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”

Advertisement

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”

Seriously? A Bust?

I have been writing about what I think is overkill when it comes to Ukraine. Americans have a blind spot for some reason.

The newest attempt to deify Ukraine’s president is a bit too far….

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) introduced a bill this week that would place a bust of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the House wing of the US Capitol building, an idea that was strongly criticized by more conservative GOP members.

The resolution reads: “Resolved, That the House of Representatives directs the Fine Arts Board to obtain a bust of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, for display in a suitable, permanent location in the House of Representatives wing of the United States Capitol.”

On Twitter, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) posted a picture of the resolution and wrote: “Absolutely NOT! We serve AMERICA NOT UKRAINE!”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) wrote on Twitter that he wanted to believe the resolution was “satire” and linked to an article from the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks giving five reasons to oppose the bust.

The five reasons FreedomWorks listed are:

  1. Ukraine is NOT the 51st US State
  2. The US doesn’t own the conflict or is obligated to continue funding it
  3. Further payments would encourage US taxpayer-funded reconstruction of Ukraine
  4. Ukraine is corrupt and this conflict is not about “defending democracy”
  5. Zero oversight of taxpayer aid to Ukraine

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) also ripped the resolution on Twitter. “There is now a House resolution that seeks to put a display of Zelenskyy’s head in the US Capitol. Was the $100+ billion to Ukraine not enough?” he wrote.

While Zelensky mostly received a hero’s welcome when he visited Washington DC and was given many rounds of applause when addressing Congress, only 86 out of 213 House Republicans attended his speech, although some of the absences could be explained by the lawmakers getting a head start on Christmas travel.

For now, GOP leadership is incredibly supportive of arming Ukraine and is critical of President Biden for not sending longer-range and more advanced weapons. But there is opposition to the policy among a small but notable number of Republicans, and that opposition will likely grow as the war drags on.

(antiwar.com)

Just what is it that this person deserves a place of honor in the Capital building other than being another global freeloader with his hand out?

When will the American people wake up to this insanity?

How much further will these warmongers push the limits of acceptance?

This Ukraine thing is a f*cked up mess….period!

Thoughts?

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”

When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Go Shopping

No secret that I feel that the US is pissing money away by sending billions to Ukraine….and the US is not alone.

It seems the EU has gathered up donations for Ukraine to help them through the winter and Mrs. Zelensky goes to Paris to gratefully accept the donations for her country and a quick shopping spree as well.

This report is from some Conservative website….

Ukraine is in a horrible war with Russia at the moment. It’s costing lives and destroying the county. This county was in the middle of the war between Germany and Russia during World War II, then was under Soviet control until the early 1990’s when the ‘Iron Curtain’ fell.

Yesterday in Paris, it was reported that Ukraine had obtained another $1.1 billion in emergency aid to help the country over the winter months.

Ukraine’s Western allies pledged an additional one billion euros ($1.1 billion) in emergency winter aid on Tuesday, responding to pleas from President Volodymyr Zelensky to help the country withstand Russia’s onslaught against its energy grid.

Around 70 countries and international organizations gathered in Paris for a meeting aimed at enabling Ukrainians “to get through this winter”, said French President Emmanuel Macron.

In a video message, Zelensky said Ukraine needed assistance worth around 800 million euros in the short term for its battered energy sector.

“Of course it is a very high amount, but the cost is less than the cost of a potential blackout,” Zelensky told the conference via video link.

It’s now being reported that she took some time off yesterday to go on a quick shopping spree for herself while in the city.  The Conservative Treehouse reports:

Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, traveled to Paris France for a three-day visit December 12-14.  As reported by Le Monde, “Members of the Ukrainian government will also come, including Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, and several ministers in charge of reconstruction, including Yulia Svyrydenko (economy), Oleksandr Kubrakov (infrastructure) and German Galushchenko (energy).”

However, social media has erupted today after a “reliable store clerk” working on the ritzy Avenue Montaigne, has reported that Olena Zelenska went on a Christmas shopping spree spending €40,000 euros in an hour. (citation) Previously President Zelenskyy’s wife was received by French first lady Bridget Macron.

If the reporting is accurate, the spending spree comes at a bad time optically, as Mrs. Zelenska’s husband Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is simultaneously asking the European Union to provide more financial support for the embattled country.

(gatewaypundit.com)

Interesting, eh?

If this is an accurate report then ask…..

Where did this cash come from?

Is it US taxpayer dollars that funded this shopping spree?

Maybe it was from the EU funds.

Someone needs to find some sort of accountability….I do not want my tax dollars used for Paris shopping sprees….how about you?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Another Assault On Christianity?

Recently I wrote a post about Ukraine’s banning of the Russian Orthodox Church…..

Christianity Gets Banned

Zelensky has upped the ante against the church by seizing assets…..

