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Samizdata quote of the day

Heaven forbid trying increase gas supplies in a time of gas shortage. Amazing how many greens seem to have a convergence of interests with nice Mr. Putin. Funny that.

– Perry de Havilland on the opposition to fracking in UK from the usual suspects.

38 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • JohnB

    Yes, indeed.

    I have been struck by a similarity with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) of the 1960s/70s which was demanding the closure of western nuclear weapons facilities, with activities such as the Aldermaston marches, but somehow the other side always seemed to get a free pass.

    And the West’s becoming somewhat trapped in a dependency on Russian gas is something I have wondered about.
    Old wars run deep and long?
    Are people, who should surely know better, really so stupid?

  • Is Samizdata Illuminatus just Perry in a dress?

    In which case making it Quote of the Day is a bit like enjoying the smell of your own farts.

    😁

  • Jacob

    “Amazing how many greens seem to have a convergence of interests with nice Mr. Putin.”

    Perry is obsessed with Putin.
    The Greens were crazy long before Putin, nothing new here.

  • Jacob

    Speaking of Putin: here’s a good question: What will ‘the West” do if Putin uses a tactical nuke in Ukraine?

  • The Greens were crazy long before Putin, nothing new here.

    The Green Party has always been a case of “Communism for middle class women”, nothing more.

  • WindyPants

    Speaking of Putin: here’s a good question: What will ‘the West” do if Putin uses a tactical nuke in Ukraine?

    Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Sure, we’ll posture and complain and may even lodge a protest through the UN but, rest assured, we will do nothing. Why risk a box of sunshine dropping on London, New York or even Widnes for the sake of a madman who wants to move some squiggly lines on a map to correct an administrative sleight-of-hand that one lot of communists did to another lot in 1954?

    What can we do? The West is already supplying Ukraine’s weapons and bankrolling the fight. We already have the toughest sanctions on Russia. The only escalation left for us to take involves military action i.e. direct toe-to-toe combat with the Rooskies. At that point, we’re another madman with a penchant for maintaining the purity of his bodily fluids away from Armageddon – and I don’t mean the Bruce Willis film.

  • Martin

    On paper and in rhetoric the German Greens are the most anti-Russian and pro-Ukrainian party in that country.

    Interestingly their ministers within the ruling coalition have made it clear they are ready to effectively pauperise the German people in order to maintain that position.

  • Is Samizdata Illuminatus just Perry in a dress?

    Sometimes because it is for ‘generic’ posts but not usually

    In which case making it Quote of the Day is a bit like enjoying the smell of your own farts.

    Fuck off.

  • Sigivald

    I will note that Greens hate gas/oil and have since the ’60s, well before Putin.

    Their practical support of his interests now is coincidental, not causal.

  • Perry is obsessed with Putin.

    No, not Putin, Russia. I’m obsessed with Russia 😉

  • Fraser Orr

    @WindyPants
    Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Sure, we’ll posture and complain and may even lodge a protest through the UN but, rest assured, we will do nothing.

    I am not at all sure you are right. There has always been a grumbling in the US military about winning a limited nuclear war, and apparently they are bubbling up to the top. Biden is like that angry grandpa with mild dementia who lashes out uncontrollably, especially when you point out that he is weak. I can easily see this very quickly getting out of hand. I think we are now closer to a nuclear war since the Cuban missile crisis. And at least JFK and RFK weren’t off their meds.

    This whole thing could have been avoided if Ukraine had simply agreed not to join NATO back at the start, which doesn’t seem like much of a concession since NATO wouldn’t have let them in. Now we are backed into an impossible situation. And all the usual suspects are making money hand over fist, so nobody really wants the thing to end. Nobody except the poor Ukrainian citizen anyway.

    This whole cataclysm is almost entirely Biden’s fault. Putin might be evil, but he is a rational evil. But the truth is that even though the world is burning set alight by a bumbling idiot, still about half of the American population will vote for him and his party this November. People feared Trump would bring us to the edge of nuclear catastrophe. Just another example of projection on the part of the crazy left and their media minions.

  • Jacob

    No, not Putin, Russia. I’m obsessed with Russia

    A distinction without a difference?

