Citizen Genet Affair

It is the weekend and as a small diversion from the horrific news of the I would like to offer up a little American since there are moves to re-write it….I think it is important to learn it all…the good, the bad and the ugly…..so let’s step into the ‘way back machine’ to the early days of our republic.

I once taught a class on American Foreign Policy from the beginning to recent history……some say the John Adams and his Sedition Act was our first crisis on the international stage….I disagree.

The new nation of United States of America faced its first foreign policy crisis in 1793 when the US and France were at diplomatic odds….

Edmond Charles Genêt served as French minister to the United States from 1793 to 1794. His activities in that capacity embroiled the United States and France in a diplomatic crisis, as the United States Government attempted to remain neutral in the conflict between Great Britain and Revolutionary France. The controversy was ultimately resolved by Genêt’s recall from his position. As a result of the Citizen Genêt affair, the United States established a set of procedures governing neutrality.

American foreign policy in the 1790s was dominated by the events surrounding the French Revolution. Following the overthrow of the monarchy in 1792, the revolutionary French Government clashed with the monarchies of Spain and Great Britain. French policymakers needed the United States to help defend France’s colonies in the Caribbean – either as a neutral supplier or as a military ally, and so they dispatched Edmond Charles Genêt, an experienced diplomat, as minister to the United States. The French assigned Genêt several additional duties: to obtain advance payments on debts that the U.S. owed to France, to negotiate a commercial treaty between the United States and France, and to implement portions of the 1778 Franco-American treaty which allowed attacks on British merchant shipping using ships based in American ports. Genêt’s attempt to carry out his instructions would bring him into direct conflict with the U.S. Government.

The French Revolution had already reinforced political differences within President George Washington’s Cabinet. The Democratic-Republicans, led by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, sympathized with the French revolutionaries. The Federalists, led by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, believed that ties with Great Britain were more important. President Washington attempted to steer a neutral course between these two opposing views. He believed that joining Great Britain or France in war could subject the comparatively weak United States to invasion by foreign armies and have disastrous economic consequences. President Washington issued a proclamation of neutrality on April 22, 1793.

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1784-1800/citizen-genet

Further reading on this historic issue…..

https://www.thoughtco.com/citizen-genet-affair-4147691

The early years of our republic are fascinating….so much back and forth…..start and stop for American foreign policy.

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“lego ergo scribo”

 

Saturday’s News You Can’t Use

The weekend begins and we need a break from the ‘news’ from Ukraine….hence ‘news you can’t use’……

The popularity of the movies and such like “Jackass” baffles me (probably has something to do with me being an old fart)…..but I read about the king of stupid….

The Federal Aviation Administration has launched a probe into a failed stunt in the sky. Cousins Luke Aikins and Andy Farrington, daredevil Red Bull skydivers who’d hoped to swap Cessna single-seat airplanes in midair, didn’t see their feat go as planned on Sunday: One of the pilots made it and landed the aircraft in the Arizona desert, but the other didn’t, sending the second plane crashing to the ground; that pilot still managed to parachute to safety, per NBC News. No one else was injured, but the FAA is steamed, as it had denied the pilots’ request for certain safety exemptions to carry out their Hulu-livestreamed stunt. “The FAA has considered the petition, and finds that granting an exemption … would not be in the public interest,” the agency noted in its Friday denial letter, adding it couldn’t determine “the proposed operation would not adversely affect safety.” Check out the failed attempt. Our original story from Thursday follows:

A pair of cousins with a fondness for both flying airplanes and jumping out of them are about to attempt both in the same flight—while swapping planes midair. The never-before-seen stunt will be attempted Sunday by Luke Aikins, 48, and Andy Farrington, 39, members of the Red Bull Air Force aviation crew. Aikins—who became the first person to jump from 25,000 feet and land safely without a parachute in 2016—says he’s been thinking about the stunt for more than 20 years and is finally ready to make the attempt. “It’s the pinnacle of my career, and my goal is to inspire the world and show that anything is possible,” he says in a statement, per ABC News.

In an event to be live-streamed on Hulu, the pair will take off in separate Cessna 182 single-seat aircraft. Red Bull says three of four seats were stripped from the aircraft to lighten the aircraft and create space. At 14,000 feet, they’ll put those planes in a synchronized nosedive, cut the engines, engage custom airbrakes meant to “hold the planes in a controlled-descent” at 140mph, then exit, per USA Today. After skydiving to the opposite plane, they’ll enter the cockpit through a door “about the width of a household refrigerator,” disengage the airbrakes, restart the engines, and hopefully land safely. It will take all of 40 seconds, according to Red Bull.

