Not Pro-Russian, Pro-Life

Saw UK foreign secretary, and one of the pretenders to Boris’s throne, Liz Truss on the tele the other day. She was explaining to the British parliament that Russia couldn’t be allowed to win. She was obviously prepared to fight to the last drop of Ukrainian’s blood. She makes you want Boris to stay.

Another trope being purveyed by all sorts of journalists and commentators is that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has nothing to do with the expansion of NATO. Apparently, some right-wing nut jobs are mischievously and erroneously putting this about to muddy the waters. Pro-Russian trolls probably.

It is clear to commentators like Henry Ergas and Greg Sheridan here and many in the UK and US that Putin is motivated by Tsarist-emulation syndrome. Nothing at all to do with NATO. The fact that Putin is on the record in 2008 saying that he would point missiles at Ukraine if it were to join NATO is an inconvenient fact best buried.

Mike Pence recently showed why he was vice president and not president. See, he said, if Poland and the Baltic states had not joined NATO, they would be in the Russian firing line. “Where would Russian tanks be today if NATO had not expanded the borders of freedom? There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin.”

What has this to do with the price of eggs? Whether Russia would have intruded into, say, one or other of the Baltic states, if they were not part of NATO, is unknowable. What is clear is that Ukraine is of very much more strategic significance to Russia than is Latvia, Estonia or Lithuania (put together and multiplied by ten).

Suppose Ukraine were to join NATO, then what of Crimea? What of the Russian separatists in the Donbas region? Would NATO send troops to “free” Crimea; to battle Russian incursions in Donetsk and Luhansk? It would be a potential nightmare.

It is not pro-Russian to look objectively at the situation. It is not pro-Russian to think it might be better if Ukraine was neutral. It’s not pro-Ukrainian to want them all to die in a ditch, to satisfy Liz Truss and company, rather than accept some curtailment of sovereignty brought about because of their strategic geographical position.

A hypothesis in the cause of which ever more sanctions are applied on Russia and the so-called Oligarchs is that Putin will be deposed by his praetorian guard, and all will be well again as progeny of Mikhail Gorbachev takes over. I don’t have the prescience of those making this case, but I’m doubtful. I doubt, whoever would take over, would orchestrate a retreat, issue mea culpas and pay reparations.

It’s gone too far. National pride is at stake and that shouldn’t be underestimated. The Russians by all accounts made that mistake when invading Ukraine. Russia can’t afford to back down now. At least that’s my hypothesis. And Western political bigwigs and those in charge at NATO should at least take that into account. It might save some Ukrainian (and, let’s not forget, Russian) lives.

25 thoughts on “Not Pro-Russian, Pro-Life”

  1. It is not pro-Russian to look objectively at the situation. It is not pro-Russian to think it might be better if Ukraine was neutral. It’s not pro-Ukrainian to want them all to die in a ditch

    You may not have noticed, Peter, but the Ukrainians are pretty keen on fighting the Russians and, you know, expelling them from their territory (they did invade and kill lots of Ukrainians after all!). So maybe we should take their wishes into account as well.

    BTW – I noticed a lot of guffawing on right-wing Twitter about that recent poll showing only a minority of registered Democrats being willing to defend their own country from invasion with a majority indicating they would flee; yet some of the same people are now recommending that the Ukrainians do exactly that. So much for “national” conservatism – I get to keep my nation (protected by two oceans!), but you have to give up yours.


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  2. It’s gone too far. National pride is at stake and that shouldn’t be underestimated. The Russians by all accounts made that mistake when invading Ukraine. Russia can’t afford to back down now. At least that’s my hypothesis. And Western political bigwigs and those in charge at NATO should at least take that into account. It might save some Ukrainian (and, let’s not forget, Russian) lives.

    No, Russia can’t afford to back down now. Absolutely right. That’s why their economy needs to be sent back to pre-historic barter levels for the next 50 years, just in case anyone else (*hint hint: China*) gets any ideas about blowing up the world economy based on some national rejuvenation fetish.


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  3. Sheridan is in career-best form – his shameful love of Suharto now a distant memory.

    But the pressure of being a columnist at The Australian and turning out hot Ukraine takes hasn’t done anything for his – or the newspaper’s – credibility.

    Sheridan last week:

    Is Vladimir Putin out of his mind? As their savage invasion of Ukraine began a third week, Russian forces deliberately bombed a maternity and children’s hospital in the southern city of Mariupol. Last week, they attacked a nuclear power plant. The Ukrainian government accuses Moscow of using illegal thermobaric bombs, vacuum bombs, which suck the oxygen even out of people’s lungs.

