Patterico's Pontifications

3/23/2023

A DeSantis Clarification? Well…

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:08 am



[guest post by Dana]

In an interview with Piers Morgan concerning Gov. DeSantis’ answers to a questionnaire from Tucker Carlson last week, in which he said that the situation in Ukraine was not of vital interest to the United States and that the war was a “territorial dispute,” his walk-back, er uh, flip-flop, hm, clarification is, well, interesting. Especially as he opened by saying that the ensuing fallout wasn’t his fault:

When [Piers Morgan] asked him specifically if he regretted using the phrase “territorial dispute,” DeSantis replied, “Well, I think it’s been mischaracterized. Obviously, Russia invaded (last year) — that was wrong. They invaded Crimea and took that in 2014 — That was wrong.

“What I’m referring to is where the fighting is going on now which is that eastern border region Donbas, and then Crimea, and you have a situation where Russia has had that. I don’t think legitimately but they had. There’s a lot of ethnic Russians there. So, that’s some difficult fighting and that’s what I was referring to and so it wasn’t that I thought Russia had a right to that, and so if I should have made that more clear, I could have done it, but I think the larger point is, okay, Russia is not showing the ability to take over Ukraine, to topple the government or certainly to threaten NATO. That’s a good thing. I just don’t think that’s a sufficient interest for us to escalate more involvement. I would not want to see American troops involved there. But the idea that I think somehow Russia was justified (in invading) – that’s nonsense.”

“I think they have the right to that territory,” he replied. “If I could snap my fingers, I’d give it back to Ukraine 100%. But the reality is what is America’s involvement in terms of escalating with more weapons, and certainly ground troops I think would be a mistake. So, that was the point I was trying to make but Russia was wrong to invade. They were wrong to take Crimea.

“Russia did not have the right to go into Crimea or to go in February of 2022 and that should be clear.”

I just really don’t buy that the Yale University-Harvard Law School-educated governor and one with an eye toward the presidency didn’t say just what he meant in the questionnaire. He is a practiced politician who regularly speaks to voters on issues facing Floridians, and now that he is campaigning-not-campaigning throughout the country, he is also addressing hot-button issues impacting voters at large. Filling out the questionnaire wasn’t a stretch for either the governor or his team – especially when one considers with whom the questionnaire originated and Carlson’s audience. Clearly, DeSantis chose to play to *that* audience with his original Ukraine remarks. And almost certainly, DeSantis was bruised and taken aback by the angry reaction of Republicans and knew that he had to explain what he really meant. Or, clarify, if you will. It’s funny how the word clarify is so much more forgiving than cleanup, back-pedal, U-turn, flip-flop, or pivot…

But let’s take a minute to look at his clarification. While he correctly states that in 2014, Russia illegally invaded Crimea and subsequently claimed it as theirs and that it was wrong, he then says:

What I’m referring to is where the fighting is going on now which is that eastern border region Donbas, and then Crimea, and you have a situation where Russia has had that. I don’t think legitimately but they had. There’s a lot of ethnic Russians there. So, that’s some difficult fighting and that’s what I was referring to and so it wasn’t that I thought Russia had a right to that, and so if I should have made that more clear, I could have done it, but I think the larger point is, okay, Russia is not showing the ability to take over Ukraine, to topple the government or certainly to threaten NATO. That’s a good thing. I just don’t think that’s a sufficient interest for us to escalate more involvement. I would not want to see American troops involved there. But the idea that I think somehow Russia was justified (in invading) – that’s nonsense.”

His larger point then is, that because Russia isn’t able to take over all of Ukraine and topple its government or threaten NATO, there isn’t sufficient interest for us to be involved any more than we are. In other words, the illegal invasion, the untold thousands of children kidnapped and taken into Russia to be re-educated and made Russian, the targeting, torture, rape, and murder of Ukrainian civilians, the genocide of a Western nation, and the threat that a Russian victory would pose to the rest of Europe and the West doesn’t move the dial. I want to point out too that there has not been any call for American troops to be involved, contrary to the MAGA distortion of President Zelenky’s comments.