You can’t fix stupid!

I read the headline of this article and broke into LOLs……”We need to probe Uranus”…..

Next stop, Uranus? An influential panel of scientists is arguing that a space exploration mission to deeply probe Uranus should be a top priority within the next 10 years.

The latest Planetary Decadal report argues that NASA should focus on sending an interplanetary probe to study the ice giant planet within the next decade. This potential mission, they say, could see an atmospheric probe and orbiter being sent to the seventh planet from the Sun with the hopes of deepening our knowledge of ice giants. 

The decadal survey, which is put together by scientists from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, is released every 10 years to recommend space exploration projects for the next decade.

We still know relatively little about the internal composition of Uranus compared to most of our other planetary neighbors. It’s currently assumed that the planet has a gaseous hydrogen and helium atmosphere, an icy mantle, and a rocky core in the middle, but finer details are still few and far between.

After all, scientists have only gained a close-up look at Uranus once before when the Voyager-2 probe made a brief flyby in 1986. The spacecraft glided within 81,500 kilometers (50,600 miles) of the planet’s cloud tops, discovering 10 new moons, two new rings, and a strong magnetic field. Other than this brief encounter, Uranus has only been studied from afar using telescopes and such. 

https://www.iflscience.com/space/we-need-to-probe-uranus-scientists-urge/

Okay I have a sick mind at times…..

The old saying….leave nature the way you found it….pack out your waste….that saying has a new meaning …..

For a long time, the standard protocol for hikers and campers who had to poop in the woods was to bury it in what’s known as a “cat hole,” writes Krista Langlois at Outside. But with more people than ever on the trails, a new sentiment is taking hold: It’s time for people to pack up their waste and bring it out with them. Langlois’ essay rounds up the grisly details. For one thing, those cat holes—six inches deep and 200 feet from water—have never been particularly good about keeping pathogens in human waste from leaching into the soil and spreading from there. But with relatively few people in the woods, they were good enough, even if they were more about getting waste out of sight than anything else.

Things are different now, as the number of people using public lands has “exploded” in the last few decades. Today, unburied waste—aka “surface turds” to those in the know—and discarded toilet paper are all too familiar sights. More and more, parks are suggesting people bring WAG bags (“waste alleviation and gelling” bags) to pack up their waste, and Langlois’ piece details some options. “Honestly, bringing WAG bags on every backcountry excursion and carrying days’ worth of your own poop out of the wilderness on a multiday trip is not appealing,” writes Langlois. “But ultimately, it’s less gross than eating, sleeping, and playing on poop-filled public lands.”

(Read the full piece.)

Remember those images of the Nazis burning books back in the 1930s?

Disgusting right?

Well if one Tennessee GOP lawmaker has his way….it will return….

A Republican lawmaker in Tennessee is taking heat for claiming that he would burn books that had been banned from school libraries. 

The outlandish remark came during an exchange between Democratic state Rep. Ray Clemmons and Republican state Rep. Jerry Sexton, as both lawmakers debated a recently-passed bill that gives a state commission the sole authority to decide which books are appropriate for school libraries. At one point, Clemmons directly asked Sexton what he planned on doing with all the books that would be deemed objectionable. 

“You going to put them in the street? Light them on fire?” he asked. “Where are they going?”

“I don’t have a clue, but I would burn them,” Sexton replied. 

“That’s what I thought,” Clemmons said.

https://www.salon.com/2022/04/28/i-would-them-lawmaker-suggests-taking-tennessees-book-ban-to-the-next-level/

Is he channeling his inner Nazi?

***********

Finally a PSA.

If you live in one of those backward states that are banning books then rejoice there is someone that can help…..

The New York Public Library is pushing back against book bans elsewhere in the country by making banned books available to all—with no New York library card needed. The Books for All initiative will allow readers over 13 anywhere in the country to access four books that have been banned in some jurisdictions for dealing with themes including race and sexuality, NPR reports. The titles, which will be available until the end of May, are Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, and perennially banned book The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.

Hopefully they will expand this service…..

Enjoy your weekend…..Be well…..be Safe….

“lego ergo scribo”

Where Did The Money Go?

