope they can disrupt the concentrated Russian artillery that has been pounding cities in eastern Ukraine.

    Ben Wallace, the UK defence secretary, argued the decision to ship the rocket launchers was justified because “as Russia’s tactics change, so must our support to Ukraine”. The move risks further provoking an already irritated Kremlin.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. England and what’s left of its Empire has been a US sock puppet since at least the end of World War II, if not when Lend-Lease started.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. What does Putin think about Britain providing these M270 long range rockets?
    As WJA says above….. notably expensive weaponry, may be only prolonging the inevitable.

    Like

  18. M Davout: “Putin’s desire to reestablish Russian hegemony over Eastern Europe and ensure the stability of his autocratic regime has been the main driver of the invasion.”

    Quite simply, No. As Xavier Moreau (France) put it in a recent Crosstalk conversation with Peter Lavelle (Moscow) and George Szamuely (Budapest):

    [22:40] “Putin belonged to this [Soviet] community in the 1980s who thought that the Soviet Union was too big and that it was too expensive for the Soviet Republic of Russia. So, it’s not a question of rebuilding a huge empire which is impossible to rule, impossible to make wealthy. It was just too big. So for Russia, the only thing to do is get security, safety, and protect Russian people. Because in Ukraine, you have Russian people and Russian-speaking people, closer to Russia than to Lvov, even to Kiev today. So it’s no question of the Soviet Union. It’s a question of protecting Russian people, especially in Donbas. And when you see precisely, these fanatical battalions, they hate Russian people living in Donbas. They use them as human shields because they hate them and wish to exterminate them. So, I agree, it’s not a question of rebuilding the Soviet Union. It’s a question of security, of protecting Russian people in the Donbas and in the Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine.”

    As for the “stability of his autocratic regime”: The citizens of Russia have elected Vladimir Putin several times and will do so again if he chooses to run for another term. He enjoys a broad and deep popularity (over 80%) due to his competent stewardship of his country’s government over a period of two decades now. As U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said — although oblivious to the unintended irony of her remark — “All roads lead to Putin.” And so they do. The only “instability” that President Putin or his government might encounter at this point would come if he foolishly and naively settled for more empty promises from proven liars (the “combined West”) instead of pressing on until Russia has attained its long-stated aims of demilitarization (no NATO), denazification (no NAZIs), and a “Ukraine” (whatever remains of this sorry, impoverished, corrupt American colony) that will never again threaten Russia with “defensive” missile emplacements — ludicrously defended as “aimed at Iran” — 5 to 7 minutes flight time to Moscow and St Petersburg. Now, if President Putin swallowed that risible claim and bet Russia’s security on it, then he would summarily find himself out of office with a now-more-nationalistic Dmitry Medvedev (or someone even harder than him) taking over the Kremlin. The Russian people, after all their patience and sacrifice, insist on total victory and they will have it, no matter who formally occupies the Kremlin, Washington, D.C., or Kiev.

    What the United States and its ineffectual NATO vassals want matters not at all, but a disquisition on that point will require another, separate, comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A further comment about why it doesn’t matter what the US/UK/NATO/EU think about Russia’s Special Military Operation from Alexander Mercouris (London): Russia Inflicts Heavy Losses on Ukraine, West in Private Discussions for Face Saving Off-Ramp June 4, 2022:

      [38:53] “… western governments are starting to understand the failure of the sanctions. They’re beginning to pay a political price. They’re looking for a way out.”

      “So we have these discussions. The Russians feel under no pressure in the economic front. And on the military front, they’re winning the war. And they’re looking at all these weapons systems that the West is providing Ukraine. And I think these weapon systems are having the opposite effect on what the Western powers appear to think. Because they are not sufficient to enable Ukraine to mount counter-offensives. They’re not sufficient for Ukraine to defeat the Russian army. They’re not, in my opinion, even sufficient or anywhere close to be sufficient or anywhere close to being sufficient for Ukraine to mount a successful defense.”

      “And I’ve been reading and watching programs, interesting program discussions, about these weapon systems . . . pointing out that these weapon systems are very difficult for Ukraine to use, that absorbing and learning how to use these weapon systems would take Ukraine far too long for Ukraine to be able to use them effectively. Certainly not before the end of the summer .”

      40:26 “The Russians, of course, must know this. They’re winning the war. Obviously they’re taking losses. But, as I said, they probably feel, in a way, that these weapon systems are working to their advantage. Because, on the one hand they’re providing weapon systems which are not going to turn the tables in the war, but on the other hand they’re hardening Russian morale.”

      [40:58] “Now, I’m starting to get reports that the mood among Russian soldiers in Donbass has actually hardened. That they’re hearing about these western weapon systems that are being deployed against them. And they’re now saying to each other that they’re no longer fighting Ukraine, they’re fighting NATO [I think they already know this]. President Putin’s comments at the start of the war that this is a war to defend Russia from NATO, that’s beginning to gain traction. [I think it has already gained that] And the presence of these NATO weapon systems is increasingly making Russian soldiers see it in those terms. And that is stiffening morale as it would do in conditions where it is the Russians who are advancing and on the offensive and the Ukrainians who are retreating.”

      Like

    2. Hi Michael. Something totally Off-Topic: How are You able to show quotes, bold and italic fonts, and embed URL links in Your comments? i would love to be able to do that, but can find now instructions as to how to do it. Thanks and have a Great day. ~ jeff

      Like

  19. I would encourage everyone to watch Oliver Stone’s “The Putin Interviews” if they haven’t already. Putin apparently believes that the choice of President matters little in American foreign policy (interventionism) which instead is set by our foreign policy apparatus, which we affectionately call “The Blob”. That would be the CIA, State Department, NSA, etc. Intervention is good for the Blob – it supplies jobs, money, status. A reason for living and working. It’s always better for them if the U.S. has enemies. Donald Trump tried to challenge the Blob, asking questions like, “Why are we spending so much money on NATO when European countries don’t?” So the Blob worked to get him removed from office. Remember the Hunter Biden laptop letter, wherein 50 former high officials of the CIA affirmed that the laptop was a fake? That was misinformation of course. Still, that letter was used by Joe Biden to help him get elected. That’s just one example. I understand much of the recent $40 billion dollar “Ukraine” package really goes to the Blob, especially the State Department and our NATO apparatus. Politicians of both parties challenge the Blob at their peril.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most here would probably say that Putin is just stating the obvious there. It doesn’t take a foreign head of state to perceive that the U.S. Presidents are pretty much interchangeable (with the modest exception of the looser cannon, Trump); and that policy for the most part is given to “the Blob”, “Deep/Security State” or whatever name we’d apply to that aggregate of neocons that has persisted since at least the Reagan years.

      Oh, there are moments in which a President has shown a modicum of restraint over State Department urgings. Obama did that at least once in refusing to accede to Sec’y of State H.R.Clinton’s push for a no –fly zone in Syria, for instance. But by and large, policy has been remarkably consistent and reflective of the Project for a New American Century script… of which Robert Kagan, husband of Victoria Nuland, was one of the architects.

      Trump did indeed threaten their hold. They could NOT abide such a loose cannon in matters of such importance to the security state establishment. Schumer was just being honest when, after a cutting remark by Trump about the Intelligence agencies, said,
      “you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you…”.
      In fact, the very first time he challenged that establishment I remarked to my wife that The Donald was probably going to ‘have a fatal accident or illness’. I was most surprised that he finished his term, though it was clear that the entirety of the establishment- with neolibs and neocons in unity, was going to make sure he didn’t get reelected.

      That assured, Biden was led to install in his Administration all the same neocon gang, and as he had already been knee-deep in responsibility for the Ukraine destabilization (having been the rubber stamp for Nuland, et al in the approval of the coup and Washington-selected new administration), and given his clear decline in cognitive abilities generally, it is unsurprising that he’d give direction of policy vis a vis Ukraine to N.S.Advisor Jake Sullivan, Nuland, Blinken, et al.

      One of the worst impacts of Trump’s presidency (and presence on the stage), besides the extent to which he encouraged the open racism and other cultural intolerances and sweeping generalizations about liberalism, etc., was the opposite reaction, called by some Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). it also led Clinton and the Dem.Party establishment (along with probably most of their partisans), to fully, unquestioningly embrace all of the Russiagate narratives which were initially concocted to smear Trump as a would be agent of Putin. These narratives served a double purpose, though: they built unquestioning support of the Intel agencies as well.

      The fact that one of the agencies put a spy to the White House, who ‘leaked’ Trump’s clumsy attempt to arm-twist Ukraine’s President to investigate the Hunter Biden deals, might have alarmed any public unaffected of a different time; one less in the grips of TDS. Yet, the spy’s ‘leak’ of Trump’s phone conversation was met in liberal circles with overwhelming praise for the so-called ‘whistleblower’- a man who was only doing his assigned job, to listen for any dirt on the President . (At the same time, of course, real whistleblowers like Ed Snowden, Chelsea Manning and publishers like Julian Assange were in jail or in exile, and in Assange’s case at least, the liberals were happy about that. Again, that reflected the degree to which partisan narratives had been effective in achieving their goals, as well as the degree to which the Democratic / liberal side of the spectrum had been bonded to the security establishment that liberals had formerly held with more questioning attitudes. )

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Good explanation about the Blob’s response to the Trump administration. A cynic might say that Biden is demonizing Russia and Putin in order to get back at them for what they perceive as helping H. Clinton lose the 2016 election. Would they encourage and enable the killing of thousands of people just for revenge via their false narrative? Only they can answer that question.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. In re. Biden’s reason for demonizing Russia & Putin, I wouldn’t think that it’s motivated by any desire for retaliation for 2016. Biden probably knew full well that Russia, however it might have preferred Trump, was a non-factor in that election, and I imagine that he even knew who actually leaked the DNC emails (though this is speculation on my part). At any rate, there’s a good chance that he knew that Russiagate was concocted by the DNC (with Intel agency assistance). Those allegations would have a few convergent purposes: 1) to smear Trump and portray him as vulnerable to Putin’s dictates; 2) to deflect attention away from the scandalous email contents and to the possibility that Russia might be interfering in our election; 3) to give further justification for tightening of economic warfare (sanctions) against Russia. Furthermore, keep in mind that Biden himself had an important role in the setup of the 2014 coup against Ukraine’s Pres. Yanukovych and the installation of a Washington-selected replacement administration.

