The Devil Made Him Do It?

 

Putin apologists and propagandists are channeling the late Flip Wilson, blaming NATO for Putin’s war against Ukraine. They’re ignoring a few things.

Those of a certain age may remember the late comedian Flip Wilson, who tragically died in 1998 at age 64 from cancer. He was the first successful black host of a television variety show in the early 1970s.

“Geraldine (Jones), with Wilson in wig, high heels and a colorful minidress, was perhaps his most famous character. Her spunky catchphrases “The devil made me do it” and “What you see is what you get!” became part of the national language,” CBS News described in announcing Wilson’s death.

Geraldine’s second phrase, which has morphed today in the acronym “WYSIWYG,” may more accurately characterize Putin’s illegitimate and criminal invasion of Ukraine than blaming NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Instead of blaming NATO, the devil that made Putin do it, perhaps we should see Putin for what we get – a murderous, egomaniacal, deeply flawed, if brilliant tyrant set upon restoring Peter the Great’s Russian empire, if not the Soviet Union, through political cunning and violence.

I’ll hand this to him – he manipulates geopolitics very well for a nation with a population half that of the U.S. and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) smaller than Canada’s.

“NATO builds relationships with partners through military-to-military cooperation on training, exercises, disaster planning and response, science and environmental issues, professionalization, policy planning, and relations with civilian government.” — Wikipedia

Wilson’s signature act came to mind as we hear and read pundits blame NATO for inciting Russia’s brutal and violent invasion of Ukraine, along with Putin’s previous violent incursions into Georgia (parts of which he still occupies) and Crimea. NATO made him do it, these apologists seem to proclaim.

And their walks through history are as selective as Putin’s, leaving out Russia’s well-documented historical role within NATO and even Putin’s previously expressed interest in joining it. Much of the NATO-blaming is pure propaganda, even the Soviet kind designed to deflect from the actual crimes being committed. Let’s look at a few examples before sharing a little history about Russia’s history and interactions with NATO and the perspective that is being overlooked, perhaps purposefully.

I have three examples. Let’s get the propaganda out of the way first. The following comes from envirosagainstwar.com. It parrots Putin’s raison d’etre for war against Ukraine, and for that reason alone, it’s worth reading.

Russian diplomats are well justified in warning that current US/NATO policy in Ukraine risks crossing Russia’s security “red lines” and facts on the ground support their concerns:

  • Consider the fact that every US and NATO promise to keep NATO away from Russian borders has been broken for thirty years.
  • Consider the fact that since 1990, NATO — which ought not to exist since its antagonist, the Warsaw Pact, went out of existence in 1991 — has moved inexorably eastward. In 1990, with German reunification and the annexation of the GDR, all of Germany became part of NATO. In 1999 the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland joined NATO. In 2004 Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (all former Soviet Republics), Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined NATO. In 2009 Albania and Croatia joined NATO. In 2017 Montenegro joined NATO. In 2020 North Macedonia joined NATO.
  • The incorporation of Ukraine into NATO would move NATO weapons and troops even closer to the heartland of Russia. This is to say nothing of the fact that, within living memory, the Russian people suffered invasion from the West. In 1941-45 Hitler’s armies, 4 million strong, devastated the country in a genocidal war that took some 27 million lives.

In his year-end press conference on December 23rd, Mr. Putin stressed that “Further movement of NATO eastward is unacceptable. They are on the threshold of our house. Is it an excessive demand — no more attack weapons systems near our home? Is there something unusual about this?” One need not be an unqualified admirer of the politics of Vladimir Putin to acknowledge that the Russian leader has legitimate security concerns.

The libertarian CATO Institute’s Ted Galen Carpenter is more responsible and holds Putin accountable for his aggression, but still places much of the blame at NATO’s feet.

Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine is an act of aggression that will make already worrisome tensions between Nato and Moscow even more dangerous. The west’s new cold war with Russia has turned hot. Vladimir Putin bears primary responsibility for this latest development, but Nato’s arrogant, tone-deaf policy toward Russia over the past quarter-century deserves a large share as well. Analysts committed to a US foreign policy of realism and restraint have warned for more than a quarter-century that continuing to expand the most powerful military alliance in history toward another major power would not end well. The war in Ukraine provides definitive confirmation that it did not.

And finally, there is Vasko Kohlmayer, writing for the conservative blog site American Thinker.

For years Putin had warned that including Ukraine in NATO was a red line for Russia. It should not be difficult to understand his position. It is not unreasonable for Russia to object to the presence of what it perceives to be a hostile military alliance on its border with a country that has historically been either part of Russia or within its sphere of influence. Russia does not want to allow such a threat to its security for similar reasons the United States would not allow Russia to build a military base in Cuba.

In their drive to implement a New World Order, however, Western globalists have been dismissive of Russia’s security concerns. Russia continued its strenuous objections and warned that if they were not taken seriously, they would take the necessary action to keep Ukraine out of NATO. The last time Russia made this clear was in November of last year…

Do you want to know what kind of response Putin received to his legitimate security concerns? It was given by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. This is what he told Putin:

“It’s only Ukraine and 30 NATO allies that decide when Ukraine is ready to join NATO. Russia has no veto, Russia has no say, and Russia has no right to establish a sphere of influence to try to control their neighbors.”

Do you get the insult and the humiliation of this response? Not only did the pompous globalist Stoltenberg refuse to address Russian security fears, but he also implied that pip-squeak countries like North Macedonia, Portugal – who happened to be members of NATO – have a greater say than Russia in whether a large country on its border joins the alliance.

Having ridden roughshod over their populations for nearly two years with their lockdown and vaccine regime, the Western globalists grew arrogant, overbearing, and overconfident. They lost touch with reality and assumed that everyone would submit to their chicanery in the same way that their own docile populations went along with their random edicts and mandates.

Much of what Carpenter, Kohlmayer, and others have said is not wrong, and as for the “Enviros Against War,” propaganda is best defined as a kernel of truth wrapped in a lie.

But perhaps Russia should ask itself why NATO has almost tripled in size from an original 12 nations to 30 today as central and eastern European nations rushed to join both the European Union and NATO. And now historically neutral Sweden and Finland (the last country to face a full-fledged Russian invasion) are eyeballing NATO membership, bolstered by public opinion, at least in Finland’s case.

Reading about the Russian-Finnish “Winter War” of 1939-40 reads eerily similar to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One can easily see the Russian invasion of Ukraine ending the same way.

None of this changes the fact that Russia was an active participant at NATO, has offices and a permanent presence at NATO headquarters (until last October), and participated actively in NATO’s “Partnership for Peace” program for years. Further, Putin came to power in Russia in 2000 proclaiming that he wanted Russia to be a part of Europe and was open to joining NATO.

Coat of Arms of the Permanent Mission of Russia to NATO. Source: Quora and Wikipedia

Blame NATO all you wish for its eastward expansions. It’s a good debate, and as with all history, some things should have been said and done differently. There are lessons to be learned. But NATO has never invaded another nation and has never been an offensive threat, military or otherwise, to Russia. It is clearly defensive by design.

NATO is the opposite of “Hotel California.” It isn’t easy to “check-in,” and you can leave whenever you want. No nation has ever left NATO.

Russian border countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and Lithuania, among others, weren’t forced into NATO at gunpoint, as the former Warsaw Pact nations were – they badly wanted to join. Much of NATO’s political belligerence toward Russia was in reaction to Putin’s military actions and violence in Chechnya and, most recently, Crimea. And unlike Putin, NATO nations and leaders don’t poison political opponents. NATO’s reaction to Putin’s annexation of Crimea – gifted to Ukraine by Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev in the 1950s – was nothing more than economic sanctions that largely remain in place.

If anyone is driving NATO expansion today, it’s Vladimir Putin.

