Open Thread

Why do we hate Russia? Because they attacked our Democracy! Keep that in mind: our panties are in a wad in 2022 because Team Hillary blamed Russia in 2016. It really is nothing more than that – this is just the op taking on a life of its own and driving a Narrative in ways that are amazing to see. I mean, we let Russia waltz into the Crimea. If we were going to fight a war to defend the sacred borders, that was the time to do it…not years later when Russia has Ukraine in an impossible strategic situation. But, we’re going with this…because part of the op for 2022 and especially 2024 is to keep Russia, Russia, Russia going. It is an excellent distraction from China, after all.

We’re very much in a Twilight Zone here – but we’re only here because we keep going along with it. Or, at least, most of us do. While McConnell and Graham are playing the tired, old Neo-Con record vis a vis Russia, plenty of us are all “just why do I care about Ukraine?”. We can’t get an answer to that: all we get is we must defend Democracy and International Norms. Well, if we’re going to defend Democracy, then lets invade Canada and depose Trudeau.

But we know that is all drivel. We’re not defending anything other than a corrupt and dying Ruling Class. I think our best Rule of Thumb going forward is to assume that anything we’re told to care about is the exact last thing we should care about.

One of the recalled San Francisco school board members is blaming white supremacy for her ouster. Because of course. Had nothing to do with having the kids wear masks while telling white kids they are born racist.

They’re putting up the fences and calling in the National Guard to DC for Pudding Brain’s SOTU. Are they really scared, or are they just trying to drive a Narrative? Probably a little of both. But this is not the action of a government which says it got 81 million votes.

I’m not sure what is more amusing here – Hunter Biden blowing his money on crack or the fact that it’s being spilled by a lady with the on-line handle of “Weed Slut 420.” But here’s the thing – if this was a Republican’s son, this would be 24/7 in the MSM. Because it is Hunter Biden, only a few news outlets are covering it. The bottom line is that Hunter is a massive national security risk and the Chinese probably have their hooks for far in him that Pudding Brain is powerless against them.

Ace has an insight:

The tactic employed by the Democrat Party seems to be 1, creating a “Person of Color” category, 2, assuming that all “Persons of Color” have the political priorities that black progressives do, and 3, use the most militant and extreme fringe of black progressivism to define black progressives.

Thus, the Democrat Party is selling a fringe ideology of decriminalizing crime and taking the education of out schools to Asians. And then saying, “You’re Persons of Color. You like this.”

But they don’t like this.

In fact, most blacks don’t like this. This isn’t the politics of blacks. It’s the politics of the Black Panther Party.

Which is then sold to Indian immigrants as somehow representing their interests.

More and more people, and more and more Democrat constituent groups, are waking up to the fact that Wokeness = Death. And that sacrificing your life, or your child’s life, for Twitter Virtue Points is a bad deal.

It really is that, isn’t it? Democrats have taken the most extreme views of people like Angela Davis and Bobby Seale and said that all non-white people are 100% that. Doesn’t make the least bit of sense, but that is what we have. And now it is starting to bite the Democrats. That SF school board recall was driven by Asian-Americans while Latinos are shifting to the GOP as they reject woke ideology in favor of law and prosperity.

A Democrat Congressman – who is both fascist and insane – wants the government to seize the trucks of protestors and pass them out to other people. Never mistake it: they are bad guys. They will tell you they’re the bad guys. Don’t act like they are reasonable people you can work with.

War

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.

Why?

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.

An American Foreign Policy

Bismarck allegedly once said that there is a special providence for fools, drunkards and the United States of America. If he did say it then it was because he could see how very lucky the United State was and is: moated east and west by oceans and with harmless neighbors north and south, the United States could always pick and choose which foreign affairs to take an interest in. Meanwhile, Bismarck’s Prussia-become-Germany had to contend with Russia, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Britain and a host of smaller powers all on German’s doorstep or very close by. It was a nightmare maze to navigate through (made more nightmarish by Bismarck, but he didn’t see it that way). Bismarck died in 1898 – which, as it turns out, was the year the United States decided that being blessed by geography just wasn’t going to cut it.

