Ukraine

Ukraine Crisis: U.S. Must Use Restraint

Russia's invasion is monstrous, says foreign policy expert Will Ruger, but America can't forget the lessons of the past two decades of disastrous interventions.

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Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has put the world on high alert, and many politicians and activists are calling for the United States to play a decisive and commanding role in the conflict, even to the point of putting American troops in harm's way.

Will Ruger, the newly appointed president of the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), disagrees. A veteran of the Afghanistan war, he holds a Ph.D. in foreign policy, served as vice president of research at the Charles Koch Institute, and was nominated to be ambassador to Afghanistan late in the Trump administration (his confirmation was never brought to a vote).

Ruger is a proponent of what he calls "libertarian realism" in foreign policy, meaning that America's interventions abroad should be focused on defending a narrowly defined national interest and that the use of military force should be strictly subjugated to diplomacy. Ruger is skeptical that the United States can or should play a leading role in defending Ukraine, and he doesn't think sanctions are likely to accomplish anything, especially in the short run.

Nick Gillespie talks with Ruger about the past 20 years of disastrous military interventions, how NATO, the European Union, and China figure into current events, and what he plans to do as the head of AIER, one of the oldest free-market think tanks in the country.

Hosted by Nick Gillespie; edited by Adam Czarnecki

Photo: CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/Newscom

NEXT: Can Elon Musk’s Starlink Keep Ukraine Online?

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  1. Speaking of restraint:

    NPR
    @NPR
    A major international cat federation with members in 40 countries is banning Russian cats from its competitions for 3 months over Russia's attack on Ukraine, saying it "cannot just witness these atrocities and do nothing."
    https://twitter.com/NPR/status/1499445003185229832

    1. Well, in truth, that pretty much defines "nothing".

      1. Ooooh, meow!

        1. Don't be catty.

          1. Nobody needs 23 (kinds of) cats.

            Also, cat owning Democrats hardest hit.

            1. "Russian Blue's" are now "Freedom Pussy".

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            2. We need common sense cat control.

              1. I'm perfectly content with absurd and radical methods of cat control.

      2. Yeah, and doing nothing is just going to make Putin even more destructive.

        We need to enforce a no fly zone, and give the Ukrainians plenty of weapons.

        We have much too weak in our response.

    2. If the Russian cats are against Putin's invasion and turn on their owners, how could anyone tell?

  2. "and he doesn't think sanctions are likely to accomplish anything, especially in the short run."

    Stolichnaya vodka has been taken off the shelves and deplatformed in solidarity with Ukraine, even though Stolichnaya is a Luxembourg company that makes its vodka in Latvia.
    https://www.wine-searcher.com/merchant/93336-stolichnaya-stoli

    Smirnoff hasn’t been actually Russian since Pyotr Smirnov’s son Vladimir escaped Russia during the 1917 October revolution, but it got shelf pulls over the weekend too.

    Meanwhile there's this:
    Aimee Cho
    @AimeeCho4
    The restaurant Russia House in NW DC is boarded up after vandals smashed the windows, per @DCPoliceDept. Owner Aaron McGovern tells me he’s not Russian and that it’s frustrating dealing w/ the damage, as he has no control over what’s happening in Ukraine
    https://twitter.com/AimeeCho4/status/1498390735565033475

    I guess we know what Shrike and Jeff have been up to lately.

    1. A double digit IQ is no longer required for life in the USA.

    2. McGovern? That sounds like a ruski name if I have ever heard one

    3. Even during the height of the Cold War the right didn't vandalize buildings just because they had "Russian" in the name. The Woke are truly something special.

      1. But they did start calling a certain variety of potatoes "Freedom Fries." That's basically a hate crime.

        1. I just called them "Those Apples of the Earth, Fried".

          (les pommes-de-terre frites, for those who skipped French class in high school)

        2. Restaurants in Canada are removing poutine from menus because it sounds like putin.

          1. Fat Jeffy’s Canadian doppelgänger hardest hit.

    4. Pour out your vodka, kill your Russian cats, deport all Russian students, jail anyone with a Russian accent! Wear your Ukraine flag! If you fail to support any of those things, that means you are a Putin stooge and probably support Trump. Off with their heads!

      1. If they can tell a Russian accent from a Ukrainian accent, they’d have to be psychic or have serious expertise in Slavic languages.

    5. "Smirnoff hasn’t been actually Russian since Pyotr Smirnov’s son Vladimir escaped Russia during the 1917 October revolution, but it got shelf pulls over the weekend too."

      Currently Smirnoff is made in the USA. Pulling Smirnoff off the shelves in protest of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is cutting off our own nose to spit our face.

    6. Solidarity 'n stuff! Ukrainia flag in da twitter bio pic!

      1. Group think is the best think.

  3. Must?
    As if necessity has any meaning to our psychotic, totalitarian lords?
    A majority now supports a no fly zone. A majority supports going to war, world War, whether they understand it or not, for one group of corrupt Ukrainian and western oligarchs to maintain supremacy over another group of Ukrainian oligarchs and their Russian friends.
    Gas is $4 now. Inflation is out of control. The destruction of our middle/working class is well underway.
    War makes sense to those at the top working to impose feudalism through government on a global scale.

    1. Plus, people like killing people.

      1. Government is what we do to fuck with people at home. The army and navy are what we do to fuck with people in other countries. Democracy is what we do to provide righteous cover.

    2. Looking at the weasely and misleading questions in the last poll that ENB posted on that, I still doubt that a majority supports a no fly zone or going to war.
      I bet outside the bein pensants and blue checks the opposition is still there.

  4. Read the replies. Few want to know what's actually going on, they just want to cheer Americans to their deaths in the name of defeating evil (which has been designated as Putin/Russia).

    https://twitter.com/KimIversenShow/status/1500113922069655558?t=PF-wuvwPjZIMEKeZPLdevw&s=19

    Where can I read about the Russian side of the war? The telegram channel I follow has been cut off. Everything I’m reading is distorted and only showcasing the Ukrainian side. Some of it is obviously false. We need to hear both sides to get to the truth.

    1. I've seen reports that the Ukraine invasion is on blackout on the Russian news services. The Russian government is keeping their own people in the dark. If you aren't hearing Russia's side of this it's because Russia isn't putting it out there.

      1. LOL
        This slavish devotion to your media masters is just sad.

    2. You won’t hear it.

      War propoganda is all encompassing. Anything contrary to the official line is strictly verboten.

  5. WTF?
    This seem weird to any of yall?

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/close-skies-or-give-us-planes-zelensky-tells-us-house-senate-zoom-call

    At a moment that US Congress is busy prepping a whopping $10 billion military and humanitarian aide package for Ukraine, the country's leader Volodymyr Zelensky is already making a "desperate plea" for more, telling a virtual meeting of over 300 Congress members Saturday that his military urgently needs additional jets to be sent to Kiev.

    The Zoom call was first time since the Russian invasion began almost a week-and-a-half ago that Zelensky addressed both houses of the Congress in a major appeal. 

    1. It doesn't seem weird at all for Zelensky to do it. He's desperate.

      Congress granting him a virtual meeting with 300 congressmen is weirder than hell though.

      1. Election year, guys, election year.

      2. Shouldn't he be meeting with VP Harris or whoever the Secretary of State is, instead of the US Congress?

    1. They (the mercenaries) are on their own. If they are willingly taking on the risk, they must know that America is not going to save them if they get their ass in a sling. They are making Ukraine their fight. Their fight is not America's fight.