I have been bitching about the amount of mo bey that the US is throwing at Ukraine……and like most of our endless wars we have no idea where the cash goes once it leaves the bank……well guess what Ukraine conflict is NO different……

US officials just admitted they don’t know where their arms shipments to Ukraine will actually end up, and that they could fall into dangerous hands.

Ever since the crisis over Ukraine began last year, a minority of commentators, including the present author, have cautioned about the dangers of inundating the country with weapons, and the risk of fueling extremist groups that could destabilize the country and create blowback for the West, as the United States’ anti-Soviet policy in Afghanistan did in the 1980s. A new CNN report suggests US officials are well aware of these risks.

A suite of anonymous sources told the network that Washington has no way of tracking the weapons they send or knowing where they end up when they enter Ukraine, one of Europe’s largest arms trafficking markets even before the war. “It drops into a big black hole, and you have almost no sense of it at all after a short period of time,” one source told CNN.

According to the report, both military analysts and US officials acknowledge that the massive quantity of arms being supplied by more than twenty governments could in the long term “wind up in the hands of other militaries and militias that the US did not intend to arm.” Ukrainian troops pick up trucks loaded with weapons mostly in Poland, states the report, before driving them across the border, at which point it’s entirely up to Ukrainians how and where they’re given out.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2022/04/united-states-military-aid-ukraine-war-weapons

This should be unacceptable to anyone serving in our government…..especially those morons in Congress that are always going on about smaller government…..but no the gutless wonders we elected just rubber stamp the pissing away of taxpayer money.

Not worry Biden and the rest of the pilferers will just throw more money and aid at Ukraine….

President Biden will ask Congress for an additional $33 billion to help Ukraine fend off the Russian invasion, two administration officials said Thursday, per the AP. Biden’s latest proposal—which the officials said was expected to last for five months—has more than $20 billion in military assistance for Ukraine and for bolstering defenses in nearby countries. There is also $8.5 billion in economic aid to help keep Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government functioning and $3 billion for food and humanitarian programs to help civilians and other spending, said the officials.

The new proposal would be more than twice as large as the initial $13.6 billion package of defense and economic aid for Ukraine and Western allies that Congress enacted last month and is almost exhausted. It seemed to signal a long-term US commitment to staving off Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to expand his nation’s control of its neighbor, and perhaps beyond. The request comes with the fighting, now in its ninth week, sharpening in eastern and southern parts of the country and international tensions growing as Russia cuts off gas supplies to two NATO allies, Poland and Bulgaria.

 

There is wide, bipartisan support in Congress for giving Ukraine all the assistance it needs to fight the Russians, and its eventual approval seems certain. But Biden and congressional Democrats also want lawmakers to approve an additional $22.5 billion for vaccines, treatments, testing, and aid to other countries in continuing efforts to contain COVID-19, and that along with a Republican push to entangle the measure with an extension of some Trump-era immigration restrictions leaves the proposal’s pathway to enactment unclear. In a compromise with Republicans, Senate Democrats have already agreed to pare the $22.5 billion figure to $10 billion.

THis plan should sail through Congress with few problems….yet when funds are needed to help our fellow Americans there is debate and antics and nothing gets done…..

Why is that?

What makes Ukraine more important than feeding kids in this country?

Please do NOT give me the democracy thing as the excuse….that does not wash.

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The Other Side Of War

“War is ugly!  No amount of window dressing will make it otherwise”   chuq

This post ought to get chins a-flappin’…..for if true is not the picture that the PR firms are helping the MSM paint of the Ukraine and its leader.

I can hardly wait for the sarcasm.

NO! I am not a supporter of Putin…..and NO I do not think Zelensky is the god that he is portrayed…..any one that thinks I am needs to stop snorting glue and pay attention.

There always two sides to every story….to ignore one over the other is ignorant.

This article is published it the site TheGrayZone……..I am posting as an FYI piece that contradicts some of the BS that the media is passing off as fact….is this stuff accurate? But like the MSM it is unverified…..

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has framed his country’s war against Russia as a battle for democracy itself. In a carefully choreographed address to US Congress on March 16, Zelensky stated, “Right now, the destiny of our country is being decided. The destiny of our people, whether Ukrainians will be free, whether they will be able to preserve their democracy.”

US corporate media has responded by showering Zelensky with fawning press, driving a campaign for his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize and inspiring a flamboyant musical tribute to himself and the Ukrainian military during the 2022 Grammy awards ceremony on April 3.

