Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Tanks’

Tanks for Nuttin’ –

Posted by M. C. on February 14, 2023

Why do Ukrainians killed by Russia generate headlines, while deaths attributable to Mexican drug cartels — 100,000 Americans from drug overdoses annually – are treated as mere statistics?

Andrew Bacevich

The name of the game in Ukraine seems to be escalation, not just in the fighting (with a major Russian offensive expected soon), but in weaponry, too. Only recently, after initially refusing, President Biden agreed to send advanced American M-1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine (partly to push Germany to dispatch its own advanced Leopard 2 tanks and other European countries to do the same). And that, sadly enough, represents just another step up the ladder to… well, who knows quite what.

The Ukrainians are now demanding that the U.S. (and so, as with those tanks, other NATO allies) supply its air force with F-16 jet fighters. In an unsettling analog to the German tank accord, the Polish government seemed to agree to deliver some of its F-16s to the Ukrainians, with one proviso: that NATO (that is, the U.S.) agree to do the same. In Washington, those planes had been considered a “red line” not to be crossed and not so long ago President Biden offered a flat “no” to the very idea — as he had, once upon a time, with those tanks, too. In other words, in a phrase now in use at the Pentagon, he “M1-ed” the idea. As it happens, sentiment at the Pentagon already seems to be shifting, suggesting that the president’s F-16 position may soon prove to be so yesterday. Only recently, in fact, the U.S. agreed to send Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bombs that would double the range of that country’s rocket batteries, though like the tanks and possible planes actual delivery remains in an undefined future.

Here’s a question to consider: Once promises are indeed made to deliver those F-16s, what can Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demand next? It’s worth recalling that, in 1994 in a remarkable move, the Ukrainians returned to Russia the massive nuclear arsenal left there when the Soviet Union collapsed. It had briefly made the new nation into the third-largest nuclear power on Earth. The Ukrainians did so, however, only after the Russians agreed “to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine.” No small irony there, right?

Is it too farfetched, then, to imagine that, once those F-16s are assured, Zelensky could begin demanding tactical nuclear weapons? After all, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his confederates have already muttered more than once about using such weaponry against Ukraine.

I know, I know, that’s certainly one wild jump too far, except that so much has proven unnervingly too far in the first major European war since World War II ended. As TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author of the remarkable new book On Shedding an Obsolete Past: Bidding Farewell to the American Century, suggests today, perhaps nothing is inconceivable when what’s at stake is “civilization” itself (as defined in both Moscow and Washington). Tom

Tanks for Nuttin’

Is Civilization at Stake in Ukraine?


“To defend civilization, defeat Russia.” Writing in the unfailingly bellicose Atlantic, an American academic of my acquaintance recently issued that dramatic call to arms. And lest there be any confusion about the stakes involved, the image accompanying his essay depicted Russian President Vladimir Putin with a Hitler mustache and haircut.

Cast Putin as the latest manifestation of the Führer and the resurrection of Winston Churchill can’t be far behind. And, lo, more than a few observers have already begun depicting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as the latest reincarnation of America’s favorite British prime minister.

These days, it may be Western-supplied missiles downing “kamikaze drones” rather than Spitfires tangling with Messerschmitts over southern England, but the basic scenario remains intact. In the skies above Ukraine and on the battlefields below, the “finest hour” of 1940 is being reenacted. Best of all, we know how this story ends — or at least how it’s supposed to end: with evil vanquished and freedom triumphant. Americans have long found comfort in such simplified narratives. Reducing history to a morality play washes away annoying complexities. Why bother to think when the answers are self-evident? 

A Case of Whataboutism?

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nimrods of Berlin

Posted by M. C. on February 3, 2023

“This German angst, this absolutely irrational fear that delivering Leopard tanks would provoke Russia to escalate this war, is just ridiculous.”

Get the picture? Sounds like Melnyk is taking his talking points from U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham.

Dear Friends + Interlocutors,

I’ve just read on Bloomberg that Berlin is sending a hundred-plus advanced, German-built Leopard-2 tanks to Ukraine. On closer reading, it appears that most of the Leopard-2’s will be transported from other NATO countries, not directly from Germany.

That is one hundred too many tanks, in my view. They will add fuel to the fire, to an unnecessary and avoidable conflict endangering the whole world, a war engineered by our Neocon/Neoliberal crusaders in Washington who have already done enough damage to humanity. 

Next it will be U.S. F-16’s and attack helicopters and God knows what else. This is open-ended madness, akin to Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Only worse, because nukes are potentially involved. Are we allowing ourselves to be fooled yet again? Yes, we are.

In Berlin, things are getting strange and dangerous. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has been cajoled, browbeaten and shamed into “unleashing the Leopards” by the bizarre German Green Party, his coalition partner. To be fair, the crackbrained characters in Washington were the deciding factor.  

The Greens are led by the zero-experienced, Alice-in-wonderland Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s girlish Foreign Minister, who has unilaterally declared war on Russia. She would be a laugh, if circumstances were not so serious.

She has been assisted by liberal-minded media commentators and by hyper-ventilating officials in Poland and Ukraine. For example, Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister and former ambassador to Berlin, Andrii Melnyk, has proclaimed, according to the Financial Times,

“This German angst, this absolutely irrational fear that delivering Leopard tanks would provoke Russia to escalate this war, is just ridiculous.”

Get the picture? Sounds like Melnyk is taking his talking points from U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham.

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Is The U.S. So Openly Advertising A Ship Carrying Tanks To Ukraine?

Posted by M. C. on February 1, 2023

Perhaps to make it easy for the ship to be attacked, affording a convenient opportunity to declare war.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

White House Will Send Tanks, Drones to Ukraine – News From

Posted by M. C. on November 5, 2022

What weaponry that doesn’t get sold to the highest bidder by one of the most corrupt governments on the planet will likely get taken by Russians.

by Kyle Anzalone

The Biden administration approved the 25th round of security assistance for Ukraine on Friday. The latest package of weapons will include upgraded tanks and drones. Kiev recently requested more armored vehicles to push its offensive against Russian forces.

A Pentagon press release said it had purchased 45 refurbished T-72B tanks with advanced optics, communications, and armor. The Department of Defense claims the Netherlands will provide an additional 45 tanks and the Czech Republic will provide additional support, completing the upgrades.

Since the start of the war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has requested NATO members send their tanks to Ukraine. In separate appeals, Kiev asked for NATO to transfer one percent of their tanks and for Western countries to give Ukraine 500 tanks. Washington and its partners did not fulfill Zelensky’s requests.

In September, the Washington Post reported that Kiev believed it was reaching the “tipping point” and more armored vehicles could help complete its victory. “Kiev believes the requested heavy armor – including battle tanks and personnel carriers – could help shift that turning point into a tipping point.”

Germany rebuffed Ukraine when asked directly for tanks. “No country has delivered Western-built infantry fighting vehicles or main battle tanks so far. We have agreed with our partners that Germany will not take such action unilaterally,” German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said.

The upgraded T-72B tanks the US and Netherlands are buying for Kiev are not NATO models but Soviet-era weapons. Poland and the Czech Republic have already sent Ukraine hundreds of these tanks. Still, Zelensky believes the tanks will aid Kiev’s offensive.

“I am thankful to [Joe Biden] and the people of the [US] for another $400 million military assistance package. For armored vehicles that will help us liberate Ukrainian land. We appreciate this continued support!” the Ukrainian president Tweeted Friday.

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »