Earth’s End Game

Analysis and Opinion

By Joe America

We are approaching earth’s end game, for humans. We’ve destroyed the environment, overpopulated the place, and stuffed it full of poison-emitting machines, all in the name of progress. Ethical harmony and compassionate community-building, founded on truth and progress, have given way to self-dealing power games founded on manipulation and conquest.

You see it here, you see it there. I don’t need to give you the gory details or prove it. It’s the same whether you believe me or not. It ees wat it ees.

There is no queen to lecture us, no high priest to counsel us, no coach to give us a better game plan.

The only rule is there Is none and you are only guilty if there is some bigger, more powerful asshat to nail you, and jail you.

The super-rich are bigger than some governments. They buy huge mansions across the planet while skinny shirtless brown kids around the world prowl the garbage piles looking for scraps to eat.

Look, your church has failed you, your government has failed you, and your parents are too old to mean anything anymore. It’s a young man’s game, and occasionally a woman’s. They move at light speed and shallow, barely listening, shooting then aiming. Knowledge is a hindrance. Crypto is the path to freedom. Whatever the hell it is.

Portugal is frying. Alaska is melting. The Philippines is being pounded by sledge-hammer gusts of air. The rich don’t care. The powerful don’t care. The smart don’t care. They are in it to win it. For themselves.

“Okay, Joe, you’re such a smartie! Tell us what to do about it!”

Sure. No prob Bob.

Stop it!

Build some communities that do care, from the ground up. Go tribal. Knit a new set of values and reasons for being. Use the rich, declaw the powerful, and bring the idea of compassionate intelligence into daily living. Start over. Fast. Sunlight and bikes are all we really need, plus a few books and some seeds.

_______________

Photograph from BikeRadar

 

Comments
294 Responses to “Earth’s End Game”
  1. For humans it might indeed be the endgame. I watched a documentary many years ago about a possible post-human past, starting with how what we have built would gradually disintegrate, steel after 50-100 years due to metal fatigue, pyramids would stay though. It had octopuses developing into the new intelligent lifeform but fully sea based or close to shore, the actual end of the earth when the sun grows bigger was much, much later.

    As for power and money.. Greek mythology saw the iron age as the beginning of trouble. Probably due to more efficient warfare and therefore power projection due to new metal. Money was a Middle Eastern invention the Greeks had trouble with, I recall reading.. Coinage guaranteed by the face of Kings on it. Today it is Central Bank – or blockchain?

    Tribal or small communities is indeed what our basic instincts have programmed us far. Greater ideas try to manage all beyond the famous Dunbar number of people we can personally deal with – around 150-250? – and often fail because our worst instincts win.

    • This is also interesting in the above context.

      Nauru, the island that ate itself.

      https://fb.watch/bkjMAytC05/

      • NHerrera says:

        In microcosm, an example of some of the main elements described in the new blog. Thanks, Irineo.

      • pablonasid says:

        A modern version of the Easter Island saga. The Polynesians had a solution for this, they send the excess people away on a boat to find new islands (or die trying it). However, there are no new islands now to dump a few billion people. So, nature will find a way. Covid gave an idea what can come. Nature is very inventive in finding solutions. When it comes, it will hit like a hammer.
        And just like the Germans after WW2, we will all claim: “Ich habe es nicht gewusst”.

        Yeah……..

    • Micha says:

      Irineo,
      The earth still has about 5 billion of habitable years before our sun runs out of hydrogen and helium; so whatever catastrophic scenario we’re facing in the very near future (10 maybe 20 years?) is entirely manmade.

      If Exxon executives did not deny the validity of their own study placing fossil fuel the main culprit in climate change, we would have far better chances of mitigating or even reversing AGW.

      Today, top oil companies have record profits as they raised oil prices contributing to a spike in inflation worldwide. And of course they still continue to deny AGW.

      • pablonasid says:

        Micha, it’s not only Exxon executives…. The whole lot in power tries to create a status-quo so they can gain as much as possible. And we, the small people as well. We voted for power hungry people and refuse to elect people who take charge (we, as in a whole population, not the individuals).. I take 7 big bags of waste from my beach every Saturday, nobody else does that on the island. We refuse to collect and process our waste. We take sand from the beach to build our houses. We fish the sea empty. We destroy the corral. I burn my waste. My bees die because the farmers use excessive amounts of pesticides and herbicides. We take plane rides for trips which are not really essential. We sold the trees from the land and erosion now makes the sea brown and the land bare.
        It goes on and on and on…..
        No need to blame the big people, let’s start at home and improve our immediate surrounding.
        I agree that it would be better to have a government which would take the problems serious, but does that justifies continuing destroying our immediate home environment?

    • JoeAm says:

      Thanks for putting the science to my solution. We need to get more honest and person-to-person. The problem today is that we are all consumed by mass hysteria.

  2. Karl Garcia says:

    On the stop it part.
    For Beauty contestants the answer would be peace prosperity and love.

    For tree huggers would be not to cut trees and reforestation.
    coastal and ocean cleanup
    end coal
    no incineration

    Me

    moderate the hate, greed and all the controllables.

    collocate wte to coal plants
    incinerate when necessary
    freeze the arctic and the antarctic
    Carbon engineering

    • JoeAm says:

      Yes, with the villages I suppose there still needs to be the might of global solutions.

    • kasambahay says:

      my drinking buddies are all saying our earth is just evolving, and those that can adapt have better chances of living beyond time.

      the mega wealthies may owned the planet absolutely! but where would they be without auxiliaries? they would still need accountants to ensure those zeroes and decimals are where they should be, lawyers to oversee complicated contracts; workers to dust, clean and maintain their numerous palaces, chefs to prepare their scrumptious feasts, flight staff for their private jets, security for their personal safety, etc.

      and when the mega wealthies get sick, (too much of the good life!) they would need the best of medical care, their bottoms wiped, their flaccid muscles exercised, their medication dispensed on time, their young cared for, their oldies indulged, their whims and egos catered for.

