Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The End of Fantasy Europe

 

First off I would like to say that I have not read James Kirchick’s The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age. Frankly I have better things to do with my time, like reading about the previous dark ages that supposedly befell Europe. However, I have read @Claire Berlinski’s article and will be moving forward to address the issues mentioned there.

I am going to first address my biggest problem with this book and its title. It’s not the end of Europe which is being addressed. It’s the end of the European Union. Whenever Europe is mentioned I will likely be referring to the EU or as I like to call it Fantasy Continent.

Unlike Kirchick or Claire, I am writing to the people of Ricochet. People who elected Trump, people who didn’t vote for Trump. But people for the most part I don’t think have their heads in the clouds. People who live in what I like to call the real world. The one we live in and not the ones that fantasize about the way they wish the world works. Just people.

I am not going to get to much into Donald Trump. Other than to say that I don’t think he is some giant ogre of Napoleonic ambitions. Not even of Mussolini proportions. Frankly I find Donald Trump all too conventional, and if Twitter had existed in the 1960s, President LBJ would probably be tweeting away about how all these “damn hippies” didn’t understand all the good things the Great Society was doing for them.

Instead of talking about the United States, let’s talk about Europe. Or the EU. The US like all real countries is based on some sort of legitimacy. The US is a Republic gaining its legitimacy through its constitution and the people who elect their representatives. It’s not always good. My Country is a confederation of provinces who hold parliaments of representatives backed by the Queen and tracing back its legal rights to Magna Carta and even earlier traditions. China derives its legitimacy through its one-party state of Communism and suffers for it.

The EU is not a country. But it pretends to be one. The EU is giant lie. It gains no legitimacy from its parliament, which cannot vote on legislation. It has unaccountable bureaucracies that give the production of milk 130,00 regulations. It has a council of Ministers that are made up of the heads of states for its numerous member countries. It has a couple Presidents that hold like six-month terms. It derives its authority from treaties with its various member states, but when those states reject it as the Netherlands and France have done in the past, it ignores those elections derived from the people and waits and tries again.

The EU was created in the belief of binding all the member states together economically but not politically. But it then dumped on a parliament system that has no power. It stumbles blindly from one crisis to another. It tells its members that it’s an economic treaty like NAFTA. Then makes unaccountable decisions that no local representative can fix. Without representation and the ability to make redress, your state will have to run on something else. The EU is flying apart at the seams. It either has to make the choice to become one state. With a Parliament or government structure that has real legitimate authority.

But it won’t do that because none of the member states want to give up their sovereignty. So, it muddles along like a 21st-century Polish Diet. Not willing to give up an inch politically and letting its bureaucracies grow.

There is no reason and no possible way for Russia to fight against a United States of Europe. But it is not fighting a USE. It’s merely fighting the EU. A EU that was trying to bind the different member nations together politically and creating an effective central government would easily crush Russia. Economically and militarily.

From a selection of the book chosen:

I came to understand that history had not ended, that Europe was not in a “post-ideological” age, and that optimistic assumptions about the inevitable triumph of liberal democracy, regulated market capitalism, peaceful coexistence, and political pluralism were premature even on the very continent that so prided itself in having founded and exported these values to the world.

Nonsense. Neither the EU or Europe has ever brought any of those things or founded those values and exported them to the world. Great Britain did. France did, some might say. France ran Vietnam as an economic colony pure and simple. It did nothing during its colonial time to bring French Civilization, administration, or culture to most of its Empire. Algeria being really the only exception and even then… The same with the rest of the colonial empires. Great Britain and its Empire were the exception to this. The rest of Europe was much too busy with its own usual self-centered ways, to be bothered exporting its culture to “barbarians.”

Most of us knew history had not ended. Most of us scoffed at the notion. We deemed those who sought a new order as arrogant, vainglorious fools. We also were much too busy making money in the post-cold war era.

A passage from @Claire’s article:

Kirchick recounts the now-familiar story of Europe’s economic torpor, its alienated immigrants, and its demographically unsustainable welfare states. Europe is reeling, too, from the effects of the greatest wave of human migration since the Second World War, a series of deadly attacks by ISIS, Britain’s abandonment of the European Union, and eight years of neglect by the Obama Administration.

His description of this is in places excellent. His chapter about Brexit is well-written, fair-minded, and painful with the same unintended irony that pervades the rest of the book. He is scathing about UK Independence Party head Nigel Farage and the type of American conservative to whom he for some reason appeals. He recounts with dismay watching Farage address “a half-empty lecture hall at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC” in 2015

First off let me break in here for a moment. The thing about Heritage is they have videos of their speeches available. Including the one of their keynote address made by Nigel Farage.

Why I could even post the link.

