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Three Commenters and a Funeral

I thought this thread in the comments to STRANGE DAZE: “And the wind began to howl.” was worth bringing forward here and at The New American Digest. It touches upon many of my thoughts and feelings about the Ukraine war. It also refers to a number of sources that I watch hoping for useful . . . well, if not insights, then information about the war on the ground.

Initially, I got a lot of information about the Ukraine “war on the ground” via the Telegram app which sees censorship as system damage and routes around it. Of course by routing around Western propaganda one finds oneself immersed in Russian and Ukraine propaganda.  The other “feature” of Telegram is that soldiers can post their own videos of the conflict. And they do with one side posting pocket videos of death and torture  and massacres of/by “the other side.” Alas, I can see only so many young men’s bodies with canoes carved into their heads or their limbs torn and burned until I must turn away. And so I do with such residual revulsion against all war that my soul is permanently stained.

What is really happening in Ukraine now is at the center of such a gigantic army of lies. The aftermath of this army of lies will persist for decades. Now I despair of learning anything true about Ukraine. What I do know is that every day the warmongers of the world drag us ever closer to an abyss for which civilization will find no bottom. In my life, I’ve been either for or against wars since Korea, but Ukraine is the first war that I loathe from all sides.

With this one, I’m done.

And yet I still persist. Trusting my commenters to enlighten me when they are not driving me crazy of course.

Mike Austin — In the main, I rely upon the Duran and Gonzalo Lira. Tucker as well, but only as a confirmation. Many of my conclusions rely upon my understanding 6000 years of History and how collapsing empires have acted over time. Please remember that both Biden and Nuland months ago threatened to destroy Nord Stream 2.

“Even Brandon isn’t this stupid.” The fate of empires was decided throughout time by stupidity, arrogance and hubris. Biden has never been compared to Einstein.

azlibertarian — In the main, I rely upon the Duran and Gonzalo Lira….”

Sigh. The Duran and Gonzalo.

I started listening to Gonzalo years ago (like maybe 12-15?) back when he wrote to an old blogspot blog (my bookmark for Gonzalo now goes to an “invited readers only” list, so I guess I should remove him). It was mostly economic and monetary stuff back then, which I agreed with, but I just sorta moved on. I was also a daily reader of Zero Hedge and Karl Denninger back then too. Again, I just moved on…..theirs weren’t the only views I wanted to see.

And the Duran came to me via my youtube attachment to Robert Barnes and his sidekick Viva Frei. About 80% of Barnes is great. His views on Trump, Trump’s cabinet and court picks, the problems with the elections, the Rittenhouse trial were all quite prescient, IMO. But the remainder of Barnes….his Anti-War-at-Any-Cost just soured on me. Every time he goes off on Ukraine, I am reminded of the old Leon Trotsky quote: “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” He fails to understand that second clause.

And I’m sorry, but I just can’t watch the Duran on any topic. The one Alex’s tremoring vocalizations just remind me of listening to Diane Rehm on NPR (whose has a medical condition causing her tremor). It is just awful, no matter what they’re saying. And I especially just don’t agree with their views on the Ukraine War. They just seem to be Russian apologists more than fair observers of what is going on. YMMV.

I’m not pro-war here at all. I am the son of a Vietnam veteran, a veteran myself and the very worried father-in-law whose son-in-law just last week deployed to a close-enough-to-the-potential-action assignment to put him in great harm. I’m afraid that war may be coming to many of us, and it won’t be good. There won’t be a winner and a loser. There will only be a lesser loser and a bigger loser.

Nor am I apologizing for Ukraine. They’re not just corrupt…..they’re corrupt as HELL. They’re Joe-Biden-corrupt. I have no love for Ukraine…none at all.

But the difference here is that corrupt-though-they-may-be, Ukraine didn’t roll their tanks over their borders. Oh, “borders” you say? Which borders would those be? Do the people of Luhansk and Donetsk (not to mention Crimea and one other…I forget the name) have the right to declare themselves to be Russian and fold themselves into the Russian Federation? I see that as the central question here.

