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To Putin, Ukraine is his Taiwan

By Trisha De Borchgrave

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin’s obsession with Taiwan and Ukraine (and their egos) collectively threaten to spark a nuclear war.

China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have been relatively successful in their long-standing mission to centralise institutions, laws, and technologies in ways that maximize their political power and limit individual freedoms. But their one failure so far has been to secure the biggest object of their desire, the breakaway territories of Taiwan for Xi, and Ukraine for “P.”

In light of Russia’s recent military build-up near the Ukrainian border, one can almost imagine Xi Zooming with P a few months ago and saying, “Hey, this arms build-up around Taiwan is working for us, why not try it around Ukraine?”

Nothing unites these two autocrats more than the way their shared vision of national greatness is being undermined by the neuralgic sting of humiliation. As heads of former dominant regional powers, it is a rejection that they take personally.

Macho men never get over being jilted. Women who leave their husbands for no reason other than wanting to find their happier selves can often trigger a wave of embarrassment, hurt, and indignity in their exes. A former spouse’s newfound ability to live her own life is a constant reminder of their failure to sustain or re-create the union that was so central to their self-identity.

For Xi and P, the disintegration of their countries’ territorial integrity – the loss of Ukraine for Putin and of Taiwan for Xi – threatens to undermine their credibility.

For Xi and P, the disintegration of their countries’ territorial integrity – the loss of Ukraine for Putin and of Taiwan for Xi – threatens to undermine their credibility. Their “exes,” therefore, must have been unfairly taken away from them; Putin even goes so far as to say that Ukraine “has no right to exist.”

Russia’s investment into its build-up of forces near its border with Ukraine could reach 175,000 troops over the next few weeks, plus tanks, artillery, and equipment. For its part, China has undertaken a twenty-five-year military expansion around the Taiwan Straits, which includes precision missiles, fighter jets, a fleet of 360 warships, and nuclear submarines in the making. Each makes it clear to their opponents that, if challenged in their objective of an eventual reunion, there could be the risk of a nuke-driven world war.

As with the most painful family break-ups, this behaviour sucks all those around them into their soul-sapping and life-wasting meddling, whether it is the need to counteract Russian efforts to leverage European gas pipelines to weaken Ukraine, or America’s and Japan’s efforts to deter China’s intrusions into Taiwan’s air space. Everything becomes a zero-win struggle to try to assuage Russia’s and China’s feelings of being wronged and to deter their counterproductive plans to rewrite the past and shape the future.

This brinkmanship forces western allies into a relationship of strategic ambiguity with the “renegades,” by providing them, in an incremental game of grandmother’s footsteps, with military training, equipment, economic support, and diplomatic engagement that in 2021 approximated $450 million of American security assistance to Ukraine. Bipartisan approval in the US Congress will spend up to a yearly $2 billion on Taiwan.

In the battle to re-establish their country’s collective identity and thereby cement their name in perpetuity, Russia’s financial investment in fire and manpower on the Ukrainian border is a small price to pay if it becomes another step to its long-term goal. It has also amassed a $620 billion war chest to reinstate Putin’s spousal rights and global relevance.

 

Trisha de Borchgrave is a writer and artist based in London. For more see: www.trishadeborchgrave.com, and follow her on www.twitter.com/TrishdeB and on Instagram as intelligent_food

 

 

This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.

 

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66 comments

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  1. Jack Cade

    Ukraine is America’s Taiwan…

  2. Sully

    I am so over being told that Russia’s actions in Ukraine are somehow linked to what China will do with Taiwan.
    It is about time the pro-Taiwan Lobby realised that the place has nothing to do with Australia, that talking up a war with China is very dangerous and stupid.
    We owe Taiwan nothing, it is merely a place occupied by the defeated Chinese forces after the Civil War,
    The Taiwanese locals had no say at that time.

  3. leefe

    I am so over people constantly ignoring the (USA-led) NATO provocation involved in the Ukrainian situation.

