There is a general tendency in politics to describe the world in a simplistic black and white model. One has to either be with the Tories or Labour, Republicans or Democrats, with the left or the right etc. Whatever side one chooses means that the other side is fundamentally bad. These simplistic dichotomies are far from realistic and not useful models to describe what is going on in the world.
And that is exactly why politics loves them so much. Usually, people with an agenda do not want others to think about the world realistically. They want you to support their cause, or at the very least not oppose it. These simplistic models force people to take a side; they force the debate to not be about the issues, but only caricatures of the issues, and they divide people so that they cannot form an effective alliance against the people in power.
The ultimate polarising subject in politics is war. If ever there is a moment where people start to break out of the simplistic black and white view of politics that any government will want us to think in, there is nothing more effective than a war to bring people back to support the state. That is why Randolph Bourne called war the health of the state.
After 911, George W. Bush famously declared that “either you are with us or you are with the terrorists”. In other words, anyone who did not agree with his government’s policies was a terrorist sympathiser. Today, it is difficult to argue that at least some of his policies, like the invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq, were nothing short of a disasters, just like the alleged “terrorist sympathisers” had warned. So they were correct.
With that in mind, let us have a look at the current Ukraine war. As always we are told that this is a fight of good vs. evil. One has to pick a side. You are either with Putin, who is a modern day Hitler, or with Zelensky, who is the Churchill of our time. Some of the propaganda we have to endure is painfully comical.
I would argue that one does not have to take sides in this war. I would argue that it is totally sensible to dislike all governments involved in it. Here is my position.
I don’t have any sympathy for what Putin is doing in Ukraine. I generally do not have much faith that the world can be improved through violence. I am not a pacifist, I do believe that sometimes fighting might be justified and worth it, but that is not to say that the world will be improved through fighting. Fighting is always about how much will be lost in the end.
As such, I have no sympathy for the excessive violence that Putin is unleashing over Ukraine. There is no justification for it, period. Russia is not defending itself. Sure, I can see that Russia can feel threatened by NATO. I understand that western governments have provoked this war. But that does not take agency away from Russia. The problem with the argument that Russia is defending itself against NATO is that if Putin was really scared of NATO, he would have never started this war. If he thought that NATO could easily defeat Russia he would have not invaded Ukraine and therefore risk a confrontation with NATO. So the very fact that he is invading Ukraine shows that he does not really believe that Russia is in danger.
It very much looks like he invaded Ukraine out of the usual motives of gaining power and influence. In Putin’s calculation, NATO, and the whole west, is to weak to do anything about it at the moment. And I think he is correct in that calculation. Right now, his government holds all the jokers.
Economically, civilisation will collapse in parts of Europe if Russian oil and gas stops flowing. Germany’s industry would stop operating and the power supply would most likely collapse. Without power, there is no running water, no sanitation, no communication and a lot of supply chains cannot operate. Within a few days, it would become very unpleasant to life in any major city.
And Germany would drag down a lot of the rest of Europe with her, which is all interconnected. It is hilarious, but really quite sad, to watch that Europe thinks it can somehow sanction Russian resources at the moment. That would require a fundamental shift in energy policy first. In particular nuclear energy would need to be widely extended. That however takes years, probably at least a decade. And it would require a defeat of the devastating green religion that is destroying the west.
As things stand at the moment, anyone should be terrified of the prospect of what would happen if Russia herself decides to not deliver any more. And we haven’t even started to talk about food shortages in the world, which could literally kill millions in the poorer part of the planet by the end of this year.
Similarly, kicking Russia out of the Dollar system was not a smart move. Putin anticipated it. It showed the whole world that the US does not believe in the rule of law any more and that money is not safe in Dollars. It has most likely rung in the end of the Dollar system. The Rouble is now significantly stronger than it was before the invasion. In fact, it is probably the strongest currency in the world right now. On this particular issue I actually have some sympathies for what Russia is doing. The Dollar being the only reserve currency has got us far too close to a world government.
And then there is the war itself. I hear every day how poorly the Russians are doing and how Ukraine is very close to stick it to Putin. But is that true? It is difficult to know what is really going on. There is a lot of propaganda on all sides. It is certainly possible that I am missing something, but I cannot for the life of me find any evidence for Russia losing the war.
The major evidence for that is supposed to be that Putin has failed to conquer Kiev and western Ukraine. The problem with that argument is that I cannot find any evidence that that was ever the goal of Putin. I listened to the statements coming out of Russia and all I can find is that they were explicitly saying that they did not intend to occupy Ukraine and conquer Kiev. So the evidence that Ukraine is winning is based on the assumption that Russia did not achieve a goal that she explicitly said she did not have? What a weird way of reasoning.