With regard to DeSantis’ comment that ethnic Russians are already there:

The reason why there is “fighting going on” in Donbas, Crimea, and well beyond since 2014 isn’t because native Russian-speaking Slavs populate those portions of Ukraine. It’s because Moscow invaded and illegally annexed those territories.

The existence of ethnic Russians in the nations Moscow regards as its “near abroad” — the former Soviet space and some portions of the Warsaw Pact — serves as Moscow’s pretextual justification for its expansionist ambitions. The existence of an ethnic diaspora beyond the borders of revisionist powers has justified irridentist ambitions since the dawn of nationalism. It’s not a legitimate rationale for wars of aggression, and DeSantis says he doesn’t regard Putin’s war as just. So why bring it up?

DeSantis also addressed the issue of whether a China invasion of Taiwan would be seen as a more critical issue:

“That would be aggression,” he replied. “Absolutely it would be aggression. Taiwan is a strong ally of the United States. I think that’s a critical interest, for us but also for our key allies like Japan and South Korea, and I think overall the number one issue that we face internationally is checking the growth and the rise of China.

“They’re much more powerful than Putin and Russia are, and they really represent the biggest threat that we’ve seen to our ability to lead since the Soviet Union.”

And yet:

The Taiwanese are of full or partial Han descent. Would DeSantis lend credence to Beijing’s narratives about uniting (the ruling caste of) the Chinese people? Of course not. In fact, he insists that checking Chinese aggression with a deterrent posture in the Indo-Pacific is “a critical interest” and crucial for “our key allies like Japan and South Korea.” But the same rationale applies to Europe, where the U.S. has mutual defense pacts with nations like Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, all of whom have plenty of “ethnic Russians” within their borders — a condition Moscow is keen to bring up, and which justifies in the Kremlin’s view efforts to destabilize those nations.

I agree that China is watching and waiting to see if Russia’s illegal invasion will be met with impunity and how long the West is willing to aid and support Ukraine’s efforts to expel Russia from its borders. If we waver or back off in our support and Ukraine is lost to Russia, China will be more emboldened to make an advance on Taiwan. If China does invade Taiwan, not just our economy, but the global economies would be far more devastated, given the dependence on Taiwan’s chips and cheap manufacturing:

Looking at this situation from an economic perspective, a Chinese invasion of Taiwan could mean trillions of dollars in losses and a serious global recession. Taiwan is home to TSMC, the world’s biggest chipmaker. Given that no other company makes such advanced chips at such a high volume, a conflict could mean the production of everything from cars to iPhones grinds to a halt… “Given how predominant Taiwan is in the global semiconductor value chain, even with adjustments, any type of disruption to access to Taiwan semiconductor output is going to have tremendous consequences for the global economy[.]”

So, I agree with DeSantis about his concerns regarding China. They are very real. But at the same time, what the U.S. does today to support Ukraine is also what keeps China in check, and also prevents a revival of the Soviet Union tomorrow, especially if China provides Russia with lethal weapons.

–Dana

60 Responses to “A DeSantis Clarification? Well…”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (1225fc)

  2. DeSantis only desires to be closer to support for Ukraine than Trump. But not by a lot.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  3. Yep. A cynical political calculation, that’s all.

    Dana (1225fc)

  4. Politicians that walk back or clarify their original comments (“I was misquoted/mischaracterized/misunderstood”) unwittingly show that their original statements reflect their true beliefs. I’m sure we will see a lot of that in the 18 months.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  5. Back before the US entered WW2, there were American volunteers flying aircraft for both Britain and China against the Axis powers. In the Chinese case, the planes (P40-D) were purchased from the manufacturer and flown by former US military pilots.

    It would seem to me that one could again draw volunteers from former US military pilots, to fly F-16s or A-10s or, well, nearly anything that isn’t a death trap. There are folks who like aerial combat. This solves the training problem and quickly gives Ukraine a shot at air superiority.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  6. show that their original statements reflect their true beliefs

    Assuming they have some.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  7. <blockquote>Assuming they have some.

    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/23/2023 @ 11:34 am

    It’s tough when the statements are on video.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. Beliefs, not statements.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  9. So, does he get any credit for this recalibration?

