More thoughts about Ukraine and the American Empire [Pacifism Today #8]

Ted Grimsrud—June 23, 2022

[In early March, as the conflict in Ukraine gained the world’s attention, I began to write about that conflict, especially in relation to the American Empire. I posted a blog entry, “Thinking as an American pacifist about the Russian invasion” on March 3. On April 10, I posted “Reflecting morally on the conflict in Ukraine,” a collection of four shorter Facebook posts from the previous month. This current post also collects Facebook posts and leaves them essentially unchanged.]

So, what’s going on with Russia/Ukraine? [5.10.22]

I have struggled with how best to understand the current conflict in Ukraine and, especially, the American role in it—especially in light of Jesus and his biases toward peace and against the power elite. These are some brief points about which I have developed some clear impressions (subject to revision):

1. The US has been seeking a unipolar world at least since 1945 (for example, note the size of the American military budget in relation to the rest of the world and its extensive set of military bases around the world). This quest for global dominance has led to the US relationship with the Soviet Union/Russia to be very adversarial. Russia has a long history of facing aggression from the West going back to Napoleon.

2. Ukraine was the site of armed conflict before the Russian invasion in early February 2022, with thousands dying since 2014. What happened in February was an acceleration of the conflict, not an initiating of it.

3. There are great profits for arms dealers (war profiteers) in the deepening of this conflict. These profits come on top of the great profits throughout the Cold War era and the resistance to a post-Cold War “peace dividend.” These profits have been a key factor driving American policies.

4. Our mainstream (corporate) media are mainly repeating what they are being fed by government. Note the lack of dissenting voices in relation to the militarized American response in the core national media (e.g., Times, Post, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, New Yorker, Atlantic).

5. Ukraine has since 1991 been enormously corrupt on all sides with little genuine democracy. The US has contributed to this in many ways, playing a major role in changing governments, shaping leadership, infusing weapons, hindering peacemaking efforts (e.g., Minsk accords).

6. Joe Biden has long tended to favor military intervention. His role was crucial in the expansion of NATO, the war on Iraq, and the war on Afghanistan. His foreign policy appointees are also interventionists of long standing. Biden has been a major player in the long-term propaganda campaign to shape American hostility toward Russia and Putin.

7. NATO expansion was a deliberate provocation toward Russia. It seems quite possible that we are seeing the fruition of efforts to exploit Russia’s proclivity toward violence (which the US obviously shares) as a means to significantly weaken that country.

8. As a pacifist, I reject all war. But evaluated according to just war criteria, the Russian war in Ukraine may be significantly less unjust than the US war in Iraq—both in terms of just cause and proportionality.

9. Conclusion: Americans of good will should strongly oppose actions that add to the violence and potential for violence in Ukraine and should strongly support efforts to bring a negotiated end to the conflict. Recognizing the unlikelihood of these outcomes, we should at least voice our refusal to give consent to our government’s approach to this conflict.

The alternative sources of news and analysis that I have been following:,,,, and

What about the Russia/Ukraine war going nuclear? [5.15.22]

Debates continue, with some intensity, about why the United States used nuclear weapons on Japan in August 1945. Was it to force the intransigent Japanese finally to surrender and save the millions of lives that would be lost in an invasion? Was it to intimidate the Soviet Union, America’s looming big rival? Or was it ultimately simply the irreversible momentum of having created the ultimate weapon with such an enormous expense and effort—if you’re going to go that far, you almost have to use it once you’ve got it.

That third reason is the one that terrifies me the most. We don’t know how close the US has come to visiting nuclear devastation on the world again in the past nearly eight decades—but we do know of a number of incidents. Surely there have been other incidents where one of the other nuclear powers came close. The thing is, when you have such a weapon at hand, doesn’t it seem likely you would use it if the circumstances were extreme enough?

