With Ukraine in the news I’ve been pondering a lot about our general view of the world. One thing that has been striking a jarring note for me is the assumption that we bear some sort of responsibility for Ukraine. That Ukraine as an independent nation is something that we must secure.
To be sure, some say that in Ukraine’s deal to give up nuclear weapons, we pledged ourselves to Ukraine’s defense. But, we really didn’t: we pledged to rush right off to the UN if Ukraine was attacked – a UN which, of course, has a Russian veto and so the whole thing was quite toothless from the get-go. But even supposing we had an agreement to come to Ukraine’s defense, does this then relieve Ukraine from the obligation to defend herself?
Seems to me that if I were a Ukrainian patriot with a neighbor like Russia, I’d put a high priority on national defense. I realize that Ukraine is poor, but the Israelis were dirt poor in the 1950’s and their first priority was a military second to none because they had hostile neighbors who could attack at any moment. A Ukraine filled with people committed to the Ukrainian national ideal would have a very powerful army, thickly layered defenses and a reserve force made up of the entire adult population in arms. You know – be so well armed that even a successful foreign invasion would drown in blood. Do that, and the chances of that foreign attack diminish remarkably.
Ukraine’s active military is a little more than 200,000. Reserves about 250,000. To defend 230,000 square miles and 41 million people. That’s not a lot. That’s not nearly what you need. It isn’t nearly what you’d have if the Ukranian people really gave a damn. To give you a comparison, when Israel was attacked in 1973, out of an Israeli population of about 3 million, the Israelis mobilized about 400,000. That’s 13 percent. That can’t be sustained for long (your civil economy starts to collapse), but when your life is on the line, you do it. You’d think that 41 million Ukrainians could have 4 million ready to mobilize in a life-and-death emergency. And they would, if Ukrainians really cared – because Russia is right next door and the President of Russia believes that Ukraine is an integral part of Russia.
And if the Ukrainians won’t do it – won’t even show willing to do it – why in heck does anyone else have to care? Because wars of aggression are wrong? Well, yes they are – nobody ever has a moral case for starting a war, or setting things up so that the only way out is for someone to start shooting. But lots of things are wrong – the way some Arab countries treat women is wrong. What China is doing o the Uyghurs is wrong. The slave trade in Africa is wrong. The drug lords running rampant in Mexico and Central America are wrong. Lots of things are wrong which war, successfully prosecuted by good guys, could set right. But do you want to?
Who wants kids from Ohio and Alabama to head off to the Donbas to keep the Russians out of lands largely populated by ethnic Russians? Or send them off to Xinjiang to liberate the Uyghurs from China? Or even clear out the drug lords from Ciudad Juarez? If anything, I’d rather help the Mexicans dispose of the cartels – but before I hazard American blood on anything, I’d like to know for certain why we’re doing it and what we get out of it.
The first thing to keep in mind about the world is that it isn’t neat and tidy. There isn’t a completely right answer in purely human affairs. Often, there’s just a least-bad answer. The unification of Italy and Germany into nation-States was an utter disaster for the world and, most especially, Italy and Germany. The freeing of the peoples of the Austrian Empire was a disaster for the peoples of the Austrian Empire. I mean, I dig that Poles didn’t like officious Austrian overlords (who would?) but the officious Austrians kept a cavalry barracks at Oświęcim, not a death camp at Auschwitz. I guess what I’m saying here is think carefully about what you want before you act.
What I want, first and foremost, is a free and independent United States. If I’ve got that, then I am very satisfied with the world. Naturally, I understand that the United States cannot live in isolation from the world. People and trade flow around and ambitious people with wicked minds are here, there and everywhere. I do have to keep an eye on things. I will, at times, be forced to fight. But when I fight and how I fight must refer back to my first principle: a free and independent United States.
Now, as I consider Ukraine I note that it was firmly under Russian rule from 1776 until 1917 and then, again, from 1921 until 1991. At no time during those periods was Russian rule in Ukraine a threat to American freedom and independence. It just wasn’t. Sure, from a geopolitical standpoint it would have been advantageous to the US to have an independent Ukraine all through the Cold War…but it wasn’t a necessity as proved by the fact that all through the Cold War we didn’t have an independent Ukraine. If Russian rule is reimposed in Ukraine, what ill effect will this have on American freedom and independence? I can’t see any.
