The Ukrainian Boondoggle as a Black Hole

W.J. Astore

Back on June 1st, I noted that Ukraine couldn’t possibly absorb more than $54 billion in U.S. aid, most of it related to weaponry and munitions, given the country’s lack of infrastructure as well as the chaos inherent to a shooting war.

As I wrote back then:

The entire defense budget of Ukraine before the war was just under $6 billion. How can Ukraine possibly absorb (mostly) military “aid” that represents NINE TIMES their annual defense budget? It simply can’t be done…

From a military perspective, the gusher of money and equipment being sent to Ukraine makes little sense because there’s no way Ukraine has the infrastructure to absorb it and use it effectively. The U.S. approach seems to be to flood the zone with weaponry and assorted equipment of all sorts, irrespective of how it might be used or where it might ultimately end up. I can’t see how all this lethal “aid” will stay in the hands of troops and out of the hands of various criminal networks and black markets.

And so it goes. Recent reports suggest that only 30-40% of U.S. military aid is actually reaching Ukrainian troops. The rest is being siphoned off, lost, stolen, what-have-you. The response in U.S. media is to suppress this truth, per dictates from Ukraine!

Caitlin Johnstone does an excellent job of summarizing the case, and since she generously encourages her readers to share her posts, I thought I’d avail myself of her generosity. Without further ado:

Caitlin Johnstone, CBS Tries Critical Journalism; Stops After Ukraine Objects

Following objections from the Ukrainian government, CBS News has removed a short documentary which had reported concerns from numerous sources that a large amount of the supplies being sent to Ukraine aren’t making it to the front lines.

The Ukrainian government has listed its objections to the report on a government website, naming Ukrainian officials who objected to it and explaining why each of the CBS news sources it dislikes should be discounted. After the report was taken down and the Twitter post about it removed, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said this was a good start but still not enough.

“Welcome first step, but it is not enough,” Kuleba tweeted. “You have misled a huge audience by sharing unsubstantiated claims and damaging trust in supplies of vital military aid to a nation resisting aggression and genocide. There should be an internal investigation into who enabled this and why.”

The CBS News article about the documentary was renamed, from “Why military aid to Ukraine doesn’t always get to the front lines: ‘Like 30% of it reaches its final destination’” to the far milder “Why military aid in Ukraine may not always get to the front lines.” An editor’s note on the new version of the article explicitly admits to taking advisement on its changes from the Ukrainian government, reading as follows:

This article has been updated to reflect changes since the CBS Reports documentary ‘Arming Ukraine’ was filmed, and the documentary is also being updated. Jonas Ohman says the delivery has significantly improved since filming with CBS in late April. The government of Ukraine notes that U.S. defense attaché Brigadier General Garrick M. Harmon arrived in Kyiv in August 2022 for arms control and monitoring.”

CBS News does not say why it has taken so long for this report to come out, why it didn’t check to see if anything had changed in the last few months during a rapidly unfolding war before releasing its report, or why it felt its claims were good enough to air before Kyiv raised its objections but not after.

Someone uploaded the old version of the documentary on YouTube here, or you can watch it on Bitchute here if that one gets taken down. It was supportive of Ukraine and very oppositional to Russia, and simply featured a number of sources saying they had reason to believe a lot of the military supplies being sent to Ukraine aren’t getting where they’re supposed to go.

The original article quotes the aforementioned Jonas Ohman as follows:

“All of this stuff goes across the border, and then something happens, kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination,” said Jonas Ohman, founder and CEO of Blue-Yellow, a Lithuania-based organization that has been meeting with and supplying frontline units with military aid in Ukraine since the start of the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in 2014.

 

“30-40%, that’s my estimation,” he said in April of this year.

“The US has sent tens of thousands of anti-aircraft and anti-armor systems, artillery rounds, hundreds of artillery systems, Switchblade armored drones, and tens of millions of rounds of small arms ammunition,” CBS’s Adam Yamaguchi tells us at 14:15 of the documentary. “But in a conflict where frontlines are scattered and conditions change without warning, not all of those supplies reach their destination. Some also reported weapons are being hoarded, or worse fear that they are disappearing into the black market, an industry that has thrived under corruption in post-Soviet Ukraine.”

“I can tell you unarguably that on the frontline units these things are not getting there,” the Mozart Group‘s Andy Milburn tells Yamaguchi at 17:40. “Drones, Switchblades, IFAKs. They’re not, alright. Body armor, helmets, you name it.”

“Is it safe to characterize this as a little bit of a black hole?” Yamaguchi asked him, perhaps in reference to an April report from CNN whose source said the equipment that’s being sent “drops into a big black hole, and you have almost no sense of it at all after a short period of time.”

“I suppose if you don’t have visibility of where this stuff is going, and if you’re asking that question, then it would appear that it’s a black hole, yeah,” Milburn replied.

“We don’t know,” Amnesty International’s Donatella Rovera tells Yamaguchi at 18:45 when asked if it’s known where the weapons being sent to Ukraine are going.

“There is really no information as to where they’re going at all,” Rovera says. “What is more worrying is that at least some of the countries that are sending weapons do not seem to think that it is their responsibility to put in place a very robust oversight mechanism to ensure that they know how they’re being used today, but also how they might and will be used tomorrow.”

A news outlet pulling a report because their own government didn’t like it would be a scandalous breach of journalistic ethics. A news outlet pulling a report because a foreign government didn’t like it is even more so.

We’ve already seen that the western media will uncritically report literally any claim made by the government of Ukraine in bizarre instances like the recent report that Russia was firing rockets at a nuclear power plant it had already captured, or its regurgitation of claims that Russians are raping babies to death from a Ukrainian official who ended up getting fired for promoting unevidenced claims about rape. Now not only will western media outlets uncritically report any claim the Ukrainian government makes, they will also retract claims of their own when the Ukrainian government tells them to.

It’s not just commentators like me who see the western press as propagandists: that’s how they see themselves. If you think it’s your job to always report information that helps one side of a war and always omit any information which might hinder it, then you have given yourself the role of propagandist. You might not call yourself that, but that’s what you are by any reasonable definition of that word.

