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”

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The Irrationality Of The Debate

Yes I have written many posts on the Ukraine situation…..let me say here before some troll gets a hard on…..I oppose the invasion and the subsequent conflict that stared earlier this year when Russia invaded Ukraine.

With my posts have come many comments in support for Ukraine/NATO and the massive involvement in the conflict…..to me many of those are irrational because we Americans have given so much treasure in our many many wars and yet there is still some chest thumping……

When asked I usually get some snarky comments that have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

And the conversation continues with  o actually talking….

A Harvard professor has made some interesting observations on this very subject……

Because war is uncertain and reliable information is sparse, no one knows how the war in Ukraine will play out. Nor can any of us be completely certain what the optimal course of action is. We all have our own theories, hunches, beliefs, and hopes, but nobody’s crystal ball is 100 percent reliable in the middle of a war.
You might think that this situation would encourage observers to approach the whole issue with a certain humility and give alternative perspectives a fair hearing even when they disagree with one’s own. Instead, debates about responsibility for the war and the proper course of action to follow have been unusually nasty and intolerant, even by modern standards of social media vituperation. I’ve been trying to figure out why this is the case.
 
What I find especially striking is how liberal interventionists, unrepentant neoconservatives, and a handful of progressives who are all-in for Ukraine seem to have no doubts whatsoever about the origins of the conflict or the proper course of action to follow today. For them, Russian President Vladimir Putin is solely and totally responsible for the war, and the only mistakes others may have made in the past was to be too nice to Russia and too willing to buy its oil and gas. The only outcome they are willing to entertain is a complete Ukrainian victory, ideally accompanied by regime change in Moscow, the imposition of reparations to finance Ukrainian reconstruction, and war crimes trials for Putin and his associates. Convinced that anything less than this happy result will reward aggression, undermine deterrence, and place the current world order in jeopardy, their mantra is: “Whatever it takes for as long as it takes.”
 
This same group has also been extraordinarily critical of those who believe responsibility for the war is not confined to Russia’s president and who think these war aims might be desirable in the abstract but are unlikely to be achieved at an acceptable cost and risk. If you have the temerity to suggest that NATO enlargement (and the policies related to it) helped pave the road to war, if you believe the most likely outcome is a negotiated settlement and that getting there sooner rather than later would be desirable, and if you favor supporting Ukraine but think this goal should be weighed against other interests, you’re almost certain to be denounced as a pro-Putin stooge, an appeaser, an isolationist, or worse. Case in point: When a handful of progressive congressional representatives released a rather tepid statement calling for greater reliance on diplomacy a few weeks ago, it was buried under a hailstorm of criticism and quickly disavowed by its own sponsors.
 
Prof. Walt sums up my thoughts expertly….
 
What will it take for the tide to turn on this debate?
 
Just wondering.
 
On an unrelated topic…..US is considering  cluster bombs for Ukraine…..
 

According to a report from CNN, the Biden administration is considering a request from Ukraine to provide cluster bombs, munitions that are banned by over 100 countries under an international treaty due to the harm they cause to civilians.

Cluster munitions scatter small bombs over large areas, making them more indiscriminate than other munitions. The small bombs often don’t explode on impact, making them a huge danger to civilians who comes across them, similar to land mines.

The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions that bans the weapons has 108 signatories, but the US, Russia, and Ukraine are not parties to the treaty. Since Russia launched its invasion in February, both Russian and Ukrainian forces have used cluster munitions, and Kyiv was accused of using the bombs in populated areas of Donestk back in 2014.

The last known time the US used cluster bombs was in Yemen in 2009. Before that, US forces used them in the early days of the Afghanistan war and in Iraq in 2003. The US has supplied cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, which has used them in its war on Yemen.

The CNN report said that the Biden administration has been fielding a request from Ukraine for cluster munitions for months and has not rejected it outright. The administration hasn’t taken the option off the table if US stockpiles of other munitions become dangerously low.

(antiwar.com)

What happened to all that concern for civilians?

Personally I am sick of the pathetic excuses some Americans for this country pouring much needed cash into this war.

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”

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”

What Is Russia Fighting For?