There was nothing particularly wrong with ejecting the Spanish from Cuba and Puerto Rico in 1898. There was also no particular need to do it. But at least it fell in line with the general idea of the Monroe Doctrine and a long-held American ideal that the Americas should no longer be the colonial possession of Europeans. But that wasn’t really why we went into that war: it was merely the excuse. The reason we went into the war was because a segment of American political leaders felt it was vital for America to enter global competition. The concept, boiled down, was that if we didn’t force our way on to the world stage, we’d start to decline as a nation. Cuba was the excuse – but all along what was wanted was Manila and the gateway to China.

And so we did it – and placed ourselves in the position of caring about China and that meant dealing with Japan and Britain and Russia and fussing about who would govern what in the western Pacific and east Asia. I think that most of us were taught that this was fundamentally a good thing – that the USA had to get involved. But now that I think back on those lessons in high school history, they never did get around to telling us why we had to do it. It was just an assertion that as a mature great power, we should be involved and if we didn’t, disaster would follow.

I try to think of what disasters would have been worse than Communist China, the Korean and Vietnam wars (not to mention things like the battles of Okinawa and Saipan) had we stayed home. Remember, Pearl Harbor was struck because it based the American fleet which was set to relieve the American garrison in the Philippines…but if there wasn’t an American garrison there? If the Spanish still ruled Manila or the Filipinos fully ruled themselves at that time? What would be the reason for attacking the American fleet at Pearl Harbor? Can’t really think of one.

Now, one can argue that Japanese rule of the Philippines and Indonesia would be bad. No real argument there. But China’s rule of Tibet is bad – anyone saying we have to go to war with China to free Tibet? The point I’m making: the supposed need for the USA to expend blood and treasure to save foreigners from oppression seems a little selectively applied. Either it is our policy, or it isn’t. If it is, then it is time to war with China. If it isn’t…then what the heck have we been doing for the last century? Being involved. And that seems to be it.

I bring all this up because now people are telling us we have to confront Russia in Ukraine. Saw a Tweet from a bluecheck Neocon today basically comparing the situation to Hitler’s rise to power. I’m really rather tired of that sort of thing – Hitler was a unique threat which will never arise again. The peculiar circumstances of his rise no longer exist and can’t be replicated. Hitler, of course, stepped into the European power vacuum opened by the overthrow of the Hoehzollern’s of Germany and the dissolution of the Hapsburg Monarchy of Austria-Hungary. That particular situation has now been absorbed into the European equilibrium (mostly by Stalin, as it turns out: he moved whole populations around in 1945 to make the nations of central Europe compact ethnic nations no longer having a biological title deed to lands outside their borders: some times brutality can get things done). It should also be noted that the power vacuum was largely created by us – it was our insistence on the overthrow of the Hohenzollern’s and the dissolution of the Hapsburgs which created the vacuum. Had we stayed out, the Franco-British would have had to engage in a negotiated peace in the middle of 1918.

Anyways – we’re once again being told we must get involved. The safety of the world is at stake!

Really? How so?

How, that is, does Putin absorbing the Donbas really alter the world in some intrinsically negative manner? That plenty of people in the area don’t want to be ruled by Putin I take as a given. But I don’t understand our interest in it. Seems to me that if Putin is trying to re-cobble together the Czarist Empire then Ukraine should be looking to Poland and the Baltic States to form a coalition to stop it. I doubt much that Putin wants a general war. He’d like to detach the Donbas with minimal fighting. But Poland and Ukraine with 80 million people against Russia’s 146 million is probably far more than Putin wants to tangle with. Ukraine can probably get at least some interest – if not direct help – from Turkey, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Germany, France and Britain; all of whom have a varying interest in keeping Russia curbed (the closer they are to Russia, the greater the interest). A bit of firm diplomacy by Ukraine should easily be able to get Russia to back off.

That they don’t seem to be able to do this and that they lack sufficient arms to stand up to Russia is a problem. But how is it an American problem? Ukraine has been independent for 30 years: that was plenty of time for them to measure up a possible Russian attack and prepare the means to meet it. I get it that they are wracked by corruption (including corruption where they have paid off Americans – most infamously Hunter Biden – for influence) and have rather floundered around with an aging military force…but, once again: how is this an American problem? In fact – given how corrupt Ukraine is, what benefit to the people of the Ukraine in our propping up their corrupt system which didn’t even prepare the military means to defend Ukraine?