      • JoeAm says:

        The wealthies seem totally oblivious to me, absolutely alien creatures detached from our well-being.

        • kasambahay says:

          mayhap, the wealthies hide their true feelings and cannot afford be seen to be vulnerable and friendly? and some of them are in some form of medication or therapy. it’s ironic, really: their money have afforded the world to be made so medically and technologically advanced, human relationships so complicated, that they have to be taught how to live in it!

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Let the rich settle in Mars and fend for them selves. they already afforded themselves of a trip to the Earth’s orbit.

        • kasambahay says:

          if they can navigate through all those space junks circling the limits of outer space, the very rich may well go to mars for exclusive vacay. presumably, not many wide eyed tourists there asking for directions, looking for rest rooms and talking in their own language. no pickpockets around, no scammers out for quick bucks, and no clumsy customs declaration to sign. meals are freeze dried and drinking water is rationed. showers and baths are not compulsory, and possibility of meeting alien life forms a probability.

          hope aliens in mars dont find humans, delicious to eat! else they’ll be scrambling to come earth!

  3. Karl Garcia says:

    they say it is easier to live on the moon than Mars.
    or the moon is easier to terraform.

    https://www.iop.org/explore-physics/moon/how-could-we-live-on-the-moon#gref

  4. Karl Garcia says:

    OK I change my mind again in favor of Mars.

  5. NHerrera says:

    It must be something I ate or drank but I am a defeatist at the moment. Is it possible to avert the painted end game when evidence abounds that almost all the powerful countries — not to mention a country such as the PH — that can significantly influence the future course have leaders or citizens behaving with top-notch stupidity? And we are already, not at the eleventh hour, but at 11:59.

    • JoeAm says:

      Yes, the closer we get, the crazier things seem to be.

      • NHerrera says:

        Speaking of which, here is an apt cartoon from The New Yorker:

      • pablonasid says:

        Crazy? You ain’t seen nothing yet. The film industry will be proven right. If the shit really hits the fan, it will be a free-for-all and it will show that civilization is just veneer thin. I just spend a week in “Die Hel” , a place which was totally isolated for a hundred (odd) years and a hundred people thrived. This is only possible in a small community where people elect to survive on just what the immediate nature brings. This won’t work in our cities and interlinked society. We do not have the skills to survive. The stories of what happened during the black-death period with 90% mortality rates were enlightening. Now, try to translate that to an overpopulated (and heavily interlinked) world and you do not need a lot of imagination to estimate what is about to happen soon. How soon? Mother nature has patience, but it’s running out….


  6. Joe, been thinking a lot about this subject also, societal collapse. I would just add , we should also completely do away with marriage, and go with orgies as the means to get everyone laid (but not necessarily babies).

    With that said, I’ve been looking at the map of North America to figure out where to do all this, basically start afresh. everyone says its the Great Lakes region; but I’m thinking its the northern Salish Sea region, becuz fresh water, seafood and farming.

    The Sunshine Coast of BC and Victoria island have this community feel to it, where everyone ‘s just trying to escape the urban landscape and crimes and poverty, etc.

    if you notice look closely at the Salish sea (Canada part), it kinda looks a lot like the Philippines. look into BC ferries, nationalize ferries maybe.

    • Sadly, much of the real estate in Victoria and Vancouver cities/regions are being bought up by the Chinese. but hey maybe they’ll be into orgies too.

    • JoeAm says:

      I was all for Canada myself until the truckers showed up.

      • Trucks don’t float, so it should be good.

        p.s.— that’s from the Salish Voyager site. simple little boat, or maybe I’ll go with an old Philippine bangka design. lots of ship builders there.

        • Karl Garcia says:

          Settle here find a typhoon proof islsnd with no rebels

          Ok that would be nowhere so befriend Musk and Brasin maybe also bezos and hitch a ride to infinity and beyond

        • sonny says:

          “… societal collapse. I would just add , we should also completely do away with marriage, and go with orgies as the means to get everyone laid (but not necessarily babies). etc”

          With the voluntary orgy participation, I would suggest Islands in the sky for the communities that will or will not accept this specification/amenity. The timeline for islands in the sky is within technological reach of the present time & geo-political impasse. These islands can be built if there is a universal moratorium on ALL nuclear weapons in favor of developing appropriate power sources for the islands in the sky. The BLUE PLANET should be available with limited access e.g. appropriate technologies. The Earth has a billion-plus centuries shelf-life as Micha pointed out. In the ’60s, plans for Islands for communities of 10,000 were available then. Models for island-communities were already in vogue centuries before: Sparta (citizen-soldier), Ithaca (family-living), Troy (dynasties for community living), Rome (government, infrastructure), Carthage (elephant-cultivation)

          PAX!

  7. Karl Garcia says:

    Fukuyama= End of History
    Acemoglu Robinson = Failed State or nations
    Jared Diamond = Collapse

    2012,2034, end of days,etc.

    good thing there are many books with the title “Reset” like the one Joe recommended here.

    • kasambahay says:

      Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

      I trust in God, and not in those wackos that have predicted the end the world time and again!

      and we have not seen the biblical four horsemen yet, supposed to herald the imminent end. putin does not count as horseman, even though he was seen riding a well fed horse. putin is a bit too short and did not meet the biblical criteria, lol!

      • Karl Garcia says:

        I know we have non-believers here and I accept and respect that and even if I am a cafeteria Catholic, I still trust in God too.

        If Putin is part of the Four horsemen. Trump must have his own horse then we only have two left to name.

  8. NHerrera says:

    UKRAINE’S END GAME?

