Showing posts with label Putin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Putin. Show all posts

January 29, 2023

Do we need another Pearl Harbor for some Americans to realize that we're at war with Russia?

 Do we need another Pearl Harbor for some Americans to realize that we're at war with Russia?
By Hal Brown










There shouldn't even be a need for an editorial coming from the editorial board of The Washington Post titled 

How to keep the West solid for Ukraine


It shouldn't be necessary to publish the following:

There will be tests on both sides of the Atlantic. President Biden will need to continue to make a forceful case for an ongoing commitment to defeat Russian aggression. He would be smart to direct that message to a broader international audience — in the Global South especially, where popular opinion could be mobilized against a conflict strikingly akin to an imperial war against a former colony.

Leadership will also be key on Capitol Hill. Last year, liberal Democrats wrote, then retracted, a letter urging Mr. Biden to nudge Ukraine toward negotiation that would likely mean giving up its sovereign territory. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), now the Republican House speaker, said there could be “no blank check” for Ukraine before quickly retreating, saying he meant that Ukraine should be accountable for the U.S. aid it receives. Members of Congress might bear in mind that mixed messaging from Washington will only hearten Russia’s sympathizers in Europe, who will exploit it to undercut support for Ukraine.

Remember the Domino Theory?  It posited that increases or decreases in democracy in one country tend to spread to neighboring countries in a domino effect. It was prominent in the United States from the 1950s to the 1980s in the context of the Cold War, suggesting that if one country in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow. (Wikipedia)

Now instead of a Cold War with Russia we have a hot, a very hot, war between Russia and a democratic country. Communism is irrelevant in this. Anyone who knows the definition of communism understands that Russia isn't a communist country. It is a dictator run aggressor. 

The notion of a line of dominos falling down, the first knocking down the second, the second the third, and so on doesn't apply to what would literally happen if Russia defeated Ukraine and made it into a Russian province. Russia isn't about to attack another country if Russia takes over Ukraine. 

If this came to pass NATO, if anything, would become a more formidable alliance. Nonetheless Russia, although beset with years of fighting a highly motivated underground resistance, would be strengthened economically if they won. Ukraine has been called the breadbasket of Europe and in fact their wheat and corn is a major international provider of food.

Some pundits have predicted that a Russian win in Ukraine would embolden China to attack Taiwan.  I am hardly a geopolitical expert, but I think China's decision about how they deal with Taiwan is a computation with many elements of which the Ukraine war is only one of many.

What I do think is the most important issue regarding Ukraine as far as the United States goes is how many Americans, and Republicans in Congress, are so concerned with getting revenge against Democrats for what they did when they controlled the House and winning the War against Woke.

Come on!

The War Against Woke! 

That this is actually a "thing" is pathetically absurd. Considering that there is a real war, a war where people aren't being brainwashed (as they see it) but are actually dying this is unconscionable. This is a war between a member of the community of democratic nations and a dictatorship which invaded a neighboring country for territorial gain based on the outright lie that it was run by modern day NAZI's. 

What has to happen for Ukraine to become another nation-waking explosion on the level of Pearl Harbor? 

Pearl Harbor has was  referred to in a movie by Japanese Admiral Yamamoto as an attack that woke up a sleeping giant.

Whether he really said it or not is irrelevant because it happened.

The only thing that I think Russia could do on the level of Pearl Harbor is to use some kind of tactical nuclear weapon. If Putin tries to authorize this he risks a military coup, and if such an attack is carried out the retaliation, while I very much doubt it would be nuclear, would be massive. I am sure that the Western military alliance has contingency plans for a retaliation which would once and for all turn the tide of the war against Russia.

This must not happen because a desperate and mentally unbalanced Putin could escalate by attacking a NATO nation. This would basically start World War III.

America has it's own collaborators.

People like Marjorie Taylor Greene might as well be on the payroll of Vladimir Putin:


The same goes for Tucker Carlson:


If the United States was in a declared war with Russia these two and others of their ilk would be seen a collaborators with the enemy and could possibly be tried for treason.

January 16, 2023

For those panicking over America becoming a fascist country let's not forget Russia is committing war crimes every day

 For those panicking over America becoming a fascist country, let's not forget Russia is committing war crimes every day

By Hal Brown

This is not the first time the then Soviet Union committed genocide in Ukraine. Stalin did it through starvation rather than missiles.

Click above to read article.