We are closing in on one year of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine…..I have asked what are the results that Russia is looking for that would prod them into this conflict?

A good question since very few of Russian objectives have been realized……

It’s curious to see the US military advocate diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine, while President Joe Biden and his senior officials oppose it. Much to the embarrassment of the administration, Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, says that Ukraine is unlikely to win back the Crimea and it is time for talks. “You want to negotiate from a position of strength,” Milley said in a speech in New York last week. “Russia is on its back.”

Soldiers tend to have a better balanced sense than politicians about the way in which advantage in war can swing backwards and forwards. They ought to have after their grim experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, in both of which the US thought at one point that it had won a total victory.

Milley may well be right, but it is difficult to see why Ukraine should negotiate while it is winning victories on the ground. As for President Vladimir Putin, he will scarcely want to talk until his army has achieved something other than stage shambolic retreats and lose territory captured in the first days of the invasion.

What indeed are Russia’s war aims? On 24 February, and for a couple of days afterwards, they were clear enough: Russia wanted to conquer Ukraine and install a proxy government, much as in Czechoslovakia in 1968. It did not happen: the invasion failed miserably to achieve any of its objectives, so what exactly is Russia fighting for today?

As for the war itself, the Ukrainian victories at Kharkiv and Kherson show that the Russian army is a shambles and it has never recovered from the initial debacle. But the ground war in Ukraine is only one part of the conflict: another is the Russian drone and missile assault on Ukrainian electricity, gas and water supplies. As we have seen in conflicts in the Middle East, precision-guided missiles and drones, once the monopoly of the US, are the new face of war, against which total defence is impossible. The Russians are avoiding direct attacks on the two nuclear plants in western Ukraine, but they are destroying the transmission cables and substations that cannot be speedily replaced.

The other front in the conflict is the economic war against Russia which has turned out to be a spectacular boomerang with ruinous consequences for European economies. Sanctions are a collective punishment on ordinary Russians, but do not directly target the Kremlin. Sanctions did not remove Saddam Hussein in Iraq over 13 years or Bashar al-Assad in Syria over a decade, and there is no reason to suppose that they will work against Putin.

What is Russia Fighting for Today?

Kherson is back in the news after being liberated from Russian control…..

Weeks after filling the streets in celebration after the city’s recapture, residents again are fleeing the southern Ukraine city of Kherson.

Unable to win on the battlefield, “Russia is bringing death, starvation and hypothermia to civilians,” said Mateusz Morawiecki, who was attending the International Summit of Food Security in the capital. Saturday was the 90th anniversary of the start of the “Holodomor,” or Great Famine, in which more than 3 million people were killed over two years when the Soviet government seized food and grain supplies. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz marked Ukraine’s solemn commemoration with a message by video. “Today, we stand united in stating that hunger must never again be used as a weapon,” Scholz said.

The Ukrainian battlefield is very fluid….it will not be over until it is over….and if the US has it’s way it will never be over.

I am still waiting for someone to answer my question of what does the US hope to get in return for our massive investment in Ukraine?

Could this be the answer?

High-level European officials are furious with the Biden administration and are now accusing the US of profiting from the war in Ukraine while Europe is facing a potential energy crisis.

In comments to POLITICO, a senior EU official said, “The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the US because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons.”

The US-led sanctions campaign on Russia has backfired on Europe as it has ratcheted up energy prices to the point where Europeans may face blackouts this winter. On top of the energy situation, European leaders also fear they will lose out on investments due to unprecedented subsidies included in the US’s Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed into law in August.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes $369 billion in subsidies and tax breaks for green businesses, incentivizing companies to invest in the US instead of Europe. European leaders have publicly criticized the US for the legislation and are considering subsidies of their own, signaling the beginning of a new trade war.

The senior EU official told POLITICO that the double whammy of high energy prices and loss of trade to subsidies could turn public opinion against supporting Ukraine. “We are really at a historic juncture,” the official said. “America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries.”

(antiwar.com)

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Ron Paul On Ukraine

Former representative, Ron Paul, has made his feelings known about what he calls a ‘boondoggle’…..