    As if on cue from Putin, the separatists of Ukraine — Donetsk and Luhansk — which by accounts control only one-third of these areas appealed to Russia to repel the “genocide” the Ukrainian authorities are perpetrating on them [not true Ukraine’s PM Zelensky said; Ukraine only wants peace].

    One big question seems to be whether the imminent invasion of the Russian forces will be limited to these enclaves or a larger Ukraine area.

    The US and EU along with Ukraine are arrayed against Russia to the great discomfort of the — again — newly-minted ally, China, considering its own agenda.

    Geopolitical scientists, analysts, and a host of opinion writers must be up nights thinking and honing their varying pieces on the development — publishing their pieces to correspond closest to the development. That nutcase ex-US President doing his thing too, adding to confusion to that nutcase party. 🤣

    Seems to me in board game terms, a combination of Classic Chess and Go.

    • NHerrera says:

      Trump and Carlson in tandem comments — Putin-is-my-kind-of-guy statements:

      Russia rationalization breaks further into the Trump-ian GOP mainstream

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/02/23/russia-rationalization-breaks-further-into-trump-ian-gop-mainstream/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=wp_main

      • isk says:

        “If Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to gobble up another chunk of Ukraine at little or no cost to his own interests, he should have done it while Donald Trump was still president.”
        — Eugene Robinson, Washington Post
        ————
        Exactly. America has a problem tho at this time, gas cost higher at the pump. During the previous administration, the US was self sufficient in oil and natural gas. But due to policy change, the current administration opted to get oil from Russia. And it will hurt Europe too.

    • isk says:

      “How smart is that? And he’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper, that’s the strongest peace force—we could use that on our southern border,” Trump
      ——-
      Reviewing that statement , there’s a stinger in there.

    • NHerrera says:

      The inconvenient factor — the gas imports by Europe from Russia.

      • NHerrera says:

        How to move the pieces in the game is one question.

        As Dr Alessandro Arduino — the Principal Research Fellow at the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore — puts it, there are varying interests:

        On the surface, the deliberately vague Chinese position is akin to that of several other countries, notably India and Israel. However, those countries have core interests in mind in adopting this stance. Russia is a long-time partner of India, and its major weapons supplier. At a time when India faces problems of its own with China, it cannot afford to antagonise Moscow. Israel faces dangers next door, and will need Russian help to deconflict operations in Syria.

        China, on the other hand, is taking a position contrary to its core interest: Stability to back up its economic diplomacy. A Europe aflame does not help China in the least. The danger is that China will find itself stuck in the last place it wants to be – on a boat with a revisionist autocrat who might start the biggest war in Europe since 1945, and with fewer friends than ever.

      • NHerrera says:

        The Russian forces’ attack on Ukraine is not confined to a few places.

        • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/23/the-ukraine-russia-crisis-explained-a-complete-visual-guide

          The terrifying aspect of this is that Russia seems to be deploying missiles against major cities in Ukraine while the latter has anti-missile defenses. This is no joke at all, as one can see from a DW picture of the NATO forces it has basically fortified its defenses against any “stray” attacks from Russia. In the context of the last major war in Europe, the 1990s wars of disintegrating Yugoslavia, this makes sense. Austrians told me of how the Graz airport was closed at times due to “unintentional” Yugo flyovers targeting Slovenia when it broke loose. I also was told about Yugo snipers taking pot shots over the Austrian border when I vacationed in Slovenia in the noughties, close to the Austrian border. The context is also that Russian jets have been “straying” into NATO airspace pretty often over the past years. Add to that the fog of war which now has set in.

          Russia will not, I think or at least hope, attack any NATO members and thereby set off NATO Article 5 which means a direct war. But Putin will turn 70 this year and for all we know he may be out to prove something. Not calling out WW3 yet though like some,

          Poland BTW is prepared to receive refugees – including even Filipinos who might still be stuck in Ukraine. Poland has had US troops for a while now, the Baltics have UK and German troops. The anticipation of all this has been going on some years now. All we can do now is wait and see, scary as it is. Important item in the German press recently: natural gas reserves here are enough to last until the warmer part of the year comes.

          • The following topographic map of Europe should make clear why certain areas have battle groups and some don’t..

            The Carpathians are the natural boundary between Southeastern Europe and the Ukraine. There are large bears in the Romanian part of them.

            • kasambahay says:

              the russian attack on ukraine, no surprise there. biden has been saying for nearly 2weeks that russia will attack ukraine, and russia did! biden read intel report correctly.

              the question many are asking now is where is the president of ukraine? did he do a runner like what the president of afghanistan did?

              I’m sitting here and biting my nails, witnessing a very badly orchestrated eurovision song contest with russia playing the humbug.

              • kasambahay says:

                at the moment, ukraine is on its own. other countries have imposed sanctions on russia which will only get severe as time goes on, but none have sent their own armed troops to help ukraine.

              • JoeAm says:

                There are no treaty obligations that would make doing so legal. Ukraine is not a NATO member, now. The US is not an ally. No one wants to send their own citizens to die or provoke WWIII. It’s interesting that an outcome, way down the road, is that Ukraine becomes a NATO member BECAUSE of Russia’s action. Or NATO takes defense seriously after years of peace. Or Ukraine becomes Russia, west.

              • NHerrera says:

                It is a difficult bet if Ukraine ends up net positive or net negative. The situation is an existential trait to Ukraine. As one writer puts it, Ukraine is outgunned and outranged.

                The US and EU sanctions may work in the long term. Can Ukraine hold on till then? Also, can US and EU hold on to the economic effects to themselves of their response to Russia?

                The time element is obviously a big factor.

