A “war dispatch” follows this domestic review.
On February 3rd, I told readers to “brace for impact.” Later in February, I told readers “they will blow up everything” just to get at Russia, and they don’t care how it impacts you. Many listened—now, many more are listening.
As I’ve been saying for a while, gas (regular) is going above $5 a gallon, and it will stay there. And, due to the global fertilizer shortage (since last year) and now Ukrainian and potentially to some extent Russian wheat coming off the market, prices for basic foodstuffs will likely rise another 50 percent before year-end. Prices for natural gas on the European spot market, palladium, processed nickel, and many other commodities sold by Russia are already getting to the point where modern economies and societies won’t be able to function until someone backs down. All the propaganda about Russia’s “economy being smaller than Italy’s” won’t help if we don’t have the stuff we need.
Republicans don’t have an answer on the food (they’re just reacting to events, as politicians do, and it hasn’t yet gone parabolic at the retail level.) As for prices at the pump, their party line is now, “We have to ban Russian oil, and we’ll get over that by cranking up our own production.” On the other hand, Brandon’s strategy is to go begging to Iran, Venezuela, etc. Neither plan has a chance. We can’t get enough supply, not in any kind of acceptable timeframe. There’s not enough, and it can’t be ramped up fast enough. They probably understand this, but they don’t care because most of them live inside canned talking points and 24-hour news cycles.
Republicans hope people will blame it all on Brandon, because he stopped a pipeline. Sure, that’s a problem, but it’s not the proximal cause. “People are dumb”, but not THAT dumb. I’ve talked to illegal alien manual laborers who see it’s because of the war. And, as the GOP is in the same war boat as the Democrats (in fact, trying to out-war the Dems), the party won’t gain any points on gas prices, simple as that.
We already went into this with half the public deeply suspicious of the Ukraine. On the current trajectory, in two or three months, 80 percent will be ready to sign away the Ukraine to Russia, with a “seller subsidy” and “seller pays closing costs.” The last time Americans had to really, seriously pay for a “foreign policy situation” directly, en masse, in the immediate term, was 1941-1945. Meanwhile, natural gas in Europe is approaching $4000 per 1000 cubic meters on the spot market—close to 20 times above “normal.”
No one signed up for this. It’s not the no-strings-attached, video game, “war-tertainment” we’re used to—forget it. They’re lying to you that they can manage it. They can’t manage it. America won’t bear it, Europe won’t bear it. They will have to figure out a way to climb down off the ledge. Russia has won already. Some people are just too dense—or blinded by propaganda and fake news—to see it.
Ukraine War Update
While Zelensky (who was and remains Ukraine’s top comedian) tells our media—and it shows up on my web browser home screen—that Russian soldiers are demoralized and about to give up…
…and Ukraine’s propaganda branch puts out a video with an unidentified, very smug and content, bearded, middle-aged, studio employee-looking guy pretending to be a “Russian prisoner” talking smack about Russia (and Citizen Free Press runs with it like, “We’re posting this, you decide”)…
…and my friend sends me a Twitter video of a convoy of destroyed/abandoned Ukrainian airport fuel trucks under a “Russian fuel convoy ambushed” caption…
…and top conservative blogger Don Surber tells his readers that the Russians don’t know how to put together a convoy, they just can’t do anything because they’re Russian…
While all this is going on…
…the Russian army and the Donetsk and Lugansk militias are approaching the finish line as regards the total encirclement and (then) destruction of the Ukrainian army group in the Donbass.
Even just going by what’s on camera, the amount of captured (or destroyed) equipment and abandoned positions is now more than I have time to describe. When the war started, I told you the Russians would be hauling away more Ukrainian gear than they’d ever know what to do with—and now it’s happening. It’s not quite “Afghanistan 2.0”—yet—only because you’re not seeing it on Fox or CNN. (You know, “If a tree falls in the woods…”)
In fact, I can tell you, Ukrainian soldiers have abandoned more U.S. “Javelins” than they ever fired in combat.
You can take it from a little runt comedian in a T-shirt, auditioning for the role of “Hitler in the bunker”, or you can take it from the Dreizin Report. “They” have lied and/or misled you about everything else, the corona, everything. Why would they suddenly tell the truth about how things are going in Ukraine? Please just keep reading me, and… you’ll see what happens.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian state is falling apart. Police have mostly disappeared from the streets, even in Kiev.
The security services and citizen militias (some of them, pure criminals) are settling scores with people they don’t like. Almost everyone with money has left the country. Even (should I say, especially?) the politicians have sent their families away.
