NATO Exists To Solve Problems NATO Creates

Since 1992 I have not been a fan of NATO….in the beginning it was to solve the possible expansion of the former USSR…..after the break-up I did not see a threat(at that time) to Europe so I thought Clinton should have dissolved the group and let Europe come up with their own defense plan if ever needed.

I still am not a fan of NATO because I think they are expanding its reach far beyond Europe.

In recent years NATO has created more problems than it solves….

It has become fashionable among the mainstream western commentariat to claim that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had nothing to do with NATO expansion, but as recently explained by Philippe Lemoine for the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology, that’s a completely false narrative that requires snipping past comments made by Putin out of the context in which they were made. Many western experts warned for years in advance that NATO expansion would lead to a conflict like the one we’re seeing today, and they were of course correct.

The recent push to expand NATO in Ukraine along with nations like Finland and Sweden as justified by “Russian aggression” is a good example of what professor Richard Sakwa has called the “fateful geographical paradox: that NATO exists to manage the risks created by its existence.” As the late scholar on US-Russia relations Stephen Cohen explained years before the Ukraine crisis erupted in 2014, Moscow sees NATO as an “American sphere of influence,” and the expansion of NATO and NATO influence as expansion of that sphere. It reacts to this with hostility just as the US would react to China or Russia building up aggressive military alliances on its borders, and arguably with vastly more restraint than the US would.

Other future examples of Sakwa’s fateful geographical paradox are likely to include the push to reconfigure NATO into an alliance dedicated to “restraining” China, which of course means halting China’s rise on the world stage and working to constrict, balkanize and usurp it. A recent Financial Times article titled “Washington steps up pressure on European allies to harden China stance” gives new detail to this agenda:

https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/nato-exists-to-solve-the-problems

I still think that NATO should be replaced with a European lead group….after all it is their necks on the line if Russia is truly the threat that so many think it is these days.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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Oh Crap! Article 5!

First what the Hell is Article 5?

Article 5 is the cornerstone of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)  and states that an attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all of its members.

Now that missile that hit inside Poland.

Poland said early Wednesday that a Russian-made missile fell in the country’s east, killing two people, though U.S. President Joe Biden said it was “unlikely” it was fired from Russia.

The blast, which Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy decried as “a very significant escalation,” prompted Biden to call an emergency meeting of G-7 and NATO leaders. A deliberate, hostile attack on NATO member Poland could trigger a collective military response by the alliance.

(apnews.com)

Now my questions are…..

Who is provoking who?

Is this truly an escalation by Russia?  Trying to draw NATO into this conflict.

It is a Russian made missile then was it fired by some other entity to draw NATO into the conflict?

Shortly after the accusations Biden made a statement…..

President Biden told reporters in Indonesia on Wednesday that it’s “unlikely” the missile that hit a village in Poland Tuesday near the Ukrainian border was fired by Russia and that “preliminary” information indicates otherwise.

“There is preliminary information that contests that,” Biden said when asked by reporters if the missile was fired by Russia. “I don’t want to say until we completely investigate. It’s unlikely in the minds of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia.”

After Biden’s comments, three US Officials told The Associated Press that “preliminary assessments” suggest the missile that hit Poland was fired by Ukrainian forces and was meant to intercept a Russian missile.

Biden is in Indonesia for the G20 summit and held an emergency meeting of NATO and G7 leaders over the news that a missile fell in Poland, killing two people. He said that the allies agreed to find out exactly what happened and make a decision together from there.

“Then we’re going to collectively determine our next step as we investigate and proceed. There was total unanimity among folks at the table,” Biden said.

Over in Poland, President Andrzej Duda told reporters that there’s no clear evidence of who fired the missile. “We do not for the moment have unequivocal evidence of who fired the missile. An investigation is ongoing,” he said.

Poland is considering holding consultations with NATO members under Article 4 of the alliance’s treaty. NATO’s Article 4 states: “The parties will consult together whenever any of them have the opinion that the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any party is threatened.”

