Patterico's Pontifications

10/31/2022

Constitutional Vanguard: Trump, Berlusconi, and Roger Waters Meet on the Horseshoe

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am



It’s just a short little 7,000 word newsletter about extremists on both sides who threaten to de-prioritize aid to Ukraine.

Excerpt:

But if you truly want to revel in Waters’s ignorance, I suggest you fast-forward to around 43:00 in the Rogan podcast, where Waters quotes Putin saying he will negotiate, but that (this is Waters’s quote paraphrasing Putin) “the will of the people in the Donetsk, Lubansk [sic], Keershun [sic], and whatever the one is whose name I can’t remember, is inviolate. That is not up for discussion.” Then Waters and Rogan shake their heads sadly at the awfulness (in their view) of Zelensky’s response, which is to say he will not negotiate with Russia until Putin is gone. How awful! they both agree.

Sigh. So: let’s talk about “the will of the people” in the provinces so mangled by Waters in that statement. The only one he got right, by the way, was Donetsk. When he says Lubansk, he means Luhansk. When he says “Keershun,” he is referring to Kherson, which most people pronounce “Her-SAHN” or perhaps “Kher-SAHN” but which nobody pronounces as “Keershun” except idiots like Waters. Finally, the province whose name Waters can’t remember is Zaporizhzhia. They have a nuclear power plant there.

As an aside: it is right to pick on Waters for his mangling of the pronunciation of Ukraine oblasts (provinces)? Yes: but only because Waters is setting himself up as a sort of “expert” on the topic, who has actually gotten the attention of Zelensky’s wife and hopes to get the attention of Putin himself.

In the portion for paid subscribers, I take on some of the typical arguments I hear in favor of Putin’s position on the Ukraine conflict. I rely heavily on Timothy Snyder’s recent podcast with Sam Harris:

Snyder observes that sometimes, when you decide to invade another country, that country decides to resist. Maybe the country cares more about their own sovereignty than you, the invader, care about taking them over. (As I have argued before, citing Leo Tolstoy, the “spirit of the army” is a very important x factor in military calculations.) If that happens and you’re the invader, well, it sucks to be you. (As my daughter likes to say: “Sucks to suck.”) But Mr. Putin: your miscalculation in invading the wrong country doesn’t mean you need an off-ramp. It doesn’t mean the world needs to give you a participation trophy. Russia has experience with losing wars. Ted Cruz, who once went gaga at Russian army propaganda, might not realize it, but the Russian military is not invincible. Russia has lost wars before. They lost in Afghanistan. They lost the first Chechen war. All they have to do is what any great power does when it loses a war:—and what Russia had done when it has lost in the past—pretend it won.

We need to stop wringing our hands here. What we have here is simple: a fascist state invaded a democracy. This breaks the rules of the world.

If you want to take issue with me on this, I really suggest you read the whole thing. If you’re not a paid subscriber, you can try a seven-day trial and sample it. What I ask you not to do is to argue with me without having read the arguments that I spent a great deal of time putting together. Thanks in advance.

175 Responses to “Constitutional Vanguard: Trump, Berlusconi, and Roger Waters Meet on the Horseshoe”

  1. I hope this post is not entirely lost in the discussion about the race admissions argument. I guess I picked a rotten day to publish a long newsletter about something else!

    Patterico (4d51b2)

  2. Rock stars! Isn’t there anything that they don’t know?

    I’m a long-time fan of Roger Waters’ guitar-tickling, from composition to execution, but in all that time I have never viewed him all that much differently than [what Nury Martinez called Mike Bonin] as a person.

    nk (bb1548)

  3. Russia lost against Japan circa 1900, they lost big time at the start of WWI (lost their entire country to the rabble, matter of fact), they won in WWII, with our help on the other front (and against Japan AFTER we nuked them). They lost one proxy war (Korea) and won one (Vietnam). Then Afghanistan.

    So, Russia has lots of experience in losing. 2-4 by my count.

    Kevin M (e27d0e)

  4. Russia has lost wars before. They lost in Afghanistan. They lost the first Chechen war.

    Patterico and Kevin M are right: It’s not just that Russia has lost wars, Russia damn well never wins wars. Kevin M rightly mentions the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, but Russia also got its rear-end kicked by Finland in 1918 and Poland in 1920. And of course their “victory” in World War II came at the expense of 27 million dead, military and civilian, from a pre-war population of 195 million.

    JVW (667e84)

  5. Russia lost against Japan circa 1900,

    the war was 1905 (actualkly started 1904)

    United States president theordire Roosevelt won the Nobel Peae Prize for mediating between Russia and Japan.

    https://history.state.gov/milestones/1899-1913/portsmouth-treaty

    The Treaty of Portsmouth formally ended the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05. The negotiations took place in August in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and were brokered in part by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. The final agreement was signed in September of 1905, and it affirmed the Japanese presence in south Manchuria and Korea and ceded the southern half of the island of Sakhalin to Japan.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  6. The horseshoe thing can’t be emphasized enough. It’s generally underappreciated and usually outright denied by the extremists from both sides that it brings together.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  7. Six words:

    Ukraine is not an American problem.

    DCSCA (e3588c)

  8. Three words:

    Putin loves DCSCA.

    norcal (a1f318)

  9. @8. And just how do you know Putin is gay?!

    … and Lindsay smiled.

    DCSCA (aebdf9)

  10. It’s a funny-shaped elongated horseshoe, too, because both ends are close and near touching, while both left and right are far distant from the center.
    The piece is relevant because, eight years ago, I heard the same tripe from the far left that I’m hearing from the far right today.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  11. “When bums collide”- offstage from Caesars Palace:

    President Joe Biden Lost His Temper & Raised His Voice When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Requested More Military Aid

    ‘President Joe Biden reportedly lost his temper earlier this year when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked for more than $1 billion in military assistance, RadarOnline.com has learned. The surprising exchange reportedly took place in June during a phone call between the two leaders. Although Biden previously signed off on a $1 billion package to help Ukraine in its war against Russia, Zelenskyy allegedly pressed the president to provide more support – something Biden did not take kindly.

    As a result, President Biden was forced to raise his voice and remind the Ukrainian leader that the United States and the American people were doing all they could to help him in his country’s fight against Russia. According to the Post, four people familiar with the phone call confirmed the conversation grew heated – although another source within the Biden Administration disputed claims their conversation grew testy. Rather than raise his voice and yell at Zelenskyy for being ungrateful for the $1 billion in aid, Biden reportedly directed the Ukrainian leader to request more support via the appropriate military channels.’ – RadarOnline.com

    “Extortion is my business.” – Ernst Stavro Blofeld [Donald Pleasence] ‘You Only Live Twice’ 1967

    DCSCA (aebdf9)

  12. Six words:

    Ukraine is not an American problem.

    1. What do you mean by “an American problem”? Do you mean a) it is not a problem we caused? b) it is not a problem we should take any action regarding? c) something else?

    2. (Skip this question if you went with b.) Granting you this assertion for the sake of argument, that it is not an “American problem” however you define that, does that by definition mean we should take no action regarding it?

    3. What would it take for it to become “an American problem” under your definition?

    4. Is Taiwan an “American problem” under your definition?

    5. Were the Nazis an “American problem”?

    Patterico (688a60)

  13. The response to Patterico is going be odd, won’t it?

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  14. These are not gotcha questions. I’m trying to figure out the principle here.

    Patterico (688a60)

  15. Oh, I didn’t think otherwise. It’s how I feel: we all should think about our ethos and center; what would be permissible and what we could not abide. It’s really a challenge, and many people will just wriggle away…since reacting or trying to “own” another side is easier.

    Simon Jester (710d16)

  16. Kitty Genovese was not a New Yorker problem.

    Kevin M (d99d3c)

  17. Taiwan’s state of the art chip fabs are strategically important to the US

    Ukraine has nothing comparable as a strategic interest, not even remotely close

    The Nazis conquered Poland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg in the span on nine months, and was a valid threat against Britain. In nine months, Putin hasn’t captured Kiev and isn’t close. The comparison has no tread left on it.

    JF (cb4f79)

  18. But Charles Whitman was a Texan problem. It’s all how you look at things.

    Kevin M (c0d188)

  19. @17: The difference then and now was that then the US didn’t get involved until after the Nazis conquered those things and now we’ve decided we won;t make that horrific mistake again.

    Kevin M (ba5ff0)

  20. In nine months, Putin hasn’t captured Kiev and isn’t close. The comparison has no tread left on it.

    Your rebuttal is still in the rubber tree. Putin opened the war with an attempted blitzkrieg on Kiev, and got his Spetsnaz handed to him. So he fell back on a campaign of attrition and terror.

    Hitler found out that 1,200 miles across the steppes, with a mainly horse-drawn army, through Russian winters, was not the same as bypassing the Maginot Line.

    Borscht and sauerkraut.

    nk (7d9380)

  21. @12. My POV has been fairly consistent on this issue. Corrupt Ukraine is not an American problem to meddle in to begin with— no American interests are at stake; it is not Taiwan.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_Ukraine

    And there’s this: ‘Transparency International, an anti-corruption watchdog, gave Ukraine a 32 out of a possible 100 points on its Corruption Perceptions Index and ranked it 122nd out of 180 countries for 2021, lower than any NATO nation. The lowest current NATO member in the rankings is Turkey, given a 38, while Russia was graded at a 29.’ – https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/ukraine-wanted-to-join-natos-alliance-for-years-what-stopped-it/

    This is the third significant kinetic conflict on the European continent in 115 years and the responsibility of the individual nations of wealthy, modern Europe- with their strong militaries, national healthcare systems, efficient infrastructure and vibrant, post-WW2 economies– insured under the collective defensive protection of NATO no less- to bear the burden of managing a regional conflict amongst the two corrupt neighbors they’re connected to on their continent. A connection made by deliberate policy choices of European leaders to meet immediate energy needs; by general regional commerce – and by basic geography. Policy choices of dependence, particularly regarding energy, they were warned were ill-conceived.

    And it certainly is not one to escalate into an atomic confrontation w/flag waving bluster by diversional theatrics from ideological do-gooders and TeeVee talking heads in the United States; 60 years ago was a frightening, sobering lesson lost on many younger politicos today not alive at the time. De-escalation and disengagement is their path to peace; the solution is political, not military. And one for Corrupt Ukraine and Corrupt Russia to work out for themselves. Which it inevitably will.

    But who are presently being burdened w/’giving’ borrowed billions as freebees to one of the most corrupt countries in Eastern Europe, aside from, corrupt Russia itself: the American taxpayers and their children. An added burden gladly lent from the coffers of the PRC securing their regime only more dependence and control over future U.S. actions. All the more reason it is the responsibility of wealthy, modern Europe to bear the financial burden of this- if they choose- not the American taxpayer. Zelinskyy is not the propped up Shah of Iran nor a Saudi king, where U.S. and allied oil interests were a rational motivator. And yes, Taiwan is under threat and U.S. interests there are certainly a concern. [My own neighbor has practiced war gaming during 6-month deployments on Palau over conflict scenarios w/China over Taiwan. The results did not produce promising outcomes for the United States at present. Basic logistics and geography are not in America’s favor.]

