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Behind Putin and Trudeau stands Xi

At the start of WWII, Britain and France imposed a blockade on Germany. They believed the blockade had contributed greatly to victory in WWI – and they liked the thought of doing it again far better than the thought of doing Verdun or the Somme again. Great confidence was expressed that blockade could break Germany, that Germans would abandon Hitler. The RAF dropped many leaflets pointing this out to the Germans.

There was just one small problem. Stalin was Hitler’s ally. The Russians supplied Germany with huge volumes of goods the west fondly imagined they were blockading. Where Russia could not supply them herself, she acted as intermediary for Germany in the world market. She also transported supplies from Japan to Germany. Russia did not do it for nothing, of course – but her payment terms were so generous that the Germans complained their Japanese ally looked mean by comparison.

Why did the communists do this? After Russia and Germany completed their joint operations in Poland, the Soviets urged the Nazis to end the ‘phoney war’ in the west:

One must ardently hope that the world war will begin in earnest as soon as possible.

(The Germans would grant Stalin’s wish – more than he bargained for, in the end.)

That was then, this is now. The west’s ability to isolate Putin has a gaping hole: Xi. China won’t help Putin fight his Ukrainian battles, but as far as western sanctions are concerned, it can keep Putin afloat for a long time. That does not mean it will. But when gladdened by the sight of Putin in difficulties, or western cringing acquiescence changing to something less shamefully absurd, we should not forget that Xi can undercut a lot of the fairly little we have done so far, if he wishes.

To Trudeau, Xi is an envied example. We know this because he said so.

“There is a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime … a flexibility … that I find quite interesting.”

Xi does not return the admiration – but China has spent a ton of money in the west so that “capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them”, and a ton more on “useful [and greedy] idiots”.

Another thing Trudeau finds quite interesting is China’s social credit scheme, that can unperson dissenters from their bank accounts and their credit cards, even before arresting them – indeed, even before ruling their acts criminal. We know this because he did so.

Putin threatens freedom in the Ukraine right now – and in neighbouring countries (that he clearly thinks of as next) soon, and in the west generally long-term. Trudeau threatens freedom in Canada right now – and in anglosphere countries (that his ideological allies clearly think of as next) soon, and in the west generally long-term. When assessing their strength versus our strength to resist, don’t forget: behind both stands Xi.

36 comments to Behind Putin and Trudeau stands Xi

  • Snorri Godhi

    behind both stands Xi.

    (Paul Marks made a similar point in some comments, 1 or 2 weeks ago.)

    …but, as Niall’s post makes clear, in quite different ways.

    Sanctions are inflicting short-term pain. In the medium and long term, what is needed is energy independence, and bringing down the price of oil and gas. In this, Macron and Scholz are (surprisingly) amongst those leading the way.

    Remember: the Soviet Union collapsed mainly because, following the invasion of Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia thought it opportune to bring down the price of oil.

  • Whilst much of what the world has done is political theatre, cutting Russia out of the Swift system is actually a non-trivial sanction.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I wrote:
    “what is needed is … bringing down the price of oil and gas.”

    What i should have written is:
    “bringing down the price of energy.”

  • Exasperated

    Leverage?????What about fertilizer and what about wheat? Supposedly both China and Russia have ceased export of fertilizer. Russia can create a lot of mischief, not just in food costs but food shortages and impact mass migration. Incidentally, natural gas prices also impact agriculture and the cost of pesticides. Not my field, but I think this is correct.

    From the world atlas:
    3. Russia
    Russia gets the third place in the world’s wheat production and the first place as the world’s top exporter of wheat, with 77,000 metric tonnes produced and $6.4 billion worth exported in 2019, or nearly 17% of all wheat exports. Although Russia is projected to stay the top wheat exporter for the upcoming year, there has been a steady decrease from previous years, which is likely to continue. In fact, Russia is planning to put limits on its wheat export to protect its food supply, as an effect of COVID-19, and as a precaution after the U.S. made a major wheat sale to China. Back in March, Russia’s agricultural ministry proposed to limit its all-grain export to 7-8 million tonnes in three-month period, from April to June. With 2.3 million tonnes of wheat quoted, Russia hit and bypassed this quota by the end of April. Experts say that the world’s wheat trade patterns and prices will greatly change, if Russia continues to stockpile its wheat and puts a definitive quota on its wheat export. Countries in the middle-east, especially those still struggling with the pandemic, are stockpiling their own flour, in case Russia goes through with this decision.

