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Why the invasion of Ukraine happened in 2021 and not while Trump was president, much to Putin's chagrin.

By Curt_Anderson
October 24, 2022 6:24 pm
Category: Military

(5.0 from 1 vote)
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Important events in the history of Ukraine as it relates to Russia
Kievan Rus' was a state in Eastern and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century. The modern nations of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine all claim Kievan Rus' as their cultural ancestor. That forever connected those countries, sentimentally if not politically.

With the Pereyaslav Agreement of the 1654 the Ukranian Cossacks pledge loyalty to Russian Tsar Alexis.

The Crimean War was fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russia lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, the United Kingdom and Piedmont-Sardinia. the Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 March 1856, ended the war. Adding to Russia's embarrassment, the treaty forbade Russia from basing warships in the Black Sea.

In 1922, Ukraine became one of the original constituent republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Ukraine has been viewed by Russians including Stalin and Putin as Russian province, not an independent state. Ukraine has long been considered a breadbasket because of its important agricultural production. Its importance has been recognized by the tsars to Stalin to Putin.

The Holodomor, also known as the Great Famine, was a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine from 1932 to 1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians. Some historians conclude that the famine was planned and exacerbated by Joseph Stalin in order to eliminate a Ukrainian independence movement.

Putin's claim that Ukraine needs "denazification" and the anti-Semite Ukranian Nationalist Stepan Bandera.
That Ukraine is hotbed of Nazism seems ridiculous considering President Zelenskyy is Jewish. It's not so ridiculous to Russians. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Stepan Bandera prepared the June 1941 Proclamation of Ukrainian statehood in Lviv, pledging to work with Germany. Nazis had promised Ukranians an independent Ukraine, a promise they promptly broke and placed Bandera under house arrest. The KGB killed Bandera in 1959. Bandera remains a highly controversial figure in Ukraine, with many Ukrainians hailing him as a role model hero, martyred liberation fighter, while other Ukrainians, particularly in the south and east, condemn him as a fascist.

Putin's worst fears
In 2019, Ukraine even enshrined its will to join the West in its constitution. “Ukraine will join the E.U., Ukraine will join NATO!” declared a jubilant Andriy Parubiy, Ukraine’s speaker of the house, after the measure passed. That has always been Putin's worst fear.

COVID makes the invasion "necessary"
COVID interrupted supply chains including food supplies. The pandemic-caused increased food demands made Ukrainian food production more important. Ukraine at the outbreak of COVID was the world's top exporter of sunflower oil exporter and the fourth largest shipper of corn. Ukraine's increased and urgent strategic importance was not lost on Putin.

Russian paranoia and pride, and Putin's place in history
For those strategic reasons and for sentimental reasons, Putin has long lamented the loss of Ukraine and other republics when the Soviet Union broke apart. Putin has described the Soviet disintegration as one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century that robbed Russia of its rightful place among the world’s great powers.

Donald Trump and Putin shared a disdain for NATO and EU. Trump had threated to pull the US out of NATO. That would have suited Putin just fine. Trump claimed that the European Union was "formed in order to take advantage of the United States". Music to Putin's ears. Putin undoubtedly would have preferred the like-minded Trump to be re-elected. It would have made the invasion of Ukraine much easier.

Besides Putin's NATO and EU fears and resentments, Putin at age 70 is aware that next month is the centennial of the USSR. He wants his legacy to be among other Russian leaders who increased the Russian empire.

Russia Lays Out Demands for a Sweeping New Security Deal With NATO
The proposal, coming as Moscow masses troops on the border with Ukraine, would establish a Cold War-like security arrangement in Eastern Europe that NATO officials immediately rejected.

In early December, President Biden made clear that his administration was not considering sending troops to fight for Ukraine since, among other reasons, Ukraine is not a member of the NATO alliance and does not come under its commitment to collective defense.

Mr. Biden, vowing to turn Mr. Putin into a “pariah,” has announced tough sanctions aimed at cutting off Russia’s largest banks and some oligarchs, from much of the global financial system and preventing the country from importing American technology critical to its defense, aerospace and maritime industries. Mr. Biden has also prohibited energy imports from Russia to the United States and issued sanctions against the company behind an energy pipeline connecting Russia to Germany.