      1. That SHOULD be the official position of the US. However, it could be a convenient catalyst should any of these brave American warriors get killed "defending freedom" in Ukraine.

  6. America's interventions abroad should be focused on defending a narrowly defined national interest

    Can we stop saying 'narrowly defined' in lieu of giving an actual definition or even an example? The purpose of the COVID vaccines was narrowly defined and didn't stop anyone anywhere from using all kinds of nuclear options to blast away at COVID (or individual rights).

    1. Defending the advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Taiwan would be in the USA's national interest.

      Defending the wheat fields of Ukraine not as much, even if the people there are suffering from an unjustified Russian invasion that followed a major diplomatic failure by Biden and Europe.

  7. Unfortunately, it's my assessment that "restraint" is really all we have. There are a lot of reasons for that, and a lot of those reasons were things we hawkish "america firsty" types warned would happen. But we are where we are, and the only choice we have is to navigate through this situation with... restraint.

  8. So is restraint using only tactical nukes instead of city busters?

    1. Tactical nukes wouldn't exactly leave a city in good shape.

      1. But nukes have a smaller carbon footprint than conventional bombs, right?

        1. Nuclear winter will halt global warming. SUCCESS!

  9. "Ruger is a proponent of what he calls "libertarian realism" in foreign policy, meaning that America's interventions abroad should be focused on defending a narrowly defined national interest and that the use of military force should be strictly subjugated to diplomacy."

    I just finished writing something in the other thread as a response to mad.casual that might be called "libertarian realism", too, and, yeah, "narrowly defined national interest" is more or less what it looks like.

    Here's an edited portion:

    1. "Because we opposed invading and occupying Syria did not require us to pretend that Assad didn't use chemical weapons. The fact was that invading and occupying Syria wasn't in the best interests of the United States--because of the hellhole quagmire--regardless of whether Assad used chemical weapons on his own people. When we limit ourselves to only going to war when it's in America's best interests, we're probably confining ourselves to only acting in self-defense. When we're fighting a war of self-defense, it's certainly always in our best interests.

      A lot of Americans have swallowed a tremendous amount of progressive bullshit over the years, and on the one hand, they know it's bullshit, but on the other hand, they've internalized some of the basic assumptions. In the progressive mindset, the purpose of government is to protect victims from whatever predator. For progressives, who the victims are is all that matters. Once the victims are identified, progressives want to use the full force and power of the government to do whatever it takes to protect them--and it doesn't matter whether we're talking about BLM and domestic policy or Ukrainians and foreign policy to them. The progressive narrative either way is basically the same.

      I am not a progressive. My primary interest is the best interests of the United States. If the Ukrainians were the bad guys, and it was in the best interests of the United States to send them military hardware, I'd support doing it for that reason. If it's in the best interests of the United States to make friends with Stalin while we work together to eliminate the Japanese Imperial Army as a threat, then I'm all in favor of making friends with Stalin for the time being. I don't need to pretend Stalin isn't evil. I don't need to pretend the Kuomintang are the good guys either. I just need to understand that it's in the best interests of the United States. A lot of people throw around the term, "America first", but they don't seem to understand what it really means.

      There are areas where America's best interests really shouldn't matter. They generally follow the contours of the appropriate purview of democracy. The First Amendment begins, "Congress shall make no law" because questions of speech, association, religion, etc. really shouldn't depend on whether they're in America's best interests. If Scientology, unions, and Twitter trolls are not in the best interests of America, the government should be forced to tolerate them anyway. The enumerated powers, on the other hand, should be subject to a popularity contest--and considering America's best interests when it comes to trade treaties, naturalization rules, tax hikes, spending, foreign policy, and declarations of war really should be decided on the basis of America first.

      A lot of my fellow Americans have been traumatized by progressivism, have internalized progressive ideals, whether they realize it or not, and it makes them behave as if they were progressives--even when they're taking the opposing side. Progressives notoriously lie about what's right in front of our faces when they think it will make us support their policies. Once we decide to use America's best interests as our standard, we give ourselves a huge advantage over progressives and neocons in that regard.

      We don't need "noble lies". Reasonable and honest libertarians can disagree about what's in our best interests, but once we decide that our best interests should be the standard, the rest of it isn't about who's the most pathetic victim or who to believe anymore. It's just an argument about what our best interests are given the available data. Every well run business uses the same criteria."

      ----Ken Shultz

      https://reason.com/video/2022/03/05/can-elon-musks-starlink-keep-ukraine-online/?comments=true#comment-9389160

      1. If the Ukrainians were the bad guys, and it was in the best interests of the United States to send them military hardware, I'd support doing it for that reason.

        As long as you realize they're not the bad guys, but it definitely isn't in the best interests of the United States, and I can't think of any scenario where sending them military hardware would be okay.

        1. I think you read my argument in the other thread about how it is in our best interests for Putin to fail in Ukraine--even if it isn't in our best interests to go to war with Russia.

          Per the argument I outlined below, I think it's not in Putin's best interests to start a war with one of our NATO allies, but invading the Ukraine wasn't in his best interests, and he did that.

          It wasn't in our best interests to invade and occupy Iraq, but we did that. Both Putin and the United States are perfectly capable of doing something that is not in our best interests.

          I maintain that even if Putin winning in the Ukraine doesn't guarantee he'll move against our NATO allies in the Balkins or Poland, Putin failing in the Ukraine makes it less likely that he can or will follow through with an attack on our NATO allies.

          This means that it's in our narrowly defined, national interests for Putin to lose in the Ukraine, and I'll just leave it at that.

          1. how it is in our best interests for Putin to fail in Ukraine--even if it isn't in our best interests to go to war with Russia.

            Here's an alternative hypothesis; it's none of our fucking business.

            1. "The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."

              ----Article 5, The North Atlantic Treaty

              https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm

              Two thirds of the Senate ratified that in 1949, so what happens to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland is our business.

              And, per my argument below, I think having that deterrent is in our best interests. Our allies spending money to help defend us against our enemies is in our best interests.

            2. More to the point Kens defens eof his preferred intervention requires one to believe in the future russia will expand into nato which is a pretty big assertion to rely on.

              His arguments fall apart without that condition.

              1. My preferred intervention?

                I want our defense contractors to arm them so they can fight for themselves, and I want to avoid a U.S. war with Russia.

                Putin thought he had a window of opportunity because Merkel was gone, Germany was dependent on Russia gas, and Biden appeared weak. All he had was a window of opportunity to shoot himself in the face

                My preferred intervention was that Putin leave the Ukrainians alone--just like we were. They've been begging us to join NATO every day since 2014, and we've stiff-armed them every day for almost eight years.

                1. Yes Ken. Your logic on this has been pretty week. It almost exclusively relies on a theory of expansionist russia going into nato and the IS not violating established treaties.

                  You have moved on from just supporting sanctions to supporting much more than that in your writings. I was with you on sanctions since I'm not a free trade idealist and don't believe people should be forced to trade with criminals. But you've gone into territory of supporting further than that based on your comments and attacks for those who don't want to intercede.

                  1. Ken purports to be against a direct war with Russia, but he is very much for an indirect war with Russia and is comfortable pushing the indirect war until it becomes a direct war.

                    "Our defense contractors" gives the neocon away, IMO.

                  2. I'm not sure what you're seeing, but I think you're misreading what I'm saying. In short, I want to avoid a war with Russia, and NATO is by far the best way to deter that.