          Also, Biden had been forced to do some damage control after he was recorded saying that he forced the firing of Ukraine’s Inspector General, who had refused to drop the investigation of corruption by Burisma, the energy company that gave his completely unqualified, wastrel son Hunter a healthy sinecure- a seat on its governing board. Joe Biden was already neck-deep in Ukraine, and demonizing Putin and Russia is certainly one way of trying to bury his own messes. Provoking Russia into the attack certainly has done that, at least as far as the main stream press goes; for almost anything counter to the State narrative about evil Putin/Russia is unpatriotic and censored or otherwise cancel-able.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Maybe so. Like a lot of people I have trouble distinguishing between what politicians say publicly and what they actually believe. I once had a very politically active preacher friend (we were on opposite sides of the political fence) who warned me (in an election year) that I would be hearing about some things that he said. He told me I shouldn’t believe that that was really him, that that was just politics talking, and that he was the same great guy I knew so well. But all I could think was well maybe your political guy is the real you, and the great guy thing is just an act.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. Excellent points excellently stated again, Roger. i have only one challenge to it; Your statement that: “In fact, the very first time he challenged that establishment I remarked to my wife that The Donald was probably going to ‘have a fatal accident or illness’. I was most surprised that he finished his term, though it was clear that the entirety of the establishment- with neolibs and neocons in unity, was going to make sure he didn’t get reelected.”

        Long a subscriber to Papa Joe Stalin’s timeless admonition that “It’s not who votes that counts, but who counts the votes,” my working hypothesis is as follows.

        1. That America’s Ruling Political Class determined in 2016 that it could accomplish more with Trump in the Oval Office than it could with Clinton. That’s how and why he got elected.

        2. That America’s Ruling Political Class determined in 2020 that it could accomplish more with Biden in office than it could with Trump. And that’s why Trump didn’t get re-elected.

        i define “America’s Ruling Political Class” as follows: “The military-industrial-congressional complex/banking-finance-printing press web/techno-infotainment matrix/petro-food-guns-n-drugs cartels/pharmo-medico-insurance-legal cabals/ surveillance-secrecy-security-safety panopticon that owns and operates and commands and controls the politicians and bureaucrats at center stage in America’s reality-tv extravaganza; and America’s $ 1 = 1 Vote system of government and governance that gets, puts, and keeps them there.”

        My preliminary findings are as follows:

        1. That our RPC was absolutely correct in its determination that it would reach new levels Power ~ and its attendant Wealth ~ with POTUS Maxximmuss XLV reading his scripts, rather than The Hillary. Is there any sector of the RPC listed in the definition that was not better off in November, 2020, than it was in November, 2016?

        2. And so far, the RPC has been spot-on in determining: 1, That, after four years of delivering the goods, that Trump could do it more good for the RPC out of office than he could in [which he has]; and 2, That Biden will use his 50 years of experience as a tool of the RPC to ensure that more Power and more Wealth will be made available to the RPC, as the nation descends into a division approaching disintegration not seen in 160 years, and what may end up as having been merely the FIRST American Civil War.

        And now we have inflation that could go hyper-, food, fuel, and electrical power shortages that promise only to get worse, the ever-present threat of a renewed Pandemic, a war in Europe that could go nuclear any day now, the criminalization of abortion, weather and other climate-related disasters, and so forth.

        The perfect time for the RPC to assert more authority and more control, thereby gaining even more Power and Wealth.

        Like

  20. Excellent news! I have once again conferred with M. Davout via my Ouija Board, and he has the following message to send along to all of you:

    W. J. Astore has asked me to compose a “coda” of sorts, in which I might add some concluding reflections about the commentary provoked by our different views on the war in Ukraine.

    Yes, there is a relevant pre-2022 history to the current conflict—decades old promises from US officials to Russian officials about not expanding NATO east of the Oder, a popular pro-West Ukrainian uprising (supported by Western intelligence agencies, some have plausibly argued) against a Ukrainian administration’s decision to reject closer ties with the European Union (as was the will of the Ukrainian parliament) in favor of the Ukrainian president’s decision to push the country toward closer ties with Russia, a counter-uprising in the Donbas that drew Russian political and military support, etc. But there is also the fact of a full-scale military invasion against a country that posed little if any military threat to Russian borders, a military invasion that has led to the needless deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and combatants and the uprooting of millions of Ukrainians.

    It is undeniable that the invasion has promoted patriotic solidarity among different language speakers within Ukraine against the invasion, including Russian speaking Ukrainians whose rights Putin’s invasion was presumably intended to defend. It is also undeniable that voter support for Ukraine’s resistance to the invasion is very high in Eastern European countries. More noteworthy is the fact that in Western European countries, governments have been forced to respond to the pro-Ukrainian sentiments of their voters by sending arms to Ukraine and destroying longstanding economic relationships with Russia to the financial detriment of both European businesses and consumers.

    So the situation is nowhere near as neat or clear as either my contributions or Astore’s contributions or the contributions of the majority of the commentators would have it be. In this regard, the comments of Denise Donaldson strike me as the most interesting. You can tell that she can see the issue from both sides and is struggling with that ambiguity.

    That is the place to be on the Ukraine war, I think: struggling with ambiguity. There is no clearly right answer: the war is not solely a product of American empire, nor is it solely a product of Russian empire. And there are no good outcomes, only bad or worse outcomes.

    But, in politics, one has to make choices and, for now, I choose align myself with current US and NATO policy. Not because I am a dupe of the mainstream media or a supporter of the Establishment or the MIC (my earlier posts on this website should put those notions to rest) but because I believe the expulsion of the Russian military from the Ukrainian lands it currently occupies (maybe including Crimea, maybe not) is both possible and more likely to lead to a lasting peace in eastern Europe. And my taking that position does not mean that I do not also see some merit in the points my esteemed colleague WJ Astore (and his many followers) make.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Davout wrote: “That is the place to be on the Ukraine war, I think: struggling with ambiguity. There is no clearly right answer: the war is not solely a product of American empire, nor is it solely a product of Russian empire.”

      Correct. It is the product of the interaction, interdependence, and mutual Needs of the American and Russian Empires ~ along with the Chinese Empire ~ for “Threats,” “Enemies,” and, ultimately, War. Orwell’s 1984’s old Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia brought alive and kicking into the 21st century.

      And, as one whose “loyalty and obedience to Napoleon were absolute.” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis-Nicolas_Davout], Davout would certainly know that “there are no good outcomes, only bad or worse outcomes.”

      How’d they put it back in those days? Something like “Real men want to go to Moscow”?

      Like

  21. I would like to thank M. Davout for his reasoned response and for continuing this important discussion. One thing I can say with certainty: you won’t hear such a nuanced and broad debate in the mainstream media, which basically just sells U.S. weaponry while waving Ukrainian flags in our faces.

    Davout suggests that Ukraine posed no threat to Russia. Alone, that is true. But Ukraine was planning to join NATO, a powerful alliance led by the world’s most hegemonic country. Surely, that combination was something for Russia to be wary of, and even to fear.

    When Americans think of Russia, many negative images come to mind. The evils of communism. A charging and rampaging Russian bear. But Russia has had its share of devastation. Davout certainly knows the rampage of Napoleon’s empire in 1812. Russia and the Soviet Union were almost destroyed by World Wars I and II. Russian leaders have been reassured by Western leaders before that “we come in peace,” but surely 1812, 1914, and 1941 taught Russia much about trusting Western assurances.

    Look at a map. From a Russian perspective, NATO surrounds them. Look at military budgets. The U.S. and NATO combined spend more than 20 times what Russia spends. If the roles were reversed and we were the Russians, might we see this differently?

    My point is not to excuse Russia’s invasion but to offer a partial explanation.

    I agree with Davout that by this point “there are no good outcomes, only bad or worse outcomes.” Therefore, I choose not to align myself with current US and NATO policy, since I see this as recklessly escalatory and focused primarily on providing more and more weaponry to kill more and more Russians (and Ukrainians too). I propose an immediate cease fire, the end of arms shipments to Ukraine, and negotiation that would end with some territory being ceded to Russia, a promise from NATO and Ukraine that the latter will remain neutral, and a promise from Russia that Ukraine will not be attacked again, and that its territorial integrity will be respected. I would also insist on Russia paying reparations dedicated to rebuilding Ukraine. Finally, the U.S. should end all sanctions on Russia and redirect its aid entirely to rebuilding Ukraine rather than to more weaponry.

