Another Narrative Goes Down in Flames
The West Prepares to Lose to Russia in Ukraine
“Zeal is always at its height at the commencement of an undertaking; and on this particular occasion the Peloponnesus and Athens were both full of young men whose inexperience made them eager to take up arms, while the rest of Hellas stood straining with excitement at the conflict of its leading cities. Everywhere predictions were being recited and oracles being chanted by such persons as collect them, and this not only in the contending cities.”
- Thucydides [2.8.1-2]
“A man can control his own desires but he cannot likewise control circumstances; and in the event of his calculations proving mistaken, he may live to bewail his own misfortune.”
- Hermocrates [Thucydides, 6.78.2]
Introduction: A Surprising Invasion
Most “Putin watchers,” myself included, were taken by surprise when, as Biden said, Putin did invade Ukraine. After Biden’s disastrous “minor incursion” moment at his State of the Union, he went around touting the claim that they had sure intelligence Russia would invade Ukraine, something both Zelensky and Macron denied. While many understandably say that Biden was proven right, I’m quite confident that his rhetoric demonstrated to Russia that peace was hopeless, and this itself spurred the invasion [I can’t prove this, it is just my read of the situation.] From the time Putin shattered the post-WW2 Peace, we have been subjected to waves of mind-numbing propaganda. Now, they are yet again preparing us for catastrophic narrative collapse, just like with Russiagate, COVID, inflation, and really everything else. Will it matter this time? It certainly never seems to. But I will tell you one thing: despite all we’ve been told, this seems to be going incredibly well for Putin and Russia, militarily, economically, and diplomatically. Due to the impenetrable misinformation I stopped following the military situation in Ukraine closely early in the war, saying I would wait for the chips to fall, and they are falling, in another epic humiliation for the American Empire and its media and political classes.
It is not my purpose here to round up the most humorously poorly aged Ukraine takes, so I will give you this quick reminder from March 4th and then move onto the meat of the article:
[Note: At some point this Tweet was removed, it was that idiot from Bellingcat in early March saying Russia would be out of munitions in days.]
Background: Mistakes and Lies
At the time of Russia’s invasion, Matt Taibbi, an old Russia hand himself, having lived there in the late 80’s and 90’s, wrote a piece where he said “Putin May Have Played Himself.” It is not my interest to criticize his careful analysis for failing to predict the future, but that increasingly does not seem to be the case. The most notable aspect is the Russia-watchers saying that the invasion proves wrong their longstanding belief in Putin’s “rationality”:
Indeed, I myself and many others have always noticed Putin’s “rationality.” However, one of the most frustrating things about Western attitudes towards Putin is that those with power always treat him as some sort of enigma when in fact he is a clear-cut ethno-nationalist; this is the easiest ideology to understand, though it is somehow seen as a mystery by the think-tank class. Just as Netanyahu in Israel “spoke for all Jews”, Putin sees himself as both the leader of the Russian Federation and of the Russian people generally. He believes in a world where nations and peoples openly act in self-interest [it needs to be noted that restraint is almost always in a man or state’s interest.] This means he will reliably take things like attacks on ethnic Russian breakaway regions and laws restricting the Russian language in neighboring countries seriously. But to our think tank class, everything is some vast ideological struggle, something which serves as a smoke screen for financial interests robbing the world blind. I don’t remember who made this observation, but there are a class of “experts” who claim that since Putin lies there is no reason to listen to what he says; this is often the mainstream take. There are two obviously extremely wrong things with this: firstly, so they’re just making shit up based on nothing; secondly, all world leaders lie, and you can learn a huge amount based on which lies they tell- this is a fundamental part of following geopolitics.