Cited and related links:

  1. nytimes.com
  2. nytimes.com

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Comments on "Why the invasion of Ukraine happened in 2021 and not while Trump was president, much to Putin's chagrin.":

  1. by oldedude on October 24, 2022 9:56 pm
    I will start by saying that Curt knows absolutely nothing about either the Crimea or Russian History.

    Many things back up the Russian charges (none of which are actually supported unless you look through Putin's eyes). Crimea is where the Russians beat back the great Napoleonic Empire. Therefore, they think it's there's. Putin is a Stalinist. Therefore, he believes that all the land that the "Soviet Union" held before is rightfully theirs.

    The larger issue is the Russians have this paranoia about being attacked (that may be correct...). They have the steppes, which are rich in grain and agriculture. This is a prize for anyone that can grab it. The Germans/ Europe has tried twice in recent history.

    They were a landlocked country for most of the year. Other than the black sea, which the Russians had an extremely efficient navy, is odd to navigate. It has a layer of salt water, and then is "fresh water." so all of sudden things drop and sink. Russian subs are excellent at navigating those zones, but can't at this time.

    Contrary to western views, Russia has no warm water ports. Welcome to the black Sea and Crimea/ Ukraine. They must have that port for trade and to have a navy in a warm water port. And, they feel they must own it. If they don't, they're at the mercy of the one who does. This is not acceptable to the Russians.

    This point is: If Ukraine is to win, the defeat of the Russian Empire is certain. I know the libs won't fight for the American Right to be the best, but others feel differently.


  2. by Curt_Anderson on October 24, 2022 10:44 pm
    "I will start by saying that Curt knows absolutely nothing about either the Crimea or Russian History." --OD

    You think so, comrade? Then try to refute with citations a single historical fact that I've presented above. I not surprised that your sympathies lie with Russia or that you support their "right to the best" by invading the Ukraine.


  3. by HatetheSwamp on October 25, 2022 3:58 am

    Donald Trump and Putin shared a disdain for NATO and EU. Trump had threated to pull the US out of NATO. That would have suited Putin just fine. Trump claimed that the European Union was "formed in order to take advantage of the United States". Music to Putin's ears. Putin undoubtedly would have preferred the like-minded Trump to be re-elected. It would have made the invasion of Ukraine much easier.

    Somehow it's always:

    Trump Trump Trump Trump
    Trump Trump Trump Trump
    Trump Trump Trump Trump...TRUMP!

    You probably don't remember that I composed this little TDS ditty during the pandemic...to be sung twice...while washing hands...to the tune of, ROW, ROW ROW YOUR BOAT...

    Trump, Trump, Trump is bad,
    Nasty things Trump did.
    Carefully, carefully do we watch.
    Nothing will be hid.

    Good German TDS hate! Baha.


  4. by oldedude on October 25, 2022 7:00 am
    "You think so, comrade? Then try to refute with citations a single historical fact that I've presented above. I not surprised that your sympathies lie with Russia or that you support their "right to the best" by invading the Ukraine."

    First. Anyone can pick up an article and post it, then claim they are "experts" in the field. Like the guy from Ottawa (I forgot his name because he isn't important enough for me to remember), and Indy they just cut and pasted. But that's what it was. It's well done, I agree. I'm not convinced of all of it, but it's worth looking at.

    Your hatred of me is extremely evident. Again, it's a lie that when you (all) get nudged, you respond with to both Lead and me both. I have never been pro-Russian (incl. Soviet Union) and actually had the balls to do somthing about it for a few decades while you were letting everyone else do the work.

    What is the worst about this is that Donna, Lead, and I have been very vocal about this. None of us have changed our stance. Lead and I have taken the most abuse because y'all conviently "forget" what we say and will lie about us. From day one, we've always supported the Ukrainians. I've also explained why Americans are willing to go in to that fight, not being paid, and working and dying along side of the Ukrainians, and killing Russians. I'm sorry you completely missed the plethora of posts on that. We had some excellent dialoge that doesn't happen often on the site.


  5. by HatetheSwamp on October 25, 2022 7:13 am

    Lead and I have taken the most abuse because y'all conviently "forget" what we say and will lie about us.

    The truth is that pb has been critical of "that feckless dementia-ridden" piece of crap on Ukraine, from the beginning, because the Flatulent Fool's support of Ukraine has been too weak.