    I think this approach would save lives and restore equilibrium to Europe while avoiding dangerous escalation that could conceivably end in nuclear war. It’s time for statesmanship and compromise, rather than militaristic grandstanding and mendacious obstinacy.

    Sadly, I see no one in the US government with the sagacity and cojones to join Putin and Zelensky in working to stop this war reasonably and quickly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As I understand it back in March Ukraine and Russia were making very good progress in peace talks in Istanbul. But the UK and/or the US instructed Ukraine to walk away from the talks. So war continues, sadly to the detriment of all of us in the Western world, Russia, Ukraine, and the less-developed countries. Well, most all of us anyway. Somebody gains from it that’s for sure.

      Like

    2. Bravo. Well said. These would form the basis for a rational and principled course forward.
      If only…
      By the actual actions of the U.S., its real intentions are known.

      Like

    3. “But Ukraine was planning to join NATO, a powerful alliance led by the world’s most hegemonic country. Surely, that combination was something for Russia to be wary of, and even to fear.”

      Suppose, for the sake of argument, that the U.S. wanted to join the “Pan Latin American League.” And suppose all the Latin American countries hated Mexico and had built up arms against it. Mexico warned the U.S. not to join the alliance, but when the U.S. wouldn’t give up that idea, Mexico invaded the U.S. (for purposes of this scenario, the U.S. is not a strong military power). So, to resolve the conflict, the U.S. should cede Texas to Mexico. Does that sound like an equitable solution?

      All this to say that, as a sovereign nation, Ukraine has a right to conduct its affairs with no deference to Russia’s desires. The fact that Russia doesn’t like it is not an excuse to invade.

      Is the U.S. behind events in Ukraine? Certainly. Does the U.S. have a right to manipulate the government or stage coups? Certainly not. But Ukraine is free to ally itself as it sees fit. Given the Russian annexation of Crimea, it’s at least understandable that Ukraine would want to join an alliance. And it’s their prerogative. In my opinion, Ukraine shouldn’t be made the loser (of territory) because they wanted to join NATO and got invaded, their country got wrecked, and their people killed, in retaliation for that desire.

      Like

      1. I planned on leaving you to your opinion about this in your post on the 5th, but find myself prodded to offer counterpoint once again.
        You seem to be unaware, or else simply dismissive of the existential dangers that Russians surely perceive with respect to a hostile Nazi-tinged force on Russia’s border, of a NATO-ized Ukraine with all its weapons on its border within a few minutes’ reach by thermonuclear & other weapons of Russia’s major population centers, and of the likely loss of its Black Sea fleet. You seem to have made no effort whatsoever to understand the situation from a Russian’s perspective- one in which the loss of 27Million to Nazis is still fresh enough to be known by likely every single Russian.

        So lest there be no failure to communicate this, the destabilization of Ukraine, destruction of the peace-securing economic deal, replacement with a hostile government bent not only on ethnic cleansing of E. Ukraine but the seizure of Crimea (against its population’s wishes) and of Russian assets, the completion of encirclement by NATO: the combination of these represents mortal danger and the ONLY alternative would be to let the U.S. and NATO dictate terms – of economy, of governance, and everything else.

        In your dismissal of such legitimate fears (and again, these have been well discussed by many diplomats, military & Intel officers, Russia scholars, etc.), you are effectively saying, “no matter… they weren’t yet invaded so they should be punished”; and seem to rely on your VISION that all nations will then behave, and if the U.S. continues interfering / threatening, weakening (via economic warfare and other means) Russia, well, the answer is that the US would be morally wrong, too.

        I’m sorry but this seems completely naive about the reality of international relations. How can Russia (or any state) be assured that it won’t be run over, attacked, destroyed, if it simply adheres to the nice but impossible-to-bring-about (given the lack of democratic global governance) that you seem to be stipulating? Again, what would you have offered Russia as an alternative to its invasion into E. Ukraine, if you are actually in favor of peace?

        Also, the ‘what if’ scenario you offer is infeasible…. simply impossible, because of the asymmetry of power involved.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m neither unaware, dismissive, nor naive. I simply maintain that, absent a direct attack, no nation has the right to invade another nation.

          If we operate according to the dictum that perceived threats and/or provocative acts constitute justification for attack/invasion, then Japan had every right to mount its attack on Hawaii in 1941.

          Or, more recently, the U.S. “perceived” a threat from Iraq in 2003. Many analysts have said that Bush II, Cheney, et. al. never believed there were any WMDs. We may never know what they really believed (I personally think they deliberately fabricated the whole situation), just as we don’t know what Putin actually believes. But the U.S. has been condemned worldwide for that invasion, and rightfully so.

          Like

          1. Denise, a list of all US military wars – not attempting to include every war and combat against Native Americans. Invading another Nations. I’m not an American military historian and have always had a hard time accepting this incredulous list. Just from WWII , this list is staggering.

            From: “The United States of War: A Global History of America’s Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic States”. David Vine. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2020. 426 pp. $29.95 Hardcover 2020.

            Professor of anthropology at American University, Vine analyzes the evolution of American imperialism by tracing the establishment of US military bases and their different roles in each country. His book, based on eighteen years of research and after visits to more than sixty current and former bases across fourteen countries, is one of–if not the most– comprehensive, about the power of the US military and its hegemonic power over the world. Vine’s book allows the reader to have a full understanding of the evolution of American imperialism.

            1774-1883 Shawnee, Delaware
            1776 Cherokee
            1777-1781 Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee)
            1780-1794 Chickamauga
            1790-1795 Miami Confederacy
            1792-1793 Muskogee (Creek)
            1798-1801 France
            1801-1805 Tripoli
            1806 Mexico
            1806-1810 Spanish, French privateers
            1810 Spanish West Florida
            1810-1813 Shawnee Confederacy
            1812 Spanish Florida
            1812-1815 Canada (Great Britain)
            1812-1815 Dakota Sioux
            1812-1815 Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee)
            1813 Spanish West Florida
            1813-1814 Marquesas Islands
            1813-1814 Muskogee (Creek) Confederacy
            1814 Spanish Florida
            1814-1825 Pirates
            1815 Algiers
            1815 Tripoli
            1816 Spanish Florida
            1817 Spanish Florida
            1817-1819 Seminole
            1818 Oregon (Russia, Spain)
            1820-1861 African Slave Trade Patrol
            1822-1825 Cuba (Spain
            1824 Puerto Rico (Spain)
            1827 Greece
            1831-1832 Falkland Islands
            1832 Sauk
            1832 Sumatra
            1833 Argentina
            1835-1836 Peru
            1835-1842 Seminole
            1836 Mexico
            1836-1837 Muskogee (Creek)
            1838-1839 Sumatra
            1840 Fiji Islands
            1841 Samoa
            1841 Tabiteuea
            1842 Mexico
            1843 China
            1844 Mexico
            1846-1848 Mexico
            1847-1850 Cayuse
            1849 Turkey
            1850-1886 Apache
            1851 Johanna Island
            1851 Turkey
            1852-1853 Argentina
            1853-1854 Japan
            1853-1854 Nicaragua
            1853-1854 Ryukyu, Ogasawara islands
            1854-1856 China
            1855 Fiji Islands
            1855 Uruguay
            1855-1856 Rogue River Indigenous Peoples
            1855-1856 Yakima, Walla Walla, Cayuse
            1855-1858 Seminole
            1856 Panama (Colombia)
            1856-1857 Cheyenne
            1857 Nicaragua
            1858 Coeur d’Alene Alliance
            1858 Fiji Islands
            1858 Uruguay
            1858-1859 Turkey
            1859 China
            1859 Mexico
            1859 Paraguay
            1860 Angola
            1860 Colombia
            1862 Sioux
            1863-1864 Japan
            1864 Cheyenne
            1865 Panama (Colombia)
            1866 China
            1866 Mexico
            1866-1868 Lakota Siouw, Northern Cheyenne, Northern Arapaho
            1867 Formosa (Taiwan)
            1867 Nicaragua
            1867-1875 Comanche
            1868 Colombia
            1868 Japan
            1868 Uruguay
            1870 Hawaii
            1871 Korea
            1872-1873 Modoc
            1873 Colombia (Panama)
            1873-1896 Mexico
            1874 Hawaii
            1874-1875 Comanche, Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Kiowa
            1876-1877 Sioux
            1877 Nez Perce
            1878 Bannock (Banna’kwut)
            1878-1879 Cheyenne
            1879-1880 Utes
            1882 Egypt
            1885 Panama (Colombia)
            1888 Haiti
            1888 Korea
            1888-1889 Samoa
            1889 Hawaii
            1890 Argentina
            1890 Lakota Sioux
            1891 Bering Straight
            1891 Chile
            1891 Haiti
            1893 Hawaii
            1894 Brazil
            1894 Nicaragua
            1894-1895 China
            1894-1896 Korea
            1895 Panama (Colombia)
            1896 Nicaragua
            1898 Cuba (Spain)
            1898 Nicaragua
            1898 Philippines (Spain)
            1898 Puerto Rico (Spain)
            1898-1899 China
            1899 Nicaragua
            1899 Samoa
            1899-1913 Philippines
            1900 China
            1901-1902 Colombia
            1903 Dominican Republic
            1903 Honduras
            1903 Syria
            1903-1904 Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
            1903-1914 Panama
            1904 Dominican Republic
            1904 Tangier
            1904-1905 Korea
            1906-1909 Cuba
            1907 Honduras
            1909-1910 Nicaragua
            1911-1912 Honduras
            1911-1914 China
            1912 Cuba
            1912 Turkey
            1912-1933 Nicaragua
            1914 Dominican Republic
            1914 Haiti
            1914-1919 Mexico
            1915-1934 Haiti
            1916-1924 Dominican Republic
            1917-1918 World War I (Europe)
            1917-1922 Cuba
            1918-1920 Russia
            1918-1921 Panama
            1919 Dalmatia
            1919 Turkey
            1919-1920 Honduras
            1925 Panama
            1932 El Salvador
            1941-1945 World War II (Europe, North Africa, Asia/Pacific)
            1946 Trieste
            1947-1949 Greece
            1948-1949 Berlin, Germany
            1950 Formosa (Taiwan)
            1950-1953 Korea
            1953-1954 Formosa (Taiwan)
            1955-1975 Vietnam
            1956 Egypt
            1958 Lebanon
            1962 Cuba
            1962 Thailand
            1962-1975 Laos
            1964 Congo (Zaire)
            1965 Dominican Republic
            1965-1973 Cambodia
            1967 Congo (Zaire)
            1976 Korea
            1978 Congo (Zaire)
            1980 Iran
            1981 El Salvador
            1981 Libya
            1981-1989 Nicaragua
            1982-1983 Egypt
            1982-1983 Lebanon
            1983 Chad
            1983 Grenada
            1986 Bolivia
            1986 Libya
            1987-1988 Iran
            1988 Panama
            1989 Bolivia
            1989 Colombia
            1989 Libya
            1989 Peru
            1989 Philippines
            1989-1990 Panama
            1990 Saudi Arabia
            1991 Congo (Zaire)
            1991-1992 Kuwait
            1991-1993 Iraq
            1992-1994 Somalia
            1993-1994 Macedonia
            1993-1996 Haiti
            1993-2005 Bosnia
            1995 Serbia
            1996 Liberia
            1996 Rwanda
            1997-2003 Iraq
            1998 Afghanistan
            1998 Sudan
            1999-2000 Kosovo
            1999-2000 Montenegro
            1999-2000 Serbia
            2000 Yemen
            2000-2002 East Timor
            2000-2016 Colombia
            2001 – Afghanistan
            2001- Pakistan
            2001- Somalia
            2002-2015 Philippines
            2002- Yemen
            2003-2011 Iraq
            2004 Haiti
            c2004- Kenya
            2011 Democratic Republic of the Congo
            2011-2017 Uganda
            2011 Libya
            c2012- Central African Republic
            c2012- Mali
            c2013-2016 South Sudan
            c2013- Burkina Faso
            c2013- Chad
            c2013- Mauritania
            c2013- Niger
            c2013- Nigeria
            2014 Democratic Republic of the Congo
            2014- Iraq
            2014- Syria
            2015- Democratic Republic of the Congo
            c2015- Cameroon
            2016- Democratic Republic of the Congo