    But, I’m sure you know, every politician would get certain things wrong or “not quite there” and their supporters would react negatively.

    SO, does a politician double-down? Or adjust accordingly?

    I know you’d want politicians to “get it right” every time, but that’s an impossible standard.

    I’m fine with politicians being able to adjust like this.

    Call it a flip flop, but know this – that claim really doesn’t hurt most politicians.

    whembly (d116f3)

  10. DeSantis’ ability to listen does give him an advantage over Trump.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  11. Ukraine is not vital to American strategic interests, whereas Taiwan is. Period

    if DeSantis were to say that, he would just get bombarded with different badgering from the media and their NeverRepublican allies cuz rape, torture, murder, genocide

    so, he has to couch it in terms that cause pundits to write nonsense about Han ethnicity and sending a message to China about aggression, which nobody in their right mind takes seriously

    JF (3ab321)

  12. whembly,

    To me, it’s more that he readjusted for self-serving reasons. He intentionally appealed to the no-blank checks! MAGA crowd with his original statement from a Tucker Carlson (tells you all you need to know) questionnaire. Then when it all hit the fan because he reduced a raging and illegal war to a land dispute, and was rightly criticized by prominent Republicans, he decided he needed to save himself and a future presidential run by telling the Republicans in that group what they want to hear. No one mischaracterized his statements, as he claimed. Rather, he said what he thought and caught grief for it, and then did damage control. Just politicking. A recalibration motivated by his numbers taking a hit and angering Republican leaders who publicly took him to the woodshed. That’s nothing to respect or admire. But it is revealing about DeSantis.

    Dana (1225fc)

  13. @13

    A recalibration motivated by his numbers taking a hit and angering Republican leaders who publicly took him to the woodshed. That’s nothing to respect or admire. But it is revealing about DeSantis.

    Dana (1225fc) — 3/23/2023 @ 12:52 pm

    I disagree.

    DeSantis is trying to thread that needle here. He MUST offer something “to the no-blank checks! MAGA crowd” in order to win the Primary and have a chance at the Presidency.

    The fact that he:

    readjusted

    Is in fact, an ecouraging thing, and the sort of thing that MUST be hashed out during the primary and not the General Election™.

    That’s why we have a primary.

    And for the:

    for self-serving reasons

    Well… duh. He’s running for President. EVERY politician is self-serving with respect to wanting the job in the first place.

    Here’s the thing. The GOP voters in the primary/GE are NOT, and has never been, a homogenous voting group. There are a multitude of factions that each candidate must “woo” for their support.

    If Desantis is to be the nominee, sadly, he’s going to need the MAGA voters to support him in order to win. Primary votes need to be pragmatic here – find someone who not only CAN win the primary, but also is closely aligned with your preferred policy preferences. That latter my require more compromises than the former, but if you can’t win, then anything after that doesn’t really matter.

    But, what *is* revealing about DeSantis, is his desires to “put points on the board” with respect to his governance. THAT is something that is NOT an indication of a “self serving” politician has you tried to pejoratively apply. That, is a politician who’s not timid in advancing his political goals.

    whembly (d116f3)

  14. Dana and Whembly,

    It may just be, in the scheme of things, Ukraine is not an issue DeSantis feels that strongly about. When a politician flips and flops easily on an issue, that’s what it signifies. I’m sure he’ll drift towards a position that gets him in the least trouble, then he’ll easily change his views should he get into office, and he suddenly needs to feel strongly about Ukraine and Putin.

    Appalled (164cf0)

  15. Nixon said it best. You run to the right in the primaries. Then, after the nomination is secured, you turn around and run as fast as you can to the middle.

    Don’t let the pure be the enemy of the good.

    norcal (7b2be1)

  16. I’m just glad that if we get into a shooting war with China that we don’t have to worry about them launching nuclear weapons like we do with Russia

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  17. Dana (1225fc) — 3/23/2023 @ 12:52 pm

    Then when it all hit the fan because he reduced a raging and illegal war to a land dispute,

    And also claimed that, if Putin fell from power, he would most likely be succeeded by somebody worse – an assertion which is probably Russian propaganda.