Looks a bit more packed to me by the video. I wasn’t there of course, but I do have a video.

Back:

At the end of his speech, I rose to ask the uncrowned king of British Euroscepticism what he made of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Although I was prepared for something unconventional, I did not expect what came out of Farage’s mouth.

War in Ukraine, he said, was the result of a “democratically elected leader brought down by a street-staged coup d’état by people waving EU flags.” Russian president Vladimir Putin could hardly be blamed for thinking that the “message” behind the Maidan protests was “we want Ukraine to join NATO.” Invading and annexing Crimea were perfectly understandable reactions to European imperialism. Ukraine’s dismemberment, the thousands of deaths in its eastern provinces, more than a million-displaced people, and heightened tensions between Russia and the West—all of it, Farage told me, was “something we have provoked.” A Kremlin spokesperson could not have scripted the response better himself.”

Let’s try that again.

Heck a democratically elected leader, or even a complete and total stooge is brought down by some armed revolutionaries living in the hills along with protests in the streets. The Stooge has run a terror campaign against his own populace, so public sympathy is high. The new regime is backed openly by a rival power. The neighboring superpower takes umbrage of this happening it its back yard. It starts with economic sanctions and supporting guerilla movements in that country. Those guerillas launch terror attacks on the new regime. The old superpower refuses to reoccupy territory in the land, and increases its military presence. That superpower goes further and plots the assassination of the new regime’s leadership and even supplies weapons and trainers to a group of exiles who will be invading the country to overthrow the new regime.

Hmm. Anyone else guess that I am talking about Cuba and the United States of America.

Yes, the European Union provoked Russia response. But the European Union is just as guilty as George H.W. Bush who called for the marsh people to rise up against Saddam Hussein and then stood by as Saddam Hussein and the Iraq army crushed and killed thousands of people.

We may not like the fact that we live in a world of spheres of influence and terrible regimes who consider some countries theirs.

Nigel Farage spoke the truth to Kirchick. He may have done it a bit crudely. But to believe that Russia would not respond in the way it did after overthrowing their puppet in Kiev is to be naïve on a staggering level.

Farage and those like him, Kirchick carefully argues, live in a morally inverted world where the bumbling and bureaucratic (but benign) EU is likened to the Soviet Union and Vladimir Putin is respected as the Moral Custodian of the West, even as Russia – relying on largely unreconstructed Soviet organs of statecraft – literally invades Europe.

I would counter that Farage and those like him, live in the real world. Where decisions have consequences. Where you don’t play power politics with the lives of millions, provoking dictators and then sitting on your hands and having a good cry cause the local bully came over and punched you in the face.

More:

“If Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea was the first external assault on the post–Cold War European political order,” Kirchick writes, “Britain’s rash decision to depart the EU was the first self-inflicted wound.” He marvels at this spectacle of self-destruction. “It is incredible to behold Great Britain, which once occupied more than 20 percent of the earth’s landmass, moving ever closer to the brink of its own disintegration.” The sentiment is right but its expression is a bit garbled; it was not Great Britain but the British Empire that spanned the globe; at its height, it occupied a full quarter of the world’s land mass. Here one wonders if Kirchick is holding at bay, perhaps at the cost of some mental energy, a premonition of the truly incredible spectacle of imperial self-destruction ahead.

And of course, my reply to Kirchick is this. Russia’s invasion of Crimea was not the first external assault on post-cold war Europe. That honor belongs to Georgia. As to Great Britain, its decision to leave was not rash. It was the best and smartest course of action. The people of Great Britain regained their sovereignty and their foreign and trade policies. Why should a free people decide to give up their sovereignty to unaccountable bureaucrats. No one has yet to explain to me why the EU is a good thing, though I know it’s coming.

Kirchick is contemptuous of American conservatives who through naiveté or malice cheer Europe’s disintegration. He is absolutely right to say there is nothing in Europe’s past to support the idea that the EU, if destroyed, would be replaced by a democratic and cooperative collection of sovereign nation-states. The view is historically illiterate. The long postwar peace is unique and fragile. “Those who claim that the EU has failed,” Kirchick writes, “must answer the following question: In comparison to what? The Europe of the Thirty Years War? The Napoleonic Empire? Hitlerite Europe?”

Ok, fine. I will answer that question easily and in two parts.

First off, the EU has nothing to do with the post-WW2 peace. The EU was not effectively formed until the 1990s, but even then, that’s not the reason Europe had such a long period of peace. It had a long peace, because the Second World War broke it. It also had the Soviet Union who had millions of men and tens of thousands of tanks and APCs and bombers, thousands of nuclear bombs pointing at it. You find plenty of reasons to cooperate when someone is constantly plotting to kill you. So, NATO might be a good supporting argument for European peace. Certainly, the presence of all those Americans and their money helped it along.