Putin has only himself to blame for his military offensives and the violence and carnage he launched. The “devil” – NATO – didn’t pull the trigger on the invasion of Ukraine, which isn’t remotely close to becoming a NATO member. Perhaps that may also change.

If Ukraine somehow beats back Putin’s invasion, the devil Putin may actually push them into NATO and the European Union.

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  1. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    So I’m a Putin apologist and propagandist, huh?  So is John Mearsheimer, who warned you naive, self-righteous neocon warmongers seven or eight years ago that you were leading those poor Ukrainians down the primrose path to the terrible suffering that they are now enduring, I guess.

    This war is the result of the foolish combination of the Left-wing Liberal Internationalists and the supposedly conservative Neocons, which antagonized a Russia that was making no threats to Europe and didn’t have the power to carry out any such threat anyway.  A Russia that could have been a reasonably friendly great power, helping us counter the true threat from China — as they cooperated with us against ISIS.

    That cooperation was the result of Trump’s policy.  Notice that Trump didn’t push NATO expansion, and didn’t do much of anything about Russia’s presence in Crimea or Donbas.

    But in comes Biden, and his Liberal Internationalist henchmen are at it again, in league with the neocons, as usual.  The key sequence of events is:

    2008, Bush administration:  Neocons have NATO announce eventual membership of Georgia and Ukraine.  The result is the Russian invasion of Georgia.

    2014, Obama administration: Liberal Internationalists back (and possibly engineer) a coup against the Russia-friendly elected president in Ukraine.  The result is the Russian seizure of Crimea and insurgency in Donbas.

    2017-2021:  Trump administration, no real problems with Russia, cooperation against ISIS.  But Trump can’t normalize relations with Russia because of the contrived Russia collusion narrative — created by the Leftist Liberal Internationalists, promoted by the Never Trump Neocons.

    June 2021, Biden administration: Liberal Internationalists have NATO repeat commitment to eventual membership of Ukraine.  The result is the present invasion.

    Now the Liberal Internationalists and the Neocons are united in trying to deflect attention from their own foreign policy malpractice, by accusing everyone pointing out their failures of being a Putin stooge.

    Maybe, just maybe, you should listen to a smart guy like Mearsheimer who told everybody, years ago, that this was going to happen.  For crying out loud, even George Kennan, architect of our Cold War strategy, came out of retirement in the 1990s to tell everybody that this NATO expansion was foolish, and would unnecessarily antagonize the Russians.

    • #1
  2. DonG (Keep on Truckin) Coolidge
    DonG (Keep on Truckin)
    @DonG

    Kelly D Johnston: Putin apologists and propagandists

    Your examples seem to be people providing background information, not people arguing that an invasion was justified.  That area between Germany and Russia is a mess with a millennium of history and grudges.  Some of that history is relevant to understanding why people choose to do the things they do.   I appreciate people providing helpful information and I think it is unfair to label everyone not waiving a certain flag as an “apologist or propagandist”.

    Besides, we all know Soros is really at fault ;)

    • #2
  3. Kelly D Johnston Coolidge
    Kelly D Johnston
    @SoupGuy

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    So I’m a Putin apologist and propagandist, huh? So is John Mearsheimer, who warned you naive, self-righteous neocon warmongers seven or eight years ago that you were leading those poor Ukrainians down the primrose path to the terrible suffering that they are now enduring, I guess.

    This war is the result of the foolish combination of the Left-wing Liberal Internationalists and the supposedly conservative Neocons, which antagonized a Russia that was making no threats to Europe and didn’t have the power to carry out any such threat anyway. A Russia that could have been a reasonably friendly great power, helping us counter the true threat from China — as they cooperated with us against ISIS.

    That cooperation was the result of Trump’s policy. Notice that Trump didn’t push NATO expansion, and didn’t do much of anything about Russia’s presence in Crimea or Donbas.

    But in comes Biden, and his Liberal Internationalist henchmen are at it again, in league with the neocons, as usual. The key sequence of events is:

    2008, Bush administration: Neocons have NATO announce eventual membership of Georgia and Ukraine. The result is the Russian invasion of Georgia.

