Open Thread

I got into a gun control argument with a Brit on Twitter the other day – very unusual in that it wasn’t nasty. But, it also didn’t really have a conclusion…the guy simply stopped responding. This was after I pointed out something which most don’t think about these days:

To love someone is to do what is best for them – if I am to show love for my fellows then certain things are required of me. One is that I never permit someone to be unjustly attacked. Another is that I restrain the wrongdoer from carrying out his plans. The former is far more easily understood than the latter, but neither are really thought of these days.

What my interlocutor was on about is that my Christian faith – which he claims to share – is about mercy and turning the other cheek and so forth; so, it isn’t really right for me to have a gun to shoot the burglar. But the reality is that it is almost a moral requirement that I be armed – as I’m physically capable of bearing arms – because if I am unarmed I can neither defend my neighbor nor attempt to prevent the burglar from doing his evil deed. I can only sit helplessly by…while my neighbor is robbed and maybe killed and the burglar risks his immortal soul in the commission of his crime. How can I be said to be showing love to either of them by doing nothing? There is much we’ve lost: most importantly our sense that justice and mercy go together. Its not one or the other – and, in fact, if you try to do either in isolation, you’ll get neither.

Germany’s Populist-Conservative AfD did well in regional elections – so well, in fact, that Germany’s other major parties (CDU, SPD and Greens) are thinking of a partnership with the German Communist Party (now called Linke, because “Communist” sounds bad). This is the mask fully dropping: all the parties were simply about who gets to slice the pie, not about what the pie shall be. And the Ruling Class in Germany – and around the West – wants the pie to be about open borders and only the Elite getting to decide what happens. We’re all in this together, folks: as goes AfD goes Brexit goes Trump. Either we all win, or we’ll all be destroyed.

John Hindraker is probably like most of us these days – watching what’s happening and figuring the Democrats are completely out of touch with reality. Of course, he also notes that he could be the guy out to lunch. We’ll all find out next November – but, I’m betting it is the Democrats who are busily alienating 60% of the electorate.

France’s Macron is offering a $15 billion bribe to Iran to keep it in the nuke deal – which we’re out of and Iran never had the faintest idea of abiding by. I don’t really understand this: is Macron that stupid, or does Iran just have so much dirt on Europe’s Ruling Class that they have to play ball?

South Dakota Democrat Party closes its last two offices for lack of funds. One down, forty nine to go…

Turns Out We Can’t Beat the Russians

Anyone thinking that Obama might find his backbone and actually stand up to Putin’s imperialism better think again:

“Our question was: Would NATO be able to defend those countries {the Baltic states}?” Ochmanek recalls.

The results were dispiriting. Given the recent reductions in the defense budgets of NATO member countries and American pullback from the region, Ochmanek says the blue team was outnumbered 2-to-1 in terms of manpower, even if all the U.S. and NATO troops stationed in Europe were dispatched to the Baltics — including the 82nd Airborne, which is supposed to be ready to go on 24 hours’ notice and is based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

“We just don’t have those forces in Europe,” Ochmanek explains. Then there’s the fact that the Russians have the world’s best surface-to-air missiles and are not afraid to use heavy artillery.

After eight hours of gaming out various scenarios, the blue team went home depressed. “The conclusion,” Ochmanek says, “was that we are unable to defend the Baltics.”

The active Russian Army is stated at 395,000 – Poland, the closest nation with a large military force has 120,000 troops. Germany, next closest, has just under 61,000. The French army, a little further off, has 115,000. That works out to 99,000 less than the Russian army, when you combine them all together. Small wonder that even with the US Army in Europe augmented by the 82nd Airborne that we can’t get the job done – and this probably supposes that we could get the French and Germans to go along (getting the Poles to go along wouldn’t be difficult).

The thing about an army is that you just never know when you’re going to need one – which is why you’re supposed to keep a top-notch one in being at all times, even when it doesn’t seem particularly necessary. For decades now the Europeans have continually reduced the size of their military force – they got it into their heads that there would never be another major European war. Now we’ve got the Russian bear trying to rebuild the Russian Empire and no one has an army in being capable of stopping the Russians. The only way to actually stop Putin if, say, he decided to occupy Estonia is to declare war on Russia, build up a massive army, and then invade. This is not something which is going to recommend itself to European and American politicians.

Welcome back to the real world, folks. We’re in quite a pickle, right now. Not only does no one respect of fear us, but we simply do not have the military power to make anyone respect or fear us. On the other hand, our military is now almost perfectly politically correct – with only a few Marines still to be forced into line. Great, huh?