A Perceptive Analysis of the Ukrainian Situation from GeorgeS

[Editor’s note:  As you all may know, we get much lively commentary on Monomakhos.  Every now and then however, we get a comment that Gail and I deem to be outstanding and deserves to be highlighted because we feel that it’s that good.  This being the case, we present to you a comment from one of our readers –GeorgeS.  He gets right to the point.  Thank you, GeorgeS]  


We probably won’t agree on casualty estimations, but the fact that Zelensky is already seriously talking about a widening mobilization campaign that includes women and reaches higher in age is already a big warning sign.

Ukraine is a victim to the American war mentality: in the post eastern bloc period, Americans are used to fighting wars where they have significant superiority. This was not the case during the cold war where the forces were considerably more balanced, and thus strategy was different. And that’s not the case now with Russia, either. One sure way to lose a war is failing to readjust to the realities on the ground.

Since Washington banked on Russian internal instability and a morale crisis, both of which failed miserably thusfar, the situation speaks for itself. The usual American answer to this is to throw more technology and money at the problem.

The US could not prevail in many theaters where they had superiority of technology, including Afghanistan. Some of the Afghans were still fighting with bolt action Lee Enfields of UK vintage (now of course they upgraded to M-4s, thanks to Tony Saigon Blinken). It’s been proven over and over again.

Ukraine’s population is 1/3rd of Russia’s. And those numbers are declining not just due to casualties but due to people fleeing from mobilization. And this gets to the core of the Ukrainian problem on many levels: the whole “European aspiration” of Ukraine has mostly to do with the magic word “Shengen”, which means emigrating from Ukraine. That is the real European dream of the pro-EU Ukrainians. If you speak to them casually you will learn that many of them are not interested in processes of internal reform, as they don’t believe in such a possibility. They’d rather show up to a country where they can plug into the system and exist, like the many migrants lining up at the Mexican-US border.

That constitutes a major morale problem in the long run. The die hard Azov types live for violence, the battle field is where they define themselves. But for many others, it’s quite a different story.

At the moment, euroatlanticist propaganda is making the rank and file Ukrainian believe this is a battle for ‘democracy’. But when you keep seeing your mates return in coffins or with missing limbs, while your elites are hiding in European chatels hosting Skype conferences on ‘Ukraine’s reconstruction’ with western banks, it starts to look rather dim.

As time goes on, more and more Ukrainians are seeing their victory in successful emigration from Ukraine, to a country where there is some Ukrainian diaspora that gives them a link to home. I don’t really call that patriotism.

Meanwhile on the Russian side, public opinion continues to strongly back the war and people are regularly volunteering to fight. That even includes previous Putin haters. They are well aware that Russia can’t afford to lose this one, and most of them are not naive enough to believe that any normative relations can be established with the current euroatlantic elites – especially if Russia steps back.

So let’s revisit this in 2025. It took Franco 3 years to win in Spain, a considerably smaller country. Currently we’re still at 1.5 years…


  1. Here is another perceptive analysis:

    George Galloway | How Elon Musk Saved The World

    MOATS with George Galloway Ep 272

    [Video – 20:01]

  2. Everyone should be at least starting to experience Ukraine-fatigue at this point, except the Russian army of course. It will drag on until Ukraine collapses. Russia has all the time in the world. It is the West that has an election coming up and China to deal with.

    Patience is a virtue.

    • Misha, patience is indeed a virtue. Unfortunately, the people who rule the West are not virtuous. Personally, I believe they’re so deranged that they will enact a false flag that will bring us to DefCon 2.

      • Oh, they may push to the brink. However, money talks. No one really wants to strangle the goose who lays the golden eggs. Greed may turn out, paradoxically, to be eminently useful.

  3. And on the anniversary of 9/11, we should loudly question American (CIA) involvement in everything related to Ukraine. Mexico. Chile. Cuba. Honduras and Guatemala. Israel. South Africa. Congo. Kenya. Haiti. Saudi Arabia. Jordan. Syria. Lebanon. Iraq. Pakistan. Ad Infinitum. The US government is corrupt. Evil to its core.

  4. Humbled and honored that this amazing blog featured my comment as a highlighted post. Thank you to George and Gail, and the thoughtful commentators on this blog for giving us such an amazing place to learn and have discussions.

  5. Well, we probably won’t agree on the commitment, determination and will of the Ukrainian people either. Russia expected a short victorious war (intended to be so short, they called it a special military operation and made calling it a war a crime). They didn’t get one.

    It’s pretty clear that the Ukrainian people correctly view this war as an existential fight. While I doubt many, if any, on this site will ever in this life acknowledge a very difficult truth, the Ukrainians know it well, and it is this: the vast majority of the allegations of Russian atrocities in currently and formerly occupied Ukrainian territory are true. The murders, the torture chambers, the rapes, the petty larceny, the grand scale looting, all of it. And of course we have the Russian missiles slamming into apartment buildings, winter attacks on power infrastructure, and Russia reducing Ukrainian cities to nothing but rubble in order to ‘liberate’ them.

    So no, I don’t expect the Ukrainian will to fight to ebb any time in the near to medium future, even as the burden grows heavier. The polling I’ve seen still puts high-80s, low-90s percent of the population outright rejecting any possible settlement that includes ceding Ukrainian land.

    When someone points out Russia has three times the raw population of Ukraine, I can’t help but treat it as a tacit acknowledgement that any hope of a positive outcome for Russia can only be achieved on top a giant mountain of its own dead. Tangentially, I would point out you don’t seem to acknowledge the huge army of men who have fled mother Russia to avoid being mobilized or conscripted.

    One area where I do agree with you is a sense of loss aversion among the Russian public. Russia isn’t even fighting to win at this point, it’s fighting to try and not lose. But this isn’t Soviet Afghanistan, or American Afghanistan or even American Vietnam but something far larger.

    I would argue support of the war in Russia is far more nuanced than you seem to think. To continue the war, Russia will increasingly have to impress people into service who don’t want to fight, and keep people in uniform who no longer wish to. You speak of the Ukrainian people seeing the horrors of war but don’t address the flip side of the coin. What will be the impact on Russian society of hundreds of thousands of funerals, amputees walking the streets, veterans with severe PTSD? Russia even added some unique wrinkles to itself, pardoning murders and hardened criminals to fill gaps in manpower.

    Needless to say, I am more than happy to occasionally revisit this over the next 1.5 years. By then, Douglas Macgregor will probably have predicted an imminent Ukrainian collapse so many times that I’ll have enough punches on my card to get a free sub.

    • Nate, you prove in the 2nd paragraph that you’re not arguing in good faith. The atrocities perpetrated by the Ukronazis far outweigh any that may be perpetrated by the Russians. Even when it comes to the treatment of POWs, there is no comparison. That’s why entire Ukrainian platoons and companies are surrendering en masse to Russian forces.

      • He can’t possibly believe what he’s writing. No one’s that naive.

