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Posted on: Jun 24, 2022
Thought for the day
"Only one thing to it: a strong stomach. The guts to gladhand a man you're going to stab in the back; pledge allegiance to principles you stomp on every day; righteously denounce some despot in the press and sell him arms under the table. The talent to whip up the voters' worst passions while you seem to call on their highest instincts, and the sense to stay wrapped in the flag. That's politics: I'll take the simple life." -- Beaumarchais, The Marriage of Figaro
Whereas both the Soviet Union and the United States used to design their strategy and weapons so as to prevent a Third World War so that neither side would win but both sides (and much of the world) would be destroyed as thousands of nuclear warheads would suddenly be exploding during a nuclear war which would be completed within around an hour or so, the U.S. Government has gradually shifted away from such a “M.A.D.” or “mutually assured destruction” meta-strategy, and been replacing it with the “Nuclear Primacy” U.S.
On September 23, Russian Geran-2 UAVs hit several targets in the city of Odessa. Ukrainian forces attempted to intercept drones with small arms, but failed. The Ukrainian military aircraft were also reportedly deployed to hunt for the UAVs but in vain.
In the afternoon, citizens of Odessa shared numerous videos showing Russian UAVs hitting Ukrainian military facilities in the city. The eyewitnesses reported that the air alarm was not turned on in the city.
As readers know, I am convinced that Putin’s toleration of insults and provocations has had the effect of encouraging more and worse provocations and not, as he intended, to downplay conflict. As you also know, I am convinced that his “limited military operation” in Donbass designed to protect the Donbass Russians, formerly a part of Russia, from horrible abuse by Ukrainian forces and the neo-Nazi militias, was a mistake. It is a mistake because the West characterized a limited operation as an “invasion of Ukraine,” and used its slow progress as evidence of Russian failure.
The Joe Biden administration has sent several warnings to Russia via backchannels regarding the possible use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, the Washington Post reports. The White House’s messages to Russia have been intentionally nondescript to foster uncertainty in Moscow about what the US would do if Russia deployed its ultimate weapon.
The French political philosopher Pierre Manet once observed that “human beings are thinking animals who need tolerably accurate ideas and evaluations to orient themselves in the world.” He went on to note that “this is truer the more intellectually active and able the person concerned.”
With regard to the war in Ukraine, we might reasonably ask whether there exist any “tolerably accurate” evaluations – not only of the current situation on the ground, but of how we got to this point.