It is easy to think America first, not in the Trumpian way, but because we live here and what is reported in the news about the MAGA cult and its aspirations effects democracy loving Americans each and every day as we worry, even obsess, about the country becoming an authoritarian state. 

If you're a news junkie like I am you also follow what Russia is doing to Ukraine. Today those paying attention to international news saw articles like this on HUFFPOST:

Excerpt: About 1,700 people lived in the multi-story building, and search and rescue crews have worked nonstop since Saturday’s strike to locate victims and survivors in the wreckage. The regional administration said 39 people have been rescued so far and 30 more remained missing. Authorities said at least 75 were wounded.

Click above to read article in The Guardian

Russia is committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, on a weekly, if not nearly a daily basis. Killing civilians in order to demoralize the country is their primary strategy since they are unable to win on the ground. 


In addition to using the killing of Ukrainian civilians as a strategy Putin is able to use poorly trained convicts and reluctant conscripts to amass waves of 100,000 troops at a time to be basically cannon fodder. 

The NAZI buzzbomb strikes and bombing raids against London targeted civilians as well and supplemented their military engagements against the Allied forces. However from my understanding their main strategy was to win army vs. army, air force vs. air force, navy vs. navy.


Back to current day Russia:

We saw this in June:

It is a travesty that they even are members of the United Nations' let alone a permanent member of the Security Council where they have veto power.


Anyone who values democracy should be taking a stand against Russia. Unfortunately millions of Americans take Tucker Carlson's words like this as a gospel:


Putin is Stalin without a mustache. I wonder whose side the likes of Tucker Carlson would have been on prior to and during World War II. I expect he would have been a leader in the German-American Bund (read article):
German American Bund rally New York, Madison Square Garden, February 1939. Image courtesy of the Department of Defense.

Men saluting Nazi and American flags at Camp Siegfried, New York on October 1937. Image by University of Southern California.

Had the Allies not needed the Soviet Union to fight the NAZI army on the Eastern Front the alliance between this despot and the Allies would never have happened and we wouldn't have had the Yalta Conference and this amazing historic photo.

(From left) Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference, 1945. Click above to enlarge photo.

To conclude:

“Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.”

This famous quote is attributed to the American philosopher George Santayana and it can be accurately quoted as “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” as stated in his work, The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense. His work speaks mostly about the role of rationality in moral philosophy and general ethics.

The problem is with those protofascists who do remember history and rather than wanting to repeat it are trying their damnedest to change the ending so their side wins. They want to avoid the errors of the NAZIS and turn the United States into the Germany Hitler envisioned for the greatest German Reich (read article).

Comment below or on Facebook or on Mastodon. You can make a reply on Twitter too.

October 12, 2022

Some thoughts about Putin's Russia and Trump's MAGAmerica

Some thoughts about Putin's Russia and Trump's MAGAmerica

by Hal Brown 

I used for a background this natural-color image which combines cloud-free data from over 500 Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) orbits with shaded relief Digital Terrain Elevation models from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and other sources. It shows an astonishing diversity of geological features, ecological systems and human landscapes. I meant it to show how from space there are no state lines.

I'll start with the comment I put on the following David Ignatious column in today's Washington Post (subscription):

The parallels between Russia under Putin and what the of MAGA part United States has become struck me. Even if Trump never gets a second term his MAGA cult will remain with us. They envision a United States chillingly similar to those who want Russia to be an imperial fascist country. The equation to describe these segments of the two countries looks like Russian First = America First. The remedy is the kind of transformation that occurred in Germany after World War II.  I don't know how this can happen without the resounding military defeat the NAZI regime suffered. It will require not only a victory of morality over immorality for both countries, but a moral awakening among a large portion of those who adhered to the belief that ultra-nationalism was their credo.


These are what I thought were the most important observations in the column. As you read them substitute how the Ukrainians view Russia with how you view MAGAmerica and how you think these MAGA cultists want the United States to be.

Through Ukrainian eyes, this terrible conflict has become a clash of civilizations. They argue that most Russians support Putin’s brutal war in the way that most Germans supported Adolf Hitler. Unless Russia as a nation abandons the imperial dreams that Putin has evoked, the conflict cannot be resolved through negotiations.


“Russia has to go through the same process that Germany did after World War II,” presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak insisted Saturday in an interview with me and the other members of a group organized by the German Marshall Fund, of which I’m a trustee. “If Russian society doesn’t understand what they’ve done, the world will be brought into chaos.” He enthusiastically predicts that postwar Russia will dissolve into five or six smaller nations.