Long story short, Europe’s peace is not because of the presence of the EU. If the EU had never been formed in the 1990s, Europe would look a lot like it does today. Except probably be richer with a common market and a universal passport for citizens.

That being said. The best period in European history is not the post-WW2 era. It’s not even the post-cold war era. The best historical period for Europe bar none is after Napoleon and before WW1. And let me tell you something: There are lots of European wars during this period. But also, Europe integrated culturally, economically, militarily, and through communications during this period in a way that it has not done so since. This was the Europe that made Europe. That strode the world like a colossus. That ruled (and ruled well) most of the planet. Who thought it was their destiny to civilize the world. It’s the true golden age of Europe. The EU and its pretensions are nothing more than a faded imitation of the rich successful confident Europe of that era.

Now I am going to skip over the immigration stuff. Frankly I don’t know enough to comment. Kirchick again:

Had Europe (as well as the United States) decided to act as something other than a passive bystander in Syria—by assisting the moderate opposition, creating safe zones, and destroying President Bashar al- Assad’s air force in the early months of the rebellion, years before Iranian and Russian troops hit the ground—there was a chance that the conflict might not have dragged on for so long. Reflexively citing the Iraq experience as a counter argument to any and all methods of military intervention is not sufficient, because in both Libya and Syria—unlike Iraq—war against civilian populations was ongoing and the prospect of impending genocide was apparent.

What makes Kirchick believe the EU an economic union with pretensions of greatness believe that it could stop any of that? The EU that Kirchick wishes existed died when Eisenhower blocked the French and British from seizing the Suez Canal. Europe would no longer have the ability to be a real power. The United States made them into vassal states at that point. Sure, they still have militaries and limited resources. But the Great Britain that can’t afford to put cruise missiles on its ships is somehow going to stem the refugee crisis? One has to ask does Kirchick not know where he lives?

Again:

Europe finds itself in hock to autocrats like Vladimir Putin and Turkish president Recap Taya Erdogan — the former offering himself as a “partner” against ISIS while bombing Western-backed opponents of Russia’s client Assad (whom the vast majority of refugees are fleeing), and the latter demanding political concessions in exchange for reducing the outflow of migrants languishing in Turkish refugee camps. By entertaining Putin’s cynical proposal of an “anti-ISIS coalition,” Western leaders willfully ignore how Moscow’s Syrian intervention is fueling the very migrant wave they supplicate him to help plug. Russia’s interest is very clear: In exchange for its supposed help in fighting ISIS, the West would lift sanctions on Moscow and effectively give a green light to its ongoing subversion of Ukraine. Astonishingly, many in the West apparently support this idea. A late 2015 survey of seventy-six diplomats, elected leaders, and advisors from across Europe and the United States found 53 percent supporting cooperation with Russia in Syria, while listing migration, Islamist terrorism, and the rise of populist parties as the most critical threats to Europe—three problems Moscow is actively aggravating by its intervention in Syria. Maintaining Bashar al-Assad in power will only prolong Syria’s misery by driving the Sunni majority that detests him even more into the arms of ISIS, therefore prolonging the conflict as well as the stream of refugees whose presence in Europe is driving up support for the far-right politicians Russia abets in numerous other ways. While the Russians have repeatedly demonstrated their overreliance on hard power to achieve their aims, Europe’s overconfidence on soft power, far from keeping the world’s problems at bay, has imported them into Elysium.

Well yeah? So, what? I don’t understand what Kirchick is doing here. He seems to think the EU is a real force for good in the world. And that somehow, I don’t even know what he is trying here.

Sorry, its getting late. I intended to write to conclusion and start this essay earlier in the evening. But I remembered I had an appointment with a candidate and we went late discussing viral political marketing.

In summary, I shall say it seems that the Kirchick wants an EU or even Europe that has never existed to fight for values it doesn’t believe in and grants it a legitimacy it doesn’t deserve. If Europe is ever to gain back what its once vibrant strong culture that it once had, it’s going to have to move away from the elderly, mendacity that it currently holds.

As I once said to a friend of mine in the German Air Force, “A lot of people are going to die before we fix this mess.”

His answer: “Yep.”

There are 55 comments.

  1. Columbo Member

    • #1
    • March 9, 2017, at 4:51 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  2. ctlaw Coolidge

    ToryWarWriter: That being said. The best period in European history is not the post-world war 2 eras. It’s not even the post-cold war era. The best historical period for Europe bar none is after Napoleon and before the first world war. And let me tell you something. There are lots of European wars during this period. But also, Europe integrated culturally, economically, militarily and through communications during this period in a way that it has not done so now. This was the Europe that made Europe. That strode the world like a colossus. That ruled and ruled well most of the planet. Who thought it was their destiny to civilize the world. It’s the true golden age of Europe. The EU and its pretensions are nothing more than a faded imitation of the rich successful confident Europe of that era.

