Putin now threatens nuclear war over “Russian” Donbas. Tucker Carlson and MacGregor appear to support his play.

“This week marks the seven-month anniversary of the beginning of the war in Ukraine, something that is still going on and isn’t talked about quite as much anymore. The day that war began, which was February 24, two things were very obvious. The first was that there was no way the Ukrainian army would be able to win a decisive military victory over Russia and the reason was simple. Russia is too big. Ukraine is too small. The Russian military is many times the size of the Ukrainian military. Plus, of course, it has nuclear weapons. 

Russia itself is the largest country on planet Earth. It’s got a relatively huge economy for the region and it’s got 145 million people who live there. Ukraine has a population of about 40 million. It’s the poorest country in Europe. It’s got an average annual income that is much lower than Albania’s.

So, just by looking at the most basic Wikipedia level numbers, it was clear right away that if Ukraine wanted to remain a sovereign country and of course, all of us wanted that for Ukraine, Ukraine was going to have to reach some kind of negotiated settlement with Russia. Pitched battles were not going to do it. Now, that’s not a moral judgment. You can root for the Ukrainian military all you want, but it’s still a fact and there’s no getting around it.  

The second thing that was immediately evident about this war was how unusually destructive it was and was going to be. It wasn’t just Ukraine that was getting pummeled, though it certainly was. It was the entire Western economy, including our economy. Russian energy fuels Europe. A recession in Germany was certain to lead to a recession here and in the months since, it has, a bad one. The longer this war goes on, inevitably the poorer everyone is going to be, with the exception probably of Vladimir Putin. 


“We are breaking things that are very hard to rebuild. Again, this was very obvious the first day of the war. You weren’t allowed to say it at the time. Anyone who did was denounced as a Russian spy. But it was still clearly true and the Ukrainians certainly understood it. Back in April, according to an account in Foreign Policy magazine, negotiators from the governments of Russia and Ukraine met secretly and “appeared to have tentatively agreed on the outlines of a negotiated interim settlement to end the war.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country's transport industry via a video link in Sochi, Russia May 24, 2022. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country’s transport industry via a video link in Sochi, Russia May 24, 2022.  (Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.)

The terms of the deal were simple. Russia would withdraw its troops from Ukraine. Ukraine would promise not to join NATO, so each side would get the thing that it wants most simple and effective, and it might have worked.

But the Biden administration adamantly opposed this settlement. Biden’s advisers didn’t just want the Russians to leave Ukraine. That’s what they told us they wanted on television, but no. Biden’s advisers wanted a total regime change war against Russia, apparently to avenge the election of Donald Trump, which they believed Putin was responsible for, and they were willing to fight to the last Ukrainian to get it.  

On April 9 of this year, the White House dispatched its hapless cutout, then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to Kyiv, according to Ukrainian news media, Johnson communicated two messages to the Zelenskyy government, “The first is that Putin is a war criminal. He should be pressured, not negotiated with and the second is that even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, the West is not.” 

In other words, who cares what the Ukrainians want. America and the U.K. demand total war with Russia, regime change war with Russia and of course, the Ukrainians caught in the middle had no choice but to concede. So, days later, the peace negotiations fell apart. This was virtually unreported at the time, but it was the turning point in the war in Ukraine. This was the moment where the goal changed from restoring Ukraine to what it was before the invasion – and that seems reasonable to everyone in the West – to something very different, to a war designed to topple Vladimir Putin, just like we toppled Saddam Hussein and then hoping for the best afterward. That is clearly insane and dangerous, but that’s where we are and from that point on, everything changed and that is how we got to where we are today, which is the closest we have ever been to nuclear conflict in history.  


This week, President Zelenskyy of Ukraine gave an interview to the left-wing newspaper, The Guardian and in it, he casually called for the United States to nuke Vladimir Putin. “The other nuclear states need to say very firmly that as soon as Russia even thinks of carrying out nuclear strikes on foreign territory, in this case the territory of Ukraine, there will be swift retaliatory nuclear strikes to destroy the nuclear launch sites in Russia.” Parse that, and we’re quoting, “as soon as Russia even thinks of carrying out nuclear strikes” – meaning before Russia actually launches missiles –  “the U.S. needs to launch nuclear weapons against Russia.” In other words, we need to launch nuclear weapons now. Why now and how do we know that’s what Zelenskyy meant? Because the Zelenskyy was responding to this warning from the Russian government on Wednesday. 