  • Jacob

    Yes, Putin might use nuclear weapons. We need to plan for scenarios where he does

    It would have been nice to think about it before the war started.

  • It would have been nice to think about it before the war started.

    In what way? Do you think there was a scenario in which Russia did not keep expanding backed up by nuclear threats? Just give them Ukraine in return for a promise of “peace in our time” and live happily ever after with Russia’s frontier once again back on the border with Slovakia?

    A distinction without a difference?

    Wrong. Putin is a symptom. Just replacing Putin will make no difference (might even make things worse) unless the entire Russkiy Mir ideology has first been utterly discredited (which admittedly is now at least a possibility).

  • I am not at all sure you are right.

    Indeed. If they go nuclear in Ukraine, doing *nothing* is not going to be the response. It won’t be a nuclear response but it will be a military one.

    This whole thing could have been avoided if Ukraine had simply agreed not to join NATO back at the start

    Absolutely incorrect. Sorry to be impolite but the notion this was driven by Ukraine wanting to join NATO verges on preposterous, wishful thinking at best. But that is indeed the Russia Today narrative, carefully designed for western “useful idiots” (using it in the technical term rather than as an epithet), whilst domestic discourse has always been about “restoring” Russian borders and the intolerable threat on a cultural & political level Ukraine represents to that aspiration (the notion Ukraine might be also be a military threat was never a serious suggestion in *anything* I ever read in any internally directed Russian source prior to Feb.24th).

    Russia did not attack Ukraine because it wanted to join NATO, it attacked Ukraine because it was not in NATO, an entirely different thing. Russia attacked Ukraine in 2014, and it really never stopped, its dialled it up to max in Feb of this year.

  • Snorri Godhi

    On paper and in rhetoric the German Greens are the most anti-Russian and pro-Ukrainian party in that country.

    In prtactice, otoh, the German Greens are the most pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian party in that country.

    Interestingly their ministers within the ruling coalition have made it clear they are ready to effectively pauperise the German people in order to maintain that position.

    Yes, the pro-Russian position.

    Martin and like-minded people are presumably not aware that the Soviet Union stirred trouble in the Middle East through the Cold War with the sole purpose of raising the price of oil; and the main proximate factor of the collapse of the Soviet Union was the fall in oil prices triggered by the Saudis after the invasion of Afghanistan, with the specific purpose to damage the Soviet economy.

  • Snorri Godhi

    A distinction without a difference?

    Obviously, Jacob has not read the exchanges between Perry and Paul Marks on this issue.

    Perry:

    Sorry to be impolite but the notion this was driven by Ukraine wanting to join NATO verges on preposterous, wishful thinking at best.

    Given my belief in the pervasiveness of delusional insanity in modern society*, “preposterous, wishful thinking” sounds too polite to me.

    * I do not necessarily exempt myself.

  • Snorri Godhi

    A good article on the Russkiy Mir thing. Key quote:

    Juškin also pointed to British historian Arnold Toynbee’s saying that an empire dies when the last person who remembers its greatness does. “We need to wait another 30-40 years for the last generation to carry the imperial idea in their genes to perish.”

    (That should be memes, not genes.)

  • Yes, Putin might use nuclear weapons. We need to plan for scenarios where he does

    It would have been nice to think about it before the war started.

    Now that the war has reached the point where the Ukraine looks like it could win, the scenarios differ from any that looked likely in February. One hopes nevertheless that planning is not just starting now, but the degree and speed of success enjoyed by the Ukraine’s counterattack may have been not just unforeseen but not that foreseeable.

  • Martin

    prtactice, otoh, the German Greens are the most pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian party in that country

    Well actually in terms of energy and defence policies the SDP, the FDP and Christian Democrats are barely distinguishable from the Greens. The only serious party that differs from the status quo in Germany are the AFD but they oppose the EU and have been denounced as Nazis and pro-Russian so have about as much chance of getting power in Germany as the monster raving looney party do in Britain.

    Perhaps not as extreme but let’s face facts about Britain. Both the Conservatives and Labour give full throated support for Ukraine but have supported policies for the past several decades that undermined British energy independence. Decimating the coal industry, knee capping nuclear power, closing gas storage capacity etc etc etc.

