Magical Weapons for Ukraine

W.J. Astore

Lessons from World War I

If you read the mainstream media, it would seem the answer to the Russia-Ukraine War, now about to enter its second year of mass death and widespread destruction, is weapons of various sorts. Western tanks like the German Leopard and American Abrams. Fighter jets like the F-16 produced by Lockheed Martin. If only Ukraine had more tanks, more jets, and the like, they would be able decisively to defeat the Russian military, ejecting it from Ukrainian territory, even from the Crimea, so the argument goes.

As a historian of technology and warfare, I’ve studied this belief in magical weapons. History teaches us that weapons alone usually do not determine winners and losers in war. Weapons themselves are rarely decisive, especially when the sides engaged fight symmetrically. In such cases, new weaponry often increases the carnage.

Consider the events of World War I. Various weapons were tried in an attempt to win the war decisively through military action. These weapons included poison gas (of various types), tanks, flamethrowers, and submarines, among others. None of these weapons broke the stalemate on the Western Front. Countermeasures were found. And World War I dragged on for more than four long years, producing hecatombs of dead.

Image from “All Quiet on the Western Front,” 2022, Netflix

What did work? In a word, exhaustion. In the spring of 1918, Germany launched massive, last-ditch, offensives to win the war before U.S. troops arrived in Europe in large numbers. (The U.S. had entered the war in 1917 but was still mobilizing in 1918.) The Germans came close to winning, but when their offensives grounded to a halt, they had little left in the tank to endure Allied counterattacks. Yes, the Allies had more tanks than the Germans, and were learning to use them effectively with airpower in combined arms assaults. But what truly mattered was exhaustion within the German ranks, exacerbated by the Spanish flu, hunger, and demoralization.

No magical weapon won World War I. And no magical weapon is going to provide Ukraine a decisive edge in its struggle with Russia. Certainly not a hundred or so Western tanks or a few dozen fighter jets.

Indeed, looking at some of the media coverage of the Russia-Ukraine War in the West, you might be excused from mistaking it for advertising videos at a weapons trade show. Over the last year, we’ve learned a lot about Javelin and Stinger missiles, HIMARS rocket launchers, and of course various tanks, fighter jets, and the like. But we’ve seen very little coverage of the mass carnage on both sides. It’s been said the real costs of war will never get in the history books, for who wishes to confront fully the brutality and madness of industrialized warfare?

I’m in the middle of watching the new German version of “All Quiet on the Western Front,” a film deservedly nominated for an Oscar for best picture (available on Netflix). It’s one of the better war films I’ve seen in its depiction of the horrific and dehumanizing aspects of modern industrial warfare. Something like this movie is happening currently in Ukraine, but our leaders, supported by the media, think the answer to the carnage is to send even more destructive weaponry so that more troops (and civilians) can die.

Magical weapons are not the answer. For of course there’s nothing magical about weapons of mass destruction.

49 thoughts on “Magical Weapons for Ukraine

  1. “Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity” a wise man once said.

    War is a waste, if not the biggest waste devised, of lives and resources. More and more terrifying weapons shredding bodies, crushing cities, rendering the land barren. To what end? To be ruled by one leviathan or the other.

    As the world becomes ever overpopulated, as the climate turns catastrophic and the biosphere collapses, we continue to fritter away what is left on the most indecent enterprise, war.

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” said another wise man, however ironically.

    We absolutely should teach the realities of war. Show the people the mangled corpses, let them hear the wailing of the dying, let them smell the stench of death. Make our dear leaders explain to us why we should create such horrors, bring such ruin upon ourselves and others, not with jingoism but with the truth. That we die for their greater glory, their greed, their lust for power, their demented ideologies, their honor. Not ours. No, we are but cannon fodder, to be revved up, marched off, and killed.

    I feel for the Ukrainian and the Russian people suffering in this war, be they civilian or soldier. Trapped between two corrupt powers fighting over the scraps of a dying world, they are told theirs is the good side fighting the just war. So the killing continues, the war machine churns out new and more deadly weapons, and the dangers of escalation grow by the hour.

    If we survive this one and learn nothing, which we never do, some of us will just go on to fight the next one, and the one after that, and so on, until there is nothing left to fight over or there is no one left to fight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s tragic for the World self-proclaimed most Christian America, the BIGGEST ARMS MERCHANT in the History of Nations, is BLIND and OBLIVIOUS to this singular insight in Holy Scripture, as it focuses on the unborn.