When the US accelerated the development of these weapons immediately after they were used and was unexpectedly countered by the Soviet Union in a shockingly short period of time, we entered an era where the use of nukes by either power would lead to the end of life on earth. The likelihood of such an outcome, “mutual assured destruction” (MAD), it has been supposed, has made it certain that we won’t have an intentional nuclear war. I actually believe that many of the American nuclear weapons overseers have not been willing to accept that stasis and have continually imagined—and sought to create—a situation where the US could actually fight a nuclear war and win.

Regardless, it does seem our biggest danger is having an unintentional nuclear war (think of the scenario in “Doctor Strangelove”). And this kind of war seems much more likely the closer warmakers’ hands might be to the nuclear trigger. The greater the tensions, the more aggressive the behavior of the great powers, the more dependent on military action and less dependent on diplomacy, the more likely that an “accident” might happen.

It strikes me as quite likely that the American Military-Industrial Complex only ever reluctantly backed away from the high alert scenario that seemed to end with the fall of the Soviet Union 30 years ago. At that point, the main publicly acceptable rationale for the American arsenal ended. However, the powers-that-be avoided a significant reduction of this extraordinarily expensive and dangerous arsenal and, remarkably, avoided an open explanation for why the country should continue to devote so many resources to something that would have such a terrible impact would it ever be used. Obviously, the tremendous financial rewards for the war profiteers gave them great incentives to work to avoid either a reduction or an explanation—and they wildly succeeded in that effort.

And now, things are even better for the corporate beneficiaries of American militarism. The Russia/Ukraine conflict has already been enormously profitable and the flow of wealth from the American people to the war profiteers continues to increase.

The downside, though, is that we probably have never been closer to a nuclear conflagration. The trigger fingers are about as close as they can be to taking the irrevocable step toward disaster. I find it stunning how little this development enters into the public discourse about the American involvement in the conflict. There is always the possibility that some American leader will order that fatal step. Probably more likely right now, US intervention will so threaten the sense of survival for the other side that they will take the fatal step. Much more likely, though, is the unleashing of an unintentional nuclear endgame due to the heightened tensions and heightened aggressions and heightened reliance on military action instead of diplomacy.

I don’t know what can be done. My prayer is that somehow the United States will back away. No matter how negatively one views Putin, it simply seems crazy to imagine that America’s current approach of exacerbating the conflict can do anything but make things worse—for the Ukrainian people, for all Eastern Europeans, and in reality, for all the people in the world. More than ever, we need simply to say no to nuclear weapons, no to the American for-profit military system, and no to the idea that the way to fight evil is by the use of overwhelming evil.

The synergy between guns and warism in the United States [5.29.22]

Though not everyone agrees with this, it does simply seem to be a fact that there is a direct, cause and effect, connection between the number of guns people in the United States have and the number of gun deaths. It would seem obvious, then, that the most effective way to reduce the number of deaths would be to reduce the number of guns.

As an indication of how messed up this country is, it probably is more likely that after these recent mass murders the number of guns people have here will actually increase. Nobody seems to have much of an idea how this could be different.

Let’s consider a nation that is pretty similar to the US—with in some ways a perhaps even more violent past, Germany. According to the New York Times, “about two people out of every million are killed in a gun homicide in Germany,” which is “roughly the death rate for hypothermia or plane crashes” here at home. In the U.S., though, “the death rate from gun homicides is about 31 per million people—the equivalent of 27 people shot dead every day of the year.” That’s to say, the gun homicide rate is more than 15 times greater in the US than Germany.

In 2020, according to an analysis in April of the most recent CDC data available, guns overtook car accidents as the leading cause of death among children and teenagers.

To push these thoughts in a direction that will be a bit more controversial. I think there is a direct correlation between this gun violence and the near unanimity among our federal legislators (and seemingly the American public) that the US should pour billions of dollars’ worth of weapons into the Ukraine/Russia conflict—even as the American leaders seem uninterested in pushing for a negotiated peace settlement.

I see two underlying dynamics behind these pieces of information: (1) What theologian Walter Wink called “the myth of redemptive violence”—the belief in the necessity of violence to make things work out right. As Wink argued, this myth is a self-defeating falsehood. But it is extraordinarily powerful. And American Christianity has shown itself to be essentially powerless to resist it. (2) Both the marketing of guns to the American people and weapons of war to nations such as Ukraine are extraordinarily profitable for our largest and most powerful corporations.