“But Russia might go on and attack more!”
They might. Baltic States, Poland. On and On. I note that Poland was under Russian rule from 1791 to 1918 with no ill effect on American freedom and independence. I’m very sympathetic to the Poles as they have put up with a lot. But does my sympathy for Poland extend to sending American kids to die there? Make your case, if you’ve got one. I can’t. I could not look an American kid in the eye and tell him that his death along the Bug River will keep America free and independent. I couldn’t say it because it wouldn’t be true.
Don’t get me wrong, there can be existential, global threats. Communism was such, as was Nazism. They both proposed the whole world as their jurisdiction. Fantastic as it sounds, the USSR considered the American Communist Party as the legitimate American government and Hitler had named Goebbles to be Gauleiter of America. Fighting such things anywhere is what you have to do because if they win anywhere, they are step closer to overthrowing American independence and freedom. But Putin is no Hitler or Stalin. He does not represent a global ideology at permanent war with all dissenters. He may be a bastard twenty different ways, but he’s not an existential threat.
I agree there are non-existential threats which still must be confronted. Radical Islam. Chinese imperialism. And even a bit of Russia’s aggression are causes of concern, sometimes grave concern, which could make fighting them necessary. While I don’t think Ukraine rises to such a level, I do hold that Russian meddling in the United States is a problem. But far more than Russian meddling I find the threat in Chinese and Islamist meddling to be a huge threat – especially given how much money Islamists and Chinese have to bribe Americans to betray their own.
In wanting to contend with such threats, I can agree to enter into mutual defense pacts with other nations. I can agree to military action and even full scale war. I do believe that if China attacked Taiwan, that is worth us going to war over – because of China’s meddling in the United States such a conflict, successfully concluded by China, would simply put us in a worse position vis a vis China and so allow them to interfere in our internal affairs even more.
It would, naturally, be to Taiwan’s advantage to accept our aid against China. If we win, they win. But even in such a clear cut case of fighting for American interests, I still want a clear goal and a clear payoff for our expenditure of treasure and blood. We can’t go out to bleed and die just to help – we have to be compensated for our efforts.
Suppose we had to go to war with China. Fine. It would be a years long and very expensive war in blood and treasure. I believe that even as ruined as we are right now, we would prevail in the war (China isn’t nearly as powerful as advertised). And that would be good. But we can’t do it like we did after WWII. That was a horrendous mistake: we helped our defeated enemies return to the world of competition with us. No. No, no, NO!. They had to pay. Heck, that war cost so much they should still be paying. We go to war with China and win, then for a century China should be paying us.
I’m deadly seriously here – after a war with China, I’d want every bit of gold and silver and art turned over to us and a 10% tax on China’s GDP for a century paid to us. Maybe even take some land from them: move the Chinese out and Americans in. The main thing is that they pay us for putting us through the trouble. We do not want to own the world. We do not want the world to do what we say. Yeah, maybe from mid-century on we’ve had some jerks who dreamed of such, but that wasn’t the American people. We just wanted to be left alone to hold our own. My view is that if you do things to us which force us to go fight you, then you’re going to pay. You’re not just going to lose the war, you’re going to be humiliated and then forced to work very hard to send money to us for a very long time.
It is time we got out of the dream world. All this UN, NATO, treaties and arms limitation garbage since WWII has been the answer provided by dimwits who never understood the world. The world is a real place. People do things in it. Good and bad. We can’t cure all bad and we don’t have the right to, anyway. Our primary duty is to look after ourselves – to make only temporary alliances at need, to make sure they are reciprocal (our blood to defend them, their blood to defend us) and when we defeat an enemy we don’t occupy and rebuild them…but we do make them pay. Through the nose. With usury. In blood and treasure.
This conflict can be resolved in 5 minutes by simply agreeing that Ukraine will not be a part of NATO. That’s all Putin wants, and it’s a no brainer but NOOOOO, the Pentagon, defense contractors and the Deep State American Military Industrial Complex wants war, so rest assured they will drop some bombs somewhere on someone because that’s what they do. They are criminal.
