A Year of War

PRENOTE: As we all know, there is a whole lot going on in more than one arena in the present day world.  Two columns caught my interest in Wednesday’s mail about the 2020 Georgia Presidential  election situation.  Joyce Vance and Jay Kuo.

We are still under a weather emergency.  It has been an interesting couple of days.  My ‘report’ here.

POSTNOTE Feb. 24: Heather Cox Richardson on the United Nations and Ukraine.


The Russian invasion of Ukraine began a year ago today, 8 timezones east of here (Feb. 23).  All the rest is editorial.

Here is a political map of Ukraine, compliments of the Nations Online Project.   (It is about 300 miles from Kyvv to Odessa).  In my opinion, Putin, probably forever, has in mind restoration of the empire of the Soviet Union;  his pretext revenge against the west.  One of the earliest pieces I read about him (note “Early Life section) noted that he, a son of the city once known as St. Petersburg, lost relatives in the Nazi’s siege of Leningrad which began in 1941, and in WWII as well.  Seeking to settle scores is nothing new; the danger lies in whose hands revenge takes root.

Here’s the cast of countries historically affected/involved: clockwise from 12:00 the countries which border Ukraine are Belarus, Russia, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.  (Those bold-faced were part of the USSR, which collapsed ca 1990.)  The old Communist bloc countries included Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary who shared border with Ukraine.  There were other countries in the Soviet Union, and the Communist bloc, which are not included in the above lists.  Current NATO members, and history, are described here.

The entire story is very complicated.  But an entire population, over 40,000,000, is held hostage.   I don’t pretend to have a clue about how this will all end.  I am in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and with the countries where democracy, however, imperfect, is allowed to exist.

I have written a lot about my personal opinions About this conflict in this blog.  In the search box, if interested, enter the word “Ukraine”.  Pay attention, as if you were living there, or had people there.

COMMENTS (other comments may be at end of post):

from Dick: 9-11-01 got me involved in this blogging business.  There were very few in my category then: I was among the 6% of Americans who didn’t support the bombing of Afghanistan in October, 2001.  I couldn’t see anything good coming out of that strategy, but, like now, I shared other opinions as well in those intense times.

So, here’s Ukraine over 20 years later….

Those who know me in person, who have opinions, might correctly label me a “peacenik”…or a “warmonger”. That word “pragmatic” which appears at upper right, includes as a definition   “practical”, which is the one that describes me.  There are times for differences of opinion, and situations can be very different.  I’m also a believer in the reality that evil does exist, and it is not solely “them” that have such actors in their midst.  It is “us” as well.  And I believe in negotiations, from an entire career of hanging around that process.  I also know that to negotiate there have to be willing parties, willing to reach imperfect agreement.  There is no negotiations when one side or the other says ‘nuts to you’.  (This dynamic is deadly to polarized political conversations as well.)

I support Ukraine in its struggle for survival, and I compliment President Biden for his role in managing what is an incredibly difficult task.  There are also other opinions.  Have at it, but be willing to listen, too.

from Barry:  Attached are a couple of photos from the anti war rally in DC on Feb 19th, 2023 featuring our own Chapter 27 Vice President Josh Farris carrying the VFP flag front and center behind the stage. Josh worked very hard to get folks out for this rally even though it included a very diverse crowd who don’t necessarily agree with us on all our views but were all committed to ending insanity of the U.S. proxy war in Ukraine. Attached are a couple of links showing speakers at the rally.

Words from Josh ” I got to stand near where MLK gave his I had a dream speech behind the podium holding the VFP flag next to the American Flag flying in the wind as Ron Paul, Tulsi Gabbard, Jill Stein, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Hedges, Anne Wright, and many other fantastic people called for Peace and sanity. It was a damn good experience in a list of good experiences that only an authentic radical humanist can hope for. It’s a damn good thing that chapter 27 joined the coalition”.

from Deb: Really a sad ordeal with Ukraine, totally inhumane.

from Joyce: As you probably realize, I strongly support our aiding Ukraine; this is totally different from the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, which I opposed. A Ukrainian woman suggested donated to Ukraine at this site; I earmarked my donation for medical care, but there are other options as well: Here.

from Dan: Russia’s “attack” on the Ukraine is a far bigger story.