America needs an American foreign policy. That is: a policy which locates what the American interests are and then vigorously defends them. Far more worrisome for America than Russia attacking Ukraine is China buying influence throughout Latin America. It is a problem if, say, Panama’s government is purchased by China and closes the Canal to our ships. It is, then, in our interest to see to is that the government of Panama retains sufficient independence to prevent such an occurrence.

I’m completely done with this idea that America must be involved in this, that or the other foreign land. Outside the Americas, our interests are few and mostly relate to seaborne trade…which is menaced only by China’s rising fleet. We should be working on ensuring we can swiftly put China’s fleet at the bottom of the sea…but we’re working on whether or not to send troops to Ukraine, which doesn’t help us in any way against China. It isn’t like Ukraine will send troops to help us against China. Forget about that. We pull Ukraine’s chestnuts out of the fire here and then ten years from now we go to war with China, do not look for a Ukrainian army to help us out – more than likely we’ll see Ukraine selling war materials to China.

After 124 years, it is time to write off America as a global power. It hasn’t worked out for us. It has cost us a fortune in blood and treasure and those who don’t hate us despise us. Our position in the world couldn’t possibly be worse had we, in 1898, decided to not care about who ruled in Cuba. And it probably would be a lot better. At all events, it is time to give it a try. Try an American foreign policy: cross us in our interests and we’ll kill you. Not attacking our interests? Good luck and God bless.

Open Thread

I’d like to say I don’t know where the time went – but, I do: still writing! Kings and Queen (Book V) will be out soon so I was doing some last touches on that…but, honestly, I’m already deep into Book IX. Not only that, but my granddaughter said my stories needed a dragon, so I took Celeste’s daughter Aleste and with assist from the granddaughter, I’m writing Aleste and the Icecrystal Dragons. So, hey guys! How ya been?

Anyways – so, Smollett is guilty, as we all knew he was as soon as the story broke. I’m sure if someone did some digging they could find something that almost amounts to an actual hate crime by a GOPer, but even then, not really. The trouble the Left has here is that we’re not racists. I pointed out on Twitter that if Smollett had actually gone to MAGA country he would have learned that we’re very nice people who don’t give a darn what you do as long as you don’t adversely affect housing prices. Keep your act together and we’re cool.

There’s a poll out for youngsters about their willingness to be friends with people who have different political views and for Democrat kiddies, they are overwhelmingly against being friends with Republicans. Part of this, I’m sure, is peer pressure: they don’t want to be known as someone who is friends with Republicans because all the cool kids don’t have any Republican friends. But it is also of the nature of the Left: hate is what motivates them. It is why they do what they do.

Some people are pointing out how horrible the crime is in Democrat cities and are asking when the DA’s in those towns will finally say, “enough”. I tell them: don’t hold your breath. It is the Left’s opinion that the prosperity and safety of middle class America is a false front on an intrinsically evil society. The Left is letting the criminals out to prey because they believe that it will help generate an acute social crisis which will turn people away from the American system. It is Lenin’s old dictum: the worse, the better. There is a fly in the ointment, however: the Left is the Ruling Class. So, when the people do turn against the system, these junior league Bolsheviks will find all of the hatred directed their way.

Team Pudding Brain has their solution to the inflation problem: order the MSM to talk about how it isn’t a problem. And like proper lapdogs, the MSM is going right along with this order. I’m not sure how well telling us to disbelieve our lying eyes will work. I suspect it won’t. One smart guy did point out that Biden hasn’t remotely hit bottom: apparently, he shoveled out some money for parents and didn’t broadcast too widely that the money is their child tax deduction for 2021…which means that when people go to do their taxes in April of 2022, they’ll find that they already spent their child deduction. I’m sure that’ll go over real well.

Lots of people are noting that Latino voters are dropping the Dems. For males the Latino vote is almost mirroring the vote for white males. If you really drill down to it, the only really strong demographics for the Democrats are African-Americans and white, college educated women. And even the black vote is starting to get a few cracks in it. I don’t think that the Democrats can win much with that. As for the Latinos – don’t expect them to be Buckley-ite Conservatives. They just want law and order, good schools and a vibrant economy. In other words, what the Democrats would at least try to get for them before they were taken over by the aforementioned Bolsheviks. It is, though, our opening…and the GOP should push hard for Latino votes. A vote in 2022 for a good economy can be turned by, say, 2028 into a vote for limited government.

