No Path To Victory

Ever since the conflict between Ukraine and Russia the belief is that if we pour enough money and weapons into Ukraine they will eventually defeat the invader…..I believe that is just wishful thinking and PR for the M-IC.

The Tide of Battle – and Mounting Casualties – Turning Against Ukraine – Since it became evident a few weeks into Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine that Moscow’s troops were stopped cold outside of Kyiv, there has been a near-universal belief in the West that Ukraine would eventually win. All that was needed, many pundits claimed, was to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces sufficient numbers of weapons and ammunition. As the war now grinds towards the four-month mark, it is becoming painfully evident that the odds are stacked in Russia’s favor.

Militarily speaking, there is no rational path through which Ukraine will ever win its war. Without a course correction – and soon – Kyiv itself may not ultimately be safe.

After Russian armor suffered a “stunning defeat” by Ukrainian defenders north of Kyiv and Kharkiv during the first few weeks of war, many pundits were writing off the Russian army as “incompetent” and suggested they were incapable of defeating the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF), whose great bravery and skills were widely hailed.

In late April, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited Kyiv and told Zelensky that the West could provide his troops with “the right equipment” and the “right support” because Austin wanted to help Ukraine win and see “Russia weakened.” In addition to direct battlefield aid, the West concurrently wielded economic tools intended to deprive Putin of the capacity to continue waging war.

There Is No Military Path for Ukraine To ‘Defeat’ Russia

Even our President, Biden, has told his posse to stop chest thumping…..

President Biden was not happy with the rhetoric from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken following their visit to Kyiv in April, NBC News reported Thursday, citing unnamed administration officials.

“Biden was not happy when Blinken and Austin talked about winning in Ukraine,” one administration official said. “He was not happy with the rhetoric.” The report said that despite Biden being “upset” about the rhetoric, he didn’t reprimand Austin and Blinken once they provided him with the context of the comments. One official said that what Austin said in Poland remains US policy.

Biden doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to criticizing fiery rhetoric as he declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power” back in March. The White House walked back his remarks, insisting that the US policy in Russia is not regime change, but the damage was already done.

The NBC report said that some administration officials want Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to tone down his rhetoric about how his goal is to drive Russia out of all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea. The US isn’t pressing Ukraine to negotiate with Russia to end the war and is prepared to support Kyiv for years to come, but appears to want Zelensky to set more realistic goals.

We are planning for a long war. We intend to prepare the American people for that, and we are prepared to ask Congress for more money,” one official said. The US has already authorized $54 billion for Ukraine aid, the majority of which is direct military assistance and money for the Pentagon.

(antiwar.com)

There is your reason….DC wants a long war so the money keeps flying into the defense industries bank accounts.

Think not?

In the war that no one asked for or was asked about, the Biden Administration is putting together the biggest weapons package yet for Ukraine, this one worth at least a billion dollars. The blank check is now on an automated recurring payment plan…

According to the Wall Street Journal, the US is sending around $130 million a day in military aid to Ukraine plus economic and other assistance. That’s more than what the US spent at the height of its Afghanistan war.

Pathetic BS….it is what Washington does best.

Then there is the media….now it seems that the media is preparing the US audience for the collapse of Ukraine….

When the Lies Come Home

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Americans To Provide Russian Propaganda

If this report is true then those trigger happy Americans that had to dash off to Ukraine to the new partisans will provide Russia/Putin a wealth of new propaganda for the folks back home.

Two US military veterans from Alabama are thought to be the first Americans captured by Russia while fighting for Ukraine. Alexander Drueke, 39, from Tuscaloosa, formerly of the US Army, and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, from Hartselle, formerly of the Marine Corps, volunteered to assist in the war effort but are now missing and feared to have been taken prisoner, according to family members, who are in contact with US congressional offices and the US Embassy in Ukraine, per the Guardian and Washington Post. “If it’s true, we’ll do everything we can to get them safely back home,” says John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications.

Family members tell CNN that the men haven’t been heard from since June 8, when they said they would be spending a few days on a mission. Another fighter, who provided CNN with photos of the men’s passports and entry stamps into Ukraine, said both vanished during a battle near the town of Izbytske, northeast of Kharkiv, on June 9, while under the command of Ukraine’s 92nd mechanized brigade. He described the battle as “absolute chaos,” with “about a hundred plus infantry advancing on our positions. We had a T72 firing on people from 30, 40 meters away.” The man said searches failed to turn up any sign of the men but a Russian propaganda channel on Telegram later claimed “two American mercenaries” had been captured, per the Telegraph.

