‘My mother was still alive while she was on fire’: Teen describes horrific attack

Enough Damn it, enough!   The US and NATO has the ability to stop much of this, stop more of these kids suffering from watching their mothers burn to death.   Think about what the rest of this kid’s life is going to be like.   The US doesn’t have to declare war on Russia, the US doesn’t have to threaten to invade Russia.   We simply need to say no more and close the airspace above Ukraine.   Yes Russia will threaten to use nukes or biological weapons.   But remember the idea of mutual destruction is the counter threat.  We don’t need to storm and yell; we don’t need to threaten to go first.   We do what we have always done and say if you start it with that, we will end you!  All bets are off then.  Why is it only Russia and Putin get to threaten and the US backs off.  Nato wants to do more, but without the US they cannot.   We are watching atrocities happen and saying we could stop it but maybe the guy behind it will get even more angry.   Either we stand for something or we do not.   There are things worth dying for.  The US as attacked enough countries to get what we wanted; it is now time for the US to use its military might to stop the tragedy now happening.  We once said never again.  Did we mean it?  A genocide is happening, but we say we won’t stop it because we are afraid the person behind it might do worse.  We are going to look back at what is happening in Ukraine with the full knowledge we could have stopped it and were too afraid.   Damn it, we as a country do not have so many things other countries do so we can maintain the world’s most might military, yet we cower when others threaten that if we use it they will react.   If we wont act because the enemy might do something then reduce the damn military and give me universal healthcare, give us free college, give us a higher standard of living because being afraid to use the military we give up those things to pay for is useless.   Look anyone who says we may be saving other lives needs to ask these kids if they think it is worth it our staying out of it as they watch their friends and families die.  Ask the families that have seen their kids die if it is worth the worry about the maybe others dying.  These people are dying right now damn it.   Right now.  We do not need to invade Russia, we just need to be willing to threaten, to use our might.  From the start we said we wouldn’t fight, now we watch kids die, pregnant mothers die, where is the pro-life militia?  Am I angry yes I am.  Either we use our might or admit we only take on those unable to stand up to us.  That is the stance of bullies and cowards.   

81 thoughts on “‘My mother was still alive while she was on fire’: Teen describes horrific attack

  1. Yes, Scottie, to accomplish this no fly goal means Russian territory and airspace will have to be invaded. And the reason is that a significant amount of artillery and missiles are fired from Russia and Russian airspace. These are the means by which the majority of the damage is inflicted. The only way to stop it (other than negotiation) is to destroy the source. That means Russian territory.

    So…. knowing this is the case, are you then advocating that US led NATO forces do this to achieve the objective of a no fly zone over Ukraine? Do any other NATO countries other than the US have any say? Which air bases from which country do you presume will support this and think it will not be an act of war against Russia?

    Look, I understand your horror and frustration at the unfolding situation and humanitarian crisis being caused by Russian forces. What I don’t understand is how you think a military intervention to impose a no fly zone won’t produce WWIII between nuclear powers or even improve the situation on the ground where military loses by Russia on non-Russian soil has yet to produce battlefield nukes but losses on Russian territorial soil I think will guarantee it.

    This is EXACTLY why strong military deterrence BEFORE an invasion takes place is advocated by people who truly desire peace. By constantly claiming this kind of expenditure and dedication is warmongering and morally suspect, perhaps you can see why supporting military weakness in the name of other social programs is actually a means to promoting war. Had Ukraine been sufficiently able to defend its own territory and airspace from Russian aggression either by itself or as a member of NATO (as they have long advocated) would this teenager’s story be different? I think so. This teenager would then have the luxury of complaining about his government’s warmongering ways and probably quite virtuous attending anti-war demonstrations calling for disarmament.

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    1. Hello Tildeb. The Iron Dome we have given Israel seems to work very well at stopping missiles shot into that country. The same could be done in Ukraine. But you have gotten ahead of the game. The US and NATO simply need to say they will either escort out or shoot down any planes dropping bombs in Ukraine. That will stop the planes coming in after the first few get intercepted and forced down or out. Then we deal with the missile from Russia issue. The US doesn’t need to do anything but supply Ukraine with the means to deal with the things outside their territory fired in.

      Your framing is wrong. It is the problem with the entire situation. The US and NATO are not the aggressors here. Russia and Putin are. I don’t care how much hand wringing anyone wants to do, the first punch has been thrown. It is now time for the bigger guys to step in and say enough, If you don’t stop, we will inflict pain on you. Again Russia is the one that has crossed the border of a sovereign country and I don’t care what needs to be done to restore that border. The US has shown we will go to war with countries for 20 years that have nowhere near our military capability, but we are also showing we are scared to stand up to a country that can threaten us.

      As far as NATO bases that want to support action, several nations have said they would if they had the support of the US. The fact that the US which has the largest military compared to the next 12 countries won’t stand up to Russia makes the much smaller NATO countries pause and step back. Even though Russia has shown its military is a paper tiger. Do you know who the 6 largest air forces are? 1 is the US air force. 2 is the US army. 3 is Russia. 4 is the US navy. 5 is the US marines. 6 is China. Do you really think with all that firepower the US should stand by and watch kids bombed in hospitals? As a former US navy and US army veteran I don’t think so. If my tax money goes to fund that much firepower it damn well can save the weak from the invading powerful.

      First nice conversation change, but please tell me where I stated that the no fly zone idea was my only goal. You seem to think only Russia can threaten. Only Putin can draw red lines. The US and NATO is being held hostage and being extorted by threats to use a horrible weapon, or even letting a functioning nuclear plant melt down. Where does it stop? We let Putin have the Ukraine or he lets a nuclear plant go critical releasing radiation, or he uses a tactical nuclear weapon. Once he gets Ukraine he says now give me Poland or I use a nuclear weapon or let a nuclear plant melt down. Other countries see how effective it is and they say let us have this or that or we will use a nuclear weapon or let a plant melt down. When do we stop running from the might be or could be and face the bully saying “You could do what you threaten but we can then do so much worse to you”. As long as countries give in to the threats other countries will keep making them.

      To apply sanctions before the invasion is both wrong, illegal, and ineffective. Do you spank a kid before he does something wrong so that he knows what you will do if they do that wrong thing? You seem unaware of the history of Ukraine. They had nuclear weapons from the time of the USSR. The US and the western countries were worried those weapons would fall into disrepair or wrong hands so made a sort of promise to come to the aid of Ukraine if they were attacked after they gave up the nuclear weapons. Yes the US under Bush promised Ukraine to come to its aid if it was attacked if they gave up the nuclear weapons. They did. Now we have to step up and we are failing. The US is showing the last 6 years the promises made by the US presidents don’t mean much.

      We disagree on this issue. We come at it from different viewpoints. But we are not the ones dying. We are not watching our mothers die in front of us. We are not watching our kids die in our arms. Tell me if you were in their place and any attempt to justify not doing all we could to stop their child’s deaths would comfort you?

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      1. I see your point Scottie, but I have to agree with Tildeb. I do not see enough force by the US or NATO, that could actually orchestrate a no-fly zone in Ukraine at the moment. This is Russia we are talking about. Most of the damage done by the Russians is by artillery fire. Most of their air-to-ground attacks are done in Russian air-space, from where the supersonic missiles fly over to the Ukranian side. The Iron Dome is good for stopping missiles to the very small area of Israel, that the Palestinians have managed to build from agricultural implements and fertilizers. It would not do much against Russian ballistic, or artillery missiles from flying into the very large area of Ukraine. Russia has waged this war with very “ecomomic” style mostly by using ground forces. Just like they did in Tshetsenya and in Georgia. They have air dominance in Ukraine, but they have not used it much. If NATO fighters, let us say from Ramstein Germany, or a US aircraft carrier in the Black Sea, would fly to stop Russians from entering Ukranian airspace, what would happen? Would the Russians back down? Or would there be a test of whose fighters are better? It is no more a question of some dogfights, both of the sides in such a situation would have AWACS and satellite information. If either side decided to go to shooting war, the first one to fire would most propably win the first encounter. What would happen then?

        Russian propaganda has claimed for years, that the “west” is planning a war against Russia. This lie has been fed to the Russians for decades to justify all sorts of limitations on their liberty by the Putin gang. It has served him in clinging on to power in Russia, by appealing to the patriotic feelings of ordinary Russians and especially to the fears of their conservative minded citizens. When Russia started this war, the support for Putin went up. That is the reason for this war.

        At the moment Russian war effort seems to be stalling, but we know, that Russia has ONLY involved some 200 000 soldiers from their peace time troops in their “special operation” and by the look of it much of that force is armed not by their state of the art weaponry, rather the stuff, that is soon to become obsolete like T-72 tanks. Our best bet is, I am sorry to say, that the Ukranians themselves (with help from EU, NATO and the US) deplete the Russian attack and that the West will not engage in any direct way to confirm the Russian propaganda. Because if we do go to war with them, then it is all Russians against us and even if there were no nukes, that would be a bad proposition to us all – including Ukranians.

        If the west decides to start a shooting war with Russia, we better be ready to fight it all the way through. Such operations are not designed, trained, funded, built, nor logistically possible in time of just few weeks. The Russians have been building up their attack for months and still it seems like failing. Not because the Russians are bad fighters, but because they for some (propably political) reasons chose to attack at the worst possible time of the year, while the “rosputo” forces them to advance only along the roads (rather unexpected error from them) and because they seem to have thought, that the Ukranians are not ready to fight for their country and propably because most of the Russian soldiers have no clue why are they at war with Ukraine. If the west engages, then most Russians will think they know why they are at war and for patriotic reasons will support it.

        During the war in Yugoslavia, the US political leadership threatened to fight the Serbs with Apache helicopters. The helicopters needed a landing site in Albania from wich to operate. The building of that landing strip took a few months and when it was ready, it became clear that half of the helicopters that were supposed to be sent there from an airbase in Germany were not in operational condition. After the hundreds of engineers and field personnel needed to run the helicopters and the helicopters themselves (some 12 of them) were finally ready for use in Albania a reporter asked a Croat general how soon would those helicopters end the war. The general seemed baffled by the question and answered, that it remains to be seen how many of them will return from their first mission. The US spends a lot of money on weapons, but those weapons are no more effective than the weapons of others. Especially Russia. They are many, but they are spread all around the globe to secure the US “interrests over seas”.

        I say, if you want to stop kids suffering these kinds of fates, better put the force you have where it actually could do some good, like for example Yemen. Since the war in Ukraine started nobody seems to be interrested in the war in Yemen, run by the US ally Saudi Arabia. Their fighter jets (bought from the US) are conducting similar raids and with as much wanton disregard for collateral damage, or civillians. A few days ago, when the Huthi rebels shot a missile on an oil refinery in Jedda, it was published as sport news and how the formula-1 drivers were annoyed at the provocation against their sport. Only last year the UN reported, that the war in Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII. Why not demand a no-fly zone in Yemen and keep it from the US aircraft carriers allready nearby Persian Gulf? Why not declare a no-fly zone over Israel and stop them from bombing the Palestinian children? That has been going on for decades.

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        1. Hello rautakyy. I mentioned the iron dome simply because it is the most talked about. There are other systems including the radar and targeting jamming the US just sent to Ukraine that can be used inside and outside of Ukraine. I was watching interviews with some Ukrainian pilots. They have gone up against vastly superior numbers of Russia planes and won the dog fights. So if supplied with more aircraft I have no doubt they would be better able to stop any Russian bombardment from planes. While they might not do much against missiles launched from Russian soil, they can destroy those ground based units doing the shelling from in Ukraine, including tanks and mortars. As to if the fighters met, I would bet the Russians would back down but I really don’t care at this point if they don’t. They will get shot down. The fact is they don’t belong in that airspace. Period. I am sorry but I am not OK with the world being held hostage to Putin’s vague threats. If we let that continue it will be used by every strong man who wants to expand their countries borders by taking their neighbors lands. Since World War 2 it was understood that unless treaties were made to agree to it, land borders were secure. Israel violated that and got away with it. Now Russia has done it four times. Will it be the new normal?

          The US and other militaries must be sure not to enter Russia. That I agree. But we can destroy everything Russian in Ukraine. Don’t forget Russia started the war. It is a world war regardless of those who want to pretend it is not. There are two sides. The side that supports Russia, and the side that doesn’t and is supporting Ukraine. Every country that is sending supplies to Ukraine and going along with sanction against Russia is involved in the war. Worldwide. That Poland was scared to give the MIGs to Ukraine directly for fear of what Russia would do to them shows it is a world war not limited to Ukraine and Russia.

          I am sorry but I disagree with you that Russia has been sending old tanks. The T-72 tanks they send are new versions of the design. Also I do not by your assessment that Russia could in anyway stand up to the US much less the combined might of NATO. I will include a video at the end of my reply that will explain that.

          Yemen is a tragedy. No doubt or argument. But to say that no one cares is not true. I for one have been pushing back hard on the US selling arms to the Saudi’s and not doing what we could to stop the conflict. The media I watch has covered it and the absolute destruction of the country and the hundreds of thousands of deaths, including starving children. The US government won’t stand up to the Saudis for the same reason Germany is struggling to stand up to Russia. Cheap fuel. The thing is the US is a net exporter of oil, we could nationalize it and have nearly free gas. But that would destroy the huge profits companies are raking in from the needlessly high gas prices.

          As for Israel and the Palestinians, don’t get me started. I get attacked and accused of being antisemite and anti-Zionist every time I talk about the unfair treatment of the Palestinians and how they are in an open air prison. I tell people they have no civil rights and are under military control. I tell people how the children can be held indefinitely with no charges. But in the US there is a strong Israeli lobby that fights hard to make any criticism of Israel by anyone in congress an unforgiveable action. It is changing, but far too late for the Palestinians. tRump basically gave Bibi permission to destroy what was left of a two state solution and to take what little the Palestinian’s had left. Why not demand a no-fly zone for either of them. Because there is nothing left to save. Sorry but that is the truth. And there is only so much US interest in saving anyone as it is. So we try to do what we can. I don’t like it, but it is the truth. The truth is we can make a difference in Ukraine before it gets too late, and the other places we cannot as it already is too late. Let’s not let Ukraine become Yemen and Palestine.

