Putin’s announcement of a suspension of the last extant U.S.-Russia arms-control pact this week was a carefully attenuated move. It was also a big deal, but not in the way Western officials encourage us to think it is.
By Patrick Lawrence
Original to ScheerPost
News that Russia will suspend its participation in the New START nuclear arms pact, which arrived Tuesday via Vladimir Putin’s annual address to the Federal Assembly, had to land hard.
This suspension is not a withdrawal, as various Western media reports initially described it, and it is temporary, as the Russian president described it. It is a carefully attenuated move, then.
But it is a big deal nonetheless, although it is not a big deal in the way Western officials encourage us to think it is. It is a big deal in ways that Western officials do not want us to think about.
“With today’s decision on New START,” NATO Secretary–General Jens Stoltenberg said at a joint press conference in Kiev with Dmitry Kuleba, the Ukrainian regime’s foreign minister, “the whole arms control architecture has been dismantled.”
This is the baldest, farthest-out-there take on Moscow’s step back I have been able to find. The New York Times initially ran this quotation but dropped it from its news report within a few hours, wisely. Now you have to find it in The Kyiv Independent, the not-independent propaganda daily backed by various Western governments.
What Stoltenberg was doing in Kiev, given NATO claims it is not prosecuting a war against Russia, is a good question. Then again, lots of people of Stoltenberg’s stature travel to Kiev these days.
President Joe Biden just took a train from Poland to Kiev to have a look at the progress or otherwise of the war the U.S. is not waging against Russia. Let us not miss: This kind of thing has much to do with Putin’s New START decision, as he made clear in his remarks Tuesday.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, passing through Athens, termed Moscow’s decision “unfortunate and irresponsible”— an improvement on Stoltenberg’s deranged assessment.
“Irresponsible” is a word I have long thought American officials ought to avoid when describing the conduct of others. Russia’s move cannot justly be so described. But I will go along with “unfortunate.” Yes, it is. It is unfortunate things have come to this.
To begin at the beginning, Moscow did not dismantle anything this week. Successive American regimes have dedicated themselves to that project for decades — always citing that imperative claim to America’s innocence and the other side’s responsibility for forcing its hand.
New START is the last extant nuclear arms control accord, as Western media have pointed out this week. This is so because Washington has one after the other “dismantled” all the others but one — which Western media did not point out.
The Bush II government pulled out of the Anti–Ballistic Missile treaty, the ABM, in 2002 — fast work for a president one year in office. In 2019, the Trump administration withdrew the U.S. from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces agreement, the INF. For good measure it took the U.S. out of the Treaty on Open Skies a year later.
Who has been dismantling the architecture, Mr. Stoltenberg? I have to say, of all the NATO sec-gens I have had to watch over the years, this guy goes home with the cake. He’s Washington’s jukebox: American officials put in a quarter and Jens sings the selected song.
As to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in its various iterations, the original START accord took effect in 1994, and the arms cuts it called for were completed on schedule when it expired in 2009.
Moscow and Washington negotiated START II, but Russia pulled out in 2002 in response to the U.S. Congress’s refusal to ratify it and Bush II’s concurrent withdrawal from the ABM pact.
New START was the Obama administration’s banana and came into force in 2011. This is the treaty Russia has just temporarily set aside without abrogating.
Note the name and the provenance. New START developed during that strangely-lit period when President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as his secretary of state, had the idea of getting along with “Putin’s Russia” — I always love reading this phrase — by turning Boris Yeltsin’s successor into another pliant pushover, even if Putin didn’t conduct business while inebriated.
Remember Clinton, with that idiotic “reset” button she brought along for talks in Geneva with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov? That was the theme at the time, even if Clinton’s minders mistranslated “reset” into the Russian for “overload”— which, as things have turned out, was a better term for what Washington has since had on offer.
For many years after the “reset” days, Putin, Lavrov and other Russian officials routinely referred to “our American partner” or “our Western partners.” These expressions reflect what was in the air during the early years of the New START period.
Putin and his FM kept up the “partners” bit for a surprisingly long time. It was wishful thinking as I read it, a measure of their abiding desire for constructive post–Cold War relations with Washington and the European capitals. Alas.
