If Ukraine Wins, Who Loses?

 

There’s the obvious answers – Putin, the image of Russian might, the Duginist dream of solidifying Russian control over its insolent children. 

Who else? The Russian Orthodox Church, for declaring this a holy war? Xi, for his association with a loser whose actions renewed Taiwanese determination to stave off an invasion? The countries that have been buying Russian military gear and now have a rep, however justified, for buying junk? US pundits who backed Russia’s invasion? Renewable energy advocates, suddenly on the back foot because nuclear is a better option than Russian gas? US intelligence agencies that failed to figure out how the Russian forces are ancient and hollowed out by corruption?

You could also note who else wins: the West, for one. Superior armaments and tech, better logistics, the products of a more energetic and innovative culture. I suspect there’s a non-insubstantial intersection between those who are comfy with Russian control of Ukraine and those who would be irritated by a Western win, because the West is decadent and subject to rule from our Davos overlords, and ought not to prevail until it is overhauled and remade. 

This is not a thread about whether Ukraine will win, or what victory looks like. Just a question about what shakes out when it is apparent to all that Russia could not prevail. 

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  1. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    BTW, Croatia is blocking Sweden and Finland from joining Nato. For its own ethnic reasons wrt Bosnia.

    • #31
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    I guess win is Russia leaves, but man, Ukraine is already devastated.

    Even before getting devastated, Ukraine had big problems. Despite all its natural resources and nuclear infrastructure, it had a third world GDP. The war masked that.

    What next? Corrupt international welfare state?

    But Russia is not going to leave. It will probably keep the big nuke plant near Crimea. That creates enticing opportunities for energy-starved Chinese industries to locate facilities. Perhaps with Chinese help Russia can make something out of southeastern Ukraine.

    The only thing that Russia has ever made out of a mess is a bigger mess.

    • #32
  3. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    Hang On (View Comment):
    There also needs to be a huge retirement of brass in the Pentagon. 

    Amen – Testify, brother!

    • #33
  4. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):

    I note that the current US administration has not stated what the US national interests are in Ukraine, and what the justification is for providing Ukraine with aid and assistance. I think such interests exist, but (no surprise) Biden seems incapable of explaining them.

     

    Biden is incapable of coherent speech.  Is it any wonder he is incapable of explaining National interests.  His team is fundamentally not interested in what is in the best interest of the US so they don’t bother. 

    • #34
  5. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Who loses? The US taxpayer and citizen no matter what. The Ukraine people no matter what.

    Who wins? The Democrats and Republicans and their cronies. They have convinced themselves that Putin is the devil and will pump as much US money as possible over there so they and theirs can steal it back until they are made to stop.

     

    Slight addition to your statement which is otherwise accurate.

    True, though from what I see there are many more Democrats involved in the grift than GOP.  Probably because the GOP are not in the position to leverage the graft.

    • #35
  6. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Considering how well we backed up the Afghanistan government and how that turned out if Ukraine was smart they would get as far away as possible from us.  But I suspect there is just too much money and grift involved.  

    • #36
  7. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Nato will be shown to be ineffective. The US will need to make a decision to either recognize Nato as a huge liability or step up to the plate and make Nato leaner (drop members) and more effective. Nato needs to either be a military alliance and stop being a social club . Otherwise, we should leave.

    I disagree within this context.  As of right now NATO has proven to be tremendously effective for its member states.  I may have agreed that it was unwise to expand NATO in the first place, but you can’t unscramble eggs.   I might also agree that NATO should perhaps have been disbanded at the end of the cold war.   

    The question of whether or not NATO is good for the US is a point we can debate.   It certainly has exposed the US to tremendous liabilities.  Also it has been expensive for the US.  That having been said it has enhanced US geostrategic standing for many years.  It has allow the US to maintain a strategic foothold in Europe, again we can argue if this is good or not.   

    There also needs to be a huge retirement of brass in the Pentagon.

    On this point we agree whole heartedly.  We have more Flag officers in uniform right now than during World War 2.  We need to reform our bloated military as well.

    • #37
  8. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    I agree with @bryangstephens that one needs to first define “winning”.

    FWIW, @jameslileks specifically said:

    This is not a thread about whether Ukraine will win, or what victory looks like. Just a question about what shakes out when it is apparent to all that Russia could not prevail.

    Now, you may be saying that how it shakes out depends on exactly how UKR achieved victory, which is fair. But that is not “defining winning.”

