On a Knife’s Edge in Ukraine

The settlement of the Ukraine war or its escalation to a NATO-Russia conflict with all that entails comes down to how far Ukraine will go to get the Western alliance involved in its war, writes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The choice is stark for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky:  accept that his defeat is inevitable and accept Russian terms for surrender or continue to seek a way for NATO to become perilously involved in his fight against Moscow.

Russia is making three demands of Kiev to end the war on its terms: recognize Crimea as part of Russia; grant independence to Lugansk and Donetsk in the Donbass and enshrine Ukraine as a neutral state in its constitution, meaning it will never join NATO. A 90-minute meeting in Turkey on Thursday between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers resulted in no progress at all towards a solution, as this phase of the war enters its third week.

Zelensky veers from one position to another from day to day and sometimes within the same media interview. In his appearance on ABC News in the U.S. last Sunday he showed both defiance and potential conciliation. 

Zelensky has lambasted NATO as “weak” because it has not yet intervened on his behalf. He is still asking for Polish Mig jets to be sent to Ukraine to fight Russia. He is still calling for a NATO-enforced no-fly zone over Ukraine. In this he has powerful allies at the U.S. State Department in Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, and in Congress, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

Aerial view of Pentagon at night. (Joe Lauria)

The Pentagon, however, has demonstrably put its foot down against both the Polish jets scheme and a NATO-led no-fly zone. The steely realists at the Defense Department understand the grave implications of NATO being perceived as part of the war if its planes enter the fight, especially if sorties against Russia leave from the territory of a NATO country.  The U.S. brass understands with crystal clarity, even if some members of Congress do not, that a NATO no-fly zone would mean war between the alliance and Russia with all the terrifying possibilities that could follow.

Biden is in the middle of this struggle between the Pentagon and the State Department.  “President [Joe] Biden’s been clear that U.S. troops won’t fight Russia in Ukraine, and if you establish a no-fly zone, certainly in order to enforce that no-fly zone, you’ll have to engage Russian aircraft. And again, that would put us at war with Russia,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

The U.S. strategy in luring Russia into Ukraine was to make possible an economic war of unprecedented proportions as well as a planned U.S.-backed Ukrainian insurgency to bog down and further bleed Russia. The aim is eventually toppling Vladimir Putin from power.  The United States and NATO going to war directly with Russia is definitely not part of the plan. But Nuland and Blinken seem to have missed that memo.

Zelensky and his Washington backers are persisting in building Western public support for NATO intervention until it wears down the realists. Western media accept without question the Ukrainian version of events while Western governments and corporations shut down access to the Russian side of the story. 

Thus the public everyday sees and reads reports of what appear to be totally unprovoked, gratuitous Russian attacks on Ukrainian civilians.  The latest atrocity being attributed to Moscow is the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol.  Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the U.N. Security Council on Monday that Ukraine had cleared out a maternity hospital in Mariupol and set up gun emplacements there. That was four days before the hospital was hit, with 17 injuries and no deaths.   

It is impossible to know exactly what is happening on the ground. Russia says relatively little. But its version is that it only returns fire to Ukrainian units shooting out of populated areas, who are in effect using civilians as “human shields.” Russia says its ceasefires and humanitarian corridors in cities it encircles are being interrupted by nazi militias, especially in Mariupol, home of the Azov Battalion, who are preventing civilians from leaving. Ukraine and the West report Russia is luring the civilians out so they can kill them more easily. 

Russia has absolutely nothing to gain from unprovoked killings of civilians, and everything to lose. Ukraine has NATO involvement to gain with the appearance of such killings.  So far the U.N. High Commissioner of Human Rights reported on Friday 549 civilian deaths and 957 injured in the first 15 days of the Russian operation, numbers that pale in comparison to the first days of the 2003 U.S. campaign in Iraq, for instance, when 15,000 people were believed killed, 4,300 of them civilian. In the 15 days of war, 1,756 peopled died from Covid-19 in Ukraine, according to World-O-Meter.

Bio Labs

Nuland’s answer under oath to Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday appeared to confirm the U.S. has biological weapons in Ukrainian labs. Rubio asked her point blank whether Ukraine had biological or chemical weapons. A very uncomfortable Nuland answered that Ukraine was conducting “biological research” and the U.S. was worried “materials” would fall into Russian hands. 

It is hard to imagine she was worried about Russia seizing experimental vaccines or blood samples. She may be referring to gain-of-function research on pathogens that National Institutes of Health Director Anthony Fauci testified could have a “dual use” purpose — both civilian and military. Here was Nuland apparently twice spilling the beans: the first time speaking on an unsecured telephone about U.S. plans for the 2014 coup in Kiev. And now about U.S.-funded bio research in Ukraine.

Damage control was clearly in order. First the White House scrambled to say Russian charges that the U.S. was running bioweapons research near the Russian border was “absurd” and “preposterous.”  Then the Pentagon explained that these may be leftover pathogens from Soviet days and were part of a U.S. program begun 30 years ago to destroy WMD in former Soviet republics.   That was the explanation of Robert Pope, the director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. He said: “Scientists being scientists, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of these strain collections in some of these laboratories still have pathogen strains that go all the way back to the origins of that program.”

But documents on the website of the U.S. embassy in Kiev show the U.S. paid for and opened new labs in Ukraine as late as 2019.

Now the U.S. reaction to Nuland’s revelations has turned more sinister. Keep in mind the U.S. hadn’t uttered a word about Russia using bio or chemical weapons in Ukraine until Nuland opened her mouth. Now the U.S. is putting out the word that these Soviet-era pathogens may be used by Russia in the current conflict. Rubio set that ball rolling when he asked Nuland that if these weapons would be used, was there any doubt Russia would be the side using them. (It was a backhanded admission the U.S. and Ukraine have them too).  She said: “There’s no doubt in my mind” it would be Russia.

On Friday morning Axios reported:

  • The Biden administration has issued statements calling the Russian claims “preposterous” and “total nonsense,” and urging the world to “be on the lookout” for Russia to use chemical weapons itself or attempt a “false flag” operation in Ukraine. [On Friday Biden said Russia would pay a “severe price” if it used chemical or biological weapons.]
  • Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova alleged Russia had evidence the U.S. is supporting a bioweapons program in Ukraine and that “Ukrainian nationalists” were preparing to use chemical weapons to stage a “provocation” that they would then blame on Russia, per the Guardian.
  • “Allegedly, we are preparing a chemical attack,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a new video address. “This makes me really worried because we’ve been repeatedly convinced: if you want to know Russia’s plans, look at what Russia accuses others of.”

One can just as easily say that what Ukraine and the U.S. does is what they accuse others of. The United States is the undisputed champion of projection. Russia would have everything to lose with such an attack, while Ukraine and the State Department would have the strongest argument yet for NATO intervention. 