                    Unfortunately, we can't rely on Putin to do what's in his own best interests by not attacking one of our NATO allies. After all, it wasn't in his best interests to invade the Ukraine either.

                    Therefore, I want Putin to fail in the Ukraine because if the first rung of the ladder breaks, he either can't or won't move to the second rung--which will be one of our NATO allies.

                    And I want to avoid the U.S. going to war with Russia.

                    I think I've said that sanctions on a government are preferable if the alternative is war--that sanctions are preferable rather than targeting the enemy's industrial capacity and its labor force with bombs.

                    I've also questioned the constitutionality of targeting individuals with sanctions.

  10. Totally normal, rational, natural behavior...

    https://twitter.com/zerohedge/status/1500230336147607555?t=GGMNrn35Sz5FqYomINkJ4w&s=19

    *VISA SUSPENDS ALL RUSSIA OPERATIONS

    *VISA: CARDS ISSUED IN RUSSIA WILL NOT WORK OUTSIDE COUNTRY

    1. Russia is a trial run for these companies to do the same thing to political dissidents in the US

      1. I think there are legitimate questions about oligarchs being deprived of their property without due process of law, but I think sanctions on the government should be weighed in terms of an alternative to war. I believe oligarchs do and have contested those sanctions.

        https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/15/politics/deripaska-sues-us-sanctions/index.html

        Afghanistan sank the USSR for economic reasons. Their economy could not generate enough to support them enforcing the boundaries of the Soviet Union.

        In World War II, we bombed heavy industry to defeat the Germans and Imperial Japan--sometimes targeting their labor force. Sanctions against a government are a much more civilized way to achieve similar results.

        But it needs to be understood as an alternative to war. Surely, sanctions against Iran for violating the nuclear nonproliferation treaty were better than going to war with Iran.

        1. An oligarch doesn't have to worry that his Visa doesn't work. It does nothing besides hurt the citizens of a country that the US isn't even at war with.

          1. I was talking about it in terms of our due process rights. That's a serious concern. This wouldn't be the first time something that was intended to apply to foreign enemies ended up being used against American citizens. Before the government deprives specific individuals of their life, liberty, or property, they're supposed to try them for a crime, where they get a defense lawyer, a jury, and a trial. They're not supposed to just decide to deprive someone of their property without due process of law. This is worse than eminent domain abuse. This is worse than civil asset forfeiture.

            1. Sorry, I misunderstood your point.

            2. I am certain firebombing Dresden deprived people of property without due process.

              1. It also deprived people of life.

              2. We haven't declared war on Russia, and if we did so, I think we'd do it to the Russian state rather than single out individuals.

                Our due process rights are not a privilege bestowed upon American citizens. They're a prohibition on the U.S. government.

                "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

                ----Fifth Amendment

                I stood up for our Fifth Amendment and Eighth Amendment rights when they were torturing terrorists, and I'm not above standing up for my Fifth Amendment rights when they're going after oligarchs either.

                The oligarchs are awful people, but so are arsonists and racists. We don't violate people's due process rights because they're awful. We punish them because a jury found them guilty of a crime in a fair trial.

                1. "The oligarchs are awful people, but so are arsonists and racists [rapists]".

                  ----Ken Shultz

                  Fixed!

                2. Our due process rights are not a privilege bestowed upon American citizens. They're a prohibition on the U.S. government.

                  This is an excellent point, and one many people miss.

                  The US government is supposed to be above-board, and punish only people who have done something wrong, and only after the government can prove that in a fair and open court to an impartial jury. And that process applies in all criminal proceedings, not just those against Americans.

                3. If Visa and Mastercard did this of their own accord, then it is a civil matter (i.e. possible violation of terms of the contracts with card holder and card-accepting vendors.)
                  If it can be shown that the credit card companies were strong-armed by governments, then of course it is a gross and vast violation of due process. It's a case of governments being too risk averse or honest enough to declare war, so they use non-lethal means to accomplish the same objective.

            3. Just ask Canadian truckers.

          2. The rulers greatest fear is the people, once they become deparate enough to not care the ruler no longer has leverage. Unfortunately, the only way to stifle Putin is to choke the people. When he backs to the corner and threatens to push the buttons, believe the oligarchs and the military will put him in cuffs. Self interest and all that. What's amazing to witness is the power of private sector to fight the war through tech, finance, social media, and defense contracting. A brave new world that can't stop religious zealot rats living in caves but highly effective at controlling imperialists.

    2. World Economic Forum orders. Canada showed what happened to citizens that get uppity, now this is what happens to countries who disobey.

      (Except China, because they're not that brave yet)

      1. But I was told the World Economic Forum is the height libertarian capitalism?

  11. "Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has put the world on high alert, and many politicians and activists are calling for the United States to play a decisive and commanding role in the conflict, even to the point of putting American troops in harm's way."

    And many politicians and activists are neocons with war boners, behind in the polls, or just plan retarded expectations of war as something like in the movies.

  12. Here's an argument about our best interests using the following data as a guide.

    The combined GDP of all NATO countries is $42.6 trillion. Before sanctions, Russia's GDP was headed to about $1.7 trillion.

    If every NATO country spends 2% of its GDP on defense, that would equal $852 billion. This means that Putin would need to spend about 50% of Russia's $1.7 trillion in GDP on defense to match us on spending. That's how they lost the Cold War the first time.

    NATO's combined GDP per capita is $45,129. Russia's GDP per capita is about $12,000. Spending 2% of NATO's GDP implies a living standard of $44,226 per capita. Russia spending 50% of its GDP to match our funding implies a living standard of $6,000 per capita. That's how they lost the Cold War the first time.

    https://countryeconomy.com/countries/groups/nato

    Using that data, I'll make the following argument about our national interests:

    Premise: NATO is an effective deterrent to war with Russia.

    Premise: Lowering our support for an effective deterrent makes a war with Russia more likely.

    Conclusion: If avoiding a war with Russia is in the best interests of the United States, then maintaining our support for NATO is in our best interests.

    This doesn't mean that we shouldn't insist on the Europeans maintaining their defense spending above acceptable levels, and it doesn't mean we can't cut defense spending or shift our assets elsewhere in the world. We're spending spending almost 4% of our GDP on defense, and we also have threats in the Pacific.

    Now that France and Germany are paying their fair share to protect themselves, America benefits from the all the spending of our allies to defend Europe--which should make up about half of NATO's defense spending--and we can remove our forces from France and Germany and either eliminate that spending or move our forces elsewhere in the world to face other threats.

    1. Premise: NATO was created as a purposeful threat to Russia's predecessor and has long outlived its purpose. It should have been disbanded in favor of a new inclusive alliance when the Soviet Union ended.

      Premise: NATO was obviously not an effective deterrent.

      1. "Premise: NATO was obviously not an effective deterrent."

        I'm attacking that.

        Mutual assured destruction led to proxy wars all over the world during the Cold War--except for one place.

        We had proxy wars in southeast Asia. We had proxy wars in central and South America. We had proxy wars in Africa. We had proxy wars in the Middle East. We had proxy wars in central Asia.

        Mutual assured destruction should have led to proxy wars in Europe during the Cold War. We didn't have a proxy war in Europe with conventional weapons because the Soviet Union couldn't even begin to win. And the reason they couldn't even begin to win a proxy war in Europe with conventional forces was because of NATO.

        Even when the choice was between expanding with a war or imploding, they looked at the chess board and decided they couldn't win any expansion against NATO.

