Open Thread

Got into a long debate about gun control over on Twitter. Not a bad one, either. I mean, the people arguing with me were ignorant of basic facts and had imbibed a great deal of Progressive lies, but the debate was civil and it did open the eyes a bit on my side: they really are convinced that being armed is not something human beings are supposed to be…at least, not armed in any way that would give a distinct advantage. Maybe it stems from a Progressive desire to be fair? Don’t really know. But we’re never going to convince these people: they’ll have to be mugged by reality. As some of them have been as I’ve seen stories of Progressives in San Francisco quietly purchasing firearms as all police protection has been withdrawn.

To that end, Chesa Boudin, the communist DA of SF, is in deep trouble – he fully implemented the Marxist-Leninist ideal of criminal justice and it really, really sucks. One of the unknown stories about the old USSR was how crime-ridden it was. Those who read The Gulag Archipelago know, but most people don’t…and it is simply because Soviet media didn’t cover it and Western media followed suit. But the basics of Soviet criminal law – that all crime is the result of social injustice – combined with a complete disarming of the Russian people meant that crime ran wild. You’d get 25 years for speaking ill of Communism, 10 years for murder…usually with time off for good behavior. While the bosses were tightly protected (sound familiar?) the common people were at the mercy of criminals. But unlike in the USSR, there is a recall possible in San Francisco – and nothing will spotlight the toxic environment for Democrats than the scion of the far Left getting the boot.

US Intel says that Putin is on the ropes. Given US Intel’s track record, I expect Russian tanks in Paris by next week.

The GOP continues to earn it’s title as The Stupid Party – with gas and food prices rising, a border crisis and Biden risking WWIII…they’re putting together a plan to reduce greenhouse gases. Got a newsflash for ya, GOPe – nobody gives a damn about Climate Change except those who are paid to give a damn about it.

Tampa Bay Rays went woke over the recent shootings…and DeSantis is vetoing a $35 million taxpayer give away to them. That is how its done.

Open Thread

As I pointed out earlier, we’re governed by morons – yesterday, Pudding Brain shot his mouth off about removing Putin from power. We’re used to that sort of thing as ol’ Gramps forgets what he’s supposed to say…but when he said it, huge numbers of high end people were all “wow!” about it…here, at last, was the strength we need! America is saved! And thank God Trump isn’t in power. Of course, within minutes of Biden’s statement, his staff was out there pointing out that, no, we don’t seek regime change in Russia.

But it was astonishing how many people took what was obviously a gaffe and made out like it was the greatest oration of all times. They really believed it! People were comparing it to Reagan’s speech about tearing down the Berlin Wall!

The flip side of this was the Never Trump people who instantly saw it for a mistake but the only thing they could say was how mad they were – the helped install Biden because they had to get rid of Trump and his insane statements and this is what they got! Just stupid – Trump didn’t say insane things. He said outrageous things, but not insane. Everything he said was actually calculated for effect…Pudding Brain can only say what’s on the script and then only if his meds don’t wear off half way through.

Just a bunch of idiots – who have to pretend a clearly senile, old man (who was corrupt and stupid in his best days) is someone who could possibly replace Trump. And they have to try to sustain this Narrative – Trump was so bad that he had to be replaced and the only plausible replacement was good, old Joe who is a moderate and competent. It is theater of the absurd.

Ketanji Brown Jackson had her hearings this past week and some GOP Senators did hit some good points and a lot of people don’t like how soft on crime she’s been as a judge, especially as regards abuse of children but, in my view, nobody made the most telling statement about her: she’s a rubber stamp.

It doesn’t matter how smart she is or what credentials she has, the bottom line is that she’s where she is because Democrats are 100% confident how she’ll rule on any issue identified as crucial for Democrats. Some GOP Senator should have said just that: “look, Ms. Jackson, you’re a nice lady and all, but everyone here knows that when cases regarding things like gender, guns and immigration come before you, you’ll rule as the Democrats want regardless of what the law says. You’re not here to ensure Justice: you’re here to enforce a certain political ideology which you’ll dress up with legalese. All I’d like right now is for you to admit this: admit to the American people that your bias is firm and won’t be shaken and that for the remainder of your life all you’re going to do is try to advance the Democrat agenda via Judicial activism”.