Now considering the media and Democrat narrative over the last 6 years that Trump and Putin are BFF’s, why doesn’t Biden simply ask Trump to call Valdy and calm tensions?? I mean surely Trump and Putin will have some laughs and catch up on old times, but Trump might also convince him to stand down. Worth a shot right?? I mean Biden does want to avoid war, right??
The anti-war Left used to pose the question, what if they held a war and nobody showed up? How times have changed.
Yep – but there really has been a switch…if you see them on social media, they’re all about having the FBI arrest us and going to war. I don’t think they really understand anything: they are just being told to hold these views by the TV and groupthink/peer pressure does the rest.
We might end up having to disenfranchise some people…lets consider where we might get more wisdom from: upper class urban white people or working class Latinos? Methinks I’ll do better with the Latinos…something about having to work for a living just puts a bit of common sense into the head.
I personally know many working class Hispanic families and I love them all. Fantastic people and I will take every one of them over an educated white progressive any day of the week including Sunday.
I have traveled all over Mexico and absolutely love the people, the culture and the FOOD!! It’s too bad the country is run by cartels which leads me to an observation. Why is it that throughout history, white men are the only species that has fought and laid down their lives for individual freedoms?
So as we are all currently witnessing the Covid lies fall apart and the authoritarian measures collapse, this story comes out yesterday:
The former chief investigator of the Trump-Russia probe for the House Intelligence Committee under Republican Devin Nunes, Kash Patel, said Friday’s filing ‘definitively showed the Hillary Clinton campaign directly funded and ordered its lawyers at Perkins Coie to orchestrate a criminal enterprise to fabricate a connection between President Trump and Russia,’ reports Fox News.
‘Per Durham, this arrangement was put in motion in July of 2016, meaning the Hillary Clinton campaign and her lawyers masterminded the most intricate and coordinated conspiracy against Trump when he was both a candidate and later President of the United States while simultaneously perpetuating the bogus Steele Dossier hoax,’ Patel told Fox.
Now most of us here at B4V already knew this to be true but of course we were conspiracy theorists so I’m just wondering if Democrats are capable of acknowledging truth anymore. It’s been a long long time since they’ve actually been confronted with truth and reality. Thye typically avoid it like the plague …. of Covid lol
Yesterdays conspiracy theories are tomorrows breaking news.
Yesterdays conspiracy theories are tomorrows breaking news.
Super cool …
A rogue wave was recored off the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada in 2020. An open ocean buoy calculated the wave to be 58 feet high. Its size is said to be a rarity and a once-in-every 1,300 years occurrence and is proportionally the most extreme rogue wave ever recorded. The wave was measured in November 2020 but has only now been confirmed in a study released earlier this month. At 58 feet tall, the wave would have stood out compared to the surrounding waves which were measured at around 20 feet.
This is how Phoenix parties
CBS – which airs the tournament – showed off the shaking grandstands filled with people more ready for a rager than a round of golf, with liquids in the air and dozens of containers on the course. ‘We are covered in beer and other liquids I believe,’ CBS broadcaster Amanda Balionis said on the telecast. ‘We might have a slight rain delay here,’ she added.
I have been to this tournament several times and it is an absolute blast. Truth is, the Waste Management Golf Tournament is just large Arizona cocktail party that features some of the best golfers in the world playing through.
I was watching when that happened. Wildest crowd reaction I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen grandstands that large set up on one hole. They must have replayed the hole-in-one 20 times. The air was filled with beer mist. Good day to be a beer vendor.
My daughter volunteers at this event and said it looks to break pre-COVID records this weekend. Guess people are rebounding with a vengeance after being forced to lockdown for so long. I’m guessing that mindset will also be a factor in the November election.
Strangely, she said there were sever volunteer staff shortages for the food venues with only 3-4 people working each location. This meant only beers and pre-packaged food like chips and candy. It typically takes 4-8 people in the back kitchens to make & wrap prepared food plus 4-6 in the serving area. The one year I worked there I was in the back cooler stocking cases of beer on the shelve as fast as possible and had a hard time keeping up. So, with 3-4 people they only thing they can do is work the cash registers and hopefully shelve some food.