      • Wasn’t the Korean War a “Police Action”? If I wanted to wage war against the United States then I would be doing it exactly the way the Russians are doing it. First start a low intensity conflict in the Donbas, then slowly build up the armed forces along the border. Invade but call it a SMO. Make a fake feint towards the Capital city to draw my enemy into a conflict with no off ramp in site. Then in the diplomatic front, form strong alliances with other oil producing countries. Cut production and drive up prices. What!?!? You think the rest of the world is going to stop buying oil because Uncle Joe says so!?!?. Driving up energy prices cause prices of everything to go up! So here we sit, watching our economy go down the tubes while at the same time enriching OPEC+ which includes Russia. It’s like watching President Tweedle Dee and VP Tweedle Dum try to out fox a Chess Master. Watching this whole thing is like rereading the Sun Tzu again. Bait your enemy into a war without end, use up all of your enemy’s weapons and money, destroy your enemy’s economy and strengthen your diplomatic position. If the Russians pull this off they will have defeated the United States without having to attack them directly. Brilliant! This all could have been avoided if the United States would’ve practiced Humility. The arrogance and pridefullness of our government elites is going to provide the world on a text book example on how to humiliate a superpower. We are in for some rough times folks. May God have mercy on us.

        One more thing before I go. I just read today that the Biden Admin just canceled a bunch of oil leases in Alaska. That will drive up oil prices even higher that will enable the Russians to continue to have plenty of funds to keep us involved in the war . After it’s all done we will be broke, the Russians will be rich and there will be a lot of dead Ukrainians. Didn’t we learn anything from the Cold War? The reason we beat the USSR then was because we out spent them which put their economy on the rocks. Turn about is fair play I guess.

        • Regardless of the eventual outcome of the war itself, the Russian leadership have to be shaking their heads in wonder at the utter, arrogance-induced, geopolitical stupidity of the Biden administration.

          • Well, Old Man Biden has always been a hawk, but he’s almost brain dead now, so the powers behind the throne – the kagemusha, if you will – are free to tinker with foreign policy, do stupid sh*t, and blame it on Biden because he is the one who is center stage. They probably determined from the outset to let him take the responsibility for any cockups, domestic and foreign, since he’s the one who sits in the Oval Office. What a godawful time this is! Lord, save us!

            • Indeed. There is plenty of shared responsibility to go around – a large measure of which falls squarely upon members of what was once my preferred political party.

              Shame on all of them.

        • It’s almost as if it’s all by design…

    • …the vast majority of the allegations of Russian atrocities in currently and formerly occupied Ukrainian territory are true. The murders, the torture chambers, the rapes, the petty larceny, the grand scale looting, all of it.

      It’s true Nate because you say so, because the people you sympathize with say so. Those same people systematically deny Ukrainian atrocities against the Russians, both since 2022 and prior.

      Has there been any independent investigation? No. Will there be at this time? Absolutely not. As we saw with Yugoslavia, as we saw with Iraq, it takes the word “atrocities” very often to swing public sentiment into backing military involvement. The mainstream western media knows this game very well, and it has played it for decades.

      The polling I’ve seen still puts high-80s, low-90s percent of the population outright rejecting any possible settlement that includes ceding Ukrainian land.

      “Hello Ukrainian citizen, I’m just an anonymous pollster who wants to know your frank opinion. I’m not an employee of the security services, oh no. I got your number from random auto-dial. So tell me, would you ever consider giving away Ukraine to the Russians to have peace?”…

      …let’s get real here for a minute.

      When someone points out Russia has three times the raw population of Ukraine, I can’t help but treat it as a tacit acknowledgement that any hope of a positive outcome for Russia can only be achieved on top a giant mountain of its own dead.

      I don’t know how you can draw that conclusion, unless you mean to likewise imply that a Ukrainian victory is only possible on top of a giant mountain of its own dead. Let’s not forget that at the moment the Ukrainians are already heavily leaning on foreign personnel. The so called ‘international brigades’ of true volunteers (those not affiliated with PMCs) is a drop in the bucket, and the Ukrainians have admitted that recruitment efforts have been seriously flagging here as of late. I’d like to underline that these volunteers, unlike those in the Spanish civil war, are overwhelmingly those with prior military experience.

      The so called Russian national “liberation army” that supposedly attacked Belgorod, Pskov, etc. has by its own admission at most 3,000 recruits. Compare that to General Vlasov’s army, which during the ending months of WWII when the Soviets were sure to win had some 50,000 men under his command.

      You speak of the Ukrainian people seeing the horrors of war but don’t address the flip side of the coin. What will be the impact on Russian society of hundreds of thousands of funerals, amputees walking the streets, veterans with severe PTSD?

      Russia initiated this war using professional military, much like the United States does. The vast majority of its conscripts are not fighting in Ukraine, though the option is available to them if they choose (and enough do).

      Yes, the State Department has been issuing visas for Russian draft dodgers, but a significant percent of these people are those who prior to the war were hoping to get into Europe or the US somehow, they just found an extra incentive to do so (I have a number of such acquaintances) and the circumstances are favorable to them. A number are still hanging out in Kazakhkstan, Georgia, Turkey, Serbia, occupied Cyprus, and other regions where there is a visa friendly regime. But many ultimately can’t hack it and a number return home.

      Every country has its share of deserters when there’s a war going on (we’ve had such people seek presidential nominations here in America). But for Ukraine, it has taken on a particular epidemic proportion because the very reason for Ukraine’s European orientation was for Ukrainians to exit their own country, and send money home to their family members with the hope of ultimately getting them over there as well. Ukraine to them is essentially a ‘dacha’.

      Do they believe in a “future democratic Ukraine?”. Even before the Maidan coup reached its height, when they couldn’t blame Russia for anything, they admitted it would probably take ‘decades’, but they didn’t want to stick around to go through the reform process. There are very few true “young Turks” there, save for those who are either in the neo-Nazi camp and have no governing abilities, or those who want the cushy ‘human rights consultant’ jobs paid for by your tax dollars.

      Just read about the behavior of Ukrainian refugees abroad. They are no less demanding than the multitude of migrants that want to plug into the social welfare system. To boot, they enjoy playing the victim card and getting freebees. That’s much more fun than getting trench foot.

      Zelensky has little option but to send more people toward an offensive that stands at best a chance of inducing a stalemate for more ‘wait and see’ diplomacy. Russia, by contrast, has been rather sparing of its men, especially in the beginning of the conflict. This isn’t the Stalin era where human lives didn’t matter: even if Putin were such a tyrant, current circumstances prohibit such an approach.

      This gets down to an economic principle that Milton Friedman well explained: we are most careless with money when somebody spends somebody else’s money on somebody else (in Friedman’s case, he was referring to how the US government spends tax dollars). That is exactly what is happening in Ukraine: somebody who is NOT Ukraine is telling Ukraine how to use their own human capital to save Ukraine. The Victoria Newlands of this world will not have a bad retirement even if the majority of fighting age Ukrainians are depleted. She can always write a book and blame it on someone else.

      Russia even added some unique wrinkles to itself, pardoning murders and hardened criminals to fill gaps in manpower.

      Accuse me of whataboutisms here, but have you ever heard of the French legion? I’m not even talking about how America has armed and backed the nastiest Islamist fundamentalists out there in Bosnia and Kosovo, and gave the Chechen Islamists diplomatic assistance? Yes, people who regularly behead Christians for sport and harvest their organs.

      So that’s a bit of the pot calling the kettle black.

      By then, Douglas Macgregor will probably have predicted an imminent Ukrainian collapse so many times that I’ll have enough punches on my card to get a free sub.

