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Russia… lets keep a sense of proportion

The subject of Russia has been on many peoples minds ever since the shenanigans started happening in the Crimea.

Russia needs to be taken ‘seriously’ but please people, they ain’t Nazi Germany circa 1935. They are a busted flush. Ukraine? Yeah, unfortunate but history does not apportion its favours with kindness. If they try the same in the Baltics, well sure, lets go to war with them. No kidding. Seriously, lets rip Russia a new one. Oh and Poland says “Thanks for giving us Kaliningrad, Vladimir! Or as it will henceforth be known, Królewiec!”

But I doubt that is how it will play out, because I think Putin is not even nearly that delusional.

Even if the USA picked up its toys and went home in a huff, which they won’t I might add, more’s the pity for the hapless US taxpayer, the effete dissipated welfare addicted gender quota apportioned peoples of Europe that dwell so prominently in the imaginations of Real Men From Texas (or wherever), are actually quite capable of keeping the Russian Hordes, in their rust covered jalopies with siphoned fuel tanks, from sweeping across the steppes and threatening to once again park themselves somewhere near the Fulda Gap, presumably out of nostalgia for a place with half decent food. Russia… big dick, but no shoes.

I have often said the difference between British and American arrogance is the Brits think they run the world, the Americans think they are the world. Yet somehow the world will bumble along even if either don’t get involved with spanking Putin. The US should just fixate the collective paranoia on China because that actually is something of a Good Old Fashioned Looming Threat, of the kind much loved by people like Boeing and Lockheed.

107 comments to Russia… lets keep a sense of proportion

  • bob sykes

    The real threat to Europe is Moslem colonization. It’s also a threat to Russia. The threat to America is Mexican colonization of its Southwest and La Raza.

  • I beg to differ: the real threat to Europe, the US and the rest of the West are our own progressive elites. If you like, it’s the HIV virus that slowly but surely kills our cultural and ideological immune systems, while Islam, Russia, China and all the rest of them are a mere pneumonia.

  • Greg

    FWIW, I just started reading Thomas Sowell’s “Intellectuals and Society”. I’m only 50 pages in, but he nails those elites or at least the (lazy or not very wise) intellectuals among them and the intellectuals who influence them. No shortage of SQOTD material.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    What Alisa said.

  • Yeah I am with Alisa too. I am far more worried about our home grown Political Predator Class.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    The problem with Europe ‘taking care’ of the Russians is that next they’d go back to ‘taking care’ of each other. Europe needs NATO (and therefore the US) to keep its militaries out of the hands of its ‘statesmen’.

    (This may no longer be true, but do you want to take the chance?)

  • Yup, Alisa’s nails this one.

  • Snorri Godhi

    What Alisa said…however, that does not address the issue of what to do about Putin right now.

    While i don’t entirely disagree with Perry, i claim that it would be a major mistake not to make Putin pay for Crimea.
    Look at Helmut Kohl: for all his flaws, he had the good sense to realize that he had to pay for annexing East Germany…even though nobody could reasonably claim that the union was immoral or illegitimate. That shows how far the Germans have progressed since the Munich Agreement. The Russians have the potential for similar progress, as long as they learn that there is no free lunch.

  • Edward Spalton

    Dear Person from Porlock,
    NATO WAS just about the most effective alliance ever when it was true to its own charter as a limited DEFENSIVE alliance. It achieved its objective without ever firing a shot in anger. Once it started “humanitarian interventions” from 1999 in Yugoslavia, it became an open ended, supra national aggressor with unlimited ambitions, causing disaster wherever it went – Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and wanting to join in the war it had fomented in Syria. Blair and Clinton share the blame for creating the new monster.

    When the Soviet Union collapsed and withdrew its forces from Central Europe, NATO powers agreed not to recruit new members there. That undertaking has been disregarded and US missile sites moved ever closer to St Petersburg and Moscow. The US has actually boasted of spending 5 billion dollars destabilising Ukraine and the Germans have been at the same game for years. So what we are seeing is essentially a well calculated defensive response to over 20 years of very “forward” policy by the West.

    Incidentally, I don’t thing the Germans would allow the Poles a look-in at Kaliningrad which they regard as Koenigsberg/East Prussia. There is a video on the Internet of Theodor Waigel, when Finance Minister, telling a crowd of 10,000 that the German Reich did not cease to exist on May 8 1945, that there was no valid international treaty which removed German territory and that the former German territories to the East of the Oder/Neisse line were “still part of the German question” which would have to be addressed in a general European settlement.

  • Incidentally, I don’t thing the Germans would allow the Poles a look-in at Kaliningrad…

    Realistically if there was a shooting war between Russia and NATO, it would not be German troops taking the indefensive enclave, it would be Polish ones, so what the Germans ‘allow’ is fairly irrelevant. Just look at the map.

  • Paul Marks

    I do not agree Perry.

    Russia and its ally China both have vast stockpiles of nuclear weapons, and vast natural resources (Germany had no nuclear weapons, and very limited natural resources).

    Russia (and China) also have very competent intelligence services – Nazi German intelligence was a joke.

    The fact that Nazi Germany came close to winning was due to mind boggling incompetence by Britain and France.

    Even Hitler (not exactly a careful commander) ordered that if a single shot was fired during the reoccupation of the Rhineland in 1936 (the year after 1935) the Germany army was to reteat at once – as it was utterly unready for war.

    Even in 1938 the German tanks broke down on the road to Prague – the German war machine desperately needed the Czech arms factories that the British and French gave them on a plate (to the utter astonishment of high ups in the German military who were planning a coup WHEN the British and French resisted – only for them not resist at all).

    As for Russia.

    It holds all the trump cards – for example control of energy supplies.

    German aircraft sometimes had a 20 to 1 kill ratio against Soviet aircraft (for example at the Kursk where the Germans destroyed about 450 Soviet aircraft yet lost only 23 of their own).

    WHEN THEY WERE IN THE AIR – without fuel German aircraft were useless.

    Also there is the Welfare State factor……

    On paper Mr Putin’s Russia is just as much a Welfare State as the Western powers are.

    However, Mr Putin’s Russia is a (disguised) dictatorship – his ally China is open dictatorship.

    These powers do not have to humour populations who “require” ever more stuff.

    They (Putin and his Chinese ally – and the Iranian ally of both of them)rule by force, fear and propaganda (they control the education system and the media).

    The only “positive” thing is as followers.

    Why should Putin or the Chinese want bankrupt Western Europe anyway?

    To sell the population as slaves?

    Machines do many of the jobs that slaves used to do – even the Iranians would not have much of a use for slaves.

    The Chinese and Iran (and the rest of the Islamic world) might have a use for female Europeans – due to their own habit of murdering female babies. But Russians do not tend to sex select children in this way.

    Male Europeans?

    I can think of no use for us.

    Of course Russia and China (and Iran) have their own (terrible) problem – but that will not help Europe.

    As for the United States.

    It will be concerned with internal disputes.

    The days of the United States as world policeman are over.

    And the world will regret that.

  • Paul Marks

    Short version…..

    The West is destroying itself (as Alisa points out) – so why should Russia and China even bother to destroy us.

    The Iranian regime still wants to – because they regard killing as a religious duty (to bring the coming of the “Hidden Iman” – who must be summered by covering the world in blood-and-fire, to understand “Hastener” theology, just think Book of Revelations but with the Anti Christ as the hero).

    The Devil has his own view of the future – in his story, he (and his …….) are the winner, not the loser.

    The Russian and Chinese regimes (thankfully) do not go in for such musings.

  • Well what can I say, Paul, other that I think almost none of the things you think matter actually do.