And I think they don’t. Much like our Civil War was as much about preventing the succession of the Rebel states as it was about slavery, I think that Ukraine is right to prevent the LPR and DPR from joining Russia. That land is Ukraine’s. If the people of Russian descent in those areas want to move to Russia, that’s fine….let’em go. But Russia can’t offer their benevolence to those people by moving into Ukraine. JMO, and again, YMMV.

And the Duran and Barnes just can’t understand that another view of the matter exists. They just refuse. I admit to my own biases, as we all must….there are only so many hours in a day, and I just can’t look at each opposing view to test my own. But I do look at enough, and still find that Russia brought an unjust war to Ukraine. It is right that they’re getting their asses handed to them. And I’m just guessing here, based on no evidence whatsoever, but I’d put $10 of my soon-to-be-worthless greenbacks that says that Russia blew up their own pipelines as a way of telling Europe “That cold winter that you’re about to experience? Get used to it.”

FWIW, the recent places I find informative related to the war in Ukraine are twofold:
* Trent Trelenko’s Twitter thread. I don’t tweet, but I do read the threadreader versions when they show up. Trent was the first (to my eye) guy who spoke of the horribly inefficient logistics which are dooming everything the Russians are trying to do.

*And the Youtube videos put out by an Australian guy who goes by Perun. He is very non-partisan here, and if our senior military aren’t listening to him, they’re missing it.

Mike Austin — I’ve gotten used to Alexander Mercouris’ strange speech patterns. It took a while though. Denninger is a bit of a madman, but I do read him.

To call someone “a Russia apologist” or “a Ukraine apologist” is to fall into the logical fallacy of “ad hominem”. Either what a man says is true or it is not and has nothing to do with his thoughts on Putin or Zelenskyy.

Any nation can claim any land it wants. The problem is enforcing that claim. The Native Americans claimed the entirety of North America. That did not work out very well for them. It worked superbly for the White Man, as he had the power to enforce his claim. Likewise with Ukraine. She can claim the Donbass, Crimea and so on, but to enforce that claim is beyond her power. Those who state that all national borders are somehow sacred and inviolable are innocent of History. Ukraine’s borders are as inviolable as she can make them. So are those of the US.

After Biden and Nuland made public threats to shut down Nord Stream 2—and made these threats months ago—it would be odd to somehow blame Putin for that pipeline’s destruction. Putin has become the “go to” for all blame for anything, anywhere, all the time—our own Emmanuel Goldstein. He performs in the international arena the same thing that “climate change” does domestically. The US now blames Putin for inflation and the energy crisis. He is quite the guy!

Both of the World Wars began in Eastern Europe. This new world war is beginning there as well. Even the antagonists are the same: France, Germany, England, Italy, Russia and the US. This is an odd thing, but History is full of odd things.

John A. Fleming — I think that countries do not have a right to exist. If you can’t or won’t defend your country, somebody will come along and take it from you. As you said, it’s been that way since the dawn. So small countries collect allies to protect themselves from the big countries.

I think it has been a fundamental policy of the USA since the end of WWII, after bailing out those war-crazy Euros twice, that there should be stable borders in Europe. Perhaps the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties? As in please, let’s not have any more Eurowars. It worked more or less until the USSR collapsed. First the Yugos decided to settle old scores, and now Russia wants back Crimea and some of the Ukraine. The USA foreign policy says “No, the borders stay as they are, only the alliances can change. And there ain’t nobody that wants a piece of Russia. Been there, tried that, doesn’t work.” The feckless USA no longer has any credibility with Russia.

It seems like the people that run the big powers have forgotten the horrors of the past, don’t care anyway, aren’t that smart, can’t see the future, are too Dunning-Kreuger grasping, and have decided in their folly it’s time to play the Great Game again. This will not end well.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • HughDePayens September 29, 2022, 4:04 PM

    My view is that the US rightly told the Soviets that if you put missiles in Cuba we will blow up the world. Now the Russians are returning the favor by telling NATO nope…and when the Russians say thats a redline we should have listened. Ukraine wanted to join NATO nope that was a CLEAR Redline issue for the Russians.