    • #38
  9. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Hang On (View Comment):

    BTW, Croatia is blocking Sweden and Finland from joining Nato. For its own ethnic reasons wrt Bosnia.

    That appears to be an intraparty debate in Croatia.  We’ll have to see how it goes, but even the possibility shows the miscalculation of the Russians in starting this war.  Short term it is a disaster, medium term it is a setback.  Time will tell in the long term but my sense is it benefits China more than Russia.  Although I guess anything that weakens the US benefits both countries.

    • #39
  10. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    They have convinced themselves that Putin is the devil

    If they really believed this, they would have us nuking up to defend ourselves against Russia.

    Ever since Obama set the world on fire, I have said: “I have a score card and I still can’t tell the players…” 

    • #40
  11. Ed G. Inactive
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    James Lileks: I suspect there’s a non-insubstantial intersection between those who are comfy with Russian control of Ukraine and those who would be irritated by a Western win, because the West is decadent and subject to rule from our Davos overlords, and ought not to prevail until it is overhauled and remade. 

    I think you’re close on some of this, but I just don’t know who you might be referring to. Speaking only for myself, I won’t be irritated if Ukraine wins because I don’t know enough or care enough one way or the other. However, the West is decadent and increasingly subjecting citizens to the ends of and rule by unelected overlords in various ways. That does not imply any oughts as it relates to losing war or desire for self destructive extirpation of our cultural cancers.

    • #41
  12. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    Hang On (View Comment):

    MiMac (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    If the globalist cabal who installed the puppet state known as Ukraine – clearinghouse for the most corrupt actors in the West – manage to retain it then everyone loses. People who don’t understand that have no grasp on history or the coming catastrophe.

    get over it- Ukraine is a legitimate state by any definition- Puppet states don’t destroy over 600 tanks of one of the mightiest armies of the world in weeks. The Ukrainian people have voted with their blood- they are as deserving of our support as anybody. Puppet states fold like Afghanistan- they don’t fight like lions. No army that is as corrupt as you try to claim could fight so well under such circumstances- it is plainly obvious that the Russians are an order of magnitude more corrupt than the current Ukrainian regime-not to mention war criminals.

    LOL. Yeah, Ukraine is winning the war.

    They aren’t losing it either- too soon to tell. It is obvious to anyone not blinded by their ideology that Russia has committed a tremendous blunder. But win, lose or draw the Ukrainians have demonstrated to the world they are a legitimate state & no one’s puppet- despite claims made by those such as you. At this point Russia is clearly losing- ie it has failed in its plan to “capture” Ukraine and split NATO. Ukraine was only part of Putin’s goals and he will get only part of it at best- but made Ukraine an avowed enemy and united NATO- something no one else could do- who else could get Germany to increase defense expenditures by $100 billion. Even if Russia succeeds in getting the Donbas, it has shot itself in the foot (if not the head)-it is a pariah state. Russia has succeeded in isolating itself and has shown that it is a second rate power heading to third rate- a kleptocratic gas station with nukes.

    • #42
  13. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    They have convinced themselves that Putin is the devil

    If they really believed this, they would have us nuking up to defend ourselves against Russia.

    Ever since Obama set the world on fire, I have said: “I have a score card and I still can’t tell the players…”

    That is the really weird part.  Under Obama we had a great reset.  HRC went over and had a big red button that said reset and all.  They sent about every business person they could find on junkets to get commerce going with Russia.  That is all through the Obama administration and all of a sudden Trump is elected and Russia is a very bad place and Putin is the worse.  After 8 years of Obama cozying up to them?   WTF happened?  Did they not get enough grift back?

    • #43
  14. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    MiMac (View Comment):
    But win, lose or draw the Ukrainians have demonstrated to the world they are a legitimate state & no one’s puppet

    Great. Let’s cut the strings.

    • #44
  15. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    They have convinced themselves that Putin is the devil

    If they really believed this, they would have us nuking up to defend ourselves against Russia.

    Ever since Obama set the world on fire, I have said: “I have a score card and I still can’t tell the players…”

    That is the really weird part. Under Obama we had a great reset. HRC went over and had a big red button that said reset and all. They sent about every business person they could find on junkets to get commerce going with Russia. That is all through the Obama administration and all of a sudden Trump is elected and Russia is a very bad place and Putin is the worse. After 8 years of Obama cozying up to them? WTF happened? Did they not get enough grift back?