Western media has looked the other way, however, as Zelensky and top officials in his administration have sanctioned a campaign of kidnapping, torture, and assassination of local Ukrainian lawmakers accused of collaborating with Russia. Several mayors and other Ukrainian officials have been killed since the outbreak of war, many reportedly by Ukrainian state agents after engaging in de-escalation talks with Russia.

“There is one less traitor in Ukraine,” Internal Affairs Ministry advisor Anton Geraschenko stated in endorsement of the murder of a Ukrainian mayor accused of collaborating with Russia.

Zelensky has further exploited the atmosphere of war to outlaw an array of opposition parties and order the arrest of his leading rivals. His authoritarian decrees have triggered the disappearance, torture and even murder of an array of human rights activists, communist and leftist organizers, journalists and government officials accused of “pro-Russian” sympathies.

https://thegrayzone.com/2022/04/17/traitor-zelensky-assassination-kidnapping-arrest-political-opposition/

Please read the disclaimer…..this is NOT a pro-Putin or Russia piece….it is news (propaganda if you will) that has not been seen or heard in the MSM.

Is it true?

I do not know but the accusations are worth an investigation…any and all types of offenses like these should be investigated no matter who commits the offense…..everyone should be held to the same goals.

To be honest with my readers…thegrayzone is a left leaning site and blog founded by American journalist Max Blumenthal.

You were born with a brain….maybe it is time to use it for something other than a hat rack.

Then a NATO member helped train the neo-Nazis in Ukraine……

With mounting evidence pointing to the Canadian Armed Forces having trained members of Ukraine’s military who are also reported to be part of extremist groups, experts say Ottawa needs to strongly bolster its investigation and vetting of the soldiers it trains and arms in the embattled country.

The Department of National Defence promised a thorough review of Canada’s mission in Ukraine after CTVNews.ca approached them for comment in October 2021, regarding a report from George Washington University that found extremists in the Ukrainian military were bragging about being trained by Canadians as part of Operation UNIFIER.

The group in question – which calls itself Military Order Centuria, or simply Centuria, has links to the far-right Azov movement.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/mounting-evidence-canada-trained-ukrainian-extremists-gov-t-needs-to-be-held-to-account-experts-1.5879303

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Ukraine–Day 63

“Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain.” Carl von Clausewitz

“In every war zone that I’ve been in, there has been a reality and then there has been the public perception of why the war was being fought. In every crisis, the issues have been far more complex than the public has been allowed to know.” John le Carre

“For governments at war, the media is an instrument of war or an element in war that is to be controlled.” Bruce Jackson

The fighting continues….the refugees suffer…..and the equipment pours in……death and destruction prevails…..

Today let us take a look at the so-called Russian offensive…..

This is a report compiled by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW)……

Russian forces have adopted a sounder pattern of operational movement in eastern Ukraine, at least along the line from Izyum to Rubizhne. Russian troops are pushing down multiple roughly parallel roads within supporting distance of one another, allowing them to bring more combat power to bear than their previous practice had supported. Russian troops on this line are making better progress than any other Russian advances in this phase of the war. They are pushing from Izyum southwest toward Barvinkove and southeast toward Slovyansk. They are also pushing several columns west and south of Rubizhne, likely intending to encircle it and complete its capture. The Russian advances even in this area are proceeding methodically rather than rapidly, however, and it is not clear how far they will be able to drive or whether they will be able to encircle Ukrainian forces in large numbers.

Russian forces on the Izyum axis likely benefit from the absence of prepared Ukrainian defensive positions against attacks from the Kharkiv direction toward Donbas. Ukraine has prepared to defend the line of contact with Russian-occupied Donbas since 2014, and Russian troops continue to struggle to penetrate those prepared defenses—as shown by repeated Russian efforts to take Avdiivka, just north of Donetsk City, or to advance through Popasna, just beyond the original line of contact.

Russian troops continued to attack Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol, including in the Azovstal Plant, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims that there is no more fighting in the city. Ukrainian forces likely still hold important positions beyond the plant itself, and Russian forces continue to fight outside the plant, bomb the plant, and assault positions near the plant. Putin’s order not to chase Ukrainian defenders into the tunnels and catacombs of the facility evidently did not preclude continued efforts to secure at least the entire perimeter of the plant and likely also the important M14 highway that runs along it to the north and northwest.