        That deterrent is still in place today.

        1. Ken,
          The only way Russia is a threat to the US requires their use of nukes, and in that case, GDP really doesn't matter; can't kill millions of people cheaper than nukes.
          Ground war (the expensive kind) is an issue only to NATO members and other nations on the Eur-Asian land mass. By membership in NATO, we could end up in a war with Russia under no threat to the US at all. Still not convinced NATO is a value to the US.
          Seems to me that Germany, France and the other members ought to be setting their defense budget by the perceived threat to themselves, rather than what it takes to keep Uncle Sam watching their backs.

          1. Seems to me that Germany, France and the other members ought to be setting their defense budget by the perceived threat to themselves, rather than what it takes to keep Uncle Sam watching their backs.
            Damn fucking straight, Sevo.

          2. Reasonable and honest libertarians can disagree about this, but I'm not sure how much we disagree.

            "Now that France and Germany are paying their fair share to protect themselves, America benefits from . . . all the spending of our allies to defend Europe--which should make up about half of NATO's defense spending--and we can remove our forces from France and Germany and either eliminate that spending or move our forces elsewhere in the world to face other threats."

            ----Ken Shultz

            Germany's feelings of guilt over what they did to the Russians during World War II makes our feelings of guilt over slavery look like a walk in the park. They have been far more reluctant to spend on defense than we are for that reason. They appear to be over that--probably because they see Putin's invasion of the Ukraine in terms of Hitler's invasion of Poland. Trump was wrong about Putin being a genius.

            Before the photos from Abu Ghraib hit the press, I didn't think it was possible to generate sympathy for terrorists. Somehow, the Bush administration, in their profound stupidity, found a way to accomplish that. Whatever they they gained in intelligence from torturing prisoners, they lost far more in terms of the moral high ground and support for their cause. I didn't think they were capable of being so stupid!

            I didn't think it was possible to shock Germany out of their reluctance to send arms to people fighting a war against the Russians either. Who knew Putin could be so stupid? I didn't think the Germans would really shut off Nord Stream 2. Putin isn't a genius. Shocking the Germans out of their 75 year stupor required a special kind of stupid that only a fool like Putin could have accomplished. The Greens, in Germany's ruling coalition, okayed extending the life of their coal plants to fight Putin!

            Putin's incredibly stupidity here is part of what worries me and makes me want to support NATO. If there's a deterrent big enough to stop this idiot from doing something incredibly stupid to one of our allies, surely it's NATO.

            Putin threatened Finland and Sweden with consequences if they joined NATO, so now they look like they want to join NATO, too. Thought natural gas would split Germany off of NATO, so you invaded Ukraine, which makes Germany kill Nord Stream 2 and build LNG terminals. Didn't want NATO on your border, now Finland wants to join NATO.

            Doh!

            Far as I'm concerned, that should mean Finland, Germany, and Sweden sending troops to the Baltics and Poland so that the USA can go elsewhere, doing whatever is in our own interests, and that sounds like more or less what you're saying. Isn't it?

            1. In detail, I've got little to argue with your statements of fact, but those facts suggest we exit NATO:

              "Putin's incredibly stupidity here is part of what worries me and makes me want to support NATO. If there's a deterrent big enough to stop this idiot from doing something incredibly stupid to one of our allies, surely it's NATO."

              Again, Putin cannot threaten the US with anything but nukes; he couldn't even land ground troops in Alaska!
              He can (and might) threaten one of more NATO members on the ground, which would then, by treaty, draw the US into a conflict were WE have no dog in the fight, ABSENT THAT TREATY, which treaty has been OTE on the demise of the USSR.
              I do not want the US to be drawn into a nuclear exchange as a result of a treaty which has no reason to exist any longer, or out of sympathy for other treaty members who have been free-riding on the US taxpayer for 70 years.
              Get out of NATO today, shock the Euros into some emergency action and let them deal with Russia; it is a local issue, totally irrelevant to the US

              1. And even if it's not a nuclear war, the consequences would nonetheless be dire. So many lives would be lost, and the living ones would be impoverished. Unless there's probable, deadly consequences for these United States' citizens, then this nation's boys and girls shouldn't be sent to die in Europe.

            2. Good analysis - stop though with "Trump wrong". While it's obvious to acknowledge someone's cunning (after all they got where they are), Trumps style has always been to flatter, and soften, his opponents - then work from a point of mutual benefit. It proved effective.

        2. If Ukraine entered NATO, he perhaps have attacked sooner since the result be the further tightening of the noose, and the Russian government--not Russia's people--would feel even less recourse than it does now since, at the very least, our government's duplicity and thirst for being the world's only empire.
          There's the possibility this has nothing to do with NATO, and Putin and his government have another plan in mind.
          The result, however, is the same: War, a disastrous event that ruins or at least negatively affects, to whatever degree, the lives of most people on this planet. Your continued insistence for funding and supplying Ukraine's government--a puppet of the people that despise me and you, is display of ignorance of previous affairs.

          1. "If Ukraine entered NATO . . .

            Ukraine has been trying to enter NATO for almost eight years, and we have rejected them every day of it because Russia is already infringing on their territorial rights, so their membership would obligate us to go to war with Russia immediately. The idea that NATO wants to expand into the Ukraine ignores the fact that the Ukraine has done everything they can to join NATO for almost eight years, and NATO has consistently refused to admit them--for obvious reasons.

            Because Putin claims something, doesn't mean it's true.

            There was a time when 69% of the American people, a majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans, believed that Saddam Hussein was personally complicit in 9/11. In fact, the survey that showed that was taken six months after we invaded Iraq.

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/vault/stories/data082303.htm?

            Nowadays, no one remembers when they believed that Saddam Hussein was complicit in 9/11. They've forgotten all about the anthrax attack. Over time, they became educated. Now they know the earth orbits the sun and not vice versa. The media has been doing a terrible job of educating the American public for a very long time.

            The situation in the Ukraine is like that. Some people have been taking interest in the situation in the Ukraine for a very long time, and they're used to seeing this stuff through the lens of the Cold War. There were plenty of other people who had better things to do with their lives since 2014 than paying close attention to events in the Ukraine.

            If we're entering into a new Cold War, people will slowly come to understand that the things they initially accepted as standard explanations for what's happening weren't as they initially suspected at all. No doubt, Putin doesn't want the Ukraine in NATO. That part is right. Now let's integrate the fact that NATO has been rejecting Ukraine every day for almost eight years.

            When I was a kid and people were first starting to learn about AIDS, I remember hearing that it was sexually transmitted and that there were a lot of people in the gay community who were infected. I remember hearing that the virus was originally thought to have jumped species between chimpanzees and people. I remember people putting two and two together and coming up with the square root of 586 + potato. They told me that gay people were traveling to Africa to have sex with chimpanzees, but the real explanation was that starving Africans were eating bush meat.

            Because Putin doesn't want the Ukraine in NATO does not mean that NATO was trying to expand into the Ukraine. In reality, the people of the Ukraine was to join NATO, but NATO won't admit them because NATO doesn't want to go to war with Russia over the Ukraine. Russia has already annexed part of the Ukraine, and NATO isn't about to sell a fire insurance policy to cover a house that is presently on fire. It's the same reason NATO has refused to implement a no-fly zone over the Ukraine--because NATO does not want to go to war with Russia over the Ukraine.