    Martin and like-minded people are presumably not aware that the Soviet Union stirred trouble in the Middle East through the Cold War with the sole purpose of raising the price of oil; and the main proximate factor of the collapse of the Soviet Union was the fall in oil prices triggered by the Saudis after the invasion of Afghanistan, with the specific purpose to damage the Soviet economy.

    Fully aware of this actually and doesn’t change my points about the muddleheaded stupidity of the German Greens.

  • Steven R

    I’d like to think that since the first rumblings of war started, those in power in the White House, Whitehall, NATO HQ, and all those other governments have been talking amongst themselves about what the response should be should Mr. Putin open some canned sunshine.

    I suspect they know exactly what their response will be and have told Mr. Putin what that response will be via various ambassadors, intelligence types, and back-channel communiques.

  • Obviously, Jacob has not read the exchanges between Perry and Paul Marks on this issue.

    To be fair to Jacob, doesn’t everybody scroll past Paul Marks’ walls of text?

    “But Ted, don’t you know that setting up strawmen (complete with long, rambling parentheticals) is a brilliant form of argument?”

  • Yes, Putin might use nuclear weapons. We need to plan for scenarios where he does

    It would have been nice to think about it before the war started.

    I find myself hearing the voice of Laurence Fishburne as Ike Turner saying “Don’t make me nuke you, baby. You know I only nuke you because I love you, baby.”

  • Steph Houghton

    Not if they are sencable.

  • bobby b

    “I suspect they know exactly what their response will be and have told Mr. Putin what that response will be via various ambassadors, intelligence types, and back-channel communiques.”

    You have more faith in Biden & Co. than do I. I suspect that their entire pre-consideration of this was “he wouldn’t dare!”

  • Snorri Godhi

    I suspect they know exactly what their response will be and have told Mr. Putin what that response will be via various ambassadors, intelligence types, and back-channel communiques.

    I am inclined to think that it would be a mistake to do so. Better to let the Russkies lose sleep over it.

    Trump bragged that he told Putin (privately) that he would hit the Kremlin if Putin invaded the Ukraine. True or not, that strikes me as the right approach: since the threat was made in private, Trump was not committed to it, so that Putin would lose sleep over whether Trump really meant it.

  • Snorri Godhi

    To be fair to Jacob, doesn’t everybody scroll past Paul Marks’ walls of text?

    I don’t: I read the first few lines, and keep reading until it is clear to me that he is repeating what he has written before — or that he is advancing a patently absurd thesis.

    That means that sometimes i read to the end.

  • Ferox

    One of the core ideas of Mutual Assured Destruction is that its an all-or-nothing strategy; you can’t give in “just a little bit”. It’s the very definition of a “hard line”.

    If we (the U.S.) had a competent and sentient leader, he would make it perfectly clear to the Russians that any use of nuclear weapons would not be tolerated, and that a nuclear strike of any size would be treated by the US as a full-scale nuclear strike against the world, with appropriate responses.

    That wouldn’t cause WW III .. quite the contrary. It seems like the only strategy that could keep Russia from popping off its nukes. In fact, it might be the only way to prevent WW III from breaking out.

  • Chester Draws

    It would have been nice to think about it before the war started.

    They will have gamed this endlessly in all the NATO war colleges.

    The western military has some issues, but this isn’t one of them. When asked to fight on distant shores, the NATO countries have shown that they are the polar opposite of Russia when it comes to planning and logistics.

  • When asked to fight on distant shores, the NATO countries have shown that they are the polar opposite of Russia when it comes to planning and logistics.

    Quite so. When things get fucked up when a NATO nation gets involved, it is almost always because of politically unobtainable goals, not a lack of military planning or logistics.

  • Jacob

    If we (the U.S.) had a competent and sentient leader, he would make it perfectly clear to the Russians that any use of nuclear weapons would not be tolerated

    Well, I’m not sure many in the US would support risking a nuclear confrontation over Ukraine.

  • Jacob

    it is almost always because of politically unobtainable goals, not a lack of military planning or logistics.

    The outcome is also always failure, no matter what the reason was.
    NATO (which is to say: the US) failed in all it’s enterprises or actions. A very consistent record.

