Published at 07:49 on 6 March 2022
Was This All Intentional?
We are starting to see rumours circulate about the West quietly shoveling aid at Ukraine in the months before the invasion. During this same time, of course, the government of Ukraine was seriously playing down the possibility of invasion. This begs the question: was it all a deliberate trap for Russia? Did the West want Russia to invade, so Russia would get bogged down and humiliated, and such did the West deliberately provoke the invasion?
First such questions are not unaskable. We are dealing with empires here. Would an empire be willing to sacrifice a whole nation upon the pyre of greater power? Of course it would. As I have observed before, all empires are evil.
However, just because in general a certain class of question is quite plausible to ask, does not automatically mean that an affirmative answer is the only possible one. In this case, the question is coming from an obscure web site I had never heard of before. More damningly, when I type in quotes from the alleged Washington Post article it refers to, there are no matches in the Washington Post. When it comes to this particular accusation, there is no there there.
More generally, suppose there was a conspiracy. It would be a fairly big operation. Lots of people in both the US and the Ukranian military would have to be involved in the transfer of aid. NATO partners might also have to be involved. Some of these people would lean left politically and be easily able to see the crass power calculus of it. Some would lean right politically and be easily able to see it from Putin’s side. Many would be Ukrainian, and their good old fashioned nationalism and concern for the friends and family they were putting at risk would get in the way.
The upshot is that there would be whistleblowers, and they would name names and cite facts in ways that made it clear their accusations were factual. Yet, there have been no whistleblowers. Absent that, therefore, the only logical conclusion is: no, this was not all orchestrated by the West.
Just because all empires are evil does not mean that all empires are equally or indiscernibly evil. The Russian position is that Ukraine has no right to choose its political system or its military alliances, because anything other than authoritarian protectorate within a Greater Russia is unacceptable. The NATO position is that Ukraine really should choose to be a Western-style liberal democracy and if it does is probably welcome to eventually become a member of its club.
One empire’s stance is distinctly better for the liberty of the people of Ukraine than the other empire’s stance. If you cannot realize that, you are simply not paying attention.
More practically, there is now a war on. The NATO countries, and those closest to NATO’s orbit, are the ones willing to furnish military aid to Ukraine. Nobody else is willing to do so in any significant amount. Ukraine desperately needs the aid in order to punish the Putin regime.
As such, yes, I will support NATO. Not because it’s NATO and NATO can do no wrong, but because in this case, NATO is on the right side of my own personal principles of greater freedom. The average NATO country is a much better place for liberty than the average country in Russia’s orbit. Again, if you can’t realize all of that, you are simply not paying attention.
Putin’s Phases of Grief
This latter one is telling. Even Putin is not thumping his chest and boasting about his army’s glorious victory. No, he is alternating in between ranting at the West for sanctioning Russia, and pleading with the West to pretty please stop sanctioning him. In other words, even Putin himself is publicly admitting that the sanctions are hitting him where it hurts.
Here are the five stages of grief:
Well, this is not taking long. Putin seems to be working his way through steps 2 and 3 in the process. Want Russia out of Ukraine? Keep calm, and stay the course.