Good or Bad for the Jews

"Good or Bad for the Jews"

Many years ago, and for many years, I would travel to Morocco to visit uncles, cousins, and my paternal grandmother. Some lived in Tangiers;...

Friday, March 4, 2022

Rooting for Putin? No, but . . .

Apologies. This will be mostly about me. Consider it as an old man's therapy. Thinking aloud.

I feel conflicted, my thoughts jumbled, about the Ukraine crisis. 

I spent nearly my whole career in the US foreign service viewing the USSR as our primary, even existential threat. I have bored my six readers with tales of dealing with the Soviets and won't repeat those. In sum: I hated the USSR and everything it stood for. I could not abide those in the West who wanted to go easy on the Soviets, much less those who betrayed the West for that hideous regime. When, however, the Soviet Union collapsed, my antipathy for that regime did not transition into hatred for Russia. I always liked Russian culture and history; liked the Russians I met; and saw no intrinsic reason for the US and Russia to pick up the conflict where the US and the USSR had left it. In other words, we could get along; yes, one had to deal with Russia with both eyes wide open, and watch for potential conflicts of interest, but those did not seem serious. For a time, I advocated to my poor glassy-eyed colleagues dissolving NATO; with the end of the Warsaw Pact, I saw NATO with no military purpose, as a needless provocation for Russia, and a liability for the USA. I certainly saw no reason to expand the size of NATO and extend its, I mean, OUR commitments. 

I have written in this blog how I found appalling the attitude we exhibited towards post-USSR Russia. Full of hubris, the "End of History" people told us the world had become unipolar; the victorious US and its allies could and would set the rules for that world, now free of troublesome ideologies. We would have a world order established and ruled by the West's "expert" technocrats via the IMF, the World Bank, and, above all, the WTO. This new world held out the promise of an endless buffet of prosperity throughout the globe brought about by trade and investment. Economic linkages would overwhelm and extinguish military conflict. China would become a happy cog in the Western machine. We shouldn't worry about the hollowing out of our industrial base; we would all be better off in the long run.

Russia barely featured in our designs; it would hold the rank, at best, of junior partner, a tiny wheel in the gearbox, off to one side, not doing anything important. We sent Jeff Sachs and his minions to Russia to reorganize their economy. We dismissed or, better said, did not even take into consideration Russia's view of world history, and of Russia's place in that history. We ignored the central tenet of that view, to wit, that the West looked down on Russia, and would do what it could to deny Russia its rightful place among the powers. Hollywood, of course, fed into and helped further our image of Russia: it depicted Russians as mad terrorists, gangsters, and, of course, prostitutes. Recall the many TV shows and films with Russians as the most vile of villains, the enemies of peace and civilization. We drew a caricature of Russia, believed it, and could not see the nationalist upheaval taking place inside the real Russia, and, of course, the accompanying and growing resentment towards the imperious West. 

We ignored the reemergence from the shadows and the revival of the Church in Russia. This institution not only survived decades of Communist oppression, but never relinquished its hold on the minds and souls of the majority of Russia's people. Christianity in Russia is an old-time, conservative, muscular Christianity; it, for example, does not accept gay marriage or other key articles of the Woke West. It, furthermore, sees Islam as an ancient and clear menace; history for Russia had not, and has not ended.

With the arrival of Vlad Putin on the scene, things began to change. A genuine Russian nationalist authoritarian--no friend of democracy, he--who lamented the death of the USSR, and the fracturing of its territorial empire, especially the weakening of its Slavic core. He saw himself as a 21st century pan-Slavic Tsar. He crushed Chechnya, humbled Georgia, turned Belarus into a puppet, and ate away at Ukraine. He spent a fortune renewing the Red Army, and instilling pride in the people for their country. He was and is a nationalist who places "Russia First." He, however, sought improved relations with the USA and the West, but made clear his opposition to the expansion of NATO up to Russia's borders. He, in particular, made known his strong negative view on Ukraine joining that expanded NATO. 