    The Russian army has, essentially, two divisions that are actually useful for any attempt to meaningfully project force beyond its borders… now go look at a map of how large Russia is. And it would have to cannibalise the rest of the army to keep them in combat for any extended period of time.

    It really does not matter a damn how many valuable rocks, gases and liquids there are in the ground in Siberia. Even their ‘energy weapon’ grows blunter by the year as a political tool, because the more they use it, or even threaten to use it, or give people the impression they might actually be serious about maybe someday using it, the more they are motivated to get off their corrupt indolent duffs and find another supplier.

    Fast forward 10 years… do you seriously think Russia will be stronger then than they are now? The Polish airforce does not need to import gas from Russia to fly. Russia has no real way to cut NATO off from its energy supplies in the event of a war.

  • Nico

    What Alisa said. There will always be parasites at the ready. Cultures and nations are as live beings: subject to invading germs of all kinds.

  • Nico

    FYI, I read recently that Japan agreed to turn over 700 lbs. of Plutonium. I’d add a number of exclamation points, but it’s been clear for decades that Japan had the necessary capabilities to be a nuclear power. Nor is it surprising or bad that they did this now: interpret it as a message to China and Crazy Leader, that they have much more than 700 lbs. and anyways could quickly make more. We should now consider Japan to practice the same strategic ambiguity policy as Israel, and if the U.S. continues being isolationist then we should expect Japan to outright declare itself a nuclear power.

    I think it’d be silly to think that Germany is not a member of or could not quickly become a member of the nuclear club.

  • Jacob

    There will be no total, all-out war, so the question of the total balance of power isn’t relevant.

    But, how do you stop Putin from biting off some chunk of territory from his neighbors, every now and then ? By “doing nothing” ?

    We don’t know what Putin will do next, but I’m pretty sure he’ll do as he pleases. Nobody can, or will, stop him.

  • Nico

    Perry is right as to energy. In ten short years we’ll see: the U.S. begin to export energy (Obama will be gone, and his successors, even if a Democrat, will not be sucha leftist), Europe rethink the whole stupid green energy nonsense and start fracking, and the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming industry collapse. Russia will no longer have an operable energy blackmail weapon then.

  • Nico

    The natural gas revolution will resolve a number of geopolitical conflicts and cause few new ones. Blessed are we who have captilasm (freedom), for it is the best meta-tool for problem solving.

  • Nico

    Oh, and the U.S. will export massive amounts soon, in 2017, perhaps sooner, because we’re so far ahead on this. The enviro-freaks elsewhere may slow others down, thus making the market for American energy even bigger.

  • CaptDMO

    “…the Americans think they are the world.”
    That’s right. In recognition of all the “growth” the rest of the planet has saddled themselves with,
    instead of hiring cops, the US will gladly sent battalions of “openly gay”, and “special considerations” female soldiers (some suffering “racist” hair styles, commanded by the leftovers of the recent Commander-In Chief’s purge of officers, to make “the world” FEEL better about itself.
    SEE? Everybody get’s a trophy for participation.
    (para)” ….they’re NOT the NAZIs”, agreed.
    That previous Mr. Chamberlain snip (last thread)was indeed meant to mock the “do nothingism” bit.

    I wouldn’t count on (ie. US natural gas/LP) showing up as a Capitalist competitor any time soon.
    You see, the US doesn’t have the “infrastructure” for distribution, NOR the infrastructure to ALSO reclaim the manufacturing energy needed to induce ACTUAL “dole crushing’ employment, charge up subsidized electric cars, resume the 40hr/wk standard for “full time” status, raise labor costs by 30% (minimum wage, on it’s OWN), or keep folks warm enough in the face of current experiential AGW theories, until …you know…um….after the um next election.
    MAYBE then there’ll be an (overpriced) surplus, for now, the marketplace “rationing” has already begun. Perhaps it would be a good time for “Europe” to start kissing up to the US, instead of projecting blame for Socialism’s inevitable failure’s, YET AGAIN, on those damned Americans.
    Even our own(U.S.) traditionally “Progressive” talking heads/Pols have started to realize the change in which way the wind is blowing.

  • LOLcoin... the next generation!

    CaptDMO, if you just read the shift in even the leftie press, it’s pretty obvious that the pressure to start fracking in Europe is now unstoppable.


  • Realistically if there was a shooting war between Russia and NATO, it would not be German troops taking the indefensive enclave, it would be Polish ones, so what the Germans ‘allow’ is fairly irrelevant. Just look at the map.

    The Germans signed the Treaty on Final Settlement – the final peace treaty of World War 2 – in 1991. In it, the renounced all further territorial claims to territory lost in World War 2. They simultaneously used article 23 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany to allow the East German states and the city of Berlin to join the FRG, and immediately renounced the same article, once again to indicate that they had no more territorial ambitions.

    Some Germans remain sad about the loss of Königsurg (Kaliningrad) but pretty much nobody in Germany thinks that Germany should gain it back. German territorial losses are seen as the cost of German aggression during the Nazi period, and this is seen as justified. Even if there was a war and it were annexed by Poland, I can’t actually imagine the Germans saying anything. (Given the city is full of ethnic Russians, I am not sure the Poles would want to annex it either, honestly). I can’t see Russia attempting to invade the Baltic states, though. Russia’s military is useless. Those of Poland, Germany, Britain, France, etc are well trained and well equipped (ie not useless). Taking Crimea was an opportunistic thing where Putin knew there would be no resistance. he knows that further north would be different.

  • Edward Spalton

    Michael,
    I haven’t got it immediately to hand but the Kohl government certainly passed a Bundestag resolution, asserting the right of Germans to resettle their ancestral homelands in Eastern Europe. A friend, a former university lecturer in Germany, sent me his translation.

  • Putin and Russia will be opportunistic expansionists. Have the Russians run out of opportunities? I think not.

    Transnistria, Moldova, more of Ukraine, the remaining independent territory in the Caucuses all of these are on the list. So long as the EU has economic policies that make it impossible for them to fulfill the defense spending levels that are necessary to deter Russia they will continue to take a bite of territory here and there ad infinitum.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Why not get Putin and Russia to pay Ukraine for the Crimea… in cold hard cash? Or in natural resources? It’s certainly a more peaceable solution than saber rattling.

    Of course, why would Russia make any payments at all? Perhaps to smooth over all these unfortunate disagreements? Avoid sanctions? It does serve to signal that there is a price to pay for overstepping the boundaries of sovereignty, even if it’s partly justified on ethno-nationalist grounds.

  • Deep Lurker

    To add to what Alisa said, there’s also the theory that the cultural HIV infection was a deliberate inoculation.

  • Richard

    “…after shenanigans started happening in Crimea.”

    No, the shenanigans started in Kiev. The best thing you can say about foreign diplomats handing out sandwiches to an anti-government mob is that it was exceedingly bad manners. The Crimean annexation was a response to it and the violent coup which toppled the government. There may be further annexations, possibly in Eastern Ukraine, but probably not and not beyond Slavonic areas with strong historic Russian links. You say it yourself in one of your comments: “The Russian army has, essentially, two divisions that are actually useful for any attempt to meaningfully project force beyond its borders”: that tends to suggest that they aren’t interested in doing so.

    It is worth pointing out to those unaware (or affecting to be unaware) of it that Crimea has been part of Russia since just after the American Revolution – that is longer than all but the original thirteen colonies have been states of the U.S.A. At the beginning of the year it was part of Russia within the borders of Ukraine; now it is part of Russia within the borders of Russia. Why people get their knickers in a twist about that escapes me.