Ukraine has ratcheted up its campaign against a branch of the Eastern Orthodox church with ties to Russia. On the order of President Volodymyr Zelensky, seven senior clerics from the Russian Orthodox church will have their assets seized and face bans on a range of economic and legal activities.

During his nightly video address on Sunday, the Ukrainian president said “by decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, sanctions were applied against seven people,” adding that his administration is “doing everything to ensure that the aggressor state does not have a single string of Ukrainian society to pull.”

According to Reuters, the new penalties mean that the seven clerics will have “their assets seized and are subject to a ban on a range of economic and legal activities as well as a de facto travel ban.”

The vast majority of Ukrainians belong to Eastern Orthodox churches, with many worshiping in parishes that take direction from the Moscow Patriarchate. On December 1, Zelensky announced that Kiev would attempt to expel all religious institutions with ties to Russia, arguing the move would make “it impossible for religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in the Russian Federation to operate in Ukraine.”

The president went on the claim that the Russian Orthodox Church poses a threat to Ukrainian culture, saying “we will never allow anyone to build an empire inside the Ukrainian soul.” He additionally denounced Ukrainians who continue to attend the allegedly Russia-controlled parishes as succumbing to “the temptation of evil.”

https://libertarianinstitute.org/news/kiev-seizes-assets-of-russian-orthodox-clerics/

While I can understand what he is doing I still think this is a bad idea.

He would be alienating a part of the population by assaulting their religious leaders and beliefs.

It is one thing to hate the Russians and it is another when you attack religion.

I still have not heard any comments from our dynamite religious community on this assault….do they condemn it or do they support it?

Just thinking.

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”

Peace In Their Time

I know to most I am an old hippie, a peace-nik, but sense I am antiwar what would you expect?

I believe that there is an opportunity for a negotiation….below is a plan offered up by Medea Benjamin and Nicholas J.S. Davies (I post the full plan because most do not bother to click on the link and this is a good plan and deserves more exposure)

Here are eight reasons why this holiday season too offers the potential for peace and a chance to move the conflict in Ukraine from the battlefield to the negotiating table.

1. The first, and most urgent reason, is the incredible, daily death and suffering in Ukraine, and the chance to save millions more Ukrainians from being forced to leave their homes, their belongings and the conscripted menfolk they may never see again.

With Russia’s bombing of key infrastructure, millions of people in Ukraine currently have no heat, electricity or water as temperatures drop below freezing. The CEO of Ukraine’s largest electric corporation has urged millions more Ukrainians to leave the country, ostensibly for just a few months, to reduce demand on the war-damaged power network.

The war has wiped out at least 35% of the country’s economy, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. The only way to halt the meltdown of the economy and the suffering of the Ukrainian people is to end the war.

2. Neither side can achieve a decisive military victory, and with its recent military gains, Ukraine is in a good negotiating position.

It has become clear that U.S. and NATO military leaders do not believe, and possibly have never believed, that their publicly stated goal of helping Ukraine to recover Crimea and all of Donbas by force is militarily achievable.

In fact, Ukraine’s military chief of staff warned President Zelensky in April 2021 that such a goal would not be achievable without “unacceptable” levels of civilian and military casualties, leading him to call off plans for an escalation of the civil war at that time.

Biden’s top military advisor, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, told the Economic Club of New York on November 9, “There has to be a mutual recognition that military victory is probably, in the true sense of the word, not achievable through military means…&quot

French and German military reviews of Ukraine’s position are reportedly more pessimistic than US ones, assessing that the current appearance of military parity between the two sides will be short-lived. This adds weight to Milley’s assessment, and suggests that this could well be the best chance Ukraine will get to negotiate from a position of relative strength.

3. US government officials, especially in the Republican Party, are starting to balk at the prospect of continuing this enormous level of military and economic support. Having taken control of the House, Republicans are promising more scrutiny of Ukraine aid. Congressman Kevin McCarthy, who will become Speaker of the House, warned that Republicans would not write a “blank check” for Ukraine. This reflects the growing opposition at the base of the Republican Party, with a Wall Street Journal November poll showing that 48% of Republicans say the US is doing too much to help Ukraine, up from 6% in March.

4. The war is causing upheavals in Europe. Sanctions on Russian energy have sent inflation in Europe skyrocketing and caused a devastating squeeze on energy supplies that is crippling the manufacturing sector. Europeans are increasingly feeling what German media call Kriegsmudigkeit.

This translates as “war-weariness,” but that is not an entirely accurate characterization of the growing popular sentiment in Europe. “War-wisdom” may describe it better.

People have had many months to consider the arguments for a long, escalating war with no clear endgame – a war that is sinking their economies into a recession – and more of them than ever now tell pollsters they would support renewed efforts to find a diplomatic solution. That includes 55% in Germany, 49% in Italy, 70% in Romania and 92% in Hungary.