Since Poland is a NATO member, there has been concern that the country may ask to invoke Article 5, which states that “an armed attack on any party is an attack on them all.” But so far, there is no sign that Poland is looking to escalate the situation, and there’s no evidence that Russia launched the missile.

When news of the missile landing in Poland first broke, a US official told The Associated Press that Russian missiles hit Polish territory. But when asked about the situation, the Pentagon said it could not corroborate the claim, and Russia issued a strong denial.

The lack of evidence has not stopped Ukrainian officials from accusing Russia of hitting Poland. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Twitter that he spoke with Duda and expressed “condolences over the death of Polish citizens from Russian missile terror.”

(antiwar.com)

I will wait to see if the news actually reflects the facts as they are known….or will the warmongers get their way?

Which question is the more accurate?

Final thought…..US is planning yet another $37 billion in aid to Ukraine.

The White House on Tuesday asked Congress to approve $37.7 billion in new aid for Ukraine, which would bring total US spending on the war to about $105 billion.

According to The Hill, the request includes $21.7 billion in military aid for Ukraine and to replenish US military stockpiles that have been sent to the country.

A total of $14.5 billion in budgetary aid to directly fund the Ukrainian government is included, as Kyiv is expecting the US and its allies to pay its budget deficit for 2023.

The request also includes $626 million for the US Strategic Oil Reserve and for nuclear safety for Ukraine and $900 million for healthcare and other services for Ukrainians.

It’s possible Congress will increase the White House requests as media reports said lawmakers in both parties were looking to pass a Ukraine aid bill of about $50 billion before January.

(antiwar.com)

I know no on cares how much we spend on Ukraine but let children get a free lunch and all Hell breaks lose.

How disgusting is that?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Practice Makes Perfect

All this talk about a nuke holocaust has the US doing what it does best….preparing for an all out use of nukes.

NATO military alliance will hold a training exercise, known as Steadfast Noon, in which US B-52 bombers and F-16 fighters will simulate dropping atomic bombs over Europe amid a deepening nuclear standoff with Russia.

The training exercise comes just ten days after US President Joe Biden warned of a nuclear “apocalypse,” saying the risk of nuclear war is the greatest since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

“This is the exercise that practices NATO’s nuclear strike mission with dual-capable aircraft and the B61 tactical nuclear bombs the US deploys in Europe,” wrote Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists.

The aircraft will rehearse dropping B61 “tactical” thermonuclear bombs, each of which is up to 20 times more powerful than the weapon that destroyed Hiroshima in World War II, killing as many as 126,000 civilians.

While nuclear training exercises are usually presented as routine, nonthreatening, and not targeting any specific country, this year NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg made clear that the exercise is intended as a threat to Russia.

In a speech that mentioned Russia five times, Stoltenberg announced, “Next week, NATO will hold its long-planned deterrence exercise, Steadfast Noon.” He added, “Russia knows that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

As of 2019, the United States had 150 “tactical” nuclear warheads stationed throughout Europe as part of the NATO nuclear arsenal, including in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/10/17/lkbs-o17.html

This news should worry about this exercise….after all the US is the ONLY country to actually use a nuke on a civilian population….it is a precedent.

But wait!

There is more that concern us mere peasants….

A commander said, “this is not a training deployment, this is a combat deployment”

The White House has deployed thousands of American soldiers just miles from Ukraine to prepare for war, according to CBS News. Officers speaking with the outlet revealed they were there for combat against Russia.

Brigadier General John Lubas confirmed nearly 5,000 troops from the 101st Airborne recently joined the 100,000 American soldiers already deployed to Europe. Lubas described his troops as being on “full deployment,” and they are preparing to fight Russian soldiers in Ukraine. “This is not a training deployment, this is a combat deployment for us. We understand we need to be ready to fight tonight,” he said.

Colonel Edwin Matthaidess said his forces have been “closely watching” the Russian soldiers, “building objectives to practice against” and conducting war games that “replicate exactly what’s going on” in Ukraine.

CBS News reported, “[Russia’s] goal is to cut off all Ukrainian access to the sea, leaving the country and its military forces landlocked.” CBS News did not provide a source for that assertion. The Kremlin has publicly said its war goal is limited to eastern Ukraine.

