My fellow Missourians,
In our current age of high-tech (high-expense) conflict, war has become a business, fueled by a ruling oligarchy armed with a no-limit credit card that they don’t have to pay off. Our grandchildren will.
Our military and intelligence involvement in the Ukraine is just the latest stop in a series of military misadventures that reflects the fractured foreign policy of a political class seeking desperately to appease its masters.
Are we supposed to forget the last twenty years? The disaster that was the extraction of American personnel from Afghanistan that left $80 billion worth of military equipment, buildings, and even canines in the hands of the enemies we defeated twenty years before? Are we supposed to look away from the corruption of Ukraine, and the years of connections between that country and the current administration? Are we supposed to pretend, contrary to any cursory review of history since the fall of the Soviet Union, that the U.S. and NATO have not been pushing for this situation? Are we to just find it a convenient coincidence that the mainstream media was used to prepare the American public’s mind for six years with anti-Russian propaganda, making it a boogeyman that was behind every problem for which we should have held our political class responsible?
People aren’t buying it anymore.
Our military was meant to be a necessary and righteous force that defended our territory from foreign incursions, and protected our interests overseas. It was a necessary part of empire. It ensured a global order that backed the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency, an ‘exorbitant privilege’ with which we extracted tribute from the world. Our military and paramilitary are now instead just ways to bill the American public and to keep the money flowing upward. The money hose sprays down the DC bubble, and campaign coffers get filled.
We still have civilian control of the military – on the surface. The military and its adjacent industrial/technological machine are now owned and operated by the same oligarchy that owns our political class, and they execute the foreign policy that best serves their interests, not that of the nation. The nation just gets the bill through taxes and inflation.
The men and women of the military and paramilitary communities are people, just like us, caught in the whirlwind. Some of them get it. Some of them suspect, like the small business owner that took the covid loans, or the media producers that have their news stories ‘modified’ to fit the narrative, that they are unwilling participants in some larger game. Are they to turn down the money, or give up their relatively high-paying jobs, especially in this economy? Of course not.
No single raindrop feels responsible for the flood.
The first casualty of war is the truth – there isn’t some special knowledge of the situation besides what is publicly available, and we now have clear evidence that what we’re allowed to be shown or know is being curated by a group of big-tech companies in league with and donating to the political class. As this may be the most important foreign policy issue in our current election season, though, I am obliged to give voters my views on this conflict.
It is my estimation that Russia was hoping that the Ukrainian government would relent at the threat of force, so it didn’t make total war on the country as some thought it would. It doesn’t serve Russia’s strategy to totally decimate territory it is hoping to absorb, or at least control politically – especially one through which 40% of its economy flows. This was portrayed, accurately or not, as Russia being stalled or beaten back.
Ukraine, bolstered by American backing in weapons, intelligence, and informational and financial warfare, decided to hold out. One wonders how much of this decision was actually on the part of its current president, or ours. The military industries must have been salivating – less than a year after losing the Afghan theater, or market, an entire new arena was in play.
Russia can retreat to its own lines, reform its strength and then punish Ukraine again. Having been through its own Afghan quagmire years ago, and having seen us destroy lives, wealth, and our own credibility in Afghanistan and Iraq, Russia would be smart to never occupy the country and repeat its, and our, mistakes. Instead, its forces will stay on the move, and prefer raids to assaults and holding territory that isn’t on its own border.
American strategy, once one cuts through the noise, seems clear – prolong the conflict. We will continue deploying forces in and around Ukraine (if you don’t think we have people on the ground there, well, get real) and supplying weapons and intelligence in the amounts needed to keep the fight going. The goal of modern war is not to win but to keep a hand in the American public’s pocket.
The current administration, in an accidental slippage of truth, has already revealed that the real purpose of our thirty years of eastern European meddling is Russian regime change. We won the Cold War, and could’ve brought them into our sphere through free trade, or even military alliance, but that wouldn’t have gotten the military complex paid. It needs an enemy. The current administration is playing a dangerous game, though – Russia saw this coming, and countered our backing of the Ukrainian coup in 2014 with its reacquisition of the Crimean Peninsula (and its Black Sea naval bases) and dumping of U.S. treasuries and de-dollarization. As such, the implementation of financial and economic sanctions seems to be doing more to hurt our and Europe’s economies.
The Ukraine conflict serves numerous purposes for the political class. First among them, it serves as an excuse for the rapid price increases that are upon us, and the ones that are coming soon. Gasoline too expensive? Baby formula out? Food prices soaring? Russia!
The prices of everything are rising due to the inflation of the money supply, as the U.S. federal government borrows dollars into existence to fund itself and its projects. It’s out of control, to the point of $30 trillion dollars in federal debt. Inflation serves its purposes, as it makes that debt worth less. If a dollar is worth 20% less than it was last year, then $30 trillion, while the number is the same, is actually only worth $24 trillion. In the logic of the oligarchy and modern monetary theory, we’re actually saving money! What’s another $40 billion on top of that to give to the DC bubble? (If you think that $40 billion was going to Ukraine, well, get real.)
The never-ending conflict industry gets to send old weapons to a new battlefield, depleting the stockpiles that now have to be refreshed with ever more expensive tech. Even when Russia destroys a weapons depot, the arms industry makes money, as they simply charge the replacements to the U.S. government’s credit card.
The useful mobs of the programmable public that cloud social media delight in the latest ‘thing’ and adorn their profiles with Ukrainian flags. They fly them in towns all over the country, where American flags should be, as signals of their virtuous natures.
The gleeful shrieks of people that would never volunteer, or, if they applied, be rejected, for military service, as they retweet or promote videos of Russian helicopters, tanks, or soldiers being destroyed (such videos of Ukrainian destruction are noticeably absent) are repulsive. As a man who has survived being fired at, both on land and in the air, and who has survived hard landings in helicopters, it is repugnant to see them celebrate the fireworks. Do you think those kids in those helicopters or tanks want to be there? Do you think they don’t have parents that are praying for them to come home, like mine were?
Is Putin an evil guy? The media says he is. He’s certainly a billionaire strongman that has retained political power through murder, intimidation, and suppression of his population. Such men come to power in countries that are squeezed into pariah states.
We don’t get to vote on Putin, though. We vote on our political class – and they are using Ukraine to serve their own ends, not ours. And not the people of the Ukraine.
I support the people of the Ukraine the same way that I want to support our currently-serving military members and future veterans – by not putting them into conflicts that will leave them dead and broken, and leave the nation with the bill.
The tragedy of the current situation, in addition to seeing thousands dying, a country in ruins, and the American public fleeced, is that there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. Not of the Ukrainian conflict, which will probably grind to an expensive (for us) stalemate or a diplomatic agreement, but of the American military machine being used to further such conflict for profit. One wonders where it will go next, or if the American people will ever be able to wrestle control of it back from those who hold it hostage.
It’s never too late to start.
Yours, in service,
Candidate for U.S. Representative, Missouri’s 3rd District