AS the war between Ukraine and Russia enters into another month….the news is pretty much the same from day to day….but we report anyway…..
Looks like the US Congress has approved yet another waste of cash, $40 billion to be exact, and I ask to what end?
$40 billion Ukraine aid package galloping through Congress, Biden has finally found his bipartisan project and he’s willing to risk a recession, refueling the pandemic and nuclear war to get it…
Rand Paul has never thought clearly about economics, and the relation between his morality and his partisan politics is not the subject of this column. No one needs a reminder that Rand Paul is an Ayn Randian “libertarian.” That is deadbeat and misses the crucial point in this timeline of events. Entirely. The brute fact remains that Rand at least raised the question of public accounting of a vast war budget. When there was a bipartisan stampede to approve the recent 40 billion dollar Ukraine war budget, his dissent was crucial in delaying automatic approval.
The more pointed and timely question is why Bernie Sanders went AWOL, along with the entire Progressive Caucus in Congress. Whether any of them belong in any school of Marxism whatsoever is a side issue. What matters most is whether they pursue a practical policy of peace. Do they raise the ground floor of social democracy across public policies such as health care, housing, and education? Bipartisan war budgets that expand from year to year have the sure consequence of strip-mining public funds away from basic social goods and services.
Sorry I do not see where this waste will end this war.
But not to worry Biden wants to send even more cash and equipment to the war effort…..
The Pentagon announced Thursday that President Biden authorized another $100 million weapons package for Ukraine, bringing the total military aid shipped to the country since Russia invaded on February 24 to $3.9 billion.
The Pentagon said the latest weapons package includes 18 155MM Howitzers, 18 tactical vehicles to tow the Howitzers, AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radars, field equipment, and spare parts.
The Biden administration started sending Howitzers to Ukraine in April, marking a significant escalation in US military aid. The US also started training Ukrainian troops in Germany and elsewhere in Europe to use the Howitzers and other advanced equipment.
The $100 million authorized on Thursday came from a drawdown authority that allows President Biden to ship weapons from the Pentagon’s stockpile directly to Ukraine. The $100 million package exhausted the remaining drawdown funds left from the $13.6 billion in Ukraine aid that was part of a spending bill President Biden signed in March.
Some thoughts on this conflict as we enter into yet another month…..
I expect the war will go on for awhile until the generals and politicians get tired of it. An international antiwar movement with significant numbers could hasten that moment. One does not demand peace because there’s a war on. Indeed, that’s why one demands peace. The movement against the Vietnam war was organized and expanded while the war escalated, not before or afterwards.
Since the example of the USSR arming Vietnam is being used as a reason to support arming Kyiv by some on the left who support NATO arms shipments, I think it is useful to turn that comparison upside down, as it were. This argument understands that Ukraine’s history is much longer than South Vietnam’s was and that it does meet criterion for a nation (we’ll leave my distaste for nationalism out of the conversation). However, it rejects this element of the left’s argument that the war is a Ukrainian anti-colonial struggle.
I would argue that modern Ukraine’s situation is closer to that of what Washington named South Vietnam than Vietnam in general That country was nominally independent, but fiercely determined to stay in the sphere dominated by Washington. In fact, its very life depended on Washington’s largess. Modern Ukraine has a different genesis, having been established in the wake of the disintegration of the USSR. Since then, its government has switched back and forth between favoring the Russian economic sphere and that of the US-dominated west. Since the US-assisted overthrow of the elected government in 2014, the government in Kyiv has given itself to the latter. It is firmly in Washington’s grip, even making its desire to be part of NATO an article in its most recent constitution. Of course, this came with a price. While it seems unlikely that Zelenskyy and his government knew that the price would include the destruction of many of its cities and the deaths of thousands of Ukrainians, there were certainly those Ukrainians who understood this possibility.
So Putin’s war to keep NATO from expanding to its border has resulted in a nation (Finland) on Russia’s border, a stone’s throw from Putin’s hometown, applying to join NATO. NATO, which had pretty much been left for dead in Europe after the Yugoslavian wars, suddenly has been resurrected, flush with weapons, money and a re-branded raison d’être. Putin now has the permanent threat on Russia’s border that he can use to justify a tightened grip on power and a build-up of weapons Russia can’t afford. The Ukraine war benefits all the players, except of course average Ukrainians and the ethnic national conscripts in the Russian Army who have been pushed forward as Javelin missile fodder on the frontlines of the fighting.
Putin is just repeating history with Ukraine…..
Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly invoked World War II when justifying the invasion he launched of neighboring Ukraine 10 weeks ago. For the Russian public, the Soviet victory over Germany in 1945 remains a source of immense pride. Putin’s allusions to that event have helped him bolster public support for his latest war. He has claimed, for example, that Ukraine is ruled by Nazis and that soldiers of the Russian army are seeking to “de-Nazify” Ukraine and defend the Russian homeland against nefarious external forces.
Putin’s assertions about Nazis in Kyiv are baseless, but there are striking analogies between the way the USSR’s Red Army operated during World War II and the way the Russian army is operating currently against Ukraine. These analogies, far from reflecting favorably on either the Red Army or today’s Russian army, underscore the deeply immoral nature of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
I do not know if a agree with the ‘nazi’ thing….after all Zelensky incorporated the fascist Azov Battalion into the Ukrainian militia …so there is a grain of truth in the accusation from Putin.
The press and the admin spend an inordinate amount of time in demagoguery of Putin….which in my opinion is a waste of energy….why? It is an excuse for actions that smell a lot like propaganda (to me)…..
Using Wimbledon as an example….
Chris Bryant, the British MP who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia, appears to be either a fool or knave. He confuses banning Russian tennis players from Wimbledon with defeating Moscow in war. And demagogues anyone who questions punishing people who have done nothing other than be born in Russia.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine was unjustified and has had hideous consequences. But it isn’t the only terrible tragedy that occurred in the world. Indeed, the morality asserted by Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association, which is banning Russian and Belarusian citizens from its tournaments, most importantly Wimbledon, is highly selective.
Demagoguery Won’t Stop Moscow’s Aggression: West Should Stop Sacrificing Principles in Ukraine’s Name
Finally a thought on the ‘popular’ meme of the nukes…..
Despite this, an intellectual fad of the Cold War era was to “think about the unthinkable,” to “war game” or plan for various nuclear “exchanges” resulting in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people, even to imagine that there could be a “winner” of such a war. Remarkably, in the context of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, that fad is returning today as pundits write articles that suggest the US needs to show the Russians it is willing and able to fight and win a nuclear war, as an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal argued on April 27th of this year.
Such suggestions are madness.
Just a few thoughts on this Friday…..
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”