            Like

            1. I seem to be misunderstood here. In no way, shape, or form am I defending anything the United States has done, ever. I’m saying that invasion without having been attacked is wrong, period, no matter who does it.

              I used the example of Pearl Harbor because, in American minds, it’s generally considered to have been an unprovoked attack, whereas FDR had levied several kinds of provocation. In fact, the argument could be made that FDR set out to accomplish an attack, but that’s another discussion. My point is that one can’t condemn Japan in that case without also condemning Russia now.

              It seems, though, that one can’t criticize Russia without then being called an apologist for the U.S., which I most assuredly am not.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I think it’s fair to treat boundaries as absolutes. I’m not sure I completely agree in all cases but it’s a reasonable argument. Governments, however, don’t seem to work from absolutes. Especially powerful countries.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. “Governments, however, don’t seem to work from absolutes.”

                  No, they don’t. Morality is fluid, depending on what’s expedient. And that’s why this world is perennially in such a mess.

                  Like

              2. I wouldn’t condemn Japan, for reasons to which you allude; though I think its attack on Pearl Harbor a terrible mistake. I could condemn it for other reasons, perhaps, but not for that. And I won’t condemn Russia now, for an even more understandable action in Ukraine- one in which its leaders may have truly felt they had no peaceful alternative left that had not already been attempted. It was literally being squeezed and threatened with extinction. And there was no functional global legal or enforcement system that could aid it.

                Liked by 1 person

        2. I can understand your exasperation with conjured-up, “what if” scenarios when before our eyes we have the opportunity to witness (so far, from a safe distance) a historic realignment of global power — economic, political, and military — very much led by a surprisingly resurgent Russian Federation at this point in time. But even a weak and fanciful “argument” (especially one involving Mexico) can serve as an opportunity for valuable analysis. Consider from Wikipedia:

          The Monroe Doctrine was a United States foreign policy position that opposed European colonialism in the Western Hemisphere. It held that any intervention in the political affairs of the Americas by foreign powers was a potentially hostile act against the U.S. The doctrine was central to U.S. foreign policy for much of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

          [The Doctrine] . . . asserted that the New World and the Old World were to remain distinctly separate spheres of influence, and thus further efforts by European powers to control or influence sovereign states in the region would be viewed as a threat to U.S. security. In turn, the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal affairs of European countries.

          Fast forward two hundred years to yesterday (from Moon of Alabama) and we have a soundbite from a press conference [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov is currently holding:

          Russian Embassy, UK @RussianEmbassy – 11:41 UTC · Jun 6, 2022

          FM #Lavrov: To all appearances, no one is going to even reform #NATO. They are going to turn this “defensive alliance” into a global alliance claiming global military dominance. This is a dangerous path that is definitely doomed to failure.

          I would say that Foreign Minister Lavrov has assessed the current global power realignment perfectly. Most of the world has learned to its sorrow — as the lady Australian Caitlin Johnstone inimitably says — that when a US/UK/NATO/EU face hole begins to emit mouth noises faintly reminiscent of actual human words you can instantly tell that they are lying. When spokespersons (or personalities) use the regular English term “defensive” they really mean “globally dominant.” The Russians, for their part, learned long ago to judge the US-dominated “West” by what they do and not on the basis of what their word-like mouth noises seem to imply. Americans and Europeans idly speaking of “Defense” actually mean Dominance in the Russian understanding of reality-speak. And they will have no more of it.

          So, instead of idle “what if” speculations, it would seem advisable to find out “What just happened? Why? and What to make of that?

          Thanks again for hanging on to reality in the face of society-saturating propaganda. I’ll do what little I can to help.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. ““What just happened? Why? and What to make of that?”

            Heh. It’s a shame nobody bothered to ask that question about 9/11, or Saddam’s WMDs, or the 2008 financial “cri$is” or the Pandemic

            Liked by 2 people

    4. That, Colonel, is simply because nobody in America’s Ruling Political Class WANTS this war to end reasonably and quickly.

      This is the beginning of COLD WAR II, something those folks in SwampLand and their owners, operators, and script writers have been looking forward to since COLD WAR I ended in December, 1991.

      The Forever War was nothing but a half-time show to keep the troops occupied, the MICC profitable, and Americans comfortably numb to protracted conflicts in places that can’t find on a map of the world.

      As long as American troops don’t start coming home in body bags, Washington has a free ride; at least from the American people.

      And, given the American people’s response to The Forever War, even if troops do start coming home in body bags, it will not make a bit of difference. Unless, of course, a Draft, War Taxes, and Mandatory War Bonds become necessary.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. i stumbled across this late last nite: https://worldbeyondwar.org/ ;
    which led me to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9Eqckxij08&t=8s ;
    which led me to this: https://globalsecurity.worldbeyondwar.org/introduction-overview/ ;
    which led ultimately to this: https://act.worldbeyondwar.org/ukraine_action/ .

    i’ve just dipped my toes into all this, but have already seen how WORLD BEYOND WAR goes into great detail to demolish the myths that War is EVER: “Inevitable,” “Justified,” “Necessary,” or “Beneficial.”

    It also goes into great detail to explain Why War Should END: Because It is Immoral; It Endangers All Life; It Destroys Liberties; It Promotes Bigotry; It Wastes at last count around $2 Trillion/year; It Destroys the Environment; and It Impoverishes all but a very select few individuals, organizations, and institutions embedded in the Planet’s Military-Industrial Complex and their colleagues, cohorts, and compeers.

    And finally, it points out that Alternatives Exist. And begins the deep exploration of How To Make Alternatives to War happen.

    It will be interesting to see what happens on June 25 and 26 with WBW’s “24 Hour Peace Wave: No to Militarization – Yes to Cooperation”:

    “The G7 will be meeting near Munich June 26-28. NATO will be meeting in Madrid on June 28-30.

    “Our goal is to speak up for peace and cooperation, the scaling back and dismantling of military alliances, the disarmament of governments, and the democratization and strengthening of international institutions of nonviolent cooperation and the rule of law.

    “It is beyond time to address the unavoidable crises of nuclear risk, climate collapse, hunger, and homelessness, rather than manufacturing crises for the benefit of weapons dealers.

    “Our plan is to hold a non-stop 24-hour rolling rally live streaming on a Zoom channel moving west around the Earth from 2 p.m. in Ireland on June 25 to 4 p.m. in Ukraine on June 26. There will be video from protests, demonstrations, vigils, teach-ins, and speakers at their desks. There will be music and art.

