As unjust as the war in Ukraine is of which we are reminded constantly by our corporate media . Not much is mentioned about the afghan people having to sell their kidneys and their children to keep from starving. Are we only interested in the plight of people who look like us?


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Kent, this is a good point. The situation in Ukraine has put a spotlight on foreign policy failures when there usually isn’t a spotlight on foreign policy failures…especially on US foreign policy failures. Afghanistan is one place we can point to, but there are many others including, but certainly not limited to, Palestine, Syria, and Libya. Turkey was mentioned on the show as a potential peacekeeper with the Ukraine situation, but the US has supported Turkey’s violence against the Kurds over recent years.

The neoconservatives in the US State Department currently are hoping for conflict in China which, obviously, would make the Ukrainian situation look like nothing if war ever did break out in Asia. The west is promoting places such as Vietnam as a new haven for completely deregulated manufacturing in order to maintain neoliberal goals if the desired conflict occurs in China. Whether Vietnam would favor the US or China in a conflict is unknown, but is anyone desiring new conflict in Vietnam…with conflict in China and elsewhere in Asia on top of that?

It is very interesting to observe what is going on in western Europe right now. There is uneasiness, especially on the continent, about Ukraine and the impact it has had on their economies, but there is even stronger concern about agitating conflict with China. Western Europe wishes to trade with China. China buys a lot of German and French cars, for example, and Germany is a bit obsessed with their export economy (study mid-20th century ordoliberalism as an example of this). Will there come a point where Europe stops blindly supporting US foreign policy?

I read several news sources out of Europe such as Deutsche Welle, the BBC, and some local newspapers. The level of propaganda concerning the Ukrainian conflict is even stronger there than it is here in the US where Ukraine is, at best, second page news most of the time. I suppose it has to be given the impact it has had on their economy. The situation in Europe is a curious study in war propaganda. I don’t think Americans know how impacted Europeans are by high energy prices. Conversely, I don’t think Europeans are aware how unswayed Americans are by the current energy situation. Prices here might be up here a bit, but not enough to make most people go without heating in their homes this winter. At least that is the case here in Texas. I ask my contacts in Europe if they are aware of how unaffected Americans are on a day-to-day basis by current global events and they are surprised to hear about that. They’re surprised while they are feeling very cold in their homes. I tell them to let their friends know about the differing circumstances because it might lead to political change there. Should the US lead European foreign policy when Americans are relatively unaffected by the consequences?

As it is, European governments are having to implement price caps on energy (it is still very expensive), but European governments are using this as an excuse to expand austerity in other parts of the economy due to misguided monetarist economic beliefs held by European governments. In the Netherlands, for example, medical costs are surging and a new article came out last week about the rise in people requesting that problematic teeth get pulled rather than repaired due to steep insurance costs. This is just one example. This might cause political instability in Europe and we know from history what that might mean. Perhaps Europeans will seek progressive politicians with sane economic and foreign policy, but what could happen is that they elect people even right of the current right-wingers in power. That is certainly a scary possibility for the entire world.

Concerning NATO, we must also remember a couple of things. First, the likes of Raytheon are not the only companies involved in militarism. Tech companies such as Microsoft and Alphabet (Google) are military contractors as well and we must remember that modern warfare is not just about tanks and subs, but also about technological warfare. Tech companies are wanting a big piece of the military budget as well. Also, we must remember that Europe is quite dependent on militarization as well. France especially has a very large military industry, but they aren’t the only ones. France is quite upset about the US and UK making a deal with Australia for nuclear subs recently which caused Australia to back out of a previously agreed upon deal for subs (the AUKUS situation for anyone who wants to read about it). There is some conflict over whether European NATO countries should be using US or European arms. This has caused conflict recently between Germany and France. Of course, Russia is one of the world’s largest providers of arms as well, like the US, and they, like the US, are a fossil fuels country. The US isn’t the only one who stands to gain from militarization, but it is also the US who could take the biggest step towards peace if we deescalate militarization.

Sorry for the long-windedness, but as one can see, there are several things here worth considering.

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As I Iisten to Ralph and Medea spout excuses for russia's invasion and rape of Ukraine, I'm sickened to my stomach. I guess old leftists just can't let go of the dream of the soviet union/russia being a Valhalla. Like typical leftists, they blame it all on the US/cia/military industrial complex. The facts are, putin wants to reestablish the Soviet empire, which dissolution he called the greatest catastrophe, and Ukraine and Georgia are just the start. Hey Ralph and Medea, you like talking about the expansion of Nato as an excuse, what about the Budapest accord where the US, Great Britain and russia agreed to respect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for giving up 2,000 nuclear heads? (making Ukraine at the time the world's third largest nuclear power). Russia broke it's promise and now both the UK and the US have the moral if not the legal obligation to assist Ukraine.

Oh, and let's not forget Finland and Sweden. They have woken up to russia's fascism and can't wait to join Nato. Are those two countries American stooges, Ralph?

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Joshua Bender

5 min ago

Lying about NATO to Gorbachev and using it to weaponize influenced border countries to Russia is hardly "spouting excuses". Warning about the profit mongering threat to the world from our weapons industry you dismiss as calling Russia Valhalla. Insults are a poor substitute for a lack of objective reasoning. You don't specify the facts you call excuses that make you sick. You're pretty nauseating yourself.

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I may be a lot of things, but not a fascist appeaser like you, ralph the klown and medea medusa.