  • Stephen W. Houghton II

    We always lost?

    Greece, Korea, Thailand, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Panama, Operation Desert Storm etc. didn’t happen?

  • Martin

    I’d agree that NATO haven’t failed a mission in the past due to logistics and supply issues. Clearly in Afghanistan, they were a bit too successful with logistics, having left the Taliban $80 billion of equipment for free or whatever it was.

    Nonetheless, I’m not sure if NATO’s logistical strength has been tested against a truly formidable adversary. In Kosovo, British forces almost ran out of key munitions. Likewise, there was problems in the campaign in Libya in 2011.

    There does seem to be evidence that due to its material support for Ukraine, even the US military is fast depleting some of its munitions stocks and it may take years to properly replenish these.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Jacob: with all due respect, it is my opinion that, for an Israeli, you have an exceptional level of detachment from reality.

    Not that i know many Israelis, mind you; but i know that it has taken a lot of realism for Israel to survive and prosper.

  • Steven R

    When unleashed, NATO (meaning the US, UK, and France) are really good at killing people and breaking things, and making sure all those trigger pullers are equipped for their mission. The problem is politicians and their demand for a kinder, gentler war CNN can’t spin. Colin Powell was right when he said of the post-2003 Iraq War, “you break it, you bought it.” However, the problem came because we didn’t break it. I daresay Afghanistan and Iraq (and the Middle East as a whole) would look markedly different if we had bombed Iraq and Afghanistan flat and told the survivors how it was going to be like we did with Germany and Japan after WW2.

    Although I wonder how much longer we will be able to do that with our new woke armies. How can you put women in charge of infantry platoons and tell them to carry their body weights and then some on their backs like we’ve done with males for eons? Maybe it will take a lost war and plenty of daughters in body bags to get Americans to demand the military go back to the single task of killing folks, feelings be damned.

  • Paul Marks

    The “Green” movement in the West has been backed by the Kremlin for years – and for logical reasons of Russian self-interest.

    Russia is a major exporter of hydrocarbons (gas, oil, coal) it does not want competition from “fracking” and so on.

    This is why, for example, the Kremlin produced the fake “Steele Dossier” (Mr Steele was an ex-member of MI6 – but that did not stop him carrying water for the Kremlin) against Donald John Trump in 2016 – Mr Trump wanted to deregulate American gas, oil and coal against Russia, and so Mr Trump had to be discredited.

    Yes, the Kremlin did “interfere in the 2016 election” – but interfered on the side of Hillary Clinton, something the American media and the (utterly despicable) FBI and “Justice” Department still refuse to see. Refuse to see because they, the American establishment, are committed to the anti-hydrocarbons policy that Mr Putin wants them to be committed to.

    As for the ideology in Russia itself.

    The Grand Dukes of Muscovy, centuries ago, committed themselves to the policies of the late Roman Empire – we know this because they-said-so, they openly modelled themselves on Constantine and co.

    Serfdom was imposed in Russia from above (it was not some “natural economic process – due to the material, technological, forces of production” as the Marxists falsely claimed), various Grand Dukes and, later, Czars – imposed serfdom by edicts. It was never as dominant in Russia as it was in some Western lands (such as Prussia – that nightmare state that some “conservative” historians seem to like), but about half the population were made into serfs – this was an imitation of late Roman practices (introduced by the Emperor Diocletian – an Emperor not some “technological material forces of production”) and was about taxation and control – including military control.

    The whole idea of a centralised “one ruler, one faith, one Russia” (autocracy and orthodoxy) was based on the Emperor Constantine – just look at a statue of him (look at the face) and you will see what sort of man he was.

    Everything centralised, one ruler and one faith. Justified by the idea (the false idea) that the political disunity and personal freedom of the age of Kiev was what led to the conquest by the Mongols and the centuries of Hell-on-Earth that followed.

    The trouble with the basic theory of justification for Russian Autocracy is that it is wrong – the Mongols did not win because the Rus were disunited (still less because the ordinary Russ had too much personal freedom – and should have been serfs) – the Mongols won because their military methods were vastly in advance of their rivals.

    The rigid central control of Song China did NOT save China from the Mongols – and having Mr Putin transported back in time and given total power over the Rus would NOT have the saved the Rus.

