Do you recall years back when Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s and Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s days were numbered? They should be well gone by now according to the luminaries that run or influence the western world. Since Russia’ invasion of Ukraine began, we have heard from numbers of quarters that Putin has already lost; that he must fail, according to Boris Johnson. Take it all with a pinch of salt.
This messaging is from the same broad ilk of people who got America and its allies into a quagmire in Iraq; who oversaw the disastrous retreat from Afghanistan in the face of the triumphant Taliban, after twenty years of spending blood and treasure for absolutely no end product.
You might think a different set of people orchestrated the grotesque response to the pandemic; locked down healthy people and children; ruined small businesses; prevented sons and daughters from seeing their dying parents; enforced useless estranging masks on children; denied sick and infirm people the opportunity to seek medical examinations and treatments; and who currently are cajoling the parents of two-year-olds to have their infants experimentally dosed against a disease, which, for them, carries no risk. Same broad set.
How about the empty-heads who seriously think that modern industrial economies, requiring reliable and affordable 24×7 power, can be reconstructed to emit net-zero carbon dioxide by 2050? Who believe in yet-undiscovered technologies that will bring the mirage into reality and who, in the meantime, are demolishing coal-power plants and replacing them (apropos Eraring) with big batteries, virtual power plants and renewable power? Same broad set.
In England we used to refer to chinless wonders running and ruining the world. Who’s ruining the world these days? I don’t rightly know, but they’re everywhere in positions of power and influence within the western world. They suffer from wokeness, that’s for certain. Wokeness tries to supplant the real world with a caricature. E.g., men in frocks are women. But that’s not all. They seem to operate on the surface, neither wanting nor having the nous to trace all of the incidental, consequential and downstream effects of their policies. Effects that French political economist Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) called “that which is not seen.” (My take on Bastiat.) How little influence he’s had.
Back in April 2020, the London School of Economics released an occasional paper titled, “When to Release the Lockdown: A wellbeing framework for analysing cost and benefits.” One of the authors commented resignedly, “what they [the UK Government] are really on about are the number of [Covid] deaths and number of cases. They do not take account of the wider reality of this lockdown on wellbeing.” Says it all.
Boris Johnson has boasted that no country has imposed more sanctions on Russia and the oligarchs. No one asks him, what is the end game? Is it to force Russia to retreat? When you think about it, maybe Russia’s best chance now of having the sanctions removed is to win the war and use the independence of Ukraine as a bargaining chip.
Suppose it ends with a recognition of Crimea as part of Russian territory, with the territories of Luhansk and Donetsk recognised as independent (and effectively under Russia’s control), with an agreement that Ukraine will not be part of the NATO or the EU, and will not entertain NATO forces exercising on its territory? Throw in a relaxation of sanctions as part of the peace deal.
Who’s won? Seems like Putin but, apparently, Putin can’t be allowed to win. What does that mean for Ukrainian men, women and children?
What is the end game for Biden, Johnson, the EU, Morrison, et al, in imposing sanctions on Russia and supplying weapons to Ukraine? In calling Putin a thug and a war criminal, even if true? Are they primarily in the business of punishing Russia or saving Ukrainian lives and preserving as much as possible of Ukraine’s territory, freedom and independence? How many Ukrainian lives is it worth for Boris and Biden to go on talking tough?
We are being led by dolts wherever we turn; climate, Covid, war. Perhaps history says that it was ever thus. Nevertheless, I can’t help feeling things have gotten worse over the past few decades.