Is Russia’s “Meat Grinder” Multiplying War Crimes?

Vladimir Putin may be the greatest proof of John Steinbeck’s claim that “war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.” For most of us, there seems no plausible endgame for Putin in his invasion of Ukraine other than death and destruction for both countries. Putin seems to be thinking in a different century but using this century’s weapons.

For criminals, there is often a calculus of risk that is done in looking at the costs and penalties of a crimes. The same is true for most war criminals and Putin is clearly now in that class of criminals. There is mounting evidence of war crimes, particularly in attacks on civilian areas.

Putting aside the legal avenues for action in the short term, there is no question about the violation of international law in Russia’s invasion. The invasion was done without provocation or necessity. The response was far beyond any claim of just cause or threat. Moreover, Russia appears to be moving dangerously with in shift military tactics that will greatly increase civilian losses.

What was most notable today was the reported use of rockets and other munitions against the second largest city in Ukraine, Kharkiv.

Article 51(2) of Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, states:

The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence, the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population, are prohibited.

Article 48 of Protocol I further states:

In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants, and between civilian objects and military objectives, and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives.

The use of artillery and Katyusha rockets on urban centers raise serious questions of war crimes. Notably, just the day before, Putin’s ally Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko mocked the Ukrainians and described the fighting thus far as a “bed of roses.” He threatened that the Ukrainian people would face a “meat grinder” in the coming days.

Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions prohibits “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment, and torture” when perpetrated against persons “taking no active part in the hostilities.”

Russia, and Putin in particular, could be accused of such war crimes. The concern is that not just the obvious human suffering that he is causing, but that Putin is digging himself in deeper and deeper in terms of legal, political, and economic costs.

There is great concern that Putin appears unstable and even fatalistic. If he fears prosecution, he may actually become more dangerous. That may increase further with protests in Russia.

Nevertheless, Putin is well beyond any cognizable claim of justified war. The scenes from Kharkiv suggest that he is crossing the redline on tactics. Equally concerning is the image of miles of artillery heading toward major cities as well as the positioning of thermobaric weapons. (Russia reportedly used such air-fuel bombs in Chechnya). Some sources are also reporting the use of cluster bombs. These are blunt tools that would clearly constitute war crimes if used on civilian areas. Russia has previously been accused of such war crimes in places like Syria.

The International Criminal Court is reportedly monitoring the Ukrainian situation. However, the definition of a war of aggression remains mired in debate. More importantly, while the ICC was created under the Rome Statute in 2002, Russia is not a party to that treaty. Nor is Ukraine.

It is possible for the United Nations Security Council to bring in the ICC but that is hardly likely with China and Russia exercising veto authority in the United Nations.

The World Court does claim jurisdiction in some disputes under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Since Russia is accused of targeting the Ukrainian people, there could be a claim of genocide but Russia can challenge that characterization given its strategic objectives. As for the general “war of aggression” claim, it is also not as clear under existing rules.  Again, the United Nations could ask the World Court for an opinion on such claims.

There is also the European Court of Human Rights. Both Russia and Ukraine are members of the European Court of Human Rights and the Strasbourg-based court can rule on conflicts between its 47 member states. Yet, this is a slow process without real teeth for Putin.

Nevertheless, as shown at Nuremburg, the world can claim the right to form tribunals to judge war crimes committed by rogue nations like Russia. Indeed, Russia was part of those proceedings after World War II.

Vladimir Putin remains a relic of an earlier age, but he is also a relic with one of the most powerful armies in the world. Not much has changed since World War II on meaningful legal avenues for the deterrent of such aggression. However, much has changed economically. The world has become far more interdependent on financial and market levels.

It is difficult to see how Putin thinks that his fragile economy can long survive in isolation, even with the support of countries like China. That is why this is such an important moment for testing international resolve. Indeed, even if sanctions do not force a Russian withdrawal, they could deter China in moving against Taiwan. However, they must be so complete and severe to concentrate the mind of Xi Jinping. That is still not happening with Germany and other countries actively protecting the Russian energy sector and the United States still purchasing Russian energy.

