Vladophilia

 

From the head of a  think-tank, recent thoughts on Ukraine’s disinclination to be absorbed:

 

This is not an uncommon view, also expressed the other day by Noam Chomsky: it was unwise for Ukraine to resist invasion. If Russia wants your territory, you assume a supine position while gesturing broadly towards everything that was once yours, and is now theirs to control. If Russia is required to kill your people and level your neighborhoods to get what it believes is theirs, that’s on you. 

 

 

Freedom is nice and all that I guess, but economic growth is the true metric of a society’s health. Really, those idiots in the tractors, do they care who the boss is? The tech sector of Ukraine – does it matter if they’re making West-facing consumer products, or working for the FSB? What counts is the end-of-the-year balance sheet. 

Previously from the same account:

 

 

The means by which you add those 44 million are irrelevant. What counts is the world historical accomplishment. 

The population of France in 1940 was 41 million, and I suppose absorbing it into the Reich was a world historical accomplishment, but history doesn’t seem to regard it with any particular affection. On the other hand, France did surrender, and while that made things difficult for the eventual defeat of the militaristic statists in Berlin, France was spared additional physical trauma. Except for the Jews, of course, but (bored continental hand-waving gesture)

 

 

Another earlier sentiment:

 

Men of a certain age of Ricochet: did you find a spring in your step after the invasion? Perhaps a sudden urge to make changes, act boldly? Did you feel a strange charge in the older-dude zeitgeist, as though men around the world about to walk over the border of 70 suddenly felt empowered and revivified?  

Perhaps, because that Putin guy is a strong leader, and cares for his nation, unlike our guys. Granted, he’s presided over the wholesale transfer of wealth from his people to a select group of elites, and the craptacular state of his military suggests that he was either ignorant of the true state of his capabilities or uninterested in the human cost of shoving his shambolic forces into the meat grinder, and hey maybe the Defender of Christendom shouldn’t have lost a purported piece of the True Cross because his flagship wasn’t refitted because they were broke but  the oligarch’s yachts had 5G and Roombas in the master suite. But at least he’s not woke. And it’s ridiculous to think he’s not strong. Just you wait. He’s going to kill a lot of people. 

That’s what leaders do.

 

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  1. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I’m only 61, but I’ve taken note lately of a lovely little patch of lawn next door, a halcyon little spread with a small tool shed and — dare I say it? — a hot tub.

    I feel the sap flowing in my veins. Is it just the spring, the longer and warmer days? Or is it something more?

    How much is my neighbor willing to lose, to keep that hot tub and the ride-on mower I’m sure is in that shed?

    Let’s find out.

     

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    James Lileks: This is not an uncommon view, also expressed the other day by Noam Chomsky: it was unwise for Ukraine to resist invasion.

    Well, if Noam can believe it, then any other knucklehead can. It is a free country after all.

    For the time being.

    • #2
  3. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Shows how meaningless credentials like running a think-tank or writing for “The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post” are.

    Stalin measured his own accomplishments in terms of area and population added to the Soviet empire regardless of the costs imposed on the USSR, its enemies, friends or neutrals. 

    • #3
  4. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Great. Now apply that same thought process to the United States of America.

    • #4
  5. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    The CSPI has 4225 followers.  It and Richard Hairyanis are nothings.  

    Rush frequently stated an obvious truth, that those in power think that the twitverse is a reflection of the real world, when in reality the twitverse is more akin to a circle jerk of self-absorbed narcissists all believing their most recently spouted twits are profound and world defining.  

    Garbage. 

    • #5
  6. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    genferei (View Comment):
    Shows how meaningless credentials like running a think-tank or writing for “The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post” are.

    That’s an amazing web site.  If you decide to run your own think tank you can have one just like it, and you can have it by tomorrow.  

    • #6
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    A conventional wisdom is emerging that Mr Hanaria should remit the $50 that I just decided he owes me without delay. Tomorrow it could be $100.

    It will avoid conflict, after all.

    • #7
  8. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Well, @jameslileks has done us a favor here. Now we know to ignore everything anyone from the The Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI) says or publishes. On any topic.

    Or we can just point and laugh at them. And then do the opposite of what they recommend.

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Well, @ jameslileks has done us a favor here. Now we know to ignore everything anyone from the The Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI) says or publishes. On any topic.

    Or we can just point and laugh at them. And then do the opposite of what they recommend.

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    This is a very disappointing analysis.  It starts with a simplistic view of the situation in Ukraine, then proceeds to vilification of anyone who disagrees as some sort of slavish devotee of Vladimir Putin.

    It’s reminiscent of the arguments made by the Left against Trump and the immigration issue, as if the only reason to oppose open borders is racism, and as if everyone who disagrees has been brainwashed by Orange Man Bad.