Drueke’s mother, Lois “Bunny” Drueke, said her son told her he would be training Ukrainians on how to use US-made weapons, per the Post. He said “if [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is not stopped there he is not going to be satisfied, he will become emboldened and eventually Americans will be threatened,” she told CNN’s AC360 on Wednesday, appearing with Huynh’s fiancee, Joy Black. Huynh “really had this gnawing at his heart and this big burden on him to go and serve the people however he can,” Black said. “I’m still very proud of him. I just want to see him back safely.” (Russia has sentenced three foreign nationals to die for fighting on behalf of Ukraine, in what UK officials say is a violation of the Geneva Conventions.)

Like I said…..if true Putin just got boost to his war propaganda machine.

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Bad News For Ukraine

I appears that the war in Ukraine is not going well these days……and our country seems to care less…..keep in mind that Ukraine is getting about $100 million a day from the US….we should care and care a lot.

As I stated the news is mostly bad…..

Ukraine is reporting that Russia is using WMDs……

Ukrainian and British officials warned Saturday that Russian forces are relying on weapons able to cause mass casualties as they try to make headway in capturing eastern Ukraine and fierce, prolonged fighting depletes resources on both sides. Russian bombers have likely been launching heavy 1960s-era anti-ship missiles in Ukraine, the UK Defense Ministry said, per the AP. The Kh-22 missiles were primarily designed to destroy aircraft carriers using a nuclear warhead. When used in ground attacks with conventional warheads, they “are highly inaccurate and therefore can cause severe collateral damage and casualties,” the ministry said.

Both sides have expended large amounts of weaponry in what has become a grinding war of attrition for the eastern region of coal mines and factories known as the Donbas, placing huge strains on their resources and stockpiles. Russia is likely using the 6.1-ton anti-ship missiles because it’s running short of more precise modern missiles, the British ministry said. It gave no details of where exactly such missiles are thought to have been deployed.

Ukraine is steadily losing territory….not looking good at all….

Russian forces trying to encircle Sievierodonetsk could be just days from cutting the city off, Ukrainian officials said Sunday. The government has reinforced troops trying to hold onto the last major urban center in the Luhansk region it still controls, the New York Times reports. Capturing the industrial city is a major goal of Russia’s military. “The situation in Sievierodonetsk is extremely difficult,” Serhiy Haidai, the regional governor, said on Telegram, adding, “The next two or three days will be significant.” A senior US defense agreed that Russia is likely to have all of Luhansk soon, per the Washington Post.

The fight in Severodonetsk: A chemical plant where hundreds of troops and civilians are sheltering is being bombarded by Russian forces, per the Post. Haidai said the shelling caused a huge fire, per the BBC. They knocked out a second bridge to the city and are shelling another one to cut off the inflow of supplies and people, the governor said. The mayor said Ukrainian troops control just one-third of Sievierodonetsk.
The twin city: Like Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk’s ability to hang on depends on getting supplies, including ammunition and equipment to replace what’s destroyed in the fighting, into the city. Thousands of troops already are there, per the Times. “If the help will come, it won’t be occupied,” said a military police officer in Lysychansk. “If there is no help with military equipment, of course they will drive us out.”
Missile strike in the west: Four Russian missiles fired from the Black Sea struck Chortkiv, injuring 22 people, local officials said. One hit a pipeline, prompting the shutoff of the city’s gas supply. The Russian Defense Ministry said its strike destroyed a warehouse in which Ukraine was keeping antitank and antimissile systems from the US and UK. Ukrainian officials did not comment on the Russian claim.
President’s assessment: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed pride in his nightly video talk over the way his country’s forces have fought in the east. “Remember how in Russia, in the beginning of May, they hoped to seize all of the Donbas?” Zelensky said late Saturday, per the AP. “It’s already the 108th day of the war, already June. Donbas is holding on.” He said Russia has had three times the number of military casualties that Ukraine has, saying: “For what? What did it get you, Russia?”

Ukraine is losing troops at an alarming rate…..

Mykhaylo Podolyak, a senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Thursday that Ukraine is losing between 100 and 200 troops in the fighting against Russia each day.

The estimate is higher than the one offered by Zelensky last week, who said Ukraine was losing between 60 and 100 troops each day. Until last week, Kyiv had not been offering casualty rates, but now it seems Ukrainian officials are sharing their battlefield losses to get more arms from the West.

“The Russian forces have thrown pretty much everything non-nuclear at the front and that includes heavy artillery, multiple rocket launch systems and aviation,” Podolyak told BBC.

Podolyak said that Ukraine needs more of the rocket systems the US and Britain are starting to send, which can hit targets up to 50 miles away, more than twice the range of the M777 Howitzers the US has been providing Kyiv.