Nevertheless, the heavy sanctions against Russia will be the test of economics as an effective deterrent to military aggression. Obviously, these economic moves are done in concert with legal measures to isolate and expose Russian firms and figures. However, in the short term, the international economic system will be more important in stopping this aggression than our international legal system.

212 thoughts on “Is Russia’s “Meat Grinder” Multiplying War Crimes?”


    *** Broken Biden sank the West’s efforts to stop Putin invading Ukraine ***

    The President failed to grasp the meaning of deterrence – the concept that kept us safe during the Cold War’s nuclear standoff

    – John Bolton

    President Joe Biden has explained why he failed to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He admitted that he had no idea what he was doing.

    Translating Biden’s answers into sensible English leads to disturbing conclusions. Possibly, he simply doesn’t understand what deterrence is, and that it almost always includes credible threats of future punishment to affect an adversary’s current actions. It hardly inspires confidence in US leadership when its President fails to grasp the vital concept that kept the West safe during the Cold War’s nuclear standoff. Yesterday, Putin showed what he thought of Biden’s leadership by placing Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert – a provocative move, to say the least.

    It may be that Biden was never confident Putin could be deterred, certainly not by threats alone. In that case, unless Biden was prepared to accept the inevitable devastation that an invasion of Ukraine would cause, he should have spared no effort to develop additional steps to prevent it. He did not, despite widespread, urgent advice that the sanctions he threatened were insufficient, and that real-time costs had to be imposed on Putin before he initiated military action.

    The rubble in Biden’s mind is what it is. We should not await improvement. Instead, we immediately need new ideas that can change the direction of events and impact Putin and Russia.

    1. How about our government stops acting like the drunk a-hole at the bar who threatens everybody, pinches their girlfriends, and then, after he gets knocked out, wakes up crying and b*tching about it?

  2. Weeks and weeks of diplomatic meetings with Russia saying “We don’t want Ukraine in NATO, just guarantee us that.” and the Empire of Lies saying “Russia is planning to attack Ukraine for no reason!”. Americans are blind by anti-Russian propaganda. China could turn off the supply chain facet to the US and we would cave in 30 seconds. Zelensky is giving rifles to untrained civilians and no one in the press is concerned about recruiting tens of thousands of partisans? Will the west continue to lie to its people when the great capitals of Europe are vaporized? When the Eastern seaboard of the US?

    1. China could turn off the supply chain facet to the US and we would cave in 30 seconds
      Which is why President Trump was working to bring back lots of manufacturing to US soil. Ignore by Biden. Biden also turned the US from energy exporter, to energy importer.
      China needs a buyer more than the US needs China as a supplier

      1. iowan2 @12:32
        “China needs a buyer more than the US needs China as a supplier”

        You apparently have no clue how much of everything we use is made in China. China cuts off the supply and America stops dead in its tracks.

  3. War crimes? We have loads of those. Hypocrisy? We’re drowning in it. Ignorance of history? We excel at that.

    The West is sprinting towards it’s own demise although it can easily be said that the West is already over. We have lost our values and our heads as well. It’s not just the leaders and the media…it’s the people themselves that are to blame.

    1. Minsk accords? What are those? Stepan Bandera? Never heard of him. Azov Battalion, Svoboda, Right Sector? Same. Operation Barbarosa? What is that? The Volga Gap? Hubris beckons.

      1. Volga Gap???? You mean the Fulda Gap!

        Ask in 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Trooper who served in Germany or Helicopter Pilot who flew Cobra’s who trained to stop the Soviet Union from using the traditional invasion route into Germany from the East.