      “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying: ‘Not by military force and not by physical strength, but by My spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All the miracle weapons in the world will not divert America from its collision course with Reality… :

    The Odds Are Rising That The US May Soon Have To Borrow Just To Meet Its Growing Interest Payments.
    by Karl W. Smith / Bloomberg 022323

    As disconcerting as the US’s current debt situation is, the outlook is even worse. When the bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office updated its forecasts last week, IT ESTIMATED THAT DEBT HELD BY THE PUBLIC WILL CLIMB TO $46 TRILLION BY 2033 FROM $31 TRILLION CURRENTLY. THIS PUTS THE COUNTRY ONE STEP CLOSER TO THE DREADED “DEBT BOMB“ SCENARIO, WHICH WOULD MAKE TODAY’S BATTLE OVER WHETHER TO RAISE THE $31 TRILLION DEBT CEILING LOOK QUAINT IN COMPARISON.

    In short, A DEBT BOMB OCCURS WHEN A COUNTRY’S BORROWINGS GET SO LARGE THAT IT HAS TO BORROW JUST TO SERVICE THE DEBT AND MEET INTEREST PAYMENTS. That, in theory, causes interest rates to rise, forcing a government to accumulate yet even more debt. In a sense, A DEBT BOMB IS A DEATH SPIRAL FOR A COUNTRY. There are ways out, but they’re all painful.

    ONCE THIS PERNICIOUS CYCLE HAS STARTED, THE ONLY WAY IT CAN BE ARRESTED IS BY A SHARP INCREASE IN TAXES, AN EQUALLY SHARP DECREASE IN SPENDING OR A DEFAULT. The third scenario is unthinkable for the US, which oversees the world’s primary reserve currency. Congress would undoubtedly take the steps necessary to prevent a default, but a rapid rise in taxes and collapse in spending would almost certainly throw the country into a severe recession – or worse.

    So, where do things stand?

    Continued at ; EMPHASES added.


    1. NOTE 1: If the dollar loses its status as “the world’s primary reserve currency” ~ which, one can be sure, folks are working on even as we speak as Cold War II unfolds ~ Default may not become so “unthinkable.” Especially for those in America’s Ruling Political Class who are already betting on that happening, and preparing to take maximum advantage of it.

      NOTE 2: According to

      America’s Governments’ Debt:

      Federal Government……$31.6 TRILLION [or $94,000 per Citizen and $$246,687 per Taxpayer]
      State Governments………$ 1.2 T
      Local Governments……..$ 2.3T
      Total……………………….…… $35.1 T

      Current Total US Debt….$94.3 T [Personal, Household, Corporate, Financial Institutions, and Federal, State, and Local Governments]

      Current Total Unfunded Liabilities: $181.8 T [Social Security, Medicare, Federal Debt Held By Public, Federal Employee and Veterans benefits]


  3. i have asked this question here and elsewhere several times in the past, Bill; and will continue to ask it until i either know the answer, or i am dead: “Will the United States survive to celebrate its 250th birthday on July 4, 2026?”

    This is a legitimate question not just because the US is a Bankrupt Debtor State, as detailed above. Additionally, America is also:

    ~ an Imperialist Warfare State;
    ~ a Redistributionist Welfare State;
    ~ a Secrecy/Surveillance/Security/proto-Police State;
    ~ an Autocratic/Patriarchal/Oligarchic/Plutocratic Deep State;
    ~ an Flailing and Failing Empire and Nation State;
    ~ an Overshoot State; and, perhaps most importantly,
    ~ a People and Nation no longer merely “divided,” but fractured ~ even to the point of disintegration ~ in ways not seen in more than 160 years, since the eve of what may end up being merely the FIRST American Civil War. These days, the chatter about a “national divorce”

    These eight “States” are the state of the United States of America today. They constitute flashing, warning signal beacons showing the direction in which America’s collision course with Reality is headed. And they give only passing reference to the impact that changing weather and climate patterns will have and are already having on this nation’s infrastructure, economy, society, and security.

    Those who would dismiss as implausible and impossible the demise of the United States in less than four years are invited to consider the year 1987, and how things were going back then at the Berlin Wall, around the Warsaw Bloc, and in the USSR itself. And then remember how things had changed there four years later by the end of 1991, starting with the fall of that Wall in 1989, and ending with the disintegration of the USSR and the collapse of European Communism. And America emerging from its victory in Cold War I as the sole, unipolar global hegemon.

    And given what the United States has done all over the Planet over these 32 years, the Question should morph from “WILL the US survive?” to “CAN the US survive?” to “SHOULD the US survive?”

    In any case, if America does survive these next 1,226 days to its 250th birthday, one can only wonders if it will be in any mood or condition to celebrate anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If the Past is any indicator, a major WAR was the vehicle to eliminate an impossible to pay back debt to start over again.
      We’re in the Nuclear missile Age now! Starting over will be in a different dimension.

