Showing posts with label Ukraine War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ukraine War. Show all posts

Sunday, August 27, 2023

A Half Million Ukrainian War Casualties and 6 Million Refugees: What’s the Point?

 During the First World War, it was said that the British military maintained three sets of casualty lists. One version was kept to hoodwink the public. A second set was maintained to dupe the British War Office. And the third set was kept to deceive itself.

According to the New York Times, nearly half a million troops have been killed or wounded over the last 18 months of Ukraine's war with Russia. The Times calculates that 70,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and another 180,000 wounded. Russian military casualties are even higher: 120,000 deaths and 180,000 injured.

Of course, these numbers are only estimates. Neither Russia nor Ukraine have revealed their casualty lists. These tallies don't include civilian casualties, which must be severe given the routine bombing of Ukrainian towns and villages by the Russians.

As the Times put it, the toll of dead and wounded is “staggering.” To put it in perspective, about 58,000 American soldiers died during the Vietnam War, a conflict that stretched over ten years. Ukraine, a country with a much smaller population, lost 70,000 soldiers in only 18 months.

Then there are the refugees. Around 8 million Ukrainians have fled the country, and another 5 million have been displaced but still live in Ukraine.

Most Americans feel no moral responsibility for this catastrophe, even though American weapons and money have significantly contributed to the carnage. College students, by the millions, protested the war in Vietnam, but today's young students have more refined moral sensibilities. They can be whipped into a frenzy if a conservative judge gives a speech on a college campus. They don't give a shit about the Ukrainians.

And consider this. The New York Times may have miscalculated the death toll from the Ukrainian war. Douglas Macgregor. a retired U.S. Army officer, believes 400,000 Ukrainians have been killed during the war—more than five times the number reported by the Times.

America's legacy media report that Ukraine is winning this war, but that's untrue. Ukraine will never recover Crimea or the Donbas, no matter how many Ukrainians are killed or maimed in this senseless war with Russia. And make no mistake. The Russians will find a way to make America pay for provoking this pointless conflict.



Monday, August 14, 2023

Are we having fun yet? The Ukraine war intensifies, and Americans are enthralled by Barbie

Ukraine’s war with Russia has dragged on for 18 months and shows no signs of ending. It's like The Walking Dead series; it ran on and on long after its audience became bored. General Milley warned Americans that the war would be a long one; perhaps the only honest thing he's said about it.

The mainstream media casts this war as a barbaric act of Russian aggression. However, pro-war columnists neglect to mention that the United States provoked this war when it helped overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected pro-Russian president in 2014. American meddling alarmed the Russians, and they quickly seized Crimea, where a substantial Russian naval base is located.

Pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists, aided by the Russian government, have been fighting the Ukrainian army in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine since 2014--resulting in a stalemate. 
Then in February 2021, President Vladimir Putin decided he's had enough and ordered the Russian army to invade Ukraine. 

So far, the Ukrainians have held their own, aided mightily by high-tech weapons and money donated by the NATO countries and the United States. The US alone has invested $100 billion in the Ukrainian Project.

Ukraine launched its highly publicized counteroffensive against the Russians in the late spring of this year. It is now August, and it is clear that the Ukrainian counterattack has failed.

Now Ukraine seeks to heat up this war against Russia by other means. Earlier this year, the Ukrainians launched missile attacks against the city of Moscow. They also attacked the Kerch Bridge, a critical land link between Crimea and the Russian motherland.

Russia retaliated by canceling the grain agreement that allowed Ukrainian wheat to be exported by sea. Russia also began bombing Odessa and other important grain ports on the Danube River.

Now the war has spread to the Black Sea. Ukrainians have attacked at least three Russian military vessels and one civilian ship. Russia promised to retaliate and began intensifying its aerial attacks on Ukrainian cities.

Perhaps Americans should be grateful that the Ukrainian counteroffensive failed. Some military analysts believe a successful counterattack might provoke the Russians to use tactical nuclear weapons.

Biden apparently believes attacks on Russian shipping, the Russian heartland, and the city of Moscow will force the Russians to abandon the war. If so, he is delusional. The Russians will never surrender Crimea or the Donbas.

American foreign policy is directed by nincompoops. Our NATO allies are beginning to realize they were snookered when they agreed to back Biden’s foolish war in Ukraine.

No one can predict the event that would prompt the Russians to use tactical nuclear weapons, but we may soon find out. President Biden seems determined to drive Russia to the breaking point.

The United States is courting mortal danger by meddling in Eastern European geopolitics, and the mainstream media is complicit in this insane behavior. Meanwhile, Americans are mesmerized by the new Barbie movie, a fantasy flick for people living in Fantasy Land.

Psst: Have you seen the new Barbie movie?


Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Truth is the first casualty of war: I am opposed to American involvement in the Ukrainian conflict

 Truth, the sages say, is the first casualty of war. This aphorism certainly applies to the war in Ukraine.