    • Mike Austin September 29, 2022, 4:26 PM

      No. The Soviets already had missiles in Cuba. JFK had no idea how to respond. He took the weakest and most cowardly way out he could find—a blockade, when an all-out invasion of Cuba would have been supported by the American people. He also bowed down to Khrushchev, and agreed to:

      1. Remove all American Jupiter missiles from Turkey
      2. Promise not to overthrow the Castro regime

      This was a surrender to the USSR, and this after JFK’s lies and weakness that he demonstrated at the Bay of Pigs. It was not a “Cuban Missile Crisis”. It was the “Cuban Missile Failure”.

      There were reasons for November 22, 1963. This was just one of them.

      • HughDePayens September 30, 2022, 1:26 PM

        My point is if we had the right to invade Cuba to remove missiles then Russia has the right to invade Ukraine to stop the West from placing armies and missile directly on her border.

        • Mike Austin September 30, 2022, 1:50 PM

          Your point is well-taken, and I agree. The overriding issue though is the lawlessness of the West. It claims the right to act against what is called “International Law” but then denies such a right to anyone else. The US, for example, has broken every promise made to Russia, has seized her assets around the world—even privately owned yachts—has goaded Ukraine into a war she cannot possibly win. The reason is of course the West—that is, the US and her servants in NATO—wants to destroy Russia, a point it has made time after time. This hatred of Russia has passed the point of reason and has become suicidal.

          The US acts domestically the same way she acts internationally: illegally, immorally, unjustly and tyrannically. The US regime is run by madmen, oligarchs, criminals, sexual degenerates and traitors. Her existence is a slap in the face of God.

  • Mike Austin September 29, 2022, 4:16 PM

    What an odd belief that some rando nation “has a right to exist”. Who says? Is that claim written down somewhere? John Flemming is on the right track, that small countries only exist at the behest of the large countries. It is perhaps true that a small nation might ally herself to a larger one to be safe from predators, but History shows that to be only a comfortable illusion. An alliance is only a piece of paper with some names scribbled on it. Unless a nation has the power and the will to enforce it, the “alliance” becomes moot, absurd and somewhat comical.

    Ladies and Gentlemen: Please find one—just one—nation in all of 6000 years of History that always kept its word and kept to the letter of any alliance it had agreed to. Take your time.

    The only nation in History that was absolutely guaranteed its national survival was—wait for it—Israel. It was God Himself who was the guarantor. No other people have been around for almost 4000 years with little genetic or character change in their makeup. And these Jews will be around until the end of time. We have God’s word on this.

    America has often called herself “God’s Country”. And for a while, it certainly seemed so, that we were somehow Divinely protected. But now it seems more like the kingdom of Satan, its worker bees nothing more than demons, its supporters nothing more than willing supplicants of Lucifer. Will this “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” survive? Her ruling class spits in the face of God every damn day. How long will He take this?

    Ask Sodom and Gomorrah. They claimed a “right to exist” too.

    • John A. Fleming September 30, 2022, 12:16 AM

      There’s only one nation that I’ve ever heard people say it “has a right to exist”, and it gets said a lot. Israel. Assertions like that bug me, so I though about it some. In the Enlightenment canon, people have rights, granted by God they say, but the existence of God is not necessary for the rights to exist. People band together to secure these rights, and the band becomes a nation. All nations everywhere are born in blood and conquest, or assembled from the debris of failed nations. It’s like original sin, everybody is damned with it, but that is not important so much as what the people do when they have created their nation. Does it bring Good and Art into the world, or does it just keep bringing new people into the future?

      Because the world is what it is, there are ever too many mouths to feed and not enough food, and everybody wants to live. If a people have it good, they will always have to defend it, and they won’t have it always, natural disasters and ever-changing climate will always bring the hungry to the land of plenty, and only the strongest will survive.