Lubas declared the division was “ready to defend every inch of NATO soil.” However, Moscow has never threatened to invade a NATO country. Ukraine is not a NATO member. When President Zelensky said Ukraine should be allowed into the North Atlantic alliance last month, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg rejected Kiev’s proposal.

(antiwar.com)

All this sounds like someone itching for a fight and will eventually find a reason to put practice into action.

Please people PAY ATTENTION!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Ukraine And NATO

Ukraine was barred from entry into NATO until it cleaned up its act and work on clean out corruption and extend democracy…..now since Russia’s ill-fated invasion of Ukraine the world including NATO are considering Ukraine for membership. But why?

Zelensky has tried to play Europe to rush through their membership….but sadly it is not falling on supportive ears…..

On September 30, in the tailwind of Russia’s announcement that Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia would be annexed by Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a renewed plea for Ukrainian membership in NATO. 

The Ukrainian president made his case for membership by pointing out that “de facto, we have already made our way to NATO.” With that statement, he lifted up Russia’s claim that it is “now in a direct war with the U.S.” or, as Putin said on September 21, that Russia is fighting “the entire Western military machine.”

In other words, Zelensky’s request has further fed into Russian fears that Ukraine has already become a Western vassal. For Ukraine and its allies, it also highlighted, once again, that Kyiv is not a member of NATO. And, judging by the muted response from NATO leaders, that’s not going to change anytime soon.

Take NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who repeated that the door is open to all European countries before slamming the door shut again by saying that “our focus now is on providing immediate support to Ukraine to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s brutal invasion.”

If that wasn’t enough, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan then pretty much locked the door, saying Ukraine’s application “should be taken up at a different time.”

This is a reminder to the people of Ukraine — the people who are directly suffering the horrors of this war — that the U.S. and its NATO allies are more than happy to send weapons to Ukrainian soldiers but remain unwilling to send their own men and women to fight.

Biden has repeatedly insisted that the U.S. “will not fight the third world war in Ukraine,” hence the  immediate reason NATO won’t entertain Zelensky’s entreaties: Article 5 could be triggered immediately in the face of continued Russian aggression against the defenses, infrastructure, and populace in Ukraine.

Zelensky’s NATO bid falls flat

Of course Russia takes exception to the possibility of a Ukraine membership….

A Russian Security Council official said Thursday that Ukraine joining NATO would guarantee World War III when commenting on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent attempt to join the alliance.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech on annexing Ukrainian territory on September 30, Zelensky submitted a “fast-track” application to join NATO, which was quickly shot down.

Alexander Venediktov, the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said that Zelensky’s application was a propaganda move. “Kyiv is well aware that such a step would mean a guaranteed escalation to World War Three,” he said.

Venediktov said that the US and its allies also recognize that Ukraine can’t join NATO without sparking a world war. “The suicidal nature of such a step is understood by NATO members themselves,” he said.

During the lead-up to Russia’s February 24 invasion, Putin was seeking a guarantee from the US that Ukraine won’t ever join NATO. Even though President Biden made clear at the time that Ukraine wouldn’t be joining the alliance anytime in the foreseeable future, he refused to make the promise.

Back in March, when seemingly discussing the period before the war, Zelensky said he asked for a straight answer about whether or not Ukraine would become a NATO member. He was told no, but that “publicly,” the door would remain open.

“I requested them personally to say directly that we are going to accept you into NATO in a year or two or five, just say it directly and clearly, or just say no,” he told CNN. “And the response was very clear, you’re not going to be a NATO member, but publicly, the doors will remain open.”

While NATO has no plans to accept Ukraine as a full member, Politico reported Wednesday that the alliance it is working on a 10-year plan to rebuild the country’s military and arms industry. The idea would be to focus on shifting the country from using Soviet equipment to primarily using NATO weapons, making it a de facto NATO member.

(antiwar.com)

The world should not be held up to blackmail…and that is exactly what Zelensky is doing regardless of how he puts lipstick on the request….it is a bad idea.   Period!