    Furthermore, though as you say, the Russian military machine may not be geared up for foreign invasion, not even our kidult leaders are prepared to take on Russia militarily east of the Dneipr (thank heaven for at least that small mercy!!). Given their predilections for starting wars with people they imagine can’t fight back that tells you that either they or their advisors know what the outcome would be if they did.

  • Edward Spalton

    Richard,

    And so say all of us!

    When faced with NATO’s bloodless victory in the Cold War, the military/ industrial complex ( of which General Eisenhower warned years before) adopted the mantra that NATO had “to go out of area or out of business” – and the latter was unacceptable to them. From this decision flowed most of the mischief and blood of recent years.

    I hear this morning that Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO Secretary General, is stoking up the alarmism . But he no longer convinces, as he once would have done. With high quality blogs and websites, as well as broadcasters like Al Jazeera and RT outside the control of Western governments, public opinion can no longer be as easily manipulated as it was in NATO’s first adventure in Yugoslavia – and the subsequent seedy disasters.

  • Edward Spalton

    I forgot to mention that nearly five years ago I gave an interview to the American magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet in which I predicted Russia’s repossession of the Crimea. The video was entitled. “Germany, the EU, the Disunited Kingdom and the Democratic Deficit” You can find it by Googling my name or on the website of the non party Campaign for an Independent Britain
    http://www.eurosceptic.org.uk

    The reference to Ukraine and the Crimea are about 8 minutes in.

  • Barry Sheridan

    Some interesting commentary here, especially Alisa who hit the nail on the head right away. However it is worth noting that ordinary people do not have to follow this path, but clearly the artfulness of our hierarchy has succeeded in creating the divisions that allow them to rule with little trouble.

    As I look back on my distant youth I wonder at the immense changes I have seen, the family has been denigrated and the caring for children swept aside in favour of today’s adult mores, which increasingly seem to centre on depraved interpretation of what is natural. I cannot help but feel that western culture has reached its nadir, its people becoming little more than whiners whose fertile imaginations belong to inventing new demands for the state to provide.

    As for Mr Putin’s venture into the Crimea, this was a crisis largely created and used by western leaders to stir up trouble because that at least distracts from the real consequences of their wretched behaviours and gross incompetence. There will be no war over this. Quite why anyone thinks there would be is beyond me. The shouting will die down soon enough and westerners can get down to doing what they do best, killing the unborn as they pursue demographic suicide.

  • bobby b

    ” . . . the . . . peoples of Europe . . . are actually quite capable of keeping the Russian Hordes . . . from sweeping across the steppes . . . to . . . the Fulda Gap.”

    So, the Soviets . . . er, the Russians are still mostly in their post-dissolution depression, with little to not-nearly-enough money going to the military, and military staffing at laughably low levels, and a depressed population lacking in their old world-power zeal.

    But look how fast Putin’s escapade perked up the citizenry. Within a day of Putin even making any noises about the Ukraine, polling seemed to show a quick and popular fomenting of traditional patriotic fervor amongst Russians.

    Westerners look at Putin and see someone quite different from the Putin that many Russians see. It would not surprise me to see Putin quickly raise a huge patriotic upwelling of support for himself from his country should any other country do something or say something that he could characterize as “the West trying again to dictate what Russia can do!”, or even “these damned heathen Islamics trying to tear Russia apart!”

    So, yeah, today, right now, I’d say that Russia, lacking as it does a military, could be held in check by Europe. The score – based on capability, relish, and endurance, would be Russia – 0, Europe – 0.01.

    But Russia just has to gain .02 points in order to beat y’all, and an aroused and newly-caring Russian horde is probably good for eighty or ninety points by itself. So, I’m thinking that you ought to hope that they decide to invade within the next few weeks, or not at all.

  • bobby, if all it took to win a war was “perking up” the idiot ‘citizenry’ (I have always felt ‘subject‘ was a more accurate and honest term), the Japan would have won WW2 hands down.

    First, just look at the relative populations of the EU, NATO, or however you decide to add up the Euro bloc, and then look at Russia. Then look at GDPs. Then look at the nature of the economies (hint: subtract the energy sector to discover who the fragile one trick ponies are). Short answer: Russia is a bit stronger than Italy and it has nuclear weapons, at least a few of which probably still work.

    Could Russia build up? Yes. At great effort and at the cost of killing its economy. At which point, it finally dawns upon the indolent, decadent socially sensitive non-racist decaf macchiato drinking westerners that they need to build a few rather good tanks and hire a few more not that badly equipped suitably gender sensitivity trained soldiers… and in two or three years Russia is back where it started and unlike Russia, the West actually has more than enough money floating around to not totally crater their economies with a bit of a military build up.

    The Russian state is not a threat, not because Russia is a nice place… in fact Russia is a shithole filled with far too many people functionally indistinguishable from the kind of folks who voted NSDAP in 1932. No, Russia is not a threat because Russia is actually quite fundamentally weak. And that’s why people need to keep an eye on Russia, in case things get truly irrational, but not get all too hysterical when Putin starts channelling Mussolini.

  • Edward Spalton

    Perry,

    Unlike the West, Russia is not burdened with trillions of unrepayable debt and seems to have its public finances on a reasonably sound footing. It also has a fair amount of support from China which holds massive amounts of Western paper and could make things exceedingly uncomfortable if it felt like it. I think the Western powers must feel that is something of an affront and long to drag Russia into the same desperate situation as themselves. Russia has also bid defiance to the West by reinforcing its traditional Orthodox Christian identity and scorning the equality/superiority mania for homosexuality which has assumed such an imposed importance in our lives. So, in all sorts of ways, Russia is reminding people of its determination to roll back the arrogant mishandling it has suffered at Western hands in the last twenty five years.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry Russia is “fundamentally weak” – if a man has his hand round your windpipe (your energy supplies – and other raw materials also) who is in the weak position, him or you?

    What about China (the ally of Putin) – are they fundamentally weak also?

    China may be a credit bubble – do not know.

    But I do know that the West are a series of credit bubbles.

    A credit bubble financial system (made up of zombie banks and so on) supporting vast Welfare States.

    Welfare States that have extended far beyond the point at which they are sustainable – economically or culturally.

    “Can democracies reform themselves?”

    That was a question I answered in an essay many years ago.

    In relation to the Welfare States (and the credit bubble financial systems) the prospects are not good.

    As for Western military forces…..

    They are basically ceasing to exist.

    What has Britain have?

    A couple of hundred tanks and one nuclear missile carrying submarine (at any one time).

    Hardly worth destroying.

    The United Kingdom could not win a conventional conflict with any serious opponent (let alone Russia)and one (conventional) bit of explosive would deal with a nuclear forces.

    But, I ask again, why bother?

    Ditto the other nations of Western Europe.

    And soon (thanks to Obama and Chuck H.) the United States.

  • China is an ally of Putin… as it gradually occupies the Russian east with squatters. You think the west has problems with Muslims? Oh boy, that’s nothing by comparison. And unless China is going to send 10 divisions to the Ukrainian border, frankly who cares? China is America and Japan’s problem, whereas we are talking about Europe now.

    Russia does not its hand around Europe’s windpipe, it at most has it by the lapels. Starving Europe of gas is a bit like cutting your own throat and bleeding on your enemy to Show Him Who Is Boss. What exactly is it, do you think, that pays for Russia’s rust bucket military?

    And yes, yes, welfare bubble, credit bubble, blah blah. Sure, all true and indeed the sudden need to face down Russia (which actually I doubt really, but who knows) might be the thing that makes it all go POP… I for one can actually see several upsides to that and I am sure you can too… but even then the West will still be really quite a bit stronger than hapless Russia. Armies can be built up if/when the nasty realities finally force it to happen. It would hardly be the first time that has happened to Britain.