  • lucklucky

    Xi and Modi, the 2 most populated countries in the worlds want nothing with sanctions against Russia.

  • lucklucky

    Expect also the Democratic State to increase its Totalitarian control over everything due to Russian attack on Ukraine.

  • Steph Houghton

    But india is just protecting its main arms supplier.

  • Flubber

    “Incidentally, natural gas prices also impact agriculture and the cost of pesticides.”

    Remember the recent CO2 shortage? It was a side effect of manufacturers in the UK ceasing production of fertilisers. Why? Gas prices too high.

    We could lower gas prices by increasing supply via fracking, but we wont because of the nutty green agenda.

    So we are doing our best to fuck things up without Russia’s help.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes – behind both Trudeau, and the rest of the Woke Western establishment (including the European Union that the President of Ukraine appeals to), stands Xi.

    AND behind Putin – stands Xi.

    Either way it is “tails they win, heads we lose” in relation to Xi and the Chinese Communist Party.

    Mark Steyn says the One Child Policy will hit China – but the Communist Party has got rid of that.

    If the Communist Party decide they need more children – there will be more children, and if they have to ban abortion (and even contraception) to achieve that goal, that is what they will do.

    “And how do you propose to defeat the Chinese Communist Party?”

    I do not know – I just do not know.

    The weakness of Marxism was Marxist economics – but the Chinese Communist Party has got rid of Marxist economics, most industry in China is privately owned.

    “Capitalists” serve the greater glory of the Han Empire – led by the Communist Party.

    They have married a “capitalist” economy to a totalitarian expansionist dictatorship.

    In words Donald John Trump might use – it is a genius move (and they have been doing it gradually since 1978). I am not in support of it – any more than DJT is. I just do not know how to fight it.

    “But it is not a pure capitalist economy” – neither is the West, indeed Western economies are such a total mess I am surprised they did not totally collapse many years ago.

    Government spending is about half the economy in the West – and the rest of the economy is a Credit Bubble.

    Not a Cantillon Effect – a Cantillon Economy.

    God Help Us.

    I mean that literally.

  • Paul Marks

    There is a total contradiction at the heart of the People’s Republic of China – a Marxist Political regime resting on a capitalist (private industry) economy.

    But they seem able to live (and EXPAND) with this contradiction.

    Just as they preach “Woke” anti racism (and so on) in the West (funding Black Lives Matter and so on) – whilst openly calling black people “monkeys” and treating them like monkeys. Try being “woke” in China – for example start pushing “Trans Rights” IN CHINA and they will use you for spare parts (without even bothering to put you to sleep first) – they will vivisect you. But they are happy to push “Trans Rights” (and all the rest) in the West. Contradiction, contradiction, contradiction.

    The People’s Republic of China is committing genocide against Muslims in China – yet it has a firm alliance with many Muslim countries (such as Mr Khan of Pakistan – which is also fond of Mr Putin).

    Another massive contradiction – yet a contradiction that seems to have no effect.

    I am not a young man – I am having trouble “getting my head round” all this.

  • Martin

    In terms of who funded Russia’s military, much of it ultimately came from oil and gas consumers, many of whom are in the west. The Germans paid a lot towards arming Russia and are now paying to arm Ukraine.

    As for China, well all that imported Chinese stuff we buy because the great Gods of globalisation (‘free trade’) told us its mutually beneficial to have it manufactured there, well can anyone deny that has sent god knows how much money to the PLA over the years?

    Remember: the Soviet Union collapsed mainly because, following the invasion of Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia thought it opportune to bring down the price of oil.

    Today the Saudis want high oil prices. When Biden went begging to them and Russia last year to put downward pressure on prices they told them to get lost.

    From: https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/596064-why-americas-middle-eastern-allies-havent-condemned-russias-war-in

    But for the most part, America’s Middle Eastern allies also have made it clear that they are not about to support the U.S. and its European allies in imposing sanctions on Russia, or even to openly criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Saudi Arabia has indicated that it will not increase oil production to bring down oil prices that have spiked because of the crisis; it intends to stick with the output agreement it made with Russia in the OPEC+ format. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), along with China and India, abstained on a U.S.-backed UN Security Council resolution deploring Russia’s actions. The emir of Qatar has called for “all parties to exercise restraint” without casting blame on Russia. Qatar also pointed out that it simply cannot increase its liquefied natural gas (LNG) output or significantly redirect its LNG exports to Europe, either. Egypt’s main concern is that conflict in Ukraine might interrupt its supplies of Russian and Ukrainian wheat through the Black Sea and Turkish Straits; to the extent that Egypt cannot import grain from Ukraine, its dependence on Russian wheat may actually increase.