What to do, what to do?

The GOP may do something that I can agree with……

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) suggested on Tuesday that major Ukraine aid may be more difficult to pass if the House is controlled by Republicans after the upcoming mid-term elections.

“I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine. They just won’t do it. … It’s not a free blank check,” McCarthy told Punchbowl News.

While spending billions on the war in Ukraine still has strong bipartisan support, 57 House Republicans voted against the $40 billion Ukraine aid bill that was passed in May.

McCarthy and other Republican leaders are still in favor of supporting Ukraine, but more GOP members are said to be questioning the policy. So far, the US has authorized over $67 billion to spend on the war, more than Russia’s entire military budget for 2021.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, downplayed McCarthy’s comments and said he believes the GOP concerns are more over the lack of oversight.

There still is virtually no oversight for the tens of billions of dollars that have been sent to Ukraine, which covers not only military aid but also direct funding of the Ukrainian government.

(antiwar.com)

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Zelensky’s Great Expectation

My regulars know that I am not a fan of all the funds and stuff we are pouring into Ukraine….I believe that this is just a funnel for the corruptible…..and we continue to feed that machine….just as we have done with other countries that we are saving from anarchy…..

The newest report coming out of Ukraine is that they are basically demanding the West (meaning the US) must guarantee their security…..

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday welcomed a proposal drawn up by senior Ukrainian officials and a former NATO chief that outlined a plan for security guarantees Kyiv would seek from Western countries.

The proposal emphasizes Ukraine’s desire to become a NATO member and says that until Kyiv joins the Western military alliance, it needs security guarantees from other countries.

The document says that the “strongest security guarantee for Ukraine lies in its capability to defend itself.” It says building up a sufficient defensive force requires “a multi-decade effort of sustained investment in Ukraine’s defense industrial base, scalable weapons transfers and intelligence support from allies, intensive training missions and joint exercises under the European Union and NATO flags.”

The security guarantees Ukraine seeks from other countries is a commitment for them to support Ukraine’s ability to create this force to deter future attacks through military aid, funding of reconstruction, training, intelligence sharing, and joint exercises.

According to the document, the countries Ukraine wants security guarantees from include but are not limited to “the US, UK, Canada, Poland, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, Turkey, and Nordic, Baltic, and Central European countries.”

As part of this arrangement, Ukraine seeks a “massive training and joint maneuver program of Ukrainian forces and partners on Ukrainian territory with international trainers and advisors.”

Zelensky on Wednesday welcomed the plan, which was drawn up with the help of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former NATO secretary-general. Zelensky said that the report “should become the basis of the future security compact.”

(antiwar.com)

Join NATO?

Is that not the major reason that Russia invaded?

This is nothing more than a demand for an open-ended deal to continue the funneling dollars and bombs into Ukraine indefinitely.

And this will happen come 2023 and the spineless creeps we have in our Houses of Congress.

Just another incident of the US saving ‘democracy’….like Iraq and Afghanistan to name the most recent failures.

Open you damn eyes!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Who Pays?

The US Congress has voted overwhelmingly to allow Sweden and Finland into NATO…..a bad idea from my point of view…..since the 1990s the US and NATO have been poking Russia in th eye at almost every turn…..and then Ukraine happened.

Now the finger poking begins again….and how will that end? Better question is if Russia retaliates against Europe who pays?

An excellent question and with the US domination of the arms industry….who do you think will benefit the most?

If Europe wants to flex its underused muscle….what will be the outcome?

After Russia attacked Ukraine, European governments claimed to be serious about defense. However, so far few have acted on their latest promises. The continent’s continued reliance on America is evident from European proposals for military escalation — which could only be pursued by Washington. The Biden administration should insist on an alliance rebalance.

For more than seven decades, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has stood for North America and The Others. It was not supposed to be this way. Warned Dwight D. Eisenhower, NATO’s first supreme commander: “We cannot be a modern Rome guarding the far frontiers with our legions if for no other reason than that these are not, politically, our frontiers. What we must do is to assist these people [to] regain their confidence and get on their own military feet.”