Western military analysts themselves concur that Russia will eventually win the war on the ground. That could end with Ukraine accepting the terms dictated by Russia and minimizing the bloodshed, or it could face the wrath of a worryingly much stronger military attack from Russia.  If Ukraine finds a way to draw NATO in, the consequences could be unimaginable.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe  


74 comments for “On a Knife’s Edge in Ukraine

  1. peter tusinski
    March 13, 2022 at 18:39

    Not much is ever mentioned of the arch war mongering shill, NATO’s Stoltenburg and his paranoid world=view concerning Russia and china, Iran etc. He seems to be working overtime fomenting war, a real anti- diplomacy guy,…desk top warrior and banker too!

  2. robert e williamson jr
    March 13, 2022 at 13:58

    Who has who? You Got the Bear or Does the Have You?

    The number one rule to be followed when one realizes they have walked into a mine field is to stop immediately and assess the entire situation. Which, considering the alternatives, seems very reasonable.

    Based on one’s survival instinct. Retrace your steps and get the hell out of dodge.

    Freaking idiots!

    Thanks to Joe and the CN crew.

    Good stuff Joe

    • robert e williamson jr
      March 14, 2022 at 12:38

      My gosh, “You got the bear or does the bear have you?

      I momentarily ran out of words. :(

  3. jesika
    March 13, 2022 at 12:33

    Good article. I wonder why Russia has not directly stated that Ukraine should stop the killing of ethnic Russians in Donbas in their points of demand. Also, there is clear evidence that Zelensky is a WEF “Young Global Leader” including photo of him with Klaus Schwab; so, this is part of “The Great Reset”. However, I wonder why Putin waited so long after the 2014 coup in Ukraine, was he trying to be patient and finally had to act once Biden took over, since Biden is part of the Ukraine corruption from Obama time? In the long run, because Russia has much gold and little debt, and is close geopolitically with China, it is the hypocritical US as well as the West that will pay a price. The multipolar world is beginning, and I wonder how the WEF will play it since Schwab scrubbed Putin from their “Young Global Leaders”. Zelensky cares only about his money, obviously.

  4. D. Brand
    March 13, 2022 at 06:54

    “Scientists being scientists, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of these strain collections in some of these laboratories still have pathogen strains that go all the way back to the origins of that program.”

    So, Ukraine is a country were scientists might have kept potentially dangerous biochemical substances under the mattress for since the collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago. Scary stuff!

    We don’t of course know the purpose of the biochemical substances the US has developed in Ukraine; however, many substances have dual use. A substance developed for agricultural purpose may also be used for military purposes.

    And since the US isn’t disclosing the type of material present in these labs, we have to conclude that they are secrete, which points to the military nature of these materials. The invention of a commercial material for civil use has to be patented asap to preempt others from patenting it first. In order for a patent to be granted, the invention has to be disclosed so it is open to all. Only military inventions are kept secrete to avoid them being leaked to the enemy.

  5. michael888
    March 13, 2022 at 05:07

    While I generally agree with Joe Lauria’s excellent take, it is wrong to give Biden a pass on any of this, in saying he’s listening to his military experts. Just because he hasn’t started WWIII YET, doesn’t mean he won’t.

    Joe Biden has done more to set up this crisis than anyone in government, and has benefitted more from the corruption (ukrainegate.info; my original link from CN.) This goes back to the Orange Revolution in 2005, when Yanukovych’s election was over-turned to put in US stooge Yushchenko (who ran for a second term and received less than 5% of the vote). State Media has emphasized the Ukrainian People in both the Orange Revolution and the Maidan Coup in 2014, again overturning Yanukovych’s election (certified “fair and free” by international observers), however the Ukraine population is split 50:50 between Kiev and the West, with the NAZI farmlands and Galicia (US corruption) and the Russian Ukrainians in the East and South, the industrialized regions (Russian corruption). One only has to listen to Biden’s bragging in his CFR speech about withholding $2 billion from Ukraine if they did not do exactly what he wanted, to see he is in charge of the Puppet Kiev government. Does anyone think that the CIA set up all those Ukrainian bioweapons labs without Biden’s OK? Trump was a total incompetent and was kept out of the loop, except for Impeachment; Biden is much more dangerous.

  6. GBC
    March 12, 2022 at 18:32

    Thank you. It does seem like the US/NATO strategy is to draw this out to the “last Ukrainian”. Ultimately, the only winner here will be our military/industrial/ arms complex. The merchants of death will profit off this war as they always do. Congress is already salivating (right on Pavlovian cue!) as their campaign coffers are filled with blood money. Kudos to Ilhan Omar for speaking truth to power and insanity that dominate our political sphere today. Years of “Russiagate” made the US an easy and gullible audience for the propaganda war now ongoing. Abandon critical thought, all ye who enter here.

  7. JMF
    March 12, 2022 at 18:00

    “Regarding war crimes, Russian and American”
    Joseph Scalice


  8. Maricata
    March 12, 2022 at 15:21

    An absolutely correct analysis at: hxxps://emory.kfjc.org/archive/ftr/1200_1299/f-1232.mp3

    In the article Consortium News is referenced extensively.

  9. PAINE
    March 12, 2022 at 14:19

    Appears that nations lack leaders who can move reverse insane policies that are leading the globe into a economic and military abyss. This madness needs to stop now.

  10. Em
    March 12, 2022 at 12:40

    In this deeply incisive observation made by Canadian Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, John McMurtry, in his book The Cancer Stage of Capitalism, publ. 1999 (with prescience a whole generation, and more, ahead of time), wherein he states “‘the global market’ is a ‘living system’… It is an interrelated whole, producing and reproducing itself daily, and is subject to crises, adjustments, growth or disease as all living systems are.”

    This being so, then it too, in its present form, must eventually die, as do all ‘living systems’. The more pressing question in front of one singular living systems own eyes, and so obvious, is the question just ahead for humanity: Will it go more peaceably, or in violent defiance of the will of the vast majority, taking all living systems down with it, in one massive cataclysmic extinction.

    All who tragically, and unnecessarily die in wars, coerced in one way or the other, to serve the narrow interests of the power hierarchy, are the innocents who are forced to pay for the greed of this tiny minority of inhumanity.

    The rapidly metastasizing global disease of WAR, whose cause, by now is obvious, to those more conscious living systems. Humanity, apparently, is NOT the most evolved of all the living species. This category of species, irrationally being termed ‘civilization’ is NOT in the forefront of evolution; not on this planet.

    To be or not to be, that is STILL the question!

    • Masud
      March 14, 2022 at 08:59

      By the Time

      Indeed mankind is in eternal loss

      Except those who believe

      And do righteous deeds

      And urge each other to the Truth

      And urge each other to Patience and persevere.