  4. Phil Pryor

    Fact or fantasy, filmy froth or forceful fabrication? Tune in next week when this lady’s rent is due…

  5. Thomas Brookes

    Im no fan of either of these pair (or Biden for that matter) but Putin has continually stated that he does not want Ukraine to join NATO and then risk having NATO nuclear missiles stationed right on his door step. Putin publicly stated he just wanted an undertaking as per the multiple agreements made decades ago. NATO and the US refused to give that undertaking.

    To illustrate the US hypocrisy in this, one only has to go back in history to the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was a confrontation in 1962 between the United States and the Soviet Union which escalated into an international crisis when American deployments of missiles in Italy and Turkey and aimed at Russia, were matched by Soviet deployments of similar ballistic missiles in Cuba. The US announced it would not permit offensive weapons to be delivered to Cuba and demanded that the weapons already in Cuba be dismantled and returned to the Soviet Union and enforced this with a naval blockade of Cuba.

    As usual the US led propaganda machine is winning the war and stupid Australia, always brown nosing the US, is in lockstep.

    Xi Jiping, Putin and Biden are as usual playing brinkmanship with all our futures in the game of world domination.

  6. Canguro

    So, everyone’s an expert these days, and entitled to give their two bob’s worth on whatever the topic de jour happens to be? A British food writer cum artist’s opinion on the complexity of Russian & Chinese politics is as good as any professional Sinologist or keen long-term observers of the the far-eastern mass of the European quarter. What’s next? I can’t wait to find out.

    The so-called democratisation of free speech enabled by the emergence of the internet over the last thirty/forty years (and yes, I recognise the irony of my own words, given the tenor of my response here) seems to have given every Tom, Dick & Harry free rein to spout & spruik, no matter the degree of ignorance and misunderstanding underlying the oh-so-serious pronouncements.

    Brave New World, my arse. More of a devolution into a world of fools and idiots, tromping over the gardens of good sense and considered views.

    Credit to her though, for her capacity to conflate the long-term strategic visions of these two political leaders with marriage breakups and feelings of jilt. Most imaginative. I expect she’s a whiz in the kitchen.

  7. Michael Taylor

    Canguro,

    Food writer, travel agent or meteorologist… we are all entitled to our opinions on any matter, which is what this piece is: an opinion.

    We are all entitled to them. And we know that not everyone is going to agree with us.

    BTW, I love your new gravatar (which is a fact and and an opinion). We had a sheep dog on the farm on Kangaroo Island who was a mirror image. Gorgeous.

  8. Jack Cade

    All I know about Ukraine is that
    – the sainted Obama sponsored a coup there in 2014:
    – Its government has, in its bosom, a fully-fledged Nazi Party, swaskitas and all: – It has borders with Russia and has lined its borders with US arms and some US troops as well as US satraps’ representatives.
    – It apparently stands in the way of an energy pipeline from Russia into Europe that the United States doesn’t like because it’s product is cheaper than their equivalent.
    All I know about Putin is that
    – he is a nasty piece of work
    – he and his cronies have plundered Russia as and stashed the loot in London. – he has restored the Russian self-image to what it was during the Cold War.
    – He knows how to get up Uncle Sam’s nose big time.
    In contrast to the Western media in general and the US and UK media in particular, I really don’t give a toss about the Ukraine, or Russia. My virulent anti-US- empire instincts tell me its another ruse by the US military-industrial czars (apposite word) to promote SOMEWHERE they can test and sell their products. They drew a blank promoting conflict with North Korea: Venezuela gave them the finger; Iran scares them shitless: ditto China: Chile just revealed another crack in their South America wall, and while they tell their people that Russians are communists – relying on the fact that their education standards are such that you can get a Ph. D. simply by being good at one or other of two sports and signing your own name in joined -up writing – the truth is Putin is exactly the sort of capitalist that America spawns and reveres. Plus, Russia is a staunchly Christian country.
    But what do I know?
    Fuck all, actually.

  9. Michael Taylor

    Jack, all I know is that it’s truly fucked.

    If ever I needed a feed of chips from the Red Lobster Cafe in Liverpool, today’s the day. I’m sure you know the place.