Granted, Stephen Cohen, our nation’s leading sane Russia expert, died before this all began, so we were always going to be disadvantaged in a clear understanding of the situation. But still, the quality of analysis from the “experts” has been at best poor, and often intentionally misleading and ridiculous. We were meant to believe that Putin’s only plan was for Ukraine to instantly collapse. You know, as if they didn’t have a plan for fighting out the war. We were told, as above, that they were running out of munitions, a few weeks into a war, after three decades of peace. Their supply lines were meant to be collapsing, one hundred miles from their border when they have one of the world’s most advanced air forces and destroyed Ukraine’s air defenses in a few hours. We were going to turn the “ruble to rubble” and make Russia an international pariah despite that an economic siege against Russia is essentially impossible and well under half the world’s population live under governments which followed the West’s sanctions regime. Hell, those Russians didn’t even know about the mud of the spring melts in Ukraine, despite that they controlled it for hundreds of years!
Retired Colonel Douglas MacGregor, writing for The American Conservative explained the media’s position and how it got there in a recent article titled “When the Lies Come Home”:
“Having lied prolifically for months to the American public about the origins and conduct of the war in Ukraine, the media are now preparing the American, British, and other Western publics for Ukraine’s military collapse. It is long overdue.
The Western media did everything in its power to give the Ukrainian defense the appearance of far greater strength than it really possessed. Careful observers noted that the same video clips of Russian tanks under attack were shown repeatedly. Local counterattacks were reported as though they were operational maneuvers.
Russian errors were exaggerated out of all proportion to their significance. Russian losses and the true extent of Ukraine’s own losses were distorted, fabricated, or simply ignored. But conditions on the battlefield changed little over time. Once Ukrainian forces immobilized themselves in static defensive positions inside urban areas and the central Donbas, the Ukrainian position was hopeless. But this development was portrayed as failure by the Russians to gain “their objectives.”
Indeed, and Russia has not stated a clear objective besides Putin’s hazy “deNazify” the country claim, so they have just been making up objectives and then claiming Russians are failing to meet them. What is obvious now is that Putin never meant to take Kiev or install a puppet regime, and is primarily interested in taking majority Russian-speaking areas, the entire Black Sea Coast, destroying Ukraine’s military capabilities, and breaking the Western stranglehold on the international order. If so, this looks to end with him having been successful on all counts.
A Rational Attack: Realpolitik on Display
As I’ve said before, I have little interest in analyzing international politics based on morality. This is partially because I live in the sort of country that does cartoonishly evil things like paying contractors in Carthage to torture puppies and allying with Al Qaeda in Syria to achieve geopolitical objectives they never make clear. I don’t mean that as an argument for moral relativism, I just mean to say the actions our own government takes are so genuinely insane and nonsensical I am willing to tolerate quite a lot if an action serves an obvious strategic purpose which has an identifiable national security relevance to the country the world leader governs. My standards for politicians are very low [generally just being competent and not obviously insane is enough for me to support someone..there are depressingly few US politicians I can support.] Now that I’ve engaged in this piece of literal Putin apologism, lets look at the situation he found himself in on February, 23rd 2022, the day he presumably made the final decision to invade Ukraine.
The most important question is whether or not Putin considered war inevitable regardless of if he invaded or stayed home. The agreement Russia was seeking whereby Ukraine would have internationally protected neutrality [and thus not join NATO] would have been great for everyone and avoided violence, but the US foreign policy class spent years sabotaging the process, as Aaron Mate covered a few months ago:
We could argue all day about whether or not the US agreed to not expand NATO eastward over thirty years ago, but the fact is that NATO is, and always has been, an anti-Russia alliance and any claims otherwise are nonsensical. Thus, any reasonable person would assume that expanding NATO to Russia’s border is intended as a threat to Russia’s interests [indeed, just earlier this week NATO member Lithuania, added under Bush, cut rail transit to Russia’s Baltic Sea exclave Kaliningrad…exactly the sort of thing Russia doesn’t want happening on its borders.] We need to look no further than our own history to understand how this looks to Russia, with Patrick Henry’s famous speech being remarkably relevant:
“I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging.”
Obviously, these are quite different situations, but could you earnestly say the expansion of NATO doesn’t equally apply? NATO absolutely has no other enemy in that corner of the world, besides Russia’s close ally Belarus. Sure, they claim its defensive but what sort of person believes that? To weaken, shackle, and ultimately destroy Russia is the obvious goal. If they wanted actual peace, they would want a neutral zone between the countries so that conflict could be avoided, they wouldn’t move their military gear up to the border of Russia.