          Here is the video. The part about the tanks is around the 6:20 mark. But the entire video is worth watching if you are interested in the situation in Ukraine from the perspective of a military / security expert.

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          1. Hello Scottie! Ah, the ubiqutious T-72. I thought I recognized them from some footage from Ukraine and was quite surprized, since I thought they were all mothballed ages ago for the Russian grand reserve. I know those tanks, as I rode them babies some years ago. I even crawled under one, when it was on the move and revved it’s engine. That was a nasty place to be. Yes, the ones I saw seemed to be modernized from 2nd to 3rd gen. and yes, they are quite capable warmachines, just as the dude on the video you posted said. I however, did not think they were sending poor quality troops. I just thought that it looked like they were saving their better stuff for later. One thing he got wrong is, that he said no armies send in bad or old stuff. All armies throw away their older stuff into fire. For example NATO did it in Yugoslavia. They first used out their almost out of date bombs. For Russian temperament even vehicles might go under that category.

            The video kind of confirmed me my position. The Russian standing army is faring badly in Ukraine. Putin has set up propaganda so, that if the West intervenes by actually engaging in a shooting war (be it planes in a no-fly zone), it will look like Russia is under attack to the general Russian populace. His goal is to stop the the West from giving aid to Ukranians. But his mission to take Ukraine seems to be failing. Hence, no further escalation is needed. That is an eventuality I would like to stall as long as possible. Especially since I am a Finn and if Russia as a nation is goaded into war and not just the Russian standing army, that is doing a bad job, it might spell terrible times to all of us. Yes, it is going to cost Ukranian lives, and I feel sick about it, but it is far better, that the Russian public has time to become aware of this failed “special operation” before the West sets in. That way we have hope, that Putin may not manage to rally Russians to his cause, or bind them to his crimes. One thing Russians hate more than a dictator, is a leader looking like a weakling. I think this is the road president Biden is on. And so far he has earned my respect on handling the crisis.

            I hope, that you are right and that I am wrong. That a no-fly zone can be put up, that it can be forced and that as a result the Russian population will not be filled with patriotic sentiment and go to war against us all. That as a result countries like China and India do not side with Russia. I hope, that the NATO can and has enough military strength and political backbone to stop this atrocity. Even if they do not have that backbone for the children in Gaza, or in Yemen. However, I doubt it. But I also hope, that as Putin fails in Ukraine by the sole efforts of Ukranians and the help we are sending them, a diplomatic solution will be found and that this chain of events will disencourage any big nation on the planet from trying to impose their will over us smaller ones, at least by means of military, in fear of failure, shame and disaster. For a while at least…

            Oh, and by the way, I do not agree at all with Tildeb on the issue, that this war is the result of some peacemongering by the political left. Even if Ukraine spent it’s entire budget just on defense, Russians as a much bigger nation would have thought them weaker. Yes, we keep up a considerable military strength here in Finland just to scare off Russia from having any ideas it might have for invasion. We are their former colony, so they might get the idea – once again. Yet, we also have money for public healthcare and free education. It means sacrifices. Every Finnish man is eligable for the draft and almost all serve at least the training period in their youth. The reason for public opinion in Finland turning for joining into the NATO for the first time in our history is due to the scare the Russian agression has caused. When scared one rarely makes good decisions. It is also because this might be the moment to join, as Russia is now weak and committed elswhere. But it is just as much just out of spite. Because Putin has said he will not allow Ukraine or other neighbours to join in to NATO. Angry Finns want to join just to piss him off as a kind of revenge for his war. We have traditionally looked to our own aid and we have a great trust in our military (as so many of us are part of it) and we are painfully aware, that the effectiveness of our military is not based on some fantasy of a total victory over the Russians, but rather that if they try to come, they will pay a price too high for them to want to come, just like Ukranians are doing now.

            I have been to Ukraine. It is a beatifull country. I have both Russian and Ukranian friends for whom I fear what the future might bring.

            Sorry, that this comment is too long. Take care Scottie.

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            1. Rautakyy says, “Oh, and by the way, I do not agree at all with Tildeb on the issue, that this war is the result of some peacemongering by the political left.

              What I have said repeatedly is the best deterrence to a military ‘option’ to invade one’s country is to have a strong defense capability. This investment is often portrayed by many people not as an insurance policy for peace but as a Very Bad Thing (in so many ways from making it equivalent to warmongering to serving the military/industrial complex to colonialism to imperialism and so on) and something never justifiable when the money could have spent otherwise, that this attitude – mainly from the political Left – increases the likelihood of armed conflict.

              You, in fact, seem to demonstrate agreement on this principle I hold by saying, “we have a great trust in our military (as so many of us are part of it) and we are painfully aware, that the effectiveness of our military is not based on some fantasy of a total victory over the Russians, but rather that if they try to come, they will pay a price too high for them to want to come” which is my point. That’s the entire reason for a strong defense, to be a deterrent, intended to avoid military conflict guaranteed to be very costly to the initiator.

              So it seems to me you can’t have it both ways here, meaning Putin invaded a country that did not have this strong deterrence in place. And the West carries some burden of guilt here on making sure a strong deterrence was not supported: many politicians in the West decided their constituency preferred not to support either Ukraine’s request to join NATO nor supply them with much in the way of armaments beyond civil requirements. That constituency is mainly on the political Left. I know first hand of military people who worked with a Ukrainian contingent in Afghanistan. The Ukrainians described/complained to Canadian soldiers of exactly this two-faced Western policy not only prior to the Russian invasion of Crimea but the ongoing lack of meaningful support after the fact, and then its continuation even when a simmering war against Russian troops was being waged for 8 years in the eastern oblasts!

              So yeah, I think there is some blame appropriately aimed at the political Left in the West regarding the lack of support for military capability of and strong deterrence by Ukraine… not because I say so or some ideological position motivates me to do so but because Ukrainian military people say so. I think they raise a very legitimate criticism because I think we’re seeing the result of this prevarication by Western governments sensitive to what you call ‘peacemongering’ by their branches of their civilian populations whose home base is often found within the political Left.

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              1. Tildeb, please. The fault for this “special operation ” lies with Putin and his right-wing nationalist conservative values. His imperialistic and colonialist attitudes. Much of the blame lies on Russian people sharing his values who have accepted his use of military for protecting their borders and interrests towards Ukraine. There lies responsibility on the Russian military industral complex and the Capitalists behind it expecting profit from this war, who can rely on common folk to abide blindly to the principle you refer to, but never questioning how much money is used to uphold it, or how the money, or the military is used.
                The Western democracies often seem and are double faced because democracies are not run by some single ideology. It is often only with hindsight, that we can say something should have been done differently. Perhaps Trump, a right wing conservative nationalist capitalist oligark with his imperialistic and colonialist atitudes should have not withdrawn help from Ukraine.

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                1. Of course the fault of a military invasion lies with the invader. I am speaking strictly about the necessary role of deterrence (I wish it weren’t so, but hey…), of stopping such an invasion before it ever happens, because one cannot rely on the good will of others to provide military intervention when necessary. That’s my point. My criticism is that there are far too many people who think building and maintaining and funding deterrence is an instigator of conflict, that such deterrence is a waste of resources, that military deterrence is an offensive weapon waiting to be used by the greedy, a continuation of warmongering that threatens peace and stability so we should defund the military and redirect that money in more social programs. This is a false dichotomy if the issue is about maintaining peace and stability. One can have both… at the grand cost of 2% GDP.

                  In my experience, however, when the deterrence is insufficient, that’s when the military option sometimes becomes used. So deterrence stops wars because hoping that someone doesn’t use the military option, when it seems useful for whatever reason the potential invader thinks, is foolish… especially when there are people in positions of authority who think the benefits of starting a war or invading a neighbour outweighs the costs of waging it. We’ve seen this how many times throughout history? Deterrence raises the costs and reduces the benefits, so the option for waging war becomes less likely, not more. That’s the point far too many people just don’t get. Yet, as you know perfectly well, that’s how defensive packs like NATO works: deterrence through collective defense. It works… if peace is the goal.

                  Our host has suggested the imposition of American airpower – which is not deterrence but an act of military intervention – to balance the scales with the invader’s military power would reduce the harm being inflicted. On the contrary, I think you and I agree that such a move to strengthen a non NATO member by intervening would greatly widen the conflict occurring within it and so would increase the harm beyond its borders and would scale up the scope of the conflict in the name of reducing it. That’s not the path to peace: that’s the path to more war, a meatgrinder endeavor, where in the best case scenario an uneasy peace fades somewhere into the future. Hopefully. Maybe.

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                2. Agreed, though sometimes, that wich is meant and excused as a deterrent to prevent war is used for agression and “pre-emtive strikes”, wich is exactly what Putin has now done. That is why it is important to keep it in check, how much money is spent, on what and how it is used. This seems to remain as the job for the left, as it is from the political right there rarely appears any criticism of the military. Agreed?

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                3. In the same way there needs to be more accountability in the Right from the Right, there also needs to be more accountability in the Left from the Left. Military expenditure is considered a vice from the Left. We see this played out in a variety of ways in budget priorities. The military ranks very low. Compounding this problem is that any and all criticism from the Left about the political Left is treated as if a moral failing.

                  Maybe it’s different in Finland, but in Canada and in its federal policy because any and all military expenditures are widely regarded as a vice even though lip service of respect is paid to those who wear the uniform, my comment is aimed at this lip service because, if ensuring peace is the stated aim, then expenditure to ensure adequate deterrence capability is the necessary cost. The two are directly linked in fact. It is this understanding of the role the military plays in ensuring peace that is spectacularly missing in action… especially in education.

                  The recent putsch in education to teach children the proper role – even the historical role – of the military is to aid civilian response to natural disasters and perhaps export medical (and fresh water/blankets) ‘peacekeeping’ missions abroad is the child of this ignorance. To teach the actual history, the actual role, of the military is painted to be ‘glorifying’ armed conflict, which has no place apparently in the delicate lives of children. So we see an increase in attitude that the military shouldn’t be a deterrence force capable of armed conflict but an extension of a ‘peace-promoting’ branch of some bizarre notion to be a social aid program in webbed khaki.

                  So my point here is that this evolution in attitude decreases the fundamental role and erodes capability of effective military deterrence… and yet it is deterrence – the ability to wage a modern war – that ensures peace. That’s what I mean about so many people wanting it both ways, denying that a capable military ensures peace from the designs of an aggressor, and going along with the lie that reduction of that deterrence promotes peace… under the guise that this attitude is the only morally acceptable one to hold when historically this is exactly the way wars of aggression begin: by an aggressor facing lack of deterrence. That is the standard temptation. And the Left by and large seems incapable today of making this causal link but is highly capable of assigning overwhelming moral condemnation if questioned about it’s truth value. That is the ‘blame’ I am assigning to the Left, an attitude that elevates the risk of war by undermining and downplaying and vilifying the role of military deterrence.

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              2. Hello Tildeb. I disagree with your position that a country needs to have a strong military option itself to deter invasion. I look to the recent examples of Afghanistan for proof of that. They stood up to and drove out the Russians and now the US two countries that comparatively had a much greater military that took much of the countries budget.

                The fact that Russia / Putin has hesitated to attack any NATO country and has tried to weaken or destroy NATO shows that your idea that no nation can depend on others is incorrect. The veery idea of NATO is in numbers there is strength. No member has to have all the military or place all its countries wealth into a military as they will band together to create a large military if need be. It works. And it shows that when needed each country will / can quickly increase its military capacity. The fact that more countries want to join NATO now shows this. A strong deterrent to needing a military solution is diplomacy and a people who have the benefits of a developed country that allows them to find better ways than force to get what they need or want.

                In the US is not peace mongers that are influencing the government but warmongering politicians in both parties that are legally bribed by lobbyists from defense contractors that want more profit so need their products to be used and more military spending to generate more profit. Have you listened to US news? Listened to the ones promoted on the Suday news shows. They all promote military involvement in any conflict or area of the world plus they also desire the removal of civilian protections and rights. Instead they desire to use a military occupation style that is very worrying to those of us that do not wish to live in a police state where the military can be sued against civilians at the will of the political party in power in any country. There is a reason the slogan give peace a chance is meaningful in the US. It has been a very long time since the US has not been in a conflict, police action, or war. The US is used as the world’s policeman and frankly a lot of us are tired of it.

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                1. I try my best to use principle and not expediency as a foundation for an opinion. When it comes to the military, the principle towards which I am aiming to support is ‘peace’. So… how does this principle shape the military’s role in achieving peace? This is where I blame the Left for failing to understand this essential connection but operating as if military investment means supporting the desire for war. This is exactly backwards. And counter-intuitive, which is why the vilifying of the military, its capability, its role, does not produce peace; it is a major element in promoting war.

                  I know. It’s a difficult concept. But it is the way the real world works.

                  This is why I have spoken about the central role of deterrence for the military to best ensure ‘peace’ from an aggressor. I have found most people understand almost nothing about this policy, about what constitutes ‘deterrence’, and so have no real clue about how the military addresses trying to achieve it in today’s world. (There’s a good article explaining exactly this difficulty here.)

                  So, to keep things simple, war in Ukraine is example of what happens when deterrence fails. Ukraine – independent of NATO – cannot expect others to ensure deterrence on its behalf. You have taken this to mean I think deterrence must be up to each nation, but that is NOT what I mean; I mean deterrence is best achieved when it works, and it seems to work best through multinational cooperation like NATO. (But ‘effective deterrence’ means the ability to actually deter, to make the cost of aggression far too high to think it will produce greater benefits. In this matter, I don’t care if effective deterrence comes form the Right or the Left, from populists or despots, from democracies to dictatorships. If peace is the goal, deterrence is the only game in town.

