David Stockman Military Politics

Sleepy Joe’s $33 Billion Abomination

Trump Derangement Syndrome still lives on in America's political debate as virulent as ever.

By David Stockman / Antiwar.com Blog

Donald Trump has been well relegated to the sidelines of America’s political debate, but the TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) lives on, more virulent than ever. The latter is what’s behind Washington’s descent into the current mindless Ukraine war fever – an outbreak of irrationality that makes even the post-9/11 hysteria seem like an orderly discourse.

At the center of this madness, of course, is Vladimir Putin, the Devil Incarnate. Prior to February 24th he had attained that designation in Imperial Washington not because of his rough methods of governance in Russia or small time military forays in the 2008 South Ossetia/Georgia dispute or in putting down alleged terrorists in Chechnya, but because according to the RussiaGate hoax he had thrown the election to Donald Trump in 2016, thereby shockingly interrupting the rule of the bipartisan duopoly.

Accordingly, for the next four years the apparatus of official Washington–including the MSM in cahoots with the national security state – did not cease in its vilification of Putin via the running RussiaGate Hoax, the phony Mueller investigation, the rogue impeachment proceedings and the nonstop MSM linkage of Trump’s unwelcome presence in the Oval Office with the nefarious doings of Vlad Putin.

At length, the TDS got so virulent and all-consuming inside the beltway that the resulting enmity toward Donald Trump became coterminous with the demonization of Putin. Consequently, when Trump got ushered off the stage (barely) by the American electorate in November 2020, Washington’s war on the Donald simply got re-focused with fevered intensity on Putin.

Needless to say, with the politicians in both parties foaming at the mouth against Vlad, the Deep State and military-industrial complex had a field day hyping Russia into a national security threat that was not remotely justified, but which did massively distort policy.

That includes perpetuating the Donald’s insanely bloated national security budget even further to $813 billion in the FY 2023 Biden request; stonewalling Russia’s reasonable proposals of December to reset security arrangements in eastern Europe, which would have precluded the devastation now besetting Ukraine entirely; and, after February 24th, turning the intramural dispute between Russia and its historic vassal and stepchild, Ukraine, into a purported history-defining contest between peaceful Democracy and belligerent Autocracy – a struggle that justified launching a global Sanctions War against the very essence of the dollar-based payments and trading system upon which America’s tenuous prosperity precariously rests.

As a result of TDS-come-Putinphobia, Washington is now on a doomsday path that has no rational end game except the risk of WW III, when the objective facts of the matter scream in the opposite direction. That is to say, in an objective and rational world, Washington would not be touching the Russia/Ukraine dispute with a 100-foot pole because it implicates nothing of consequence for America’s homeland security.

In the first instance, Russia is not a direct military threat to America notwithstanding some of its fancy new weapons and ultra high speed missiles. America’s triad nuclear defense is still fully in tact and as lethal as ever. That means as between Russia and the US on the nuclear front, mutual assured destruction (MAD) still prevails, meaning that Russia would never launch a nuclear attack against America because of all the things Putin is, suicidal is not one of them.

By the same token, the idea that Russia poses a credible conventional military threat to the American homeland was always ludicrous, but is now laughable. In six weeks it has not been able to subdue a weak neighbor with which it shares a 1,900 Km open land border (no mountains, no waterways, no walls!). So where in the world comes the historically unprecedented armada of carrier battle groups, massive air fleets and endless divisions of tanks and mechanized infantry required to invade and occupy the US of A, located is it is 8,000 Km away on the far side of central Eurasia and beyond the great Atlantic and Pacific moats?

Besides, the GDP of Russia is $1.6 trillion versus $24 trillion for the US. And for better or worse a Russian attack on America would bring NATO’s article 5 into play, thereby mobilizing $43 trillion of total NATO GDP, which is 27X more economic girth than possessed by Russia; and also $1.2 trillion of combined NATO military budgets, which is 18X Russia $65 billion military budget.

So, no, there is no plausible Russian military threat to the American homeland, leaving Washington’s scary story stuff to the realm of lurid Warfare State scenario conjuring.

For instance, there is the baseless notion that Ukraine is just a stepping stone in Putin’s grand plan for recreating the former Soviet Union. And unimpeded in Ukraine, he would not hesitate to roll through Poland, the Baltics and the Balkans in the creation of an empire that would eventually dominate Western Europe, too, leaving the US all alone, cowering behind the Atlantic and Pacific shorelines.

Alas, anything remotely leaning in this direction amounts to the unalloyed humbug of retired military officers and deep staters who are paid by think tanks and the MSM to scare the public and the politicians alike into acquiescing into $813 billion of military budgets that are a not only a colossal waste, but a fount of the schemes and threats which actually undermine national security. The Washington sponsored Maidan coup of February 2014, which fractured Ukraine’s fragile polity and opened up the civil war against the Russian speaking Donbas that has now morphed into a prelude to WW III, is only the latest example.

The fact is, Putin is a Churchill level historian and the Russian leadership still has memory muscle that goes back to Soviet times. They know that Poland, the Baltics and much of the non-Serbian Balkans is a hotbed of deep anti-Russian sentiment that would make even an attempt at conquest a bloody, economically draining fiasco.

Putin may not appeal to the sensibilities of the dandies who scribble out Cold War 2.0 screeds at the Council on Foreign Relations, but his methodical crushing of the Ukrainian resistance demonstrates that he is the Cool Hand Vlad of the present ere. As such, he is not about to fall for hopelessly impossible enterprises like the recreation of the old Soviet Union.