    If the oil/gas prices get very high and for an extended period of time I do wonder if EU unity will begin to crack. Politicians will be able to blame Putin of course, but they’ll be expected to do more than just condemn him about the issue. In the great recession from 2007, defence budgets took a lot of the hit for ‘austerity’ policies. Of course that was different times. But I do wonder if there’s another recession if politicians would cut welfare, health and education over military budgets. We will see….

  • Paul Marks

    Martin – I am glad you put the words “free trade” in quotation marks.

    This Federal Reserve created Credit Bubble economy, with its absurdly overvalued fiat “Dollar”, has got nothing to do with free trade.

    This is a fake economic system – based on the fiat Dollar being the “world reserve currency”.

    Everyone from Joseph Biden to Tucker Carlson thinks this is a good idea – but it is NOT a good idea, it is a terrible idea.

    End it – end it NOW.

    It is going to collapse anyway.

  • Martin

    Yes, I used the quotation marks because this was how such economic policies towards China were largely sold to western publics in the 1990s and 2000s. It was ‘free trade’ and arguing otherwise was apparent evidence of protectionism and against our supposed self-interest. I’m not sure what to call it – ‘globalist-speak’, ‘Economist-speak’ maybe.

  • bobby b

    As a side note, unconnected to the above conversation but also related to the OP, maybe:

    I’d strongly advise that no one draw any world-level conclusions about leadership theories based on Canada.

    Trudeau is the unimpressive coalition leader of an unimpressive woke mostly-empty territory that is strongly split politically, but the majority of Canadians wanted him to do most everything that the rest of the world watched aghast as he did.

    This isn’t a case of a leader seizing power for bad reasons. He took the power that he was given – the E-Act was there and ready for him to use, enacted on someone else’s vote. He’s no Svengali. He’s just a woke populist with a constituency. His constituency fears Covid above all else, and this was at heart a fight aboot Covid measures.

  • NickM

    It’s all down to Deng Xiaoping and his “cat” economics – “We don’t care what colour the cat is as long as it catches the mice”. The Chinese government couldn’t care less about anyone unless they’re Han Chinese and toe the line – hence the Uyghur genocide. They also feel they’re too big to be taken down. As to Pakistan… Well, first off China is scared of India – there can only be one top-dog in Asia and Imran Khan is not a moral man. So… Beijing would sell their granny on eBay (or the Chinese equivalent) if they thought they could get a reasonable price. They are simply obsessed with making China the global hyper-power and nothing else matters. If Satan himself turned up in Shanghai and offerred a good deal it would be agreed before the ink was put in the pen. So they push things like trans rights (however one defines that – and that is a minefield) on their opponents because they think it weakens us. Try being just simply gay in Chengdu and… Well, it ain’t gonna work out well for you. Especially not with China’s demographic crisis. Again that’s India that scares them which also goes some way to explain the Pakistan connection.

    Anyway. A couple of years ago I made a moral decision. I fix computers so I buy a lot of computer bits. As far as humanly possible I buy Korean or Taiwanese or whatever rather than Chinese. I have typed this on an ASUS ZenBook (Taiwanese). I used to use a Lenovo but when that carked it I wasn’t going to buy a machine built on a pile of corpses. And ASUS make very good kit and I got it at very good price so everyone is a winner. Apart from Xi but he can go fuck himself with his bottle of Grecian 2000.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    China is very much into the ‘Will to Power’ ideology. They’re the ultimate fascists. Sad to say, they had my country Singapore to serve as an example.

    You can’t beat China, but you could co-opt them with luck, time and will. The West, however, has run out of all three. The PRC judged the weaknesses of the West and the free market and exploited them mercilessly.

    A strong US would have bought time, at the very least. Time enough for China’s internal pressures to show. Hell, they’re showing now, namely the demographic bomb.

    As powerful as they are, the PRC can’t force women back to the days of arranged marriages or stop abortions – that genie will not go back into the bottle. The sheer materialism of ethnic chinese women is well-documented, hell, I experienced a form of it here in Sg for years.

    So maybe drastic action isn’t needed after all.

  • bobby b

    “The sheer materialism of ethnic chinese women is well-documented . . . “

    Curious: what percentage of them can afford to be materialistic? Do they now have a significant middle class?

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Curious: what percentage of them can afford to be materialistic?