The word "rebirth" below jumped out at me:


For me, thinking about how this war ends juxtaposes two conflicting lessons of the 20th century. Historians generally agree that the punitive peace imposed on Germany after World War I helped bring on the vicious Nazi quest for revenge. But historians also agree that the decisive outcome of World War II, with Germany and Japan pounded into unconditional surrender, allowed the miraculous postwar rebirth of both countries.

I would rephrase the last paragraph...

Surely, this is a war worth winning. I don’t want to see Russia destroyed, and I think any argument that it is forever an alien civilization is wrong. But the ideology that Putin represents, and that many Russians embrace, must be defeated.

 ... in this way:

Surely, the war against MAGAmerica a war that Democracy loving Americans must win. MAGAmerica can't be literally destroyed the way NAZI Germany as a military machine was. MAGAmerica is currently a country within a country. I think any argument that it is forever an alien civilization is wrong.  But the ideology that Trump and his cult represents, and that many Americans embrace, must be defeated. Those who "reside" in MAGAmerica can't be exiled. They have to be rehabilitated.

This will be a long arduous process which would ideally follow the kind of Democratic Party win in November which Michael Moore predicted (and I wrote about here). 

It would be too much to hope that Rupert Murdock fired his Hitler-Mini-Me money makers, in particular Tucker Carlson. It would certainly help if these ultra-nationalists didn't have a major television platform. 

Obviously it would help the most if Donald Trump, probably reinstated on Twitter, would at least develop severe chronic laryngitis.

We can't be naive. If Trump was indicted, tried, and found guilty of any crimes, and even sentenced to prison or home confinement this would have a huge backlash as his cult would believe he was a victim of the "deep state" and would make him into a living martyr. 

No matter what the January 6th Committee reveals, no matter whether that have incontrovertible proof as to Trump's culpability in more than inciting the attack on the Capitol but being part of a felonious conspiracy it won't matter to these MAGAmericans. They will take this as his being the most patriotic of all patriots.

Liberals like us see articles like this (top) and this (bottom) and hope for eye-popping revelations.


It won't matter because for the MAGAmericans "fascist" is simply a word describing the country they want to live in and the promotion of violence is laudable as long as it is their violence.

We see articles like Utterly devastating”: Legal experts say DOJ filing “pulverizes all of Trump’s arguments” to SCOTUS on Salon but while this news pleases us, it hardly matters because show me a resident of MAGAmerica who reads Salon or even follows news about the legal peril Trump is in and I'll show you a  Where's Waldo where some prankster decided not to put Waldo in the picture.


By chance as I completed this David Ignatius was being interviewed about this column on Morning Joe. There's a good chance that if you are reading this you are a regular viewer of MSNBC and you may even read their website but we can't delude ourselves that any warnings about what Donald Trump's American fascism would look like in reality are even heard by residents of MAGAmerica. I summarized the David Montgomery Washington Post Magazine article "What Will Happen to America if Trump Wins Again? Experts Helped Us Game It Out" here. 

What is horrifying is that diehard MAGAmericans want the country to look like this.


The blog archives are on the right at the top of the page. Here are the last three editions:




October 11, 2022

The horror of a second Trump presidency

The horror of a second Trump presidency

A Washington Post Magazine article excerpted by Hal Brown

If you don't subscribe to the WaPo here are the bullet points from this article:


What Will Happen to America if Trump Wins Again? Experts Helped Us Game It Out.

The scenarios are ... grim.


October 10, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. 

From the article:

To help game out the consequences of another Trump administration, I turned to 21 experts in the presidency, political science, public administration, the military, intelligence, foreign affairs, economics and civil rights. They sketched chillingly plausible chains of potential actions and reactions that could unravel the nation (if Trump is reelected).


Based on what these experts described, here are the three phases described in the article:

Phase 1: Trump seizes control of the government

… He installs super loyalists.

... He governs without Senate advice and consent.

... He creates a MAGA civil service.

Phase 2: Trump deploys the military aggressively at home, while retreating abroad.

... He uses the military to promote his own political power.

In such a scenario, the response of other elements of the federal government and federal law enforcement could be unpredictable. “What that order does is that it fractures the American federal government, because you give an order like that to fire on American civilians and then maybe some agencies will pick it up and some won’t,” says Timothy Snyder, a historian at Yale University who writes about freedom and tyranny. “There’s a very real possibility that giving an order like that leads not to protest being put down, but it leads to some Americans in uniform firing on other Americans in uniform, with the people on both sides being convinced that they are doing the lawful and correct thing.