(antiwar.com)

They will always need more and more….and the American taxpayer will be on the hook….I say screw Ukraine that cash is needed here and badly.

This report illustrates why the news is the PR from Ukraine…..

As the war in Ukraine drags on, Ukrainian officials fear that Kyiv might lose some Western support due to “war fatigue,” The Associated Press reported on Friday.

The US and its allies have committed billions of dollars in weapons, but some Western European leaders have been calling for a negotiated solution to end the fighting, an idea Ukrainian officials have rejected.

“The fatigue is growing, people want some kind of outcome [that is beneficial] for themselves, and we want [another] outcome for ourselves,” Zelensky said.

The current situation on the battlefield is not looking good for Ukraine. An advisor to Zelensky said Thursday that they are losing between 100 and 200 troops each day as Russia continues to make slow but steady gains in the east.

Zelensky has made clear that his goal is to drive Russia out of the territory it has captured since February 24, which would require a massive military offensive.

While there is some sentiment among European leaders for Ukraine to make concessions to Russia to achieve peace, top US and NATO officials are encouraging Ukraine to keep fighting.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said last week that Ukraine shouldn’t drop the goal of driving Russia out of all of its territory, including Crimea, which Russia has controlled since 2014. Stoltenberg also said last week that the Western military alliance should be prepared to support Ukraine for the “long haul.”

(antiwar.com)

Is any of this true?

Or is this just another ploy to gain more funds and equipment from the US?

All this is now smelling of deception to me.

But not to worry…..Ukraine will continue to rake in cash……

The head of the Ukrainian parliament’s financial committee said Tuesday that Ukraine needs $5 billion in external financial assistance or it will be facing sharp budget cuts.

“We have to borrow $5 billion monthly. If we do not get it, we will have to cut spending,” Danylo Hetmantsev said, according to Reuters.

Hetmantsev said the Ukrainian government’s revenues cover less than half of its expenses due to the war. He said the government spent about 250 billion hryvnias ($8.46 billion) in May to finance the military and help people displaced by the fighting but only collected 101 billion hryvnias ($3.42 billion) in taxes.

The US and the EU have provided Ukraine with financial assistance through direct aid and loans, but it is far below the $5 billion each month that Hetmantsev said Kyiv needs. According to Ukraine’s Finance Ministry, the country received $5.12 billion in financial assistance from foreign countries between January and May.

So far, the US has authorized $54 billion in spending for Ukraine that is meant to last through the 2022 fiscal year, which ends on September 30 for the federal government. The majority will go towards military spending, but the $40 billion bill recently signed into law by President Biden includes $8.8 billion in economic support for Ukraine and other countries impacted by the war.

(antiwar.com)

So US needs to save the Ukrainians from budget cuts but not to help the US budget…..and sadly Ukraine is more important than the people in this country.

If you do not find this pathetic then you are a moron.

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Ukrainian War Update

Since the mass shootings recently have taken the Ukraine/Russia mash-up from the headlines….but while we are focused on a renewed gun debate the war goes on….and on……

I too have been remiss on my reporting on this conflict…so I will begin with a NATO prediction….

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the military alliance must be prepared to support Ukraine for the “long haul.”

“We just have to be prepared for the long haul,” Stoltenberg said. “Because what we see is that this war has now become a war of attrition.”

Over three months into the war, the military situation is not looking good for Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday that Russia and the Donbas separatists control about 20% of Ukraine’s territory, including the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow took in 2014.

(antiwar.com)

How goes the war for Ukraine and its struggle……

As soon as they’d finished burying a veteran colonel killed by Russian shelling, the cemetery workers readied the next hole. Inevitably, given how quickly death is felling Ukrainian troops on the front lines, the empty grave won’t stay that way for long. Col. Oleksandr Makhachek left behind a widow, Elena, and their daughters, Olena and Myroslava-Oleksandra. In the first 100 days of war, his grave was the 40th dug in the military cemetery in Zhytomyr, 90 miles west of the capital, Kyiv. He was killed May 30 in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine where the fighting is raging. Other graves also showed soldiers killed within days of each other—on May 27, May 10, May 9, May 7, and May 5, per the AP. And this is just one cemetery, in just one of Ukraine’s cities, towns, and villages laying soldiers to rest.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this week that Ukraine is now losing 60 to 100 soldiers each day in combat. By way of comparison, just short of 50 American soldiers died per day on average in 1968 during the Vietnam War’s deadliest year for US forces. “This is one of the critical moments in the war, but it is not the peak,” says Gen. Viktor Muzhenko, the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ chief of general staff until 2019. “This is the most significant conflict in Europe since World War II. That explains why the losses are so great. In order to reduce losses, Ukraine now needs powerful weapons that match or even surpass Russian weaponry.” Concentrations of Russian artillery are causing many of the casualties in the eastern regions that Moscow has focused on since its initial invasion launched Feb. 24 failed to take Kyiv.