PUTIN: I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction and for separate components, more modern than those of NATO countries and when the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use means at our disposal. It’s not a bluff. 

“It’s not a bluff,” says Putin, who we are told is insane, so we probably should take it seriously. He is, after all, running a country with the largest nuclear arsenal on the planet and he’s talking about using nuclear weapons if the West continues to threaten Russia’s territorial integrity. It’s a conditional warning and, of course, threatening Russia’s territorial integrity was never part of the deal. Right? You remember this? It’s why you wore a Ukrainian lapel pin or put a Ukrainian flag in front of your house. Ukraine was invaded. The point was to kick the Russians out. That seems reasonable by any standard of fairness and decency, but that’s not what the Biden administration is pushing for. They’re pushing for toppling the government of Russia and once again, hoping that everything will be fine after that, someone better will somehow take over. “He’s bad. Let’s kill him.” Heard that story before? 

Comment: He had that “hapless” soul MacGregor on to back him up. All DM was willing to say was that there have always been fringe groups in DC who claim to think that limited nnuclear war is possible. Pretty sad, Doug. Sad.

Carlson himself is just way over the top. pl

TUCKER CARLSON: The point of the Ukraine war is regime change in Russia | Fox News

Kyiv urges west to spell out how it would respond to Russian nuclear strike | Ukraine | The Guardian

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30 Responses to Putin now threatens nuclear war over “Russian” Donbas. Tucker Carlson and MacGregor appear to support his play.

  1. Barbara Ann says:

    Given we are where we are I am happy to leave the assignment of blame for this mess to the historians. I am much more interested in how we get ourselves out of it.

    IMO TC and DM should spend less time espousing their own views and much more time explaining what the Kremlin is thinking, why, and stressing why those views matters very much. If we are to get off the escalation ladder we need to temper our passions, swallow a little pride and admit that however distasteful we find it, the POV of the guys with the capability to kill us is kind of important. This is what guided us through the Cold War, but alarmingly, nuclear-armed Russia is for some reason being treated without the necessary respect (for its capability to destroy us) that was accorded to the no more lethal Soviet Union.

    The fact is the Russian leadership do feel that NATO is out to regime change Putin and destroy Russia. Putin said as much in his speech:

    “The goal of that part of the West is to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country”

    If that is your mindset then possible use of the nuclear deterrent is surely rational – else what is it for?

    Many folk seem to assume that Ukraine is just another proxy war. Russia’s words and latest deeds should tell you it is not. To be fair to the folk at RAND Corporation they did flag the option “Provide lethal aid to Ukraine” as high risk in their infamous report.

    Putin has openly displayed irredentism in his thinking, no one can deny this. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine came a full 8 years after 2014 and only after failure of the Minsk Agreements, the success of which Russia appeared genuinely interested in. Does that excuse it? Of course not, it was an act of madness and probably one of desperation.

    Russia is now losing the war on the ground. This makes the situation even more dangerous. In my estimation Russia will absolutely use nuclear weapons if that is the only way to avoid defeat. Hope of a color revolution now in Russia is not a strategy and so there is a decision to be made: Press ahead with ever more lethal aid for Ukraine in the hope that Putin won’t be true to his word, or call for a ceasefire and talks. I am in favor of the latter.

    \end plea for sanity

    • cobo says:

      “We are led by people who make the biblical beast of the apocalypse look like an extinct dinosaur by comparison.”

      “If we are to get off the escalation ladder we need to temper our passions”

      “Russian state structure and power connections are more similar to feudal kingdoms than any western modern states, or even China”

      “all the children are insane – the roman wilderness is coming” This is The End, beautiful friend:

      Or not, can’t believe the liars about anything. Fight

  2. Stadist says:

    So USA somehow goaded Ukraine and Russia to fight with each other? Pretty thick thing to swallow, really.

    Far more plausible explanation is that Putin and russians just pure and simple thought they are bigger and badder than they are – and thus ended up biting on something they can’t chew. Also it doesn’t help that their country doesn’t even have an ounce of meritocracy in it, it’s just a kleptocratic mafia state where connections, respect, and loyalty are everything. Actually Russian state structure and power connections are more similar to feudal kingdoms than any western modern states, or even China. One could describe modern Russia as industrial feudalism at the top and in major industries, while lower on the pyramid people are competing in more open market economy by themselves. Which once again, is not that different from feudal kingdoms and states.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      So USA somehow goaded Ukraine and Russia to fight with each other? Pretty thick thing to swallow, really.
      AmLassoDoor April Glaspie didn’t tell Sad Man Whose Sane that G. Ogre Bush Le Furst wouldn’t look unkindly if he tippy toed into Queue Hate?