                  You assume that I think that deterrence means only greater weaponry, but that’s not it: again and again, my position is to ensure effective deterrence which certainly can and does include operational effectiveness using modern weapons capable of incredible destruction, but it is a much broader concept as a role for the military. So this role, this ability to deter, by the military – compared and contrasted to reducing the military’s effectiveness in the name of redirecting funds to some social program objective – is a Very Important Issue for everyone who actually cares about peace. Effective deterrence dictates war or peace. And so the inclusion of more states in such a deterring arrangement I think reduces the risk of war not because of numbers but because of on the ground, in the air, on the water, in space, in cyberspace, economic, diplomatic capability to increase what real deterrence looks like in action is vital to promoting peace. And from peace comes prosperity and opportunity and the ability for greater international cooperation for all kinds of ways. That’s what military investment produces when deterrence is the selected goal.

                  So, if you listen to the talking heads in mainstream media today, you’ll discover a fair amount of concern that including states that border Russia in NATO elevates the risk of armed conflict. This is true… in the short run. But what you won’t hear is why this also increases deterrence and so reduces the risk of military aggression, producing a higher chance for peace, in the long run. The immediate cost is to all member states with this increased risk of being called into action (which is why proper military preparedness is important) but the benefit is that wider membership reduces the risk that action will occur. That’s deterrence in action. That deterrence, however, to be effective also carries a very real cost. But that cost is what pays for peace. Effective deterrence matters if peace really IS the goal, and this is the part – the dividend – that I think few people really grasp.

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                2. tildeb, most of what you write is far too complex (and wordy) to follow, but in this, I think you are saying that military funding should be high on the ladder in order to preserve both the idea –and the action– of readiness. And prevention.

                  If this is your argument, then isn’t there a point when “readiness” is achieved … and the constant influx of $$$$$ becomes excessive?

                  This is a bit off-base from the actual Ukraine discussion, but this is what I got from reading your essay.

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                3. Because deterrence is an ongoing process to meet ongoing change, it has to be seen as a civilian commitment. Hence, the 2% request to a dedicated financial commitment every citizen should support… rather than something that can be and ought to be slashed and altered for temporary political advantage or used in ways that have nothing to do with deterrence and everything to do with being used as a handy stop gap measure (everything from snow removal to water treatment). Unfortunately, this understanding is almost absent from the public square because TL;DR. And besides, we already know everything ‘military’ (but the people) is bad. Just ask a kid. I have faced this omnipresent negative attitude every November in every school, in every classroom, at every level for many, many decades. It’s only getting worse because too few people understand.

                  It’s not an easy link showing that to achieve lasting peace requires ongoing support for the military. My ‘essay’ is not only to show that relationship but offer an article that explains just how HUGE that task really is. And I do that to try to explain why a negative attitude towards spending on the military supposedly because it ‘costs too much’ (yet the 2% of GDP goal is almost an impossibility for all NATO members except the US) is a recipe for war BECAUSE it makes effective deterrence all but impossible to achieve. Cost savings and social programs evaporate when war comes inside the border. I’ve seen it. That’s the part of the balance sheet – the overwhelming at-home cost for those unable to deter – that almost no one actually talks about when they vilify the military and vilify civilian support for it as an effective military able to wage war.

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                4. I trust you read Scottie’s reply to rautakyy as regards military spending. Based on what you wrote, I’m guessing you disagree with his approach. But to me, his approach makes sense. Yes, we need a well-prepared and well-financed military as a deterrent as well as for actual defense. But at what cost?

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                5. That’s why I included the link because it’s not just about hard military equipment. It’s all about effective deterrence and, in the case of NATO, common defense. And the amount, as I’ve said repeatedly is 2% GDP. That’s the cost for every NATO member (which is what this conversation is about). Every year. And one rarely met by any NATO country other than the US.

                  Now the US has other military requirements for deterrence around the globe, too. The umbrella the US provides is geared towards the security of other liberal democracies (which is one of the reasons Ukraine has struggled to meet basic NATO requirements) in the Pacific as well as a hemispheric power as well as seeking energy security in the Middle East. So its military expenditure will by policy be greater. That’s why I said the policy is aimed at executing wars in different hemispheres simultaneously. So one would reasonably expect this to be about double, or 4% GDP. Currently, that sits at about 3.7% GDP. That’s a huge undertaking for a single nation and we shoudl all be damned thankful the US is willing to step up and do this, considering its ‘partners’ like NATO countries by and large have abused this willingness by not living up to even the paltry requirements for each member state. The alternative for other liberal democracies is to face a Russian invasion when deterrence doesn’t work, to face a Chinese invasion when deterrence doesn’t work. So deterrence achieved is the benchmark we should be concerned about and not dollars spent.

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                6. OK. I see your point. It’s as much about defense in other countries (NATO) as it is about defense of the U.S. right? Thus, the exorbitant expenditures.

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                7. The ‘exorbitant’ cost we pay in money is dwarfed by the suffering of real people in real life subject to war. Just like the value of stuff after a natural disaster is better realized when life and limb are also at stake, we are forced by circumstance and human nature to deal with what is. And the devastating cost of war is real so let’s do what we need to do to deter it. Yes, that’s going to cost and I think 4% GDP is sufficient.

                  Foreign policy is one of those areas that has a huge impact on this issue and why so much of it is shaped by the realpolitik of competing great powers. Stimulating the Chinese economy, for example, under the auspices of generating common interests through trade and therefore reducing risk of armed conflict was an incalculable error in judgement by the West because it produced a capable military competitor under a totalitarian regime that dramatically affects the West’s ability to produce effective deterrence of its use for Chinese interests. It’s a cost of literately hundreds of trillions of US dollars over time… done with the best of intentions except deterrence. This is why we hear more and more about the risk of war with China. Even paltry North Korea raises a pretty high bar of cost because it now has ballistic MERVS aimed at Western democracies to make a despot fell important but no longer subject to typical national deterrence in its isolation from Western influence.

                  These are very real risks of armed conflict that no amount of increased childcare spending in lieu of military spending is going to address. In fact, such diversion raises the specter of war to higher level because deterrence is lowered. It is the rising flood and it is coming our way. Do we care more about stuff or more about people surviving?

                  So if we produce better deterrence in some of these other ways than just hard military equipment as pointed out in the article, then people should be more than willing to fund them rather than organize against ‘military’ spending in the name of social justice. Security costs. We should understand better why this is the case and why we have to constantly invest in deterrence.

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                8. You ask … Do we care more about stuff or more about people surviving?. Of course “people surviving” based on what you have written has a different meaning than it does to Scottie and, to a certain degree, me. While your points are well made related to military expenditures, somehow for some of us, the everyday living expenses for some people seem to be just as important.

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                9. Hello Teldeb. In reading your reponce to Rautakyy I realized why we do not agree on the military spending issue. You are talking about what you preceive is happening in your country of Canada, and I am telling you my view based on what is happening in the USA.

                  In the US the military spending is unquestionable by our elected leaders. There is never a question on its budget getting passed most year with much more money than they ask for. Each party works to add more money to the military. President Joe Biden has signed into law a $777.7bn US annual military budget – his first in office – weeks after Congress overwhelmingly passed the bill amid protests from progressives and anti-war groups who had advocated for cutting military spending. That doesn’t include the extras for the military that come under national security umbrella. The budget for next year is about 813 billion with a 69 billion dollar increase for the military even after we ended the 20 year Afghanistan war. While every bit of domestic spending for the public is scrutinized there is not even debate on the defense authorization bills. We couldn’t even get a 1.5 billion dollar bill passed that would have contiuned the child tax credit that lifted 50% of poor kids out of poverty and gave food security to them, and that had many more programs for the public. That was projected to cost 1.5 trillion in ten years and that was too much. So I wonder what the 813 billion for defence will be in ten years? So you and I are talking apples to oranges here. They are not the same and neither is the situation.

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                10. Again and again, you paint military expenditure as if in competition with social expenditures rather than the necessary foundation for ALL social funding… not realizing what a luxury this is to have both! Do you think Ukraine is weighing introducing legislation today for increased childcare funding? There’s the difference. War eliminates all other concerns yet military spending to create effective deterrence is widely held to be if not evil certainly morally repugnant when there are other ‘pressing’ needs. That’s the criticism I keep raising in reference specifically to the ‘Left’. More people on the Left need to recognize the vital importance the military plays creating the luxurious conditions for all other social programs to operate rather than constantly condemning every dollar not spent on social programs.

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                11. Hello Tildeb. I want to address your comment that military strength is the foundation all other luxuries are built on and I disagree with that. There has to be balance and in fact the countries with the highest happiness ratings have the economies / resources to quickly scale up to meet a military conflict. They are doing so now. Ukraine is stopping what the world thought was the number two world military power with help from the community of countries, not it’s own military might. Yes your comment about they were not adding childcare benefits right now is pure snark and doesn’t add any value to the conversation. No country in a war adds to civilian comforts except maybe the US when W Bush told the public their war effort consisted on going shopping to keep the economy going. Every country at war makes sacrifices.

                  Every nation has a limited amount of money to spend and that includes its borrowed money. So yes every dollar spent on the military can be in competition with social expenditures. My view is the US spends far too much on military / defense at the expense of social programs. I find that hard to argue against when you realize no other country does it to the extent the US does. Even authoritarian regimes that offer scant social benefits to their people do not spend the equivalent of their GDP on their military the US does.

                  To recap:

                  The conversation has drifted along from your original statement of peace mongering left calling for reducing the military budgets to fund social programs and your assertion that only strong built up well funded militaries prevent war. I disagreed with those assertions. No one is saying that every dollar has to go to social spending and not a cent to the military. That is not said in my country at least. I don’t know about yours. Would we on the left like to slow or restrain military spending you bet. But it wouldn’t hurt our security at all. It takes a different mindset than the old might makes right and the biggest guy wins that too many on the right have.

                  No country needs an overwhelming military if it has diplomatic ties with commitments from other nations. A community that bands together can always beat the aggressor. What every country needs is a strong well funded diplomatic / State department and a willingness to work to form economic ties with other nations. If you have a large powerful military at the expense of the needs of the people, you have gained nothing worth keeping. There are countries in the world where they have a large military presence but their people live in oppression and poverty. They would be better to make security pacts to be peaceful with and in cooperation with their neighbors and reduce their military spending for the good of their people.

                  The military doctrine of the US is to be able to fight two separate wars in two different areas of the world. That posture was formed after World War 2 when the US was forced to fight Japan and fight in Europe. It never was a stated goal to protect other countries. That came about because the US needed to expand their influence and give the overly large military something to do. Plus again the more use of the military the more profit for the contractors. The idea that the people of the US have to give up a quality of life to service the worlds military needs offends me and it is not true. The world’s democracies have kept their militaries at a level that the US could drop a great deal of funding of our own military and not suffer a lack of security. Again the US doesn’t need such a large military, no one is saying remove all funding from the military, and the people do need the many social programs other countries enjoy that the money for the military is steal from.

                  That is the entire discussion in a nutshell. Your original position claimed the left wanted to reduce the military to a level that would leave countries unsecure and encourage invasion. I told you that was not true in the US. I don’t think it is true in the world. Some of the most secure states have small military expenditures compared to the GDP. But they know they can count on their friends and allies. Just as Ukraine is counting on its allies now. I just think the allies should be doing more. And from the reports I have been reading we are stepping up assistance on all fronts including securing the air space over Ukraine.

                  In several of your comments I found things I could agree with. But I disagree with your main thrust in all of them. You seem to feel about the left as I feel about the right but I doubt what each of us views as left and right are not the same ideas as we are dealing with two different countries that have vastly different funding levels for social programs and the military.

                  I have said all I can think of to say on the subject. I have made all the points I felt important to make. I have read yours. As I said, in the later comments I did find things I could agree with but found more that I disagreed with. You can keep the conversation going if you wish with others, but I simply don’t have anything more to add to the conversation, so I am going to step back from it. Maybe I will think of something more to add, but I don’t want to be repetitive. Best wishes.

                  Liked by 1 person

                12. Hello Tildeb. What to flesh that out a little. I have no idea what you are talking about. The only war on poverty in the US I know about is a war on poor people. But we also have a war on drugs that was lost 40 years ago that the Republican party still tries to fund. Go figure.

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                13. Oh, just a point about switching the military budget to enhance social programs… presuming the social programs produce value. The Johnson initiative to ‘wage war’, for example, (this is the equivalency with the military’s stated ability to ‘wage war’ as well) on poverty since that announcement has received roughly 21.5 trillion dollars of public money. So the question is: has the ‘war’ been fought and won by making such a staggering investment? And the answer is quite clearly No. Poverty rates remain about the same. And this point is made only to suggest that diverting military funds to social programs is not necessarily going to produce any kind of lasting benefit… when so often the assumption is made that of course it will, that military expenditure costs people these benefits (as if it’s wasted on the military when it would produce more value in a social program. My point here, to borrow from Porgy and Bess, is that it ain’t necessarily so.

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                14. Hello Tildeb. Thanks for the add information of what you are talking about. What you said is hogwash of course with bits of truth and lots of misinformation. In the US there has been no effort to take money from the military in my lifetime to fund social programs. There were caps on increases and small cuts to put the money to the debt when Democrats were in the White House and the Republicans suddenly cared about the debt again. Funny how they only care about it when the president is a Democrat. But in the US the military budget has almost always been increased and there has rarely even been debate on it. Spending for the public, however is strongly resisted no matter the need.

                  What history shows is that the right and the entitled wealthy have tried to undo and roll back the New Deal and any control of the government over businesses that came from that. Until then the government had little say over business practices.

