Westmoreland Revisited

Given the official U.S. optimism over Ukraine’s counteroffensive, Barbara Koeppel concludes that Washington has not learned any lessons from failed wars in Vietnam, and later Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gen. William Westmoreland, second from right, waiting as President Lyndon B. Johnson reads a document in 1967. (National Archives and Records Administration, Public domain)

By Barbara Koeppel
Special to Consortium News
At the end of 1967, the Vietnam War was a stalemate — at least to those who could see straight. Some, like Gen. William Westmoreland, who commanded the American forces, couldn’t.

Thus, in November 1967, Westmoreland claimed “a new phase is starting” in Vietnam.” What’s more, he “could see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Despite his rosy reckoning, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong launched the Tet Offensive two months later, attacking over 100 cities in South Vietnam —even the U.S. embassy in Saigon.

To bolster the half million U.S. troops there, Westmoreland asked President Lyndon Johnson for 200,000 more. Johnson said no and recalled Westmoreland to Washington. The war dragged on for seven more years, killing roughly 3.8 million Vietnamese civilians and troops and 58,000 U.S. troops.
Could failed wars in Vietnam and later Iraq and Afghanistan offer lessons for Ukraine? It seems not.

Although the much-heralded Ukrainian counter-offensive begun in June seems to have stalled, The New York Times has routinely interviewed officials and defense analysts in Ukraine, the U.S. and Europe who are optimistic.

On Aug. 21, its front-page story “Ukraine Troops on Front Line Laud Offensive,” quotes a battalion commander who says “with cunning and Western equipment, the Ukrainian armed forces are breaking through their (Russian) defenses. Success is just a question of time.”

Similarly, on Aug. 18, sources at the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, told the NYT the counter-offensive had made “tactically significant gains.” The group gets its core funding from defense contractors.

Drawing from the Westmoreland playbook, on Aug. 14, Phillip M. Breedlove, a retired four-star U.S. Air Force general and go-to authority in New York Times pieces, said “we have not given Ukraine the tools it needs” — although as of this month, the U.S. had sent nearly $77 billion in humanitarian, financial and mostly military aid. Breedlove also touted Ukraine’s military as “one of the best equipped and most battle-tested in Europe.”

Breedlove, then NATO’s supreme allied commander in Europe, in May 2014. (NATO, Flickr,CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

On Aug. 3, the Times quoted “defense analysts” who claimed the “Ukrainians were beginning to wear down Russian troops and artillery.” They didn’t mention lights or tunnels, but the words were eerily similar.

Even as recently as Sept. 11, the Times quoted Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who acknowledged the counteroffensive had “gone slower than anticipated.” But he added that “the Ukrainians are still plugging away with steady progress.”

Perhaps the Times’ general support for the war — the paper has run very few stories to the contrary — is not surprising: at least two members of its Board of Directors have close links to the defense industry.

For example, Robert Denham, on the board from 2008 to 2021, is a partner at the law firm of Munger, Tolles and Olson, which represents Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Beth Brooke, who joined the board in 2021, is global vice-chair of public policy at Ernst & Young, which lists Lockheed Martin as one of its “largest clients.”

The inaugural roll-out of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter, a major military procurement, at Lockheed Martin’s facility at the Naval Air Station/Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, July 7, 2006. (U.S. National Archives)

A Times story on Ukraine on Thursday quotes Ben Barry, a fellow at the U.K.’s International Institute for Strategic Studies. He says, “Ukraine’s ‘deep battle'” against targets far behind enemy lines “has shown signs of success in disrupting Russian military operations” that “may set Ukraine’s forces up for breakout success or diminish Russia’s combat power.”

The Institute is funded by Lockheed Martin, the U.S. State Department and the U.K. Ministry of Defence, among others. The group Transparify gives the Institute the lowest rating, “deceptive,” on funding transparency.

The Times is not alone in opting to interview the optimists. On Aug. 23, The Washington Post quoted National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who said “we do not assess that the conflict is a stalemate.”

A few mainstream media take a more nuanced view. For example, on Aug. 20, the Financial Times noted that “US officials are increasingly critical of Ukraine’s counteroffensive strategy and gloomy about its prospect of success.”

And on Aug. 20, The Economist wrote that “hopes of a quick breakthrough have dwindled.” Even The Washington Post noted on Aug. 17 that “nearly all analysts agree that Russia surpassed expectations when it comes to its proficiency in defending occupied territory.”