      Maybe there’s an off ramp with The Lord’s Prayer, ‘forgive us our debts as we forgive those indebted to us?’


      1. Sounds good, Ray. But exactly who is supposed to forgive America, the Bankrupt Debtor State’s debts? And who on this Planet is indebted to us?


        1. The Banks lend to the rich using depositors money. I would expect the rich are deeply in debt to maintain their lifestyles.

          It’s come out recently the Mormon Church has a multi $Billion stock portfolio even though The Christ says ‘freely have you received, freely give.’

          I manage my own affairs very well living on my only income of Old Age Security with the Supplement of $1783 CAD per month, $1300 USD, to pay rent, utilities, food, car expenses and everything else. I have money left over to help the less fortunate. I have 2 credit cards with a $0 balance every month so I never pay interest.
          When I was 24 in 1968, my income was $25,000 CAD that bought the stuff that costs $200,000 these days. I had 3 credit cards before Consumer Credit cards existed.
          It took a few years, like the boiling frog situation, when I woke up to realize I had to use 1 card to pay off another card.
          I’m surviving much better at 79, but obviously I can’t do as much as I could in my Youth.


          1. It would be interesting to know what the stock and other investment portfolios of every major religious organization on the Planet is, wouldn’t it?


    2. Should the U.S. survive? Not as the corporate/imperialist/nationalist state that it is presently.

      You deserve better, Jeff. 🙂


      1. If that’s the case, Bill, then the only way America will survive to celebrate its Semiquincentennial ~ or Sestercentennial or Quarter Millennial ~ on July 4, 2026 is if there is a revolution. And it would be America’s First Revolution.

        July 4, 1776 did not launch a revolution. It was never the intent of the American Colonists to invade London, and overthrow and replace the King, his Court, Parliament, and the whole British system of government and governance.

        All they wanted was for the King’s governors, tax collectors, and especially soldiers to get the hell out of the Colonies so that a completely new independent nation and system of government and governance could be established.

        So 1776 was not a Revolution. It was a Secession. It was a “national divorce” that resulted in the creation of a new Nation, what would eventually become the United States of America.

        And if America is to survive to celebrate its 250th birthday, its corporatist/imperialist/nationalist/proto-fascist system of government and governance must be overthrown and replaced. Ie, there must be a Revolution.

        The questions then become:

        ~ 1. Exactly who is going to make the First American Revolution happen? And How are they going to do that?

        ~ 2. What is America’s corporatist/imperialist/nationalist/proto-fascist system of government and governance to be replaced with? And who gets to determine That?


        1. America needs a benevolent dictator. I am that man. Assisted by a certain MSG who presently lives in Alaska. Maybe we could ask a certain Kiwi for help as well. 🙂

          Seriously, I don’t know, Jeff. It’s truly hard to imagine when so many Americans are kept divided, distracted, and downtrodden, misled and buffaloed by mendacious propaganda and venal “leaders.”

          Liked by 1 person

          1. As i have said several times before, Bill: The only reason “so many Americans are kept divided, distracted, and downtrodden, misled and buffaloed by mendacious propaganda and venal ‘leaders’” is because THEY CHOOSE TO BE THAT WAY. Especially when it comes to sucking up The System’s propaganda; whether it’s coming from the Left, the Right, or the Muddled Middle.

            The only Americans who live within news silos with echo chambers are those who choose to do so. Unfortunately, that is a significant and growing percentage of Americans; a percentage that promises only to grow further and faster as 2023 unfolds, paving the way for Election2024 and all the surprises that that is guaranteed to bring.

            It’s not like it was back when i was in high school for the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, or the overthrow of Diem and Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, or the incident in Tonkin in 1964, the summer i graduated.

            Back then, there were three national tv and radio networks, three weekly newsmagazines, one national newspaper, three national news wire services, and virtually zero access to news, views, and information from foreign sources unless You had a shortwave radio. The work of mendacious American propagandists and the venal leaders they served was a lot simpler and easier back then.

            Those who are misled and buffaloed by anybody’s propaganda today have no one to blame but themselves because of their refusal to seek out sources of information outside the comfort zone of their silos, and out of range of their echo chambers. The Internet has already proven that it has the capability and potential to be the most powerful, efficient, and effective Psychological and Information Warfare weapon ever created.

            But it has also proven itself to have the potential to be among the greatest anti-Psy and InfoWar weapons ever created, as well.

            And before You or anybody else can become a “benevolent dictator” ~ whatever the hell that is ~ there would have to be that revolution i spoke of earlier.


  4. These weapons are essential to Ukraine’s self defense, to enable them to defend themselves against Russia’s superior military numbers & weaponry, an important point you do not mention. Had We, NATO & other countries not provided Ukraine with these defensive weapons, it is questionable whether Ukraine could have survived Russia’s massive onslaught.