Ukraine had about 250,000 men and women in uniform before the war and was in the process of adding another 100,000. The government hasn’t said how many have died in more than 14 weeks of fighting. Nobody really knows the number of Ukrainian civilians who have been killed or how many combatants have died on either side. Western analysts estimate far higher Russian military casualties, in the many thousands. Still, as Ukraine’s losses mount, the grim mathematics of war require that it find replacements. With a population of 43 million, it has manpower. Muzhenko says Zelensky’s admission of high casualties would further galvanize Ukrainian morale and that more Western weaponry would help turn the tide. “The more Ukrainians know about what is happening at the front, the more the will to resist will grow,” he notes.

How much longer can Ukraine hold out?

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said this week that Ukraine is now losing 60 to 100 soldiers each day in combat. By way of comparison, just short of 50 American soldiers died per day on average in 1968 during the Vietnam War’s deadliest year for U.S. forces.

Among the comrades-in-arms who paid respects to the 49-year-old Makhachek at his funeral on Friday was Gen. Viktor Muzhenko, the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ chief of general staff until 2019. He warned that losses could worsen.

“This is one of the critical moments in the war, but it is not the peak,” Muzhenko told The Associated Press. “This is the most significant conflict in Europe since World War II. That explains why the losses are so great. In order to reduce losses, Ukraine now needs powerful weapons that match or even surpass Russian weaponry. This would enable Ukraine to respond in kind.”

Concentrations of Russian artillery are causing many of the casualties in the eastern regions that Moscow has focused on since its initial invasion launched Feb. 24 failed to take Kyiv.

Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the former commanding general of U.S. Army forces in Europe, described the Russian strategy as a “medieval attrition approach” and said that until Ukraine gets promised deliveries of U.S., British and other weapons to destroy and disrupt Russian batteries, “these kinds of casualties are going to continue.”

https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-kyiv-government-and-politics-e076f509008b021a8e687d525e34c948

Not to worry the US is here to see that it continues  and we will throw money, good after bad, at Ukraine (that is taxpayer funds needed here for our growing problems)…..

Since the outbreak of the war, the U.S. has been showering Ukraine with more than $4 billion in pledged security support within the first month of the conflict alone. Most recently, Congress passed and President Biden signed a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine much of which goes toward military assistance through September: that’s more than $100 million per day.

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/05/24/u-s-increases-aid-to-over-100-million-per-day-for-ukraine-war-a-critique-of-the-wests-militarized-approach/

Just look at the problems that Ukraine is making worse….

The United States, as the near-unanimous vote to provide nearly $40 billion in aid to Ukraine illustrates, is trapped in the death spiral of unchecked militarism. No high speed trains. No universal health care. No viable COVID relief program. No respite from 8.3% inflation. No infrastructure programs to repair decaying roads and bridges, which require $41.8 billion to fix the 43,586 structurally deficient bridges, on average 68 years old. No forgiveness of $1.7 trillion in student debt. No addressing income inequality. No program to feed the 17 million children who go to bed each night hungry. No rational gun control or curbing of the epidemic of nihilistic violence and mass shootings. No help for the 100,000 Americans who die each year of drug overdoses. No minimum wage of $15 an hour to counter 44 years of wage stagnation. No respite from gas prices that are projected to hit $6 a gallon.

The permanent war economy, implanted since the end of World War II, has destroyed the private economy, bankrupted the nation, and squandered trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. The monopolization of capital by the military has driven the US debt to $30 trillion, $6 trillion more than the US GDP of $24 trillion. Servicing this debt costs $300 billion a year. We spent more on the military, $813 billion for fiscal year 2023, than the next nine countries, including China and Russia, combined.

We are paying a heavy social, political and economic cost for our militarism. Washington watches passively as the U.S. rots, morally, politically, economically and physically, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India and other countries extract themselves from the tyranny of the U.S. dollar and the international Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a messaging network banks and other financial institutions use to send and receive information, such as money transfer instructions. Once the U.S. dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency, once there is an alternative to SWIFT, it will precipitate an internal economic collapse. It will force the immediate contraction of the U.S. empire shuttering most of its nearly 800 overseas military installations. It will signal the death of Pax Americana.