      2. How’s the weather in St. Petersburg?

        Here’s the bottom line. Nobody cares what happened 80 years ago. Had Stalin not starved Ukraine to death perhaps they wouldn’t have welcomed the Wehrmacht as liberators. Perhaps if you hadn’t enslaved Eastern Europe for 40+ years they wouldn’t have felt the need to join a military alliance to protect themselves. Bottom line is it isn’t Russia’s business what happens anywhere outside of its borders. The mini Hitler who calls himself Putin can sit down, shut up, and keep his damm nose out of the civilized world’s affairs.

  4. As with all contradictions, this one has destructive consequences:

    As the world (rightly) condemns Putin’s invasion, it (including the U.S.) finance that invasion by purchasing Russian oil and gas.

    How on earth can you condemn a criminal, while slipping money into his pocket?

  5. Quoting the late great American POW that spent years in a communist prison, suffering lifelong physical injury (John McCain):
    “America is the greatest force for good in the history of the world BUT at what point do we go from being a force for good to imperialism” [source: “Why We Fight” documentary 2006].

    America is a good nation but we have to lead by example and hold ourselves to those same ideals. A good start would for Biden to pardon and make whole the real American heroes, that were loyal to their Oath Office, like Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, John Kiriakou (jailed for years for refusing to torture),Thomas Drake and other loyal Americans.

    Biden could pardon them today and then America would be back on track leading by example to the rest of the world. We are better than this, let’s man up!

    1. That was young John McCain. Then he went to work in the Imperial City, WAR$hington, and became totally at one with its imperialism, including the takeover of Ukraine itself.

  6. “The use of artillery and Katyusha rockets on urban centers raise serious questions of war crimes. Notably, just the day before, Putin’s ally Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko mocked the Ukrainians and described the fighting thus far as a “bed of roses.” He threatened that the Ukrainian people would face a “meat grinder” in the coming days.

    Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions prohibits “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment, and torture” when perpetrated against persons “taking no active part in the hostilities.”
    Today’s ethical dilemma:

    If you use artillery and Katyusha rockets on Western Ukrainians to stop Western Ukrainians from using artillery and Katyusha rockets on Eastern Ukrainians, who is operating the culpable “meat grinder”?

    1. Another production sponsored by WAR$hington, with the help of its contractors Al CIAda. That was part of Gladio B. Gladio A was / is the NATO program for false flag terrorism in Europe itself.

  7. During the first Cold War, after many deaths of innocent American citizens here at home, the Father of American Journalism had these wise words:
    “We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home” by Edward R. Murrow.

    Maybe we should close Guantanamo, make Cointelpro tactics a felony crime (with enforcement), end covert blacklisting still happening in 2022 and enact accountability for post-9/11 war crimes first. Then we can lead by example for other nations to follow?

    1. Why lead by example? Acting like a belligerent, psychotic narcissist writ large has worked so far.

  8. I respectfully disagree and note right at the outset that I have no love for Putin.

    In 1962 we escaped WW3 by a hairsbreadth in the Cuban Missile Crisis with the Soviet Union’s military and missiles on our doorstep in Cuba. Today we have reversed the situation with NATO members in Eastern Europe on Russia’s doorstep, US missiles in Poland and Romania, and Ukraine threatening to become a nuclear NATO member on Russia’s border. We are on the wrong side of the issue today and seem to have learned nothing from our incredible good fortune escaping destruction 60 years ago.

    Putin has been very clear on what Russia’s imperatives are. They include no Ukraine membership in NATO, removal of US missiles from Eastern Europe, and NATO forces backed off of Russia’s borders. Biden could have simply defused the issue at any point short of war by renouncing NATO membership for Ukraine and announcing that we would remove missiles from Eastern Europe. He refused to do that, and our government has actively fueled anti Russian hysteria for months.