    At the beginning of that period, the three most relevant European powers seemed to be the UK, France, and Spain.

    During that period, France and Spain were in relative decline. The UK was ascendant with Germany nipping at its heels. Portugal, which only pretended to significance due to Brazil and several other colonies became irrelevant. Italy and the Netherlands went nowhere. The massive population Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Russia really did not pull their weight in contributions to world advancement.

    All those declining countries, to this day, resent the relative success in that period of the UK and, to a lesser extent, Germany.

    The intervening savagery of Germany changed things a bit. That gave other Europeans a pretty strong reason to (rightly or wrongly) view themselves as morally superior to the Germans. But to this day, they are searching for reasons (usually pretexts) to view themselves as morally superior to the British.

    • #2
    • March 9, 2017, at 6:30 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. ctlaw Coolidge

    Columbo (View Comment):

    The Queen should give Nigel a knighthood before King Caliph Charles beheads him.

    • #3
    • March 9, 2017, at 6:38 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Doug Watt Member

    ToryWarWriter:War in Ukraine, he said, was the result of a “democratically elected leader brought down by a street-staged coup d’état by people waving EU flags.” Russian president Vladimir Putin could hardly be blamed for thinking that the “message” behind the Maidan protests was “we want Ukraine to join NATO.” Invading and annexing Crimea were perfectly understandable reactions to European imperialism. Ukraine’s dismemberment, the thousands of deaths in its eastern provinces, more than a million-displaced people, and heightened tensions between Russia and the West—all of it, Farage told me, was “something we have provoked.” A Kremlin spokesperson could not have scripted the response better himself.”

    Yes, a Kremlin spokesperson could not have crafted the response better than Mr. Farage. What happened in the Ukraine was much more complex than Mr. Farage’s simplistic assessment. I understand his disillusionment with the EU but to hammer the EU as being responsible for Putin’s fears is not the whole story. Yes there is corruption in the Ukraine, but that is a gift from Russian Communism that keeps on giving in every country they have controlled. Russia and the Ukraine have a long history. Russians call the Ukraine the heart of Russia, they don’t call Ukrainians the heart of Russia.

    Mr. Farage should expound on what he knows about the British relationship with the EU and why it should be severed, he obviously has no understanding of Ukrainian history.

    • #4
    • March 9, 2017, at 7:45 AM PST
    • 1 like
  5. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter

    I think you missed the point of both the original author and where Farages response comes from.

    Farage pointed out the EU blundered into a mess it didn’t understand the consequences of, and that Russia responded to a threat to its Sphere of Influence.

    Farage’s criticism of the EU influencing Ukraine, finds an easy parallel with America knocking off Saddam Hussein.

    The original author objected to being told a hard truth that the world is a lot more complicated place than it seems. That those even with the best of intentions can make a blunder that costs thousands of lives.

    Farage was well within his right to point that out.

    • #5
    • March 9, 2017, at 8:03 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. Doug Watt Member

    I suppose we should all ask Putin just where he thinks the border of his sphere of influence ends. While we wait for the answer perhaps Britain should leave the Falklands, after all if the Argentines decide once again those islands fall within their sphere of influence Mr. Farage should understand their decision.

    • #6
    • March 9, 2017, at 9:14 AM PST
    • Like
  7. Stina Member

    Thank you for writing. It was long, but engaging.

    • #7
    • March 9, 2017, at 9:18 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter

    “I suppose we should all ask Putin just where he thinks the border of his sphere of influence ends. While we wait for the answer perhaps Britain should leave the Falklands, after all if the Argentines decide once again those islands fall within their sphere of influence Mr. Farage should understand their decision”

    Yes that would be a valuable question.

    No the British should not leave the Falklands. The question you mention should have been asked by the Argentines before they invaded the Falklands. Then maybe they would not have gotten hundreds of there people killed doing something rather dumb. Which is what the EU did by interfearing with the internal policies of Ukraine. There actions there led to a war, that was obvious to anyone who has studied realpolitik. If the EU had the strength to back up Ukraine, Russia would not be invading. Say I don’t know sending a couple brigades of Peacekeepers into the disputed zone. Of course such an action would have consequences. Never launch a war or start a revolution if you are afraid of the consequences.

    I think there is a problem with communication here. You seem to be reading into things what you want, instead of how they are or were.