    2014, Obama administration: Liberal Internationalists back (and possibly engineer) a coup against the Russia-friendly elected president in Ukraine. The result is the Russian seizure of Crimea and insurgency in Donbas.

    2017-2021: Trump administration, no real problems with Russia, cooperation against ISIS. But Trump can’t normalize relations with Russia because of the contrived Russia collusion narrative — created by the Leftist Liberal Internationalists, promoted by the Never Trump Neocons.

    June 2021, Biden administration: Liberal Internationalists have NATO repeat commitment to eventual membership of Ukraine. The result is the present invasion.

    Now the Liberal Internationalists and the Neocons are united in trying to deflect attention from their own foreign policy malpractice, by accusing everyone pointing out their failures of being a Putin stooge.

    Maybe, just maybe, you should listen to a smart guy like Mearsheimer who told everybody, years ago, that this was going to happen. For crying out loud, even George Kennan, architect of our Cold War strategy, came out of retirement in the 1990s to tell everybody that this NATO expansion was foolish, and would unnecessarily antagonize the Russians.

    When someone tells me who they say they are, as in your first sentence. I believe them. 

    • #3
  4. Kelly D Johnston Coolidge
    Kelly D Johnston
    @SoupGuy

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    So I’m a Putin apologist and propagandist, huh? So is John Mearsheimer, who warned you naive, self-righteous neocon warmongers seven or eight years ago that you were leading those poor Ukrainians down the primrose path to the terrible suffering that they are now enduring, I guess.

    This war is the result of the foolish combination of the Left-wing Liberal Internationalists and the supposedly conservative Neocons, which antagonized a Russia that was making no threats to Europe and didn’t have the power to carry out any such threat anyway. A Russia that could have been a reasonably friendly great power, helping us counter the true threat from China — as they cooperated with us against ISIS.

    That cooperation was the result of Trump’s policy. Notice that Trump didn’t push NATO expansion, and didn’t do much of anything about Russia’s presence in Crimea or Donbas.

    But in comes Biden, and his Liberal Internationalist henchmen are at it again, in league with the neocons, as usual. The key sequence of events is:

    2008, Bush administration: Neocons have NATO announce eventual membership of Georgia and Ukraine. The result is the Russian invasion of Georgia.

    2014, Obama administration: Liberal Internationalists back (and possibly engineer) a coup against the Russia-friendly elected president in Ukraine. The result is the Russian seizure of Crimea and insurgency in Donbas.

    2017-2021: Trump administration, no real problems with Russia, cooperation against ISIS. But Trump can’t normalize relations with Russia because of the contrived Russia collusion narrative — created by the Leftist Liberal Internationalists, promoted by the Never Trump Neocons.

    June 2021, Biden administration: Liberal Internationalists have NATO repeat commitment to eventual membership of Ukraine. The result is the present invasion.

    Now the Liberal Internationalists and the Neocons are united in trying to deflect attention from their own foreign policy malpractice, by accusing everyone pointing out their failures of being a Putin stooge.

    Maybe, just maybe, you should listen to a smart guy like Mearsheimer who told everybody, years ago, that this was going to happen. For crying out loud, even George Kennan, architect of our Cold War strategy, came out of retirement in the 1990s to tell everybody that this NATO expansion was foolish, and would unnecessarily antagonize the Russians.

    Looks like that, by your own admission, you’re not only on Team Putin, you’re on Team Xi. Congrats!

     

    • #4
  5. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    George Sonos thanks you.

    • #5
  6. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Kelly, you resort to name-calling, and deliberately misinterpreting my first sentence.  I wish that you’d think about things carefully.  Please, please go to my prior post and listen to John Mearsheimer, or read his article (both linked at my post).

    I can’t believe that people are falling for this propaganda from the unfortunate union of the Neocons and the Liberal Internationalists, who have led us into disaster after disaster.

