Open Thread

A couple days ago Elon Musk suggested a possible path to peace in Ukraine – the nutshell of it was free and fair elections in the ethnic-Russian areas and everyone abides by the result. It is to be doubted that Putin would ever agree to it even though such a vote would probably result in a win for Russia…but likely not an overwhelming win and he’s certainly not about to allow free and fair elections in the Donbas when he won’t allow them in Moscow.

But what amazed was the fury which greeted Musk’s suggestion – even Ukrainian government officials piled on. The same officials who were grateful a couple months ago to Musk for providing Starlink for free after the Russians have pretty much zapped the entire Ukrainian communications network. Musk was roundly condemned as a Russian agent and the very thought of peace was scorned.

People around me long enough know that my basic belief about war is that if you get into one, you apply the maximum power you can muster against the enemy until he quits. This, of course, is a very American perspective because we are so powerful – generally, a full application of American power means the other side loses (this is why we’ve been forbidden to apply our full power since 1945). Even in our current state of decline, we’re still vastly more powerful than anyone else out there. But what if you aren’t the strongest power?

It still holds in my view: you apply the maximum amount of power you can muster. But with a thought towards obtaining peace as soon as possible because if you are the weaker side, then a long war only has one ending for you: defeat.

As I noted early on, the path to a clear-cut Ukrainian victory was for them to be able to mount a serious offensive into Russia right at the start. Think Six Day War: you drive deep and fast to entirely disrupt the enemy plans and, hopefully, get him to panic and willing to talk peace at just about any price. Absent that, the second best option was to trade space for time – and sell territory at a usurious blood price: hopefully that would get the Russians to quit. As it turns out, Ukraine did neither – it was, in fact, Ukrainians who were ground up defending every inch of ground in positions good, bad and indifferent as the Russians systemically used artillery to bludgeon their way forward. Now the Ukrainians, re-equipped by NATO, are taking the offensive again and they are gaining ground…but mostly it looks like ground the Russians are giving up, unwilling to spend blood to hold it…and, once again, Russian artillery is exacting a high blood price for each Ukrainian advance.

So, in my view (and, apparently, Musk’s) it is time to talk peace. It is unlikely that Ukraine, unaided on the ground, will be able to expel the Russians from all Ukrainian territory. If they are finally able to do so, the price will be high and the further they advance, the more heavily Russian the local population is. And, of course, the Russians get a say: if Putin fully mobilizes Russia for war, he’ll have overwhelming weight on his side and he will prevail…perhaps conquering the whole country. So: smoke a peace pipe.

But, we can’t have that, it would seem. I guess our Ruling Class can’t think of anything else to do. And they are making money off it.

In other Musk news, he’s once again saying he’ll buy Twitter. As soon as word of this came out, everyone’s follower count dropped – some by many thousands. I only lost 12 because I don’t let bots follow me. So, it seemed pretty clear that Twitter was getting rid of bots before Elon takes over and shows that their algorithm is entirely self-dealing and their traffic and trends are manufactured.

Herschel Walker – I’m sure you’ve talked about it. As for me: I refuse to condemn based on an uncorroborated story. Walker denies it. Unless and until stand-up-in-court proof is presented, I will discount the accusation. A lot of us on the right are taking this basic position and the left is getting mighty irritated with us – but what is making them scorching mad is when we say that even if they prove it, we won’t withdraw support for Walker.

The funny part about this is that I’m sure their strategy went like this: “Hey, they’re a bunch of white, racist Christians who hate anyone who sins. They’re only backing Walker because they think he’ll do as he’s told. So, we tell them that Walker paid for an abortion and their Christian bigotry, supported by their racism, will do Walker in!”. Don’t doubt me on this: they really think we’re like that. As if we Christians don’t believe that the blood of Christ covers all sins. And in addition to that, it won’t make us help elect a man committed to the Democrat’s position: federally funded abortion on demand to the moment of birth.

What pleased me most when the story broke is how few bedwetters on the Right emerged – discounting all Never Trump (which has morphed into Never Republican), of genuine conservatives only a few lent the story any credence, and most of them said it made no difference given Walker’s opponent. We’re learning! We’re no longer falling for the Left’s drivel. This is good and bodes well for the future.