Russia is making waves in Ukraine and it looks like Pudding Brain will roll over for them. In this, probably for the best: can you imagine how catastrophic our defeat would be if we got into a shooting war with the current crew in charge? Also, we don’t have a strategic interest in who governs the Donbas. OTOH, the case can be made that we should stand against military aggression, as such. Not so sure I’m on board with that. Used to be. Maybe not any longer. Some things have to be worked out and war is just politics by other means. Putin – correctly – sees control of the Donbas as vital to his national security: the resources there are vital. Our largest strategic interest is to contain China. Sending an army to Kiev doesn’t serve that interest. Meanwhile, our useless allies won’t send an army…mostly because they haven’t got one. And, finally, the reason Putin is moving is because he knows he’s only got a short time – the miracle of having such a useless American President might never happen again. He kept quiet for Trump because he knew – from Trump’s actions – that Trump wouldn’t put up with it. Putin knows that he can walk all over Biden.

Russia, China and American Foreign Policy

China is the biggest threat we face as a nation – a couple people aside from me have started to pick up on that. Part of the catalyst seems to be the discovery that Senator Feinstein employed a Chinese spy for 20 years.

I don’t go for conspiracy theories, but the bottom line is that the only nation that benefits from enmity between the United States and Russia is China. China – which hacks our government and private computer systems on a regular basis. Which has used pirated technology to rapidly catch up with us in advanced military hardware. Which is building bases in the South China Sea. Which claims sovereignty over some small, Japanese islands. Which is building a blue water navy, including a first-class, nuclear powered fleet air arm. Which has pressured Google into making a search engine which suppresses subversive (to China) speech. Which spends vast sums, open and disguised, to lobby the American government. If China wrote the script, nothing would work better for them than the intense national angst over supposed “Russian meddling” in our elections.

To be sure, Putin is acting stupidly in not recognizing that his nation’s hold on Siberia is ultimately dependent upon alliance with us. If, by some means, China can ever neutralize us in world affairs, then Russia will find itself forced to disgorge vast tracts of Asia to China (quite a lot of which was at least theoretically under Chinese rule in the 18th and 19th centuries). If you’re thinking, “Russia has nukes”, well, so does China – and much more powerful and accurate nukes, thanks to us via either Chinese theft of American idiocy (especially during Bill Clinton’s Administration). Will Russia be willing to see Moscow and Saint Petersburg nuked in order to prevent a Chinese army from taking Vladivostok? I doubt it.

In my view, confronting China takes first place in American foreign policy issues – above issues like combating Jihadism, and vastly more important than stopping Putin from annexing areas of the former USSR which are mostly populated by ethnic Russians. To be sure, Russia always has to be confronted: from reading history, that is just how it works. Leave the door open, and they’ll push in. I’d advise Russia that any attempt to annex the Baltic States, invade Poland or push beyond the Donbass in Ukraine would be considered an act of war by us. But I also think we should enter negotiations with the Russians to permanently settle the current issues with internationally recognized boundaries and Russian sovereignty over the territories they currently hold. To give force to our declaration that we’re not kidding about forbidding further Russian expansionism in Europe, I’d be willing to place US forces semi-permanently in Poland, the Baltics and Ukraine.

That done, it would be time to make a deal with Russia regarding holding China back. I doubt we’d get an outright military alliance with them, but we could engage in certain agreements to make sure that China felt unsure if Russia would stay out if we ever got into conflict with China while at the same time letting China know that if they did try an invasion of Siberia, Russia would find a friend in us. The ultimate purpose of US foreign policy, you see, should be the encirclement of China with nations bound to come to each others assistance if China moves in any direction. To this end, we strengthen our alliances with Japan and South Korea and build, as rapidly as possible, full-blown alliances with India and Vietnam. NATO could remain in ghostly existence, but I don’t see NATO ever coming to our aid against either Russia or China, and if we’re allied with Poland, etc, then the powers most concerned with Russia (and most likely to fight alongside us in a war with Russia) are already bound to us.