Last week the world stood on the very edge of a nuclear war, as Ukraine’s US-funded president, Vladimir Zelensky, urged NATO military action over a missile that landed on Polish soil. “This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a really significant escalation. Action is needed,” said Zelensky immediately after the missile landed.

But there was a problem. The missile was fired from Ukraine – likely an accident in the fog of war. Was it actually a Russian missile, of course, that might mean World War III. But Zelensky didn’t seem to be bothered by the prospect of the world blown up, judging from his reckless rhetoric.

While Zelensky has been treated as a saint by the US media, the Biden Administration, and both parties in Congress, something unprecedented happened this time: the Biden Administration pushed back. According to press reports, several Zelensky calls to Biden or senior Biden Staff went unanswered.

When US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan finally returned Zelensky’s call, he is reported to have said, “tread carefully” on claims Russia was behind the missiles landing in Poland. The Biden Administration went on to publicly dispute Zelensky’s continued insistence that Russia shot missiles into NATO-Member Poland. After two days of Washington opposition to his claims, Zelensky finally, sort of, backed down.

We’ve heard rumors of President Biden’s frustration over Zelensky’s endless begging and ingratitude for the 60 or so billion dollars doled out to him by the US government, but this is the clearest public example of the Biden Administration’s acceptance that it has a “Zelensky problem.”

Zelensky must have understood that Washington and Brussels knew it was not a Russian missile. Considering the vast intelligence capabilities of the US in that war zone, it is likely the US government knew in real time that the missiles were not Russian. For Zelensky to claim otherwise seemed almost unhinged. And for what seems like the first time, Washington noticed.

As a result, there has been a minor – but hopefully growing – revolt among conservatives in Washington over this dangerous episode. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene introduced legislation demanding an audit of the tens of billions of dollars shipped to Ukraine – with perhaps $50 billion more in the pipeline. The resolution currently has eleven co-sponsors.

Rep. Matt Gaetz has publicly stated that he would not vote for one more dollar for Ukraine. Others, like US Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), have gone even further. In a recent Tweet Rep. Gosar called US support for Ukraine a “corrupt money-laundering operation.” As the fallout from the recent collapse of the FTX crypto exchange points to possible political corruption, his claims may prove to be accurate.

When Sen. Paul introduced an amendment to the massive aid package to Ukraine calling for someone to audit the funds, he was ridiculed and attacked. Some seven months later, his position appears far more accepted. And that’s a good thing.

When the Ukraine war hysteria finally dies down – as the Covid hysteria died down before it – it will become obvious to vastly more Americans what an absolute fiasco this whole thing has been. Hopefully Republicans will accelerate that process when they take the House in January. It cannot come too soon!

(antiwar.com)

I am by no means a Libertarian but I will agree with Paul on several of his points….

I do not understand Americans that blindly accept whatever crap spread by the government and their agents, the media….money wasted and no one cares.

Taylor-Green, someone I do not care for, has led the charge in the House to audit the Ukraine aid packages….

A group of House Republicans introduced a bill Thursday to audit the funds that Congress has approved to spend on the war in Ukraine.

The effort is being led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and supported by a group of Republicans that have been critical of US aid to Ukraine. The resolution’s cosponsors include Reps. Thomas Massie (KY), Matt Gaetz (FL), Barry Moore (AL), Andrew Clyde (GA), and Cory Mills, a representative-elect from Florida.

According to The Hill, Greene introduced the bill as a privileged resolution, meaning it will be sent to the relevant committee, which will have 14 business days to either reject the legislation or approve it for a vote on the House floor.

If the bill is not discussed by the committee within 14 days, Greene has the option to force a House vote. Greene said she’s prepared to reintroduce the bill in the next Congress when Republicans have a majority in the House.

“I’ll introduce this resolution again, but I’ll also be calling for a full audit. We voted ‘no’ to send money over there, but we’re also going to audit what’s happening in Ukraine,” Greene said.

While most Republicans still support spending on the war in Ukraine, many have come out in favor of increasing oversight of the aid. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is expected to be the speaker in the next Congress, has said a Republican-controlled House wouldn’t send a “blank check” to Ukraine.

