The Long Run

I could do something popular and give you a You Tube of the Eagles song….but why it would not add anything to the post.

The US has been throwing money and equipment at Ukraine for about a year now…..Russia is said to be losing its hold on the country…..then we are told that ….well we are told a lot of things and some believe every word of it….I am not one of those mindless minions.

Some of us are asking ‘how will this end’?

I have seen and read many opinions on the Ukraine/Russia conflict….do not get me wrong I do not disqualify anyone’s thoughts on this conflict and there is a wealth of these….but few have any answers to the deeper questions.

My interest in international relations lets me read many report and white papers on different subjects…..so when I read a white paper issued by the RAND surprised me since this think tank is mostly funded by the M-IC…the study says something that seems to contradict all the promises made on this war.

The RAND Corporation issued a new report that warns against a “protracted conflict” in Ukraine and says a prolonged war is against US interests, breaking from the view of many hawks in Washington that the US should support the fight against Russia for the long term.

RAND is funded directly by the US military and often shapes US policies, including hawkish ones toward Moscow. A 2019 report titled “Extending Russia” examined the risks and benefits of ways the US could try to “extend” Russia, and many of those policies have been implemented, including the provision of “lethal aid” to Ukraine, sanctions on Russia, and “hindering” the country’s gas and oil exports.

The new report from RAND titled “Avoiding a Long War” examines the risks of the current conflict and acknowledges a protracted conflict heightens the risk of nuclear war.

A summary of the new report reads: “Discussion of the Russia-Ukraine war in Washington is increasingly dominated by the question of how it might end. To inform this discussion, this Perspective identifies ways in which the war could evolve and how alternative trajectories would affect US interests. The authors argue that, in addition to minimizing the risks of major escalation, US interests would be best served by avoiding a protracted conflict.”

The authors say the war in Ukraine makes it harder for the US to focus on its efforts to prepare for a future conflict with China. “The US ability to focus on its other global priorities — particularly, competition with China — will remain constrained as long as the war is absorbing senior policymakers’ time and US military resources,” the report reads.

The report says that the major risk of a long war in Ukraine is that there would be “a prolonged elevated risk of Russian nuclear use and a NATO-Russia war.” It says that “avoiding these two forms of escalation is the paramount US priority.”

When it comes to Ukraine retaking more of the territory that Russia captured, the report says this is only a “less significant benefit” and that “avoiding a long war is also a higher priority for the United States than facilitating significantly more Ukrainian territorial control.” It places “weakening Russia” as a greater benefit to the US than Ukrainian gains, but still not worth the risk of a long war.

The report recognizes that there is currently little hope for peace talks and suggests that the US could “condition future military aid on a Ukrainian commitment to negotiations.” Another suggestion to foster negotiations is for the US to establish conditions for sanctions relief for Russia. The authors acknowledge the Biden administration has made no effort to push the warring sides toward peace talks.

The conclusion says that due to the political situation in the US, a “dramatic shift” in US policy toward Ukraine is unlikely. But the authors say that “developing these instruments now and socializing them with Ukraine and with US allies might help catalyze the eventual start of a process that could bring this war to a negotiated end in a time frame that would serve US interests.”

(antiwar.com)

Will all the West’s support for Ukraine help end this event?

I say no it will not and I am not alone……

American and European officials now assess that time is on Russia’s side, according to the Wall Street Journal. Washington and its Western allies transferred billions in weapons to Kiev under the mistaken belief it would force Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate.

“Officials in some capitals now fear the Kremlin…could gain the upper hand in any lengthy war of attrition,” the outlet reported on Sunday. Adding, there is “a worry in some Western capitals that time might be on Russia’s side.”

The Journal spoke with Western officials who believed the massive military aid packages that members of the NATO alliance provided Kiev would break the Kremlin’s resolve. However, Moscow has weathered Western economic sanctions and a fall offensive by Ukrainian forces. Moreover, Russian soldiers are now on the offensive.

Questions.   There are always questions and as usual few answers.

The West sent aid then it sent artillery then it will be tanks and what will be next?

First artillery, then tanks, then warplanes, then what?