              • The historian Timothy Garton Ash has this excellent analysis of Ukraine:

                https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/feb/24/russia-invasion-ukraine-europe-ukrainians

                BTW the original meaning of Ukraine is something like “borderlands”.

              • https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=7419128031438121&id=100000229924529

                Zhadan is a novelist and poet of Ukraine
                ———————
                TAKE ONLY WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT
                by Serhiy Zhadan

                Take only what is most important. Take the letters.
                Take only what you can carry.
                Take the icons and the embroidery, take the silver,
                Take the wooden crucifix and the golden replicas.
                Take some bread, the vegetables from the garden, then leave.
                We will never return again.
                We will never see our city again.
                Take the letters, all of them, every last piece of bad news.
                We will never see our corner store again.
                We will never drink from that dry well again.
                We will never see familiar faces again.
                We are refugees. We’ll run all night.
                We will run past fields of sunflowers.
                We will run from dogs, rest with cows.
                We’ll scoop up water with our bare hands,
                sit waiting in camps, annoying the dragons of war.
                You will not return and friends will never come back.
                There will be no smoky kitchens, no usual jobs,
                There will be no dreamy lights in sleepy towns,
                no green valleys, no suburban wastelands.
                The sun will be a smudge on the window of a cheap train,
                rushing past cholera pits covered with lime.
                There will be blood on your heels,
                tired guards on borderlands covered with snow,
                a postman with empty bags shot down,
                a priest with a hapless smile hung by his ribs,
                the quiet of a cemetery, the noise of a command post,
                and unedited lists of the dead,
                so long that there won’t be time
                to check them for your own name.

                –translated from the Ukrainian
                by Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Kb all US coukd do is go to bases in allies near to Ukraine.

                Maybe Lithuania

              • Karl Garcia says:

                The US diplomats are leaving Belarus. Nearer to ground zero tgan Lithuania.
                And the Russian already are there.

                https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/belarusalert/nato-allies-fear-putins-belarus-military-build-up-will-be-permanent/

              • kasambahay says:

                irineo, what a shame ukrainian poet’s name started with z, there’s no ‘z’ in the russian alphabet and that should have been ominous. as for me, I would very much like to kick this poet with my high heels and smash his fuckin’ face! beggin’ your pardon, I’m not usually this violent.

                in case this dumbest of poets forgot, you carry your country in your heart, in your mind, in your soul and in your whole being! you cannot simply leave your country behind like it was a piece of turd!

                I better stop before I hop on the plane and get into ukraine to join the resistance.

              • kasambahay says:

                karlG, I have friends from estonia, from the old town of parnuu’. they kept me informed. I have an estonian doll in native costume.

                so far, eu has not closed ukraine’s airspace, belgium’s head office has not kick out russia from using the world’s swift banking system making economic sanctions against russia just that wee bit dubious.

              • kasambahay says:

                p.s. the president of ukraine is bravely staying put in ukraine and fighting the russians. he has urged ukrainians not to be overly zealous in posting pics in social media; pics that could be used by russians to ferret ukrainians whereabouts.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                You have many friends around the world and zoom drinking buddies or ka e-numans.

    • Micha says:

      Vladimir is a strategic and long term planner. He’s reading the west very well and has just mentioned the unmentionable : his willingness to use nuclear weapons if the US and NATO intervenes.

      So, for Pete’s sake, the US should just stand back and let mother Russia retake Ukraine. The US has no moral ground in opposing the invasion because when faced with similar threat in its own backyard (Cuba) it also launched the Bay of Pigs and doggedly pursued the Monroe Doctrine for the entirety of Latin America.

  9. Karl Garcia says:

    Gas in PH might pass 200 PHP per liter like what the gulf war almost did.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2022/02/24/politics/putin-ukraine-russia-attack-us-global-impact/index.html

    • One look at the map and one sees why Lithuania is “delikado”.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Belarus already allowed passage to Russia to invade Ukraine. They could do the same to Lithuania.

        https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/02/24/russia-ukraine-war-belarus-chernobyl-lukashenko/

        Lukashenko Is Letting Putin Use Belarus to Attack Ukraine

        • The USA has deployed F-35 fighter jets to Lithuania and Estonia.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Thanks

          • Micha says:

            That’s just more provocation which would further stoke the wounded national ego of Russia.

            What would the “former” United States under a President Cheney do if the states of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas, Florida and the rest of other southern states secede from the Union and joined a Russian sponsored military alliance we might call LATO – Latin America Treaty Organization?

            The hypothetical President Cheney happens to still have the whole stockpile of nuclear weapons and he’s trying to recover the lost glory of American empire even as most Americans are hungry and in a precarious economic condition. Would he also maybe try to retake the now independent republic of Texas and launch an invasion to deter LATO expansion where Russia has military bases in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina?

            • The Baltic states were illegally annexed by Stalin in WW2.

              They are, just like the former Warsaw pact states, happy to be “in the West”.

              Even most Russians in Latvia are happy to be in the EU, that is what I have heard.

              • Poles for instance ASKED for US troops.

                There are German NATO troops in the Baltics but not in Poland.

                Poles understandably haven’t forgotten both German and Russian invasions.

              • Micha says:

                The southern states were also annexed through the Louisiana Purchase and westward expansion was achieved by decimating the native Indian population.

                You’re dealing with an autocratic madman here Irineo, forget about what the ordinary Russians in Latvia are thinking.

              • Russians in Petersburg are holding anti-war protests. St. Petersburg is not just Putin’s hometown it is also a place where Russian civic society is pretty strong.

                The Baltic annexation is within living memory that’s the difference to the USA.

                Besides they are EU members and NATO allies now, so the rest of us in the Western alliance clearly have an obligation to protect them. Ukraine isn’t an ally and probably never will be, but the NATO is dead if Article 5 doesn’t work when it is invoked.