    There are a plethora of ongoing conflicts around the world out of the camera eye in which America avoids involvement; it’s a long list:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts

    If you are passionate about the bombardment of images from Ukraine– and obviously the televised destruction plays on the emotions, just as the images from the Vietnam War did on the American public half a century ago– cajole Congress to peddle Ukrainian Freedom Fighter War Bonds to raise the billions in the private sector [and likely could from corporate interests – which Yale updates daily- that want to get back to business there]- but adding to the U.S. debt ‘gifting’ corrupt Ukraine [that literally bites the hands ‘freely’ feeding it- as Starlink provider Elon Musk can attest] w/borrowed billions and depleting U.S. hardware inventories [after abandoning billions of dollars worth in Afghanistan just last year] even as America’s own infrastructure crumbles and Floria lay in weathered ruins- is foolish policy– and certainly not a ‘fiscally conservative’ one to pursue. Especially when American interests are most directly threatened elsewhere.

    The ‘Nazi’ pitch is a bit emotional as well. This is not 1938 Europe nor a ‘peace in our time’ situation. There was no NATO in Chamberlain’s time; a defensive alliance which keeps the peace for the member states in our time. None have been attacked and as such, the member states have rattle swords accordingly [at great expense.] 1938 Europe was an era where the nation state combatants of WW1 were still reeling from the devastating loss of life– which hollowed out whole generations of young men– of lingering damage to the infrastructure of their time and the economic wreckage from same along with the clinging tendril of the Great Depression. Putin is no Hitler; he fancies himself more a ‘Peter the Great’ and has made no secret of his desire to return Russia to the Soviet glory days. Won’t happen, of course- too much has changed. He will not attack a NATO member state as Article 5 kicks in; nor will he use nukes- as Chernobyl is literally a dead zone on his doorstep. And Russian nuclear use policy is part of their general defense posture as is – their ‘NATO’ as it were- now that the ‘buffer states’ are gone. It differs from the U.S. policy nuclear policy of deterrence. And Russia has been paranoid about threats long before Putin’s time. They see threats at every point of the compass and from over the poles. In conversation, a Russian will remind an American of the U.S. invasion of their country in 1918 and of course, the Nazi invasion was venomously, as 1945 Berliners can attest- and the Russian monument to their 25 million WW2 dead memorialized by the Kremlin Wall. They watched their skies penetrated by U.S. spy planes and finally shot one down, the denial of which was a major international embarrassment for Eisenhower.

    This is a ‘turf war’ between Bugs Moran and Al Capone– with the U.S. Treasury Department providing the tommy guns. It’s nuts. Revisit how similar crises were resolved; de-escalation w/a political solution- be it a DMZ or a divided country w/a wall. The Ukraine/Russian conflict will end w/a partition of some sort– and a guarantee from NATO of no membership for Ukraine. Nobody wins- and some get something- particularly the businesses and industries in Europe which will move back in to rebuild and profit off it. It’s just not an American problem. Much easier for U.S. politicians to dictate how to fix other folks problems- non-citizens; addressing the problems at home- for U.S. citizens- are much harder for the current crop of politicians. But war is always good business– for international firms– and their European subsidiaries.

    DCSCA (75c1ad)

  22. ^ the Nazi invasion was venomously rebuffed, as 1945 Berliners can attest-

    DCSCA (75c1ad)

  23. “Taiwan’s state of the art chip fabs are strategically important to the US”

    And how exactly do the chip fabs survive a coordinated Chinese attack? The likely outcome is that the fabs are destroyed.

    But step back and ask yourself, is this what the Chinese want? If these facilities are rendered inoperable for a significant time (or forever), the impact on global trade is immense….which means the impact on China too. Does China truly benefit from global uncertainty? I don’t think so.

    If you think, well the Chinese will try and take the facilities and then hold the world hostage to their demands for high-end chips. This presupposes that a defeated Taiwan would not scuttle teh facilities out of sheer spite.

    So, I see a Taiwan concern but no strategic urgency for China to disrupt the world markets to flex its muscles. It’s just not in their long term interest and not in their long-term patient approach at building dependency. Could Xi make a rash move? Certainly, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    AJ_Liberty (15d88c)

  24. Putin is an American problem, therefore an unconquered Ukraine is in our national interest. As I recall, it was Putin who launched “sweeping and systematic” cyber-propaganda attacks on America.
    Also, Putin may well have pissed on the Budapest Memorandum, but we’re also a signatory to that deal and we gave the Ukrainian nation security assurances.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  25. @24. Putin is an American problem, therefore an unconquered Ukraine is in our national interest.

    Rubbish. No. Nyet. Nein. Putin is a RUSSIAN problem. And it’s a safe bet the Russians will manage Putin the same way they managed Khrushchev in the humiliating wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis. A crisis he created. This is the problem with meddlesome armchair American ideologues hellbent of messing with other people’s problems rather than facing and managing our own issues.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. U.S. military conducting onsite weapons inspections in Ukraine

    A small number of U.S. military forces inside Ukraine have recently begun doing onsite inspections to ensure that Ukrainian troops are properly accounting for the Western-provided weapons they receive, a senior U.S. defense official told Pentagon reporters Monday.

    The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to provide a military update, would not say where the inspections are taking place or how close to the battlefronts the U.S. troops are getting. The official said U.S. personnel can’t do inspections “close to the front lines,” but said they are going where security conditions allow.

    https://www.defensenews.com/flashpoints/ukraine/2022/10/31/us-military-conducting-onsite-weapons-inspections-in-ukraine/

    And what constitutes a small number in harms way to the Pentagon? 50, 500, 1,000? And who authorized this as the way to do it?? No specifics, of course. Echoes of ‘advisors’ in Vietnam.

    Told ‘ya.

    Say hello to ‘mission creep.’ And when any get injured, killed or captured?? The Peter Principle at work: this is what happens when a senator plays at being POTUS.

    ______

    Report: US Special Operations Forces Are on the Ground in Ukraine

    US special operations forces are on the ground in Ukraine as part of a broad covert operation that includes CIA personnel, The Intercept reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed US intelligence and military officials. The report said that the US withdrew its CIA and special operations assets from Ukraine shortly before Russia’s invasion, although one US official said the CIA “never completely left.”

    The CIA initially predicted that Kyiv would fall quickly to Russia, but after it became clear that wouldn’t happen, the Biden administration sent its covert assets back into Ukraine. The report said that US clandestine operations inside Ukraine “are now far more extensive than they were early in the war, when US intelligence officials were fearful that Russia would steamroll over the Ukrainian army.”

    Several current and former intelligence officials said that there “is a much larger presence of both CIA and US special operations personnel and resources in Ukraine than there were at the time of the Russian invasion in February.” Back in June, The New York Times reported that there was a CIA presence in Ukraine, but it made no mention of US special operations forces. The Times report did say that several US allies have special operations troops in Ukraine, including Britain, France, Canada, and Lithuania.’ – https://scheerpost.com/2022/10/07/report-us-special-operations-forces-are-on-the-ground-in-ukraine

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  27. My POV has been fairly consistent on ANY issue.

    FIFY, DCSCA. You have never stopped repeating any meme that you think of. On and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and ….

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  28. @27. This from a fella who talks of using nukes in Europe and coddles The Big Dick as a hero. Translation- you have no valid argument nor substantive POV on the issue.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  29. Even his rebuttals are tediously repeated.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  30. @29. Yet true.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  31. I am afraid I would have to work too hard to see how your long comment answers my questions, DCSCA. Could you simplify it for me and give me a point by point summary, quoting each of my questions and giving your most direct answer? I see some of your answers there (Taiwan is different, e.g.) but it would help me engage for you to provide the clearest possible answers to each of my questions in turn.

    Patterico (8f41b2)

  32. My apologies if that means some repetition but it would help me learn and understand your point of view better.

    Patterico (8f41b2)

  33. @31. My comment covers my POV pretty well. IMO, it’s just not an American problem.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  34. @32. It’s essentially a problem for wealthy, modern Europe to manage, P, IMO. And the troublesome aspect of it from the U.S. side is how easily- and quickly- our politicians rush to instruct other nations how to manage their affairs whilst letting our own problems fester. My comment essentially covers my POV- albeit one that is in the minority on this forum; but clearly rightly- and responsibly- coming into question, given McCarthy’s comments and others questing the rationale. Case in point- the U.S. was willing to give/sell Ukraine the Iron Dome defensive technology but because of the partnership in development w/t Israelis, the Israeli government literally ‘shot it down’- fearing issues w/their own regional issues w/Russia over Syria. The throwaway go-to line is, ‘American isn’t the world’s policeman’ but it’s essentially a matter of fact; it is not. It’s less an issue of principles and more a matter of cold hard pragmatism. There are no U.S. interests in Ukraine. There are in Taiwan. The U.S. and ‘the coalition of the willing’ GHWB assembled didn’t ‘liberate Kuwait’ for any principles or love for the Emir of Kuwait but for the cold hard fact of keeping the oil flowing to the West through the Persian Gulf. IMO, the Russian/Ukraine issue is a matter for 21st century Europe to manage. It directly effects them. Not the U.S.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  35. The next move in this will be to ‘create’ an American interest; the placement of U.S. military forces inside Ukraine now doing onsite inspections. It places U.S. military personnel- literally “boots on the ground”- in harm;s way; a conflict zone w/t risk of capture, injury or death. So how do we respond if any are injured, captured or killed in a Russian rocket attack? All under the guise of ensuring that Ukrainian troops are properly accounting for the Western-provided weapons they receive– is a step in that direction. It’s mission creep. And it’s nuts.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  36. This is a ‘turf war’ between Bugs Moran and Al Capone

    I can imagine a universe where it’s fair to nitpick Putin’s commonalities with Hitler. But one where it’s then also valid to make this fatuous Putin/Zelensky equivalence? No, that universe doesn’t exist.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  37. @36. Do they each head thuggish organizations laced w/corruption? Yes. Are they literally fighting over ‘turf’? Yes. Welcome to our world in this Universe. Thanks for playing.

    “Extortion is my business.” – Ernst Stavro Blofeld [Donald Pleasence] ‘You Only Live Twice’ 1967

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  38. Lest you forget:

    Biden says putting U.S. troops on ground in Ukraine is ‘not on the table’

    https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-says-putting-us-troops-ground-ukraine-is-not-table-2021-12-08/

    WH Clarifies: No US Troops in Ukraine After Biden’s Comments

    “The president has been clear we are not sending U.S. troops to Ukraine, and there is no change in that position,” the spokesperson said.

    https://www.newsmax.com/politics/biden-ukraine-russia-aid/2022/03/25/id/1062987/

    And now:

    U.S. forces now on the ground in Ukraine

    U.S. military personnel are now on the ground in Ukraine, keeping track of and inspecting weapons the U.S. has shipped to Ukrainian forces, a senior defense official announced during a Pentagon background briefing on Monday. These U.S. personnel are some of the first the Pentagon has acknowledged have entered Ukraine since Russia launched its large scale invasion of the country in February.

    The Biden administration ordered U.S. troops out of Ukraine in February just days before Russia launched its invasion. The Associated Press reported the administration did return some troops to provide security at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv earlier this year. The defense official said “there have been several of these inspections” but didn’t specify when they began. The defense official’s comments come after the U.S. State Department announced a plan to prevent U.S. and western-provided weaponry from ending up on the black market or be captured by pro-Russian forces who could use them to “develop countermeasures, propaganda, or to conduct false-flag operations.”

    https://americanmilitarynews.com/2022/11/us-forces-now-on-the-ground-in-ukraine/

    They’re a disaster waiting to happen. Bob Gates was right about Joey always being wrong. This is what happens when a feeble minded, Peter Principled 80 year old senator plays at being POTUS.