At what point do the American people stop following morons and sycophants and make Congress understand that their bribes will do no good……it must be all about this nation and let the rest go straight to Hell (as for as I am concerned)…..

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Does Biden Want A War With Russia?

Of course he says no….but actions are telling different story……but here is what he had to say in an op-ed…..

President Biden wrote an op-ed for The New York Times where he sought to clarify his policy on Ukraine. In the piece, the president said that he is not seeking a war between Russia and NATO or regime change in Moscow.

“We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia. As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin, and find his actions an outrage, the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow,” Biden wrote.

“So long as the United States or our allies are not attacked, we will not be directly engaged in this conflict, either by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine or by attacking Russian forces,” he added.

While Biden insists he doesn’t want war with Russia, he also said that he has decided to give Ukraine “more advanced rocket systems and munitions,” likely a reference to the Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) Ukraine has been requesting for months. The MLRS is capable of firing rockets up to 190 miles, but the White House has said the US won’t send long-range rockets capable of striking Russian territory.

(antiwar.com)

“We will not send long-range weaponry….”

Then this story broke…..

The US will supply Ukraine with advanced rocket systems to “help it strike enemy forces more precisely from a longer distance,” per the BBC. Ukrainian officials have been begging for longer-range weapons to counter Russian firepower, which has pummeled cities and Ukrainian military positions in the Donbas region for weeks. In a New York Times essay published Tuesday, President Biden said the weaponry will help Ukraine defend itself and strengthen its hand at the negotiating table. Biden also sent assurances to the Russians, writing, “We are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders. We do not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia.”

The announcement comes as critics have piled on in recent weeks, accusing the Biden administration and NATO of “mollycoddling” Russia. Per the BBC, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday accused the US of “directly and intentionally adding fuel to the fire.” The Washington Post reports that shortly after Biden’s essay was published, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced exercises involving Moscow’s strategic missile forces responsible for “nuclear deterrence of possible aggression.” According to Russian military doctrine, the use of nuclear force is justified “if the Russian state faces an existential threat from conventional weapons.”

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) that the US will send can deliver satellite-guided munitions nearly 45 miles, outmatching comparable Russian systems. It’s also much easier to reload and more mobile than its Russian counterparts. Per the Times, the US declined to send its most advanced systems, which have a range up to 200 miles, and agreed to send the HIMARS based on Ukrainian promises that the weapons won’t be used to strike Russian territory. President Zelensky reiterated the point in an interview on Newsmax, saying, “We’re not interested in what is happening in Russia. We’re only interested in our own territory.” In related news, Germany announced Wednesday that it will send Ukraine its most advanced air-defense system, the IRIS-T, which “could be deployed to protect whole cities.”

So with that lie exposed the next question should be…how long before Ukraine strikes into Russian territory as retaliation?

Does this endanger NATO?

NATO is splitting over Ukraine…..

European officials told The Wall Street Journal Tuesday that divisions between NATO members on how much support to provide Ukraine have been growing in recent weeks.

On one side, Western European nations led by France and Germany are reluctant to send Ukraine heavy weapons, have maintained dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and are calling for a negotiated solution to end the war.

On the more hawkish side are the US, Britain, and nations in northern and central Europe, including the Baltic states, Poland, and the Czech Republic. These nations want to put more advanced weaponry in Ukraine’s hands and are against talks with Russia, and some have discouraged Kyiv from negotiating a peace deal with Moscow.

The more hawkish view was expressed by Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins in an interview on Monday. Karins told Politico that “Russia must lose” and warned some of his fellow EU members were wrong to push for a “peace at any cost.”

“The main goal of ours has to be that Russia loses — and the other side of the coin is that Ukraine wins the war. Anything short of that means we have a very bad security situation in Europe,” Karins said.

While there are fractures in NATO, the US is still poised to support Ukraine against Russia in the long term as President Biden recently signed a $40 billion aid package for the Ukrainians. The EU also continues to take steps to cut off Russian energy even as Europeans are feeling the economic pain. On Monday, the EU agreed to a Russian oil ban with some exemptions for pipeline deliveries.

(antiwar.com)

How will this situation end?

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How Goes Ukraine?

The latest shooting in Texas has pretty much thrown war in Ukraine to the back pages of the paper.

Are the refugees cheerful and warm in their beds? Is the Ukrainian military winning the war? Is Russia scrambling to retain territory?  How goes the war?

Let me give the reports that are lacking in the MSM (granted I do not watch all channels at all times so you may have heard some of this before)….

The reports are the Russia is controlling most of Eastern Ukraine….

Russia continues to make territorial gains in eastern Ukraine and now controls 95% of Ukraine’s Luhansk oblast, which makes up the northern half of the Donbas region.