    DeSantis tried to say there is no contraction between what he said in his Tucker questionnaire and what he says now and he didn’t quite manage it.

    Now, he adds, Putin is a really bad guy. This time he said that Vladimir Putin was a war criminal. Well, what are the consequences of that?

    The question is: Does he want to supply Ukraine with arms and other help, or does he not? And, if so, is there some limit to his support?

    Is his policy, like Biden’s, devolving to a “forever war” as the best possible option? If not, what is his alternative?

    Is it the magic of “negotiations?” Well, we know that’s stupid, and Chinese propaganda, but will DeSantis say so?

    Is it surrender by Ukraine? Does he want to make decisions for Ukraine without Ukraine? (Biden says no)

    Is it risking a bigger war with Russia? (if you think more Ukrainian success would lead to that)

    Is it waiting for Russia to give up the war (without any major change in the lines) and sue for peace, hoping that won’t take too long?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  18. But at the same time, what the U.S. does today to support Ukraine is also what keeps China in check, and also prevents a revival of the Soviet Union tomorrow, especially if China provides Russia with lethal weapons

    You have it backwards. For China, it is Ukraine ‘what keeps’ the United States ‘in check’– foolishly draining costly resources better kept available for the inevitable confrontation over Taiwan while at the same time strengthening the Eurasian Alliance w/t ‘junior partner,’ Russia in multiple venues- from trade to space- and positioning itself as a world ‘peacemaker.’ The number of agreements between Russia and China would have been unthinkable even a quarter century ago. This alliance is meant to erode U.S. hegemony, which is the core of their ‘New World Order’ plan. And they’ve been working that plan for decades; investing in resources around the world- even building artificial islands in the South China Sea:

    China has fully militarized three islands in South China Sea, US admiral says

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/21/china-has-fully-militarized-three-islands-in-south-china-sea-us-admiral-says

    It is slipping away for America right before our eyes– because of weak leadership and misguided policies from officials from both political parties– and allies in the West that tried to use a similar policy w/Russia. NATO and Article 5 keeps Russia ‘in check.’

    Worse, the current POTUS has gotten it wrong, as Bob Gates so wisely noted, on international issues his entire career, as this memorable quote illustrates:
    “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man, I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They’re not competition for us…” – Joe Biden.

    And at 80, he’ll be dead soon and the rest of us will have to live with the consequences of his incompetence.

    China is not our ‘competitor’ – it is America’s ‘adversary’; an adversarial relationship enhanced w/t strengthening Eurasian Alliance w/Russia and likely the biggest foe thew United States has ever faced. They are slowly peeling off ‘friends’ who long looked to the U.S. to secure their interests; they have a plan for a New World Order to supplant the United States as the dominant global power in the 21st century and are methodically sticking to it… it has been in work for decades and lousy leadership in the West has helped accelerate it- just as they fueled Putin while he suckered the West. This video is damning:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCCTf17ZiIs&t=1s

    DCSCA (fcb720)

  19. DeSantis is discovering dealing w/t real world isn’t like dealing w/Disneyworld.

    DCSCA (fcb720)

  20. I’m just glad that if we get into a shooting war with China that we don’t have to worry about them launching nuclear weapons like we do with Russia

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 3/23/2023 @ 1:53 pm

    😁

    How dare you rain on the tribal talking points.

    norcal (7b2be1)

  21. For China, it is Ukraine ‘what keeps’ the United States ‘in check’– foolishly draining costly resources better kept available for the inevitable confrontation over Taiwan

    If it turns into a shooting war, we won’t have access to TSMC anyway, regardless of whether or not China occupies the island. China won’t have access to it, either.

    It does now.

    https://www.ft.com/content/2e38805c-d446-45ec-94eb-40b229d4cc97

    TSMC gets 1-year US licence for China chip expansion

    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co has secured a one-year licence to continue ordering American chipmaking equipment for its expansion in China after the US rolled out tough export controls to block Beijing’s tech ambitions.

