• Leading to War in Ukraine?

    March 11, 2022

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Biden, Democracy

    The whole idea of boycotting Russian vodka reminds too much of “freedom fries” from Gulf War II. It seems stupid and silly until you realize we are stupid and silly and this is how we are led to war.

    The tsunami of pro-Ukrainian propaganda is only matched by its transparency. The Ghost of Kiev was crafted out of an aircraft computer game. The Ukrainians on that island who would rather die than surrender surrendered. The supermodels joining the army are holding toy rifles. Zelensky is Where’s Waldo, popping up in undated video with unidentifiable backgrounds, dressed in military cosplay reminiscent of George W. Bush in his flight suit. The simplistic narrative is the same simplistic narrative: plucky freedom fighters against some evil dictator. It’s the same story of the resistance fighters in Syria against Assad, the Kurds against ISIS, the Northern Resistance, the Sunnis who joined our side, the Taliban who Ronald Reagan called the equivalent of our Founding Fathers for their fight against the Red Army.

    Putin now is the most evil man on earth, unhinged, mentally unwell. Saddam once was, Assad used to be, and Quaddafi was to the point where America cheered as he was sodomized with a knife on TV.  Putin is so unstable we don’t know what he’ll do. Familiar voices are raised: The Brookings Institution’s Ben Wittes demands: “Regime change: Russia.” The Council on Foreign Relations’ Richard Haass roared that “the conversation has shifted to include the possibility of desired regime change in Russia.” One headline wishfully notes “knocking Putin’s teams off the sports stage leaves him exposed to his own people.” No one seems to recall, however, our last attempt at regime change in Russia is what put Putin into power in the first place.

    Putin’s goals have gone in a matter of days from sorting out Cold War borders to “the restoration of a triumphalist, imperialistic Russian identity, or another bloodstained nationalistic surge to cover for the criminality of his regime, or whether he just has come egotistically unmoored.” One former Iraqi War cheerleader tells us Ukraine, the “front line between democracy and autocracy, is a core interest of the United States… Ukraine is where the battle for democracy’s survival is most urgent. ”

    Others are more direct. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Senator Roger Wicker, and Zelensky demand a no-fly zone. They have friends; a poll as the invasion began found “52 percent of Americans see the conflict between Russia and Ukraine as a critical threat to US vital interests” with almost no partisan division. No polling on what those vital interests might be. Rep. Eric Swalwell and Rep. Ruben Gallego want all Russians deported from the US. As if preparing for war, the U.S. has already closed its embassies in Ukraine and Belarus, and placed Embassy Moscow on “Authorized Departure” status for non-emergency staff and family members. On the other end of the government, the CIA is training Ukrainians for an insurgency. You know, like with the mujahedeen in Afghanistan years ago. Lawmakers at a congressional hearing discussed having American intelligence provide more direct assistance to Ukraine, including ground operatives.

    No dissent is allowed. You are either “with us or against us.” The homogeneity of our social and MSM is terrifying. Censorship is in full fury; the fact checkers are hands off even the most outrageous claims (the Ukrainians have trained cats to spot Russian laser sights) and Twitter calls out Russian sources but not pro-Ukrainian ones. Facebook and YouTube post Ukrainian propaganda made in violation of the Geneva Convention. Google News will not include anything from Russian state media. The NYT is running anonymously-sourced tales claiming the Russians are deserting or sabotaging their own vehicles. Rolling Stone is naming “the American right-wingers covering for Putin as Russia invades Ukraine,” currently Tucker Carlson, Alex Jones, J.D. Vance, and Tulsi Gabbard. The worst of all of course is Trump, whom Liz Cheney claims “aids our enemies” and whose “interests don’t seem to align with the interests of the United States.” When he proposed Congress vote on military escalations by the US in Ukraine, Senator Mike Lee was quickly called “Moscow Mike.”

    If all that isn’t laying the ground work for a fight, it has been an awful lot of work for nothing.

    We’ve been here before when everything was the same but not the same. Following Putin’s 2014 seizure of Crimea, and feints toward Ukraine, then-President Barack Obama said Ukraine is a core Russian interest but not an American one, so Russia will always be able to maintain escalatory dominance there. “The fact is that Ukraine, which is a non-NATO country, is going to be vulnerable to military domination by Russia no matter what we do.” Obama showed the same realism in 2013 when in the face of war-mongering over Assad “gassing his own people in Syria” he backed away from widening the war (if only Obama had been equally pragmatic over Libya.)