  10. john ocallaghan

    I had an argument with my Grandmother when i was 16,and now I’ve been breaking into nursing homes stealing Grannies knickers off the line……. After any argument with my wife i keep trying to join the Army so i can overseas and kill people……………….Gee it’s getting pretty bad when i start meeting up with Aliens begging them to take me to the Planet Gagajoojoobooboo because im scared witless that that naughty Mr Putin and Mr XI are going to blow up the bloody planet………….But Hey! after reading this latest load of horse shit from another souped up over educated academic pastry cook i dont feel too bad at all now…… in fact i might just take that holiday to China and Russia I’ve been planning for!….Oh and make sure i bi-pass the US.

  11. wam

    the taiwanese were swamped by millions of refugees in 49 and have suffered ever since but they are no nato backed ukraine and to suggest such is a long bow indeed. putin and kennedy are equals in threats but deeds is the bay of pigs more acceptable???
    ps
    well you got me, michael, I was thinking poms???
    https://openmenu.com/restaurant/20d97524-15bb-11e0-b40e-0018512e6b26

  12. paul walter

    Jack Cade, GOOD writing.

    The coverage has been saturation and imbeclic.

  13. Harry Lime

    History teaches us that we learn nothing from history.If we fail to learn from our mistakes, we are condemned to repeating them,etc..etc. etc.

    Wake me when this nightmare is over.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Wrong Red Lobster Café, wam, and wrong Liverpool. The one Jack (a fellow Port man) might know is the one from his home town, Liverpool, UK. 😀

  15. B Sullivan

    Of course none of this could have happened if the Soviet Union’s request to be a member state of the NATO alliance at the end of WWII had been granted. Which wasn’t a lot to ask for considering it was the nation most responsible for destroying the Nazi master-race’s plans for a New World Order.

    And what would be the reaction of the US if a state of the Union declared itself a sovereign nation? The last time that happened they waged a brutal war to bring the offending democratic sovereign nations back under the control of the Union. And then they had the nerve to pretend that the pretext for that war wasn’t about oppressing former members to reunite but was instead a just and righteous war against slavery. As if black lives ever mattered back then in the United States that had already had four score and seven years to do something about that particular injustice.

    What if WA unilaterally repaired its relationship with China and seceded from Australia after a popular referendum to establish its own national sovereignty? Would Morrison and the rest of Australian respect that? Mind you, their reaction would depend entirely on the will of the United States. They call the tune and Australia dances to it. Perhaps they would tolerate it for a while, but what if the Chinese were invited to establish military bases in WA or a Chinese supported Western Australian army was waging a war with “Australian separatists” who could argue that Albany had been part of New South Wales when it was founded a year before the Swan River Settlement of Perth was established and should therefore be returned to Australia?

  16. Jack Cade

    B Sullivan Some people suggest that Hawaii bridles at being a US state. Most of its workforce (and I have only gleaned this from second hand reports) are lowly-paid and the jobs connected to the US military. Many, perhaps most, Hawaiians are said to be resentful. From OUR distance we OUGHT to be able to see – very clearly – how this situation in Ukraine has arisen. But Murdoch and his bought-and -sold LNP serfs obscures the fact that the USA is at the heart of most – not all – world problems. Look at a map of US bases in the world and decide for yourself what the US itself would do if it had ‘hostile’ bases surrounding it, as Russia and China, Iran and North Korea have. None of the foregoing should be assumed as being me supporting Putin, but it is what I see as reality. At the core of it is that Russia has a sellable asset that challenges US market opportunities. It’s as simple as that.
    America funded the resistance to Russian occupation of Afghanistan by providing money and weaponry to what became the Taliban simply because Russian occupation meant that it’s ‘communist’ influence bordered the US- client (probably failed) state of Pakistan. We all know, now, what a masterstroke that proved to be for Uncle Sam.
    Ukraine – to me – is not a freedom-fighting small country being bullied by Russia any more than Venezuela is a suppressive regime endangering the welfare of the paradise intended for Central and South America by the benign and munificent influence of the USA.
    If Mexico allowed its Northern border, and Canada it’s Southern border, to be patrolled by Russian, Chinese, Iranian, Venezuelan or North Korean troops and bases, and all of the Caribbean islands peppered with foreign weapons aimed at US cities, then the US people might almost begin to understand what has prompted Russia’s presumed decision to try to push hostile borders west.