    A contributing factor that Putin specifically referenced in his speech announcing hostilities was that on Ukraine’s Zelensky’s return from the European Security Conference he announced that it was time to revisit the 1993 Belgrade memorandum that governed Ukraine’s denuclearization following the collapse of the USSR. Putin announced Ukraine would never be permitted to again acquire nuclear weapons. The US was ready to go to war to move hostile nuclear weapons off our border. Why should we feel that hostile nuclear weapons on Russia’s door step would be any more acceptable to them?

    Following the collapse of the USSR old man Bush and our European allies promised Gorbachev that NATO would not expand into former Warsaw pact countries. With the collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact the rationale for NATO’s existence ended. We won the cold war. But, Clinton added a half dozen Eastern European countries to NATO and Duhbya repeated that process. Starting with Duhbya the US has also withdrawn from 4 nuclear weapons agreements with Russia. It is of little surprise that last spring Putin declared that the US is incapable of making and keeping agreements, and that he was through being taken advantage of.

    In 2014 neocon Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland bragged about spending $5 Billion to overthrow the elected government of the Ukraine. We have supported right wing Nazi Ukrainian militias, named after a WW2 Nazi collaborator. We have prevented Ukraine from implementing the 2015 Minsk agreement made by Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia that would control Donsk and Luhansk local government and their participation in Ukraine’s central government.

    Nuland is back at the State Department and neocon Obama retreads Blinken, Sullivan, Klain, Rice et al are driving our foreign policy. Considering our abysmal history since 911 in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other places why are any neocons allowed to even show their faces in decent company?

    One last cautionary note, our army has spent the two decades since 911 fighting mostly with medieval tribesmen armed with AKs and IEDs and losing to them. The Russians, and increasingly the Chinese, have spent that time doing military R&D. In addition, our Navy has not fought a peer foe since 1945 and cannot seem to drive warships without running them into huge ships or running our subs into the seafloor.

    The result is that our military is at least a full generation behind Russia’s, and more sitting ducks than a world class force. What could possibly go wrong with our hysterical crusade against Russia? How will we know when we have had enough fun? Is there a better way for us and the world?

    I am more anxious that we are on the verge of Armageddon then at any time since 1962.

    1. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Ukraine screwed themselves with the help of NATO and the US. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

    2. Amen, Lefty. And evenin 1945 we held a technological and production advantage we no longer have. We seem to do best when the chips are down but that was a homogenized, energized population with a decided singular purpose. We can’t describe ourselves that way anymore. We’re France in 1939, not America 1939.

    3. You said all that I have been saying, and then some, more eloquently then I’ve said it.

    4. Russia doesn’t get to blackmail the world and it has no say in the foreign, economic, or military policy of sovereign nations. They can stick their mentally defective paranoia where the sun doesn’t shine.

  9. The truth of the matter is the Winner determines what happens after the end of hostilities not International Law.

    Geneva Accords only apply to Nations that have signed that Accord….and there are varying standards of protection for persons under that Accord depending upon their particular situation.

    Let’s be plain. here….this is a War of Aggression pure and simple and the perpetrators of that War are War Criminals….everyone of them from the lowest ranking Soldier to Putin himself.

    The first step is to stand with Ukraine….ensure the defeat of all Russian forces and its Allies that are engaged in hostilities or giving support and aid to those who are.

    Then…upon defeating those forces….hunt down and capture or kill those guilty of ordering the attack, caused the death, wounding, and destruction….try them before a Tribunal…and upon conviction….carry out the appropriate sentence to include hanging them till dead.

    There is but one way to deal with Tyrants such as Putin….and unless and until we do…..we are going to be inflicted with one of these tragedies again and again.

    The question for the Russian government and military is whether they are going to clean their own house or shall we.

    They got their butts kicked in Afghanistan by a People that refused to submit…..and the people of Ukraine are no different in that regard.

    Either we stand for Freedom or we capitulate…..if we appease Putin he shall repeat this in the Baltic States… what point we take decisive action will determine how big and bloody it shall be when we do.