And a great many western Zelenskyites honestly see this as the media’s role as well. They’ll angrily condemn anyone who inserts skepticism of the US empire’s narratives about Ukraine into mainstream consciousness, but then they’ll also yell at you if you say we’re not being told the truth about Ukraine. They demand to be lied to, and call you a liar if you say that means we’re being lied to.

You can’t have it both ways. Either you want the mass media to serve as war propagandists or you want them to tell the truth. You cannot hold both of those positions simultaneously. They are mutually exclusive. And many actually want the former.

This can’t lead anywhere good.

Follow this link to read all of Caitlin’s article: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/08/10/cbs-wanted-to-do-critical-reporting-on-ukraines-government-but-ukraines-government-said-no/

125 thoughts on “The Ukrainian Boondoggle as a Black Hole

  1. Let me ask You a question, Bill: What “war” has this nation been involved in over the last 77 years that has NOT been a black hole boondoggle?

    And permit me to offer the comment i posted to Your June 1 article, which is even more applicable today after Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan…:

    Let me ask You a question, Colonel:

    If “roughly half this money” is going directly into the pockets of U.S. weapons makers, what percentage of what is left is going directly into the pockets of other sectors of America’s Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex? And then, what percentage of what’s left after that will be going directly into the pockets of America’s flunkeys and lackies in Ukraine?

    One of the reasons that this is such a good deal for everybody involved is ~ precisely as You suspected ~ because they know that there is no way in hell that that “lethal ‘aid’ will stay in the hands of troops and out of the hands of various criminal networks and “black markets.” That’s one reason why Senator Rand Paul wanted an Inspector General to keep an eye on all this shit.

    If nothing else, it is guaranteed to increase the demands by law enforcement for bigger, better, badder weapons systems to counter what the criminals [and, eventually, no doubt “terrorists”] will now have.

    And of course “the U.S. military has been remarkably proficient at providing weaponry to enemies” by leaving it behind at every retreat. Every weapon and other piece of equipment that is left behind has to be replaced. The MICC’s profits while the war is going on thus continue, even after the war has been lost. That’s ~ as You put it ~ yet another time when the CEO of a weapons manufacturer can claim success.

    You then ask: “Ukraine has already demonstrated its resolve while suffering the evils of war; does it make sense to keep the war going when Ukraine ultimately can’t win it?”

    Of course it does. In exactly the same way and for exactly the same reason that it made perfect sense to keep The Forever War going when it was obvious that we were “losing” it. Just like it made perfect sense to keep Vietnam going when it was equally obvious. A point is reached when the objective is no longer to win the war, but to keep it going as long as possible until every last dime that can be syphoned off of it can be extracted and captured.

    You concluded: “In sum, I don’t see $54 billion in U.S. ‘aid’ to Ukraine as being in the best interest of the Ukrainian people. If it serves to prolong a murderous war that ultimately Ukraine can’t win, it may prove more hurtful than helpful.”

    Again, Colonel, the objective is not for Ukraine to “win” [whatever in the hell that could possibly mean at this stage of the game]. The objective is to kick off COLD WAR II in a way that the American people know that CWII is Real. And that it is just as “real” as COLD WAR I was; but now it’s not just the “The Evil Empire” that America is confronting.

    For now, Oceania directly confronts Eurasia in Ukraine; and is in the process of engaging Eastasia over Taiwan.

    And NOTHING about this war ~ going all the way back to when it started with the coup in 2014 ~ absolutely NOTHING about this war has ever been in the slightest interest of the Ukrainian people.

    But then, no war America has fought since the end of World War II has been in the interest of the people on whose lands those wars have been fought.

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    1. We have always been at war with Eurasia, Jeff. I mean Eastasia. I mean …

      As Orwell taught us, Oceania can contest with its two big rivals in peripheral areas for the purpose of keeping the money flowing for war, the proles distracted and subjugated, and everyone more or less fearful and peeking over their shoulders as Big Brother watches.

      That’s how war budgets can soar from $600 billion to over $800 billion even as the Afghan War came to its bitter end.

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    2. “…Some also reported weapons are being hoarded, or worse fear that they are disappearing into the black market, an industry that has thrived under corruption in post-Soviet Ukraine.” Oh I’d definitely hoard. But WHO fears that they are disappearing into the black market? Name names! And where would they go? With not only Russophiles but active infiltration and subversion in Ukr., it is entirely possible that weapons could be diverted… but woe unto anyone found out! Most certainly some are being captured. But an accusation of significant diversion is fanciful at best and Russian propaganda at worst. My understanding is that weapons in Ukr. are ending up where they belong: on Russian heads.

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      1. The biggest difference between the MSM today and what was available and at work back in the 60s and early 70s is that ~ ever since Vietnam and all the problems the media caused DC over its refusal to accept the bullshit that Sam was passing off as “information” and exposed it for the bald-faced lies that it was ~ that media has been totally and completely controlled by Washington as to what it can see, hear, and read, let alone report it.

        And that all started with our “liberation” of Kuwait back in 1990, when CNN broke into the big time by getting itself totally “embedded” in the whole American war machine and system before it even started.

        At least the Boyz in DC learned one thing from the Vietnam GoatFuck: Keep the Media on a tightly controlled leash.

        And, of course, our Media ~ such as it was ~ went right along with getting leashed. Especially after CNN’s rise to the top.

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  2. These stories always remind me of the film clips of perfectly good helicopters being pushed overboard from the decks of aircraft carriers in the Vietnam conflict. To the rest of the World this was always a staggering, shocking even, illustration of the profligate waste of the rich consumer Americans.