    1. “These weapons” and “defensive weapons”: I assume you mean Javelin and Stinger missiles together with small arms, APCs, and the like.

      But when you turn to tanks, jet aircraft, and long-range artillery and missiles, these are primarily offensive in nature.

      Helping Ukraine to defend itself is most certainly defensible. Yet the weapons now being discussed so feverishly in the media are both offensive and overhyped. They’re being (over)sold as potential war-winners. As “magical.” They are not. And that was my point.

      What I fear is a prolonged war in which neither side can win but which the Ukrainian side suffers most grievously because the war is being fought in their country.

      People like Senator Lindsey Graham talk about Ukrainians fighting to the last man with our weapons. If all of Ukraine dies with our weapons in an effort to win, are we to count that as a victory? Sadly, some Americans would nod “yes,” because we are not the ones fighting and dying.

      Meanwhile, American companies profit from the sale of these weapons, hence that apt descriptor from the 1930s: “the merchants of death.”


      1. Again you miss the pointy. It is Ukraine that was attacked without provocation, & Russia employs massive,x offensive, massive war weapons to attack Ukraine. Self defense requires any & all modern weaponry & strategies to defend itself against the Russian onslaught. Stingers & javelins alone are insufficient against Russia’s”s superior onslaught of massive swarms of attacking soldiers & modern weaponry. The is not a battle of David with a sling shot against the giant Goliath.


        1. Isadore, only because The Kansas City Times was quoting me September 13, 1976, with this one line out of so many more, “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.”
          In the 10 days before February 24, I went to the OSCE website daily to see with my own eyes, what Truce violations were taking place between the US proxy installed anti-Russian Ukraine government and the Russian speaking UKRAINIANS in the Donbas rejecting the 2014 US/CIA regime change of the elected Russian friendly Ukraine government they VOTED for..

          The Ukraine government drastically increased the shelling of the UKRAINE Civilians in the East bordering Russia with up to 2000 Truce violations EVERY DAY until the Russian SMO to stop it.
          Russia was definitely PROVOKED and the US knew it, planning it that way.



      2. I don’t agree that Russia’s attack was unprovoked. (I do agree Russia’s attack was illegal and should cease.)

        I don’t agree that self-defense requires “any & all modern weaponry.”

        So we’ll have to agree to disagree.


      3. The intention is not to win this War, Bill. Whatever “win” means or ever meant.

        The intention is for this War to go on as long as possible; with the hope that a second front will emerge soon in Eastasia.

        This is the next Phase of America’s beloved “Forever War,” which started on September 14, 2001.

        And Americans have been dutifully and numbly going along with it ever since. After all, they have neither Blood nor Treasure in our government’s War; so who cares about what our government did, is doing, or will do in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, now Ukraine, and soon the South China Sea and Taiwan?


    2. A couple of important points You do not mention, Isadore, are as follows:

      ~ 1. Had we ~ the US ~ not overthrown Ukraine’s democratically elected government in 2014 [like we did in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and Chile in 1973]; and

      ~ 2. Had we not endorsed and bankrolled our replacement government’s killing of 14,000 Russian-speaking Eastern Ukrainians; and

      ~ 3. Had we not expanded NATO up to Russia’s border in total disregard and violation of promises and commitments at the highest levels by the United States NOT to do so…

      Had we not done all that, it is questionable whether Russia would have invaded Ukraine in the first place.

      In fact, had the United States not done that, there would have been no invasion. Or at least no real good excuse for Russia to invade.

      The United States wanted this war; the United States needed this war; and the United States made this war happen.

      Just like it wants and needs and is in the process of making happen the second front of Cold War II with China.


      1. Your points are well stated & noteworthy. However, there is no valid justification for Russia’s barbarism, brutality & total inhumanity torturing & murdering innocent non combatant civilians & their targeting their homes, schools, universities, hospitals, churches & any other civilian targets in with impunity. There is absolutely no excuse for their blatant, contemptuous disregard for human life. Not for Putin mendacity & propaganda.

        On Fri, Feb 24, 2023, 12:53 PM Isadore Rosenthal <> wrote:

        Thank you. Your comments are noted >


        1. That was not offered as a justification for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; let alone what the Russians have done during its course. There is no justification for what is illegal by international law and immoral by any Human standard.

          Just like there was and is no justification for America’s coup in 2014, the 14,000 Ukrainians killed by their own “government,” or bringing NATO to Russia’s border.

          Based on that and America’s history of overthrowing governments and lying its way into another War ~ as in the Tonkin Gulf “Incident” in 1964, the Kuwaiti Incubator Babies in 1990, and Saddam’s “WMDs” in 2003 ~ when’s the last time the United States did anything justified, legal, and moral when it comes to international relations?