To the contrary, his operation in Ukraine is not the prelude to recreating the Soviet Union, but the coda to unfinished business in the 1300 hundred year history of Russia and its “borderlands”, the latter term being the Russian meaning of the word “Ukraine”.

Accordingly, scratch any current map of the battle front in Ukraine, and what lies on the Russian controlled side to the east and along the shorelines of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov shows up as “Novorossiya” (“New Russia”) on any map made between 1764 and 1917.

Even here, it is not crude Russian revanchism that motivated Putin’s desperate last resort invasion of February 24th; it was for better or worse, Moscow’s frustration with the relentless push of Ukraine into NATO on a de facto basis, and the relentless assault on the Russian speaking populations of the Donbas that over the eight years after the February 2014 coup had lead to upwards of 14,000 civilian deaths and the utter destruction of towns and cities in the breakaway Republics every bit as horrific as the nightly MSM fare with respect to Russian bombing on the other side of the battle front.

So in a world not besotted with the TDS, the alternative course of action would be straight forward. No Washington sanctions; no taking sides in the Ukraine civil war and age-old disputes between Russia and its vassal; no supplying of weapons to the hopelessly outgunned Ukraine military that only prolongs the war; and a complete Washington renunciation of any interest is extending NATO to Ukraine or other ex-Soviet Republics, along with a pullback of US forces and missile installations from former Warsaw Pact countries that are now members of NATO.

Under that non-TDS scenario, this is what Washington would do in the name of homeland security and it would bring an end to the war and the pointless destruction of Ukraine in a heartbeat.

Needless to say, under this benign scenario, Joe Biden would not be asking Congress for $33 billion of additional Ukraine war funding, including more than $20 billion in “security and military assistance,” $8.5 billion in economic aid, and $3 billion in “humanitarian assistance” And, of course, this comes on top of the $4.6 billion in security assistance the U.S. has given Ukraine since January 2021, including $3.7 billion since Russian forces invaded the country in February.

All of that is an abomination, midwifed by the TDS and resulting irrational demonization of Putin. Yet the truth is, America’s homeland security does not require that a single dime be spent on Ukraine!

Likewise, it also most definitely does not require a single Congressional cowboy or cowgirl to be visiting a remote corner of the earth that does not have a damn thing to do with the security, liberty and prosperity of the American people.

As it was, they spent a little over three hours on the ground. The delegation included a “who’s who” of the Dem House leadership – none of whom had the slightest idea of where they were or understood that the silly marionette they meet with had nothing more in mind that dragging America into a shooting war that is none of its business:

The meet and greet delegation included the following: Reps. Gregory Meeks of New York, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Adam Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence panel, and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, who leads the House Rules Committee. Democratic Reps. Bill Keating of Massachusetts, Barbara Lee of California and Jason Crow of Colorado were also part of the delegation, according to Pelosi’s office,” as listed by CNN.

As it happened, Nancy Pelosi let loose of her best TDS idiocy:

“We are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom, that we’re on a frontier of freedom and that your fight is a fight for everyone. And so our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done.”

Alas, she may be right, but not in the good way she imagines.

David Stockman

David Stockman was a two-term Congressman from Michigan. He was also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street. He’s the author of three books, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution FailedThe Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America and TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin… And How to Bring It Back. He also is founder of David Stockman’s Contra Corner and David Stockman’s Bubble Finance Trader.


  1. David Stockman is a former member of the Council on Foreign Relations – they hand around just long enough to learn their talking points and then go back to dwell among us with a new, “enlightened” outlook … as the Dollar moves to an eventual collapse, he’s also said some strange things: 1) he insists that physical gold is not a sound investment because it is too volatile, and 2) he refuses to recognize physical silver as top-3 asset …

    1. @Douglas G Carlson
      Other than nothing, what does anything you wrote have to do with what Stockman wrote here? Idiotic irrelevant personal attack.

  2. A great deal of vitriol and personal abuse per square centimeter of text. Are you trying to outtrump the barely outvoted ex pres? over 6 million majority.
    Then you have also claimed that Ukraine is not really a country just like India and many other previously occupied lands. Many Chinese live in a region of San Fransisco too but I haven’t heard of China demanding autonomy for Chinatown SF or being reluctantly forced to blast the place to dust.

    A little more decorum in your style might increase the credibility of your stand

    1. @Dyfan Lewis MD
      You are really good at out-of-context half truths. Are you CIA? Probably not, as CIA wouldn’t arrogantly or insecurely put “MD” after a name.

  3. As always, brilliant, to-the-point commentary from DS.

    Run for President??

  4. An excellent analysis of this stupid situation. really, the only reason we are in there is because of the Arms Manufaxturers !!! Incredible. And nobody will listen to me because I. Am “too extreme”!!!

  5. Get real. All of this is War Porn. The USA-UK-Klanada and others, they have been whipping up war hysteria and war crimes for decades. Long live Russia, and way to go Operation Z.

    Listen to a real person commenting on the BS of AmeriKKKa.

    Andrei Martyanov: Debunking Fakes – May 9th, Zmeinnyi Island fiasco, Pentagon, Fakes, Nuclear subs in… Black Sea


  6. Clear and concise, as I recall you always were when you were the Budget man in D.C. I will spread this as far as I’m able, which isn’t far as it likely will get intercepted…but thank you very much Mr. Stockman, much appreciated by this not-a-conservative-by-any-means old activist. Truth is welcome by people of any political stripe. Keep up your brave work.