      I ended up concluding that no nation has rights. All of history says so. Defend what you have, get more if you can for the rainy days, find a way to keep your people happy [maybe] and productive, adapt to the changing environments, or sooner or later onto the ashheap of history your nation will be deservedly thrown. No point crying about it, nations have their day in the sun, become senescent, and either find the will and means to rebirth, or meet their fate. What worked in Century “x” becomes unsuitable for Century “y”.

      The nations that survive the longest live by a set of long-lived and stable ideas. A stable core, and adaptable to the times. Maybe the Jews have that, but so do the Russians and Chinese and Italians and Persians, and others. It remains to be seen if the American Republic, still a babe in the woods, can make it to its 3rd century mark.

      • Mike Austin September 30, 2022, 5:01 AM

        Even if we take God out the equation, the existence of the Jews as a people is remarkable. The most powerful states in History did their best to wipe them out: The Assyrians, the Chaldeans, the Egyptians, the Amalekites, the Philistines, the Romans, almost every European country, the Russian Empire, the Nazis—and they are still with us. The Iranians are doing their best to extinguish them today, the Arabs having given up after getting their collectives asses kicked innumerable times by the Jews.

        No other people can claim such a history of persecution and survival against all odds. Most of those peoples that hounded the Jews are themselves vanished from the face of the earth. Every promise given to the Jews by God has been kept—naturally.

  • greg September 29, 2022, 4:31 PM

    Dima at Military Summary does video’s everyday interrupting what is available in foreign languages about Ukraine. He’s from Belarus, so pro Russian. Has a nice sounding voice.
    I think it’s impossible to find anyone who just does Paul Harvey style news on Ukraine, but, Dima is closer than most other places I’ve watched.

  • Callmelennie September 29, 2022, 4:57 PM

    The problem with being an absolutist about borders in this case is that the “borders” of Ukraine, especially in the East are bogus. There never was a true Ukrainian nation before 1922, when Lenin created the bogus “Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic” Ukrainians din’t ask to be incorporated in the USSR; in fact they fought against it. And Lenin added areas that were definitely Russian in the East; possibly to make Ukraine more of a counterweight to the huge Russian ASSR

    Was Ukraine a legitimate nation during the days of the USSR? Well, lets see .. in the late Twenties, Stalin imposed a starvation blockade on every citizen of Ukraine which eventually killed 10% of the population. Did the sovereign nation of Ukrainian do anything to oppose this? No, nothing. Did anyone in Ukraine oppose the building of the radically dangerous Chernobyl nuclear power complex. Did any Ukro head of state authorise it? No, because the whole Ukro SSR thing was bogus

    And how did Ukraine even become a nation. When the whole bogus USSR construct collapsed. And everyone in Ukraine decided to go along because it seemed a way to stop the chaos

    And whatever consensus there may have been was broken within 12 years by a coup, where Western Ukraine overthrew a govt voted in by huge percentages in Eastern Ukraine. And then pronounced anyone in the East as traitors when they protested. So does this mean Russians in the East have a sacred duty to go along so the “international order” isnt upset?

    And when these people appeal to Russia for protection against the marauding Ukrainian army, is Russia obligated to twiddle its thumbs and watch fellow Russians get blown to pieces?

  • Casey Klahn September 29, 2022, 8:03 PM

    I’ll see your mind fuck and raise you this. If you really need a melt down, pretend for a moment you are at the beginning of The Crimean War, 1853-1856.

    Bitch, I said The Crimean War. The pretext for it was theological, and there were ironclads in the water that Russia deployed (provocation) and Europe said, “hold the phone, Ivan, we ain’t havin that!” Russia got creamed, Tolstoy got context, war photography was born. Some really bitchin bear fur hats were worn. The Crimean War was World War Zero, and Russia wishes to recidivise it.