Next will be long range missiles (that should be a hoot)….

The US is preparing another major escalation of military aid to Ukraine as Reuters reports the next arms package will include rockets that have a range of 94 miles, almost double the range of the munitions Ukraine was provided for the HIMARS rocket systems.

Citing two unnamed US officials, Reuters said that the US will provide Ukraine with the longer-range Boeing-made Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) for the first time as part of an over $2 billion arms package that could be announced as soon as this week.

(antiwar.com)

None of this sounds like there is any inclination to find a solution for this situation….

As the war in Ukraine nears the end of its first year, Americans are starting to believe Washington is sending too much support to Kiev. Pew Research conducted a poll in January and found the number of Republicans that are opposed to the current level of support for Ukraine is now 40%. The U.S. has pledged well over $100 billion in aid to Kiev, mostly in arms and military equipment.

In March 2022, Pew reported 49% of Republican voters believed the US was not giving enough aid to Ukraine and only 9% responded that Washington was sending too much support to Kiev. Those numbers have now nearly reversed with 40% saying there is too much support for Kiev, while only 17% said the Joe Biden administration is not doing enough for Ukraine.

Democratic voters have had a far slower, but a similar trend. In the early months of the war, only 5% of blue voters believed Washington was sending too much aid; that number has grown to 15%. However, Pew’s poll conducted in 2023 found nearly a quarter of Democrats want the White House to do more, up three percentage points from the September results.

The Pew results reflect polls conducted by Morning Consult and Concerned Veterans for America in September. The surveys found a growing number of Americans opposed to giving more aid to Ukraine, led by Republican voters.

(antiwar.com)

What’s next?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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Under The Dome

How many movies have you seen where this city or that is protected by some magic dome from outside disasters?

How many people have predicted and seem to pray for World War 3?

Now to tie the two thoughts together.

Donald the Orange has offered up a defense for all those in-coming nuclear missile that will be launched at the US…

Former President Donald Trump recently announced that he would build an “impenetrable dome” over the U.S. if re-elected — to “protect our people” from the purported threat of nuclear attacks and World War III.

“World War III would be a catastrophe unlike any other,” he said in the video published on his Truth Social platform Friday. “This would make World War I and World War II like very small battles. The best way to ensure that such a conflict never happens is to be prepared with unmatched technology and unrivaled strength.”

“When I am commander in chief… I will work with Congress and our great military leaders — not the ones you see on television, I don’t consider them leaders,” he continued.” We’re gonna work with them to build a state-of-the-art, next-generation missile-defense shield.”

Trump then claimed “the world has become vastly more dangerous” under President Joe Biden and that any discussion of the “deadly menace” of nuclear war, as a purported result of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, has been tabled by the current administration.

“The ‘nuclear’ word is being mentioned all the time,” said Trump. “This is a word you’re not allowed to use. It was never used during the Trump administration, but now other countries are using that word against us because they have no respect for our leadership.”

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/donald-trump-warns-of-wwiii-announces-impenetrable-dome_n_63d533c7e4b07c0c7e03d83f

There is an interesting video within the link….worth a look.

I always love to hear what the ex-president has to say these days…..some of his verbal crap is just too much….and this is one of those regurgitation.

Another is his idea about windmills and airplanes……

Donald Trump picked this weekend, while the country’s eyes were focused entirely elsewhere, to finally waddle out the gates of Mar-a-Lago and do something resembling campaigning for president. Had you forgotten he had, with much fanfare, announced he was running for president? Yeah, it seemed like he had too.

He had dinner with the deranged LibsOfTikTok woman last week, which could be considered a campaign event, we guess. Or is it more like when those Nazis came to dinner?

Oh well, anyway, Trump gave a campaign speech this weekend, his first of the 2024 campaign. It sounds like it was a real snoozer. It was in a high school auditorium, for the state GOP convention. Only Newsmax, OAN, and Real America’s Voice played it live. And bless his heart, but it sounds like he thinks windmills are making all the airplanes crash now.