When we have little hope: What can be done? [6.23.22]

I feel more discouraged about American politics than I ever have—and I well remember Watergate, Reagan’s warism, Bush’s attack on Iraq, and the Trump years. Trump did get away with a lot of corruption and self-dealing. However, by the end of his term, enough people were fed up to make it likely he could be pushed out and some healing would happen. However, the Democrats chose probably the worst possible candidate. As bad as Biden was (he truly offered nothing that people who sought change wanted other than not being Trump), he managed a solid win—and, seemingly miraculously, was gifted with Democratic majorities in Congress.

Now, though, in most ways things seem to have gotten worse since November 2020—Covid, the climate crisis, economic aid for vulnerable people, police domination, gun violence, …. Topping it all off is the ratcheting up of the Cold War—our leaders have not only refused to help prevent or resolve peacefully the conflict in Ukraine but instead have poured billions of dollars into the coffers of corporate war profiteers by adding weaponry and military support that only increases the carnage and exacerbates the alienation. We have also seen an escalating of tensions with China and red-baiting hostility toward numerous Western hemisphere nations.

Biden’s failures and the paralysis of the Democrats make it seem likely that we will move back into Republican dominance of the federal government with untold disasters likely to follow—and with the Democratic Party discredited and sidelined for the foreseeable future,

In face of this despair, what can be done? I struggle to imagine a possible path. But I have a few ideas. In general, when one has little power to affect outcomes on a large scale, one does well to be reminded to focus on means more than outcomes (which, according to Gandhi [following Jesus, I’d suggest], is the approach we should always take anyhow—he taught that the means are absolute, the ends are fluid and changeable in face of evolving possibilities). What matters most is living peaceably in all ways and not giving in to temptations to take shortcuts or to compromise one’s core values. In my study of the book of Revelation, I have been impressed that the story there focuses on the way that peace is to be achieved (follow the Lamb wherever he goes), not the certainty of a happy outcome. We don’t know for sure about where we will end up, but we do know for sure that the only way that we will get to where we want to is by living consistently with the peaceable vision.

Part of the discipline of this kind of hopeful living in face of seemingly intractable problems is to recognize that when we focus mainly on being against something, we will be more vulnerable to the forces of alienation, fear, and coercion. The alternative is finding ways to serve a positive vision of healing and wholeness, a vision that includes respect and compassion toward all people at all times.

As I struggle with imagining a good approach in the context of deep discouragement and felt powerlessness, I come up with a few strategies that I will briefly mention:

(1) Clarify one’s core convictions. An important core conviction for me is that life is precious. I seek always to understand better why I believe this and how this conviction might help me discern how to respond to various dynamics in my life. Clarity about the preciousness of life gives me strength to resist messages from the wider culture to support or even just accept violence in US foreign policy or in the area of criminal justice, for example.

(2) Learn what’s going on. When the conflict in Ukraine escalated last winter, I realized right away how little I knew about that situation—and I also realized how unreliable the messages we were being given by our government and by the corporate media were. So, I have tried to find sources I could trust a bit more. From these sources, I learned that my natural suspicion of the US Empire was well founded. The events since February have confirmed that we can’t know what’s going on in Ukraine if we rely on mainstream sources.

(3) Raise one’s voice and show that not everyone agrees. Even if one cannot realistically hope to influence events to move in a peaceable direction, one still has a role to play in voicing dissent however one can—social media, conversations with friends, letters to editors, etc. It is important that people be aware that oppressive and unjust policies are not unanimous.

(4) Be persistent in one’s critique. The forces of domination depend on their opponents losing heart and giving up. However, the brokenness that those forces visit on the world does not go away. Sustaining our critique of injustice remains always necessary—to paraphrase Jesus, “the poor you will have with you always, so you must keep challenging the dynamics that create and sustain poverty.”