However, even after recovering economically from World War II, European governments preferred to invest in their welfare states rather than their militaries. American policymakers preferred to dominate the continent’s decision-making rather than limit the U.S. public’s military liability. As a result, the U.S. consciously acted as a modern Rome. Still, Washington wanted the Europeans to do more. Alas, America’s clients provided promises rather than performance, reducing U.S. officials to begging.

A decade ago, soon-to-retire Defense Secretary Robert Gates criticized Europe’s lackadaisical military efforts: “I’ve worried openly about NATO turning into a two-tiered alliance: Between members who specialize in ‘soft’ humanitarian, development, peacekeeping, and talking tasks, and those conducting the ‘hard’ combat missions. Between those willing and able to pay the price and bear the burdens of alliance commitments, and those who enjoy the benefits of NATO membership — be they security guarantees or headquarters billets — but don’t want to share the risks and the costs. This is no longer a hypothetical worry. We are there today. And it is unacceptable.”

So if Europe wants to escalate against Russia who foots the bill?

If push comes to shove in Europe the US will be on the hook with either troops, money, or weapons…..or all three.

An unacceptable situation that will be reality for the M-IC will always gets it’s way….it is why lobbyists throw money at Congress.

Time for a re-set.  NATO should have ended wit the fall of the Soviet Union.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–04Aug22

Our Congress has voted on Sweden and Finland vote on joining NATO…..overwhelmingly in both Houses.

I have been in opposition to this situation for I think it will make things more volatile than they are now…yet another finger poke at Russia.

It is official the Senate has voted to allow Sweden and Finland into NATO…..

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a resolution approving Sweden and Finland’s bids for NATO membership, demonstrating the bipartisan consensus on expanding the military alliance further on Russia’s border.

The measure passed the Senate in a vote of 95-1-1, with only Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) voting “no,” and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) voting “present.”

In an op-ed published inThe National interest, Hawley explained that he was against expanding NATO into Sweden and Finland because he believes the US should be expanding its military resources into the Asia Pacific to counter China.

An amendment that Paul tried to add to the resolution would have emphasized that Article 5, NATO’s mutual defense clause, does not supersede congressional authorization for war. But the amendment failed in a vote of 10-87.

The Senate vote was needed to ratify US approval for Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance. All 30 NATO members need to approve the Nordic nations’ memberships, and according to The Hill, the Senate vote makes the US the 20th country to do so.

In July, the House voted on a resolution supporting Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids that passed in a vote of 394-18, with only Republicans voting against the measure.

Turkey is the only NATO member that has said its legislature might block Sweden and Finland from joining the alliance. Ankara initially blocked the Nordic countries from applying but lifted the objection after signing a memorandum at the NATO summit in June.

Turkey accused Sweden and Finland of supporting the PKK, a Kurdish militant group Ankara considers a terrorist organization. Under the memorandum, the two Nordic nations agreed to respond to Turkey’s extradition request for suspected PKK members and other alleged “terrorists.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the Turkish parliament could block Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids if they don’t comply.

(antiwar.com)

The bipartisan consensus for expanding NATO remains strong as the House approved a resolution on Monday endorsing Sweden and Finland’s memberships in a vote of 394-18, with only Republicans voting in opposition.

This is not something that the US should enter into lightly….but we did and apparently lobbyists money was well spent.

Ask yourself (you probably won’t) with this vote who will benefit the most?  (That means follow the money)

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–20Jul22

Anyone that visits this blog knows that I think that there are more than one fool serving in Congress….people like Taylor-Green, Gaetz, Boebert, et al…I believe these idiots never intended to govern when elected but rather to perform for the cameras.

But I will admit that once in a awhile they surprise me and do something I can agree with (at least in principle)….like Trump they were those few occasions when I agreed with something that Trump said or planned to do (also at least in principle)…..

This is one of those times that I agree with the GOP idiots…..

Eighteen Republican lawmakers voted against the US allowing Finland and Sweden to join NATO.