      As many times as the mainstream euroatlantic media has not only predicted Ukrainian victory, but regularly lauds conferences devoted to Ukraine’s ‘reconstruction’. THAT is not YouTube clickbait, that is hubris of the highest order which is already showing grave consequences. Let’s get that next ‘as long as it takes’ multi-billion dollar support package down the pike, shall we…

      • Again, a lot of interesting points here, GeorgeS. I regularly follow two Polish podcasters (Ania K and Mike Krupa) and there is rising anger in Poland due to the sense of entitlement that many Ukrainian refugees express. The other complaint is that all most Poles hear on the street is Ukrainian and Russian being spoken. This of course means that their national character is being slowly diluted.

        • In today’s podcast, Alexander Mercouris cites Zelensky’s interview with the Economist, where Zelensky implied that if the west withdraws support from Ukraine, that Ukrainian migrants will potentially create disturbances in their host countries.

          That, I must say, is a most interesting form of blackmail.

          • Curious: we’ve sent a LOT of weapons to the Ukrainians, only some of which are actually put to use in the battlefield. We know much (Stingers, Javelines, HIMARS) have been sold on the black market. Not only to terrorist gangs in the West but even to Russia (where they’ve reverse-engineered the HIMARS and M777s. I believe the Russians have captured the much-vaunted PATRIOT system as well.

            I can easily see rightist terrorist groups in Europe using these on civilian aircraft.

        • Johann Sebastian says

          The other complaint is that all most Poles hear on the street is Ukrainian and Russian being spoken. This of course means that their national character is being slowly diluted.

          Well, they’re basically the ones that started this mess with their occupation of western Rus’, and their invention of the Uniate religion long, long ago. Serves them right.

          Russia should invade Poland and call it “the 1596 Project.”

      • ” ‘Russia even added some unique wrinkles to itself, pardoning
        murders and hardened criminals to fill gaps in manpower.’

        Accuse me of whataboutisms here, but have you ever heard of the French legion? ”

        I once read a book by an ex-Legionnaire who claimed that,
        after WWII, if the Russians caught members of the Waffen SS
        they shot them. If the British or the Americans caught them
        they gave them a fair trial and then they hanged them.
        If the French caught them, they offered them this choice:
        Either you get hanged, or you join the Foreign Legion
        and we will send you to Indochina to kill communists.
        Que voulez-vous faire?
        What do you want to do?

    • This reminds me so much of the scene in the original 1930s All Quiet on the Western Front where the main character goes back home. He meets his father who was in a restaurant or something with his friends, and they were still telling him “onto Paris” like it was still 1914. I wish I could find a clip of that scene, it’s very realistic because right until the armistice the German public had been lead to believe victory was around the corner, the news was constantly lying to them. This is what prompted so many of the dangerous “stab in the back” theories which were later capitalized on by the Nazi party.

    • m. Cornelia says

      One aspect of this conflict that completely escapes the vast majority of Westerners is the huge investment that the U.S. made in changing Ukraine, beginning from its independence from the Soviet Union in the early 90s. This includes literally billions of dollars spent on turning Ukrainians against Russians. New textbooks were published for elementary and high schools, which rewrote their own history and painted Russians in very dark and scary colors. Basically, the young generation was brainwashed. I am not talking about the Galicians, who already had their own baggage, but rather about all the rest of the Ukrainians who really had no problems with Russia. We also know very little about the war that went on after the end of WW2 in Western Ukraine. The U.S. put the Nazi collaborators to use against the Soviets, and you can bet that Stalin put the whole movement down with characteristics draconian measures. But if the rest of Ukraine had been left alone, if the textbooks were not funded by Soros and the like, there would certainly not be such animosity on the part of ordinary Ukrainians (and indeed, opinion is quite different amongst members of the older generation, who fought side-by-side with Russians against the Fascists). Ukrainians who move to Russia can be told apart only by their surnames. Moreover, Russians have had little or no animosity against Ukrainians. In fact, losing them in the 90s was very sad, because they’ve always felt very close to them. And I will say, that if the Ukrainians would drop all this anti-Russian feeling and get back together with them, I am sure that the Russians will forgive all atrocities. That of course is not speaking for the people of Donbas, who have had to endure horrible things from Azov and the like. But even they I’m sure feel close to Ukrainians per se. BTW, there are prophecies that they will be together again. May it happen! I myself miss the Ukrainians dreadfully.

      • That’s one of the things about the Ruthenians that I find creepy. After centuries of intermarriage and shared culture that they (or if you will their “democratically” elected politicians) could not tell their western backers they refuse to join NATO, an organization created to fight (and kill) Russians. That they refused to tell the Europeans that Russians are their brethren and many of their parents and grandparents have Russian blood is shocking. It’s almost non-human behavior no different than when the Tutsis and Hutu turned on each other after centuries of intermarrying.

  6. The Ukronazis murdered collaborators and tied their hands with the bands given them by the Russians to indicate they were providers of food and assistance to the populace in Bucha. The mayor had no problems with the Russians. It was after they left that the Ukrainian fascists did the deed and blamed it on Russian forces. And it’s not isolated but a pattern.

    Of course, there will be no investigation and the Western press will take the fascists’ words as Gospel. But who has the Azov battalion? Who has not z tattoos? Why would they not engage in typical not z behavior toward collaborators with the “orcs”? And why would the Russians give the AFU a propaganda victory and alienate those sympathetic to them. It makes no sense at all.

    But it matters not what we say here. Russia will take what they think they need for security and leave everyone else to pound sand until they wear themselves out. Propaganda will not save the West.

    • m. Cornelia says

      The creepiest thing is that the U.S. and Western Europe basically invest outrageous amounts of money into making an ethnic group hate the people who are closest to them, and in the case of Ukrainians and Russians, are practically the same as them. In the case of Russia and Ukraine, it really boils down to leadership. Russia was on the same path in the early 90s–changing all the textbooks, media barages, etc. But Putin is a strong leader and he spoke to those Russians (the vast majority) who want to remain Russians, and not some weird Euro-Frankenstein, which is how the Ukraine has turned out. Of course the West hates Putin for that, for obvious reasons. The West has a penchant for puppet governments in the post-Soviet space. Ukrainians unfortunately are softer than Russians, and they fell for all that garbage. And their leaders pulled a bait-and-switch on them. Before elections they stood for peace, but afterwards–well we see. Now, even if Ukrainians don’t fall for it, they don’t have a choice, because the regime is Fascist with all the consequences proceeding from that. But I feel very strongly, and I hope I am not being naive, that Ukrainians will completely be lost as a nation if they continue this hatred of Russia. Because that is like hating themselves. They really are one people, and hating Russians is hating themselves. And you can’t base your entire national identity upon hatred of another nation. It’s a negative identity, you negate yourself. When the two were together, they flourished. This is just historically true. (Of course in the Soviet period they had to endure the bitter together more than the sweet.) So, it is no surprise that so much money is being spent (not to mention lives) to keep the two apart. I even remember once sitting next to a Dutchman on an airplane to Russia, some ten or fifteen years ago, before the Maidan even. He said that Europe’s current involvement in taking control of Ukraine is a “prestige project”. I told him then that there will be no prestige, only problems. Just give them work visas–that’s what they want. But no, they needed to have Ukraine’s heart and soul, separate from Russia. I’m still floored by his blithe attitude.

