MONDAY 18 APRIL 2022
Joe Scarborough took his audience through a detailed analysis of how the events in Ukraine are like the suffering of the Christian Christ from Friday to Sunday. The dreaded Mika sat beside him staring with adoration. Best Scarborough quote, said with the injured pride of the religious right: “I believe because I believe and if that offends you, so be it.” The injured pride is a political construct created by the Republicans. There is a church on every corner. Christianity is not a beleaguered, oppressed religion. To maintain that it is feeds into the politics of grievance practiced so successfully on the right and the fascist right.
Later in Monday’s show Joe Scarborough actually sat on national television and scoffed at the people who go to Maralago and act like “crabs in a bucket” crawling all over each other trying to get Trump’s attention. In 2016, Morning Joe started off every show with coverage of Trump, usually Trump phoning in himself. The dreaded Mika asked Trump’s permission to ask him hard questions over a hot mic. The two were at Maralago after the election. So, they were part of the bucket of crabs crawling all over each other to get Trump’s attention and largess. They only broke with Trump when he revealed their adulterous affair. But Joe Scarborough can look down on the crabs because he conveniently refuses to acknowledge he was one. “I believe because I believe and if that offends you, so be it.” God help us.
The American party line this morning on Ukraine is that even if Ukraine loses Mariupol (which it seems likely to do) it has been a victory because it has drained Russian assets. Nothing like turning a defeat of losing a fourth of the country into a victory because it serves American interests. Defending this crescent of land from Kharkiv to Odesa would be easier than trying to take it back. But, it really doesn’t matter because we can just call it a victory. More delusional thinking.
- The steel factory is the last remaining hold out for the Ukrainians in Mariupol.
- Fighting is stalled around Kherson.
- There is an expected push in the east within the next few days.
- The sycophant, Jonathan Lemire, on Morning Joe, repeats the formula about Mariupol. According to Lemire, Mariupol will probably fall, but it took over a month rather than the expected few days. What this is designed to impart is that the loss of Mariupol and the establishment of a land-bridge from Kharkiv to Odesa which takes up something like a fourth of the country is a victory rather than a defeat. So, the West hasn’t abandoned Ukraine, Ukraine is fighting (and really winning).
- (Note: In a conversation, I mentioned that a local store was flying a Ukrainian flag. Friend dismissed the act by saying that it was an attempt to appeal to gullible people’s “sympathy.” It’s amazing how a country fighting for its very life, taking astonishing loses, fighting against enormous odds, trying to save the democracy the people had established after throwing out a Russian kleptocratic stooge, can elicit sympathy from gullible people. Jesus.)
- Clint Watts: How long can the fighters in the steel mill in Mariupol keep supplied? Belgorod is a major Russian military supply line. Forces are being moved from there South and East to Izyum. They are trying to build combat power in Izyum. They are also moving North and west to Severodonetsk and Slovyansk. The Russians are trying to trap segments of the Ukrainian army. Slovyansk is going to be a key battle in the region. Part of the issue is the resupply of munitions. The Russians have taken the railroads near the Black Sea.
- Foreign Policy Article: There is a shift from defensive to offensive supplies going from U.S. to Ukraine. (Note: One of the reporters commented recently that Biden had essentially given up on this distinction between “offensive” and “defensive” weapons. The distinction didn’t really exist in the first place. The assumption was that if the US didn’t supply “offensive” weapons it wouldn’t be considered an “escalation.” I don’t know where people come up with this bull.)
- There are plans for US trainers to go into NATO countries.
- Amy Mackinnon: In the past “offensive” weapons supply was considered to escalate and to be considered by Russia as provocative. Zelensky notes that this supply of weapons is not enough and not fast enough. One official said it was like trying to put out a raging fire one glass of water at the time.
- Richard Haas: Most of the combat is in the east, but Russians sent missiles into Lyiv yesterday.
- (Note: The Washington press is obsessed with these designations like “State Sponsor of Terrorism” or “War Crimes.” Other people, not so much. Amy MacKinnon tells Lemire that she doesn’t think the administration is very concerned with these designations.)
- Clint Watts: Russians are trying to flank around the Ukrainian positions established for years in the Donbas. Russian military is being redeployed and they are tired. It is estimated that they have lost 40,000 soldiers killed or wounded or missing. (Note: “disinfo” has become a verb. Example: You can’t disinfo your way out of that forever.” God help us.)