    A lot. Especially in the cities. And since the one-child policy resulted in a serious gender imbalance, women in China could afford to pick and choose. And many bought into the female empowerment thing so much and became so picky that they ended up unable to find partners. There’s very little religion (aka Christianity) to help matters along.

    If I’m not wrong, a lot of chinese men have given up or sought foreign brides from Sino-adjacent states (e.g. Vietnam).

    Do they now have a significant middle class?

    Most observers think so.

    Several years back, this meme “I’d rather cry in a BMW than laugh on a bicycle‘ trended in the sinosphere media.

  • Paul Marks

    Martin – yes indeed, free trade is to export some goods to import other goods. Free trade is NOT print and borrow lots of fiat money – and use it to import stuff.

    The Credit Bubble economy is held to be sacred by the Davos crowd – they would rather that most people were living on benefits in little flats than admit that there is anything wrong with their sacred Credit Bubble economy. I am not exaggerating – that is exactly what they are planning, but it will collapse. It will all collapse. Then the hard task of building a real economy will have to be undertaken.

    Nick M. – yes absolutely. The Communist Party dictatorship in the People’s Republic of China has betrayed Marxism. It does not give care if industry is owned by “capitalists” – AS LONG AS it serves the expansion of their Empire, its drive for world domination (world domination – by any means).

    The Wobbly Guy – I have never been to Singapore, but I suspect it is rather different to the People’s Republic of China.

    For example, would you vivisect people for spare parts? I suspect you would NOT do so.

    The dictatorship in China would do so – they would not think twice about doing so. Or wiping out whole ethnic groups (GENOCIDE) – whilst, at the same time, preaching to the West about “racism”.


    Yes there are wealthy women in China bobby b. But they will do what the dictatorship tells them – or the dictatorship will HURT them.

    Feminism rests on an unspoken assumption – this assumption being that men will not physically hurt women, or rather that good men will stop bad men hurting feminists.

    What does a feminist do with a regime that is prepared to use unlimited violence against women – or against anyone else.

    Party official punches women in the face, the women calls the police – who also punch her in the face and then gang rape her.

    There is not much a feminist can do. So women will obey – if the order is “have more babies” or any other order.

    There is not much that any of us can do.

    In the West we assume that regimes will engage in abuses – but that, deep down, there are certain ethical principles.

    The People’s Republic of China is a power of over a BILLIKON people, and has vastly the highest industrial output on Earth. And (as was shown in World War II) industrial power quickly turns into military power.

    And the dictatorship that controls China utterly REJECTS any ethical (moral) limits on its behaviour – there is no evil that it will not do.

    How to deal with this?

    I do not know.

  • The Wobbly Guy


    China will maintain appearances for women, at least on the policy level. Of course, that does not preclude all sorts of maleficence by the state on individuals. Too many examples to cite – Zhao Wei, Peng Shuai, Fan Bingbing etc.

    The PRC leadership is probably hopping mad about the fertility rate, but that is one problem even they cannot solve. There is nothing they can do, not even throwing money. NOTHING.

    All those restrictions about gaming, private tuition, homework, families etc, are their indirect policies to try to boost the fertility rate. They won’t work.

    My heart fair bleeds for them. /sarc

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Just wait until the Chinese hear about Asset Forfeiture! The party will love it!

  • John

    The PRC leadership is probably hopping mad about the fertility rate, but that is one problem even they cannot solve

    The former Vice Premier, Zhang Gaoli, did in fact do his best (allegedly) to solve the problem with the assistance of tennis star Peng Shuai until her memory of events was conveniently altered.

  • Paul Marks

    The Wobbly Guy.

    “there is nothing they can do” about the fertility rate in China.

    I think you greatly underestimate what they are capable of doing Sir.

    Singapore and China may be ethnically similar – but the governments really are very different.

    The Communist Party of China will do anything to increase its own power – anything at all.

    I suspect you are a better person than me – sadly I have no trouble at all in guessing what they will do. This is because I have a lot of darkness within me.

  • lucklucky

    This isn’t a case of a leader seizing power for bad reasons. He took the power that he was given – the E-Act was there and ready for him to use, enacted on someone else’s vote. He’s no Svengali. He’s just a woke populist with a constituency. His constituency fears Covid above all else, and this was at heart a fight aboot Covid measures.

    When journalists are mostly Neo-Marxists you have that.

  • Paul Marks

    The “constituency” of Mr Trudeau is not really in Canada – it is in Davos, and in China. Dr Klaus Schwab and his son think they control the Communist Party Dictatorship in China – but it really controls them, they are not the Puppet Masters they are the Puppets (so is Mr Trudeau).