    I actually understand how hard this can be.  I am a recovering Neocon.  I bought the whole Bush 43 agenda, and continued to support the disastrous War on Terror all the way through Trump.  It was actually Trump that finally shook my thinking loose, though not because of his erudite arguments.  The guy just had good instincts, and led me to reconsider.  I started studying more — you might look into George Friedman, Peter Hitchens, Peter Zeihan, and of course Mearsheimer.  I learned, and changed my mind.

    Interestingly, Mearsheimer, as far as I can tell, is a Democrat.  He and I don’t see eye to eye about domestic politics.  But I know good sense when I hear it on the foreign policy front.

    Your Xi comment is so erroneous that I almost don’t know what to say.  I will limp up and explain it once more.

    Xi is the biggest beneficiary of our unnecessarily alienating Russia.  Your apparent policy, of risking World War III over a region of no geopolitical value to us, or even advocating serious sanctions that will not work to help Ukraine but will hurt both us and Russia economically, is precisely the thing that drives Putin and Xi together.

    Opposition to Xi is the main reason for my position on Russia.  We should have wanted Russia on our side in a coalition against Xi.  We want to allow Russian oil to have an outlet to the West, so that they won’t develop overland routes to China, so that we will continue to have a stranglehold over China’s critical supply of oil from the Persian Gulf.  Because we, like Britannia before us, rule the waves.

    Russia is simply no threat to anything that we care about.  The Narrative on this war is so profoundly absurd that, once again, I almost don’t know what to say.  We’re supposed to simultaneously believe:

    1. The Russian military is so incompetent as to be unable to beat the dirt-poor Ukrainians; and
    2. The Russian military is going to roll all the way to the German-Polish border, if not Berlin itself.

    I do think that the situation could still be salvaged, if we just stop the rhetoric and outpouring of hate, cut a reasonable deal, and work to get Russia on our side.  It will be difficult.

    I heard a really good argument on a recent podcast (linked by Hang On, I think), to use with the Russians.  “You can be an ally of the West or a vassal of China.”

     

    • #6
  7. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    “I do think that the situation could still be salvaged, if we just stop the rhetoric and outpouring of hate, cut a reasonable deal, and work to get Russia on our side. It will be difficult.”

    It would not just be difficult, it would be unlikely in the extreme; what you are advocating is giving a manifestly hostile nuclear power unchallenged monopoly control over energy supply and transport to our established allies, all in the hopes that they might one day be a greater threat to Chinese power than ours, based on nothing more than theory (and as I alluded to in a previous thread, that theory, while potentially useful as one tool among many, has many holes due to the necessarily simple paradigm of the thought experiment behind it).

     

     

    • #7
  8. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    lowtech redneck, in response to #7:

    First of all, the West hasn’t been preventing Russian energy exports, so I’m proposing that we maintain the status quo in that regard.  I don’t think that Russia has monopoly power in the energy market, nor in the oil and gas markets in particular, though it does have some degree of market power.  It’s a major energy supplier to Europe, but not the only one.  Russia has the long-term ability to cause a significant increase in energy prices by completely cutting off all sales, and has some short-term ability to significantly harm specific countries that receive much of their energy from Russia, as switching to new sources of supply would take some time.

    But I think that this is a tool that Russia can’t use effectively, because doing so would bankrupt Russia itself.

    This is another situation in which the folks on the opposite side of the issue seem, to me, to be asserting two contradictory points:

    1. We will cripple the Russian economy by cutting off Russian oil and gas sales in response to the Russo-Ukrainian War.
    2. Russia will get its way in the international political arena by cutting off Russian oil and gas exports.

    Which one is it?

    I also don’t think that Russia is a manifestly hostile power.  I think that Russia was manifestly not hostile until we suddenly announced plans for Ukrainian and Georgian NATO membership in 2008, and even then, Russia’s response was patient and measured for a very long time, almost 14 years.