                  The New Deal and future tweaks put the cost of government on corporations, large businesses. and the wealthy. The best economic times the US had leading the people to new economic gains creating the middle class were during the time from the end of World War 2 until 1980s. And the wealthy kept getting wealthy also as the rest of the public shared the benefits of the US growth. The US had new roads, a space program, and growing improvements in all areas. In the Reagan presidency a push to lower the cost of the government burden on the wealthy who could afford it and place it on the lower incomes people who could least afford it. The burden of funding the running of the country shifted from those able to pay it with no lifestyle change onto those who had to cut things from their lives as their costs to fund the government increased. That led to the constant attempts to cut costs and reduce government assistance to the people who needed it the most. That was the war on poverty in reality. It was a war on the poor. Over the years following the wealthy bought more politicians of both parties and the government came to serve only the wealthy and corporations but was to never to work for or help the public. The people no longer mattered or had a voice. They were pandered to every few years to get their votes and then ignored. The middle class died. It is almost gone. We now have a very wealthy class in the US, an Ok but wants more lower upper class, and a struggling lower class that is unable to achieve any upward mobility. Over 40% of the people in the US cannot afford an unexpected cost of $400 dollars. Few have savings, there is no more retirement. Most cannot afford healthcare, housing, and now food costs. The American dream has died. And Republicans are publicly pushing the idea of cutting Social Security and taxing the people receiving it. Again forcing the costs of the country on the poorest people rather than the greedy wealthy who can best afford the burden.

                  Here is the truth. The US has become a failed nation with a large population of poor people and a large military run by a wealthy plutocracy. The politicians view the elected office as a golden ticket to personal wealth, the country has legalized bribing of politicians in all levels of government, and companies / businesses demand and need a desperate population of workers who will accept any job at any low wage in any adverse conditions without complaint just to survive. And that is the history of the war on poverty in the US.

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            2. Hello rautakyy. First let me say no one has to apologies for the length of their comment as long as it is clear to understand, is not repetitive, and on topic. I myself am known for long comments and replies. I will say I hate the current set up for the comments and I may switch themes just for that. Now to your comment.

              I think it is understandable that a military doesn’t send their most secret best weapons into a conflict if it looks like they will lose, and that tech will fall into enemy hands. That is being used as the reason the US is not handing over some equipment to Ukraine. It has been used as an excuse not to send our best planes into other conflicts. But to deliberately send inferior stuff into a conflict just to be destroyed doesn’t make much sense does it? If the enemy you want to defeat has better stuff than your junk why send only your junk. No in this case I think Russia sent what they had. I think Russia did not expect the fight they got, they thought the show would work. I disagree that Russia is holding back their best stuff to fight NATO, they are depending on their weapons of mass destruction to do that. But while it seems Beau (Justin King) and yourself, are experts on the subject I am not.

              As you are Finish you should understand there is no appeasing Russia / Putin on land grabs. Putin recently said not only would they hold Finland to prior territorial losses but that if Finland intervened to help Ukraine that Russia would take the entire country as Putin considered Finland to be Russia’s anyway . I just got to the end of what you wrote, and you said this better than I could.

              I agree the situation is different for me / the US people than it is for those in Europe. We are only marginally affected and we are oceans away from conflict. It allows us to be freer to give into our moral outrage without fearing harm ourselves. That said I think this is already a world war and each nation has declared its side in the conflict. In every great conflict, and to me this qualifies as a great conflict, the question history asks is why the stronger powers did not get more involved earlier to save lives. Zelenskyy asked that already. Putin’s stated goal is to grab lands of other nations and to return Russia to its former imperial size. The idea that NATO was a threat to Russia seems farfetched to me. It seems a pretense. NATO is a defensive organization. The only way NATO was a threat is if Putin threatened countries in NATO, as he is now doing by wanting to take back former USSR territory. That is why he wanted NATO destroyed. It stood in the way of his recreating a grand empire.

              To the Russian people. Yes the Russian people don’t side with Putin on what they know of the war. Clearly reports are that the soldiers do not. However they are still raining death on civilians and committing war crimes and genocide. The problem with waiting is that it gives Putin more time to gain even more control over the media and the narrative. Think how he has managed to shut down any opposition speech to the war. 15 years for saying anything but the state narrative. I live in a country that has seen the results of a Republican state media (Fox News) that spouts the Republican party line. In the US we have a percentage of the population that buys that propaganda entirely regardless of facts and they not only cannot be dissuaded they are incorrect. They are violent, aggressive, belligerent, and committed in their defense of that propaganda. They act on it passionately. As more of the Russian population absorbs Putin’s propaganda the less likely they will to listen to anything else nor act against the government. So giving Putin more time to spread his version of events is not a winning strategy in my view.

              I think what will change Russian publics opinion most will be what changed the US opinion of every war we have been in, the military deaths. In the US presidents have blocked the media (yes censorship) from showing or reporting on the returning caskets of the dead. When the mothers and other family members see their loved ones are dead and not returning they will spread their anger against Putin. But to keep that from happening until he thinks he can win Putin has ordered the military to cremate or burn the bodies of the dead if they are recovered at all in Ukraine instead of bringing them home to Russia.

              I do wish those that are for a super strong military would take the responsibility for paying for that military themselves. The US is a regressive backward country when compared to other developed nations that has let unrestrained capitalism create a two class system in the US. One part of society which is getting smaller all the time has luxury and plenty, able to live comfortable lives with few fears of not meeting their basic needs and those for which life is a daily struggle trying to make sure their needs are met. Those people, their families, and their children have food insecurity, have shelter or housing insecurity, and see the pleasures of life that the upper class have as out of their reach forever. Here in my country the majority of workers cannot take time off for illness, much less for a vacation to enjoy themselves. The military budget is driven mostly by greed and capitalistic desire to make profit. For example the US military was forced for decades to take tanks and ships it had no need for because the plant that made them was in the state of a powerful politician who bragged about the high paying jobs he secured for his state. Bases in the US are kept open not for need but for the money they generate for the state or district. The large defense contractors lobby and legally bribe US lawmakers to give more money to the military to buy their products and increase their wealth at the expense of programs for the public. 800 billion plus in military spending a year. A year! Yet we are afraid to use it to stop a genocide? The US is willing to attack and enforce our will on countries not able to hurt us (or so we think) but is willing to be threatened and cowed from acting if we think the country might be able to stand up to us. Even now the US president Biden is demanding a large increase in spending for more nuclear weapons because we are allowing Russia to blackmail us with theirs. Will more nukes solve that? No. But acting even with that threat out there will. But I have voiced that before here and won’t repeat it. Unless you have not read my view on the blackmail and extortion by Russia. Then I will say it again.
              See I wrote a long reply myself. Length alone is not the issue for me.
              Best wishes. Thanks for the comment.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Hello Scottie, Tildeb et all! It may very well be, that no amount of deterrent would have kept Putin out of Ukraine. Napoleon III attacked Germany. How could Bismark have stopped him from doing that? Spending more money on Prussian military? Hitler went to war against three of the mightiest military powers on the planet. Perhaps, if only Stalin had spent more money on military the entire WWII could have been awoided? Maybe if the US had just spent more on military the 9/11 attack would have been deterred? There is no upper limit to what amount of military spending might be enough to confirm a deterrent strong enough to prevent all agression. Such attempts seem to lead into ridiculously costly arms races.

                It would be unreasonable to claim, that the international peace movement has not achieved anything. For some reason it is mostly run by leftist activists. Finland does not uphold an army, in case Sweden might invade, because we have nothing to fear from them. Their schools teach, that pacifism is a virtue. That armies and militarism should not get a leading role in the society. That is why.

                First funktion of military is to uphold peace (by being a plausible deterrent). Second is wage a war by the order of the political leadership (and win it). These are intrconnected. Peace keeping missions, that both Canada and Finland have participated usually come after the fact, but have great value in many cases.

                Finland has not joined NATO because of many reasons. NATO may be a defece alliance, but from the outside it seems to be an agressive military alliance, that has member states, that are willing to go to war on some fairly frivolous excuses, like WMD’s that do not exist. It also appears to be led by the biggest spender, president of wich has declared themselves as “the leader of the free world”, a title not appointed to them by any democratic process. They could be puppets loyal to their role model and supporter like Trumpf was to Putin. If both Finland and Ukraine would have been member states, and Putin would have attacked (because he is a lunatic, or just terribly badly informed about the capability of his army), Finland would now literally be at war with Russia. The last time Finland relied on foreign help against the Russians, it ended really ugly and the Finns had to drive out their former allies in a bitter war.

                Social programs may mean all the difference in a war. After our civil war Finland was a divided country, but social reforms made it possible, that all Finns felt they had something of value to defend when the Winter War began. Left wing minister of defence Cajander had to endure ridicule and even anger because the troops lacked ammunition and even uniforms, that by the US standards would have made them “illegal fighters” supposedly not soldiers as mentioned in the Geneva treaty. Lucky thing the Russians did not interprete the treaty as wildly. The real reason for the lack of ammo and uniforms was the previous right wing government that had spent the military budget for years to come on two mighty warships, that proved to be absolutely useless.

                People often confuse the pricetag to quality. Especially so in militaries. The US and Russia have extremely expensive armies. Both have been found wanting in the field.

                Rautakyy out.

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            3. Hello rautakyy. I forgot to ask you if you watched the video I posted where Beau talks about Russia using civilian vehicles with military weapons on them? He states that shows Russia is not holding back their better equipment. I am interested in your opinion on his points. Thanks.

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              1. Hi Scottie! I have not found the link to the video where Beau talks about Russian soldiers using civillian vehicles. I tried to look for it, from your other posts, but failed miserably.

                In general, I am not really surprized about the Russians taking civillian vehicles into use. At this point it is blatantly obvious, that the planning at the Russian headquaters was based on some fantasy version of reality, that should not surprice us at all, simply because they are all yes-men Putinists and thus right-wing conservatives and nationalists. Ukranians have commandeered several military Russian military vehicles from tanks to troop transports, that were driven until they ran out of petrol and then simply abandoned by footslogging Russians hastily withdrawing towards north and Belorussian forests. It is more than likely, that troops on the run have stolen vehicles.

                Completely a nother thing is, if they have tried to arm civillian cars as some sort of “technical units”. This is a practice common all over third world countries, by all militant groups and militaries. To me, it seems obvious, that the Russian soldiers, altough they were given transcripts of Putins “Casus Belli” speech have no clue as to what are they doing in Ukraine. It must be obvious to them by now, that they are not liberating anybody at all. Equally obvious is, that they are constantly under fire from heavily armed fighters, who appear otherwise no different from civillians. Thus all civillians appear as a threat to them. In other words, they are on a raid, realize it on some level, and act accordingly.

                To me, the possible arming of civillian cars only confirms, that the Russian military was not ready for this war. Their planning, equipment and will to fight are extremely bad. The plan to take Ukraine has failed spectacularly, because it had no goals. No actual goals were announced. It is impossible to modulate a battle plan, when the political leadership has evaded responsibility of setting clear goals. As any populist, Putin has not declared what it concretely is, that the war should actually achieve. He relies his voters tp guess what he means and that they fill in the blanks to fit to their prejudices and preconceptions. The Russians use a lot of old Soviet equipment, that was top knotch 30 years ago and still is, but the equipment is in terrible condition. Corruption reigns in the Russian military industrial complex. It is the perfect milking cow for the Oligarchs (Capitalists) to rely on patriotism to provide endless source of national money to their personal bank accounts. There are rumours of entire units seeking legal help for not joining the attack even under orders. We are talking about the elite, like the paratroopers.

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                1. Hello again Scottie and thanks for the video. The Russian “special operation” seems to have failed in almost everything, though it is hard to evaluate, as even the setting of goals was originally failed. That may be THE root cause for all their failures. A nother major cause is corruption, that appears to have hit the logistcs severely. There is evidence of systematic looting. Even toiletseats have been taken. The soldiers are not likely going to take them with their cramped troop transports. Somebody has organized the transport of looted goods to Russia for resale. Meanwhile the troop transports are being dumped because they have run out of fuel.

                  When I was in the military we used the old Soviet BTR-60 as our troop transports. I was present when one of them pulled itself up from a mud pit deep enough, that almost just the roof was visible. It was long ago and they have been replaced by modern Finnish vehicles. However the BTR-80 Russians use today is just a better version of it. A Toyota truck cannot get to where the BTR is unable to reach. Both use regular diesel as fuel. In comparrison to the BTR the Humwee is not much more armoured than the Toyota. The BTR can take any small arms fire, it offers protection from IDS and even from some light anti armour weaponry. I consider the Humwee to be one of the major scams done by the US military industral complex. Look at their number and consider the fact, that unlike any other modern army, the US troops have had no proper troop transports. The only reason, I can see for the Russians to abandon their BTR units and mount guns on Toyotas, is that this a part of some looting scheme. They propose to have taken the cars for military purposes, while they are simply stealing the cars and everything they can carry.

                  Then again, it appears from the combat footage I have seen, that the Russian infantry is reluctant to dismount their BTR’s and protect their tanks as they are supposed to do. That is guessing the infantry is mounted in their transports and not looting and murdering the wittnesses somewhere else, while the tanks put up a show of supposed attack. All in all, I have seen very little of return fire from the Russians under fire by the Ukranians. Usually soldiers tend to respond, even if the enemy does not present many targets.

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  2. I am betting, Scottie, no American bullets have to fly. No bombs will have to be dropped. Maybe Putin will cry, “Go on!” but the real people fighting the real battles will surrender to a massive show of force by NATO and all its members. Right now, WE ARE ALL COWARDS! I have said this from the start. If we do not show up now, anything that comes later is in vain. DO WHAT IS RIGHT! Not what is merely prudent. This from an avowed pacifist.

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    1. I hope you win that bet, friend, but the likelihood is fading fast. Tyrants, dictators, and other madmen do not stop of their own accord. War is the absolute worst of necessary evils. War happens when we have exhausted all other means. Reality is a bitch, but it saves us.

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      1. This war is certainly not a “last resort!” This is an egomaniac trying to feed his ego. Russia needs nothing from Ukraine. They are neighbours. There is no reason they cannot co-exist. Except Putin needs to build an empire, at ANY COST. He is murdering Ukrainians, murdering Russians. And he is threatening other nations to see how far they will let him go.
        And Ukraine is innocently caught in the middle. We, NATO countries, are abandoning a whole nation of people. This is not being good neighbours!