    “Don’t be silly. You’re taking the fall.” – Sam Spade [Humphrey Bogart] ‘The Maltese Falcon’ 1941

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  39. Wisconsin candidate for gov. tim michaels says if he wins the republicans will never lose an election race again in wisconsin! (DU)

    asset (c37f22)

  40. DCSCA: I’ll do my best, then, to try to summarize what I believe to be your answers to my questions. If I am wrong in any of my summaries please tell me.

    1. You believe Ukraine is not an American problem because “no American interests are at stake.”
    2. Therefore we should take no action; we (by which you mean our government) should take action in the world only when American interests are at stake.
    3. For it to become an American problem, American interests would have to be at stake.
    4. Taiwan is an American problem because American interests were at stake.
    5. I don’t see much of a clear answer here; it seems you tacitly concede that Hitler was an American problem but hasten to distinguish the current situation thanks to the deterrent effect of NATO’s Article 5.

    Other observations you make, that are not so much in response to my questions, include attacks on Ukraine as a corrupt country and a feeling that Europe has the greater responsibility here because they are closer geographically and have plenty of resources to address the issue.

    My next set of questions, assuming I have your answers here correct, revolves around how you define “American interests.”

    What American interests are at stake in Taiwan that are not at stake in Ukraine? As for geography, how about the fact that Taiwan is thousands of miles further from the continental US than Ukraine? Should we leave the Taiwan issue to Australia and New Zealand and Japan and South Korea and the Philippines to deal with? if not, why not? Because of Hawaii?? And what Putin would have to do for you to conclude that American interests are at stake?

    And a specific question: does America have an interest in maintaining a rules-based order in the world, where countries that come to an agreement on borders are not allowed to violently break that agreement?

    Do American interests include the price of oil or the price or wheat? Do Russia’s actions in driving up both (their actions’ effect on the price of oil is obvious but many may not realize how the threatened blockade of the Black Sea immediately drove up the worldwide price of wheat as well) affect American interests as you define them?

    Patterico (c20088)

  41. @40 Am I my brothers keeper? In caveman times when you killed someone or other vicious crime they did not put you to death They showed you to the cave entrance and said don’t come back you are now a libertarian conservative on your own.

    asset (c37f22)

  42. In caveman times when you killed someone or other vicious crime they did not put you to death

    No refrigeration. They could not eat both you and your victim before you spoiled.

    You’re not going to get me to believe you’re that old, asset. To know what cavemen did. (There is strong evidence, however, that the proto-humans, and after them the Neanderthals, practiced cannibalism.)

    nk (975258)

  43. Wisconsin candidate for gov. tim michaels says if he wins the republicans will never lose an election race again in wisconsin! (DU)

    Now here, you’re right on the money. I’ve been saying it for a while, to anyone who will listen: Vote Republican in this election and it may very well be the last time your vote counts.

    nk (975258)

  44. #40

    One other thing I would like to tease out of DCSCA — how much does his obvious disdain for Zelensky and his government influence his principles? In other words, if the Ukraine were a storm the castle populist kind of country, would he support US action? And, finally, if his principles are not influenced by that, why do so many of his comments emphasize Zelensky’s flaws? Why the insistance of moral equivalency between Putin and Zelensky? It hurts his argument — particularly since he doesn’t usually back it with evidence other than Z said some lunkheaded stuff about the prospects of Russia invading last February.

    Ukranian corruption could be a reason to choose not to support Ukraine. For example, if 75% of the weaponry we supply ends up in somebody else’s pocket — that is not a good invstment for the US, and we should back away. I feel like that issue often gets swept under the rug or treated like it is morally wrong to address it. However, how about some thought/evidence around where does the money truly go — if it is not being seen in the field.

    Appalled (5d6de5)

  45. DC has used the same bogus equivalency about Putin-Zelenskyy corruption as he has about the lies told by Trump-Biden. It’s patently dishonest.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  46. I really appreciate Patterico—and other people’s—efforts to get folks to express their ethos about things.

    Too many times, it’s like the surely fictional story about McNamara:

    https://www.quotemaster.org/q6ae5b5be0b0af570742136b824b6a03c

    There is a difference between having a world view and simply being reactive.

    I wish everyone the best.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  47. @45. Except it’s not.

    @44. This is not an issue of armchair musings by ideologues about ‘principles’ but real world pragmatism: it is not an American problem; it is a problem for wealthy, modern Europe to bear the burden and manage– if they choose.

    What is evident to me is a desperation to manufacture this into an ‘American problem’ – throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks- and now literally placing U.S. boots on the ground in Ukraine- which POTUS said repeatedly would not occur. It’s ‘mission creep’- and it’s nuts.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  48. There is strong evidence, however, that the proto-humans, and after them the Neanderthals, practiced cannibalism.

    As in marginal survivors not turning up their noses at reasonably-fresh meat.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  49. Even pragmatism is based on principle of some sort, D. It could be as simple as — these people aren’t worth it. I think you believe that, but you never quite get to saying that directly.

    Appalled (3d867d)

  50. Whether something is “an American problem” depends greatly on what you think American interests are.

    If you believe that stability in the first and second worlds is important for [multiple] US interests, then what Putin is doing in eastern Europe is something we have to oppose.

    If you believe that US interests stop at the water’s edge, then we don’t need NATO.

    I’m not sure there are many principled positions between those two.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  51. Putin has made his situation an American issue ever since Bucharest, starting 2007.
    And he only made it more so when he cyber-propaganda attacked America, starting 2016, and using an America-betrayer like Manafort as a conduit.
    As far as “pragmatism” goes, that doesn’t explain your months of cheerleading for Putin and demonizing Zelenskyy up to and after the sputnik’s February invasion.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  52. Manafort.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  53. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has conceded – nobody in hie entourage wanted to go on – the Electoral commissionis too strong.

    No problems in Denmark.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  54. @40. This is all spelled out in my comment which reflects my POV on this issue and supported w/t appropriate links. Little point in cherry-picking it further.

    But stating a matter of fact is not an “attack” – Ukraine is corrupt; as is corrupt Russia:

    ‘Transparency International, an anti-corruption watchdog, gave Ukraine a 32 out of a possible 100 points on its Corruption Perceptions Index and ranked it 122nd out of 180 countries for 2021, lower than any NATO nation. The lowest current NATO member in the rankings is Turkey, given a 38, while Russia was graded at a 29.’ – https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/ukraine-wanted-to-join-natos-alliance-for-years-what-stopped-it/

    So if your pitch is to say it is ‘principled’ to freely prop up a corrupt regime w/borrowed billions from another adversary further burdening our own citizenry for decades, adding to indebtedness w/no American interests at risk– so be it. But this is not the Shah of Iran; nor the Emir of Kuwait scenario. And certainly not a ‘fiscally conservative’ policy to pursue. Cajole Congress to peddle Ukrainian Freedom Fighter War Bonds. Given the list of companies Yale updates on the firms fully or partially still doing business w/Russia- rated from F to A– the ‘sanctions’ are a porous policy with multiple work arounds as is.

    These are just a few of the firms… but the lists are festooned w/firms from Europe, China, the USA– still doing business to varying degrees– w/Putin’s Russia and graded accordingly. Here’s just a few from the ‘F’ list alone:

    -Aimbridge / Interstate Hotels; still operating in Russia- United States
    -Align Technology / healthcare; still operating in Russia- United States
    -Antal /Industrials; still operating and actively hiring in Russia – United Kingdom
    -Carl’s Jr. / CLK – food services; still operating in Russia – United States
    -Check Point Software / selling cybersecurity products in Russia – Israel
    -Benetton; continue operations in Russia – Italy
    -Bharat Petroleum (BPCL); bought 2 million barrels of Russian Urals for May loading – India
    -BPW; still cooperating with dealers in Russia; not disclosed publicly disclosed – Germany
    -China National Petroleum Corporation; business as usual: oil – China
    -Cofix Coffee; maintains locations in Russia – Israel
    -Corendon Airlines; still flying to Russia – Turkey
    -Eutelsat; provide satellite TV services to Russia – France
    -Fleetcor; financial services; business as usual – United States
    -Giorgio Armani; still operating in Russia – Italy
    -Haier; planning expansion in Russia [Walmart USA is loaded w/their products]- China
    -Heidenhain; info-tech; still operating in Russia through a third-party – Germany
    -Huntsman Corporation; still operating in Russia – United States
    -Indian Oil Corporation; signed new deal to import Russian oil – India
    -International Paper; still operating in Russia – United States
    -IQVIA; still operating and actively hiring in Russia – United States
    -Itochu; continues oil & gas exploration partnerships w/Russia – Japan
    -Kawasaki; still operating in Russia, providing online sales & cooperating with dealers – Japan [‘Kawasaki let’s the good times roll’ — along w/Putin’s tanks, eh? ;-)]
    -Kemin; healthcare; still operating in Russia – United States
    -Lacoste; still operating in Russia – France
    -Match Group; communications; continue to operate in Russia including Tinder – United States
    -Micro-Star International Co.(MSi); infotech; still operating in Russia – Taiwan [oh, the irony.]
    -Mitsubishi Heavy Industries; industrials; still operating in Russia – Japan [Zero in on these guys: ‘From Those Wonderful folks who gave you Pearl Harbor’ Jerra Della Femina; unreal!]
    -Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp.; telecomm; continues to operate cloud services in Russia – Japan
    -Patreon; financial services; still providing services to Russia – United States
    -Philips; electronics, etc., – online sales still available in Russia – Netherlands
    -PowerChina; energy; cooperating w/a Russian bank “Solidarnost” on off-shore projects – China
    -Quicksilver; online sales still running – United States
    -SAIC Motor; remains operational; plans to increase exports to Russia – China
    -Sbarro Pizza; still operating in Russia and allowing placing online orders – United States
    -Semiconductor Manufacturing Int’l Corp.; defies US sanctions; continues exports to Russia – China
    -Siemens Healthineers; healthcare; continue to support providers in Russia – Germany
    -Signet Armorite; operating in Russia through a subsidiary – United States
    -Stryker; healthcare; continue sales and imports to Russia – United States
    -Tenneco; still operating in Russia – United States
    -TGI Friday’s; food services; still operating in Russia – United States
    -Titan International; industrials; still operating in Russia – United States
    -Tom Ford; still operating in Russia; – United States
    -Tupperware; still operating and actively hiring in Russia – United States
    -Turkish Airlines; still flying to Russia – Turkey
    -Valve; still providing services to Russia – United States
    -Zimmer Biomet; healthcare; continues sales in Russia – United States

    https://som.yale.edu/story/2022/over-1000-companies-have-curtailed-operations-russia-some-remain

    Every time you use some paper products manufactured by International Paper, you’re helping a firm that’s dealing w/Putin’s Russia. And petroleum products are a ubiquitous commodity as is once in the marketplace, refining costs dictated by the quality of the crude.

    This is clearly a problem for wealthy, modern Europe to manage- if they choose. It’s a safe bet that if the full costs and burdens were fully shifted to European powers- which are directly affected by this situation- there would be riots in the streets of Paris, Berlin- even London, within weeks.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  55. @50. NATO is a collective; a defensive alliance umbrella. No NATO member has been attacked. But individual European nations, which also happen to be paid-up members of NATO, can pursue trade and policies independent of NATO. You can still get a tin Russian caviar or a bottle of Russian vodka if you use connections; just as you could obtain a box of Castro’s Cuban cigars back in the day.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  56. @49. It’s not about them; it’s about us– unlike Taiwan, or Saudia Arabia, or Kuwait, there are no American interests under threat; it is clearly an issue for wealthy, modern Europe to manage. Really can’t understand why anybody would be opposed to holding the European powers responsible for managing a situation their own policy decisions- particularly those regarding energy dependence- created. And they were warned it was an ill-conceived path to follow. It’s their problem to manage, not the taxpayers of the United States.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  57. The irony is that Russia is a main cause for the corruption in Ukraine, DC, starting in 2004 Putin poisoned Yushchenko and rigged that election so badly and had to be re-run. You’re blaming the wrong party in your bogus equivalence.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  58. The unstated, D, is that nobody thinks Europe would do anything but roll over.