      • “The West has a penchant for puppet governments…”

        …and not just in Ukraine:

        U.N. approves invasion of Haiti, US forces
        already there | Redacted with Clayton Morris


        ‘ Redacted has confirmed that the U.S. has special forces inside of Haiti as the U.N. is set to approve an invasion. The United Nations will vote today on the United States’ request to invade Haiti with Kenyan troops. The U.S. says that a military invasion is necessary to “conduct joint security support operations as it works to counter gangs and improve security conditions in Haiti.” The force will help secure “critical infrastructure sites and transit locations such as the airport, ports, and key intersections.” The people of Haiti have been pushing back against this rhetoric and begging the United States to stay out of their politics. Redacted correspondent Dan Cohen brings us the story. ‘

  7. This blog is always good for a laugh but war crimes and war criminals are no laughing matter. Fortunately, at the Final Judgement God will sort it out. War Criminals and those who support them think God maybe will forget. Highly doubtful. And clerics who are silent? Certainly God will have their number too. Silence is complicity. Jesus said turn the other cheek, not look the other way. A good refresher is The Good Samaritan. His target was the Pharisee and the Levite. Still applicable today. Rebuttals welcomed. Censorship expected. God Bless!

    • Antiochene Son says

      Platitudes and slogans. Eastern Ukrainians were persecuted for 10+ years and suffered a literal coup and you didn’t care. “Muh freedumb!!!” Ukraine violated the Minsk agreement. Putin couldn’t abide it anymore and yet he’s the bad guy.

      • Solidarity Priest says

        They didn’t care, because being an ethnic Ukrainian or even a patriot is not enough. You have to hate everything Russian: that’s why Metropolitan Onufry is unacceptable.
        Lots of remembering going on. Filaret Denysenko suddenly remembered he was Ukrainian, after disdaining the Ukrainian language most of his life. He couldn’t be Patriarch of Moscow, so he suddenly decided he was Ukrainian after all, so as to be “Patriarch” of Kyiv. Patriarch Bartholomew suddenly remembered that Ukraine was his “territory”. I don’t recall Constantinople caring when Stalin really was starving millions of mostly Orthodox Eastern Ukrainians in 1933. Finally, OCA liberals are suddenly remembering that Patriarch Kirill was a KGB agent. Yet, when those of us in ROCOR protested the OCA Autocephaly in 1970, when the Soviet Union really was an evil empire, we were told to shut up and quit judging. Wonderful how the rules get changed around, when some folks find it convenient.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Fr, I realize how unideal things are presently in Orthodoxy but, all things being equal, can you imagine what a horror it would be for our Faith had Philaret ascended to the Muscovite throne?

          I shudder to think of the implications.

        • “Wonderful how the rules get changed around,
          when some folks find it convenient.”

          As a particularly shifty shop steward said to me
          (when I reminded him that the Union Rule Book
          says that the Rule Book is the Union Constitution):
          ” The Rules? The Rules is Guidelines…”

        • Johann Sebastian says

          Many of the early members of the OCA–from her days as the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North America–would be rolling in their graves right now at the thought of their church aligning with anything remotely associated with Ukrainian nationalism.

    • Rebuttals of what?
      Where is your argument?

    • Johann Sebastian says

      You’re right. And there are many more that stretch very far back into history. Those who bear false witness—and make “revisions” to the truth—will also be held accountable.

      You can dismount your high horse now, thank you very much.

    • Mike, I’m glad that you’re amused. The fact that you don’t see the “noble West” performing war crimes (now and in the past) emboldens me as to who the real villains are.

      Thank you for bolstering my faith.

      • I think bombing a country using a nuclear bomb would constitute a “war crime”. As a cleric I would like to go on record and state that I think that it is immoral to bomb a civilian city using a nuclear bomb.

        • Dcn, in retrospect, I think that the use of nuclear weapons against the Japanese was a war crime. As was the fire-bombing of cities such as Berlin, Dresden and Tokyo. (Both sides did it: the Luftwaffe bombed London.)

          That said, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was especially egregious because we now know that the Japanese were getting ready to surrender. In fact, it was known then that they were going to surrender.

          We also know now that MacArthur, Eisenhower, Curtis LeMay and Admirals Leahy and Halsey were against the use of these weapons.

          • I used to be pastor to a few of the elderly Christians who, during the unpleasantness, were young and lived in major Japanese cities, especially Tokyo and Nagoya. These people in my admittedly limited experience rarely talked about the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On the other hand, they spoke often of the incessant firebombings care of Gen. Curtis LeMay’s B29s that leveled the more populated cities. Japanese civilians were terrified of those airplanes.

            The pivot point of my fifteen years of life and activity in Japan was the industrial city of Nagoya, 97% of which turned into yakenohara, i.e., a “burnt field”. The damage done by the incendiary bombings of that and other cities was many times more destructive than the two atom bombs that ended the war.

            I attended a clericus in Hiroshima and visited the hibakusha-byōin (the hospital for those who had been bombed.) right after my presbyteral ordination in 1990. Because I was the newly-minted cleric, I was given the privilege of preaching to my senior Japanese priests at one of the services. Needless to say, it was a privilege which I would gladly have passed on to anyone else. Hiroshima was the first to be attacked, and then three days later, the skies were clear over Nagasaki. The second bomb was dropped and, in an instant, ten thousand Catholic Christians were vaporized along with the others.

            Again, the major destruction that our armed forces wreaked on Japan was due to the constant firebombing of other cities. Not Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The obsession that we Americans have with the two atomic attacks on Japan comes from the miraculous innovation of the advanced means of destruction. The Manhattan Project unleashed the genie that we will never be able to put back into Aladdin’s lamp. If push comes to shove, Russia has the intercontinental ballistic missiles that could easily beat our old arsenal to the punch. If that happens, then it’s bye, bye Miss American pie. The Biden junta is playing with nuclear fire by escalating their proxy war in the Ukraine. We are in desperate need of an American president who will put a stop to the insanity and sue for peace.

            This may sound rude, but it is my hope that our clergymen who preach of a Sunday morning will make application of the Scriptures and the Fathers to the burning issues of the day. Simple regurgitation of the gospel lesson and exhortations from the saints just won’t cut it any more. Our nation – our world – are in grave danger. You priests and bishops are the prophets whom God has raised up for such a time as this. We look up anxiously to you for guidance. Please don’t let us down.

          • Antiochene Son says

            Our entire involvement with Japan was a war crime. Our history books don’t mention that we provoked Pearl Harbor with our blockade of Japanese ports. It got so bad that a suicide bombing mission was the only option left.

            FDR got his war, and Americans got roped into WW2 as we never should have, and our population didn’t want.

            And the Japanese spirit was so thoroughly crushed that now the population is crazed with weird sex stuff and no children.

            • Anonymous II says

              Agreed – – but the Japanese spirit wasn’t the only to surrender and be sexually and in other ways morally mutilated. Look at Europe and America today.

              The moment we chose to support and enable “Uncle Joe” Stalin to butcher 60 million Orthodox Christians, and satanic Marxism to literally divide the West, it should be clear we fought the wrong war. Absolutely, the problems we’re facing today are the fruit of an ongoing globalist ie International Communist victory.