  10. Remind us again, what was the Chelsea Manning case about? In that case, Manning was essentially tortured while in prison for upholding the above laws. So do war crimes only matter on scale or size, not substance. Is that how it works? Also today in 2022, the world’s most expensive gulag is still open. Was this history supposed to just disappear down an Orwellian “memory hole”?

  11. The lies of the media are sometimes humorous, but always harmful. Fortunately, the truth has a way of exposing the lies: As Ukrainians now report, the Ukrainian Snake Island soldiers are alive, they surrendered, and now are on their way back home. The Ukrainians who were guarding Chernobyl are now guarding it in a joint exercise with the Russian troops. That apartment building in Kiev that the media reported as being hit by a Russian missile has now been reported by the Ukrainians as being hit by one of their own malfunctioning missiles. The “Ghost Jet” pilot that so many “intelligent” Democrats and Republicans hailed as heroic has now been exposed by Western fact checkers as a video game figure. And that photo of Zelensky standing with his troops supposedly facing down the Russians – was taken a month before the actual invasion. If you’re getting all your war news from the Western media, as Turley surely is, you’re not getting any war news — you’re getting war propaganda.

    1. giocon1– It is in a time like this that the true damage the American media has done, not only to itself but also the country, is revealed. I do not know whether what you say is true– I simply don’t know– but I do know that whatever the American media says must be taken with a large grain of salt because so much of what they have said in the past has been false and agenda driven. There was a time when reporters and anchors shot straight with the American people. They sometimes made errors but they tried hard to get it right. Not any more. Now, for the most part, we get propaganda.

      1. Assuming that MOCKINGBIRD, the CIA project to Infiltrate the media, did not end when it was exposed in the 70s but simply laid low for a while, and changed names and offices, one might expect that in the last 40 Years of turnover— especially the last 15-20 years of retirements and layoffs and buyouts by shadowy hedge funds, the rise of government subsidized, centralized Big Tech, and actual legislation, courtesy of 0bama, legalizing WAR$hington propaganda agajnst the America people– that our entire media apparatus could be getting paychecks from Langley.
        I say that a little tongue of cheek, of course — CIA officers and agents don’t get a check from Langley, nor would their agents in place in the media. That doesn’t mean they, and / or other members of the so-called intelligence community, are not ultimately pulling the strings and writing the scripts.
        Otherwise it’s hard to explain the complete and total machine of organized state propaganda that industry has become.

    2. George Friedman refers to the early war reports as the ‘fog of war. As he says, how can the newsman who just covered the Superbowl state that an explosion was a Cruise Missile instead of something else? It would take an exceptionally well-seasoned reporter to ensure something is a missile, much less an explosion due to a natural gas leak. Today, most of our reporting is vacuous, and many significant reporting mistakes are never completely corrected after many years. We see that inaccurate reporting repeated by types like ATS solely because it suits his conclusions.

      Trust the media? I’d rather trust Robert Ripley.

      1. You can tell most of the so-called reporters nowadays have never even done basic police reporting. Even more worrisome, a lot of them are probably knowing intelligence shills.

    3. Plus, the “reporting” we see all over the place that “Putin is unstable.”

      The war propaganda is flowing

      All of it is a setup for President Pudding Brain to stand before Congress in his SOTU address and say, “the Russians are coming!” and Putin is unstable! But have no fear, I your steady-handed *wartime Commander-in-Chief* will take on Putin! Yes, I will ask of all Americans to make sacrifices, afterall this is WAR, and we must all pay more for gas and heating and food and everything under the sun because PUTIN and the RUSSIANS are coming!

      Covid? What covid crisis? Biden and the Democrats solved THAT crisis! Covid mandates? Vaccine passports? CDC hiding and withholding data? All the Covid LIES? Come on, man, we are now AT WAR with RUSSIA!

      Through the roof Inflation? Yes well the high gas prices are BECAUSE WAR with Russia! And we all have to make sacrifices during WAR you know. But have no fear, I am here, your Command in Chief.