    Consistent with that, pb's criticized the Former Truck Driver because he seems to want Ukraine to lose slowly...NOT TO WIN!

    To suggest that OD and pb are pro Russia is wrong. Is it a lie, or is it stupidity!!!!!?


  6. by Donna on October 25, 2022 9:22 am

    Incredible piece by Eliot A. Cohen from The Atlantic.

    "In the United States, the likely next speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, in a gesture to the neo-isolationist wing of the Republican Party, has indicated that it is time to curtail aid to Ukraine."

    "...Americans and Europeans need to hear about the consequences if Russia were to crush Ukraine; about the invasions and depredations that would surely come next in the Baltic states, and quite likely beyond; about the conclusions a no less ruthless Chinese government would draw; and about how a failure to take a stand here would mean something much bigger and more dangerous in a few years’ time. They need to hear how staunchness now, even in the face of nuclear threats, is infinitely better than a large-scale, possibly global war in a decade. They need to hear that world war is not just the stuff of history books or their grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ lives, but a possibility for us if we are not prudent now.

    They also need to hear about the semi-genocidal nature of the Russian attack on Ukraine—not just the extensive torture, murder, and rape of the civilian population, but the kidnapping of thousands of children, and the attempt to wipe out Ukrainian language and culture.

    Americans also need to hear a celebration not only of Ukrainian courage and tenacity, but of their skill. On January 20, 1940, Churchill gave a speech in which, among other things, he reflected on Finland’s astonishing early defeats of the Soviet armies that had attacked it a few months before.

    'Only Finland—superb, nay sublime—in the jaws of peril—Finland shows what free men can do.'

    And he issued a warning:

    'If the light of freedom which still burns so brightly in the frozen North should be finally quenched, it might well herald a return to the Dark Ages, when every vestige of human progress during two thousand years would be engulfed.'

    Now is a moment for Churchillian rhetoric and insight, suitably modified to the limitations of those who may share his instincts but lack his brilliance."

    rsn.org


  7. by HatetheSwamp on October 25, 2022 9:40 am

    Oy!

    How vividly this brings back those Vietnam War memories for good ol pb!

    So, you've regularly belittled pb for being more hawkish on Ukraine than "that feckless dementia-ridden piece of crap."

    Do you want free American citizens to give President Clouseau a blank check on Ukraine? What's your point!!!!!?


  8. by Donna on October 25, 2022 9:46 am

    Are you curtailing or withdrawing your support for Ukraine?


  9. by HatetheSwamp on October 25, 2022 10:10 am

    Donna.

    It's not support for Ukraine that is at issue for me. It's supporting the American President’s policy.

    I've been clear. I thought Clouseau was a pu$$y initially. I think that he's been cajoled by NATO or congressional Dems to develop a spine but, still, from what I can tell, our old fart just wants Ukraine to lose slowly.

    If that's his approach, then I can understand the isolationists.


  10. by Donna on October 25, 2022 11:02 am

    Did McCarthy ever complain about Biden's approach?


  11. by HatetheSwamp on October 25, 2022 11:07 am

    Which McCarthy?


  12. by Donna on October 25, 2022 11:30 am

    Kevin. But you knew that.


  13. by HatetheSwamp on October 25, 2022 11:43 am

    It'll surprise you that I don't pay attention to Kevin McCarthy, especially like you do.


  14. by Curt_Anderson on October 25, 2022 12:07 pm
    "I will start by saying that Curt knows absolutely nothing about either the Crimea or Russian History." --OD

    I've never claimed to be an "expert" on the Ukraine, Russia or Crimea. However, I absolutely know what I've written are accepted historical facts. I suppose you'd call it "hearsay" since I wasn't there when the Cossacks pledged allegiance to the Tsar or when Stalin reigned terror.

    You seem to disagree with what I wrote, yet you cannot or will not refute any of the facts and historical notes I've written. If you've got nothing, just say so. No need to launch into a lengthy tirade and whine that I hate you. I don't hate you by the way. I actually thought you raised a good and interesting point about Russia's limited access to the sea(s).