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      1. “By the late 1980’s, public data revealed that the Pentagon was generating a ton of toxic waste per minute, more toxic waste than the five largest US chemical companies combined, making it the largest polluter in the United States. (This figure did not include the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons plants and the Pentagon’s civilian contractors.) The Army Corps of Engineers labeled the 100-acre basin at Rocky Mountain Arsenal near Denver, Colorado, which stored waste from the production of nerve gas and pesticides from World War II through the Vietnam War era, “the earth’s most toxic square mile.” Military testing requires national and international “sacrifice zones,” among them, Jefferson Proving Grounds in Madison, Indiana, which are 100 square miles of the most contaminated contiguous land in the United States, cordoned off and abandoned because the land was too dangerous to clean up.”

        https://truthout.org/articles/military-hazardous-waste-sickens-land-and-people/

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        1. Wouldn’t you really want to thank the Russians for volunteering for HIMARS and Javelin target practice? NOBODY had to put the Ukrainians up to it, they are BEGGING for more. And do an honest accounting, not your phony cherry-picking.

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    1. Thank you for dropping any pretense that you are anything but a Moscow toady advocating ethnic cleansing. . ==>>The Russians do not fight wars the way the USA does<<==. At least that part is true.

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    2. From the comments in that article: “While I know it is difficult to question or criticise Russia on this site…” Your move, but you have shown your colors, so own it, and drop the pretense of objective analysis.

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        1. I make no pretense of objectivity. Damnable Orcs need to go home, either walking out or carried out or wafting on the winds after being incinerated in one of their jack-in-the-box tanks. The phony moralizing in abundance in this post and “USA is bad too” is completely out of touch with the times.

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          1. Are You proud of what this nation did to the Peoples, Lands, Countries, and Nations of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos?

            Are You proud of what this nation did to the Peoples, Lands, Countries, and Nations of Afghanistan and Iraq?

            Or are those just a couple more of those “out of touch with the times dumb questions” You don’t do, and “low quality bait” that You don’t take?

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            1. Ow, we doing an honest accounting are we? Why stop there? Your pretentious moralizing is tedious, but you may as well enjoy the satisfaction of being superior to everyone. p.s. I’ve lived in Viet Nam on and off over the last 20 years, if you’d like to open that can of worms.

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              1. Let’s just START with an honest accounting, shall we?

                What does Your living in Vietnam on and off for the past 20 years have to do with what the United States did there, starting with bankrolling the French attempt to regain control of their colony from the end of WWII to Dien Bien Phu? And then what we did for the next 20 years until the Fall of Saigon in 1975?

                It’s Your can and Your worms, Mr Reed. And Your move.

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              2. Like i said, Mr Reed: “Your can, Your worms, and Your move.”

                Or have You already completed Your “Mission” of pissing into the wind?

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          2. A common feature of war is to dehumanize the opponent. I assume the “damnable orcs” are the Russians, and the good guys are the Ukrainians and of course the USA.

            Typically, the most virulent rhetoric is used by those furthest from the frontlines. Those in no danger whatsoever. Those who want to pose as tough.

            Troops in combat typically respect their opponents and come to hate the REMFs and the cheerleaders at home who talk about “orcs” and use words like “incinerated.”

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            1. I don’t fault you for not understanding Ukrainian virulent rhetoric. But thanks for letting us know that you respect troops who fire on civilians, torture their captives, use nuclear facilities to shelter their artillery, and practice classic scorched-earth ethnic cleansing. I had a passing thought that you might be a moral person, but, nah.

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              1. Troops who fire on civilians? That’s what got Manning, Snowden, and Assange in trouble in Iraq, isn’t it?

                And how many civilians were killed by Americans in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq?

                And torturing captives? Do the words Guantanamo and Abu Grhaib ring a bell?

                And what’s the difference between a “scorched earth policy” and a “free-fire zone”?

                Or using a nuclear facility to shelter their artillery and dropping two nuclear bombs on totally non-military targets to “end the war”?

                Never mind. All just more “dumb questions,” i’m sure.

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            2. “Damnable orcs” is Ukrainian rhetoric?

              And who said I “respect troops” who do all those things?

              Reed, you’re just trolling and your “arguments” are just insults.

              Please go elsewhere. This site isn’t for you.

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              1. You’re right. I just saw some glaring Russian toady statements, either wittingly or unwittingly, and I dropped in to piss all over their heads. Mission accomplished!

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  3. If only I knew only what I read . . .

    “In the Media of Record”
    (a 21st Century Elizabethan sonnet)

    “What if?” the science fiction writers ask,
    and then propose (as premise for a tale)
    a fantasy unequal to the task
    of passing off a minnow for a whale.
    In revenue producers hope to bask
    while in the empty theaters they fail.
    No artificial gravity contrives
    To keep feet planted firmly on the floor.
    No alien intelligence connives
    with venal earthlings to invent a spore
    that kills its host but somehow still survives.
    No drama now. Just one colossal bore.
    It seems we’ve lost another war. So be it.
    As long as paying customers don’t see it.

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

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  4. the money washington allocates for ukraine is part of giant money laundering scam where most of it stays in the usa and divvied between mic contractors for weapons, campaign contributions, jobs in congressional districts where weapons are made etc.

    it is giant pig fest and the msm winds up the ignorant american people into thinking its all for something noble,

    it is all a racket to fund a ton of money, much of which will ”disappear” enroute and never be looked for again.

    ukraine is just the pinata the msm use to sell the people to make it smell nice.

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  5. You wrote: “We have always been at war with Eurasia, Jeff. I mean Eastasia. I mean …”

    The precursors of “Oceania” ~ the Great, White, Western Empires of Spain, France, England, and Holland ~ have been at war with The Whole World since the 16th century: first in Africa and Central, South, and then North America, and then, in the 19th and 20th centuries, Asia and the Middle East.

    All that is happening today is that what some like to call “the greatest country in the world” [sic] ~ America [or is it “Amerika” ~ is merely continuing this five centuries-old Perpetual War.

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  6. Thank you Colonel.
    Your initial observation (June 01) is well made.
    The simple fact is no country could absorb the amount of military and other materiel already sent. It would be impossible to house it all in peace-time, let alone in the middle of a war.
    A good test is to assume that if for a moment it was possible for front-line troops to use every bit that has been sent, then Russia would have been blasted backwards long ago.
    I have no doubt that much of the equipment has already passed thru the black market.
    The terrible irony in this cluster-fest is that at some point in the future American or allied troops may find themselves on the receiving end of this stuff.
    Remember Tony Stark in Iron Man #1 lying on the ground and looking at one of his own rockets.

