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Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

Two Cheers for Matt Gaetz’s Ukraine War Resolution – Original

Posted by M. C. on February 14, 2023

by Thomas Knapp

On February 9, US Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and ten Republican co-sponsors introduced a resolution “expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States must end its military and financial aid to Ukraine, and urges [sic] all combatants to reach a peace agreement.”

When Matt Gaetz is right (which really isn’t very often), he’s right.

If two authoritarian regimes – and make no mistake, Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s gang has proven itself just as violent and authoritarian as Vladimir Putin’s – want to fight, there’s not much the supposedly “democratic” US regime can or should do to stop them. Not our circus. Not our monkeys.

The resolution notes, at length, the financial and military aid the US government has delivered, or pledged to deliver, to Ukraine. Every dime of that money comes out of Americans’ pockets, either through taxation or as a future extortion demand to pay off new debt.

Every bullet, bomb, artillery shell, and rocket delivered or pledged is explicitly intended to inflict violent death on men and women most of whom almost certainly would rather not be where they are or doing what they’re doing. And every bullet, bomb, artillery shell, and rocket delivered or pledged has a non-trivial chance of inflicting violent death on innocent civilian non-combatants.

The resolution does cite one, and only one, positive effect of US military aid to Ukraine: It has “severely depleted United States stockpiles, weakening United States readiness in the event of” the US government deciding to go inflict violent death on other, future battlefields.

Even assuming a “legitimate defense” function for government – which is sort of like believing the guy mugging you on the street might help you out if a second mugger shows up – those stockpiles could be “depleted” by 90% without impeding such a “legitimate” function, as it would still leave the US regime well-equipped to fend off any likely threat to you (or, more to the point, its own power), as opposed to “going abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” But hey, baby steps, right?

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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?

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Pentagon Wants To Return Special Ops Propagandists To Ukraine

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2023

Caitlin Johnstone

The US empire has been frantically ramping up propaganda and censorship because the “great power competition” it has been preparing against Russia and China is going to require economic warfare, massive military spending, and nuclear brinkmanship that no one would consent to without lots of manipulation. Nobody’s going to consent to being made poorer, colder, and less safe over some global power struggle that doesn’t benefit them unless that consent is actively manufactured.

An article by The Washington Post titled “Pentagon looks to restart top-secret programs in Ukraine” contains some interesting information about what US special ops forces were doing in Ukraine in the lead-up to the Russian invasion last year, and what they are slated to be doing there in the future. 

“The Pentagon is urging Congress to resume funding a pair of top-secret programs in Ukraine suspended ahead of Russia’s invasion last year, according to current and former U.S. officials,” writes the Post’s Wesley Morgan. “If approved, the move would allow American Special Operations troops to employ Ukrainian operatives to observe Russian military movements and counter disinformation.”

Much further down in the article we learn the specifics of what those two top-secret programs were. One of them entailed US commandos sending Ukrainian operatives “on surreptitious reconnaissance missions in Ukraine’s east” to collect intelligence on Russia. The other entailed secretly administering online propaganda, though of course The Washington Post does not describe it as such.

“We had people taking apart Russian propaganda and telling the true story on blogs,” WaPo was told by a source described as “a person in the Special Operations community.”

Ivan Katchanovski @I_Katchanovski

Social media warfare. US Special Operations: “Before the invasion, US Special Operations troops were running two irregular warfare surrogate programs in Ukraine. In one, “We had people taking apart Russian propaganda and telling the true story on blogs.” washingtonpost.comPentagon looks to restart top-secret programs in UkraineIf approved, the move would authorize U.S. Special Operations troops to employ Ukrainian operatives to observe Russian movements and counter disinformation.11:38 PM ∙ Feb 11, 202324Likes14Retweets

US special ops forces “employing Ukrainian operatives” to “take apart Russian propaganda” and “tell the true story on blogs” is just US special ops forces administering US propaganda online. Whether or not they actually see themselves as “telling the true story” or “taking apart Russian propaganda” does not change the fact that they are administering US government propaganda. A government circulating media which advances its information interests is precisely the thing that state propaganda is.

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Volodymyr Zelensky Is Washington’s New Jonas Savimbi – Original

Posted by M. C. on February 9, 2023

Zelensky also has replicated Savimbi’s ability to tell US political elites and the American people exactly what he knew they want to hear. Savimbi’s impressive skill at doing so was highlighted by a 1986 op-ed under his byline in the Wall Street Journal, in which he hailed the virtues of capitalism and democracy and pledged to make Angola a model of both values, if the United States helped UNITA oust the pro-communist government.

by Ted Galen Carpenter

Most advocates of aiding Ukraine in its fight against Russia do not merely contend that the move is justified to repel an act of aggression that threatens to legitimize wars of conquest. Instead, they portray Ukraine as a freedom-loving democracy and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a heroic democratic champion, who deserves even more U.S. military and financial assistance than he has already received.