      And you what? Some people will actually buy this garbage that will be shoved down America’s throats by the disgusting fake news media — Biden’s state TV propaganda.

      All of this is beyond disgusting. ANYONE who votes Democrat after all this is a FOOL.

      1. Not so fast bro. The Republicans are pushing him to be even more belligerent and stupid than he already is.

  12. Professor Turley did not address who is a civilian. Reports are that Ukrainians males are being given arms to fight against the Russians. Are these armed civilians military combatants and therefore perhaps could be targeted by the Russians?

    1. I don’t see that this is much different than forming a militia, really – so I’d assume they’d be considered combatants. All of the armed civilians I’ve seen so far have been given those bright yellow armbands that effectively designate them as such. But I don’t know if police are considered combatants, and all of the civilian volunteers I’ve seen pictures of so far, seem to be serving in that capacity.

      1. This war was initiated by Putin. At the same time, Biden made no effort to prevent it by seeking to negotiate a settlement. According to various credible press reports, by the Fall Biden knew:

        1. Putin planned to invade unless a settlement was reached around his objectives, principally the end of Ukraine’s plans to join NATO;

        2. Neither the US nor NATO would enter the war on Ukraine’s side;

        3. The west could not agree on sanctions that would stop the flow of Russian oil and gas;

        4. The sanctions the west could agree on were not expected to deter Putin, as Biden just admitted despite numerous earlier public statements that this was their purpose; and

        5. China would stand behind Russia.

        Knowing all these things, Biden must have decided that an invasion was a better result than a negotiated settlement that would end NATO’s eastward expansion. Why did he decide this?

        Celebrating Ukraine’s resistance is premature. Putin will not back down. If need be he will do to Kyiv and Kharkiv what he did to Grozny. Perhaps continuing pressure on Russia will induce a coup there to effect regime change, but I would not bet on it. And in the meantime Ukraine will be eviscerated, its cities reduced to rubble and its people killed and forced to flee.

        Continuing efforts to arm a Ukrainian insurgency by land routes from NATO countries risks cross border operations by Russia to eliminate sanctuaries. What then?

        The common trope that Putin’s methods are outdated in this century ignores the US shock and awe campaign and invasion of Iraq, as well as other US and NATO interventions, such as in Libya and Syria. The US also declared Kosovo independent and bombed Serbia at the end of the last century. There are a lot of war crimes on all sides.

        All efforts now should be directed to ending the fighting in Ukraine through a negotiated settlement before more unnecessary devastation occurs and the war expands. Though admirable and heroic, the continued Ukrainian resistance is enormously dangerous. We should be putting pressure on Zelensky to accept the best terms he can get.

        1. The US has no control over Ukraine’s desire to join NATO.

          NATO has been quite clear in rejecting Ukraine’s desire to join.

          There is no “eastward expansion” of NATO involving Ukraine.

          So just what are you referring to when you say “the end of Ukraine’s plans to join NATO”? It cannot join unless approved by NATO, which has never approved it, nor suggested that approval was in the offing.

          China is not standing behind Russia. They abstained from the UN vote instead of joining Russia in voting “no.”

          The US and Allies have joined in widespread sanctions (financial sanctions, refusal of airspace, etc.) and have joined in providing support to Ukraine in resisting Russia’s aggression.

          We should continue putting pressure on Russia to end this war of aggression.

          1. “NATO has been quite clear in rejecting Ukraine’s desire to join. There is no “eastward expansion” of NATO involving Ukraine.”

            Not true. Nato provided a pathway for acceptance.

  13. War is horrible and I’m not trying to justify Russia’s actions. Just trying to understand what led to this crisis. I’m wondering, Mr. Turley, if you’re aware of the US backed coup in 2014 of Ukraine. And of the 14,000 Eastern Ukrainians who’ve been killed by Western Ukraine since that time. Or have you heard of the Minsk accords the west has failed to follow? And we must stand against all wars like the ones we’re supporting in Yemen. Where’s the outrage over that war or over our invasion and occupation if parts of Syria? I do respect your insight into most issues. And I fear writing this comment will cause some to call me a Putin sympathizer. Sad to see how McCarthyism has swept across our nation.