        3. Further, to think Russia's government is a threat to America is the result of the very mentality you hold today: a mentality that America's government can do whatever the fuck it wants without blow back. For a so-called libertarian, your current stance and attitude foolish.

            1. Stupid.
              Hey, still waiting to hear about the "global oligarchy"! I'm sure it's a laugh riot.

                1. In your idiocy, you presume that to be a 'gatcha', asshole.
                  Yet more stupidity. Don't let me stop you; here's a new shovel. Keep digging.

                2. "You mad, sqrlvo?"

                  BTW, asshole, I'll bet your mommy thinks that's a clever turn of phrase as opposed to the idiotic effort it is.

          1. Got a quote where Ken even suggested that?

            1. Its the implication of his consistent support of NATO and the US government's actions through it.
              The Russian government's invasion is decades in the making, and NATO is one of the causes--or more specifically--the American government's rapid expansion of it despite promises to the Russian government.

              1. "Its the implication of his consistent support of NATO and the US government's actions through it."

                That's the voice in your head.

                1. Again, the issue for Putin isn't NATO trying to expand into the Ukraine. The issue is the Ukrainian people wanting to join NATO.

                  Big difference.

                  The Ukrainians have been fighting to join NATO every day for eight years, and every day for eight years we've said no.

                  "New Ukraine Coalition Agreed, Sets NATO As Priority"

                  ----November 21, 2014

                  https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-parliament-coalition-agreement/26703123.html

                  After the Ukrainian people rose up and kicked their Putin crony out of office, they held a new election. The new government initially said they weren't seeking NATO membership, but they changed their mind when Putin annexed the Crimea and started fomenting rebellion in the two eastern provinces. They've been fighting to join NATO ever since--and that was in 2014.

                  They begged for NATO membership in 2014, and we said no.
                  They begged for NATO membership in 2015, and we said no.
                  They begged for NATO membership in 2016, and we said no.
                  They begged for NATO membership in 2017, and we said no.
                  They begged for NATO membership in 2018, and we said no.
                  They begged for NATO membership in 2019, and we said no.
                  They begged for NATO membership in 2020, and we said no.
                  They begged for NATO membership in 2021, and we said no.
                  They begged for NATO membership in 2022, and we said no.

                  In 2022, Putin invaded Ukraine because NATO wanted to expand into Ukraine?

                  No.

                  Because Putin says something, doesn't make it true.

                  In 2022, Putin invaded Ukraine because the Ukrainian people wanted to join NATO.

                  It's also the reason Putin annexed Crimea and fomented revolution in the eastern provinces starting in 2014. It isn't about NATO wanting to expand into Ukraine. It's about the Ukrainian people wanting to join NATO, and Putin wanting to subjugate them to his rule. Putin has been working towards this since 2014, when the people of Ukraine threw their Putin puppet out of office and chased him out of the country.

                  Putin refuses to accept the fact that the Ukrainian people rose up against his Putin puppet in 2014. He claims that if it wasn't for the CIA, the Ukrainian people would have wanted to be ruled by a corrupt Putin puppet. Putin blames this all on NATO because he refuses to admit that the Ukrainian people rejected him. Regardless, it's a false narrative.

                  When we blame this on NATO, we are promulgating Kremlin propaganda--whether we realize it or not.

                  Regardless, we have refused to admit the Ukraine as a member for eight years, and the reason was because of the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing "breakaway" provinces. Because of Article 5, we would be required to defend Ukraine from anyone who infringes on their territory, and that would mean we would need to go to war with Russia the day we admitted the Ukraine--so long as the Crimea remains under Russian control and the Russians continue to support the breakaway provinces.

                  NATO did not want to go to war with Russia, so they consistently, persistently, and steadfastly refused to admit Ukraine into NATO every day for almost eight years, and there was no good reason to think that was about to change in 2022.

                  This is a case of bothsideism.

                  The suggestion that Putin invaded because NATO wanted to expand into Ukraine is not worthy of serious consideration in light of the fact that NATO consistently and persistently refused to admit Ukraine for eight years. Putin invaded the Ukraine because the Ukrainian people refused to be subject to his puppets or his rule, and he saw a window of opportunity because he thought he had divided NATO over the issue of energy for Germany, because Merkel was gone, and because he perceived Biden as weak.

                  The whole revolution was about Ukrainian people wanting to be admitted into the EU and turn their backs on Poland. Every EU individual legislature in the EU passed legislation that made a blueprint for Ukrainian admission into the EU, but being in the EU isn't being in NATO. Finland is in the EU but not NATO. The UK is NATO but not the EU. Putin invaded

                  Putin invaded Ukraine because the Ukrainian people refused to be under his rule.

                  1. "The whole revolution was about Ukrainian people wanting to be admitted into the EU and turn their backs on Poland [Putin]".

                    ----Ken Shultz

                    Fixed!

                    I need to fire my editor.

                  2. The fact you are completely ignorant of the US government-backed coup in 2014, the composition of eastern Ukraine, and continue to propagate lies espoused by governments and corporate media tells me that you are not interested in a dialogue but a monologue.
                    And as I said, NATO is only but a factor--and maybe just an excuse--but one the US and its allies gave to the Russian government to commit their offensive.
                    What Putin is doing is awful, but just to regard him and his government's actions as stupid and/or crazy allows one to conveniently simplify the world to obviate any thinking that might reveal some unfortunate truths.
                    If you want to make an actual, beneficial difference that isn't just putting the people of Ukraine in the middle of Russia and NATO's dangerous pissing contests and endangering US' citizens' lives by escalating this conflict, then either go over there yourself and help the citizenry evacuate or live, or fund people who do so.

                    1. So it seems nardz and the tony continuum are one and the same. Good to know.

                    2. "AnTiVaXxErS!"
                      -American Mongrel

                    3. "...The fact you are completely ignorant of the US government-backed coup in 2014,.."

                      Several certifiable 'intellects' keep bringing this up.
                      TTC, read this carefully and several times if need be and pass it on to that other, uh, something Nardz. Talk it over for a while:

                      1) Clams regarding that 'coup' are from a single source, in an opinion piece and in scanning it, if there were cites, they were not obvious. So you WILL forgive me for using the term "alleged" to describe the claim. Further, that other something (Nardz) spent a looooong post explaining how the media lies, only to turn around not but several days later trying to use a single alleged claim of a 'coup' to support his personal bullshit.

                      2) The timespan between an actual 'coup' (or other actions requiring military intervention) and an invasive response are not typically 8 years. In fact, the declaration of war tends to follow actions dictating such by 24 hours or less; see, for example the US response to Pearl Harbor.

                      3)Either cite examples of similar initiation/response actions and similar timespans, or both you and Nardz jam that idiocy up your ass.

                    4. BTW, pretty sure I'm not alone in also asking:
                      1) What specific result of the alleged 'coup' triggered the invasion and explain how, specifically, action of the alleged '14 'coup' resulted in the invasion 8 years later.

                      2) Are you familiar with the phrase "arm-waving"? If not, you should study the following bullshit:
                      "The Russian government's invasion is decades in the making, and NATO is one of the causes--or more specifically--the American government's rapid expansion of it despite promises to the Russian government."
                      Support those claims with facts with believable cites, or, again, stuff them up your ass. And suggest Nardz do the same.
                      You.
                      Are.
                      Full.
                      Of.
                      Shit.

                    5. "AnTiVaXxErS!"
                      -American Mongrel

                      Nardz attempt at intelligent comment.
                      Here's the shovel, Nardz; don't let me keep you from digging!