5. Most of the world is calling for negotiations. We heard this at the 2022 UN General Assembly, where one after another, 66 world leaders, representing a majority of the world’s population, eloquently spoke out for peace talks. Philip Pierre, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, was one of them, pleading with Russia, Ukraine and the Western powers “to immediately end the conflict in Ukraine, by undertaking immediate negotiations to permanently settle all disputes in accordance with the principles of the United Nations.”

As the Amir of Qatar told the Assembly, “We are fully aware of the complexities of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the international and global dimension to this crisis. However, we still call for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful settlement, because this is ultimately what will happen regardless of how long this conflict will go on for. Perpetuating the crisis will not change this result. It will only increase the number of casualties, and it will increase the disastrous repercussions on Europe, Russia and the global economy.”

6. The war in Ukraine, like all wars, is catastrophic for the environment. Attacks and explosions are reducing all kinds of infrastructure–railways, electrical grids, apartment buildings, oil depots–to charred rubble, filling the air with pollutants and blanketing cities with toxic waste that contaminates rivers and groundwater.

The sabotage of Russia’s underwater Nord Stream pipelines supplying Russian gas to Germany led to what may have been the largest release of methane gas emissions ever recorded, amounting to the annual emissions of a million cars. The shelling of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, including Zaporizhzhia, the largest in Europe, has raised legitimate fears of deadly radiation spreading throughout Ukraine and beyond.

Meanwhile, US and Western sanctions on Russian energy have triggered a bonanza for the fossil fuel industry, giving them a new justification to increase their dirty energy exploration and production and keep the world firmly on course for climate catastrophe.

7. The war has a devastating economic impact on countries across the world. The leaders of the world’s largest economies, the Group of 20, said in a declaration at the end of their November summit in Bali that the Ukraine war “is causing immense human suffering and exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy – constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity and elevating financial stability risks.”

Our long-standing failure to invest the relatively small proportion of our resources required to eradicate poverty and hunger on our otherwise rich and abundant planet already condemns millions of our brothers and sisters to squalor, misery and early deaths.

Now this is compounded by the climate crisis, as entire communities are washed away by flood waters, burned out by wildfires or starved by multi-year droughts and famines. International cooperation has never been more urgently needed to confront problems that no country can solve on its own. Yet wealthy nations still prefer to put their money into weapons and war instead of adequately addressing the climate crisis, poverty or hunger.

8. The last reason, which dramatically reinforces all the other reasons, is the danger of nuclear war. Even if our leaders had rational reasons to favor an open-ended, ever-escalating war over a negotiated peace in Ukraine – and there are certainly powerful interests in the weapons and fossil fuel industries that would profit from that – the existential danger of what this could lead to absolutely must tip the balance in favor of peace.

This war needs to end….the death and destruction only effects the Ukrainians….that should be the ONLY reason for this conflict to end.

Since you do not have the problems, the death, the hunger, the cold and the constant war….maybe you should look at it from the average Ukrainian before you make any observations.

I know we hate Putin and want to see him destroyed….fanciful for I do not think that end will be realized….so I think that all aspects and plans should be considered.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Christianity Gets Banned

NO this is not some regurgitation from some half mad preacher predicting the end of religion if Dems and the “Left” have their way…..not all…it is about a real action taken by a democratic leader…..

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced he is seeking to ban all religions with ties to Russia. He claims the move is needed to “guarantee spiritual independence to Ukraine.”

This law will target millions of Ukrainians who identify as Russian Orthodox.

During his nightly address on Thursday, Zelensky announced he was introducing legislation that would eliminate religious organizations affiliated with Russia from operating in Ukraine. He said this will make “it impossible for religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in the Russian Federation to operate in Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian leader said it was necessary to purge the church to preserve the country’s spiritual independence. Adding, “We will never allow anyone to build an empire inside the Ukrainian soul.” Zelensky denounced Ukrainians continuing to attend the parishes as failing to overcome “the temptation of evil.”

He claimed a series of recent raids by Kiev’s intelligence found orthodox churches which remain connected with the Moscow Patriarchate have been acting as operatives for the Kremlin. In his address, Zelensky instructed his security forces to further target Russian Orthodox parishes.

Around two-thirds of Ukrainians identify as Eastern Orthodox Christians. At one point, the majority of Ukrainians attended parishes that followed the Moscow Patriarchate. Some recent polls say that number has dwindled to under 15%. However, the polling was only conducted in territory that was controlled by Ukrainian forces. Zelensky has vowed to return those regions to Kiev’s authority.

(antiwar.com)

As an American I have a problem with the leader of a nation deciding what a person is to believe.  I realize he is in a war but this does nothing to further the possibility of some sort of settlement in this conflict.

I also wait to see what other condemnations are coming Zelensky’s way…..I am sure that there will be few and far between.

He has banned opposition parties and closed down some papers that do not agree with him….and he is still billed as ‘democratic’ leader.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”