    • #8
    • March 9, 2017, at 9:38 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor

    I take your point that reading everything I wrote about Jamie’s book is already a bit of a time commitment, but I do think it’s worth reading his book, in full, rather than judging it by what I wrote about it. Remember, I illustrated whole chapters of his book with his topic sentences, but that’s not the same as allowing him to make his full case, from start to finish. He wrote a whole chapter on Brexit, Farage, and Johnson, and as I wrote, I think it’s a strong chapter. If you like, I can send you my copy by e-mail: I got a review copy PDF, and I’d be happy to share it. It’s worth engaging with his best arguments, I think. (By the way, the news just broke that Farage recently pitched up at the Ecuadorian Embassy — presumably not to get a visa for his Galapagos eco-travel holiday package.)

    • #9
    • March 9, 2017, at 11:58 AM PST
    • 1 like
  10. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Very well written and thought out. 100% Agree. We have had the post Wwii era too imprinted as if it is natural. It is not.

    • #10
    • March 9, 2017, at 2:22 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Roberto, Crusty Old Timer LLC Member
    Roberto, Crusty Old Timer LLC Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Some interesting thoughts.

    ToryWarWriter: In summary, I shall say it seems that the writer Kirchick wants a EU or even Europe that has never existed to fight for values it doesn’t believe in and grants it a legitimacy it doesn’t deserve. If Europe is ever to gain back what its once vibrant strong culture that it once had, it’s going to have to move away from the elderly, mendacity that it currently holds.

    This seems largely on target.

    • #11
    • March 9, 2017, at 4:03 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter

    Sure @claire send me a pm and I will give my email address. Right now I just started Armageddon Averted: The Soviet Collapse 1970-2000 so it will be a bit of time before I get to that book.

    • #12
    • March 9, 2017, at 6:10 PM PST
    • Like
  13. Eb Snider Inactive

    This might be of some interest to you: The University that I attended in the USA had a very pro-EU position in the college and promoted it with students. There were EU administrators and EU individuals who visited the school to speak. Students that deal with political science and foreign affairs were marinated in material that promoted the EU. It was seen as progressive integration for the future. It seemed like lots of jobs for technocrats. I’d attend a few speakers and functions out of interest. There were other colleges that promoted the EU concept in the USA too. I think this is partly the reason why Obama reacted so angrily at the UK when it left the EU. This was a cardinal sin of transnational integration. There would be people to specialize in some aspect of EU affairs, write papers about it, and then be a designated expert or something.

    The EU does seem a bit bland too. As someone who is rather pro-Anglo I don’t think the UK needs to be in the current EU. I was rather ambivalent about the EU in general until I learned more about the gigantic about of micromanaging regulations and lack of representative government. I heard a rumor that EU bureaucrats wanted to ban the word “Pint” since it’s not a metric unit. So what, you’re going to go to the bar now and ask for X amount of mL of beer? Lame.

    • #13
    • March 10, 2017, at 4:03 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  14. Vectorman Thatcher

    ToryWarWriter: The best period in European history is not the post-WW2 era. It’s not even the post-cold war era. The best historical period for Europe bar none is after Napoleon and before WW1. And let me tell you something: There are lots of European wars during this period. But also, Europe integrated culturally, economically, militarily, and through communications during this period in a way that it has not done so since. This was the Europe that made Europe. That strode the world like a colossus. That ruled (and ruled well) most of the planet. Who thought it was their destiny to civilize the world. It’s the true golden age of Europe. The EU and its pretensions are nothing more than a faded imitation of the rich successful confident Europe of that era.

    Your statement here TWW is spot on. We’ve been watching the recent PBS series Victoria that includes the Duke of Wellington who won Waterloo. Queen Victoria came from German stock and married the non-British Prince Albert. But because the UK had a Magna Carta and the monarchy could respect the Parliament, it prospered during this time, now commonly referred to as Victorian. Other European countries such as Russia did not have the same background, and stayed backward.

    European elites tried building bridges between countries using marriage of their nobility. One wonders if some of this thinking survives today, that if the elites can get together, the commoners will follow along dutifully.

    • #14
    • March 10, 2017, at 6:00 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Hypatia Inactive

    I’ve read many times about the pantomime of democracy that goes on in the EU: a referendum is held, the people speak–and whatever they voted for or against, the opposite is eventually implemented anyway .

    Come on! How can anybody who believes in our governing principles support this? Because it “keeps the peace”? I agree that the reason for the”peace” among European nations after 2 horrible, world-devastating wars in the first half of the 20th century is mostly sheer depletion and inability.

    The EU’s attitude toward referendum results that just aren’t “comme il faut” reminds me of the incredulity displayed on the Left toward our 2016 election: no, no, the people didn’t really mean what they said-they couldn’t! Not after all our hard work building a beautiful PC, socialist edifice! What about “compassion” “inclusiveness” , and all our other never-fail nostrums? We’re going to just pretend we never heard the people’s voice. It’s for their own good.