    Occupy the mindset of an era when borders were drawn by a sacred hand, and national sovereignty was a must. Armies were grand and war was at its absolute nadir: meaning Maneuver Warfare was the going thing and the skillset of warfare was never more honed. Don’t love war? War is hunting your ass and loves how you run from it. Maniacal laughing from hellfire’s pit.

    Now, I’ve got your attention. I hope you’re goddamned angry, too. I’m glad to see the sources listed by the esteemed company present; I look forward to screening those. I’m glad that some are trying to figure out NordStream 2, and I’m glad you’re engaged in the current history as it unfolds. I try as often as I can to place myself in the time of the book: World War II is a known outcome to us, but it wasn’t at the time. It was a horror show writ in grand scale and the participants used moral and mental courage probably even more than they had. That “more” is from heaven. Vietnam. I’ve observed (my roommate at Ft Benning Basic Infantry Officer Course was in the buck seventy third in ‘Nam, and was a point man. He’d wake up in a hot sweat screaming most nights) of Vietnam that the men who went into that cauldron used more mental gymnastics to survive than you’ve ever heard of. I never judge them; I try to learn and listen.

    So, you don’t like Ukraine? That’s a goddamned bitch, ain’t it? I can guarantee you the way forward is to have moral, mental, and faithful courage. Do. Not. Scare.

    BTW, I endorse John A. Fleming’s comment in the post text. When Putin invaded Europe, in 2014, Obama and Biden let him. That was a decisive blunder.

    • Mike Austin September 30, 2022, 3:37 PM

      The only good thing to arise from the Crimean War was the poem by Tennyson.

      • Casey Klahn September 30, 2022, 6:42 PM

        …and allied victory. And Roman Catholic rights over Orthodox. Plus, Tolstoy ain’t small beans.
        Historical factoidlettes: Brit veterans fresh from the CW 3 years earlier were stationed in Washington’s San Juan Islands, and were involved in the conflict we called the Pig War. Americans watched the Brits drill, and learned some spiff new maneuver tactics. Chief among the watchers there was one George Pickett, who later used all of his military upbringing at Gettysburg.
        …and war photography.
        Somehow, Mr Putin is overly wadded about the Crimean War. Also (stream of consciousness here) last night I watched his apparent favorite war movie: The Dirty Dozen. He is using the premise of that movie in huge numbers (prisoner soldiers). His taste in movies is top notch.

  • Andy Texan September 29, 2022, 8:46 PM

    The enemy regime (and their disgusting supporters) have murdered America and these demons are Ukraine’s best friend. They are beyond contempt. I despise them and every single thing they support. The enemy of my enemy is my ally. Russia and Putin are doing the Lord’s work. America has become the enemy of humanity.

  • John A. Fleming September 29, 2022, 11:26 PM

    Thanks all for the mentions. It tells me I’m not yet an old man shouting at clouds anyway.

    Lawdog put up a post, it’s a heck of a read, something I’ve been looking for, an alternative take on Nordstream. It’s popping up all over, even Aesop had to take notice of it. There’s been endless electrons spilt on “The Rooskies did it”, “no, the USA Deep State did it”. Talk like that will stumble us into war.

    Lawdog’s take is the classic “never attribute to malevolence, when stupidity will explain it just fine”. There’s been plenty of history where wanna-be belligerents got conned by black swans and chose … poorly. We can only pray that the midwits that run the USA government don’t let Harold Macmillan’s “Events dear boy, events” jerk themselves into doing something stupid.

    • Casey Klahn September 30, 2022, 4:40 AM

      So it was Russian corruption and ineptitude. This one explanation makes the most sense to me. Add up the political and military corruption in RooskieLand, and it makes the fall of the Roman Empire look less corrupt by comparison.
      Shitty leadership will bite you in the ass every time.

  • LS September 30, 2022, 5:33 AM

    Here’s one other take on Nordstream that is worth a think:


  • azlibertarian September 30, 2022, 1:52 PM

    Gerard, once again you humble me by taking something I’ve scribbled into your comments and promoting it onto your front page. I know we don’t agree here, but I am flattered at your attention.