The pro-Kyiv governor of Luhansk said Friday that Ukrainian forces might be forced to retreat from the near-surrounded cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, the last hold-outs in the region.

“We will have enough strength and resources to defend ourselves. However, it is possible that in order not to be surrounded we will have to retreat,” said Governor Serhiy Gaidai.

As the war grinds on in the east, Ukrainian officials are starting to admit that their military is facing a dire situation and are pleading for the US and its allies to send more advanced weapons.

Ukrainian volunteer soldiers told The Washington Post that they felt abandoned by the government in Kyiv as they were fighting in the east. In a video posted on Telegram, Ukrainian volunteers said they weren’t properly trained and didn’t have sufficient equipment or support to fight on the front lines.

(antiwar.com)

A behind the action report…..

In a new article titled “Ukrainian volunteer fighters in the east feel abandoned,” WaPo reports that contrary to the triumphant narratives the western world is being spoon fed, many troops in eastern Ukraine have been surviving on one potato per day and deserting their posts because they feel their leaders have turned their backs on them and they’re being sent to certain death.

“Stuck in their trenches, the Ukrainian volunteers lived off a potato per day as Russian forces pounded them with artillery and Grad rockets on a key eastern front line. Outnumbered, untrained and clutching only light weapons, the men prayed for the barrage to end,” The Washington Post reports, citing multiple named sources.

“Ukrainian leaders have projected and nurtured a public image of military invulnerability — of their volunteer and professional forces triumphantly standing up to the Russian onslaught,” the article reads. “But the experience of Lapko and his group of volunteers offers a rare and more realistic portrait of the conflict and Ukraine’s struggle to halt the Russian advance in parts of Donbas. Ukraine, like Russia, has provided scant information about deaths, injuries or losses of military equipment. But after three months of war, this company of 120 men is down to 54 because of deaths, injuries and desertions.”

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/05/27/msm-offers-rare-glimpse-into-how-bad-things-are-really-going-for-ukrainian-forces/

There have been many reports at the ineffectiveness of the Russia military…..they may be accurate to a point…..

With his forces sustaining heavy losses in the fighting in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken the age limit off military service. Russians and foreigners older than 40 will be allowed to sign up as contract service members, CNN reports. Tass, the state news agency, said that the Duma approved the measure Wednesday and that Putin signed it into law. The age range for enlistees until now has been 18 to 40 for citizens and 18 to 30 for foreigners. Russia said the change is intended to add technical specialists, per the BBC.

A filing with the legislation said that specialists are needed to operate high-precision weapons and other military equipment and that they’ve acquired the needed experience by age 40 to 45. The recruits could include medics, engineers, and communications experts. Analysts estimate the number of Russia’s professional contract soldiers at more than 400,000, in an active military of 900,000. Russia also drafts troops. The government first said conscripts would not be sent into combat in Ukraine but later conceded that some have been. Conscripts are among the POWs held by Ukraine.

US recruits for the armed services have to be at least 17. The Army’s upper age limit is 35, the Marines 28, and the Navy and Air Force 39. The British Army takes recruits 16 through 36, per the BBC. The range for officers is 18 to 29, though older specialists are accepted. Israel requires military service for everyone starting at age 18—32 months for men and 24 months for women. Russia also has a service requirement of one year for men 18 to 27, though many of them receive student or medical exceptions.

A good indication that things are not going well with the invasion of Ukraine.

The American Conservative asked an important question….”Do we really know who is winning in Ukraine?”

Who is winning the Russo-Ukraine war?

Ukraine is defeating Russia. With a little more Western assistance, Ukraine will defeat Russia. With increased and sustained aid, Ukraine will defeat Russia. Ukraine and Russia are locked in a potentially lengthy stalemate. Ukraine is giving way as Russia slowly achieves its objectives in the east. Ukraine is losing and Russia will eventually conquer the entire country.

The answer depends on who you listen to.

Yet the answer matters. Western preferences—for Kiev to defeat, even humiliate Moscow—might be coloring assessments of the state of the war and warping expectations for the future.

Russia’s attack was unjustified and criminal, causing needless death and destruction in Ukraine, and sacrificing Russian lives for no good reason. The U.S. and Europeans share the blame, having spent decades ignoring and dismissing security complaints from Moscow, a decision that turned out to be foolish, even reckless. However, that does not excuse Putin’s murderous aggression. Nor are Ukrainians his only victims; Vladimir Putin’s decision has sent shockwaves across nations and continents.

Do We Really Know Who Is Winning in Ukraine?