The big opportunity to repair US-Russian relations came with the advent of Donald Trump to the White House. Trump was the American Putin when it came to foreign affairs. He placed America's interests first and had no trouble calling out the phony nature of the NATO alliance. Trump insisted on re-establishing America's energy independence, rebuilding its military-industrial base, and ending needless wars and adventures overseas. Putin knew that Trump was the kind of leader who would pull the trigger but would not be the first to put the gun on the table. The repairing of US-Russian relations, of course, was sabotaged by a relentless four-year campaign by the DNC to label Trump as Putin's puppet--when, in fact, nothing could have been further from the truth. Many of the same people involved in creating and promoting that destructive lie now hold senior positions in the Biden administration, including National Security Advisor Sullivan and the fraud who holds the title of President, the former Senator from Delaware. 

Let us not forget that the corrupt Biden family has gotten rich thanks, not only to the credit card companies of Delaware, but also to Ukraine and China.

This brings me to my reluctance to cheer unabashedly for Ukraine. It is not just that Ukraine was not a democracy prior to the invasion, and while I normally would show myself partial to rich Jewish comedians--I think of myself as one in formation--I find Zelensky, well, yes, he's brave, but he also bears responsibility for leading his country irresponsibly. He did not rule as a democrat, and did little to fight the rampant corruption in Ukraine: Burisma, anyone? He proved inept in dealing with Russia and recognizing Ukraine's limitations in a tough neighborhood.

More important, however, in the past several years, our ruling elites have manipulated and lied to us so much--e.g., climate change, Covid, Russia "Collusion," Hunter Biden laptop, the 81 million Biden "voters"--that it now becomes difficult to separate fact from fiction. In sum: I don't like, much less trust many if not most of the people now pulling for Ukraine and insisting I do so, too. I know that might sound childish or unfair, but I remain suspicious of the nearly unanimous reporting beaming at us from the networks, right and left, and of the billionaire techno giants who seek to shape and limit our access to information. We even hear calls from otherwise once sane people for the murder of Putin--never heard such calls re the head of the USSR. 

We certainly don't hear the Russian side of the story; in fact, the same people who proved lukewarm at best when it came to opposing the USSR, created and promoted the Trump-Putin collusion nonsense, and lied and hid the truth about the rigged 2020 elections, now busily try to ensure we can't hear or read the Russian version of events. Look, I have watched some of the RT broadcasts which you can still get on YouTube, and find them unconvincing, and redolent of old heavy-handed Soviet propaganda. As, however, a free citizen of a democracy, I have the right to watch those broadcasts without getting called a traitor. I can make up my own mind and don't need Biden or Google to "help" me.

I do not support the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A lot of innocent people are getting killed and hurt. The war should stop. I hope Russia has great difficulty; I hope China has backed the wrong horse. 

That said, I recognize that the West has made this war possible and even likely: we have exhibited military and economic weakness--e.g., Afghanistan withdrawal, bizarre energy policy--and recklessly have encouraged NATO's expansion up to Russia's borders. Our leaders have shown themselves as idiots, who hate their own people, and as historical illiterates.

How would we have reacted--at least, in the Good Old Days--had Mexico expressed interest in  joining the Warsaw Pact, or begun muttering about reclaiming lost territories or protecting areas in the US with a large Mexican population?  


  1. Putin's spiritual destiny - UnHerd

  2. Out of Russia Will Come Hope | Edgar Cayce's A.R.E.

  3. Interesting article, insight and analysis. Do I make 7 readers? :)

  4. Best comment I've read about the whole situation. Thanks from one of your silent followers who kept you on my blog roll through all those long months of silence hoping you would eventually be back!

  5. "I do not support the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I hope that Russia has great difficulty, and that China has backed the wrong horse."-WLA

    Me too...
    Thanks for your patience,
    clarity of thought, and
    for the wisdom you wield
    so well Dip~~~
    On Watch~~~

    "Let's Roll"

  6. It’s far more complicated than this short sentence, but Putin is doing, to a certain extent, what JFK did with the Cuban missile crisis.