  7. Thanks for an informative article. Mr. Stockman is right. The US is in no way threatened by Russia, the regime change of which has been the goal of the odious Clintons since the 90s. They and the MIC/Weapons makers are chortling with glee over the thought of bogging down Putin in one of their beloved forever wars. It mean billions more in the pockets of our oligarchs, the war criminals who run our country.

  8. Here’s the comment in a letter from Sen. Kennedy of Louisiana: “This invasion of Ukraine is a a mass-casualty event and represents the largest ground combat operation in Europe since World War II. After a month of intense fighting this war has already cost the lives of thousands and has led to millions of refugees fleeing battlefields by escaping to neighboring countries. Unfortunately, President Putin’s forces continue to inflict heavy civilian casualties as a result of indiscriminate fire. Civilian hospitals, orphanages, neighborhoods and even a maternity ward have been hit by Russian fire. In no uncertain terms, President Putin is a thug. The people of Ukraine will not let their nation be stolen from them without a fight and the free world stands united behind the brave defenders. President Putin must be made a pariah, and Russia must be isolated financially from the rest of the world, including its energy sector. I do not support sending American troops, but I do support devastating sanctions and continued military and humanitarian aid.”

    It’s hard to know if his thoughts are sincere. Where is the end game? That’s what I asked him in my letter to his office. There’s no way to defeat Russia short of nuclear war.

    1. @ john b holmes

      well I’d say he’s a clown and not fit for office if that’s his best take on the situation.
      unfortunately from all I hear that’s in fact to prerequisite for office in the usa today.

  9. I think this is wonderful and I hope to make good use of it in my attempts to spread a little sanity and balance around.

    Seems to me it is not quite right to say

    ” a remote corner of the earth that does not have a damn thing to do with the security, liberty and prosperity of the American people. ”

    I think it misses a most important point. In fact Russia has very much to do with all those things, for better or worse, depending how you look at it.

    For the USA depends mightily on its ‘military industrial complex’ doesn’t it?

    On its colossal expenditure on the machinery of war.

    So there’s a direct effect on the people. Now what’s the justification for all this military expenditure? It is traditionally (by now) the evil Soviet empire.

    Which no longer exists.

    But the phobia does. And is fueled constantly. And constant attempts to conflate, of course, the terrible evil of ‘Communism’ which also doesn’t exist.

    And that’s all this machinery, this phobia, this vast industry, the mainstream American ‘prop’ has going for it.

    Myth. Fear of a phantom. Irrational phobia.

    Russia has less than half the population of the USA. 90% of the American population, I’d guess, would have absolutely no idea of that.

    Russia’s wealth – it’s GDP – is roughly equal to that of Australia, a country of some 25 million people. I’ll bet virtually NO Americans have the faintest idea of that.

    There is absolutely no threat to the USA from Russia. None. The most Russia can ever do is thwart American plans here and there. Give some aid to people that generally much need it because of American mistreatment.

    Witness Bashar Al-Assad of Syria whom the USA dearly wanted to remove the way they removed Gaddafi and Hussein using American created ISIS as their proxy.

    Whilst telling the world what a terrible scourge ISIS was and how hard they were trying to find and eliminate them. All the while truck convoys moving ISIS oil to Turkey to enrich ISIS and the Americans aware, watching from the sky just as any govt. with access to the satellites could and doing nothing.

    Russia stepped in and blew the convoys away. Shortly thereafter: no ISIS.

    That’s what Russia can do. And does. And the USA hates Russia for that.

    But mainly Russia is America’s bogeyman and the USA does everything it can to keep that bogeyman alive. It’s not that Russia is no threat to the USA it is that Russia sustains and maintains the USA by being the patsy, by being the scapegoat, the fall guy, always the villain.

    If Russia were peaceful and forging alliances in Europe – if it had been admitted to NATO as it requested – the USA would lose its spurious rationale for the central plank of its economy.

    Russia is critically important to the thoroughly corrupt USA.

    Now we see what is it – 40 Billion dollars of American taxpayers money being diverted into the pockets of the munitions profiteers, Russia conveniently playing its usual role.

      1. @Rob Roy & Arthur Brogard
        Then you have to talk about U.S. empire, because that’s the reason for this war. The U.S. wants to expand its empire and make sure that Russia doesn’t horn in on it, so we have this.

        I see this as more of a human problem than a U.S. problem. The U.S. is the premier evil on the planet at this time because it’s been more successful at domination. But all empires end, and once the U.S. empire ends another one will eventually take its place unless humans evolve mentally and spiritually in the meantime. Humans need to greatly downsize their egos and materialistic desires, for starters. And it’s not just the rich & powerful, although they’re the worst of humans and cause the most problems. It’s everyone who has too much ego and/or is materialistic, which is the vast majority of humans.

      2. @Jeff

        I have lost the thread so I’m not at all sure what’s behind your comment, what I’ve said, what else has been said – this happens to me sometimes in this forum with this format that it has.

        So I’m really just responding to what you’ve just said in the email notification of a post that I got from yahoo.

        I agree with what you say. That’s my understanding of the situation, too, currently.

        I’m a layman. On a learning curve that began two years ago with the transparent Covid madness – or maybe a little earlier with the transparent 9/11 madness, or perhaps with the ‘weapons of mass destruction madness’ – I”m not sure, but in my long life whenever it was it amounts to ‘fairly recently’.

        More and more I discover I’m an inhabitant of an empire of evil, or madness, or rampant childish stupidity at the very least.

        I am right now reading ‘The War Against Putin’ and I’d recommend it to anyone, in fact it should be compulsory reading I think – most especially the last chapter, before the ‘conclusion’.