Russia is staging false-flag attacks in Transnistria, Moldova, likely setting conditions for further actions on that front. The two motorized rifle battalions Russia has illegally maintained in Transnistria since the end of the Cold War are not likely sufficient to mount a credible attack on Odesa by themselves, nor are the Russians likely to be able to reinforce them enough to allow them to do so. They could support more limited attacks to the northwest of Odesa, possibly causing panic and creating psychological effects to benefit Russian operations in the south of Ukraine.

Russia may also seek to destabilize Moldova itself, however. Comments by the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic and other Russian officials and proxies raise the possibility that Putin might recognize the self-styled Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR) in Transnistria as he recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. The PMR could then ask for additional Russian protection, and Putin could attempt to send some additional forces or capabilities to Transnistria. Any such activities would greatly raise tensions and fears in Moldova and neighboring Romania, putting additional pressure on NATO, possibly giving Putin a cheap “win,” and distracting from Russia’s slog in eastern Ukraine.

Continued indications that Russian forces intend to hold referenda to establish “people’s republics” in occupied areas of southern Ukraine raise the possibility that Putin intends to unveil an array of new “independent” “people’s republics” as part of a Victory Day celebration. The forecast cone is wide, and there is as yet no solid basis to assess one path as much more likely than another. But the false-flag attacks and Russian and Russian proxy reactions to them are alarming, and it behooves NATO and the West to consider the most dangerous courses of action and prepare to meet them.

Keep in mind that this group has major defense funding so their analysis maybe a bit skewed.

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UN Security Council Veto

While the conflict rages in Ukraine….and the idiots here in the US like MTG and Trump and Gaetz mouth their lunacies there is a big story on the international stage…..the UN.

There are 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council and all it takes to kill any legislation is one member to veto the action.

How moronic is that?

First we should ask why 5 permanent members?

The permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (also known as the Permanent Five, Big Five, or P5) are the five sovereign states to whom the UN Charter of 1945 grants a permanent seat on the UN Security Council: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

According to Oppenheim’s International Law : United Nations, “Permanent membership in the Security Council was granted to five states based on their importance in the aftermath of World War II.”

It is the 21st century and those dark days of WW2 are gone….time to re-think the Security Council.

The UN is doing just that…..

The United Nations is on Tuesday set to debate a provision that would require the five permanent members of the body’s Security Council – the United States, United Kingdom, France, China and Russia – to justify invoking their veto powers.

The reform to the Security Council has been floated for years at the UN but has regained new traction following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Currently, the five permanent members can veto any resolutions put forth by the Security Council. Meanwhile, the rotating 10 other members have no such power.

The latest proposal, put forth by Liechtenstein, is co-sponsored by 50 countries including the US. No other permanent members are currently co-sponsors, although France has indicated it will support the move, according to the AFP news agency.

The text of the proposal, obtained by the AFP, calls for the 193 members of the General Assembly to gather “within 10 working days of the casting of a veto by one or more permanent members of the Security Council, to hold a debate on the situation as to which the veto was cast”.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/19/un-to-debate-security-council-permanent-member-veto-power

This is a major item for accountability….but most people will ignore this simply because they hate the UN for whatever reason….but I think that hatred is misplaced and I have let my thoughts on it be known…..

Why Hate The United Nations (UN)?

After WW2 and the founding of the UN much has happened……

World War II demonstrated this ugliness in the Holocaust and in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From Hiroshima and the Holocaust rose two mighty movements, one for peace and against the perils of further nuclear attacks, and the other for an end to the divisions of humanity and for a nonalignment from these divisions. The Stockholm Appeal of 1950, signed by 300 million people, called for an absolute ban on nuclear weapons. Five years later, 29 countries from Africa and Asia, representing 54 percent of the world’s population, gathered in Bandung, Indonesia, to sign a 10-point pledge against war and for the “promotion of mutual interests and cooperation.” The Bandung Spirit was for peace and for nonalignment, for the peoples of the world to put their efforts into building a process to eradicate history’s burdens (illiteracy, ill health, hunger) by using their social wealth. Why spend money on nuclear weapons when money should be spent on classrooms and hospitals?