The explosion would have been epic – and very useful. The main thing necessary for combating lies is to point them out. People tend to caution ( which often works out in practice to be cowardice): as long as they aren’t forced to confront an issue head on, they’ll go along with whatever drivel people are using to justify a bad thing.

The thing about Trump – the thing which most infuriated his opponents right and left – was his willingness to call things out. Recall his early speech on immigration which the Left and Never Trump cast as Trump calling all Mexicans rapists – we all know what he said and the reason his opponents twisted “they’re not sending us their best” into an insult to all Mexicans was because they knew it was true – our open border was used as a dumping ground for all manner of criminals. Everyone knew it – but nobody spoke it. But once Trump spoke it, it couldn’t be ignored…and, in general, even today the American people still go for Trumpist immigration and border security policies. Contrast this to someone like Jeb! calling illegal immigration an “act of love”: Jeb isn’t a bad guy. He was a very good, Conservative governor of Florida. The foundations of the current GOP dominance in Florida were laid down by Jeb. But we all knew from the first second he made that statement about immigration that it was bull – a lie, covering up the horrid truth. If we really want to beat these guys, we have to tell the truth. Not just about SC nominees, but about everything.

The Ukraine war does continue to grind on – I’ve mostly been using the Institute for the Study of War maps to see how things are going…and they show a very much stalled Russian offensive. OTOH, the maps put out by the Russian Defense Ministry show much more substantial gains…but, who can trust that? But then I saw a French Ministry of Defense map and it pretty much agreed with the Russian. And if the French and Russian maps are even partially correct, the Ukrainian position east of the Dnieper is turned north and south and the Ukrainians should be trying to extricate their army from the east.

Musk hopes to get an orbital test flight of his completely reusable Starship in May. My bet: it will slip. Various government agencies are foot dragging on final approvals – and the more Musk tweaks the Ruling Class, the more roadblocks they’ll throw up for him. The Starship with its heavy lift booster is certainly impressive – significantly larger than the Saturn V we oldsters remember. The payload it will lift is not just larger than anything launched before or today, but bigger than most space program plans for the future. It is a rocket which can, eventually, go to Mars. Musk will probably want to go as quickly as he can…but it is fraught with risks and expenses and, as I’ve pointed out before, until we can really work out the issues of gravity and radiation, there’s probably not much point in going except as a prestige “I did it first” sort of thing.

Open Thread

You read about the Great Terror during the French Revolution and from your safe, prosperous American home you wonder how people could act like that? I mean, you understand that there was injustice and even cruelty in the Ancien Régime, but you still look upon it in shock. And then you read a piece in Bloomberg opinion which has an upper class twit telling us to eat lentils and let the dog die to deal with inflation.

And then you understand.

Cruelty and injustice can be dealt with – it is having people treat you with contempt that gets the blood boiling and makes cheering as a noble’s head comes off something understandable.

And there is monumental contempt for us.

When the Hunter Biden story was actively suppressed by the MSM and the Tech Giants in 2020, do recall that 50 former intelligence officials signed a letter stating that the Hunter story was Russian disinformation. It was this letter which allowed Team Pudding Brain, the DNC and the MSM to justify spiking the story. People actually got banned from social media for bringing the story up! The MSM and Tech efforts were bad enough, but the crucial thing was the bald-faced lie by the intelligence officials…without that, the rest wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. But really grasp that: the organizations charged with protecting American national security produced 50 people to lie in print. When you add in the fact that the FBI knew all about this months before it broke and not a single person there blew the whistle you really see our problem: they are against us. They hate us. They hold us in contempt.

I pointed out on Twitter earlier that the same MSM and government agencies who assure us the 2020 vote was legit are the same people who lied about Hunter Biden.