              • Micha says:

                Forget about St. Petersburg Russians. Putin is the state. He is wielding that power.

              • His power ends where the NATO and EU borders begin.

                Russia has been regularly violating NATO airspace up to as far as UK for the last years. The line he shouldn’t cross is made clearer by military force.

              • Micha says:

                NATO is redundant in a post-cold war world. It’s the source of Vladimir’s grievance. it served to polarize instead of supposedly bringing cooperation across borders after the “end of history”.

              • Really? Doesn’t look that way to a lot of Europeans now. Vlado is an aging narcissist who is playing chicken right now. Even peaceniks here see appeasement as weakness that will send him the wrong signals.

                Hardly any European believed in the end of history. That fiction already ended when the breakup of Yugoslavia caused another war in the middle of Europe.

              • Micha says:

                Well then, you’re mostly likely going to get that nuclear war and confrontation that you want if aggression and hostility is met with aggression and hostility.

                See how that ends. Facilitating and catalyzing the end game for humankind.

              • Defending one’s own borders against conventional attack isn’t the same as provoking a nuclear war. Diplomacy has been tried and has failed by now. Giving in to someone who has tried to destroy democracy in Europe, for instance by Russian troll farms interfering in social media over her for about a decade, is not an option for most Europeans. As Adenauer said, unity without freedom is useless. He meant the Finlandization of Germany proposed by Stalin in the 50s, the infamous Stalin overture.

              • Micha says:

                You dismiss Vladimir’s power at this time at your own peril.

                I say, let him have Ukraine. Draw the line if he goes beyond.

              • We are talking about the Baltic states now so where do we disagree?

                It is more than sad for instance that the USA could help West Berlin but couldn’t help the Czechs in 1968 or the Hungarians in 1956. It is similar for Ukraine.

                That is why I wrote game of chicken, the borders are as clearly drawn as the 48th parallel between North and South Korea. This isn’t nice but it isn’t really that new to us here.

              • Micha says:

                Forget about the Baltic now, you agree having Ukraine back to Russian confederation?

              • I am powerless, why are you asking me? That’s a decision between two sovereign states.

                Though Ukraine was never in the Russian confederation, it was a Soviet state.

                In fact it was a UN member on its own after WW2, just like Belarus.

                Stalin insisted on having both in the UN for resisting Nazi Germany.

                When the Soviet Union fell apart their sovereignty was never questioned.

                Well, for now Russia and Ukraine are fighting it out, so we shall see.

              • isk says:

                People of Ukraine will determine their fate. IMHO, I think it was Putin who lost Ukraine, and this could lead to his downfall. Sa lake ng isinubo, malamang mabubulunan ito.

              • That is one possible outcome. The following Twitter thread describes how such a scenario MIGHT play out:

              • I think Gen. Hertling is correct, Ireneo. When Vietcong were fighting America; then when Mujahadeens were fighting Russia. But morale alone won’t win it. there’s gotta be resources like Stingers in Afghanistan and AKs in Vietnam.

                I thought Putin was smart. he already won. without going into Ukraine he’d already shown how NATO and EU was torn, Germany being the most reliant on Russian oil/gas which affects their resolve, but as in WWI and WWII, Europe just doesn’t wanna fight— some sort of belief that modernity is devoid of violence kinda fantasy.

                Though I understand all efforts should be taken not to escalate to nukes. Putin has already shown himself unwise, and unwise is dangerous.

                Which means the US , with or w/out Europe, must nip this in the bud, before another WWI or WWII progression, in which we will have to again save continental Europe. So whether Germany is on board or not, IMHO

                we need to supply Ukraine. overtly. New variable for me is Putin not realizing he’s won. That means he is playing a different game. Germany needs to break out extra blankets and jackets and git with the program. orgies warm bodies up well too, i heard.

                RE morale and will, Google the Ghost of Kiev, myth making hero tales are important stories. USMC does this really well. hope to hear of more.

              • JoeAm says:

                I’m reminded that speculations are not truths and winning and losing has many dimensions, like the score in today’s game, the standings that may shift, the entertainment, and the development of talent.

              • Putin is not just gonna stop at Ukraine. Thus must be bled out now.

              • isk says:

                @ Sir Lance: Something not right with Mr. Putin. Sounds familiar ?
                ——–
                Vladimir Putin has today called on the Ukrainian military to seize power in their country and overthrow President Volodymyr Zelensky.

                During a televised address Mr Putin told the Ukrainian military it would be “easier for us to make a deal with you” than with “this gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis”, in an apparent reference to the Ukrainian leadership.

                The Russian leader said: “I once again appeal to the military personnel of the armed forces of Ukraine: do not allow neo-Nazis and (Ukrainian radical nationalists) to use your children, wives and elders as human shields.

              • isk says:

                “I thought Putin was smart. he already won. without going into Ukraine he’d already shown how NATO and EU was torn, Germany being the most reliant on Russian oil/gas which affects their resolve,”
                ————
                Putin is making irrational decisions. He may take Ukraine in a short time but it will be a long battle a head .

              • Azov militia, then became official as Azov battalion, now ranked bigger became Azov regiment. But they tried to flex in politics, and were whole hearted ly rejected by Ukrainians and this is after 2014 when they were whole heartedly viewed as Ukrainian heroes.

                so Ukrainians aren’t idiots.

  10. Ed Maglaque says:

    Joe, are you in effect saying go back to the ’60s? But this time with a lancet, not weed?

    On 2/22/22, The Society of Honor by Joe America

  11. Karl Garcia says:

    The Title of the Article is so apt. Joe must have been looking at his crystal ball while writing this.

  12. Karl Garcia says:

    I am worried about China but North Korea might grab the opportunity to go beyond testing.