      Quran: 103: 1-3

  11. michael888
    March 12, 2022 at 10:31

    Stocks of pathogenic bacteria and viruses can lay dormant in vials/ test tubes for years. Remember the weaponized Anthrax attacks in the US (blamed on Saddam Hussein) were just spores (from US Army labs) mailed as “white powder” in envelopes. And viruses are mostly just pieces of DNA or RNA which are not really even alive and can be stored easily until “needed”.

    And while Nuland and Rubio agree that any outbreak “is obviously from the Russians”, the obvious source would be the desperate Ukrainians who have been caught red-handed with the labs.

  12. JeremyT
    March 12, 2022 at 09:27

    Seems more people are dying in Ukraine from Covid than are being killed by Russians. Wake me up when the number of dead matches those killed in Donbas 2014-2022….

  13. TP Graf
    March 12, 2022 at 07:15

    Even before the House of Commons gave him a standing ovation (and the ad nauseam press fondling), this hero worship of Zelensky sickened me, and it only sickens me more so everyday. An heroic statesman would have gotten the troops killing in the Donbas out of the region, yielded to the reality that Crimea is now reunited with Russia, declared neutrality, and most important of all, thrown out any and all American “advisors” and refused any military aid. That he did none these and instead played (and continues to play) a loosing game of Russian roulette with a fully loaded pistol (and one hell of a pistol it is with its unlimited bullets and bombs) against his own people is as despicable as it gets.

    • D. Brand
      March 13, 2022 at 07:07

      Perhaps he is just a comedian trying to play a role, in order to go down in history as a national hero, and the people be damned.

  14. Aaron
    March 12, 2022 at 06:24

    In the middle of the night CNN was showing heartbreaking pictures of wounded baby goats from Ukraine and brought to Poland for treatment. The media is trying anything and everything to garner support of Americans to attack Russia for Zelensky. I just get more worried everyday that it just feels almost inevitable, they absolutely won’t stop.

  15. AKH
    March 11, 2022 at 23:29

    Russia needs to finish this military operation soon, or we will end up seeing what type of false flag the US and its pet Nazi jihadis have in store for many unlucky Ukrainian people. I don’t want to see a lot of civilians dying, but I also don’t want to see the US gain an excuse to join Ukraine in this situation. Nuclear war is not the way I want to leave this planet.

  16. Soloview
    March 11, 2022 at 23:05

    Putin’s “special operation” does not look particularly convincing and the signals from his office (Peskov) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs seem confused and self-contradictory. I can understand Lavrov lowering himself to talking to Kuleba, if that means Turkey won’t join the sanctions caravan, but I am really at a loss to explain other events that look like double-talk. For example, how do the newly formulated “four conditions” for Russia stopping the operation, address the proclaimed “demilitarization” and “denazification” goals ? Why on earth would Maria Zakharova, speaking two days ago, claim that Russia is not interested in changing the government in Kiev? How does that makes day or two after Konashenkov broke the news of the Kharkov biolab documents and on the day that Nuland failed to deny in the Senate that the US-financed bioweapons labs exist in the country ? Not that I believe for a minute that Russia would allow the “dope addicts” and “nazis” (as Russia’s TV news channels describe the current government in Kiev) to carry on, but why to say such things ? Surely everyone that matters in Moscow knows that since Russia took upon itself to “solve” its Ukrainian problem it will take time and supervision. That means few soldiers and security experts will have to stay behind for a while. Admit it; own up to it, damn it ! Make them believe you mean business !
    I am not the only one who has doubts about where Russia is headed with this. Paul Craig Roberts has often chided Putin for indecisiveness in critical situations. The esteemed former Indian diplomat M.K. Bhadrakuram has called the presidents Ukraine’s policy “consistently passive”. Yakov Kedmi, a fixture on Solovyov’s panels, got into a heated argument with the host (on Solovyov Live few days back) calling out the inept campaign that shies from the use of aviation and heavy weapons in the open fields of the two republics and the effective use of spetz services in securing Mariupol and Kharkov. When Solovyov attempted to chide his old friend for lack of faith in the leaders, he shot back, “you asked my opinion; this is my opinion.” Nikolai Platoshkin, the former Russian diplomat and historian, had even harsher words for the vacillating leadership but his youtube video is now blocked.
    Clearly, Vladimir Putin had an opportunity in 2014-15 to correct Ukraine political development at much lower cost. Ok, he missed that, and that happens even to the great ones, but he will not get more than one chance to “make Ukraine friendly again”. His failure to finish the job would have impossible consequences not just for him but for Russia. He has only two options: to make it short and terrible, or to prolong the agony in the place that has fallen to the wrong people who used it for purposes that no decent human would approve of. From where I’m sitting, the latter path looks clearly self-destructive.

    • Martin
      March 12, 2022 at 04:19

      “demilitarization” and “denazification” are not demands, but actions. they are non-negotiable. russia is not interested in changing the government in kiev, ukrainians should do that themselves if they want it. russia does not intend to occupy ukraine. the west intends to force russia to occupy ukraine. pcr, like other american bred ‘experts’, would very much like to draw russia down to their level (of agressiveness and deceit).

    • Anna
      March 12, 2022 at 08:57

      Israeli PM Mr. Bennett came to Kiev to convince Mr. Ze to accept Russian demand.
      Mr. Bennett made a geographically wrong trip; he should have flown directly to Washington DC to convince the Jewish Lobby that it was time to convince the US Congress to stop the war in Ukraine.
      As Ret Col. Douglas Macgregor explained, Mr. Ze is a puppet. Instead of visiting the puppet, Mr. Bennet should talk directly to Mr. Ze’s puppeteers such as Mrs. Nuland, Mr. Blinken, and Mr. Sullivan.

    • D. Brand
      March 13, 2022 at 07:22

      Events on the field may change the initial objectives. If the Russians have to capture the whole of Ukraine, I doubt that Russia will stop at the initial demands. As the war proceeds, the losses for Ukraine will increase. They could have kept Crimea if it hadn’t been for the 2014 coup. They could have kept sovereignty over the Donbass, if they had complied with Minsk II. Now, they are going to lose both and probably a lot more.

      If Nato keeps on supplying the resistance against the occupation, the Russians won’t have a choice but to push right up to the Polish border. The only way to prevent that is a negotiated settlement as early as possible.

      I don’t think the Russians can be made to stop by the sanctions. In the long-term, the decoupling of Russia from Europe has the potential to damage the West more than Russia. Even in the short and medium term, the disruption of commodities exports from Russia (Ukraine, Belarus, etc.) could lead to a global crisis. It isn’t just fossil fuels, there are other commodities including grains and fertilizers.