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        1. Hello Rawgod. Yes so true. But I do think Putin wants something from Ukraine other than just rebuilding the territory the USSR had. I noticed that Putin is bombing civilian targets, apartment buildings, hospitals, malls, theaters, things and places the people use. But we do not hear of businesses and factories being bombed. A couple things Ukraine is known for is the NEON derivative that is used to make computer chips and also Ukraine supplies a large amount of the worlds nickel for electric car batteries. I think Putin remembers how during the USSR the satellite countries had to send their goods and profits to Moscow. I think Putin wants tributes or payments in goods and services from Ukraine after he wins it. Or that was his plan. He has lost more than he thought, no way the Ukrainians would let the wealth of their country go to the invaders.

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      2. Hello Cagjr. I agree that madmen do not stop on their own, they have to be stopped. When it comes down to it nothing the US or other nations do can stop Putin in Russia, only his own people can do that. Only the military and oligarchs can do that. But I think we can stop his actions in Ukraine working with the Ukrainian military and people. To have success we do not need to win, we need to stop the slaughter of Ukrainians and the press. Russian troops are targeting the press as they don’t want the world to know what they are doing and what is going on. I am glad you are back, I have missed your commentary.

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      1. It is, but moreso on our so-called leaders. In Canada, at least, Trudeau is not lisyening to the majority of Canadians. A survey showed more than 3 in 4 Canadians want “Something” to be done, something significant. But he refuses to listen, because his NATO buddies don’t agree.
        I cry “Bullshit!”
        Hugs, rawgod.

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        1. Hello Rawgod. Our countries leaders are listening to their wallets not their people. So what do you think Canadians will do to force your governments hands? As for the US government it is up to the press to make every child’s death as real and painful as possible for a change to happen. Remember our leaders are in their late 70s. They are mentally in a time of 40 years or more ago. But appeal to their grandkids and you get their attention. If we can shove the deaths of the kids in their faces we may get their attention and change their minds.

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          1. Trudeau is 50. He has children of his own. 14, 13, and 8. He should bot have to be reminded. But what are Canadians doing? Sending a lot of goods and money to refugee camps in Europe, as well as medical supplies, military hardware, fire-fighting equipment and other things in Ukraine itself. And opening homes to Ukrainian refugees. But what are we doing to influence the govrrnment, that I could not tell you. I live 800 kms NORTH of Edmonton, in the boonies of the boonies. I am cut off from what is g
            oing on in the cities. I hardly ever follow Canadian news sites. Where I live there are few “woke” people if you will forgive the expression. My fellow townspeople are mostly racists and bigots, with guns. I keep a low profile. Word Press is my window to the world. I do what I can here. In real life, I have no allies.

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  3. Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
    Mark Twain

    The fact that our leaders have publicly informed Putin that we are afraid of him has simply convinced him that it is so. When Ukraine looks like a plowed field, and the blood-soaked soil will not produce wheat, he will move on. Where to? He’s in charge, so wherever he wants to. Maybe the Baltics?

    James Madison observed that a democracy cannot stand on the point of a bayonet.
    If you are not willing to fight for what you believe in you are useless on the battlefield. The Russian soldiers are not fighting for something they believe in, but because of the same fear our leaders are reacting to.

    If we are going to allow the threat of another world war or the use of nuclear weapons to dictate our future, then we don’t have one. We have already lost control to a madman who will only create more havoc. Any treaties or memorandum of understanding Putin had with the world are null and void. He draws a red line and steps across it to draw another one, while we fear doing anything to provoke him. We will waste our treasure and our arms in order to allow us to think we are doing something. When we are weakened by our own stupidity, he will be drawing red lines on our map.

    This is the path of tyrants, always. I wonder if I should start capitalizing his pronouns. You can tell when a man has become a god because all men fear Him. While he is in the flesh we call him a mad man, a murdering tyrant, as he dictates to the world, but soon his dictates may be the Word of God.

    Remember Churchill’s lamentation. “The Americans will do thr right thing after they have exhausted all the wrong things.”

    Nobody wants a war, but Putin is not giving us that choice, he is forcing it down our throats.

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    1. And this … He draws a red line and steps across it to draw another one, while we fear doing anything to provoke him. is a GREAT line!!! Sums things up to a “T” in my opinion.

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  4. Very good, Scottie. Good to hear from you again. You’ve given us the opportunity to express that we are at the end of our pacifist rope. Rawgod (wardog?) has that hope that we will not have to fight, and I hope he is right, but it is doubtful. We need to hang on to that hope, but we can’t hide behind it.

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    1. Hello Cagjr. I am glad to have your voice again to shed wisdom and understanding. I think Rawgod is like myself and you, we want action of the strong to stop the harm to the weak. All my life I aspired to the ideal that the strong protect the ones who cannot protect themselves. Now I want my country to honor that. I watched a 15 year old boy tell how he was forced out of his home at gun point and watched his mother burn to death then he tried to crawl to safety with broken legs and a broken clavicle. If the US cannot step in to stop any more kids facing that then I cannot support the constant over funding of the military. Our elected officials argue about kids reading books that have LGBTQ+ characters as if it will cause them harm but we won’t stop the harm to kids from having their homes bombed, no food, and the fear that goes with it all.

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      1. I think Rawgod is in the same place about Ukraine as you and me. I hope he is right that we will not have a direct military action with Russia. I don’t see how we can let Russia walk away from the rebuilding of Ukraine.

        I’m sorry I didn’t respond to these comments earlier. They didn’t show up in my mail. I found them on WordPress.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hello Cagjr. I agree that Russia needs to pay reparations to Ukraine. There is a well established history of countries having to pay damages to other countries. It is one reason Hati has never been able to succeed as a country. When Haiti won its independence nearly 200 years ago, it came at a hefty price — an estimated $21 billion today. The country spent the next century paying off the debt to its former slave owners, France. I like the idea if you break it, you have to fix it / pay for it. The US has started / been involved in a lot of useless unnecessary wars but as far as I know we always rebuild or paid for what we broke. We have surely spent enough money in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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  5. When doves become hawks! This is really interesting…

    And it is fascinating to me that those who have been selling an ideology that words (or their absence) are violence, and harm is caused when offended, who frame the world in group identities and power hierarchy where the US is always The Bad Guy who spends way too much on its military because… you know, the military industrial complex and Big Oil, and certain deplorable politicians, and the usual list of suspects… see what a loss of military security looks like in up-to-the-minute action, when a real life authoritarian bully uses these real life tools to cause real life harm to real life individuals. After all, it was widely considered Wrong for the US to become militarily involved – no matter how limited, no matter how much care was given to reducing collateral damage – in Serbia and Libya and Syria and Iraq and Afghanistan. All have been painted as typical US warmongering on those least able to defend themselves! Always. Why should this situation in Ukraine be any different?

    But where was the outcry when every single US tank was withdrawn from Europe in 2013? When US troops were ‘drawn down’ from 340,000 in 1987 to fewer than 65,000 in 2018? After all, the popular opinion has been that ‘we’ meaning the US don’t want waste money this way and we certainly don’t want to ‘antagonize’ Russia by increasing military capability… especially with more ‘boots on the ground’. This has been a common refrain throughout the European press and governments for decades supported by a significant following in the US.

    What’s rarely espoused, however, or even given fair hearing, is the cost of NOT falling for this expedient peace-loving opinion… and that’s what we’re finding out today. The cost is as it has always been: a loss of security capability invites aggression. And it almost always works to the favour of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes who aggress but to the detriment of those subdued… in the name of ‘promoting peace’, of course. This is a irony that I think far too few people really grasp: real peace requires very strong military security, and that costs. That’s the cost for peace but receives very little popular support because the money can always be spent in ‘better’ ways… especially ‘at home’ rather than wasted ‘abroad’.

    All of a sudden the anti-liberal group ideology is actually empty of any moral virtue when massive suffering of real life individuals enters the twitter sphere and appears on Facebook feed. That is the result of NOT having that real world (and not linguistic) security. Just look at how Finland’s population altered support for joining NATO from the low 20s% in favour to over 80%… in two weeks following the Ukraine invasion. Funny how a very real threat focuses one’s attention on what’s truly important. And military security – it turns out – is truly important. Who could have known?

    Now, also notice how the same Russian destruction against cities in Syria did not evoke this response you describe here… the outrage, the demand for military intervention against Russian overt aggression. It didn’t evoke this response in Georgia. It didn’t evoke this response in Chechnya. It didn’t evoke this response when Crimea was expropriated or Donetsk or Luhansk. The eight year war in the eastern Ukraine Oblasts didn’t evoke this response. Nope.

    So what’s changed now?

    And that’s very interesting, don’t you think? Not for one second do I think you’re outrage isn’t justified, nor do I think your call for military intervention isn’t without humanitarian merit. It is. Very much so. But when on earth are ‘we’ ever going to learn that ‘never again’ MEANS having the military ability to stop and destroy such aggression. And that means accepting the cost year after year after year after year. That’s the price of peace.

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    1. Hello Tildeb. Lets take your essay by paragraph. I may not address all your points but I will address some of what you wrote. Your first paragraph mixed a lot of stuff and threw it at the wall to see what would stick. One doesn’t need to go to extremes in funding the military to avoid being insecure as a country. The US military is bloat and designed to create wealth for the defense contractors while giving a job base to states with congress people powerful enough to get the manufacturing plants.

      The US has often gotten involved when it profited the companies or the powerful with no concern about the casualties and stayed out of conflicts that have mass casualties simply because the wealthy or powerful did not want the US intervention. I am not sure of your point really. Iraq and Afghanistan were wars of aggression on part of the US. We had accomplished the stated goal to out the Taliban in the first months of the 20 year Afghanistan war and we should have left then. But the Neo-cons wanted to nation build thinking they could force the US style democracy on the world. Iraq was totally wrong from the start. I think the US is very wrong on Yemen also if you are wondering. For the profit of the defense industry that is selling arms to the Saudi’s we are allowing atrocities on a scale far greater than in Ukraine. As I don’t get your point let me make my position clear. The US has a duty to defend Ukraine as we did promise we would if they gave up nuclear weapons from the Soviet era. They did, now we should hold up our part. As for when the US should get involved, I think it should have several criteria. Us national interests of course, are we asked to help, what is the nature of the government / conflict involved, and what is our goal in getting involved. It should never be based on money or resources or what profit can be made.

      Why should there be an outcry for drawing down our military inventory from Europe or other countries? You clearly do not understand the majority reason for having bases in places in other countries. Hint it is not military preparedness. It is so the US can exsert economic influence over the country we put a base or our people into. It gives the US leverage over that country. The real screaming and hand wringing over the US drawing down bases in Germany was economic hardship to Germany and our losing some influence there. But again the US military is bloated. A base in a country is not needed. The US can shift equipment and supplies around the world very quickly. Our air superiority is more than enough to stop most advances and to clear enough area to set up what we need to set up. You must have seen the news of our sending troops and equipment to the NATO countries around the Ukraine area. We simply do not need the cost of boots on the ground in other countries, we can get there quick enough.

      The US military has a requirement to be able to fight wars in multiple countries in separate areas of the world. The rules for the size and capabilities of the US military are from World War 2 days. The model the current US military is built on is scaled to that time period and should be reworked for today. Again the US spends more than the next 12 countries combined for its military and that is used as a reason to deny the US people government services that other advanced countries have and enjoy. It is not a weakness to want to shrink the military budget / military size. The idea is to have quality over quantity. Real peace requires diplomacy. The type of peace you are endorsing is thuggery. Look if the rest of the advanced countries, including the one you live in, can be secure with a lot less military than the US can also. You in Canada enjoy government programs our people are denied because of the funding for the military. Tell you what, you give up your healthcare and other social programs and increase your military budget to equal the US one and then tell me how important a large, bloated military is.

      Your comment about Finland left out the fact that Russia just threatened them again. It is not just because Russia invaded the Ukraine. Russia threatened to invade Finland and demanded it hold to a treaty it signed at gun point. The Soviets invaded in the winter of 1939; the Finns fought back; after three months of war and hundreds of thousands of deaths, Finland agreed to cede around 10 percent of its total territory. Russia just issued the threat to take more land from them claiming it sees Finland as part of Russia. Following Swedish losses in the 1808-1809 Finnish War with Russia, Finland became part of the Russian Empire from 1809 until its independence in 1917. So yes they are now wanting to join NATO.

      The situation in Syria was drastically different than Ukraine. To go into Syria would have been an invasion of the US into a sovereign country like when the US went into Iraq. We were not asked by the Syrian government to intervene, Russia was. The US did supply weapons and supplies to separate groups including the Kurds. Only the maga cult backed tRump’s abandonment of the Kurds. The Republicans in the US congress wouldn’t support President Obama’s call to intercede for the people attacked with chemical weapons as they wanted a political win over Obama and did not care about the Syrians. The people did, but not the Republicans in government. In Georgia we also were not invited in by the government. The US again made no promise that if the Georgian government were invaded we would help. As for the illegal annexing of Ukranian territory it did get a US response with sanctions and military assistance to Ukraine. There were not the casualties and destruction from those events as there are now.

      Let’s be very clear the situations you list are different than the situation in Ukraine today. You are comparing apples to oranges and claiming they are the same. I feel I have already explained why. But to expand on why the US and NATO including Canada has a valid reason to intervene in Ukraine is Ukraine is a democratic government under attack by a dictatorship that is committing war crimes and targeting civilians. Ukraine’s legal government has asked for our intervention. The civilized world has a duty to stand up to war crimes, and I include Yemen in that.

      Your entire essay / rant was to promote ever greater military. That point became clear at the end. Do that for your country, but the US already has a military far greater than it needs to be. Nato is large enough to defend itself and others as needed. It is easy enough to build up or increase the military when needed. Ukraine is showing that. The idea of never ending military build ups is not only depriving nations of better use of that money, but it leads to the idea that the most well armed countries can do whatever they want with no consequences. The US gets away with a lot it shouldn’t simply because we have such a large military. It leads to repressive police states. Most often those with such military build ups use them on their own people. Plus with today’s military technology you can do a lot more with a lot less. The Ukrainians are taking down Russian fighter jets with drones designed to explode on contact with the jet. These drones cost a lot less than a fleet of the best fighter jets. The idea is not to fight the wars of 20th century but to fight the ones we face in the future. Peace and security no longer come from the might alone. The world is global and economics mean as much in most cases as the military might of a country. There is strength in numbers so each one doesn’t have to have a single largest military. The best peace is through mutual benefit to all. That doesn’t come at the end of a gun, but through economic and social programs that need more funding that is being given instead to defense contractors so they can make more profit.