    A detailed agenda will be posted here and sent to those who’ve signed up to attend. You can of course drop in and out at any time during the 24 hours.” [See 24hourpeacewave.org for more details.]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate this extra information and the genuine / humane principles that motivated it.
      That said, and given that I once led a regional ‘chapter’ of a group called “Beyond War”, in the mid-80s, Iit’s ironic that I hesitate to throw myself wholeheartedly behind the “World BEYOND War” group, after reading a bit of their materials.

      Perhaps the first reason is that ‘they’ use very loose rhetoric in explaining why war is unnecessary, etc. For example, on the page about the myth of “just war”, they state:
      “None of the precepts of the venerable “just war theory” hold up under modern scrutiny, and its requirement that war be used only as a last resort is impossible in an age when nonviolent alternatives are proving themselves to be practically unlimited.”
      I’d ask, for a concrete example, what nonviolent alternatives existed for Russia to defend itself against what it may have (and likely did) see as an existential threat in:
      a) the installation by Washington of effectively a puppet regime and its overriding of a security-enhancing economic deal for both nations;
      b) the decision by Ukraine (and Washington) to pursue NATO membership which would place hostile tactical / strategic weapons on its border; and
      c) Zelensky’s capitulation to neoNazi pressures to retake Crimea- which alone would result in the loss of its naval base at Sevastopol as well as of access to the Black Sea.
      Not one person who has condemned this war has either acknowledged the seriousness of these threats to Russia nor offered any of the supposedly “unlimited nonviolent alternatives”. Nor does the WBW group.

      In other words, there is no functional global governance nor justice system, to protect any nation from the whims of the U.S.-led empire. Not one.
      When that issue is addressed- by, say, a new international security arrangement that is truly democratic- as in, one nation, one vote, no super-veto power, etc., along with a workable enforcement mechanism that can ensure that war is NEVER necessary , THEN we’d have an ACTUAL, not merely dream-fantasized alternative- which every nation currently bullied into submission could means to ensure that no nation EVER has to go to war to defend its people and its independence.
      And by bullying, I mean that no nation could be blackmailed or attacked economically, as well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Roger. Lots to chew on here.

        You asked “for a concrete example [from WBW], what nonviolent alternatives existed for Russia to defend itself against what it may have (and likely did) see as an existential threat in [Ukraine].”

        That’s what’s termed in the business as a “DFQ”: a “Damn Fine Question.” And quite possibly one that nobody has ever asked. At least when it would have been a meaningful and potentially useful question to be asked. And answered.

        Just off the top of my head: Russia could have threatened to initiate from a partial- to a complete-and-total shutoff of all food and energy exports to every nation in NATO, and any nation that supported efforts by NATO to expand into Ukraine. Sort of like the Arabs did back in ‘73 with their Embargo. Threaten the West with a set of Sanctions of its own.

        i, of course, don’t know, but i have a very strong hunch that had Russia chosen that route [or some variation mixed with, say, currency/gold holdings], the US might have confronted some quite serious reservations from at least some of its subordinates in NATO about pursuing its geopolitical objectives in that part of the world.

        You continued: “Not one person who has condemned this war has either acknowledged the seriousness of these threats to Russia nor offered any of the supposedly ‘unlimited nonviolent alternatives’”.

        Well i sure did. If You go back and read my March 5 article [https://bracingviews.com/2022/03/05/orwells-1984-holds-many-lessons-for-the-new-cold-war/], You’ll see what i said about those threats. And i know the Colonel has been very explicit on those threats, as detailed in his conversation with Davout.

        But You are correct: Nobody who is solely condemning Russia for the war has acknowledged those threats. Nor CAN anybody who is cheering the Ukrainians fighting their proxy war for America acknowledge those threats. To do that would be to challenge the established dialogue, which is growing increasingly difficult every day.

        You wrote: “In other words, there is no functional global governance nor justice system, to protect any nation from the whims of the U.S.-led empire. Not one.”

        Nor will there ever be at the global level. At least not until the Planet moves beyond Eurasia with its Putin and Eastasia with its Xi to challenge Oceania and its Big Brother-in-Waiting and its whims.

        And, at this stage of the game, one has to wonder: COULD “a new international security arrangement that is truly democratic – as in, one nation, one vote” – EVER come up with “a workable enforcement mechanism that can ensure that war is NEVER necessary”? Such that “no nation EVER has to go to war to defend its people and its independence”?

        That’s my DFQ for the day.

        At this point, i very seriously doubt it. Which is the major problem i see with what i have read and understand of the WBW’s program, plan, and proposals. To state it as simply as possible:

        Like lots of other advocates for “Peace,” WBW seems to place all of its confidence in some sort of a “Global Governing System” in and to which individual Nation-States place all responsibility for ~ and assurances of ~ their national security.

        And that ain’t gonna happen; at least not anytime soon.

        The ONLY legitimate reason any nation EVER has to “go to war to defend its people and its independence” is because there exist OTHER nations [and/or other criminal elements] who want control of the natural, financial, and human resources of that threatened nation and people. And those Other nations have the necessary ability to at least attempt to seize control of it and them.

        And the only reason those Other nations have that capability to wage war is because they have a government that has either been given ~ or has taken ~ control of the necessary political power, economic wealth, and flow of information required to wage that particular war at that particular time and place.

        Stated differently: The only way WAR can happen is if there are Governments able to force their Peoples to fight them and to pay for them.

        So if the problem is government at the Nation-State level, on what basis does anybody assume that government at the Global level is going to work any better?

        Humans have a hard enough time governing themselves [at least in the United States; and i’m sure it’s not a lot different anyplace else] at the neighborhood, community, local, state, and national levels.

        The real problem is that there is a great deal of confusion ~ if not ignorance ~ about what the Proper Function of Government is, as compared to what it is doing and how it is functioning for quite some time now. Especially here in the United States.

        But that’s a separate rant. Have a Great day. ~ jeff My e~ is: jgmoebus@gmail.com if You want to connect that way.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And as far as a NON-nonviolent alternative that Russia could [and i believe, should] have done:

        Announce that the two breakaway provinces in Donbas that seceded from Ukraine are now part of the Russian Federation [along with a reminder about Crimea]; and that any attempt by Kyiv or Washington to interfere with that will be considered an Act of War by Ukraine, the nations of NATO, and the United States against the Federation of Russia. And dealt with accordingly.

        Had Putin done that and threatened to cut or cut off food and energy exports to NATO, it would be a whole different ballgame, eh?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I admit I don’t know how successful such an approach by Russia (cutting off food & energy exports to NATO countries, and using its gold advantages) would be, but it’s an intriguing one. It’s not clear to me whether the NATO bloc would react with a strong coalescing to try to counter Russia economically, or draw it into further military conflicts, or instead splinter off to protect their own economies & needs. Yes, an intriguing alternative strategy to be sure. And it makes me wonder if Russia’s leadership had at all considered such an alternative- and if they had, to what conclusion they’d come.

          Though I have little doubt that at least some of the war-hawks in the U.S. wouldn’t mind a shoot-out with Russia, the preferred strategy over the last decades seems to be one of steady economic (and perhaps relatedly, cyber- and propaganda) warfare coupled with proxy wars using other nations to keep Russia busy and spending to defend its interests. The U.S. has some natural advantages in the economic warfare arena owing to the decades of its dominance of financial institutions, which it has no doubt used to successfully ‘persuade’ the U.K., most of Europe along with Australia to support its policies and actions vis a vis Russia in particular. The same is true with respect to information / propaganda.

          But as we know, Russia has probably done a better job overall w/r/t building some resilience financially while the U.S. may be overall in a more precarious position (politically, at least) as the bubble protected by the hegemony of the dollar may be at risk from the convergence of a number of problems including its own national debt and the exposure should major debt-holders sell their dollar holdings. In any case, public appetite for war expenditures may be considerably dampened in the not-too-distant future, if the electorate perceives any linkage between such expenditures and any number of other problems leading to personal loss of economic or other security.

          Like

          1. i don’t know if the US is in a “more precarious position” than Russia because of its Debt; but i do know that the US is in a very precarious position, and that it shows no indication of getting any better anytime soon.

            And, if the American People have not voiced their concerns about personal loss of economic or other security in the face of what the US has given [and promises to keep giving] Ukraine to fight America’s War with Russia there, i doubt very seriously they ever will.

            Washington got away with 20 years of war expenditures on its Forever War, and, except for one weekend back in 2003, the American People did not raise a peep.

            The only way that is going to happen is if the Draft is brought back, and something like a Value Added War Tax is imposed on Everybody when they buy Anything.

            And it would be very interesting to run one of those Conflict Simulation Wargames where Russia did exactly that ~ threaten food and energy cutoffs to NATO ~ and see how it played out, eh?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I agree on all points. I find it abysmal that here I am, 53 years (or so) after first marching for peace and an end to pointless war by my nation, that the populace is in general far more accepting of war – with all its implications, then it was then. I do understand why… in part its that the pro-war / anti-Russia propaganda is far more sophisticated and sweeping in its reach, that the Press is now completely subservient to corporate interests and ecstatic with their partnership with the MICIMAC’s agents.

              I think you’re right…the only way any kind of effective peace movement will develop is if a Draft develops- and I think the war-hawks understand full well that is NOT something they’d encourage; and neither does either side of the duopoly, either.

              It would indeed be interesting to see if Russia could successfully use its resources & economic levers to remove some of the worst threats from the West.

              Like

              1. This population has been far more accepting of war ~ and the press completely subservient to America’s War System ~ since long before Ukraine.