  17. Consortiumnews.com
    March 11, 2022 at 22:57

    CORRECTION: On Thursday, 115 peopled died from Covid-19 in Ukraine and there were 6,112 new cases. There were not 6,112 deaths as previously reported.

  18. March 11, 2022 at 22:39

    Good piece, Joe. ray

    • Dan D
      March 12, 2022 at 10:53

      Yes, great article and I certainly agree that we don’t know what is happening on the ground. I go to Consortium News first and foremost for my news on Ukraine. However, I have one comment that is more than questioning semantics. Joe, why do you refer to Mariupol as the “home” of the Azov battalion? Isn’t it probable that demographically and politically the people of Mariupol are aligned with the Donbass population? It has Ukraine’s largest steel mill and even Wikapedia refers to the politics of the population as leftist. Isn’t is probable that the Azov gang are occupiers, using the population as a shield as Lavrov has stated and that is the reason or contributes to the failure of establishing escape corridors? I look forward to your response.

      • Consortiumnews.com
        March 12, 2022 at 11:37

        By home I mean that Mariupol is Azov’s base. Mariupol is a port city on the Sea of Azov.


        • Dan D
          March 13, 2022 at 12:26

          Home and base could suggest some kind of popular support. This isn’t consistent with Mariupol’s demographic, politics, or location. I assume “base” means military headquarters or operational base. Therefore I can only assume they are an outside force occupying the city. An occupying Nazi force which the Ukrainian government cannot or will not control.

          • Consortiumnews.com
            March 13, 2022 at 23:07

            No. Base only means where it is located. Look at how unpopular the US base in Okinawa is for instance or American bases in Iraq were.

      • D. Brand
        March 13, 2022 at 07:32

        I lost track of the war in the Donbass a few months after the Maidan coup in 2014 because Western media didn’t report much; however, I seem to remember that the separatists first held Mariupol and that the Azov Battalion took it back before the separatists got support from Russia. If that is the case, it stands to reason that Azov has a strong military presence in the city. The same probably applies to Kharkiv.

  19. bardamu
    March 11, 2022 at 21:46

    The presence of the bioweapons labs that Nuland slipped and revealed strongly suggests that this has been a NATO-Russian conflict and especially a US-Russian conflict for some time. Of course, Lauria is right to warn that it might become more directly so, and that is anything but a trivial point.

    A key point about a bioweapons attack is that it can be very difficult for populations without advanced laboratories to determine the source. Even if another lab can identify a virus, which cannot be guaranteed, the source remains more easily denied than known. The US would hardly have put the labs at the Russian border for their security, so presumably they exist where they are to facilitate application.

    In all, this seems a difficult circumstance for negotiations, with Zelensky’s regime so dependent on US intervention to begin with, Ukrainians and not Americans catching Russian shells, the US handily disrupting trade between Asia and Europe, and so many convinced that the West had no hand in promoting the invasion.

    From a US administrative point of view, this has most of the advantages of having Putin invade Syria or Libya or Yemen or Palestine or Somalia or Iraq or Afghanistan. Trade and shipping is disrupted, so pipelines and natural commercial relations do not open up. The US does not receive criticism because Russia has indeed invaded. And all they have to sac are some dubious Neo-Nazi friends in Ukraine–at least in the short run.

    Had the US been planning to invade shortly themselves, they surely would have moved their bio-weapons labs elsewhere, so what is happening is not Plan A, apparently.

    Hopefully there will be some diplomatic end before long, but it does not look promising. NATO is not backing up, Ukraine has no choice, and Russia cannot really pull back and leave the bioweaponry and the missiles in place.

    • michael888
      March 12, 2022 at 07:48

      From someone who is a retired research scientist, it is much more likely that bioweapons (vials of virus or bacteria) were removed from those labs than destroyed. Expect to see their effects before this is over, with of course the Russians blamed.

      Putin is in a difficult spot; he does not want to sacrifice the 30% or so of Ukrainians who speak Russian as their first language. He does not want to alienate Ukrainians in general in the East (excepting Mariupol which western media refuses to acknowledge is a NAZI Azov stronghold, the only Azov HQ in the coastal region). He will likely continue to use kid gloves in the East, then eventually use “American” warfare– shock and awe– in the West.

      I’m surprised Putin has not cut off gas to Germany and the EU, nor pressured China to invoke sanctions against the West. Those actions would either end the war (most likely) or lead (as may be inevitable with Biden at the helm) to nuclear WWIII.

    • SomeSalt
      March 14, 2022 at 05:06

      ” US-Russian conflict for some time.”

      Framing in nation states since 1648 or so has been a useful tool of obfuscation of “dispositions of forces and interests”.
      Hence your increased perception which remains limited as a function of framing in nation states.

      As a catalyst to thought/discussion Mr. Suslov often opened explorations of “war” with the statement that “The United States of America” has been at war with the area presently known as “The Soviet Union” since 1922.

      At the start of their journey some of the participants wondered why they were setting aside so much time to ponder such a “simple question”, others thought this would be an easy way of gaining credits leaving plenty of time to drink beer and try to catch girls, whilst for at least the following 50 years some continued to ponder and add to the explorations, the questions derived, and tested their hypotheses through implementation in matters not restricted to things that go bang.

      Mr. Suslov had a wide perspective and would often refer to Mr. Marx’s observation that he tended to paraphrase as – philosophers to date have mostly described the world, while the purpose is to change it.

      Purpose is a function of facility, and facility in part a function of perception which are conditioners in and of change.

      Hence some approach matters with your perception of

      “Hopefully there will be some diplomatic end before long, but it does not look promising. NATO is not backing up, Ukraine has no choice, and Russia cannot really pull back and leave the bioweaponry and the missiles in place.”

      which some deem to be a disadvantage and/or an advantage by being lost in binaries.

      Some continue to ponder and add to the explorations, the questions derived, and have tested and continue to test their hypotheses through implementation in matters not restricted to things that go bang with limited fanfare.

      Hence it would be unlikely for any of them to respond to your assertions/observations, since the purposes of some so engaged include the transcendence of your assertions/observations, with a component in facilitation of when transcended are not perceived by the opponent as having been transcended.

      In some social relations attribution is encouraged and sought, as are certainty and simplicity; to be subsquently subjected to lets-move-on-ism, as were the jaunts of General Westmoreland in Vietnam, and Mr. McChrystal in Afghanistan.

    March 11, 2022 at 19:27

    Keep up the great journalism. Shame on America, my country, for letting all of us down.

  21. March 11, 2022 at 17:00

    If ever there were a perfect time for a week-long, profound and deadly serious “World Peace Conference”, to include (at the very least) the top 100 men and women leaders on Earth from the governmental, spiritual, academic, legal, journalism and artistic communities, it is NOW – March 2022.


