We don’t care. The United States and NATO. We do not care how many Ukrainians die. Nor civilians, nor women, nor children, nor soldiers. WE DO NOT CARE.
It’s become a great football game, you know. We’ve got our team, they’ve got their team, rah rah! We want to get the biggest score and run it up. And, you know, we don’t care how many of our players get crippled on the playing field as long as we win. Now, we are shipping fantaaaastic quantities of weapons. And it’s caused the stock of Raytheon, which creates missiles and Northrop Grumman which creates aircraft and so forth and missiles. All of these defense industries have become tremendously bloated with tax dollars. I don’t think it’s ultimately going to change the outcome. I think that Russia will prevail. The Ukrainians are in a very awkward strategic position in the east. But if you look at the way that this unfolded, President Putin made a desperate effort to stop the march towards war. Back in December of 2021 he went so far as to put specific written proposals on the table with NATO – peace proposals to diffuse what was coming about, because at this point, Ukraine was massing troops to attack the Donbass. And, so he was trying to head this off. He didn’t want war. And NATO just blew it off, just dismissed it, never took it seriously, and never went into serious negotiations.
At that point, Putin, seeing that armed Ukrainians with weapons to kill Russian troops were literally on their borders, decided he had to strike first. Now, you could see that this was not some preplanned attack. This was not like Hitler’s attack into Poland, where the standard rule of thumb is that you always have a 3 to 1 advantage when you are the attacker. You have to mass three times as many tanks and artillery and planes and men as the other side has. In fact, when Russia went in, they went in sort of with what they had, what they could cobble together on short notice. And they were outnumbered by the Ukrainian forces. The Ukrainian forces had about 250 thousand; the Russians had perhaps 160 thousand. So instead of having three times as many, they actually had fewer troops than the Ukrainians. But they were forced to attack to try to preempt the battle that was looming where the Ukrainians had massed these forces against the Donbass. Now, the Donbass is adjacent to Russia. It is a portion of Ukraine that did not join with the revolutionary government that conducted the coup in 2014 and overthrew the government of Ukraine. They refused to become a part of the new revolutionary government of Ukraine and so they declared their independence.
And Ukraine had massed this enormous army to attack against the Donbass. And so Russia was forced to go in to preempt that planned attack by Ukraine. You could see that Russia very much hoped that they could conduct this special operation without unduly causing casualties for the Ukrainians, because they think of the Ukrainians, or at least they did think of the Ukrainians as brothers-Slavs that they wanted to have good relations. But there was a famous picture with a Russian tank that had been stopped by a gathering of maybe 40 civilians who just walked out in the road and blocked the road and the tanks stopped. I can tell you, in Vietnam, if we had had a bunch of people who stood in the way of an American tank going through, that tank would not have slowed down in the slightest. It wouldn’t honk the horn, it wouldn’t have done anything. It wouldn’t have fired a warning shot; it would have just gone on. And I think that’s more typical. I’m not criticizing the Americans. I was there and I was fighting. And I probably would have driven the tanks straight through myself. But what I’m saying is that the rules of engagement for the Russians were very, very cautious. They didn’t want to create a great deal of hatred and animosity.
The Russians did not go in. They did not bomb the electrical system, the media systems, the water systems, all of these, the bridges and so forth. They tried to retain the infrastructure of Ukraine in good shape because they wanted to get back. They just wanted this to be over with and get back to normal. It didn’t work. The Ukrainians, the resistance was unexpectedly hard. The Ukrainian soldiers fought with great valor, great heroism. And so now the game has been upped and it’s become much, much more serious. But it is amazing to look and to see that Russia dominates the air. They haven’t knocked out the train systems. They haven’t knocked out power plants. They haven’t knocked out so many things. They’ve never bombed the buildings in the center of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. They haven’t bombed the buildings where the parliament meets. They’ve been incredibly reserved about these things, hoping against hope that peace could be achieved. But I don’t think Ukraine has anything to do with the decision about peace or war. I think the decision about peace or war is made in Washington, D.C. As long as we want the war to continue, we will fight that war using Ukrainians as proxies, and we will fight it to the last Ukrainian death.
See also: Uncle Sam’s Proxy War in Ukraine