  • Mr Ed

    Starving Europe of gas is a bit like cutting your own throat and bleeding on your enemy to Show Him Who Is Boss.

    Does rather remind me of ‘What are you going to do, bleed on me?’

  • Russia has also bid defiance to the West by reinforcing its traditional Orthodox Christian identity and scorning the equality/superiority mania for homosexuality which has assumed such an imposed importance in our lives.

    Yeah, maybe they will overrun Latvia with a brigade of those impressively bearded clergy, keeping the tanks and aircraft repaired and supplied by swinging censers of incense over them… which will also of course drive off those pesky faggots that seem to loom largely in the matters you think are actually important.

    I find the notion of this ‘defiance’ faintly comical to be honest.

    So, in all sorts of ways, Russia is reminding people of its determination to roll back the arrogant mishandling it has suffered at Western hands in the last twenty five years.

    Well whilst I am all for fanning the flames of mischief discretely whilst watching from a nearby hilltop (a very cost efficient way of buggering up Russia), in truth the Russians does really need all that much help from the West to screw up their own affairs and interests. I am really not all that worried, as my article suggests. We had far more impressive homegrown enemies to worry about than the poor Russian.

  • Paul Marks

    Perry – conflict between the Russian and Chinese regimes would indeed be a good thing.

    But I suspect they are like two groups of Tolkien’s orcs – they both want us (the West) dead far more than they want each other dead.

    There is also the case with Putin’s relations with Islam.

    There is lot of conflict between Sunni Muslims and the Russian State.

    However, Islam (Shia and Sunni) wants the West destroyed far more than they want Putin’s Russia destroyed.

    The oft mocked statement “they hate us because we are free” is actually correct, they (Putin, the Chinese regime, the Islamists….) all hate us because of what is left of our freedom.

  • Mr Ed

    “they hate us because we are free”

    The Labour Party’s history in seven words.

  • Vinegar Joe

    Spare me. Those “effete dissipated welfare addicted gender quota apportioned peoples of Europe” did a really top-notch job in Yugoslavia back in the 1990s, didn’t they?

  • PeterT

    And yes, yes, welfare bubble, credit bubble, blah blah. Sure, all true and indeed the sudden need to face down Russia (which actually I doubt really, but who knows) might be the thing that makes it all go POP… I for one can actually see several upsides to that and I am sure you can too… but even then the West will still be really quite a bit stronger than hapless Russia. Armies can be built up if/when the nasty realities finally force it to happen. It would hardly be the first time that has happened to Britain.

    Quite, was just about to say the same thing. Also,

    It also has a fair amount of support from China which holds massive amounts of Western paper and could make things exceedingly uncomfortable if it felt like it.

    Really? At which point the US tells China it is not in the business of paying coupon payments to its enemies. Who’s in trouble now?

  • Mr Ed

    VJ

    Those “effete dissipated welfare addicted gender quota apportioned peoples of Europe” did a really top-notch job in Yugoslavia back in the 1990s, didn’t they?

    They sent James Blunt, then Paddy Ashdown.

  • …did a really top-notch job in Yugoslavia back in the 1990s, didn’t they?

    What that really came down to was the USA cared a great deal more about the Balkans than most parts of Western and Central Europe, for reasons that even at the time were not hard to understand. Not that I am complaining I might add, I was (more or less) delighted how thing played out.

    And whilst the US was the most visible and effective party dropping things from the skies and teaching the HV how to actually ‘do logistics’ (something the Croats learnt and implemented really rather well), in fact the role of Germany and Hungary in enabling Croatia’s victory has been VASTLY understated in the history books written thus far. And it was indeed the Croatian Army and its HVO auxiliary, who actually won the war (plus of course geographically lucky Slovenia’s opening flourish that kicked it all off), not the US Airforce.

    Unlike most journalists, who are hard pressed to tell a Mauser from a Javelin and for whom all vehicles with tracks are ‘Tanks’ and an infantryman with a rifle with one of those curved thingies sticking out the bottom is ‘Heavily Armed’, I can actually tell the difference between a Hungarian or former East German T72 and a Yugoslav M84. That was very much ‘my war’, as I spent a fair old chunk of 1991-1996 in the area.

  • Paul Marks

    They hate us because we are free – “the history of the Labour party in seven words”.

    Slightly unfair Mr Ed.

    There was a time when an element of the Labour party was Methodist in a non cocaine, stealing money, and rent boy sense.

    They were Wesleyian Methodists in that they (this faction of the Labour Party) really did value some aspect of human freedom (human personhood).

    I would hold they were trapped in a contradiction – but I do not doubt their sincerity.

    By the way the Thatcher Foundation (Churchill College Cambridge) made an interesting discovery recently.

    Written texts (either sermons or talks) by Mrs T.s father – Mr Roberts (a Wesleyian lay preacher).

    In these talks explains themes that F.A. Hayek made famous – the similarity of the base “totalitarian” assumptions of the Fascists, National Socialists and Marxists, and their denial of fundamental human rights – based on the correct understanding of humans as free will beings who can (and should) control their own actions.

    All very similar to Hayek’s “Road To Serfdom” – accept for two things….

    The texts of Mr Roberts date from the 1930s (Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” came out in the 1940s) and Mr Roberts clearly believed what he was saying – under a mask, Hayek never really frees himself from the collectivist philosophy he was taught (with its assumption that people are not really human – that we do not really decide out actions, they are predetermined, our freedom, personhood being an “illusion”).

    His whole adult life Hayek desperately (and sincerely) tried to show that totalitarian philosophy (see above) does not lead to totalitarian political conclusions.

    Hayek was also distressed that he had so little success in convincing collectivist (i.e. “mainstream”) intellectuals.

    Instead (to take words from George Orwell) only “reactionaries” only “Colonel Blimp and the old school tie” stepped forward to defend freedom (to defend civilisation) at whatever cost to themselves.

    Hayek was wrong to be astonished – because he was wrong about philosophy.

    The totalitarian politics of the intellectuals followed quite naturally (and logically) from their totalitarian philosophy (their view that humans are not beings). It was Hayek who was out of step – endlessly denying that the philosophy leads to the politics that it naturally leads to.

    “Colonel Blimp” (or follower of Mr Wesley – Mr Roberts father of Mrs T.) could reject totalitarian political conclusions (Fascism, National Socialism, or Marxism) with ease – because he never accepted the totalitarian philosophy in the first place.

  • So, in all sorts of ways, Russia is reminding people of its determination to roll back the arrogant mishandling it has suffered at Western hands in the last twenty five years.

    Aw, bless. Russia adopted a shit-stupid Communist system for the best part of a century which everyone desperately told them to let go. Eventually it collapses around their ears and Russians then trample each other underfoot with the thugs gaining the greatest spoils. And apparently this is the West’s fault?

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    It is a mistake to think that just a country is relatively weak vs some others, that its leaders will not try to throw what weight they have around. Examples:

    Argentina in early 1980s (fortunately, we had Maggie);
    Germany pre-1935 (before the Rhineland move);
    France in the early 1790s (France was weaker economically in some ways that Britain, etc);
    The early Roman Republic, vs Carthage. We forget that Hannibal nearly won.
    Etc.

    The point is that Putin has what the EU/others currently lack – sheer will. He doesn’t give a shit about the “court of public opinion”; he can bump off his enemies and knows there are enough self-hating Westerners and useful idiot/apologists (“oh, but surely those Ukranians were beastly in the past?) to smoothe his path.

    Here is the latest via Reuters. Mark my words, Ukraine will be dismembered; and then there are the Baltic states.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Sorry, here is the latest report on the Ukraine.

  • Actually I have always assumed the Ukraine will be dismembered.