    Evacuation routes for civilians fleeing the heavy fighting in Mariupol have been repeatedly agreed, then shelled when terrified women and children try to escape.

    International sanctions have crippled the Russian economy, crashed the rouble, caused a flight of capital. Russian oligarchs have lost tens of billions of dollars. Civilised nations won’t let Russian planes enter their air space. Moscow has created the biggest European refugee crisis since World War II. US intelligence thinks Putin might be about to use chemical weapons.

    On the battlefield, Russia’s forces have been humiliated by a much smaller, less well-equipped Ukrainian military enjoying overwhelming civilian support.

    None of these military claims (actually, CIA talking points) are based on any reliable evidence.

    Paul Monk – big-brained and sure of himself – wrote an equally banal column last week straight from the cookie cutter.

    This war was incited by America and Putin was too wicked and small-minded not to wage it. He doesn’t have the moral intelligence to campaign for national greatness despite history and despite those provocations.


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  4. “This war was incited by America and Putin was too wicked and small-minded not to wage it. He doesn’t have the moral intelligence to campaign for national greatness despite history and despite those provocations.”

    Beautifully put C.L. It’s just tragic.


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  5. As an observation:

    What was right for Russia, against what was wrong, would not be too difficult to assess given that the rights for Russia (through Putin) to protect itself were undoubtedly correct.

    Though in the end Russia (Putin) was pushed.

    The problem now will be if the Ukraine do not back off and cede to Putins demands. If a stalemate is the only outcome whereby neither side will give, then the same situation could well develop as did Japan and the USA in ww2.

    To end that stalemate, the elected protector of the ‘free world ?’ dropped the bombs of all bombs.

    Putin could well find himself in the position of all or nothing….. one cannot say the precedent for the protection of a free world has not been set.


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  6. Civilised nations won’t let Russian planes enter their air space.

    Nor will they allow their citizens to drink Russian vodka.

    So there, Putin!


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  7. The problem now will be if the Ukraine do not back off and cede to Putins demands.

    Putin’s way ahead of that game.
    That’s why he’s still talking to Zelenskyy as if he was the real President of Ukraine.
    Since Zelenskyy is in reality just a lowlife CockSmoker, it’s only a matter of time before Putin’s cheque is accepted and Ukraine has a new border.


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  8. I remember driving to work very early one morning listening to Billy Joel’s “Goodnight Vietnam” or “Goodnight 1960s SE Asian Conflict”, as some may have it.. It struck me then, as the mother of two sons, how eager politicians can be to send others’ children into battle. And I was also touched by the sheer waste of human life and potential that war represents.

    I think Putin has made a terrible mistake in invading Ukraine. But I see it as being salvageable if he can remain on the front foot militarily, even if it is more in the potential than the actual. I have read that Israel is willing to play peacemaker and perhaps the Ukrainians are not as sure as they portray that victory is theirs.

    At this stage, the best we can hope for is a negotiated peace, perhaps with the land corridor to Crimea being recognised, the territories of Lugansk and Donetsk being seen as neutral and an undertaking by Ukraine not to seek NATO membership for five years.

    I have from the start just wanted the fighting to cease. There are real human beings on both sides suffering and dying, Ukrainian and Russian. I feel nothing but distaste for DaFisk’s vengeful attitude which ignores the very human element in all of this and focusses only on very short term gratification. I think it is all too easy to treat the lives of others lightly.


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  9. Earlier this morning, Chechens only 7 miles from Kiev:

    Kadyrov reportedly 7 miles from Kiev. New orders, reportedly, given him/his troops: take Kiev.
    So far, only this one report. Everyone knows it will take more than 12,000 men. Not all are with him, Some reportedly near Mariupol and other southern spots. However, his elite force totals 32,000, so he has 20,000 more to use, and likely tens of thousands more Chechens if he calls for them.

    This is all unconfirmed. It might be a psy-op from the Russians to get Kiev forces to scatter, surrender or retreat into small boilers. So far, no Ukies have stood and fought the Chechens.
    https://rusonline.org/ukrai



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  10. So far, only this one report. Everyone knows it will take more than 12,000 men. Not all are with him, Some reportedly near Mariupol and other southern spots. However, his elite force totals 32,000, so he has 20,000 more to use, and likely tens of thousands more Chechens if he calls for them.

    I look forward to hearing from Putin sympathisers about how Orthodox Christendom is going to be saved by…*checks notes*…an army of Islamic gangsters.


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  11. I have from the start just wanted the fighting to cease. There are real human beings on both sides suffering and dying, Ukrainian and Russian. I feel nothing but distaste for DaFisk’s vengeful attitude which ignores the very human element in all of this and focusses only on very short term gratification. I think it is all too easy to treat the lives of others lightly.

