I have been re-reading portions of the war diaries and letters of General 'Vinegar Joe' Stilwell.

In an undated 1944 entry, Stilwell wrote the following about Chiang Kai-shek:

"I never heard Chiang K'ai-shek say a single thing that indicated gratitude to the President or to our country for the help we were extending to him. Invariably, when anything was promised, he would want more. Invariably, he would complain about the small amount of material that was being furnished..... He would complain that the Chinese had been fighting for six or seven years and yet we gave them practically nothing."

Chiang Kai-shek died in 1975. Zelensky was born in 1978. Is it possible that Chiang Kai-shek was reincarnated as Volodymyr Zelensky?

Source: Joseph W. Stilwell (edited by T. H. White), 1948, The Stilwell Papers, William Sloane Associates, Inc. NY, pages 315-316

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Stilwell hated Chang, called him "Peanut." Stillwell liked Mrs. Chang (Soon Mei-Ling), but so did many others. Soon Mei-Ling was educated in the United States at Wesleyan College. Stilwell never had anything good to say about Chiang and often operated behind his back. I see your point of comparison, but Chang was a general, Zelensky a comedian. When Chiang said he was not getting enough help from the US, he was mostly telling the truth.

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Mr. Bryen -

Yes, it was not exactly a 'match made in heaven' was it?

Barbara Tuchman, in her biography of Stilwell (and America's fraught experience in China during World War II) went into a good amount of detail regarding the Stilwell/Chiang relationship. Stilwell detested Chiang and most of his Nationalist straphangers. And he had a soft spot for Mao and the Communists.

Another quote from The Stilwell Papers (page 316):

"I judge Kuomintang and Kungchantang [Communist Party] by what I saw:

[KMT] Corruption, neglect, chaos, economy, taxes, words and deeds. Hoarding, black market, trading with enemy. Communist program...reduce taxes, rents, interest. Raise production, and standard of living. Participate in government. Practice what they preach."

Well, Stilwell didn't live long enough to see how the "Communist program" played out.

Sometime our prejudices make us blind. And Stilwell was nicknamed 'Vinegar Joe' for good reason.

Source: Barbara W. Tuchman, 1970, Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-45, Macmillan Publishing Co. NY, 621 pages


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What is generally missed about Stillwell and his politics is that it was also the politics of the left in the Roosevelt administration. Stillwell should never have been chosen to go to China but he was, and his performance was deadly for Chang and the Nationalists (Kuomintang). There are other assessments of Stillwell out there other than Tuchman's which are more critical.

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Retired italian general Fabio Mini gave an intereting interview :

"Now to the situation on the ground. The Ukrainian counter-offensive has proved to be a failure, with an enormous cost in human lives (around 70,000 soldiers killed in three months). What scenarios are opening up? Are the parties close to negotiating? Will the Russians want to take advantage of the situation to launch an offensive before the onset of winter? Or will the strategy of wearing down Ukrainian men and forces continue?

The third."


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He asked questions about the future. Zelensky won't negotiate until his funds and supplies are cut off. That is clear. Biden won't stop shoveling taxpayer money out the door to Ukraine, mostly because he hates Russia. and because he has overpromised and is stuck in a rut. A lot depends on whether Zelensky can be replaced soon.

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An interesting line, Stephen . . .

"It is far from clear why Germans were manning the tank. Is this a pattern for the future?"

It is very clear why NATO members are operating in Washington's Ukrainian Proxy War.

This is also clear, as was said of Afghanistan.

Washington's Ukraina Grandioznaya Skhema - The Graveyard of This Empire.



A certain similarity between President Zelenskyy and The Generalisimo JiangJieShi has not escaped comparison.

As for the latter's Ivy League educated sister-in-law, SongAiLing, she and her sister SongMeiLing, they played The Administration and FDR like a fiddle.

Other members of The China Lobby included.

One other saw it and wrote - "Chiang Kai-shek and the Madame and their families, the Soong family and the Kungs, were all thieves, every last one of them, the Madame and him included" - President Harry Truman. Not an Ivy league man.