  17. Jack Cade

    Michael Taylor Yes, I knew that you meant the establishment in Ranelagh street in the ‘Pool. I was a child of the streets and would not have done more than look in the windows of a Red Lobster…To me, fish and chips lost it’s allure when they stopped them being fried in animal fats and wrapped in the no doubt bacteria-laden Liverpool Echo. But I understand your lusting after the Red Lobster’s menu.
    On the Port front, I’m appalled at Gav’s lad going to Essendon…
    Keep up the good work, AIMN!

  18. New England Cocky

    @Jack Cade, leefe, Michael Taylor et al. This link to SMHgives some idea of what is occurring, but lacks the historic comment about deception by the USA (United States of Apartheid) deciding to abandon the Minsk Proposal, then claiming that it was thew Russinas all the tie who were in breach. [Sounds like the Australian COALition tactics].

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/the-ukraine-crisis-explained-in-three-maps-20220223-p59yyh.html?fbclid=IwAR2UGaKBTOnnRuAGc-e7grtqkqKxJBl2MjOURILNOOn8_9rDn3JJ3seJIYo

    The Guardian reports:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/feb/23/putin-narrative-ukraine-master-key-crisis-nato-expansionism-frozen-conflict?utm_term=6216d896452db0f1c927a290d24e1d96&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayAUS&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=GTAU_email&fbclid=IwAR3ycvUJQIcRiPHXAyqVKs-hV_9_9cByQ8tFAOoWxXxHymWUzlqkrmYE4DI

    Meanwhile the objective Pearls & Irritations gets into the detailed history:

    Ukraine shrinks again

  19. leefe

    All I know for sure with this one is that it’s a very complex situation, and asking for simple solutions to complex problems is setting yourself up for failure.

    The Nazi claims … the Ukraine has no more than any other country – including Russia & the US – and yet their elections are freer and fairer than those in Russia, and they elected a Jewish president.

    The more I try to learn about and understand the situation, the more complicated it seems to get.

  20. A Commentaror

    Sometimes conflict isn’t complicated, and it seems there are plenty wanting to look for a “complication” excuse because they have no wish to side with the US and NATO.
    1. Putin is a expansionist fascist dictator and a murderer of his opponents His domestic policies would be intolerable in any western democracy.
    2. Sometimes dictators are just evil, and take advantage of a perceived opportunity, or perceived weakness in their opponents. That’s Putin.
    3. Putin is the international equivalent of a wife beater. He looks for an excuse for his vanity, his perceived lack of respect, that things aren’t as he wants. There is no excuse for bullying domestic violence, stop using those tactics to excuse bullying international violence

  21. Kaye Lee

    A Commentaror,

    I agree with all that. But knowing that is what Putin is like, why didn’t NATO rule out letting the Ukraine join?

  22. A Commentaror

    Since 2014 it has been quite clear that Ukraine wishes to face west rather than east.
    And we can reasonably understand that their foreign policy orientation is a matter for them. While noting that they haven’t joined NATO.
    But in any event, the actions of Putin’s Russia cannot be excused. Although it seems many are trying
    Do they understand that their position is aligning with Trump?

  23. Michael Taylor

    You won’t hear me cheer on Putin. The man is a dangerous, maniacal thug. On the other side of the coin I’m not a big fan of the USA’s foreign policies, either. More thuggery.

    And speaking of Trump, he has reached peak idiocy thanks to Fox News giving him a platform to boast that Russia wouldn’t have invaded the Ukraine if he was still POTUS.

    On a lighter note, I was amused at someone’s tweet that Putin has won the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election.

