Consequences dear boy, consequences (to misquote Harold Macmillan)

Greg Sheridan generally writes well on foreign affairs (and on Christianity) but came unstuck with Donald Trump derangement syndrome; then covid-the-perilous robbed him of sanity. That at least was my view before Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech and Russia invaded Ukraine. This morning, writing in the Australian, his reputation (with me) suffered still further.

First, he gave Joe Biden’s ridiculous speech a C-plus. Wild threats at Russia and admiration for the brave [sic] Iranians were complemented by a litany of things he’s gonna do like, for example, secure the border (risible), fund the police (really?) and cure cancer (why not). Nothing on the state of the union, because he and his Democrat colleagues have produced a nightmare – an open border, increased crime, rising inflation, loss of energy independence, a shambolic and shameful exit from Afghanistan.

Sheridan says that Trump’s description of Putin as a genius for declaring Donetsk and Luhansk independent republics (note, prior to the invasion) was grotesque. Maybe Trump could have been more circumspect. But exactly how does Trump’s throwaway line compare with Biden materially benefitting Russia by okaying Nord Stream 2; while restricting the availability of US and European energy:

Cancelling the Keystone Pipeline. Banning fracking on federal lands; suspending oil and gas leasing on federal lands; suspending oil-drilling leases in ANWR; generally undermining the development of US fossil-fuel energy. Ordering U.S. government agencies to immediately stop financing new carbon-intensive fossil-fuel projects overseas. Objecting to the EastMed natural-gas pipeline from Israel to Europe.

As we found out during Trump’s brilliant tenure, a few ill-chosen words matter more to the precious elite than do policies which strengthen America’s standing in the world and benefit the American working class.

Now comes Sheridan’s pièce de resistance. If Russia brings Ukraine into its orbit, then the trade and financial sanctions – which let’s face it, will be crippling in the long run– “should last until Moscow leaves Ukraine.” That may mean 187 million or so people suffering cruel deprivation for year after year. Not the billionaires of course.

It’s fine to be gung-ho when the cost falls on you. But if they fall on others, at least mention their potential plight. Mention it! Not a bit of it. Don’t worry we have your back, by making your lives unliveable for years on end.

And, to boot, exactly how would a nuclear-armed nation of 187 million people and vast resources react to being indefinitely cut off from the world?

Do I have an answer? No. It would be just nice if those who pretend to have one explore consequences. Think it through. Weigh it up. Where might it turn pear shaped? Who’ll suffer? Maybe those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would not have gone so badly. This kind of question might be considered: Just who and what is likely to fill the void after Ghaddafi? After Putin?

Just possibly there is a solution in Ukraine. It’s likely to encompass giving away some land to Russia and, perhaps, Ukraine embracing neutrality and giving away any ambition to join NATO or the EU. Is it palatable to reward Russia’s aggression? A matter of realpolitik. Again, I don’t know. Some might say it’s appeasement. But the obverse of appeasement is being prepared to fight.

I know the West is prepared to let the Ukrainians fight. Don’t see any prospect of Britain, France Germany, America or Australia sending in troops. Assuming the Ukrainians can’t win, that leaves only appeasement of some kind on the table; unpalatable or not.

35 thoughts on “Consequences dear boy, consequences (to misquote Harold Macmillan)”

  1. Very good piece Peter however I still think you give Sheridan far too much credit. I believe he’s lost all credibility. When I see him on Sky I switch off. His writings in the Oz were one of the reasons why I cancelled my Oz sub. His downward spiral began back in 2016 and as the years have passed he’s become more and more unhinged….particularly about Trump.

    To me Sheridan represents everything wrong with the MSM. No balance, no nuance, just tedious ramblings.


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  2. To me Sheridan represents everything wrong with the MSM. No balance, no nuance, just tedious ramblings.

    Yes that’s correct, Sheridan has been suffering some sort of mental demise, gone from a very good jurno to basically talking crap.

    As soon as Russia takes over Ukraine all the sanctions will quickly disappear as self interest rules the world.


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  3. Sheridan’s “journalistic” dribble is akin to canned laughter. It’s so lightweight. The likes of Sheridan and others have directly contributed to the trashing of journalism.

    The unpalatable truth is that very few people respect the MSM and mainstream journalists like Sheridan because of their bias, their lack of any objectivity and the fact that they are fair-weather, their views depend on which way the wind is blowing. Bolt the Dolt is exactly like Sheridan . I’ve also noticed that Sheridan has a formula that he sticks to. It’s painful to read and watch.

    I have far more respect for the likes of Greenwald, Mate and others…independent journalists who think outside the box…..but you won’t find them in The Australian.


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  4. Absent an iron-clad commitment to remaining neutral and dropping any aspirations to joining the EU or NATO as a pre-condition to Ukraine’s current borders remaining intact, the only realistic ‘solution’ I can see would be the partition of Ukraine along the Dneiper River, seperating the majority Russian aligned areas in the East as Russia’s buffer. Perhaps not so different to the former Czechoslovakia.

    How Kiev itself is dealt with may be the sticking point.


