Bluff and Bluster
A quick update from the ranch:
‘Carlos was murdered’, said our informant. ‘Because the Originarios want to take over the valley.’
Speaking to us behind closed doors, in a dusty storeroom:
‘His wife had hooked up with “Fat Mary”. She was going to move in next to them. They were building another house for her.
‘The only reason she’s not there now is because her son got struck by a car; he’s in the hospital in a coma. Otherwise, she’d already be living there…’
Our head swirled and ached. Too many issues to deal with. We doubt that Carlos was murdered. But we don’t know what happened.
This farm is like nothing we’ve ever had to deal with. We are meant to be judge, accountant, priest, social worker, engineer, banker — and yet, we have neither the authority, nor the expertise, to do any of these things.
The Originarios keep attacking, encroaching, squatting, building houses, stealing water, and rustling cattle…and more and more this looks like a battle we’ll lose.
Wars are hard to win; often, they’re not worth fighting.
During the Cold War, for example, a candidate for prime minister of Denmark came up with a novel and refreshing idea. He proposed to replace the entire defence budget with a single recording — ‘We surrender’ — in Russian.
But now we have another war. And our blood is up. This is no time to wave the white flag.
Here’s Ron Estes:
‘The international community has rarely been as united as it is today to apply sanctions against Russia for its invasion and occupation of sovereign Ukrainian territory.’
Oh yeah? The Financial Times reports:
‘Two weeks after Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa held a phone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. On the same day, European leaders meeting in Versailles warned democracy itself was at stake. Yet Ramaphosa struck a very different tone. “Thanking His Excellency President Vladimir Putin for taking my call today, so I could gain an understanding of the situation that was unfolding between Russia and Ukraine,” he wrote on Twitter. Ramaphosa, who has blamed Nato expansion for the war, said Putin “appreciated our balanced approach”.’
There’s nothing ‘balanced’ about the US approach…or its media accounts.
Ukraine and Russia have lived cheek by jowl for centuries…sharing a similar Slavic language…a similar culture…and very similar politics. Both were a part of the Soviet Union for 70 years…of which many leaders — Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, and Konstantin Chernenko — were Ukrainian, not Russian. So too were many of its jailers, its soldiers, and its executioners.
During the Second World War, when the Nazis invaded, many Ukrainians took the German side, collaborating with the Wehrmacht and even surpassing the SS in its viciousness towards the Jews.
But mirabile dictu…the Ukrainians have all been bleached white by the Western press. We see the photos of the ‘freedom fighters’…and their poor families, driven from their homes. We are invited to mourn the dead Ukrainians as if they were dear friends. But when we are told of Russian casualties, it is with a tone of delight. Ukrainian lives matter; Russian lives don’t.
There are good guys. And bad guys. Black and white. Saints and sinners.
We don’t wonder that the Russians are devils; the surprise is that the Ukrainians — who have so much in common with their Russian cousins — have all sprouted wings. It must be one of the most dramatic redemptions in history.
If there is another side to the story, you won’t find it in the US media. But what then is it that the rest of the world sees?
The Financial Times continues:
‘The South African president is not alone in pursuing a “balanced” position to the war. “We will not take sides. We will continue being neutral and help with whatever is possible,” Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro said after Russia invaded Ukraine. Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador also declined to join the sanctions being imposed on Russia. “We are not going to take any sort of economic reprisal because we want to have good relations with all the governments in the world,” he said. And, then, there is China: an increasingly close ally of Russia. The world’s second-largest economy has scrupulously declined to criticise the invasion of Ukraine.’
How come most of the world’s people — China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Brazil — are either on the other side…or neutral? How come they have refused to join the crusade? Even in the ‘West’ support for the US’s sanction war is more bluff and bluster than reality. Here’s Reality Check: ‘Is the European Union Really Standing with Ukraine?’
‘Europe’s purchase of Russian energy supplies since it invaded Ukraine: $38 billion
‘Amount of European Union aid to Ukraine to help it resist the Russian invasion: $1.09 billion.’
We have no insight into which side God is on…or whose victory would make the world a better place. We’d be just as happy to see both sides lose. Because Tolstoy was mostly right; war is a scam:
‘The Government and all those of the upper classes near the Government who live by other people’s work, need some means of dominating the workers, and find this means in the control of the army. Defense against foreign enemies is only an excuse. The German Government frightens its subjects about the Russians and the French; the French Government frightens its people about the Germans; the Russian Government frightens its people about the French and the Germans; and that is the way with all Governments…They stir up their own people and some foreign Government, and then pretend that for the well-being, or the defense, of their people they must declare war: which again brings profit only to generals, officers, officials, merchants, and, in general, to the rich. In reality war is an inevitable result of the existence of armies; and armies are only needed by Governments to dominate their own working classes.’
Tolstoy overlooks the great joy and pride the working classes get out of seeing their boys kick foreign butt. It brings them a psychic satisfaction that is hard to measure. And now, goaded by their ‘upper classes’, they cheer on the Ukrainians as if it were the hometown in the Super Bowl.
But war is no game. And the sanctions war is no more likely to end well than the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan.
More to come…
For The Daily Reckoning Australia