        When I’ve absorbed it I might be able to comment in threads like this with something more to add. A bit more weight to my convictions perhaps, a bit of ‘proof’ or substance to my contentions.

        The American empire. Yes. And ‘humans evolve mentally and spiritually’ yes, indeed. Exactly. Precisely the thing that is needed.

        For all the appearances to the contrary it is not the evil leaders and cabals and agitators etc. that matter: it is the vast mass of ‘ordinary’ people, isn’t it?

        For it was the ordinary people who turned on each other to do the will of Stalin, of Mao Zedong, of Idi Amin, of Hitler, of any and all madmen – of the madmen that made everyone lock themselves up hiding from the common cold etc..

        Our basic weakness and flaw is our laziness and disinclination to think for ourselves on the one hand and propensity to do evil, do harm to others, on virtually any pretext, with the lightest of direction from ‘authority’.

        I think we need to turn our attention to the mothers.

        I think we need to address the mothers of the world. All of them. Clearly, simply and truthfully. I think they will understand and listen and act.

        It’ll be a world first though, I think, won’t it?

        What I’m suggesting is we promulgate the idea that mothers educate their children on a couple of very simple and very essential things that should have far reaching consequences. Like:

        . Hurting other people is always bad. Never do it if you can avoid it.
        . Think for yourself. Don’t blindly accept anyone’s urging.

        How can sadistic guards flourish, guards forcing people into cattle cars, extermination squads, invading armies, pogroms, ethnic ‘cleansing’ and all the rest of it? How can it all happen?

        Because people are taught nothing, I think. Virtually nothing.

        There is little or no emphasis on the mother/child nurturing.

        Our whole education/indoctrination system is left to ‘big brother’ and organised education, so called ‘scholarly’ and what we get at the end of it is such as we see everywhere in the world today and as we’ve seen throughout the ages.

        And that is populations who believe its okay to inflict pain and even death upon others even in the absence of any apparent reason.

        What we see is how easy it is to divide any nation into two and set the two halves at each other’s throats.

        The USA above all seems entirely composed of this mentality. They don’t seem to have a ‘two party political system’ so much as a perpetual civil war.

        And ‘civil’ is a bit of a pun. A characteristic of much web text from the USA is the incivility of it. They seem to automatically reach for epithets and abuse, attacking the person rather than the issue at hand and so on.

        I was taught to defend myself and never go beyond that. And to think for myself and not be led by mischief makers, never be part of the mob.

        And it was my mother mainly taught me that, all her children. With the blessing our father but all day every day, our mother.

        I don’t know what mothers teach today and I never see any mention of it anywhere but if they’re teaching that then I think they’re not teaching it well enough and they’re not being helped by a prevailing ethos outside the home.

        I think it should be recognised the power of the mother’s nurturing and ‘programming’, ‘indoctrinating’ and the benefits of a culture wherein self defence and non aggression and individual responsibility and independent thought are valued.

        All the people need to raise their consciousnesses sufficiently to immediately recognise when their nation has been torn in to two and the two halves set at each other’s throats or the one side exterminating the other: and refuse to participate in it, refuse to do it and immediately turn and find the culprits who are urging this behaviour.

        it should be impossible to make us behave like this.

        While ever we as a group, a national group, can be coaxed into this kind of behaviour we are, as a group, psychologically unsound, schizophrenic, pathological – unschooled, uneducated, barely more than wild animals.

      3. Thank you for your thoughtful response. Food for thought and much appreciated. I know young mothers who are teaching their children this path. I just don’t know if there are enough of them.

      4. @Rob Roy
        Thanks for the kind words. Good to know that at least some people are trying to teach their kids the right things. Kids end up doing as adults what they SEE their parents doing, not necessarily what their parents tell them. So hopefully the young mothers you describe are living what they teach and not just mouthing it.

      5. @arthur brogard
        I was responding to your post about Russia’s importance to U.S. goals and its military/industrial complex and how these issues are characterized.

        I’ll just respond to (basically agree with) a couple of your points, then respond generally.

        As to all the Putin demonization: Like all world leaders, Putin is egotistic and wealthy, so he has those things going against him. But compared to U.S. presidents, Putin is barely noticeable as a killer or war monger. And if you listen to Putin’s opinions and proposals for the relevant issues, going back to Oliver Stone’s interview with him, his positions are perfectly reasonable. He even refers to the U.S. and other rivals or enemies as “our partners,” a much more evolved description than the “evil villain” characterization of him and Russia in the west.

        As to living in Mordor: The vast majority of people have no clue that they live in the evil empire. They see the U.S. as a force for good in the world, despite the fact that there’s absolutely no evidence to support this. Rulers have to convince people that they’re doing the right thing; if they don’t, the people won’t support it and may even revolt. Most people are not interested enough in politics to spend enough time trying to figure out what’s really going on and to get past all the lies & propaganda, so they’re easily manipulated and brainwashed. The real problem here is that we have a society that’s been on the wrong path since humans began using agriculture 10-12,000 years ago, and it only gets worse with time because we keep going farther down the wrong path. With a population that focuses on all the wrong things, we get leaders who push in the wrong directions.

        My general comment is this: Humans’ only proper role on this planet is to expand our consciousness (let me know if you want an explanation why, it’s a somewhat lengthy explanation). We should be focused on that, on wisdom, and on empathy (for the Earth and all life on it, not just for other humans). Instead, humans have focused on ego, intellect, and unnaturally & very harmfully/destructively artificially manipulating the natural/physical world. That’s the real issue, not only here but everywhere. Fix that and you fix everything that could legitimately be called a problem. Don’t fix it, and you fix nothing substantial. It would take thousands of years to set things right on Earth to the extent possible because of all the human killing and destruction, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. In fact, it means that we need to get started right now!

