Ask Jesse Episode 8: The Last Time We Talk About Russia

Click here to listen to full episode on YouTube

Show Notes By Victoria Lynn Hall

According to Stars and Stripes these young Soldiers Died in Afghanistan in 2019:

Born in 1995

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr. 25, was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, Nov. 20, 2019. Born in Hawaii, he is survived by his wife, McKenzie Norman, who he married shortly before his deployment.

Born in 1996

Army Sgt. James G. Johnston, 24, was killed by small-arms fire in southern Uruzgan province on June 25, 2019. From Trumansburg, N.Y. Johnston and his wife, Krista Johnston, were expecting a baby girl at the time of his death.

Born in 1996

Army Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance, 24, of Chicago, died July 29, 2019, after being shot by an Afghan soldier at a military camp in southern Uruzgan province.

Born in 1998

Army Spc. Miguel L. Holmes, 22, died in eastern Nangarhar province from wounds sustained in a noncombat incident on May 6, 2019. From Hinesville, Ga. Holmes is survived by three sisters, two brothers, two grandparents and a large extended family.

Born in 1999

Army Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer, 20, died after an Afghan solider opened fire at a base in southern Uruzgan province, July 29, 2019. The Ohio native Kreischer is survived by his wife, Grace, whom he married in January 2019, and was pregnant with his son.

I can be fairly confident the above information is true.

I can not say the same thing about reports that the Russians paid Afghan militants bounties to kill US soldiers based in Afghanistan. Yet I do know that these unverified claims seem to be serving the interests of those who would prolong a costly war for their own gain.

And more people are likely to suffer or die because of that.

So I hope this is the last time we talk about Russia and that instead we can start discussing the life and death issues these narratives both represent and distract us from. And by we, I don’t mean just Jesse and I, but all of us.

Show Notes By Jesse Crall

Last December, the Washington Post published The Afghanistan Papers, a comprehensive report demonstrating the lies, delusions and incompetence of the three administrations “handling” the longest war in American history. Rather than inspiring horror, revulsion, Congressional hearings, media saturation & a swift, universal demand for troop withdrawal, the Papers instead drew…yawns. While anti-war journalists and commentators like Mark Ames continue to reference this report as evidence of the war’s failure and need to end, most Americans seem entirely disengaged. Which is why members of the House Armed Services Committee can support an amendment limiting President Trump’s abilities to withdraw troops from the region.

Trump’s foreign policy produces plenty of opportunities for rage. His sanctions against Venezuela, coupled with overt regime change efforts, have killed tens of thousands of civilians. Sanctions imposed on Iran increased poverty while proving particularly dangerous when an inability to procure medicine made COVID even more lethal than expected. He’s further empowered the apartheid agenda of Israel, expanded Obama’s drone wars and arms deals to Saudi Arabia, murdered a high-ranking Iranian general and, contrary to popular belief, furthered tensions with Russia by flooding Ukraine with weaponry and pulling out of the INF nuclear treaty. 

Yet what’s drawn the most considerable outrage from the Beltway elites and broader media class? Trump trying to pull troops from Syria. Trump attempting peace deals with the Taliban. Trump meeting with Kim Jong-Un. Trump halting weapons deals to Ukraine. Trump expressing a desire to work with Putin. All efforts at de-escalating conflict. Funny how that works.

Trump’s general laziness, ineptitude & reactionary behavior make any skepticism toward his ability to actually cultivate peace entirely warranted. And his handling of the above efforts doesn’t exactly bring John Quincy Adams to mind. But it was supposedly “respectable” diplomats & advisors who hastened the horrors in Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan…Some of them will likely enjoy prominence within the Biden Administration. The reflexive disdain for Trump dealing with supposed adversaries never seems to recognize that the United States has engaged in acts of terror and bloodshed incomparable to any other nation’s leadership in my lifetime.

So why do we accept such haughty arrogance? What makes Putin or the Taliban so impossible to communicate with while George W. Bush and the other Iraq butchers enjoy continued prominence in our nation’s halls of power? Why is John Bolton given a platform across mainstream news outlets as if his genocidal instincts make him a worthy counter to Trump’s failings? And why can we provoke outrage at the sheer mention of Russia while documented lies and atrocities from our own government produce shrugs across the idealogical spectrum? 

Watch the full episode below or on YouTube where you can subscribe to all of our video content. We would also like to thank Kim D. for contributing her fabulous song, “Corporation Coup” for use as a theme for our videos, you can find the full recording of this song at:

Episode 8

A self taught artist and creative entrepreneur, Victoria Lynn Hall lives in the Kansas City area with 4 spoiled cats. She believes in art and the magic of kindness.

Jesse Crall

A Los Angeles native, Jesse Crall graduated from UCLA’s English Department before working as a copywriter, script reader and project manager for an engineering firm.

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