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      1. Hi Scottie;
        There is no doubt that the media can pull our attention to one topic or another, and the term Zeitgeist comes to mind as well. So, the above comment that asks why we as a country are so behind one outrage and not another is warranted, but simply part of the way things seem to go. The way I see things is that if everything outrageous gets a pass, then nothing ever improves. And, for those who say “what about…”, I say ‘you now know what is expected proper behavior, shouldn’t need to excuse your horrible actions with someone else’s failure to correct a different situation.
        When it all comes down, we have to remember that this poor boy’s heartache comes not from a natural disaster, from illness, from famine. It comes from one man, one tyrant, deciding that what was not his could be taken and f’ the cost in lives, f’ the cost in destroyed futures. That can’t be glossed over.
        hugs

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        1. Hello Randy. What you say is true. Media can definitely define a situation. For example, the right wing media is trying hard to convince their cult followers that the Jan 6th insurrection riot was just a few tourists that might have gotten a bit rowdy. At one time the majority of people in the US were ok with black people being second class citizens denied rights of the US constitution. Then the media managed to stir people to outrage against the discrimination happening and we had the 1964 civil rights act that addressed those issues. The US media is not covering Yemen and the outrageous behavior of the Saudi government there. I know about it because of the alternative media I consume. It is understandable that people are not outraged over something they do not even know about. People like me and those others that are retired have the time and energy to look into things more deeply than people who are working long hours / multiple jobs to just get by who are trying to find time just to have a few minutes to relax before they next chore or task they must get to. It is up to us to do our best to educate people about what is happening, but the truth is people only have so much capacity to care and get involved. And you are correct in who is responsible for these atrocities, it is Putin himself.

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  6. Also of note, why is this US perspective you have not shared by Brazil and China and South Africa and India and Israel? I doubt it is because they do not share your outrage at the harm caused. I think that difference in understanding is worth pursuing.

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  7. Hello Tildeb. As for Israel, they are guilty of war crimes also. I wouldn’t put much store in anything that comes from that government. Their envoy to Zelenskyy wanted him to surrender to Russia right way on Russia’s terms. Palestine is an open air prison and the prisoners have no civil rights.

    As far as China is concerned don’t you think they are looking to see how the west handles this so they can decide how and when to move on Tiwan? Really you wonder why a country supporting Russia doesn’t condemn their actions? Same for India who rushed in to be the Russian oil at a discount. As for Brazil and South Africa, I don’t normal base my opinions on what those countries do. In fact right now they are not on my radar other than the fact I care for people in both nations. No I don’t think that their opinions should be followed up right now and I do not think it is worth pursuing.

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    1. See what you’re doing? You are importing your highly negative beliefs about specific names and then dismissing any need to understand a position because you already ‘know’ it’s not worth your time. It’s a typical tactic to dismiss on the basis of ‘They’ are bad. For example, it’s a very strange ‘prison camp’ that pays bounties and pensions to its ‘inmates’ and their families that kill civilians. But, no matter. You already know who the ‘Good Guys’ are and can determine on this basis alone why such a craven government would not be in lock-step with the US. (My point was that looking at Ukraine only from a US position – and what the US should do unilaterally – does not serve a wider understanding of potential consequences that other countries raise.)

      This importation of beliefs first through which one then looks at counterpoints is a tactic that guarantees a couple of things: it guarantees division by framing the world as ‘Us’ (the ones that agree with you) and ‘Them’ (the ones who do not) and then choosing which ‘side’ is righteous, and it guarantees never having to question or alter one’s beliefs because you already ‘know’ they are unquestionably the ‘right’ one.

      I point this out because this identical tactic is exactly how religious belief works to protect the believer from ever having to seriously consider any and all criticism about the beliefs. It is a denial method.

      This matters especially in geopolitics, foreign policy, and interventions. Understanding consequences is a key element in successful policy. And when you are oh-so-willing to put American lives at risk with a no fly zone, shouldn’t potential real world consequences beyond making the Home Team feel virtuous play a rather important role in the decision making process?

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      1. Hello Tildeb. I laid out my opinions and the reasons for them in responding to your points. You may not like them but they are my opinions, I stand by them and I see nothing that has changed my mind. You need to work on your presentation of your points as again your first paragraph is a mishmash of things, a word salad, that applies motive to my opinion that is not backed up by fact. You seem to be accusing me of acting emotionally yet you do not bring yourself to clearly state that. I am not going to argue your points for you. If you cannot make your points clear at a level most people would understand I am not going to bother to reply to what I have to guess at your meaning.

        Again you believe yourself entitled to assign your belief in how I come to my conclusions. I wouldn’t do that as you don’t live in my mind. You have to be very careful when assigning motive to have unambiguous evidence of that motive. It is best if the person tells you what their motive is rather than you guess from a position you do not like. I know why I have the conclusions I do, why my opinions are what they are. It would make sense to ask me what they are rather than make assumptions. Unless the goal is to simply make your position seem more palatable to those you wish to convince and to criticize mine without evidence or reason. Attack the motive rather than the action?

        Your last paragraph asks a question but the framing is wrong. You have not qualified why your position, which I am still unsure of but seems to be, have a large military but don’t use it to defend Ukraine and under no circumstances do a no fly zone, is the only correct one. You seem to have written in platitudes rather than use real examples to describe what you are either for or against. I am talking of lines like … make the home team feel virtuous … but you do not fill in any examples of what you are talking about nor do you give examples of what you think would be better actions except more vague statements.

        You seem to dislike my stance but never address why. You are playing the just asking a question game. I stated my grounds for US involvement. You have not addressed any of them directly. I see no reason to change my opinions based on what you have written in reply. Best wishes.

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        1. Scottie, I pointed out a tactic you used to wave away my point (that an American-centric view doesn’t take into consideration the international consequences that might shed some light on why a no fly zone is such an atrociously terrible idea). So I explained this tactic quite clearly. A tactic used in presenting a belief as if it were a legitimate counter opinion. It’s not; it’s a tactic of denialism used to protect a belief. (I thought you should know because I doubt you want to do this and may be unaware that you are.) You then substituted ‘motive’ for the term ‘tactic’ and then spent time and effort telling me I shouldn’t do that. Well… I haven’t.

          But you want my firmer opinion? Okay. Gird thy loins.

          What I have pointed out is that arguing that the purpose of the US military is to be used this way or its funding redirected is hardly reasonable. At the most generous reading, this is a false equivalency, yet you have used the same ‘argument’ in several comments and posts. So I know you ‘believe’ this to be a legitimate argument. It isn’t. It is not only incredibly naïve but very dangerous when it comes to international security. It’s a recipe for disaster in every way.

          The US military is designed and funded for a two front war. It’s not designed to impose American air power over foreign soil, although it has been used this way in the examples I have already given. Examples of when no fly zones were unilaterally imposed. That is what I was referring to, implying that if you didn’t like the results from it being used then, I sincerely doubt you are going to be satisfied with the results now. You seemed to have missed this refence to an imposed no fly zone and so you have missed how this unilateral use of American air power has been painted at home and abroad (very often by you): to be American imperialism and warmongering that caused unnecessary suffering on civilians. For some unknown reason, however, you fail to recognize the same conditions in Ukraine as in these other places where airpower was used to ‘level the playing field’ so to speak for exactly the same humanitarian reasons you raise here. Why wouldn’t its use produce exactly the same criticism and ammunition for even more anti-Americanism at home and abroad that you so eagerly embrace? This is why I pointed out that people calling for the non fly zone over Ukraine now weren’t also calling for it when the same humanitarian cost affected these other places brutalized by Russian aggression I mentioned. So I asked point blank, why? Why now? Why only in Ukraine? You haven’t addressed this at all. But I think it’s quite revealing if people think about this seriously. It shows a lack of consistency, which is usually an indication of a lack of principle. And that’s usually because the emotions get highly involved and rationalizations begin to replace good reasons.

          I raised the point that a unilateral decision to use American airpower over Ukraine carries with it a significant burden for allies in NATO and that you haven’t addressed this burden other than to say some might be willing. Well, willing to consider the idea, sure. But the security risk from actually doing so is very real and this makes the NATO treaty somewhat murky if a targeted response to a unilateral action occurs. This is not a trivial concern when we’re talking about combatants with both tactical and strategic nuclear capability.

          And let us not forget that Ukraine is NOT a member of NATO. You may wave this away and bring up the nuclear transfer verbal agreement in its stead but the two situations are completely different if defensive treaties that amalgamate common defense actually matter. What mattered at the time was exchanging the nuclear arsenal with financial aid for military equipment, some small team NATO training in Afghanistan, and the technological training the US gave Ukraine over the ensuing time. The amount is well over a billion dollars worth of aid in exchange for giving up the nukes. This is not recognized whatsoever in your opinion. But surely it matters when you present the nuclear agreement as the core reason for militarily defending the Ukraine with American lives. It wasn’t a defensive treaty like NATO. That’s the reality. And, at the time, Ukraine did not WANT NATO membership. Why doesn’t this have any role in your opinion? If defensive guarantees were established then as you continue to claim WAS the case, that would be membership into NATO. And that did not happen. That matters somewhere… but not in your ‘opinion’. Why?

          You claim, “It is up to us to do our best to educate people about what is happening” but I don’t think you are even in the ballpark in this case; I think you ARE presenting an emotional argument bereft of historical understanding and real world consequences for what you believe is the right thing to do… EITHER insisting the American military unilaterally behave in a way that you deem to be correct regardless of international repercussions OR be defunded. I think that is an American full bore extreme Left wing opinion full of hubris and ego and righteousness but encased in a good dose of real world ignorance of realpolitik and the role the military plays in it. That’s why your ‘opinion’ is dangerous to be accepted as if the only legitimate argument – or even a reasonable one – as if it is actually ‘educating’ people about the highly volatile situation that puts all of us on the planet at the knife’s edge of a nuclear war. I think we need to tread very carefully here and bolster NATO militarily in hard warfare equipment (rather than soft) to be very clear about where the real world line is when it comes to Russian military aggression. Ukraine IS a proxy war for the West no matter how terrible the situation on the ground is for Ukrainians.

          I know first hand some of the people who now wear the Ukrainian uniform and understand all too well why they do so. And I know how that expertise they have translates effectively to the battlefield. I have been told of many cases of US citizens offended at Russian bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan also motivated to volunteer. So my sympathies do lie with Ukraine so I know we – meaning the people of the West – have a moral obligation to offer aid to a fledgling democracy and are doing so in many highly effective ways. I’m all for it. But there is a line.

          There’s a line because I also know enough to realize unilateral US military action, by US personnel no many how virtuous such action may seduce people into supporting it in Ukraine, is a truly terrible idea because of all kinds of international consequences from such a myopic and naïve move. Those have to factor in to any informed opinion. And I’m not reading or seeing it in yours.

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          1. I’m following this discussion with interest. I’m definitely NOT versed in such matters, but I’m able to get a reasonable understanding about what each of you is presenting.

            One comment you made, tildeb, stood out to me … Ukraine IS a proxy war for the West no matter how terrible the situation on the ground is for Ukrainians. I tend to think you’ve made a solid point with this statement.

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            1. Hello Nan. I am interested to see if you are willing to wade through my entry exam to university level long essay reply to Tildeb. I did ask we keep future comments / replies to a much smaller size so people will read them. I suggest only two subjects max at a time. As it seems neither of us will change our minds it is only the people who may still be reading along that we are writing to. I hate to see their eyes glaze over and them fall asleep trying to get to the end of the reply. Best wishes

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          2. Hello Tildeb. I did not wave away your point, I don’t agree with it. Period. It is the second time you have implied I did not consider something you have written. I do take issue with the two replies where I had to work to figure out your point. It is the job of the person making the comment to write it in a way the person reading it can understand what is being expressed. In your first comment I felt I understood your thrust and I answered it with my own opinion. I disagreed with you and stated why. I also answered your comment on how / why other countries feel about the situation in Ukraine. So far all is good, this is an exchange of ideas. Your next reply I felt was useless. If you want to sway my opinion on the matter do not take me to task on procedure, do so on the specific issues you feel I was incorrect on. I am not a kid in grammar class, and you never addressed the points in my reply, just critiqued what you felt was the manner of how I formed them. Again I don’t care about that, you want to change my mind show me where I was wrong, not that I did not follow the formula you felt I should use. I replied with a version of what I just wrote and again asked you to address what I wrote with examples. What I did not say then but will here now is I take that entire reply as a rebuke of my points because you don’t like how you think I formed them And to be clear I don’t care what you think of how I form my opinions. If you have an issue with my view of the subject then address that point, not the way I got to that opinion. Show the error, not just claim it is bias, show how it is.

            Now to your latest comment. I do not want a firmer opinion, I was specific arguments to what I wrote in reply to your comments showing why you disagree with me. I think I was quite clear in my reply to you that I had to try to figure out your point which seems to be peace is bad unless a great superior military paid for by someone else is used to enforce it.

            Damn it Tildeb you did it again with your very first paragraph.

            What I have pointed out is that arguing that the purpose of the US military is to be used this way or its funding redirected is hardly reasonable. At the most generous reading, this is a false equivalency, yet you have used the same ‘argument’ in several comments and posts. So I know you ‘believe’ this to be a legitimate argument. It isn’t. It is not only incredibly naïve but very dangerous when it comes to international security. It’s a recipe for disaster in every way.

            What is used this way? In Ukraine? To enforce a no fly zone? As teachers? As thugs to enforce the US will? This and many more has been floated in the comments but here right of the bat I am trying to figure out what your issue is. False equivalency to what? What argument are you taking issue with that I have used? Do you see the frustration with replying to you? And writing an essay of length if it is this vague won’t help people to understand what you have issue with.

