May 20, 2023

Addressing the Irrelevancies In a Knowledgable, Erudite Manner

Peter Zeihan is a smart guy. He has a profound understanding of global trade, the shipping industry and various factors that are generally overlooked by not only laymen, but policy makers. He is someone whom one should listen to as he has great insight into second and third order effects of various disruptions on global shipping that many would just call "Black Swans". Do follow him. 

However, he also frequently wears a man-bun.

And that is a warning sign, as can be seen in this video where he exudes a pitch perfect, high-pitched blue-county-sneer as he relates in fantastic, and knowledgeable detail the process of accession into NATO. 
He does this to explain that Russia cannot possibly feel threatened by NATO expansion because the process is democratic. 

While the process is a good one, I think that in this context the actual process is irrelevant. 

The Russians, especially the current Government (who are totalitarian assholes) do not care one whit about "process". Totalitarians care about results and the result of the process is that Nato has moved closer to Russia's border. Russians are, as a people, clinically paranoid. This stems from the fact that the history of Eastern Europe over the last thousand and a half years has been written in Slavic blood. 

The thugs who run Russia are especially paranoid because they live in constant fear of court intrigues. He takes the argument of the stupidest , 2-digit-IQ, Russia-simps ("Ukraine is a conspiracy run by gay-Jewish-NAZIs"1) to dismiss the concerns of a very large number of Americans. 

The idea that this situation couldn't have been handled better in any way is simply not defensible, and his dripping, Aristocratic contempt for those who do not support neo-lib foreign policy is poor form coming from a guy as well read and used to looking at all sides of an issue as Zeihan is. 

I say this as somebody who generally supports the idea of arming the Ukranians if they are willing to fight and who sees this as the closest we've come to an actual "Munich moment" since, well, 1938. 

I'm GLAD Europe is standing up to aggression in this case, but the people who are justifiably concerned about Russias 5,889 nuclear weapons are also the people who WILL NOT be talked down to anymore by the man-bun wearing laptoppers who, as a class, have made the world a far worse place for  working and middle class Americans. 

Zeihan is a smart guy, but his dripping contempt and strawmanning people's concerns risks the exact sort of backlash that led to the disengagement of the U.S.A. from the world in the 1930s and facilitated one of the worst wars in human history. 

There is GENUINE AND WELL FOUNDED CONCERN that the war and the immense human suffering it is causing is being extended by Western leaders who want to just take out Russia, rather than allow the Ukranians to negotiate.  Even Finland, which famously ground Stalin to a halt in the Winter War had to give up Corellia

Zeihan has made the case elsewhere that Russia sees this as a response to an existential threat and I find his reasoning on this to be sound. Given that postulate, as well as the obvious paranoia of Russia's executive branch ( I don't know what the situation in the Duma is) it is not unreasonable to suggest that we don't allow the sort of mission creep that causes us to go from propping up the Ukraine to "Bear Baiting" when the bear has almost 6,000 nukes. 

Few things are more dangerous than a wounded bear that feels it is cornered. 

There's a lot of blame to go around regarding how we got here because we started on this course back in the late '90s. However, lacking a Tardis or Time Tunnel, we must deal with the world as it is and not let the pencil pushers in Foggy Bottom and Brussels start World War Three.

It's probably an equally bad idea to piss off and scare Middle America so bad that the U.S. Government is forced to abandon Ukraine and bring Russia to the Polish and Romanian frontiers. 

A sneer is not an argument. 

1: Yes...that is an actual argument that some people are making because the world is stupid. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 09:24 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 Zeihan is quite knowledgeable, but he has huge blind spotss on the causes of this war that he shouldn't have given his knowledge. I will say, however, that his talks, among others, about the causes of the 90s collapse of the USSR and their dependency on petroleum/nat gas exports opened my eyes to the real causes and explains a lot of other things that have happened.
Short form, the Sovet Union had been floating their economy on oil exports to the West for a while. In the early 90s, the price of oil collapsed and the USSR economy imploded due to lack of foreign currency. Flash forward to today and Russia is even more of a petrostate than the USSR was. Now about a decade or so ago it bacame public knowledge that 3 of the world's largest completely untapped Nat Gas reserves were in places named Crimea (off shore), Donetsk to Belarus, and the Carpatian Mountains. If those fields came online, it would displace most of the Russian NatGas going to Europe, causing a replay of the 90s in Russia. As evidence, when Putin took Cirmea and Donetsk in 2014, ALL the infrastructure that was built to tap these supplies were destroyed or repurposed. Putin didn't even want to steal it.
Now, for bonus points, this puts a hiuuge spin on US domestic politics as well. What do you think the Bidens, Clintons, and many many other US political dynasties were going after in Ukraine. When Putin invaded in 2014, he blocked them from skimming Billions off the top of the NatGas revenues. That's why we've had a so-called Russain hiding behind every thing that could possibly be blamed on them since and they became enemy #1 for many of our elites.

Posted by: StargazerA5 at Sat May 20 22:06:07 2023 (zmt6b)

Posted by: www at Mon May 22 23:26:53 2023 (56I/q)

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