    My guess for the end game?

    Russia ends up annexing the Eastern Ukraine after ‘spontaneous popular demonstrations’ and the Western Ukraine ends up a resentful western looking state that, if it ever gets its house in order (big if) ends up in the EU in the long run. Not actually that bad a result really, as it means Russia gets complete control of part of the Ukraine and the ability to claim victory, and yet it totally looses any control whatsoever over the Western Ukraine… whereas before the shenanigans started, it had the entire Ukraine as a de facto client state. I actually count that as a win for the less-bad-guys in the West.

    Worse case? The Russian simply invade Western Ukraine as well, a bloody war ensues, which Russia wins, and the West starts to rearm, probably fairly quickly. Less likely but certainly plausible.

    Much worse case? Russia tries it on with the Baltics and ends up in a shooting war with NATO and it looses Kaliningrad to Poland on day 2 after the first bullet flies. Much much much less likely methinks. Just don’t see the upside for Russia.

  • Edward Spalton

    With regard to the Balkans and Central Europe generally, I would refer you to the paper by Dr. Miroslav Polreich, who was Czech ambassador to the OSCE in Vienna in the Nineties. I have met him as well as the former Canadian Ambassador to Yugoslavia, James Bissett, whose account dovetails with Dr. Polreich’s to a great extent. Although dating from some years ago Dr. Polreich’s paper is still germane. See

    http://www.freenations.freeuk.com/voices-miroslav-polreich.html

  • Mr Ed

    Argentina in early 1980s (fortunately, we had Maggie);

    Who allowed herself to appear weak an uninterested in the Falklands, discussing ‘leaseback’, removing the Islanders’ UK citizenship in 1981, launching the Defence Review, selling off Hermes etc. thereby leading to the impression that the Islands were there to be taken, she was even expressly asked about the threat in March 1982 and poo-poohed it. Mrs Thatcher had no option but to fight, she wanted to stay in office too badly not to have fought for them.

    Now we have Cameron who gives aid to Argentina, and lets Spanish Civil Guard boats play at will in Gibraltar’s waters.

    Does Mr Putin fear Mr Cameron, or that scion of ‘White Russia’ Mr Clegg?

  • Once upon a time Edward Luttwak pointed out – “Drunk they beat Napoleon, drunk they beat Hitler and drunk they could beat NATO.”

    Just a thought.

  • Does Mr Putin fear Mr Cameron, or that scion of ‘White Russia’ Mr Clegg?

    I am far more frightened of that fucker Clegg than than Putin.

  • Mr Ed

    Indeed, Mr Clegg is a threat to us all in the UK. But Mr Putin, Yeltsin’s greatest error, almost certainly couldn’t care enough to assail my freedoms, unlike Mr Clegg.

    I do wish that Mr Putin was not as vicious as he is, but he is not my problem.

  • I am a huge fan of Edward Luttwak’s book “Coup D’Etat, a practical handbook”.

    But he is perhaps one of the greatest military analysis of all time, for he is as dependable as a compass that always points south. The notion Luttwak says we should fear Russia circa 2014 is almost proof positive that I am on the right track. This was the guy who predicted the outcome of Gulf War One as being the greatest US military calamity since Kasserine Pass.

  • CaptDMO

    PeterT
    “At which point the US tells China it is not in the business of paying coupon payments to its enemies. Who’s in trouble now?”
    WalMart Shoppers. Anyone relying on offshore, cheap labor, manufacturing, and the growing number of tenants on Chinese real estate, in the shrinking number of US economic “partner” countries?
    The shipping and “tourism” industries MAY see a bit of cutback as well.

  • James

    Eventually it collapses around their ears and Russians then trample each other underfoot with the thugs gaining the greatest spoils. And apparently this is the West’s fault?

    Insofar as we let the Jeffrey Sachs’s and Stanley Fischer’s of this world loose in the post-Soviet chaos, yes, I think an apology might have been due. See journalist Anne Williamson’s testimony before Congress in 1999 (she even manages to get some Austrian economics in there):

    http://www.thebirdman.org/Index/Others/Others-Doc-Economics&Finance/+Doc-Economics&Finance-GovernmentInfluence&Meddling/BankstersInRussiaAndGlobalEconomy.htm

  • Paul Marks

    The Soviets (sorry Russians) are declaring a “People’s Republics” and dance around their statues of Lenin in Eastern Ukraine.

    I think Perry is correct – Ukraine would be well rid of these areas.

    However no Ukrainian politician would say that – they would have no chance of winning the upcoming elections.

  • Chris

    If this was merely limited to a few square miles of Ukraine being exchanged with Russia, this would not be that big a deal. However, Russia’s actions in Crimea sets precedent, and that precedent is that the post-Cold War international consensus (of relative peace and that territorial changes cannot be done by force alone, but only after long international dialogue and consensus after prolonged killing) is over.

    That means we have entered a period of dangerous destabilization since we can no longer limit war, and at some point that war won’t be a bloodless coup in Crimea, but a major conflict.

    A whole lot of territory around Russia is now all of a sudden up for grabs. As is any country that was one time part of China. Most of the Middle East and a lot of Africa. The world is now a lot more dangerous place.

    While I agree that things need to be kept in a proper perspective, being cavalier about a land far away with people whom we know nothing about tends to be an attitude that lands one in a huge war at some point that could have been avoided if acted upon earlier.

    I also question severely why a some libertarians are either AGHAST at the Ukrainian people acting against a corrupt and criminal government (are libertarians in favor of government criminal actions that oppress people?), or in favor of a dictatorship imposing its rule by force on an outside country (are libertarians in favor of invasions by dictators?) [not directed against Perry, but I do see some posts on here as well as on other sites].

  • Insofar as we let the Jeffrey Sachs’s and Stanley Fischer’s of this world loose in the post-Soviet chaos, , yes, I think an apology might have been due.

    And who is this ‘we’ of whom you speak that ‘let’ those people loose, that you feel owe the Russian political class an apology for what exactly?

  • While I agree that things need to be kept in a proper perspective, being cavalier about a land far away with people whom we know nothing about tends to be an attitude that lands one in a huge war at some point that could have been avoided if acted upon earlier

    Actually that can looked at the exact opposite way: I hear cries to (in effect) “send in a gunboat” to show the Russians “we mean business” (the USA obviously)… well as you say, this is a land far away with a people ‘we’ know nothing about. It strikes me that becoming hysterical and ‘acting’ with over much force is far more likely to precipitate, rather than avoid, a war, rather than staying the hell away and accepting the geographic (the location of the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine), demographic (most of the people living there are Russian, not Ukrainian) and historical (Crimea has not actually been historically part of the Ukraine until quite recently) realities.

    The only thing that need to be made clear to the Kremlin is that the Baltics, unlike the Ukraine, are part of NATO, with all that implies. Other than that, well… maintain the sense of perspective I am suggesting.

    I also question severely why a some libertarians are either AGHAST at the Ukrainian people acting against a corrupt and criminal government

    Yes, much like quite a few ‘libertarians’ were horrified by Saddam Hussain’s removal and the end of Ba’athist socialism in Iraq. Gotta wonder sometimes eh? I cheered when Saddam dangled. Sic Semper Tyranis etc. And I was delighted the Ukrainians got rid of the Russian puppet Yanukovych, but that does not mean the rest of the world should be sending mechanised divisions to defend Kiev.

    My assumption is that the country will split into Yanukovych-Land (and then be incorporated into Russia) and Yulia-Land (the Western Ukraine). Just look at an electoral map of the Ukraine and the Yellow Bit is what the Ukraine will look like shortly. We don’t have to like it but I cannot see an upside to trying to change it because… we really can’t, this side of WW3.