This tournament does a great job of getting people into parking lots and bused to the gates. Next year like a few years prior, both this PGA even and the Super Bowl will be in town on the same weekend. Airfare, hotel and car rentals will be very expensive and in short supply. I heard this year’s Super Bowl ticket prices were in the $6,000 – $100,000+ range. Just a little outside of my conform.
From a friend…
”Don’t forget, this month we’re celebrating those three days when men are always right; February 29, 30, and 31.
‘Punishable By Death’: Clinton Paid to Infiltrate Trump Servers, Plant Russia Conspiracy, Filing Says
“This is a scandal far greater in scope and magnitude than Watergate and those who were involved in and knew about this spying operation should be subject to criminal prosecution. In a stronger period of time in our country, this crime would have been punishable by death. In addition, reparations should be paid to those in our country who have been damaged by this.”
Will be interesting to see if anything with teeth develops from this. If not something substantially damaging to both Clinton and the DNP, at least make this a never ending thorn to them that gets blasted every election cycle. Hopefully the fallout is so significant it gives great pause for this to be tried ever again. But, we’ve been hoping for similar fallout for numerous transgressions, so…
I see that Cluster already posted on this before mine.
If the Clinton/Russia scandal ever fully comes to light, it will dwarf all other previous political scandals. Hillary AND Obama conjured up the Russia collusion narrative and were aided and abetted by the FBI and the American Media to propagate known lies to undermine and unseat a duly elected POTUS. It doesn’t get any worse then that. Although they might be in the process of starting a world war right now to distract from their lies and incompetence … so hold on.
Anyone else not watching a bunch of vulgar rappers put on the Super Bown halftime show?
One up’ed ya. I didn’t watch any of it it. 2 up, Never came close to a tee vee all day long. 3 up, I don’t even own a tee vee. 4 up…. The list continues.
Staying out of the pop culture loop isn’t as hard as it would appear.
I intentionally missed it Spook and glad I did after watching a few low lights.
I am still disgusted by “taking a knee” being accepted by all the teams, so I haven’t watched a football game since the Broncos failed to deal with it way back when, but I did watch a few minutes of the game. I wish I had gone back to it to see the end, which sounds like it was pretty good, but Dr. Pol had a whole basketful of puppies to vaccinate. Puppies/football. Easy call. Being very anti-anything-California these days I was rooting for the Bengals so my jinxing of SB teams continues.
Having said all that, earlier in the game I flipped back to see what was happening and it was the beginning of halftime, and I immediately turned it off. I haven’t seen a good halftime show in years, and they seem to get worse and worse all the time. I think the last performance I tried to watch was Janet Jackson’s Storm Trooper anti-cop thing, which I turned off in disgust.
The NBA sucks up to China, the NFL sucks up to blacks. I think baseball and hockey are the only two sports I can support these days, and hopefully it will be possible to go to a Rockies game again this year. Which reminds me of something I heard once, which is so true—baseball on TV is pretty bad, but listening to baseball on the radio is great. I don’t know what it is about radio and baseball, but I will often turn on a game if I am driving.
Update and oh my …
More than two-thirds of Democrats believe Hillary Clinton should be questioned by Special Counsel John Durham over the Russia secret server scandal, a poll found last month. The number of party loyalists who want the former secretary of state probed jumped up from 44 per cent last October, TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics found. Both polls were completed before Durham released his bombshell report last week.
And here’s part of the report:
‘Per Durham, this arrangement was put in motion in July of 2016, meaning the Hillary Clinton campaign and her lawyers masterminded the most intricate and coordinated conspiracy against Trump when he was both a candidate and later President of the United States while simultaneously perpetuating the bogus Steele Dossier hoax,’
We have always suspected this, and now we know it’s true. This is treason and punishable by life in prison or death. And I’m fine with either one for all of those involved.
Well, we’d have to redefine “treason” to kill people for this, but there should be a stiff penalty.
Does this surprise anyone??
Liz Cheney’s husband is a partner at Latham & Watkins. This firm has represented companies connected to China’s military. This same firm yesterday was identified as having clients connected to the spying on the Trump White House.