            • What christians fail to remember in their support of the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan is those were the two most Christian cities in Asia outside Phillipines. I guarantee you the GOARCH would never condemn the free mason Harry Truman for his genocide of Japanese Christians since Athenagoras was his good buddy. This act has made evangelization in Japan a near impossible mission and rightfully so. God should exempt them from the need of the gospel as we Christians already incinerated His disciples the first time .

              • Johann Sebastian says

                I make a fair number of comments on here as a Russophile-oriented Rusyn through my mother’s side of the family, but on behalf of my dad, I’m going to put my Filipino hat on for a moment.

                The Japanese did very well on account of the war. They murdered, raped, and plundered all of East and Southeast Asia. The Philippines bore the brunt of their brutality, and while Japan was catapulted into boundless economic advancement during the postwar era (with lots of American help), the Philippines–at one time the “Pearl of the Orient”–was left to wallow in third-world squalor and corruption amid a very premature independence. The worst elements of Hispanic Catholic laziness and American mass-culture now prevail there, with only vestiges of our pre-colonial Malay culture remaining. One of the most literate and educated countries in Asia is also one of the poorest and most corrupt!

                I admire traditional Japanese culture and values and agree that their society has been thoroughly deracinated by the modern zeitgeist, which has also happened through a lot of American influence. But let’s not get too sentimental about the Japanese and forget about the realities of the war. They’ve been compensated mightily and have a long way to go when it comes to acknowledging the wrongs they committed. A lot is made about the Nazis, but not enough about the Imperial Japanese.

                A similar thing is happening with the historical Ukrainian narrative–some pretty bad folks in their closet, but all of that is in danger of being lost to history well, because the Russians are always the bad guys when the U.S. writes the history books.

                • Johann Sebastian, you are right to throw some cold water on this topic. What you say about the Japanese atrocities is spot on. I’m only aware of those perpetrated in Manchuria and I couldn’t believe how horrific they actually were.

                  As to American POWs, they treated them worse than animals, performing vivisection on them.

                  All that said, I do believe that we provoked them into war in the first place. According to former president Herbert Hoover, there was an active not anti-American “peace party” within the Japanese government, particularly in the Imperial Navy. The Army on the other hand was pro-invasion and derisively called the pro-Western elements “Anglo-Saxons”.

                  Anyway, long story short, the Naval elements actively sought out ways to accommodate the Americans and told them that they would demobilize from China if they could be given a chance. When these overtures went nowhere (Harry Dexter White, a communist in the White House interdicted all correspondence between the Japanese and FDR on behalf of Stalin), Admiral Yamamoto decided that the best Japan could hope for was to deliver a knock-out punch to the Pacific Fleet and sue for peace.

                  Hence, his plan to attack Pearl Harbor.

                  I used to question this narrative until I dug further and found out that the American aircraft carriers were sent “on patrol” weeks before the attack while the battleships (which were almost obsolete in the Pacific) were left at dock.

                • Johann,

                  I have never been convinced that the dropping of atomic bombs on the two Japanese cities was a mistake.

                • Antiochene Son says

                  “They … have a long way to go when it comes to acknowledging the wrongs they committed. A lot is made about the Nazis, but not enough about the Imperial Japanese.”

                  America has no responsibility to mete out justice for the wrongs of nations on the other side of the world. The godless Chinese and the godless Japanese and the godless Koreans have destroyed one another for millennia, what is that to us?

                  My people were savages once, too, but by hook or crook they received the Gospel and here I am today as an Orthodox Christian.

                  Ironically, Hirohito offered to convert to Christianity and submit his entire population to the Gospel, but Eisenhower turned him down. I mean, if you’re going to subjugate an entire nation in a stupid war, it may as well come with some spiritual benefit, but not even that green sprout would be allowed to grow from the dung heap we created.

                  • “…what is that to us?

                    Tell that to the sailors whose watery grave is the USS Arizona at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. Tell that to the soldiers who collapsed on the Bataan Death March, or to the Marines who slogged and bled on Guadalcanal. Our boys in the Pacific Theater had some major skin in the game. That’s what it is to us.

              • Very sobering words, Kosta.

      • There is a lot of projection going on in the West. Given the wall of lies that we can confirm coming out of Washington, the West and the Ukraine, we have no reason at all to believe them when it comes to allegations of war crimes especially when we have footage of Ukrainians actually committing such acts.

        It’s just that there are fools who drink the kool aid. That is why the CIA generates a constant stream of disinformation to create consent. As the old saying goes, “If you trust your government, you are ignorant of history.” That is the great sin of the MSM in the contemporary West. Liberals having taken over the government and society, the MSM simply parrots the government line when liberals are in charge, and completely uncritically.

        I will gladly criticize the Russian govt when independent journalists I trust say it is gilding the lilly. But the contemporary RF is much less subject to this phenomenon than the Soviet Bolsheviks. The RF doesn’t have to lie to create consent for their policies which are straight forward, largely common sensical and in line with conventional wisdom already formed in Russia.

        • I think what’s also interesting with the Russian media is that there’s a much clearer line between government run and private media.

          In Russia everyone knows that RIA Novosti, TASS, etc. are run by the government, and the government doesn’t hide that. When Russians want an alternative view they hit the bloggosphere, which as of late has exploded in size. And there you will often find a diversity of opinions you don’t get with the same ease abroad.

          In some ways the Soviet experience has groomed Russians to always distrust their media, and that is what has fed such a massive blogging movement.

          In the US that’s a totally different story, because the Washington Post, NY Times, CNN et all are run by the same center-left, globalist political groupthink and yet they aggressively market themselves as unbiased. Fox News is given a token slot in search results, and Fox news is definitely more to the center than to the right (yet it markets itself clearly as a conservative outlet), and generally leans neocon esp. after Tucker’s exit.

          As a result Americans often delude themselves into believing that our media is unbiased and well rounded. Ever since Trump got elected, the legacy media has been outright begging the public to trust them, and got big tech to collude with them to sequester the bloggosphere as much as possible. They fought very hard to maintain the charade, but the heavy handed censorship they tried became particularly transparent during Covid. To me, that was bordering on Soviet tactics.

  8. Solidarity Priest says

    Hey, Mike! You don’t get to bestow blessings, Big Man. Not unless you are a priest or bishop. Even if you are, I REJECT YOUR BLESSING. Censorship? George is much more tolerant than I would be, but it’s his prerogative. I doubt if your Ukrainian friends would return the favor.

    • Correct me if I am wrong, but when a man says:
      “God bless”, he is not bestowing his own blessing.
      He is asking God to bless those he is addressing.
      That, I think, is (or should be) open to any Christian.

      And so I find myself defending Mike Steele.
      As Michael Caine might have said: “Funny old world.”