Who knows what is actually going on? Daily, we read headlines reporting that the Ukrainians have shot down dozens of Russian missiles and drones. The media tells us that only a handful of projectiles get through Ukrainian defenses, and only a few civilians get killed. We are also told that the Ukrainian military is holding its own against the Russians and making modest gains on the battlefront.

Are these reports accurate? What are the military casualties that have been suffered on both sides? How extensive is the damage to Ukrainian cities and infrastructure after 16 months of war? The death and carnage must be immense.

Everyone acknowledges that military aid from NATO and the United States is the only reason the Russians haven’t conquered Ukraine. Yet the Russians claim that NATO weapons are not invincible and that they have destroyed or captured state-of-the-art NATO tanks and armored vehicles. 

Are the Russians telling the truth? Who knows?

The United States declares it is not at war with Russia, yet the Russians surely believe we are. American involvement has been crucial in preventing a Russian victory. American weapons, ammunition, and expertise have contributed to massive Russian casualties, and even the city of Moscow has come under attack.

I see no good outcome to this war. I don’t believe the Ukrainians can win it. Certainly, 
Volodymyr Zelenskyy's prediction that the Ukrainians will reclaim Crimea is an idle boast. After all, the Russians have a major naval base there, and losing it would be an existential threat to its status as a military power.

It seems inevitable that the Russians will control the Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine when this war is over. 

Why is the United States contributing to the death and destruction in Ukraine? I can think of no other reason but to distract the American people from our government's colossal corruption and fraud.

I might feel better about this war if our president were competent. But he is not.  Even if the New York Times won't admit it, the whole world knows that Joe Biden suffers from dementia and is a crook. 

How is America paying for the weapons, ammunition, and logistical support it sends to Kyiv? Our country has run a deficit budget for 20 years and can’t pay its bills even without the costs of the Ukrainian war.

American involvement in the Ukraine war is wrong. It has weakened our country and diminished the respect the United States has across the globe.

Furthermore, the Russians will find a way to punish the United States for fomenting and prosecuting this needless war. I don’t think the Russians will retaliate militarily. Rather, they will figure out a way to hurt America economically--perhaps by undermining the status of the American dollar as the world's reserve currency.

If the American public continues to permit our government to prolong the Ukrainian war, all Americans will pay a heavy price. I think we will pay that price soon--perhaps within the next one or two years.

photo credit: CBC





Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Ukraine attacks Moscow; Americans obsess on transgender participation in women's sports

The movie Shane, released in 1953, is a classic Western movie that depicts the struggle between good and evil. The good guys are homesteaders who want to establish farms and peacefully raise their families. The bad guys are cattlemen who hire an assassin to drive off the homesteaders.

Stonewall Torrey (played by Elijah Cook, Jr.) is a hapless homesteader who boasts to his friends that he’s not afraid of the assassin, and he straps on his revolver and rides to town. In the town's saloon, Torrey meets the assassin (played by Jack Palance). The killer taunts and insults Torrey until he foolishly goes for his gun. The assassin kills Torrey with one bullet.

America is replaying the movie Shane. The United States is the foolish and bombastic Torrey, and Russia is the assassin waiting for an opportunity to strike.

A couple of days ago, Ukrainian drones attacked the suburbs of Moscow. Who believes the Ukrainians took that provocative action without the approval and cooperation of the United States? 

What in the hell are we doing? Does our government believe it can arm the Ukrainians with sophisticated weapons that have killed perhaps 100,000 Russian soldiers without suffering repercussions?

America’s media elites, intellectual elites, and government technocrats may think it’s fun to poke the Russian bear. If war breaks out between Russia and the United States, it will be the kids living in flyover country who will do the fighting. 

But perhaps the boobs who are running our government have miscalculated. Have they forgotten that we’re messing with a nuclear power?

Meanwhile, Americans obsess about transgender participation in women’s sports and drag queens in school libraries. How long will the Russians put up with our foolish dabbling in Eastern European affairs?

I oppose American involvement in the Ukraine war.  I can see no positive outcome for anybody.



Tuesday, May 9, 2023

I’m bored: Let's go to war with Russia

Peter, Paul and Mary, the iconic folk singers from the 1960s, sang several songs protesting the war in Vietnam. “Where have all the young men gone?” they sang. “Gone for soldiers, every one.” And then the refrain: “When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?”

Apparently, the answer to that question is not yet because our government is resolutely pushing the United States toward war with Russia.

So far, Ukraine is doing the fighting and dying in its year-long conflict with Russia, sustained by American weapons, technology and military expertise. Ukraine appears to be holding its own, but it would be a mistake to believe that Russia will simply give up and abandon its imperialistic ambitions to annex a portion of its western neighbor. Certainly, in my opinion, Russia will never surrender Crimea.