    CC Wei, chief executive of the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, confirmed on October 13 that the company had been given a one-year licence covering its Nanjing manufacturing facility in China, confirming an earlier report by Nikkei Asia.

    Sources previously told Nikkei that the US government assured TSMC it could ship the equipment to Nanjing, meaning the company’s plans to expand its manufacturing footprint in the world’s second-largest economy will remain on track.

    See, we are “bribing” China, not to invade Taiwan. Sort of like Sweden supplying Nazi Germany with steel.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_iron-ore_industry_during_World_War_II

    And any plant in China (or in Taiwan) could not continue production without imports.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-10-12/no-need-to-blow-up-tsmc-in-china-war-taiwan-security-chief-says?leadSource=uverify%20wall

    Chen Ming-tong, director-general of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau, told lawmakers on Wednesday that it would be useless to take over facilities from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. if Beijing took control of the island. TSMC is highly integrated with the global supply chain, including suppliers such as ASML Holding NV of the Netherlands, so the US and other countries would be able to choke off its production without getting rid of its plants, he said.

    “If you understand the ecosystem of TSMC, the comments out there are unrealistic,” Chen said. “TSMC needs to integrate global elements before producing high-end chips. Without components or equipment like ASML’s lithography equipment, without any key components, there is no way TSMC can continue its production.”

    “Even if China got a hold of the golden hen, it won’t be able to lay golden eggs,” he added….

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  22. Ukraine is not vital to American strategic interests

    Like hell it isn’t.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  23. I’m just glad that if we get into a shooting war with China that we don’t have to worry about them launching nuclear weapons like we do with Russia

    Mutual Assured Destruction still rules the nuclear game. NK scares me, but China does not.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  24. The orgy picture with underage girls when he was their high school teacher will be more effective for trump as most maggots are ambivalent about ukraine war at best.

    asset (a6e1f7)

  25. While there is a cynical explanation, it may also be that his advisers are divided on this point, and he’s choosing to go with a different group.

    Remember that politicians have advisers and policy wonks briefing them. A politician is supposed to be able to pick options from what he is given that work both politically and actually. He may shift from time to time, depending on circumstances and political moods. This is normal; a good politician is issue-fluid, although he has to make sure he doesn’t damage the brand.

    I welcome DeSantis’ recognition that the previous position would lock him into the GOP’s Trumpist wing when he aspires to wider support.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  26. maggots

    You know, talking about political opponents as if they aren’t human is the first step towards “re-education” camps.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  27. North Korea is beating its swords into plowshares.

    But it’s not really good news.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/03/19/world/asia/north-korea-kim-jong-un-food.html

    … The country’s military is ​rejiggering some of its munitions factories to produce tractors and threshing machines, while also ​converting some airfields ​into greenhouses…It is both an economic imperative and a geopolitical calculation for an isolated nation facing food shortages. Sanctions imposed since 2016 over the North’s nuclear program have devastated its exports and ability to earn hard currency….

    ….When ​Mr. Kim’s regime launched an intercontinental ballistic missile ​last month, South Korea blamed the North for hosting large military parades and developing nuclear missiles while its people were “dying of starvation one after another amid a serious food crisis.” Seoul tends to emphasize the North’s food shortages as a criticism of Pyongyang for devoting resources to its ​nuclear program…

    …South Korean officials later said they did not expect the shortages to lead to mass starvation or to endanger ​Mr. Kim’s grip on power.​ During ​​background briefings​ in recent days​, they said they didn’t have enough data to ​estimate how many ​North Koreans have starved. But they insisted they had reports of people starving to death in smaller towns, but not in Pyongyang, home to the well-fed elites….

    ….​Hardly a day goes by without the North’s state news media exhorting its people to help produce more grains….