  22. March 11, 2022 at 16:01

    The most hypocritical nation in this disaster is Canada. It would have so sensible to advocate for the Ukraine to be a federal country like Canada is. I can’t imagine Canadians telling Quebec that they could not speak French. I can’t believe that Canadians would tolerate shooting missiles and shelling Quebec for eight years like the Ukrainians have done. It is disgusting that our government supports this violence by transferring arms and ammo to the Ukraine. We have also bee pro war by sending military advisers to prepare Ukrainians to kill their fellow citizens. This did not need to happen and the blame for Canada’s role in this nightmare is equally shared by Trudeau, and Freeland.

    • D. Brand
      March 13, 2022 at 07:42

      It is indeed hard to understand Canada’s role in Ukraine. While Germany and France tried to negotiate the Minsk II peace accord with the warring parties, Canada and other countries from the Anglosphere have armed and trained Ukrainian armed forces.

      What strategic goal has Canada in Ukraine? What strategic goal has tiny Lithuania in picking a fight with the People Republic of China?

      To the outside observer, this is puzzling. We can only assume that Nato governments are cooking up all kinds of war plans behind closed doors.

      • Altruist
        March 13, 2022 at 13:59

        Canada’s role in Ukraine is – I think – can to a large degree be explained by the fact that Canada has a large ethnic Ukrainian population – 1.35 million people of a population of 38 million is a major voting bloc. And many of these are Ukrainian nationalists – Chrystia Freeland being a case in point. Likewise, the USA’s foreign policy has long been influenced by ethnic special interest groups, going back at least to World War I (the resurrection of the Polish state and the breakup of Austria-Hungary through the intervention of Wilson having been informed by local political considerations such as the Polish voting bloc in Chicago, Czech and Slovak immigrants in other US cities…) and continuing through today’s Middle East policy.

  23. jdd
    March 11, 2022 at 15:51

    Joe Lauria is someone who gets it and explains it clearly and succintly, as Consortium News has done consistently regarding Ukraine. Thank you.

  24. Rob
    March 11, 2022 at 15:12

    Another possible scenario is that Zelensky would like to negotiate an end to the fighting but that his US bosses won’t let him. They want to continue the fight to the last Ukrainian life.

    • irina
      March 11, 2022 at 20:00

      I’ve been puzzled by Zelensky’s reported, sudden shifts of stance. He has said his life is in danger, which is
      no doubt true. But I’m not sure he’s beholden to his ‘US bosses’ as much as he’s mortally afraid of the neo-
      Nazi factions of his own government, who are certainly more than capable of ‘disabling’ him. Who knows
      what sort of threats he is secretly getting from them ?

      • Martin
        March 12, 2022 at 04:25

        the neo-nazi factions work for his ‘us bosses’, like jihadi’s in syria.

        • D. Brand
          March 13, 2022 at 07:46

          If at least the US had control over the proxy forces it uses, but as shown by 9/11, that clearly is not the case. The Frankenstein monster created by the US are a danger to all, not least the US itself.

  25. David
    March 11, 2022 at 14:39

    Today, every inhabitant of this planet must contemplate the day when this planet may no longer be habitable. Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness. The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us.

    Men no longer debate whether armaments are a symptom or a cause of tension. The mere existence of modern weapons–ten million times more powerful than any that the world has ever seen, and only minutes away from any target on earth–is a source of horror, and discord and distrust. Men no longer maintain that disarmament must await the settlement of all disputes–for disarmament must be a part of any permanent settlement. And men may no longer pretend that the quest for disarmament is a sign of weakness–for in a spiraling arms race, a nation’s security may well be shrinking even as its arms increase.

    – President John F. Kennedy, Address Before the General Assembly of the United Nations September 25, 1961

  26. Altruist
    March 11, 2022 at 14:26

    Very important and informative article from Joe Lauria.

    The article shows how incredibly dangerous the liberal interventionists and neocons in Biden’s foreign policy team are – narrow-minded, stupid, ideological fools like Blinken, Sullivan and Nuland. As a “progressive” who voted Democratic through Obama and thereafter third party, I am really beginning to miss Trump, who despite incoherence and incompetence and picking the wrong staff (at least until late in his term) kept the peace and was able to maintain dialogue with diverse “adversaries” (sadly, other than Iran).

    I have a question – perhaps Joe Lauria can address this topic in one of his subsequent articles – namely to what extent the Biden Administration prepared the groundwork for this war by instituting a very tough policy in Ukraine designed to “recapture” Crimea and the Donbas and roll back Russia. This is argued in a February 2022 article in The National Interest by Prof. David Hendrickson of Colorado College and the Hoover Institution:

    “[In 2021] Azerbaijan had demonstrated in its conflict with Armenia that Turkish and Israeli drones could smash entrenched positions and rout the defenders. The Atlantic Council, the eyrie of Washington’s Ukraine hawks, immediately noted the relevance of this demonstrated new capability to the frozen conflict in the Donbas.

    “The new team at the White House, closely following a script announced by the Atlantic Council, declared that Crimea and the Donbas must be put back on the table. That meant, explained a Biden official, a ‘very extensive and almost constant focus on Ukraine from day one.’ In the view of Democrats, Donald Trump had been a shameless appeaser of Putin; indeed, he was Putin’s puppet. This narrative, to be sure, was dubious in the extreme, as Trump the ostensible appeaser surrounded himself with advisors—H.R. McMaster, Mike Pompeo, Nikki Haley, James Mattis, and John Bolton—who regularly blasted Russia in scalding tones. But though the narrative may have been wrong, it was theirs. The Democrats believed it. Where Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken largely followed Trump’s line on China, they broke sharply with him over Ukraine.

    “The Ukrainian government hailed the new administration and set forth a platform for the return of Donbas and Crimea. Then on April 3, 2021, Ukraine’s military announced on Facebook that military exercises would be conducted with five NATO powers in Ukraine’s eastern regions later in the year. ‘In particular,’ it said, ‘defensive actions will be worked out, followed by an offensive in order to restore the state border and territorial integrity of a state that has been subjected to aggression by one of the hostile neighboring countries.’

    “Russia’s callup of reserves—which both now [late 2021 and early 2022] and in April [2021] was interpreted by U.S. intelligence as reflecting plans for a gigantic invasion—was in direct response to these three important developments: a startling new demonstration of the effectiveness of drone-led offensive operations, a new U.S. posture toward Ukraine-related issues that was far more aggressive than Trump’s, and the declaration by Ukraine’s military that they were working on a plan to drive the Russians out of the occupied territories.”