  24. Phil Pryor

    A “Commentaror” does not have any grasp of this, and ignores known historical facts. A bunch of nazi types has caused deliberate disruption to diplomacy since 2014, and Russians within Ukraine, of which there are c. 22% of the total population, have been intimidated and murdered, about 14,000. They hate it, and needed a protector. For over one thousand years, there has not been a Ukraine as a separate defined nation, until recent times. Central and east Europe is full of minorities, impossible borders, basic problems never solved. Either Russian people within current borders must move, borders must move or smaller self-contained independent regions must be established. Only real diplomacy can hope to solve this. Donets is a worse exercise in consideration than was the Polish Corridor, or the Sudetenland, or Alsace Lorraine, or Basque country, etc, etc. What has happened now is heartbreaking to so many innocents, and no Bismarck, Woodrow Wilson, even a George Kennan is around…so, if Ukraine is to “face west”, it can, one day, with clear defined safe borders, and no planet threatening NATO weapons, USA driven, in place to cause the death of us all. Never forget the Monroe Doctrine, Cuba in 1963, the past…

  25. Kaye Lee

    Commentaror,

    What do you think of the argument raised on Pearls and Irritations that NEC linked to before….

    “Ukraine applied for NATO membership in 2008 and George Bush Jnr supported its request.

    Since Ukraine is a bulwark between Russia and NATO Europe, its refusal to commit to being a neutral country like Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Austria, and Cyprus (each of whom belong to the EU, but not NATO) looks now to have consigned it to being a client state of Russia like Belarus.

    The US and NATO refused to commit to defending Ukraine yet let the issue of NATO membership fester for 14 years. Also, Ukraine never gave the two eastern provinces (parts of which broke away) the self-governing autonomy they were promised in the Minsk Agreements.”

    It should have been easy to outsmart Putin by guaranteeing the neutral buffer zone but the US like the intimidation route as much as Putin does. Playing hairy-chested with Putin is pointless – he likes it. They should have taken the wind out of his sails before he started misbehaving by taking away the toys he was fighting over.

    But no. The world is run by men who want to look tough.

    Everyone thinks Xi will use this to invade Taiwan. Personally I think he might be smart enough to use this to appear the more reasonable of the two and play it to his advantage.

  26. A Commentaror

    More from those giving comfort to the Trump narrative .
    Were all the members of the legislature – Nazis?
    “the parliament declared that Yanukovych was relieved of duty in a 328-to-0 vote (out of the Rada’s 450)”
    And just critique this, and point out the deficiencies https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolution_of_Dignity
    But I’m not so keen on superpowers, but if we have them, I’m glad one is a western democracy.
    I’d prefer not to have a world where spheres of influence are determined by Putin and the CCP.
    People should try not to excuse the behaviour of the international equivalent of a wife beater

  27. Henry Rodrigues

    A Commentator…… My sentiments exactly. I am a realist and choosing to side with a western democracy, however unsuitable and at times unpalatable, over a brutal one party, one man dictatorship is my choice too. The argument that if only Ukraine and the west gave Putin what he wanted that would have prevented him being nasty, is stupid. He was, is and will always be a nasty surrounded by weak willed supplicants who care nothing about the rest of the world except their place around Putin’s dinner table. He didn’t achieve his present position of power by being ‘nice’.

    Which is why we live here and not Putin’s Russia of Xi’s China.

    This does not detract one iota from my opinions about the state of democracy in Australia or the influence of the corrupt media which perpetuates political parties like the Liberal and Nationals. Looking at and listening to mugs like Scummo and his stalker Dutto, validates that view.