There were two other key aspects to the timing of the invasion. The first, is that Ukrainian forces increased attacks on the separatist Donbass region in February in violation of the Minsk Agreements [which former President Poroshenko now says they never intended to follow, something Putin at least presumably assumed.] More importantly, beyond Biden’s constant claims that Russia was going to invade, he began to say Russia would use a false flag attack to justify invading Ukraine. Once your enemy is publicly saying such a thing, it is essentially an admission that they intend to do a terrorist attack and blame it on you. Clearly, the troop build up was not having the desired effect of bringing Ukraine and the West to their senses and averting all of this [which once again, is turning out terribly for Ukraine and its Western sponsors.]
I don’t see how with these things taken together Putin possibly could have came to a different conclusion than that war was inevitable and that his enemies were planning for it. I suppose it is not so different from the so-called “Thucydides Trap” which I have criticized regarding US-China relations, where he says “The real cause, however, I consider to be the one which was formally most kept out of sight. It was the growth of power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Sparta, made war inevitable.” [1.23.6] However, as with Athens, NATO didn’t have to keep expanding; they simply could have chosen to not recklessly expand. Once again, internationally protected neutrality was always on the table. [It should be noted, the Peloponnesian War started over a similar proxy war, whereby the ungrateful former Corinthian colony of Corcyra sought the help of Athens…though that would make Russia Corinth in this analogy, with China being Sparta, whereas China is Athens in the “Thucydides Trap.”]
So, with Russia believing war was inevitable, what was the rational and strategic move for a statesman? Machiavelli describes what Putin should have considered with remarkable clarity in the chapter “Whether It Is Preferable, Fearing an Assault, to Start a War or to Await Its Outbreak.” He writes, firstly, of the strategy used by Pyrrhus of Epirus and later by the famed Carthaginian general Hannibal,
“The Romans could not be conquered except inside Italy, because an invader could make use of their arms, wealth, and allies, but that anyone who fought the Romans outside of Italy and left Italy free would leave them a source that would never fail to supply them with forces wherever necessary.” [II.12]
This is the same basic premise as my explanation of how an economic siege of Russia is pointless. Russia can fight a conventional war against Ukraine indefinitely in terms of men and material- including the time necessary to train new infantry. They have all of Russia from which to draw grain, men, fuel, and iron. In order to actually defeat Russia in a conventional war these supplies would have to be cut off, which means invading Russia and using their supplies against them. True, maintaining political support for war is another matter, but in spite of what you may have heard they will never run out of key materials as long as their army in Ukraine has access to Russia- and genuinely cutting off any large body of troops is logistically impossible for the Ukrainians.
Further, Machiavelli comments on how the nature of your population should impact such a decision:
“The prince whose people are armed and organized for warfare should always wait at home for a violent and dangerous war and should not go out on the attack. But the prince who has unarmed subjects and a country unused to war should always go as far away from home as possible” [II.12]
Russia has not see any sort of land war on its territory or had a general mobilization in the life of anyone of combat age. Though the country’s weather and sheer vastness has favored it in the past, this is not a population that is as a whole prepared to fight a major war on its own soil. And indeed, a barrier of war-experienced citizens in between pre-war Russia and post-war Ukraine, which Donbass and Lugansk would represent, has its own benefits.
We can’t know how much of what has happened Putin and his generals could have predicted, but if they were operating on the premise that one way or another they would ultimately be at war, and that an equitable peace was off the table, it was completely rational to launch a war to prevent their enemies from expanding and reduce their enemy’s military capacity in this exact fashion. And I can’t emphasize how well it has worked, because the West has self-sabotaged from start to finish.
The Military: A Black Hole of Western Waste
In the West it is widely believed that the USSR collapsed because of unsustainable spending in an arms race. The reality is that weapons manufacturing was one of the only profitable parts of the late Soviet economy. They were secretive about the costs of weapons programs because they didn’t want buyers to know how much money they were making. [I apologize for lacking a source for this, I read a whole piece about it recently which I now can’t find]. The real reason the USSR collapsed is simply that communism was supposed to deliver a high standard of living and it didn’t and ultimately the people were done.