This is nothing more than a proxy/fake war.

Ukraine, and its many bio-labs run by the US was warned many times by Russia to stop.

After NOT heeding the warnings, the attacks began to take these labs “off-line”.  This was the impact of this “war”.

The Ukraine is compromised, and Joe Biden/Hunter Biden have been involved for years.   Including the Uranium One scandal. -à money laundering

Putin and Russia are doing the right thing, but the MSM keeps pushing Putin/Russia = BAD, is very similar to the last six years when they all pushed Trump-Orange man = BAD.

See the connection?

from Terry: There is NO justification for Putin’s illegal invasion and the slaughter of tens of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians, for the Russian targeting of civilian neighborhoods and power and water infrastructure.

There is NO excuse for Putin’s murdering tens of thousands of people and causing epic suffering for millions of Ukrainians.
There is a tremendous amount of pro-Putin disinformation online.  Timothy Snyder, a scholar on authoritarianism, has written six books on Ukraine and has also written many articles on this very real war where Putin is trying to reclaim territory he claims is Russian.  It is an imperialist war.  https://snyder.substack.com/     https://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2022/03/vlad-on-vlad-how-putins-views-on-lenin.htm
MAP organized this forum on Ukraine and Syria. https://antidotezine.com/2022/08/12/ukraine-and-syria-war-and-resistance/  As our moderator said, If you’re going to take one thing away from this conversation we have tonight, I hope you remember the people on the ground who are living and resisting every single day, whatever forces are trying to shut them down.  
I stand with Ukrainians.

from Fred: Very interesting suppositions in the first link (following). See Bill’s description. The Al Jazeera interview with a Russian analyst balances the first, a bit.

If you haven’t heard of Catherine the Great’s Volga Germans, check it on Wiki. The lesson to anyone thinking about becoming a Russian immigrants is to stay home.
It reminds me of some MN Iron Range Finns who worked in mines there, and decided to move to Russia in the 1920s, the wonderland of the worker, communism, freedom and equality.

Fred’s friend,  Bill:  Thought I’d pass on these two somewhat different takes on the state of the war in Ukraine.  Here’s one from Strategy Page that more or less follows our Gen. Milley’s line in his Brussels talk: It’s over and Russia lost.  FWIW, it’s the most relentlessly negative depiction of Russian chances I’ve seen lately.

Then here’s an Al Jazeera interview, datelined Moscow, with a Russian identified as an “independent military analyst.”  He’s much less certain how things will turn out, but expects an answer this year.  For a backgrounder from within Russia, it is one of the most intelligent and realistic summaries of the situation that I’ve seen.  His surname makes me wonder if he’s a survivor of Catherine the Great’s Volga Germans.  You may be interested in some of the other articles linked from this piece.

from Buddy: As I read and hear mass media accounts, I find myself substituting “Iraq” for Ukraine and wondering at the comparison.  The human suffering, the atrocities, the pointless destruction, the long-term spread of toxins, the use of depleted uranium…..When the US was the illegal invader, the Ukrainian resistance would have been called insurgents.  War is immoral. War is murder.  We should do nothing to promote further death and destruction — and planetary omnicide.

War is barbaric whoever perpetrates it.  We need an international security order that is not seen as being run by the big bully who breaks all the rules.
I stand with people’s right to defend themselves but not with insisting that they kill until they themselves are killed, leaving the land and climate poisoned.   There really is a better way.
This is the 21st Century.  We’re 21 now.   Time is up on mass killing as “statecraft.”   How long can we avoid the use of nukes— even being urged by a retired US general on Fox last Sunday?  Ceasefire and negotiate.

response from Dick: earlier in this post (the first comment) I said I could probably be identified as “peacenik” and as “war monger” never guessing that Buddy would demonstrate the issue.

I became a peacenik when we bombed Afghanistan in 2001.  In April 2002 a column of mine was published in the Minneapolis paper in which I articulated my position.  I have noted often, since, that the word “Iraq” was not even mentioned in the column, which I add here: Afghanistan column 4:2002.

In Iraq, the United States was the aggressor.  In Ukraine, it is Russia that is the aggressor.  That, to me at least, is the distinction. between the two conflicts.  I have not changed my philosophy.
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