Most importantly, it is time for a bit of reality to enter into our foreign affairs – reality which has been absent for more than 100 years. There is no love between nations – never has been, never will be. It is all a matter of interests…and the interests of the United States are in direct conflict with the interests of China. I happen to believe that eventually they will strike militarily – they can’t get rich fast enough to satisfy the growing desires of their own people and the whole justification for the Chinese government is, “allow us to be in charge, we’ll make things ever better for you”. Eventually, crunch time will hit when the Chinese government will either have to surrender power due to a financial crisis in China, or they’ll strike out militarily in hopes of cutting the Gordian knot. I do believe, though, that a wise, tough American foreign policy can make it so that China never feels safe enough to attack us…and that means that China as to be brought to a position where war with us means war with everyone around them. Even with their vast manpower, an alliance between the USA, India, Vietnam, Japan and South Korea is too much to handle, especially if we have Russia looming over their norther border at the time China chooses to strike.

Another part of this reality is to hang it up on “Putin is a dictator”. Of course he is – but democracy doesn’t exactly flourish in China, either. In fact, truly free nations are becoming somewhat of a rarity these days. Even in the Western world, in most nations, you have to watch what you say lest the wrath of the government be directed against you. Our primary interest isn’t to defend the ragged end of a dying democracy in France or Germany, but to defend our own freedom. And if defending that freedom means taking our friends (temporarily) where we find them, then so be it. I’m not, you see, particularly keen on seeing America’s youth dying to a defend an European “democracy” which will fine or imprison you for speaking out of turn about Islam. I’m especially uninterested because I know that hardly any European nations will put their blood on the line in a major war. Sending a regiment to Afghanistan is fine for them…especially as they mostly keep out of harms way. But anyone who thinks the Germans or Brits will send an army corps to help us defend Taiwan from Chinese attack has rocks in their head.

Cold calculation is what we need, not sentimental attachment to dead and gone agreements. It is what the Chinese are using against us, and it is the only way we can thwart them.

Russia’s Attack on Britain

You might have heard that Russians used a nerve agent to try to kill a guy in Britain:

British counterterrorism police say a former Russian double agent, whom Russian President Vladimir Putin had vowed to kill, was poisoned by a nerve agent.

The comments came after the British government’s high-level emergency committee known as COBRA was updated Wednesday on a probe into the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter.

“This is being treated as a major incident of involving attempted murder by the administration of a nerve agent,” assistant police commissioner Mark Rowley said. He said father and daughter remain critically ill. Rowley would not identify the exact substance used or how it was delivered.

Police also confirmed Wednesday that one officer who was part of the initial response to the incident was hospitalized in serious condition…

Much heart-ache and hand-wringing is going on over this – people making furious statements about Russia, others pledging support for Britain. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Color me unimpressed.

You see, this, if true (and it looks like it is) is an act of war. This is the kind of thing that you simply don’t let people do in your country – and if they are done by agents of foreign powers, you demand that foreign power surrender the miscreants or you go to war.

War? Yes, war. There’s a reason you go to war – one of the more traditional reasons is that someone has launched an attack on your soil. Using a nerve agent is a rather serious attack. If you are British, you want to make certain that such a thing is never repeated. That anyone contemplating doing such a thing will know it means war with Britain. Thing is, I don’t think there are any British any more. I think they’ve all died off and all we’ve got in Britain is a bunch of people who just happen to be living there. Oh, fine: yell at me about that. Let’s say there still are some – but they probably aren’t north of 20% of the population. I’m sticking with what I said, though, because I’ve yet to see anyone in Britain call for war with Russia over this.

And, yes, the Brits could fight Russia. In fact, Russia is in a seriously bad strategic situation right now. First off, they’ve really got no effective way to strike directly at Britain in a war. Their fleet is a bad joke. Britain could, of course, immediately go into alliance with Ukraine and aid their efforts to recapture the Crimea and the Donbass. Poland would likely lend a hand as they’d be relieved to get the Russians out of the Kaliningrad Oblast. The Baltic States, Finland and Sweden would likely start out strictly neutral, but if things started going bad for Russia, they’d all likely jump in for the kill. Also, Russia’s economy is in poor shape. This wouldn’t be a march on Moscow, but, instead, a campaign to defeat Russia in the periphery and force them to a peace which results in a drop in Russian prestige and an object lesson about not causing offense (think of it as Crimean War Two, as it were). No, the Russians would not use nukes because Britain has nukes, too.