A bombed-out school in July in Orikhiv, around which much of the fighting has taken place in western Zaporizhzhia. (Dsns.gov.ua, Wikimedia Commons,CC BY 4.0)

Some analysts whom the mainstream media don’t quote see a tragedy.

Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired U.S. Army colonel and former special assistant to the chair of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (Gen. Colin Powell), told the podcast Dialogue Works, that:

“as a military professional, it’s clear to me the war has been a recipe for complete defeat. Any military expert not paid by the media or isn’t stupid knows this is an uneven contest even with NATO throwing everything it can except its own soldiers into the battle. Yet we’re backing them to the last dead Ukrainian. … The Ukrainians are surely fighting for the things all of us would fight for. But we’re cheating them because they’re not going to win. Look how many people they’re losing. From that you don’t recover.”

Lawrence B. Wilkerson in 2016. (Slowking4, Wikimedia Commons, GFDL 1.2)

Wilkerson’s calculus is based on the

“extreme imbalance of forces. You’ve got a nation with 140 million people up against one that has gone from 40 million down to about 30 million. Russia has the numbers, ferocity, depth and stubbornness that comes with that. It also has one of the world’s most robust industrial bases that even the Nazis couldn’t overcome in WWII with one of the best armies on the face of the Earth. … What Putin has done is cruel and brutal. But he’s reacting to what we did by expanding NATO and putting ballistic missiles with nuclear capabilities in new NATO countries.”

Further, Wilkerson says “it was hogwash that Putin threatened the rest of Europe. We and London played that up because we thought that would solidify NATO. This is dangerous.”

Moreover, on Sept. 7, Jens Stoltenberg, general secretary of NATO, told the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs that Putin wanted us to promise “never to enlarge NATO….close to his borders. We rejected that. So he went to war to prevent NATO expansion.”

[Related: NATO Chief: NATO Expansion Caused Russian Invasion]

Wilkerson doubts the wisdom of officials interviewed on CNN and other mainstream media. He points to David Petraeus, the retired U.S. Army general and past director of the C.I.A., who claims we must provide Ukraine with new weapons. Wilkerson said:

“These sources aren’t changing their minds because they’re caught in their own rhetoric. I would ask David, whom I’ve known for some time, when’s the last time you won a war? He lost in Iraq. He lost in Afghanistan. He had to resign from the C.I.A. So I wouldn’t take David’s advice on how to pickle a herring. Nor would I take the advice of most generals or admirals speaking on television because they’re part of the empire’s war machine. Overall, NATO’s path has been incredibly ill-advised: We had an opportunity post-Cold War to make Russia a part of Europe in a genuine way. But we didn’t.”

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Wilkerson fears what can happen when you “start losing badly — unless you’re willing to escalate majorly. Not just nuclear but also the conventional part. If you go down this dangerous road, you begin to provide F-16s. Then you fly the airplanes yourself and come into the war more forcefully. No troops on the ground yet, but that ultimately will happen. And then you’re in a World War. So nuclear powers must avert confrontations that bring adversaries to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war — which is a collective death-wish for the world.”

[Related: It’s Hard to Think About the End of the World]

Wilkerson’s predictions were partially realized on Aug. 21 when the Times reported that the Netherlands and Denmark will donate 61 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine “once pilots and engineers are trained.”

President John F. Kennedy warned of such dangers in his 1963 commencement address at American University:

“Total war makes no sense when great powers maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resorting to them.”

President John F. Kennedy with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna in June 1961. (National Archives and Records Administration, Public domain)

JFK stressed diplomacy, as does Wilkerson, who says “it would work if people were serious about it. But they’re not because they make too much money off these wars — money that goes into U.S. political coffers and into Moscow’s oligarchs’ coffers.”

Wilkerson notes that in the late 1930s,

“Dupont and Ford Motor Company sold supplies to Hitler and Ford even sent them during the war. You then understand that we’re staying in Ukraine because we’re making fortunes off of it — Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, in particular.”

Toxic Outcome

Flooding in June in Kherson, Ukraine, downstream of the destroyed Kakhovka Dam. (Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0)

There’s also the issue of noxious hazards when the war ends. In an  interview, Matthew Hoh, associate director of the Eisenhower Media network, a Marine veteran and State Department consultant who resigned over the escalation of the Afghan war in 2009, warned,

“Ukraine will be toxic for decades. First, there are the ‘duds’ — the shells, missiles, bombs and grenades used by both sides — that don’t explode. Even if the dud rate is only one percent, that’s an astounding amount of unexploded ordnance. We’ve seen what happened elsewhere.”