    And none of it has got anything really to do with Covid – that is obvious now.

    As for the Emergency Act – it was used by Trudeau’s father 50 years ago. Another Collectivist who pretended to be a Liberal – although the people he was fighting were also socialists (Socialist terrorists in Quebec).

    The Trudeau family could never let Quebec go – because if it became independent the Liberal Party would be unable to win a Canadian General Election, and they would also find themselves foreigners in Canada.

    But, still, that matter is in the past.

  • Freddo

    Regarding the Middle East: I doubt that the Saudi alliance has forgotten how easily obama threw them under the bus and cozied up to Iran. And biden just happened to be vice president at the time. Most OPEC countries like high oil prices, dislike Iranian dominance, dislike America questioning how the employ their weapons (see: Jemen) and have started questioning how serious American commitments are (see also: Afghanistan, Ukraine). I think biden needs to come up with something better than “please” to convince OPEC.

  • Paul Marks

    Freddo – I believe (although I could be mistaken) that Saudi Arabia voted against Mr Putin’s invasion of the Ukraine, whereas Iran abstained (which is a de facto pro Putin vote).

    As you know we do not ally with the House of Saud because we love them (or they love us) – we ally with the House of Saud because we have similar interests to the Sunni Monarchies (and nut just the Saudi one). The last thing they want is for populist movements promising “Social Justice” to gain more power in Arabia or the Middle East generally. Barack Obama was rather sympathetic to such movements (due to his extreme left wing background) – and that played into the hands of IRAN (which backs such Social Justice movements in the Middle East).

    Joseph Biden has always been another “Social Justice” type (even before his senility) and that always made him unfit for any office – as the interests of the United States (and the West in general) are diametrically opposed to “Social Justice” (“the masses” movements promising more services and benefits at the expense of private property owners) in the Middle East, Latin America, and everywhere else.

    Note that President Donald Trump (unlike British government ministers) never used the words “Social Justice” (i.e. ever more benefits and services at the expense of private property owners) as a positive term.

    Donald John Trump is no academic intellectual – but he knows what he is AGAINST, and what he is against is what we are also against “Social Justice” (i.e. organised plundering – whether it is in a San Francisco store, or a Revolution in the Middle East).

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Russia’s Ukraine invasion will be remembered as the first offensive military invasion initiated against the Globalist West during the era of Chinese Hegemony. Yes I think China is currently the most powerful country in the world and has been for at least a few years.

    This Russian invasion signals the beginning of the end of Western Globalist Hegemony.

    It’s possible that Putin will lose power and the Russian government will fall.

    But either way China wins. And that’s not something any Fake News Media wants to talk about.

    Can China and the Globalists compromise? Maybe, but nothing lasts forever.

  • Paul Marks

    Shlomo Maistre.

    You seem unable, or unwilling, to grasp the basic facts.

    It is Mr Putin (not “Russia”) who has decided on war – and he has not attacked the “Globalist West”, he has attacked the people of Ukraine.

    Listen to the government of Poland – can you think of anyone more Socially Conservative (more anti “Globalist”) than them.

    The government of Poland is quite clear what has happened – Mr Putin has attacked the people of the Ukraine, and the Ukrainians are fighting back or fleeing (for example fleeing to Poland).

    This is not complicated – yet you keep confusing it.

    As for the People’s Republic of China – YES it is the leading industrial power in the world (and has been since 2014), it dwarfs the United States now – and industrial power is translating into military power.

    And YES – the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship is delighted that Putin has attacked Ukraine (thus turning Russia into a de facto Chinese colony – totally dependent on the People’s Republic of China).

    But that does not alter the basic facts – facts you refuse to grasp.

    Mr Putin (not “Russia”) is the problem – and he has attacked the Ukrainian people NOT “the Globalist West”.

    Mr Putin must go – then, and only then, may it be possible to ally with the Russian people against the People’s Republic of China.

    The end of Mr Putin is the vital first step for Russia – for the Russian people (as well as for the Ukrainian people).

    And the end of Mr Putin would not please the People’s Republic of China – quite the contrary. The end of Mr Putin would remove a very important “ally” (really servant) of the People’s Republic of China.

  • Snorri Godhi


    And YES – the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship is delighted that Putin has attacked Ukraine (thus turning Russia into a de facto Chinese colony – totally dependent on the People’s Republic of China).

    This is one of the conclusions of this essay that i read today (thanks to Instapundit).