    • D. Brand
      March 13, 2022 at 08:03

      I’m not familiar with domestic US politics; however, I very much doubt that the Biden administration was a driving force in the current crisis. Putin clearly understood that after Trump had lost the elections Ukraine’s Nato membership was just a matter of time. There are reports that the Russians started to prepare this operation from April 2021, not long after Biden took office. With the ongoing arming and training of Ukraine’s armed forces by Nato countries, this was probably the last window for an invasion before it would have become too costly. I think in his declaration about the “special operation”, Putin said something about having to take a decision that had to be taken for a long time, or something like that. He clearly saw that the Minsk II talks didn’t go anywhere while Ukraine was being armed.

  27. renate
    March 11, 2022 at 14:24

    The original reason for NATO was to keep Russia out of Europe. At the time Russia was still trying to recover from the WW destruction and the more than 20 million lives lost. But it was also to keep Germany down and the US on the continent as the man said. The NATO allies were never threatened by any other power. All has been accomplished except the destruction of Russia. Now NATO must be made to help tighten the noose around its neck and also pay for it. The sheep picked their own butcher, the USA.

  28. Realist
    March 11, 2022 at 13:40

    Russia absolutely requires the three concessions from Ukraine mentioned in the article or all these military actions will have been in vain and have caused such grievous harm to Russia’s reputation and prospects that Putin would probably be driven from office in disgrace. Assuming this didn’t kick off an escalation by truly hard liners (whom Stephan F. Cohen used to warn about) and subsequently lead directly to WWIII, the country would be back where it was in the 1990’s, at the mercy of not only a fascist Washington regime but every last one of its corporate vultures looking to resume the vivisection of Russia’s wealth and resources.

    Even winning on all three points would not eliminate the existential threats to the country posed by the US, Nato and nuclear missiles based in Poland and Romania. Therefore, this realist would contend that Russia is not going to bend to Zelensky’s irrational demands. What drives this seemingly unstable and unrealistic man in his erratic demands? The conventional wisdom has always been the sword hung by a hair above his head by the avowed Nazis proudly carrying out Hitler’s legacy–which is another bright crimson line as far as the Russians are concerned. They would rather fight a war to the finish with the US than concede defeat to the likes of Ukrainian Nazis.

    It doesn’t–it shouldn’t–take a Russian to understand that. Every party from the Ukrainians themselves to the hyper-Russophobic Poles must realise that attacking Putin’s troops with Polish Migs from the 1980’s is not just a no-go, but a suicidal choice of action. First off, the weapons are badly outdated and would never make it past the S-400 air defences at the border. It tells me a very large contingent of Washington’s “side” in this conflict are just as psychologically unstable as the cretin they call “Ze.” Truth be told, this entire “war,” starting from its origins in the coup d’etat waged against Yanukovych has been a personal feud between the American Neo-cons and the very concept of Russia, Russians, and Russian-ness. This must stop or the entire world stops when the Neo-cons finally inveigle WWIII out of the Pentagon. Never thought the day would come when General Mark Milley might be the last voice of sanity.

  29. Tony Kevin
    March 11, 2022 at 13:31

    So glad to read this masterly cut-through analysis by Joe, a top journalist, of what is happening . I spend a lot of time as a retiree reading or hearing original Russian sources e.g Lavrov in Turkey, Nebenzia at UN, Zakharova on MID website, and I can confirm that for busy readers he has here pulled together all the important threads . The CBW dimension is very threatening to those who remember Douma and the White Helmets in Syria- generated false narratives , The Nationalist extremists hate large segments of the people under their control e.g the Azov Battalion encircled in Mariupol, which would therefore be high on list of probabilities of a US-facilitated and propaganda-protected CBW false flag operation that could kill a lot of innocent civilians there’s . It is ominous that so many fighters from Idlib are moving into Ukraine. US militarists like Blinken and Nuland still seem determined to fight Russia in Ukraine to the last Ukrainian . So much depends now on the wisdom and prudence of US top military . As Joe said, a wider war is poised on a knife edge, and on Biden as CinC.

    It annoys me that some members of the public write that both sides use propaganda and neither can be trusted to report honestly in the fog of this war . Yo me, this is a cowardly cop out . Better that they say nothing if they are not prepared to do the hard work of assessing the known facts. As an experienced former senior Australian diplomat I can say that Russian spokesmen say little but when they do speak , they speak truth. I know of no instance in this 15 day old war where Russia has lied about anything . I will continue to look critically at every source I read or hear but this is my assessment so far . Tony Kevin.

    • rosemerry
      March 11, 2022 at 16:48

      Surely we all know that the Russian plans and actions are interpreted by our mass media as if we were the experts. Russian clear explanations of their aims and needs in this operation have been carefully presented to the public, but the “free and democratic” media do not allow the voices of the “enemy” at all, and when quoting they use negative terms and mock true presentations as lies. Russia has no intention of occupying Ukraine yet this is assumed. Russia wants to be rid of Nazis such as the Azov Battalion, which the West pretends, while knowing the truth, do not exist. Ukraine remains next door to Russia, is considered by many to be a brother and is not targeted for destruction which is the USA way of war. Russia has to live next door after all this operation, has avoided civilian deaths and infrastructure destruction , crimes of which it is accused with overwhelming media lies and reports only from one side, the one calling Russia the devil incarnate.

    • UncleDoug
      March 11, 2022 at 18:22

      I don’t have Ambassador Kevin’s diplomatic experience, but I do have half a century of experience observing the world’s international crises and our various military adventures and, more usually, misadventures. And I long ago developed a decent propaganda BS detector.

      I have *never* before seen such an all-encompassing flood of preposterous, hysterical disinformation than is currently flowing from Western governments, being sucked up by our frenetic media for use in pressure-washing the minds of the masses. It is stunning. It’s so bad that one’s default assumption about war news and analysis in the mainstream media should probably be that it is at least twisted and exaggerated and fairly likely simply untrue.

      And, as Ambassador Kevin says, the same is not true of Russian government statements and press releases and it is not true of the (English language) coverage by government-owned Russian media. The much-maligned RT and Sputnik, for instance, have provided coverage that is more balanced and accurate, and less unhinged, than, e.g., The New York times or Washington Post — by a least an order of magnitude.

      Terrifyingly, if not particularly surprisingly, the targeted Western masses seem to be drinking eagerly from the firehose of lies.

      • Theo
        March 12, 2022 at 10:56

        Thank you for this comment . I follow Russian media too and you are absolutely right. Here in ” NATO/EU Europe we have to use VPN to get access to Russian media because they’ve blocked all Russian media and even links to it

  30. Skip Edwards
    March 11, 2022 at 13:18

    Keep in mind that when you push bullies into a corner with their particular “cheerleaders” egging them on what you get is a fight that would not otherwise have occurred! It is true on the school playground, as it is true in our most dangerous world today.