As late as 2016, Smithsonian Magazine reported “thousands of tons of unexploded bombs are in Germany, left over from World War II.”

In Vietnam, the non-profit, “Project Renew,” has removed thousands of unexploded bombs in Quang Tri Province, alone.

Map of Vietnam War Easter Offensive 1972 with location of Quang Tri Province circled. (San Andreas, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

And NBC News reported on Aug. 11 that in Poland, “builders working on a new residential area uncovered a mega-bomb buried in the ground, also from WWII.”

Further, pollution from war materials is extensive. Hoh explains, “When thousands of tanks or other military vehicles are blown up, the fuel and oil lubricants spill out, as do the vehicle’s explosives.

“Also, both sides have placed millions of land mines. Though warring countries are expected to track where they put them so they can remove them when the war ends, often they’re not recorded. Worse, many were moved by the massive flood when the Kakhovka Dam in eastern Ukraine broke on June 6. They could be anywhere.”

Moreover, Hoh points to the toxicity of weapons made with depleted, undepleted and slightly enriched uranium, as were used in Iraq and Afghanistan. He asks “how many generations of Ukrainian women are going to give birth to deformed kids? How many will get cancer?”

[Related: Consortium News’ depleted uranium coverage]

According to the World Health Organization, in 2004 Iraq had the highest leukemia and lymphoma rates in the world, closely followed by Afghanistan.

“Regardless of who wins, they’ll win a land that’s destroyed, toxic, and filled with unexploded bombs and shells,” Hoh says.

Barbara Koeppel is a freelance investigative reporter based in Washington, D.C.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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37 comments for “Westmoreland Revisited

  1. Andrew Thomas
    September 17, 2023 at 22:41

    I am also mildly disappointed that Colonel Wilkerson believes it is necessary as a tactical matter if nothing else to throw in the Putin is evil and the brave Ukrainians are fighting for all the right reasons propaganda, because he is surely well enough informed to know the truth. However, he is already on the margins of allowed discourse in the US; not professing that ‘established wisdom’ would probably get him thrown to the curb once and for all.But, if the figures regarding some cancers in Iraq and Afghanistan are correct, it is the first I’ve heard of it, and those facts add a lot to the list of war crimes committed during this century by the US Empire. His discussion of unexploded ordnance was also useful, especially in the detail and the effect of the destruction of the dam. Finally, it brought back to the front of my cluttered mind a report I heard on NPR driving into work about 30 years ago. A French, or maybe Belgian farmer had just been killed when the farm implement he was using by hitching it to the tractor he was driving hit a piece of unexploded ordnance- from the Franco-Prussian war, 120 years earlier. We’re just 50 years out from the untold millions of much more ‘advanced’ explosives the Empire dropped all over Southeast Asia. They have many decades of joy in front of them. If any part of Ukraine stays semi-inhabitable, if horribly damaged and dangerous, perhaps the Empire, with all of its ‘advanced technology’ can help set up multinational virtual group therapy chat rooms where Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, Iraqis, Afghans, Ukrainians and others can share their hideous stories with each other and help each other cope. It is the least it could do.

  2. Jimm
    September 17, 2023 at 17:11

    Very good article and comments. The post 9-11-01 statistics on death, destruction, and monetary costs reflect evil incarnate. Joe Six Pack nailed it.

  3. CaseyG
    September 17, 2023 at 15:14

    I remember seeing a “before he was a “leader,” film of Zylenskyy with his partner, and both were pretending to play the piano with their penis. Then he was suddenly the leader of Ukraine. He went to D.C. and, he just keeps screaming for more money and Pelosi gives him an American flag in a tri-corner box. Then he started getting lots of U.S. money
    Many , many Americans need more economic help and I value these citizens above Zylenskyy and his group.

    I vote for more help to more Americans, and the next time that Biden falls down—don’t try to catch him. It just mean that Biden needs to retire NOW!