This applies to the Kyiv Administration.


As to more immediate matters, President Zelenskyy is completely out of his depth, comes to his position with no experience for leadership of a state and one that was enticed into a war and thus serves to demonstrate, yet again, The Administration's capacity for backing wrong horses.

Russia wins this one, an outcome of shortsighted Washington Professionals to deliver outcomes diametrical to stated intentions. And so . . .

Narrative Collapse.

Only when the last American artillery shell has been fired in The Ukraine, only when the last Ukrainian soldier has been killed in The Ukraine and only when the last of Ukrainian state territory has been irretrievably lost from The Ukraine will The West finally realize that God Favours Russia . . .


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Bryen, thanks for the update! What do you think of a very sudden shift in Ukraine's coverage in the Western media and somewhat a cooler reception in Washington? Is that a way to apply pressure on Zelensky to make him more manageable?

Also, there is a very significant uptick in Russian drone training, usage and confirmed hits (FPV, Lancets). A lot more artillery pieces are being taken out as Ukrainians lost and pulled back heavy armor vehicles...

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I think Washington is signaling to the media that all is not good in Ukraine. So now they write semi-critical articles, leading with WSJ and NYT, plus WashPost.

Lancet and FPV bombs have been effective.

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The US 'titrates' support incrementally, with a goal of getting both sides to agree some trade of territory for some sort of 'peace' or lower intensity conflict...

...So they provide support to cut the land corridor, but Ukraine screws up, so they now provide ATACMS and other help to besiege Crimea without cutting the corridor (doubtless making it clear to Putin behind the scenes through Erdogan, Bennett and others that they have well defined limited goals, unlike Zelensky).

Ukrainians getting slaughtered all summer long might ask: why didn't you give us the new support (weapons, recon, intel, EW) 6 months ago?

I guess Milley, who openly suggested talks last November, has been carefully titrating support to get things to just that same point a year later?

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Titration is a funny term to use, but I see where you are going. Actually I don't think we have been holding back much beyond trying to protect what is left of our own readiness.

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Husbandry of material is the official version of the drip-feed or titration of support - incremental escalation with one eye on the theatre of operations and another on political theatre in the Kremlin and elsewhere, with the endgame always at the back of the Pentagon's mind.

The official version might apply to some extent with conventional 155mm ordnance and ATACMS, but not to delayed delivery of old stock in domestic and NATO storage, and other support that has been rolled out in a deliberately measured way.

Some things have to be kept in reserve for other theatres, notably the main act in the Pacific, but some 'reserved' elements have for example been first pre-emptively 'pushed' by hawkish NATO outliers like Poland and the UK, as a prelude to the main player stepping in (and limited supplies of 155mm shells was also a good excuse for escalating to the cluster munitions Ukraine had been demanding for a long time).

How much calculated choreography is involved behind the public scenes is generally unclear - especially perhaps how much Zelensky himself remains on script.

He's a great actor who's risen impressively to his new role, but sometimes seems to get a bit carried away with his public persona, as when at the UN he himself berated Duda and others as 'actors' in a political charade.

How much (for example) is the very public break with Poland over grain, Hunka and the rest, and Zelensky's anger in New York and Vilnius just a surface charade, and how much part of a wider choreography - including the off-the-record drip-feed from Washington to WSJ, NYT &c?

I occasionally hear noises from behind the scenes, and try to read between the lines of the concerted public performance, but I can't remember such a huge gap between official charade and real dynamic in any previous conflict.

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I heard that a third of aid to Ukraine goes missing, and donors think Zelensky's main business associate from the good old Kolomoisky days, now his chief of staff, is mostly to blame?

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The official numbers show that more than a third of US "aid" is just cash payments. It goes to business owners, pensioners, government employees, etc. It is the source of their paychecks. Tell me how that is what our tax dollars should be used for.

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essentially we are keeping the country afloat financially... although where the money really goes is a major issue

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I guess that depends, to paraphrase Bill Clinton, of what your definition of "you" is.

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