(5) Create space to be human by cultivating love. Every act of love, every act of caring, every act of sustaining life has meaning and power. When things look grim on the large scale and for the foreseeable future, we still have power to cultivate love in our face-to-face relationships. Such effort keeps a small light flickering—and can be the starting point for something bigger.

(6) Imagine alternatives. I believe that one of the most hopeful aspects of our world today is that we do have possible solutions for most of our problems—even if so many forces resist implementing them. It remains crucial that we keep imagining such solutions and keep conceiving of alternatives to the deadly dynamics of the status quo.

More Pacifism Today blog posts

15 thoughts on “More thoughts about Ukraine and the American Empire [Pacifism Today #8]

  1. There’s a lot in your post to digest and reply to, Ted. I’ll have to be very select.

    First, I agree with many of the points, particularly around the problem of American empire-building and the military-industrial state.

    But even given that, I’m unable to understand how you frame some of the issues around the war in Ukraine particularly, and why. If I had more time, I’d go to some of your listed sources (appreciated!) and look a bit deeper. I also agree with the need for care and skepticism as to what comes to us via mainstream media. But certain (perhaps few) Fox News (anti-Biden, though pro-empire, generally) commentators have been overtly pro-Putin/Russia relative to Ukraine…. WITHOUT explaining much as to why, that I’ve heard. Same with the QAnon unhinged lunacy theories (genearlly)… inexplicably believing Putin and condemning Ukraine or implying it’s getting what it deserves!

    Your comments may not quite go that far, but I do find them puzzling and concerning. You almost seem to imply justification of Russia’s invasion. That probably isn’t what you mean, but I didn’t note any parallel condemnation of its actions to what you (rightly, generally) charge the US with.

    I’d appreciate much more analysis and explanation on the context and your view of armed conflict apparently initiated, largely if not fully unprovoked by Ukraine, both in 2014 and 2022. I’m not presuming Ukraine to be innocent or harmless, not to be without the corruption problems you mentioned, though much improved over recent years from all I’ve heard.

    As to more explanation, that’s in relation to you seeming to NOT condemn Russian atrocities (even if Ukraine has committed some as well… but they are the invaded/occupied country, clearly, not vice-versa. I’d want you to include if/how you may (or not) tie NATO expansion as provocation toward Russia as related to Russia’s atrocities in Chechnya, Syria, and Georgia over recent decades, and their invasion/annexation (effectively) of other Eastern European nations in the 50s and 60s in building THEIR empire, which Putin clearly seems intent on restoring… and I so far consider the simplest/best explanation for the main reason he was determined to go to war against Ukraine… not merely for survival of Russia. Not even close, that I can see, from decades of recent history as well as the longer term history Putin is fond of distorting for justifying his actions.

    Can you discuss these things a little more, and be more specific about what policies you think would be suitable other than merely not aiding Ukraine militarily at all, directly nor thru NATO? Thanks!

    1. I’m replying to my own comment, hopefully just above… after my email to you, I found I was being asked to log into my WordPress account with password, and when I did that, it posted without me getting to edit… so it’s rough draft and not very readable… sorry. One clarification may be particularly needed: Where I refer to 0invasion in 2014, I meant Russia invading, and I doubt with provocation from Ukraine.

      I realize there indeed were/are a good percentage of Donbas area Ukrainians who speak Russian and many (but far from all, apparently) of those people DO prefer to be governed by Russia…. How to settle that is another subject than the main issues about the current war, though there is certainly overlap. Putin’s massive and very deadly, destructive invasion definitely has no justification, even IF Russian-speaking Ukrainians were being oppressed or worse (which I’d have great trouble sorting out claims of, seeing how deeply and thoroughly Putin lies and controls Russian media now almost 100%).

      1. I appreciate your taking the time to read my post and share your thoughts, Howard. However, I am not very happy about what you say….

        My intent with the post (and the earlier two I wrote on the Ukraine conflict) has not been to make a case for a particular point of view regarding Russia and Ukraine so much as simply share a perspective and raise some questions about the US Empire narrative. So, I don’t have the wherewithal to try to deepen my analysis here in order to defend my perspective.