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    1. Nice move, Armchair General, making reference to a Hollywood movie, the fundamental wellspring of your own military education.

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      1. So tell us Mister Reed: What’s the “fundamental wellspring of YOUR own military education”?

        Care to share the source of all Your expertise with the rest of us ignorant ones?

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          1. i’m sure You will pass, Mr Reed; and i’m sure all Your “peers” agree with You completely. Just like You agree with them completely. After all, that’s what makes Y’All “peers” isn’t it?

            You know: That same fundamental wellspring of military education and ~ far, far more importantly ~ actual, real world Experience. Particularly personal, first habd experience in War.

            Dick Cheney “passed” on Vietnam because he had “more important things to do.” Just like Limbaugh and his pilonidal cysts, and Corporal Bonespurs with his free ride from Daddy’s Podiatrist.

            And they’ve all been judged by their “peers” ever since.

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  7. Please tell me that y’all have some grasp of what it takes to deliver to the current front in Ukraine, when priority #1 of the Russian invaders is to interdict a very long supply line? Quite the collection of armchair logisticians and strategists you have there!

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    1. If you’re happy with $54+ billion of your taxpayer funds going to Ukraine, with much of it being siphoned off and stolen, with the excuse that logistics isn’t easy, then so be it.

      The point is that excessive waste was both predictable and built in — and that few people seem to care as long as U.S. weapons makers are making massive amounts of money.

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      1. I really hate to break this to you, but when the bullets start flying there is no middle ground anymore, and you might want to look around at the side you are now sitting on. In fact the “stolen hardware” line is solidly and emphatically a Russian trope. Russians know exactly where those weapons are going: on top of their heads.

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        1. Well, being a retired U.S. military officer, I take the side of America, specifically that of the U.S. Constitution. I don’t take the side of Russia or Ukraine or any other country. Not do I take the side of a corrupt U.S. government or the bought-and-paid-for U.S. media.

          All things being equal, I want the Russia-Ukraine War to end because wars are both horrible and unpredictable. Innocents are dying and there’s always a chance of escalation, perhaps even to nuclear weapons.

          Sending vast quantities of weaponry to Ukraine, much of which can’t be tracked, is not my idea of wise policy. Nor do I see any need to wave the blue-and-yellow flag as if I’m on their side.

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          1. Question: since you admit that the weapons “can’t be tracked” (whatever that means… as if filling the correct paperwork in Kharkiv or Nikopol is a high priority?), what is your source of information that that the weaponry is not being used as intended? There is certainly an abundance of video and official documentation proving worlds of Russian hurt (and on display in downtown Kyiv). Your insinuation is that “untracked” equals misuse, and the monkey is on YOUR back to offer something more substantial than your ‘ideas’.

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            1. Reed: Any competent military keeps track of all its weaponry. Are you a military veteran? Do you have military experience?

              My “source” is this in-depth CBS News report. Have you watched it? All of it?

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              1. i notice that Mr Reed doesn’t have the balls to answer any of Your questions. Especially the part about being a veteran or having watched even any of the CBS documentary; let alone all of it.

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                1. Heh. Yeah, i can see exactly How and Why You consider the question of “Are You a Veteran” a dumb question.

                  And exactly How and Why asking if You actually watched the video that served as the primary reference to Colonel Astore’s article is “low quality bait.”

                  Yep. I understand completely.

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        2. Gee, Mr Reed. Are You speaking from experience when You talk about “when the bullets start flying yadayadayada… ” ?

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        3. Reed: You seem to have some understanding of the basics of the Russian escalation to full scale invasion.
          Your comment on “no middle ground” once bullets start flying is dead on for Ukraine, and to a lesser extent (for now) for neighboring countries. The West, including USA, has the luxury of indecisiveness.
          Some years ago I came across a quote from Trotsky. “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” To me it sums up the situation of Ukrainians. This quote also has challenged my ethos of pacifism. I have yet to come up with a moral response when confronted by an enemy bent on annihilation. (and yes, I use that word as to Ukraine as Putin has made clear the intended destruction of Ukraine as a culture/state, because they have [according to Putin] no distinct culture and are not a separate Nation from Russkiy Mir. (see the definition of genocide as stated by Raphael Lemkin, the man who coined the term)
          Many people posting seem to misconstrue the vast difference in supporting a country that has been attacked by a foreign neighbor and supporting past behavior of the USA where it engaged in wars of choice. They are separate issues.
          A second factor is that decades of Russian active measures of disinformation regarding both Ukraine and Russian/West relations have been very successful regarding Putin’s strategic goals.
          1. Much of what is believed ranges from exaggeration, to partially false, to totally false, to absurdity.
          2. Disinformation aimed at an enemy is about activating emotional reactions, to divide and corrode the targeted entity.
          With the assistance of social media, and now also right wing media/politicians, Russia has been very successful.

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      2. The Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex made $2 TRILLION on the 20 year invasion on Afghanistan, one of the poorest Countries on Earth.

        American Oligarch/Billionaires made a lot of money off that 20 year American War, as they are making $Billions more off the Ukraine War but their wealth isn’t being seized/stolen.

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  8. What I know from personal experience is since the War started, The Washington Post suspended me from making any comments twice for 1 week, once for a Day, and many more times, just deleted my comment without suspending me for pointing out all the SINS of Historical OMISSION in the US/NATO proscribed War Propaganda.

    What I find so maddening about that is the US government and their media propagandists demonize Putin for allegedly doing the very same thing.
    It’s maddening to me because we, and Civilization as we’ve known it, could all be blown away because of that duplicitous lying hypocrisy.