The narrative managers can tell you whatever they want about Russia’s “depleting stocks” but Russia is a major arms exporter and is clearly capable of arming its own military from the resources within its country. We were told Russia would run out of arms in no time and now the narrative has shifted to tell us that Ukraine is outgunned 40 to 1 after over 100 days of war and endless arms shipments:
An under discussed clear motive of Russia’s invasion is limiting Ukraine’s, and thus the West’s, military capacity. Loss numbers have been hard to believe on either side, but Russia has a lot more total troops. A Zelensky aide said Ukraine is losing 200 troops a day; a wholly unsustainable amount. And the troops in Donbass right now are the flower of Ukraine’s armed forces; they are their most able and experienced soldiers, in a country which already had 8 years of civil war. It takes years to train new infantry troops of this quality. Beyond this, all of Ukraine which Russia takes are thus areas where Ukraine can’t recruit troops, so they will be trying to replace their forces from a smaller country than they had before the war. This war will find Ukraine’s infantry severely weakened for a generation, while Russia is only invaded Ukraine using 190,000 troops, which is a little under 1/4 of its forces. [The media kept manipulating public opinion by headlines about Putin using 75 or 100% of his forces…amassed at the border, 190k out of 850k troops.]
Ukraine’s army is in chaos and on the brink of collapse and no amount of spin fixes that. Outgunned 40 to 1 with unprecedented military aid. Being “decentralized” would help them during an insurgency, but the US war class has forgot about regular warfare. Radio War Nerd host Mark Ames explains why this spin is nonsensical:
On top of Ukraine losing its crucially important infantry, the West is depleting its own stockpiles in Ukraine. With Western countries all facing recession, they will find replenishing them hard-bought, as NATO weapons are much more expensive than Russian. It would be one thing if Ukraine was using many of these weapons, but they’re clearly just being wasted. Here is one example of Russia striking a weapons depot, but apply logic to the situation: Ukraine’s air defenses were destroyed right away, Russia has overwhelming air and artillery superiority, so of course they are striking weapons before they are deployed. Or as the New York Times would put it:
“But Western officials and arms experts caution that flooding the battlefield with advanced weapons is far slower and more difficult than it sounds, facing obstacles in manufacturing, delivery, training and compatibility — and in avoiding depletion of Western arsenals.”
It’s really insane that after all this time, we’re being warned its actually difficult to flood a battlefield with weapons. The meaning here is that they’re barely meeting the challenge of getting weapons there fast enough to be destroyed. The West is, in essence, offering up its arsenal to be blown up by Russian munitions, like some sort of demented arms control program. It is lunacy; though, if you think wasting arms that get replaced by tax money is the primary purpose of war it actually makes a lot of sense.
Also, they’re now raising more alarm about the risks of arms trafficking out of Ukraine- something which was always obvious- which is priming the public both for ending the arms shipments and for the war being over. At this point when the NATO Chief said the “war could go on years” I think he meant as a frozen conflict where Russia holds much of Ukraine.
The above is the current military situation as of 6/18/22 according to the Ukraine Control Map. The Russians allegedly attacked from 9 directions in Lugansk, the pocket to the east there. If Ukraine’s military is really depleted, after the battle in Lugansk it will be relatively easy for Russia to take the rest of the Black Sea Coast.
Ukraine wanted to be “part of Europe”, it appears the rump state Ukraine will be left with will have no other choice, blocked from the Black Sea. It would actually be wise, in some ways, to leave Ukraine with Odessa so it is a more functional state after the war, but Ukraine is being pacified in the Roman sense, and I don’t think Russia will allow them a navy.
People have mocked Russia’s efforts, as the narrative has told them to, but they have conquered quite a lot of land, 20% of Ukraine, a country which is the size of Texas. I’m pretty sure the US federal government would be substantially less successful if Texas seceded and the the Feds invaded.
Overall, it appears Russia is well on its way to completing quite impressive military objectives, and it will be pretty hard to spin “This was a great success, Russia only took a quarter of the country!”