    It really does invite more study. What did Obama’s “more flexibility” comment to Medvedev mean? The press wasn’t the least bit curious as that information was “transmitted to Vladimir.” (And can you imagine if Trump had been caught on mic saying something like that?) With the assistance of the Clintons, the Russians secure a North American uranium company that gives them control of one-fifth of U.S. uranium production, and nobody cares. Well, many of us on the right cared about it, but the left was completely uninterested in the subject.  And then President Trump appears and the Democrats suddenly turn on Russia and make it out to be the source of all evil in the world in their quest to connect President Trump to Russia, first through a fake Pee Dossier (so laughably dumb I can’t believe the left fell for it, but they did), and then through several other fake attempts to bring the President down by labeling him a Russian puppet.

    But who’d been doing Russia’s bidding for most of the 21st Century? Why, that would be the Democrats.

    As I say, this sudden change invites more study. Anyone up to it?

    • #45
  16. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):
    As I say, this sudden change invites more study. Anyone up to it?

    Nope.

    • #46
  17. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Hang On (View Comment):

    There also needs to be a huge retirement of brass in the Pentagon.

    Certainly the retirement of every single officer whose career was based upon advancing the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion agenda.  

    • #47
  18. Lawst N. Thawt Coolidge
    Lawst N. Thawt
    @LawstNThawt

    I was thinking it depends on what frame we consider.  And then I thought.  The children.  The children always lose.

    • #48
  19. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    MiMac (View Comment):
    They aren’t losing it either- too soon to tell. It is obvious to anyone not blinded by their ideology that Russia has committed a tremendous blunder. But win, lose or draw the Ukrainians have demonstrated to the world they are a legitimate state & no one’s puppet- despite claims made by those such as you. At this point Russia is clearly losing- ie it has failed in its plan to “capture” Ukraine and split NATO. Ukraine was only part of Putin’s goals and he will get only part of it at best- but made Ukraine an avowed enemy and united NATO- something no one else could do- who else could get Germany to increase defense expenditures by $100 billion. Even if Russia succeeds in getting the Donbas, it has shot itself in the foot (if not the head)-it is a pariah state. Russia has succeeded in isolating itself and has shown that it is a second rate power heading to third rate- a kleptocratic gas station with nukes.

    And I’m the one blinded by ideology?

    • #49
  20. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    There also needs to be a huge retirement of brass in the Pentagon.

    Certainly the retirement of every single officer whose career was based upon advancing the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion agenda.

    That’s all the 4 stars and probably most of the 1-3 stars.

    • #50
  21. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/exhausted-ukrainian-soldiers-return-eastern-130359514.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cubW9vbm9mYWxhYmFtYS5vcmcv&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAEUCQd0tuTeZ4qbmAjaipUNPdk5_5n6-VSdahEn0qaUYRX002g7swDw0vqhquLdRTj4rmzHiRfNKZ_oZEKgDm2QuLN9qRvwghIJoKMgoQoV3A02Uszq-It5wU3_hlzG6AweTCZR_wls17-cx12zlQP6cGu-gSPUbjLhxfWL5s187

    • #51
  22. Captain French Moderator
    Captain French
    @AlFrench

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    I note that the current US administration has not stated what the US national interests are in Ukraine, and what the justification is for providing Ukraine with aid and assistance.

    Nor has it stated what the desired outcome is. I think this is a big deal. What conflict has the US become involved in in the last 75 years where the government hasn’t tried to sell its position to the public?

    • #52
  23. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Captain French (View Comment):

    Postmodern Hoplite (View Comment):
    I note that the current US administration has not stated what the US national interests are in Ukraine, and what the justification is for providing Ukraine with aid and assistance.

    Nor has it stated what the desired outcome is. I think this is a big deal. What conflict has the US become involved in in the last 75 years where the government hasn’t tried to sell its position to the public?

    The necessity for our involvement in this conflict is maintaining a world order in which sovereignty and nuclear arms treaties are respected. These principles have kept the world pretty much war free since World War II. We spent a lot of money and time hammering out agreements to make it so.

    Putin is simply a global anarchist with no respect for written law.

    Russia is a member of the International Court of Justice in the Hague. That is where conflicts between sovereign nations are tried. That is where Putin belongs. Instead, he’s a madman with his hand on a nuclear bomb. And he is evil. A good person saves lives and builds homes for people. Only truly evil people kill people for no reason and destroy cities and towns.

    He has created a global refugee crisis that he should pay for. Every cent that he has cost individuals in Ukraine.

    I don’t need anyone to explain to me why the United States has an interest in this war.