    But Biden is not Obama. Biden, due to age and background, is not a strong man. Unlike Obama, he does not see himself awash in the stream of history, but more as a caretaker until the Democratic Party can regroup, the Gerald Ford of his era. Biden is a weak man who will come under increasing pressure to “do something” as it becomes apparent the newest layer of sanctions against Russia accomplishes as little as the last layer of sanctions. The previous sanctions, among other things, did not stop Putin from invading Ukraine.

    But more than anything else, Joe Biden is a Cold Warrior, burdened fully with a world view Obama was not. That world view says the role of the United States is to create a global system and enforce its rules. We can invade nations that did not attack us and demand regime change but you cannot. We decide which nations have nuclear weapons and which can not. We can walk our NATO-alliance right to your border but you cannot do the same with yours. We decide what systems control international commerce and who can participate in them. It is right and just for us to talk about crippling an economy, but not you. It was all best expressed by Condoleezza Rice, who commented with a straight face on Putin’s invasion of Ukraine “When you invade a sovereign nation, that is a war crime.”

    This world view says the United States can empower former Soviet satellites and grow American influence by expanding NATO eastward (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, and Romania formally joined the alliance, East Germany by default) and to do this while taking the nuclear weapons away from those states so that none of them would become a threat or rival in Europe. It was American policy to have weak but not too weak states between Russia and the “good” part of Europe, dependent on America for defense.

    As the Soviet Union collapsed, borders were redrawn to match the West’s needs (the same mistake was made earlier by the British post-WWI in the Middle East.) The reality of 2022 is Putin is seeking to redraw borders. Ukraine as a possible NATO member is a threat to Putin and he is now taking care of that. Americans live in a country that has no border threats and fails to understand the mindset time after time; imagine Mexico joining the Warsaw Pact in 1970.

    We were warned. After the Senate ratified NATO expansion in 1998 despite the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ambassador George Kennan stated “I think it is the beginning of a new cold war. I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely. I think it is a tragic mistake. No one was threatening anybody else. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way.”

    That’s the circa-1998 trap Joe Biden is being lured back into. Only months after the America collapse and retreat from Afghanistan, Biden learned nothing. Our defeat did not teach us humility and restraint. It did not school us that America can no longer dictate global rules, sitting as judge while an ally invades a neighbor and then turning to hurl lightening bolts when an enemy invades one. It did not budge us a hair away from the destructive moral certainty that fuels our foreign policy. All that’s missing now is for someone to claim Russia and China are a new Axis of Evil.

    Putin invaded Ukraine because, unlike Biden, he understands the new, new world order has different rules. Joe Biden, not always a quick study, has two choices. He can give in to the voices for war and try and prop up the myth of World’s Policemen for another round, or he can understand the consistent failures of American crusades and the global Pax Americana since WWII, especially those in the Middle East of the past two decades, plus the rise of multipolar economic powers to include China, have changed the rules. Negotiation is no longer appeasement. We aren’t in control anymore, and despite Iraq and Afghanistan, Biden may seek another bloody confirmation of that. Or he can understand America’s core interests are not in Ukraine and keep the peace.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “Putin invaded Ukraine because, unlike Biden, he understands the new, new world order has different rules.”

      Not really so new. Putin is following the old Bush Rules of War of Choice. Should work out well for him too.

      03/11/22 9:15 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      We seem destined as a species for very grim times……….again! Males rutting and strutting. How to get past that dynamic? I’m clueless. Maybe the gods are just bored and want to reset the board.

      03/12/22 9:40 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Raz-Putin justifying his war crimes claiming Ukraine has WMD bioweapon labs is BUSH league. Does he want to repeat the Bush mistakes in Iraq?

      Pity the poor Russian troops who will face their fate patrolling Ukraine. The difference is the explosive devices in Ukraine won’t be hidden in the roads but raining on them in drones.

      03/13/22 2:32 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Not to be accused of plagiarizing the illegal Bush Iraq War playbook. Raz-Putin has named his illegal war SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION UKRAINE FREEDOM. It’s bad enough to be branded a war criminal…

      03/13/22 4:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “We aren’t in control anymore, and despite Iraq and Afghanistan, Biden may seek another bloody confirmation of that. Or he can understand America’s core interests are not in Ukraine and keep the peace.”

      Poor Peter still thinks in the past. We aren’t in control. Countries don’t call the shots. Rich corporations do, and they don’t appreciate what political stooges like Putin are doing to their business.

      Speaking of stooges, got to laugh at those fucking Chinese politicos spreading lies about Ukraine biowarfare when these idiots almost destroyed the world economy because they live like pigs.