... American global leadership is finished — much to Putin’s delight.

... Intelligence work is harmed.

Phase 3: Political violence and democratic collapse? It’s possible.

... Ideological, racial and ethnic tensions ramp up.

... The bonds that bind the Union loosen.

... The chances of civil war increase.

That’s when the potential for violent conflict is real. For those studying the implications of these trends, “there’s no scenario that worries us more than that the wheels just come off completely from the restraints against violence in the United States,” says Diamond, of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute. “My biggest concern is what citizens would do to citizens, and what citizens might do to legitimately constituted government authority.”

... 

Could it happen here? Would it be that bad? The message of prophets of democratic doom can sound over-the-top — “crackpot, practically,” acknowledges Wilentz, the Princeton historian. But to dismiss it, they say, would be naive — and they urge vigilance and civic engagement to prevent the nightmare from coming true. 


The article concludes:

After four more years of nihilistic energy like that, the experience of being American could well have been transformed into something unrecognizable. “If Trump wins, I don’t imagine some kind of normal inauguration in ’29,” (Timothy) Snyder says. “If we want a normal inauguration in ’29, we need one in ’25 which involves somebody else.”


Author profile, David Montgomery

Washington, D.C.

Staff writer for the Washington Post Magazine

Education: Princeton University; University of Michigan

David Montgomery was a reporter at the Buffalo News before joining The Washington Post in 1993. He covered Prince George’s County, politics in Maryland and life in D.C., then became a feature writer in the Style section. Now he writes features and profiles for the Washington Post Magazine.
Honors and Awards: 2022 Climate Narratives Prize, 2nd Place, Arizona State University, for "The Search for Environmental Hope" ; 2018 Excellence-in-Features, 2nd Place, Society for Features Journalism, for "After the Fall," the story of a Confederate statue in Demopolis, AL 

Languages spoken in addition to English: Spanish

Afterword: 

Michael Cohen isn't an expert in any of the fields that would provide the type of bonafides that the author of the Post article sought to ask their predictions about the consequences of another Trump presidency. However, he is the only one who knew Trump up close and personal, who was very familiar with his modus operandi and, significantly, helped him implement his nefarious schemes. With this in mind it is worthwhile to consider what he predicts in this article: 




They also cross-publish with Salon, and summarize article published on websites which you need to subscribe to in order toe read them, The New York Times and Washington Post for example. They have an active c0mment section.


September 21, 2022

Putin's nukes, blackmail or bluff? Be thankful Trump's not president.

Comment on stories from the bottom of this page, or you can make them on Facebook here, or re-Tweet or reply with your opinions on Twitter here

Scroll down for main story about Putin

I made these just for the Wonderful Wednesday news:

Trump's renamed social media platform
click images to enlarge


With at least six legal cases swirling around him, this image seems appropriate:




Main Story Below

To be effective the person being blackmailed has to believe that the blackmailer not only has the goods, but that they are willing to use them. A buff to be effective has to make the person being bluffed so nervous that they are willing to give in because they don't want to risk that the threat isn't a bluff. The fact that Putin, referring to using nukes, said "this is not a bluff" suggests the opposite. 



As you all know Putin has called up 300,000 reservists to supposedly use in his attempt to destroy Ukraine and made the very thinly veiled threat to use nuclear weapons. Here's an image of the from page of The Washington Post with the stories below.



I feel relief that it is significant that Putin no longer can count on having lapdog Trump in the White House. I wonder who the audience is for this thundering saber rattling. It isn't President Biden and I very much doubt it is President Zelensky. I have the impression that it primarily for home consumption. 

I don't think he will have President Zelensky and Ukrainian citizens trembling in fear. 

Not only do I strongly doubt Putin would authorize a nuclear attack no matter how limited. It would be figurative and possibly literal suicide for him if this led to an escalation to a nuclear confrontation, or an equally or more destructive retaliation without nuclear weapons on targets in Russia with the West. My hunch is that the West would hold back a nuclear response unless Russia escalated since this could lead incrementally to nuclear Armageddon.

I also have serious doubts whether many of these 300,000 reservists will ever end up on Ukrainian soil.  This assumes Russia actually has well-trained reservists to send to the front, or even that he could avoid a revolt within the ranks with soldiers refusing to put their own lives at risk in a battle they are starting to discover they are losing.