That’s right, they don’t just create bird graveyards now. They “kill all the birds, destroy all the planes, and our beautiful oceans and seas and everything else.” The wind turbines are apparently escalating their murderous behavior.

https://www.wonkette.com/trump-windmills-new-hampshire

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is Ukraine Heating Up?

New tanks will be heading to Ukraine….will this change the equation?

With this new addition to the Ukrainian military will the war get hotter than it is now?

In the clear sky over the winter-yellowed marsh grasses on the outskirts of the town of Huliaipole, the bang and crump of artillery picked up pace like the thunderclaps of a distant but approaching storm.

The Russian armed forces declared on Sunday that they had launched a new offensive in Zaporizhzhia region, but the Ukrainian soldiers seemed unperturbed. The frontline here has not moved for 10 months, and the Russians are hunkered in their trenches, which run across the rolling hills of black-soil farmland. They are not going anywhere soon, the soldiers said.

“There is more activity in these past couple of weeks with shelling from artillery and even from tanks, but they don’t send infantry over the line because they’re scared,” said Vitaly, a senior sergeant in the 56th Mariupol motorised infantry brigade, which is holding the line around this town 60 miles (100km) east of Zaporizhzhia city.

However, Vitaly acknowledged that the frozen line was beginning to heat up. The number of incoming shells and rockets on this segment of the southern front has more than doubled this month to 4,000 a day. Two weeks earlier, the Russians had twice sent a handful of tanks forward to probe the Ukrainian lines only to pull back under fire.

Sooner or later, most likely in the next few months, one side would make its move and try to break the deadlock. The question is: who will strike first and where.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/27/the-big-battle-is-coming-ukrainian-forces-prepare-for-the-wars-most-intense-phase

I fear that any escalation could involve the US…and apparently some in our military are hoping and planning for this event.

“I hope I am wrong,” an Air Force general told commanders under him as he warned in a new memo that he expects the US and China to be at war in two years. “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025.” Gen. Mike Minihan, who has nearly 50,000 service members as head of the Air Mobility Command, which handles transport and refueling, told his commanders to prepare for battle, NBC News reports, partly by shooting at a target. “Aim for the head,” he said. No other senior Defense official has said such a war is imminent, per the Washington Post. Minihan ordered his commanders to report back on their preparations by the end of February.

The four-star general points out that Chinese President Xi Jinping has won a third term in office and “set his war council.” Part of Miniham’s reasoning is that Taiwan and the US will be preoccupied with presidential elections in 2024, giving China an opportunity to move against Taiwan. The next stage of preparations for everyone in his command, Minihan said, is to get their personal affairs in order in March. And they should commence rigorous training, he wrote. A spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of his memo, dated Feb. 1, though a Defense Department official said, “These comments are not representative of the department’s view on China.”

What is the likelihood that the US is inching closer to that so-called ‘red line’?

Seems NATO thinks they should be more involved…..

Adm. Rob Bauer, the head of NATO’s Military Committee, said that NATO is “ready” for a direct confrontation with Russia, citing the alliance’s recent efforts to boost its presence in Eastern Europe.

Last year, NATO placed new battle groups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia on top of the ones that have been deployed in Poland and the Baltic states for years. The US also deployed troops on its own, sending tens of thousands more to Europe, including many that are stationed near the Ukrainian border in Poland and Romania.

Bauer, a Dutch naval officer, also said NATO countries should discuss shifting to a “war economy,” where civilian factories started producing military goods, similar to what the United States did during World War II.

“We have to increase defense industry production, and there are already more and more talks on the subject at the national level,” Bauer said in an interview with Portuguese TV.

“This could mean prioritizing certain raw materials, certain production capacities needed for the defense industry rather than the civilian one. Those priorities should be discussed about, partially, a war economy in peacetime,” he added.

The US is taking measures to ramp up arms production to keep arming, including a Pentagon plan to increase artillery ammunition production by 500% over the next two years. The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act granted the Pentagon wartime purchasing powers to speed up arms deals, but the US has yet to take any measures as drastic as Bauer suggested.

(antiwar.com)

I am guessing that few will find this unacceptable….after all the events happening in Ukraine is far more important than anything occurring here and now.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is Ukraine Winning?