The “partners” days are done, Putin said Tuesday in so many words. Does it not follow that Moscow has no reason to take arms treaties seriously when (1) Washington has serially abrogated their terms and (2) the cooperative spirit on which these kinds of accord rests has been — but precisely — dismantled?
Remember the extraordinary bitterness in Putin’s speech announcing the start of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine a year ago? I read a muted version of the same sentiment in his remarks Tuesday to the Federal Assembly, a yearly gathering of legislators and various other high officials:
“We were ready for a constructive dialogue with the West; we said and insisted that both Europe and the whole world needed an indivisible security system equal for all countries. But in response we received either an indistinct or hypocritical reaction…. There were also actions: NATO’s expansion to our borders, the creation of new deployment areas for missile defense, deployment of military contingents.”
This is not a man pleased to announce he is stepping back from New START. The Foreign Ministry, indeed, was swift to state after he spoke that Moscow will continue to observe the treaty’s terms.
This is a man no more eager to suspend the Russian Federation’s participation in an active arms treaty than he was to send his military into a neighboring nation. This is a man profoundly disappointed with the direction of geopolitical events but who feels compelled to spell matters out as they are and act upon them:
“The United States and NATO are openly saying that their goal is to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. Having made this collective statement, NATO has actually claimed to be a participant in the Treaty on Strategic Arms…. In early February the North Atlantic alliance made a statement with the actual demand… of inspections to our nuclear defense facilities. I don’t even know what to call this. It is a kind of theater of the absurd…. In the current conditions of confrontation, it simply sounds insane.”
No, the U.S. has not withdrawn from New START, not operationally, as it did from the ABM and INF accords, or Open Skies, a trust-building pact that allowed signatories to fly unarmed surveillance craft over each other’s territory.
But Washington did just as much to scuttle it, as Putin asserted in his speech. And it is notable in this connection the extent to which Putin relates his New START decision to the Ukraine conflict.
Putin’s news on New START came far down in his speech, which may at first seem a little surprising, given what Western media are making of it. I read it differently.
One, while not of no consequence, suspending New START at this point is of little. Two, and this gets interesting, the Russian leader was much more concerned with domestic and economic matters.
It is striking in this connection to note the time he took to describe a multitude of projects — in industry, in trade, in infrastructure, and so on — intended to shift Russia’s front door away from the West and toward the non–Western nations to the east, notably China, and to the south, notably, but not only, Turkey and Iran.
I have read much of what Putin has had to say over the past year in the context of the Joint Declaration on International Relations Entering a New Era that Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping made public in Beijing on Feb. 4, 2022. This, one of the essential political texts of our time, can be read in various ways.
One is as a blueprint for a century during which the non–West breaks its various dependencies on the West, longstanding as these are, and achieves parity with the West for the first time in more than half a millennium.
“This Presidential Address comes, as we all know, at a difficult, watershed period for our country,” Putin began. “This is a time of radical, irreversible change in the entire world, of crucial historical events that will determine the future of our country and our people, a time when every one of us bears a colossal responsibility.”
Reference to the Feb. 4 Declaration explains everything you may want to know about what he meant in these sentences.
Another step away from the West: It is a small one, but this is what makes Russia’s break from the New START regime important, a big deal. In his remarks, which were directly to his points per usual, Putin made clear that he regrets this, too, in the larger scheme of things.
“In today’s world there should be no division into so-called civilized countries and all the rest,” Putin concluded, “and that there is a need for an honest partnership that rejects any exclusivity, especially an aggressive one.”
I do not think this thought requires further comment.
Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site.
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
Mr Lawrence is absolutely right.
It’s so sad that Western leaders are completely blinded by their arrogance. They cannot listen, don’t want to read or make any efforts to understand other leaders. I am sure most of them have not read Putin’s speeches in 2007, 2022 and 2023. They are too arrogant and know how other countries and leaders should behave.