McCarthy later downplayed his comments and said the lack of oversight was the issue, and other Republican leaders insisted they would keep arming Ukraine. But McCarthy’s comments were still enough to prompt a push to approve a massive new Ukraine aid package before the next Congress is sworn in, and the White House has asked for $37.7 billion.

If the new aid package is approved, it will bring total US spending on a proxy war on Russia’s border to about $105 billion. If it’s spent at the rate of other aid packages, the White House will likely be looking for more come spring.

I agree with the principle of the audit but I fear this bill is nothing more than grandstanding by the Repubs….after all the people on the committees are owned by the contractors that are making out like bandits from these aid packages.

Speaking of more aid…..

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced Tuesday an additional $4.5 billion in direct budgetary aid for the Ukrainian government.

Yellen said that the new funds will bring total US budgetary aid for Ukraine to $13 billion, and more is coming as Ukraine expects the US to help pay for its massive budget deficit in 2023.

The aid is being disbursed by the US through the World Bank. According to the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the funds will be sent to Ukraine in two tranches before the end of 2022.

The budgetary aid is meant to fund Ukrainian government services. USAID said that there will be “robust safeguards” and third-party monitoring to “ensure accountability and transparency in the use of these funds,” but it’s not clear how much real oversight there will be.

(antiwar.com)

Ukraine demands and expects the US to pay all their bills….and yet no one cares.

Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

“No Need For Talks”

AS the conflict in Ukraine the need for talks is ever present and yet the US does not want them to happen…why is that?

Most conflicts as the war rages on the talks become more and more important…..how many Ukrainians must suffer and die before some sort of talks begin?

More news on talks came out yesterday….

According to a report from POLITICO, the Biden administration has been reassuring Ukraine that peace talks with Russia don’t need to happen anytime soon after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said this winter will provide an opportunity for diplomacy.

Milley said last week that Russia and Ukraine might recognize that victory “is maybe not achievable through military means, and therefore you need to turn to other means.” He expects fighting will slow down this winter, and the moment for peace talks could be “seized.”

Citing unnamed US and Ukrainian officials, the POLITICO report said that US officials have conveyed to Ukraine that Washington was not trying to undercut Kyiv’s stated war goals of driving Russia out of all the territory it has captured. The US also said that just because there may be a pause in fighting this winter, that doesn’t mean peace talks need to happen.

While Milley is calling for peace talks, other high-level US officials are against the idea, including National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The POLITICO report said that Sullivan’s Nationa Security Council is most resistant to the idea of talks, although there are a few aides on the NSC pushing for diplomacy.

The report said that there is a “broad sense” within the Pentagon that the winter will provide a chance to reach a political settlement and that senior US military officials don’t believe Ukraine can achieve its war aims, which include expelling Russia from Crimea. But so far, these views have not had an impact on President Biden or his most senior staff.

While many elements of the Biden administration are resisting the idea of pushing for talks between Ukraine and Russia, there has been an increase in dialogue between Washington and Moscow. On Monday, CIA Director William Burns met with his Russian counterpart, although the White House stressed the meeting was focused on warnings over the use of nuclear weapons, not a negotiation over Ukraine.

(antiwar.com)

I disagree I still think that talks should be the priority….not more and more lethal weapons.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

How About A Ukraine Update?

It is not secret that I feel that our commitment to Ukraine is hurting this country and that our blinded commitment is not doing anyone any good and will do little to find a solution to this conflict.

Then one of Zelensky’s posse has threatened to go to war with Iran…..

On November 5, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has advocated for military strikes on drone production sites located in Iran. President Zelensky echoed Podolyak’s belligerent rhetoric the following day, demanding Iran be “punished” for allegedly supplying drones to Russia. 

Kiev adopted its hostile posture towards Tehran after claiming Russia deployed Iranian-supplied drones to strike Ukrainian civilian infrastructure throughout much of October. 

In an interview with a Ukrainian news outlet on November 5, Podolyak argued that the response to Iran supplying Russia with drones should not be limited to sanctions or even a total trade embargo: “It seems to me that it should not be sanctions or even an embargo, yes a total embargo. It seems to me that it would be possible to carry out specific strikes on the production of drones, ballistic missiles, and so on.”

https://thegrayzone.com/2022/11/12/zelensky-threatens-war-iran/

Seriously?