Oh I know, Russia made a move on Kiev, so clearly they wanted to conquer it. We saw 60km of tanks lining up to take the city. But it looks more realistic that the move on Kiev was a classic military distraction. The goal was to divert Ukrainian troops to Kiev so that they cannot defend the east and south, which is what Russia really wanted to conquer. The reason why it looks like a distraction is, because Russia never was deploying nearly enough men to take a city that large. We haven’t even seen large bombardments of Kiev.
Russia has the second largest army in the world, and it is an experienced army that has fought many wars. Are you telling me that they do not know that their troop deployment is too small to take a city as large as Kiev? That seems like wishful thinking to me. It is very possible that they miscalculated Russian support in Ukraine and thought that the Ukrainians would simply surrender. There is some good evidence for that kind of miscalculation. However, that is very different from saying that the military is weak and can be defeated. Okay, the Ukrainians might have called that bluff and Russia backed of. The areas where the Russian military actually is fighting, however, are not doing well in pushing Putin’s army back.
The very fact that Russia could line up 60km of tanks without the Ukrainians doing much about it shows how weakened the Ukrainian military already was that early in the war. Russia at the moment seems to control the war completely, which is why they are taking their time. The Ukrainian army is unable to move around effectively, They do not have that many weapons left, nor can they get new supplies to the front. They don’t even seem to have much fuel left. The constant begging for support is not quite a show of strength. It really looks like that the Ukrainian army was defeated all the way back in March.
Russia is now in the process of demilitarising Ukraine, which is one of Putin’s stated goals. For that the Ukrainian army needs to be destroyed, either by them surrendering or by killing them all. That will take some time. Russia currently seems to be in the process of encircling the remaining troops in the east. Once that circle closes, which it will, it is either surrender or die for the Ukrainian troops. There really is not much hope for them.
I have no sympathy for people who are endangering lives because they do not want to deal with reality. All this encouragement that Ukraine should keep on fighting a lost war is really disgusting. Sure, while lost, the Ukrainians are still able to weaken Russia a bit. They can still kill some of their troops and of course, the longer Russia has to fight, the more it will cost her. But dragging the war out will not change the outcome in the end. And it is extremely costly for the Ukrainians. Thousands of lives are being sacrificed to weaken Russia just a bit. The people behind that policy clearly have no concern for Ukrainians lives. The Ukrainians are being used as pawns and cannon fodder. It is despicable.
Whose side am I on you ask, if I don’t support any government? I am on the side of the civilian population of Ukraine who are being used by all these governments. They do not have a voice. The government in Kiev has to force many of them to fight. Just one sign of how illiberal that government really is.
And the Zelensky regime really looks like a gang of thugs to me. I just mentioned that it has to force a lot of the men in Ukraine to fight for it. Zelensky must know by now that this war cannot be won. But he clearly does not care. He continues to send Ukrainian citizens to their death, just so that he can parrot Churchill’s “never surrender”. What a dangerously mad man. However, it might just be that he is held hostage by some extremist nationalists within the Ukrainian government and military. Putin might actually have a point when he talks about a nazi problem in Ukraine. It might not be a large part of the population, but nevertheless a very influential one.
Zelensky also does not tolerate any opposition to his government. He has closed opposing media outlets and is arresting people for critical comments on social media. Weirdly he is even bragging about it. He does not even stop at the Ukrainian border. He just asked the authorities in Spain to arrest a critical youtuber, Anatoly Shariy, and amazingly the Spanish state complied. Another sign of how illiberal the whole west has become. Europe is even trying to block Russian media to reach an audience in Europe. We don’t even have a pretext of freedom of speech any more. The Biden regime just literally established the Ministry of Truth.
The amount of propaganda and hypocrisy we are witnessing in this Ukraine war is mind boggling. All the governments involved are despicable as far as I can tell. I would not risk my life fighting for any of them. Sure, I agree, Russia is the main aggressor. But that does not mean that the best strategy is to fight, or worse, force people to fight. Fighting is extremely costly, and it is difficult to see what alleged good outcomes people are fighting for.
Everything should be done to stop the fighting. Instead, we are seeing a constant attempt to escalate the war. It is a scary situation where all sides seem to be slightly mad. With this type of leadership, the war could quickly escalate way beyond Ukraine. That would be a disaster of epic proportions. This is not the time to pick sides, this is the time to call out all the governments involved on their BS and advocate for peace instead.