Biden Mumbles Statement on Ukraine

 

No one expects a Biden statement to build confidence on the homefront or inspire fear in our enemies. So we shouldn’t be surprised the president’s brief presser on Friday was an hour late and won’t change much between Russia and Ukraine.

The only news was the president saying he is now convinced Putin plans to invade his smaller neighbor. “Ashuhv hiss momen ahm covissed he’s made uh deshishan,” Biden mumbled, but stressed the Russian leader can choose diplomacy any time he wants. (Or, “dipomacy aways possumility” in Biden-speak.)

Russia was likely behind a massive cyberattack on Ukraine earlier this week, a typical pre-invasion move. Putin has 169,000-190,000 troops in or near Ukraine and in the past two days has blamed several “attacks” in the Donbas region on Ukrainian troops. False-flag ops are often used as a pretext for war, especially in Russian military history.

Vice President Kamala Harris is currently in Munich for Saturday peace talks and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is scheduled to attend. Many US and NATO officials, along with several Ukraine politicians, are urging him to remain in his own country due to the worsening situation.

All indications point to a Russian invasion any day now. In essence, a replay of the seizure of Crimea when Biden was vice president.

Published in Foreign Policy, Military, Politics
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  1. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    BDB (View Comment):

    Manny, you’re looking at it through the lens of the nation-state. Nothing wrong with that, but a lot of people prefer to view it from the view of a people, the “nation” of the nationalist. How various people define their “nation” varies, of course. Then again so do the limits of a nation-state, a fairly recent invention.

    The Westphalian system is younger than a lot of the national claims and senses of identity. Inventions like this do not change the underlying facts. Words on paper and lines on maps mean nothing compared to the idea that “those people over there are my people too”, or “these foreign bastards don’t represent me and will ot rule me.”

    So I can see it both ways. The way I see it (in general) it’s not about some hundreds-of-years-old claim. Rather, it’s about the reasons underlying the old claim, which in many places have remained or gotten stronger.

    As far as I can tell the Ukrainian people by a large majority do not want to be under Russian influence. The nation state is what we have as legal boundaries. Anyone in Ukraine that prefers to be under Russian law should immigrate to Russia. 

    • #61
  2. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Manny (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Manny, you’re looking at it through the lens of the nation-state. Nothing wrong with that, but a lot of people prefer to view it from the view of a people, the “nation” of the nationalist. How various people define their “nation” varies, of course. Then again so do the limits of a nation-state, a fairly recent invention.

    The Westphalian system is younger than a lot of the national claims and senses of identity. Inventions like this do not change the underlying facts. Words on paper and lines on maps mean nothing compared to the idea that “those people over there are my people too”, or “these foreign bastards don’t represent me and will ot rule me.”

    So I can see it both ways. The way I see it (in general) it’s not about some hundreds-of-years-old claim. Rather, it’s about the reasons underlying the old claim, which in many places have remained or gotten stronger.

    As far as I can tell the Ukrainian people by a large majority do not want to be under Russian influence. The nation state is what we have as legal boundaries. Anyone in Ukraine that prefers to be under Russian law should immigrate to Russia.

    I’m not specifically talking abour Ukraine here.  Just about the broad statement that “300-year old claims are meaningless.”  To a Westphalian Realist, sure.  To a people divided by a line, not so much.  Same for two peoples unwisely lumped together.  See Sudan, and why there is now a South Sudan.  (I’m going to read up on this, make sure I’m not blowing smoke).

    • #62
  3. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    BDB (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Manny, you’re looking at it through the lens of the nation-state. Nothing wrong with that, but a lot of people prefer to view it from the view of a people, the “nation” of the nationalist. How various people define their “nation” varies, of course. Then again so do the limits of a nation-state, a fairly recent invention.

    The Westphalian system is younger than a lot of the national claims and senses of identity. Inventions like this do not change the underlying facts. Words on paper and lines on maps mean nothing compared to the idea that “those people over there are my people too”, or “these foreign bastards don’t represent me and will ot rule me.”

    So I can see it both ways. The way I see it (in general) it’s not about some hundreds-of-years-old claim. Rather, it’s about the reasons underlying the old claim, which in many places have remained or gotten stronger.

    As far as I can tell the Ukrainian people by a large majority do not want to be under Russian influence. The nation state is what we have as legal boundaries. Anyone in Ukraine that prefers to be under Russian law should immigrate to Russia.

    I’m not specifically talking abour Ukraine here. Just about the broad statement that “300-year old claims are meaningless.” To a Westphalian Reaist, sure. To a people divided by a line, not so much. Same for two peoples unwisely lumped together. See Sudan, and why there is now a South Sudan. (I’m going to read up on this, make sure I’m not blowing smoke).

    I understand.  But isn’t Sudan more of an internal thing where people want to break away?  I’m not against people breaking away.  If a large enough segment of a society feel the need for self-determination, I’m for it.  After all I support the American Revolution!  Unfortunately it almost always requires some violent means.  

    • #63
  4. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    BDB (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Manny, you’re looking at it through the lens of the nation-state. Nothing wrong with that, but a lot of people prefer to view it from the view of a people, the “nation” of the nationalist. How various people define their “nation” varies, of course. Then again so do the limits of a nation-state, a fairly recent invention.

    The Westphalian system is younger than a lot of the national claims and senses of identity. Inventions like this do not change the underlying facts. Words on paper and lines on maps mean nothing compared to the idea that “those people over there are my people too”, or “these foreign bastards don’t represent me and will ot rule me.”

    So I can see it both ways. The way I see it (in general) it’s not about some hundreds-of-years-old claim. Rather, it’s about the reasons underlying the old claim, which in many places have remained or gotten stronger.

    As far as I can tell the Ukrainian people by a large majority do not want to be under Russian influence. The nation state is what we have as legal boundaries. Anyone in Ukraine that prefers to be under Russian law should immigrate to Russia.

    I’m not specifically talking abour Ukraine here. Just about the broad statement that “300-year old claims are meaningless.” To a Westphalian Realist, sure. To a people divided by a line, not so much. Same for two peoples unwisely lumped together. See Sudan, and why there is now a South Sudan. (I’m going to read up on this, make sure I’m not blowing smoke).

    The first cousin to nationalism is irredentism.

    • #64
  5. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Manny, you’re looking at it through the lens of the nation-state. Nothing wrong with that, but a lot of people prefer to view it from the view of a people, the “nation” of the nationalist. How various people define their “nation” varies, of course. Then again so do the limits of a nation-state, a fairly recent invention.

    The Westphalian system is younger than a lot of the national claims and senses of identity. Inventions like this do not change the underlying facts. Words on paper and lines on maps mean nothing compared to the idea that “those people over there are my people too”, or “these foreign bastards don’t represent me and will ot rule me.”

    So I can see it both ways. The way I see it (in general) it’s not about some hundreds-of-years-old claim. Rather, it’s about the reasons underlying the old claim, which in many places have remained or gotten stronger.

    As far as I can tell the Ukrainian people by a large majority do not want to be under Russian influence. The nation state is what we have as legal boundaries. Anyone in Ukraine that prefers to be under Russian law should immigrate to Russia.

    I’m not specifically talking abour Ukraine here. Just about the broad statement that “300-year old claims are meaningless.” To a Westphalian Realist, sure. To a people divided by a line, not so much. Same for two peoples unwisely lumped together. See Sudan, and why there is now a South Sudan. (I’m going to read up on this, make sure I’m not blowing smoke).

    The first cousin to nationalism is irredentism.

    One of many, to be sure.

    • #65
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