    All crimes against the Law in Peacetime, killing, stealing and wanton destruction, are made LEGAL in WAR

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    1. I didn’t write the rules of war, but I can sure read them. We all know the “first casualty is truth” rule. But IMHO rule #1 is: there is no more middle ground when the bullets start flying. You want to criticize the USA? Fine. That means you have picked a side. And to paraphrase Mao: the friend of my enemy is my enemy. At least you admit openly that Putin IS doing the same thing… but you’d have to go back to Dresden or Hiroshima to find the Western equivalent.

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        1. “Allegedly”… seriously? This is starting to reek of an apologist and moral obfuscator. Do you feel that Putin is not fully deserving of demonization? If moral equivalence was your goal, I’d say that you failed spectacularly.

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          1. What’s the difference between what Putin is doing in Ukraine, and what the U.S. did in Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iraq? Any “moral equivalence” in that?

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      1. No need to go back to WWII. Just go back to Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq to find the American equivalent to what Putin is doing in Ukraine.

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  9. So, if I’m reading some of these comments correctly, since the US media didn’t criticize US military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, and pretty much anywhere and everywhere else forever, they have no business being critical of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Well, there’s no other way to put it: that’s dumber than Hell. Here’s a tip: if you don’t like or agree with what you’re seeing/hearing/reading, find another source.

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    1. US aggression without criticism will bring Hell on Earth for Billions of People.
      The Standard still applies – let the one without sin cast the 1st stone.

      Since WWII, after introducing Nukes into the World and being the ONLY Nation ever to use 2 of them to kill over 200,000 CIVILIANS in War, the US has invaded and bombed ONLY poor, 3rd World Nations and couldn’t get a win in any of them with the most expensive Military Force in the History of Nations, the chaotic end in Afghanistan, one of the poorest Nations on Earth being the latest humiliation of the US World hegemony.
      In my View and Understanding, those Facts of History are Evidence of God’s Justice and Judgment on America

      Only those blinded by the delusional belief in US exceptionalism can’t see anything wrong with that picture of US History as the US doubles down in conflict with Russia and China who can strike the US Homeland all those poor Countries since WWII couldn’t.

      Those chances increase Daily with the $Billions in the Weapons of Death and Destruction given to Ukraine at US Taxpayer expense in the US Tug of War with Russia over Ukraine.
      It’s a US War with Russia using Ukraine as the sacrificial lambs

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      1. No doubt the poor unfortunates who have died and will continue to die due to U.S. military action will take comfort in knowing their deaths were part of “God’s Justice and Judgement.” Surely, a truly loving and compassionate God would have brought an end to this behavior long ago. And yet, it goes ever on.
        Who is delusional, here?
        Your “View and Understanding” are, of course, welcome as they should be in any forum where freedom of expression is allowed. But to claim to know the motives and inner workings of the mind of a supposed Omnipotent Being – of whatever Faith – is Delusion with a Capital D and not the basis for any argument or debate point.
        As regards The Washington Post (or any other news outlet): To take others to task for failing to see the righteousness of one’s “View and Understanding” is – in my (humble) view and understanding – the height of arrogance.
        In closing, here’s another “standard” for you, from the same source: “Pride goeth before the fall.”
        Being one of God’s Own will only carry one so far (see above, “poor unfortunates”).
        (Suggested Viewing: “Inherit the Wind.”)

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        1. Everyone dies one way or another BUTSUDANBILL, you, me, Popes, Presidents, Priests and Paupers. One fact you overlook is the dead think nothing, know nothing and feel nothing.
          The God you imagine is an absolute Dictator, depriving Humans of any Freedom of Thought or Choice in anything, being nothing more than robots. That’s not the God of my Faith.

          It’s a Fact in my Curriculum Vitae, as Americans were celebrating their Revolution in 1976, The Secret Service called me out of the compressed crowd of delirious Republicans in the Lobby of the Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City for questioning during the Republican National Convention.
          To my surprise, instead of questioning me in some anteroom, the Secret Service Agent led me to stand right at the President’s podium and questioned me in view of the crowd below expecting President Ford to be standing there. If that wasn’t surprise enough, after asking me many questions, asked me if I was Jesus Christ? Having no illusions about that THEN and NOW, in a nanosecond answered, NO! The next question was, “Who are you then? A Prophet?” With shoulder length hair, beard, and wearing my trademark #13 jersey, it was a revolutionary image for anyone to be standing at the President’s podium in America’s Revolutionary Year.
          I didn’t answer that question THEN, but with the benefit of hindsight of the last 2 Generations, TODAY’s World is generally unfolding along the lines of the September 13, 1976 Kansas City Times newspaper record and the followup on ALL SOULS DAY, November 2, 1976. The Secret Service has the record of that 1 night in my 78 years buried in their Archives.

          “Surely, a truly loving and compassionate God would have brought an end to this behavior long ago. And yet, it goes ever on. Who is delusional, here?”
          You admit the American People have no choice in what their Democratic government does in their name? Easy. Just blame the invisible God to the unbelieving, and ignore what men made in the Image and Likeness of God does in THIS Material World that we can see. You are absolving yourself and the American Public like Pontius Pilate.

          While Christ Jesus lives in my heart and body, like I told the SS Agent, I am not He.
          My Views and understandings are the result of the change in my Life from BC, when I didn’t give God any thoughts or place in my Life, until I was suddenly and unexpectedly BORN AGAIN February 1, 1975 AD.

          When Jesus overturned the tables on the Bankers and Merchants in the Shopping Mall on the Jewish Temple Property, he knew that would be the last straw for the Jewish Religious Leadership, and he would be crucified. The record is clear. When he was abandoned even by his Disciples and left all alone in the Passion, he prayed to God of His Faith to be spared crucifixion. God did not answer that prayer but 3 Days later, Jesus rose from the Dead, and rose in my heart February 1, 1975

          I think it’s the height of less than humble arrogance and obfuscation on your part to “presume” to know all my comments for which The Washington Post suspended me or just deleted that pointed out all the SINS of Historical OMISSION in this US War with Russia using Ukrainians as the Sacrificial Lambs.

          But you are right citing “Pride goeth before the fall.” You refuse to acknowledge America’s Pride of Power in my comment about US History.