    I think the real short-term gratification was coming from the dopamine hit that every Putinist shill had in the first 24 hours of the invasion when they thought Russia would walk all over Ukraine before the West could get its trousers on. The Chinese internet was even worse – the raging boners their incel keyboard warriors had for Putin thinking they could just repeat the playbook for Taiwan was really something. Instead this has been a complete debacle that is going to send Russia back to the Brezhnev era or before.

    That really sucks for Russians, but what sucks even more than that is: invading countries that haven’t attacked you on spurious grounds (like having a Jewish-led neo-nazi government), destroying their cities, killing tens of thousands of civilians, and threatening non-conventional attacks on third parties. A lot more, actually. Maybe next time let’s not start any dumb wars for ethno/national unity reasons (*glances sideways at Emperor Xi*).


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  12. DaFisk.

    You obviously love the destruction of human lives as long as your ‘side’ is winning.

    Shame.

    And if you think a Russian defeat will cause Xi to think twice, you’re wrong. He’ll just see it as a ‘what not to do’ lesson and go in much harder.

    Always be careful what you wish for.


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  13. https://twitter.com/igorsushko/status/1503078150699290624

    Igor Sushko
    @igorsushko
    MEDICAL NEWS #1: In Russia, dental implants, crowns, dental drills were primarily imported from Germany. Russia ran out of all such consumables days ago. End of dentistry in Russia.

    Igor Sushko
    @igorsushko
    MEDICAL NEWS #2:
    In Russia, surgeons can no longer perform surgeries that involve prosthetics because they were all being imported from abroad. This includes but not limited to hip and knee surgeries.

    Well isn’t that a shame!


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  14. Given Dick Ed’s claimed ability to identify “spooks” just by looking at pixels on a screen, is it reasonable to suggest that Dick Ed himself is a spook?


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  15. let’s not start any dumb wars

    The biggest lie of the West on this conflict is that Russia started it; it has been going on for years.

    The separatists in Eastern Ukraine were and are always going to engage in violence, because no other alternative method of pursuing their aims is offered to separatists.

    Russia has insisted Ukraine recognise the independence of these people, rather than let this civil war drag on. Prior to this latest escalation, Russia had used its influence on several occasions to reign in the separatists from being even more violent (e.g. they had planned their own attack on Mariupol before Russia stopped it). Russia pulling out at this stage will not bring peace to Ukraine; the separatists will just continue to fight – it will be worse than before, because now Russia will be without influence to guide them into more moderate action.

    Another big lie paints Zelenskyy as a hero; he’s just another promise breaking politician.

    His #1 election promise was peace with Russia. He stated on multiple occasions that he would negotiate a peace deal with Russia; and this would not have been a hard task, as several good peace deals had already been proposed. If he wanted to act like the hero as he is now, he should never have promised what he did. His mandate was to negotiate that peace deal. If he couldn’t negotiate it, he had an obligation to resign and for new presidential elections to be called. The offered peace deals were rejected against the expressed will of the Ukrainian people.


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  16. The genuine oil.

    If there can be a recognisable fact floating on the surface of the world wide bowl, it is the assumption that at one time a reasonable source of truth could be obtained via what has become a WTF; world wide press.

    What was once the media of most distrust, ‘The social media’ has through its openness to realities, along with the invisible hand of unintended consequences, been able to turn not only full circle, but do a role reversal.

    There can be no shadow of doubt, those reporters living on the coal face at billions of sites throughout the social media network, are the only real avenue for obtaining ultimate truths….

    Admittingly knocking away the bias in social media can be difficult, however interpreting any bias therein is far easier and not only decipherable but readily obtainable via a pre- program in ones gut.

    One has to confess the latter can certainly have better outcomes for ones sanity, rather than those endless lines of twaddle emanating via the traditional rags or pictures of paid for disgust.


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  17. Peter Smith: to accept the NATO threat line you have to believe a threat is elevated by REDUCING troop numbers. In the period of notional expansion of NATO, Germany reduced its numbers by TWO THIRDS, the Brit and Canadian troops withdrew altogether, US force number fell from 300,000 to 60,000. So it would seem Putin is so incompetent that he invaded Ukraine because NATO was less of a threat!


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  18. “There can be no shadow of doubt, those reporters living on the coal face at billions of sites throughout the social media network, are the only real avenue for obtaining ultimate truths….”

    Twitter and Farcebook? Youtube?
    Where truth lives?
    Bwahahahahaha… stop it, my sides are aching.

    “…knocking away the bias in social media can be difficult…”
    Nah – if it stays up for more than 5 minutes, there’s a good chance it’s the “approved” narrative.


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