      6. @Jeff

        I’m always interested to hear of ideas along those lines. You could send your lengthy dissertation to me via ‘truth’ at covidhonesty.com if you feel like it, I’d be happy to see it.

        In case it clashes I perhaps should state that I hold a view very similar to yours but perhaps with a fatal mismatch, I don’t know.

        It is this: we are spirits of life and we come from the universal ‘consciousness’ or ‘spirit’ or whatever and we inhabit human bodies in order to learn something – a particular ‘something’ for each individual, chosen by themselves for the sake of their own development – and that would be my interpretation of ‘expanding consciousness’ and at the end of our lives we go back whence we came to possibly repeat later or not, I don’t know, depends on the individual spirit I’d think. I am very influenced by the NDE accounts which I consider are 90% real and do describe a real thing and that real thing something that was probably, almost certainly, experienced by all the famous old ‘prophets’ and ‘seers’ and ‘enlightened ones’ etc of the past who gave birth in the end to our silly religions devoted to obeying the dictates of men, wearing silly costumes and fighting with other people addicted to similar devotions.


      7. @arthur brogard
        I don’t understand how I’m supposed to send something to a website. What do you mean that I should send it “via ‘truth’ at covidhonesty.com”? Do you mean email it to truth@covidhonesty.com?

        As to your view about life: I don’t know where expanding our consciousness would lead, by definition. If we expand our consciousness, we’d be more mentally and spiritually advanced than we are now, so we have no way of knowing where this could lead. I also think, feel, and believe that we are all just part of the universal consciousness (“we” meaning all life, not just humans). I also agree that what happened with religions is that they quickly got perverted, but that they were actually based on real spirituality in the beginning (not necessarily all religions, but most of them). However, only dead people know what happens when you die, and they ain’t talking.

        Anyway, explain how to send you something, and I’ll send you a PDF of an outline of a book I’ll probably never get around to writing that explains my viewpoint in more detail.

  10. Mr. Stockman,
    Thank you for writing a truthful and thoughtful account of this latest US war of aggression. I would like to express the full extent of my utter contempt of this bipartisan exercise in foolishness which puts us at risk of WWIII, but words fail me. I will just say that, like the bipartisan support for the current application of the US wrecking ball to its latest victims (in this case, both its intended target, Russia, and its proxy/victim, Ukraine), my contempt for both parties is truly bipartisan. Neither is fit to govern. Neither was Trump. The poor quality of what passes for “leadership” is due to the total corruption of the legalized bribery electoral/political system we now have. This Country is the most destructive force in the world today, and has been since the end of WWII. I doubt that it can be reformed.

    1. @Jim Thomas

      Sure looks that way, Jim, doesn’t it? But don’t give up hope. America has the strength of being a Federation which means the States have a large degree of autonomy.
      This means we don’t have to pray for the whole thing to suddenly come good at once and despair of the unlikeliness of that.

      We can pray for more and more States to come good one after the other and have a lot more optimism it can happen.

      After all it happened with the Covid madness didn’t it?

      And we have an advantage now. Back then there was almost universal belief in the probity of our office holders, of the benevolent aims of our governments, of the truth of our media, of the unshakeablity of ‘natural rights’ and it sure took some time for the awful truth to penetrate.

      But now a very large percentage of us have swallowed those bitter pills and are ready to move on to clear headed and open eyed consideration of facts.


  11. Terrific essay! One of the best analyses I’ve read of the Ukraine War.

  12. With the irony of fate, Putin has done Zelensky a favor by demilitarizing the ultra-right-wing extremists who, since he was elected, prevented him from leading the country and concluding a peace deal with Russia that the Ukrainians wanted and that he had promised in the election campaign.

    USA did not help him but chose to support the ultra right-wingers in a proxy war against Russia, even though Russia in no way poses a military threat to NATO, so imagine if USA in a Obama-style had chosen to say, we have your back, Zelensky, boots on the ground and a signed peace agreement, what beacon of light for democracy and freedom, a USA that the people of the world could look up to and admire and what competitor to that could Russia be?

    But now USA has to hide the lack of format and sinister motives in a total demonization of Putin and what is Russian, with the addition of an indignant and hypocritical fig leaf that one must not invade, as well as a very costly saber-rattling, so Putin not occupy the whole of Europe as they say.

    But why not seize the moment in time as Whitney Houston sings so beautifully and here one may have to be inspired by the stutter of Biden, because some researchers say stutter arises as a result of a child experiencing where there id demands they on the given time not can cope.

    There is more emphasis on strength than spaciousness and it is, so to speak, not possible for them to seize the moment in time and therefore they stutter, but they might as well react outwardly and give in to fight , to combat the high demands by proxy.

    So when the United States so fiercely wants to fight with Russia by proxy, it may be because inequality has become so great that it is to difficult to fullfil the American dream, other than in an ideological military crusade against a Russia there is no real threat.

    So the USA has become a stutter and the solution is to fight inequality, it is the USA’s moment in time, seize it, and may God be with you.

  13. I have to say your ridiculous TDS explanation left me cold. If Trump is not deranged and a sociopath of the highest order, I’d like to know who is.

    While I am not a Biden booster, I think your characterization of “Sleepy Joe” loses credibility for yourself.