  • I predicted Russia’s repossession of the Crimea

    So did Sarah Palin.

  • Edward Spalton

    Alecmuff,

    Five years ago?
    I think not.
    She was also advocating nuking RUssia a week or so back.
    Scary dame!

  • More like 6. Scary she may be, but she was also correct.

    She was also advocating nuking RUssia a week or so back

    Nope, she was not.

  • Paul Marks

    The vicious (and often obscene) hated that the left (i.e. the media and so on) have for Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann is notable – as are the incredible lies the left tell about conservative women.

    The left really do seem to hate conservative women more than they hate conservative men.

  • Edward Spalton

    Paul,

    I am certainly not of the left – being a Church & Crown Tory, deserted both by the Church of England and the Conservative Party. I rather liked Sarah Palin initially but, having read reports and watched video clips of the American right addressing their own constituency, I am astonished at their blind worship of American exceptionalism and gross ignorance of foreign affairs. I don’t know what they will do to the Russians but, my God, they frighten me!

    I am very grateful for having grown up under the shield of NATO when it was a very successful defensive alliance. But since the unprovoked attack on Yugoslavia in 1999, it has changed utterly. I wrote an article then, published in Freedom Today, entitled “NATO’s Malign Metamorphosis to Aggressor”. I closed it by saying
    “While we owe a debt of gratitude to old NATO for past services, new NATO and its associated EU organisations are profoundly inimical to freedom as we have always understood the term. New EU/NATO is no friend to a sovereign Britain nor to a sovereign anywhere else. From drinking the Euro Federalist potion, Dr Jekyll has become Mr. Hyde in the person of George Robertson” (then NATO Secretary General) I am very sorry indeed that subsequent events have only confirmed that opinion.

    Do read Ambassador Polreich’s paper (see link above). He says he has never understood American foreign policy although he understands Germany’s very well!

  • But since the unprovoked attack on Yugoslavia in 1999…

    Oh yes, how tragic, that Mr. Milosovic was such a nice chap! And I mean it is not like he had form for ethnic mass murder or anything like that, so how could anyone think that Kosova was not safe under his wise and even handed stewardship?

    Oh and btw, I know what a mass grave actually smells like rather than just having seen it all on CNN.

  • Mr Ed

    That’s a straw man argument Perry, it’s not even a weak point, it’s just irrelevant and disingenuous. Milosevic was no threat to any NATO member. (Neither was Afghanistan, and Iraq was no threat to the UK.)

    NATO having lost the Warsaw Pact as its raison d’être ought to have disbanded, instead it went looking for reasons to exist as an Armed Social Worker.

  • Edward Spalton

    Perry,

    What a quick reader you are to get through Ambassador Polreich’s paper so quickly. You might like to try one of mine
    http://www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2008-01-13.html

    but if you can’t face that, do Google Major General Lewis Mackenzie Srebrenica .
    He is a Canadian General now retired and tells it like it was. Atrocities there were aplenty but not the story we were fed.

    I have not had the opportunity to speak with General Mackenzie but I have spoken several times with the former Canadian Ambassador to Yugoslavia, James Bissett, who confirms his account. Neither of these Canadians had “a dog in the fight”.

    Just bear in mind with regard to Kosovo that Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson were sent over to Brussels to supervise the propaganda output at the beginning. The first big story was that 100,000 young Muslim men were missing in Serb concentration camps, presumed murdered. That was a plain lie. So was the so-called Racak massacre which was proved to have been an assemblage of bodies from the battle field, arranged to look like a mass execution. This was the conclusion of a team of Finnish forensic investigators after the war. It was made public but without the publicity and hype surrounding the presentation of the fraud as a casus belli.

    Don’t beleive what you read in papers! (or hear on the BBC)

  • Don’t beleive what you read in papers!

    I suggest you take your own advice.

  • That’s a straw man argument Perry, it’s not even a weak point, it’s just irrelevant and disingenuous. Milosevic was no threat to any NATO member.

    Wrong. My point has nothing to do with my article, it was in response to Edward Spalton comment about the the former Yugoslavia. We are talking about something quite different now. I do not give a fuck if Milosovic was a threat to NATO or not (which of course he wasn’t).

    But if you insist of this being relevant to the current situation in the Ukraine… well the difference is unlike the Ukraine, there was sweet FA Russia could do to protect their mass murderous friend in Belgrade. Just as I suggested people calling for a more robust approach to Putin over the Crimea should look at the geography, well, do likewise when looking at the Balkans. There was never any danger of a confrontation with a nuclear power there. Helping to do Milosovic’s legs in Croatia and Bosnia, and indeed doing it themselves in Kosova, was never really a high risk game for NATO.

  • Edward Spalton

    Perry,
    It is rather relevant to Ukraine. The Croatian fascists recently offered their whole hearted support to the Ukrainian fascists. The ancestors of both were terribly keen on the Third Reich which gave them near unlimited power in their own areas.

    Maybe you knew that but forgot?

  • Actually the ‘Croatian fascists’ would be HSP, who are a political irrelevance in Croatia (interestingly enough I once had a chat with Dobroslav Paraga, their former leader). They are about as relevant to Croatian politics as the BNP is to British politics. I get the impression you may not know as much about the subject as you think you do.

  • Trofim

    (Deleted by editor: ok, at least discussion in the comments about the Balkans is tangentially relevant as it pertains to wars and interventions… Islamic schools in England however is utterly irrelevant… hence: comment deleted)

  • Mr Ed

    Perry,

    My life in litigation is made so much fun by people who maintain such lines of reasoning as you have set out here.

    But since the unprovoked attack on Yugoslavia in 1999…

    Oh yes, how tragic, that Mr. Milosovic was such a nice chap! And I mean it is not like he had form for ethnic mass murder or anything like that, so how could anyone think that Kosova was not safe under his wise and even handed stewardship?

    You do not dispute that the NATO attack was unprovoked. If you do, you did not put that in your response.

    You make an apparently sarcastic comment about Milosevic. It has no relevance whatsoever to the issue of any provocation of NATO, historically a defensive alliance for its members.

    The safety of Kosovo was not even mentioned by Edward, he expressed no opinion on its safety, so your musings as to ‘how anyone could think’, are simply fruit of your imagination, there is no evidence that anyone does think that, it would appear that you are writing in response to what you think is going on in someone’s head, not anyone’s post.

    You state that I am wrong, but your point is clearly not so much OT but an internal debate you are having, we can’t keep up with that.

  • Edward Spalton

    Perry,

    I suggest you read my article and the quotation from the Croatian leader Franjo Tudjman, extolling genocide
    before deciding who are the fascists. The West backed him as a bringer of “European Values”and his colleagues are with us yet.

    The Croatian government is presently introducing a statute of limitation so that Serbs, driven out of the Krajina by Operation Storm with the aid of NATO air power, will not be able to reclaim their property. Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry came under fire, finding the proof of their work in the Medak pocket massacre. The commander (an Albanian) is immune from the international court because he is prominent in the government of Kosovo.

    Think also on the popularity of the Croatian singer Thompson (as in machine gun) who extols murdering Serbs to large football crowds.

    There are plenty of fascist to choose from.

  • You do not dispute that the NATO attack was unprovoked.

    Of course it was ‘unprovoked’. So what? That does not mean it was not ‘justified’. And moreover, not only was it ‘justified’ (by all the assorted mass murders from Vukovar onwards), unlike the Ukraine, effective and meaningful intervention was both possible and could be done at a more than acceptable geo-political cost… unlike the situation in the Ukraine, which has ‘dog’s dinner’ written all over it.