    I have yet to hear a coherent idea on what America should do about Russia and Ukraine that is any different or better than what Biden is doing already from you, HtS or anybody else---that includes Pramila Jayapal who yesterday called for "negotiations" with Russia. And I mean besides vague complaints that Biden should be "tougher" with Russia--whatever that means.





  15. by Donna on October 25, 2022 12:41 pm

    "It'll surprise you that I don't pay attention to Kevin McCarthy, especially like you do." - Hts

    I'm not surprised by anything you post.

    Why aren't you interested in what your House leader says?


  16. by HatetheSwamp on October 25, 2022 12:56 pm

    Donna,

    The Dems own the White House and both Houses of Congress.

    I care oodles about what "that feckless dementia-ridden piece of crap" thinks.

    As far as what the isolationists think? I consider McCarthy to be a lightweight.

    Trump, of course, has always been anti-war and an isolationist.

    The leading libertarian in Congress for me is Rand Paul.

    Tulsi has been more vocal about Ukraine than any isolationist I'm aware of.

    Honestly, my guess is that I'm probably less influenced in my thinking by Kevin McCarthy than you are by Nancy Pelosi...

    ...a whole lot less.


  17. by Curt_Anderson on October 25, 2022 1:09 pm
    HtS,
    Seriously, you believe that Trump is an anti-war isolationist? What gives you that idea?

    Trump has already said Biden should threaten Russia with nuclear attack. He has also said the US should put the Chinese flag on F-22 jets and “bomb the shit out of Russia”, and then “say, ‘China did it, we didn’t do it, China did it,’ and then they start fighting with each other and we sit back and watch”.
    theguardian.com


  18. by HatetheSwamp on October 25, 2022 1:24 pm

    Curt,

    I've been listening to Trump speak about Ukraine since Putin and the Former Truck Driver made it an issue.

    Y'nes don't seem to know what to do with Trump. Is a Putin vassal? Or, does he want to vaporize Putin with a H bomb?

    Make up your effin mind.


  19. by Curt_Anderson on October 25, 2022 1:58 pm
    HtS,
    I know who Trump is: a man totally devoid of integrity. He will say one thing to one audience and say the opposite to another. That he vacillates between antiwar and bellicose statements is typical of Trump.

    You cannot trust whatever Trump says regarding Ukraine or anything else. His idiotic idea of painting Chinese flags on our jets is an idea Bugs Bunny would reject in a Looney Tunes cartoon.


  20. by Donna on October 25, 2022 2:49 pm

    Hts - Do you agree with Rand Paul's stance on Ukraine?

    Rand Paul Brings Putin’s Core Argument Against Ukraine to Congress

    At the core of Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine is the notion of sovereignty — and in particular, whether Ukraine deserves it. Ukrainians, and the vast majority of people and governments in the rest of the world, say it does. Russia, which invaded the country in late February in an attempt to overthrow its government and make it into a subservient vassal state, says it doesn’t.

    Apparently, U.S. Senator Rand Paul also believes Ukraine isn’t a state, based on this head-scratching exchange with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

    Blinken pushes back when Rand Paul suggests Biden is responsible for Russia's invasion of Ukraine b/c he supported Ukraine's desire to join NATO, pointing out those are "sovereign decisions."

    Paul then makes sure to point out he doesn't actually support Russia's invasion. But.

    BLINKEN: If you look at the countries Russia attacked, these were countries that were not part of NATO

    RAND PAUL: You could also argue the countries they've attacked were part of Russia

    BLINKEN: I firmly disagree. It's the right of these countries to decide their future


    Paul’s position is shocking but not entirely uncommon. Ukraine’s current security situation is the result of years of policy decisions made by Western countries, the Ukrainian government, and Russia, and Paul belongs to a camp that thinks the actions of NATO member states are more responsible for the current war than, say, Russia, the nation that started it. The core of this argument is that NATO’s courtship of Ukraine was the primary accelerant in the current crisis. There are points in this argument’s favor — NATO’s expansionist policies since the early ‘90s have not been exactly stabilizing to the region — but they often overlook the only question that should matter: What do Ukrainians want to do? Since 2014, they’ve overwhelmingly wanted to join NATO.”

    news.yahoo.com


  21. by HatetheSwamp on October 25, 2022 2:50 pm

    HtS,
    I know who Trump is: a man totally devoid of integrity. He will say one thing to one audience and say the opposite to another. That he vacillates between antiwar and bellicose statements is typical of Trump.