    1. It is time to speak the truth without fear. Anticipate those propaganda tools and shout them down as the intellectually bankrupt cowards they are. Tell them to come back with an argument of substance.

    2. As Putin said in one of his speeches last week, they aim to “demilitarize and de-Nazify” Ukraine.
      There’s more actual historical and current context in this 25-minute program then probably 25 hours of MSM news.

      RT Crosstalk Feb 28: “Demilitarize and Denazify”

    3. Mary:

      “Or have you heard of the Minsk accords the west has failed to follow? And we must stand against all wars like the ones we’re supporting in Yemen. ”
      Quit thinking and questioning the lying Dims. Minsk Prorocols (I & 2))? Who cares? They’re just treaties signed by Russia and Ukraine that the corrupt Ukraiinans violated by shelling their own Pro-Russian citizens in Donbas andLuhansk Oblasts. The Dims have spent years telling us: Russia, bad; Orange man, bad. Now they get to go to war with both on our dime. Nuclear exchange be damned. we need war profiteering. This is power politics plain and simple with our kids serving as the cannon fodder for cannons they sell. Wake up! smell the coffee! This is Davos with gun smoke and we’re the unwilling puppets manning the parapets.

  14. War Crimes generally build as a war is protracted. The bombing and artillery bombardment of Warsaw in 1939 stirred outrage, Rotterdam less so in 1940, When the air assault started on the UK, Germany limited themselves primarily to military targets like radar and airfields but when they dropped bombs on London (the first time was inadvertent) it drew an immediate response with Bomber command hitting Berlin. Hitler was outraged and then launched the Blitz and terror bombing and all the gloves came came off. There was a constant back and forth between Bomber Command and it’s nite area bombing versus the US 8th AAF and daylight “precision bombing” but both ended up hitting Dresden day and night resulting in the 1st firestorm and arguably a war crime. When precision bombing failed over Japan because of the Jet Stream and weather , the US resorted to low level incendiary bombing resulting in more deaths in a firestorm in Tokyo (greater than 100,000) than occurred in either single atomic bomb event. Pray for a short war or it all gets worse.
    The recent interview with Condeleeza Rice was very interesting because she had met Putin many times and he always seemed cool and under control and she very pointedly has said the present Putin is very different and something she had not seen before. The best option may be to ratchet up the pressure but give Putin a clear avenue of retreat and push more for results and less for humiliation. He no longer appears stable or predictable.

    1. “He no longer appears stable or predictable.”

      So many pundits have stated that but what is the proof behind that thought? I hear the news pundits agreeing, but who can trust them? Yet in person, one who is likely an expert, who knows for sure, in a limited fashion staked his reputation to a group by stating that such an idea wasn’t true and that Putin was as sharp as ever.

    2. I thought that Condi interview was really interesting too. Putin certainly is possessed of a certain low cunning. he’s now run circles around 3 US presidents: remember W Bush claimed he “saw his soul,” (imagine thinking an ex-KGB, Vory Zakone-adjacent dictator has one), embarrassed Obama in Syria, and began manipulating Manafort and Trump before the latter even assumed the presidency, resulting in Manafort going to prison and Trump getting impeached the first time (one imagines Robert Hansen thinks all this is pretty rich, assuming he has TV in ADX Supermax). It’s also how he ended up with one of Bob Kraft’s super bowl rings (I’ll let you google that one). But despite his best propaganda efforts he’s not 10 feet tall. Russia’s economy is vulnerable; it’s dominated by huge SOEs and has all the inflexibility and problems that come with Leviathan. His military is large but badly equipped and demoralized. Large demonstrations on the streets-unthinkable not that long ago-show his iron grip on the populace may be weakening.