  31. vinnieoh
    March 11, 2022 at 13:04

    The same arguments can be made wrt Ukraine’s nuclear generating facilities. Why would Russia irradiate its own troops and indeed itself (prevailing winds, anyone?) and everything to lose from an incident at one of those plants. One would hope and expect that any Russian battle plan included operations to secure those facilities as quickly as possible and keep them from being monkey-wrenched by Nazi fanatic dead-enders. Saw an msm headline that some Euro-boobs leveling charges of war crimes against Putin for “attacking” nuke plants. Unbelievable – you can’t make this stuff up.

    The US trying to entangle Russia, destroy its economy, and have Putin overthrown? That gambit may come full circle, as Russia has yet to announce its own counter-sanctions. While we’re over there kicking sand in Kiev and Moscow, better listen to the professor – there’s trouble right here in River City.

    The Biden administration is finished whether they know it or not. Dead men walking; Kamala Harris is the biggest nothing-burger to grace the US political stage in quite some time, and that awareness is widely recognized out in voter land.

    Ok, ok, this is far from over, and my crystal ball is illuminated mainly by wishes and hopes, but I doubt very much this turns out (and what is the time line wrt that?) the way US instigators intended.

    • vinnieoh
      March 11, 2022 at 13:10

      Addendum: Oh yeah, I meant to say: don’t expect the call for the outdated Polish MIGs to go away. Here’s the deal: off-load that old crap on the Ukrainians and refurbish the Poles with brand-new US made war machines, along with all the support and training, etc. Smedley Butler is groaning in his grave. Watch closely the ones (politicians) persisting in this quest and you will identify some very important MIC relationships.

  32. Peter P Sirois
    March 11, 2022 at 13:03

    Those do not seem like unreasonable requests. Zelensky won’t be happy until half the world is destroyed to placate his twisted ego. He’s just as bad as Putin, only less powerful.

    • rosemerry
      March 11, 2022 at 17:03

      What a strange comparison. Zelinskyy is an actor, rather a good one, but also a terrified puppet of his protectors from the USA and Switzerland, unsure which script he is using at each interview, swinging from side to side as he sees the West betray him, yet wildly vowing to keep fighting as he hopes to reach his villa in Florida in safety.

      President Putin has been unswerving in his determination to make his country safe and strong and do his best to protect his people and provide them with security and decent lives. He has explained the needs of Russia clearly, and normal understanding of those demands would find them reasonable. NATO is a “voluntary, defensive” organisation whose time has passed. To mention Putin in the same way as poor Ze in the poorest country in Europe is sad.

      • Spike
        March 12, 2022 at 17:56

        rosemerry, I totally agree. I imagine P. Sirois hasn’t listened to a V. Putin speech…. You really should.

  33. Dan D
    March 11, 2022 at 13:02

    We certainly don’t know what is happening on on the ground, but Mariupol by any demographic or political identity is clearly a Donbass city. I suggest, Joe, it is being occupied by the Azov gang and it is not its “home ” as in base of support. This is a significant distinction for a U.S/Western public trying to understand what is going on. Any government that requires all males 16-60 to report for duty to toss molotov cocktails in a reflection of Berlin 1945 would not be adverse to using civilians as shields and this would probably be most applicable to Mariupol.
    As for Nuland, her admission is unambiguous except for her concern for which materials fall into Russian hands. Are we talking about pathogens which can be destroyed at some temperature over a certain time period or laying about, sequestered, or liberated documents?

    • michael888
      March 12, 2022 at 08:55

      Stocks of pathogenic bacteria and viruses can lay dormant in vials/ test tubes for years. Remember the weaponized Anthrax attacks in the US (blamed on Saddam Hussein) were just spores (from US Army labs) mailed as “white powder” in envelopes. And viruses are mostly just pieces of DNA or RNA which are not really even alive and can be stored easily until “needed”.

      And while Nuland and Rubio agree that any outbreak “is obviously from the Russians”, the obvious source would be the desperate Ukrainians who have been caught red-handed with the labs.

  34. Lois Gagnon
    March 11, 2022 at 13:00

    I seem to recall some years back that Russia was accusing the US of taking DNA samples of the Russian population. I don’t remember where I read it. I’ll have to do a search in the hopes it hasn’t already been scrubbed. This all smells like a giant rat. No wonder Nuland was nervous. When do the trials begin?

    • Anna
      March 11, 2022 at 18:07

      Here it is: hxxps://parstoday.com/en/news/world-i67050-us_military_says_collecting_russian_dna_for_research_purposes%E2%80%99

      • Lois Gagnon
        March 13, 2022 at 18:48

        Thank you!

  35. Bobs
    March 11, 2022 at 12:57

    A man who arms his untrained and clueless civilians to make targets of themselves is very likely to go to other extremes without a problem. He’ll keep begging for WWIII, talk about bio/chemical weapons, as long as The West keeps patting him on the back. This guy is a leader alright, and he’ll lead us all right into hell.

  36. Bobs
    March 11, 2022 at 12:46

    Thank you for the update. We desperately need to oppose the overwhelming propaganda. I keep hearing about the negotiations, Turkey ad NATO, EU opposing the US gas sanctions, Russians bombing a hospital, Russia is bogged down and losing troops in the fight, all one-sided. This helps a lot. I have never heard so much hate orchestrated and directed at a country that appears to have the better argument for security and the Russians seem to be taking a lot of time to not indiscriminately raze the cities.

    The U.S. and NATO had and have every opportunity to stop this but that might bring peace! It almost seems they’re watching a porn movie – a massive snuff extravaganza and getting off on it so publicly.

  37. SomeSalt
    March 11, 2022 at 12:39

    ” The United States is the undisputed champion of projection.”

    Quite so, and generally a self-facilitated relation to perception in the spectrum from myopia to blindness, particularly internationally post “We won the Cold War”.

    Consequently some whom were active in the ongoing process of the transcendence of The Soviet Union by The Russian Federation were guided by the notion of tell the truth because few of the opponents will “believe” you, with increasing utility from 1985 onwards particularly through GOSPLAN.

    The efficacy was enhanced by the first item on the national news being the miracle of over-fulfilment of planned wheat production by a previously obscure kolkhoz in Yakutia, and the increasing “dumbing down” of the “Us” population from the 1970’s onwards.

    This encourages the opponents to embroider/modify statements almost exponentially, and at some assessed point the Russians will introduce their evidence which the opponents will not believe, since being exceptional they hold the truths that they are always the target audience to be self-evident.

  38. Sam F
    March 11, 2022 at 11:57

    The NATO accusations of Russia show US intent to use bioweapons, at least as a pretext for war like Iraq “WMD.”
    Indeed “Russia would have everything to lose” and no gain, while the US would have a pretext for intervention.
    The desire of US mass media and politicians for war goes seeks MIC profits and distraction from the epidemic, and is causing a major recession for which they are unlikely be forgiven. Western powers stand revealed as scoundrels.