          As a Baby Boomer, that has certainly not happened in my lifetime.


    3. “Ukraine” never survived America’s violent coup ousting its democratically elected government and replacing it with an Interim Nazi Regime in Kiev. Such a Nazi regime — like the Nazi American Terrorist Operation (NATO) — It has no business surviving and, hopefully, the Russian Federation will see to it that neither does for very much longer.

      As an American citizen and Vietnam Veteran Against the War (the permanent imperial one), I do not want my country overthrowing foreign governments and installing corrupt client oligarchies in their place. If citizens of other countries want to declare their independence from U.S.-installed puppet Nazi regimes, then I wish them well. Whatever the case, others can decide how they want to live and who they want to govern them. None of this has anything to do with America’s legitimate business. We Americans can’t even establish a working Constitutional government of our own. We Americans have no moral, intellectual, or historical right to lecture anyone else on the best means of organizing society so as to secure national sovereignty. We failed at that “independence” game long ago . . .


      1. This is similar to Eisenhower’s April 16, 1953 Cross of Iron speech.

        The way chosen by the United States was plainly marked by a few clear precepts, which govern its conduct in world affairs.

        1: No people on earth can be held, as a people, to be an enemy — for all humanity shares the common hunger for peace and fellowship and justice.

        2: No nation’s security and well-being can be lastingly achieved in isolation — but only in effective cooperation with fellow nations.

        3: Every nation’s right to a form of government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable.

        4: Any nation’s attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible.

        5: A nation’s hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments — but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with all other nations.

        In the light of these principles, the citizens of the United States defined the way they proposed to follow, through the aftermath of — of war, toward true peace. This way was faithful to the spirit that inspired the United Nations — to prohibit strife, to relieve tensions, to banish fears. This way was to control and to reduce armaments. This way was to allow all nations to devote their energies and resources to the great and good tasks of healing the war’s wounds, of clothing and feeding and housing the needy, of perfecting a just political life, of enjoying the fruits of their own toil.

        Unfortunately, 4 months later, Eisenhower abandoned precepts 3 & 4, presiding over the CIA Coup/regime change of the Democratically Elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq of Iran, the reverberations lasting to our Times.


    4. You seem to assume a genocidal intent on the part of the Russians. I haven’t seen good evidence to support that. Their invasion was wrong and unnecessary but I don’t see the weapons as having done anything other than prolong the fighting. The Ukrainians have suffered tremendous losses to drive Russia off of two chunks of land from the much larger chunk that it had previously captured. They have certainly bloodied Russia’s nose but that doesn’t seem to make Russia want to back off so much as escalate. We would have done Ukraine a lot better by encouraging an immediate cease-fire as soon as the invasion started and coming to the table to negotiate with them. The Russians pretty much only see the Ukrainians as middlemen for the American military industrial complex at this point.


  5. Like i said earlier: “The United States wanted this war; the United States needed this war; and the United States made this war happen.”… :

    MORE EVIDENCE EMERGES THAT US WANTED RUSSIA TO INVADE: In The Past Year, Additional Proof Has Emerged Proving The West’s Provocation Of Russia To Give It Its “Vietnam” In Ukraine. Consortium News 022423

    Consortium News on Feb. 4, 2022 warned that the U.S. was setting a trap for Russia in Ukraine, as it had in Afghanistan in 1979 and Iraq in 1990, to provoke Russia to invade Ukraine to provide the pretext to launch an economic, information and proxy war designed to weaken Russia and bring down its government — in other words, to give Russia its “Vietnam.” Twenty days later Russia invaded.

    One month later, President Joe Biden confirmed that a trap had indeed been set, as reported by Consortium News on March 27, 2022, republished here today. The evidence that the U.S. wanted and needed Russia to invade as cause to launch its economic, information and proxy wars was clear:



    ~ On the day of the Feb. 24, 2022 invasion Biden told reporters that economic sanctions were never intended to deter Russia, but to show the Russian people who Russian President Vladimir Putin was. In other words THE U.S. WAS NOT TRYING TO STOP THE INVASION BUT TO OVERTHROW PUTIN, AS BIDEN CONFIRMED A MONTH LATER IN WARSAW, IN ORDER TO RESTORE THE DOMINANCE OVER RUSSIA THE U.S. ENJOYED IN THE 1990S.

    ~ The United States and NATO REJECTED RUSSIAN TREATY PROPOSALS TO CREATE A NEW SECURITY ARCHITECTURE IN EUROPE, TAKING RUSSIA’S SECURITY CONCERNS INTO ACCOUNT. Despite a Russian warning of a technical/military response if the draft treaties were rejected. The U.S. and NATO rejected them nonetheless, knowing and welcoming the consequences. Rather than withdrawing NATO forces from Eastern Europe as the treaty proposals called for, NATO sent more troops.

