"A Chat with Stephen Gardner on NATO’s Growing Panic"
by Larry Johnson
sonar21.com (July 26, 2023)
Stephen Gardner is a new friend and he has an audience approaching 1.5 million. Not too shabby. He is a good interviewer. Stephen gave me the chance to do a full explanation debunking the claim by Biden, Blinken and Sir Lawrence Freedman that Russia has “lost” the war. The fact that the U.S. leaders and the Brit are using the same talking point is a big red flag that this is a specific message the West is trying to plant in the minds of the media and citizens of their respective countries. Have the NATO folks decided to declare “victory” and get the hell out of Ukraine?"
"Those who insist that Russia has “lost” the war in Ukraine do not understand the meaning of the word “lost.” Inconceivable (I love this clip)."
Stephen Gardner: "We're going to talk about the Russia-Ukraine situation. We're going to talkk about NATO, the Biden family, lots of different topics. ... Let me just start off with an obvious mind-boggler for most people, but why is the President of the United States going on national TV -- global TV -- and saying that Russia has lost this war; that Ukraine is going to win. And then his Secretary of State is also going around saying that Russia has already lost. Why are these two feeding the American people these lies?"
1:06 Larry Johnson: "I've likened it to that movie The Princess Bride. And in it we've got this actor, William Sean, playing this character saying "Inconceivable" and, finally, the one Spanish guy looks at him and goes: "I don't think you know what that word means." And that's the situation with Biden and Blinken. What would constitute a loss for Russia?
"Well, they could have Material losses. Losses of Manpower. That's not happening. How do you know that? Well, very simple. I follow social media in both Russia and Ukraine. There are no images of massive graveyards being dug and planted around Russia. That's one way you would know that there were major casualties. You see those in Ukraine. In fact, they're having to dig up World War 2 bodies to plant the new bodies, it's so massive. So, that's one way to lose."
2:05 "Losing equipment. Not being able to supply your troops with food, with ammunition, with artillery shells. That's not Russia. Russia has ample supplies. That's Ukraine. In fact, Joe Biden admitted, 'Yeah, we ran out of artillery shells so we've got to send these cluster munitions. That's all we've got left in the cupboard.'"
2:32 "How about Combat Air. Russia losingwould mean it could no longer field combat aircraft to cover its troops on the front line. No, that's not happening either. The Russians are shooting down everything the Ukrainians have. Ditto for Helicopters. Ditto for Mobile Artillery. Ditto for Mobile Air Defense
So, on anything you could measure [even] tangentially, Russia has not been losing. How about territory? Again, they keep claiming that Russia is losing territory. Well, that's just not true. Even the Ukrainian map, LiveUA Map, shows that Russia in the past couple of weeks has been steadily advancing after thwarting, stopping cold, the Ukrainian counter-offensive. What other ways could we define loss?"
3:24 Well, is the population of Russia are heaping anger, are marching in the streets, burning buildings, attacking police, protesting the war? That's not happening either in Russia. Just the opposite. Putin enjoys like 80% public approval."
"Another loss would be losing friends internationally, being so isolated that you can't trade. Nobody will touch you. Well, Russia is hosting an Africa conference today in Saint Petersburg with 53 nations, I believe. It's got a de facto alliance with China. So, at the end of the day, you can excuse Biden because he's demented. He's got Alzheimer's disease, or some sort of advanced dementia. What's Blinken's excuse? He's a liar. And there's no other way to couch this. That's not to be calling names, but when you are that divorced from reality, and people are getting killed as a result of it, you can't excuse it or soft-pedal it."
4:39 Stephen Gardner: "I wondered if Blinken is just in over his head and on top of everything going on, because of this administration, he's just borrowing acting skils from Zelensky and putting on a strong face and trying to personfify a persone of power and knowledge. But is this guy just in over his head?"
5:00 Larry Johnson: "He's like the organ grinder's monkey: grind the organ and the monkey would dance around. That's Blinken. He dances, so he gets fat. He gets rewarded. He gets to be part of the club. God forbid that he would stand up and actually speak truth. He's not lacking in intellectual skill in terms of book-smarts. But this kind of moral emptiness that allows him to just so blatantly and flagrantly lie is disgusting."
5:45 Stephen Gardner: "Let's talk about the counter-offensive that I've been covering since January. It's finally here. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says it's actually going better than people realize because Ukraine has taken back 50% of the territory. Russia has just left the area and maybe they're considering that but in your view, with your level of intelligence and understanding, how is the counter-offensive going? I'll come with the follow-up question, but, basically, Why was this being announced from the rooftops for so many months like it was letting the enemy know exactly what they were going to do? And then all of their weaknesses."