The Economy: Russia Makes Record Profits
The economic war against Russia could not be going worse. Every move makes the West poorer. The rouble hit a 7 year high against the dollar. Russia is now trying to devalue it because it is overpriced for their economic targets [you know how central bankers are.] They keep telling us Russia’s economy is actually collapsing, but its impossible to believe that with record high fuel prices making Russia record profits. They’re even selling record “Big Macs”, now that McDonald’s left [this presumably serves as an indicator of public support for the war effort…or at least who they blame for any economic problems they are experiencing.] The West are crippling their own economies for no good reason [“Invasion of Ukraine bad” is not a justification for counterproductive policies.] I detailed our own economic collapse in my last article, but there is added absurdity that Russia is clearly doing better than it would have been otherwise. Russia was able to sell mass quantities of oil to India, at a discount but surely well over production cost.
Our rulers, who as I’ve said, have boundless faith in sanctions, ceded all of the Western economic interests in Russia as if that was somehow going to hurt them. They acted as if they thought they could stop Putin by freezing his personal CitiBank account. These moves were all just impotent thrashing designed to manipulate the public. Now, the New York Times is admitting that with increased oil revenue it is Putin’s choice whether or not to wage the war indefinitely, writing, “Whether Mr. Putin will now feel financially emboldened to prosecute the war indefinitely is an open question. But there is every indication that Ukraine and its supporters are girding further for a protracted conflict.” Clearly, long gone are the days where he would be crippled by economic sanctions, even if they are so proud of their further oil sanctions that will kick in six months from now.
The West is reliant on dying imperial power and any legacy system they have can be easily replicated in the modern era. The newest one that is supposed to devastate Russia is that the UK will ban them from getting shipping insurance. Russia has the money to insure its own ships, but the non-aligned sort of countries will be fleeing from this kind of economic manipulation. Any ban the G7 bloc puts in place the BRICS bloc can replace, and will be flocked to by countries who want to deal with someone who puts business before politics- a famous reason Russia and China are more successful in Africa. Putin is wholly correct to say, "The previous world order is finished — irrespective of all the efforts to preserve it, it's a natural way of history."
Western unity over Ukraine could soon collapse, with most Europeans saying they want the war to end immediately even if Ukraine must cede territory. Politicians will find that this is more acceptable to the public than going bankrupt to prove a point about the “Rules-Based World Order.” The US is already trying to get back to purchasing Russian fertilizer, so it may not be long before the entire sanctions regime breaks, and Russia is back in business with the entire West from a stronger position than before.
Diplomacy: A Multipolar World Rises
We were told Russia would be a pariah. The West’s punishing behavior would surely stop regimes from considering unapproved moves. In reality, with the world’s attention on Ukraine the non-US aligned countries want to flex their power. I already wrote about Turkiye’s rise, which is heavily based on its position between the West and Russia. China made a security agreement with the Solomon Islands, to the West’s chagrin. India, a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, is having a “multi-polar moment” where the major country can assert itself on the world stage. All of these countries are still working with Russia.
But it isn’t only the major world powers: Serbia, an old ally of Russia, has done all it can to avoid joining in on sanctions. Hungary, by being friendly, has avoided any oil supply issues. Russia-Venezuela relations remain strong. Nicaragua is accepting Russian military trainers into the country. Syria, a long-time Russian ally, has gone as far to recognize the independence of the breakaway “People’s Republics.” Russia may be in serious dispute with one globalist power structure, but the country is not isolated. Their diplomatic efforts have been at full speed, and in no time the Western countries will be at the negotiating table accepting what has happened.