  28. Jack Cade

    Masha Gessen, a Russian-American journalist and trenchant critic of Putin, writing in the New Yorker, says the root cause of this is the US-NATO attacks in 1999 in the Balkans. They were aimed at separating Kosovo from Serbia, and were technically illegal because the UN was not consulted. Russia – seen as weak and ineffectual after the dissolution of the USSR – was not told that the Balkan air raids were going to occur and was hugely insulted because Putin considered – and still does – that the old USSR members were part of the Russian Empire and all the lost parts of it are still targets to be restored. He, Putin, considers that the Balkans exercise set the benchmark which he is following. He considers that the Ukraine – like Kosovo – is a failed state and that he is entitled to defend Russian borders and interests against a weakening USA and NATO, which has gradually surrounded Russia over the last quarter-century by signing up the Baltic states. NATO moving East breached agreements and so he considers the 1999 illegal raids on Serbia give him the right to move into Ukraine. Some NATO states are lukewarm about defending Ukraine, given the horrendous potential.
    I hope that all makes sense.

  29. A Commentaror

    To me, the excuses for Putin invading Ukraine re lame.
    * “Failed state” , how & why?
    * Serbia – 23 years after the event?
    No, looking for reasons to excuse Putin playing to the Trump songbook.
    There is no excuse for a wife beater, or Putin.

  30. Jack Cade

    A commentator

    I was merely reporting what an anti-Putin commentator said, not endorsing his opinion.
    Mind you, It’s not the worst excuse ever used for starting a war.

  31. A Commentaror

    Too many are feeding the Trump narrative

  32. Phil Pryor

    Inaccuracy occurs here, mischief may be done, but, all opinions may well be heard and considered, if supported. Jack Cade quoted a Gessen article, full of shrewd and basically relevant observation. The USA has abused and flouted UNO regulation and law, many times, using NATO, allies, bases, hidden money and arms, anything to be wilful and achieve some rotten goal. The USA will spend and sacrifice people in Ukraine, Australia (Pine Gap), Taiwan, anywhere, as outposts, pickets, skirmishers, sacrificial lambs. Nothing will alter that, regardless of opinions of Putin, Trump, whoever.

  33. Jack Cade

    NEC

    That is an interesting link.
    I have no interest in the Ukraine, but Putin may have miscalculated here and he’s forced us all
    to care .
    Although it appears to be the result – as usual – of Uncle Sam’s clandestine and sometimes open machinations, most of us deplore a large state bullying a small state, and Putin may have forced the USA to consider doing what Churchill cynically suggested, that is, ‘the right thing after all else has failed.’
    After all, It’s long overdue for the US to do the right thing. But is the right thing justified in defence of an undeserving state, which that NYC article suggests Ukraine may well be? This is one event where all opinions are probably legitimate.

  34. Jack Cade

    NATO was forged by the USA as a buffer against Russia. I doubt that the Americans had any interest in defending Europe so much as using its member states to keep Stalin at more than arms length from threatening the USA. That’s all it was meant to be. Not defence of Europe. Before glasnost, Russia had the USSR as its own buffer against the US bases in NATO. They are now NATO members. What the Baltic States were then is what Ukraine now is. Putin’s acts and intentions are not admirable or even defensible, unless, of course, you are Russian. The paradox is that Putin is admired, in the West, by the extreme right and the extreme left. Deplored by everybody in between.

  35. Michael Taylor

    GL,

    I heard on a U.S. show the other night that there were fears that Putin might turn his sights towards Poland once the Ukraine is his.

    With his military threat to Finland and Sweden if they were to join NATO, perhaps the intel about Poland was on the money.

    BTW, do you remember Trump wanting the U.S. to pull out of NATO to appease Putin?

  36. corvusboreus

    MT,
    Poland has cause to be worried, Lithuania doubly so.
    I recommend a quick search of both “Kaliningrad Oblast” (formerly Konigsberg) and the “Suwalki corridor”.

    There is recent historical precedent (1939) of issues of access to this region being used as a pretext for military invasion.

  37. Michael Taylor

    Thanks, cb. I’ll Google that later.

    For an insight into what is likely to happen tomorrow it’s always worth having a look at what happened yesterday.

  38. Terence Mills

    CB Article Five of the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in 1949 requires that an armed attack against one NATO member be considered an attack against them all. They agree that each of them will assist the parties attacked by taking any action deemed necessary, including the use of armed force. Ukraine, as noted earlier, is not a member of NATO so at this stage NATO cannot act as a single force but any move against a NATO member would be WWIII and Russia know this and are unlikely to invade Poland (or Lithuania).

