TUESDAY 15 MARCH 2022 (3:30 PM – 5:30 PM)
• Showing refugee children being accepted in Italy and musicians playing music together from bunkers. (Note: This may be heartwarming, but this is not useful in determining what to do, which right now, is nothing.)
• Fox News cameraman killed.
• Individual story about a grandmother who died. She was worried about her cat. The cat was with them. When she was being put in an ambulance, she was asking about the cat. “He’s right here.” The workers said to her repeatedly. There are literally millions of individual stories. Telling these stories will do nothing to stop the violence.
• Note: I keep thinking about gun violence in this country. Every time there is a mass shooting, there is no coverage of the actual bodies lying on the ground bloodied and maimed. But government officials always call a press conference and go on and on and on and on about the courage of the first responders. It’s like diverting attention away from the actual horror and onto the hero worship of the first responders. Nothing to see here, move on. We are not a country murdering ourselves right and left, awash with dangerous weapons. We are a collection of heroic first responders.
• Haley Jackson is asking how we can improve the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. (Note: We could improve the situation by implementing a no-fly zone so the humanitarian crisis wouldn’t be so serious.)
• Psaki said today at a press conference that the reason Ukrainians were fighting back so courageously was because of the help we had given them. Well, you know, I just think that the Biden administration taking credit for the courage of the Ukrainian people is sick.
• CNN is interviewing Jeh Johnson, useless person of the year. Biden shill. Who makes the decision to interview these people? Johnson is using the excuse that it took us several years to get involved in WWII to explain what’s happening now? This is supposed to mean everything is OK? It’s “a step by step process.” Boy, that’s a profound observation. “I do believe it’s going to get worse before it gets better.” (Note: This is why we are listening to Johnson? I could have said that. My cat could have said that.)
• Mayor of Mariupol is saying that people in a hospital have essentially been taken hostage.
• Video of man surrendering to Russians with his hands up, shot in the street.
• Navalny is predicting that the invasion will lead to the end of Putin.
• Satellite images show 14 Russian ships failing towards Odesa.
CEPA (3/15/22) “Russia’s Effort…” by Ben Hodges
• “…we…must accelerate and expand the support we are providing to Ukraine on the scale and with the sense of urgency of the Berlin Airlift.
• Russia may soon default on $150 bn of foreign currency debt.
• The Russians are “experiencing ammunition shortages. Their transition to attrition warfare is driving up consumption rates beyond what they had planned.”
• Finland and Slovenia used to provide munitions to Russia, those have now stopped.
• I don’t believe Kyiv will fall.
• “The modern battlefield is extremely lethal, especially for poorly trained or disciplined soldiers.”
• The rates of death for Russia are extremely high for two weeks of combat.
• The Russians are about to have a manpower problem. “The next intake of conscripts into the Russian army is on April 1, when around 130,000 Russian families are required to send their sons to Conscription Centers where they will be inducted into the Russian army as private.
• I must confess I haven’ listened to Majority Report lately. My first break with them came when they supported without reservation the abandonment of Afghanistan. I never supported the invasion of either Iraq or Afghanistan, but once you are there for 20 years, you cannot just pull out and leave everybody who helped you. The withdrawal was a disaster and many people said so at the time. Not the Majority Report. Then, after a withdrawal that anybody with eyes could see was a disaster, they whined and complained about the people in Afghanistan who had been left in a horrible situation. You can’t have it both ways.
• While checking in because I generally agree with the podcast and think it’s one of the most literate and interesting podcasts available, I hear Emma Vigland whining about Putin. Before I silenced the audio, she said that the West sensed weakness on the part of Putin and they were going in for the kill, trying to wound him while he was weak. Yep. That was enough.
• I cannot understand for the life of me how people can see the existential danger of Donald Trump and his Republican supporters to democracy in this country and then feel sorry for Putin. Putin is part of that authoritarian movement that Trump and the Republicans and the religious right represent. I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.
• Majority Report person now calls out my “pettiness” and “passive aggression” because I criticized their positions on the Afghanistan withdrawal and then the invasion of Ukraine. It’s always a good indicator of maturity when you respond with name calling to someone disagreeing with your political positions.
• Gary Kasparov: This will either be “the catalyst that revives the spirit & credibility of NATO or the end of the global order.”
• Kasparov: “Retreating from Putin to hide behind a piece of paper is too familiar to Ukrainians. The 1994 Budapest Memorandum promised Ukraine’s territorial integrity in exchange for its nuclear arsenal. USA and UK rushed to deny it was a guarantee when Putin invaded in 2014.”