And, yet, you still can’t get through to Never Trump on this. I’m not talking about those Never Trump who have morphed into Never Republican…I’m talking about those who remain Republican and are already largely lining up behind DeSantis for 2024: they remain impervious. One of the more famous said today that he’s backing DeSantis because he doesn’t have the character flaws of Trump. Which is a sort of reverse lie: what character flaws does Trump have? The only one’s we know about are those told to us by government and MSM sources which are proven liars. I mean, seriously: maybe Trump is an immoral man, but nobody can really know. He’s been so consistently lied about that no outsider can sift it and determine what might be true or false (though we can rely on it that Trump has never broken a law – if he had, even in the most trivial manner, he’d already have been tried for it). But, also, for all we know, he’s a moral man. Sure, he had his divorces and his playboy days when young…but young billionaires tend to do that sort of thing and in the year when we have drag queen story time, I’m going to place getting busy with a super model rather low on the moral outrage scale. And rely on this: were Trump still playing around on the side, we’d know about it…I’m sure the MSM has people watching him 24/7. So if he was a bit of a cad from 25-50, he’s not today.

Dr Oz is still rolling along in the Pennsylvania Senate race. I get the doubts about him – he’s from Oprah Universe, something I hold in utter contempt. Over the years, as part of the price of being part of that universe, he staked out positions which are pretty much anathema to anyone on the right, especially on issues like “red flag” laws for gun ownership. But, I also don’t automatically condemn him for that. Lets face it: we’ve all had an education the past 7 years. Perhaps Oz has looked around and figured a few things out? He’s presenting himself as the Trumpist candidate. So far, Trump hasn’t endorsed him – but the rumor from Trump World is that Melania, who apparently is a good friend of Oz, is pushing for him. We’ll see how it comes out – to me, the most important thing is getting the (R) to victory. Is Oz that guy? Don’t know. But I can’t see how he’d be worse than Toomey…who took our Tea Party movement to get into office and then became a colorless GOPe Establishment guy once in, going as far down as to vote to convict Trump in the second trial (and that vote sunk his career in the GOP).

The war with the Ukraine continues to drag on – and Putin, so far, shows no sign of quitting. Ukraine still stands firm and there are even reports of local Ukrainian counter-attacks. OTOH, a recent video of Zelensky in Kiev looked a little photo-shopped. Like they had him in front of a green screen that they projected Kiev on to. I still hold it isn’t our fight – but it does affect the world. In one case, over food supply. The Ukraine is one of the world’s bread baskets. The Ukrainian farmers should be starting to plant their crops right about now. If they aren’t – and it looks like they’re not – then the world is going to have some serious problems in the Fall.

In other news on that front, China and India are working deals with Putin – China and India do need Russian oil and other raw materials, after all. From a geo-political standpoint, our obsession with Putin is taking us out of the global equation while a should-be ally (India) and our definite rival (India) are cutting deals which undermine America’s overall position. My view: we should have declared absolute neutrality in the Russo-Ukrainian war, holding ourselves willing to host peace talks and providing humanitarian aid to both sides.

Open Thread

In general, these days – and long before Putin invaded Ukraine – I have been opposed to alliances and supra-national organizations (NATO and UN, eg). They tend to hamstring national policy and, especially as they’ve been construed after WWII, they are usually a one-way street: we take on an unlimited obligation to defend other nations without reciprocity. We can see what that has got us: weak “allies” in Europe and around the world. We are committed to the defense of nation after nation and they are not committed to rise to our defense. So, on the whole, I would end all alliances and withdraw from all international organizations.

But if we are to retain them, then they have to be iron-clad and reciprocal. If we’re going to rush to Poland to defend them from Russia, then I want the Poles to send an army to help us fight China. Any such alliance should really be spelled out: how much GDP is spent on defense, what sort of military force each party is to maintain as a bare minimum and plans already made for deployment anywhere around the world as circumstances warrant.

Furthermore, if we go to war with any nation, then I want us to impose the full financial cost of the war on them after they are defeated. No more free rides: no more forcing us to go to war and then after putting us through death and destruction, we rebuild them. No: they can rebuild themselves while also shelling out 10% of their annual GDP to us for 50 years after the war.

Aside: I’m tired of the American Empire.

As for Ukraine: the Russians seem to still be grinding ahead with some big gains in the south and nearly none in the north. I think the Russians took too big a bite of the apple: going after geographic locations rather than seeking to destroy Ukrainian military power. But I suspect there’s a reason for this: Putin wants the Ukraine physically intact as far as possible. A great deal of Ukraine’s military force is concentrated in point defense of major cities: to quickly destroy this military power would have taken massive, destructive bombardment of the cities. This is cruel, but clever tactics on the part of the Ukrainians – they are essentially using their civil population as a human shield, knowing that any civilian killed by Russia will be written down as a war crime, thus increasing sympathy for Ukraine internationally. But I suspect we are getting close to the end: the increasingly shrill calls for a NATO no-fly zone over Ukraine (which would amount to a de-facto declaration of war by NATO against Russia) indicates that the Russians do have air supremacy and the Ukrainians are simply being ground down by superior weight – unless the pressure can be removed, it is only a matter of time.