    ~ FOR 30 YEARS, NATO CONTINUED EXPANDING TOWARDS RUSSIA, DESPITE PROMISES TO THE CONTRARY, routinely holding exercises near its border, despite fully understanding Russia’s objections, from Boris Yeltsin to Putin, and knowing it would provoke a hostile reaction. Sen. Joe Biden said as much in 1997.


    ~ The OSCE reported an increase of shelling by Ukraine of Donbass at the end of February 2022 indicating an impending offensive against ethnic Russian civilians, who had suffered eight years for resisting an unconstitutional change of government in 2014.

    In the past year, additional evidence has emerged proving the West’s provocation:

    ~ U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin acknowledged that the U.S. strategy in Ukraine is to “weaken” Russia. To this end, the U.S. has stopped peace efforts, even by Israel, to prolong the conflict.

    ~ Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former French President Francois Holland, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroschenko all admitted in recent months that they never had any intention of implementing the Minsk Accords (endorsed by the U.N. Security Council) and were stringing Russia along to give time for NATO to train and equip the Ukrainian military for the Russian intervention it anticipated.

    ~ PLANNING FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA BEGAN IN NOVEMBER 2021, THREE MONTHS BEFORE THE INVASION, according to Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Council.



    This was Consortium News‘ report by Joe Luria on March 27, 2022…

    Continued at ; EMPHASES added.


  6. Washington’s Wonder Warriors

    Some Weapons of Wonder they wanted to wield
    to slaughter the soldier or use as a shield;
    from marvelous metals and magic annealed;
    but never their cost to the people revealed.
    Like onions, the layers of protest were peeled
    away until, stark-naked, Peace bowed and kneeled,
    while more wealth accrued to the truly well-heeled
    whose predator practices hardly concealed
    the Law of the Jungle to which they appealed.
    Their contracts for weapons of war, signed and sealed,
    earned money while loathing about them congealed;
    and decades rolled past but the wounds never healed;
    yet, “no reverse gear” meant they never would yield
    until the World lay six foot deep in a field.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2023

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fermented Friends
      (an experiment in rhymed free verse or, “anti-verse”)

      The Russians need not have a care
      about the lies we’ve spoken.
      We’ve even told them:
      the French Hollande, the German Merkel have both laid bare
      their countries’ deception for eight years, merely stalling, aware
      that in time Kiev’s de facto NATO army would attack the Russian-speaking east.
      Except that Russia intervened first
      leaving NATO adrift and cursed:
      the glasses of yeast
      we sold them

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2023

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Vladimir and Epithet
    (with apologies to Shakespeare and his prologue to Romeo and Juliet)

    Two nations, unalike in word and deed
    — as such can be upon our stage (the Earth) —
    discover that, in one way, they’re agreed:
    that Peace between them died before its birth.

    Miscarriage or abortion? Who can say?
    What terminology best fits our tale?
    The evidence points to the U. S. A.:
    its venal conduct far beyond the pale.

    Our vassals, Europe, owe us more for gas.
    The Russians must not profit from the sale
    of inexpensive energy. Alas!
    Four times their price (produced from fracking shale).

    So that you, audience, won’t fall asleep,
    ad hominem abuse on Vlad we’ll heap.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2023

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Michael, The anti-Russia/Putin 1 liners in the discussion increase so fast, the post will quickly disappear downstream most People won’t see, but these are the initial responses,

        HelsinkeSyndrome: What a waste of internet space.
        My reply: Having no talent yourself, you can’t recognize it in others!

        Both Sides Are The Cult: What a waste of bandwidth.


        1. I have to admit it’s somewhat frustrating commenting in The Washington Post

          tjruffian: When the Devil himself starts invoking God then you know he is in trouble.
          Me:This is old news published long ago.
          It describes a large part of US Christianity as far as I’m concerned,
          For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
          And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
          Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

          HelsinkiSyndrome: I thought you were an 80-year old anti US, pro Putin, anti capitalist, conspiracy theorist from Canada. But you are also a religious extremist.
          Me: I quit my Position of “National Marketing Representative, Mining Division, Dominion Engineering Works Ltd.” in Montreal when I was 29 going on 30.
          The next Day, February 1, 1975, I was BORN AGAIN by the Spirit of God, making me 79 going on 48 years learning the Ways of The Christ Spirit.