          Of course you, Dennis and others, who do not believe in the Spirit of God, cannot/willnot see THIS Material World Today, is acting out this line recorded in The Kansas City Times September 13, 1976, “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November TO DO GOD’S BIDDING: To tell the World, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of BABYLON,” he said.” […] He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a War with Russia.”

          The War is happening NOW, and the US will not enter Good Faith Peace negotiations. What’s the alternative?

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          1. Ray my friend, that Jesus overturned the tables on the Bankers and Merchants in the Shopping Mall is just myth. Nothing less. Nothing more. Written many decades after the purported event.

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            1. Dennis, you are free to choose what you want to believe and ignore what you want.
              I believe Jesus overturned the tables on the Bankers and Merchants working the Shopping Mall in the Jewish Temple in a kosher deal with the Priests of the Temple
              . It fits in with the overall themes of the Gospels.

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            2. Ray and Dennis, my friends, you are never going to agree on religion. Please declare a truce (agree to disagree) and move on to other things, if you wish. Thanks!

              Liked by 3 people

  10. My experience is that most of who have seen a good deal of life (and often war) end up being against war. We are against war from experience if not just against it in principle. I understand that some people may actually yearn for war, may get excited about war and demand the rest of us get involved in the fighting in some capacity. “Pick a side”, they say. “When the bullets start flying (stop thinking)” they say. “Just react and pick a side.” All I can say is, no thanks, not for me. If someone tries to invade my country I’ll be there. But as for the rest – no thanks. Go fight your war if that’s what you want. I’m sure Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy will be pleased to have your enthusiasm.

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    1. Hell I got no issue with wanting to sit one out. But we all draw the line somewhere. Don’t be surprised if you draw you own personal line, but there is nobody to back you up on it.

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  11. Meanwhile, in Other News at both ends of The Planet; Or, “… Because something is happening here but you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?” ~ Bob Dylan, “Ballad of a Thin Man”

    The Arctic Is Warming Even Faster Than Scientists Realized; Nearly Four Times As Fast As The Rest Of Earth

    The Arctic is heating up at a breakneck speed compared with the rest of Earth. And new analyses show that the region is warming even faster than scientists thought. Over the last four decades, the average Arctic temperature increased nearly four times as fast as the global average, researchers report August 11 in Communications Earth & Environment.
    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/arctic-warming-faster-earth-climate-change
    …….

    NASA Studies Find Previously Unknown Loss of Antarctic Ice

    New research on Antarctica, including the first map of iceberg calving, doubles the previous estimates of loss from ice shelves and details how the continent is changing.

    The greatest uncertainty in forecasting global sea level rise is how Antarctica’s ice loss will accelerate as the climate warms. Two studies published Aug. 10 and led by researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California reveal unexpected new data about how the Antarctic Ice Sheet has been losing mass in recent decades.
    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-studies-find-previously-unknown-loss-of-antarctic-ice

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Some year ago I read an article in a science magazine entitled “The EPA – How Near The Goal?”. It talked a lot about what the EPA needed to do but never did say what the goal was (a pristine environment??). Like most if not all government agencies the EPA’s goal is to expand it’s budget and authority. NATO has the same goal. Volodymyr Zelenskyy has the same goal. Our foreign policy establishment has the same goal. Some things are just easy to understand.

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        1. Heh. Expanding budgets, authority, and power is and has always been the goal of all politicians and their owners and operators all over the planet since the beginning of time. Just like the primary goal of organized religion is exactly the same thing.

          And that is why the biggest sources and causes of Human Suffering on this Planet is, has ever been, and will ever be Governments and Organized Religion.

          This is not to say that Governments and Religions don’t do some Good. But they are the primary source and cause of virtually all Human Suffering.

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        2. And for the record… :

          OUR MISSION AND WHAT WE DO

          The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

          EPA works to ensure that:

          Americans have clean air, land and water;
          National efforts to reduce environmental risks are based on the best available scientific information;
          Federal laws protecting human health and the environment are administered and enforced fairly, effectively and as Congress intended;
          Environmental stewardship is integral to U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy;
          All parts of society–communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments–have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks;
          Contaminated lands and toxic sites are cleaned up by potentially responsible parties and revitalized; and
          Chemicals in the marketplace are reviewed for safety.

          Continued at https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/our-mission-and-what-we-do

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          1. The March of Dimes was formed to help cure polio. Polio was cured. So did the March of Dimes say OK we’ve won – time to go home now? Nope. So now it’s the March of Dimes to help cure birth defects. Since birth defects will always be with us so will the March of Dimes. And that’s the private sector. The public sector is times ten. Government 101.

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            1. Can You share with us exactly what Your problem is with a private, non-profit NGO that successfully accomplished its initial Mission to eradicate Polio, and then switched its MIssion to working against birth defects? Is it, perhaps, that because MOD is a 501-c3, that they are tax-exempt?

              And do You have any specific examples of something ~ anything ~ “successful” that this government has ever done that then enabled it to go and try to do something else? Any particular government programs at all?

              All i can think of are all the things that this government Failed at ~ like winning a War over the last 77 years ~ and then uses those Failures as a justification for doing more of the same. Only this time, bigger, badder, and thus ~ no doubt ~ better. If for no other reason than more expensive.

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    1. Thank You the link, Bill. i just Kindled the Colonel’s book, read the Intro, and look forward to reading it in full after the day’s chores are done. This has the potential of being a very dangerous book.