    I don’t think the reason we are helping Ukraine has anything to do with national security. Even the MIC would admit that. And while I am totally opposed to the MIC which is the one entity benefiting from the debacle, your putting the blame for Putin’s actions on Biden seems very politically partisan.

    1. You have zero evidence Trump is deranged, or a sociopath or is anything more than a particularly talented & troublsome political adversary. You suffering from a broken ability to evaluate US politics in clear light – you are mortally biased.

      As a life long Liberal, I am so sick of the whole litany of Liberal make-believe characterizations about others in this country, starting with foundational nonsense that Liberals are smarter or more good than conservatives, which is not only statistically impossible but false in fact. Then on & on Republicans you don’t like are someone subhumans, up to Trump being some special evil. It’s bullshit layered on bullshit, the gall of the ego’s of shallow Liberals is disturbing to listen to.

      1. Yes. You’re sick of the childish and stupid level of debate that consists entirely of postulations, exhortations, abuse, attacks on persons, clear unreasoning reflexive partisan support, misdirection, falsehoods……. etc.

        Me too. I’d imagine hundreds of thousands of us. Millions.

        So let’s find better venues. I can suggest none. I don’t know of any.

        Please inform us all if you do.

        In the meantime we can only deal with what we’ve got and try to improve the venues we have.

        Which means avoid being sucked into diversions, red herrings, false directions.
        Do not react to personal abuse.
        Never employ their methods.
        Stick to the point.
        Have a clear point.

        The clear point at this time, the over-riding point, should be to find peace in the Ukraine as soon as possible.

      2. I understand what you are saying about liberals, but Trump taking turns with Epstein raping a thirteen year old child for four months isn’t sociopathic I don’t know what is.

      3. C.Kent,
        My response to your comment is down below (though I hit “reply” when it showed up in my emails).

  14. This essay punches well, and in the right places. Just on criticism, the; “alleged terrorists in Chechnya” that were put down by Darth Putin were responsible (among other acts) for the Beslan School Massacre:

    “… that started on 1 September 2004, lasted three days, involved the imprisonment of more than 1,100 people as hostages (including 777 children) and ended with the deaths of 333 people, 186 of them children, as well as 31 of the attackers. It is considered to be the deadliest school shooting in history.” (Wikipedia)

    Though the author gets most things right it’s a peculiarity of Russian Derangement Syndrome that myths pervade the narrative, one being that Russia was wrong in Chechnya. Chechen soldiers for the record are in Ukraine for the Russians today, indicating that bad blood between Chechnya & Russia exists strictly in the minds of West.

  15. Fully agree about the harms that TDS and the Russiagate lies have caused. There’s no way there would be this much support for this war in the U.S. if not for these very successful propaganda techniques.

  16. ” turning the intramural dispute between Russia and its historic vassal and stepchild, Ukraine,”
    This is not an intramural dispute ( as the one in Donbass). This is unprovoked aggression by Russia against a sovereign state, in flagrant disregard of the UN Charter, international law and Russia own commitments.
    The argument that any country has the right to attack its historic vassals can be used to justify the UK attacking most of the world (including USA), Japan attacking China, Turkey attacking the whole Middle East and North Africa, and of course Russia attacking the Baltic states, Poland, Moldova , all the ex Warsaw states and more.
    Is this the world you want to live in?

  17. Piece of human stain, now, writing . . . . for faux progressive outfits. Stockman!!!

    Get real. Trickle down David, and his golden showers of assisting that other human stain, Ray-Gun, gut not only the hope of social welfare safety nets, but destroying them for generations on.

    Read real stuff, and forego this bloody Republican, Stockman!@#$%&:

    Supporting social movement struggles against free trade and investment agreements

    Latin American site on biodiversity and food sovereignty

    Food crisis and the global land grab

    Spanish magazine on food sovereignty

    Newsletter on food sovereignty

    Oh yeah . . . .

    Memorializing a President Who Could Really Lie
    BY DAVE LINDORFFFacebookTwitterRedditEmail

    The gushy praise of the late Ronald Reagan as a “great communicator”–which is polluting the airwaves from Fox TV to NPR–is enough to make anyone not suffering from political Alzheimer’s retch. Still, all the public fanfare makes it clear we have to do something to acknowledge the guy.

    My suggestion: put his face on a special limited-edition three dollar bill. Consider his vicious anecdote about an alleged “welfare queen” driving a Cadillac, a blatant fabrication.

    In fact, much of the Reagan patter that so endeared him to the racist and reactionary public that was his target audience was fraud and mirrors. What he really ought to get credit for is being a very congenial and convincing liar, which was just what his pro-corporate handlers wanted and needed. The winning smile and the charming bob of the head were great devices for deceiving his viewers and listeners.

    But the two terms of the Reagan administration, far from being an era of good communication between the government and the governed, were an era of government based upon secrecy, fraud and deceit.

    It was the Reagan administration that pardoned FBI agents who had been convicted of Cointelpro abuses committed under President Nixon.

    It was also the Reagan administration that effectively gutted the Freedom of Information Act, one of the more profound open government reforms to result from the Nixon scandals. That undermining of FOIA-an essential first step that allowed Reagan’s government of lies to operate–was never fully repaired during the Clinton years, and has been carried further under the current Bush administration.

    The Reagan administration also began shutting down crucial information about government–for example eliminating much important information gathering about medical costs and outcomes that used to be collected and disseminated by the Department of Health (then the Department of Health and Welfare). The idea behind these measures was to make it harder to monitor the impact of Reagan-era budget cutting of human services.