  • Callmelennie September 30, 2022, 1:55 PM

    @Casey Klan

    How can you talk like that to a fellow poster? I have studied on this subject for fifty years. I took 18 hours of Russian classes at ASU, mostly because I found them so easy I used them to inflate my GPA. I write on Quora about numerous subjects, but mostly on the subject of WWII in Russia. I studied the subject on my own since I was a teenager. I knew of the existence of Харьков (Kharkov) when I was a teenager, and I also know it was basically erased from the map. I also know that winter in Ukraine aint gonna be a problem for Russia because the Red Army, under the leadership of Георгий Конев (Georgui Zhukov) and Иван Жуков (Ivan Koniev) liberated most of Украина during the winter of 1944

    So, with all that under my belt, I can say with complete confidence that all your basic premises about Russia are based on the most disgusting and loathsome bigotry imaginable. George Kennan, who is the mastermind behind the successful Containment Policy that undegirded the Cold War, .. and who along with an great uncle also named George Kennan had a combined 100 years experience with Russia had this insight in 1991 .. Russia is no longer a threat, leave Russia alone, because doing otherwise might lead to a strategic catastrophe. And I’ll be damned if he hasnt turned into a prophet. And we are getting very close to a situation where tens of millions, because of the thinking you espouse

    BTW, I intentionally made errors in the Cyrillic spelling of those names (or DID I?) but of course you spotted them immediately

    • Casey Klahn September 30, 2022, 9:29 PM

      Hi, lennie. There was a Ukraine before Lenin, although not in the state as we now know it. However, you act as if Russia was born from the Earth’s womb, with no precursor.

      Quit puling my leg. There also was no Italy until after WWII, as it now exists in constitutional form. Perhaps Italy ought to just belong to Russia next?

      I don’t preconceive anything about Russia. I watch it like I watch bears in the wild. Congratulations on your Cyrillic. I try not to argue from authority. Perhaps you’ve heard of that debate standard?

    • Casey Klahn September 30, 2022, 9:46 PM

      I wasn’t responding to your comment, BTW. I was responding to Gerard’s post. I will pay more attention to your comments than usual, but I won’t buy all of your conclusions. Marauding Ukrainian armies? Back when Vice News had a soul, I watched several video reports of Russian special forces ops (my assessment) going into Donbas, after 2014, gathering a 5th column of protestors, going into city halls and police stations, and beating the mayor and the chief of police. Because: Russian territory. My friend, this was right out of the SF Field manuals (Spetsnaz/loose term).
      I suppose what happened on the Maiden was the West’s total fault? Then, why did Obama/Biden do nothing when Putin invaded Europe via Donbas and Crimea? Why did Biden give Putin the go-ahead to invade to “defend” the enclave?
      Anyway, I am sorry that comment looked like direct insult to you. I treat Gerard with a rougher language because he’s the editor and author, and his shoulders are broad.

  • Kazakhi Cal September 30, 2022, 2:38 PM

    Always fascinating to hear profound opinions from people who know nothing about Ukraine and other parts of the expanding and contracting extended Russian Empire conquest lands, mostly influenced by propaganda and others who are equally ignorant of the regions and their histories.

    Nordstream II was contractually obligated to supply natural gas to numerous customers in Europe under long-established contract laws recognized even by the Russian authorities. Gazprom was facing liabilities in the scores of billions of euros for non-performance under those contracts because of the politically motivated gas turn-off in response to sanctions.

    Force majeure in the form of a mysterious explosion relieves Gazprom of those obligations, imagine that. Elegant solution, especially since there would be no more gas transiting to those customers in any case.

    • Mike Austin September 30, 2022, 3:51 PM

      It is always fascinating to hear profound opinions from people who know nothing about how to write an introductory paragraph and how to use proper grammar and diction to do so. You state that the commenters here are “mostly influenced by propaganda and others who are equally ignorant of the regions and their histories.” Quite the claim. There is of course no possible way you could know this.