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  5. Nothing on the state of the union, because he and his Democrat colleagues have produced a nightmare – an open border, increased crime, rising inflation, loss of energy independence

    Indeed. I knew of all of the above, plus the current price of gasoline in the US of $5 per gallon. But I had no idea just how far daily life had collapsed until I listened to Victor Davis Hanson’s latest chat with John Anderson. Firstly, he gave a personal experience regarding the escalation of timber prices : a 4X8 sheet of plywood which last year cost US$7, went up by the end of the year to US55, and the last time he looked was US$90. He flew over the dysfunctional port of Los Angeles & saw countless tankers stalled, & then saw scores of people looting cargo from the railyards.

    There has to be regime change in America, and it can’t come too soon.

    https://johnanderson.net.au/direct-victor-davis-hanson-v/


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  6. Sheridan gets treated as if he’s some kind of oracle. The treatment he receives in the media is annoying to say the least. Credlin gives him a blowjob every time he’s on.
    Pathetic.


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  7. Are comments allowed for his online pieces? He might learn a thing or two. He’s another example of what’s wrong with j’ism in Australia.


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  8. First, he gave Joe Biden’s ridiculous speech a C-plus.

    I suspect Sheridan, being a top level opinionista, is on notice with the Murdoch kids.
    The Oz is dying of gang green.


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  9. Peter Smith: the nations who voted to support Putins claims on Ukrainian land were North Korea, Syria, Eritrea.
    Even Serbia and Venezuela voted against.
    Putin has no claim and no allies and he should retreat.
    If he goes anywhere near nukes I’d expect he’ll be shot.
    moderated

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  10. Some might say it’s appeasement. But the obverse of appeasement is being prepared to fight.

    The third option is a realism that knows when & where it is worth it to fight and when an dwhere it is not.

    We have more to learn from Eisenhower’s restraint than JFK’s adventurous idealism.


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  11. The Murdochs make me ashamed to be Australian but then I doubt if they even regard themselves as such.
    Sheridan gets treated as if he’s some kind of oracle. The treatment he receives in the media is annoying to say the least. Credlin gives him a blowjob every time he’s on.
    Pathetic.

    Yes when he’s just a tired old blow hard


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  12. I have far more respect for the likes of Greenwald, Mate and others…independent journalists who think outside the box…..but you won’t find them in The Australian.

    that’s the wonderful thing about the internet, you don’t have to rely on the deeply unimpressive Australian legacy meja to relay their thoughts to you.


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  13. I suspect Sheridan, being a top level opinionista, is on notice with the Murdoch kids.

    When Peter Hitchens was asked to submit his views to censorship by a publisher, he declined and forewent the revenue attached.

    Integrity… a rare attribute these days, especially among journalists.


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  14. We have more to learn from Eisenhower’s restraint than JFK’s adventurous idealism.

    And Ike got all the good provocations, too- From the back end of thr Korean War to the suez Crisis, outright Soviet pushing and shootdowns in the very edges of Russian skies and waters around the Baltic and elsewhere. And the Cuban Revolution (though that saw the Bay of Pigs incident, so a mis-gamble).

    All overshadowed in the popular mind by the photogenic and hyper stage-managed JFK and his Vietnam and Cuban Missile Crises.


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  15. To me, and it’s just probably me, but the solution would have seemed quite simple.

    Firstly, the far reaching consequences will, more likely than not, include sanctioned starvation for want of oil for primary and manufacturing production. The writing is already on the wall.

    Secondly, all the Ukraine had to do was, themselves, NATO and the U.S to stop arming and funding the Azov and Babushka battalions from terrorizing eastern Ukraine on the Russian border.

    Thirdly, definitively put an end to E.U and NATO’s expansionism.

    Lastly, take a blow torch to the corporate Marxists of the World Economic Forum (the Davos mobsters) and its founder and leader Klaus Schwab. The irony is not lost that this asshole is a German.


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  16. Like everyone else here, totally disgusted with the rubbish pumped out by Sheridan. Long ago gave up on the Oz, opened their site momentarily once during 2021. His opiniated articles are one of my many complaints about the MSM. All blather, no factual content, usually light on substance and couldn’t accuse him of investigative journalism. I was in the printing world for 26 years and the old adage of “never let the truth get in the way of a good story” is as true today as back then if not more so.


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  17. Siltstonesays:
    March 4, 2022 at 6:14 am
    How will Russia react? By drawing very close to China.”

    It’s already happening. When Putin visited China a few weeks ago, it wasn’t to watch the Winter Olympics.


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  18. So Cassie’s Mitford-like love of Putin’s “hard power” extends to Xi? Charming.
    Meanwhile, in the real world, China’s NDRC first told its SOEs to avoid buying Russian coal and then told them to diversify away from Russian raw materials altogether. Having earlier miscalculated on Putin’s ghoulish strategy, Xi may well have holed his own boat. For a man aiming to become Mao after the NPC later in the year, this is not a good moment.
    Back to the crayons Cassie.


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  19. “So Cassie’s Mitford-like love of Putin’s “hard power” extends to Xi? Charming.”

    Bullshit, I never wrote anything of the sort.

    Back to your dummy dribbler.