    This “if only there had been one ruler with absolute power – we would have been saved from the Mongols and Tartars” is the centuries old myth that has dominated Russian education (both under the Czars and under the Marxists) and it must go.

    Nor was modern Russia “created by wise rulers” – the Cossacks (Russian, Ukrainian and so on) took “the wild east” all the way to the Pacific (and beyond – they got almost to where San Francisco is now) – this was not “planned by wise rulers”, it was created by free-booters, many of them fleeing the serfdom of the “wise rulers”.

  • Paul Marks

    One historical myth is based on another historical myth – one taught in the West as much as in Russia.

    The myth that Putin style autocracy would have saved the Rus from the Mongols, is based on the myth that the “the crises of the third century” was solved by the Emperor Diocletian and those who came after him (such as Constatine) who created “Late Antiquity”.

    In reality the various break-a-ways and barbarian invasions of the Third Century AD (an historian who says “CE”, Common Era, is a tosspot) were defeated by the Emperor Aurelian and the Emperor Probus – the vast increase in taxation and control (de facto serfdom, state factories and so on) by the Emperor Diocletian had nothing to do with this – because it has already happened BEFORE the “reforms” of Diocletian, and those like him, took place.

    As for “Late Antiquity” – far from being a success, the old name “the fall of the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages” is far more accurate.

    The crippling taxes, regulations and centralisation (so centralised that cities no longer had the resources to even fortify themselves – as so much of the tax revenue was taken by the centre) of the late Roman Empire were a horrible failure – including the military “reforms ” of Constantine which concentrated the best men and equipment in the army around the person of the Emperor (not on or near the frontiers – indeed hundreds of miles from the frontiers).

    This so called “defence in depth” ignores that fact that soldiers in this period were not moved about by helicopters or even by trains – they had to walk (march) to wherever they were needed.

    By the time the main army of “Late Antiquity” marched to oppose a barbarian invasion the province it marched to was ashes and dried blood (not much future tax revenue could come from such a place).

    An army that was not “on the spot” might as well have been on the Moon.

    Even in the east – the later Byzantine (“East Roman”) army had a habit, over the centuries, of marching into ambushes. This was because the army tended to be concentrated near the Emperor in Constantinople – far aray from the provinces it had to march to (which were essentially alien territory to the main army) – “but there were always forces near the frontiers” – yes, but not the best men and not enough of any sort. This was because Emperors (including Constatine himself) were terrified of a frontier commander overthrowing them – and making himself Emperor (as Constantine had done) – in short, the thing was POLITICAL not some cunning military “defence in depth”.

    The “golden age” of the Byzantine Empire, basically the tenth century (the 900s) and the very early 11th century, was really a return to the farmer-soldiers of the old (pre-Marius) Roman Republic (yes, I know the “Theme” system went back centuries and was a response to the Islamic invasions of the 7th century).

    The men knew the land (because they lived there) and were often under local leaders. Just about the opposite of the vision of Constantine – or of Mr Putin.

    However. the most famous of the “golden age” Byzantine rulers – Basil II “the Bulgar basher” does not really deserve his reputation. Yes, he slaughtered the Bulgars (whether that was a good thing even from a military point of view can be debated) – but his campaigns against the Islamic powers were unsuccessful (the Emperors just before him had almost retaken Jerusalem – Basil was much less successful in the east – and even his operation to retake Sicily eventually failed, although it was almost a success), and he neglected the Byzantine Navy (essentially leaving the sea to the Republic of Venice_), and Basil undermined local leadership – it is claimed to protect peasant farmer-soldiers.

    Local landed nobles with their own castles and leading local men against raiders had been the backbone of the West since King Charles the Bald of France in the late 800s – but the Byzantine Empire and the later Moscow Empire turned its face against such military feudalism (note to Marxists – feudalism is a military system, not an economic forces one, there can be serfdom without feudalism and feudalism without serfdom).

    Such things as the Edict of 877 (formally admitting that the King of France was below, not above, the law – and could not, for example, take the land of one family and give it to another) were alien to the Byzantine Empire – and to the later Russian Empire.

    No Magna Carta.

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