Despite the major gains of many of the new nations that had emerged out of colonialism, the overwhelming force of the older colonial powers prevented the Bandung Spirit from defining human history. Instead, the civilization of war prevailed. This civilization of war is revealed in the massive waste of human wealth in the production of armed forces—sufficient to destroy hundreds of planets—and the use of these armed forces as the first instinct to settle disputes. Since the 1950s, the battlefield of these ambitions has not been in Europe or in North America, but rather it has been in Africa, Asia, and Latin America—areas of the world where old colonial sensibilities believe that human life is less important. This international division of humanity—which says that a war in Yemen is normal, whereas a war in Ukraine is horrific—defines our time. There are 40 wars taking place across the globe; there needs to be political will to fight to end each of these, not just those that are taking place within Europe. The Ukrainian flag is ubiquitous in the West; what are the colors of the Yemeni flag, of the Sahrawi flag, and of the Somali flag?

Now is the Time for Nonalignment and Peace

I believe that the world would be better off without these powers of veto in the hands of a single nation.

All nations need to be held to the same standard and the elimination of this silly veto power would be a great step forward.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Minsk II

What started this most recent conflict?

The tensions between the two combatants go back to the early days of the post-Soviet era…..

Relations between Kyiv and Moscow often were marked by a chill even during the years immediately following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Similarly, Ukraine’s internal political, economic, and ideological tensions were evident early on. Indeed, openly secessionist sentiments in both Crimea and the Donbas surfaced in the 1990s. Populations in both regions chafed at being ruled by nationalist, anti-Russia elements based in western Ukraine. Instead, they sought greater respect for Russian as an official second language in Ukraine and wanted closer overall cultural and economic ties with Russia. The current armed conflict has deep and tangled roots, ones that bear elucidation.

UKRAINE’S SUDDEN independence in late 1991 left both Moscow and Kyiv unprepared to deal with each other. That sudden shift in the conditions governing their relations led to an often icy and contentious bilateral relationship during the 1990s. While the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States did prevent a total split between Kyiv and Moscow, Ukraine’s newfound independence occurred against the background of persistent attitudes among both Russian elites and ordinary citizens that Ukraine, like Belarus, is part of one “Greater Russia.” That perspective later became a very prominent and persistent theme in Putin’s speeches and policies, but it was visible much earlier. Even Russian president Boris Yeltsin asserted Russia’s right to raise border issues with the other states emerging from the carcass of the USSR—especially with those countries that had significant Russian minorities, such as Ukraine with its heavily Russified eastern regions. As such, disputes arose quickly between the two newly independent countries.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/russia-ukraine-tensions-flared-early-post-soviet-era-201919

There are many reasons but some are pointing to the Minsk II agreement as the start of this most recent thing.

The year is 2015 and Minsk II was an agreement that was reached between warring factions in Ukraine…..

But what is it?

It was an agreement reached by Ukraine, Russia France and Germany……points were signed….

13 points of agreement….

  • Immediate, comprehensive ceasefire.
  • Withdrawal of heavy weapons by both sides.
  • OSCE monitoring.
  • Dialogue on interim self-government for Donetsk and Luhansk, in accordance with Ukrainian law, and acknowledgement of special status by parliament.
  • Pardon, amnesty for fighters.
  • Exchange of hostages, prisoners.
  • Humanitarian assistance.
  • Resumption of socioeconomic ties, including pensions.
  • Ukraine to restore control of state border.
  • Withdrawal of foreign armed formations, military equipment, mercenaries.
  • Constitutional reform in Ukraine including decentralisation, with specific mention of Donetsk and Luhansk.
  • Elections in Donetsk and Luhansk.
  • Intensify Trilateral Contact Group’s work including representatives of Russia, Ukraine and OSCE.

For those interested in this agreement……

https://www.chathamhouse.org/2020/05/minsk-conundrum-western-policy-and-russias-war-eastern-ukraine-0/minsk-2-agreement

I think the media ought to analyze this agreement to see if there is something there that provoked this current conflict.

Why a civil war in Ukraine? Historically, Ukraine was cobbled together first by the Russian Empire, then the Soviet Union over 4 centuries, containing disparate peoples. The main ones were the Western leaning, Ukrainian speaking people in the north and west, and the Russian speaking in the east and south.

Their relationship was always toxic, but under Soviet rule relative peace prevailed. Once freed from Soviet rule in 1999, the tension between the two disparate groups resurfaced. Fifteen years on the U.S. essentially blew up whatever chance for peaceful resolution by aiding a coup which violently removed Russian leaning President Yanukovych, replacing him with an ultra nationalist government under Petro Poroshenko.