    • NHerrera says:

      The spillover consequence that many have recently written. Many variables or dimensions (to use the word that Joe has just written) to consider. A field day for geopolitical scientists and writers of all sorts. Including writers in TSH. 🙂

      One favorite flavor — how this will ultimately go for Putin.

      Here’s a note from Fareed Zakaria, a writer I usually follow:

      At Foreign Affairs, Hal Brands foresees a loose, Russian–Chinese partnership—with the two powers not exactly working together, but with their interests generally aligned and with each adopting strategies that complement the other’s—reminiscent of that between Germany and Japan circa World War II.

      • NHerrera says:

        Fareed Zakaria writes further that although many laments the waning of the democratic ideals in the US and the West, there is a sort of flowering of the democratic dream in countries such as Ukraine:

        *****
        For many commentators, the current crisis is proof that this system has collapsed and that the democratic age was a brief fantasy. David Brooks writes that “history is reverting toward barbarism.” Robert Kagan has said that “the jungle” is growing back. But is that kind of pessimism justified? I am more hopeful that within the terrible news of today lie some powerful positive forces.

        After all, what caused this crisis in the first place? It’s very simple: the overwhelming desire of Ukrainians to live in an open, democratic society. Let us not forget what it was that enraged Putin and led him to invade Ukraine for the first time in 2014. It was not a Ukrainian declaration to seek NATO membership; it was the efforts of the Kyiv government (a pro-Russian government at the time) to finalize an “association agreement” with the European Union. When the president of Ukraine ultimately balked at this deal — under pressure from Russia — he was greeted by massive street protests, and the parliament voted him out of office. That is what triggered Putin’s first invasion of Ukraine.

        Ukraine was not alone in choosing a pro-Western path. Over the past three decades, most of the countries that were part of the Soviet bloc have chosen one by one to become more open, liberal, democratic and capitalist. None are perfect — some far from it — but from the Baltic States to Bulgaria, from large countries such as Poland to tiny ones such as Moldova, most have adopted some versions of democratic politics and open, market-based economics. There has been backsliding in countries such as Hungary and Poland. But in broad terms, the movement of those countries toward Western values since 1989 is surely an affirmation of the vitality of the liberal democratic project.
        …..

        Far from Europe, what is at the crux of the problem between China and Taiwan? It is the fact that the Taiwanese people want to live in an open, free, liberal society, and they fear that their way of life would be snuffed out by a communist dictatorship.

        I don’t want to minimize the troubles that democracy and liberalism face. Almost 25 years ago I noted with alarm the rise of “illiberal democracy” and spotlighted in particular the nasty turn that Russia (among other countries) was taking. I have seen the erosion of liberal democratic values that I hold dear in the country of my birth, India, and the country in which I am a proud immigrant, the United States.

        But what the backlash shows is that liberal democracy and the rules-based international order need to be defended — robustly, even aggressively. With the voices of nationalism and populism so loud, it seems that liberal values have few willing to defend them unabashedly. To those who dwell on liberal democracy’s problems rather than its promise, I say, “Let them go to Ukraine.” The people of Ukraine are showing us that those values — of an open society and a free world — can be worth fighting for and even dying for.

        *****

    • You’ll find the same theme from CS monitor, NH:

      https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2022/0225/Ukraine-attack-Putin-target-may-be-democracy-near-and-far

      Limited consequences, until now. Since late last year, Western democracies have led an intense, coordinated diplomatic response to Russia’s build-up of troops around Ukraine, says Damon Wilson, president and CEO of the National Endowment for Democracy.

      “This is just night and day between the reactions that Putin has faced in previous cycles, because we’ve learned if you don’t stop him, his appetite grows and he goes for more,” Mr. Wilson says.

      Sanctions are only one part. The U.S. has also responded with troop deployments in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states intended to deter even further aggression.

      Mr. Wilson says Putin’s aggression has in fact unified Ukraine, NATO, and even the U.S. itself. While there are some conservative voices questioning whether America should care about Ukraine and even praising Mr. Putin’s actions, the vast majority of both parties have denounced Russian aggression in no uncertain terms.

      “There’s not really a big debate here,” says the National Endowment for Democracy president.

      People in Eastern Europe are leading their own efforts to become democratic societies, he adds. They’re not being pressured or coerced by the U.S., the EU, or NATO.

      “We can’t pull our punches or support for the aspirations of people who want a democratic future,” he says.

      —————

      For me, its not democracy or human rights, Putin is obviously now a danger to Europe. ala WW1 and WW2. I’m usually against regime change, but in the case of Putin I’m now fully convinced its regime change time now, NH. its time. We’ve been pulling our punches long enough.

  13. Micha says:

    While the so-called “Mujahideen” in Afghanistan represented an “Islamic” force with which to fight Soviet troops, there exists in Ukraine a heavy presence of neo-Nazis who espouse an ideology that is no less extreme than that of the “Mujahideen”.

    The main neo-Nazi force is a group under the name “Azov Battalion”. This group emerged with the onset of the fighting in the eastern Ukranian Donbass region and was later incorporated into the Ukranian National Guard. It has been described as one of the most effective fighting forces against ethnic Russian inhabitants of Donbass.

    The Azov battalion takes its name from the battle of the sea of Azov in World War 2, when Nazi Germany and its allies defeated the Soviet forces and proceeded to take control of both Donbass and Crimea.

    Although some of the members of the group deny the neo-Nazi association, there nevertheless exists a narrative that is eerily similar to that which was propagated by Adolf Hitler. During an interview with the Guardian, a member of Azov who identified himself as “Dimitry” described Russian President Vladimir Putin as “not even a Russian” but rather “a Jew”. This characterization is almost identical to Hitler’s description of Russia in his autobiography Mein Kampf where he states that “the international Jew” dominates Russia.