A great question as this war approaches its year anniversary…..if you read the headlines in the news (corporate media)all the weapons and cash sent to Ukraine is paying dividends as the Russian keep losing territory.

We never hear any negativity on this side of the pond from our major news sources……so no news is good news, right?

Not necessarily so according to German sources…..

The German foreign intelligence service assesses that Kiev is losing a “three-digit number” of soldiers daily, according to a report in Der Spiegel. Berlin informed politicians of the assessment during a secret meeting this week.

Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is “alarmed” by the high number of losses Ukraine is suffering. The report says Berlin believes Ukraine was losing a three-digit number of soldiers every day during the battle of Bakhmut with Russian forces. The BND informed German politicians of the high number of injured and killed Ukrainian forces during a covert Bundestag meeting last week.

The BND believes the Ukrainian casualties will have severe consequences during future battles. The German intelligence service also believes that Russia is suffering high casualties and using its soldiers as “cannon fodder.”

Reuters reported officials in Washington believe Kiev spent significant resources attempting to defend Bakhmut. The White House is currently advising Ukraine not to launch any major counteroffensives to recapture the city. The Joe Biden administration is additionally advising Kiev that continuing to pour soldiers into defending Bakhmut is preventing Ukrainian forces from attacking Russians defending other cities.

Ukraine is seeking tanks from its NATO partners. However, many countries, including the US and Germany have resisted sending their modern tanks to Ukraine.

Bakhmut is located in the Donetsk region. The BND believes if Russia takes the city, it will open the door for additional gains. Bakhmut has seen fierce fighting for several months, but the intensity picked up last week. Russian forces have made some gains in the city.

(antiwar.com)

The War Department will pull all punches and lie to keep the cash following and the ill-advised popular support for a war that shows no signs of ending.

Why is that?

It is called mission creep.

When the United States involves itself militarily in a conflict, it often finds it hard to get itself out, let alone avoid deep entanglements that blow well past lines it had drawn at the start of the intervention. 

It happened in Vietnam, when U.S. military advisers helping the South Vietnamese fight Viet Cong eventually became U.S. soldiers fighting an American war. It happened in Afghanistan, when an initial invasion to capture al-Qaida and overthrow the Taliban morphed into a nearly two-decade-long nation-building project. And it could be happening right now in Ukraine. 

Little by little, NATO and the United States are creeping closer to the catastrophic scenario President Joe Biden said “we must strive to prevent” — direct conflict between the United States and Russia. Despite stressing at the start of the war that “our forces are not and will not be engaged in the conflict,” current and former intelligence officials told the Intercept back in October that “there is a much larger presence of both CIA and US special operations personnel” in Ukraine than there was when Russia invaded, conducting “clandestine American operations” in the country that “are now far more extensive.” 

Mission Creep? How the US role in Ukraine has slowly escalated

I ask once again…..what does the US expect to be the return on their investment in Ukraine?

Out newest investment is Abrams tanks…..31 total…

As expected, President Biden on Wednesday announced that the US is following Germany’s lead and will supply Ukraine with tanks. Some 31 Abrams tanks, which the president described as equivalent to one Ukrainian battalion, will be sent. Standout points:

  • BBC Washington correspondent Gary O’Donoghue writes that the US has previously indicated that the complexity of the high-tech Abrams tanks in terms of operating and maintaining them was holding it back from making the commitment. It had pushed for the delivery of Leopard tanks, which are used by more allies and require less training.
  • But Germany, which on Wednesday announced will send 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks, had said it would only do so if the US “put its Abrams on the table, not wanting to incur Russia’s wrath without the US similarly committing its own tanks,” per the AP.
  • The New York Timesreports the tanks contributed by Germany and other allies would equal two additional battalions. Ukraine has said it would take 300 Western tanks to make a meaningful difference; it has thus far relied on Soviet-era tanks.
  • While training on the Abrams will likely begin right away, the BBC reports “the funding process for the tanks themselves means they will not be deployed for months” and “not in time for Russia’s anticipated spring offensive,” per the AP.
  • They’re part of a $400 million package that also includes eight M88 recovery vehicles, which can tow the Abrams if it gets stuck.
  • A logistical detail from the AP: The 70-ton tanks rely on a turbine jet engine that burns a minimum of two gallons a mile regardless of whether they are on the move or idling; as such, a bevy of fuel trucks is required to keep the tanks mobile.
  • Last week, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl described Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s thinking as such: “that we should not be providing the Ukrainians systems they can’t repair, they can’t sustain, and that they, over the long term, can’t afford, because it’s not helpful.”