On top of all of this, Russia has another card up its sleeve. I previously covered the military adventurers going to Ukraine, and I have said the whole time that these idiots, who Russia repeatedly said will not be covered by the Geneva Convention are a huge liability to their home countries [Ukraine’s ad hoc foreign legion notwithstanding.] Being classified as mercenaries means if captured they will be tried in criminal courts, and further not have protections against being used as propaganda afforded to recognized prisoners of war. [The Geneva Convention’s extensive rules on treatment of POWs are quite interesting, and I don’t think there has been a major conflict where both sides recognize the agreement since it was signed.] It was obvious to me, that Russia capturing these foreign soldiers would be a diplomatic headache for the West for decades, and for that reason alone Western governments should have done more to stop people from “volunteering.” And Indeed, now Russia is showing off captured American citizens. I doubt they will face the death penalty, like their British counterparts [whom I also doubt will be executed] simply because of their value as hostages and what prestige remains of our empire. Notably, NBC News interviewed Putin’s press secretary Dmitri Peskov about this matter, in the first high level contact between the Russian government and American media I’ve seen since the war began:
[Something that is always notable, in these media interviews with representatives of the governments of disfavored countries, is the media always acts like the executive branch has unlimited power, and then whichever government figure keeps talking about their country’s legal or political process.]
The era of Western hegemony is ending, and Putin is correct to say it is the course of history. After the humiliating Fall of Kabul the world knows the US cannot keep the obligations it makes for itself, and the necessity of restraint on Ukraine [a rare moment of wisdom from the empire managers, we should hope it lasts] demonstrated that the US can’t control every border it cares about [of course the current regime doesn’t care about our own border, which it definitely can’t control.] Russia’s prestige in the world has only gone up from this, and the Western press can’t change that and will soon be telling you to accept it. And beyond that Russia will have American hostages, who will hopefully soon be negotiated for by an administration competent enough to handle a scheduled phone call.
Conclusion: Catastrophic Narrative Collapse
All of the above things considered, it appears that if Putin and the Russians thought things would go broadly in this fashion they were wise to cast the dice. Of course, all human affairs are chaotic, so it is also a mistake to attribute any of this to his being brilliant. Still, the broader geopolitical, economic, and territorial gains from this war for Russia are set to be significant. Only four months have passed since the media began floating the idea that Putin prosecuted the war because he is insane. We were meant to believe his top advisors were lying to him about how the war was going [note that, as with Russiagate, if US intelligence had that high-level of human intelligence in the Kremlin they would not risk burning the source by publicly saying these things.] To the extent that US intelligence believed any of the ridiculous portrayals of Putin and how the war was going, they were making a constant mistake of not contributing rational action to their adversaries. Machiavelli wrote,
“A commander of armies must not trust an error that is committed by the enemy in an obvious way; there will always be some form of deceit behind it, since it is not reasonable for men to be so incautious. But the desire to win often blinds the minds of men, so that they see nothing but what seems to suit their purpose.” [Discourses, III.48]
This is essentially what the media and empire managers did the whole time, and its hard to tell if they believed it themselves. But it seems clear that the public desire to send huge amounts of military aid was only made possible by widespread propaganda about Russian incompetence that no critical mind could ever believe.
Now, the narrative has had to shift to it being “our” war, because every kind of cost is mounting and they can no longer sell the public on the idea that we can defeat an adversary and save democracy, the “rules-based world order,” and presumably mom and apple pie, at no meaningful cost:
Ukraine wanted to be aligned with Europe, and it looks like with their territorial losses they will be cut off from the rest of the world and have no other choice. At least they will get the “European perspective”, whatever that means:
Once Henry Kissenger lived long enough to be the most sane person on foreign policy and advocate territorial concessions, the dam began to break; after all, Kissenger cannot be smeared as some hippie who doesn’t understand how international relations work: he is a mastermind of the American Empire. Zelensky still says Ukraine will not cede a “meter of territory”, but he is clearly going to fight until his armies wholly collapse and he will get a much worse deal than necessary. A TV comedian may not have been prepared for leadership in this situation.
The Biden administration is “toning down” rhetoric about Ukraine winning, while still saying Ukraine will decide its own fate [which it absolutely won’t if it wholly surrenders.] Macron is encouraging diplomacy while also tepidly saying Ukraine must decide. European support for Ukraine is cracking in the face of a collapsing economy, and soon it may be only elite opinion that holds onto the importance of integrating Ukraine into the “European perspective.” western Europe co-existed with the USSR for 70 years, and the public is sure to realize sooner or later that the borders of Ukraine have minimal impact on their lives.