          2. "Further, to think Russia's government is a threat to America is the result of the very mentality you hold today"

            Putin has threatened us with nuclear weapons within the last week. The legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights. The legitimate purpose of the military is to protect our rights from foreign threats. Russia's nuclear stockpile is a threat to the American people, and if you say otherwise, you are wrong.

            1. Because it is not in our best interests to go to war with Russia, does not mean it's necessary to pretend that Russia's nuclear arsenal isn't a security threat to the United States.

              . . . unless you're a progressive with a progressive mentality, I guess. Progressives notoriously only believe things if they further support for their desired outcome. If you've been traumatized by that, don't start emulated them by making ridiculous statements about how Russia isn't a security threat despite threatening us with nuclear weapons. Go see a counselor about your trauma dealing with progressives instead. Maybe they can help you.

              In the mind of an intellectually honest non-progressive, who primarily cares about the interests of the United States and our security, facts are just facts. It isn't necessary to deny that Russia is a threat because we don't want to go to war with Russia. Not wanting to go to war with Russia because it isn't in our best interests is reason enough--without feeling compelled to pretend that Russia isn't a threat.

              Incidentally, it isn't necessary to defend the cop that choked George Floyd to death just because we think defunding the police is a bad idea either. In fact if we wanted to discredit those of us who don't want to defund the police as a bunch of obtuse idiots, we might not find a better strategy than running around on the internet defending the cop that choked George Floyd to death.

              And if you wanted to go around making those of us who don't want to go war with Russia look like a bunch of naive idiots, you might not do better than to go around telling people that in order to oppose a war with Russia, we all need to all pretend that Russia's nuclear arsenal isn't a threat to American security.

              Because reality has a libertarian and capitalist bias, there is no reason for us to lie or be stupid.

              1. The only reason that Putin and his government would deploy the nuclear arsenal is if he thought that Russia was in mortal danger, and that's just a "maybe." (But your lust for escalation certainly brings us closer to such an impasse!) Putin is quite likely not insane, stupid, or naive, and realizes that firing off nuclear warheads would result in the end of the world, something that doesn't benefit him much.
                Please, stop drowning yourself in propaganda. You should know better by now.

                1. "The only reason that Putin and his government would deploy the nuclear arsenal is if he thought that Russia was in mortal danger, and that's just a "maybe."..."

                  You are in the habit of declaring your opinions as if anyone here should accept them as factual claims.
                  IOWs, regardless of my agreement with several of your opinions, you seem lacking in the ability to make an intelligent argument.

        4. Finally, what happens if Russia goes ahead anyway, into NATO-world? What purpose does a nuclear holocaust, or even "just" a massive conventional war, serve us?
          NATO is an antiquated death pact.
          Europe needs to defend themselves.
          Russia is no threat to us as long as we rebuke our government's constant wont for destruction of its subjects' and government adversaries' lives.

        5. Oh, and I forgot: go fight yourself, you fucking coward.

          1. Oh, and I forgot:
            Fuck off and die, asshole.

      2. Data points
        "We will buy you!" We are still above ground.
        "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Wall was torn down, just not by Gorby.
        Russia has never used military force against a NATO member. NATO has been effective.

  13. They're just private corporations, free to do what they want on their platform...

    The surgeon general calls on Big Tech to turn over Covid-19 misinformation data.
    Dr. Vivek Murthy also demanded information from the platforms about the major sources of Covid-19 misinformation. Companies have until May 2 to submit the data.

    1. In addition to demanding misinformation data from the tech platforms, the surgeon general called on health care providers and the public to submit information about how Covid-19 misinformation has negatively influenced patients and communities.

  14. The walls are closing in.

    How the Manhattan DA’s investigation into Donald Trump unraveled

    Pomerantz and Dunne had one final chance to sway Bragg in a meeting on Valentine’s Day. The topic: Which laws had Trump broken?

    On the morning of Feb. 22, Bragg notified them of his decision: He did not want to continue the grand jury presentation.

    Pomerantz resigned the next day. Bragg asked Dunne to stay, but within hours, he joined Pomerantz in leaving.

    Dunne, however, left the door open to a possible return. If Bragg reconsidered his decision, Dunne told colleagues, he would gladly come back.

    1. Tony, turd hardest hit.

    2. Trump fucked my cat.
      He must be stopped.

  15. Ken,
    The only way Russia is a threat to the US requires their use of nukes, and in that case, GDP really doesn't matter; can't kill millions of people cheaper than nukes.
    Ground war (the expensive kind) is an issue only to NATO members and other nations on the Eur-Asian land mass. By membership in NATO, we could end up in a war with Russia under no threat to the US at all. Still not convinced NATO is a value to the US.
    Seems to me that Germany, France and the other members ought to be setting their defense budget by the perceived threat to themselves, rather than what it takes to keep Uncle Sam watching their backs.

  16. Meanwhile Science keeps advancing:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/creation-of-first-human-monkey-embryos-sparks-concern-11619442382?st=3etd8c16d0twzrr&mod=ff_0521

    In the latest advance, researchers in the U.S. and China announced earlier this month that they made embryos that combined human and monkey cells for the first time. So far, these human-monkey chimeras (pronounced ky-meer-uhs) are no more than bundles of budding cells in a lab dish, but the implications are far-reaching, ethics experts say. The use of primates so closely related to humans raises concerns about unintended consequences, animal welfare and the moral status of hybrid embryos, even if the scientific value of the work may be quite high.

    Just keep them away from the Statue of Liberty.

  17. Look man..Nick was just in the LIbertarian Party Twitter..his primary focus on the following order: Open borders, keeping abortion legal, and legal drugs. Which is why the Libertarian party has failed. Left libertarians like Nick might be the intelligensia but they don't reflect what the rank and file want: Sound money (ending the Fed and all deficit spending by Govt), limited govt (shutting down most of the Federal Govt), Free markets, and peace (bascially Ron Paul).

    It is going to be so interesting to see how Reason deals with the Libertarian Party when it is controlled by actual libertarians...which will occur very soon.

    1. Open borders and pro-abortion stances drive away a lot of potential libertarian allies. But opposing the War on Drugs has been the biggest Libertarian Party success so far (besides home schooling, which was mostly driven by conservatives.) Being against the Drug War was ridiculed for decades, but it slowly started to wear down mainstream citizens.

    2. which will occur very soon.
      Can't hype this enough, really.

  18. Americans who feel strongly about defending Ukraine can now join Ukraine's Foreign Legion, as 16,000 from around the world have volunteered to do.

    https://news.yahoo.com/just-want-help-people-americans-214615314.html

    Diaz is among the Americans responding to a call from Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who on Sunday asked “friends of peace and democracy” to join the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine to help the country fight Russia. Zelenskyy said Thursday that 16,000 foreigners had joined the new brigade, a number NBC News could not immediately confirm. It is not clear how many of them are Americans.

    Seems like an under-the-radar way to get some American advisors on the ground there...

    1. It reminds me of the Spanish Civil War.

      Maybe there's an Orwell and a Hemingway among them.

      1. What about a Franco?

  19. The left has suddenly become pro-war! Who would have thought? Since conspiracy theories turn into reality in the space of about six months, I predict the left wants us involved militarily so they can suspend the November elections due to a "war" emergency. It would be bad to change leadership when we are in the middle of a war!