Another waste but that is what we do….waste money on worthless endeavors while children starve…..good plan.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

MLK: From Vietnam To Ukraine

Yesterday was MLK, Jr Day, a Federal holiday, and I did not post this on his special day because I wanted people to remember him for his stellar work with civil rights and my post is about his antiwar stance.

As an antiwar activist his speeches on the cruelty of war were something I held dear.

In April 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered an eloquent and stirring denunciation of the Vietnam war and US militarism. The speech titled “Beyond Vietnam” is relevant to today’s war in Ukraine.

In the speech at Riverside Church, King talked about how the US had supported France in trying to re-colonize Vietnam. He noted, “Before the end of the war we were meeting 80% of the French war costs.”

When France began to despair in the war, “We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war.”

King went on to recall that after the French finally left Vietnam, the United States prevented implementation of the Geneva Accord which would have allowed Ho Chi Minh to unite the divided country. Instead, the US supported its preferred South Vietnamese dictator.

The U.S. has played a similar role in blocking compromise solutions and international agreements to the Ukraine conflict. Following Ukraine protests in February 2014, the European Union negotiated an agreement between President Yanukovich and the opposition to have early new elections. The attitude of lead US official Victoria Nuland was crystallized in her secretly recorded comment, “F*** the EU!.” Despite the agreement, a violent bloody coup led by ultra-nationalist Ukrainians was “midwifed”.

The ultra-nationalist coup government immediately started implementing policies hostile to the Russian speaking citizens of Ukraine. The coup and the new policies provoked the conflicts and resistance which have led to the situation today. The coup and policies were abhorred by a majority of Ukrainians, especially in eastern Ukraine. The Russian speaking Ukrainian citizens of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and re-unify with Russia.

The Minsk Accords of 2014 and 2015 were intended to resolve the conflict by granting some autonomy to the the Russian speaking sections in the eastern Donbass but keeping them within Ukraine. Thanks to the admissions of two prominent former European leaders, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, we know that the West and their Ukrainian government puppet never intended to implement the Minsk Agreement.

Like the 1954 Geneva Accords regarding Vietnam, the 2014 and 2015 Minsk Agreements on Ukraine were never implemented because Washington did not want a compromise.

MLK: Beyond Vietnam to Ukraine

His words were not heeded in the 60s and they

are still falling on deaf ears.

History does have a way of repeating itself.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Russian Sanctions

The big push these days is for a cleaner energy and the dash toward nuclear power is growing in anticipation.

For this renewed interest will take uranium and this is where this post picks up….

Remember when the Ukraine invasion started and the US and its allies first attack was to put massive sanctions in place to punish the invader.

What about all the uranium that the west gets from Russia for its nuclear programs?

Many world powers have sped-up plans to introduce new nuclear power plants in a bid to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and decarbonise. Due to the high energy demand, many countries around the globe view renewable energy as insufficient in the mid-term to provide enough energy to meet the needs of the growing world population. However, nuclear power could provide a low-carbon alternative, offering abundant energy and low emissions. However, experts now worry that the global reliance on Russian uranium to power many of these projects could put many world leaders in a quandary, having already introduced sanctions on Russian energy and attempted to reduce their reliance on Russia.  Earlier this year, the U.S. announced a $6 billion bailout for its existing nuclear plants. The government and the Department of Energy (DoE) partnered on a scheme to help nuclear plants across the country facing severe economic challenges to support the longevity of U.S. nuclear power, as part of the country’s green transition. Despite being controversial, nuclear power is considered carbon neutral, and therefore key to transitioning away from fossil fuels. Since then, the launch of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has encouraged greater investment in the nuclear energy sector. It offers a variety of subsidies, including a production tax credit to help preserve the existing fleet of nuclear plants and tax incentives for the development of new nuclear reactors.  