Now, the Western media is wholly priming us for the previously “unthinkable” idea of conceding to Russia. Politico Magazine published a piece titled, “Negotiating an End to the Ukraine War Isn’t Appeasement” [it was a couple of months ago, though.] Asia Times published a piece titled “Biden Tries to Climb Down From Ukraine Ledge”, which isn’t a demonstration of what mainstream Western press is saying now, but provides an excellent explanation of why Biden needs to get out of this situation. Just yesterday The Nation published a piece titled “A Peace Settlement in Ukraine” advocating for Western leadership in negotiating a “pragmatic” end to the conflict, and noting correctly that the idea that world powers don’t have a place in ending this conflict is both practically and historically nonsense.
But more than words ever could, one chart shows the depths of failure of the West’s Ukraine policy:
It’s hard to come to a different conclusion than that doing nothing would have been much better than the “economic blitzkrieg” Putin is now mocking, and this is fundamentally unspinnable, at least in a believable fashion. How much more of your family’s economic well-being are you willing to sacrifice to raise the value of the rouble and lose in Ukraine? And don’t deceive yourself into thinking intensifying these failed policies will somehow get results.
The sad thing is, none of this had to happen. Not just the last decade plus of antagonizing Russia in pursuit of ridiculous geopolitical objectives, but this exact situation was very easy to avoid. Sure, no one but Putin decided to invade [well, I mean, Russia’s Congress approved as well], but if you intentionally back a bear into a corner anyone knows what can happen. All the US had to do was support Zelensky in peace negotiations to get Ukraine an excellent deal for internationally recognized neutrality, which would allow famously impoverished Ukraine to improve its own affairs. Further, negotiating a good deal before the war began would have increased American prestige as a reliable and responsible partner, instead of an “ally” that brings devastation. But instead, through hubristic delusions our incompetent rulers manufactured yet another catastrophic failure for themselves, and by extension us.
If I could say one thing to the whole public about narratives and their collapse, It would be, “I understand you don’t have time to follow every political issue, but assume these people are lying and then apply logic to what they say.” Many, many Ukraine claims were as such that no reasonable person would believe them, but we live in very unreasonable times, and man’s propensity to delude himself is profound. Part of me is still wondering, “what will happen when the Ukraine narrative finally catastrophically collapses”, but the answer is nothing, because their narratives always collapse, and nothing ever happens except us becoming ever poorer and less free.
Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this content please share and subscribe. My main content will always be free but paid subscriptions help me a huge amount [payment in rubles preferred.] I’ve done decently at getting my inspiration levels back but free time is a problem for me, especially with a toddler always saying “daddy, daddy, come play, it will be fun!” Still, I will do my best to keep consistently producing content. You can see my shitposting on Twitter @WaywardRabbler
Here's something I wrote about the problem of dirty hands. I specifically discuss Machiavelli and how he has been misconstrued (because people don't read)... https://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?id=21
Since it was clear right from the beginning what would happen "if the Nato barks at the Russian border" (as pope Francesco puts it) or that the "Joint statement on the US-Ukraine strategic partnership" amounts essentially to a declaration of war against Russia the question arises why the geopolitical strategists have been provoking this war. One obvious reason is to cut off Russia from Europe - or to cut off Europe from Russia - a task which seems to have worked out quite well. But there could be another reason: Dragging Russia into a long and tiresome war in Ukraine diverting thus energy and attention to launch a surprise first nuclear strike against the Russian nuclear missiles sites. The advent of "invisible" aircrafts and "undetectable" ipersonic missiles (invisible for the radar based ballistic missiles defense system) have changed the long standing standoff concerning nuclear war in which a nuclear attack was rendered basically impossible because of the certainty to receive an equally destructive retaliation. This situation of nuclear deterrence is being changed profoundly in these days because "invisible" aircraft and "undetectable" ipersonic missiles allow a nuclear first strike against adverse nuclear missiles sites without being intercepted by bmd systems. All the defending side can do is trying to hide its sites, but the sites themselves become not just extremely vulnerable, but basically undefendable. In a situation where both sides have not detectable armaments the first strike strategy might become actually a military imperative. (My two cents)