    1. The modern left has become anti-speech and pro-racism, so why not pro-war?

  20. Election year, and I think by August the left is going to pretend COVID never happened. There's a new crisis now, bigger and better than the last crisis. And it works, yet again, as a scapegoat for everything. Russia is what's killing small businesses. Russia is causing all the inflation. Russia is responsible for all the media misinformation you've been so irritated over. Russia's manipulating social media and markets and crypto and natural gas prices and international shipping.

    We'll see how well the narrative works for them.

    1. Putin fucked my dog.
      He must be stopped.

      1. Man, being your pet has hazards.

  21. https://twitter.com/ConceptualJames/status/1500309679469125634?t=H_pQVdXzlSaeOdke3Pi9Pw&s=19

    That moment when you look at the neo-Marxist idea of false consciousness through the Iron Law of Woke Projection, which never misses.
    [Meme]

    1. Reminds of South Park's "scauses" episode.

  22. https://twitter.com/ConceptualJames/status/1500285576733417472?t=sh7Omfr4jVKk7Ssi_6C4tw&s=19

    It would be funny if these people were arrested for violating the flag code. It would be funnier if they were arrested for violating the flag code by cops carrying thin blue line flags.
    [Pic]

    1. This is the definition of virtue signaling. Anybody who waves this shit, colors their crap yellow and blue, and/or adorns themselves with Ukraine's flag better be helping (e.g. food, evacuations) the people actually affected by the Russian government's offensive. Otherwise, such a person is just smug, supporting the puppet state "our" government installed.

      1. > colors their crap yellow and blue

        BRB, need lots of food coloring...

        1. I also feel like I'm pretty entitled to make that joke right now since I've been "on duty" an average of 14 hours a day ever since I was sitting here on the computer on what was Wednesday night for me, and the CEO of the company I'm working for reported across the company Signal chat that bombs had just hit Kharkiv. Where he was, with his family.

          We've managed to whittle the number of employees and family members of us and our two cousin companies who also have people there down from ~120 to ~60 still in country, and of those, ~45 are in a relatively safe place now. But we still have one of our guys, his brother, and their mother with violent dementia in Kharkiv, and another co-worker's parents got to watch Russian tanks roll past their farm in Kyiv Oblast yesterday. Exciting times. :-/

          1. My condolences, man. I hope your remaining friends, coworkers, and relatives find relief soon.
            To be clear, in my original post I was referring to the people that have nothing better to do than to signal another cause without doing anything productive to alleviate it.

  23. The weapons being sent to Ukraine are being delivered to neo Nazis by their Jewish president.

    There’s a Jew inside every Nazi, like peanut butter and chocolate.

    “This February 24, when Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukrainian territory on a stated mission to "demilitarize and denazify" the country, US media embarked on a mission of its own: to deny the power of neo-Nazi paramilitaries over the country's military and political sphere. As the US government-funded National Public Radio insisted, "Putin's language [about denazification] is offensive and factually wrong."

    In its bid to deflect from the influence of Nazism in contemporary Ukraine, US media has found its most effective PR tool in the figure of Zelensky, a former TV star and comedian from a Jewish background. It is a role the actor-turned-politician has eagerly assumed.

    But as we will see, Zelensky has not only ceded ground to the neo-Nazis in his midst, he has entrusted them with a front line role in his country's war against pro-Russian and Russian forces.

    Behind the corporate media spin lies the complex and increasingly close relationship Zelensky's administration has enjoyed with the neo-Nazi forces invested with key military and political posts by the Ukrainian state, and the power these open fascists have enjoyed since Washington installed a Western-aligned regime through a coup in 2014.

    In fact, Zelensky's top financial backer, the Ukrainian Jewish oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, has been a key benefactor of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and other extremists militias.

    Backed by Zelensky's top financier, neo-Nazi militants unleash a wave of intimidation

    Incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard, the Azov Battalion is considered the most ideologically zealous and militarily motivated unit fighting pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donbass region.

    With Nazi-inspired Wolfsangel insignia on the uniforms of its fighters, who have been photographed with Nazi SS symbols on their helmets, Azov "is known for its association with neo-Nazi ideology…[and] is believed to have participated in training and radicalizing US-based white supremacy organizations," according to an FBI indictment of several US white nationalists that traveled to Kiev to train with Azov.

    Igor Kolomoisky, a Ukrainian energy baron of Jewish heritage, has been a top funder of Azov since it was formed in 2014. He has also bankrolled private militias like the Dnipro and Aidar Battalions, and has deployed them as a personal thug squad to protect his financial interests.

    In 2019, Kolomoisky emerged as the top backer of Zelensky's presidential bid. Though Zelensky made anti-corruption the signature issue of his campaign, the Pandora Papers exposed him and members of his inner circle stashing large payments from Kolomoisky in a shadowy web of offshore accounts.

    In March 2019, members of the Azov Battalion's National Corps attacked the home of Viktor Medvedchuk, the leading opposition figure in Ukraine, accusing him of treason for his friendly relations with Vladimir Putin, the godfather of Medvedchuk's daughter.

    Zelensky's administration escalated the attack on Medvedchuk, shuttering several media outlets he controlled in February 2021 with the open approval of the US State Department, and jailing the opposition leader for treason three months later. Zelensky justified his actions on the grounds that he needed to "fight against the danger of Russian aggression in the information arena."

    Next, in August 2020, Azov's National Corps opened fire on a bus containing members of Medvedchuk's party, Patriots for Life, wounding several with rubber-coated steel bullets.

    Breaking! A bus carrying supporters and members of #Ukraine's opposition party "Patriots For Life" was attacked by Ukrainian National Corps and Azov Battalion in the east of the country (Kharkov), unconfirmed reports that some of the passengers have been murdered. pic.twitter.com/O0hB2sqbRA

    Zelensky failed to rein in neo-Nazis, wound up collaborating with them Following his failed attempt to demobilize neo-Nazi militants in the town of Zolote in October 2019, Zelensky called the fighters to the table, telling reporters "I met with veterans yesterday. Everyone was there – the National Corps, Azov, and everyone else."

    A few seats away from the Jewish president was Yehven Karas, the leader of the neo-Nazi C14 gang.

    During the Maidan "Revolution of Dignity" that ousted Ukraine's elected president in 2014, C14 activists took over Kiev's city hall and plastered its walls with neo-Nazi insignia before taking shelter in the Canadian embassy.

    As the former youth wing of the ultra-nationalist Svoboda Party, C14 appears to draw its name from the infamous 14 words of US neo-Nazi leader David Lane: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

    By offering to carry out acts of spectacular violence on behalf of anyone willing to pay, the hooligans have fostered a cozy relationship with various governing bodies and powerful elites across Ukraine.

    A March 2018 report by Reuters stated that "C14 and Kiev's city government recently signed an agreement allowing C14 to establish a ‘municipal guard' to patrol the streets," effectively giving them the sanction of the state to carry out pogroms.

    As The Grayzone reported, C14 led raid to "purge" Romani from Kiev's railway station in collaboration with the Kiev police.

    The C14 Nazi terror gang signed an agreement with the Kiev municipal government to patrol its streets. This footage taken just a few months later in 2018 shows them carrying out a pogrom against a Romani camp. pic.twitter.com/9aAA86K8TQ

    Not only was this activity sanctioned by the Kiev city government, the US government itself saw little problem with it, hosting Bondar at an official US government institution in Kiev where he bragged about the pogroms. C14 continued to receive state funding throughout 2018 for "national-patriotic education."