Patrick, your article struck exactly the right tone of wostfulness, even sadness and regret, at what has come to pass. The adult in the room will be, without a doubt in my mind for future historians, Vladimir Putin and his supporting cast of professional diplomats, politicians and soldiers. Russia has endured beyond what many reasonable people would have expected it to bear, facing an hysterical, violent Western regime bent on waging wars of vengeance, especially by Victoria Nuland who wants to destroy Russia because her grandfather had to leave Russia during the pogroms over 100 years ago. Jewish rage against the Russian machine, however, seems to align with exactly what the West has wanted to perpetrate against Russia since the days of Halford Mackinder and “The Great Geopolitical Pivot of History ” in 1904. The West is bereft of any leaders of substance or stature which is perhaps why we are circling the drain of history, another failed empire where the thinking went wrong first and everything else went wrong later. I wish Russia, China, India and all the BRICS and SCO nations well as they act like mature adults and stewards of their civilizations. God knows what is in store for the West with the current lack of talent, morals or ethics in leadership but I suspect it’s going to be bad for many generations.
Magnifico!!! Plus, a bonus, the “Joint Statement-by the Russian Federation & the People’s Republic of China.” ‘When One Teaches, Two Learn.’ (Robert Heinlein). TY, Patrick Lawrence.
Sounds like, “participation in the New START nuclear arms pact,” adds no value when fighting The War on Terra! For now, “chuck it in the phk-it bucket!” After all, outta the gate, the U.$./NATO mission was to pillage, plunder, exploit RUSSIA’S resources, i.e., magnesium, cobalt, lithium, nickel, diamonds, uranium, etc., etc., etc.
Many people believe that U$/NATO are losing in Ukraine. The $anctions aka Economic Warfare, against RUSSIA, were to bring RUSSIA to its knees, NOT Strengthen the Rouble; w/CHINA, Rising!!! AND, POTUS yapp’n & yell’n how, “Nobody fu**s w/a Biden?!?” Bull-$h*T!
“How many train wrecks do we need to see?” …i.e., Friday, 2.24.22, POTUS, in studio, struggling to knit together a coherent sentence, his brain scramble’n for a defense of the indefensible,“I don’t know if I spoke to the Mayor. I spoke to everybody else,” blah, blah, blah!” POTUS was Not even asked about the how the UN $ecurity Council’s “Poke’n the Bear,” rocked the week-end. The Dragon kept a laser focus on the old, feeble, bald, frail Eagle pushing the envelope in Taiwan, Kiev, & Poland. Trust like Peace is Gone! War rules the day.
Consequently, Anita Dunn called a LID, on POTUS’ week-end, Friday afternoon-Monday morning. POTUS free from the Public & the latex (make-up), w/some Paid Time Off @ the Rehaboth Bch House, to get POTUS Rewired to “Reset” his faculties. However, “it’s difficult to wake someone who’s sleeping.” AND, imo, VLADIMIR PUTIN & XI JINPING are running intellectual rings around JOEY “Hide’n” BIDEN & Comma La Harris. Therefore, “WANTED, A LEADER!!! A Peacemaker NOT “The Big Guy,” PUTIN “pegged as an unreconstructed warmonger and longtime advocate of NATO expansion, someone who’d act on his madness.”
Many People believe VLADIMIR PUTIN, “the Russian leader was not out to provoke” the Divided $tates of Corporate America; but, simply “responded to ongoing U.S. provocations in a measured way.”
“This whole thing is blowing up in the face of the West. We forced Russia to pivot to Asia, as well as Brazil, India, China, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. THERE”S A WHOLE NEW WORLD BEING FORMED.” DENNIS KUCINICH, The Man who should be “our” forever President. Like Vladimir Putin is for Russia. hxxps://consortiumnews.com/2022/12/28/watch-hedges-kucinich-on-ukraine-the-democrats/
Onward & upwards. Out w/the Old; & in w/A NEW Leader, “The theory of change is discipline by engaging its reality on the ground.” RALPH NADER (2.10.22 “Keynote Speech @ The (F)Law) hxxps://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg761Ucpzmc
Stoltenberg is a product of Quisling DNA.
Check into his family background.
What a creep.
We are headed for outright simultaneous wars with Russia, China and Iran.
Realistically, this can no longer be avoided.
And it will be nuclear.
“We are at war with Russia.”
“We will be at war with China by 2025.”
No denials, no reprimands.
Everything possible is being done to provoke conflict with China and Iran.