  4. Victor Sciamarelli
    September 17, 2023 at 14:45

    Barbara Koeppel made a good case that out leaders have not learned any lessons from their failed wars without adding the lessons they should have learned.
    First, the US did not lose the Vietnam War. It was not defeated, never surrendered or forced to accept terms surrender.
    Instead, it was South Vietnam (SV) that was defeated and lost the war. SV was the imaginary country, or whatever you want to call it, that the US created and convinced the American people needed to be defended from North Vietnam’s aggression.
    Afghanistan in 2001, the US bombed the country, removed the Taliban government, and set up its own friendly government.
    Iraq in 2003, the US bombed the country for 30 days, removed the Hussein government, and set up its own friendly government.
    Libya in 2011, the US led NATO attack removed the Qaddafi government but setting up a new friendly government didn’t work out so well.
    We almost did something similar in Syria but the Russians, allied with the Syrian government of al-Assad, were invited in to help.
    Ukraine in 2013, the US orchestrated a coup that ousted an elected president whose term expired in 2015. The US friendly government, following our advice, has just about led to Ukraine’s ruin.
    Regardless what anybody thinks of George W. Bush or Trump, it is unlikely Americans would accept a foreign country bombing Washington and installing their own leader. Yet, US elites insist interfering in another country will somehow work for both the target country and the US no matter how often it fails. IMHO, this is the lesson elites are unable to learn.

  5. Greg Grant
    September 17, 2023 at 13:52

    I just rewatched all 3 1/2 hours of the les-crises.fr Ukrainegate videos. Based on that it seems pretty clear that Zeleneskyy has to have enough goods on Biden’s corruption and bribery adventures in Ukraine that he could severely damage him with it. Therefore, Biden must be compelled to give Zeleneskyy anything he wants. At this point that’s up to and including long range weapons that will drag us directly into a hot war with Russia. So connecting the dots, we have Biden taking bribes so he can have a ’67 Corvette to brag about, ultimately leading to WWIII and the end of the world. It’s just so much fun to live in a world where that can happen.

  6. Tony
    September 17, 2023 at 13:48

    Very sound analysis there by Wilkerson.

    Please make sure that your friends and members of your family are made aware of them so that we can build opposition to this appalling war.

  7. Dr. Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib
    September 17, 2023 at 13:47

    Strangely in today’s America it is quite difficult to find Kennedy-like material of sanity; still even characters like Wilkerson would do. Americans should get him to run for President because there are signs of sanity in him; though would that sanity remain in place once he is on the saddle ? That would be an entirely different question. The priority of the hour though is to reign in American elites’ bear-baiting addiction, like bull-fighting this is one bloody game that must be stopped immediately !

  8. Frank Lambert
    September 17, 2023 at 11:22

    On General Westmoreland, he wasn’t a bright man, at least many of us thought that about him.

    Going back to Ms Koeppel’s article on the general, I remember back in March or April in 1967, our infantry company was on the LZ (landing zone) waiting to board the Huey helicopters to make an air assault in another search and destroy operation (how Christian, huh?) looking for the so-called bad guys. t was hot, and we stood in a modified formation waiting for “Westy” to fly in and hear his speech. We already used the camouflage stick on our faces and arms, which was beginning to melt as his aircraft was late in arriving. Anyway, Westmoreland gave us the pep talk and all, telling how great the ARVN (South Vietnamese Army) were doing, which they were not, and that the war would be won in another 6 months or up to a year. Words to that effect. When he said that, we mumbled to each other, “Is this guy for real?” as we knew the ARVN didn’t have their hearts into the fight, as did the courageous Viet Cong guerrillas and the brave PAVN (People’s Army of Vietnam) which were the North Vietnamese Regular Army soldiers, fighting against us foreign invaders and wanting to liberate their country from the corrupt regime in Saigon which Uncle Sam supported.

    And now, the crazies in the Department of War are willing to risk a nuclear exchange for world conquest Very scary!

    An excellent book for those who study and keep up with geopolitics which I highly recommend was written by the astute scholar, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, titled: “The Globalization of NATO”.

  9. Randolph Williams
    September 17, 2023 at 10:58

    It’s all about selling arms and raking in 10% off the top. As Country Joe McDonald told us: There’s plenty good money to be made by supplying the Army with the tools of trade. That’s what Iran/Contra was about, that what Granada was about, etc.
    Read David Hackworth’s book or his Issues & Answers interview about the failed leadership in Viet Nam.
    Until Americans remind our politicians that they are public servants and not rulers, it will be the same old same old.
    We must also take back the press from corporate control and make politicians accountable, or nothing will change.