Among the dissenters in the Monday vote were some of the party’s farthest-right members, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Matt Gaetz (FL) and Lauren Boebert (CO).

The vote was a symbolic one to express support from the House for the applications — the formal process by which the US can ratify new NATO members takes place in the Senate.

The House bill passed easily with 394 votes, leaving the 18 Republicans in a small minority even among their own party.

https://www.businessinsider.com/18-republicans-voted-against-sweden-finland-joining-nato-2022-7

I am against this move for it will just agitate Russia and Putin even more….it will prolong all the animosities that are prevalent today in our foreign policy.

Everything the Congress is doing is just provoking more outbreaks of hostilities and giving the M-IC a free pass to sell more death and destruction.

I hate it that I agree with these GOPers….but a good idea is a good idea NO matter where it comes from.

Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Ukraine Wins The War Zone Lotto!

Dollars, Euros, pounds…..and the cash keeps flowing into Ukraine daily…..I have bitched about the US dollars that just keeps Ukraine in the battle…..but the US is NOT alone…..

European Union nations on Tuesday approved fresh aid for Ukraine as the country faces growing economic damage from Russia’s invasion.

Finance ministers from the 27-nation EU gave the go-ahead on Tuesday to 1 billion euros ($1 billion) in loans to the Ukrainian government.

The sum brings to 2.2 billion euros the total amount of EU macro-financial assistance to Kyiv this year. An initial 1.2 billion-euro EU loan package got the green light from the bloc’s finance chiefs days before Russia’s full-scale Feb. 24 attack.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, in mid-May proposed extra assistance of up to 9 billion euros to Ukraine. The planned 1 billion-euro payout is part of this initiative, which comes as Russia makes advances in eastern Ukraine and casualties mount on both sides.

“This will give Ukraine the necessary funds to cover urgent needs and ensure the operation of critical infrastructure,” said Zbynek Stanjura, finance minister of the Czech Republic, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, in a statement.

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-07-12/ukraine-granted-extra-eu-aid-of-1-billion-euros

I know I bitch a lot about the wasting of taxpayer cash on a cause that has no consequences for the US….so why stop now?

Another weapons package to be sent to Ukraine…..

The $400 million was pulled from the $40 billion Ukraine aid bill that President Biden signed back in May. It was authorized using presidential drawdown authority, which allows the president to send Ukraine weapons directly from the US military’s stockpile with no congressional oversight.

The $40 billion aid bill is meant to last through September 30, which marks the end of the fiscal year for the US federal government. Combined with the $13.6 billion bill that was already spent, the US will spend about $54 billion in total on the war in Ukraine in the 2022 fiscal year unless more funds are authorized.

It’s likely that billions more in spending for Ukraine will be approved for the 2023 fiscal year as the US says it will support Ukraine for a long time. Last week, at the NATO summit in Madrid, Biden said he was ready to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes” to defeat Russia.

(antiwar.com)

Apparently the billions we have already sent to Ukraine is not enough…..an additional package is being put together…..

The US on Tuesday announced it was sending $1.7 billion in new aid to fund the Ukrainian government that is meant to pay Ukrainian healthcare workers and support other “essential services.”

The funds are coming from the US Treasury Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and are being pulled from the $40 billion Ukraine aid bill President Biden signed into law back in May.

Also on Tuesday, the EU approved a new Ukraine aid package for 1 billion euros ($1 billion) in loans. The 1 billion is the first payment that’s part of an EU plan to provide Ukraine with 9 billion euros in financial assistance.

While Western nations have been shipping billions of dollars worth of weapons into Ukraine, the leadership in Kyiv keeps asking for more, including more economic assistance. Last month, the head of the Ukrainian parliament’s financial committee said the government needs $5 billion in external aid, or it will have to make drastic budget cuts.

The $40 billion aid package Biden signed in May includes $8.5 billion for economic assistance. More spending for Ukraine could be approved soon as the $40 billion is meant to last through September 30, and President Biden has said he’s willing to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”

Before Russia’s invasion, Western officials often cited corruption in Ukraine’s government as a reason why Kyiv couldn’t join NATO or the EU. But those concerns have fallen by the wayside as billions in aid are flowing into Ukraine with virtually no oversight.