But, nothing…just outrageously outraged words over the outrage. Complete fantasy-land stuff. The stuff of people who just want to live (often on the dole) and never make a sacrifice for anyone or anything. Sure, I’d like the United States to back Britain…but only if there is a Britain to back. Right now, it doesn’t look like there is.

The Real World is Still Out There

A quote from Gary Kasparov in Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must be Stopped, via Ace:

Unfortunately, Putin, like other modern autocrats, had, and still has, an advantage the Soviet leadership could never have dreamed of: deep economic and political engagement with the free world. Decades of trade have created tremendous wealth that dictatorships like Russia and China have used to build sophisticated authoritarian infrastructures inside the country and to apply pressure in foreign policy. The naive idea was that the free world would use economic and social ties to gradually liberalize authoritarian states. in practice, the authoritarian states have abused this access and economic interdependency to spread their corruption and fuel repression at home.

There is a myth out there which asserts that capitalism and free trade will lead to greater global interdependence, more political liberty and less chance of war. I don’t quite know where this idea comes from and I can’t for the life of me figure out how anyone can believe it. There was no more free trade in the world than in late July of 1914, when the whole world crashed into war. The British Empire was the guardian of free trade back then, much as we are today. The economies of France, Russia, Germany and Britain were deeply intertwined. Wealth was accumulating. Germany, especially, was the beneficiary of this. And what did they do with their increasing wealth? Built up the most massive military force in the world and then unleashed it as soon as they thought the time was right (they calculated that with Britain nearly in civil war over Home Rule for Ireland and Russia suffering a renewed wave of pre-revolutionary activity, they could get a smashing victory in just a few weeks). Today it is even worse because with modern propaganda techniques, the Russians and Chinese have an easy way to twist our own domestic political processes in a way which helps them – they can lie to us, as it were, through our own media; lull us to sleep, get us worked up over anything other than what is important (and, of course, the Islamists and their fellow travelers also do this).

This is not an argument against capitalism or free trade – it is just a cautionary tale: don’t trust such things to solve the world’s problems. Right now, Russia and China (and especially China) are using the global economy to build up their military power. Russia is already striking – using their old, old method of eating the artichoke one leaf at a time. Will China strike? I can’t see why they wouldn’t. When China’s government figures the time is right, they’ll strike (and we can actually call their activities in the South China Sea as a preliminary moves).

Let no one ever sell you on the notion that there is a panacea for what ails humanity. We are a Fallen species. We will make the most astounding mistakes. Russia is already making them – by attacking us and the EU, they are alienating the very forces they’ll need if China ever turns its hungry eyes on Siberia. China is also being monumentally stupid because no conceivable action of theirs will secure them the precious talisman of control of the seas – and without massive imports, China’s economy grinds to a halt (though making a grab at Siberia would relieve some of these economic pressures on China).

Of course, it doesn’t help the situation at all that we’re being dumber than anyone. Under Obama, we’re signalling to the whole world that we won’t fight. That we are not only a sleeping giant, but a cowardly giant, as well. A bit of vigorous response now and over the next five years and we can at least give massive doubts to Russia, China and the other bad actors in the world that we’re serious (this would mostly involve massive increases in our Navy and Air Force). At long as Obama is in office, we won’t do this – we can only hope the next President will.

Out and About on a Sunday

A few recent polls show Trump fading in Iowa and Carson surging – which makes sense just on the fact that Carson is a much better fit than Trump for the highly socially conservative Iowa GOP. Be that as it may, Trump is for real. I thought he was a joke candidate. Then I thought he was a candidate surging because of the fury the GOP base has against the GOP establishment. But now it is different – and watching Trump on the trail reveals a man who is a quick learner. He still has massive obstacles to overcome to attain the nomination, but he’s starting to look like a political tsunami…something akin to the way Andrew Jackson came out of nowhere to completely overturn the political establishment in 1828 (and he’s also quite a lot like Jackson – supremely self-confident and determined to have his way, without too much concern about the legal and social niceties). In all the good and bad you can have in a President, the best good is a quick learner…because there is always a learning curve and the best pick it up fast (Obama, like Carter, has not learned a thing – likely because, also like Carter, he doesn’t think he has anything to learn). It remains to be seen if he can navigate his way to the nomination and then to the White House…if he does, the crucial aspect of whether he’ll be a good President is that ability to learn…and if he’s really smart, he’ll learn that the only way an Executive gets the government to do anything is to ceaselessly pester it with Presidential directives (Churchill was one of the few who knew this – and all his “pray give me the facts on one sheet of paper” and “action this day” memos were his way of just giving the bureaucracy no rest until they darned will did what he wanted them to do). The bottom line here is that if the establishment or even insurgents like Cruz want to beat Trump, then they’re going to have to out-campaign him. I don’t think he’ll implode for our entertainment at this point.

