This post is going to be about how people view situations and where they get their information. In my blog post yesterday, which was about an American national security issue, I mentioned that I just recently moved from cable to streaming TV. My sister, who convinced me to try streaming, told me I would find news and other things to watch streaming that I don’t with my cable. I was thoroughly sick of the American news media and that includes liberal news media and FOX and right-wing news media. Along with the various big streaming services, she mentioned some free apps with news and other programming.
Last night I watched a Euro News broadcast. I found the coverage of the earthquake aftermath in Turkey and Syria very informative. I also watched an interview with the prime minister of Moldova, who explained the Russian efforts to destabilize her country. I hear a lot of Americans, who hold right-wing views, say things that sound like Russian propaganda and that worries me. I’ve heard this line about how “we shouldn’t poke the bear,” so many times that I automatically grit my teeth every time someone says that. While it’s true the West has expanded NATO and alliances close to Russia, at the same time Russia has been aggressively targeting its neighbors for years now, while America and our European allies paid mostly lip service to that aggression. Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.
While I don’t have a crystal ball, I feel we’re already on a path to a wider war, even though I still hope leaders can find ways to avoid that. I have believed for a few years now that China and Russia intend to challenge America’s global economic position and try to bump us to third place. I also, due to years of news reports on China and Russia, believe Russia wants to regain some of its territory from the Soviet era and that China is preparing for war. The news has reported on China’s activities in the South China Sea and toward Taiwan for years. What I wonder is how many Americans will just keep ranting about “don’t poke the bear” or “don’t mess with the dragon” and blame America for our adversaries aggression?
In WWII there were plenty of Americans who held this same attitude – until America was directly attacked. One thing I will say about aggression is appeasement and shows of weakness are actions. Every school yard bully knows how to read displays of weakness too and it does not deter a bully. In fact, usually it emboldens them.
I assume most Americans have no idea where Moldova is, but I won’t be surprised if Moldova is in the news more in the near future. Here’s a quote from that EuroNews interview with the prime minister of Moldova (the video is at the link):
“Russia is trying to destabilise Moldova by sponsoring protests and conducting cyber attacks, the country’s prime minister told Euronews on Tuesday.
“We are seeing elements of hybrid war. We are seeing, for example, pro-Russian forces trying to destabilise the country politically through paid protests which quickly subsided when the oligarchs that fled Moldova were put on the sanctions lists and their money flows were restricted,” Natalia Gavrilița said.
“We are seeing cyber attacks. We’ve had the biggest cyber attacks in 2022 in the history of our country, and we are seeing bomb threats.”https://www.euronews.com/my-europe/2023/02/07/russia-conducting-hybrid-war-in-moldova-with-protests-and-cyber-attacks-prime-minister
Somewhere down the road, in years, I expect historians might look back at this time and instead of wondering about “poking the bear” or “messing with the dragon,” they might be wondering how devastatingly weak the US looked with that Afghanistan withdrawal debacle and an incident like failing to take down an unmanned Chinese spy balloon, as it floated over the American heartland and our most sensitive military sites for a week. They might ponder again, how provocative weakness really is to countries with territorial aspirations on their minds