      Swallow like the check is in the mail swallow. Because it’s true. Noam Chomsky is not my pucker of tea but he has a 190 IQ, follows everything in minute detail, has super smart friends in the MIC from his decades at MIT and he thinks they tricked them. So do lots of very highly informed people who are younger and sharper than he is.

      Will you post it if I called him Gnome Chimpsky? He interrupted Gore Vidal quite rudely in an interview I saw. A man who knew more about how the world and America works than any 50 MITs, Harvards or Stanfords. So I never liked him. But facts arf arf arf acts.

      • different clue says:

        Noam Chomsky wants credit for his brill-yunt intellectualitude. He expects credit for calling himself a “syndico-anarchalist” or some such thing.

        But if I were ever to go to Europe, I would want to be passingly familiar with Chomsky’s theories and terminology so I could get myself invited to all the best left-wing parties ( in a wine, cheese and other delicacies sense.)

  3. Steve_01701 says:

    there are interesting points raised in that article. Is it true there was a peace agreement in the works that we scuttled? I wouldn’t be too happy if that turns out to be true.
    We’re dumping a lot of money in there and there’s a lot of death and destruction going on. Is the American public on board with a proxy war with Russia?

    Nuclear exchange aside, war brings about lots of unintended consequences. Fighting a proxy war with Russia is no small matter.

    What do you think about all this?

    • Pat Lang says:

      Look, IMO we caused the war by driving the boundary of NATO so far east but what is done is done and Russian aggression has to be resisted.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      There’s an important set of distinctions that needs be made when the concept of resisting aggression is raised. It can be an easily digestible morsel for those who simply want to go on with their lives and have a rationalization quick at hand the better which to feel on the side of something often necessary and even perhaps virtuous. Resist which types and degrees of oppressions? And when. And at what cost?
      Nuclear war against a 7,000 warhead arsenal Υ \ Ν ?
      All Europe freezing and rioting and it’s culture devastated if not by riots famine etc then by poisonous radiation in the air and water? Y N
      All your family and all future generations of your ancestors dead, unborn, never to be born and if born, born with chromosome damage. Heads Tails?

      We are led by people who make the biblical beast of the apocalypse look like an extinct dinosaur by comparison. Resist for them?

      • Barbara Ann says:


        If the aggression and more importantly the underlying ideology was truly of the nature of Nazism I would argue without hesitation that it was worth risking Armageddon to fight it. It is not. The Drang nach Osten that has led us here is NATO’s inexorable expansion. Who is it today demonizing a section of the population in speeches themed with blut und boden light shows? The transhumanist eugenicists meet in Davos, not Saint Petersburg. Fighting these people is worth risking Armageddon, as the future they have planed would be every bit as dystopian as the Third Reich’s. But I digress.

        Many contributors here on the conservative side of the spectrum almost certainly have much more in common with the Russia nationalists whose views I read every day. These folk are not interested in irredentist adventures and many do not express the existential threat as NATO per se, rather they see it as the cult(ure) of Liberal totalitarianism that has swept the West in recent years and which is devouring national cultures, including America’s own. NATO is just the hard edge pushing this predatory machine towards Russia. Dugin and highly educated and intelligent people like Russtrat’s Elena Panina are of the same mind on this, both label it a global evil. These attitudes seem dominant in the Russian leadership now. They will take us all with them if Russia faces military defeat. Why? Because as Putin explained, he/they see defeat as synonymous with Russia being totally destroyed as a nation and world culture.

        I honestly believe Russia just wants to be left in peace and Putin saw the invasion (after 8 years of fruitless negotiations) as a last ditch attempt to try and ensure that, paradoxical as that seems to us. I am not a starry eyed Russophile and I am aware of the inevitable reaction to Russian aggression felt in Eastern Europe. The neocons did their homework – on Putin in particular. Ukraine was the Achilles heel and they went for it.

        But in these circumstances Russian aggression in Ukraine can only be solved by negotiated settlement. We are far down the road in the wrong direction and Minsk II is now impossible. Next week 4 regions of Ukraine will be part of Russia. It remains to be seen whether Russia has the military capability to back up this aspirational annexation. God help us either way.

