I’ve been following the American media/politicians spin war on Twitter over the situation in Ukraine quite a bit and hadn’t gotten around to writing a blog post, so here goes.
First, Russia invading Ukraine was a full-scale invasion. Despite all the partisan takes on this, I read that as an attempt at regime change. There have been Trump talking heads pushing pro-Putin positions and the Biden White House staking out wrong positions about what was happening prior to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This incursion went past those two so-called breakaway territories, that Jen Psaki talked about in the WH’s policy-by spin-word-games effort. I wasn’t sure Putin would really go for it with a full-scale invasion, but he did and that poses a very immediate and dramatic challenge for the United States and our allies, not just in Europe, but around the world.
All those months of news with China and Russia turning into “preppers” had led me to believe they were planning a full-scale economic war, but I sort of thought they would try to take down the West via an aggressive economic war first before waging actual territorial wars. I was definitely wrong there.
I’m not going to get into all the politics today, beyond saying that one of the most disturbing aspects of the American response has been listening to American elected officials and top “experts, especially the media talking heads, many who have never picked up a book on military strategy or read anything on military history or military strategy become war-planning experts overnight. There are also many former military people who are now into politics, who jumped into the fray and are big media “influencers” beating their various war drums about what military options they think President Biden should take.
I began studying military strategy in my teens – it interests me a lot. I found this report in the loft of a garage/shed behind an old house my father was looking through. He was a supervisor for a road construction company and this old house was slated to be torn down, for a road job he was working on. I climbed the ladder to the loft and found a box with old papers and things, but this was the prize and from then on I have been hooked on studying military strategy:
I’ve believed for years many top US military and top policy officials are very weak on understanding military strategy and there’s a persistent view that permeates, where they leap into supporting the latest hot military option of the day that’s become the media buzz topic and urging that option without even thinking about the larger strategic implications. America has been entering military engagements since the 1990s based on reacting to public opinion and ideas promoted by crowds of these sort of DC insider policy thought leaders and not by seriously thinking about America’s national interests and long-term ramifications for American foreign policy. I’ve been worrying since the Somalia debacle in the early 1990s about American military strategy. By the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle last year, I was angry and very alarmed, not only about the incompetence, but also totally disgusted by all the lying from the Biden WH and coming from the Pentagon.
That brings me to what’s been on my mind a lot besides the horrific Russian aggression taking place in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis there, the looming economic hardships that will impact around the world and here in America. I’ve been very concerned how quickly many people jump into fashionable causes and engage in mindless gestures, believing they’re doing something important. Mindless performative political posturing has replaced carefully studying issues and making thoughtful judgments even among our elected leaders.
A whole lot of the people who were COVID masking zealots have now become Ukraine super fans – wrapping themselves in the Ukrainian flag and declaring their support for the courageous and unexpected heroic president of Ukraine, Volodomyr Zelensky. It’s been striking how his simple reported words, “I need ammunition, not a ride,” when offered US assistance getting out of Ukraine, inspired so many people around the world. We’ve become so accustomed to leaders of countries grabbing suitcases of cash and abandoning their countries when war breaks out, that a leader who stands and fights with his people touched a chord around the globe. Personal and moral courage are rare these days.
It’s fine to support Ukraine and it’s fine to be inspired by Zelensky, but so much of the media-driven public virtue-signaling and mass outpourings come with a very dark underside. Along with all the wrapping themselves in the Ukrainian flag type media-driven craze has come a very disturbing anti-Russian craze, with people rushing to disparage and destroy everything Russian.
The average Russian has about as much control over what their government is doing as we do here in America. While media talking heads were cheering bars pouring out Russian vodka and the ridiculous banning of Russian cats from some international cat competition. I believe in our government taking economic sanctions with real teeth, not in targeting ordinary Russian people or Russian cats, for crying out loud. I wish President Biden would stop importing oil from Russia and halt the Russia-brokered Iran deal his administration is working on, because these are real and powerful government sanctions. Picking on Russian cats isn’t.
There are so many wonderful things in every culture and their people, so it’s disturbing to see the same people who jumped on the bandwagon attacking Trump-supporters as Deplorables, then people on the right who didn’t agree with the Covid mandates and masking, rush to demonize Russians and everything Russian. People need to stop and think before rushing to virtue-signal.
While I support Ukraine in this war, I am American and the only flag I will ever march behind is the American flag. I also have spent a lot of time over the years reading American history and the American Revolutionary period has been my favorite era, although in the past couple years I’ve pushed the timeline back a bit and started reading more about the pre-Revolutionary era. The French and Indian War has taken my fancy, because I have direct ancestors who were on the frontier of that war in Pennsylvania. I want to read more books on that war. I started with this book:
Not sure how I missed reading more about this war, but it’s now on my must-read list of topics I want to learn more about. One of my German ancestors was tasked with forming a militia for the common defense when the American frontier moved westward in northeastern PA. Delaware (Lenape) Indians were pushed out of the area where I grew up. I had read some about this time period back in 1976 when I was a teenager. That year was the American Bicentennial, so people all over America were discovering their American roots. Some civic-minded people in my village put together a book:
That brings me to the photo at the top. It’s one of my most prized possessions – a truly lovely Russian teapot one of my sons brought back from Russia as a gift for me. I absolutely love this teapot and as you can see by my Matryoshka dolls in the photo above, I have a thing for other Russian things too. I stitched this cute Russian dolls piece a few years ago too:
Heck, I even have some Soviet-era propaganda posters. I’m fascinated by propaganda too:
Sorry, but not sorry, I am not getting rid of anything Russian in my home. People need to stop being so stupid and think more. Ignorance, reckless rage and mindlessly following media-driven frenzies are more dangerous than owning Russian items.