    Appalled (cad8b9)

  59. Well, Europe, in this case, means Germany and France and the parts of Western Europe that have money.

    Appalled (cad8b9)

  60. @58, Except it’s not ‘bogus.’

    ‘Reality. What a concept.’ – Robin Williams

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  61. If I received an answer to these questions I cannot find one.

    What American interests are at stake in Taiwan that are not at stake in Ukraine? As for geography, how about the fact that Taiwan is thousands of miles further from the continental US than Ukraine? Should we leave the Taiwan issue to Australia and New Zealand and Japan and South Korea and the Philippines to deal with? if not, why not? Because of Hawaii?? And what Putin would have to do for you to conclude that American interests are at stake?

    And a specific question: does America have an interest in maintaining a rules-based order in the world, where countries that come to an agreement on borders are not allowed to violently break that agreement?

    Do American interests include the price of oil or the price or wheat? Do Russia’s actions in driving up both (their actions’ effect on the price of oil is obvious but many may not realize how the threatened blockade of the Black Sea immediately drove up the worldwide price of wheat as well) affect American interests as you define them?

    Which is too bad, because I would like to discuss these topics.

    Patterico (fb4f7c)

  62. @59/@60. ‘…nobody thinks Europe would do anything but roll over; Well, Europe, in this case, means Germany and France and the parts of Western Europe that have money…’

    Not quite:

    https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-richest-countries-in-europe.html

    That’s not an American problem, either.

    The third significant kinetic conflict in 115 years on the European continent is their problem to manage. Long before there ever was an America, Europe managed its own problems, economic and territorial. The wealthy, modern 21st century can manage this one as well- one of their own creation by their own ill-conceived policy decisions. Don’t overlook the UK– or Sweden [Saab makes some mighty fine military aircraft.]

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  63. #63

    We are not immune from the consequences of Europe’s likely actions, DCSCA. If we were, I’d probably agree with that part of your argument. The topic for our Oxford Union debate would likely be RESOLVED, that a weakened Russia is in the national interest of the United States.

    The UK is sort of th national equivalent of Lindsay Graham these days — willing to be a tough guy, but only in alliance with another tough guy. Sweeden is traditionally neutral. It was an act of diplomatic malpractice on the part of Russia to scare them into NATO. I think going into Ukraine withut the support of many others would cleve that country in two.

    Appalled (03f53c)

  64. They were answered. -America is not the world’s policeman; there are a plethora of ongoing conflicts around the world out of the camera eye in which America avoids involvement; it’s a long list:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts

    -The marketplace controls the price of petroleum products, based on supply and demand [and the current administration’s restrictions are self-inflicted wounds and hurts the U.S.] And U.S. policy antagonizing OPEC only serves to drive them into the Russian sphere. [Was raised in the int’l oil biz- it’s a ubiquitous product as is, peddled/traded from source to source once in the marketplace. Americans likely have gasoline in their tank w/elements refined from Russian petroleum after traded from firm to firm.]

    – the Yale list of firms working around the so-called sanctions shows that commerce w/Putin’s Russia continues. It’s all there.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  65. ^to #62.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  66. @64. The U.S. has been slowly disengaging from Europe for a long time. And in the ’80s, Europeans were fiercely opposed to becoming a radioactive ‘battlefield’ for a U.S./USSR confrontation. The NATO defensive alliance keeps the peace for the member states in our time. Pretty much all the U.S. bases in England have been shuttered since my time living there. The sub bases in Scotland remain a sore point; my military neighbor is vying for a chance to make a move to Germany– for his kids education- where the core of U.S. installations in Europe [a presence lingering from WW2 no less] still operate [and are protected under the NATO umbrella.]

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  67. @64. Postscript. The topic for our Oxford Union debate would likely be RESOLVED, that a weakened PRC is in the national interest of the United States.

    ‘Russia’ was weakened long ago, on December 25, 1991, when the USSR was broken up, ceased to exist and no longer stood as a global superpower. In 2022, it is a regional power w/nukes– and energy products to export as a bargaining chip.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  68. Just pitch why you believe this is an American problem to meddle in.

    Putin is the faulty lightbulb in the cockpit of the world’s Eastern Flight 401; the obsessed powers that be messed with and obsessed over it– and let let their L-1011 slam into the Chinese Everglades.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  69. Russia will rejoin UN grain corridor from Ukraine in humiliating U-turn

    The Kremlin has said it will rejoin the UN-administered grain export corridor from Ukraine, after pulling out over the weekend following a drone attack on Russian warships in the port of Sevastopol. Moscow’s humiliating climbdown came two days after a large convoy of ships moved a record amount of grain in defiance of Russia’s warnings that it would be unsafe without its participation, and after high-level diplomatic contacts between Turkey – one of the guarantors of the scheme with the UN – and Russia. – TheGuardian.com

    “The Kremlin has said”… not Putin.

    The seeds of a Khrushchev fate have been sewn. The Russians will deal with their Putin in their own way and their own time.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  70. They were answered.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 11/2/2022 @ 1:29 pm

    To be fair, I’d give you credit for answering the oil question. Even though you didn’t in fact answer it, I think we can infer what you believe the answer is from what you did say. But the rest? Where do you think you answered those?

    You do understand, don’t you, that recycling prior non-responsive arguments, the most generous implication of which is that you don’t think the questions you’re evading matter, isn’t actually answering the questions?

    I’m not saying you should answer them. That’s up to you. But you ought not delude yourself into thinking you already did it.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  71. @71. Nice try. It’s more you not liking the answers. Why don’t you just present argument as to why this is even an American problem to meddle in. Go for it. Don’t need my help.

    So far it’s been nothing but cries of how terrible, ‘peace in our time’ and, ‘Putin is Hitler.’ The sense is you’re groping for a rationale to justify meddling in a problem that wealthy, modern Europe can and should manage.

    And the irony is, Biden may just have given a rationale to you.

    Biden’s Pentagon has placed US boots on the ground in Ukraine after repeatedly insisting he would not do that. So U.S. troops are in harm’s way; and if captured, injured or killed – as the Pentagon refuses to disclose how many are there and where- by a rogue Russian missile strike- how does the U.S. respond? How did Reagan respond when the Marines were blown up in their barracks in Beruit? What was JFKs rational regarding bombing SAM sites in Cuba should any U.S. personnel be killed [as Anderson was when his U2 was shot down.] JFK made it clear to his military he’d be killing Russians, not cubans– and they’d surely respond- either from Cuba or in Berlin.

    The objective here is to disengage, de-escalate and let corrupt Ukraine and corrupt Russia find a political, not military solution- which they inevitably will. Likely a partition of some sort w/a pledge by NATO never to admit Ukraine into the alliance.

    But go ahead, make your case for this being an American problem to meddle in.

    Show why you believe the taxpayers of the United States should freely carry the burden instead of wealthy, modern Europe- which made poor policy decisions resulting in energy dependence and is directyl connected to this conflict. Then make one Taiwan; then for Hong Kong. Then the Koreas; then the problems in Africa… choose your conflict— it’s a helluva long list:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts

    America is NOT the world’s policeman.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  72. That’s all very nice, but not responsive to the questions you were asked.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  73. @73. Except it is. Make your pitch- or let P make is.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  74. @73. In case you haven’t figured it out- have presented a rational, valid POV w/ supportive links and accompanying background histories as to why this is NOT an American problem to meddle in but a situation for wealthy, modern Europe to manage.

    So far, from your POV, nothing but ‘Putin is Hitler!’

    So go ahead, make your pitch for U.S. taxpayers to freely bear the burden of meddling in the third kinetic conflict on the European conflict in 115 years- a conflict fueled and aggravated by poor decisions made by European leaders who were warned policies of energy dependence were ill-conceived.

    Go ahead- give it a try.

    I’ll make popcorn.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  75. @73. Except it is. Make your pitch- or let P make is.
    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 11/2/2022 @ 7:15 pm

    No. It’s not. It’s an argument. It may answer some questions, just not the ones Patterico asked. And I don’t have a “pitch.” Why should I? You’ve made abundantly clear what you think of my position on the conflict, and I should hope you’re equally clear on what I think of yours. Why beat it to death?

    So far, from your POV, nothing but ‘Putin is Hitler!’

    Yeah, I said nothing of the sort. If that’s what you took from what I did say, it may explain your difficulty answering Patterico’s questions.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  76. Sorry, once more to get the formatting right. Fingers crossed:

    @73. Except it is. Make your pitch- or let P make is.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 11/2/2022 @ 7:15 pm

    No. It’s not. It’s an argument. It may answer some questions, just not the ones Patterico asked. And I don’t have a “pitch.” Why should I? You’ve made abundantly clear what you think of my position on the conflict, and I should hope you’re equally clear on what I think of yours. Why beat it to death?

    So far, from your POV, nothing but ‘Putin is Hitler!’

    Yeah, I said nothing of the sort. If that’s what you took from what I did say, it may explain your difficulty answering Patterico’s questions.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  77. @76. Keep trying. Make your pitch for meddling.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  78. @76. You just don’t like the answers. Again: in case you haven’t figured it out- have presented a rational, valid POV w/supportive links and accompanying background histories as to why this is NOT an American problem to meddle in but a situation for wealthy, modern Europe to manage.

    Go ahead, give it a try: present a rational, counter POV: make your pitch for U.S. taxpayers to freely bear the burden of meddling in the third kinetic conflict on the European conflict in 115 years- a conflict fueled and aggravated by poor decisions made by European leaders who were warned policies of energy dependence were ill-conceived.

    Making more popcorn.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  79. Well, Patterico and others tried. And I was impressed and learned a lot from their efforts.

    Less attempts to sneer and score points, more discussion. Patterico showed the way.

    Simon Jester (710d16)

  80. @80. So make a rational case for meddling.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  81. If Russia captures Ukraine, it gives Russia control of significant agricultural production (especially grain), seaports, and oil/gas pipelines. Ukraine has enoigh land and resources that unifying it with Russia would let Russia renew its claim to be an empire — something it can’t claim now. This would not be in America’s interest or the interests of our European allies.

    DRJ (7f07d8)

  82. As a separate sovereign nation, Ukraine limits Russia’s territorial ambitions and its ability to exert influence outside its region. That is a good thing for the world given Russia’s willingness to use its military.

    DRJ (b0685b)

  83. Think of Ukraine as a buffer or counterweight between Russia and the world, especially NATO and the West. The real difficulty will be deciding if Ukraine can join NATO. I doubt that would have happened before but it might now that Rusdia invaded Ukraine.

    DRJ (b0685b)

  84. Putin is not an idiot. He sees Russia’s future and it won’t be as a superpower. This is his attempt to make that remain possible.

    DRJ (b0685b)

  85. @82. 21st century corrupt Russia is a shell of its former self as of December 25, 1991.