    • renate
      March 11, 2022 at 14:35

      The manipulation of public opinion is very successful. The government and MSM cooperate in the whole western world without exceptions. It has been a relentless drumbeat for war. The public is really in a hysterical frenzy now, an objective conversation is not even possible. Even well-educated people flip out if anyone voices any critic. Both parties are fanning the flames of war, the president speaks of Putin’s war.

      • SomeSalt
        March 12, 2022 at 11:24

        “The manipulation of public opinion is very successful. “

        Analysis suggest that due to continual levels of stress facilitated by the interacting network of coercive social relations which constitutes “The United States of America”, which on frustration often resorts to vindictiveness and other forms of violence, “The United States of America” have been almost from inception highly prone to Mass Psychogenic Illness of which there are many examples from the Salem Witch trials onwards – the propensity for presenting various forms of hysteria and illusion, the campaigns in Afghanistan merely being one example of many since 1943.

        This weakness is enhanced in likely context by a marked propensity for projection – generally a self-facilitated relation to perception in the spectrum from myopia to blindness, particularly internationally post “We won the Cold War”, belief in “magic bullets” and “large appendages” restricting strategic options/trained experience, as illustrated by Mr. McChrystal’s “surge” in Afghanistan, whem most practitioners understood that the “cause” had already been lost, or that the evaluation of the Vietnam war could be derived from methods developed on the shop floor of the Ford Motor Company.

        Further weakness are derived from learned social behavious including that patience is a game of cards.

        As a function of “exceptionalism” “The United States of America” are immersed in varying degrees of notions of sole/primary agency, with contingent lack of verified situational intelligence and consequent reliance on various curvedballs and somewhere-over-the-horizoness – and a contributory reason of why Mr. Assange was punished for exposing the lack of local targetting support for the US drone campaign rendering notions of “surgical strikes” risible.

        “Putin’s War”

        Politicians of “The United States of America” generally try to minimise the extent, facilities and contexts of their various opponents.

        Since 1945 “The United States of America” have angered many people who have military experience and lamented former family members from various cultures, including those with obligations to attain retribution so their deceased former family members can be honoured, mourned, and rest in peace, as was the case in varying degree in Vietnam, which did not inform evaluation models developed on the shop floor of the Ford Motor Company..

        It is not Mr. Putin’s War, or the war of the Security Council of The Russian Federation, or the war of the Russian Federation, but also includes angered people with military experience and lamented former family members, whom are not primarily motivated by financial or ideological considerations (no blood price will likely be acceptable, and no threat a discouragement), unlike the volunteers embedded within the diminishing”Ukrainian Forces”.

        Consequently an intervention of “NATO Forces” may encourage other angered people from throughout Eurasia and futher to join the fray in order to kill members of “NATO Forces” in what might be deemed a neutral environment “Ukraine” where their families do not reside.

        However like Mr. Mearsheimer I am not necessarily correct, but likely to be perceived as more incorrect since I am not an “American”.

        Given the strategic ineptitude of “NATO Forces” when they are deployed against experienced opponents it is generally a case of fait vos jeux – place your bets.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      March 11, 2022 at 14:38

      Thank you for stating it so clearly. I agree.

  39. JMF
    March 11, 2022 at 11:35

    Joe: Delighted to see you back. I missed your “smiling face” and astute analysis.

    Just as in occurred in Syria, the present administration is making ludicrous claims of Russian “plans” that strategically would amount to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Indeed, Russia is clearly winning and has no need to demonize itself by employing chemical or biological weapons. The people most likely to do so would naturally be those neo-Nazi militias now facing defeat, albeit as a false flag maneuver.

    Considering the amount of propaganda currently directed at the American people by the US government and MSM, the tag “Empire of Lies” certainly fits.

  40. susan
    March 11, 2022 at 10:45

    The spin on both sides – particularly that of the US is completely mind boggling! Children playing with nuclear & biological weapons is a very dangerous “game” for the entire world…

    • UncleDoug
      March 11, 2022 at 18:36

      What are you seeing or hearing from the Russian side that seems like spin to you?

      • SomeSalt
        March 13, 2022 at 04:25

        “What are you seeing or hearing from the Russian side that seems like spin to you?

        In coercive social relations resort to “emotional thinking”- an oxymoron to obfuscate “emotional reaction”- has always been encouraged, and hence obfuscation/removal of context have been contingent outcomes, both within the “Soviet Union” and “The United States of America” in parallel with increasing implementation of “Taylorism/Scientific Management” from 1941 onwards, to minimise the opportunities for the population to think whilst maximising their concentration on producing.

        “Susan” refers to both sides without outlining who constitute both sides to which she refers, one of which you infer to be “The Russian side” which you also don’t specify; for example whether it is restricted to The Russian Federation, or includes those in cooperation with The Russian Federation.

        Consequently without intellectual context/rigour you are both engaged in emotional reaction which is a core requirement for the continance of much of the ideology of “The United States of America.”

        “Children playing with nuclear & biological weapons is a very dangerous “game” for the entire world…”

        The latest update of the nuclear doctrine of The Russian Federation around 18 months ago now, outlines that the response to biological attacks on The Russian Fedration will be nuclear without specifically outlining the amount of nuclear response.

        During the 1930’s and early 1940’s a significant number of Russians including children often with Nansen passports (refugee documents) were experimented upon and killed by Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese state.

        During the 1940’s many citizen’s of “The Soviet Union” were used as material/stukh in biological experiments by various branches of the National Socialist state, killed and subjected to autopsies, parts being retained and transported to various laboratories in the Greater Reich, and can still be found today in various institutes.

        As agreed after the defeat of Germany, after a period of resupply in August 1945 the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria and captured personnel and documents from UNIT 731, and sent copies of the documents and some of the personnel to Japan for forthcoming War Crimes trials.

        These War Crimes trials never included rigorous emphasis on the activities of Unit 731, whilst the scientists of Unit 731 were relocated to “The United States of America” and given protection and prestigious jobs., a courtesy also offered to some lesser well known Austrian and German scientists.

        So at least The Russian Federation is not playing with biological and nuclear weapons, despite “The United States of America” being engaged in such irreverance as a function of “exceptionalism” and contempt for others from at least 1945 onwards, a prime component of the coercive social relations misrepresented as “The United States of America”.

        Ms. Nuland is vindictive but not a fool.
        Ms. Nuland is aware of the prevalance of It-was-not-me-it-was-my-sisterness when blame is to be assigned in “The United States of America” and hence was less than her faux ebullient self delivering her speeches in the matter.

        This issue is very far from resolution.

        • C. Kent
          March 14, 2022 at 16:38

          You need to be banned here, you post endless long form drivel.

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