Funny if Durham unseats Hillary and Liz at the same time. They’re both looking at a White House run, and this is great timing.
BTW, keep an eye on Tulsi Gabbard. She already ran once, and though she has little experience she is by far the most qualified person on the Dem bench. She’s showing up on a lot of TV shows lately, including Fox.
Except for the fact that she is a Democrat and would have to execute Dem policies, some of which she favored back when she ran
She’s done a pretty good job of distancing herself from her days as a Bernie girl.
I know, and I have wondered why she is getting all this exposure on Fox, of all places. It would be great if she were to jump off the sinking Democrat Titanic and I think she would be welcomed over here. Tucker has been showcasing her on his show.
True that, and I certainly don’t agree with everything Tulsi stands for but it’s so refreshing to hear a common sense, intelligent Democrat. They are few and far between these days.
What I don’t get is why she’s a Democrat. She is one of those people I would love to sit down with to find out what it is about the party that makes it seem like a better choice than the Republicans.
Do we need any more proof that the NBA is owned by China??? I will never watch another NBA game. Done.
NBA team the Houston Rockets, which has a large fan base in China, waived the controversial Enes Kanter Freedom after acquiring the center via a trade with the Boston Celtics…After [ESPN], announced the trade through a Twitter post, netizens swarmed to the platform, mocking the player who has been ignorant and arrogant on China’s core interests and internal affairs such as those involving Xinjiang, Xizang, and Taiwan…Broadcasters in China have yet to resume games featuring the Celtics, making the anti-China Kanter Freedom look like a burden to the league that has hundreds of millions audience members in China…If this is the end of his NBA career, Freedom’s future path doesn’t seem as surprising as he makes it out to be. “Now you can be a full time John Bolton puppet,” commented Chen Weihua, China Daily’s EU bureau chief, receiving over 1,600 likes.
Mark, I agree with much of what you said about war with one possible exception. After winning a war against an opposing country, I don’t think it’s in anyone’s best interest to push the losing country’s face into desolation. I believe that was a significant reason why WWII happened with Germany losing WWI and then facing a few decades of harsh despair. Japan however received our help in rebuilding after WWI, in spite of their attack on us. That rebuilding effort has resulted in Japan becoming a strong US ally. Perhaps there’s a way to tear down and destroy the opposition leadership while at the same time rejuvenate the country’s common people. Change their mindset about who their real enemy is.
I’ve rethought about WWI and Versailles: to me, it didn’t go far enough. When you think about the circumstances of 1914 you can fully realize just how entirely unjustified the German actions were. Whatever the impending conflict between Russia and Austria, France, Belgium and Britain had given Germany no cause for alarm. There was no mobilization. There was no threat being made. France was treaty bound to Russia but only if Russia was attacked…and as Russia had got the ball of hostilities rolling when Austria moved against Serbia (whom neither Russia nor France was bound to protect), there was plenty of reason for France to stand aside in that conflict, as they had stood aside during the Russo-Japanese War. But the Germans had decided that they would break France as the first operation in any war – and they stuck to their plan. So, all the French, Belgian and British dead, all the destruction of property in those three nations, was inflicted upon them entirely unjustly. The Krauts whined endlessly about how many died from the blockade and how unfair Versailles was but there was a simple preventative for it: don’t attack nations which hadn’t attacked you (and the Krauts could have refrained: after the war, a lot of German excuse makers claimed that they could not have done anything but invade France as all their plans were based upon a two front war with Russia and France…but one German staff officer wasn’t having any of it and showed how just a few orders could have resulted in the German army deploying against Russia… it was the German’s cold blooded choice to attack a France which had done nothing to them).
They needed to pay through the nose for that – the Rhineland should have gone to France. They should have been made to pay every last cent of reparations (in the end, the Germans hardly paid anything). They should have been humiliated and punished and then humiliated and punished some more. That was the preventative for WWII.
TD Bank confirmed that it has frozen the bank accounts that had $1.1 million paid to them to support the trucker-led protests in Canada.
I really hope every protester and everyone who supports them immediately switches banks if they bank at TD Bank. That’s the kind of canceling I support.