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  12. Here’s a quick summary of this story posted by Matt Taibbi:

    Rare Military Contracting Expose Becomes Partisan Football A new CBS investigation called Arming Ukraine has already infuriated people of all political persuasions by reporting a substantial chunk of the $8 billion in American arms already appropriated for Ukraine — as much as 30% — has not reached its “final destination,” thanks to “illegal diversion.” American media has always been distinguished by a near-total absence of hardcore reporting about military contracting corruption. Missing appropriations money, failed weapons systems, payola schemes involving procurement officers, and other forms of budget burglary are so rarely examined that successful whistleblowing is a cinematic event. Air Force Colonel James Burton’s quixotic quest to make public failures in the $10 billion Bradley Fighting Vehicle program earned him a transfer to Alaska before Hollywood made an underrated film called Pentagon Wars starring, of all people, Kelsey Grammar. A 2018 CNN expose displaying American-built munitions in a civilian area of Yemen and the Washington Post’s hard-fought 2019 Afghanistan Papers story are recent examples that seemed to take both parties by surprise. Now CBS, tiptoeing between unwritten prohibitions on criticism of Ukrainian officials (whose failure to “appropriately safeguard” deliveries is at the heart of the report) and increasingly overt pressure to avoid printing stories that might be used by Russian media (it already happened in this case), has partially retracted some of the story, with its sources backing up and claiming efficiency has “significantly improved” since original shooting.
    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/america-this-week-august-8-14-2022

    Matt makes an excellent point that those who seek to expose fraud, waste, and abuse are usually punished by the system, e.g. Colonel Burton.

    We are not supposed to know, or, if we do know, we’re supposed to accept, that billions of dollars in weaponry bought with taxpayer funds can’t be accounted for. If you call attention to this, if you express concern about waste and abuse and profiteering, you obviously must be a Russian puppet, not a concerned citizen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Accusations without proof remain accusations without proof, they become true by proving them, not by parrot-like repetition.

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      1. Did you watch the CBS documentary? The “accusations” were from people at or near the frontlines of combat in Ukraine. People with direct knowledge of where the aid is going — or not going.

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        1. Where are the weapons going? Drop your weasel insinuations or get ready to have your head peed on big time. No quarter for Russian trolls or fellow travelers is to be asked or given. Put up or STFU.

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          1. Reed: here’s that link again. Happy to hear your informed critique of it. Have you direct on-the-ground experience in Ukraine? You write as if you do.

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            1. I am watching it. My first feedback is WHY WOULD CBS BE TELLING THE RUSSIANS THE WEAPONS POINT OF ENTRY, though the non-CBS people on the ground know exactly what the score is and this is most definitely not a significant point of ingress, though unfortunately that is also useful information. You heard the words “Hot War”… do you think that Viet Nam, or Iraq, or Afghanistan were on the same level as this one?

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              1. Reed, where have you been? Do you think Russia doesn’t know the point of entry for all the US/NATO weapons and where they’re stored in this US War with Russia using Ukrainians as the Sacrificial Lambs down to the very last Ukrainian?

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                1. Well I appreciate your giving me the opportunity to shift the discussion to a more proper tone, after my earlier volleys of direct fire.

                  My overarching take on the video would be: SNAFU. After the action shifted eastwards, the Ukr. logistics became far more problematic. The guy said 30%… he did not say what the status of the other 70% was, nor was it fair to come to any kind of nefarious conclusions based on his statement. The video itself made plain the challenges facing resupply, Weapons are HEAVY. It was a no-brainer that the Russians would focus on interdicting the supply lines. Honestly, my hat is off to the Uks. for getting even some the big stuff into the east.

                  You have the floor. I will try my best to keep an even keel. All the best to you and yours,

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                2. And nobody gives a fk what Amnesty thinks now, that was a total crash and burn. иди на хуй! Why would anyone even think about what happens AFTER the war, if there is NO Ukraine? Because make no mistake, this is a war for national survival.

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                3. I agree. SNAFU. For all sorts of reasons. Russian interdiction. Lack of infrastructure and training in Ukraine. The chaos of combat. And the reality that logistics is not something you can improvise with efficiency.

                  My larger point was, and remains, the U.S. tendency to see weapons as THE solution to the war, and the willy-nilly nature of shipping them in massive quantities. The more you ship, the more you overwhelm the system, and the more likely significant quantities will be captured or otherwise go missing, i.e. diverted elsewhere, possibly to black markets.

                  I don’t think Congress and the U.S. weapons makers care at all where the weapons end up, as long as they both profit from the transaction.

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                4. Well, for reasons that I believe are self-evident,, the Ukrainians really do see the weapons as the solution to the war, as the alternative is NOT having weapons, which means that the other guy WITH the weapons wins the day. It’s brutally simple. Admittedly, the US calculus is more complex. The Russian calculus became a lot more complex than they thought it would be. I do wonder what Sun Zi (Tsu) would think about drones.

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                5. Reed, do you know after the US introduced NUKES into this World, killing over 200,000 CIVILIANS with only 2 of them, the US, with ALL the Weapons, invaded and bombed only poor, 3rd World Nations, the humiliating defeat in Afghanistan one of the poorest Nations on Earth being the latest example.
                  With ALL those weapons, the US couldn’t get a win in any of them.
                  They didn’t want to win. They just wanted to keep the US Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex getting bigger Military budgets.

                  With that losing History with POOR Nations who couldn’t reach the US Homeland, the US is now provoking Russia and China to War, and they CAN REACH the US homeland as this Nuclear incineration of Kansas City is the precursor of what could come: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VG2aJyIFrA

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                6. I wish it were that simple. Will these weapons help Ukraine to win? Or will they prolong a war that’s ultimately unwinnable? How many casualties is Ukraine prepared to take? How much destruction of their country? Who really profits from giving Ukraine all these weapons?

                  In my opinion, Ukraine is best served by a negotiated settlement, not a war without end. I say this because I don’t think Ukraine can “win” against Russia, given the latter’s resources and other advantages.

                  But it seems the U.S. government is urging Ukraine to keep fighting, never mind the odds. We’ll send you all the weapons you need. For free! Just keep fighting and dying against the Russians …

                  You might say it’s Ukraine’s choice. You might laud their bravery. But dying ain’t much of a living, as the Outlaw Josey Wales said. And the U.S. role in all this, our high-minded pontificating as the weapons makers make their high profits, makes me uncomfortable, to say the least.

                  I am tired of war. I am tired of weapons being seen as “decisive.” I am tired of death and destruction, to ourselves and to our planet.

                  What we need are fewer weapons and more hard-headed diplomacy, a path forward that will end this war before it ends most of the people in Ukraine.