6:34 Larry Johnson: "They were treating it like it was a summer blockbuster -- Coming Soon to a Theater Near You -- the Mission Impossible or whatever the big movie is now. Harrison Ford, the last Indiana Jones movie was a bit of a flop. Well, the much ballyhood Ukrainian counter offensive that was going to be brought to a theater near you in the summer, has come and it is a complete disaster, a complete flop. And it goes back to your second question: Why in God's name, if you're really going to launch an offensive would you announce it in advance? These guys are not Babe Ruth pointing to center field and saying 'I'm going to put the ball right there' and then hits it. OK? It's not like Mike Tyson telegraphing 'I'm going to hit you there.' [something about Billy Jack]. Ukraine is none of those. So, they announce in advance what they're doing and yet myself, Scott Ritter, Douglas Macgregor we're looking and scratching our heads."
8:02 "To conduct this kind of offensive you need fixed wing aircraft: Combat Air that can supply close air support, which means planes firing down at Russian positions to force the Russians to go into hiding and to suppress Russian fire. Well, Ukraine didn't have that Or, you'd need combat helicopters that can fly close enough to the front to take out Russian armored vehicles and Russian artillery emplacements. They didn't have that. They would need to have Mobile Air Defense so that as their columns are advancing these air-defense units can come behind and can shoot down any Russian aircraft that are coming to bomb them. They didn't have that. And, last but not least, ample supplies of mobile artillery."
8:51 "So it's like 'What? You're going to run an offensive and without the essential elements? Now, we've heard Zelensky complain and maybe [general] Zaluzhny complain that 'Yeah. We got coerced into doing this offensive and we didn't have what we needed.' Well, there's some truth to that. They're actually for once telling the truth. This is all about a political show for the West. Because what people don't appreciate is this entire use of Ukraine as a proxy to fight Russia. This plan started years ago. The overthrow of the Russian-supported government in Ukraine, the installation of a Western-supported government in Ukraine in 2014 followed by the launching of attacks against the Donbas. The Russians responded by providing some reinforcements, I think groups like the Wagner forces, fought it to a standstill. But every year since then: 2015, 2016, 2017 NATO or the US European Command conducted military exercises with Ukrain. Why? Because, even though Ukraine is not a member of NATO, it is a de facto member of NATO. It gets treated like part of the club, even though it doesn't have the card and the personal locker and access after hours."
10:17 "Why would they do that? Because after the United States, the Ukrainian Army represented the largest force in NATO. It was larger than what Turkey had. And when you put together Turkey and Ukraine and the United States, that constitutes about 80% of the total forces that NATO can commit in a possible engagement. So, Ukraine was clearly seen as this proxy that they were going to use to try to dismantle Russia. And in fact, the West genuinely believed that they could use Ukraine in this fashion, and that Ukraine would defeat Russia. Because the West convinced itself: Russia's got incompetent military leadership. Russia's got poor morale among the troops. Its conscripts are forced to join agains their will. They don't have adequate logistics. They don't have adequate weapons systems. And on and on and on. And the West really bought into and believed this crap. Now they're reaping he reward.They're finding out that Ukraine's Army that was once Number Two, de facto wise, in NATO has been wiped out. They've got approaching 600,000 casualties. That represents almost 50% of the manpower that was present at the start of Russia's Special Military Operation in February of 2022."
11:59 "So, what we're seeing here is this desperate attempt. Because the West wants Ukraine to succeed against Russia for the politics in order to assuage concerns in their respective countries about the possibility that this is a completely feckless, futile effort."
. . .
12:20 ["Cluster munitions, etc.]
. . .
14:00 Stephen Gardner: "Admiral Kirby announced that F-16 fighters would be available later but in the same breath he says that we're not under the belief that they're going to change the tide of the war. ... "
15:51 "[the F16] is not going to make any difference on the battlefield. It will just be a new toy that the Russians get to destroy. It will be one more reminder that in this Special Military Operation that was initially intended to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine, it is also demilitarizing NATO, and exploding as a myth the prowess and competence of NATO equipment and NATO forces. There's not a single NATO weapon system that has been introduced into this conflict that has changed the course of the battles. Not one.
. . .
19:07 "... They couldn't build it. They couldn't make the wrench. So the United States has gone from being a superpower industrially during WW2 to now they can't even make a damn wrench in the United States. So, up against all of this, Ukraine is going to be faced with having to build the Fourth version of their army. ... this is happening to the Ukrainian Army. ... each copy, each new iteration means that they don't have as many experienced officers. They don't have as many experienced, trained troops. They have more inexperienced, more untrained personnel with each generation. And this creates a death spiral."
[20:38 end of program]