  10. robert e williamson jr
    September 16, 2023 at 20:50

    Maybe the single most troubling thing about the U.S. being the instigator of this fucking mess is what our military, bases it’s strength on “owning the skies”.

    We all know this is a given. The logic should follow then that all our military should understand the concept of reaching the point of “no return” archaic or not.


  11. rosemerry
    September 16, 2023 at 15:31

    “sources at the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank,”
    !!!!Excuse me, “a neocon group led by Victoria Nuland’s sister in law Kimberley Kagan”.

    • Robert
      September 17, 2023 at 22:21

      You just made my day worse in informing me that there is a 3rd Kagan (Kimberly). Good grief !! No country in all the world can recover from 3 Kagans in positions of power.

  12. September 16, 2023 at 14:02

    20 years of continuous war since 9/11 and what have we accomplished? According to the Costs of War project, the federal government has spent and obligated $8 trillion for our war efforts in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere through FY22 (which ended nearly a year ago). For all that money, what was accomplished? Approximately 4.5 million people (about 15,000 Americans) died directly from combat injuries or indirectly from food scarcities, infrastructure destruction, sanitary conditions, war induced anarchy and crime, and other causes.

    Add to the $8 trillion direct cost, the cost of replacing destroyed homes, factories, business enterprises, infrastructure and the cost of medical care, food and shelter for the survivors. Then add the cost of relocating millions of displaced people (not to mention the human tragedy of all their losses). Then add the effects of environmental pollution from loss of sanitation facilities, irreclaimable scrap building materials, radioactive materials from depleted uranium, unexploded munitions and other crap generated by war. And finally, don’t forget the contribution to global warming from greenhouse gasses emitted from deployment and logistics fuel expenditures, fires created by munitions, and cleanup and reconstruction activities. (And don’t even think of the emotional costs.)

    All of that for $8 trillion. And how did we benefit from that expenditure? Obviously, the executives and stockholders of Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing, Blackwater, Lockheed Martin and other war contractors benefited substantially; and a number of their employees got paid living wages (which they could have gotten otherwise by spending the money on some useful enterprise). But as far as I can tell, I didn’t get any benefit from it. Did you? Maybe I’m missing something. If so, I hope someone can enlighten me.

    What I do know for certain is that we are squandering our national wealth and our children’s future at an unsustainable rate. Our national debt, which is already over 120% of our national GDP has been growing since 9/11 at nearly twice the rate of the GDP (8.43% vs. 4.36% per year). At some point in the not too distant future, our creditors are going to be reevaluating the risk of their investments in the US debt and changing their investment strategies accordingly. When that happens, the economic sky will certainly fall.

    Again, I ask, for what? How are we benefiting? Why are we doing this?

    • Valerie
      September 17, 2023 at 08:57

      I believe W.R. those are questions to which there are no definitive answers. As i see it, it boils down to human hubris, arrogance, greed and stupidity. (And perhaps hatred.) It’s exhausting trying to speculate on the reasons for their actions.
      But you are right about squandering wealth. And squandering the health of the planet.

    • Robert
      September 17, 2023 at 22:43

      “Our national debt has grown annually by 8.43% since 9/11 while our GDP has grown by 4.36%.” Well, those numbers are very likely to get worse rather than better. Between 2008 and 2022 our debt exploded from $8 T to $32 T. But interest rates remained at historical low rates, averaging about 1.7%. Well, everything finally changed in 2022 and non western world governments are no longer willing to purchase our newly printed Treasuries at 1.7%. Try more like 4 + %, and then do the math on carrying costs on our national debt.

      $ 8 T X 1.7% vs $ 32 T X 4% is a budget nightmare. I don’t see any way out other than inflation. You know ….. borrow $ 1 dollar and pay back .60 cents.

  13. Frank Lambert
    September 16, 2023 at 11:53

    Timely article by Barbara Koeppel, and the 12 comments posted so far. The American Love of War has been ingrained in the consciousness of too many people for over a half a century, perhaps longer, as our wars of aggression are justifiably noble.

    Denial of truth is an obstacle everyone should overcome and think critically of the policies that have bankrupted the nation, both monetarily and morally and oppose them as best we can.

    Most empires have collapsed from within after reaching their zenith, and fewer are conquered from without. The U.S. economy, infrastructure, healthcare, educational systems, have been deteriorating for decades, and now, with AI (artificial intelligence) to replace as many human workers as possible, is the toxic solution for the globalist tyrants for control of the world and everything on it.