For me winners in this war are the arms industry…the Congress keeps shoving cash at them and also wants to up the budget so they can get even more taxpayer money.

A group of US arms makers and aerospace firms is urging Congress for a 2023 military budget that exceeds inflation by 3-5% and to pass the bill before September 30.

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), a trade group for defense firms whose members include Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics, sent a letter to the leaders of the appropriations and armed services committees.

In the letter, the AIA called for Congress to pass to authorize the spending before the start of the next fiscal year, which begins on October 1 for the federal government. The group said this was necessary to signal “resolve in the face of Russian and Chinese aggression.”

President Biden has asked Congress for $813 billion for military spending for the 2023 fiscal year, which represents about a 4% increase from 2022 without taking inflation into account. Inflation is currently over 8%, so the increase the arms makers are looking for would be a massive one.

“Three to five percent growth above the inflation rate is the level of investment required to support America’s global force, maintain our competitive edge over adversaries, and catch up technologically in areas where we are falling behind,” Eric Fanning, the president and CEO of the AIA, said in the letter.

After Biden asked for the $813 billion, hawks in Congress almost immediately began demanding more. Earlier this month, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said that the Biden administration was willing to work with Congress to increase the already massive budget.

“Where inflation will be in September, let alone this time next year, we don’t know, but we want to work with Congress on the ‘23 budget to make sure we have the purchasing power for this program,” Hicks said.

(antiwar.com)

So you tell me who is winning.

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It’s About National Security

Ever since the dastardly attacks of 9/11 the warmongers have used national security to justify the pissing away of much needed funds to arm the world and in turn help foment small wars around the globe.

Ukraine is no different….there are those that claim wasted cash on Ukraine is in our national security…..

As the costs of supporting Ukraine’s war effort soar well beyond $50 billion, high-level officials are seeking to sell Americans on even more military spending, with senators, generals and the Ukrainian president himself each insisting aid to Kiev is vital to American interests, amid rampant inflation, mounting shortages and monumental public debt in the US. 

In a statement justifying a recent vote to send another $40 billion in assistance to Ukraine, Republican Senator Ted Cruz argued the move was essential not only for the security of the US, but to ward off a Chinese attack on Taiwan as well. 

“If Putin wins in Ukraine, it will confirm for Xi that he can confidently invade Taiwan,” he said, referring to the Russian and Chinese heads of state. 

“The reason we should support our Ukrainian allies is because it protects American national security, it keeps America safer, and it prevents our enemies from getting stronger, from threatening the safety and security of Americans, and from driving up the cost, the economic damage, to Americans,” Cruz added.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/news-roundup/sen-cruz-gen-milley-zelensky-say-ukraine-is-vital-to-national-security/

What total bullshit!

Do you really think either China or Russia has desires to invade and conquer the US?

This is just those in the pockets of the defense industry to keep the money flowing and the profits build-up….NOTHING more.

Does anyone with half of a functioning brain really think that Russia or China wants total war with the US?

Total war?

Total war is mainly characterized by the lack of distinction between fighting lawful combatants and civilians. The purpose is to destroy the other contender’s resources so that they are unable to continue to wage war. This might include targeting major infrastructure and blocking access to water, internet, or imports (often through blockades). Additionally, in total war, there is no limit on the type of weapons used and biological, chemical, nuclear, and other weapons of mass destruction may be unleashed.

Does anyone think that either adversaries are prepared for total war?

I do not!

Cruz and the ‘hawks’ are just ilk trying to do the bidding of those people that own them lock stock and barrel.

Feel free to jump into this debate at anytime.

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“Time To Negotiate”

After months of chest thumping on the war in Ukraine the press has seen the conflict winding down and now they change their tune to call for negotiations to begin…..

NY Times has issued their thoughts…..

A week ago we noted that a May 11 New York Times news article, documented that all was not going well for the US in Ukraine and that a companion opinion piece hinted that a shift in direction might be in order.

Now on May 19, “THE EDITORIAL BOARD,” the full Magisterium of the Times, has moved from hints to a clarion call for a change in direction in an editorial uninformatively titled, “The War Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready.” From atop the Opinion page the Editorial board has declared that “total victory” over Russia is not possible and that Ukraine will have to negotiate a peace in a way that reflects a “realistic assessment” and the “limits” of US commitment. The Times serves as one the main shapers of public opinion for the Elite and so its pronouncements are not to be overlooked lightly.