    You know, the opposing view is held by a number of smart and sophisticated thinkers.  Historically, this includes George Kennan and Henry Kissinger.  John Mearsheimer is probably the best at explaining the situation accurately, at present.  I did come across this short video by Jack Matlock, who was George H.W. Bush’s ambassador to the Soviet Union, who agrees with Mearsheimer:

    It might be a good idea to try to understand Vlad’s point of view on this complex situation.  I did so, and found that he has some very good points.  It would have been wiser for Ukraine to remain neutral, and having provoked Russia by siding with the EU and NATO, it probably would have been wiser to capitulate.

    As a final note, the claim in the OP that Russia wants to absorb Ukraine seems unlikely.  Vlad’s actions have been completely consistent with his stated goals — protection of Donetsk/Luhansk and demilitarization of Ukraine.  I don’t see any evidence, yet, that he wants to conquer and rule western Ukraine, which I think would be unwise, as it would tend to bog Russia down in a costly occupation.

    The situation seems similar to the transfers of Alsace and Lorraine back and forth between Germany and France.  Also, Ukraine itself seems like an unstable state, cobbled together (by the Communists) from distinct cultural and ethnic groups, similar to the former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Percival (View Comment):

    James Lileks: This is not an uncommon view, also expressed the other day by Noam Chomsky: it was unwise for Ukraine to resist invasion.

    Well, if Noam can believe it, then any other knucklehead can. It is a free country after all.

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It might be a good idea to try to understand Vlad’s point of view on this complex situation.  I did so, and found that he has some very good points.  It would have been wiser for Ukraine to remain neutral, and having provoked Russia by siding with the EU and NATO, it probably would have been wiser to capitulate.

    QED

    • #11
  12. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    This is a very disappointing analysis.  It starts with a simplistic view of the situation in Ukraine, then proceeds to vilification of anyone who disagrees as some sort of slavish devotee of Vladimir Putin.

    Are you saying it is telling to respond to a remark about Ukraine strategy that it must be “Vladophillia”?  I agree that it is an odd jump.  It probably says more about James and his mindset.

    I think Ukraine made political mistakes, but not preemptively capitulating is not one of them.   That Hanania guy seems to have reduced the politics of Eastern Europe to a game of Risk.

    • #12
  13. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Just one more reason to respect Poland:

    “You know, the British have a saying that after eight years, every prime minister goes mad. President Putin has been in power for 22 years. And perhaps he believes in his own propaganda,” Sikorski, now a member of the European Parliament, told RFE/RL’s Georgian Service in an interview.

    Sikorski recently whipped up a storm on social media after responding with unusually undiplomatic and blunt words to comments by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that NATO had “become a purely geopolitical project aimed at taking over territories orphaned by the collapse of the Warsaw Treaty Organization and the Soviet Union.”

    The money quote:

    “We were not orphaned by you because you were not our daddy. More of a serial rapist. Which is why you are not missed. And if you try it again, you’ll get a kick in the balls,” Sikorski wrote on Twitter on January 10.

    • #13
  14. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    This is a very disappointing analysis. It starts with a simplistic view of the situation in Ukraine, then proceeds to vilification of anyone who disagrees as some sort of slavish devotee of Vladimir Putin.

    You know, the opposing view is held by a number of smart and sophisticated thinkers. Historically, this includes George Kennan and Henry Kissinger. John Mearsheimer is probably the best at explaining the situation accurately, at present. I did come across this short video by Jack Matlock, who was George H.W. Bush’s ambassador to the Soviet Union, who agrees with Mearsheimer:

    One has to wonder if these smart and sophisticated thinkers would have been waving at the Japanese pilots on December 7.

    See the source image

    • #14
  15. Victor Tango Kilo Member
    Victor Tango Kilo
    @VtheK

    Granted, he’s presided over the wholesale transfer of wealth from his people to a select group of elites, and the craptacular state of his military suggests that he was either ignorant of the true state of his capabilities or uninterested in the human cost of shoving his shambolic forces into the meat grinder

    Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, Bill Gates, General Mark Milley, the USS John McCain, and $80 Billion dollars of hardware left to the Taliban have entered the chat.

    • #15
  16. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Percival (View Comment):

    James Lileks: This is not an uncommon view, also expressed the other day by Noam Chomsky: it was unwise for Ukraine to resist invasion.

    Well, if Noam can believe it, then any other knucklehead can. It is a free country after all.

    For the time being.

    That’s one of those ideas so ridiculous, only a knucklehead Ph.D WOULD believe it.