        One of my main points throughout is my antipathy toward the American Empire. That is based on a lot of reading and analysis (and is presented with some documentation in the third section of my book, The Good War That Wasn’t—And Why It Matters: The Moral Legacy of World War II). From the reading and listening and watching I have done for nearly 50 years I have learned that the American Empire has continually flatly lied over and over again in order to justify its hegemonic practices—and those lies have over and over again been repeated by our most powerful and respected media outlets. There is no reason to imagine that we are not still being fed a distorted picture, especially of the conflict in Ukraine. That to me is fundamental, and can’t simply be acknowledged and then forgotten as we move on to condemn Russia and imagine (perhaps without even realizing it) that this time we are given an accurate picture and that the US Empire and its allies will be forces for good.

        Because of my awareness of that lying dynamic and because of perceiving it back in February and March as I read materials from the NYTImes, WashPost, the Atlantic, New Republic, and even (sadly) the Nation (among others), I decided I simply could not pay attention to them if I hoped to understand what is going on. That means I am less informed of details, but I think it also means that I am much less likely to be propagandized and to repeat (in my ignorance) the standard line that states as fact talking points that echo the American Empire’s spin that the armed conflict has been unprovoked by Ukraine (nor, implicitly, by NATO and the American Empire), that Russia has committed innumerable atrocities, that Putin is intent on restoring the Soviet Empire, and that Putin’s invasion definitely has no justification.

        I would recommend the book Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria by Guy Mettan, a Swiss journalist and politician. The one media outlet I mention in the post that I would urge you to check out is . She posts at least once a day usually (and each post can be listened to as well as read—perhaps you could let her replace a little of your NPR diet). I think you might like Johnstone because she is interested in a lot of the psychological/spiritual factors in trying to find a humane path in face of the violence and brokenness of the day.

      2. Thanks, Ted. I appreciate the way you reply and your key points. I also apologize for my remarks going out in mostly unedited form initially, making its emphasis a bit different than I’d have liked.

        It’s, of course, impossible to analyze or discuss things like American hegemony (a severe problem, granted) apart from a deep analysis of international relations. And I am admittedly not an expert in that area. That leaves me at some deficit. I’m sure that overall you have a deeper grasp of the international political situation now and going back at least to WW!, perhaps much earlier.

        I have wanted to get to your book on WWII and now will move up its priority. I also will spend at least some time on the Caitlin Johnstone site, esp. if she (?) has podcasts I can hear by smartphone.

        In very limited time at the moment, I’ll focus on just one issue where we might be able to “join forces” as it were. That’s what happened on 9-11-2001. There’s a place where I believe the “bias” (better, serious manipulation and/or “control”) of media has made a vast and very sad difference. The media has had many repeated opportunities to delve deeply into 9-11… if it even needed “opportunities”. For one, there has been very little coverage, that I’ve seen (though a little) on the solid, deep evidential and legal work of particularly, the prof. architects and engineers group that’s continued to grow to well over 3000 licensed, working professionals and thousands of us lay supporters. They seem to be working increasingly with the Lawyers Committed for 9-11 Truth (if I recall their name rightly… haven’t followed them as much, as a somewhat more recent development I believe.

        My following and support of AE911Truth was mostly a number of years ago. It was prompted and further informed in good part (but far from exclusively) by the solid, deep work of a favorite Process theologian of mine, David Ray Griffin. He has 10 to 12 books on the subject, at least one with the kind of Christian theological emphasis I think you’re positions are consistent with.

        Key point: If enough Americans, led largely by their media consumption, won’t take the very hard but vital position of being seriously curious about the towers’ collapse, I think we’ll not be moving much. They must be serious to explain the many unexplained aspects of how the THREE towers of the WTC center came down, and what may have been done to cause those collapses… to boil it down to something that is a largely physics/materials science case. Sorry, got to cut it off there for now. Hopefully we’ll continue.