          I entered the US on September 1, 1975, hitch hiking through some 45 States during 15 months and I loved the American People. They treated me like a king everywhere I went.
          I was arrested as an Alien to be deported back to CanaDa because I reached such a high level of visibility at the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City.
          The Disciples of Christ are in the World, but not OF the World as Jesus said.

          tsomme19: What did you do for a living?
          Me: Don’t you understand what you read?
          Read this again,
          I quit my Position of “National Marketing Representative, Mining Division, Dominion Engineering Works Ltd.” in Montreal

          Washington Post: This comment has been rejected for violating our guidelines
          Me: It would appear saying the Truth is a violation of This Washington Post’s guidelines, as the whole thread in this discussion started by tjruffian posting this 43 minutes ago was deleted,
          “When the Devil himself starts invoking God then you know he is in trouble.”

          My Truthful reply to that comment, and everyone disparaging me after that, and my replies to them was deleted.
          What exposes this Washington Post hypocrisy, is Putin is demonized for controlling the information as this Washington Post is doing with my MINORITY point of View.

          Of course that post was deleted too!


  8. ‘How US and Ukraine’s far-right made pro-peace Zelensky a ‘no peace’ president’
    Elected in 2019 to bring peace to Ukraine, a Zelensky aide now declares that “there is no peace with Russia, and Ukraine must arm itself to the teeth.”

    Volodymyr Zelensky marked the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by rejecting any negotiations with the Kremlin.

    “There is nothing to talk about and nobody to talk about over there,” Zelensky declared.

    The Ukrainian President delivered the message just two weeks after his French and German counterparts urged him, at a meeting in Paris, “to start considering peace talks with Moscow,” the Wall Street Journal reports………………………………………………..


  9. There are 3 different videos in the link above.
    Next to the RageAgainstWarMachine is one,
    the https: next to it is an excellent message from Tulsi Gabbard, “We’re either going to work towards peace, de-escalate tensions, move away from this new cold war, or we will continue to race rapidly towards nuclear war.”
    Clicking on ‘pic.twitter,’ leads to Senator Mike Gravel I never heard of before this am. We need more like him in in the Senate instead of the Senators I write about.



  10. ‘Biden’s mission from God taking NATO straight to hell’
    For Biden and the foreign policy establishment, NATO expansion is ‘sacred’ and supporting the Ukraine war a sign of faith

    According to US President Joe Biden, America’s commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is “sacred.”

    To be fair, NATO has proved to be one of the most enduring multilateral military alliances in history. Yet the mission it was designed for, to defend Western Europe from a Soviet invasion during the Cold War, has been over for decades.

    Like most bureaucracies, however, NATO did not go away when it had helped to achieve an astonishingly bloodless victory in the Cold War. Instead, like most bureaucracies, it mutated and expanded.

    The Soviet threat was gone after the Cold War, yet the uncertainty of a new Russia remained. But what were the extent and nature of that threat?

    Well, if NATO wanted to keep growing, Russia would likely oppose it. So the NATO bureaucracy had to remove all obstacles to its continued existence. The smaller, less capable Russian Federation that replaced the Soviet Union would become the new (old) enemy of Europe that would justify NATO’s expansion.

    And NATO, being this sacred, quasi-religious military alliance, would even court a third world war over the admission of new states such as Ukraine into its alliance over the fierce objections of Moscow…………….


  11. One year on from the clash of the titans in Ukraine: Results and lessons learned (1)

    The second year of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has begun with a new world, significantly changed since the start of the war last February 2022. Continents are divided among themselves, alliances have changed remarkably, the West is more isolated and less dominant, and Russia is winning the battle at home and in Ukraine, despite the losses. It was a decidedly arrogant and lousy idea for the US to think it could defeat Russia, regardless of the economic consequences for the world, when Moscow demanded a security guarantee before sending its troops into Ukraine. The world is witnessing the caesarean birth of a multipolar system after the US emerged to fight Russia through NATO, of which Moscow had been a close observer for many years.

    For three decades, Russia trusted that the West would take it into its club, only to discover recently that the hateful US wanted to subjugate or tame the Kremlin but keep it far away, on the periphery. Russia has repeatedly asked to join NATO, but its application has been rejected to avoid having two superpowers in the same organisation and to prevent Moscow from vetoing any new member’s will to join, as required by the NATO constitution.

    Washington has actively overthrown several leaders, occupied and impoverished many nations by destroying their countries, sanctioning entire populations, displacing tens of millions of people and families, and killing and wounding millions more. Moscow built an empire in Eastern Europe, but the US established over 750 military bases in 80 countries. The unaccountable US and NATO nations carried out illegal interventions in the affairs of other countries because of the absolute supremacy of the US empire since the Second World War, which was strengthened after perestroika in 1991.

