Bits and pieces and some politics too

Sometimes when I write blog posts, later I wonder how it might have been perceived in a totally different way than I intended. I was rather flippant about my Thanksgiving turkey purchase and to be clear I was thankful for the turkey and all the many blessings in my life. Having plenty of food in my home is a major blessing, that I am thankful for every day.

I froze a lot of extra turkey and even extra Thanksgiving side dishes, because I knew it was more than would get eaten in the days after Thanksgiving. I regularly freeze leftovers to reheat later for a quick dinner or lunch. Although I don’t care for turkey, it works fine in casseroles and soups as a substitute for chicken, so I will use it.

Now on to a few thoughts about politics and other topics. First up, the Jussie Smollett verdict came in last night and the jury found him guilty of 5 felony charges and not guilty of one felony charge. Smollett’s charges stem from a fake attack he staged, claiming he was attacked by white MAGA supporters. The verdict reaction in the media and professional pundits rushed to frame the verdict in ways most advantageous to their political viewpoint. On the left it was framing the verdict as bolstering the horrible Trump people and on the right it was framed as an indictment of prominent Dem politicians and liberal media, who bought Smollett’s alleged attack story as legit and never waivered in that belief, despite mounting evidence that Smollett staged that attack.

Smollett has been upstaged by the larger culture war and partisan political battle. The left is trying to change the subject away from Smollett’s guilty verdict and back to “systemic racism” themes, while the right is using it as justification to go through retweeting frenzies highlighting all the prominent Dems and media people who bought into and used Smollett’s story to pontificate about the terrible MAGA people.

After decades of watching this corrosive spin war, it’s safe to presume prominent Dems and media people will never apologize or admit they made a mistake in unquestioningly buying into Smollett’s story and a new Dem narrative will be framed shifting away from Smollett, while still demonizing MAGA people. And the fuming Trump-supporter punditry will keep railing about the liberal hypocrisy and dishonesty, but they’re howling into the wind when expecting liberal journalists and Dem pols to show contrition or even acknowledge they were wrong. Each side remains entrenched in this scorched earth spin information war, so on that front – SNAFU.

Now to the larger foreign affairs situation, where Ukraine is back in the American news. Russia has massed over 100,000 troops on the Ukraine border. Bizarrely, Tucker Carlson and some other right-leaning news orgs have gone out of their way praising Putin and sounding like they’re reciting Kremlin disinformation. There’s been some of the usual saber-rattling from various of the neo-cons, who never tire of beating their war drums, and among the left it’s been a jumbled mix of positions too.

President Biden held some awkward-looking tele-meeting with Putin. Then yesterday the Biden administration signaled their Ukraine policy, but it’s likely to be just like Afghanistan where most Congressional Republicans and the news media will act surprised by Biden’s breathless duplicity. I believe the Biden administration is trying to broker a deal with Russia, bargaining away part of Ukraine in exchange for Russian assurances they won’t go further. Here’s a tweet from a Cruz national security advisor yesterday:

While the Twitter foreign policy debate between the left and right centers on whether US troops or assets should be used to help Ukraine, that was never even a real consideration for the Biden foreign policy team, I believe. Their effort will most likely be just like how they deal with Iran and other countries hostile to the US and our interests – massive appeasement. If Ukraine turns out to be an even bigger debacle than the Afghanistan withdrawal, it should surprise no one.

So, if you’re arguing about US military involvement in Ukraine, I believe you’re behind the curve, as that’s not where the Biden administration foreign policy team was ever going and I believe they’ve already decided to pressure Ukraine to cede territory to Russia in exchange for a “peaceful” settlement to the hostilities with Russia. I expect the Biden Ukraine policy to be even more dishonorable, dishonest and downright unconscionable than the Afghanistan withdrawal. However, even if the outcome is, as I fear, their media narrative will be just like when John Kerry as Sec. of State brokered a deal with Iran to release captured American sailors.

Kerry preened:

“Intense U.S.-Iranian diplomacy led to the release early Wednesday of 10 American sailors captured by Iran after they strayed into its territorial waters, a smooth resolution to a potentially fraught incident that the Obama administration attributed to communications  channels established during negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

“We can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said. He thanked Iranian authorities for their “cooperation and quick response,” and said the sailors were treated well in the relatively short time they were held.

“These are situations which, as everybody here knows, have the ability, if not properly guided, to get out of control,” Kerry said in a speech at the National Defense University in Washington.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/01/13/intense-diplomacy-between-secretary-of-state-kerry-and-his-iranian-counterpart-to-secure-sailors-release/

Then Iran released demoralizing hostage videos, showing just what an incompetent fool John Kerry and his vaunted diplomacy really were:

The Biden foreign policy team is the same as the Obama foreign policy team.

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Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest

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