    That's not what I'm picking up. What's more likely is that there's nuance that you are incapable of understanding.


  22. by Donna on October 25, 2022 2:57 pm

    As far as what the isolationists think? I consider McCarthy to be a lightweight. Trump, of course, has always been anti-war and an isolationist. The leading libertarian in Congress for me is Rand Paul. - Hts

    McConnell on ‘isolationist’ Rand Paul opposing Ukraine aid: ‘A tiny percentage’ of Senate GOP

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) said his Kentucky colleague Sen. Rand Paul (R), who vocally opposed the $40 billion Ukraine aid package, represented “a tiny percentage” of Senate Republicans.

    “My colleague, Senator Paul, has always been basically an isolationist. He’s proud of it and believes that’s where America ought to be. That is a tiny percentage of the Senate Republican Conference,” McConnell told Fox News’ Bret Baier on Thursday.

    “There’s always been a strand of isolationism in our party, but it’s not anywhere near the dominant view, which was expressed in the vote that we had today and will be expressed again when we vote on the admission of Finland and Sweden into NATO,” he added.

    Paul was among 11 GOP senators who voted against the $40 billion aid package for Ukraine earlier Thursday. The Kentucky Republican last week kept the chamber from quickly advancing the legislation after it passed the House earlier this month.

    news.yahoo.com


  23. by Curt_Anderson on October 25, 2022 3:03 pm
    Donna,
    Even if a person were to accept Rand Paul's notion that Ukraine is not a sovereign state, how can bombing and shooting civilians in the attacking nation's "province" possibly be justified?

    HtS,
    So all this time you've been mistaking Trump's inconsistencies, waffling and lying for "nuance". Wow. There is no nuance in "bomb the shit" out of Russia. It's just empty bravado that as an ex-president he doesn't have to back up. Much like your tough talk and insult-laden insinuations that you know what Biden should do regarding B. Griner.


  24. by oldedude on October 25, 2022 6:15 pm
    Curt whining-"I have yet to hear a coherent idea on what America should do about Russia and Ukraine that is any different or better than what Biden is doing already from you,..."

    Because honestly, I think he hasn't done a bad job once it happened. YET AGAIN- pedojoe is a weak leader and Putin knows that. When Putin entered the war, the consensus (that I agree with) is that he should have taken what he needed in a matter eh, about three to 6 weeks. Instead, Ukrainians stood up and started a resistance movement and guerilla war. That's something (surprisingly) the Russians are not good with at all. So they started getting their butts kicked. Which is one reason China has kept pretty mum on the whole thing. When they get involved, it will be on their terms, not Vlad's.

    I haven't complained about pdeojoe in this case. Therefore, I don't have much of the badmouthing you would like me to do just to argue. Would there be some things I would have liked him to do? Sure. I would have appreciated more MiGs from Poland. I think he showed he's afraid of actually standing up to Putin. He's afraid Putin will call his bluff.

    As far as my "Tirads" go, they are actually more than just a cut and paste from a source. I actually understand Russian order of battle. What they consider "normal" operations, and what they don't. How they are good at what they do, and what they are weak. These are the things I was talking about. You don't get that from a cut and paste. And yes, I will always let you know that you're lying about what I said. The same way Donna does, and Pondy, and Isle. Fair is fair.


  25. by HatetheSwamp on October 26, 2022 5:35 am

    HtS,
    So all this time you've been mistaking Trump's inconsistencies, waffling and lying for "nuance". Wow. There is no nuance in "bomb the shit" out of Russia. It's just empty bravado that as an ex-president he doesn't have to back up. Much like your tough talk and insult-laden insinuations that you know what Biden should do regarding B. Griner.


    Curt,

    You have never heard Trump make these statements in context.

    Trump just came out leading "that feckless dementia-ridden piece of crap" in a new Pennsylvania poll yesterday, again.

    Trump's speeches are interesting.

    Mostly, it's just antiSwamp red meat that he chews up in front of the crowd...and, it's very effective in rallying the troops...

    ...but, on Ukraine? You have to listen carefully to get his message.

    Getting a few, out of context, soundbites from Joy? Anderson? That's no way to know what is going on.