On the other hand, some are saying that Russia is running out of first-rate material. Not so sure about that: and in second-rate material, Russia is well supplied – but that second-rate stuff is old style artillery, the use of which would cause immense destruction and loss of life. Meanwhile, there is some growing domestic opposition in Russia. Putin better wrap this thing up pretty quick. I don’t think his power is at risk, but the longer the war drags on, the more difficult it will be for him.

What has astounded me is the number of voices on the Right who are taking Ukrainian propaganda at face value. All of a sudden, they’re quoting MSM sources as if they are reliable. I think this is psychological for some of them: being overtly pro-Ukrainian provides distance from the allegedly pro-Russia Trump and supporters (a ridiculous view, but it exists out there). In short, it allows these people to make friends with their Progressives pals again. There is one thing which can save the Democrat’s political bacon in November: the GOP signing on to a Biden war for Ukraine. I think some on the right are willing just that: they fear the sort of GOP which is likely to emerge after the mid-terms…far more Trumpist, far more America-First, far more conservative (they despise GOP moves to enact pro-life and ant-CRT laws at the State level). They hate people like Greene and Boebert; and they can see in the GOP candidates more and more like them. And they hate them because the more we get people like that, the more the GOP will be forced to enact laws the GOP base wants. A war with Russia may deflect or at least delay that.

The joke of the week is that Putin is going to get the Nobel Prize for medicine for having cured Covid. Its like it dropped off a cliff, isn’t it? People were asking where the ubiquitous Fauci had got to and one guy looked it up: basically reduced to appearances on public access cable. The (political) Science has spoken: Covid is political death for Democrats and so we won’t be hearing much about it. At least, not right now: if Ukraine folds in the next week to ten days, they might have to bring it back to distract us from rising prices. We’re up a bit more than 20 cents a gallon for gas in the past week while oil and food staples climb to near-record highs.

In the world of unintended consequences: people around the world are looking about for alternatives to financial securities which can be frozen or seized. You know: like the Russian assets have been. A lot of people thought it cool the way Apple Pay was shutdown for Russians with a flip of the switch at Apple…but a lot of us were like, “WTF – they can freeze me out of my money if they decide they don’t like me”. America is kept going financially by people buying our bonds…and they will keep doing that, at least for now. But if you’re a foreign government or rich guy, do you want your money tied up in an asset that the United States can destroy at a whim? If the world does stop buying our bonds, then we’re financially ruined. And I mean completely. It would make the Great Depression look like a minor correction: one of the strength of Rule of Law societies is the security of wealth under it…that no matter what happens, your property is safe unless you actually break the laws of your host nation (or the host nation of your assets). Now, its funny to watch them seize yachts of Russian oligarchs…but where was the law in that? Some decree of some official. No court. No charges. No conviction: just stroke of the pen, your property is gone.

And that brings me to a point I’ve made recently and for years: national wealth is not dollars. It is what you make, mine and grow. Russia doesn’t just provide us oil, but also fertilizers and other crucial materials. Of course, a huge amount of our manufactured goods come from overseas. Suppose these people decide not to take our dollars in payment? What do we have then? We don’t even seem to make basic things like screwdrivers and scissors any longer.

Gold standard, guys: we have to get back on the gold standard. If our money is backed by gold, everyone on God’s green Earth will accept it no matter how much they hate us. And we must go back to Protection. No more of this “free trade” chimera…massive tariffs to force a rebirth of American farming, manufacturing and mining.