These d/bags want to expand the war that is ripping Ukraine in half….at whose urging?

Zelensky wants to re-make Ukraine in Israeli images….could they be prodding this into Ukraine’s mind?

Just what does that mean?

Will they decide to attack their neighbors when the need to flex their muscle arise……knowing the US will cover their butts at every turn?

Zelensky has demanded that the US cover their budgetary shortfalls and that the US supply them indefinitely…..and Americans have NOTHING to say about these demands…why is that?

I asked the same question every time I write about Ukraine…with the massive support that we are giving to Ukraine what does the US hope to gain from this unending investment?

Speaking of weapons…..

Kiev is planning a buildup of its weapons industry to produce more sophisticated arms, with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov saying government takeovers of several companies will help Kiev to create an “army of drones” and other NATO-caliber weapons. The defense chief noted that growing military ties between Kiev and the West makes Ukraine a de facto NATO partner.

In an interview on Thursday, Reznikov told reporters Kiev was seeking to replicate Tel Aviv’s defense industry. “We are trying to be like Israel – more independent during the next years,” he said.

The defense head argued that Israel’s advanced defense industry helps it maintain its sovereignty, adding “I think the best answer [can be seen] in Israel … developing their national industry for their armed forces. It made them independent.”

(antiwar.com)

An arms industry will be easy when they have so much surplus weapons given to them by the US.

I think the American people deserve more answer than threats…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Oh The Arrogance

Recently I reported that Ukraine demands that the US cover all their budget deficit….and I went ballistic.

Personally I think Zelensky is playing the US like a cheap drum…..now there is a report that even Biden seems to be getting on board of the chuq-train.

President Joe Biden reportedly lost his temper earlier this year when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for more than $1 billion in military assistance, RadarOnline.com has learned.

The surprising exchange reportedly took place in June during a phone call between the two leaders.

Although Biden previously signed off on a $1 billion package to help Ukraine in its war against Russia, Zelenskyy allegedly pressed the president to provide more support – something Biden did not take kindly.

As a result, President Biden was forced to raise his voice and remind the Ukrainian leader that the United States and the American people were doing all they could to help him in his country’s fight against Russia.

According to the Post, four people familiar with the phone call confirmed the conversation grew heated – although another source within the Biden Administration disputed claims their conversation grew testy.

(msn.com)

I have no doubt that Zelensky will get his bribery after all he has hired PR firms and lobbyists to see that the money makes it into the best hands to control the situation.

I have criticized Zelensky on several occasions and it has not been received well by others.  It is like if you criticize Zelensky you are liking Putin (which is pure crap for I think Putin is a demented little toad)

Why are so many unwilling to criticize?

Good question, eh?

There is a concerted effort in the United States and Europe to intimidate, smear, and silence anyone who dares criticize Ukraine’s government or the Biden administration’s policy on the Russia-Ukraine war. The latest example was the decision of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to retract an open letter it had sent to the president just days earlier urging him to give higher priority to diplomacy as a way of ending the bloodshed. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), chair of the caucus, offered an explanation that quickly drew derision from multiple quarters. “The letter was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting.”

Ironically, the letter itself was a rather tepid venture. Indeed, the signatories went out of their way to emphasize their support for Ukraine and praise the Biden administration for the financial and military aid it had given to Kyiv. The fawning opening paragraph epitomized the tone. “We write with appreciation for your commitment to Ukraine’s legitimate struggle against Russia’s war of aggression. Your support for the self-defense of an independent, sovereign, and democratic state has been supported by Congress, including through various appropriations of military, economic and humanitarian aid in furtherance of this cause. Your administration’s policy was critical to enable the Ukrainian people, through their courageous fighting and heroic sacrifices, to deal a historic military defeat to Russia, forcing Russia to dramatically scale back the stated goals of the invasion.”

Why Are Critics Afraid To Confront the Ukraine Lobby?