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A lot of things like a seething child incapable of intelligent analysis, an unthinking hateful reactionary projecting insults with which you are personally familiar. You are incapable of having the currency required in the trading of ideas that is a discussion. If you value ideas, you must lose your hatred, as it is incompatible with thought. Until then, enough.

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If anyone had any doubts the U.S. is not a war driven economy, one need look no further than the timing of the ending of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan to the start of the first U.S. weapons shipments to the Ukrainian conflict. Not even six months peace between our involvement.

August 30, 2021, withdrawal of U.S. and Allied forces from Afghanistan - https://www.nytimes.com/article/afghanistan-war-us.html

January 22, 2022 - First Biden authorized shipments of weapons to the Ukraine -


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Thank you thank you thank you Ralph! Having Medea on the show is brave and so appreciated! As we join together for a world beyond war, rejecting the media complex blue and red that supported this insanity is brave work. Your values are core values, thanks for all you do!

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It is not enough to just go back to the 1990s. If we truly want to look at the source of the problem in Eastern Europe we should be looking in the late 1930s. It's the Soviet Union that established the groundwork for the Nazi occupation of Poland. They were allies at the beginning of the war. You cannot expect that history to be whitewashed because it was Joseph Stalin in collaboration with Adolf Hitler that permitted the occupations of the Baltics. You can't explain any other way why those peoples would want to have as much Western support as possible. While the Soviets and the Germans took Eastern Europe at the outset of the war the West sat on the Western front.

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If only there was some way that citizens could choose our representatives for a term of office. Then citizens could choose representatives that are not controlled by the Military Industrial Congressional Complex or other big money corporate interests.

If there was a way that citizens could choose our representatives for a term of office then people such as Ralph would be encouraging citizens to choose representatives that are not controlled by the MICC or other big money interests and instead choose representatives controlled by small donations from ordinary citizens as people such as Ralph keep pointing out the problems caused by representatives controlled by the MICC and other big money interests.

It is hard to imagine that if there were a way for citizens to choose our representatives that people such as Ralph would not be working to replace big money representatives with representatives controlled by small donations from ordinary citizens.

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Nov 27, 2022·edited Nov 27, 2022

...I would call the current war in Ukraine a "less than optimal but acceptable" event in the world view of the real power elements in the US and Western Europe: the policy blob and the military/industrial beast that exists to do nothing but expand. The US has had boots on the ground in Ukraine for at least eight---probably ten, or perhaps more--years. JSOC is NOT a sort of Armed Peace Corps. If there were Spetsnaz battallions within a hundred miles of the Mexican border, we'd start with B-52s and then go to nukes until it was flattened for a hundred miles. Putin is an autocrat and obviously he shouldn't have invaded, but these bloodthirsty Dems need to get some perspective, and maybe their souls back, sooner rather than later...

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We need to discuss the role of "MICIMATT" in regard to our country's present military and foreign policies.

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All the parties involved in this episode bring up some very good points. I enjoyed the discussion. Regarding Mr. Nader and Mr. Swanson’s discussion about the military budget and the national budget as a whole, as I’ve stated before, I believe the narrative needs to move away from the concept that spending in one area is some kind of natural limitation on spending in other areas when it comes to the federal budget in the US. If nothing else, for at least most of the time where that has been the narrative, there has not been a successful movement to limit the military budget and reallocate the money towards social spending. It is not a winning strategy for ending militarization or for expanding social spending.

Moreover, and more importantly, the notion of the constrained national budget is one tied to monetarism, Milton Friedman’s ideology, and is not consistent with empirical macroeconomic evidence. I know that I have pointed this out to Steve Skrovan before in the comments with evidence. The real issue with military spending is not a budgetary one, but rather that a focus on militarization and war is a tremendous waste of human capital. Many of our brightest minds are designing equipment of war and our valuable labor is going towards building these tools of militarization. Some of this equipment, if ever used, will be the destruction of humanity. Needless to say, this is perhaps not the best use of precious resources.

Furthermore, militarization has to be one of the most environmentally destructive activities. Even if we forget about the consequences of nuclear war, military objects such as tanks, jets, submarines, and so forth are incredibly environmentally destructive. It is not like we can rely on regulation to force tanks and fighter jets, for example, to be more fuel efficient. On top of all of that, militarization is taking diplomatic resources away from achieving international policy which might lead to substantive environmental reforms.

In the last RNRH episode with Jim Hightower, I mentioned in the comments how progressives need to find a way to connect with oil & gas industry employees to find ways to ensure their continued employment without the burdens of benefit loss, salary loss, and any burdensome unpaid retraining requirements. The exact same thing is true with those who work on defense projects. Even people who hate the idea of war might vote to support militarization if it means they get to keep/gain a stable, well-paying job in their community. Progressives need to find ways to keep these people employed in their communities without the militarization. This citizen-oriented perspective might be the way to get people to vote against fossil fuel and military interests. This might seem like a tall task, and it is, but the task is a manageable one if we understand what economic resources are available to us. This is related to my earlier critique of the monetarist narrative which is oddly and incorrectly used by many progressives.

Organizing is a central theme to the RNRH, and for good reason, but it seems to me that organizing a broad base is a lot easier when the organizing is centered around full employment rather than attempted organizing around narratives which might lead people to believe that stable, well-paying jobs in their communities might become lost. Thus, achieving full employment needs to be a policy goal for progressives because it’s a vital piece of the peace puzzle.

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