Remember, to survive, humanity has to clear BOTH hurdles. One out of two still means Doomsday. Reality does not grade on the curve.
And war is one of the most environmentally destructive activities. I shudder to think of even the greenhouse gas emissions of those pairs of American fighters who flew up to down each of those weather balloons. What is the greenhouse gas emissions of each of those latest German Panzers who now have their engines fired up and heading for the war? All those jet engines, all those tanks, all those trains hauling weapons and ammo to the front, trucks bringing supplies to the front, all those factories producing armaments running 24 hours a day. German Greens arresting protestors to reopen a coal mine.
Humanity was already way late in addressing climate change. Even before the war, we were already breaking what limited agreements which had allowed a 1.5 C increase and were going to go higher. We were already seeing the predicted effects of getting close to 1.5 C, and were already going to see worse. When humanity needed global emergency action, instead we get war. Humanity has to clear both hurdles to avoid doomsday. Winning the war and boiling the earth is not victory.
The Wall Street Elites who run the west don’t seem particularly ‘under control’.
They look like they want a stock racing style “win it or bin it” confrontation, and everywhere one looks in the world one sees Yankee escalation. What one does not see is any serious attempt at de-escalation. Anywhere. What appears to be the strategy of the Wall Streets Elites is to pour gasoline everywhere and then apply flamethrowers. They appear to want war not only in Ukraine, but also in the Middle East and around to Taiwan. Escalations everywhere, incessantly.
Was listening to an old song today …
“I can tell your future, just look what is in your hands.”
America ain’t carrying olive branches and doves.
When this chapter of history is finally written, the United States will remain a hegemon, at least for a while, but its domain will be restricted to the nations of Europe, Canada, Japan and possibly a few other Asian countries. With the further passage of time, the vassal states will come to realize that subservience to Washington is not necessarily in their best interests, and they will seek more balanced relations with the non-West. This scenario is one way to envision the American Empire coming to an end, although I cannot rule out a more violent and cataclysmic conclusion.
I think what we have here is the emergence of willing global partners in both co-operation and conflict.
The lesson from the Cold War is that the best way to manage the populations within a nation-state is to keep a conflicting relationship always at hand, small or low intensity conflicts which feed the MIC as well as subdue the population. (We know that the “war on terror” was a temporary stop-gap that couldn’t be sustained.)
I don’t think the US, Russia or China are truly in a major conflict. This is not to say that there’s never any animosity but it’s always controlled.
The real target throughout the ages is the general public . It’s important that the public believe there are these major threats always contending for dominance and always threatening global annihilation.
I think the work of Professor Sheldon Wolin, particularly his last, Democracy Incorporated and most specifically his concept of Inverted Totalitarianism touches on this (not so much geopolitically, but how the US controls it’s population). In a nation claiming democratic principles, rather than an all out totalitarian state such as fascist Italy or Nazi Germany or the Soviets, you don’t use the iron fist when you can subdue the people through apathy, through media, particularly entertainment, and of course divide and rule (id politics or Woke-ism).
But what’s missing is the ingredient of global adversaries which provides ever more power to be concentrated: the lesson of the Cold War.
In a word, while there may be a perceived see-saw in this game, it is really a partnership that provides a closed loop of faux “choice” much like parties or products. Few choices is really a closed loop monopoly and all the better to control the population.
Just think, we COULD be spending our time and money and ingenuity on countering global warming! Instead, of on insane militarism.
It is refreshing to see a perspective that so effectively counters what we are getting from the Western mainstream media, whose reporting on the Western agenda cannot be taken at face value. But it is not obvious why what Putin (and Xi) says should be taken at face value, either. This is a power struggle between, actually among, oligarchies able, so far, to gaslight their populations enough to maintain their increasingly conditional support. Having been played by the West, will Putin fare any better in an alliance with the East? His Ukraine ‘adventure’, deliberately made inevitable by NATO (US) incursions, is a desperate attempt to ‘stay in the game’.
“His Ukraine ‘adventure,’ deliberately made inevitable by NATO (US) incursions, is a desperate attempt to ‘stay in the game.’”