    And corrupt Ukraine was a part of the USSR for decades as is- it’s a regional turf conflict. Corrupt Russia is already ‘a gas station w/nukes’ as is and has abundant energy resources- more than it needs- and is itching to export it to any buyers- even at discounts- so any claims over corrupt Ukraine pipeline and sea access are more work around issues for suppliers and buyers [around rather than though] than a freely financed, multi-billion dollar burden for the U.S. taxpayers to be burdened with.

    And the U.S. has plenty of energy resources of its own to develop, currently inhibited by the green energy policies of the Biden Administration. So it’s not really an American problem to meddle in– it is more an issue for wealthy, modern Europe to bear the financial burden- a problem they created for themselves by making poor energy dependent policy decisions- decisions they were warning were ill-conceived– not burden the taxpayers of the United States with free handouts to a corrupt regime.

    A valid path to help: cajole Congress to sell Ukrainian Freedom Fighter War Bonds. Given the list of businesses hungry to get back to regular commerce in the region [as listed daily by Yale] and those breaking the sanctions as is, they’d likely find plenty of deep pocketed financing in the private sector to ‘buy bonds.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  86. I agree it is in Europe’s interest to deal with this conflict. I think it is also in America’s interest to limit the expansion of Russian territory and resources by financing Ukrainian resistance.

    DRJ (b0685b)

  87. We can do that with money and/or in kind with armaments.

    DRJ (b0685b)

  88. @83./@84. It didn’t limit the annexation of Crimea. But again, it’s not an American problem to meddle with. The defensive umbrella remains NATO and no NSATO nation has been attacked- or ever will w/Article 5 in place. Outside of the NATO umbrella, tough luck.

    And chances are this will end w/a partition of Ukraine and a promise by NATO to never accept Ukraine into NATO. Not unlike JFKs promise to the USSR to never invade Cuba. The solujtion is political, not military and the pattern of mission creep and periodic escalations are the wrong path to follow. De-escalation and disengagement are the proper path- and R/U will eventually do that. Russia’s ‘buffer zone’ in 2022 is their nuclear policy to defend Mother Russia- their ‘NATO’ so to speak, as the buffer states disappeared in 1991. Russian nuke use policy differs from the U.S.- which is one of deterrence. Just today Russia again rattled the nuke sword reiterating previously stated use policy and it got Western media lit up again. It’s an easy chain for Putin to jerk.

    @85. Putin has made a misstep creating this crisis. Russians themselves know it. And it will be Russia which eventually deals with him as they did w/Khrushchev in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis- a crisis he created as well. Or he’ll die first.

    But it is not a situation for the United States to keep freely financing w/borrowed $ happily lent from our main 21st century adversary more than willing to leverage more control over the U.S.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  89. Taiwan doesn’t really threaten China, except it’s pride. But Ukraine actually poses a counterweight to Russia. Ukraine and its people limit Russian ambition in a very practical, effective way — and we see it in this conflict. Why wouldn’t we want that?

    DRJ (b0685b)

  90. Crimea and its people have more ties to Russia than Ukraine.

    DRJ (b0685b)

  91. @87.I agree it is in Europe’s interest to deal with this conflict.

    Back before there was a United States, they managed to deal w/territorial and trade issues themselves. A hefty book: War And Peace In The Nuclear Age is a good read on past scenarios and crises that have led to present policies; the yesterdays reveal a lot about the todays. It’s a 13 hour mini-series as well- which is easier to digest than the book and can be found online. But it paints well rounded picture of how we’ve arrived at this point today.

    @88. Independent of NATO, European nations can help all they want- and the U.S. could sell War Bonds to generate finances to support aide. But adding to the U.S. debt w/borrowed $ to prop up a corrupt regime w/no American interests under threat does not seem to be a ‘fiscally conservative’ policy- at least to me. Given the business community hunger to get back to regular commerce there, [as Yale lists daily] they should be an easy sell.

    And for me, it is deeply disturbing that U.S. boots are now on the ground in Ukraine, which POTUS, for over a year, repeatedly has said would not occur. It’s ‘mission creep.’ And we;ve seen that before- echoes of Vietnam. The Pentagon will not disclose how many U.S troops are in harm’s way–or where. They’re an accident waiting to happen. Any captured, wounded or killed by a rogue Russian missile strike would require some kind of U.S. response- a la Reagan after the Beirut Marines barracks blast or how JFK managed the U2 shootdown over Cuba. Kennedy’s response was telling, given a retaliatory attack would kill Russians, not Cubans– and elicit an escalation by Russians from Cuba or, at the time, in Berlin. So he held off responding. The path to peace is de-escalation, disengagement and seeking a political solution, not a military solution. Don’t see that opening yet. And winter is coming.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  92. @91. Crimea and its people have more ties to Russia than Ukraine.

    And yet ‘Crimea is Ukrainian territory currently occupied by Russia; Ukraine has not relinquished title over the Crimean territory since the events of 2014, Crimea is internationally recognized as part of Ukraine.’ – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimea

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  93. I know you asked someone else, but…

    What American interests are at stake in Taiwan that are not at stake in Ukraine? As for geography, how about the fact that Taiwan is thousands of miles further from the continental US than Ukraine? Should we leave the Taiwan issue to Australia and New Zealand and Japan and South Korea and the Philippines to deal with? if not, why not? Because of Hawaii?? And what Putin would have to do for you to conclude that American interests are at stake?

    The world semiconductor business is concentrated in Taiwan. The only company at the leading edge of IC manufacturing is located there, along with all it’s highly skilled workforce and much of its supply chain. WHile design is mostly done other places (notably California), loss of the facilities in Taiwan (to the mainland regime!) would be strategically catastrophic, both economically and militarily. We would probably find ourselves bombing TSMC ourselves as a last-gasp measure.

    This is not present in Ukraine. The issu/es there are different and mainly this: We decided long ago that there will be no further wars of conquest in Europe. Period. NATO was formed to that purpose, and the fact that Ukraine did not join NATO is an error — one that we have corrected with every other non-NATO member in the region since. Alowing Russia to conquer Ukraine against the clearly demonstrated resolve of its people would be such an abdication of duty that it is unlikely that NATO would survive the event.

    And a specific question: does America have an interest in maintaining a rules-based order in the world, where countries that come to an agreement on borders are not allowed to violently break that agreement?

    Yes. Further, we have not been very good at this kind of enforcement (see the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and, having ignored Iran and North Korea there, we cannot continue to temporize. North Korea should have been make an example of back in the 90’s.

    Do American interests include the price of oil or the price or wheat? Do Russia’s actions in driving up both (their actions’ effect on the price of oil is obvious but many may not realize how the threatened blockade of the Black Sea immediately drove up the worldwide price of wheat as well) affect American interests as you define them?

    They do, but there are not a causus belli. We decided that in 1973.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  94. Sorry about the mixed formatting. I wish we had the preview back.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  95. @94. We decided long ago that there will be no further wars of conquest in Europe. Period.

    And the multiple U.S. cemeteries from two world wars on that continent are silent monuments to that decision.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  96. @94. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_border_conflicts

    Don’t see any U.S. flags flying over these listed disputes since 1945.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  97. @94. This is the new playbook:

    China says it’s ready to create new world order with Russia

    https://americanmilitarynews.com/2022/09/china-says-its-ready-to-create-new-world-order-with-russia/

    Some WH wag best get a copy on to President Rice desk PDQ. It’s perfectly clear: Kevin’s hero is likely rolling over in his grave. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  98. They were answered.

    They weren’t, but I have learned something in the process of watching you claim otherwise.

    Kevin M has actually tried to provide answers. I will try to find the time to continue the conversation with him. Right now it’s late, though.

    Patterico (1e8307)

  99. “does America have an interest in maintaining a rules-based order in the world, where countries that come to an agreement on borders are not allowed to violently break that agreement?”

    Couple that with NATO having interest in regional stability. Ukraine falling has collateral costs for everyone in that region. Plus it allows the oil-extortionist to become the bread-basket-extortionist as well. Is it unimaginable that Putin would use world famine in 5 years to execute his next territorial swipe?

    The EU gambled incorrectly on Putin and are ill-equipped to offer the sort of timely assistance that is required today. Poland is arming and doing its part but US technology is the game changer. We get a theater to observe how that technology performs and what tactics are effective against the Russian military. The fact that the Russian military has underperformed is no excuse for not having challenged it.

    Ukraine is degrading Russian forces daily…which means it is degrading future Russian ability to wage wars of aggression. In that context the dollar amount has been well worth it. Critics won’t grapple with that.

    Trolls love being engaged. It’s their life blood. The point will never be to substantively engage but to have theater and stick to the script. It’s hard, but they must be ignored.

    AJ_Liberty (15d88c)

  100. Funny how pushing back on the Soviet version of Russian imperialism was in our national interests but the Putin version of Russian imperialism is not.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  101. Paul, that’s why those arguments aren’t especially compelling. It’s propaganda, spin, distraction….the Kremlin’s and Russian Time’s talking points…Twinkees and ho-ho’s.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  102. Funny how pushing back on the Soviet version of Russian imperialism was in our national interests but the Putin version of Russian imperialism is not.
    Paul Montagu (753b42) — 11/3/2022 @ 4:45 am

    remind me when the great Soviet-American War started and ended

    how many war dead?

    we have been engaged in both push back and engagement against/with Russia for decades, just as we were with the Soviets

    JF (cb4f79)

  103. and Ukraine was free and independent when we were pushing back against the Soviets, right Montagu?

    JF (1c12be)

  104. remind me when the great Soviet-American War started and ended

    It’s as if the Soviets weren’t even Russian, JF, or that there were never any other times in their history when they sought empire and control over their weaker neighbors.

    Ukraine never willingly became part of the USSR. There was a Holodomor for a reason, where Stalin was willing to murder millions of Ukrainians by starvation to keep them under his boot. Your ignorance of history is almost cute.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  105. Paul Montagu (753b42) — 11/3/2022 @ 6:54 am

    yes all that, montagu, and when we were doing all that pushing back against the soviets somehow Ukraine wasn’t a focal point

    but making some ridiculous analogy to soviet times is just a present day version of red baiting, and “but kremlin talking points” is your security blanket

    JF (cb4f79)

  106. If

    1) you believe in a Western civilization based on literacy, the advancement of knowledge, and a belief in universal human rights; and

    2) recognize that there are barbarians who want to loot it, rape it, pillage it, and ultimately extirpate it; and

    3) understand that right now we are helping defend it with a pittance of our immense wealth and not the blood of our young men; then

    you already know why we should be supporting Ukraine, and you do not need to waste your time on people whose main preoccupation is what today’s special is at the Cracker Barrel.

    nk (bb1548)

  107. In the Over-the-Top Department, renowned historian beclowns self:

    Michael Beschloss Says GOP Victory in Midterms Will Mean ‘Our Children Will Be Arrested and Conceivably Killed’

    MSNBC presidential historian Michael Beschloss on Wednesday night warned that if Republican candidates win their races next week, American democracy and the free press could end, historians may no longer exist, and “our children” could all die at the hands of a “brutal authoritarian system.”

    President Joe Biden said in his Wednesday night speech that, in the upcoming midterms, “democracy itself is “at stake,” a message that MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and much of the media have been repeating for months. Hayes played clips from the speech, including the president saying that electing certain Republicans is a “path to chaos” — a comment with which Hayes clearly agreed.

    “Whether we take that path to chaos, whether we continue to march down, it is one of the major choices — if not the major choice — that voters face this coming Tuesday,” said Hayes.