The Russo-Ukraine War

As I sit down to write, there are reports that Kiev is surrounded and not surrounded and that Zelenesky has agreed to talk and not agreed to talk. In other words, nobody really knows what is going on. This is the most talked-about but least reported-on war I’ve ever seen. I think this is because we lack any real war correspondents – people who would actually go into the combat zones and see what they could see. Those old reporters would get things wrong from time to time, but not usually: the willingness of people to pay them to risk their lives for a story was dependent upon accurate reporting. These days, the reporters all stay where they can get an easy TV hookup and a drink after their daily 20 minutes of broadcasting the latest rumor they picked up over lunch.

The MSM is filled with stories of glorious Ukrainian victory. Social media has a plethora of accounts putting out alleged video of the fighting. But I’ve literally seen the exact same picture described as Russian and Ukrainian troops surrendering. Part of our problem here is that there’s no physical difference between Russians and Ukrainians and their military equipment is similar. Anything can be anything and none of us can really tell if a particular armored column driving through a non-descript Ukrainian town belongs to either side.

That said, the Russians clearly have advanced, and in some cases pretty deep into Ukrainian territory. The eyes of the world are fixed on Kiev but the real action is the Russian advance out of Crimea towards Mariupol in the east and Odessa in the west. Especially towards Mariupol because if the Russians get there, we might find a significant portion of the Ukrainian army is encircled. And that might be why Zelensky wants to talk (if those reports are correct): work a deal before the Ukrainian army in the east has to capitulate (in the face of Russian air power, a withdrawal is probably not feasible).

Part of the problem the world has in dealing with this is that we don’t know Putin’s intentions. He hasn’t really stated them. My thinking when it started is that he wanted the line of the Dnieper: essentially taking the part of Ukraine where ethnic Russians make up the bulk of the population. That still might be it – with the moves towards Kiev and Odessa merely to obtain bargaining chips to obtain Ukrainian agreement to surrender the Donbas. But there is a chance he wants the whole of the Ukraine. That, I think, would be foolish on Putin’s part as he’d be taking control of a hostile population and pretty much force Poland and Romania into massive military build up and close alliance.

Naturally, the Democrats are trying to pitch this in a manner which forces us to back them politically. We have to rally ’round the flag, right? If recent polling is correct, that isn’t happening: Pudding Brain is cratering to his lowest ratings yet. I know some people who have become emotionally invested in opposing Putin and this has made them turn the Ukrainians into pure heroes. I’m not having any of that. The Ukrainian government has been corrupt to the bone since it was set up after the fall of the USSR. They had 8 years to prepare for this and it doesn’t look like much was done – they should have had layered defensive positions and a plan to mobilize the entire population at need. But I guess giving no-show jobs to Hunter Biden was the best they could do. I am sympathetic to their plight, but only to an extent – the people of Ukraine are ultimately responsible for the sort of government they endure. If they truly loved their country, they would have made sure that no matter what else happened, national defense was carried forward with conviction. They didn’t and now Ivan is knocking at the gates.

On the other hand, I also know people who are making a hero out of Putin and so they cast aspersions on the Ukrainians. Putin’s propaganda is that he’s only going in to rid Ukraine of neo-Nazis. This is based upon the Azov Battalion of the Ukrainian militia and the actions of Ukrainians during WWII.

The Azov Battalion originated in the 2014 conflict – and it clearly has links to white nationalist groups and some of its symbols are obviously based on Waffen-SS symbols. But I doubt they hope to revive a Nazi empire. The symbols they use are more for anti-Russian than pro-Nazi reasons. This is because during WWII quite a lot of Ukrainians did work with the Germans against the Soviet government. They also fought the Germans quite a bit. In the end, the outside observer can only look with a bit of sympathy on people who were caught between Nazis and Bolsheviks. If you were Ukrainian in 1941 you had family members who had been starved to death, murdered or otherwise brutally oppressed by agents of Soviet power. It wasn’t just a portion of the population: all of them had reasons to hate the USSR with a white hot passion. In come the Nazis and the Bolsheviks are gone…the Nazis then proceed to murder, rape and loot to their hearts content. This did cause some Ukrainians to become pro-Soviet partisans…but quite a number let that Nazi brutality roll right off their backs and they became ant-Soviet partisans. If you ever wanted to know how bad Stalin’s rule was, there’s your answer: some people would rather help Nazis if that meant keeping Stalin out.