      • Solidarity Priest says

        I would be glad to hear from Greeks, Arabs, Albanians, Romanians and others as to Orthodox greetings or farewells in their languages. From a Russian perspective, nobody in Russian says, “Hospod’ Blahoslovit!” (The Lord Blesses) unless he be a bishop or priest who is bestowing a blessing on someone who has asked it of him. You will hear, ‘Chrani Vas Hospod”(May the Lord Keep You). The operative word is bless. Anyone may commend someone else to God. Our own “goodbye”, as I understand, is a contraction of “God be with you.”
        There may be a different understanding of such things in Greek usage. I have seen Greek bishops use “Evlogite”(Bless!) in letters to priests. In ancient Rus’, bishops and priests would give blessings to each other, but that has fallen by the wayside. As far as I know, in our Russian tradition, you only bless another cleric when administering to him the Sacrament of Confession.
        I recall one priest, now deceased, who was visiting the ROCOR cathedral in Chicago. He encountered a little old man in a cassock, with a monastic belt. The priest extended his hand in a blessing. The old man smiled, took the hand and kissed it. The priest later found out that he had blessed Archbishop Alypy!
        Now, people may make the Sign of the Cross over a loved one, parents over children, etc. This is common enough in Russian practice, and I presume, in other Orthodox cultures. And one may kiss the hands of parents or of other people who don’t bestow priestly blessings.
        I remember reading that the Tsar Martyr Nicholas II would go up to priests as well as bishops to ask for their blessings. The Tsar would often go up to deacons, mistaking them for priests, which is why the Russian church instituted the giving of the silver cross to the newly ordained priest. That’s why I hold it against Putin, that upon meeting Metropolitan Laurus in New York, he neither asked a blessing, nor kissed his hand, but rather kissed him three times as if he were his equal or even superior. Metropolitan Laurus ordained me to the priesthood almost fifty years ago. While it would have undoubtably been better had I waited until at least age thirty(according to the Canons), I believe that I received the grace of the priesthood from the hands of Metropolitan Laurus. I know myself to be a sinful, unworthy priest, but I believe the late Vladyka Laurus to have been a righteous man.

        • Are you in the EAD? We might have met. I was at the last assembly meeting in Nyack. Greetings Father!

          • Solidarity Priest says

            Greetings, Fr. Deacon !
            No, I was in the EAD,but I left almost forty years ago. The late Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) blessed me to go elsewhere. At the time, I didn’t know that he had been an opponent of St. John of San Francisco. I was an OCA man before ordination. I was initially opposed to the ROCOR-MP reconciliation, but I’ve modified my stance, since seeing the piety of many of the new Russian arrivals here, something that was all too lacking in my day. I’m back in the OCA, but provisionally, they recognize Dumenko and I’m gone. I choose not to make my location known, rightly or wrongly. I should add that although Bishop Gregory was against St. John, he was fatherly to me; he actually gave me sound advice, which I was too foolish to take. I offer you this advice: don’t give up being a deacon for the priesthood too quickly. If you are a married man, no bishop can force you to go higher and your wife’s full agreement is essential. My poor wife knew I wasn’t ready, but our spiritual father at the time was brainwashed by the HOCNA extremists. If by chance, you are a monastic deacon, then of course your Abbott or bishop could make the priesthood an obedience. Best wishes, Fr. Deacon

        • Matthew Panchisin says

          Once a young man blessed Archbishop Alypy in Church, when I asked he said that the young man was confused and smiled. Another time a babushka brought her grand daughter to Archbishop Alypy for a blessing. She told her “kiss hand”, the little girl kissed her own hand, Vladyka found it so endearing that he smiled ear to ear. The heart felt smiling reaction was rather common.

      • I don’t actually think that a layman can’t bless. That would certainly be contrary to the example of the Old Testament. It has become a custom for only priests and bishops to bless in the name of Christ using the priestly hand gesture. For example, in typica services, instead of invoking Christ by name, the phrase is changed to “Lord, bless”.

        What is true is that a formal blessing (again with the hand in the IC XC symbol) should only properly be sought from clergy. But I was taught that a layman can bless this or that using his hand in the same shape we use to cross ourselves, 3/2, as crossing oneself is a form of blessing. Also, if a cleric is present, he should be the one sought for a blessing.

        Of course, I could be wrong. But I would need to see some canon law or authoritative source to the contrary.

        • I bless my children with the Sign of the Cross every evening before they go to sleep, just as my father (Roman Catholic, though a convert from nominal Judaism) used to bless me when I was a child.

          • Solidarity Priest says

            I never ever said you couldn’t bless your children. Please read what I wrote, I said it is very common for Russians to make the Sign of the Cross over their children. I read Dostoyevsky in English and now in the original. I’m glad to hear that your father converted from Judaism. I had a great grandfather who left Judaism to become a Methodist, he was from West Prussia, now Poland. I think you can read Russian, I doubt if you’re going to find a Russian saying,”Bog tebya Blagoslovit” anywhere. I thought I gave examples of what Russians do say.
            In any event, I don’t recognize the right of Mr. Ukie to invoke a blessing after condemning us all . God forgive me, but I WILL use that word, I am one myself. I’m not anti Ukrainian, I will use the right word for true Ukrainians like Metropolitan Onufry. The extremists have made Ukraine hateful in the eyes of many Orthodox, they have coopted the Cossack heritage which was all about preserving Orthodoxy. I have had Cossack separatists in my parishes. A Cossack seperatist may think of himself as superior to both Russians and Ukrainians. He may go to a Russian OR Ukrainian church , but he will never set foot in a Unite church. End of rant.

            • I wasn’t contradicting you, Father, just commenting (in response to Misha) on some ways laypeople can and do bless.

              My own position now is a little ironic, as I converted to Orthodoxy from a small Calvinist denomination where I served as an ordained minister and blessed my congregation every Sunday in that capacity. But I’m happy to be a layman in the Church.

              My Jewish ancestors on my dad’s side came from Ukraine, by the way…

              • Solidarity Priest says

                Sorry for overreacting, Jeff. I have a feeling that my dad and your dad came from the same neck of the words. I should say, my dad and your father’s parents or grandparents; because dad grew up in what was and is the most Jewish area of Ukraine. But he was born in the last few decades of Russia before the First World War.
                The irony is that dad was born of a Russian-Polish father and a Ukrainian mother. That part of Ukraine had been Polish until Poland was partitioned, and that part went to Russia.
                The Jewish great grandfather came from what was the other end of the Polish empire; that part of Poland went to Prussia. He was my mother’s maternal grandfather. I learned this long after my mother died.

                • Was your dad’s family from Berdichev?

                  I grew up hearing about family roots there…and then when I was in Russia, I found a Jewish Encyclopedia (published in pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg) in a Protestant pastor’s study and looked up the entry on Berdichev. It went on for pages and pages…the place was identified as “the Jerusalem of the Ukraine.”

            • Fr, your insights onto the Cossacks fascinates me. If I remember correctly, in Solzhenitsyn’s Two Hundred Years Together, his discourse on Jews and the Russian Empire (sadly, which I loaned to somebody years ago and still cannot get ahold of him), he mentioned that some of the Cossack clans may had had had a Jewish progenitor, usually somebody who converted to Orthodoxy.

              I can’t vouch for that as it’s been years since I read it but it stuck in my mind. Do you (or anyone reading this blog) have any information on this topic?

        • I clearly remember examples of Orthodox parents (and other un-ordained but revered older people) giving such blessings in the works of Dostoyevsky.

          And then of course, in the Life of St. Mary of Egypt there’s the priest Zosimas seeking St. Mary’s blessing in the wilderness!

          • This was very common. So common in Greek households that most likely it was the way parents and grandparent bid goodbye to their kids going out and house guests. Unfortunately it’s becoming extinct. Within two generations it will be an obscure thing mentioned in old books and historical footnotes. It’s a shamr

      • This may be helpful.