While developing its nuclear assets demonstrates a step forward in the movement to carbon neutrality, the U.S. has one very big challenge to overcome for its nuclear power plants to be a success – its reliance on Russian uranium. The type of uranium that U.S. nuclear reactors require to run is only sold commercially by one company in the world, a subsidiary of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM). At present, U.S. nuclear firms buy around half of the uranium they use from state-owned companies in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. Scott Melbye, Executive Vice President at Uranium Energy Corp., stated “We estimate that there is more than $1 billion in annual U.S. dollar purchases of nuclear fuel flowing to ROSATOM.” 

(oilprice.com)

As usual these sanctions are not as sweeping and all inclusive as they would have you believe.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Let’s Return To Ukraine

With all the celebrating surely we have not forgotten Ukraine.

Most have but not me…I am like a wolf on the trail of a weak bison.

Did you know that before we had a deal to keep our government up and running we had to promise to give even more cash to Ukraine.

What part of that would keep the government up and functioning?

Can anyone remember back to the 60s and that far away place Vietnam?

It became a ceaseless war….can there be others?

That my friends is what is called a “Proxy War”….between the US and the USSR.

Now we have Ukraine…..and that is also a proxy war…..

Will the Ukraine conflict become another of these ceaseless wars? It is difficult to see why it should not, since neither Moscow nor Kyiv is likely to win a decisive victory but they still hope to improve their political and diplomatic position on the battlefield. The Russians are using precision-guided missiles and drones to destroy the Ukrainian infrastructure and the Ukrainians are beginning to fire missiles back at ostensibly military targets. It may not be long before they decide that if they are going to sit in the dark, so too will the Russians.

A crucial question is whether or not the progressive destruction of the Ukrainian electrical-generating and transmission system is unstoppable, however many anti-aircraft missiles are sent by the Nato powers.

If the missile barrage cannot be intercepted then we can expect another great exodus of refugees from Ukraine into the rest of Europe with no reason for them to return. Some 4.4 million Ukrainians applied for temporary protection in the EU in the first nine months of the year. Poland alone received 1.3 million. Migration fatigue is visible and is likely to grow. Resentment at the influx will benefit right-wing groups as did the Syrian influx in 2015-16.

Will Ukraine Become Another Ceaseless War?

Then a NATO big wig adds fuel to the fire of a ceaseless war when he states the more weapons will bring peace.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg claimed in an interview published Friday that the quickest path to peace in Ukraine is through NATO countries sending more weapons to Kyiv.

“It may sound like a paradox, but military support for Ukraine is the fastest way to peace,” Stoltenberg told the German news agency DPA. “We know that most wars end at the negotiating table – probably this war too – but we know that what Ukraine can achieve in these negotiations depends inextricably on the military situation.”

Stoltenberg’s comments come as there is no indication that Ukraine and Russia will come to the negotiating table. Kyiv maintains that its goal is to push Russia out of all the territory it has captured, including Crimea, while Moscow vows it’s not leaving the areas it has annexed.

NATO Chief Says Sending More Weapons to Ukraine Is Quickest Path to Peace

(You now know who this yahoo really works for)

2023 will be a continuation of wasted money and death and destruction in Ukraine.

And the American roll over and defend the work of a Congress that is corruptible and spineless.

And then there is the bunk about democracy and truth for Ukraine….another crappy tagline….

President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a new bill into law which strengthens government control over public access to news in Ukraine. Zelensky has already nationalized the country’s media under martial law powers invoked after Russia’s invasion last year, stoking criticism from press freedom groups.

Signed on December 29, the law expands the Ukrainian broadcast regulator’s powers over news agencies ”dramatically,” now including both print and online sources, according to the Kyiv Independent. The measure requires publications to obtain licenses to operate, and any media org without the proper paperwork can be shut down, the outlet reported, adding that the body handing out the permits will be under Zelensky’s control. 

https://libertarianinstitute.org/news/zelensky-expands-crack-down-on-news-media-in-ukraine/

Pay Attention!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Where’s The Need?