(atiwar.com)

The key statement in that report is….” billions in aid are flowing into Ukraine with virtually no oversight.”

In other words we have NO idea where the cash is going…..mostly likely a percentage is finding its way into a few bank accounts…..

To illustrate this problem…..

The IG report reads: “As the DoD is building processes and procedures to ensure the transparency of the reporting for the Ukraine supplemental funds, we identified multiple areas of concern that, if not adequately addressed, could reduce the traceability of Ukraine supplemental funds and the transparency in the DoD’s reporting.”

Pentagon Watchdog Says Ukraine Aid Oversight Hindered By Bad Record-Keeping

I am still working on why I am one of the few that actually gives a crap how my money is spent.

We piss and moan about the cash spent on a social program but could care less when it is used for war and destruction…..where is the sanity there?

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

News On Ukraine

I know the news from Ukraine is not that important right now to Americans….we are dealing with the collapse of our system…..but yet there are some things coming out of Ukraine that we Americans should be concerned over.

First the most important news…..once again the US president is sending more taxpayer cash to Ukraine….yes more!

President Biden authorized a new $450 million weapons package for Ukraine that includes more High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), patrol boats, and tactical vehicles.

The Biden administration first sent HIMARS to Ukraine as part of a previous arms package that was announced on June 1, which represented a significant escalation in US military aid to Kyiv. Ukrainian officials said Thursday that they had received the first HIMARS delivery.

According to the Pentagon, the $450 million weapons package includes:

  • Four HIMARS
  • 36,000 rounds of 105 mm ammunition
  • 18 tactical vehicles to tow 155 mm artillery
  • 1,200 grenade launchers,
  • 2,000 machine guns,
  • 18 coastal and riverine patrol boats
  • Spare parts and other equipment.

The new bundle of weapons was funded by the $40 billion Ukraine aid bill that Biden signed into law back in May. The $450 million was authorized using presidential drawdown authority, which allows Biden to send weapons to Ukraine from the US military’s stockpiles.

Including the initial $13.6 billion aid bill for Ukraine, the US has authorized about $54 billion to spend on the war in Ukraine. The funds are meant to last through the 2022 fiscal year, which ends on September 30 for the federal government.

The majority of the funds are going toward military spending, whether through weapons packages for Ukraine or for the Pentagon to replenish its weapons stock and pay for troop deployments in Eastern Europe.

(antiwar.com)

I ask just what does the US get in return for all this cash?  I mean kindness is one thing but fool-hardiness is just stupid.

US is once again doing what it always does in these situations…..throw good money after bad!

It seems the mouth of Ukraine has a new strategy…insult those that are aiding his war…..

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba appears to have launched a new strategy in his country’s war against Russia. Insult Kyiv’s closest supporters by calling them Russian pawns.

He penned an article in Foreign Affairs, what amounts to the venerable newsletter of the Blob, the internationalist establishment. The US and Europe are not doing enough for Ukraine in his opinion. Indeed, he believes that the allies, despite sanctioning Russia and providing weapons to his country, are effectively going over to the dark side.

Kuleba wrote: “calls for dangerous deals are getting louder. As fatigue grows and attention wanders, more and more Kremlin-leaning commentators are proposing to sell out Ukraine for the sake of peace and economic stability in their own countries. Although they may pose as pacifists or realists, they are better understood as enablers of Russian imperialism and war crimes.”

A student of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People Kuleba is not. Denouncing the very governments he expects to help is a dubious tactic. Telling them to ignore the interests of their own nations won’t work. That is a step too far even for Kyiv’s friends.

Kuleba’s frustration is understandable. His nation has been invaded, a crime and tragedy. The human and material costs are horrendous. Despite early setbacks, the Russian military retains significant advantages, such as artillery dominance, which has led to steady if slow gains in the east. And despite Kuleba’s optimistic assertion that Ukraine can win, Moscow can escalate through full mobilization and resort to WMDs, something Kyiv cannot match. So he wants more, ever more assistance from the US and Europe.