    The underlying problem is the tragedy of great power politics.  All countries tend to fear each other, because countries can do terrible things to each other.  Small countries aren’t a threat, unless they are in an alliance.  Great powers fear each other, and seek buffer states for security purposes.  NATO, itself, is such a buffer region for the US against Russia.

    Countries can’t know each other’s intentions, and therefore must presume hostility.  Even if there is no hostility today, that may change in the future.  Any defensive action taken by one side is perceived as offensive by the other side.  So, for example, we have sought to bring Ukraine into our alliance network to counter a potential threat from Russia.  Russia sees this as a potential base of operations against it, which is a potential threat to Russia.

    You are correct that this is just a theory.  Any argument for action is going to be based on a theory.  Mearsheimer says that it has a good, but not perfect, track record.  Any theory is a simplification of a complex world, and sometimes, other factors not included in the theory may lead to a different result.  I do think that the realist view is the best guide that we have.

    • #8
  9. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    lowtech redneck, in response to #7:

    First of all, the West hasn’t been preventing Russian energy exports, so I’m proposing that we maintain the status quo in that regard. I don’t think that Russia has monopoly power in the energy market, nor in the oil and gas markets in particular, though it does have some degree of market power.

    Russia already has far more than ‘some’ degree of market power as it relates to central and eastern Europe, where our most reliable European allies outside of the UK are located (Poland in particular, but many could reasonably be considered potential checks on designs by stronger European powers to transform the EU into a more anti-American corporatist power bloc, which the UK can no longer do from the inside).  Their market power would be even greater than it already is, if not for specific energy diversification efforts at Russian expense, which in turn result in higher yet far more stable energy prices, not to mention greater physical security.  Ukraine has played an instrumental role in such efforts, partly just be being there, either already hosting pipelines or being the most practical route for new pipelines.  They are also projected to contain huge reserves of natural gas themselves, which would effectively blunt Russian capacity to use energy as a weapon against our allies, if they were allowed to access and develop these resources as an independent nation.  Conversely, unchallenged Russian control over Ukraine vastly increases their already high capacity, and demonstrated willingness, to use energy as a weapon. 

    Shifting our policies toward the accommodation of Russian ambitions would essentially destroy our alliances in Eastern Europe, driving them closer to globalist European power centers while at the same time granting Russia much greater leverage over those same European powers-leverage which can and will be used against us in the immediate future.  This is the up-front cost of a policy shift based on the mere hope that Russia would perceive that its interests would be better served as our ally, and make corresponding policy shifts in the near future that would alienate China.

    As for their hostility and the supposed motives for their aggression against their neighbors, Russia had already effectively annexed Abkhazia, and attempted to dominate Ukraine in much the same manner as it currently controls Belarus (until domestic resistance against such interference gained momentum, resulting in Russia cutting off gas to Ukraine in 2006) before NATO membership was ever on the table-the ‘Finlandization’ of what Russia labels its ‘near abroad’ was never an option, because Russia has never demonstrated a willingness to respect the independence of those countries in exchange for a non-aligned foreign policy.  This is why those countries wanted NATO protection to begin with. 

    It is far safer to make policy decisions based on pre-existing conditions and patterns of behavior rather than hopes based on theory and ideology. 

     

    • #9
  10. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    There are some people who hate our government so much they will side against it in any matter- and that holds for both Democratic & Republican administrations. What is new is how many of those people self identify as being on the right- in the past they were very few in number & dwarfed by leftists who always sided against our government- but their numbers on the right has increased significantly. Of course some of this is due to Russian troll farms on the internet actively trying to so discord- they attack via the left (like aiding HRCs phony Russiagate accusations) but they also attack from the right. This Russian misinformation campaign spreads (& recirculates) bogus accusations- like the US DOD had biowarfare labs in the Ukraine etc- all to foster divisions in the US.

    • #10
  11. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    @soupguy (Kelly D. Johnson), I really appreciate this post.  I was working on a development of just one of your themes when my PC crash bit me.  Print out to be re-typed, shortly.