    1. No, on reflection, it’s more like the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Missile Crisis but in reverse. Again, too simplistic but there are similarities.

  7. Thank you! A post that I can concur with! The Democrats are at least as much to blame for this ad Putin. They are corrupt, and made us weak, for their own purposes, so this was forseeable. Thousands of people are dying, because of Biden, Obama, Pelosi,Schumer, etal's greed for power and profit.

  8. Diplomad, I know what you mean as I have never shed my Cold War mentality. The Slavic peoples have a fascinating history which we in the West could have learned from and still can. These people seem torn between Western thought post Napoleon, and the 'Pan Slavism' urge that emerged right after Napoleon as well. The Slavic longing seems to have a grip on V. Putin so he is threatened by too many neighbors of the 'liberal democracy' persuasion.

  9. An anonymous reader that will remain unnumbered but has remained a loyal reader even thru your absence, checking in every day. I appreciate and value your knowledge, experience and insight into the world of today. Pray your remain in good health. Your readers need your council.

  10. Thank you for this balanced perspective. The Russians I have known and worked with have mostly been friendly decent people. They wanted to be part of the Western world. Instead, the usual Lefties who had been supporting the USSR since the days of FDR rejected friendship with Russia now that the USSR is history, and demonized them.

    This war was provoked by "Our Guys" -- who would not even address Russia's repeatedly-stated concern about NATO expansion towards their borders. Push someone into a corner, and eventually he will feel he has to start throwing punches.

    When NATO -- no longer a "defensive" alliance -- invaded Iraq and Serbia, the first military action was to cutoff power & water, causing immense harm to the population. In contrast, Russia seems to be truly focusing its campaign in the Ukraine against the regime and its military, while trying to keep power & water on and minimize civilian casualties. And the West seems to be trying to promote a wider war, instead of trying to broker a peaceful resolution.

    I do not believe that getting the Ukraine into NATO is worth risking a nuclear war which would devastate Europe, the US (that is us!), and Russia -- leaving China as the smiling survivor. "Our Guys" in the DC Swamp are dangerous fools.

  11. Matt, the Seventh ReaderMarch 4, 2022 at 11:58 AM


    How did you manage to endure all those years in a leftist-dominated profession. I would think the political climate would have inflicted a form of mental and emotional dysentery.

    Once upon a time I had considered a career with the Foreign Service. Every time that I read your writings I am glad that I did not pursue that field.

  12. So many warnings (and no not all of these men are my cup of tea, but did they not derserve to be listened to?):

    George Kennan, 1998: NATO expansion is a tragic mistake

    Henry Kissinger, 2014: "to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country" and that the West therefore needs a policy that is aimed at "reconciliation".

    John Mearsheimer: "The West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path and the end result is that Ukraine is going to get wrecked [...] What we're doing is in fact encouraging that outcome."

    Jack F. Matlock Jr., US Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987-1991, warning in 1997 that NATO expansion was "the most profound strategic blunder, [encouraging] a chain of events that could produce the most serious security threat [...] since the Soviet Union collapsed"

    Former US Sec Defence William Perry explaining in his memoir that to him NATO enlargement is the cause of "the rupture in relations with Russia" and that in 1996 he was so opposed to it that "in the strength of my conviction, I considered resigning".

    Noam Chomsky in 2015, saying that "the idea that Ukraine might join a Western military alliance would be quite unacceptable to any Russian leader" and that Ukraine's desire to join NATO "is not protecting Ukraine, it is threatening Ukraine with major war."

    Stephen Cohen, a famed scholar of Russian studies, warning in 2014 that "if we move NATO forces toward Russia's borders [...] it's obviously going to militarize the situation [and] Russia will not back off, this is existential"

    Vladimir Pozner, in 2018, (famous Russian-American journalist) who says that NATO expansion in Ukraine is unacceptable to the Russian, that there has to be a compromise where "Ukraine, guaranteed, will not become a member of NATO."