And they kept up the fight – for ten years after the end of WWII, Ukrainians continued a forlorn struggle against Soviet power. Without any outside support they were eventually crushed…but the memory of them endured and their symbols remained potent to Ukrainians who remember and dislike Russian rule. And, so, there you go: the Azov Battalion. So, I don’t put much stock in pro-Russian claims that Ukraine is a neo-Nazi hotbed.

I think that this is one of those events where we’re just going to have to see how it comes out. It is, though, a war I want no part of. I don’t even want to arm the Ukrainians at this point as I’m concerned that we’ll just end up supplying the Russians as we did the Taliban. The Europeans can provide all the aid Ukraine needs – let them do it. Keep our soldiers home – at most I’m ok with providing humanitarian relief.

Open Thread

The DNC/MSM/Never Trump combine went ballistic over the Trump/Putin presser. I didn’t watch it, but I did see it explode in real time over social media. We seriously had people calling for the overthrow of the United States government to “save” us from Putin’s stooge, Trump. Plenty of people on the right – almost all Never Trump, but a few weak kneed others, as well – joined in. Given that this happened in conjunction with the discovery and an alleged Russia-NRA (yes, you read that right) connection to undermine America starting in 2015, it was all clearly scripted to be part of battle space prep for November. Do lay that to heart: everything that will show up in the news relating to politics from now until November will be battle space prep.

The more mundane reality is that Trump has Putin over a barrel and Putin knows it – so, it is time to make nice with the USA until we return an idiot like Obama to power. We’ve checkmated Putin in Syria and in the rest of the Middle East; our increasing oil production is putting a huge strain on the Russian economy; beefing up military forces in Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe means there are no more easy pickings for Putin; our calls for NATO to re-arm may create a long period of time when Russia has to behave. Trump, also no fool, knows that while Russia can’t wreck us, they can cause plenty of trouble, and if that trouble can be avoided by making a bit of nice with Putin, no worries.

In 2017, the nation which reduced its carbon emission the most was the United States…which shows that the Paris treaty and all other climate treaties are hot garbage.

Lisa Page testified again on Monday (another reason for the Dems, etc, to have a meltdown over Russia) and was apparently cooperative. I don’t know, of course, but I think she’s flipped on the Deep State.

Meathead made a movie about the Iraq war called Shock and Awe. It opened this past weekend. You didn’t go see it. Hardly anyone did. It grossed $41,000.00 (yes, forty one thousand dollars). Get woke, go broke is becoming a common thing…but more certain is it that if you tangle with Trump, you will lose…mostly because you first have to go insane before you tangle with Trump.

What is Diplomacy?

There have been several attempts at defining this.  Webster has it as “the work of maintaining good relations between the governments of different countries”, but that is a lot of nonsense.  You don’t need good relations between governments – in fact, good relations can some times hamper diplomacy (ties of sentiment are deadly when dealing with intra-governmental issues).  Will Rogers came closer when he said, “diplomacy is the art of saying ‘nice doggy’ until you can find a rock”.  But that isn’t quite right, either – because the purpose of diplomacy is to not have to use the rock.  But, make no mistake about it, the rock must be part of the equation.

I’ll say that diplomacy is the art of adjusting competing claims between actors of relatively equal power with war as the punishment for diplomatic failure.

It has to be between entities of roughly equal power or it isn’t diplomacy – it is either the stronger imposing its will on the weaker, or the stronger being generous to the weaker for whatever reason.  Only between equals can there be diplomacy – two equals (or two groups who are roughly equal) can sit down at the table and try to adjust their differences, all the while with the knowledge that failure to come to agreement means war – and being as it would be a war between roughly equal powers, no one on either side could be entirely sure of the result, and so the incentive is strongly in favor of coming to a deal.  Unless, that is, one side is determined upon war no matter what.  In such a case, diplomacy also cannot happen – because if one side is determined upon war no matter what and the other side is determined on peace no matter what, then the aggressive side is the stronger and will impose its will on the weaker…and, once again, you don’t have diplomacy.  Let’s look at some examples to illustrate my definition:

1.  It is said that we negotiated a treaty with Panama in 1903 in order to build the canal.  We did nothing of the kind.  We told Panama what we wanted and bade them sign on the dotted line or we wouldn’t build the canal, which is the only reason for Panama to exist.  This was the stronger imposing its will on the weaker.  Not diplomacy.