    I don’t know how this should be resolved. If it had been handled February 24 by a united global community against Putin, we wouldn’t be here today. As it stands, Putin has managed to create uncertainty for the entire world. I don’t know how this will end, but I do understand our interest in the situation.

    • #53
  24. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Last night I dreamed that Putin nuked Delaware.

    So the nuclear apocalypse dreams are back. Haven’t had one of those since the 1980s.

    So glad Reagan is in charge.

    Oh, . . . wait.

    • #54
  25. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    James Lileks: Xi, for his association with a loser whose actions renewed Taiwanese determination to stave off an invasion?

    No. The war has relegated Russia to China’s junior partner in the new axis of evil. Xi’s bargaining power has massively increased in any dealings with Russia.

    The war has also emphasized China’s ability to devastate Taiwan. China massively outguns Russia and Taiwan is a more concentrated target than Ukraine.

    That being said, the RU-UA war going hot was a lost opportunity for Xi. Xi could have put enough money on the table to turn the whole Belarus-Ukraine-Southwest Russia region into a Chinese special economic zone for access to the EU market. Lots of Chinese companies would look at the cheap labor, nuclear power, and natural resources in that area and see a massive competitive advantage over siting facilities in the EU (think of all the German energy and water regulations Tesla faces and contrast with what a BYD or Xpeng would face in UA).

     

    And this can’t happen now because?  

    • #55
  26. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Flicker (View Comment):

    James Lileks: Renewable energy advocates, suddenly on the back foot because nuclear is a better option than Russian gas?

    How are renewable energy advocates harmed by Zelensky’s open armed Western global-warming embrace of renewables?

    This is one of the few aspects of this tragic event that I consider particularly positive. 

    Zelensky’s opinion about renewables, whatever it is, is irrelevant. What matters is that the war highlights the danger of western Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels. Further, a Ukrainian victory — or even, at this point, a Russian victory that took far longer and cost far more than anyone expected — increases the perception that Russia is not a strong and reliable trading partner for such a critical resource.

    What that means is that Europe has to consider being more energy independent, since there is no ready fossil fuel import alternative that can match Russian oil and gas.

    And any time a nation seriously considers becoming energy independent, it has to take a realistic look at wind and solar — and then conclude that they aren’t viable alternatives to reliable baseload power. That’s good, because it encourages them to stop thinking about these sources as real alternatives to more traditional fossil fuel, nuclear, and hydroelectric power.

    Alternative energy stops being attractive to people experiencing energy poverty. It’s kind of analogous to the sudden lack of interest in the phrase “birthing person.” Crises create focus.

     

    • #56
  27. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    MarciN (View Comment):
    The necessity for our involvement in this conflict is maintaining a world order in which sovereignty and nuclear arms treaties are respected.

    We are not involved in any nuclear arms treaty with Ukraine.   Back to the topic, Truth is a loser in this conflict.  It is more true than ever that Truth is the first casualty in war.

    • #57
  28. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Flicker (View Comment):

    That’s weird. I had just been thinking about commenting with 20 minutes of Tucker Carlson talking about how this war “it’s not about Ukraine”. But he is making ratings talking about Ukraine.

    Oh, heck. I’ll do it.

    I urge everyone to watch that Tucker bit Flick linked. (I’ve got it cued up to the good (bad) stuff.)

    The way Schiff, et al speak, this is exactly what so many of us feared: a U.S./Russia war with Ukraine as the battleground (and soon to be pile of rubble because of U.S. involvement). They make no bones about it. “We” are at war with Russia, they say. And “we” are not interested in negotiating a peace. “We” are in it for the long haul, “until victory is won!”

    Hold on to your wallets, taxpayers! You’re funding World War III as we speak.

    And Tucker asks a great question: Why is U.S. foreign policy in Ukraine being handled by Congress’s most hysterical and blatant liars and frauds? Why, for example, is Adam Schiff, who once claimed he had hard proof Trump was a Russian puppet, heading up our delegation to Ukraine?

    I hate them all with a red-hot fury.

    • #58
  29. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I don’t need anyone to explain to me why the United States has an interest in this war.

    I do.

    • #59
  30. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    Last night I dreamed that Putin nuked Delaware.

    So the nuclear apocalype dreams are back. Haven’t had one of those since the 1980s.

    So glad Reagan is in charge.

    Oh, . . . wait.

    Did you grow up in the upper east side of Manhattan? Back in the 80’s fashionable upper east side Moms were worried about their children having nightmares about nuclear winter.

    • #60
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