    With the return of Russia to the international arena from the Syrian window in 2015, the US felt the heat and the beginning of the challenge to its hegemony. NATO enlargement was the US’s powerful hope – and tool – to rally more partners behind it in its future confrontation with the powerful, no longer communist Kremlin. It was necessary for the survival of the US as a superpower to confront Russia on the battlefield through a proxy country to avoid a third world war. The US haggled over Ukraine, drawing Russia into its arena. But Washington found that nearly 75 per cent of the population had given up on its quest, unwilling to support its war and to put “America first” ahead of their interests.

    Instead of US dominance and unilateralism, many countries, such as India, Brazil, South Africa and China, are joining Russia in speaking out against Washington without necessarily declaring outright hostility. Sixteen per cent of the world’s population stands with the US against Russia. Many of these countries fear being sanctioned by Washington. This doesn’t mean that the rest of the world is on Russia’s side, but that it is fed up with the US’s unjust domination, violation of international law and destructive wars. However, the countries that stand for a multipolar world offer a new model of cooperation based on the many lessons learned from the US wars……………………………………………………………………


  12. If this is happening in Europe, American anti-WAR demonstrations will be happening soon.
    There’s already a noticeable shift in MSM attitudes on the WAR slowly calling for negotiation and recognizing Ukraine can’t win no matter how much US/NATO money and weapons are given to Ukraine.

    ‘European antiwar protests gain strength as NATO’s Ukraine proxy war escalates’
    Europeans are storming the streets in unprecedented numbers to protest NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine and their own declining living standards. The Grayzone has covered demonstrations and interviewed protest leaders in several countries since the war erupted.

    Athens, Greece –– This February 21, several thousand Greeks filled Athens’ streets to denounce NATO and the United States in the wake of Antony Blinken’s Greece visit, where the US Secretary of State applauded the Mediterranean country for being amongst the first European countries to support Ukraine, thus leading to way for “the support of democracy.”

    It was just one action among many protest actions across the continent as the NATO proxy conflict in Ukraine approached its first anniversary. European citizens are growing agitated as their leaders appear set on extending the war at least another year: they’ve approved several rounds of sanctions on Russia, provided billions of euros in assistance to Ukraine, and have agreed to train thousands of Ukrainian soldiers.

    Such actions have blighted living standards for average Europeans. Although the continent has avoided a widely feared energy collapse thanks to successful efforts to secure energy alternatives and unseasonably warm weather, European governments had already prepared for possible power outages and mobile blackouts earlier this winter due to the severing of Russian energy……………………………………..


  13. ‘Zelensky Says Ukraine Is Preparing To Attack Crimea’
    If Zelensky does that, Russia will follow the US example of Shock & Awe bombing Baghdad in the illegal 2003 US invasion of Iraq violating the same International Law Russia is demonized for violating.
    Is Kiev prepared for that?

    WAR is HELL when both sides are determined to win AT ALL COSTS


  14. Bill, has everyone abandoned BracingViews? Are my suggested reading posts that uninteresting and irrelevant to most of the former regulars? I miss seeing the regular posts of Dennis, Denise, Jeannie, JG and others.
    Maybe it’s become all too depressing to contemplate without quick fixes?

    I agree with this assessment of what’s happening in this World. If the US, knowing it’s the probability, in it’s desperation, doesn’t blow us up before these projections become the Reality.

    ‘Ukraine: The Tunnel at the End of the Light’
    The U.S. abused its providential anointment as the exceptional nation, writes Robert Freeman. That abuse has been recognized, called out and is now being acted against by most of the other nations of the world.

    “Light at the end of the tunnel” was an iconic phrase used by the warmongers who kept the U.S. in Vietnam long after the War had been lost.
    The implication was that insiders could see through the fog of war and know that things were getting better. It was a lie.

    In January 1966, long before the military height of the war, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told President Lyndon Johnson that the U.S. had a one-out-of-three chance of winning on the battlefield.
    But Johnson, like Eisenhower and Kennedy before him, and Nixon after him, didn’t want to be the first American president to lose a war. So, he ginned up a simplistic lie and “soldiered on.”

    The lie was blown by the Tet Offensive in January 1968. More than 100 U.S. military installations were attacked in a simultaneous nationwide assault that stunned the U.S.
    The broadcaster, Walter Cronkite, then “the most trusted man in America,” bellowed on national television, “I thought we were supposed to be winning this damned thing.” It was the beginning of the end of the U.S.’ murderous and failed occupation.

    We’re now facing another light-and-tunnel event, this time in Ukraine. Only now, it’s not the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the tunnel at the end of the light. What do we mean by that?………………………………………


    1. I hope not, Ray!

      More people use the Substack version now, I think. But it’s also frustrating/depressing to cover some of these subjects. The problems we face seem intractable.


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