2.  It is said we negotiated a security treaty with Japan in 1951.  We did nothing of the kind.  Because Japan occupies a strategically vital area in the Asia-Pacific, we promised to protect Japan in return for obtaining certain privileges for our military forces in Japan.  It was a good move by us because Japan is a useful ally to have – but the security of the United States does not in any way depend upon the existence of Japan, and its not like a Japanese army would ever arrive in the United States to help defend us against foreign aggression. This was the stronger being generous to the weaker. Not diplomacy.

3.  When Chamberlain, Hitler, Daladier and Mussolini gathered in Munich in 1938, three of the four were determined to have peace at any price, one of them was determined upon war no matter what.  That it wound up with an agreement rather than war was because of the rather startling amount of surrender that Chamberlain and Daladier agreed to – they eventually decided that Hitler should get the spoils of war without war (keep in mind, that if they hadn’t agreed, Hitler would have gone to war in 1938 rather than waiting until 1939).  This was rather unique in human history (to that point, at least) but it still illustrates the point:  with one side willing war no matter what and the other willing peace no matter what, the warlike side becomes immediately the stronger and imposes its will upon the weaker.  Not diplomacy.

4.  When the USSR challenged the United States by putting nuclear missiles in Cuba, both affected parties were roughly equal in power and both sides were equally determined to avoid war.  Negotiations were tense and many fears were raised, but the fact of the matter is that as both were equally strong and no one was willing war, a deal was bound to happen unless some horrific accident took place.  The basics of the deal eventually agreed to were Russian nukes out of Cuba, American nukes out of Turkey.  That is diplomacy.

Now, why bring all this up?  Because as we have gone through the Ukraine crisis, no one is understanding that among all the varied things going on, diplomacy isn’t one of them.  Diplomacy will never be one of them – it can’t be as there aren’t two equal sides involved her.  Oh, to be sure, the power of the United States, alone, is enough to fight and defeat Russia…and the combined power of just Germany and France could probably make short work of Putin’s burgeoning empire.  But no one who dislikes Putin’s actions is putting on the table anything like the force necessary to give Putin pause and make him want to turn to diplomacy…which would, once again, be an adjustment of interests between equal powers and war as the price of failure.  It is my belief that Putin does not desire war – not with us, not with the European Union, not with anyone.  If there were power to match his power, he would climb down and negotiate a diplomatic settlement.  Such a settlement would, of course, have to grant Russia some of her desires – that is the thing about diplomacy: it is never a matter of anyone getting all they want.  It is a deal between equals and each gives a bit, because they don’t want a war which would be more costly than whatever it is they have to surrender to reach a deal.  But with a complete vacuum of power opposite Russia, there is no need for Russia to fear war, and thus no reason to use diplomacy.  Might as well grab all you can while the getting is good.

All the huffing and puffing of Obama, Kerry and the collective world won’t do anything.  To be sure, Putin might graciously agree to eventually sign something which will be hailed as a diplomatic settlement, but you can rest assured – unless there comes along a credible threat of war against Russia – that whatever settlement is agreed to will be entirely in accordance with Putin’s view of Russia’s interests.  In other words, he’ll merely take what he wants at the moment, leave an option to grab what he hasn’t got and attend an international conference to ratify what he’s done.  It’ll be a nice meal and pictures taken and his own press back home will laud him (or else!) as the greatest Russian in a century, etc.

Now that I’ve said all that, what do I think we should do?  Normally, I would advocate a vigorous American response to this but given our current condition and our current President, I’m saying that surrender isn’t so bad.  To be sure, its bad for the people who will come under Putin’s embrace, but I’m not so sure how a half-hearted and incompetently conducted military campaign leading to eventual American failure would help – and, of course, such a thing would actually harm.  As under Obama we are bound to have nothing but the aforementioned half-hearted, etc, I figure we just cut to the chase and make the best of a bad situation.  We can start to repair this in 2017 – hopefully under leadership which isn’t quite as bad as Obama’s.  It is a sad and distressing position for America to be in, but we have no one to blame but ourselves – we might be able to assign our 2008 vote to well-intentioned folly, but our 2012 vote was a gigantic mistake with sufficient facts clearly known.  Now we just have to pay the price for it.