Saturday, December 09, 2023

The Tucker Carlson- Doug MacGregor Interview

We’re going to say that what comes out of this interview might be going a little far afield in terms of its dire nature where the Ukraine War is concerned. That said, it’s a perspective worth listening to even if you’re not fully prepared to buy in.

Doug MacGregor is a retired Army Lt. Colonel who’s now an author, consultant and TV talking head. He’s one of the more prominent Cassandras on Ukraine, and has been since the very beginning. He’s a bit out of the mainstream among pundits opining on the Ukraine War.

Which doesn’t make him wholly wrong.

MacGregor says a number of things about how that war is going which differ from what we’ve heard, and of course it’s very difficult to ascertain what’s correct since Western media has all but given up on any sort of real reporting about Ukraine. All we really got was a bunch of jingoistic propaganda about how this was a battle for democracy, until that became unsellable based on the nature of the Zelensky government there, and a lot of talk about how the Ukrainians were stonewalling the Russians. That didn’t really turn out to be true either.

The war is generally a stalemate, and the Ukrainian spring counteroffensive clearly has failed, and leaked intelligence documents indicate that Ukrainian casualties have been far, far worse than Russian casualties.

What MacGregor says is that the war has exposed a lot of our military doctrine as unworkable, because precision artillery and ballistic weaponry, guided by surveillance imagery from space, can wipe out practically everything that moves on a battlefield now. Is that true? It seems like it could be. It’s been largely true for American armed forces over the last 20 years as we’ve fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, but of course that was one-sided; we were fighting, essentially, armed militiamen in Toyota trucks and the only thing in the way of killing them all with airstrikes was the concern we’d be killing civilians.

Obviously Ukraine is a completely different kind of conflict. The Russians are pretty indiscriminate about killing civilians within the battle space, though some of the reporting about missile attacks on civilian centers seems a bit overwrought. One reason it’s essentially World War I-style trench warfare there in eastern Ukraine now is that digging in is the only way to survive the artillery and missile strikes.

And surviving isn’t really even what’s going on. MacGregor says the Ukrainians have lost over 400,000 people in this war; the Russians more like 50,000. He’s not the only one saying it. Jed Babbin at The American Spectator noted those numbers yesterday as well. Babbin also noted that Zelensky had to fire the regional conscription officers because they were taking bribes to allow people to buy their way out of the draft.

MacGregor also notes that some 14 million Ukrainians have emigrated since the war began, a figure we’ve seen elsewhere.

He’s saying Russia is winning. We’re not sure that’s true just yet. What’s true, what’s always been true, is that Russia will win eventually unless NATO throws fully in behind Ukraine. Economic sanctions against Russia have hurt Europe far more than they’ve hurt Putin; Russia has simply turned to China and India and Iran as trading partners and now they’re selling them raw materials like oil, gas, lumber and grain in return for finished goods.


And the Russians are willing to endure a lot more suffering than any Western country would tolerate, so they’ll carry this war on a long time after we’ll be tired of it.

MacGregor is a bit over the top in warning that this could be the end of America. It’s conceivable that’s true, as if this thing ever escalates into a nuclear exchange you can certainly expect the Russians would detonate nukes at high altitude over the U.S., take out our power grid and send us back to 1875, which would kill better than half our population within three to six months. We have no effective defense against that.

The basic gist, though, is correct: our military readiness is at a modern low, and yet we have an administration which, rather than secure a negotiated peace in Ukraine which has been available in some form for more than a year and will pretty much inevitably be how this ends, we continue attempting to perpetuate this war in the hope that somehow the Russians will break.

They won’t break. Their economy is on a war footing, and their factories are now turning out war materiel at a rate our own industrial complex can’t match. Nor do we have the money to surge production, since we’re running such deficits right now as it is that the resulting inflation is breaking our working class.

He says we have to find a way out of this madness, and he’s right – even if he’s overselling the case.

It’s an interesting perspective and an hour of your time that won’t be wasted even if you don’t buy into everything MacGregor says.