                That popular acceptance started on 9/11, with a sneak preview of it when Desert Storm happened back in 1990. Which was also a crystalline demonstration of the media’s new-found, post-Vietnam subservience to that System.

                And it was from that same generation of folks who marched against the war in Vietnam ~ we Baby Boomers ~ who first silently accepted and thus supported the Kuwaiti Incubator Baby Bullshit; and who, 20 years later, were by then running the show and calling the shots before, on, and after 9/11. And essentially still are.

                So the real question is: What happened to anti-War/pro-Peace activism and actionism in America?

                i doubt that there’s a simple answer to that question, but a good place to start would be to consider the fact that those folks doing all that marching, etc back in the late 60s had suddenly graduated. and confronted what was looming in America’s 70s. And then, over the past 40 years, have had to deal with it.

                That, and again, the fact that the Draft ended.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Once again, Colonel, You nailed it on all five cylinder factors.

                  Especially ~ since You wrote that in 2016 ~ Factor 5: FEAR.

                  That’s what The Pandemic Event was ~ and still is ~ all about, wasn’t/isn’t it? It’s delightfully ironic that You used the term “lockdown” and “shelter in place” six years ago; long before COVID or Buffalo, Uvalde, and all the rest.

                  As I have said many times: our Forever War was a halftime show after COLD WAR I ~ designed to keep the troops occupied, the arms merchants profitable, and the American people comfortably numb to protracted conflict in places most of them can’t find on a map of the world ~ until Russia and China were ready for COLD WAR II. And here we are.

                  And it is FEAR that is driving lots of things in this country today; not just the possibility of World War III. And the more the People can be made afraid, the more they will accept virtually anything their government says is necessary in order to protect them.

                  Like

        2. Presuming, of course, that the citizens of Donetsk & Lugansk autonomous regions actually want to annex to Russia. I don’t know if that’s the case, though if it were the only way to get protection from the Ukraine Nazis, I suppose they would.

          Like

          1. The closest things that happened to asking those folks if they wanted to join the Russian Federation were the various and sundry Referendums that were held in May, 2014, four months before the coup:

            “Referendums on the status of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, parts of Ukraine that together make up the Donbas region, took place on 11 May 2014 in many towns under the control of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.[1][2] These referendums sought to legitimise the establishment of the republics, in the context of the rising pro-Russian unrest in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution.[2] In addition, a counter-referendum on accession to Dnipropetrovsk Oblast was held in some Ukrainian-controlled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.[3][4][5]

            “The results of the separatist referendums were not officially recognised by any government, including those of Ukraine, the United States, and the countries of the European Union[6] The Ukrainian government said that the referendum was illegal, and a number of nations—such as Germany, the United States, France, and Britain—said that the referendum was unconstitutional and lacked legitimacy. The Russian government expressed “respect” for the results and urged a “civilised” implementation, and later announced recognition of the republics on 21 February 2022, becoming the first and only UN member state to do so.[7][8][9]”

            Continued at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Donbas_status_referendums

            Liked by 1 person

      3. The biggest thing i am interested in learning from WBW is how they answer the question: “WHY is there War?”

        Because before this World can move “Beyond War,” it has to do some Root Cause Analysis and explain:

        1. What political, economic, civil, social, cultural, and psychological Conditions are required for War to be possible?
        2. How are those Conditions created, maintained, and sustained?
        3. And by Whom?

        Liked by 1 person

  23. @jg moebus June 7, 2022 at 12:51 AM

    “That, Colonel, is simply because nobody in America’s Ruling Political Class WANTS this war to end reasonably and quickly.” Au Contraire.

    You might want to catch Jacob Dreizen’s blog entry: Prediction: Dem panic over economy, gas prices = media will have to walk back the Russia hate”, by Jacob Dreizin, The Dreizin Report (June 6, 2022)

    Mr Dreizen’s brilliant analysis of the next Mariupol debacle shaping up for the US-driven Kiev Coup Authorities in Severodonetsk merits an essay in and of itself, but toward the end of his video presentation he notes:

    28:00 “… In the Washington Post, above the fold, it was like Ukraine 24/7 every day all the time and almost nothing but Ukraine. But that was two weeks ago. Since then, Ukraine has like disappeared. I mean, you can have an entire newspaper where you don’t even see Ukraine. It’s just amazing.”

    “So it is clear that they are shifting to economic issues and to issues that they need to talk about and develop more of a party line on so they can actually have a chance at winning their elections. So the shift has been remarkable how fast the Ukraine has fallen out of the major Democrat-oriented media here in the U.S.A. within the last two weeks.

    “But my opinion, the way I see it, they’re going to have to go to a little further because within the next few months for sure, as Ukraine keeps doing worse militarily and as the economic situation with inflation and the gas prices and food prices continues to deteriorate they will have to start figuring out a way to make a deal with Russia, just wrap this whole thing up. And as that happens, the media, the propaganda machine will start to get into people’s minds, kind of introduce the concepts that will be needed to walk people back from the Russia Psychosis and get people to realize that, ‘Hey, We’re going to make a deal with Russia.

    “And that’s when I think that this whole ‘territorial concessions’ thing will come in. And I think that even within the mainstream media here in the USA, maybe even in Britain, you will start to see the first hints of ‘Whoa! You know, apparently, people in Southern Ukraine and Eastern Ukraine, apparently, some of them prefer Russia and some of them actually want to be part of Russia.’ And this whole idea that this is a monolithic Ukraine — everybody hates Russia, Russia needs to leave — that is sort of going to go away. And you’re going to have a more nuanced picture and a more realistic picture. And I think that they will have to introduce that. Not because they want to Not because they suddenly had an epiphany and they decided they needed to be more fair and balanced and there are human beings with their own wants needs and desires in Eastern Ukraine, as well, but just because there will have to be some conceptual justification for walking back from the plank and sort of coming to terms with the fact that Russia is winning and that America, at least economically, is losing. Or, at least, the American ruling regime is losing.

    31:04 “So, again, there will have to be some talking points and some propaganda justification for why we are backing down and, you know, possibly even entertaining the thought that there might need to be some type of territorial concessions to Russia. They’re not there yet. There is no serious talk now yet of territorial concessions. But I think that this will come. And when it does, all their zombie followers that they’ve gotten into this foaming-at-the-mouth rage and hatred of Russia, they’re going to have to walk these people back. And if you know history, this isn’t the first time. We had World War Two where, overnight, Russia became the good guys. And then World War Two ended and Russia became the bad guys. We’ve seen this before. It might be happening a little faster now. I’m not saying that Russia is going to be the good guys anytime soon. But they [the “collective west”] are going to have to walk all their zombie news consumers back off the plank and give them a more nuanced picture just out of the necessity of realizing that they have to come to terms with reality before the mid-term election which is, as you know, in the first week of November.

    So, to recapitulate, the hysterical 24/7 Russophobia served the purpose of getting a $40 billion boondoggle past Congress and once the grease got into the proper pockets (many of them in Congress) no one in a position of privilege and power really needed risible lies about Russia “losing” in Ukraine anymore. So get that “Ukraine” shit off the newspaper front pages, and cell-phone screens — as fast as possible. No one in their right mind wants to be discovered anywhere near this stinking “Ukraine” turd from now until at least the first Tuesday in November.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes. So far the Russia-Ukraine War has been a huge success for the military-industrial complex and fossil fuel companies. Budgets and profits are soaring. But people truly are hurting, and the elections are coming, so a shift in rhetoric and propaganda is likely coming.

      Hasn’t Biden already said that Ukraine has to be open to making territorial concessions? And so the shift has begun.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. So who do You think has a higher priority for our leaders in Washington, Colonel? The “truly hurting people,” or the MIC, the Fossil Fuel Cabal, and everybody else who is making money off of this war?

        And did Biden say that no more “aid” will be coming unless and until Ukraine makes territorial concessions? Or would he ever say something even remotely close to that?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The people, Jeff. Our leaders care about the people! 🙂

          And Ukraine will always need more “aid,” Jeff. If God, guns, and guts made America great, then lots of guns shipped overseas can make Ukraine great too.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. They care about “the people,” eh? Heh. Where’s the sarcasm emoji, in case anybody missed it?

            For the benefit of those who did, let me ask: So when did that caring start? i guess i must have missed it sometime over these past 60 or 70 years. And uhhh…. exactly WHICH people do they care about? Or have they ever cared about?

            Liked by 1 person

        2. And if it’s those “truly hurting people,” when has that EVER been even a concern ~ let alone a priority ~ in Washington when there a War to be had someplace?

          Liked by 1 person

    2. “No one in their right mind wants to be discovered anywhere near this stinking “Ukraine” turd from now until at least the first Tuesday in November.”

      Nobody in their right mind EXCEPT the owners and operators in the MICC [and everybody else who is making money off this war] of all those politicians who won’t want to be associated with Ukraine in November.

      That assumes, of course, that there will even be an election in November. What sort of “October Surprise” do You suppose it would take to cancel [or at least postpone] the election?

      Liked by 1 person

  24. i believe that the only way the America-Russia War In Ukraine is going to end any time soon is if another war starts someplace else, like in, say, Taiwan.