    Jeffrey Sachs writing a column in the FT warning that "NATO enlargement is utterly misguided and risky. True friends of Ukraine, and of global peace, should be calling for a US and NATO compromise with Russia."

    CIA director Bill Burns in 2008: "Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all red-lines for [Russia]" and "I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests"

    Malcolm Fraser, 22nd prime minister of Australia, warned in 2014 that "the move east [by NATO is] provocative, unwise and a very clear signal to Russia". He adds that this leads to a "difficult and extraordinarily dangerous problem".

    Paul Keating, former Australian PM, in 1997: expanding NATO is "an error which may rank in the end with the strategic miscalculations which prevented Germany from taking its full place in the international system [in early 20th]"

    Former US defense secretary Bob Gates in his 2015 memoirs: "Moving so quickly [to expand NATO] was a mistake. [...] Trying to bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO was truly overreaching [and] an especially monumental provocation"

    Sir Roderic Lyne, former British ambassador to Russia, warned a year ago that "[pushing] Ukraine into NATO [...] is stupid on every level." He adds "if you want to start a war with Russia, that's the best way of doing it."

    "For the West, the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one." - Henry Kissinger


    1. Excellent list. Many thanks

    2. There are some "very strange cattle" in that list. Malcolm Fraser was one of the key players (along with Lord Carrington) involved in handing Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), on a plate, to the Chinese-owned and equipped Robert Mugabe.

    3. ...strange cattle" in that list. Malcolm Fraser...

      Perhaps the PM has learned something
      from his Mugabe faux pas, Cousin Brucie?

  13. We're being played in this circumstance -- by all parties and for their own purposes: the Ukrainians, the Russians, our own media creatures and our own political establishment ... many of whom - or their children - earned handsome incomes from Ukrainian interests.

  14. Excellent post! I think a great many people in America would agree with what you say here -- but now that the COVID narrative is fading, absolute solidarity with a morally spotless Ukraine has become the media-amplified narrative that we are all expected to clap for.

    For an observer on the sidelines, retired and basically uncancellable, watching each cycle of this great wheel of propaganda seems more and more like living in a madhouse.

    1. ..."but now that the COVID narrative [hypnosis-?] is fading, absolute solidarity with a morally spotless Ukraine has become the media-amplified narrative that >>>we are all expected to clap for<<< living in a madhouse." -MP

      Except, as the world turns~~~ Mr. Pollock, many patriots,
      'We the People', young and old, see a different perspective out on the road, NOT the ongoing CLAPtrap spoon-fed to US by the HALF-DEAD, and their not very clever elitist media fools
      But: through the eyes of a Child,
      the "Convoy" rolls onward to Maryland~~~
      with hopes, dreams, and memories collected
      from, and by, Patriots along the way~~~

      "The People’s Convoy Rolls to Maryland"

      Bannons War Room Published March 4, 2022 1,897 Views

      On Watch~~~

      "Let's Roll"

    2. Oh and Btw, w/reference to the notion:
      ..."now that the COVID narrative is fading,"...

      (((Now Hear this testinony)))


      And futherMORE, this request, TODAY, for "HELP" from Dr. Malone:

      Massive Troves Of Data On Covid Vaccines' Adverse Effects
      Bannons War Room Published March 4, 2022 5,443 Views

      No, boys & girls,
      its not yet over, unless and until,
      the Fat Lady sings~~~and~ or reads
      all the data, the testimonials, pages, graphs,
      charts, diagrams, references, footnotes etc.
      hiding within the document,
      DUMPs,.,., 55,000 pages
      On Watch~~~

      "Let's Roll"

  15. Good. It's important to remember that the real enemy, as far as we in the West should be concerned, is not Putin, but the NWO/Great-Reset puppetmasters who have hijacked, and are diligently working to destroy from within, The United States and Europe.

    1. "Good..,
      ...remember...the NWO/Great-Reset puppetmasters...
      diligently working to destroy from within,
      The United States and Europe.
      ON Watch~~~

      "Let's Roll"

  16. For some time now have thought Putin was a Czarist. Still can't get worked up about Ukraine borders when ours are non-existent. Do detest wanton civilian area destruction.