    It’s not as though you have said something controversial, but the knee-jerk reactions come in at high velocity.  I don;t recall Flip Wilson exceopt as a later-life TV host of unappealing shows, but I know he was famous.  I’ll check him out.

    Ukraine, meanwhile, is as you say not the fricking bad guy here, and there is a bad guy.  Guess what — it’s not us either.  This is a surprising strain of frankly unhinged criticism.  It is hardly Manichaean myopia to say that Russia is the Bad Guy, and it seems to me that a refusal to admit this is the result of ret-conning hostorical facts to fit current selected conclusions.

    Well, that’s kind of the thrust of my as-yet-un-re-written post, and I agree with you 100% in your larger points.  Our friend from Arizona is flat-out wrong, and is remarkably insistent.  Not a good look.

    • #11
  12. W Bob Member
    W Bob
    @WBob

    BDB (View Comment):

    @ soupguy (Kelly D. Johnson), I really appreciate this post. I was working on a development of just one of your themes when my PC crash bit me. Print out to be re-typed, shortly.

    It’s not as though you have said something controversial, but the knee-jerk reactions come in at high velocity. I don;t recall Flip Wilson exceopt as a later-life TV host of unappealing shows, but I know he was famous. I’ll check him out.

    Ukraine, meanwhile, is as you say not the fricking bad guy here, and there is a bad guy. Guess what — it’s not us either. This is a surprising strain of frankly unhinged criticism. It is hardly Manichaean myopia to say that Russia is the Bad Guy, and it seems to me that a refusal to admit this is the result of ret-conning hostorical facts to fit current selected conclusions.

    Well, that’s kind of the thrust of my as-yet-un-re-written post, and I agree with you 100% in your larger points. Our friend from Arizona is flat-out wrong, and is remarkably insistent. Not a good look.

    I actually agree with Jerry’s historical assessment about how this ultimately came to pass, and why it didn’t need to. But that’s water over the dam. The question is what to do now. Putin is on the march, and he hates the west and all its values. The idea of Russia as an ally is crazy and always was. He needs to know that he will not succeed in an attack on NATO. That means a certain degree of clearly directed military muscle flexing and saber rattling. But no NoFly zones etc. 

    • #12
  13. Quintus Sertorius Coolidge
    Quintus Sertorius
    @BillGollier

    Jerry is historically correct….see the comments of Dr David Glantz and  Doctor Robert Service as well as Doctor Steven Kotkin….however none of them absolve Putin for any of this nor does Jerry….and as W Bob says that’s all water under the bridge and can’t be dealt with until this is all over…providing we learn something. Putin is dead wrong here and the U.S. has to respond….maybe even escalate (see the argument about if the world has escalated vs Hitler or Stalin for that matter) but we can walk and chew gum at the same time. I can argue that we made serious errors that lead us to this place but also argue Putin has allowed his paranoia for these geopolitical mistakes  ( which is a Russian trait….it is what happens when you have been invaded every century for the past 1000 years) to act reprehensibly and needs to be addressed or shown an off ramp.

    Not sure when our intellectual discourse stopped allowing us to have two thoughts at the same time.

    • #13
  14. PostalSage Member
    PostalSage
    @PostalSage

    Why don’t NATO countries go along with Putin’s ostensible reason for invading Ukraine – that Nazis control it. NATO could say we are joining Russia to fight the Nazis just like we did in World War II. NATO invades Ukraine from the west with overwhelming men and weapons.

    Have any Ukrainians that the NATO forces come upon surrender and have the NATO forces keep moving east. Putin can’t argue with us invading Ukraine to fight Nazis since that is the reason he gave for invading Ukraine. Why should Russia fight the Nazis alone?

    Another alternative would be to have Zielinski declare war on NATO and fire some artillery into an unpopulated area of a NATO country. NATO could then invade Ukraine, stating they were attacked and NATO moving into Ukraine is defensive. Putin couldn’t argue against that.

    • #14
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