    If you have deduced from my remarks about the Ukraine thus far that I am non-interventionist on the principle that intervention is hardly ever justified, you are quite mistaken. I was in favour of the US intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq (albeit I could never have guessed how badly the aftermath of both would be handled… but that said…)

  • Actually NATO airpower was utterly irrelevant to Operation Storm. And not allowing the Serbs who supported and carried out the “ethnic cleaning” of the Croats of Krajina to return seems perfectly rational to me. The Serbs did not allow the Croats back after they kicked them out either… hence Operation Storm. The Serbs dominated the towns (like Glina) and the Croats dominated the countryside around them (hence all the empty farms that resulted in a plague of wild boars after the war. I used to go hunting there).

  • Jacob

    “under the shield of NATO when it was a very successful defensive alliance”

    NATO was a fig leaf for the fact that Europe was helpless (and continues to be), refused to do what it takes to defend itself, and relied completely on the US. It was a “defensive alliance” in the sense that the US provided the defense, and Europe the territory and the talking.

  • Jacob

    Perry,
    About your claim that NATO will defend the Baltic states.

    Am I allowed to express my skepticism about NATO’s (i.e. US’s) willingness and ability to do something there (i.e. fight) ? The four (4) war planes they sent there might prove insufficient.
    Your overconfidence is baseless.
    maybe the Germans will come to the rescue… (fat chance).

  • Edward Spalton

    For comparisons between the former Yugoslavia and today’s Ukraine, I would recommend

    “Ukraine Bosnified, Putin Hitlerised” on

    http://www.freenations.freeuk.com/news-2014-03-14.html

    It is often forgotten that the US deliberately pulled the rug from under the agreement which had been made in Bosnia, as it appears may have been the case in Ukraine with the agreement endorsed by Germany, France & Poland on behalf of the EU – as well as by Russia . It was overturned within a day.

  • Jacob

    “the US provided the defense, and Europe the territory ”

    I meant – the territory to be defended.

  • The four (4) war planes they sent there might prove insufficient.

    Actually a single one (1) would be quite sufficient. I am sure the Russian understand why, even if you don’t.

  • Paul Marks

    The April edition of “Standpoint” magazine has various articles on this matter. No I do not do links.

    Broadly there line is that Mr Obama has castrated the West – and things are going to get worse.

  • Jacob

    Russia is concentrating troops along Ukraine’s border.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/11/world/europe/satellites-show-russia-mobilizing-near-ukraine-nato-says.html?hp&_r=0
    “Russia has warned that it may take military action to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine if they are threatened.”
    “President Obama and other Western leaders have… demanded that the Kremlin withdraw those forces. The top NATO commander, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, said in an interview last week that Russia’s 40,000 troops could attack on 12 hours’ notice.”

    Well, they have demanded. Good for them.

    Both are bluffing, Putin’s troops might not be worth much, but NATO has no troops whatever and no will (or determination) to do anything beyond “demanding”. So far – Putin wins. He may be a dictator at the helm of a rotten empire, but his rivals are worse, and totally impotent. This impotence might encourage further acts of adventurism by Putin, and lead to some calamity.

    Perry is sure that the 4 NATO planes in Lithuania will deter Putin from “protecting Russians” in the Baltic states. I not sure.
    Perry is certain that NATO will protect (beside “demanding”) the Baltic states. I’m not sure. I think they’ll keep demanding.

  • hennesli

    Broadly there line is that Mr Obama has castrated the West

    In this instance ‘castrating the West’ is code for not giving a blank cheque to the MIC and the state security apparatus. If such were the case then Obama would be doing something right for a change.

  • Mr Ed

    Well there was a tried and tested method to check the Soviets, which the Finns showed in the Winter War. Here is a musical tribute to their legendary sniper Simo Hayha with his 700+ confirmed kills in the Winter War.

    Cameron cannot keep Spanish Civil Guard boats from playing at will in Gibraltar waters, so why should Putin think that he would do anything in the Baltics?

  • I am with hennesli on this.

    And Jacob, no I don’t think NATO can deter Russia with four (4) aircraft. As I said before, they can do it with one (1)… the important thing is that it gets shot down and ideally, the pilot gets killed. For extra added points, add a telegenic grieving widow… better yet, in these days of gender equality, it could even be a telegenic grieving husband.

  • Jacob

    “a telegenic grieving husband”
    That’s not enough. You need a politician (or leader) who is able and willing to order intervention, though it might have far reaching consequences. For example – you had Margaret Thatcher when the Falklands were invaded. Some other PM might have chosen to think that the far away islands are no longer important to the non-existent British empire, and would have been content to lodge a harsh worded protest. You might even have thought, and might even think now, that this would have been the right course.

    To cut it short: you think it goes without saying that NATO will enter into war to defend the Baltic states, and I doubt it. I am even not sure, that if, and when a Baltic state is invaded, you (Perry) will not adopt the position that it is not worth fighting over, and the right policy is “do nothing”.

  • I am even not sure, that if, and when a Baltic state is invaded, you (Perry) will not adopt the position that it is not worth fighting over, and the right policy is “do nothing”.

    Indeed. But then the Baltics are part of NATO and the Ukraine ain’t. One is worth taking on Russia and the other, sadly, just isn’t. It does make a difference.

  • Edward Spalton

    Perry,

    That was indeed the successful Unique Selling Point of what might be termed Old NATO.
    In those days there was a coherent political will and leaders, like Attlee and Foreign Secretary Ernie Bevin with some seriousness of purpose, tempered by wartime responsibilities. They were able to push through the formation of NATO against the opposition of the Labour party’s pro communist left wing. In his radio reminiscences , Norman Tebbit paid a very handsome tribute to them for this. NATO gave Western Europe confidence and political stability in spite of very large communist parties and frequent changes of government in Italy and France. Of course, the situation compelled the political forces of liberation to collaborate with former fascists and Nazis to see the communists off. At least Western Europe had a far more pleasant life than the other side of the Iron Curtain.

    Whether the West today has leaders of the same nerve and principle is dubious.

    If we had those, a corporal’s guard would be sufficient deterrent.

    Incidentally Tebbit was a reserve RAF pilot in those days. They were flying jets, as he said,” with the instrumentation of 1937″ and casualties on exercise were frequent , sometimes losing 5 pilots on a weekend exercise. So there were casualties but not from enemy action.

  • Paul Marks

    Edward Spalton.

    “I have watched video clips”.

    Think about that Sir.

    Think how you (or anyone else) could be made to look a complete idiot by such “clips”.

    You declare yourself a Church and King Tory – well (full disclosure) although I am an Anglican and monarchist I am more of an Old (I stress OLD) Whig (like Edmund Burke) myself. Although the Old Whigs eventually joined the Tories to form what became the Conservative party (certainly, in terms of the politics of my own home town, I would have been a local Conservative even in the 19th century – although I greatly oppose people such as Disraeli in national politics).

    But should a Church and King Tory trust what the media tells him about people (any people)?

    Surely you should distrust them even more than I do.

  • Edward Spalton

    Hello Paul,
    When I wrote video clips, I probably gave you an impression of an edited sound bite or too. I meant apparently continuous records of 10 to 30 minutes of panel discussions and platform speakers, put out by supporters of the American Republican right. Indeed one was sent to me by a supporter with whom I correspond on other matters – and agree in part. The arrogances vis a vis the rest of the world really astonished me, as did the invincible ignorance concerning a few aspects of foreign affairs of which I have a small, imperfect knowledge. It reminded me of Kipling’s ” Lesser breeds without the law”

    I suppose it is parallel to the sort of attitude and world outlook which our Victorian ancestors held at the height of empire. ” We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do…..” etc.