This post is about the massive amounts of cash being spent on aircraft that is not needed….first it was the F-35, a plane that has doubled in price for all the fixes that are needed to repair all the problems that pop up almost daily for the last 5 years or so.

A bit of background on the F-35….

The following essay is reprinted with permission fromThe Conversation, an online publication covering the latest research.

The F-35 was billed as a fighter jet that could do almost everything the U.S. military desired, serving the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy – and even Britain’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy – all in one aircraft design. It’s supposed to replace and improve upon several current – and aging – aircraft types with widely different missions. It’s marketed as a cost-effective, powerful multi-role fighter airplane significantly better than anything potential adversaries could build in the next two decades. But it’s turned out to be none of those things.

Officially begun in 2001, with roots extending back to the late 1980s, the F-35 program is nearly a decade behind schedule, and has failed to meet many of its original design requirements. It’s also become the most expensive defense program in world history, at around US$1.5 trillion before the fighter is phased out in 2070.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-went-wrong-with-the-f-35-lockheed-martins-joint-strike-fighter/

Now we have a new stealth bomber, the B-21, another massive spending bill for the Pentagon…..again I ask where was the need?

Consistent with today’s trend to render all defense as performance art, the unveiling of the new Northrop Grumman B-21 “Raider” bomber at the Northrop plant in Palmdale on December 2 was designed with the care and production values of a Superbowl commercial. 

The blue backlighting, the sonorous music (One Day, by Caleb Etheridge) the shiny shroud strip-teased off the partly hidden aircraft by shadowy figures, the flyover by the bombers the B-21 will allegedly replace, were military-industrial showmanship at its best, giving us not a scintilla of worthwhile information about the plane. Fittingly, its primary selling point, according to its promoters, is “stealth” – a supposed ability to remain invisible to radar and other sensors. Given that earlier systems advertised as being cloaked from radar scrutiny, such as the F-22 and F-35 fighters, have turned out to be visible after all especially to decades-old low frequency radar systems, the prospects are not hopeful. We do however know that it has the most important characteristic of stealth: invisibility to the taxpayers.

For many years the Air Force declined to release a cost figure for the B-21, claiming the figure was classified on grounds that our enemies would learn valuable secrets if they knew just how much of a wallop it was going to be on our pocketbooks. Now, thanks to Tony Capaccio of Bloomberg, we know the official estimate of the projected cost to develop, produce and operate 100 B-21s for thirty years is a cool $203 billion. However, back when the Air Force were telling us we had no right to know exactly what we were paying for, they did release the most important fact of all: the major corporations – Pratt & Whitney, BAE Systems, Orbital ATK, and others – who would be the major subcontractors in the Northrop-led program. By absolutely no coincidence at all, these turned out to be in congressional districts and states represented by senior figures on important defense committees in the congress. This is known as “political engineering” in which defense programs are rendered politically invulnerable to cancellation or funding shortfalls thanks to the salting of key constituencies with rich contracts. Brazenly, the Air Force announced at the time it was naming the prime contractors on the bomber “in a sign of transparency to gain public trust.”  

The B-21: another Air Force diva that can’t deliver?

With all the problems these models are having how does the defense industry con nations like Germany, Japan, Australia, etc into spending this type of cash on a flying brick?

How and why?

This country needs the money more for our nation than we need another stealth bomber….but lobbyists with buckets of cash will make sure this type of waste continues.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

No Accountability

Since the early days of the Ukraine/Russia mash-up I have been a staunch critic of all the cash we are spending in ‘defense’ of Ukraine’s sovereignty…..recently a GOP lead push for more oversight was attempted…..but as of this writing the attempt has failed.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday narrowly voted down a bill that would audit the tens of billions of dollars that Congress has approved to spend on the war in Ukraine.

The bill was rejected by the Democrat-led panel in a vote of 26 to 22. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and a small group of Republicans who oppose US aid to Ukraine, but it received strong support from more hawkish Republicans.