      So take a snooze in the Honolulu sun. The Rich are in control, putting the Russkie economy in bankruptcy. They control the horizontal and the vertical. Putin will be in the twilight zone before he knows it.

      03/13/22 7:50 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer: Maybe…..to all of the above but Putin is a wily guy. He may even have a private nuclear submarine which can sail world’s seas for years without having to resurface except for supplies on remote islands.

      03/14/22 9:48 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      But don’t feel too bad for the Rich, who made lots of money in oil call option futures. Now they are making money in Put-in option futures—-oil dropped 8% to hit a low of $99.76 a barrel.

      “That means oil has lost almost roughly quarter of its value since touching a near 14-year high of $130.50 a barrel on March 6,” CNN’s Matt Egan noted.

      Fox Business News blames Biden.

      03/14/22 12:07 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer- Putin hopefully will be in THE OUTER LIMITS not the TWILIGHT ZONE after enough wealthy Russians consider him a liability instead of an asset. That could occur but is unlikely. Putin has nukes and bioweapons. Ukraine’s leader is no match for Putin who still has the Russian Army. A Russian Army revolt seems even more unlikely than Putin’s buddies turning on him. But! We can hope.

      03/14/22 12:22 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Don’t forget the rich arms dealers who stand to make a killing now that NATO has been given new life out of Putin’s dead brain actions.

      Or maybe Putin was just following their orders…

      03/14/22 12:35 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Trump and Putin have much in common: pending bankruptcy.

      The Soviets went broke with uncontrolled military spending. How long do you think Putin can afford to spend his military budget to control Ukraine? Give it six months.

      The guy walked into another quagmire in Ukraine. This time the dumbass politicos in Washington should stay the fuck out.

      03/14/22 1:46 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Putin: Stop defending yourselves or I will kill every last motherfucking one of you(he plagiarized this line from “Pulp Fiction.”)

      The guy reportedly is so gay for John Travolta.

      03/14/22 10:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Guess which oligarchs are getting RICH playing the oil markets?

      Now it is in a BEAR market. Those Russkies have insider info with razPutin.

      03/15/22 2:06 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Bauer: PVB is absolutely certain an invasion by China of Taiwan is beyond unlikely. Many pundits express a completely contrary opinion.
      It seems that humans are quite capable of illogical and monstrous thinking, behavior and decisions. Ruefully tragic and lethal consequences for fellow humans have absolutely no bearing upon the thinking of a Putin, Bush, Clinton, Obama, Kissinger, Stalin, Hitler etc etc etc. We’re barely worth a discernible shrug on the expendability graph Are they aberrations? Maybe not.

      03/16/22 4:48 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      1. China won’t do anything where there is no profit in it. It doesn’t need Taiwan. When you control the world economy game you don’t put all your chips in one hand.

      2. Putin thinks this is his moment to kill NATO. Putin made a BIG mistake thinking Trump’s isolationist talk represented the general US consensus. Putin’s intelligence people had the same success in dissuading his stupid attack as the US intelligence people advising Trump.

      3. Maybe Trump’s stupidity is contagious. Maybe these two shared a bed in the Moscow hotel.

      03/16/22 5:11 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      All the major global powers never anticipated Zelensky as a closeted megalomaniac. That sure upset their plans for joint exploitation.

      03/16/22 6:42 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      Yes, the world powers should tremble at this Nazi guy. People underestimated the little mustache guy too. No doubt Mr. Z will soon be attacking Putin Land, launching World War Z. This Zombie guy must be stopped, and Donnie Bonespurs is just the guy to save Putin before we are all Walking Dead.

      03/17/22 10:23 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Speaking of weak minds, Donnie Bonespurs aka the Orange Clown is sounding awfully like Neville Chamberlain:

      “I’m surprised — I’m surprised. I thought Putin, my lord and savior, was negotiating when he sent his troops to the border. I thought he was negotiating. I thought it was a tough way to negotiate but a smart way to negotiate. I figured he was going to make a good deal like everybody else does with the United States and the other people they tend to deal with — you know, like every trade deal. We’ve never made a good trade deal until I came along. And then he went in — and I think he’s changed. I think he’s changed. It’s a very sad thing for the world. He’s very much changed.”

      BUT THE ORANGE CLOWN hasn’t changed at all.

      03/17/22 3:52 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      While many laugh at the “Lizard People Global Conspiracy”, no one can deny razPutin wouldn’t need any makeup if they made the movie.

      03/18/22 1:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      National socialist. That does describe razPutin, nicht wahr?

      03/18/22 4:47 PM | Comment Link

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