    Karas has claimed that the Ukrainian Security Serves would "pass on" information regarding pro-separatist rallies "not only [to] us, but also Azov, the Right Sector and so on."

    "In general, deputies of all factions, the National Guard, the Security Service of Ukraine and the Ministry of Internal Affairs work for us. You can joke like that," Karas said.

    Throughout 2019, Zelensky and his administration deepened their ties with ultra-nationalist elements across Ukraine.

    After Prime Minister attends neo-Nazi concert, Zelensky honors Right Sector leader

    Just days after Zelensky's meeting with Karas and other neo-Nazi leaders in November 2019, Oleksiy Honcharuk – then the Prime Minister and deputy head of Zelensky's presidential office – appeared on stage at a neo-Nazi concert organized by C14 figure and accused murderer Andriy Medvedko.

    Zelensky's Minister for Veterans Affairs not only attended the concert, which featured several antisemitic metal bands, she promoted the concert on Facebook.

    Also in 2019, Zelensky defended Ukrainian footballer Roman Zolzulya against Spanish fans taunting him as a "Nazi." Zolzulya had posed beside photos of the World War II-era Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and openly supported the Azov Battalion. Zelensky responded to the controversy by proclaiming that all of Ukraine backed Zolzulya, describing him as "not only a cool football player but a true patriot."

    In November 2021, one of Ukraine's most prominent ultra-nationalist militiamen, Dmytro Yarosh, announced that he had been appointed as an advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Yarosh is an avowed follower of the Nazi collaborator Bandera who led Right Sector from 2013 to 2015, vowing to lead the "de-Russification" of Ukraine.

    A month later, as war with Russia drew closer, Zelensky awarded Right Sector commander Dmytro Kotsyubaylo the "Hero of Ukraine" commendation. Known as "Da Vinci," Kosyubaylo keeps a pet wolf in his frontline base, and likes to joke to visiting reporters that his fighters "feed it the bones of Russian-speaking children."

    Ukrainian state-backed neo-Nazi leader flaunts influence on the eve of war with Russia

    On February 5, 2022, only days before full-scale war with Russia erupted, Yevhen Karas of the neo-Nazi C14 delivered a stem-winding public address in Kiev intended to highlight the influence his organization and others like it enjoyed over Ukrainian politics.

    Watch Yevhen Karas the leader of Ukraine's neo-Nazi terror gang C14's speech from Kiev earlier this month. Straight from the horses' mouth, he dispels the many narratives pushed by the left, the mainstream media and the State Department. pic.twitter.com/VWJqWPUGUp

    "LGBT and foreign embassies say ‘there were not many Nazis at Maidan, maybe about 10 percent of real ideological ones,'" Karas remarked. "If not for those eight percent [of neo-Nazis] the effectiveness [of the Maidan coup] would have dropped by 90 percent."

    The 2014 Maidan "Revolution of Dignity" would have been a "gay parade" if not for the instrumental role of neo-Nazis, he proclaimed.

    Karas went on to opine that the West armed Ukrainian ultra-nationalists because "we have fun killing." He also fantasized about the balkanization of Russia, declaring that it should be broken up into "five different" countries.

    {photo} Yevhen Karas delivering the Nazi salute

    "If we get killed…we died fighting a holy war"

    When Russian forces entered Ukraine this February 24, encircling the Ukrainian military in the east and driving towards Kiev, President Zelensky announced a national mobilization that included the release of criminals from prison, among them accused murderers wanted in Russia. He also blessed the distribution of arms to average citizens, and their training by battle-hardened paramilitaries like the Azov Battalion.

    With fighting underway, Azov's National Corps gathered hundreds of ordinary civilians, including grandmothers and children, to train in public squares and warehouses from Kharviv to Kiev to Lviv.

    As US media celebrated average Ukrainian citizens taking up arms against Russian troops, the ultra-nationalist Azov Battalion's National Corps published a propaganda video of its fighters training and passing out arms to residents of Kharkiv, transforming them into combatants. pic.twitter.com/RVL1nyWkfw

    On February 27, the official Twitter account of the National Guard of Ukraine posted video of "Azov Fighters" greasing their bullets with pig fat to humiliate Russian Muslim fighters from Chechnya.

    Azov fighters of the National Guard greased the bullets with lard against the Kadyrov orcs??

    A day later, the Azov Battalion's National Corps announced that the Azov Battalion's Kharkiv Regional Police would begin using the city's Regional State Administration building as a defense headquarters. Footage posted to Telegram the following day shows the Azov-occupied building being hit by a Russian airstrike.

    Besides authorizing the release of hardcore criminals to join the battle against Russia, Zelensky has ordered all males of fighting age to remain in the country. Azov militants have proceeded to enforce the policy by brutalizing civilians attempting to flee from the fighting around Mariupol.

    According to one Greek resident in Mariupol recently interviewed by a Greek news station, "When you try to leave you run the risk of running into a patrol of the Ukrainian fascists, the Azov Battalion," he said, adding "they would kill me and are responsible for everything."

    Footage posted online appears to show uniformed members of a fascist Ukrainian militia in Mariupol violently pulling fleeing residents out of their vehicles at gunpoint.

    BREAKING ?? Ukrainian NAZI are preventing people from leaving Mariupol and are shooting at them.

    Residents of #Mariupol do not move around the city, Mariupol will soon be liberated!#EndTheBandera#StopUkrainianNazism #Ukraine #Russia #DPR #LPR #DNR #LPR #Donbass pic.twitter.com/AakZGyNxQx

    Other video filmed at checkpoints around Mariupol showed Azov fighters shooting and killing civilians attempting to flee.

    On March 1, Zelensky replaced the regional administrator of Odessa with Maksym Marchenko, a former commander of the extreme right Aidar Battalion, which has been accused of an array of war crimes in the Donbass region.

    Meanwhile, as a massive convoy of Russian armored vehicles bore down on Kiev, Yehven Karas of the neo-Nazi C14 posted a video on YouTube from inside a vehicle presumably transporting fighters.

    "If we get killed, it's fucking great because it means we died fighting a holy war," Karas exclaimed. "If we survive, it's going to be even fucking better! That's why I don't see a downside to this, only upside!"”

    1. Jews and Nazis working together again just like old times.

      1. Fuck off, Misek.

      2. Fuck off, Misek.

      3. Is this a joke?

        That's pathetic.

    2. Fuck off misek.

  24. Military notes on the war from an inside source.
    Javelin effectiveness. 280 hits out of 300 shots. A whole new level of capability.

    US carrier task force in the Mediterranean Sea under NATO command. Carrier and 4+ destroyers. I have no idea if this means anything as it may not be unusual but this was noted along with the location.

  25. Needless to say, a libertarian realism foreign policy is incompatible with an open borders society. You don't telegraph to your enemies that you intend to play only defense and then knowingly leave holes in your defense.

    Defense and offense aren't mutually exclusive concepts. Life (and war) isn't a turn based game like chess, where one player is guaranteed a move while the opposition can only observe. Indeed, it's often said that best defense is offense. We still have to drone targets and go after people who are threats BEFORE they make a move on our soil.

    Despite all that, I'm not eager for us to get involved in Ukraine. Not with the abject failure currently residing in our white house, not with our southern border still (STILL!) not secure, and not with failed democrat leadership ruling over most states that hold our biggest companies and assets. Russia isn't going to sit idly by while we cripple their finances, and they damn well know any sabotage on our soil can DIVIDE rather than unite us, because the usual race obsessed crowd will start to see racism and white supremacy.

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