    • #15
    • March 10, 2017, at 6:04 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  16. Brian Wolf Coolidge

    ToryWarWriter: War in Ukraine, he said, was the result of a “democratically elected leader brought down by a street-staged coup d’état by people waving EU flags.” Russian president Vladimir Putin could hardly be blamed for thinking that the “message” behind the Maidan protests was “we want Ukraine to join NATO.” Invading and annexing Crimea were perfectly understandable reactions to European imperialism. Ukraine’s dismemberment, the thousands of deaths in its eastern provinces, more than a million-displaced people, and heightened tensions between Russia and the West—all of it, Farage told me, was “something we have provoked.” A Kremlin spokesperson could not have scripted the response better himself.”

    Let’s try that again.

    The war in Ukraine was provoked by the democratically elected leader of Ukraine sold out his country and her interests to his powerful neighbor for personal enrichment. It was a mind boggling miscalculation on the part of Russia and their political proxies in Ukraine. The Ukrainian people would not sell their liberty so dear and rose up against their corrupt leadership demanding more accountable government. When the effort by Russia’s proxies to cover up their wrong doing failed they turned to violence. One the people of Ukraine were asked if they were willing to buy their liberty with their blood they answered yes. Being a corrupt stooge the President of Ukraine fled to his backers in Russia and left Ukraine behind. Suffering incredible blow back from their miscalculation Russia turned to force to have their way with Ukraine. If bribery and corruption couldn’t control the country then provoking, supplying and creating violence throughout the eastern part of the country and an illegal, morally indefensible and completely unprovoked invasion of Crimea might do the trick.

    The powers that should and could stop such a maneuver from working were ideologically (in the case of America) or physically and ideologically(in the case of Europe) unprepared to stop Russia’s naked aggression. Instead of talking about how Russia was right and proper to attack a peaceful country we should be talking non stop about how it is possible that we let such an outright challenge to our practical interests and moral beliefs to stand.

    Got that off my chest. If these are really Farage’s beliefs I have, in the past, thought far, far to highly of him and while I think his criticism of the EU are broadly correct he seems pretty much an idiot when it comes to foreign policy.

    • #16
    • March 10, 2017, at 7:17 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  17. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter

    So what, you’re going to go to the bar now and ask for X amount of mL of beer? Lame

    –Several years ago I read about a man who was arrested for brandishing a knife in violation of the EU regulation. The knife of course was the pocket knife he carried, and the brandishing was when he cut his apple to eat.

    –Such petty tyrannies lead first to indifference about the law, and often to revolutions. Or in this case the country leaving the EU.

    • #17
    • March 10, 2017, at 7:22 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  18. Columbo Member

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    I’ve read many times about the pantomime of democracy that goes on in the EU: a referendum is held, the people speak–and whatever they voted for or against, the opposite is eventually implemented anyway .

    Come on! How can anybody who believes in our governing principles support this? Because it “keeps the peace”? I agree that the reason for the”peace” among European nations after 2 horrible, world-devastating wars in the first half of the 20th century is mostly sheer depletion and inability.

    The EU’s attitude toward referendum results that just aren’t “comme il faut” reminds me of the incredulity displayed on the Left toward our 2016 election: no, no, the people didn’t really mean what they said-they couldn’t! Not after all our hard work building a beautiful PC, socialist edifice! What about “compassion” “inclusiveness” , and all our other never-fail nostrums? We’re going to just pretend we never heard the people’s voice. It’s for their own good.

    This reminds me of a post I made last December about the eerie parallel between the EU and the Imperial Senate of the Empire …

    https://ricochet.com/396181/a-350-million-new-palace-in-brussels/#comment-3626460

    • #18
    • March 10, 2017, at 7:39 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Quake Voter Inactive

    Trump and Putin, if liberal metropolitans in America and Europe didn’t have them, they would have to invent them.

    I guess, in a sense, the GOP establishment did inadvertently create Trump.

    Interesting article of faith that Putin caused the European immigration crisis. Not Merkel with her diktat overruling EU law, right?

    Had ISIS (or Daesh for you gentry thinkers) triumphed in Syria, wouldn’t there be 4 million Alawi and Christian refugees? I know, this could have all been averted with well-timed support for those Jeffersonian Syrian rebels. (Amazing how the same liberal “realists” can hold this opinion and scoff at previous believers in Prester John.)

    So, stateside, Trump signs on to WSJ/Chamber of Commerce/Ryan/McConnell plan for Obamacare and becomes the malign redefiner of conservatism who destroys the GOP’s longstanding commitment to free market medicine (listen to the latest Commentary kvetchcast; it’s beyond parody).

    And Putin is “invading” Europe. Sevastopol is apparently a European city, though 90% of its inhabitants prefer it to be a Russian city.