  17. I agree! See:

  18. Marvelous to see you working
    in Dip's Garden again, LJ~~~
    Thanks too, for the intro
    to Prof. Kurth, looking
    forward to taking notes
    during my next visits...
    Best regards,
    On Watch~~~

    "Let's Roll"

  19. Thank you, Diplomad; you've put my own feelings about the Ukraine war into words, and done so far more concisely (and politely!) than I am capable of doing. It's as if our feckless, gutless, backstabbing political elites are in competition with Putin to see which of them can be the bigger villain.

    Our elites used Ukraine as a proxy and catspaw to attack their enemies foreign and domestic, hugely enriching themselves in the process, and now Ukraine is paying the price for it. And while I sympathize with the Ukrainian people, why are their borders more important than our own? Why is Putin and his oligarchy deemed to be so much more of a threat than the tyrants and oligarchs we have so very much closer to home? And why should we applaud the current regime treating Russians like, oh, say, supporters of the Kenworth Spring, or harmless grandmas protesting at the Capitol on January 6, or Mike Lindell?

    Still, despite it all I do support sending Americans to Ukraine to help them fight off the Russians. For starters, we should send over all of the perpetrators of the Russiagate hoax, from Hillary Clinton on down, and their (too numerous to name) allies in the mainstream media that helped sell the lie.

    We should also send over all the people who perpetrated the bogus Russiagate investigation, from Robert Mueller and James Comey to the malevolent judge who so persecuted the innocent Michael Flynn.

    Send the perpetrators of the bogus Trump impeachment to Ukraine as well, to include certain vile Congresscritters like Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell and Liz Cheney. And all of the backstabbing swamp creatures at our Ukrainian embassy like Fiona Hill, who used their position to cover for Joe and Hunter Biden and spy on opposition party media figures and politicians. Wouldn't they be more useful on the front lines?

    Finally, we should also send over the assorted Congressional spawn that participated so enthusiastically in Ukrainian graft with names like Romney, Pelosi and Biden. Hmmm, perhaps not Hunter Biden, seeing as how he's a druggie who's already lost one gun. No sense giving *him* a Kalashnikov, I suppose. But the rest of them? "Here's a rifle and a couple boxes of shells. Good luck."

    Please forgive the word dump. I did say you put my feelings into words more concisely than I could, right?

    --Wes S.

    1. Funny stuff Wes,
      Tks for lightening
      The mood... although
      I'd be happy with a full
      slate of charges, trials,
      convictions, and HARD TIME,
      for all the perps you named,
      and many many more... hope we
      can start them all off licking
      the prison toilets till they shine...

  20. Too bad Foggy Bottom doesn't have a Maghrebi Mafia -- you guys seem *much* more reasonable! :)

    Far too many Galitzianers With Grudges in the US Establishment. Not an unalloyed fan of the Bear, but it's certainly been an education watching everyone lining up behind Zelensky (Such a *nice* Ukrainian Boy!:P)

    Worth mentioning that it's widely believed that Zelensky is the creature of one Igor Kolomoisky, the oligarch who backs him.

    1. Sounds like you're
      onto something, Genji.
      Maybe the RUs can arrange
      appropriate accomodations
      for the over-achievers to
      learn new tricks n'become
      responsible religioua folk?
      I'm thinking Vladimir P. may
      find some time to take some
      under his wing, and get them
      baptized, they may get to run
      a half-way house for US Dems,
      or errant corporate cronies,
      mebe misbegotten media mavens,
      as well as, Rino Senators and
      FOX Hosts w/ assassinistic pro-
      pensities - "Kaint we all
      jest try to get along" like
      the Slavs of olden times?...
      Just saying~~~

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. "I don't like, much less trust many if not most of the people now pulling for Ukraine and insisting I do so, too."

    A sentiment that I share but I also recognize that many of the most vocal apologists for Putin are also vile people who don't have my interests at heart.