        • Thank you Misha.
          It is an excellent article,
          to which I would only add:

          Matthew 5 [KJV}:
          43 Ye have heard that it hath been said,
          Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
          44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies,
          bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you,
          and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
          45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:
          for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good,
          and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
          46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?
          do not even the publicans the same?
          47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?
          do not even the publicans so?
          48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

          In saying this, the Lord was instructing the multitudes,
          who were present, not just the Twelve or the Seventy.
          Does this not naturally extrapolate to all of us?

          • Matthew Panchisin says

            “Be ye therefore perfect” is understood in the Orthodox Church to be “Be ye therefore perfected”. It is Christocentric-Eucharistic for nobody comes to the Father except through His only begotten Son. I think that it does supernaturally extrapolate to all of us in His Orthodox Church. People could be part of the multitudes and misunderstand much and end up not present at the right place. There are all sorts of heretical places they can and do embrace, it depends on who is instructing them. As such the twelve and the seventy are very significant.

      • Brendan,
        Re: “God bless”, “Big man” etc.
        It has caused some dialogue and rightly so.

        This is just one of a number of unfortunate interpretations of some Greek words and even forming exaggerated new Greek words.
        The problem is then multiplied by inaccurate English translations of Greek words.
        One might say this situation arose by mistake, another might say it was done on purpose.
        If I may, I’ll present some of these problems very quickly.

        What does the word “Εὐχή” mean in the Church language?
        has the smallest possible entry for the word “Εὐχή”,
        saying “Βλ.Προσευχή”, i.e.
        See Prayer“.

        We sing in the Vespers:
        “Τὰς ἑσπερινὰς ἡμῶν εὐχάς, πρόσδεξαι Ἅγιε Κύριε”
        “O Holy Lord, accept our evening prayers

        The part of the Divine Liturgy
        Prayer of Thnksgiving” is correcrly translated from the Greek “Ἡ Εὐχαριστήριος Εὐχή

        And so on.

        It is clear that “Εὐχή” is a synonym of “Προσευχή”, Prayer.

        So, what does
        “Πάτερ, τήν εὐχήν σας!”
        Well, obviously,
        “Father, your prayer (for us)”

        In other words, we ask the priest to pray for us.

        Enter secular Greek language:

        There, the word “Εὐχή” means “wish” or “blessing”.
        So many people think that we ask the priest to give us HIS OWN WISH or BLESSING.
        No doubt, on the surface of it, is very complimentary to the priest,
        it kind of raises his status just like the “big man” mentioned already for the layman if he were to bless somebody else.
        Some priests in Greece are used to this secular logic but being humble reply:
        “Τοῦ Κυρίου!”, i.e.
        “The Lord’s Blessing!”
        However this practice,
        a) changes the original meaning “Father, your prayer (for us)”
        b) helps perpetuate this secular terminology.
        c) has “happily” induced the English translation “Father, your blessing” instead of the correct “Father your prayer!”

        Regarding some more of the wrong interpretations etc. suffice to quickly mention,

        -Pan-Agio-tatos ie All-Most-Holy for a certain Bishop,
        whilst we sing “Holy is God”.


        • Ioannis, in translation context is all.

          Here is the verse I quoted above,
          first in Greek from the 1904 Patriarchal Text @
          interspersed with my own interlinear translation:

          Matthew 5:44
          ᾿Εγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν,
          And I tell you:

          ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν,
          love those that hate you,

          εὐλογεῖτε τοὺς καταρωμένους ὑμᾶς,
          bless those that curse you,

          καλῶς ποιεῖτε τοῖς μισοῦσιν ὑμᾶς
          do good to them that hate you

          καὶ προσεύχεσθε ὑπὲρ τῶν ἐπηρεαζόντων ὑμᾶς καὶ διωκόντων ὑμᾶς,
          and pray for those that mistreat and persecute you,

          Notice the oppositions set up here:
          ἀγαπᾶτε/love against ἐχθροὺς/hate
          εὐλογεῖτε/bless against καταρωμένους/curse
          καλῶς ποιεῖτε/do good against μισοῦσιν/hate
          προσεύχεσθε/pray against mistreat and persecute

          Given that a clear distinction is made in the Gospel
          between: εὐλογεῖτε/bless and: προσεύχεσθε/pray
          who are we to deny it?

          It seems to me, therefore, that we are clearly instructed to bless others.

          Now the same opposition of curse against blessing occurs in Genesis 27:12
          where Jacob expresses fear that if his father Isaac discovers his deceit then:

          …ἐπάξω ἐπ᾽ ἐμαυτὸν κατάραν καὶ οὐκ εὐλογίαν.
          …I shall bring upon myself a curse and not a blessing

          [LXX @ https://www.septuagint.bible/-/genesis-27
          English translation mine]

          The blessing concerned is the birthright (the inheritance)
          of the elder son. In the context it is too strong just to be a prayer.

          • Brendan, I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote,
            and I do not think it is really against what I wrote.
            Like two sides of the same coin.

            • That’s ok, Ioanni.
              We’re both against the same error,
              just coming in from different angles.


          • Brendan, Re: bless vs pray:
            I am afraid that my previous very short explanation
            may be insufficient: “Like two sides of the same coin”.

            You are absolutely right in saying:
            “translation context is all”.
            Actually, in many languages there is
            one more parameter besides “context”,
            and that is specific intonation of words/phrases,
            in extreme cases an ironical tone
            may even mean the exact opposite
            of the literal meaning of the words said.
            Naturally such exception does not justify us
            to permanently change the meaning of words!
            Finally, as I have read, the musical notes(!) in Chinese
            words/phrases define the exact meaning!

            Having said that, the fact remains
            1) Your thesis is valid about laymen giving εὐλογία. After all we sing “Αἰνοῦμεν, εὐλογοῦμεν…τόν Κύριον” ie “…we bless… the Lord” ! Unless “bless” is not the best translation but an approximation. That is why I hinted an inaccurate English translation.
            As You know, “εὐ-λογία” means “Good-word”
            and certainly everybody (not just the priest) may say a “Good-word” to anybody.
            2)”Εὐχή” is a true, valid synonym of “Προσευχή”
            i.e. “Prayer” and not “Wish” etc.

            a)”…τήν εὐχήν σας” means “…your prayer (to God)”
            b)”..τήν εὐλογίαν σας” means “.your (own) blessing”
            There is a big, clear difference between the two.
            Why mix them up?

            Now a few words about the phenomenon “big man” mentioned above.
            I have met people who try to “achieve the power” of the priest etc.(But you are right with your message!)
            By the same token I have met priests & bishops
            who “try to achieve higher power, approaching God’s”, (Pope et al. and Gerontism comes to mind).
            In that case we are not talking about “big man”
            but rather “big priest” & “big bishop”.
            Look around you. All the way from Istanbul to America.
            How do they do this?
            “Your prayers (to God)” is changed to “Your (personal) wishes”
            “Holy (Patriarch)” is changed to “Most-All-Holy (Patriarch)”
            All the Bishops are equal brethren
            but one has a special chair…lest like the Apostles?
            The usual, Pauline, “brethren” is changed to “sons, daughters”,
            and many other subtle changes…with the same subtle purpose.
            Do you get the message?

            • “in extreme cases an ironical tone
              may even mean the exact opposite
              of the literal meaning of the words said.”

              This is one of my favourite literary techniques.
              It has got me thrown off a website once
              when it was assumed I was literally in earnest.
              I could have avoided this by using a (/sarc) tag
              as so often seems to occur in American examples.