    Biden delivered his speech about democracy and political violence at the peak of a week of condemnations directed at Republican rhetoric for demonizing political opponents. Beschloss joined Hayes to analyze that speech, which he says precedes a midterm that will decide whether the president’s political opponents get to institute a brutal, child-murdering authoritarian dictatorship.

    “We could be six days away from losing our rule of law,” the historian declared.

    Yes indeed. Not only will the Republicans put y’all back in chains, but they will eat your children! And don’t let them demonize good Democrats either!

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  108. Memory lane with Michael Beschloss:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=c50JUQohYwY

    BuDuh (eaef9b)

  109. @99. They were to my satisfaction. Have presented a cogent, rational POV on this w/appropriate links and present as well as historical references.

    Pitch the argument for American meddling into this particular conflict among the plethora of conflicts around the world; the third kinetic conflict on the European continent in 115 years between two of the most corrupt regions in Eastern Europe; a cost burdening the U.S. taxpayers w/literally ‘freely’ financing same, borrowing billions from — and gladly lent by our main 21st century adversary– which further leverages control over future U.S. policies– and inadds to the debt U.S. taxpayers and their kids will have to bear- w/no American interests in play. Even the United States of WW1 and WW2 times wisely managed to have multiple war bond drives to raise billion and finance efforts in the era. No such bond drive today. And current policy is certainly not a ‘fiscally conservative’ path to follow.

    DCSCA (eba2cb)

  110. “does America have an interest in maintaining a rules-based order in the world, where countries that come to an agreement on borders are not allowed to violently break that agreement?”

    Perhaps that should be on border signs all along the Rio Grande these days. Or perhaps it was painted in the instrumnent panels of U2s violating Cuban and Russian airspace back in the day; or in the military handbooks of U.S. troops when they marched into Russia in 1918… or when the CIA-assisted a coup to overthrow the government of Iran and install the corrupt Shah- for access to oil. There’s a lot of grey areas in a world of either/or, black and white.

    DCSCA (eba2cb)

  111. yes all that, montagu, and when we were doing all that pushing back against the soviets somehow Ukraine wasn’t a focal point

    Of course it wasn’t, JF. They under the control of the Soviets since the 1920s. History changed when they became independent in 1991, and then the Russians promised in 1994 and 1997 to respect Ukrainian sovereignty into perpetuity. You almost sound like you’re making a point, but you’re really not.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  112. @112. Choose the conflict you’d wish to meddle in and pick a fight; it’s a helluva list:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ongoing_armed_conflicts

    DCSCA (eba2cb)

  113. It’s good to learn from history like the Vietnam conflict. America should have specific interests to protect before using military force or intervening in conflicts. But is the lesson you learned that America should never intervene? It sounds that way, and that seems as foolhardy as intervening everywhere.

    DRJ (4653e0)

  114. I picked where I want America to intervene — UKRAINE. I explained why. Now you look at your list and say where we should intervene and why.

    If you can’t then your position is never intervening.

    DRJ (4653e0)

  115. Wear them down……

    Russian force generation efforts combined with Western sanctions are having long-term damaging effects on the Russian economy…… Financial experts told Reuters that the Kremlin will face a budget deficit that will “drain Moscow’s reserves to their lowest level in years” due to projected decreases in energy revenue, sanctions, and the cost of Russian mobilization. One expert predicted that payouts to mobilized men including social benefits may cost the Kremlin between 900 billion rubles and three trillion rubles (around $14.6-$32.4 billion) in the next six months. The number does not account for payouts to other categories of servicemen…….

    The Kremlin is continuing to rely heavily on financially incentivizing Russians to fight in Ukraine, which will likely continue to strain the Russian economy for decades. Russian officials have been promising salaries to volunteers and mobilized men that are more than twice the average Russian civilian salary before and during Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. ……..

    The Kremlin is already facing challenges in delivering promised compensation, challenges that are increasing social tensions within Russian society. Russian Telegram channels released footage of mobilized men in Ulyanovsk protesting payment issues. Other footage from the Chuvashia Republic shows a presumably Russian local official yelling at protesting mobilized men that she had not promised them a payment of 300,000 rubles (about $4,860)…….

    Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calls for a competitive Russian military industry are divorced from the reality of Russian supply chain and defense industrial base issues.…….
    ………

    Bolding in original. Footnotes omitted.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  116. Russia to Suffer Worst Slowdown of Any Major Economy
    ………
    The Russian economy is suffering from the impact of sanctions and the withdrawal of Western businesses in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine in February. While Russia has benefited from soaring energy prices this year, economists expect revenue to fall sharply as the global economy slows and the West finds substitutes for Russian energy.

    The central bank’s forecast of a drop in gross domestic product of between 3% and 3.5% this year is less than it had expected soon after the start of the conflict.
    ……….
    However, the expected contraction would likely be the largest recorded by a member of the Group of 20 largest economies.
    ………
    Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the central bank expected the economy to grow as much as 3% in 2022. That means the war has cost the country more than 7% of its GDP in lost output this year alone.
    ………
    The central bank warned that the economy could suffer a larger drop in output next year if Russia faces tougher sanctions, or weaker demand from a slowing global economy. The European Union aims to levy new sanctions on shipping Russian crude worldwide.
    ………
    Sanctions and the voluntary withdrawal of Western businesses have hit some parts of the economy hard. According to figures released (October 26th) by the Federal State Statistics Service, car production in September was less than half of its level a year earlier.
    ………
    ………According to the International Energy Agency, Russia will suffer a permanent decline in energy production as a result of its invasion of Ukraine and Europe’s subsequent loss of trust in the country.
    ……….
    The research body said Russia’s share of global exports of oil and gas could halve by 2030, and that it is unlikely that China will replace lost European markets for natural gas given its ambitions to cut carbon emissions.
    ……….

    Sad!!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  117. @114.@115. It’s not a simple either/or scenario- you know that. The lesson for 21st century deeply in debt U.S.A. is where American interests are at risk or under direct threat; and the cost/benefit analysis makes sense tpo bear the burden. It does not in Ukraine. [But if you can sell bonds to pay for it- give it a go!] It did not in Beirut; nor Syria, nor a prolonged engagement in Afghanistan- as the results have shown. It does w/Taiwan– and that will be a hard one to manage. Similarly, as it did ‘liberating’ Kuwait to ‘restore’ the Emir to his throne- and overthrowing the democratically elected government in Iran and installing the Shah- for U.S. and allied oil interests. As it did w/quarantining Cuba in 1962. As it still does w/Korea… Pick the fire to put out; kjust keep in mind there’s a limited suppy of water- and firefighter.

    DCSCA (eba2cb)

  118. Is there an American interest in defending South Korea or Japan (outside of the fact that we have treaty obligations to do so)?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  119. @117. Sadder: and the band played on…

    https://som.yale.edu/story/2022/over-1000-companies-have-curtailed-operations-russia-some-remain

    Despicable. Read’em and weep, kiddo.

    DCSCA (eba2cb)

  120. @119. You’re kidding, right, Rip? Or maybe just not a capitalist after all, Comrade Rip:

    ‘Considered to be a global city and rated as an Alpha – City by Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC), Seoul, South Korea was the world’s 4th largest metropolitan economy in 2014 after Tokyo, New York City and Los Angeles.

    The Seoul Capital Area is home to the headquarters of 15 Fortune Global 500 companies, including Samsung, LG, and Hyundai. Ranked seventh in the Global Power City Index and Global Financial Centres Index, the metropolis exerts a major influence in global affairs as one of the five leading hosts of global conferences.

    The U.S.-South Korea Economic Relationship

    The trade and investment relationship that has developed between the United States and South Korea over the last sixty years is a robust and diverse one. In 2012, two-way trade in goods and services between South Korea and the United States amounted to $134 billion, making South Korea the United States’ seventh-largest trading partner and the United States South Korea’s fourth-largest trading partner after China, Japan, and the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    The US exports a series of high-tech products, such as electronic devices, airplanes, chemicals, and machinery to South Korea. South Korea is an especially important market for US agricultural exports. Agricultural exports to South Korea in 2012 were just over $6 billion, or only about $4 billion less than all US agricultural exports combined to the twenty-seven-member European Union. In return, the United States imports products such as automobiles, TVs, and smartphones.

    The US and South Korea also engage in a significant investment relationship. The US remains the largest foreign direct investor in South Korea, though China is rapidly catching up with American investment. In 2011, the US invested $1.5 billion in South Korea primarily in manufacturing, finance, professional, scientific, and technical activities, as well as wholesale trade. At the same time, South Korea invested $6.2 billion in the United States primarily in finance and insurance, as well as mining. In prior years, South Korea has made significant investments in auto and television production facilities in the United States. –

    https://www.asianstudies.org/publications/eaa/archives/the-u-s-south-korea-economic-relationship/

    https://pearsonkorea.com/insights/Top-3-Main-CBD-in-Seoul-Korea-%E2%80%93-Bringing-Best-Business Practices-to-the-Table/

    But hey, Rip, if you want to push to scuttle binding treaty obligations w/South Korea, that’ll sure impress Putin and Xi w/how much you value existing and binding treaty obligations that hold the NATO alliance together, Comrade Rip…

    … and Putin smiled. Xi grinned– as both sent Rip a Whitman Sampler.

    DCSCA (eba2cb)

  121. @99. They were to my satisfaction. Have presented a cogent, rational POV on this w/appropriate links and present as well as historical references.

    DCSCA,

    This will be my last comment addressing you in this thread, and I am writing it to explain why.

    “They were to my satisfaction” is your response to my assertion that my questions were not answered. Your contention is that they were, at least to your satisfaction.

    Let’s test that. We’ll start with the very first question I asked in my latest series of questions. The very first one:

    What American interests are at stake in Taiwan that are not at stake in Ukraine?

    Kevin M provided his answer to that. I have just looked through your comments left since I first asked that question. I do not see an answer to my question. I see multiple repetitions of the concept that we have interests in Taiwan and none in Ukraine. You’re very good at repetition. I have noticed that for years. But an answer to my question? Nope. I didn’t ask: DCSCA: would you please tell me 30 times whether we have interests in Taiwan but not in Ukraine? I asked what interests were at stake in Taiwan that are not at stake in Ukraine. (I asked other things you didn’t answer as well, but we are starting with the very first question I asked, since you claim you answered them all.)

    You left:

    Comment 47: no response to the first question I asked.

    Comment 55: same.

    Comment 56: same. Super fucking long comment. No answer.

    Comment 57: “@49. It’s not about them; it’s about us– unlike Taiwan, or Saudia Arabia, or Kuwait, there are no American interests under threat; it is clearly an issue for wealthy, modern Europe to manage.” IOW, we have interests in Taiwan and none in Ukraine. Not what I asked.

    Comment 61: no response.

    Comment 62 is mine. I re-ask the questions.

    Comment 63: no answer.

    Comment 65: a response to me that claims, quite falsely, as I have just demonstrated, that you did answer the questions.

    Comments 66 through 70: all yours. No answer.

    At this point lurker starts to point out that you did not answer my questions. You spend several comments rudely insulting lurker and claiming, again falsely, that you did answer the questions.

    I am getting bored so I will stop with the detailing of the list of comments you made in which you: failed to answer my question; claimed you had answered the question; re-asserted that there are interests at stake in Taiwan and none in Ukraine without answering my question and explaining why; and so forth.

    If it were your intention to spam my blog, avoid honest conversations, and generally act like a troll, please tell me: how would your behavior be different?

    I have now wasted enough time on you. I will now converse with Kevin M, who did answer me.