    I think that the best we can hope for in this situation is that Putin gets his nose bloodied and agrees to a settled end to hostilities, probably with Russia holding some part of eastern Ukraine. Perhaps the Russian oligarchs will depose Putin as the sanctions appear to have some bite. I worry, though, that they will hurt average Russians resulting in anger at the west and patriotic ferver.

    As far as I'm concerned, both countries have long and murderous histories of Jew-hatred. The Ukrainian national hero is Bogdan Chmielnitski, who led a Cossack uprising against the Polish empire in the mid 1600s and in the process killed many thousands of Jews, and perhaps if the Ukrainians had devoted the effort they put into killing 100,000 or more Jews during the Russian Revolution into fighting the Russians, they might have been able to fight off the Red Army. During WWII, Ukrainians collaborated with the Nazis on a scale not seen in any other European country (with the possible exception of Vichy France).

    On the other hand, Russia gave us the word "pogrom".

    I'm tempted to quote Henry Kissinger on the Iraq-Iran war, "It's a pity both sides can't lose," or R' Meir Kahane's more succint, "High score!", but that would be wrong.

    There is video of Ukrainians standing down an armored convoy. Even when a truck pulled up next to the convoy and tried to push the crowd back, enough people started pushing back that the Russian driver had second thoughts. Not many people want to be war criminals.

    Providing enough Ukrainians are willing to take one for the team, what are the Russians going to do if there are truly massive demonstrations against them? What's that 40km convoy going to do if a half million Ukrainians march on them?

  23. With full throated agreement for this essay, and most every comment so far, I have posted a link to this on (nobody reads it though) my gab wall.

  24. 1. I would like to see any evidence that Zelensky "did not rule as a Democrat."
    2. Ukraibe would be quite happy not to join NATO but putin made it impossible not to make this choice
    3. I always said that Crimea with Sevastopol in NATO was a no-go for russia and would have been a no-go for us, too, if the roles were reversed. Both NATO and then Ukrainian government should have clearly stated that Crimea and Sevastopol held that special status that required input from russia.
    3. We are not a pure, corruptless society either, as we learned in the last 3 years. So using Burisma that happened during the previous Ukrainian administration as a justification for not helping Ukraine fight the russian agression and deny Ukrainians their right to self-determination and freedom is simpky evil.

    1. "Evil"? Wow. My concern, my number one and only concern is the USA. Ukraine's border have been, to put it mildly, quite flexible over the years. I don't want the US going to war over those borders, especially as our own are under assault. Read the State Department report on human rights in Ukraine as well as other material and you will see that Zelensky's commitment to ruling democratically and ending corruption is, at best, flawed. All beside the point. My point that I have made for many years and in many posts on this blog is achieving US energy, military, and industrial independence--and we can do that. That means we can make decisions about is or is not in our interest without outside pressures, or at least minimal outside pressures.
      I do not support the Russian invasion and I hope it goes quite wrong for Moscow and Beijing.

  25. Baroness Whatever: "deny Ukrainians their right to self-determination

    Hmmm! Didn't the occupants of the Crimea vote overwhelmingly in a referendum to join Russia? Haven't the occupants of the Donbas demonstrated very strongly that they want self-government, not rule by the Ukraine?

    If anyone is denying human beings in the Ukraine their right to self-determination and freedom, it is the kleptocrats in Kiev and their co-conspirators in the District of Corruption.

    1. For the most part, GL, do believe you're
      in the center ring, although I think,
      too, that Mother Russia, and her
      overly controlling, protective
      & shop-worn bureaus/agencies,
      serve to color the MOT bleak
      at best, such that, unless
      and until the parties,
      grow some compassion
      for the DOA plight
      of the people-it's
      GAME OVER~~~
      On Watch~~~

      "Let's Roll"

  26. Generally, I agree. But, hs any ally of the USA ever been an impeccable small-d democrat, or constitutional [traditional] liberal?