    Reagan lied too about U.S. foreign policy, which began to rely, perhaps more heavily than ever, and certainly more heavily than in the Carter years, on secret wars and secret destabilization actions–the Contra war against the government of Nicaragua being the most blatant of these, but hardly the only example. Military backing of the death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala were two other particularly ugly cases.

    The entire government budget policy was a humongous lie, as budget director David Stockman belatedly admitted–a lie which was secretly designed to simply bankrupt the country to force an end to the welfare state.

    It’s hard to imagine a bigger fraud being perpetrated upon the public than this deliberate wrecking of a nation’s finances to achieve a public policy result that was not supported by the majority of the public.

    And now the man who oversaw this program of government-by-deceit–a man whose presidency, it should be added, spawned the current equally mendacious presidency–is being praised not only as a great president (sic) but as a great “communicator.”

    In the 60s, with Democrats overwhelmingly controlling congress again, Medicare became law and health care for seniors became a right. That’s as far as we got. Vietnam and the Republicans’ race-based “Southern Strategy” splintered the Democratic party.

    A decade later the senescing Ronald Reagan and the “conservative” wrecking crew that surrounded him held the Capitol and the roll-back began in earnest. They knew what they wanted: More money in rich people’s pockets and a bigger military. And they knew what stood in the way.

    Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman was clear that “sweeping curtailment of middle class entitlements” would be necessary. Though it would be prudent to keep that part of the plan “shrouded in mystery, at least temporarily,” the Reagan Revolutionary was clear that “huge tax cuts and a big defense increase,” would require “storming the twin citadels of the welfare state—-Social Security and Medicare.” (see Stockman, The Triumph of Politics, 1986)

    1. “But the two terms of the Regan [Obama] administration, far from being an era of good communication between the government and the governed, were an era of government based upon secrecy, fraud and deceit.” Throughout most of your commentary, you can replace “Regan” with Obama, the most disappointing president I can recall, since everything he campaigned on was a lie. He was rotten, as were the Bushes, Clinton, now Biden. As you know, we will NEVER be allowed a good president. If a good person gets popular, s/he wll be smeared, called a Putin-puppet or Russian agent, even killed. Both parties are equally disgusting. More war! Must have enemies! Bigger war budget! Less healthcare! Get rid of anything that’s good for people. It’s not going to change, now that censorship is rampant and getting worse by the day.

  18. The more I read about conflicts between nations, and then I see the corruption behind the scenes with money passing hands in shady business deals, all I see is that these countries are all in bed together, putting on a play for the world, a play to induce fear into the public such that the public will react a certain way. This is a lie and Fraud on a huge scale. Oh and don’t call it Conspiracy Theory, it is FACT pure and simple. And the entertainment industries are well entrenched in the play, with its illuminati hand and eye signs, as slaves to an industry that owns them and their souls.

    1. @Edward W Case
      Political scientist Dr. Michael Parenti gave a lecture 30 or so years ago on the pro-establishment messages in entertainment media, I believe Hollywood specifically. There are some very good anti-establishment movies, but they’re rare and I don’t think any come out of Hollywood.

    2. Interesting comment and accurate take, except the innocent country involved is Russia who was prodded and goaded into the situation by the evil NATO, the US and the billionaire war weapons manufacturers, and the gleeful Clintons, so happy this has come to pass, as planned.

      1. I am of the same mind. I just wish Putin had found some other way. I would dearly like to hear from Putin on that question alone: why did he feel he had no other alternative?

        There is no doubt in my mind that we, courtesy of our governments, are bad, bad, bad.

        We demonstrate it anew every day all day.

        A horrific demonstration, to my mind, is the swamping the Ukraine with ‘gifts’ of small arms meant to be handed out to the population. Explicitly aimed at arming the whole population.

        Which is to make targets of them all. As though the Azov battalion hadn’t already done enough, sniping from hospitals and apartment blocks, now there’s a clear invitation for every man woman and child in Ukraine who can lay hands on one of these to do the same thing.

        And then they express surprise and horror when homes, hospitals and apartment blocks are brought down by shelling?

        And they force the civilians down into the cellars as a ‘safety measure’ before they snipe from the upper floors. Then the building comes down and the people in the cellars dies. And they express horror and hatred.

        This is an orchestrated insanity and all because the USA does not want a strong Russia and/or an even stronger Russia + Germany.

        And men, women and children all over the place dying because of that.

        Yep. I’d like to hear what Putin has to say about why he had to do that and then.

        I know he’s already spoken before the event. I’d like to hear what he has to say now.

        Is that at all possible? He’s saying things? There’s people can breach our censorship, our propaganda wall and get to hear? Can pass it on?

      2. What alternative did Russia have? It had tried in good faith for eight years to resolve all issues by agreement. The UN was no help. The bias shown by Gutteres against Russia is shameful. All he did was condemn the commencement of the special operation, no mention of the crimes committed by the US and its Nazi thugs. Nor did he attempt to intervene with a peacekeeping mission. He did nothing. Russia had no remedy with which to address the US aggression against Russia. Had it continued to allow the aggression to proceed, the planned massive invasion of the Donbass by the US/Ukrainian government would have proceeded, resulting in the murder of thousands more of Ukrianian citizens(in addition to the 13,000 to 14,000 already murdered). The US would then have proceeded to use Ukraine as a missile base with which to threaten and attack Russia. Russia had no other alternative than to use force.

      3. I don’t know what alternatives he had. I just wish he’d had some and used them.

        Or mitigated this alternative somehow – accompanied it with a saturation propaganda attack explaining his side of it. You know the simple overall important features are still completely unknown to the masses?