    Patterico (971c53)

  122. @99. They were to my satisfaction. Have presented a cogent, rational POV on this w/appropriate links and present as well as historical references.

    I kind of want to believe you’re trolling, because if you really think you answered those questions, it’s sad. Patterico asked you if it’s true what people say about Angelinos being bad drivers in inclement weather, and you answered with a Unibomber-length manifesto on the virtues of rain. It’s essential for crops and it raises the water table and it cleans the air. Have you ever noticed how far you can see on a sunny day after it rains? Oh, and by the way, young couples find rain romantic. Why do you hate young people? Go ahead, I dare you, pitch your argument for the fabulosity of drought.

    Ummm, DCSCA… do Angelinos know how to drive?

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  123. I should have refreshed the page before posting. Patterico obviously covered my point and then some, and far more cogently.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  124. The world semiconductor business is concentrated in Taiwan. The only company at the leading edge of IC manufacturing is located there, along with all it’s highly skilled workforce and much of its supply chain. WHile design is mostly done other places (notably California), loss of the facilities in Taiwan (to the mainland regime!) would be strategically catastrophic, both economically and militarily. We would probably find ourselves bombing TSMC ourselves as a last-gasp measure.

    Kevin M,

    First, thank you for actually answering the actual question I actually asked. How refreshing!

    The semiconductor issue is the answer I expected DCSCA to give. But of course, the fact that this issue is not present in Ukraine, which as far as I know is quite true, does not mean no American interests are present in Ukraine, a fact that I believe you acknowledge later in your comment.

    This is not present in Ukraine. The issu/es there are different and mainly this: We decided long ago that there will be no further wars of conquest in Europe. Period. NATO was formed to that purpose, and the fact that Ukraine did not join NATO is an error — one that we have corrected with every other non-NATO member in the region since. Alowing Russia to conquer Ukraine against the clearly demonstrated resolve of its people would be such an abdication of duty that it is unlikely that NATO would survive the event.

    And a specific question: does America have an interest in maintaining a rules-based order in the world, where countries that come to an agreement on borders are not allowed to violently break that agreement?

    Yes. Further, we have not been very good at this kind of enforcement (see the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) and, having ignored Iran and North Korea there, we cannot continue to temporize. North Korea should have been make an example of back in the 90’s.

    I agree with you that this is an American interest, and quite an important one. I think if there is any lesson the world should have learned after watching Hitler’s military buildup, the Anschluss, the annexation of the Sudetenland, and even the invasion of Poland, is that when a country starts violating other peaceful countries’ borders, you have to take action.

    Do American interests include the price of oil or the price or wheat? Do Russia’s actions in driving up both (their actions’ effect on the price of oil is obvious but many may not realize how the threatened blockade of the Black Sea immediately drove up the worldwide price of wheat as well) affect American interests as you define them?

    They do, but there are not a causus belli. We decided that in 1973.

    I guess it depends on what you mean by a casus belli — nobody is talking about the US or even NATO openly going to war with Russia, but merely whether we are going to supply Ukraine with weapons and what kind.

    It’s not as much fun discussing this with you as I hoped it would be with DCSCA because I really wanted to test the underlying principles of someone who thinks we should not be involved at all, and I don’t think that’s you, Kevin.

    But in wanting to discuss the issue with someone with the opposing point of view, we run into something of an Iron Law of the Internet: the more unreasonable a person’s beliefs, the less willing they are to engage in a reasonable and civil discussion in which each side actually listens to and responds to the other.

    There’s a certain sort of intelligence and honesty that comes with arguing honestly: you respond to the other person’s actual points, you don’t play games, and you acknowledge what reasonable people have to acknowledge while pushing back in areas where you disagree. This is idealized debate, but finding an opponent willing to behave that way is very rare indeed.

    Patterico (971c53)

  125. Is there an American interest in defending South Korea or Japan (outside of the fact that we have treaty obligations to do so)?

    We actually have a duty to defend Japan. Not because of any treaty, but because we forcibly disarmed them and promulgated a new Constitution that forbade armed forces.

    Aside from that (and the treaties) though, we also have significant economic and political integration with both countries. We are natural allies with a commonality of values and interests. Were these countries to be conquered by China or Russia we would suffer directly, indirectly, socially and spiritually from their fall.

    Much of this also applies to Taiwan, btw, although our connections there are more purely economic and political, and not so much a connected populace.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  126. Patterico–

    The oil thing is difficult, as the 1973 embargo stressed the US terribly. Kissinger was quoted as telling the Saudis that we could be pushed too far, but in that case it didn’t lead to war. Luckily for everyone, the Shah stepped up production and reduced the embargo’s impact.

    It’s possible that the 1991 war was based on a concern that Iraq would have a stranglehold on Gulf production, and be able to coerce Saudi to follow its lead. That makes more sense than wanting to save the Kuwaiti family business, although “stability” is also something to defend (especially after the terribly mistakes of 1979).

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  127. And a specific question: does America have an interest in maintaining a rules-based order in the world, where countries that come to an agreement on borders are not allowed to violently break that agreement?

    who violently broke them in Iraq 2003?

    is “denazification” of Ukraine a more ridiculous reason to violate borders than fake WMD?

    JF (9388b8)

  128. I think the people who invaded Iraq believed they had WMD. Putin does not believe the leaders of Ukraine are Nazis. It’s the difference between an honest mistake and deliberate false propaganda.

    Patterico (971c53)

  129. This time I did refresh, and once again Patterico beat me to the punch. Here’s what I was going to say:

    Denazification is a bold-faces Putin lie. If WMDs were were also a lie, the Iraq invasion would have been illegitimate and criminal. But Iraqi WMDs weren’t a lie. They were a mistake, a blunder even. And the extent of Bush/Cheney’s certainty about their existence was IMO unpardonably oversold to the American public and the world. But I’ve seen nothing to suggest they didn’t honestly believe it was true.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  130. *bold-faced*

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  131. Dear Patterico:

    This is so clearly stated:

    “But in wanting to discuss the issue with someone with the opposing point of view, we run into something of an Iron Law of the Internet: the more unreasonable a person’s beliefs, the less willing they are to engage in a reasonable and civil discussion in which each side actually listens to and responds to the other.”

    Thank you so much. I will probably quote you in our upcoming battles on campus.

    Best wishes.

    Simon Jester (710d16)

  132. It doesn’t matter. Ukraine could have chosen to remain in the new Russian hegemony like Belarus and the Eastern SSRs have.
    It did not.

    The Ukrainians decided to be a European nation. Putin decided to keep them in Tatary by conquest. We should help them. There was not much we could have done to help Chechnya, both for political and logistical reasons, but we have shown there’s a great deal we can do to help Ukraine.

    nk (55dbca)

  133. Or Georgia.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  134. @129 I happen to agree with that, but I think the distinction between Iraq and Ukraine is lost on most of the world outside the US

    we can say that doesn’t matter, but I think clearly it does

    BTW, as for “denazification” it is clearly ridiculous in today’s context, but not as it pertains to a Russia – Ukraine historical context and Russia’s collective psychosis, which Putin is cynically leveraging

    understandably, as it followed the brutality of dekulakization, a good portion of Ukraine saw the Nazis as liberators in 1941, and many collaborated

    probably Putin doesn’t really believe it, who knows, but he does know the term will resonate with many Russians even if it doesn’t with anyone in the West

    JF (9388b8)

  135. “But in wanting to discuss the issue with someone with the opposing point of view, we run into something of an Iron Law of the Internet: the more unreasonable a person’s beliefs, the less willing they are to engage in a reasonable and civil discussion in which each side actually listens to and responds to the other.”

    But not always, and the exceptions can be memorable. I still remember the invited colloquium given by Duane Gish, a biochemist and champion of Young Earth Creationism, at my STEM college. Completely civil exchange of views and a test of listening to ideas you disagree with.

    Surprisingly, it allowed me to understand a point of view that I normally would not have given much attention. It turned out to be good fun all around, and Dr Gish got to proselytize among the heathens.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  136. A million years ago, Kevin, I got to debate Dr. Gish. He was very pleasant about our disagreements.

    Those days seem long long ago, don’t they? Instead, we seem all primed to call each other “stupid” and worse for disagreeing with us.

    Simon Jester (710d16)

  137. Oh, I understand Putin’s point of view.

    When he was an up-and-coming KGB officer in the “intermediate stage of Communism” with every prospect that he would rise in the system, the front line against the West was West Germany. Then it became Poland and now it’s right up against Russia’s borders in the Baltics and Ukraine.

    He is waging a war to regain lost territory. Satellites and buffers. But that’s only an explanation. Not a justification.

    nk (55dbca)

  138. If I could put into words why I will never support the Libertarian Party again, I could not put it as clearly as this article:

    Bedonie: Ronchetti can’t win gov’s race ‘with me in the way’

    SANTA FE — Libertarian Karen Bedonie is pushing back on criticism that she will play a spoiler role and keep Republican Mark Ronchetti from overtaking Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham in the governor’s race.

    But she doesn’t shy away from acknowledging her potential impact on the outcome on the Nov. 8 election.

    “The only comfort I find in this race is that man cannot win with me in the way,” Bedonie said in an Oct. 16 video posted to Facebook. “That man cannot win this race. He will never be governor as long as I’m alive and well and in this race.”

    She added that Lujan Grisham is “sweating it … I think we’re going to beat her.”

    In a Journal interview Wednesday, Bedonie said she believes she would win the election outright if it weren’t conducted with the use of Dominion voting machines.

    She said she has no plans to concede the race or accept the election results because New Mexico uses Dominion machines to help county clerks count ballots.

    Many in the state suspect that she is acting as a shill to help Lujan Grisham. She denies it. Former GOP governor and LP presidential candidate Gary Johnson has endorsed the GOP candidate Ronchetti.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  139. But in wanting to discuss the issue with someone with the opposing point of view, we run into something of an Iron Law of the Internet: the more unreasonable a person’s beliefs, the less willing they are to engage in a reasonable and civil discussion in which each side actually listens to and responds to the other.

    Unreasonable? C’mon, P. You’re better at crafting a position than that. RE- Kevin; a good lawyer doesn’t ask questions they don’t already know the answers to- hence am aware you know my POV. Have responded posting that rational POV and provided links and histories accordingly. You wish to cherry pick before presenting yours. An old lawyers trick- [have two in the family.]

    Present your POV. Pretty straight forward request. Defend the debt driven expense to Americans and explain why the third kinetic conflict in 115 years on the European continent is not a burden for wealthy, modern Europe to manage instead of American taxpayers w/borrowed billions. Would like to know the rational from a conservative POV- especially one often concerned about American debt. This is not a matter of armchair ‘principles’ at least to me -as have referenced before- it’s an issue of real world pragmatics- and a very, very expensive one. There are no American interests in corrupt Ukraine meriting billions of dollars freely given to prop up a corrupt regime– unlike there was w/overthrowing Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister Mosaddegh in favor of the Shah in Iran; and ‘liberating’ Kuwait to restore the Emir: oil. The list goes on. That you desire short responses to a very complex issue shaped/framed by your metrics is an issue for you. Not me. A blog is a hard forum to do that- hence your own 7,000 word essay.

    My argument opposing supporting corrupt Ukraine freely w/US tax dollars is all there- researched w/links and historic references- as best as can be done on a blog. Resistance to even consider peddling war bonds via Congress to the private sector to raise funds- as U.S. did in WW1 & WW2 is perplexing. They raised billions.