    The politics of both sides of the Taiwan Strait were radical reformist since 1911, with marked dictatorial tendencies. Even now, it is dicey if Taiwan's democracy can hold (but, I confess my partiality, since I have family there). The South Vietnamese had a corrupt, unstable, dictator-of-the-month regime, yet after we cut them off in 1973, they fought a poor man's war for two more years (compare that to France in WW2). Britain was colonialist, and some would charge Winston Churchill with callousness and even abeting the Bengal famine.

    Sorry, but I recall the Cold War, and how Soviet or Communist Chinese policies were always excused in the name of some dire necessity, while our allies were always condemned for corruptions great or small.

    Putin's acts in Ukraine were and are bald-faced agression. As for the accusations thrown against Ukraine, I cannot help but not that both Zelenskiy and Kolomoisky are first language Russian speakers (rather than either Ukrainian or Yiddish) and Jews--so much for Ukraine being a "neo-Nazi" state (as if Russia doesn't also have its own Red-Brown nexus and admirers of Hitler). It seems that RUssia is rolling out all the propaganda rhetoric of both the World War II and Cold War eras.

    @Genji: Interesting that you bring up Galitzianers--perhaps since much of Western Ukraine, centered on Lemberg--oops, Lviv--was once part of the Austrian inheritance? For the record, my family has Yekke, Kaifenger, and Northern European strains (we're a mix). As for a Maghrebi Mafia, I also think voices like Dip's and Bat Ye'or's (as well as those of many Middle Eastern Christians, once they're a safe distance from their Muslim neighbors) really ought to be heeded re Islam. One of my relatives once excorciated the Mizrahis of Israel for being so "backwards" in their attitudes towards Islam; I pointed out that such people probably have family memories of living as Dhimmi that the rest of us would be wise to heed.

    1. Thank you sincerely Kepha for your efforts
      and for sharing your sagacious insights,
      and care for our well being, during
      these dangerous & uncertain times...
      Pray you & yours are safe & secure~~~
      On Watch~~~
      If you happen to cross paths
      with an auld aquaintence
      of some of us hereabouts,
      aka, JK, wish him well,
      and tell him, don't
      be a stranger~~~

      Let's Roll"

  27. Dip, while I am basically pr-Ukrainian in this conflict, there are good points you make that could be examined a bit farther.

    While keeping the proverbial "both eyes open", I have to admit that I admired Putin. As a traditional believer myself, I hope his reconciliation with the Russian Orthodox Church also is a true turn towards "The LORD and his Anointed" (Ps. 2, read through Protestant Christian eyes). Putin's clear patriotism stood in stark contrast to the "treason chic" of so much of our Democratic Party, It is our national disgrace that the O owned, as a mentor, an unreconstructed Stalinist. Since my days in Guangzhou, I've wondered is it might not one day be proven that the Clintons were actually in Beijing's pocket.

    Yet a real patriotism can too easily turn into a jackboot nationalism of the kind the world simply does not need. I'm aware of the history of eastern Europe, and get it that Putin could very well see Ukraine as part of the Kievan Rus patrimony, and the lands which Tsars spent much blood and treasure on liberating from the Tatar (whether Nogai or Krim) yoke. I get it that Putin, and probably many Russian patriots, believe they need a glacis of at least neutral, if not client, states. Yes, we were waaaaaaaaay too glib about expanding NATO (but, given their histories, can you blame Hungary, Czechia, Poland, and the Baltics for wanting in?). While as a Protestant Christian (with much Jewish ancestry) I have no dog in the fight over whether the Orthodox Ukrainians go autocephalous or not, I "get" the view of many Russian Orthodox (including Putin?) who see one Eastern Slavic Orthodoxy under the Moscow Patriarchate as part of the sacred heritage.

    Even more, I can "get" Chinese Communist nationalists' dream of reuniting Taiwan, even if I disagree with it--and worry that it turns into Today Taiwan, tomorrow Arunachal Pradesh, the Greater Northeast, Mongolia (including Tuva), Central Asia East of Balkhash, all of Korea, and all of Vietnam (thank you, Le and Nguyen Nam Tien). After all, I read Chinese.