The political and media love-fest accompanying Zelensky’s address to a joint session of Congress in late December 2022 was a prime example of such hero worship. David Frum, writing in the Atlanticasserted that Zelensky “recalled us to ourselves” and our democratic values. Frum added that the Ukrainian president “came to the United States to thank us for supporting Ukraine. It is Americans who should thank him.” Others evaluated his congressional appearance in equally glowing terms.

Such fawning ignores Zelensky’s increasingly brazen violations of civil liberties and democratic norms. However, this is hardly the first time that US officials and the American news media have falsely portrayed one of Washington’s authoritarian clients as a committed democrat. The lengthy roster includes Nationalist China’s Chiang Kai-shek, South Vietnamese presidents Ngo Dinh Diem and Nguyen Van Thieu, Iraqi exile leader Ahmed Chalabi, and Afghanistan’s presidents Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani.

Perhaps the closest model for the blind support American admirers are currently according Zelensky, though, was the attitude that Americans (especially conservatives) displayed toward Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi. Between the mid-1970s and the early 1990s (especially throughout Ronald Reagan’s administration), numerous political and media figures advocated greater US support for Savimbi’s National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and its insurgency against Angola’s leftist government. In the process, they overlooked or concealed their “democratic” client’s massive flaws.

Presenting Savimbi with an award from the American Conservative Union and the Young Americans for Freedom, US Ambassador to the United Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick lauded him as “one of the few authentic heroes of our time.” Kirkpatrick’s idealized portrait of Savimbi was typical of the conservative perspective in the United States. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) stated that “I have had the privilege of meeting Mr. Savimbi and have been extremely impressed by his honesty, integrity, religious commitment.” The conflict in Angola was, Hatch insisted, “a battle over ideologies: Soviet totalitarianism vs. freedom, self-determination, and democracy.” US aid to Savimbi would “send a strong signal to the world that we are determined to help freedom fighters” prevail. The dominant message from both the news media and the foreign policy blob today about the supposed imperative to support Zelensky and “democratic Ukraine” is eerily similar.

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A Prayer for Our Time – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 8, 2023

What is needed? That people have the wisdom to realize that this evil exists, that they have the courage to meet the challenge of this evil, and they have the means required to resist and finally overcome this evil.

By Ira Katz

Certainly more than at any other moment in my lifetime, I feel the palpable presence of evil. I am not alone. Related to the Covid response, Naomi Wolf has expressed a similar feeling as described here.

Wolf wonders about the possible causes. Unlike many authors, she does not offer a single, simple explanation, no single culprit; no conspiracy at play. “How could otherwise nice people have come to do such evil?” she asks. “How could they have allowed the suppression of young children’s respiration or consigned friends and colleagues to eat in the street like outcasts? How could it have happened in “enlightened” New York City that cops would have been sent to arrest a woman with a terrified nine-year-old child for trying to visit the Museum of Natural History without “papers?” To Wolf, this suggests “evil beyond human imagination,” a “spiritual dimension of evil.”

But it is not only related to Covid that evil weighs on the world. In politics James Howard Kunstler has described the evil chaos emanating from the Left.

On the Left: those who believe anything government officials tell them, no matter how absurd. Most of that faction’s senior members used to be people who believed nothing the government told them, but then they got “Woke.” Now, they believe that mRNA vaccines are really good for you… that basing all social conduct on skin color will exorcise racism from society… and that sexual confusion is the highest-and-best psychological state of being. If you try to debate any of these points with them, they’ll block or cancel you. If that doesn’t work, they’ll orchestrate a new episode of political chaos as an excuse to push you around.

Then there is the Neocon/Neoliberal claque that is hell bent on starting World War III. For example see Neocon extremism and World War III – by Prepper Anon (

The small, elite group of sociopaths who are taking the West to nuclear war have a name. They are known as the neoconservatives, or neocons for short.

They are academics and intellectuals who have taken over the Washington bureaucracy and push an ideology of American imperial hegemony which requires that all the nations of the world submit to American power and adopt a distorted version of American political and cultural values or be crushed.

They have turned liberal democracy into an imperial agenda for world conquest. They are not reasonable and they are not rational. They’re ideological fundamentalists.