Thus began the civil war in the Donbas that has killed over 14,000 Ukrainians in Kiev’s effort to subjugate and marginalize the hated Russian leaning Ukrainians. And leading the carnage for the past 3 years is current president Volodymyr Zelensky. Calling him the new Churchill doesn’t quite fit.

Minsk II: Two Words You’ll Never Hear on Mainstream News

The agreement was open to interpretation and thusly open to violations…..

Under the agreements, Ukraine wants Russia and its proxy forces to withdraw and allow Ukraine to take back control of the border before the proposed local elections under international standards take place. Then, instead of granting the territories the special status that Russia has argued for, Kyiv would give the territories some extra powers but essentially incorporate them into its existing decentralisation programme.

Ukraine’s interpretation of the agreement envisions alterations to some of the prickliest political elements, but in doing so, it negates what Russia has shown it wants from Minsk – the ability to continue to control the territories and through them have a say in Ukraine’s national affairs on an ongoing basis.

If Ukraine fulfilled Russia’s interpretation of the agreements, it would give the occupied region special status. In Russia’s eyes, this would include its own police force, described as a ‘people’s militia’; the right to choose judges and prosecutors; support from Kyiv of the region’s transnational cooperation with Russia; amnesty for anyone involved in the fighting on the Russian side; and elections. All of this would happen before the Russian-controlled and Russian forces withdrew.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/russia-ukraine-what-are-the-minsk-agreements/

And 7 years later we have the dire situation that is tearing Ukraine at the seams.

For more information and opinion on the Minsk agreements….

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/what-are-minsk-agreements-ukraine-conflict-2022-02-21/

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Another Interventionist Speaks

AS the conflict in Ukraine continues there are those here in the US that are calling for US troops to intervene…..Congresspeople, pundits, and retired generals….and there is the latest war hawk calling for US troops…

Former NATO top commander Gen. Philip Breedlove is the latest big name to come out for putting troops on the ground in Ukraine. Breedlove, who has been angling for weeks for a more muscular policy against Russia, told The Times of London that it’s time for real action. And he may have the ear of the White House: the article says he’s named as one of “several high-ranking retired commanders advising the Biden administration on Ukraine.”

“So what could the West do? Well, right now there are no Russian troops west of the Dnieper River. So why don’t we put Nato troops into western Ukraine to carry out humanitarian missions and to set up a forward arms supply base?”

Of course it wouldn’t stop there. Most likely Russia will react aggressively, if not explosively, since setting up “a forward arms supply base” would be fully entering this war on the side of Ukraine. NATO would be a co-belligerent in every way, with its 40,000 troops now stationed on alliance’s eastern front considered future enemy combatants. At the end of April, the Pentagon mobilized some 14,000 troops, along with F-35 strike fighters and Apache helicopters to Poland, Hungary, and the Baltics. A total of 100,000 U.S. troops now spread across Europe would no doubt be on some level of alert if NATO entered the fray.

Former US-NATO commander wants to put troops on the ground in Ukraine

Seriously?

Old soldiers never go away…they hide behind national security to get the rest of us killed.

Why are troops always the answer for these people?

This ‘solution’ has seldom ended well for the US and its troops.  The attitude that “we are the US and we are here to help” has seldom worked out the way it was planned….but yet it is always the answer for these people.

When will we stop continuously looking for as military solution and start trying to find ways to solve conflict without the use of US troops?

Just wondering.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Moldovan Thing

All the pundits are trying to zero in on just Putin’s intentions will be after the Ukraine fighting winds down…..will Vlad the Invader have his eyes on another region for his exercise in masculinity…..

I purposed that a neighbor of Ukraine could be next….the nation of Moldova…

 
My friend over at American Liberal Times also had his thoughts down for what is next for Putin…..

 
Russia’s new push in the South of Ukraine where Russia could open up a corridor to the separatist region of Moldova….

A Russian deputy military commander said Moscow could seize Ukraine’s Black Sea coast to create a corridor to a breakaway region of Moldova.

On Friday, Rustam Minnekaev, acting commander of Russia’s Central Military District, said, “control over the south of Ukraine is another way to Transnistria, where there is also evidence that the Russian-speaking population is being oppressed.” He added, “One of the tasks of the Russian army is to establish full control over the Donbas and southern Ukraine.”

Nearly 500,000 people live in Transnistria, a narrow section of Moldova that borders Ukraine. While no countries recognize its sovereignty from Moldova, it has been self-ruled since 1992. Russia has about 1,500 peacekeepers in Transnistria.