    But, given my partially Yekke heritage, can I possibly fail to note horrible similarities between Putin's current mindset and that of that old Austrian May-His-Name-Forever-Rot? Austria, Sudetenland (indeed, all of Bohemia and Moravia), Alsace were all pat of the one-time German Reich (and next, the Low Countries, Burgundy, Switzerland, and Lombardy?). We lost lots of blood and treasure keeping Nazi Germany from its "rightful patrimony", and keeping Japan from its own "manifest destiny".

    Speaking of which, we Americans spared ourselves a pile of grief when, some time after the Treaty of Ghent, we and the British decided it was best to stay out of each other's hair. We could've dissipated our national energies in shouting "Fifty-four-forty or fight!" and cursing the Canadians as "reactionary, counter-revolutionary running dogs of English imperialism"; but part of our rise to great power status may well be having appreciated that a reliable neighbor is worth a dozen disgruntled territories.

    Putin has scared Switzerland (rich off of other people's quarrels) into joining the sanctioneers. He has scared Sweden and Finland into wanting to join NATO. We have seen this sort of thing before, only now it's with nuclear arsenals. I fear it may be too late to smooth out Putin's ruffled feathers, and we now face a terrible consequence of the missed opportunities of the past.

    1. 54-40 would've given us a land route to alaska... not sure dropping that effort was good for the US

    2. The land border with Canada was more or less settled in 1846, whereas Alaska wasn't purchased until 1867.

    3. Sorry, I suppose I forgot to add: "Vision" :)

  28. The Greens complained that the Pipeline ran through "sacred Native American land", yet when the demonstrations to preserve it left, they left behind glacial moraines of trash, including junked vehicles. Maybe Americans should eat more greens--the kind that taste a little like elongated pork.

  29. Well our elected pols have weighed in and convinced our Vegetable in Chief to ban Russian oil here. Make us pay higher prices, that'll teach those Russkies. We get what, 5 or 6 percent of our oil from them? What a frame up.

  30. Amen! Diplomad, you have said much of what I have been thinking, but more cogently.

  31. Ukraine dropped the 'russian' vote from 2012 when kiev'ers drove Yanukovych out with no democratic or just reason.
    Why would eastern regions bother to vote in subsequent 'elections'? Yes, Ukraine is not nearly a democracy.
    If you want your President in power, *win* the election, don't try to 'protest' your way into office, that's simply bullying.

    None of that excuses Putin's call.

    NATO threatens no legitimate Russian interest, it is all made-up Putin theater. He doesn't like the standing of Russia in the world, and the people of Russia have allowed him to reign for 25 years, cementing themselves as sheep. They don't even have a poverty-card to play like Iranians or Afghanis. No wonder Ukraine is punching far beyond its weight in this conflict.
    After nearly 25 years, not a single Russian has managed to go toe-to-toe with Putin.
    At this point, is there even anybody in Russia who could stand up to Pajama Boy?

    Russia's vaunted military, being dismantled by hordes of $500 Punisher drones rigged up in the back yard of enterprising Ukrainian folks.

    Russia is right now showing that it deserves the world role NATO leaders have assigned to it. I would bet (dollars, not family) that most of their nuclear weapons no longer work, probably even a much smaller fraction than America's.

    - reader #1482

    1. "...I would bet (dollars,..."

      how many ya got, meesetr-#?
      Vat kindsa odds you geeveen?
      On Votch~~~

  32. In all of this let's not lose sight of the question: how – at a fundamental philosophical and political level – can we support either nation in this conflict? Both are corrupt, non-democratic nations that are like two gangs fighting one another, one gang, the Ruskies, fearing that maybe, just maybe, the Uke's are going to go "straight" and actually join with the Western democracies and become a "good" and "dangerously democratic" nation. Lord knows a dictator just can't allow THAT on his border! All evil dictatorships have to surround themselves with corrupted nations if at all possible. After all, you can't allow that freedom and democracy thing to seep in and eventually steal Vlad's carefully corrupted Russian throne! Having rotten buffer states like Belarus is, of course, their "protection".