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  20. “Meanwhile, in the real world, China’s NDRC first told its SOEs to avoid buying Russian coal and then told them to diversify away from Russian raw materials altogether.”

    Pay attention to what they do, not what they say – there is normally a difference, as per climate change stuff. They are looking out for themselves, no-one else (no argument with them doing so – i wish WE would!)


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  21. Perfidy in Vienna?

    If this is correct, there are just four days left to save America and the world

    Melanie Phillips
    Mar 3

    The air is currently loud with the sound of people prognosticating that the shattering events in Ukraine have shocked the west out of its previous torpor and forced it to realise that it needs to stand up to tyrants rather than appease and even profit from them.

    Really?

    A profoundly alarming thread has surfaced this evening on Twitter. It is written by Gabriel Noronha, a former Iran official at the US State Department.

    Twitter avatar for @GLNoronha

    The thread is about the activities of America’s Iran envoy Robert Malley in the current Vienna talks with Iran about a renewed nuclear deal.

    This is a lightly edited version of what Naronha writes: – 40 items

    If this is correct, then under cover of the Ukraine crisis an act of supreme treachery is being perpetrated by the Biden administration against America and the west in empowering the Iranian regime — an enemy of civilisation that has been at war against America, Israel and the west since it came to power in 1979.

    The west now knows it has been sleepwalking over Putin’s Russia. The time for it to wake up from its similar trance over Iran — and over the Biden administration’s astonishing desperation to give the Iranian regime everything it wants — has almost expired. If Naronha’s information is true, it would seem Congress has just four days left to save America and the world.


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  22. Biden Admin Relies on Russia To Finalize Iran Nuclear Deal as Putin Invades Ukraine

    Even as Moscow invades Ukraine, the Biden administration is relying on Russia to solidify a revamped nuclear agreement with Iran, a deal that senior Republican foreign policy leaders say will be approved in the coming days without any input from Congress.

    As Russian forces press further into Ukraine, threatening to spark a world war, the Biden administration is rushing to finalize a Russia-brokered nuclear deal with Iran, Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Washington Free Beacon.

    “Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine is reprehensible, but we can’t lose sight of the next national security crisis as it forms before our eyes: The Biden administration is reportedly rushing to finalize a deal with Iran, brokered by Russia, that it does not want Congress to review, in violation of U.S. law,” McCaul said.

    Throughout the conflict, the Biden administration has kept diplomatic channels with Moscow open in the hopes it can push Iran into accepting a deal that will provide the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism with billions of dollars in cash windfalls.

    McCaul and other Republican foreign policy leaders who spoke to the Free Beacon about the situation warned that this reliance on Moscow is undermining American and European efforts to isolate Russian president Vladimir Putin for his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. These lawmakers say the conflict threatens to distract attention from negotiations surrounding a new nuclear deal, providing the Biden administration with an opportunity to skirt congressional review of any deal.

    “Congressional review of any Iran nuclear deal was enacted with broad bipartisan support to ensure legislative oversight of any dealings regarding the nuclear program of the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” McCaul said. “If the administration circumvents Congress, that is a blinking red light for the American people that this is a bad deal.”

    Congressional Republicans stand mostly united in opposition to a new deal and have warned the Biden administration that if it signs an agreement without first consulting Congress, as required by law, that deal—and sanctions relief included within it—will be dead on arrival.

    “This is a Reagan moment for our country, but we have a Carter president in the White House,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), also a House Foreign Affairs Committee member, told the Free Beacon. “The Biden Doctrine for foreign policy is acquiesce to our enemies and hope for the best. It’s bound to fail everywhere it’s been tried.”

    While President Joe Biden has vowed to break relations with Russia as a result of its Ukraine invasion, the reliance on Moscow in Iran talks signals that these promises will not be enforced.


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  23. I’ve also noticed that Sheridan has a formula that he sticks to. It’s painful to read and watch.

    I listened to him at the beginning of the Plandemic and each time it sounded exactly like the previous interview and the one before that and the one before that. Oh sorry am I repeating myself. Haven’t paid attention since.


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  24. The best thing that Putin could do for the world is wait for the next WEF at Davos then sling a nuke in. It would give something for the Swiss to do cleaning up after their masters They like “clean”. As readers will note I don’t hold the Swiss in high esteem. What a service to mankind, so much vermin gone at once.


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  25. “Kneel: ICBC has withdrawn USD underwriting for Russian commodities.”

    Not saying you are/were wrong – just pointing out that they have a habit of saying exactly what other people want to hear, then doing whatever they want. So listening to what they pledge is risky – watching what they do shows their true colours.

    Example: from the above “…withdrawn USD underwriting…” doesn’t mean they won’t underwrite in, say, BitCoin or Yuan or whatever. Or not. Just sayin’…


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  26. I used to enjoy reading Sheridan years ago until he started demonstrating alignment with the establishment irrespective of the circumstances, even to the extent of using the same talking points.

    The beginning of his fall from credibility started with support of the Iraq War, asserting that WMDs were a certainty, and he’s been downhill ever since. He started to strike me as an insider who enjoys long lunches with other insiders more than actual journalism. And it shows.

    His talents do not extend beyond free lunches and taking his cue from the establishment.


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