Sifting Through Reports On War In Ukraine And Nuclear Weapons

Maybe the reason I get called a “mouthpiece for Putin” a lot these days is that I’ve been writing commentary like this for years:

Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of Russia Security Council: “The American state is just a shell for a conglomerate of huge corporations that rule the country and try to dominate the world. For transnational corporations, even US presidents are just extras who can be shut up, like Trump. All four assassinations of American leaders are connected to the corporate trail. It is no coincidence that a growing number of Americans are saying that Republicans and Democrats are just two actors in one play that has nothing to do with democracy. The American authorities, merged with big business, serve the interests of transnational corporations, including the military-industrial complex. The assertive foreign policy of the White House, the unbridled aggressiveness of NATO, the emergence of the military bloc AUKUS and others are also a consequence of corporate influence. The draft American budget for 2023 is the best evidence of Washington’s plans to unleash new wars to the detriment of the well-being of its own citizens.”

The unprecedented information control around what is developing into WW3 with the U.S. and its (sometimes reluctant) NATO partners threatening Russia, China, and Iran makes it hard for people in my country to know what’s going on.

Original collage by James Fangboner (left image), modified by me (see “Hating On ____ Is What Gives Life Meaning“)

Orange man bad equals Putin bad equals Zelensky good is the analysis they’re being fed by a media conglomerate that runs on the fuel of false dichotomy.

It used to be that I wasn’t allowed to dissent on the wisdom of dumping $100 billion into arming and propping up Ukraine because I was doing Putin’s work for him.

Then I was told I sounded like Tucker Carlson which liberals think is enough to silence anyone with a brain. (Never mind that Carlson has left-leaning intelligentsia like Aaron Mate and Glenn Greenwald on his show regularly.)

Currently the crime of people who oppose the war on Russia in Ukraine is that we sound like some of the most disparaged Republican members of Congress. Knowing that you might share the stated beliefs of someone like Marjorie Taylor Green is supposed to send you scurrying back to the safe haven of the Democrats.

The fact that both parties receive millions in donations from the very corporations who profit from the constant warmongering of the U.S. and NATO is not obscure, but mainstream propaganda never brings it up.

So forgive me if I say I don’t give a fuck who I sound like, this war is 1) morally wrong; 2) gobbling up resources better spent making sure children in the U.S. don’t sleep on the pavement and go hungry; and 3) uniquely dangerous as it staggers toward the use of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear forces are being moved into place in Europe and the Pacific region as you read this.

Photo : Twitter / @US_EUCOM

From the Instagram account of Russian media outfit Sputnik shared under the ominous headline:

US ‘Doomsday Plane’ Capable of Ordering World-Ending Nuclear Strikes Spotted in Europe

Is Sputnik biased? Of course. Is their information useful? It might very well be. They seem to share my concern that an all out nuclear war would destroy the cities where children in the U.S. sleep on the pavement.

Here’s another ominous piece of news I found this week at the website zerohedge:

Air Force Relieves Six Leaders At Nuclear Base Over “Loss Of Confidence”

Tyler Durden's Photo


TUESDAY, FEB 28, 2023 – 12:45 PM

Six leaders, including two commanders and four of their subordinates, at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, were abruptly relieved of their duties “due to a loss of confidence,” the US Air Force wrote in a press release Monday.  

Maj. Gen. Andrew J. Gebara, commander of the 8th Air Force, relieved Col. Gregory Mayer of the 5th Mission Support Group and Maj. Jonathan Welch of the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron from their leadership positions at Minot AFB “due to a loss of confidence in their ability to complete their assigned duties.” 

“These personnel actions were necessary to maintain the very high standards we demand of those units entrusted with supporting our Nation’s nuclear mission,” said Gebara.

Also, four subordinate leaders assigned to Minot AFB were relieved of their duties. 

“Eighth Force continues to safeguard global combat power and conduct around-the-clock strategic deterrence operations in a safe, secure and effective manner.

“Our mission is foundational to our Nation’s defense, and we remain committed to the success of that no-fail mission,” Gebara said.

Minot AFB is home to the 5th Bomb Wing, which falls under the 8th Air Force. The wing flies nuclear-capable Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers. The air base also has a missile wing that operates intercontinental ballistic missiles. 

Gebara did not explain what caused the loss in confidence among Minot AFB commanders entrusted with the nation’s nuclear bombers and ICBMs. 

I found this item because it was shared on Twitter via the account of someone I follow on the basis of his bio (“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.” -Anatole French).

ahf (Tony) speculated: they didn’t want to shoot balloons? or nuke Russia?

Several times in history nuclear war has been averted because individual military men refused to follow orders.

And don’t think the Pentagon doesn’t know that, even if they don’t want you to know it.

Meanwhile, if you’re not a U.S. Air Force nuclear weapons commander — or even if you are — all out on March 18 to say NO to war!

Tale Of Two Broken Accords: Oslo And Minsk

“Tens of thousands of Italians marched through Rome on Saturday calling for peace in Ukraine and urging Italy to stop sending weapons” © Stefano Ronchini / Ronchini /  Source: MSN

Many people understand that war is hell. That’s why they clamor for negotiated settlements that move belligerents back from the battlefield and set them on a path to reconciliation.

The Oslo Accords established a two-state solution to Israel’s violent occupation of Palestinian homelands and at the time was hailed as a major achievement.

Then came facts on the ground for the last several decades. 

It would by now be virtually impossible to create a State of Palestine that was not hopelessly Balkanized into tiny, unconnected territories. At the time of Oslo, many expressed doubt and believed that only a truly democratic one-state solution could work. (Full disclosure: I’m in that camp.)

The insanely belligerent and corrupt Israeli PM Netanyahu has won the recent elections and stands poised to bring even more violence and suffering to the long-occupied Palestinians.  And Israel is a nuclear weapons nation. With lots of nuclear threats and innuendoes being thrown around these days, it’s important to keep that in mind.

So we can expect to see a continuation of Israel’s attacks on Palestinians in blockaded Gaza

in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank

and Israel bombing Syria and Lebanon, other nations altogether.

The Minsk II agreement established a game plan for resolving civil war in Ukraine.

Tens of thousands of civilians and combatants had been killed by missile strikes and more hands-on violence from militias operating freely in the Donbas border region with Russia following a 2014 CIA-sponsored coup in Kyiv. Years later, Ukraine’s President Zelensky was elected on a platform promising to implement Minsk and end the death toll. Then the neo-Nazis enabled by the U.S. and NATO got to him. I suspect he was threatened with assasination unless he signed on to his country serving as the killing grounds for proxy war to weaken Russia. 

One wonders why nations sign on to accords and then immediately show no intention of fulfilling them?

It could be a stalling tactic to temporarily reduce international pressure to de-escalate.

Or it could be a case where those who signed on are ousted either by coup or elections, and succeeded by those with a lust for war.

Or maybe diplomatic efforts like accords are doomed in the face of the profit motive provided by modern industrialized killing?

Workers hold the key to stopping wars no matter what the motives of those waging them. 

An international general strike would make wars literally impossible.

I pray we are seeing signs of this developing, especially in Europe where the economic impact of the war on Russia via Ukraine has been most intense. Certainly we are seeing signs of alarm from rulers enacting laws that actually criminalize gathering.

Okay, so don’t gather. Stay inside and refuse to work helping the war machine grind on. Mutual aid could not only make this strategy survivable but also strengthen solidarity among the people. Build it on the foundation of a shared desire to not be burned to a crisp by wars escalated via nuclear weapons.