    Like

  25. Not wishing to name any names, but for those who advance theoretical legal arguments about the sanctity of sovereign borders leading them to condemn the currently unfolding Russian Special Military Operation strictly on these terms, I wish to point out a few legal justifications that the Russian Federation — ably led by a trained lawyer, Vladimir Putin — took great care to establish in advance of beginning Russia’s promised “military-technical” reactions to an eight year bombing assault on the independent Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples Republics.

    Again, these predominantly Russian-speaking people (along with those in Crimea) had voted to elect a legitimate President of Ukraine. But the US didn’t approve of the President these people had elected. So the US/UK/NATO/EU fomented a violent Nazi-powered coup that overthrew the last legitimate government “Ukraine” formerly had. This rendered the following sequence of US-owned-and-operated puppet regimes illegitimate and I don’t believe that Russia has ever recognized the existence of these regimes. After eight years of enduring “Western” efforts to sabotage any attempt at a negotiated settlement, the Russian Federation recognized the Donetsk and Lugansk Republics and formed a mutual-defense alliance with them (under the NATO principle that nations may join whatever alliances they want). These new alliance members invited the Russian armed forces to enter their territories and help expel the foreign “Ukrainian” invaders who had invaded their independent republics since 2014.

    All very legal and by-the-book using the NATO stripping of Kosovo province from Serbia as object example. Let the lawyers now argue about who gets to recognize whom, or even what all the vowels, consonants, and syllables add up to. The Russians have played that legalistic game studiously and well. Once the “Allied” forces of Lugansk, Donetsk, Chechnya, and Russia dispose of the Nazi invaders from whatever used to call itself “Ukraine,” the new situation will reveal itself and the US/British lawyers — inventors of the fabled “Rules Based Order” — can skulk around the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and London endlessly arguing their “case” which will not interest the Russian Federation and its Chinese friends in the least.

    Q.E.D.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for not closing the bold-faced-font tag appropriately, but the argument does not depend on that. Time to get ready for bed after a long day transcribing video interviews with interesting, well-informed people.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I don’t have the time or energy left today, but I would love to see a discussion of Jacob Dreizen’s coverage of the impending “Mariupol Redux” debacle shaping up in the Severodonetsk region of the collapsing 300 mile front (built up by NATO over eight years). I would like to call the discussion “Once More Into The Cul-de-Sac,” or “How did the US/NATO military geniuses running this ‘Ukrainian’ show come up with, first, the “gopher” (urban prairie dog town) plan and, now, the famed “Fish in a Barrel” strategy for “defeating” the Russian military. With that thought in mind, I think I’ll call it a day here in southern Taiwan.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. What a surprise! Headline today at the New York Times:

    Top News

    Potent Weapons Reach Ukraine Faster Than the Know-How to Use Them

    By Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Natalia Yermak
    Soldiers desperate for advanced arms to match their Russian enemies have resorted to Google Translate to decipher the instructions for their sophisticated new tools.
    *****

    I’m sure nothing can go wrong here.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. If I can reconstruct how the US responded to the Russian military invasion it would be like this:

    1. The Blob (State Dept. etc) strongly recommends to the President that the US take action, in this case supplying weapons to Ukraine and placing sanctions on Russia. The President does so.
    2. A propaganda (one-sided) campaign is launched by the news media decrying Russia’s unprovoked invasion, cheering the victim’s valiant and successful defense.
    3. After a short time for the propaganda campaign to settle in a poll is taken showing widespread support for the President’s actions. Congress is enlisted in the fight as well.
    4. The media reports that the President’s actions were taken in response to demands from the citizenry to take action.
    5. Weapons supply continues and escalates.
    6. The media campaign continues, bolstering support for the President’s actions, in spite of the fact that the conflict may be forced off the front pages by other news such as celebrity divorces.

    I’m pretty sure this is not what Lincoln meant when he talked about government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. The best commentary you will find on the internet on understanding how to understand the Russia/Ukraine conflict. The most current analysis by a very savy Brit!

    Like

    1. Alex Christoforou and Alexander Mercouris . Together they are theduran. They also have individual broadcasts. A1 sources of information.

      Like

  30. From Gilbert Doctorow in St. Petersburg on his way back to Brussels:

    What I hear with regard to the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine … it is more appropriate to make reference to European folk thinking from the popular Italian song Que sera, sera: “what will be will be, the future is not ours to see…”

    Along with this sense of resignation before historical forces greater than our abilities [emphasis added], I hear the comment that “every hundred years the Europeans get it into their heads to destroy Russia.” If Europeans see Russia as the aggressor by its move into Ukraine, here the causality is taken back one step to the NATO installations and instructors active in Ukraine over the past 8 years leading to the preparation of an army of 150,000 nationalists prepared to pounce on the Donbas in March 2022. [emphasis added]

    As for the periodicity of European madness, most adults here think back at once to Napoleon’s Grande Armée of 1812 which attracted adventurers from all of Europe keen to glean spoils of war in Moscow. Then, of course, came World War I and the German assault which drove deep into the territory of the Russian Empire.

    Today the hostile position of Chancellor Scholz has touched off neuralgic reactions in the population. His pronouncements on arms shipments to Ukraine, on Germany casting off the passivism which dominated its policies for the past fifty years to create ‘Europe’s largest army’ set off alarm bells in Russia. These are the policies of the weak leader of a coalition dependent on the Russophobic Greens to stay in power. But the Russians are focused on the results, not the causes of policy [emphasis added]. What they hear brings up memories of German violence and barbarism seventy years ago, all the more so here in Petersburg, where the German Siege cost more than a million civilian lives.

    A typically astute observation from the highly qualified independent analyst Gilbert Doctorow

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Editorial by Éric Denécé N°59 / June 2022
    The unbearable reactions of Zelensky

    Alongside the continuation of the military conflict in eastern Ukraine, the media war continues to be in full swing and those who are at the origin of it – as well as their relays, conscious or unconscious – give more and more in the disproportion, as illustrated by the false and scandalous reaction of representatives of the pro-Russian forces following the death of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, journalist of BFM TV . But this camp is not the only one to be excessive in terms of communication, Zelensky and his entourage particularly excel in this area.

    After the adoption by the European Union of a “sixth set” of sanctions against Russia, the Ukrainian president declared “ unacceptable ” the delay which was necessary for the Europeans to decree the embargo on Russian oil. “About fifty days separate the sixth train from the fifth, it’s a situation that is not acceptable for us ,” he exclaimed during a press conference in Kiev on May 31. Once again, while he plunged his country into war, as much by his reckless policy as by having followed American directives, Zelensky still allows himself to criticize the Europeans.

    Similarly, on June 4, Dmytro Kouleba, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, castigated France – which nevertheless supplies arms to Kiev – following Emmanuel Macron’s declaration that “we should not humiliate Russia in order to to retain a diplomatic option. Zelensky himself openly criticized the French president’s remarks, retorting, “Humiliate Russia? They have been killing us for eight years” (sic).

    This permanent attitude of giving lessons and reinterpreting the history of the Ukrainian authorities is beginning to exasperate their support and public opinion………………………………………………….

    https://cf2r.org/editorial/les-insupportables-reactions-de-zelensky/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m particularly struck by Zelensky’s “They have been killing us for eight years” remark. What revisionism! While Ukraine has been slaughtering ethnic Russians in E. Ukraine for exactly that long, Russia has shown marked restraint despite that and many direct provocations – including the threat to retake Crimea (despite the residents’ wishes to the contrary), seize Russian assets there, and most dangerously, to join NATO and place western weapons such that Russia’s major population centers would be within minutes reach of annihilation.

      But that’s what propagandists like him do. Lie.

      Liked by 2 people

  32. Whenever I hear mention of the name Zelensky these days, I recall the name of another American proxy “president” in a similar situation:

    On 1 November 1963, Ngô Đình Diệm, the president of South Vietnam, was arrested and assassinated in a successful coup d’état led by General Dương Văn Minh. The coup was the culmination of nine years of autocratic and nepotistic family rule in the country. Discontent with the Diệm regime had been simmering below the surface and exploded … — Wikipedia

    Only this time around, I suspect that the new coup regime in Kiev will not turn to Americans like Victoria Nuland and Joe Biden for yet another of their patented proxy failures. The new Kiev regime will most likely want to hitch their wagon to a winning horse, which no doubt means the Russian Federation. The quid pro quo? No NATO. No Nazis. Nothing unreasonable or impossible about either of those requirements for the new regime — whatever territory it encompasses and whatever it chooses to call itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Another view of things from Dmitry Orlov, former expatriate Russian engineer and author recently self-repatriated back to St. Petersburg:

    And then there is the rest of NATO, which looks impressive only on paper and keeps sending all sorts of useless or obsolete military junk to the Ukraine, where it gets either stolen on the way or remotely blown up by the Russians. The little bit that does reach the front ends up lying abandoned in heaps by the retreating Ukrainians who are, at this point, mostly raw recruits who hate their commanders with a passion and are often quite eager to surrender—because, you see, Nazi Ukraine is running out of Nazis! The Nazis are part of a neopagan death cult, are high on special battlefield drugs that the Americans have been providing, and so tend to fight to the death, but their numbers are being quite successfully whittled down by Russian artillery. The Russians are treating the entire “Special Mission Of Demilitarization and Denazification of Ukraine” (SMODDU) as a live fire training exercise and are currently busy rotating their forces. . . .