    Mr Putin must go – then, and only then, may it be possible to ally with the Russian people against the People’s Republic of China.

    This is what i thought while reading the essay: if Russia faces the triple whammy of sanctions, energy independence of Western countries, and economic dependence on China, then people close to Putin will realize this, and try to stab him in the back. How long he survives will depend on how careful he is.

    Or perhaps he knows something about his own health that we don’t know? perhaps he thinks that he might as well die in a blaze of glory.

  • Paul Marks

    Snorri Godhi.

    I have also heard that the health of Mr Putin is bad.

    But he is not going out in a blaze of glory (other than in his own sick mind) – he is going out in a blaze of infamy.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Snorri – it is an excellent essay.

    The People’s Republic of China laughs at us all – and India’s hope that they could ally with Russia against China has collapsed in ruins.

    All nations have their problems – I rant on about the problems of America all the time (not because I hate America – but because I am filled with grief), but Putin has made the problems of Russia worse.

    The Germans have also made a strategic mistake – although they may recover from their error.

    France – it also has its problems, but they will not starve and the lights will not go out in France.

    I can remember the 1970s when the lights DID go out in Britain (power cuts -3 day week and so on) – and the lights may well go out again.

    And Britain can no longer feed its population – it is not even close, in the 1980s it was about 80% now about 60%. Yet we do not have the family owned manufacturing industry that Germany has.

    I am glad that I am “on my way out” of this life – as I fear for the future of my own nation, the United Kingdom.

  • bobby b

    Snorri Godhi
    March 4, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    “This is one of the conclusions of this essay that i read today . . .”

    Interesting article. Thanks. This part I hadn’t even considered:

    But most Indians don’t even seem to realize how bad this is for them, given that the theater of conflict in Ukraine is seemingly so far away. Let me piece it together this way –

    – Russia has traditionally been India’s most powerful patron.
    – Russia’s most powerful patron right now and for the foreseeable future is China.
    – China is India’s most dangerous and mortal enemy.

    You do the math.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Paul Marks,

    I stand by every word of my comment at March 3, 2022 at 5:10 pm.

    If you would like to understand my perspective holistically, then I encourage you to read the three consecutive comments I just left in the other thread starting with this one:


    My second comment, if I could revise it, would say:

    As for my own preliminary policy preferences: if America and the West had a competent political and bureaucratic class (NOPE) then one of the following two courses should have been followed years ago:
    1. POTUS, NATO, Ukraine President, UK PM, Moldova, and EU all announce together that: “Ukraine will not join NATO, Ukraine will not join EU, Donbas and Crimea belong to Russia, Transnistria is considered a sovereign country” and behind the scenes Ukraine is encouraged by the West to be a client state and puppet of Russia, much like Belarus is now


    2. POTUS, NATO, Ukraine President, UK PM, Moldova, and EU all announce together that: “Ukraine is in NATO, Ukraine is in the EU, and NATO and the USA are in the process of building military bases on Ukraine’s border with Russia and stationing American and British troops, armaments, and military assets throughout Ukraine, the Russian-funded rebels of the Donbas will be exterminated”

    Okay maybe neither action should be QUITE so bold and explicit, but certainly one of the two general directions SHOULD HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AND IMPLEMENTED IN A TIMELY MANNER.

    Instead the West conducted pussy footing middle path, which yes in my opinion did contribute to the set of circumstances that contributed to Putin/Russia making the decision to invade Ukraine. As usual, ambiguity and weakness breed distrust and conflict. Particularly when across the border is Vladimir Putin. Pussy footing middle path was always the worst option.

  • Shlomo Maistre (March 4, 2022 at 8:32 pm), what you call the West’s “pussy footing middle path” was in fact exactly what you would expect to see if the the desire for western orientation was a natural intra-Ukrainian political development rather than an external western agenda foisted onto a client state with a bought government.

    Dictators with agendas do have certain advantages over loose coalitions of countries who may know little and care less about some “quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing” (Neville Chamberlain, 1938) and whose foremost desire is to avoid trouble. When you say the west would have been wiser to pursue an aggressive forward policy of absorbing Ukraine into NATO than to pursue the “pussy footing middle path” of not banning the idea explicitly and permanently, there is a point there – but one that argues strongly against the claim that it was the west’s machinations, not the west’s weakness, that contributed to this.

    I also note that Trump found it possible to avoid an invasion from Putin without pursuing so aggressive a policy. I believe that if he were still in the white house then that would still be the case.