Ukrainians will have to adjust to US “limits” and make sacrifices for newfound US realism

The Times May editorial dictum contain the following key passages:

In March, this board argued that the message from the United States and its allies to Ukrainians and Russians alike must be: No matter how long it takes, Ukraine will be free. …”

“That goal cannot shift, but in the end, it is still not in America’s best interest to plunge into an all-out war with Russia, even if a negotiated peace may require Ukraine to make some hard decisions (emphasis, jw).”

To ensure that there is no ambiguity, the editorial declares that:

“A decisive military victory for Ukraine over Russia, in which Ukraine regains all the territory Russia has seized since 2014, is not a realistic goal. … Russia remains too strong…”

To make cerain that President Biden and the Ukrainians understand what they should do, the EDITORIAL BOARD goes on to say:

New York Times Repudiates Drive for ‘Decisive Military Victory’ in Ukraine, Calls for Peace Negotiations

Writers like myself have been calling for this for months now and we were ignored….maybe now with ahe early war cheer leaders will fall into line. major news source tiring of the reports on the war will find more receptive audience.

But I ask ‘why now’?  I mean why after half of country has been destroyed is it important now?

I am waiting to see how many of the early war mongers will fall into line with the prospect of talks.

But MSM should not worry…they always have Taiwan.

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Ukraine And Antiwar

For those new visitors and those that are not sure of my stand on the Ukraine war I want to let all know that I am a staunch antiwar advocate……I feel that it is a waste of resources and especially people….war is a desperate war by desperate people.

So I attempt to inform my readers at every turn….mostly it is a fart in the wind but I keep trying…..

As we think about the nightmarish war in Ukraine, let me just offer you a few figures: almost a million dead, nearly 400,000 of them civilians; at least 38 million people turned into war refugees or internally displaced; and perhaps $8 trillion in money squandered on that hell on Earth. Oh wait, sorry, that’s what happens when you get old and things start to blur in your mind. Yes, the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine is indeed a horror of slaughtered civilians, mind-boggling numbers of refugees and internally displaced Ukrainians, and untold amounts of money already squandered on death and destruction. The figures I just gave you, however, come from the invaluable Costs of War Project’s calculations about what used to be called this country’s “Global War on Terror,” which includes the invasions, occupations of, and disastrous conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As we face a Congress that can’t agree to spend any reasonable sums on needy Americans but is racing to raise staggering billions of dollars to arm the Ukrainians (no questions asked), it’s worth remembering that, in this century, when it came to invasions and horrifying wars, our leaders were functionally Vladimir Putins. Now, thanks to him, we’ve suddenly become the “good guys” again, a phenomenon in which Washington is, of course, reveling. If only, as the other major invader nation of this century, we had learned that making peace is so much better than making war and were putting at least some of our efforts into brokering negotiations between the warring parties in Ukraine rather than further revving up the conflict and glorying in doing so.

Ukraine: An Antiwar Dilemma

My biggest problem is the waste of funds that are needed here in this country.

More money for Ukraine….and then more  money…..

The fact is, Zelensky would rather shame the west into precipitating WWIII than own up to the fact that the aggressive anti-Russian actions of his own government fostered the calamity that now besets his country. Those foolish actions include his pledges to forcibly take back Crimea, join NATO, and re-acquire nukes – along with the launch, before Russia’s February 24th invasion, of an all-out offensive against the Russian-speakers of the Donbas.

So let us repair to the fundamentals. To wit, the intramural conflict between Russians and Ukrainians in the historic borderlands of Russia has no bearing whatsoever on the liberty and security of the American homeland. Yet here was the GOP leadership pledging America’s unstinting support in treasure, if not blood, for a regime in Kiev that is only slightly less corrupt and authoritarian than Putin’s strongman kleptocracy in Moscow.

And when we say Russia is zero threat to the American homeland we mean that as in none, nada, nichts and nugatory. There exists a MAD (mutual assured destruction) standoff on the nuclear front; and there’s not a snowball’s chance in the hot place that Russia’s pip-squeak economy ($1.6 trillion of GDP versus $24 trillion US GDP and $43 trillion GDP for all of NATO) could ever fund the air, land and sea armada that would be required to vault over the Atlantic and Pacific moats and wage conventional war on the American homeland.

The Washington GOP: War-Besotted Sucklers on the Public Teat

And who do you think will ‘rebuild’ Ukraine?

Then ask…at what price to the country we love?

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Lunacy That Is Ukraine

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.

Congress Approves 40 Billion Dollar Ukraine War Bill

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.

(antiwar.com)

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.

Some Thoughts on the Russia-Ukraine Conflict in Week Number Twelve

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.

https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2022/05/04/russians-invasion-ukraine-overtones-wwii-mark-kramer

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.

Don’t Think About the Unthinkable

Just a few thoughts on this Friday…..

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