— When a murderer approaches your house and threatens your children, will you make a desperate attempt at “staying in the game” with the murderer or have some decent thoughts about saving your children? Some people have neither children nor live in a country whose traditions and cultural heritage they intend to cherish and protect.
Thank you, Consortium, for your sanity – a precious commodity these days. If only Sanity could replicate like a virus. Alas, the opposite seems to be the case these days.
This discussion, including the final comment from Putin, invites remembering the following remark from 2004 and attributed to Karl Rove, although he has denied he said it:
“We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
If we consider this in the context of the neoconservative take-over of American politics, beginning at least in Reagan’s years and getting more emphasis in the 90’s via PNAC (project for a new American century), then the increasingly flagrant aggression with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan etc, then to this moment of Ukraine, we see the emergence of a pattern and a worldview/ ideology.
The essential features of this worldview are creating new realities (change), America as shaping and leading history, and others as bystanders, observing and studying. In short, America as The New Roman Empire.
Maybe Suskind made up the quote as part of his interview of “a senior aide” that he reports made this comment, which was then attributed to Rove. Perhaps Suskind was simply symbolizing that interview with this quotation. We don’t know. But we do know how fitting it is to Rove’s political persona and events within the scope of these last forty years or so.
We also know that a massive propaganda program against Russia has been underway for 100 years, intensifying in the 1950’s and then again surrounding the attack on Ukraine as the leading edge for new century thinking on global dominance. Too many Americans have bought into this poisoning of another nation on the planet–but not all. Skepticism continues among some and is apparently growing.
In contrast, Putin has emphasized “partnership” in an effort to change the venomous course of US-Russia relations. Gorbachev, too, had made attempts to revise the automatic, frenzied nature of this stupid and dangerous state of relations between nuclear powers, and even Khruschev prior to that was cooperating in what is still relatively unknown as behind-the-scenes negotiations with John F. Kennedy.
As part of studying what the hell is going on here we should juxtapose the statement supposedly from Rove with Putin’s as quoted in this article and below and ask: Which is the most sane? Who has the most credibility? Who is the uncivilized aggressor? From there we can indeed study and try to figure out what to do.
“In today’s world there should be no division into so-called civilized countries and all the rest,” Putin concluded, “and that there is a need for an honest partnership that rejects any exclusivity, especially an aggressive one.”
On the current trajectory events will lead to WW III. I don’t think either side wants this outcome. But the warning from history is clear: everyone eventually gets the war they don’t want. That is what needs to focus minds.
One of the two ‘sides’ has 800 militaries based around the globe and a military alliance next to the door of the other country.
One ‘side’ wants full-spectrum dominance to continue looting and raping worldwide. The other one offered to work on mutual (MUTUAL) security. That was in December 2021.
The minds need to focus on how to stop the hegemonic and supremacist lunatics from enflaming conflicts around the globe, which results in the premature deaths and sufferings of innocent people of all ages, by the millions.
“The death of 500.000 Iraqi children was worth it,” the US secretary of state Albright. Do you sense some cognitive dissonance in this statement, or is this how the US Sec of State, from Albright to Nuland-Kagan and Blinken, is supposed to operate mentally?
Thank you. Once again, at the heart of all of this utter senselessness is the neocon ideology which is now the de facto ideology of the US. This, of course, is ridiculous beyond words. What have neocons and their hateful ideology ever wrought? What successes have they ever achieved? Nada. The only and inevitable outcome of their decades of effort have been increasing chaos and destruction, both at home and abroad. Their “plans,” or rather impulses, produce nothing of value. They simply make everything for everyone worse. Except of course, for their own personal profit and aggrandizement. And yet, they are in charge. Note Vitoria Nuland, queen-bee of the neocon network along with her partner Robert Kagan. Nuland wields the power of under secretary of Sate and is the former permanent US representative to NATO. Hell of a job America, elevating these sick puppies to power. Whatever America was or could have been, they have destroyed it, and they are proud.
All empires eventually collapse from within from their own excesses and imperial hubris and some are conquered from without, as history shows, and the uni-polar world, a rather newer term in geopolitics, is taking notice around the globe, especially in the Southern Hemisphere, Asia, and those nations are watching this melodrama of world conquest unfold by what is called the Anglo-Zionist Empire, and starting to see the cause and effect of permanent war and territorial bondage the “Empire of Chaos” has caused, and I strongly believe will side with Russia and China in the end, who prefer Peace and Cooperation rather than Confrontation.