    That Washington may be planning to use the neo-Nazis in Ukraine against a Russian “invasion” and “occupation” is further supported by the stances advocated by the ‘Atlantic Council’, a Washington think tank that has been at the forefront of the lobbying efforts to push the Biden administration into taking a more confrontational stance with Russia over the issue of Ukraine and specifically the Donbass and Crimea regions.

    According to the Soufan Center, a large number of foreign fighters with right-wing sympathies have already traveled to Ukraine to fight alongside the Azov Battalion against the ethnic Russian population in Donbass. It is even believed that the perpetrator of the Christchurch massacre in New Zealand, Brenton Tarrant, may have received training in Ukraine during a trip he paid to that country, which would make him the first ‘foreign fighter’ from the white supremacist movement to commit such an act of terror. Amongst those that have also traveled to Ukraine to link up with the Azov Battalion are members of the US-based neo-Nazi ‘Atomwaffen Division’. American extremists have reportedly traveled to Ukraine with the sole purpose of gaining battlefield experience.

    Officials from Azov have bluntly stated that the movement sought to create a far-right coalition spanning the entire Western world with the end goal being to take power over the entire European continent.

    https://english.almayadeen.net/articles/analysis/why-the-west-may-want-russia-to-invade-ukraine

    • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volodymyr_Zelenskyy the President of the Ukraine himself has Jewish roots..

      War is used by assorted crazies and of course war-freaks to gain ground.

      The assorted ideological lunatics especially on the Serb and Croatian sides of the Yugoslavian conflict come to mind, though the Muslim Bosniaks had mujahedeen and even some Moro MILF fighting with them.

      • Micha says:

        The Asov Battalion will form part of the main resistance or insurgency group if and when Putin decides to occupy Ukraine long term. Asov is to Ukraine as the Mujahedeen is to Afghanistan during Russian occupation in the 80’s.

        The US will most likely supply weapons and war hardware to Asov just as they did to Mujahedeen in the effort to drive out the Russians even if it will spawn another monster like Osama bin Laden.

        The neo-Nazi ideology of Asov will not deter US strategists to employ them for the effort.

        https://time.com/5926750/azov-far-right-movement-facebook/

        • The more you go East in Europe the more racists you find, it seems.

          Those who find American (or German especially East German) racists scary haven’t seen Russian (or Ukrainian, or even Polish) racists.

          This war sucks like any war sucks, but we are here now. What also might grow in Western Europe is direct conflict between migrant populations – happened between Croats and Serbs in Germany in the 1990s. Criminals using the opportunity to become arms dealers like what was rumored to have happened in the 1990s too, especially those who go back and forth anyhow, like for instance drug smugglers and pimps might get very rich.

          While I share LCPL_X’s feeling that Western European pacifists are naive, I am never happy when a war starts because it does cause a lot of pain. And of course it will always lead to dangerous groups growing stronger or even making money out of it.

          The ugly side of human nature shows its face along with the noble side. War ain’t nice.

          • The Azov Regiment tried to get into politics and were whole hearted rejected by Ukrainian s last year. If we wait, they will get bigger for sure.

            You’re a Putin lover, Micha. He will go to the Baltic states next, then Poland. And what will we do then? Hope that gas and oil prices are low? Ha!

  14. The entire ugliness of war captured on social media (trigger warning, this shows a missile hitting a high-rise apartment building caught on camera)

    https://fb.watch/bq3A3ZnUqf/

    • Re the Putin narrative that NATO crept in on Russia, a Twitter thread:

      https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1497186496574812161.html

      NATO was in fact reluctant but many Eastern European states were eager makes sense to me knowing the fear of Russia they have from history. Romanians in fact eagerly wore NATO style uniforms even before they became NATO in the noughties I heard. There are many aspects to this, including the deep hatred Poles have for Russians. The West kept broadcasting messages of freedom over Radio Free Europe for decades. Eastern Europeans asked EU and NATO to honor it. Ukraine and Georgia also wanted in.

      • Christine Amanpour interviews two US generals on Ukraine re strategic aspects. One predicted a war with Russia in a book.

        https://fb.watch/bq4AalA3Lh/

        • kasambahay says:

          the changing face of war. it’s not just between ukraine and russia now. with the exception of few countries, the world is seeing reason and fast siding with ukraine. peace not war!

          even inside russia, momentum is gathering and russians are in the streets to protest putin’s invasion of ukraine. putin is greater threat to world peace! and if this gets any further, peace loving russians will cause a people’s power, and bring down putin. bring him down!

  15. This video is for Micha’s hardened heart,

  16. Karl Garcia says:

    Lance,

    I was wrong to think that you are anti war because that is what you said and that you do not like to fight other’s wars.

    Here private armies are used by the rich and politicians while worldwide private armies are mercenaries.

    https://ndupress.ndu.edu/Media/News/Article/2031922/mercenaries-and-war-understanding-private-armies-today/

    *maybe some group of rich guys here with such armies pick a side then send them to wars abroad overtly and unofficially.

    But officially we send so called peace keepers if the UN asks for them.

    https://casebook.icrc.org/case-study/syria-syrian-rebels-treat-captured-filipino-soldiers-guests

    • Karl Garcia says:

      The thing is Russia is a big soldier of fortune deployer

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagner_Group

      • kasambahay says:

        I say, putin is biggest corruptor of humanity. russian dissidents fleeing to other counties have been poisoned on putin’s order. in russia, no one is allowed to be greater than putin. decades ago, russia’s once richest man was humiliated by putin, put on televised public trial, accused of massive corruption, and duly executed.

        the world’s infamous russian mafia, its fearsome drug lords, highly illegal arms dealers, and wealthier than most russian oligarchs, all owe their lucrative albeit flourishing presence to putin. and in return, they’re highly supportive of him. putin is now the richest living man in the planet; a true gazillionaire.

        if russian populace decided they have enough of putin’s filth and his dirty dealings, they might just bring him down with their own people power. and clean russia of putin.