  • Paul Marks

    Edward – mostly the American right has historically associated with “isolationism”, it is the “moderate” Progressive left (T. Roosevelt to John McCain) that have been (historically) the interventionists within the Republican fold.

    If you are looking for a British term for most of the “Republican Right” historically – “Little Englander” rather than “Jingoist” would be it.

    Still some names would be useful.

  • Paul Marks

    The same is true in Britain – Lord Salisbury (although not under his own name) wrote articles in the Saturday Review critical of the expansion of Empire.

    It was people such as Disraeli and Joe Chamberlain (interventionists at home as well as overseas) who really wanted to turn the whole map pink.

  • Mr Ed

    Here’s a chilling tale from the Soviet takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1948 from an ex RAF pilot. The Soviet tactics were to organise the takeover with local supporters and with the Red Army loitering at hand.

    http://fcafa.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/2nd-exile-miroslav-liskutin/

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Mr Ed.

    “Bottom up” (chaos, carefully planned chaos, on the streets), demands that “something must be done” (to “end the chaos”) “top down” (the top comes down).

    And then “inside out” – the “fundamental transformation of society”.

  • Julie near Chicago

    About President Eisenhower on “the military-industrial complex,” in his Farewell Address.

    In the words of Randy Herrst (who has posted here), reminding us of the importance of context:

    … [Eisenhower] did NOT mean that the “military-industrial complex” was the primary enemy of the U.S. He was noting that the U.S. would NEED such a military-industrial complex for the first time in U.S. history, but that it must be monitored so that it does not become a military dictatorship. As anyone can see, over the last 50 years the military-industrial complex has not become a dictatorial force. In fact, its proportion of the Federal budget has become smaller and smaller, and its participation in the electoral process has remained negligible.

    It is simply an observation and a precaution to deal with a new situation, not a condemnation of an already evil MIC. ….

    *The entire Pres. Eisenhower Farewell Address can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWiIYW_fBfY
    The specific “military-industrial complex” portion of the speech can be seen from approx. 6:00 to 6:50.

    [SNIP]

    *[Relocated by me. Originally this was where the cut is indicated by ellipses. --J.]

    If anyone who’s not a member wishes to join that group and read all of Mr. Herrst’s comment, its URL is

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Individual-Sovereignty/conversations/messages/264732

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa, thanks for the links on Sarah Palin. :>)

  • Paul Marks

    Quite so Julie – indeed military spending now makes up a SMALLER proportion of American government spending than at any time in the prior history of the United States.

    “But that is just because government spending has increased so much”.

    No that is not the only reason – as even as a percentage of the economy, total military spending will only be 3% of GDP by the time of the next Presidential election.

    Candidates who concentrate on the “warfare state” as a way of not talking about the real problem, the WELFARE STATE, are profoundly mistaken.

    And I would include Ron Paul in that – his campaign in 2012 almost totally ignored the real problem (the explosion of domestic government spending on entitlements and so on) it was just the same stuff about war-war-war.

    O.K. – the war in Afghanistan is winding down, as the war in Iraq did.

    But the real problem (the Welfare State and the credit bubble financial system needed to pay for it) is bigger than ever.

    I hope Rand Paul faces the problem squarely in 2016.

    A campaign such as that of his father in 2012 would be a waste of time.

  • Designated Dawg Poop Picker Upper

    Quite so Julie – indeed military spending now makes up a SMALLER proportion of American government spending than at any time in the prior history of the United States.

    It’s still more than the next 10 nations added together. But you think that is not enough??? Ah you neo-cons and your addiction to welfare for the aerospace sector.

    And sure, lets look at the proportion military spending is of American government spending. Ok. And after that, look at the TOTAL proportion American government spending compared to GDP. Suddenly your statement starts to look a bit suspect.

  • Paul Marks

    DDPPU.

    Thank you for providing a good example of the problem I am pointing to.

    In the real world the American military is collapsing.

    Riddled with “Political Correctness” (such as women being let off physical tests – and Islam being treated as just another religion, and soldiers not even being allowed to carry firearms thus making them sitting ducks for attackers on their own bases) also……

    The number of ships, aircraft, tanks (and on and on) is collapsing.

    Yet you go on about how America spends more than the next ten countries put together (as if figures from China or Russia have any connection to reality).

    At a time when the United States armed forces are falling apart – you present them as the terrible threat.

    And you totally ignore the Welfare State – as well as calling me a “neo-con” and also calling me a liar “your statement starts to look a bit suspect”.

    If you want to talk about the real problem, the WELFARE STATE (and he credit bubble financial system used to pay for it), fine.

    But if you just wish to continue being a troll – then drop dead.

  • Designated Dawg Poop Picker Upper

    And after that, look at the TOTAL proportion American government spending compared to GDP

    Engage your pea brain and decode what I wrote. The rest is WELFARE. In fact ALL of it is welfare, including the military bit, that part is just welfare for a different group of porkers. So I’m thinking I’m probably more against welfare than you because you like it just fine, as long as it’s going to the aerospace sector.

    I don’t think the US military is a “threat”, I think it’s a waste of money. Sure, China spends a lot on its military, just not sure why that’s not mostly Japan’s problem. But many of the same analysis point out that is anything Russia OVERSTATES its military expenditure to make themselves look stronger than they really are. Plus a big part of what they do spend ends up getting used to buy houses in London, designer clothing in Milan and jewellery in Geneva. In any case, why is Russia a US problem? Let Europe deal with them. No matter how you color it, why is it my problem that I get taxed for?

    So I don’t think you’re liar, I think you’re an idiot.

  • Laird

    I agree with DDPPU on this (except for the last part about Paul being an “idiot”; I suspect he hasn’t been around here long enough to know better). The US federal government spending as a percentage of GDP is a far higher than historical norms, and is unsustainable. Yes, Paul, much of that is spent on welfare, which is both (a) wasteful and ineffective, and (b) beyond the legitimate purview of the federal government. It needs to be substantially reduced. And yes, the credit bubble financial system is a mess which will eventually bring us to ruin, political correctness is weakening the effectiveness of our military, and total military spending is a fairly low percentage of GDP. But it is still too high, and is unquestionably far more than necessary for our legitimate defense needs.

    A prime example of that is NATO, a military alliance now in a desperate search of a mission and almost entirely supported (financially and militarily) by the US. If it isn’t dissolved entirely (which was what was promised when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Warsaw Pact was abolished) at least the US should withdraw from it. Let Western Europe see to its own defense. And let the US focus solely on its defense, not that of the entire world. Our military spending could be cut in half with no loss of defensive capability. (And doing so might even have some ancillary benefits, such as reducing the militarization of our domestic police forces.)

    Welfare is an entirely separate matter. Calling for a reduction in military spending in no way detracts from the call for a reduced welfare state, too. In fact, in some ways it makes the argument stronger.

  • Mr Ed

    why is it my problem that I get taxed for?

    Because a majority of your Representatives vote that it be so. And even if Russia disarmed, the House would still vote to tax you on some other pretext in all likelihood.

  • Paul Marks

    DDPPU.

    Well at least you have spared me an attack on “land monopoly” (i.e. disguised hatred of private landownership – and renting out property) that I have just heard on “Russia Today” and you have not cited Noam Chomsky (and George Stiglitz and Max Keiser and other such) as authorities for some enemy propaganda film you have made.

    So I must be thankful for small mercies.

    As for the United States military – I repeat that the American armed forces are in decline (terrible decline).

    I note that your comment (indeed none of your comments) does not include one word about the real problem – i.e. the unlimited Welfare State (the entitlement programs and so on) and the Credit Bubble financial system used to “pay” for it.

    If you want to see an “idiot” – go look in the mirror.