        I am not old enough to have lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, but my parents vividly described the nail-biting wait next to the radio. This crisis appears even more dangerous. Neocon crazies seem to have torpedoed previous efforts at a peaceful settlement and the statesmen trying to defuse the situation are AWOL. I have just ordered a copy of Vonnegut’s Galápagos which I read years ago. It seems appropriate to have a copy on hand.

        • Datil D says:

          Barbara Ann

          “The neocons did their homework – on Putin in particular.”

          We see it as aggression, they see it as Putin taking the bait. Putin sees an existential threat, when the sanctions didn’t work the neocons sensed an existential threat, not to culture or country but to the ability to be the rule makers going forward. Despite MI6/CIA efforts to disrupt the SCO Summit with flare ups around the region, the solidarity displayed by the heads of state in Samarkand reinforced that sense. Yes, to risk nuclear war is insanity.

        • cobo says:

          I was young, but I remember the Cuban crisis. I also remember days watching JFK’s funeral train cross the country, and the cities burning after MLK, and then again – Bobby. I remember Sgt. Joe Friday and Officer Bill Gannon, the Doors, Woodstock, the Moon Landing and my first hit of acid the summer before 10th grade. I remember sitting next to my body for four days in the Yucatan following my machete attack on Easter Sunday, 1975. I remember watching the world go insane further and further while we were all Miami Vice. Then, when Y2K failed to destroy us and the Maya abandoned us at the 2012 winter solstice, and insanity drove harder into the human psyche, we should just be rational. I don’t think that is how this game needs to be played. But it’s not a game, really it’s not. Swim with the rip and never give up.

        • Sam says:

          “…I honestly believe Russia just wants to be left in peace…”

          I disagree. Putin’s actions over the past decades is to restore in his mind the “great power” that he leads. While he has articulated very well the reality of the “new world order” but his Russia is just the other side of a similar coin of neoliberal authoritarianism. It is a much more overt kleptocratic & oligarchic authoritarianism.

          To be left in peace requires leaving others alone too. His military interventions in Georgia, Chechnya, etc were to exercise hegemony.

          Yes there is this continuously surfaced argument that NATO expansion east wards was the provocation. I too bought into it as my general view is that US interventions over the past few decades have been detrimental to US national interests. However, I’ve changed my view on the threat perception of Russia due to the fact that the Eastern Europeans have a genuine concern about Putin’s irredentism due to the simple fact that they have the real-world experience of occupation. They have no choice due to their size but be part of a US backed defense alliance. Ukraine is no different. This idea that Ukrainians are really pro-Russia at heart has been shown to be not true as they have demonstrated with the tenacity of their military response to Putin’s invasion.

          IMO, that has been a colossal strategic error by Putin. Not only has it galvanized the Eastern Europeans but now also Finland and Sweden. It has also forced the Western Europeans away from Russian energy with long term implications. The escalatory ladder is being climbed by Putin as his “great power” military has shown to be much weaker. The west have been much more restrained by not arming Ukraine with aircraft, ballistic missiles and other qualitatively different weapons.

          In all these calculations by the cognoscenti writing “if only the west didn’t “, the threat perception of the Eastern Europeans have been discounted on the altar of US meddling. Why aren’t Tucker, et al holding Putin to account for his decision making? He is the one making nuclear threats not Biden.

          • Barbara Ann says:


            I agree that the invasion was a colossal strategic error and the way it was conducted suggests it was driven by the delusional belief that Ukrainians just wanted to come home to mother Russia. Tucker should acknowledge both of these things explicitly if he really wants to be honest with people. And you are right about the totally foreseeable detrimental side effects of Russia’s isolation and the expansion of NATO in Scandinavia. This and the fact that Russia was negotiating for 8 years when it could have crushed the Ukrainian military in 2014 supports my thesis that the invasion was an act of desperation, not a premeditated attempt at imperial expansion.

            But it doesn’t matter now, the neocons have their war and Putin is the new Hitler.