This is understandable, even expected. However, if Kuleba and his government are counting on Western aid to save Ukraine, they are likely to be disappointed. Although the invasion has dominated media attention and driven the allies to take unusually tough and swift action against Russia, the conflict is not their, and certainly not their people’s, top concern.

First, this is Ukraine’s war, not the West’s crusade. There have been many conflicts since World War II, and even the US, the most militaristic power since the end of the Cold War, has avoided participating in most of them. When intervening militarily, Washington has always set limits, eventually deciding, with good reason, that it should stop pouring good lives and resources after bad into them – Afghanistan and Vietnam most dramatically. No other country will care as much about the outcome in Ukraine as Ukraine.

Indeed, Kuleba admitted: “It is only natural that people and governments lose interest in conflicts as they drag on. It’s a process that has played out many times throughout history. The world stopped paying attention to the war in Libya after former leader Muammar al-Qaddafi was toppled from power, in 2011. It disengaged from Syria, Yemen, and other ongoing conflicts that once generated front-page news. And as I know well, the rest of the world lost interest in Ukraine after 2015, even as we continued to fight Russian forces for control over the eastern part of the country.” Everyone is more concerned about their families and friends, as well as their communities and nations, than about “the world.”

Second, Kyiv’s fight is not for Europe, the West, or any other country. Ukrainians are fighting for Ukraine. Kuleba claimed: “If we lose, there will not just be no more Ukraine; there will be no prosperity or security in Europe.” Yet no one in NATO, except perhaps the Baltic States, which would do little of the fighting – NATO always has stood for North America and the Others – has ever considered Ukraine to be a vital interest worth fighting for. The alliance failed to act on a succession of promises to induct Kyiv and did not directly intervene after Russia’s 2014 territorial seizures. Today allied governments are acting in the very ways that so upset Kuleba because they believe it is vital to avoid being dragged into the conflict.

Has Ukraine Adopted a New Strategy of Insulting the Allies?

It is not anything new!  Zelensky and his sycophants have been insulting and embarrassing the Allies from the beginning….a tactic that has proved very lucrative from the beginning….cash has flown into the country at an alarming rate.

How goes the war?

Not as well as the powers would have us believe…..

According to a report from CNN, White House officials are losing confidence that Ukraine will be able to retake all the territory Russia has captured since it invaded on February 24 as Russian forces continue to make gains in the eastern Donbas region.

Unnamed US officials told CNN that President Biden’s advisors have started debating if and how the US should start convincing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should change his definition of what “victory” will look like.

Zelensky has repeatedly stated that Ukraine’s goal is to drive Russia out of all territory it has captured since it invaded. He also has said he wants to expel Russian forces from Crimea, a territory Moscow has controlled since 2014.

But even as the US and NATO are sending more and more heavy weapons to Kyiv, the prospect of Ukraine being able to launch a sufficient counter-offensive does not seem realistic. Ukraine is taking heavy casualties, with officials admitting they are losing between 100 and 200 troops each day.

(antiwar.com)

Finally, it looks like NATO could get a few new members…..Turkey is dropping its objection……

Turkey agreed on Tuesday to lift its objection to Sweden and Finland joining NATO, paving the way for the two Nordic countries to begin their application process at this week’s NATO summit in Madrid.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto released a statement that said that he and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Madrid that were facilitated by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

The three leaders signed a joint memorandum that said Turkey would support the Nordic nations’ NATO bid at the upcoming summit. Niinisto said the memorandum outlined that Turkey, Finland, and Sweden agreed to “extend their full support against threats to each other’s security.”

Turkey initially objected to Sweden and Finland’s application due to their alleged ties to the PKK, a Kurdish militant group the US, the EU, and Turkey consider a terrorist organization. Erdogan also wanted the Nordic nations to lift export controls on weapons they placed on Turkey in response to a Turkish assault on northeast Syria in 2019.

(antiwar.com)

And the war continues….and taxpayer money is wasted….as usual.

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