    On the Ukraine, the Russian Federation must prevail, and they will. The Ukrainians are not fighting for their freedom, the Big Lie, but at the behest of Western Capitalists and the international bankers (the IMF World Bank) plus Black Rock and Vanguard, et al.

    NATO, led by the decadent U.S. is the biggest threat to humanity and are used as gunmen for the above mentioned.

    Economics Professor, Michel Chossudovsky’s brilliant book, “The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order” published in 2003, seems like it was written this morning as it’s not dated and I highly recommend it for those interested in geopolitics.

  14. Kevin Hughes
    September 16, 2023 at 11:28

    Washington has not learned any lessons from failed wars in Vietnam, and later Iraq and Afghanistan…….They are expendable, that is all the ruling Elite need to know.

  15. Observer
    September 16, 2023 at 10:20

    Ah, fond memories … [/sarcasm-off] Gen. Waste-More-Land (as we used to call him) was probably the first pure PR general, whose main function was to spout BS to Congress and on the TV news.
    Someone, who worked with him every day for some time, said in private afterwards that he was “too dumb to chew gum and tie his shoelaces at the same time”.

  16. Horatio
    September 16, 2023 at 08:19

    The only sane way of looking at this conflict is to quote general Smedley Butler: “War is a racket.” With this as a backdrop it is important to consider that there are two wars going on. One, the obvious guns and bombs, noise and killing. This is the war the people are aware of. This is what the great mass of people see. The other war is the profit that is engendered by the conflict. Consequently, the U.S. is winning, albeit for the people that profit. The poor suckers who die. Well, it’s their tough luck. It matters little to complain what goes on in the first instance; the war makers are dancing to another tune. Until we find a way to de-fund this war, the only hope is for a Russian victory. Black Rock is even wringing its hands in glee at the prospect of re-building the country. Then, of course, it will sell out for a nifty profit to the MIC and we are on a war footing (and more profits) again.

  17. Vera Gottlieb
    September 16, 2023 at 06:06

    America’s arrogance will never allow it to learn ANYTHING!!!

  18. cookie out west
    September 15, 2023 at 21:59

    ok, trying again…..NYTimes and Washington Post are in the Democratic establishment, supporting Biden reelection. Remember Arthur Miller “The Crucible” written during the McCarthy era….The U.S. has a sense of self-righteousness, regime change, proxy war, etc.
    always projecting the enemy/evil outside the administration that oversees our aggressions, sometimes as Noble…i.e. Ukraine.
    As Vice President Biden he was quite involved in Ukraine. (Of course, his son Hunter was, but no MSM will allow that to be examined)
    The so called progressives in the Dem Party vote for more money to Ukraine. Where are the peaceniks today? This article is on the mark in bringing up our past U.S. history with wars abroad. As Pete Seeger sang; “When will we ever learn…?

  19. cookie out west
    September 15, 2023 at 21:50

    The NY Times and Washington Post are totally in the pocket of Democrats, focused on reelection of Biden, who has been a hawk on the Ukraine/Russia (U.S.NATO proxy war) Of course, as Vice Pres Biden had involvement in Ukraine….Of course,. the so called liberal media is not gong to question Hunter Biden’s Burisma (Ukraine). / Anyone who tries to question this war from the start (Sy Hersch, Chris Hedges et al) are not given an opportunity in MSM. And if anyone dares to say that Trump wanted to get along with Putin, they are label right-wing extremists. The Democratic establishment, including so called Progressives as AOC, Bernie Sanders. etc. vote along Yes for more money and weapons to Ukraine. A lock-step party it is now. Dissent in the U.S. is tiny. / Freud warned about those who consider themselves “enlightened” and look down, or oppose any who disagree with them….as a great danger to society. Projecting the shadow, the enemy outside on to others….Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” comes to mind….written during the McCarthy persecution days/ / “When will we ever learn….” as Pete Seeger sang during the Vietnam War.

  20. wildthange
    September 15, 2023 at 21:10

    The military industrial complex of western civilization is in a runaway process state. Full spectrum dominance and permanent warfare demands an ever increasing share of the world resources and is an existential threat to collapse all of human civilization.
    The addiction to aggression and male dominance behavior has to end for human civilization to survive.
    It is no coincidence attempt to outlaw wars and feminism in the 20th century has give rise to an extreme masculinity problem for western world values.