    Things can certainly appear different depending on where one stands and in which direction one chooses to look. But as someone remarked about the US/UK/NATO/EU regimes hysterically seeking to “punish” Russians for stubbornly remaining both Russian and sovereign: looking in a mirror or gazing at one’s navel doesn’t provide much in the way of a useful perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve thought actually it’s a pretty clever plan. NATO countries get rid of all their old weapons. And they save on disposal costs by having them destroyed in Ukraine rather than the home country. It costs less and the environmental debits aren’t counted against them. They could probably lower their CO2 emissions by 0.00003 percent. Officially.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. From Bernard (“b”) at Moon of Alabama:

    A very long established contact forwarded this message from a former senior US military official:
    Just in from an Army Colonel in the building: “Spoke to someone today who said that the Ukie basic training is 10 days and then off to the front. 65% casualty rates. At least double or more the losses of the Russians but you don’t hear anything about it.”

    Bernard adds:

    I very much doubt that Russian units, the way they are currently fighting, have casualty rates of more than 10%. Russia is regularly rotating units in and out to give them some rest and to let them replenish. It is a classic Russian artillery war now and infantry only comes in when the Ukrainians are already defeated. As this permanent grinding continues the Ukrainians will soon reach a breaking point. [emphasis added]

    Which leaves the several eastern and south-eastern territories newly liberated from Nazi-Kiev occupation:

    Iron ore from Kryvyi Rih, coal from Donbas, oil and gas from the eastern coast and the port of Mariupol together constitute the heavy industry that was the economic heart of Ukraine. Together they would constitute a viable and even well off country with 80+% of the GDP Ukraine previously had.

    Russia can now afford go slow with this project. Time is on its side. Oil and gas prices are up. For Russia the war is monetarily neutral to profitable. The ‘west’ is already disunited. As the result of its sanctions on Russia its economies will slip into stagflation with social unrest just around the corner

    Over time the urge for lifting the self-defeating sanctions will only increase the west’s acceptance of Russia’s solution to its NATO problem [emphasis added].

    So, to recapitulate. We can best understand the US proxy war on Russia (now taking place since 2014 in the former “Ukraine”) by leaving the non-entities “Ukraine” and NATO (which have no actual agency) out of the discussion. Washington, D.C., directly runs its NATO and Kiev puppets and any failure to acknowledge this reality serves only to obfuscate rather than enlighten. In short, then:

    1. The US gave Russia a US problem.
    2. Russia solved its US problem.
    3. The US accepts Russia’s solution to its US problem (by declaring Victory! on the grounds that Russia failed to conquer the entire Solar System in three weeks with only one demoralized platoon of draftees as the deathly ill and politically unpopular Vladimir Putin had planned.)

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Michael, though I admit that the overwhelming and monolithic/unidirectional nature of Washington’s propaganda and its obvious hold over what I believe must have been a sweeping majority of Americans led me & others to at times see the situation as hopeless, eventually it seemed inevitable that in due course of time there’d be a forced reckoning and degree of public acknowledgment of the reality and a “oh no, fooled again” moment of awakening to the fact that they’d been played.

    I think along the same lines that you & ‘Bernard’ and others: that the financial shocks/aftershocks to which this war has contributed are going to lead to considerable social unrest and shakeup at least within the establishment halls, and therefore, this once-again misguided regime change op & ensuing proxy war will prove counterproductive to any of the political (elected) officials connected to it.

    It’d be nice if said pending unrest led to some more fundamental questioning of the economic/political system dynamics, and emergence of some broader commitment to fundamental changes, but somewhat cynically, I think it more likely that it’ll only produce another superficial swing of the pendulum- from the Republicrats to the other side of the aisle, which might then just produce another fake “Resistance!(Tm)” that continues to fight primarily along the social-identity lines that are part of the long-standing diversion called the ‘culture wars’.

    But maybe, just maybe, the body of aware Americans – those who understand that this was just another example of war by proxy for imperial ends, might be expanded. I won’t hold my breath but will hold onto some seeds of hope.

    Like

    1. Bloomberg reports that the U.S. is (quietly) talking with shippers about carrying more Russian grain. The U.S. placed sanctions on Russia, made exemptions to the sanctions for grain, but shippers are still wary of shipping Russian grain for fear of running afoul of the law (ship’s captains aren’t real big on trying to decipher small print legalese). I guess U.S. officials are (quietly) taking a stand against worldwide famine. Such leadership! (sic)

      Like

    2. First time I’ve heard this Maupin speak. I think he’s wrong both as to some facts as well as some conclusions here. For one, Biden hasn’t suppressed energy drilling; in fact, the administration has signaled its desire for more of it (much to my dismay). For another, he complains about organic / regenerative agriculture as being less productive, and fails at the same time to note that the chemical fertilizers used by conventional / industrial agriculture, in addition to causing their own problems, are massively dependent on petroleum and costs are rising in response.

      Like

  36. Yes, as Dennis said above, it’s no fun trying to moderate comments. I can see why many sites have simply done away with them.

    I’m keeping comments since I learn as much from them as my readers learn from me.

    “Bracing views” suggest bracing disagreements. But it’s best when we reason together, and sometimes we have to agree to disagree. Name-calling, etc., gets us nowhere.

    If you think someone is wrong, the best thing to do is to politely say so and then use facts and reason to explain why. When you don’t do this, chances are that it’s you who are in the wrong, don’t you think?

    I’m not directing this comment at anyone specifically. It’s just a general observation.

    If you think someone is a troll and/or is being abusive, let me know directly at wjastore@gmail.com and I’ll review it closely.

    I read every comment, but it takes time and I don’t catch everything. Thanks.

    Like

    1. The playwright David Mamet says the traditional Jewish way to have a discussion is for each side to state their opinion, each side repeat the other’s opinion to show they understand it, and then bring facts into the discussion to support their opinions. That’s an excellent practice I think. Our public discussions should adhere to that model. We could start be reforming our cable “news” shows. William Buckley used to have “Firing Line” which was pretty close but now all we have is much much less. No wonder the society is so coarse.

      Liked by 1 person

  37. In the continuous US/NATO effort to portray President Putin of Russia, defending Russia’s interests as he should be doing in his job, this is the latest smear job in The Washington Post notifying me in an email.

    ‘Today’s WorldView: Putin makes his imperial pretensions clear’
    No one can comment on that or I would be so busy pointing out the holes and omissions, I wouldn’t have Time to comment here. So much slanted Propaganda!

    That email had a referral link to a Washington Post article 3 Days earlier with the header
    ‘Putin likens himself to Peter the Great, links imperial expansion to Ukraine war’
    Reading it, I would have had a field Day pointing out it’s all US Projection of what it already does in this World even if The Washington Post suspended me again.
    Unfortunately, once I got down to the comments section this is what I got after only 1,100 comments,
    Comments are now closed.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/06/10/russia-putin-peter-the-great-ukraine-war/

    This Blog records the post in an article I don’t remember where, quoting acting President Putin in 2000 saying,
    “Anyone who doesn’t regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains.
    New York Times 20 February 2000

    What happened since then, to turn President Putin into the devil US/NATO Propaganda uses constantly to demonize him personally?
    With that kind of language coming from the highest levels of SECULAR Power in this Material World talking PUBLICLY of a War between Good vs Evil, vigilant People would recognize it as a Sign of The Times.

    Those Times are recorded in an old book, as the Revelation in this Material World has finally arrived at the Time such a War between Good vs Evil would happen between the People of this Earth at the End of Days.

    Most of us here see the possibility of it, but End of Days, if one it to take the Literal Historical Record seriously in these Days?

    Too horrible to think about, so keep silent and leave it to those unknown People in Power to do what they’re doing, is what I see happening and prevalent among the thinking of the General Population for now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excerpt from the email from WaPo,
      Last September, Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a history lesson from a schoolchild. Putin was lecturing a gathering of students in the far-eastern city of Vladivostok about the merits of possessing “knowledge of the past” to have a “better understanding of today.” In one exchange, he invoked the great legacy of Russian czar Peter the Great, who he said defeated the Swedes at the Battle of Poltava in the Seven Years’ War against Sweden in 1709.

      Except that wasn’t quite right, as Nikanor Tolstykh, a student from the Arctic Circle city of Vorkuta, reminded the Russian president. Russia fought Sweden in what’s known as the Great Northern War, which lasted more than two decades from 1700 to 1721. The Seven Years’ War was a sprawling, global conflict later in that same century during which Russia and Sweden actually were on the same side.

      The email continues,
      Last Thursday, Putin showed that he had not forgotten this correction. At an event commemorating the 350th anniversary of Peter’s birth, he explicitly likened himself to the empire-expanding czar and celebrated his years of conquests.
      “Peter the Great waged the Great Northern War for 21 years,” Putin said after visiting an exhibit in Peter’s honor.

      Some devil dictator orge! Putin humbly corrected his mistake. In the West, the Power doubles down on their mistakes

      I’m 100% in agreement with this, “the merits of possessing “knowledge of the past” to have a “better understanding of today.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oliver Stone (“The Putin Interviews”) said that one thing that struck him about Putin is that the man is very polite. For our foreign policy establishment of course it’s a lot more convenient to claim he is some kind of Soviet ogre in spite of the fact that the country has changed, the governing system has changed, and the leadership has changed. I guess they consider those insignificant details.

        Like

    1. I’d spin this differently — Pelosi and McConnell working in concert to effectively ban any third party that threatens the ruling consensus.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Or Pelosi and McConnell working in concert to effectively prevent the rise of the Trump wing of the Republican Party. The Blob will be happy to go along. Or perhaps the Blob issued the orders.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s