            I want you to understand we can enforce a no fly and no missile are in Ukraine without ever stepping into the country. The US has systems to strike planes and missiles from a distance which work quite well. Even had congress people on the Sunday news shows talking about them. And while I think focusing just on a no fly zone is wrong it seems to be what your issue is right now. You say you gave examples of the US enforcing a no fly zone? Well that is news to me. I never read in your comments and replies “Here are examples of no fly zones and how they worked out … ” But now that you bring that up I went to look it up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-fly_zone I found this interesting.

            Past no-fly zones
            Iraq, 1991–2003
            Main article: Iraqi no-fly zones
            Following the 1991 Gulf War, the United States along with other Coalition nations established two no-fly zones in Iraq.[3] U.S. and Coalition officials stated that the northern no-fly zone was intended to prevent attacks against the Kurdish people by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein, and that the southern no-fly-zone was intended to protect Iraq’s Shia population. On March 16, 1988, the Iraqi Air Force deployed chemical weapons against Kurdish civilians during the Halabja chemical attack, killing 5,000. This air-to-ground event served as part of the motivation used by Coalition Forces in order to extend and expand the NFZs, as well as citing parts of Chapter 42 within the U.N. Charter. The southern no-fly zone originally extended to the 32nd parallel[4] but was extended to the 33rd parallel in 1996.[5]

            Legal status
            This military action was not authorized by the United Nations.[6] The Secretary-General of the United Nations at the time the resolution was passed, Boutros Boutros-Ghali called the no-fly zones “illegal” in a February 2003 interview with John Pilger for ZNet.[7][8] In 1998, France withdrew from the operation,[3] with French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine saying that “there is no basis in international law for this type of bombing”.[6]

            Civilian deaths
            The United Nations reported that in 1999 alone 144 civilians had been killed during Coalition bombing efforts.[9] An internal UN Security Sector report found that, in one five-month period, 41% of the victims were civilians.[10]

            Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1993–1995
            Main article: Operation Deny Flight
            In 1992, the United Nations Security Council passed United Nations Security Council Resolution 781, prohibiting unauthorized military flights in Bosnian airspace. This led to Operation Sky Monitor, where NATO monitored violations of the no-fly zone but did not take action against violators of the resolution. In response to 500 documented violations by 1993,[11] including one combat violation,[12] the Security Council passed Resolution 816, which prohibited all unauthorized flights and allowed all UN member states to “take all necessary measures…to ensure compliance with [the no-fly zone restrictions].”[13] This led to Operation Deny Flight. NATO later launched air strikes during Operation Deny Flight and during Operation Deliberate Force.

            Lessons from Iraq and Bosnia
            A 2004 Stanford University paper published in Journal of Strategic Studies, “Lessons from Iraq and Bosnia on the Theory and Practice of No-fly Zones,” reviewed the effectiveness of the air-based campaigns in achieving military objectives. The paper’s findings were: 1) A clear, unified command structure is essential. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, during “Operation Deny Flight,” a confusing dual-key coordination structure provided inadequate authority and resulted in air forces not being given authority to assist in key situations; 2) To avoid a “perpetual patrol problem,” states must know in advance their policy objectives and the exit strategy for no-fly zones; 3) The effectiveness of no-fly zones is highly dependent on regional support. A lack of support from Turkey for the 1996 Iraq no-fly zone ultimately constrained the coalition’s ability to effectively enforce it.[14]

            Libya, 2011

            2011 no-fly zone in Libya
            Main article: 2011 military intervention in Libya
            As part of the 2011 military intervention in Libya, the United Nations Security Council approved a no-fly zone on 17 March 2011. The resolution includes provisions for further actions to prevent attacks on civilian targets.[15][16] NATO seized the opportunity to take the offensive, bombing Libyan government positions during the civil war. The NATO no fly zone was terminated on 27 October after a unanimous vote by the UNSC.[17]

            Libya, 2018 and 2019
            A no-fly zone was declared by the Libyan National Army (LNA) in the country’s south during the LNA’s offensive in the region in 2018.[18] It was later re-implemented for 10 days in 2019 as the LNA established control over oil fields in the region.[19] The LNA declared another no-fly zone in the country’s west, during the 2019 Western Libya offensive.[20]

            Discussion of a no-fly zone over Ukraine, 2022
            Main article: Proposed no-fly zone in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
            Shortly after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Ukrainian leadership repeatedly urged NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but the alliance rejected the request on account of risking further escalation and direct military confrontation with Russia as well as questioning its value in protecting the Ukrainian settlements amid indiscriminate attacks from the Russian ground-based artillery.[21]

            Notice that while some were considered illegal none were called ineffective. But it seems Syria was left out so I looked it up.

            Nonetheless, U.S. military operations against ISIS in Syria have resulted in the creation of de facto no-fly zones in the east of the country as the U.S. and Russian militaries have established deconfliction zones to avoid potential armed friction.

            So it seems to me the no fly zones accomplished what we wanted them to do. What is your issue with them? Please be specific and concise. Yes I did not know you were talking about specific uses of them because you were not clear. I see later in your comment you do address the idea that it might cause hardships for other nations if the US or even NATO does that. I am sure the 64 year old women in a bombed out building basement in Ukraine feels really bad about that. It might have costs to be the world’s leaders (plural)

            Now we get to the issue of imperialism and warmongering verses the Ukraine situation. Let’s deal with this clearly. First you are wrong about the US military / its air superiority as it is designed to be used in other countries to enforce the US will. The people in the US and its government have decided that we will fight wars over there to prevent having to fight them here. The US has used its military to enforce or assist its large corporations to gain access to or keep control over other countries oil, gas, and minerals. Their natural resources. Hell we did it several times in Cuba and as recent as in Iraq where one of the first things we did was force the new puppet Iraqi government to let western oil companies control their national oil fields and supply. It was far more legal than simply taking it as many politicians were claiming we should do. Recently we tried to over throw the legitimately voted in government of Venezuela going so far as to appoint someone we wanted as president because the current president refused to let western oil companies have any role in their oil operations. So when the coup wouldn’t work we sanctioned the hell out of the country to try to get what we wanted. About the same as we have done with Iran. They threw our companies out and the leaders we installed, so we are punishing them until we get what we want, a new government and access to the goodies. So yes the history of the US is full of cases of warmonger and imperialism of the US.

            The situation is different with Ukraine and I explained why. You seem to have disregarded them. Let me remind you of three very important ones. We promised we would defend them in exchange for an action we wanted them to take that they then took. That is an obligation we are not standing behind. We are being invited to intervene by the legitimate government that is asking for our help. And war crimes are being committed while the established borders of a sovereign nation are being erased / changed by force. This last one is something that affects the national interests of every country that has an aggressive neighbor. Seems to me that is reason enough to use our bloated military that is costing our nation so much of its GDP. You say I did not address this. But I did.

            As I don’t get your point let me make my position clear. The US has a duty to defend Ukraine as we did promise we would if they gave up nuclear weapons from the Soviet era. They did, now we should hold up our part. As for when the US should get involved, I think it should have several criteria. Us national interests of course, are we asked to help, what is the nature of the government / conflict involved, and what is our goal in getting involved. It should never be based on money or resources or what profit can be made.

            Explained why I think intervention in the Ukraine is proper several times now.

            The cost to NATO countries would be lessened because they wouldn’t be standing alone. Let’s not pretend that NATO is not involved right now. They are enforcing sanctions which are harming the NATO countries’ economies, and they are supplying weapons. They are pretending to do it through third parties as Russia has threated to hurt countries that help Ukraine, but let’s be honest, NATO is supplying everything from weapons to food / medical supplies along with military intelligence and training. We are already in there in everything but the name. Poland wanted to give the MIG jets to Ukraine but was afraid to do it alone and wanted the US to pass them on. The US showed how cowardly their position is by saying they couldn’t do that. Russia’s threats are not as powerful as there were before. The fact is NATO / the US could stop any attempt by Moscow to strike a Nato country and push Russia out of Ukrainian territory if they wished to do so. In some ways it seems the defense contractors are wanting to prolong the war for greater profit.

            I disagree with you that a US promise is not something the US should uphold. Sorry but I am rather sticky about the US agreeing to something and then the next president simply reneging on it. Yes the agreement was not a signed formal treaty saying we must defend you as a binding agreement. But it was implied, and Bush said the US would publicly. We winked and nodded that we would. I refuse to let legalese keep us from stopping kids and the defenseless die. Sorry but that is my opinion and it won’t change. The US either keeps its word or we need to be forced to by the people.

            Nato membership, just as EU membership, has criteria that Ukraine has yet to reach. Or so the people in charge say, but they don’t publicly say where Ukraine fails. Ukraine has asked for membership in both. Funny but the US was one of two that has so far not signed off on Ukraine joining NATO. I don’t have the reasons why and I am not going to go search for them as this is already far too long. But they are working on fixing their problems. Not going to let that be an excuse for the US to look the other way.

            Well I will note your opinion of if I am qualified to inform people of the situation as I see it and of my opinion. Get a blog and you can do the same. Maybe you should start a YouTube channel where you can expound on why you are correct and everyone else is always wrong.

            I am damn sick of this knife’s edge of nuclear war talk. The world is on far more of a knifes edge for biological weapons used by terrorist and rouge states than nuclear weapons. The idea people over fifty have is hundreds or thousands of missiles raining down all over the world with mushroom clouds blooming up. It is a doomsday scare tactic to keep people afraid. Know what really is going to happen, nuclear plants uncontrolled melt down as just about happened in Ukraine. Small tactical nuclear weapons in frigging backpacks or satchels carried somewhere and detonated remotely taking out a city block or smaller area. Right now Russia is using the threat of setting off a nuke while being as vague as hell about it so they can blackmail and extort other countries from getting involved militarily. Now what, they have increased their demands several times because the threat so far has worked. But it won’t ever stop if we keep giving in. Do we give in to North Korea to leave the Korean peninsula or they use nukes? Do we turn our head when India or Pakistan demand we do, or they use nukes? Hey don’t have a nuclear weapon but want to be a strong man dictator blackmailing the west threaten then just let a power plant or two melt down. The western powers are starting to see that the giving into the threats doesn’t work and they don’t stop. Just this week Biden made clear we are going to have red lines regardless if Russia likes it or not. The fact is Russia is not the only one who can threaten. The idea is mutual destruction. Yes Russia can throw the first one, but they never get to throw the second one. If we do not stop Russia here Moldova will be next, then maybe Poland? Where does it stop? How much are we the world willing to let him have each time he threatens to use nukes or bioweapons? Bullies don’t stop unless made to do so.

            Well Tildeb. You have your opinion and I have mine. You have not changed my mind and I doubt I have changed yours. The people reading along have long lost interest in our competing essays, that is the trouble with such long comments and replies. I think a few will read this reply but not many. Now I don’t see the need for us to flog this horse any longer but if you do feel a need to push your point because you cannot accept people disagree with you, please keep each comment to a reasonable length of say two issues max. I think that way people will read them instead if it just becoming an innerweb door stop. God damn this has taken hours of my day and I still have to proofread it. Oh well. Best wishes.

            Liked by 2 people

              1. Hello Tildeb. Thank you for the short and concise / comment. I will get back with you tomorrow. We had a family emergency here today that took up most of my day and I have just finished getting the roundup out. I am exhausted and going to bed. I will reply to you in the morning. Thank you for your patience. Scottie

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                1. Hello Tildeb. Thank you. Spouse had a bad reaction to a new medication. It is a rare side effect but when it happens it can be serious. It took a lot of back and forth with his doctor and then emergency care. But we got him taken care of and safe. But I was in no shape to try to discuss anything more than food and sleep last night.

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                2. Real life always takes precedence, Scottie. The differences of opinions between us is about opinions and reasons and, from my point of view, has no impact whatsoever on my abiding respect for you as a person in real life and what’s important to you. I know ahead of time that my writing style is considered aggressive and often bothers people who might not be used to criticism – and the explanation for it – but it’s the way I express my thinking… for whatever value that might be worth… for both of us. If you comment back, great. If you disagree, fine. If you want to move on, no problem. Although considerate, you don’t need to explain if you don’t respond or respond much later. I know writing requires time and effort and even for those reasons alone your contribution is valuable to me even when and if I disagree and when and if you disagree. That’s the fair exchange. So take care of you and yours first and know that I will not be offended if no reply from you is forthcoming. You decide what things are worth spending time and effort doing. I’m good with that!

                  Liked by 2 people

                3. Hello Tildeb. My time online is variable. My enjoyment online is wide. I take enjoyment from conversation and discussion in the comments. I get to comments when I can but sometimes days go by when I do not get them due to the real world not agreeing with the virtual world. That causes people to think I do not want to answer them. Some wonder if the comments got seen. To avoid that when a day or more goes by with me not responding I tend to let people know. Most long time commenters understand this happens from time to time. New people I try to tell them. That is why I dashed off that quick reply explaining the situation.

                  The roundup I do is a labor of love that takes most of the day to do. It keeps me busy. Any odd posts I do during the day other than that are when I take a break. The sources for the roundup are nearly 400 pages long and vary. So somedays that is all I do. I try to answer comments in the mornings before starting the roundup because once I start it, I tend to keep focused on that. Normally I like to spend the early evening checking out others blog post and then if time playing Halo. Rarely do I get to Halo.

                  I am replying to comments tonight because there are far more today than normal, and I want to catch up.

                  This is written not just for you but other new people who might comment.

                  Liked by 1 person

              2. Hello Tildeb. To be clear I am in favor of returning control over the sky over Ukraine to the Ukrainians. That includes supplying them with ground arms to do it, the in-air arms meaning planes they can fly, missile support, and anti-missile tech they can run. I want as much control as possible to the Ukrainians. Should it be needed I want the other democracies around the world to step up and stop being cowed by threats of a person committing genocide. Russia is using white phosphorus bombs on civilians.
                If that means Nato gets involved at first to protect the movement of people and supplies, so be it. Look we all know that if Russia did not have and threaten to use nuclear weapons every time the western world does something they don’t like. I already gave a list of countries we have done this with and it was considered successes for saving human lives with the added benefit of helping whatever party we were backing. The world will have to stand up to Russia someone time.