I think Putin has taken his strategy from the Trump playbook and totally brainwashed himself into believing that the MAGA movement with the orange delusional messiah as its leader has been all cowboy and no hat because Trump is a weakling who, unlike him, wouldn't have the cojones to even ride a horse let alone do whatever it is he actually did when he was in the KGB.

I wonder who Putin's real enemies not in prison within Russia are. There have been rumblings in the news suggesting that he is losing support among high Russian officials and members of the ruling class. What remains opaque is the extent of dissension among top military leaders, and there is an impenetrable veil over what plots may be in the process of being hatched in the Federal Security Service (the FSB which replaced the KGB). 

There could be a coup in the offing. If it was initiated by the military I think Putin might be able to retire to one of his opulent dachas (like this one) but if the FSB decided he could become another Trump exerting power in exile they might decide that terminating his presidency with extreme prejudice was the safer solution.





I wrote the following story and put it on Daily Kos on March 11, 2022 and titled it 

Putin's President: The ultimate very used, pre and still ownedex-president sale





Remember the days when used car lots were simply called used car or second-hand car lots because the cars they sold were used? Then it caught on that a better marketing ploy was to de-emphasize the fact that the cars were “used”  or second-hand and call them pre-owned as if the people who drove them before didn’t actually use them. When I thought of the idea of a title for my diary today I wanted to find a free image to use of a used car lot sign for my illustration and found the perfect one considering that it had a rocket on it. This image was on the Wikipedia page for “used car” and is from a Library of Congress collection. It is a sign for a used car dealership in Utah in 1981.  I added the caricatures of Putin and Trump.

Screenshot2022-03-11at8.25.53AM.png

Assuming Trump runs for president again, what are low-information Americans who are not totally brainwashed members of the Trump cult voters going to believe?

Come the run-up to the 2024 election will they believe Trump and those supporting him when they accuse candidate Joe Biden of being owned by the Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party? After all they want you to believe they are dastardly socialists or communists in the mold of Che Guevara, that they are out to confiscate your guns, corrupt our youth with perverted ideas about gender, and teach children that slavery was bad. On the other hand, will they believe the Democrats who will hopefully convey a persuasive argument that Trump was a candidate used and very much owned by Vladimir Putin? 

Trump himself is mired in his own delusional malignant narcissism where he has continued to show incredibly poor judgment by praising Putin and refusing to condemn him in no uncertain terms. See: Trump praises Putin for his move into Ukraine, calling it 'genius (YaHoo News)' and Trump defends praise of Putin even as he calls Ukrainian President 'brave' (CNN Feb. 27).

Now with Putin showing himself to be a modern day Hitler it is not too early for the Democrats and anti-Trump Republicans and former Republicans, including of course those in The Lincoln Project, to start a campaign to remind the public of stories like this which include numerous photoshopped images:

… also in the Daily Mail:

How the world's press has mocked Trump for his fawning Putin summit and branded him 'treasonous', 'weak' and an 'autocrat'

  • Media outlets are mocking Donald Trump over his summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday
  • Headlines went as far as calling the US President 'treasonous', 'weak' and labeled him an 'autocrat' 
  • Backlash follows Trump's extraordinary embrace of Putin - a longtime US enemy
  • White House has struggled to explain why Trump aligned so closely with Putin 
  • Lawmakers in both major parties appeared shocked with Trump's suggestion that he believes Putin's denial of interfering in the 2016 elections 

… and from The Guardian:

Screenshot2022-03-11at6.38.28AM.png

… and this from the Daily Mirror:

Screenshot2022-03-11at6.38.05AM.png

And then there are all the inimitable DonkeyHotey (pronounced Don Quixote) and his caricatures of Trump and Putin which can be used in stories. This one of Putin carrying Trump is the most well known. Below is a caricature used in Paying Russia Back for Election Interference Is an Exercise in Futility story which I hadn’t seen before.

Screenshot2022-03-11at6.04.35AM.png

My related diary with the DonkeyHotey Putin carrying Trump caricature:

Screenshot2022-03-11at5.27.12AM.png


The Sandra Sanders speech wasn't psychiatric word salad, it was deliberate gaslighting

 The Sandra Sanders speech wasn't psychiatric word salad, it was deliberate gaslighting By Hal Brown, MSW Those of us who  watch  MSNBC ...