There are general arguments with respect to whether the United States ought to be supplying Ukraine with weapons of war during their present conflict with Russia. Moral purists will even argue, and not without justification, that a proverbially free democracy like the U.S.A. should not be in the business of weapons supply at all, even with close allies. Libertarians say that it’s unreasonable to engage in any overseas warfare whatsoever for any reason but self defense. Finally, there are specific objections to permitting the Abrams to be deployed on any modern battlefield where the vital interests of the United States are not at issue.
Much of this can be simplified to the single question: Does the United States have any reason at all for involvement with the Ukraine war?
This week’s prisoner exchange with Russia saw notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout swapped to Russia for WNBA star Brittney Griner. Bout was arrested for attempting to supply Colombian FARC terrorists with antiaircraft missiles, millions of rounds of ammunition, and modern military weaponry, and has since served eleven years in a federal prison; Griner was caught with two empty vape canisters which held traces of cannabis oil and was imprisoned in a penal colony for four months of a nine year sentence following her August conviction.
“Look at a map! Russia definitely invaded!” “But Ukraine has Nazis!” – from a Twitter conversation
The first lesson a sane human might draw from witnessing the above exchange might be: Don’t go on Twitter. That’s a perfectly reasonable solution, and further observation will confirm that, yes, Twitter is full of terrible people taking out their bad days on one another. So far so good.
“Vladimir Putin can call up all the troops he wants, but Russia has no way of getting those new troops the training and weapons they need to fight in Ukraine any time soon.”
So says Brad Lendon, CNN’s chief military affairs analyst. He’s not alone in his opinion. Other well-known commentators and military logistics experts have said much the same, pointing to the massive equipment losses suffered by Russian forces and chronic shortages of ammunition and supplies.
Northern Africa is heading into a season of shortage, one that may lead to widespread starvation. There is no famine; climate change is not responsible. Instead, we’re told it’s due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent shortages.
But it turns out, that’s not entirely true. It’s partly true, but this is not -just- about Ukraine. Read for a bit; we’ll see why that matters.
“You might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of war. War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.” ― William Tecumseh Sherman
Doing this is hard sometimes.
When I started The Not Fake News, I set some ground rules. One of them is to always tell the truth as I see it, however painful that might be and without regard to the number of readers it will cost us. From time to time, that truth is harder to write about than not. This is one of those times.
Because the truth is that Russia, under Vladimir Putin, has won his war. And we lost.
The Nazis of the Second World War are reviled, and rightly, for their crimes; the Holocaust comes to mind. One might sympathize with an underdog country, afflicted with crippling poverty, seeking to recover their lost national pride — but never a government philosophy that burns books, stifles thought and expression, and slaughters their own citizens wholesale. Italian fascist militarism was barbaric; German Naziism was inhuman.
If there are Nazis in Ukraine, it’s worth our time to examine and our attention if it’s true.
Surrounding every conflict are rumors, innuendo, and error — and that’s not even considering deliberate disinformation along the lines of what we’re now seeing in the Ukraine conflict. Putin is a past master at this; leading up to the war were so many denials that it was going to happen, announcements of withdrawal, and so on that, for many of us, the waters were effectively muddied. And Zelensky himself is a consummate performer, a trained and experienced actor playing the greatest role of all time.
So what’s real, and what’s not? What’s worth worrying about and what’s worth forgetting? Above all: What’s about to happen?
It’s the new hit hashtag: #StandWithUkraine. People putting up blue-and-yellow flags.
Which means what, exactly?
Seems to me, it’s nothing more than an atheist’s version of “sending thoughts and prayers” — which is nothing. There’s not even the chance of a friendly deity intervening. It’s just an excuse to buy a militant tee shirt.
“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.
But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”
– Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, from “The Gulag Archipelago”
Today, again, we stand on the brink of global war. Its spectre is never far from us; for all that our nations are inextricably intertwined by the bonds of commerce, natural resources never increase, and there will always be a country that wants what another has. There will always come a generation that doesn’t remember how terrible war can be, and that dreams of glory.
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