                  Liked by 1 person

                7. Very well said, Bill.

                  What needs to happen is for the American People to get as tired of War as You are. And fed the fuck up with all the lies, scams, hoaxes, and shams, graft, grift, collusion, and corruption that go along with it. And finally, totally and completely finished with all those scumbag elected politicians in Swampland who enable those wars to happen as they serve their masters in the MICC.

                  But until the American People get tired of all this Bullshit, ain’t nuthin gonna change except to get worse.

                  And in time, the American People won’t have to worry about Wars overseas, because there will be combat zones all over America, including free fire zones.

                  Liked by 1 person

                8. MAGA vs. the FBI. This should be good. Anyone taking bets? And just for the record, you are recycling a lot of arguments that were made between the mid-1930’s and Dec. 7 1941. They do not sound any better now.

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                9. Care to be Specific in what arguments from the 30s i am recycling? Or is that just another dumb question?

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                10. The “tired of war” theme was quite popular after 1918, for good reasons. We are faced with a similar choice now in the USA: we can face off with our local brown shirts in their 1923 expression, 1933 manifestation, or 1943 incarnation. And it pains me to acknowledge that this may be the only choice we have left. A such, count me all in for MAGA vs. the FBI, CIA, DoD, and DoJ. We can argue root causes, but this cancer is here, and it’s not going to cure itself.

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                11. My first question, Reed, is: Which is the “cancer”? MAGA or the FBI, CIA, DoD, and DoJ?

                  Or is it MAGA AND the FBI, CIA, DoD, and DoJ?

                  And what are Your thoughts as to the root causes of MAGA, on the one hand; and the root causes of the increasingly openly overt Fascism of the FBI, CIA, DoD, and DoJ, and the rest of the National Security State, on the other?

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                12. Sometimes you pick the adventures, and sometimes the adventures pick you. Same with wars. They do not occur in a vacuum, so it’s always possible to discern the outline of the other parties to the toxic stew. But it’s like the difference between the fingerprints on a gun and the fingerprints on the trigger. This one is squarely on Russia’s shoulders.

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                13. I try to be judicious with my 1930’s analogies. But sometimes they fit. What leads you to the position that Putin is interested in negotiating? Or that the Ukrainians should be willing to sacrifice their independence in order to satisfy your moral misgivings?

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                14. You have a very selective memory Reed in your BLIND US Patriotism.
                  It was Putin that proposed a new Security agreement for Ukraine and the West in December and it was the US that refused to negotiate in Good Faith

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                15. “We’ll send you all the weapons you need. For free! Just keep fighting and dying against the Russians”

                  American Oligarchs are making much more money off the Ukraine War than Russian Oligarchs. And the weapons are being supplied on BORROWED MONEY your Children’s Children will pay for if we don’t blow ourselves up before then?

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              1. Gee, Reed. For somebody who refuses to answer what You term “dumb questions,” how would You rate Your question to the Colonel?

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          2. You really got this thing about peeing on folks’ heads, don’t You Reed?

            But there’s no telling what somebody who feels empowered by telling the Colonel to “Put up or STFU” might enjoy, i guess. GMAFB.

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                1. Heh. Given what happened to the last Emperor-For-Life Wannbe that took up residence there, our beloved if belabored POTUS Maxximmuss XLV Emperor-For-Life Wannabe would probably prefer that Yu urinate and defecate on his head. As long as You don’t screw up his tan, that is.

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        2. You never know, Reed. I might enjoy golden showers. 🙂

          I’ll repeat my question (third time), which you haven’t yet answered: Did you watch the CBS documentary? If so, what do you think of the evidence it presented?

          If you’d like to pee on someone, go pee on CBS and the makers of the documentary.

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            1. Remember the “pee tape” and Trump? Maybe Trump and I have something in common, LOL.

              I must go to a Moscow hotel and ask for the room where Barack and Michelle slept.

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  13. To all commenters: I like to encourage free debate, and I have no problem with disagreements, especially when commenters are informed and cite sources.

    But personal attacks are low and should always be avoided. Vulgar references should also be avoided. References to peeing, defecating, telling people to STFU, etc. do nothing to enhance your argument. Indeed, if I may be blunt, people who resort to vulgarisms and personal attacks just look rude and ignorant.

    There is a comment policy here. Please review it. I don’t want this site going down the toilet, and I will block people who refuse to follow the policy. Thanks.

    COMMENT POLICY: Brevity and civility; clarity and accuracy; passion and largeness of spirit: please aim for these. This site is against pet peeves, score-settling, insults, and other bad behavior that impedes true debate and sound learning.

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    1. Thank You, Colonel. i’ve been wondering when the Adult Supervision would kick in.

      The problem i see ~ with virtually all online Comments Sections and exchanges on social media ~ is that, more often than not, “discussions” that start as conversations very frequently and easily degenerate into confrontation and conflict, and dialogues decompose into “I am Right and you are Wrong” diatribes.

      One rule i try to keep in guiding what i say and how i say it online is to ask myself if i would make this statement if the person i was addressing it to was sitting right next to me, and we were talking to each other in person.

      My guess is that there would be a lot less confrontation, conflict, and diatribes if the people exchanging thoughts, ideas, and assertions were face-to-face in conversation, and not who knows how far apart, connected only by the Internet.

      In any event, Thanks for the reminder of the “Rules of Engagement.”

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  14. The American people actually are tired of war. The War in Vietnam cost the lives of almost 60,000 servicemen (including some servicewomen). We got tired of it so no more draft. Then the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq cost the lives of thousands more, but this time no draftees. That good will for war was used up too. Now the foreign policy state is warring on Russia economically and with weapons used by Ukraine. So let the Ukrainians die, I guess, until there are no more of them. No biggie (sarc). The American people are mildly in support of our latest war but probably only because we have had a constant barrage of pro-war propaganda from the mainstream media, supplemented by high profile visits from some of our “representatives”. And an early coming-out show for the Ukrainian President to talk to Congress, sponsored by our House Speaker.

    Like

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