                The goal is to reclaim control of the sky over Ukraine to the Ukrainian government. The goal is to stop the deliberate targeting of civilians, apartment buildings, hospitals, and other nonmilitary targets. Aid supplies and food / medical are being targeted. Doctor groups are leaving Ukraine because hospitals are targets now. Right now Ukrainians are winning on the ground, let’s give them the change to take charge of their airspace. Taking action will also show that the world won’t be blackmailed into inaction by threats when we know the right course is to act.

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                1. Okay. The goal is to take control of the sky over Ukraine. Does a no-fly-zone achieve this?

                  Well, what you’re describing is not a no-fly-zone. A no-fly-zone is an area where aircraft are barred or restricted from flying.

                  Knowing this, how does a no-fly-zone stop artillery fired from Russia from hitting targets in Ukraine? It doesn’t.
                  How does a no-fly-zone stop guided missiles fired from Russian ground, air, and sea from hitting targets in Ukraine? It doesn’t.
                  How does a no-fly-zone achieve the goal you want without targeting the launch point – Russian territory – of these munitions you mention? It doesn’t.

                  So a no-fly-zone does not achieve the goal you set out for it. That’s why it’s a guaranteed failure unless what you really mean is advocating for a direct war with Russia in Russian territory by the West.

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. Hello Tildeb. My goal is to let the Ukrainians take control of their skies, yes. It will be a zone where only Ukrainians and their approved countries aircraft will fly or be challenged. The idea that there is no way to stop a missile that is being fired from outside the country is not accurate. Anything fired from the black sea can be fired back on without violating Russian airspace. Anything fired from Russia can be jammed and made useless for targeting by the very planes and equipment now being sent to Ukraine according to the news I am watching. I got news for you; the US faced this problem a long time ago in how to stop something across a border they couldn’t cross. We figured out how to do it. Now we need to get in there and use it to help the Ukrainians. Plus we need to use our cyber and satellite tech to stop Russian military communications. I know we can do that as I did that in the army. We can keep them from being able to order a launch and from setting coordinates for that launch. The thing is what the US can do and what we are willing to do is a huge gulf. It is time to stand next to a friendly democracy under attack by a dictatorship and use our ability to stop the targeting of civilians from the air. You simply seem to think we need to go into Russia and that is not true. Ukraine is winning now and they are suffering these air attacks. We only need to cut some of that down for humanitarian reasons, and with the continues support of the world in this worldwide war, Ukraine will force Russia out of their territory. Then if Russia keeps sending in missiles and shells from Russian territory, we can take other measures to stop that. But to do what I am others are advocating is already starting. It is just going slowly and in piece meal fashion so NATO can claim to be staying out of it. But that even is changing. There is a growing military build up of US planes and tech to cut off the ability of Russia to use Ukrainian airspace. The US planes will stay out of Ukraine and operate on the side doing what we can do, the planes the Ukrainian pilots can fly will get to them. More and more sophisticated US tech is flowing to Ukraine. As Russia tries to block that it will force the US (congress will demand it) will be forced to protect the supply lines or lose the equipment we are sending. Russia is already pulling back.

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  8. And so this meaning behind your opinion does not align with your stated intention of allowing Ukraine “to take charge of their airspace.” Ukraine can’t without invading Russia. They haven’t the means. That’s why you want the West to take charge of defending Ukrainian airspace. And that means war. A no-fly-zone means war between the West and Russia.

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    1. Hello Tildeb. Sorry but for me to respond I am going to need context. This comment section is not good for following a conversation. I tried to adjust the nesting, but it still is not right. I have no clue what you are referring to. I have explained in my last reply that they don’t need to go into Russia to secure their airspace. Even with a no fly zone something fired from Russia may get into Ukraine and hit something. With the ability the US and I assume NATO has it will hit a field or could even go back to where it came from. The critical thing is to slow down the Russian ability to hit civilians and really any target at will from the air. The Ukrainians are driving the Russians back, and they are doing well in the air. But they need more help with securing the air. We need to give them that and we are doing so. Yes it is not the no fly zone I would like but it will grow into that. And again let that be a threat to Russia. So far everyone is letting Russia make the threats and set the rules. Russia says don’t do this or else … Russia says don’t do that or else … Guess what Russia is only one poor country about to have an economic collapses. So it is time the world says to Russia if you do this then we will act, we will do this and that. Let Russia / Putin sweat the consequences for a change. As long as no country crosses into Russian territory and that doesn’t include the territory Russia stole from Ukraine then all Russia has to do is withdraw to its land. But they shouldn’t be setting the rules on this and by letting them the world is setting up a no win situation precedence with every country that has either nuclear weapons or a nuclear plant. Why do you think there is a race now with smaller countries trying to get nuclear weapons? Something India and Pakistan learned long ago.

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      1. So, just to be clear, you are NOT advocating the US unilaterally impose a no-fly-zone but, instead, offer more aid for Ukraine to establish air security. That’s a different issue and one that has no real bearing on your opinion to either utilize American air power over Ukraine or redirecting the money into social programs at home.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hello Tildeb. I don’t know why but I cannot seem to decipher a lot of what you write. I try hard to write in a clear way that could be understood by readers regardless of their education level. But even though I understand the individual words you use half the time I cannot understand the point you are trying to make. Your sentence structure seems to go in circles for me hiding your meaning or it becomes a word salad I cannot decipher. 😲😕

          I have said from the start I want to give control of the air space over Ukraine to the Ukrainians. I want to take away the superiority that Russia has to use planes / helicopters / drones to rain down destruction on the civilians.

          We started talking no fly zones because you kept calling it that. But if you go back to the start of the comments and replies that was not what I wanted. I did say where they had been used and that they worked and if that was what it took, I was OK with it. But no, I do not think the US should ship a bunch of fighters over there and go it alone. But if no one will stand with us to stop the slaughter of the civilians I would have to seriously give it some thought.

          What I find interesting is that the US is / has sent a bunch of planes over there to operate just outside of Ukrainian airspace and can affect Russian planes and missiles along with drones and from what I understand ground based systems for guidance and communications.

          Tildeb I know you think I was not aware of how one country in NATO acting alone could pull the entire NATO into the conflict. But as I said all of NATO is already in conflict. My larger point is that Putin is blackmailing the entire world to get his way by vague threats to use either nuclear or biological weapons. That sets a precedent that every other country wanting to take something from another country will try to use.

          On air superiority I will add this fact. The six largest air forces in the world are in the following order. 1st is the US air force. 2nd is the US army. 3rd is Russia. 4th is the US navy. 5th is the US marines. 6th is China. Someone recently said something about going up against full might of the Russian air force. I think the US with or without NATO can handle that OK if it has to happen. Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocation for the US to charge over there and play air cowboys. But I am advocation the US and NATO either together or separately return control of the airspace over Ukraine to the Ukrainian government using whatever tools it takes.

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  9. Hello again Scottie! I forgot to mention something relating to the topic post, when we somehow got sidetracked on deterrence and whatnot.

    I do not pretend to be an expert in this, but because Finland made a big decision recently about buying new fighters, I got interrested and did a bit of research.

    Anyway, there is this one slight technical problem with the proposed no-fly-zone over Ukraine. The fact, that the old Soviet planes used by Russia are generallly speaking faster than their western counterparts. The design philosophy in the west, partly due to the arguments of the so called “Fighter Mafia” has emphasized dogfight abilities over speed and later much has been expected from stealth capability too, while these two are in a kind of a contradiction to each other, both result in less avionics and reduced speed. The Soviets saw as the main function of the fighter craft to intercept enemy strategic bombers, hence speed was of the essence. As well as the radar and the payload to find the creeping enemy and to carry heavy long range air-to-air missiles. As it happens those qualities are also suitable for quick insertion of cruise, or supersonic missiles. So, in case of attempting to enforce a no-fly-zone the western fighters might face an impossible mission even, if Russians were not launching most of their missiles from Russian airspace.

    Then there is the added risk from Russian ak-ak, like the S-400 missile systems, that even when launched from deep within Russian territory could wreak havoc to any western fighters sculking the border area in hope to intercept Russian fighters on their attack runs.

    There is hope though. The Chech Republic has provided Ukraine with batteries of the old Soviet made, but still very effective, S-300 air defence missiles. Those babies will work to stop Russians from over eager air attacks far more efficiently, than any declarations of no-flight-zones.

    Take care!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello rautakyy. Thank you for the information. I was very busy today and couldn’t be online to see and post news, so I was listening to podcasts in the background. One of them was MNSBC host Chris Hayes talking with someone about the situation in Ukraine. Everything from the politics of it in Europe to the military needs of the country with some time spent on things Zelenskyy was asking the west for. It may have been Timothy Snyder. There was a system mentioned that I did not catch the name of that the person said could stop the ability of the targeting systems of the shells, missiles, and even the Russian planes from being able to be able to set targets or work in the air. I don’t know what they are talking about. But I do know the US has sent radar jamming planes and systems to the border of Ukraine to do a similar function.

      I have no military expertise in this area at all. I could talk all day about the politics but not military capabilities, tactics, or equipment. My military info was from decades ago, and I am sure much has changed. So I ask you. How important to control the skies over Ukraine to stop the targeting of civilian shelters, housing, and evacuation areas is it to have dog fights? And if it came to it, doesn’t the entire NATO have more assets of all kinds than Russia. Right now Russia is struggling badly. If NATO made a big show of defending Ukraine without threatening to go into Russia itself (which would trigger the massive nationalist ego Russia has) wouldn’t Russia back down on targeting civilians? Not the war itself but the west can make redlines just as much as Putin can and stopping the slaughter / genocide of civilians is the point. My point is as long as Russia thinks it can get away with spreading terror among the people with death and destruction it will keep doing it. Russia under Putin has a history of doing that. Syria and Chechnya, for example where no one in the west stood up against him. Even the US backed down.

      Again I don’t understand the military hardware, but I don’t see this becoming a plane against plane situation. I was in both the US Navy and the US Army. In the navy I worked in the CIC (Command Information Center) which was the eyes and ears of the ship, the place where the radar, sonar, and defensive equipment that depended on then was controlled. In the Army I was in the Satellite control and command area operating and maintaining (sometimes building) ground stations that used and controlled the traffic on satellites. That was in the 1980s. I know back then we had the ability to fry enemy communications while keeping ours clear. I know we could block and misdirect enemy targeting / guidance systems. While I was never involved in it, I was told we could affect the operational systems of planes / ships. I was told that and it may have been something told to impress the new people. I have never seen it used. I was in during relative peace time but there were times we would run an op or be told to block / scramble certain channels on a satellite. I know we burnt up some transmitters in a couple satellites, but I don’t know if they were enemy ones or just training exercises on ones about to go bad anyway.

      My point is that was a lot of years ago and I bet we can do that and much more now. I don’t think Russia has kept up with the rest of the world militarily from what we have seen them do so far. But I do know that they have deliberately targeted civilian evacuation areas they agreed to, they have targeted civilian evacuation routes they have agreed to, they have been taking adults and children to Russia against their will, there are reports of the rape of children, and in this same podcast I mentioned above they said that the reports are that those families forced to go to Russia the children are separated from the parents and the men are sent to prisons / holding areas so they cannot return to Ukraine to fight against the Russians. No one knows what is happening to the children. However the news reports I have seen said that in Ukraine the Russians are raping even the children.

      That a civilized world that can stop this and wont is a tragedy and a formal accusation on each country that could step up and stand with Ukraine to stop it. Big countries that are so frightened that none of them would be the one to hand 29 fighter planes to the Ukrainians. You say it wouldn’t have mattered as the Russian planes are faster, so why did the US and other countries fear to hand them over? The west is being held hostage to its fears and once Russia and other authoritarian governments see that they will use that same tactic to get what they want as much as possible. Do you not think China is looking at a weak Russia holding off the world with vague threats and thinking how much they could achieve with their strong military and nuclear arsenal?

      I learned a long time ago that if bullies attack the best way to stop them was for all the people to step up together and step in. We do not need to go into Russia. We need to go into Ukraine. We have been invited in.
      Best wishes.

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      1. Hi Scottie. My understanding of military is decades old too and as I said before, I am no expert either. I served in the reconnaisence. It is quite likely, that you know more than I do about this issue.

        Perhaps they were talking about the Growler. It is a disturbance system built by Boeing and carried by their old F-18 airframe. Not a very succesful project commercially in international sales at least.

        Russians have spent quite a lot of money to develope new weapons and many of their Soviet designs are still quite advanced. Many big countries like India and rich countries like Iraq are their customers. It is not their technology, that has failed, but their leadeship, planning, motivation and morale.

        Soviets stopped long ago to instal guns in many of their interceptors as actual dogfights became less likely to happen, but even with air-to-air missiles you need to be in effective weapons range – not a likely scenario, if the enemy MIG-31 has already flown in lauched it’s air-to-surface missiles and is running at mach3, while you can at best do mach1,6.

        Now, there are a bunch of factors at play here, but I do not think it is cowardice holding back the NATO leaders so much as it is the realities of war and politics.

        I agree with what you say about bullies. That is exactly my experience of them starting from my early years in school. To fight them becomes a necessity sooner or later. Sometimes it is not enough to beat them, but it becomes necessary to also humiliate them, just because that is the language they understand, wich is propably why they are bullies in the first place. Small guy Ukraine is doing that to big Russia at the moment.

        Not to exhaust the analogy, Russia is like a madman with a knife in the same room with us. There is no telling if the madman recognices the threat to himself. The knife has to be taken from him, but if any of us move to do that, we need to choose the right moment and act calmly and carefully, but decisevely as we do, instead that we all just rush him. It works too, but there is no knowing who or how many will get hurt, even if we all had knives. Or perhaps precisely ecause of that.

        Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

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