Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer in-studio to comment upon Tennessee’s reluctance to support the $40 billion Ukraine package, and Russia’s position on the world stage.
Leahy: All-star panelist, good friend, recovering journalist, and public affairs specialist, Clint Brewer. Clint got to talk about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I think it’s now – what? – three months, almost three months since the invasion.
And, of course, the big political issue that happened earlier this week where Senator Rand Paul said, you want to give $40 billion to Ukraine. $40 billion more than we spend at the Department of Justice, three times what Europe has spent helping Ukraine.
If you want to do that, I want to put an inspector general there and see how it’s funded. That seems to be common sense. That lost in the U.S. Senate 81 to 11. Interestingly enough, all 11 opponents were Republicans, but only in only one state did both U.S. senators oppose that $40 billion aid package.
That state would be Tennessee. Both Senator Bill Hagerty, your former boss, and Senator Marsha Blackburn voted No. The other part about this that is interesting is there is broad sentiment in Tennessee, in particular in opposition to that aid package, at a time when basically we have no southern border.
And very little money is being spent to protect the sovereignty of our southern border. In Tennessee among the Republican congressional delegation, seven members, four of them voted No on that aid package.
Tim Burchett from Knoxville, Scott DeJarlais, and Diana Harshbarger. And I think there was one other that voted against that aid package. Oh, yeah. John Rose. But three of our Republicans voted yes: Mark Green, Chuck Fleischmann, and David Kustoff.
Among the candidates for the 5th Congressional District in Tennessee, Andy Ogles said he would have voted No. Beth Harwell would have voted No.
Jeff Beierlein would have voted No. We haven’t heard from retired Brigadier General Kurt Winstead on this. We have a question in for him. We’ll have that later tonight.
Among our listeners and among our readers, there’s almost unanimous opposition to that. And yet the war is dragging on. It looks like it’s a stalemate. What’s your take on what’s happening over there, and what’s your take on the domestic response to it?
Brewer: I think the most surprising part is the ineptitude of the Russian Army. I think I made this analogy on here before. They’re like the Notre Dame football of global powers.
They’re top 10 in the preseason and they come out and get beaten by a mid-conference nobody. (Laughter) Ukraine, it’s an inspiring story. It’s war. It’s horrible, it’s tragic.
But the Ukrainian people and what they’ve done here is nothing short of astonishing. And it really makes you have to realize that Russia is only given the deference it’s given because it has 6,000 aging nuclear warheads left over from the Soviet Union.
And so it raises a lot of questions about where they will be on the world stage after this. And it’s confusing to Americans. I know it’s confusing for me to watch. We’re reopening our embassy in Kyiv and then the Russians just took Mariupol, the port city.
Leahy: In a devastating takedown. I mean, just killing civilians.
Brewer: A savage form of warfare.
Leahy: Medieval in that way. And then also reports that they have deported up to a million Ukrainians to camps of some sort in Russia. These reports?
Brewer: And that they’ve taken prisoners of war, supposedly taken 900 prisoners of war, Ukrainian soldiers and civilians serving as soldiers. It’s a remarkable story. I think it changes the world stage permanently.
I think it casts a real question as to whether Putin is the straw man everyone says he is or is he just a feeble, fading leader with people around him giving him bad information. And as a result, making bad decisions.
Leahy: And in apparently declining health according to news reports.
Brewer: This is kind of like the North Korean dictator. You don’t get a lot of accurate news in the West about these countries’ leaders and their state of mind and their physical state. Huge shifts on the global stage.
The Ukrainian people and its leadership, they’re members of Parliament now, leading armed recon teams. Every single person there has become a soldier in some form or fashion. It’s remarkable to see now, here at home.
I think that the Tennessee delegation’s reluctance to back this $40 billion aid package has much more to do with President Biden than it does with the situation in Ukraine. A lack of trust and belief in the competency and the intent of the aid package.
Leahy: Very good point. Carl wants to talk about Russian military with us Clint. Carl, you’re on The Tennessee Star Report with Clint Brewer and with me, Michael Patrick Leahy. Good morning, Carl.
Carl: Good morning, gentlemen. I’m always surprised when people are surprised about the lack of fight and the lack of discipline and the lack of readiness of the Russian military.
Because if you’re familiar with history – I love history, and history will tell you the Russian military has always been, for the lack of words, [an] ass.
And the only reason why no one has ever taken over that backward European country wannabe is that no one wants it and they have nuclear weapons. No one wants that wasteland.
That’s why no one’s really gone and tried to take it. The old saying is that World War II was won with British intelligence, American money, and Russian blood. They’ve always been garbage.
I guess I’m probably the only person that’s not surprised that the big, bad bully got their nose busted. And you said that, you hit the nail right on the head.
The only reason why they’re relevant on the world stage is because of those rusting Soviet Union-era nuclear weapons that they stumbled upon. That’s it. They’ve always been garbage.
Listen to the interview:
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