It was a mistake to hand out tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of AK-47’s (and in many cases, grenades and even antitank weapons) to all men—no background check, nothing—who could get out of bed to sign up for “territorial defense” militia duty. It’s going to be Euro-Somalia.
And that’s not even getting into how people will eat. Even if the farmers have seed, there won’t be any fuel or fertilizer for the planting. And, tens of bridges have been blown up by the retreating army. This isn’t like one city in Haiti that got hit by an earthquake and (for aid workers) it’s manageable. This is a huge country. Meanwhile, Uncle Sam and his groupies are sending in more and more weapons (across the Polish land border) every day.
Yesterday, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, coldly, shockingly stated from her podium that it is unacceptable for refugees to leave for Russia (or through Belarus to Russia), as Russia has suggested. Her side obviously can’t help its own people, but, by gum!, they’re not going to let Russia score any points with their citizens. An entire convoy of nice, clean, blue buses is waiting outside Kharkov (the Ukraine’s second largest city) to shuttle people across the border into Russia, 40 kilometers away. They are standing idle.
There are horror stories of people trying to get out of various towns, many with small children, getting shot at on the road by one or another side (some, in fact, getting shot), babies not eating for two days, cars running out of gas, some folks on foot, some probably freezing to death before they can make it anywhere (and as regards the Donbass, many “frontline” towns lost all heat and light some days ago.)
Under the circumstances, I’d say, just bite the bullet and let people who want to evacuate to Russia, evacuate to Russia, you demonic @$$holes!
Obviously, Ukraine’s army and militias can’t meet Russia on open ground—when they do, they get wrecked. Problem is, as Uncle Sam discovered in Iraq and other places, cities contain civilians. Of course, Russia could take the cities more quickly, and minimize needless deaths, if there were fewer civilians there. Is Russia capable of evacuating and “properly” hosting several million refugees at this time? Probably not. They could take in a good fraction, but not nearly all. Still, it would help some, it’s a good “show” for them, and it puts the Ukraine’s government on the spot—and the Ukrainians know it.
They understand it so well, the loyalist provincial administration in war zone Kharkov sent out text messages along the lines of, don’t fall for any evacuation, we have not agreed to anything, do not leave the city, it’s not safe for you. It’s disgusting, but for the Ukraine’s government, it’s a fight to the death—what are they supposed to do? Russia the invader has air superiority, everything superiority, and it’s not “fair”, so, under the circumstances, you do what you can.
Now, something on the personal side.
The Jewish-Ukrainian owners of the math tutoring franchiser that my son is signed up with (I mean, he’s at one of their branches), they feel that “Putin is Hitler”, and they want everyone to know they’re not happy with Russia. I told them to stick to the math and cool it with the politics. They may be good at math, but they are losing their minds. (I told them I already lived through Trump is Hitler, Bush is Hitler, too many Hitlers and I don’t care.)
Sure, Russia can be rough, but Russia takes its anti-Nazism very seriously. On the other hand, the gentleman in the post header photograph for this update —a spokesman for the Ukraine National Guard’s “Azov” regiment—wears a shoulder patch obviously inspired by the Nazi swastika and various SS insignia. As do all other Azov personnel (some thousands of them.) It’s their unit insignia, they must wear it. Why would anyone of Jewish descent, deflect and carry water for these people?
(I’ll tell you why, because the USSR’s anti-Jewish discrimination and support for the Arabs against Israel during the Cold War, totally scrambled their brains, and they still can’t get over it, 30 years later, as if Russia is the USSR—they’re so warped with Russia-hatred, they will ignore Nazism in front of their noses.)
Note, Azov is the largest force inside Mariupol (surrounded by Russian and Donetsk forces) at this time. These jerks have been around since 2014—originally, they were paid as a private, Nazi-oriented militia by the billionare oligarch Igor Kolomoisky, the leading member of Ukraine’s Jewish community (go figure!), before being finagled out from under him and brought under state control.
Ukraine’s U.S. paymasters have long made whispers about keeping the country’s Nazis in check, but, seeing as fighting Russia is more important, there was never any ultimatum like, “Ditch the swastikas or we stop the foreign aid.” Had there been, the swastikas wouldn’t be there today.
So—while I’m not suggesting the Ukraine is a “Nazi state” (no, it merely tolerates and pays Nazis, and there’s more of them besides just Azov)—let’s keep some perspective as to who is closer to “Hitler” in this conflict.
LAST MINUTE UPDATE
According to a very credible source, Donetsk militia have penetrated into the central part of Mariupol’s Left Bank district. Mariupol is home to Azovstal, which as I understand is the Ukraine’s most profitable industrial complex, with a primary focus on steel. If they’ve come this far into the city already, then the end for the Ukrainian garrison is probably near enough.