        Perhaps have left out the KIev ‘feint’ if that’s what it was and made a very clear and sole attempt to reinforce the Donbas against Ukrainian aggression from the North ?

        I don’t know.

      4. Russia had exercised great patience, diplomacy of the highest order (in contrast to the pitiful and embarrassing display by the amateurs posing as US diplomats) and exhausted all hopes of obtaining any help from the UN (to Gutteres’s shame, there was no help forthcoming or offered, only a biased “condemnation” of Russia). Here is an excellent analysis by a highly respected scholar of geopolitics and international law, Norman Finkelstein, on the subject:

      5. Jim Thomas,
        Yes, Norman Finkelstein’s talk is perfect and cold stops anyone arguing with him. He is the only person who asks what I’ve asked people: “What else was he supposed to do?” Thanks for the site. I also recommend it to others here.

      6. @arthur brogard; Jim Thomas; Rob Roy
        You are all right. I’m conflicted about this like arthur, because I’m anti-war and oppose all invasions of other countries. But that’s the only place I find fault with Russia here, the rest is the fault of the U.S., both directly and through NATO. My position is basically the same as that of China: Russia was wrong to invade, but the U.S. is the cause of this war. Other than invading, I don’t know if Russia had any other option to stop NATO expansion and aggression, though I wish Russia had been more imaginative, like maybe teaming up with China to exert financial pressure on the U.S. in order to try to stop it (the U.S. is in deep debt to China, so that’s one area of leverage that could have possibly been used).

      7. Check it out if you can —

        Where is the War in Ukraine Going and What Should be the Response of the Peace Movement?

        Monday, May 23, 2 PM Eastern


        Scott Ritter – Former UN Weapons Inspector
        Ajamu Baraka – Black Alliance for Peace
        Sara Flounders – International Action Center
        Alan Freeman – International Manifesto Group
        Moderator – Joe Lombardo, UNAC Coordinator

  19. And sign up for daily updates by,


    for instance,

    The failure of the U.S. to respect the sovereignty of nations in the region and its decision to exclude states from the Summit disqualifies it from being a credible host

    For Immediate Release

    Media Contact
    202 643-1136

    MAY 12, 2022—The arbitrary decision by the government of the United States to exclude Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela from participation in the regional Summit of the Americas – scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, June 6 to June 10—represents another example of imperial hubris and delusion.

    Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently announced that he would boycott the Summit unless all countries in the region are invited. Some member states of CARICOM and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, including Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and Grenadines, are also considering not attending the Summit. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, stated that his country “does not believe in the policy of ostracising Cuba and Venezuela.”



    Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on MAY 16, 2022

    Edward Curtin

    While the so-called liberal and conservative media – all stenographers for the intelligence agencies – pour forth the most blatant propaganda about Russia and Ukraine that is so conspicuous that it is comedic if it weren’t so dangerous, the self-depicted cognoscenti also ingest subtler messages, often from the alternative media.

    A woman I know and who knows my sociological analyses of propaganda contacted me to tell me there was an excellent article about the war in Ukraine at The Intercept, an on-line publication funded by billionaire Pierre Omidyar I have long considered a leading example of much deceptive reporting wherein truth is mixed with falsehoods to convey a “liberal” narrative that fundamentally supports the ruling elites while seeming to oppose them. This, of course, is nothing new since it’s been the modus operandi of all corporate media in their own ideological and disingenuous ways, such as The New York Times, CBS, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, Fox News, CNN, NBC, etc. for a very long time.

    Nevertheless, out of respect for her judgment and knowing how deeply she feels for all suffering people, I read the article. Written by Alice Speri, its title sounded ambiguous – “The Left in Europe Confronts NATO’s Resurgence After Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine” – until I saw the subtitle that begins with these words: “Russia’s brutal invasion complicates…” But I read on. By the fourth paragraph, it became clear where this article was going. Speri writes that “In Ukraine, by contrast [with Iraq], it was Russia that had staged an illegal, unprovoked invasion, and U.S.-led support to Ukraine was understood by many as crucial to stave off even worse atrocities than those the Russian military had already committed.” [my emphasis]

    While ostensibly about European anti-war and anti-NATO activists caught on the horns of a dilemma, the piece goes on to assert that although US/NATO was guilty of wrongful expansion over many years, Russia has been an aggressor in Ukraine and Georgia and is guilty of terrible war crimes, etc.

    There is not a word about the U.S. engineered coup in 2014, the CIA and Pentagon backed mercenaries in Ukraine, or its support for the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and Ukraine’s years of attacks on the Donbass where many thousands have been killed. It is assumed these actions are not criminal or provocations. And there is this:

    The uncertain response of Europe’s peace activists is both a reflection of a brutal, unprovoked invasion that stunned the world and of an anti-war movement that has grown smaller and more marginalized over the years. The left in both Europe and the U.S. have struggled to respond to a wave of support for Ukraine that is at cross purposes with a decades long effort to untangle Europe from a U.S.-led military alliance. [my emphasis]

    In other words, the article, couched in anti-war rhetoric, was anti-Russia propaganda. When I told my friend my analysis, she refused to discuss it and got angry with me, as if I therefore were a proponent of war. I have found this is a common response.

      1. I, too, have encountered this response several times. Some people I’ve always loved have left our friendship altogether.

  20. An excellent evaluation of the situation. but nobody dares say that to brainwashed Americans or you will be yelled at for being a traitor !!!!!

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