The Japanese have a hotel staffed by robots. A look at the future, folks – we’re not replicating ourselves and so we’re building a completely artificial world. Hopefully, this is only a temporary thing and we’ll snap out of it soon.

Climate alarmism – it is designed to scare you into compliance.

Why would Orthodox Russia ally with Islamist Iran? Because they both need oil to be north of $100 a barrel. Please note that China would not be pleased with oil that pricey – if we had anyone in DC with any diplomatic ability, at all, we’d be making hay with this situation. Bismarck said that success comes with hearing the hoof beats of history and grabbing hold of the tail as it goes by…unfortunately, our foreign policy is run by faculty lounge pinheads.

Tony Blair, in what I suspect is an attempt to placate the left in a bid to save Labour from a drubbing next election due to their kook-left party leader, has apologized for the Iraq war.

The prospect of Ryan becoming Speaker is actually a signal that the GOP is uniting. Don’t pop too many bottles of champagne, folks, but it is the way it is working. I see it as this: the TEA Party and the Establishment are getting on the same team. This means we’ll have to put up with some RINOism, and they’ll have to put up with some actual conservatism. This is the way it works, folks – always has and always will. Half a loaf is better than none.

Out and About on a Sunday

Sources say female troops were given special treatment to pass Ranger School. The thing is no enemy of the United States is going to cut us any slack. Any woman who wants to be in a combat unit should have to meet the exact same standards as the men – and no lowering of standards. In fact, I’d like to see the standards raised for all military services – perhaps even a smaller overall Army and Marines, but each soldier and Marine trained up to Special Forces quality. 250,000 such soldiers and Marines could make mincemeat of most global military forces.

Bill Clinton has identified the culprit in the Hillary e mail scandal: the Republicans.

Trump is claiming that his GOP rivals want to start World War Three over Syria. This is an exaggeration, of course – but that is Trump in a nutshell. But it must be kept in mind that unless we decide we want to back the Assad regime (and there is a case to be made for this – I’d set our price at the removal of Hezbollah from Lebanon), there is a risk of war with Iran and Russia, who are backing Assad (so, if we decide to fight Assad, they might decide to fight us). Careful thought is necessary in the Syrian mine field.

Hey, fellow Conservatives, just because it is a defense program doesn’t mean it isn’t a boondoggle. I’m pretty sure that about 1 in 3 dollars spent by Uncle Sam is waste, fraud or abuse. And that goes for military spending, as well. British Admiral Jacky Fisher in the early 20th century managed to reduce Naval spending while also providing Britain with a vastly more powerful Navy – big spending doesn’t necessarily translate into a strong military. I bet we can actually cut defense spending and get a more powerful military – and as we set about trying to get rid of regressive, anti-human social spending, we’ll need to find some military cuts so that our proposed reforms don’t come out as “cut welfare and spend on military”. Politics is an art – and you’ve got to play the game to win.

Corporations are selling each other corporate bonds in order to buy back their own stocks. I’m sure this will end well…

A lot of my fellow conservatives have taken strong issue with some statements by Pope Francis. Well, here’s something he said which will make you happy:

In this place which is symbolic of the American way, I would like to reflect with you on the right to religious freedom. It is a fundamental right which shapes the way we interact socially and personally with our neighbors whose religious views differ from our own. Religious freedom certainly means the right to worship God, individually and in community, as our consciences dictate. But religious liberty, by its nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families.

In other words, liberals, religious liberty means we’re allowed to act upon our religious beliefs even in the public square.

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?