    ,,,,Mr. Kim is waging a campaign for more food while vowing to take “persistent and strong” countermeasures, meaning more weapons tests. North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday and a short-range ballistic missile on Sunday, its second and third such tests in just over a month….Under Mr. Kim, North Korea has rapidly expanded its nuclear program, conducting a record number of missile tests last year…

    …The money North Korea spent on its missile tests last year was more than enough to import one million tons of grain, South Korean officials said. Adding to the shortages, North Korea rejected foreign aid and scared off food smugglers by adding more fences and issuing a shoot-to-kill order along its border with China. It also tightened control on people’s movement between towns, making it more difficult for traders to ship goods….The hardest hit were the poor. In lean years, they consume more corn, while the elites prefer rice. In a sign of deepening distress for the more vulnerable, the price of corn has risen more sharply than that of rice, according to indexes compiled by Asia Press International.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  28. I just really don’t buy that the Yale University-Harvard Law School-educated governor and one with an eye toward the presidency didn’t say just what he meant in the questionnaire.

    Just because he’s academically credentialed doesn’t make for credible judgement. The ‘tell’ was “punching down” by responding, while not even being an announced candidate no less, to a silly questionnaire from, of all sources, a cable TeeVee talk show host; an entertainer. Then run to another, Brit Piers Morgan no less, for clean up.

    Boxers or briefs, Ron? Ainsley & Sean want to know.

    DCSCA (d32785)

  29. North Korean poor. What a concept.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  30. DeSantis already sent the message he wanted to send, to the people he wanted to send it to: “If I am elected, all Ukraine belong to Russia.”

    And then he clarified: “But first, I have to get elected.”

    nk (bb1548)

  31. Brilliant and spot-on, nk.

    Dana (1225fc)

  32. North Korea is beating its swords into plowshares.

    LOL! It would be Comedy Gold! if it weren’t so serious:

    ……….
    North Korea has staged 10 rounds of missile tests so far this year, some involving more than one projectile. It last conducted a missile test on Sunday, when it said it practiced detonating a mock nuclear warhead above the sea off its east coast in a simulated “nuclear attack at a major enemy target.”
    ……….
    In 2022, North Korea launched at least 95 ballistic and other missiles, more than in any previous year, continuing its campaign of brinkmanship in the face of international sanctions. …..

    North Korea launched six short-range ballistic missiles off its west coast on March 9, (2023), testing what it called its ability to attack military airfields in the South. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, watched the test with his young daughter, according to North Korean state media. Three days later, the North launched cruise missiles from a submarine for the first time.
    ……..
    North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on Feb. 18, (2023), its first ICBM test in three months. The test, which the North said involved its Hwasong-15 ICBM, came a day after its Foreign Ministry had warned of taking “unprecedentedly persistent and strong counteractions” against the annual joint military drills planned by the United States and South Korea.

    ……..North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles (on February 19, 2023). Ms. Kim, Kim Jong-un’s sister, also threatened to use “the Pacific as our firing range.” On Feb. 23, North Korea launched four cruise missiles off its east coast to demonstrate what it called its “deadly nuclear counterattack capability.”
    ……..
    North Korea started the new year by launching a short-range ballistic missile, indicating that it would persist in weapons development in 2023. The missile was fired from Pyongyang, the capital and flew 248 miles before falling into the waters off the country’s east coast, the South Korean military said.

    On Dec. 16, (2022), North Korea tested what it called a new, high-thrust rocket engine that used solid fuel as it looks to expand its capabilities. Two days later, it launched what the South Korean military called two medium-range ballistic missiles from the same site where the new rocket engine was tested. North Korea claimed that it was testing technologies to place a military spy satellite into the Earth’s orbit.
    ……..
    November was the busiest month in North Korean missile tests in 2022, with at least 46 ballistic and other missiles launched, half of them on Nov. 2 alone. One of the missiles fired that day flew over the inter-Korean maritime border and fell into waters off the east coast of South Korea, triggering an aerial-attack warning alarm on a populated island. In response, the South fired three air-to-surface missiles across the border into waters near North Korea.

    The North capped its brisk weapons activities in November by test-firing the Hwasong-17, its newest and most powerful ICBM, on Nov. 18. The missile was launched at a deliberately steep angle, high into space. The flight data indicated that if launched at a normal angle, the missile theoretically could reach anywhere in the continental United States.