      3. Zelenskyy was the favored candidate of Russian-speakers and his party was the favored party of Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the most recent 2019 elections. Especially in Eastern Ukraine. It was Poroshenko who was the preferred candidate of the Ukrainian-speaking population in Western Ukraine. The notion that Ukrainians in the east supported Russian invasion and not their own democratically-elected government is a canard and repetition of Russian propaganda. Zelenskyy himself is a native Russian-speaker.

        I invite you to set aside the Russian propaganda and lies about Russian-speaking Ukrainians being “oppressed” and study the 2019 election maps. Zelenskyy received his largest electoral margins in Luhansk and Donetsk and his lowest margins in the Ukrainian-speaking west.

  2. Thanks for the gracious response to my response, Howard. For now I will just add one comment. If one thinks our government and media lied to us about 9/11, it certainly shouldn’t be hard to imagine (even to expect) that they are lying to us now.

    1. Thanks, Ted.

      I agree that the egregious lying about 9-11 and much prior (e.g., Viet Nam, Cambodia, Iraq, etc., etc.) does not lead to any trust that the gov’t (and/or media in support) is not lying now. In fact, I don’t think anything I said implied otherwise. I DO presume a lot of lying, covering up, etc., continually.

      But even given that, some basic and important facts do, inevitably, come through re. major events such as a large scale war.

      Now, I read a few articles by Johnstone and, frankly, didn’t learn much nor get persuaded that a perspective change was in order for me. I’ll get to some of your other cited sources soon, and perhaps give her further ear, as well. I’m largely with her broad points but found her Ukraine material lacking in helpful specifics, such that I didn’t see any real “case” being made, with evidence… maybe need to read it again. Overall, I saw lots of generalities, vagueness, and not much of substance.

      So, back to core “facts”, in GENERAL, too big to “fake”, on Ukraine.

      –Russia built up massive forces along most of the border of U., including that shared with Belarus in addition to Russia.
      –Russia didn’t even claim (to my knowledge) its subsequent invasion, beginning Feb. 23, was because of incursions or missile attacks, etc., across ITS border.
      –A major, arguably the predominant part of the invasion involved (and still does) bombing civilian targets, nearly leveling all residential as well as commercial or potentially military parts of villages on up to large cities.
      –Many Ukrainian civilians, almost certainly unarmed, were shot at close range in periods in which Russian soldiers controlled that area fully, uncontested. (I have seen no evidence, credible or not, put forth by Russia that these were NOT war crimes of the worst sort.)

      Are these basic facts disinformation or lies? And if not, how are they defensible? If not defensible, how should ordinary Americans respond to them, perhaps along WITH urging negotiated settlement, not prolonging a war brutal for BOTH sides, etc.?

      In other words, at some point we have to set aside analysis of potential provocations, the West’s actions that may have threatened Russia… and I’m not convinced a real sense of threat from outside is a major factor in this, but open still, despite what appears to contradict the threat theory. Set that analysis aside and ask what is legitimate to oppose, potentially even by coercion (sanctions) or force, that Russia is doing. One can simultaneously call on Ukraine to do some things differently also, btw, and apply this principle elsewhere.

      Sadly, pacifism never has a “vacuum” from which to emerge, though I do favor it as an ideology, unquestionably.

  3. You could be right, Kent. I don’t know enough to say. My main concern is about what the American Empire is doing.

    The explanation I have seen (which I don’t believe is “Russian propaganda” [though I don’t know why I should assume “Russian propaganda” is in any case worse than American propaganda]) is that indeed Zelensky was elected as a peace candidate with strong Russian-speaking support. But once he got into power, he had it made clear to him that for the sake of his own survival he would need to change his perspective. Like I say, I don’t know enough to say one way or the other.

    1. You talk a lot about the American corporate media repeating US government propaganda with respect to Ukraine. Can you point to an actual example of this? A mainstream news article in say the New York Times or Washington Post that repeated US government propaganda about Ukraine that subsequently turned out to be wrong?

