By Dave Lindorff
‘We want to see Russia weakened’
— War Secretary Lloyd Austin
We’ve moved into crazy town, with President Biden, who cannot get Congress or even his own Democratic Congressional caucus to back continued aid to families with children through the expanded child tax credit, now asking Congress to provide another $20 billion in military aid to Ukraine (part of a $33-(billion aid package to the war-torn country).
That $20 billion, on top of billions of dollars in military aid already provided, is an amount equal to a third of Russia’s entire 2021 military budget, and is about four times the size of Ukraine’s entire military budget in 2021.
What will Ukraine do with all that deadly largesse? Blow stuff up, and sell what’s left on the global black arms market.
Can Ukraine win and drive the Russians out of the country? I doubt it. The best they can hope for, unless the US wants to risk a global nuclear holocaust by sending in the US Air Force to control the sky over Ukraine, would be for a stalemate, with Russia controlling whatever Ukrainian territory it has already conquered through its illegal invasion, plus Crimea, and with the battered and broken remainder of the country belonging to the government in Kiev.
Ukraine could have had that same deal earlier, probably with lest of the country in Russian hands, and could also have it now, presumably with lots of US and western European economic aid, but importantly, with no more killing and destruction, if it would call for a truce in place and offer Russia the promise of neutrality and no attempt to have the rump nation of Ukraine become a member of NATO replete with US bases, missiles and stockpiled weapons.
That might sound like surrenders some not headed nationalists in Kiev and Washington, but let’s consider the alternative.
US Secretary of War Lloyd Austin on April 25 stated surprisingly clearly that the US goal in this war between Russia and Ukraine is not to defend a free Ukraine, or a partially independent Ukraine. Rather it is to “see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do these kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”
Now I cannot obviously speak for Ukrainians (though a few interviews of the people in cities being attacked by Russian shells, bombs and rockets have expressed the understandable desire, which I share, “for this to just stop,”). But if I were a Ukrainian and I heard or read Austin’s words, i’d be terrified and angry as all hell.
The US Secretary of War, who was a four-star Army general before he took over the entire US war machine, is really saying that the US goal in this war is to bleed America’s long-standing enemy Russia, costing it as much in dead soldiers, destroyed military weapons and wasted economic assets as possible, not to achieve a peaceful, independent and prosperous Ukraine so much as to win a geopolitical victory in the US’s glong-standing goal of global dominance.
That sounds a lot like what critics of US policy in Ukraine have said all along; that the US wants to engage Russia a long war of attrition down to the last Ukrainian.
No wonder Republicans in Congress and desperate Democrats who have seen their chances in the upcoming Congressional off-year elections and the 2024 presidential year elections plummet along with the US economy, are enthusiastically backing Biden’s proposed $33 billion aid package for Ukraine, including that $20 billion in weapons and ammunition. That’s a nice shot in the arm for the US arms industry, on top of the record $1 trillion they just handed the Pentagon (more than half of which will go to the bloated arms profiteers).
The other terrifying thing about what Austin has said is that the policy of bleeding Russia could easily push its leader, President Vladimir Putin, into a corner where, rather than lose to American weapons, he would do a nuclear “Hail Mary” and launch a few tactical nukes at Ukraine, hitting troop concentrations, and perhaps Kiev to see if the US would respond.
It would be a stupid, probably suicidal move, but so was invading Ukraine in the first place, which instead of blocking NATO expansion has taken that creaking Cold War relic and revived it among countries that were growing tired of it like France and Germany.
Between Putin’s lousy judgement and Austin’s and Biden’s hubris, we could I’m afraid, see this easily resolvable crisis turn into an all-out nuclear war, something that the major nuclear powers, as poorly led as they have been through most of the post-World War II era, have somehow managed to avoid for 77 years.
If the ICBMs start flying, when the survivors start picking through the radioactive rubble they should hunt down these cretins in both countries and stick their heads on pikes for the surviving buzzards to pick at.
DAVE LINDORFF is a member of ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site. His work, and that of colleagues JESS GUH, JOHN GRANT, GARY LINDORFF, ALFREDO LOPEZ, RON RIDENOUR, LINN WASHINGTON, JR. and the late CHARLES M. YOUNG, can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net