    The solution to this regional crisis will be political, not military; likely a partition of Ukraine w/a guarantee from NATO not to admit Ukraine into the alliance- a la JFK’s pledge that the U.S. would never to invade Cuba as the missiles were removed. In the immediate, Khrushchev got something; JFK got something; Castro got nothing. Such will be Z’s fate. As to ‘rudely’ responding to lurker- hardly. He just doesn’t accept the answers as framed- and he has an emotional tie w/family which taints his POV that’s wholly understandable.

    The Russians will deal w/Putin in time for creating this crisis- the same way they dealt w/Khrushchev in the humiliating wake of the missile crisis. It’s already begun. Dissent is leaking out of Russia as is– and statements are being issued by ‘The Kremlin”… not Putin. But in the immediate, the goal is to de-escalate and disengage. The U.S. propping up a corrupt Ukraine by funding its government and funneling munitions we can’t keep track of perpetuates the conflict and not a path to peace.

    DCSCA (967473)

  140. ^^^^^^

    Jeeeeeez.

    Simon Jester (710d16)

  141. @129. I think the people who invaded Iraq believed they had WMD.

    https://theintercept.com/2018/02/06/lie-after-lie-what-colin-powell-knew-about-iraq-fifteen-years-ago-and-what-he-told-the-un/

    Don’t believe Colin Powell did; but he did what he was told. ‘On that February 5, [2003] in front of the U.N. Security Council, was Colin Powell certain what he was saying was accurate? He certainly was:

    POWELL: My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence.

    Later, regarding whether Iraq had reconstituted a nuclear weapons program, he said:

    POWELL: There is no doubt in my mind …” That’s in public. What about in private? According to Larry Wilkerson, Powell’s chief of staff, here’s what Powell was thinking at the time:”…

    https://theintercept.com/2018/02/06/lie-after-lie-what-colin-powell-knew-about-iraq-fifteen-years-ago-and-what-he-told-the-un/

    DCSCA (967473)

  142. @141. ‘Jeeeeez’ doesn’t really present a POV supporting the financing of corrupt Ukraine w/borrowed billions from China where no American interests are at stake, Simon.

    Seriously- present a POV that does if you can.

    DCSCA (967473)

  143. @140. If you didn’t want to answer Patterico’s questions, you could have said, “I’m not going to answer those, and here’s why” instead of launching into your non-responsive treatise, and then having the chutzpah to say “they were answered.”

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  144. @144. So now you dictate how answers should be answered. Got it. Sorry to disappoint. But present your case for an already debt burdened United States borrowing billions of dollars from an adversary- which only gives them increasing leverage in time- and literally freely giving those billions to one of the most corrupt regimes in Eastern Europe, where no American interests are threatened, rather than insist wealthy, modern Europe carry the fiscal burden and manage a closure to the third kinetic conflict on their continent in 115 years. How did Europe manage trade and territorial issues long before there was a United States?

    Make a convincing case- would truly like to hear it.

    DCSCA (3d317d)

  145. @145. Yes, my suggestion about how you might have responded more credibly is totally dictatorial. My word is law.

    As for my “case” re: our support for Ukraine, I made that to you months ago. As I recall, you responded with a devastating series of “pfft”s and F-Troop references. Feel free to google if you want to see it again. Or you can just consider me co-signed onto the arguments in this thread from Patterico, nk, AJ, Paul, DRJ, Kevin… and if I’m forgetting anyone else who said anything smart, count me as glomming off them too.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  146. How will we pay for it AOC? The same way we pay for war and tax cuts!

    asset (21c99f)

  147. @146. So make it again. Is it that hard?

    DCSCA (c8bb53)

  148. @147. And a bunny wabbit shall lead them:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh_oc5hQt-A

    DCSCA (c8bb53)

  149. “Seriously- present a POV that does if you can.”
    “So make it again. Is it that hard?”
    “Make a convincing case- would truly like to hear it.”

    Patterico: “If it were your intention to spam my blog, avoid honest conversations, and generally act like a troll, please tell me: how would your behavior be different?”

    Bingo. My recommendation, hmmm. It seems impossible for commenters here to not engage….and what we end up with is thread after thread littered with frustration and futility. It is literally spam….and purposeful in my estimation. If technically possible…and if banning is seen as too heavy handed (is it really?)…I would first put the troll on a pitch count of 4 comments per day. If it encourages more honest engagement, great! If not, then at least the blog is not held hostage to mindless repetition and bad faith.

    I mean it’s been YEARS. It’s clear that the blocking script is not working (and it knows this). Let’s stop driving Beldar’s away in frustration. It’s time for a pitch count

    AJ_Liberty (15d88c)

  150. AJ_Liberty (15d88c) — 11/4/2022 @ 3:47 am

    You know? That’s not a bad idea, AJ. Sites have a limited number of articles one may read before a paywall kicks in – yes I know there are easy ways around that. But a cut-off of “free comments to make” would certainly go a long way to encouraging spammers, er, commenters to “make it count.”

    A comment-counter could be like a “moderation – on” setting. The site admin could exempt “good-faith” commenters from the “moderation mode.” I do not pretend to know how this could be done.

    Another way is to make commenting come at a price that would turn bad-faith commenters away.

    Thank you for that idea, AJ.

    felipe (484255)

  151. looking through the thread, seems like the more some here believe DSCA can’t engage and answer questions, the more they attempt to engage and get him to answer questions

    for a couple of commenters, maybe it’s a convenient way to not engage with the rational arguments against our involvement in the war

    JF (9388b8)

  152. It’s clear that the blocking script is not working (and it knows this).

    The blocking script only works through the self control of the blocker. It has nothing to do with the persistence of the blockee. This has become an exercise in how many avoidable rakes can be blamed in the pursuit of stepping on them.

    DCSCA is about the easiest to scroll by. He is recognizable in his first sentence usually. The only person I have blocked is nk because the first sentence test means I have to indulge him for far more than I care to.

    If I were to make a suggestion to Patterico to overcome this obsession with a posters people don’t like, maybe it would be to move the poster’s name to the top of their comment. Then your scrolling can be accomplished without reading the first sentence.

    BuDuh (bd3f88)

  153. @152. To ‘plagiarize’ young AJ, a la Joey: ‘Bingo.’

    Besides, it is currently the minority POV as is. Unless -or until- McCarthy follows through on his cautionary comments from a week or so ago that threw some into a tizzy.

    DCSCA (c0468c)

  154. JF:

    DCSCA is Lucy. The rest of us are Charlie Brown.

    Appalled (86e1d9)

  155. Let’s stop driving Beldar’s away in frustration.

    No troll would keep Beldar away. He was one of the pioneers of the blocking script. I used his tutorial to install it. I believe he took umbrage at tarring the whole Republican Party with the Trump brush.

    Did somebody say he had his own Substack now?

    nk (f4e10f)

  156. “DCSCA is about the easiest to scroll by”

    That’s what I do. But you then also have to work your way through Kevin’s, lurker’s, DRJ’s, and Patterico’s comments that are ABOUT our troll or trying to engage our troll. The thread is highjacked. The point of coming here should be reasoned discourse…not about continuously filtering out noise. I would ban him….or limit his ability to flood the site with noise. This isn’t rocket science. Let’s see if we can attract new and interesting commenters….rather than serially accommodating one abnormal one.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  157. I don’t expect anyone to feel the way I feel about trolls. That’s on me.

    But until I get the blocking script working, I have to wade through what I consider to be a lot of things designed to show superiority and “own” other people. Again, just my viewpoint. I salute others who deal with it better than I do.

    What I remarked on was the unfortunate response to Patterico’s very carefully stated set of questions—an attempt to promote discussion, not to sneer and “score points.”

    It was disappointing.

    It was a good thing that Patterico wrote, and I’m sorry his time was wasted.

    Best wishes to all and have a nice weekend.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  158. nk, I really enjoyed Beldar’s discussion style—even when I didn’t agree with him. If you find him on Substack, please share?

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  159. Good movie, nk.

    DCSCA is part of why I rarely come here now. I love this website but he is so annoying, it isn’t worth it.

    DRJ (4653e0)

  160. They say Beldar comments at The Dispatch, Simon. I joined after Allahpundit moved there. I haven’t seen Beldar comment but I don’t read every post.

    DRJ (4653e0)

  161. Well, if he left here over Trump, I think he was wrong. Trump has taken over the GOP.

    DRJ (4653e0)

  162. Thank you, DRJ. It is nice to hear from you.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  163. I understand staying in the GOP in Texas. Trump is popular but he is not as popular with Texas Republicans as with people some other States. Staying in the GOP during these times demonstrates determination but not values.

    DRJ (4653e0)

  164. JF

    Prople here try to engage in meaningful discussion. We used to do that a lot. Sometimes people try to do that with DCSCA. My guess is it would only work with him if the topic is the movies/TV or NASA. They seem to be his only real interests.

    DRJ (4653e0)

  165. Where is DCSCA engaging in rational arguments against war in Ukraine? At most, he has argued that the US should not get involved because … Vietnam.

    Do you think Russia is right to go to war in Ukraine, JF? Is Ukraine wrong to defend itself?

    DRJ (4653e0)

  166. Events dont happen in a vacuum, JF. You have to acknowledge that what Russia is doing is wrongcand Ukraine has every right to defend itself.

    Then you can address what our role, if any, should be. So what is your rational argument that the West and the US in particular should stay out?

    DRJ (4653e0)

  167. PS – DCSCA has talked at length about oil, markets, the Middle East, his father’s job, etc. I don’t think he knows much from his own experience or jobs, and nothing current, so I tend to ignore those comments.

    DRJ (4653e0)

  168. @152. See, JF- plenty of emotion driven indignation- yet still no rational, dispassionate case presented for an already debt burdened United States borrowing billions of dollars from our 21st century adversary- which only gives them increasing leverage in time- and literally freely giving those billions to one of the most corrupt regimes in Eastern Europe, where no American interests are at stake, rather than insist wealthy, modern Europe carry the fiscal burden and manage a closure to the third kinetic conflict on their continent in 115 years.

    How did Europe manage trade and territorial issues long before there was a United States?

    What was the ‘Bradlee’ line from All The President’s Men?… ‘All non-denial denials. They doubt our ancestry, but they don’t say the story isn’t accurate.’

    DCSCA (5bf377)

  169. Trump has taken over the GOP.

    No. You have it backwards; the majority of the current GOP membership simply supports Trump’s POV on issues. No support; no Trump.

    DCSCA (5bf377)

  170. Beldar, Patterico and AJ comment at The Dispatch. Me, too.
    The comment quality and tenor are way better there, and I say it in sadness for this site.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  171. Trump is just so gosh-darned awful for the GOP- he handed ’em the long dreamed of conservative SCOTUS majority. You know, the one that can’t keep track of a file of papers.

    Any word on the leaker yet?

    Nope.

    DCSCA (5bf377)

  172. @171. Lest you forget, admission to the Alamo was voluntary- and free. 😉

    DCSCA (5bf377)

  173. @168. PSS- yeah, shudda stayed ‘down by the old mill stream’ in dull ol’Ohio and wotoiled for the oil company like dear old Dad rather than move my young single butt East to exciting New York City and work in the media biz there- and then West out to Hollywood.

    Silly me.

    DCSCA (5bf377)

  174. DCSCA (5bf377) — 11/4/2022 @ 9:16 am

    Any word on the leaker yet?

    The leaker will probably beidentified by an asssociate when other political secrets will spill out. The Supreme Court investigation has no way of finding out.

    Sammy Finkelman (6e72b6)


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