    So, go ahead, belittle, mock. Laugh. It's what you sanctimones do.

    It's what they did with Hitler in the 20s. I'm sure it makes you feel pleasantly smug. But, get ready to pay the piper.


  26. by Curt_Anderson on October 26, 2022 11:44 am
    "Trump's speeches are interesting...

    ...So, go ahead, belittle, mock. Laugh. It's what you sanctimones do.

    It's what they did with Hitler in the 20s. I'm sure it makes you feel pleasantly smug. But, get ready to pay the piper." --HtS

    Quite a while ago as editor-in-chief I made the unilateral decision to rescind Godwin's Law on these pages. I didn't expect that people would be comparing their preferred candidate to Hitler in flattering terms.


  27. by HatetheSwamp on October 26, 2022 12:24 pm

    Quite a while ago as editor-in-chief I made the unilateral decision to rescind Godwin's Law on these pages. I didn't expect that people would be comparing their preferred candidate to Hitler in flattering terms.

    I was sure you'd catch that. I hope you apprehend the significance.

    pb's said that it's your Swamp that created Trump. You're reaping what you unrepentantly continue to sow.

    Several times isle, quoting Heather, has called hypocrits, on our side, people like Bill Barr...and pb...and OD, who, unhestitatingly, confess that they'll vote for Trump, in a heartbeat, if he's the nominee.

    pb's attempting to define, for you Blue MAGAs, how far that goes.

    In pb's mind, there's, indeed, some Hitler in Trump. When pb he says that he thinks Trump is despicable he's not joshing.

    But, if Trump is the GOP nominee, pb'll vote for him in a heartbeat. He'll be pained...AGAIN...to do it...but He'll do it...

    ...because what you'll offer will make even today's Hitler look good.


  28. by Curt_Anderson on October 26, 2022 1:05 pm
    "But, if Trump is the GOP nominee, pb'll vote for him in a heartbeat. He'll be pained...AGAIN...to do it...but He'll do it...

    ...because what you'll offer will make even today's Hitler look good." --HtS

    I never doubted that you'd vote for Hitler (or an available facsimile). From your perspective what's not to like with Hitler? He took a hard line with "fake news" (lugenpresse) and immigrants (untermenschen). He was pretty on Russia too. He also liked dogs.


  29. by oldedude on October 26, 2022 1:30 pm
    "So all this time you've been mistaking pedojoe's inconsistencies, waffling and lying for "nuance"."
    The head of a continuing criminal enterprise that links his family with kickbacks and family favors for both the Russians and Chinese...


  30. by oldedude on October 27, 2022 7:51 am
    And I would argue that either one of us "vote for him in a heartbeat." Tulsi is someone I would vote for in a heartbeat. For both of us, Trump is the last person we would vote for other than the dim. As pedojoe has brought out,

    Accepted violence and crime by those they agree with. Lead and I have been staunch advisories of the Jan 6 riots. At the summer of love event, dims have continually disregarded them. Even in some cases, financially supported their crimes. This is akin to Lead and I paying bond for KKK members that dragged a black (or gay, or hispanic, or asian, etcetcetc) to death.

    When a sitting president tells people that their children are the "schools" to raise and that we should turn over their learning to the government, I adamantly oppose that.

    The dims closed down states. They also allowed people to go to strip clubs, but not churches. What's wrong with that picture? Admittingly, many churches created and still use streaming for their services. Kudos for them, and to me a really good result.

    CRT & teaching young kids (kindergarten through eighth grade) in schools. First, I have issues with any teaching that any race automatically does anything. But that's part of LWO stuff and is essential in their next generation.

    Taking on "Australian Rules" gun laws and "Red Flag" laws. Like Australian Rules football, are based on very different rules. These, by their nature violate the 4th and 6th amendments, along with the 1st and 2nd amendment of OUR constitution.

    So these are just some of the reasons I would not vote for a dim. It is NOT about voting for Trump if he's the party's nominee, it's a null vote for the other side.


  31. by oldedude on October 27, 2022 12:52 pm
    Oh. And Curt. My biggest disagreement with your "assessment" is you're "assuming" domestic issues are the only influences in the equation, with the global issues mentioned as a byline. If pedojoe had a handle on it, vlad may think twice. He didn't.


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