Tuesday, June 06, 2023

The Fog Of War

      You don't get a lot of accurate information from a battlefront, unless you happen to be in charge of one of the two (or more) warring sides, and even then, it's imperfect.

      So don't expect a lot of clarity as things appear to be heating up in Ukraine.  There's no advantage to either side in handing out the unvarnished truth.

      I can tell you there's a very clear aggressor here -- that'd be the side the crossed the other country's border, so it's Russia -- and there's a lot of evidence that they aren't fighting by the rules.  But like so many things in U. S. politics these days, there's some knee-jerk "If the other party is for it, I'm against it," and the far Right appears to have a real mancrush on Vladimir Putin, so you're on you're own sorting that out.

      Autocrats are uniformly bastards; it's inherent in the exercise of that much power by one man, and in the structures it requires.  Some are worse than others, but they're all bad.  But it's not my job to sort your head out for you and if the past seven or so years have taught me anything, it's that it's a lot easier to sell glitter-dusted, bellowing bullshit than cold, hard, quiet facts.  Nevertheless, I remain opposed to fantasy bullshit and in favor of reality; YMMV and if so, it will eventually bite you where you sit down.


Anonymous said...

" . . . glitter-dusted, bellowing bullshit . . . "

Best description I've seen so far. :-)

Overload in Colorado said...

I've had this on my mind recently. I have a co-worker who is politically opposite of me. Or, so he believes. Because of this he assumes whatever view he holds, that I hold the opposite. Even when I tell him I agree, he keeps going as if I didn't say anything.

All that said to ask this which doesn't sound related: is there a well known theory and/ or agreed to, that Ukraine blew up the Nord Stream Pipeline?

Roberta X said...

Anon: I was proud of it when I wrote it. I still am.

Overload: Ah, Nord Stream. What there is, is a remarkable absence of hard data that points at anyone. Depending on how deep a game you think they're playing, it could be any of the principals or most of their allies. It probably wasn't the PRC or Iran, but past that? I haven't a clue and none of theories I have seen have struck me as being unusually persuasive.

People tell me, "Oh, not Russia!" But what route do all or most of the alternative pipelines take, and what outcome in the Russia-Ukraine conflict would maximize their usefulness? Europe was smart to moot the whole thing by moving away from Russian sources, and I think that shifted a lot of the tensions in a way that Putin had not expected.

Conversely, Ukraine benefited by having that choice become much more probable after the pipelines were broken. And so on.

Joe said...

Russia is clearly the bad guy here. My only concern is the untold billions we are borrowing to send to Ukraine with no strings attached. Corruption is a way of life in that part of the world and I hate to think I am burdening my grandkids with debt to make a slightly less evil oligarch rich.

Joe in PNG said...

I don't know if you're familiar with Kraut's yootoob channel- which is history and events from an actual Classical Liberal perspective- but he does a good one on the roots of Russia's authoritarian background, and another on the roots of Putin's political influences.

Roberta X said...

Joe, well, they're considerably less crooked and malign than Russia, and at least prior to the invasion, they were trending better. Per AP, it looks like they're having to turn right around and pay that money out for wages and supplies, so the fat cats are not getting too much fatter on our dime -- and it's still cheaper than fighting Russia toe-to-toe.