Time will tell.
Mr. Lawrence rightly states:
“But it is a big deal nonetheless, although it is not a big deal in the way Western officials encourage us to think it is. It is a big deal in ways that Western officials do not want us to think about.”
Whenever has it been Western officials want us to think for ourselves?
And now we see immediate rejection of any peace negotiation ideas:
“The US president, Joe Biden, has said it was “not rational” for China to be negotiating the outcome of the Ukraine war, when asked about Beijing’s peace plan for the conflict.
“Putin’s applauding it, so how could it be any good?” Biden told ABC News on Friday.
“The idea that China is going to be negotiating the outcome of a war that’s a totally unjust war for Ukraine, is just not rational.”
Yet Zelensky has said he plans to meet Xi Jinping to discuss said plans.
It’s like watching episodes of “the bold and the beautiful” or “Dallas”.
Nice analogy. Especially when the convoluted plot lines, selfish behavior, good/bad character shifts, and bouts of amnesia typical of soap operas make much more sense than the all too similar US. policies. To declaim “…not rational” then pushes the unfolding tragedy beyond parody.
As a Russian I thank the author for narrating an alternative analysis of the events and the readers -for being interested to read it instead of listening to the songs of the ‘collective west jukeboxes”! I wonder if Russia will extend its list of the world powerhouses it dismantled throughout history: Tatar-mongols, Polish-Lithuanian kingdom, Swidish kingdom, Ottoman empire, Napoleon’s empire, Natzi Germany….
If it weren’t so serious, it would be one long belly laugh. The US and it’s vassals, having started this mess in the Ukraine, want to blame Russia for it and they’re going to bring Russia to it’s knees with the sanctions from hell to quote that idiot Lindsay Graham. And, while it is a true statement of fact that Russia’s economy has been hurt, it is also a true statement of fact that the economies of the US and our vassals have been generally hurt as much or more than the economy of Russia. The dichotomy is that the EU certainly and to a lesser extent, the US needs cheap Russian energy. Russia doesn’t need “The West” to buy their energy. All of this is being driven, not by something that Russia wants but rather by the US”s drive for total hegemony.
The world seems to imagine that the US is a rational player in any conflict. I mean, of course, the conflicts we have usually already engineered ourselves. Didn’t Iraq agree to withdraw from Kuwait in 1991 before we invaded them? Yes. Did Iraq have anything to do with 9/11 before our invasion in 2003? No. All our wars are crusades for bundles of money or extended hegemony over the world. We are not part of any rational equation involving any factors of statecraft. We intend to see our latest enemy gelded and our own citizenry deplatformed. We are now the mute uncle with whom you never wanted to be left alone in a room. We have lobotomized ourselves in a spectacular and unnecessary act of own-goal hubris.
No alternative appears to exist, other than divorce from the US imperium and the establishment of new structures. If the line of contact must be defined by friction, that will be the case. The resources of the Russian Federation allow it to endure as long as necessary, be that 10 or 100 years. The US imperium cannot survive 100 years, and perhaps not 10. The core is rotten and it collapses inward under its own weight. Only its ability to conjure the “reserve currency” – the petro-dollar – sustains it now. That final bulwark is broken and will fail. The Russian Federation – “Putin’s Russia”, I love that – stakes its position for the future. It divorces the past, perhaps with sadness. Were the decision mine to make I would take the same road.
I feel the same way. It is sad to me that I have trouble believing much of what the American elected ones and what so much of our own media degrade too. Joe Biden needs to retire and guarantee to us all that he will not keep popping back up like a jack in the box. Perhaps Kamala will be different when she does not have to mimic Biden.
I see Congress become a club for those who want to rule the universe in some bizarre way. With a planet running out of water, with so many, even younger elected ones acting senile, and to see the corporate ones run things for personal gain—- as opposed to having an intelligent government. I have no idea where we are going but sadly, much of the world seems to act as if WW 2 just ended and they just won! Sadly, we are losing insight and intelligence and no nation can last without that.