I guessed wrong on this one. I thought Putin would bluff and bluster, and then cash in his chips. I thought the weak Western powers would agree to a partition of Ukraine, with the largely Russian-speaking Eastern provinces going to Russia, along with other considerations, unrelated to Ukraine, that would be more or less secret. But Putin invaded instead, and seems bent on conquering all of Ukraine and perhaps more besides.
What made Putin so bold? A key factor no doubt was the weakness of Western leaders, pre-eminently the doddering Joe Biden. But the West’s weakness is not a function of a few individuals. You likely have seen tweets that contrast recruiting ads for the U.S. Army, featuring cartoons and lesbians, with recruiting ads for the Russian and Chinese armies. The contrast is painful.
Along the same lines, Russian generals no doubt have followed closely the introduction of Critical Race Theory into U.S. military training and have drawn appropriate conclusions about the cohesion of our armed forces. And of course there was the Afghanistan debacle.
Putin and his minions also witnessed the bizarre spectacle of the Biden administration suppressing production of American oil and gas, returning the U.S. to a state of energy dependence and driving up the global price of petroleum, thereby enriching Russia. How formidable can an enemy this stupid possibly be? And let’s not forget that the USSR bankrolled the American environmental movement for decades. Was that a good investment, or what?
And as for the United Nations–I believe Russia currently chairs the Security Council–this tweet by the Secretary General says it all:
U.N. Secretary-General Guterres addresses U.N. Security Council meeting: “If indeed an operation is being prepared, I have only one thing to say from the bottom of my heart: Pres. Putin, stop your troops from attacking Ukraine. Give peace a chance.” https://t.co/zEbTJQF9x1 pic.twitter.com/leJZgJRvev
— ABC News (@ABC) February 24, 2022
All we are saying is give peace a chance. Right.
The natural cycle, it has been said, runs from tragedy to farce. So let’s move from the tragedy of a great nation “led” by a senile political hack to a farce that typifies the decline of American culture into sissification. This comes from an actress and “human rights advocate” of whom I had not heard until now, but it fits with the pathetic culture that we have created:
Dear Mister President Vladimir Putin… pic.twitter.com/LbDFBHVWJf
— AnnaLynne McCord (@IAMannalynnemcc) February 24, 2022
I thought Putin would respect the risk posed by American military prowess, however degraded it might be. I was wrong. With hindsight, that result was perhaps overdetermined.