  21. September 15, 2023 at 18:34

    You know, we’ve already suffered so many humiliating defeats that one more can’t do much harm to our image. Given that, I recommend we go ahead and declare a humiliating defeat now and get it over with rather than wasting another 20 years.

  22. VallejoD
    September 15, 2023 at 17:21

    We have met the Evil Empire and it is US.

  23. September 15, 2023 at 16:15

    “We have not given Ukraine the tools it needs” – Gen. Phillip M. Breedlove. “We need to give them a half dozen B21’s and three dozen Mk 83 thermonuclear bombs”. – Dr. Strangelove

  24. JoeSixPack
    September 15, 2023 at 15:55

    Wrong conclusion.

    At what point to people begin to understand these actions are intentional and not mistakes. These are not mis-calculations. That these are not wishful thinking.

    The United States wanted to draw Russia into a quagmire. Afghanistan 2.0. This was stated repeatedly. Get Russia bogged down in Ukraine. Winning was never the objective. A quick decisive victory for either side achieves nothing. Mission accomplished.

    The United States wanted to drive a wedge between Europe and Russia. Mission accomplished

    The United States wanted to drive Europe away from Russia for energy and become more dependent on the Unites States. Mission accomplished.

    The United States wanted to de-industrialize Europe. Mission accomplished.

    What happens to Ukraine does not matter to the United States. Again, the goal is not to win. The goal is to deplete weapons reserves so new weapons can be purchased.

    But you can’t achieve these goals if the perception is you are going to lose or are losing. If people think it is useless then they will question your actions. That is the point of the media and government stooges that promote the narrative everything is fine.

    • VallejoD
      September 15, 2023 at 17:22


    • Tim N
      September 16, 2023 at 08:44

      That’s right. There would be no war without the US’ provocations, which were designed to start the war.

    • September 16, 2023 at 14:28

      You got it, Joe: $$$.

    • Rob
      September 16, 2023 at 17:19

      I agree totally. That weakening and de-industrializing Europe was a major goal of this war is proven by the destruction of the Nordstream pipelines by you know who. The great mystery is why the leaders of European nations continue to participate in the demise of their own countries. Are they all on the take?

  25. Selina Sweet
    September 15, 2023 at 15:48

    As long as “the general” gets a kush retirement menu – of consulting fees, lobbying options, sucking up media cash for “expertise” – why in the heck would he – they are mostly “he” – not vote with his tongue wagging “yes more war” – while his hand extends palm up for Raytheon et al and supposedly august nightly news to dump piles of money in it? These boys with stars on their chests and mountains of bones constituting their wake – which instinctually makes them avoid looking back at them all (self-reflection) – have lied and lied and lied – along with their Presidents. This is not a cynical statement. That the Pentagon’s un-auditable accounts are of a magnitude inversely equal to the level of scruples possessed by the criminal minded in charge of the institution utterly disgusts. Isn’t a criminal one who breaks trust (law) through deceit (commission and omission) to enrich himself at another’s expense, and so damages them? Law must be passed requiring 7 years of unemployability upon military retirement. At least. The Pentagon should be broken apart. it’s a human institution and anything made by humans can be unmade by them. Break it up into pods. Subject every single employee – military and civilian – to year long ethics and constitutional courses which they must pass in order to continue employment. A one time exam. No exceptions. For rank, illness, lateness. Failure = the boot. It is the citizens’ Pentagon. Not the military’s. Who pays whom?

    • Tim N
      September 16, 2023 at 08:46

      A determined sociopath can fake their way through any morals or ethics test.

  26. Jeff Harrison
    September 15, 2023 at 15:23

    The sick part is that this is a war that Russia didn’t want to fight.

    • September 15, 2023 at 18:40

      The other sick part of this is our willingness to murder Ukrainians and destroy their country just so that we can make a few Americans richer.

      • bleak
        September 16, 2023 at 20:50

        Yet another sick part is many Americans still can’t point to Ukraine on a map.

    • rosemerry
      September 16, 2023 at 15:29

      True, and Putin, the wicked devil to the UK and some others, spent 8 years trying to arrange a peaceful agreement to keep the Donbass as part of Ukraine but with human rights to Russophones and continue the agreement Ukraine had for the Russian Fleet to remain at Sevastopol at least up to 2042. The hatred of Russia and making her an enemy was NATO’s decision, not Russia’s behaviour.

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