      None of this is a guarantee that anything happens to him of course. he’s looked weak before and come out on top. but it feels like the scales are tipping toward the downside scenario for perhaps the first time since he took over. I dunno if the invasion was a strategic ploy that got out of hand or if Putin has become so isolated and surrounded with toadies that he’s lost touch with reality or what. But things certainly seem different this time around. If he loses the oligarchs he’s probably finished one way or another. Sic semper tyrannis and all that.

  15. When the zookeeper leaves the doors open so that lions can escape and kill people, he can be charged with negligent homicide. Biden opened the gate for Putin and encouraged him. Biden should be held accountable.

    He would be found not guilty based on mental incapacity.

    1. Trump’s the one who has been praising Putin. Trump’s the one who attempted to weaken NATO and decreased funding. Trump’s the one who held hostage funds that had been approved by Congress, demanding that Zelenskyy first do him a personal favor — the reason for Trump’s first impeachment. But you hate Democrats, so of course you blame Biden.

      1. NATO is the cause of the war. If Clinton had withdrawn after the collapse of the USSR, this would not have happened. Instead, he used it to conduct his own little wars. The Deep State seeks to destroy Russia so we can make money in Europe.

        1. How disgusting that you blame NATO for a war started by Russia. Do you also blame rape victims for their rapes?

          1. How disgusting your mother brought you into this world. Or were you hatched in a troll farm? Disgusting either way

        2. Listen Bill Clinton is a lot of things: a Rhodes scholar, a scoundrel, a liar. But one thing he’s most certainly not, was president in 1991 when the USSR collapsed. He hadn’t even been elected yet. The president in December 91 was of course George HW Bush. Get your facts straight and then we can talk about why the US dissolving NATO and ceding half the globe to whoever would’ve won the the vicious struggle to fill the power vacuum we left- a conflict that would’ve commenced immediately the very instant we withdrew-would have been the biggest strategic failure in the long and storied history of statecraft. You need to learn a lot more about foreign policy and the national interest if you want to be able to contribute meaningfully to this discussion.

      2. Trump pointed out that NATO was not supportive of the alliance. You might think that names signed to a piece of paper are used in a war, but they are not unless there is a willingness to cover costs, provide trained troops, and maintain an adequate arsenal of weapons.

        Many of our NATO allies refused to pay what they owed, much less provide trained men and armaments.

        Trump made NATO stronger.

        Trump’s discussion with Zelensky needed to take place based on American law. Biden violated American security. He is corrupt and placed his interests in front of American interests. Biden should be held responsible for this war based on that and many of his failures.

  16. It seems weird that Russia’s attack on Ukraine is not clearly a “war of aggression,” which it certainly is, but a better legal case could be made for “genocide” even though there is no evidence of that in the normal meaning of the word.

    Very weird.

    1. Liberty2:

      Actually, he’s from St. Petersburg. The weather isn’t particularly warm there either with an average high of 73 and a low of 16. It’s culturally beautiful and I didn’t see one bonfire or brimstone pit. Lots of red coats, though.

  17. How can socialist Biden lose if people think he wasn’t anti give a damn Ukraine and pro socialist fascist Russian Putin. Remember he openly and correctly identified the Democrats as the nearest group to the form USSR Communist Party he had ever seen.

    True to form they said one thing and did the opposite exactly portraying pretend Democrats and pro Socialists the two most 180 degree opposite political philosophies in existence.

  18. Maybe they should have listened to Patton in 1945. And none of the International Court finding will mean a darn thing as long as he remains in power

    1. Professor Turley did not address who is a civilian. Reports are that Ukrainians males are being given arms to fight against the Russians. Are these armed civilians military combatants and therefore perhaps could be targeted by the Russians?

      The earlier identical comment is also mine, but I forgot to sign it. Sorry.

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