Republican Reps. Thomas Massie (KY), Matt Gaetz (FL), Barry Moore (AL), and Andrew Clyde (GA) cosponsored Greene’s bill.

Greene has said that she will reintroduce the measure in the next Congress when Republicans have a majority in the House. “It’s official the Democrats have voted NO to transparency for the American people for an Audit for Ukraine,” Greene wrote on Twitter after the vote. “But we take over in January! This audit will happen!”

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), who is expected to head the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the next Congress, has come out in favor of the audit bill. “The era of writing blank checks is over,” McCaul said, according to The Washington Post.

McCaul has been critical of the Biden administration for not sending longer-range weapons to Ukraine and wants to encourage Ukrainian strikes on Crimea despite the risk of escalation. But he represents the mainstream Republicans who want to keep arming Ukraine but agree there should be more oversight.

Democrats have been critical of the growing Republican calls for more oversight of the Ukraine aid. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the head of the House Armed Services Committee, even dismissed the concerns as “Russian propaganda” and said the calls from Republicans to increase oversight “makes me a little crazy.”

This should leave NO doubt on who the Dems work for in DC….hint–ain’t you.

I have not been kind to MTG in the past….but in this case I agree with her, in principle.

I would expect the “Squad” to be on board with the oversight thing…..but they seem to be as much in favor of wasting taxpayer dollars as the GOP.

You really should be paying attention.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Party Of War

Yes I am antiwar so I keep informing my readers about the wars we start and fight and seldom finish.

I remember the days when the GOP was the party of war….I protested against their many wars and their many mash-ups to war…..but recently the GOP is not the only party of war….the Dems and liberals are as much of a warmonger as their counterparts.

a remarkable column by Stephen Kinzer appeared in the Boston Globe. It was headlined: “Republicans Return To Their Roots As The Antiwar Party.”

More significantly, the subheading ran: “Since the Vietnam era, Americans have come to expect antiwar rhetoric from liberal Democrats. Cancel that.” It began:

“With Americans now engulfed in passion for Ukraine, it wasn’t surprising that President Biden proposed sending $33 billion worth of weaponry and other aid to Ukraine’s beleaguered military. Nor was it surprising that Congress raised the number to $40 billion, or that both the Senate and House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor. Hidden within that lopsided vote, though, was a shocker: Every single “no” vote – 11 in the Senate and 57 in the House – came from a Republican.

“Since the Vietnam era, Americans have come to expect antiwar rhetoric from liberal Democrats. Cancel that. This month’s votes in Washington signal a dramatic role reversal. Suddenly it is conservative Republicans who oppose US involvement in foreign wars.”

Strikingly not only did the “conservative” Democrats vote for the $40 billion that included more weapons of death and destruction for Joe Biden’s cruel proxy war against Russia to the last Ukrainian. All the “progressives” did so, including AOC and The Squad, Bernie Sanders, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee and all the rest. It was a clean sweep.

The Democratic Party, Now the Leading Party of War

The truly sad part is that the sop-called progressives, The Squad, are just as pro-war as any GOPer…did lobbyists and their massive cash reserves change minds?

Is there another reason the ‘liberals’ have become the party of war?

Senator Bernie Sanders’ foreign policy adviser Matt Duss (an alumnus of the Saudi- and UAE- funded Center for American Progress) published a widely discussed essay in The New Republic in which he declared that American liberals and progressives need to prioritize expressions of “solidarity” with Ukraine over policies that might put an end to the bloodshed.

In this Duss, a reliable weathervane of liberal opinion, is hardly alone among liberal commentators and policy practitioners, after all, Democrats on the Hill unanimously voted for each of President Biden’s billion dollar aid packages to Ukraine.

What accounts for the enthusiasm for war in Eastern Europe against Russia among American liberals?

James W. Carden: What Accounts For the War Lust Among American Liberals?

The Squad has had some excellent policies to follow….but this seems to be an eye to re-election and not keeping the US from engaging in war after war that benefits no one but the industry.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”