The American mainline media is fond of describing Russia as a regional power with an incompetent military and unstable leadership. I’m not sure that’s true.

Napoleon thought he had defeated Russia when he captured Moscow in 1812. In Napoleon’s mind, all that was left to do was wait for Russia’s military leaders to admit they had been beaten and formally surrender.

But the Russians never showed up to surrender. Instead, winter set in, and a cataclysmic fire burned down most of Moscow.

Rather than spend the winter in a burned out city, Napoleon decided to march his troops back to France. That’s when the Cossacks showed up. Russian cavalry harassed the French army on its long retreat and Napoleon lost ninety percent of his troops before he reached safety.

During World War II, Hitler invaded Russia in the summer of 1941 and drove the Russians back across a broad front. The Nazis made it to the outskirts of Moscow but they never captured the city. The Germans besieged Leningrad for 900 days but the Russians refused to surrender, although one million Leningrad civilians died from starvation during the siege.

Are there any lessons to be learned from history? I think there are. Russia may appear to be on the verge of defeat in its war with Ukraine, but that’s what Napoleon and Hitler believed when they picked a fight with Russia.

But what do I know about military strategy and geopolitical affairs? After all, I’m just a retired professor who lives smack dab in the middle of flyover country.

That’s a fair point. On the other hand, what do the bozos in Washington know about military strategy or the tangled history that connects Ukraine and Russia? Apparently, not much.

The witless diplomats and policy wonks who are recklessly pushing our country into war with a nuclear power probably think it’s fun to muck around in eastern European affairs. Who knows? They might get a lucrative book contract out of this fracas or a teaching gig at Harvard.

But what is their goal? Is it to weaken Russia or is it to weaken the United States?

I, for one, do not favor baiting the Russian bear. I do not want my children or grandchildren to suffer or die because some fools in Washington have no idea what the Russians are capable of.



Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Always Leave a Rat a Way Out: An Old Guy's Misgivings About the War in Ukraine

 When I was a young man practicing law in Alaska, my senior partner gave me some advice I never forgot. Several times during my legal career, I had an opportunity to completely devastate a nefarious party that had pressed a frivolous claim against one of my clients.

"I've got you now," I told myself as I made plans not only to defeat my opponent but to humiliate and destroy him. In these cases, my senior partner always cautioned prudence and restraint. "Richard," he would say, "always leave a rat a way out."

And he was right. I learned that a party pressed to the wall almost always lashes out viciously and behaves recklessly to the detriment of everyone--good guys and bad guys alike.

So far, President Putin's war against Ukraine has not gone well for the Russians. To almost everyone's surprise, Ukraine has beaten back the Russian invasion, inflicting heavy casualties. The Ukrainians have destroyed countless Russian tanks, airplanes, and even the flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet.  The Ukrainians have been so exhilarated by their battlefield successes that President Zelensky promises to evict the Russians from Crimea, where they have been since 2014 (and centuries before that).

What fun! In America, the elite media crows with delight. How delicious to rub Mr. Putin's face in the mud.  

We should remember, however, what George Orwell said about war. "One of the most horrible features of war," he observed, "is that all the war propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, come invariable from people who are not fighting."

With a few rare exceptions, the reporters who work at the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNBC are not being shot at. If the Ukraine war escalates, their children won't be drafted. Their paychecks, restaurants, and expense accounts won't be affected. The beaches of Martha's Vinyard and the Hamptons will be pristine and peaceful no matter what happens to the Russians and the Ukrainians.

We should remember, however, that Russia is a nuclear power. We may sneer at Putin's threats to unleash tactical nuclear weapons. We may comfort ourselves that Russia is merely a regional power, unlike the mighty United States, which is supposedly the most powerful military power in the world.

Nevertheless, we should always leave a rat a way out. 

Our diplomats and political leaders may consider Ukraine an American playground that can be manipulated like a child's toy. Perhaps they have not read about Stalin's Holodomor or the savagery of the Russians and the Germans in the blood lands of Ukraine and Belarus during the Second World War.

Of course, I'm some old guy living in Flyover Country. What do I know compared to the policymakers and political strategists who got their degrees from Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown?

However, I've done a little reading, and I recall that Hitler woefully underestimated the Russians when he launched Operation Barbarossa in the summer of 1941. The Germans pushed the Russian army back to the outskirts of Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Moscow, but in the end, Russian soldiers showed up in the streets of Berlin in May 1945. I'll bet the Germans wished they had let Russia alone.

And Napolean, one of the world's greatest military strategists, lost his entire army when he foolishly invaded Russia in 1812. By the time that adventure ended, little Nappie had lost ninety percent of his army, with the survivors reduced to cannibalism.

So let the United States strip our nation's arsenals to give high-tech weapons to the Ukrainians.  Let's see how it works out. As for me, I don't want my grandchildren fighting in Europe in a war that got out of control because the western powers didn't leave a rat a way out. 

Let's you and him fight!