  39. corvusboreus

    Terrence,
    Yes, NATO statedly runs on 3 musketeer principles, however…

    The driving force and binding military glue of NATO (USofA) is nowadays a disfunctionally dichotomous division of electoral populace within the increasingly disunited states.
    The next largest NATO member (UK) has brexited away from any active European engagement.
    The largest European NATO component is Germany, and the Bundeswehr is about 1/2 the size of the Ukrainian army.
    France, with a relatively powerful military powerful & nuclear capability, dropped out of NATO in the sixties.
    The rest of the NATO member states are peripheral in significance in terms of power or influence.

    I am not saying that an invasion of Poland or Lithuania is either inevitable or directly imminent.
    Putin will want a successful Ukraine conclusion, and accompanying evidence of international compliance/impotence (esp re NATO) before attempting to push any further afield.

    I am saying that, if I lived in either southern Lithuania or northern Poland, I would be watching unfolding current events with increasing trepidation.
    More so Lithuania: they are much more vulnerable, and a military annexation of their territory would likely be far less risky/controversial.

  40. Michael Taylor

    Terry, he’s certainly holding Sweden and Finland over a barrel.

    If they join NATO he’s threatened military action. That would be a huge mistake (for Russia).

    If they don’t join NATO he could invade them anyway.

  41. corvusboreus

    A complete history of the Soviet Union through the eyes of a humble worker (arranged to the melody of Tetris) https://youtu.be/hWTFG3J1CP8

  42. corvusboreus

    The first world war was fought over the division of colonies.

    The second world war was fought over ascendence of ideologies.

    The upcoming third world war will be fought to determine dibs over the emerging last remnants of resource frontiers (especially Antarctica).

    Beyond that, it’s likely back to localised tribes desperately scrapping over the final remaining scraps.

    Goodnight all.

  43. GL

    The vile cretin Steve Bannon reckons Ukraine is –

    Putin Invaded Ukraine, and Steve Bannon Says That’s a Good Reason to Impeach Biden

    I wonder how much cash (in offshore accounts of course) he gets from Putin and cronies to spout such utter shit.

  44. Michael Taylor

    GL, he has always been considered a dangerous person and his latest rant shows just how dangerous he can really be. But he’s not alone: Trump, Trump followers, the GOP and Fox News are all in step with him.

    Trump followers are quite stupid, btw. I was “attacked” by one on Twitter a couple of years ago when Trump was making noises about pulling out of NATO. This genius jumped down my throat saying that America is sick of contributing to NATO while Australia just sits there and takes handouts. I suggested to said genius that he might like to look at what the “NA” stands for in NATO, then consult an atlas to see where Australia is.

  45. Kaye Lee

    Matt Canavan appeared on Steve Bannon’s podcasts twice last year, as did Alex Antic. George Christensen did an interview with Alex Jones. No rebuke from our tough guy PM.

  46. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, I cannot think of any other PM who would have tolerated that.

    But then, I cannot recall of any other PM who supported conspiracy organisations like QAnon.

  47. GL

    And we must not forget that he is brown trousers frightened that annoying/pissing them off could severely threaten to wreck his holding on to his one seat gubmint. Scummo is at heart a craven coward.

  48. corvusboreus

    One analysis of recent events on the Ukraine front and their possible implications (contains reference to a few developments i was hitherto unaware of).

  49. Henry Rodrigues

    corvusboreus….. great analysis of the quagmire Putin is digging for himself. Little ‘David’ Zelensky has shown that it is possible to literally slay the dastardly dragon. The Russian people and their armed forces, those who are truly patriotic to mother Russia and not just Putin and his claque of creeps, now have the reason and the motivation to get rid of this plague on their society and restore the respect that their great thinkers and writers gave them. Tolstoy must be weeping in his grave.

    I heard the Trump is now backtracking from his fulsome praise. But then Trump is a unprincipled bastard, who only wants to be seen on the winning side.