Caitin Johnstone states the situation in, More Evidence That the West Sabotaged Peace in Ukraine.

The US empire is getting everything it wants out of this proxy war. That’s why it knowingly provoked this war, that’s why it repeatedly sabotaged the outbreak of peace after the war broke out, and that’s why this proxy war has no exit strategy. The empire is getting everything it wants from this war, so why wouldn’t it do everything in its power to obstruct peace?

I mean, besides the obvious unforgivable depravity of it all, of course. The empire has always been fine with cracking a few hundred thousand human eggs in order to cook the imperial omelette. It is unfathomably, unforgivably evil, though, and it should outrage everyone.

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Just Like Covid, The Reality of Ukraine Is The Opposite Of The Repeated Narrative

Posted by M. C. on February 4, 2023

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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.

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Ukraine: Another Example Of Government Doubling-Down On Bad Policy, While Corporations Get Rich

Posted by M. C. on February 2, 2023

Famous for their corruption Ukrainian bureaucrats will get richer also when 10 or 20% of the weaponry goes “missing”.

Audits! The pentagram doesn’t need no stinkin’ audits.

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Understanding the Pentagon’s Provocation of Russia – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on February 2, 2023

What would Kennedy have done with Ukraine if he had been president? He would never have allowed the Pentagon to use NATO to absorb former members of the Warsaw Pact. He would have also recognized that Russia’s reaction to U.S. nuclear missiles in Ukraine would have been the same as the U.S. reaction to Russian missiles in Ukraine.

by Jacob G. Hornberger

President Kennedy had a unique ability that Pentagon generals did not have. He was able to analyze an international crisis by placing himself in the shoes of his adversary in an attempt to understand his adversary’s motives. Doing that enabled him to figure a way out of the crisis that did not involve war. The response of the generals and the Pentagon was always the same: invade, bomb, kill, and destroy.

Today’s generals are no different from their counterparts back in the early 1960s. They are unable to step into the shoes of Russian officials and try to figure out a resolution of the crisis in Ukraine. Instead, their answer is bombs, missiles, death, destruction and, now, tanks. They are simply not mentally equipped to do what Kennedy did. 

Understanding how Kennedy resolved the Cuban Missile Crisis goes a long way toward understanding what motivated the Russians to invade Ukraine. 

In 1962, Kennedy learned that the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia) was installing nuclear missiles in Cuba. With the full support of the Pentagon, Kennedy decided that he could not let that happen. There was no way that U.S. officials were going to permit the Russians to install nuclear missiles pointed at the United States from only 90 miles away.

And yet, the Soviets had every right in the world to install nuclear missiles in Cuba, so long as it was done with the consent of the Cuban regime. After all, even though the Pentagon and the CIA considered Cuba to be a de facto U.S. colony, Cuba was, in fact, an independent and sovereign country. If it wanted Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, it had the right to invite the Soviets to install them there.

Nonetheless, both Kennedy and the Pentagon decided that they would not permit Russia’s nuclear missiles to remain in Cuba. Why? Because they simply did not want nuclear missiles pointed at the U.S. from only 90 miles away. They considered such missiles to a grave threat to U.S. “national security.”

Reflecting how important this principle was to Kennedy, he was even willing to go to nuclear war against Russia to prevent those Russian missiles from being stationed in Cuba. In fact, what is not widely recognized is that Kennedy actually did initiate war against the Soviets. That was when he ordered a military blockade against Soviet ships carrying nuclear weapons to Cuba. Under international law, a blockade is an act of war. Fortunately, the Soviets did not respond with retaliatory war measures.

Yet, Kennedy’s blockade was met with severe disapproval of the generals. It was considered to be too weak. One member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff compared Kennedy’s blockade to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler at Munich. With their one-track mind, the generals were pressuring Kennedy to bomb and invade Cuba. Their insistence on pressuring Kennedy to take an action that would almost certainly result in nuclear war reflected how strongly they felt about not having Russian missiles so close to America’s border.

Thus, if Kennedy were president today, he wouldn’t need to ask why the Russians felt the same way about having U.S. nuclear missiles stationed in Ukraine, which shares a border with Russia. He would understand that their sentiments would be no different from the sentiments of Kennedy and the Pentagon with respect to Russian nuclear missiles in Cuba.

But there was another factor that Kennedy considered when he stepped into the shoes of the Russians in an attempt to understand the crisis and arrive at a mutually agreeable peaceful resolution of it.

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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.

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