There is no way that there is no corruption going on in Ukraine….somebody is getting wealthy…..you decide who that will be.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Where Do Those Weapons Go?

I have been in opposition to all the taxpayer money thrown at Ukraine…..both cash and aid….the US has just authorized the 24th weapons transfer for the embattled country.

I have also been asking the question just what does the US hope to get from all our investment?

Let’s make it easy….does the weapons transfer actually go where they are suppose to go?

Like all our conflict involvement things are not proceeding in a good fashion….

Finland’s national law enforcement agency, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), has warned that weapons being shipped to Ukraine are ending up in the hands of criminal gangs.

The Finnish broadcaster YLE reported Sunday that a preliminary investigation conducted by the NBI found that criminals in Finland may have captured military arms sent to Ukraine.

“We’ve seen signs of these weapons already finding their way to Finland,” Christer Ahlgren, the NBI’s detective superintendent, told YLE. Ahlgren said that weapons shipped to Ukraine have also been found in Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Ahlgren didn’t specify what type of weapons criminals were getting hold of, and the Yle report only mentioned rifles. He said that the routes for trafficking the weapons from Ukraine were already in place and said motorcycle gangs were involved in the activity.

“Three of the world’s largest motorcycle gangs—that are part of larger international organizations—are active in Finland. One of these is Bandidos MC, which has a unit in every major Ukrainian city,” Ahlgren said.

There’s been virtually no oversight of the tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons that the US and its NATO allies have been pouring into Ukraine. Back in April, one source briefed on US intelligence told CNN that sending weapons into Ukraine was like dropping the arms into a “big black hole.”

In August, CBS released a short documentary that quoted the head of an NGO that helps get military equipment to Ukraine, who estimated only 30%-40% of the arms are making it to the frontlines. The documentary was quickly retracted after pressure from the Ukrainian government, and CBS said that the 30% estimation was based on figures in April.

Ahlgren said that officials in the region will have to deal with the influx of arms for years to come. “Ukraine has received a large volume of weapons and that’s good, but we’re going to be dealing with these arms for decades and pay the price here,” he said.

(antiwar.com)

What?

Do not sound so surprised it was reported about 6 months ago and yet nothing has changed….Interpol warns that the weapons being flooded into Ukraine will end up in the hands of criminals

Some members of Congress are putting pressure on the Pentagon over the lack of oversight for the billions in US weapons that are being pumped into Ukraine. Politico reported Thursday that there are lawmakers who have warned the Biden administration that the overwhelming congressional support for Ukraine aid could wane if the issue is not addressed.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tried to add a provision to the $40 billion Ukraine aid that would create a new inspector general for oversight, but his effort failed. The measure passed in a vote of 86-11, with only Republicans voting no, mostly because of the lack of accountability for how the funds will be spent.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has also called for oversight of the aid being sent to Ukraine. “The US government is sending billions in humanitarian, economic, and military assistance to help the Ukrainian people overcome Putin’s brutal war, and the American people expect strong oversight by Congress and full accounting from the Department of Defense,” she said.

Demonstrating the severe lack of oversight, CNN reported in April that the US has “almost zero” ability to track the weapons it is sending once they enter Ukraine. One source briefed on US intelligence described it as dropping the arms into a “big black hole.”

The head of Interpol sounded the alarm on Wednesday over the number of weapons that are pouring into Ukraine, warning that they will end up in the hands of criminals. “The high availability of weapons during the current conflict will result in the proliferation in illicit arms in the post-conflict phase,” said Interpol Secretary-General Juergen Stock. “Even weapons that are used by the military, heavy weapons, will be available on the criminal market.”

Responding to the criticism of the lack of oversight, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Anton Semelroth appeared to blame the issue on Russia. “Risk of diversion is one of many considerations that we routinely assess when evaluating any potential arms transfer,” Semelroth said. “In this case, risk would be considerably minimized by the full withdrawal from Ukraine by Russian forces.”

In typical fashion….”It is Russia’s fault”….a lame excuse for NO actual oversight.

Did you hear any of this on your broadcast news?

When will the American taxpayer realize just how badly the government is at ….well anything.

We need to know where our money is spent or should I say…wasted.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”