Friday, January 27, 2023

Some Questions for Our Congressmen and Senators on Ukraine - By Karen Kwiatkowski

 Dear Representative and Senators,

As we approach twelve months of the Russian SMO to end Kiev’s war on Russians of east and south Ukraine, and resolve the NATO head fake of Minsk II, it’s question and answer time for London, Washington, and Poland – and each of you.

The US Congress approved over $100 Billion in arms and aid to Ukraine in the past year.  At the same time, Russian forces have secured 20% of the former Ukrainian landmass, nearly everything east of the Dneiper River, and have established not only a formidable defensive line, they have begun rebuilding political, economic, defense and civil society in the eastern Republics.

First question:  What, in your opinion, will the next $100 Billion – gain for the United States?

My apologies.  It isn’t fair to state that $100 Billion in US aid to Ukraine actually went into the Ukraine war effort.  Over half of these funds went directly into US defense contracts.. A reasonable percentage was defrauded along the way, or lost somehow in Ukraine.  In any US government operation there is also predictable waste and loss.  It is not clear whether Joe, his family and his friends in Ukraine and New York City got their 10%.

Beyond this, all of this aid arrived in Ukraine piecemeal. As the Pentagon raided the back of their closet for Ukraine, random supplies, materials and ammunition – useable or not to Ukraine – were sent.   NATO countries simultaneously did the same thing, amplifying the randomness and often pointlessness of such aid.

The US Inspector General admits that this aid and the weapons shipped in cannot be tracked.  Neither US or NATO had a system of logistical tracking or feedback in place prior to the shipments of weapons, materials and ammunition, and to date they still don’t.

Is this lack of transparency and end-state knowledge of what we sent Ukraine, and how it was or is being used and managed, on purpose or by accident?  If on purpose, what other function is served by draining US and NATO coffers of its older conventional war materials and weapons?  If by accident, I’ll paraphrase Glenn Greenwald “How is this good for the American people?”

Delivery to Ukraine of Main Battle Tanks in paltry numbers (31 M1 Abrams and 100 older version German Leopards) have now been announced.  Army General and tanker Mark Hertling has explained in detail why the M1 – to make a long story short – will make no difference in Ukraine, and would necessarily have to come with a complete logistical tail and US crews.  The acquisition history of the M1 is troubled – it is as if – and I am indeed shocked – this tank was looking for a new lease on life.  Again, many reasons for that – all of which will be demonstrated is living color if any of these tanks makes it to Ukraine in coming years.  The Leopards, if deployed in Ukraine, likewise would need to be operated by Polish or other NATO crew, at least if this deployment happens in the next 18 months – and as we know from their use in Syria, they are highly vulnerable to Russian weapons and tactics.

If MBTs are part of the final course of the Ukrainian war effort, they are (or will soon become) the burnt part of a NATO Ukrainian Creme Brulee – cosmetic and unsubstantial.  Is this one more way to 1) kill Ukrainians, 2) to extend the war further west, or 3) does anyone advising the Executive Branch or Congress actually believe that a handful of tanks – non- interoperable, and inoperable by Ukrainians themselves – is going to “take back Crimea.”

Poland and Ukraine have signed new and sweeping military cooperation agreements, and 9.3 million Ukrainians were taken into Poland as refugees.  Poland operates, and is in receipt of, many of the same weapons systems that are now being provided to what is left of Ukraine’s military – a military that has been heavily damaged in terms of both personnel and equipment in the Russian war of attrition, a blood pump for the Ukrainian side. At the top levels, civilian and military leadership has faced repeated purges, resignations and firing by the US-controlled Kiev leadership. If security conditions in western Ukraine degrade further, needed civil-military operations to re-home Ukrainian refugees and reestablish effective government, who better to conduct this thanPoland? If so, and in this capacity, a case for much of the western aid, APCs, as well as tanks like the Leopard, and air defense systems operated by the Polish military might be made.

No strategy – like this one, or any other – has been forthcoming from Washington, London, or Warsaw for Ukraine circa 2023, beyond red herrings like “taking back Crimea.”  Has Kiev made plans to issue new Ukrainian passports to the re-conquered Donbas (those self-declared Russian Federation republics with Russian passports now) much less Crimeans?  Have they built enough prisons for 5 to 8 million Ukrainian “traitors” who live in these republics?  Perhaps they plan to execute them after the great victory?

What IS being “built” is an increasingly integrated Polish-Ukrainian defensive (not offensive) capability.  What IS being built is a popular image of Poland as Euro-martyr, owed by Germany and Ukraine an impossible debt.  Poland would have the full backing of the Washington and London to administer a post-war Ukraine.

For the question:  Let me be clear:  Zelensky didn’t hang himself.  But when Zelensky is purged, likely in 2023, how will Ukraine west of the Dneiper be administered – US-Poland or US-Lithuania, or a combination of both?  Who is going to pay for that? Is this the reason that NATO and US policy thus far has been to ensure a slow deadly bone-grinding and infrastructure-destroying slog, carefully contained within the current Ukrainian territory and conducted conventionally?  Clearly, this is not a life or death existential concern for the West, as Caitlyn Johnstone explains

We must leave aside certain questions of which country destroyed the Russian gas pipelines, how a unipolar power structure is collapsing faster most people realized, and why sanctions never work, and why they will not be part of any major country’s foreign policy in the future.  We already know the answers to these questions, as I’m sure you do too.  We won’t ask here, why you have done nothing to get made up DoJ charges dropped against Julian Assange, or gain clemency for Leonard Peltier.  We know the answers to these questions, as I’m sure you do too, deep down.

A final question concerns the ethics and the morality of American foreign policy – in general, and specifically in this case. The US and key NATO members carefully stoked and stroked up a war of death and destruction for over a decade – one that would create demands for government spending, taxation, allow it to show the people “why they need us” while decimating and destroying an already very vulnerable and weak state (Ukraine), with its vulnerable and weak institutions – in a larger effort to “weaken and destabilize” Russia, if you can believe the Rand Corporation and the Pentagon’s own words.  It’s a well-worn US playbook from Syria, and before that Iraq, and Afghanistan, and dozens of smaller efforts on nearly every continent in the 20th century.

Has even a thousandth of the American treasure that has been spent on the war in Ukraine – stoking it, generating it, and extending it – knowing the end result and planning on that end result – been worth it to you and your constituents, so far?  Do you perversely enjoy destruction and murder and waste of war from afar, in an undeclared and unconstitutional war you goaded, facilitated, waged and funded (with our money, and our children’s and grandchildren’s liberty)?  Were you born missing a spine, a brain and a moral compass, or did they just atrophy from lack of use? 

With all due respect, and a hangman’s noose at the ready,

A constituent