              However, this is generally avoided in Brit English
              as jokes cease to be funny when they are explained.

              Just imagine how dreadful Monty Python would be
              if every skit had to have a (/sarc) balloon on screen.
              It would never have survived the first episode,
              never mind the first series.

            • ‘Most Holy Virgin’
              ‘Most All-Holy Patriarch’
              A nice distinction…?

  9. It is worth noting on this the feast day of the translation of relics of St. Alexander Nevsky that Russia is making a similar choice to the one made by the saint and his people in the 13th century. As this RT article points out, Russia has pivoted East in response to the threat from the West, much like Russia did in the days of Nevsky. Today, the pivot is more voluntary and on more equal terms than that of the pact made with the Mongols back then. My point, however, is that this development was predictable. Certainly Nixon, for example, attempted to circumvent it.

  10. Fr Nicholas Young says

    I imagine that years from now we’ll find out that there were atrocities on both sides of this fratricidal war. I pray that it will end soon; there will be at least a generation of rebuilding and healing and forgiveness to live through.

    • “I pray that it will end soon”

      As should we all, regardless of which side has our sympathies.

      Lord, have mercy.

  11. Anonymous II says

    You guys see this latest video?

    The tranny ex-journalist from the US who is now a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces, has issued yet another bizarre and unhinged statement on behalf of the Ukrainian military. It vows that Russia’s “propagandists” will be “hunted down.”

    Reminds me of those fake Bin Laden and Isis videos the government peddled years ago: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/trans-spox-says-ukraine-will-hunt-down-russian-propagandists-around-world

  12. This latest from the New York Times: Russia has doubled tank and ammunition production rates since the beginning of the war despite Western sanctions. Right now by NATO’s own admission Russia by itself is outproducing the entire alliance. Here’s a link discussing it that isn’t paywalled.


    • So much for those sanctions. You know, if I wore a tinfoil hat, I’d say that this entire imbroglio was cooked up by the Deepest State in order to bring down the West and strengthen Russia.

      Anyway, that’s what’s happening.

  13. Ok. This is all you need to know. The spokesperson for the Ukrainian military is American born and raised male Michael Cirillo, now known as transgendered female Ashley Cirillo. This transgendered mouthpiece of the CIA and Biden Administration is an iconic representation of why Mother Russia fights.
    Source: https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2023/09/17/hold-sen-j-d-vance-demands-biden-admin-reveal-if-american-transgender-spokesperson-for-ukraine-military-has-u-s-intel-background-24973742/

    • It’s a freak show. And it’s our circus.

      • This is the adventure of trying to make sense of American politics: It is irrational. If you look at China or Russia or India, what they do can be explained in terms of national self-interest. America, not so much. The way Afghanistan ended, for instance, was in no nation’s self-interest. Provoking Russia into a war in the Ukraine was in no nation’s self-interest.

        The American DS has ceased to be a rational actor. It is motivated by the mercurial whims of its oligarchic masters. They, in turn, are engaged in a sort of panic spiral of self-destruction, not knowing how to maintain their grip on power in the face of advancing nationalist forces.

  14. Maybe a new post could be dedicated to the African, barbarian invasion of Italy and how we are seeing strong resistance, even a possible collapse, toward the New World Order? It seems as if the lines are being drawn in the sand, with more or less the G7 on one side and BRICS on the other.

    The architects of this New World Order, whose plans to squash nationalist, monarchal and spiritual resistance ignited World War One, saw the overthrow of the Royal Family and Eastern Europe.

    Once Eastern Europe was defeated, the virus battled to take over Western Europe, and indeed, succeeded when Marxism declared victory after World War Two. The infection spread through the Roman Catholic Church, gaining momentum after Vatican II, spread through Hollywood once the Production Code was violated and disregarded, spread through the universities and the rest of culture through financiers behind the big music labels and publishing firms.

    Anyway, what’s happening in Lampedusa, Italy looks just like the hordes swarming and ransacking department stores here in America, and, in general, the cities of Detroit, Chicago and Baltimore. Look at the videos. It’s horrifying. Reminds me of World War Z, or the Battle of Helms Deep, except nobody seems interested in standing up for their country and culture. Why? It is because our cultures have changed so dramatically over the last fifteen, even fifty years, that the culture in which we’re living within isn’t worth fighting for? I don’t know, maybe.

    Forget the African hordes. Even without them, our cities, and our schools, are overrun with crippling addiction and crime. Walk through Portland – Seattle and San Francisco, heck most cities – are the same – and public officials are handing out needles, tents and chemicals to castrate their children.

    While most of us watching this war on Christian Civilization from our iphones and laptops, waiting for Trump to clean house, or the whole deck of cards to collapse, our churches are growing. At least here in Washington. This is very good news, and should encourage you. Single young people and homeschooling young families are flocking to our parishes. Bishops needs to hear this from their deans, and not only hear about it, come and visit, “come and see,” and spend less time behind the desk and more time with their priests and families. I might have woken up with rose colored glasses today, but I have a good feeling about the direction the Antiochian Archdiocese is going.

    Not to mention St. Ephraim’s monasteries. They’re bigger, more widely known, and with more young people visiting, than ten or twenty years ago. These are the lifeblood of our parishes, and the individual members and clergy making them up.

    So, on a very local level, at least out here in the American deserts, things seem up. Sure, the cities and schools look more like Escape From New York every day, and we see some overflow in rural areas (partially due to the Internet), but it’s important to prepare, and act accordingly, that we live in a post-Christian world. Read the Lives of the Saints. Don’t despair, don’t make an idol of your culture. What we see around us is sad, but a result of our own sins.

    Consider pulling your kids out of the public schools, whatever the cost. Get them and yourself off the Internet, if not completely, cut down to a few hours a week, with edifying stories. Simplify, and encourage yourself – – God has allowed and will allow ‘a way out’ of this mess, and whether it’s the beginning of World War III or not, I remember what Geronda told me. “Whether it’s the end of your world, and you’re dying, or the end of THE world, Christ is coming for you. Prepare your soul.”

  15. Fresh from having [not] liberated Libya
    and helping Haiti descend into chaos,
    the Clintons now propose to assist Ukraine…

  16. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Galatians 5:13

    I was reading Galatians and this verse hit me like a ton of bricks. As I look at what’s going on in the world, it seems to me that the problem is spiritual. More to the point is that what we are seeing is the misuse of our liberty. I think to myself at how many times that I’ve used my liberty to pursue money, comfort for what I will to do I do not do and what I will not to do that I do. How many times have we seen people in power use liberty as nothing but a catch phase to further their own ends. I thank God for being in my life for I think I would go mad without Him. Lord have mercy! The world is spiraling down into an abyss of darkness merely because we do not heed the Apostle’s words. I see the week before to be endured until the Blessed Sunday of The Lord. Yea we walk through the valley of death but we will fear no evil for the Lord is with us. Please forgive me for my ranting and I thank you for this blog and for all those who comment

  17. Statistic reported by The Economist today:

    Ukraine has liberated less than 0.25% of the territory that Russia occupied in June. The 1,000km front line has barely shifted.

  18. Meanwhile, the Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria is urging his government to bring the country into BRICS…


    (Nigeria is now the world’s sixth most populous country, and has a higher growth rate than any other country in the top 10.)