It is true that the Ghost of Kyiv turned out to be a patrio...


Ukraine is Waiting

The Ukrainian people are in disbelief about what is happenin...


The Impression that I Get

Thomas LeeJun 17, 2022 (0)

Glory to Ukraine...the graffiti kids write here.

The newspapers worldwide do a disservice to the truth on the ground, but they have one thing correct: it has turned into a slugfest, a war of attrition, and it is coming down - as wars do – to a battle of supply. I wrote before, quoting (I believe) Von Clausewitz, who opined that true professionals study logistics, and leave the tactics to the lower-order thinkers. Truth is, they are both parts of an equally important team, with respect to the old Prussian. Strategy is tactics on a large scale, but actually acts as a synthesis between logistics and tactics. Myanmar could put the best, most intelligently wrought plan for world domination out, but logistically speaking, perhaps they should first ensure that they have a good supply of electricity and drinking water.

 Von Clausewitz also wrote, in On War, WAR IS A MERE CONTINUATION OF POLICY BY OTHER MEANS; We see, therefore, that War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means.

The old Junker did not mean, I wager, anything remotely like what has happened with respect to the F-35, which if you have read anything I wrote relating to it, you know I don't like. It is not that I don't respect the capabilities it has an as aircraft; they are incredible. But it does seem amazingly expensive and hard to maintain, and this was backed up by something I was astounded to see in my “Early Morning Briefing,” delivered courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Instead of touting the fact that it can do things almost no other aircraft can do, instead, the Early Briefing instead pointed out that the F-35 is strengthening our supply chain, and securing our future. “F-35 production provides for 298,000 advanced manufacturing jobs across America and has an economic impact of $65 billion yearly through US communities.” Now, how did they arrive at that figure? They counted up all the money the US pays them and their suppliers. That's not an economic impact: that's a knockout blow.

The United States was never the world power it became until after the Second World War, when the “Sleeping Tiger” that Admiral Yamamoto so sagely warned about before he reluctantly gave the order for the bombers and their escorts to fly off the carriers – “Climb Mount Niitaka” – did not settle down, nor repose: it kept eating. But remember that having a tiger under your control is only possible for a period of limited time. Tigers, by their nature, are uncontrollable, sometimes even by themselves. And that is what happened with the American economy. If you watch a wonderful video on Youtube about American life in 1957, it is easy to see how, at least for the white middle class, and even for others to a certain extent, life was paradise. Men who had survived the churning machine of the South Pacific and the Bulge were within their rights to expect a little repose, and soon enough came the Great Society; things were getting easier all the time, America was living better through science, the overhaul of the Church by Vatican II made it possible to not have to check the paper to see if the Diocesan authorities had approved a movie before you could see it: things were great! Then came Viet Nam, and the gradual descent into the moribund late Seventies and early Eighties, where the notion of a job for life, a good and healthy pension after twenty years and Social Security all started to slip. It has become a society in decline, wrought with factionalism and strife. I recall when a political disagreement was ended amongst my college friends by someone proposing a beer. Now people want to kill each other.

How does the situation in America relate to the one here? Because Russia has lost sight of what a sensible societal objective is much as the United States has. We were a manufacturing and military power; now we produce tech and are a service industry, reliant on Keynesian spending, which sounds great, until the check finally comes due and cannot be put off. The Kremlin I believe was emboldened by the strife in America; Mr. Putin is no fool, nor is he too sick to continue. He wants to be the Czar, and has fundamentally crowned himself thusly; after all, what is a president for life but a Czar? Pretty good for the son of a chef.

We need to get back to basics. We need to understand the world has changed, and for all our strict constructionism and adherence to weird and truthfully absurd policies – I mean, a combat Marine with five tours under his belt cannot keep a rifle on post without the Provost Marshall knowing everything about it, so why can civilians? Especially when those weapons are not for shooting, respectfully, a deer, or a little paper target; they are weapons of war. I have heard one hundred thousand arguments from the pro-Second Amendment (except not really; they only like the second half) crew about why Americans need to have military weaponry in their homes., and not a single one has made any sense. I actually got stopped by some idiotic shill for the pro-gun crowd at Union Square who had been picking out “liberals” from the crowd and asking them what they thought an “assault rifle” was. Sure, people who do not know gave silly answers, and since by some coincidence of fate I saw the video later on (but not MY interview) and I tried to reach to out the interviewer; no response. When he asked me, my considered response was “…well, I guess you could really consider any semi-auto rifle with capacity for conversion to full auto possible with a box fed magazine and a pistol grip an assault rifle.” He looked down. “Don't run off with the camera,” I said. “You asked, so I am going to tell you. The classic assault rifle is the Armalite – now Colt - AR-15, derived from the original design by Gene Stoner in 1957, the XM-177, who made it to chamber 5.56mm or .223 caliber…hey! Where are you going?”

Captain NRA didn't like it that someone of a somewhat liberal bent knew not what he just what he was talking about but knew far more than him. Why not? It is a tool of my trade.

Yes. The military trade. It does not belong in the hands of civilians, for they have no need of such a thing. And at some remove, I believe that it is this divorce from plain good sense that we have undergone in the City on the Hill, as the King James Version put it, the beacon of Democracy and Justice, to a place roiling with dissent that has emboldened Mr. Putin. And thus every dead child in Ukraine is a stain on the honor of the USA.

We owe it to them to get it together and help. We have vast, vast stockpiles of materiel, and every single day ships steam from Bayonne, Norfolk, and other ports to points east. With an intelligent resupply system, we would be able to keep our word to these wonderful people, whom I have come to love and respect in a short time, and start to regain not some tom fool's notion of a great America that never existed, where the darkies knew their place and Mom be damned if dinner wasn't ready by 5:45 when Dad came home, but a real, live democracy, strengthened by internal integrity, the chief proof of which is keeping your word.

Did we cause it? We did not. Do we bear some complicity in it? I believe we do, for if we were still the bellwether of freedom we were for some of my life, I don't think Mr. Putin would be so cocksure.

“Confusion to the King's Enemies, confusion to Boney (parte),” was a toast during the Napoleonic wars. Confusion is the enemy of good sense and words agreeing with actions. It is necessary that the two match up perfectly, in politics as in life, for if they do not, people cease to trust you.

We can do so much, but so little gets done; we have mired ourselves in red tape, and it makes no sense to us and even less to outside observers, but they do understand one thing – while we are confused, they needn't confuse us. They are too busy raping and pillaging, while we worry about pronouns and other madness. Live and let live; if a fighter pilot wants to wear a tutu and dance Swan Lake in the privacy of his home, it is his castle. Clean thy own mantle first.

And if we had been doing that instead of eating each other alive, there is no way Mr. Putin would have had the temerity to Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war. (Julius Caeser, Act 3, Scene 1, Line 273; Shakespeare, William; 1604, London, England, First Folio)

The writer is a former military man, now researching and writing about the Ukrainian Conflict. Questions can be sent directly to


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