    ………On Oct. 4, (2022), North Korea fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over northern Japan, triggering alarms and prompting residents to seek cover. On Oct. 12, it launched what it called two “long-range strategic cruise missiles” that it said were deployed at units operating “tactical nukes.” It also claimed that it rehearsed the launching of “nuclear warheads” at “the enemies’ main military command facilities” during tests conducted on Oct. 6.
    ………

    Free link.

    And so on, and so on, and so on. North Korea launched 95 missiles in 2022, more than in any previous year. The Kims don’t care about it costs to develop their nuclear weapons program, and so far their testing program hasn’t paid any price.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  33. @30: Sure, we’re cynical. But are we cynical enough?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  34. @30. Pfft. It merely confirms a Florida governor can change like Florida weather.

    DCSCA (c417a2)

  35. Typical and why DeSantis shouldn’t bother with the NeverRepubican wing.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  36. Typical and why DeSantis shouldn’t bother with the Regular Republican wing.

    As I’ve said, Trump and DeSantis are fighting for the Trump wing. Everyone else is in the other bracket.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  37. I am going to bet that, should someone besides Trump or DeSantis win the nomination, the Trumpies will vote for Biden in protest.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  38. Drone strike in syria kills american contractor wounds american soldiers. To many here are worried about are involvement in ukraine where they are doing are fighting for us. Desatan walks back territorial dispute after getting burned.

    asset (1b8aa6)

  39. Asset thinks calling people names is cool. I think I’m going to go with asshat.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  40. @39 “To many here.” Is calling names? When have I called you a name?

    asset (1b8aa6)

  41. Did I say here?

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  42. @41 Where have I called you names? Let me know and I will apologize.

    asset (1b8aa6)

  43. Typical and why DeSantis shouldn’t bother with the NeverRepubican wing.

    DeSantis also opposes repubing.

    (Yeah, I know, but that’s all it’s worth.)

    nk (6679db)

  44. And you’re wrong, anyway. DeSantis has to go hunting where the ducks are. Like Nikki. Trump already has the loons in the bag.

    nk (6679db)

  45. And “repubed” the GOP.

    nk (6679db)

  46. I am going to bet that, should someone besides Trump or DeSantis win the nomination, the Trumpies will vote for Biden in protest.
    Kevin M (1ea396) — 3/23/2023 @ 9:39 pm

    I am going to bet that, should someone besides Trump or DeSantis win the nomination, the NeverTrumpers will vote for Biden — again

    JF (d3ad2b)

  47. The “a lot of Russians” excuse by DeSantis is fairly pathetic.
    Before Putin invaded the Crimean region, only around 60% were ethnic Russian. In Donbas, ethnic Russians were in the minority, around 40%, and Putin didn’t hesitate disenfranchising the ethnic Ukrainians in both regions.
    Whether Ukrainians speak Russian is fairly irrelevant. Zelenskyy’s mother tongue is Russian.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  48. Some people claim, that it’s the voters to blame

    It’s not the voters’ fault if the GOP chose lunacy over policy.

    nk (6679db)

  49. The “a lot of Russians” excuse by DeSantis is fairly pathetic.
    Before Putin invaded the Crimean region, only around 60% were ethnic Russian.

    yes, that sounds really pathetic, Montagu

    JF (d3ad2b)

  50. Yes, it is, JF. And it ignores the history of how all those ethnic Russians got to the Crimean peninsula.

    Paul Montagu (8f0dc7)

  51. I am going to bet that, should someone besides Trump or DeSantis win the nomination, the NeverTrumpers will vote for Biden — again

    You really don’t understand. You would think that after all this time you would. But no.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  52. @41 Where have I called you names? Let me know and I will apologize.

    You call every political person you dislike “funny” names, which basically makes you look childish.

    Kevin M (1ea396)

  53. The situation in Ukraine should give China second thoughts about Taiwan, but it shouldn’t stop them if they want Taiwan badly. Ukraine logistics routes inside and outside Ukraine are many and varied. Logistic routes to Taiwan all end at the same little island. Western supply would prefer to go through the 4 ports on the Pacific and China would make it a priority to deny those ports. China could take huge losses early on because of their inexperience in projecting power across the sea and Taiwan will sink quite a few ships, shoot down quite a few transport planes, but one thing we know about China is that it is not averse to high casualties.