      For example, this past week in the NYT we have coverage of the Russian air strike on a Ukrainian shopping mall which appears to have been deliberate and for which the casualty figures may reach into the hundreds (over 40 people are still missing). Ukraine is calling it an act of terrorism.

      We have coverage of the G7 meeting discussing possible further sanctions on Russia including sanctions on Russian gold.

      We have coverage of Russia potentially defaulting on its foreign debt

      There is a story about how the movement to replace Russian gas in Europe may set back progress on climate change because some countries are re-opening old coal fired plants in lieu of using Russian natural gas.

      There is a story on how rising fuel and food prices are straining western attempts to pressure Russia and impose more sanctions

      There is a story on the horror of life in occupied Mariupol.

      There is a story about the deadly ground battle over the city of Sievierodonetsk.

      I’m curious which of these NYT stories are repeating US propaganda or are in any way inaccurate?

  4. I know I’m adding complexity by returning to this, but feel I should now, as my availability may be greatly reduced soon. That’s action on the 9-11 disaster….

    Very few people, even strong anti-imperialists who opposed the Iraq war, going into Afghanistan, etc., seem to see this critical point (caps on purpose):


    Of course, the implication is that the full scenario of 9-11 was not pulled off solely by a small number of foreign terrorists acting alone, even if they may well have had a part. The central and “provable” part of what would have required a lot of help is the explosive demolition of the twin towers and Bldg.7 of the WTC. The evidence, never seriously “debunked” despite some inadequate attempts, for such a cause of the collapses has been carefully compiled, for many years now, by pertinent experts. Many of them worked within or in conjunction with the 3000+ architects and engineers in

    Additionally, a 2+ year intensive computer-guided modeling of the collapse of Bldg. 7 was concluded in 2020, done by the U. of Alaska. It demonstrates conclusively that the official explanation of that collapse released by NIST is flatly wrong and deceptively created… partially but not yet fully corrected by NIST. (A lawsuit and/or follow-up to a FOIA request is currently out.)

    I mention these specifics as a small sampling of the scientific and legal methods still open to us, almost 21 years later, to finally make the causes of the collapses broadly known publicly and to discover the critical specifics of how it was accomplished, for what purposes, etc. (Even if legal cases prove difficult to open, investigative journalism could do a LOT, if the right organizations chose to.)

    And in the process, there would be specific people identified who guided, helped with it and/or knew what was happening to set up the demolitions and did nothing. Those people need to be brought to justice if still alive, as most probably are. Even after any or all of them may have died, this will still be important.

    Part of the reason it’s so important should be obvious: deterrence for others to do similarly.

    It also MIGHT lead to broader actions by principled people (beyond just how votes are cast) toward systems change.

    At least, I can’t think of any better opportunity because it involves specific criminal (not just political) actions which can be traced, people involved identified, and a legal system at least potentially able to fairly try and perhaps convict responsible parties.

    Can you think of a better opportunity or even a close parallel? If so, I might be persuaded to push for that reckoning more than the 9-11 case.

  5. Hi Ted,

    not to defend Putin or his clearly evil and unjust actions, I’m glad to hear an alternative narrative to the “absolute evil Russia”.

    I can’t help but to think that this conflict could’ve been avoided or already ended, hadn’t there been US/West motivation of profiting off the war.

    According to just war theory, soldiers should have right intent, to promote good and to avoid evil. I’m afraid this is not the case: many are seeking revenge and dehumanizing the “enemy”. Evil is not overcome by evil.

      1. Yes, world powers depend on coercive tax levies to sustain themselves, to fund aggressive and defensive wars, and to be sure Christians should live self-sacrificing lives inspired by and modeled after life affirming power of God in Christ that witnesses to different values. Nevertheless, if a country like the Ukraine doesn’t deserve to be supported as fighting a just war then who does? Russian is clearly the unjust aggressor here. And if you don’t believe there is such a thing as a just war then satanic chaos will be the only power you support (at least implicitly). Defense of the less guilty has to play a part in our moral calculus as Christians.

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