    And Leicester, Malmo and Antwerp are in large parts no longer European cities in any cultural, political or moral sense. Other than the rediscovery of vicious anti-Semitism I guess. And Dark Age attitudes about the role of women and the stoning of homosexuals.

    But Putin and his country in demographic collapse and armed with a tugboat carrier is the menace. Sure.

    • #19
    • March 10, 2017, at 8:02 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. Guruforhire Member

    I think the problem is that we are too likely to treat 1991 as year 0 in our analysis.

    • #20
    • March 10, 2017, at 8:05 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter

    Got that off my chest. If these are really Farage’s beliefs I have, in the past, thought far, far to highly of him and while I think his criticism of the EU are broadly correct he seems pretty much an idiot when it comes to foreign policy.

    -Yeah its hard to say what his beliefs are. My guess is that he would be much more likely paleocon on foreign policy. Not my cup of tea.

    –I would prefer real boldness on this issue from the rest of the world. The kind of thing that our old PM Stephen Harper showed.

    –We also forget the ramifications of the Snowden leaks on Ukraine. Thanks to that traitor Russia knew everything about what the US/NATO could do in response. Just how far he could push.

    • #21
    • March 10, 2017, at 8:09 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Z in MT Inactive

    Good Post.

    Not sure I agree with everything you say about the Ukraine mess.

    For the life of me, I can’t understand Claire’s and Kirchick’s attitude toward Brexit and Trump.

    Brexit is a huge win for British sovereignty and liberty.

    Trump is not the monster the media portrays him as, nor is he the political savior some think he is. Really, his administration is turning into a moderate Republican one – only with a loud mouth for a President.

    • #22
    • March 10, 2017, at 8:09 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  23. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter

    For the life of me, I can’t understand Claire’s and Kirchick’s attitude toward Brexit and Trump.

    –If you read Claire’s original piece she mentions how she is writing to those of the New World Order, and trying to explain why the world is in collapse. Her intended audience was not the average member of Ricochet. I made that difference.

    –My own personal view and I will try to clarify. I do not think Putin had the right to attack Ukraine. Only that we should not be surprised that he and Russia reacted just like the United States did to Cuba. My perspective as a Canadian perhaps helps me see things in a different light as I am not always involved.

    –I mean you’re talking to a guy who made a wargame covering a fantasy invasion of Poland by Russia in the year 2020.

    Trump is not the monster the media portrays him as, nor is he the political savior some think he is

    –Like I point out in my piece above. Imagine LBJ with a Twitter account, and it would look a lot like Trumps feed.

    • #23
    • March 10, 2017, at 8:26 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  24. Guruforhire Member

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    –My own personal view and I will try to clarify. I do not think Putin had the right to attack Ukraine. Only that we should not be surprised that he and Russia reacted just like the United States did to Cuba. My perspective as a Canadian perhaps helps me see things in a different light as I am not always involved.

    Isn’t it kind of like Mexico retaking Arizona while the US was distracted by the Civil War?

    • #24
    • March 10, 2017, at 8:38 AM PST
    • 1 like
  25. Brian Wolf Coolidge

    ToryWarWriter:Let’s try that again.

    Heck a democratically elected leader, or even a complete and total stooge is brought down by some armed revolutionaries living in the hills along with protests in the streets. The Stooge has run a terror campaign against his own populace, so public sympathy is high. The new regime is backed openly by a rival power. The neighboring superpower takes umbrage of this happening it its back yard. It starts with economic sanctions and supporting guerilla movements in that country. Those guerillas launch terror attacks on the new regime. The old superpower refuses to reoccupy territory in the land, and increases its military presence. That superpower goes further and plots the assassination of the new regime’s leadership and even supplies weapons and trainers to a group of exiles who will be invading the country to overthrow the new regime.

    Hmm. Anyone else guess that I am talking about Cuba and the United States of America.

    This is morally offensive. The difference between Castro’s Cuba and Ukraine are legion. I want go into all the reason why this analogy is horrible, but it is really horrible, I will instead take on the notion that you seem to hold that a sphere of influence must exist and that we must allow it to exist and that Russia’s behavior is normal. I will go one bit farther and say that you might not like that fact that a sphere of influence exists but that we need to recognize their existence and unless we want to go to war all the time we must allow them.

    A sphere of influence can be based on many different things. For instance a sphere of influence can respect the sovereignty of a country and depend on shared interests, cultural influence, trade and shared traditions. If the Russian sphere of influence was based on these things most of the countries in the region would be eager to be part of the Russian sphere of influence and seek to stay in it. The Russian sphere of influence however is based on the fact that at one time starting in the late 18th century the Russians began conquering these regions and adding them to her Empire. When these nations broke free the Russians simply reconquered them sometimes after lengthy wars.