          • Bill Roche says:

            But Sam, how dare you neglect Napoleon’s invasion of Russia 200 years ago! Do you also think Germany’s invasion 80 years ago was a trifle? Look, Russia has security concerns b/c she is invaded every 120 years or so. No, don’t bring up Russia’s invasion of Germany in 1914-15; it was so long ago, or her invasion of Ukraine 1919-22, Finland 1941, Poland 1941, Hungry 1954, Czechoslovakia 1968, threatened invasion of Poland 1983, and Georgia more recently. They were b/c Russia felt threatened. Then there are those unappreciative Ukrainians who were given a chance to be Russians (well almost) but instead opted for the west. They showed their stupid nationalism in ’91 when they announced they were independent. Such blasphemy; if such an animal as Ukrainian exists they are Russian subjects. As Putin said, Ukraine is a Russian administrative unit. Despite fighting Russia for independence for 100 years some continue to say the current hostilities were b/c of 2014. They are ill informed of Ukrainian efforts since 1914 and so miss the mark by 100 years! I’m surprised you d/n bring up that old saw that neighboring Balts and Slavs also have security concerns. Ha Ha; their security lies in being tucked under Russia’s hegemonic “wing”. Don’t they know that? I’d guess not since following ’91 every Balt and Slavic nation, gasp and now even the Finns and Swedes, have turned their rifles east. Why’d they do that. Mother always loved them … didn’t she? Sam, eastern Europeans missed the Renaissance thanks to the Mongols. They missed out on Westphalia and the whole nation state thing. They never experienced the enlightenment, too far to their west, and so most people never thought of Bratislava, Dubrovnik, or Helsinki when discussing Europe. But eastern Europe is alive and awake today. The “west” will learn they are capable, freedom lovers, and have much to offer western civilization. What is happening in Ukraine is part of that. Finally, Europe is completely unfolding. Freshman courses on Western Civ. will need revision.

  4. jim ticehurst.. says:

    It Seems Appropiate to See This Reactor ,,,Of A Diplomatic Failrure /Sabotage
    Melt Down…For the First Three Quarters…Exactly The Same Way that someone
    With Colonel Langs Experience…Has Laid it Out In His Article/Post..

    Things were going OK till the Under World ..Messed With Joes Frail Mind
    So Cain would Slew Able..And Satan Could Play God..The Zeus of Abuse..
    Who Loves the Fragerence..Of Spilled Blood..and The Crys..of Tortured Dying Souls.
    and the Fires That Cossume..On The Alter of Death..

    One War After Another..Decade by Decade..Nations Come..Nation go..One Dagger…
    Thrust At a Time..The Brutes…Reincarnated..Over and Over..Until The War of The Worlds…Is Their “Kingdom Come” Thier “Will Be Done..” On Earth As it Is in Hell..

    The Worlds Largest Nation…With the Most Nuclear Fires..Is Being Provoked
    into Real Global Warming..It Could Have Ended December 2021..

    Now..anyone Capable..Can Lite off a Nuke…V Putin and Russia will Be Blamed.
    .Guilty or Not….And It Should End Now..Negotiated Peace..World Peace..

    Like Korea..Like Nam..Like Sane Leaders Should Do…Not MAD Options..

  5. Charles Watson says:

    Unfortunately, I am afraid that any negotiated settlement will be no more than a temporary truce, and I don’t believe that Ukraine would be Putin’s last territorial demand in Europe.

    • Fred says:

      NATO, or more precisely the Borg, of course, does not seek any territory, just submission. As we saw with the non-UN approved campaign in Kosovo (none dare call it the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia any longer) an agreement doesn’t stop the “International” criminal court from doing what it does. I’m sure all parties to the current conflict understand that quite well. So a settlement, or ‘agreement’, will be worth as much as the Rambouillet Agreement, or the Minsk Agreement. Without honest partners involved they are temporary at best. It would beat a blossoming of mushroom clouds though.

  6. mcohen says:

    If those people living in the breakaway regions who are going to vote in a referendum think that the Russians will give them a better deal in terms of quality of life and wages they are dreaming.
    Granted the present system that existed exploited them but it will be no different under Russian rule.
    The idea of progress through self determination is the only way forward.

  7. Leith says:

    Xi’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, just yesterday informed his Ukrainian counterpart that “China respects Ukraine’s sovereignty & territorial integrity & rejects force.” This was on the same day when rigged referendums carried out forcefully by armed Kadyrovites to put the fear of retaliation into any who voted to remain with Ukraine.


    Foreign Minister Wang also met with Russian FM Lavrov at the UN. Wish I knew body language, Wang seems to be a bit exasperated with Lavrov’s lies:


    Also anti-war messages from Mongolia, offering asylum to Russian draft evaders:


  8. Al says:

    Fred, ahhhh, it was not you that indicated “rumors”. You might well rely less on such extreme bias “reporting”.

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