Ukraine update: ‘Trying to choke off an aggressive fascist state without starting WW III’

Mike Jason retired from the U.S. Army as a Colonel and went on to become a professor, historian, author, and speech writer. In recent years, he’s been notable both for his cogent explanation of U.S. failings during the occupation of Afghanistan, and his vocal defense of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman during Donald Trump’s first impeachment. Since this has been a day for looking at analysis of the situation in Ukraine and in Russia, this seems like a good time to bring up Jason’s look the other end of the cost of the war—what it will cost in the United States?

To start with, that costs is definitely worth it. 

“The world, with American leadership, Is trying to choke off an aggressive fascist state without starting WWIII. As a result, gas prices are going to go up. Hell, the price of everything is going to go up.”

On the surface, this tradeoff seems almost superficial. Bring down an aggressive fascist state without directly engaging the U.S. military, and while doing everything possible to prevent the war from expanding outside it’s current area of conflict? It seems like an easy deal. However, as Jason points out, just because it’s a better deal than an actual shooting war between NATO and Russia, doesn’t mean it’s a get-out-of-pain free card. For many people, the increases in costs will hit hard. There are millions of people out there who are always on the brink when it comes to their finances. There are also people out there who might have just made a decision—like buying a new truck—which seemed completely reasonable without factoring in a war they didn’t know was coming.

“First, from my old unit pep talks:  ‘don't be an asshole.’ Now is not the time to make your dig about someone's pick up truck choice or to be smug about your Tesla. Everything will cost more for everyone.  Remember we are all in this together.”

For better than a decade, oil prices have been remarkably low. After peaking around 2008, at a point when it looked like $100 a barrel and up was the indefinite future, the rapid spread of fracking across the U.S. and around the world brought on a super abundance; a world where oil production has been limited by demand rather than production. In Cheap Oil World, some of the dependencies and decisions that were made seemed entirely reasonable (so long, of course, as the environment, and specifically the critical damage to the climate, weren’t considered).

But now we’re seeing the price of cheap oil and cheap natural gas. And if we’re not careful, we’ll pay for it in widening divisions in the U.S.

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2022 · 6:48:43 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

So when the gas prices go up, be ready, buckle your chin strap, don't be an asshole, rather find ways to help others mitigate the pain so we can choke the bastards together. End.

— Mike Jason (@mikejason73) March 8, 2022

One thing that can definitely help: All those guys shouting “back to the office!” because seeing people neatly stuffed in rows of cubicles satisfies their ego, can chill for awhile. Working from home saves gas. And saving gas is the best way to limit the cost of this war.

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2022 · 6:54:14 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

As Hunter notes, McDonald’s has joined hundreds of other corporations in closing their Russian locations — at least for now. However, there are still big name U.S. companies operating in Russia.

Also, that damn shirt is still up on Amazon.

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2022 · 6:58:47 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Thirty years after this iconic picture, McDonalds withdraws from Russia

— Samuel Ramani (@SamRamani2) March 8, 2022

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2022 · 7:01:50 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

The Ukrainian ministry of defense is setting the number at over 11,000 Russian troops killed, wounded, or captured. That’s about 6% of those who were arrayed for this conflict.

⚡️ Pentagon: 2,000-4,000 Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine. U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency Director Scott Berrier said that the intelligence community has “low confidence” in its assessment of how many Russian soldiers have been killed in Ukraine, CNN reports.

— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 8, 2022

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2022 · 7:06:36 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Standing ovation for Ukrainian President Zelensky upon completion of his remarks to U.K. Parliament. Watch full video here:

— CSPAN (@cspan) March 8, 2022

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2022 · 7:10:16 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Movement (literally) on the deal to get more MiG-29s into Ukraine by engineering a swap for F-16s. For now, it seems the MiGs are on their way to a U.S. base in Germany. Whether they’ll fly from there into Ukraine isn’t clear.

BREAKING: Statement by the Polish government approves the transfer of all of the country's MiG-29 fighter jets to the US, likely as the first stage in a swap deal that will see them transferred to Ukraine.

— Conflict News (@Conflicts) March 8, 2022

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2022 · 7:36:42 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

This thread checking in with a Ukrainian military officer suggests that things may be going even worse for Russia than they seem. 

"They have lost far more than they expected. That is why they started peace negotiations on the second day of the war."

— Michael Weiss 🌻🇺🇸🇮🇪 (@michaeldweiss) March 8, 2022

Included in this is a claim that Russia lost 30 helicopters yesterday in a Ukrainian counterstrike outside Kharkiv. That would be about 1% of all the helicopters Russia has brought to this conflict taken down at a blow. Note that this hasn’t been recorded at Oryx because, at least at this time, there isn’t circulating video confirming the losses.

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2022 · 7:41:29 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

This Polish mayor is not about to let former deputy prime minister of Italy, and head of the hard-right Northern League, Matteo Salvini, brush off his past support of Putin.

Salvini tries to go to the Ukrainian border with Polish mayor. Mayor whips out t-shirt with Putin on it Salvini once wore in European Parliament and says “no respect for you"

— Ian Bateson (@ianbateson) March 8, 2022

Daily Kos readers have now raised over $1.2 million to help Ukrainian refugees through a group of charities. Help keep that support going.