    Even today the Russian don’t respect the sovereignty of these nations. They seek to influence and control these nations for the benefit of the Russian people and not for the benefit of the nation they rule. This makes for inherent instability in the region as the people want to see their own interests advanced and don’t want to work for the benefit of the Russian people first. This natural instability is the fault of no one but the Russians. No one is planning to attack them, no one is threatening them and no power is moving into “their” territory. The fault for these conflicts rest with Russia alone.

    • #25
    • March 10, 2017, at 8:43 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter

    Isn’t it kind of like Mexico retaking Arizona while the US was distracted by the Civil War?

    –If they only stopped at taking Crimea back. But they have been sending in troops to contest the border regions as well. Which reminds me of CIA/Bay of Pigs was/could have been.

    • #26
    • March 10, 2017, at 8:44 AM PST
    • Like
  27. Guruforhire Member

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    Isn’t it kind of like Mexico retaking Arizona while the US was distracted by the Civil War?

    –If they only stopped at taking Crimea back. But they have been sending in troops to contest the border regions as well. Which reminds me of CIA/Bay of Pigs was/could have been.

    ah OK.

    • #27
    • March 10, 2017, at 8:47 AM PST
    • Like
  28. ctlaw Coolidge

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    –I would prefer real boldness on this issue from the rest of the world. The kind of thing that our old PM Stephen Harper showed.

    If CA still had Harper and AU still had Abbott, we’d have a better Trump.

    Right now there is essentially no really good world leader of any significance. Even Bibi is a bit hamstrung in trying to avoid conflict with Russia and China.

    Ankle biting by the scum that is currently leading the nominally civilized world emboldens Trump’s opposition here and is more likely to make Trump overreact.

    • #28
    • March 10, 2017, at 8:58 AM PST
    • 1 like
  29. Brian Wolf Coolidge

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    –My own personal view and I will try to clarify. I do not think Putin had the right to attack Ukraine. Only that we should not be surprised that he and Russia reacted just like the United States did to Cuba. My perspective as a Canadian perhaps helps me see things in a different light as I am not always involved.

    Isn’t it kind of like Mexico retaking Arizona while the US was distracted by the Civil War?

    Sort of. Crimea was not part of Russia until the Crimean War in the 1850s when the native people of the region were conquered by the Russian from Ottoman’s were defeated. Russia established some colonies along the coast and thing pretty much just continued on as before. Slowly over time Ukrainians began to move to the peninsula but things pretty much continued as before with Ukrainians and Muslims out numbering the Russian military colonies. Then starting in the Russian Civil War and then the Peasant War that followed things started to change as the Russian began to slaughter large number of people in the region to pacify it. This culminated in World War II when Stalin deported mass numbers of people from Crimea and killing them and if the survived forcing them to live in the far East. It then became more of a Ukrainian dominated region as people fled from the mass starvation in the north.

    Finally after the last Ukrainian peasant armies were force to fight with the Russians against Nazi threat Ukraine was fully and completely conquered and as an olive branch the Ukrainians were given Crimea as part of their territory. Then a few years ago after agreeing in the break up of the Soviet Union and the following treaties that Crimea was part of Ukraine they just took it back. Though Russia track record of obeying treaty obligations is terrible.

    Crimea carried huge cultural significance in Russia because it had been a goal of Imperial Russia to conquer it for so long and the Crimean War was an incredibly bloody and affair. This made the conquest of Crimea a huge cultural touchstone but never really was a Russian territory in terms of population and culture until very, very recently.

    • #29
    • March 10, 2017, at 8:59 AM PST
    • Like
  30. Brian Wolf Coolidge

    To continue a few more thoughts from comment 25:

    So if Russia is to blame for the instability in its near aboard then what business of that is ours?

    Well the instability causes us problems from the get go, because leaving Russia alone does not bring stability it just encourages more instability. So even recognizing “spheres of influence” we must recognize that they way that Russia manages their causes instability. This instability then has consequences that we have to deal with as borders become unstable and all countries in the Russia near aboard react to the threats and actual invasions of Russia.

    It hurts me greatly that the politicians and commentators on the Right look for ways to in excuse the instability Russia creates and even seek to justify it. Instead we should be looking for ways to incentive the Russians to work for stability in the region, seeking them to recognize the sovereign territory of their neighbors and encouraging them to share value with their neighbors instead of trying to impose crippling political domination on them.

    Not only would this make our lives easier but it would be better for the Russians in the long run as well. Making unjustified comparisons with Cuba and Ukraine or seeking to find reason for why Russia should cause instability in its near aboard is not realistic at all but myopic and ignorant.

    • #30
    • March 10, 2017, at 9:18 AM PST
    • 2 likes