    The Ukraine conflict and western participation has strengthened China’s relationship with Russia, and to be direct about it, Russia owes China a debt. China’s power has elevated significantly during the war in Ukraine. Iran’s power has elevated significantly during the war in Ukraine. China and Iran are not all that friendly, but Russia would be a conduit.

    In human affairs we don’t really see that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, but there are always levels of response at varying levels of skill & competence.

    I am of the opinion at this point in time that via actions in Ukraine we have simply traded Russia as geopolitical foe #1 and Iran maybe a distant #3 for a new seeding bracket that gives us China #1 and Iran #2 with both being stronger than they were before the West and Ukraine vs Russia started

    steveg (fc2c29)

  54. During this process of neutering the neo- Soviet bear, we discovered there was only one functioning, but radioactive testicle. The other was old and desiccated. Russia also no longer has as much of the lucrative European market for its fossil fuel exports and is selling it them a discount to India and China, taking an economic hit.

    China has taken advantage geopolitically negotiating a “peace pact” between Iran and the Saudi’s. That peace pact is perhaps doomed because in typical Iranian style, the MTG wing of Iranian government chanted death to Saudi Arabia rather than simply entering a “no” vote, but the win for China is that it brought two middle eastern nations to the table. On the warfighting front, I am assuming China’s military technology will function above the level of that of the neo-Soviets and that their military is wanting to see how good it really is, particularly if the US has depleted stockpiles of munitions by sending them to Ukraine. Personally I believe this would be a mistake for China, but they could throw enough into the grinder to pull out a win, which would intimidate the heck out of Japan, S. Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia

    Last, Biden. He speaks strongly on Ukraine, but he doesn’t command international respect. That respect is of our process. Our military functions fine, our EU and NATO alliances function fine (if Biden doesn’t assert himself into it over his head). Biden or Harris are a couple of waffle cones and if Xi wants Taiwan with urgency he should act soon and decisively. If Xi is patient, he can wait to see if the downward trend in US Presidential candidates from the two parties continues its decline, but that isn’t a sure bet. DeSantis might grow into the office, Gavin Newsom might stumble into a proper decision from his brain/random synonym generator. Long story short, I think Xi maybe makes the mistake and launches his bid for Taiwan while the Ukraine is in its summer counter-offensive. The British have a betting line on nearly everything, but it was Volkswagen who put down a $180B investment into China which means they are betting on “NO” on an invasion even though the CIA says Xi wants China’s military to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027.
    I’ll be very happy to be wrong, and for Volkswagen to be right

    steveg (fc2c29)

  55. @53. Not really– it won’t stop them. They can literally overrun and occupy the island simply by landing people; barge after barge after barge after barge after barge of occupiers “liberators” … lest you forget their massive swarm into Korea surprising MacArthur. They have millions to tap, to spare, to sacrifice… Like a swarm of ants…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hYEMdLh2sU&t=11s

    DCSCA (4bae87)

  56. @52 I asked where have I called you or any poster names.

    asset (48e523)

  57. North Korea is exaggerating its danger to the world..

    Sammy Finkelman (aa0f8d)

  58. Given the accomplishments of the Russian special military operation needed to resolve territorial dispute/ ongoing territory grab in Ukraine, I’d say North Korea’s position looks better when mirrored against former favorite Russia. When I look around, I can find that the best reviews of the neo-Soviet military thus far are the text book break contact and retreat from Kherson. This is true, the consequences of a poorly executed retreat there would have been crushing, but I look at it like this. What if the USA had gone into Mexico, gotten our asses kicked and we consoled ourselves that we had successfully retreated back across the Rio Grande into Texas?

    steveg (ec499b)

  59. @58 Already happened columbus new mexico march 2016. Gen black jack pershing (he commanded colored troops goes after pauncho villa in mexico. Mexican army chases U.S. troops out of mexico.

    asset (288786)

  60. Just catching up to this. Such a great post.

    Patterico (6cc6cf)


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