    • #16
  17. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    This is a very disappointing analysis.  It starts with a simplistic view of the situation in Ukraine, then proceeds to vilification of anyone who disagrees as some sort of slavish devotee of Vladimir Putin.

    It’s not an analysis, it’s ridicule. People are free to think what they want about the situation; I’m just considering the difficulty of being a Putin admirer these days. 

     

    • #17
  18. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Totalitarianism has so seeped into everything that these people cannot see the moral freedom forest through their poisoned trees. (Did I just kill that metaphor?)

    • #18
  19. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Mark Alexander (View Comment):

    Totalitarianism has so seeped into everything that these people cannot see the moral freedom forest through their poisoned trees. (Did I just kill that metaphor?)

    It’s better than killing strawmen. They’ve suffered enough. 

    • #19
  20. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    James Lileks: This is not an uncommon view, also expressed the other day by Noam Chomsky: it was unwise for Ukraine to resist invasion.

    Well, if Noam can believe it, then any other knucklehead can. It is a free country after all.

    For the time being.

    That’s one of those ideas so ridiculous, only a knucklehead Ph.D WOULD believe it.

    Hey, now…no need to get NASTY, here…

    (Actually, you’re making a pretty good point here.)

    • #20
  21. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    A couple of quick observations here:

    1. Maybe Russia had valid concerns about Ukraine and its relationship with the West. The validity of those arguments ended the moment Russian army units violated the Ukrainian frontier.

    2. It is the Ukrainian people themselves who are choosing to fight. Zalensky could not “make” them fight, nor keep them from doing so, no matter how angelic (or corrupt) he might be.

    3. This war will go on as long as the Ukrainian people choose to fight it. Months? Surely. Years? Likely. Decade(s)? Maybe. How many Ukrainians will die? Only the Lord knows. But there will be no peace as long as Russian troops are occupying Ukrainian soil.

    • #21
  22. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    A couple of quick observations, here:

    1. Maybe Russia had valid concerns about Ukraine and its relationship with the West. The validity of those arguments ended the moment Russian army units violated the Ukrainian frontier.

    There are some who seem to be claiming that the Russian attack somehow actually proves that their arguments were valid.

    Bizarre.

    • #22
  23. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    This is a very disappointing analysis. It starts with a simplistic view of the situation in Ukraine, then proceeds to vilification of anyone who disagrees as some sort of slavish devotee of Vladimir Putin.

    It’s not an analysis, it’s ridicule. People are free to think what they want about the situation; I’m just considering the difficulty of being a Putin admirer these days.

     

    Evidently, some do not find it as hard as you suppose…..

    • #23
  24. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Well, @ jameslileks has done us a favor here. Now we know to ignore everything anyone from the The Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI) says or publishes. On any topic.

    Or we can just point and laugh at them. And then do the opposite of what they recommend.

    We should also insult their mothers and ridicule how they dress.

    • #24
  25. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Yeah, that last one is a doozy! Putin an inspiration to men of a certain age. I guess if you’re an aspiring autocrat lefty. . .

    • #25
  26. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    This is a very disappointing analysis. It starts with a simplistic view of the situation in Ukraine, then proceeds to vilification of anyone who disagrees as some sort of slavish devotee of Vladimir Putin.

    It’s not an analysis, it’s ridicule. People are free to think what they want about the situation; I’m just considering the difficulty of being a Putin admirer these days.

     

    “Pay attention, woman, I’m vilifying you!”

    • #26
  27. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Well, @ jameslileks has done us a favor here. Now we know to ignore everything anyone from the The Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI) says or publishes. On any topic.

    Or we can just point and laugh at them. And then do the opposite of what they recommend.

    We should also insult their mothers and ridicule how they dress.

    And fart in their general direction. 

    • #27
  28. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Yeah, that last one is a doozy! Putin an inspiration to men of a certain age. I guess if you’re an aspiring autocrat lefty. . .

    Given how Putin has nurtured his image of manly athletic prowess, it’s now fair game to always refer to his advanced age. 

    • #28
  29. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It would have been wiser for Ukraine to remain neutral, and having provoked Russia by siding with the EU and NATO, it probably would have been wiser to capitulate.

    Looks like Finland and Sweden are about to become unwise in Jerry’s eyes. 

    I guess he thinks WW4 will be all their own fault; they made Russia do it.

    • #29
  30. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    It would have been wiser for Ukraine to remain neutral, and having provoked Russia by siding with the EU and NATO, it probably would have been wiser to capitulate.

    Good point. That was a quite short skirt she was wearing. Obviously she deserved what was coming to her. She should have just lain back and thought of England.

    Wait, we’re not talking about a woman who was raped? Sorry Jerry, that was an honest mistake on my part. I could swear that’s what you were talking about.

    • #30
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