The Moldovan said the comments conflict with Russia’s stated policy. “These statements are unfounded and contradict the position of the Russian Federation supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, within its internationally recognized borders,” the Moldovan foreign ministry told the Washington Post.

(antiwar.com)

This thing is far from over….just by the words of Russian generals……

A Russian commander made it clear Friday that Moscow isn’t planning to stop the war in Ukraine anytime soon. State media quoted Rustam Minnekayev, acting commander of Russia’s central military district, as saying Russia plans to take full control of southern Ukraine as well as the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, Reuters reports. Minnekayev reportedly said Russia plans to hold southern Ukraine as a land bridge between Donbas and Ukraine, and as “another way to Transdniestria, where there is also evidence that the Russian-speaking population is being oppressed.”

To protect the Russian speaking minority…..where have we heard this before in history?

Then rockets attack in the break-away region…..

Over the past few days, multiple attacks and explosions have been reported in the breakaway Transnistria region of Moldova that borders Ukraine. Transnistria has been a de facto independent state since 1992 and hosts about 1,500 Russian troops on a “peacekeeping” mission.

On Monday, several explosions that were said to be caused by rocket-propelled grenades reportedly hit Transnistria’s Ministry of State Security in the capital Tiraspol. On Tuesday, the territory’s Security Council said a “terrorist attack” hit a military unit near Tiraspol.

Vadim Krasnoselsky, the leader of Transnistria, said the attacks could be traced back to Ukraine. “The traces of these attacks lead to Ukraine,” Krasnoselsky said, according to Russia’s Tass news agency. “I assume that those who organized this attack have the purpose of dragging Transdniestria into the conflict.”

Both Russia and Moldovan President Maia Sandu expressed concern about the attacks. “This is an attempt to escalate tensions. We decisively condemn such acts,” Sandu said. She attributed the blasts to “internal differences between various groups in Transnistria that have an interest in destabilizing the situation.”

(antiwar.com)

This bold statement should have the M-IC drooling allover themselves….the profit possibility is staggering.

For those interested in more information on this region and its involvement…..

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/26/five-things-to-know-about-russian-backed-transnistria

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is The Tank Dead?

But now most Americans are rivaling in the images of twisted metal and burnt out hulks of Russian tanks destroyed on the streets of Ukrainian cities.

Those images beg the next question….are tanks all that effective or needed for that matter?

Now that the question has been asked……let’s move on to an answer (of sorts)…..

Is the value of the tank in modern warfare zilch? That’s the lesson many observers are taking from a flood of images depicting Russian tanks mired in the mud, their turrets blown off, having been ambushed and destroyed by Ukrainian forces armed with cheap anti-tank weapons. These images are often pointed to alongside feeds from Turkish-produced drones destroying tanks, seemingly with ease. After the recent Nagorno-Karabakh war, in which Russian-produced tanks were destroyed by the same model of drones, this is heady stuff for those ready to proclaim the death of the tank.

We already see comparisons of armor advocates to the battleship admirals before World War II, who refused to see the importance of carrier aviation, or Maj. Gen. John Herr, the last U.S. Army chief of cavalry, who continued to insist on the relevance of the horse on the battlefield even after the Nazi blitzkriegs against Poland and France.

Are the headlines coming from the Russo-Ukrainian War the final obituary for the tank as a viable instrument of war correct or — as with the Chicago Daily Tribune banner declaring Truman’s loss to Dewey in the 1948 presidential election — premature? Is the tank the horse cavalry of the 21st century? Or is it a useful supporting system, like the battleship in World War II? Or is it still, with adaptation, the weapon of choice for ground combat?

As with every other move in the never-ending wrestling match between offense and defense, unmanned systems and top-attack weapons pose heretofore unencountered challenges that must be met, or you will have to conduct a Monty Python reassessment of your military: And now for something completely different.

Before the rush to the funeral, however, the first question that must be addressed before one buries the tank is this: Is there a continued role for mobile, protected lethality on the battlefields of the future? If the answer is yes, or even maybe, then the next act in the ongoing drama of how to protect the tank is to enable it to do what only it can do. And, given the events of the day, this question must be addressed objectively and urgently.

The Tank Is Dead: Long Live the Javelin, the Switchblade, the … ?

Is it time to re-think the usefulness of a tank in modern warfare?

I say it should be given some major thought since the anti-tank weapons have been getting better and better….is the cost of a tank worth the advantages?

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”