    Same goes for Scummo, offering lethal weapons when he refused to earlier. I still won’t vote for him.

    Thanks for passing on the video.

  50. A Commentaror

    Putin is an expansionist, fascist, immensely rich, brutal dictator.
    He murders his opponents, he makes homosexuality illegal, he invades Ukraine.
    But here are so many that try to find excuses for him

  51. Michael Taylor

    But here there are so many who do not.

  52. corvusboreus

    Henry,
    That rednek in a trucker cap?
    Yeah, melikes Beau, he makes the effort to read the manuals, check the loading and ensure the ducks are fully aligned before letting fly.
    This is one he posted re the anti-vax/mask mob misappropriating the standard of Sophie Scholl’s anti-nazi white rose movement for their own ends:

    Re scomo’s straya promising to throw funds towards ‘lethal aid’ (aka arms shipments), i personally wish our government had restrictively disciplined it’s contribution towards practical forms of humanitarian help.
    Offering sorely needed medical trauma kits and other emergency supplies for the innocently afflicted rather than gifting molotov fuel vouchers to help feed the flames.

    In cynical political reality, hyperbolicly inflammatory rhetoric and a sense of participation in violent armed conflict (however vicarious) generally have a certain ‘rally-round-the-incumbent-flag’ appeal to the more chest-thumpy testo-adrenaline prone sections of the electoral demographic.

  53. A Commentaror

    I’ve seen comments that call the 2014 vote of the Ukraine legislature to remove the former president (by 380 to 0) a “coup”
    Or they blame neo Nazis
    Or contextualise/exaggerate the threat of NATO
    Or try to compare this violent invasion of Ukraine to the Cuban missile crisis of 60 years ago
    There are various examples, and clearly some just can’t bring themselves to accept that an opponent of NATO and the USA is so completely wrong
    They give support to a (rich) expansionist fascist
    And that’s why I’ve provided a few comments

  54. Michael Taylor

    Is that all you see?

    You must have skipped the comments that were agreeing with you, or those that expressed a hatred of Putin.

  55. A Commentaror

    I didn’t say that’s all I see. There are plenty of well informed, well intentioned comments.
    But I’ve posted my comments because I don’t think those that are giving comfort to the Trump narrative and a fascist dictator are sufficiently pushed

  56. corvusboreus

    I think most commenters on this site recognize (to varying extent) the existent moral-ethical relativisms underpinning international geopolitics.
    “A high-stakes poker game where everyone at the table is cheating”.

    Do i entirely trust the motives of any government within NATO?
    No.

    Do i entirely trust the motives of Putin’s government?
    Phuq no, they are currently conducting violent acts of military agression over the borders of a neighbouring sovereign nation state, and deliberately subjecting it’s civil population to death, injury and suffering.

    Ps, Flipped to the converse, i didn’t really focus on prior perfidies of the USSR/Russian federation when US bombs were falling on Baghdad.

  57. Michael Taylor

    No worries, A C. I didn’t mean to be (or sound) antagonistic.

  58. GL

    Going with a water based theme: Scummo is a plankton in the world ocean.

  59. corvusboreus

    Henry Rodrigues,
    Sorry, my 5:43 post was a link to the wrong clip.
    This is the BOTFC take on the militant anti-vax/mask mod abusing the imagery of Sophie Scholl’s white rose anti-nazi movement:

    Apolodies for the oops.

  60. Henry Rodrigues

    corvusboreus….. Its always beneficial to be better informed than before. Contemporary history and present day events have much of their origins in the events of the past 80 years. This guy in the video approaches the subject in a very matter of fact way which helps to come to a accurate plausible explanation. Its what is needed with all the propaganda that around.

    GL…About Trump and his backtracking, I heard it on the BBC, this arvo and then again a little while ago. The reason apparently is because he was thinking of announcing his run for 2024. Maybe the creep is just doing it get a better reception. You always have to suspect his motives. But as you pointed out, he’s be on his knees ready for a bit of oral, if it helped further his chances. The guy has no morals or principles, except how much money he can make from it.

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