        • War invites crazy people, karl.

          • kasambahay says:

            war ignites deeply seated passion in people and those that are usually shy suddenly find the strength they thought they did not have.

            initially, when putin grab a small piece of ukraine, the crimea, the world said let him have it.

            and now, putin is coming in for a much bigger slice, the whole of ukraine!

  17. Karl Garcia says:

    Lance in your weapons and equipment tally does it include weapons sent by the West recently?

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-gets-weapons-west-says-it-needs-more-2022-01-25/

    Here in the PH my comment is we must also have training on how to use not just weapons but also high tech equipment. But in this case in Ukraine where there is no time for that a user’s manual or a youtube video would suffice.

    • Ukrainian volunteers have been training for quite a while now and besides they still have Soviet Army veterans who know how to handle high-tech weapons.

      I saw a video on Facebook some weeks ago of civilians being trained in a gym by a white-haired man with sportive build who looked like he knew exactly how to handle weapons, probably an ex-military man.

      Ukrainian army which is professional already has used anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles against Russian tanks and planes recently.

    • Just follow this simple instruction, karl.

  18. Micha says:

    There’s a possible way moving forward to end the war : Ukraine should make a declaration of neutrality, abandon its NATO membership plan, and become, effectively, a buffer state between the east and west.

    Zelensky need to consider this option and become a peacemaker on behalf of his people instead of more feeding the embers of war.

    • Always negotiate from a position of strength, Micha. not faith or fear.

      • NATO ‘s now sending in more stuff, wait it out a bit longer.

        • Micha says:

          Yeah, NATO dickheads wanting to escalate violence and destruction. There’s money to be made in there for sure, never minding that it could very potentially led to unleashing a nuclear confrontation.

      • Micha says:

        It’s not as much a negotiation as a rational option in finding path for peace.

        • Let’s say they agree. What’s next? Baltic states? Finland? then Poland next? Then Ireneo’s home town? You don’t care about Ireneo?

          Putin’s not gonna stop; he had NATO and EU kow towing, lapping up from his hand, Germany went all in with Russian oil /gas forchrissakes, Putin just wants more. best to stop him now, than later, Micha.

          it’s now obvious he’s playing Monopoly, not Chess.

          • Micha says:

            Putin’s main beef is Ukraine becoming a NATO member. He considers it a direct threat, humiliation, and a betrayal of assurance that NATO is not going to move an inch eastward.

            The model country here is Finland which adopted a stance of neutrality and benefiting from the goodwill of its neighbors, top performer in various metrics of national performance and ranked first on the World Happiness Report for the last 4 years.

            There’s virtue and cost benefit in neutrality that Ukraine could aspire and emulate instead of provoking hostility by joining a cold war alliance.

    • here’s more to soften your hardened heart, Micha.

      I don’t even have kids, and i wanna hang pictures of kids on my wall now, Micha! this guy is just so good, and you’re gonna abandon him?

  19. Alicia Kruger says:

    Here’s hoping that everyone should listen and act before it’s too late. Thank you Joe America.

    On Tue, 22 Feb 2022, 5:03 pm The Society of Honor by Joe America, wrote:

    > JoeAm posted: ” Analysis and Opinion By Joe America We are approaching > earth’s end game, for humans. We’ve destroyed the environment, > overpopulated the place, and stuffed it full of poison-emitting machines, > all in the name of progress. Ethical harm” >

  20. sonny says:

    Kissinger on Ukraine & Russia:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/henry-kissinger-to-settle-the-ukraine-crisis-start-at-the-end/2014/03/05/46dad868-a496-11e3-8466-d34c451760b9_story.html

    Public discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going? In my life, I have seen four wars begun with great enthusiasm and public support, all of which we did not know how to end and from three of which we withdrew unilaterally. The test of policy is how it ends, not how it begins.

    Far too often the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other — it should function as a bridge between them.

    Russia must accept that to try to force Ukraine into a satellite status, and thereby move Russia’s borders again, would doom Moscow to repeat its history of self-fulfilling cycles of reciprocal pressures with Europe and the United States.

    The West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country. Russian history began in what was called Kievan-Rus. The Russian religion spread from there. Ukraine has been part of Russia for centuries, and their histories were intertwined before then. Some of the most important battles for Russian freedom, starting with the Battle of Poltava in 1709 , were fought on Ukrainian soil. The Black Sea Fleet — Russia’s means of projecting power in the Mediterranean — is based by long-term lease in Sevastopol, in Crimea. Even such famed dissidents as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Joseph Brodsky insisted that Ukraine was an integral part of Russian history and, indeed, of Russia. …”

    • sonny says:

      “…
      The European Union must recognize that its bureaucratic dilatoriness and subordination of the strategic element to domestic politics in negotiating Ukraine’s relationship to Europe contributed to turning a negotiation into a crisis. Foreign policy is the art of establishing priorities.

      The Ukrainians are the decisive element. They live in a country with a complex history and a polyglot composition. The Western part was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1939 , when Stalin and Hitler divided up the spoils. Crimea, 60 percent of whose population is Russian , became part of Ukraine only in 1954 , when Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian by birth, awarded it as part of the 300th-year celebration of a Russian agreement with the Cossacks. The west is largely Catholic; the east largely Russian Orthodox. The west speaks Ukrainian; the east speaks mostly Russian. Any attempt by one wing of Ukraine to dominate the other — as has been the pattern — would lead eventually to civil war or break up. To treat Ukraine as part of an East-West confrontation would scuttle for decades any prospect to bring Russia and the West — especially Russia and Europe — into a cooperative international system.

      Ukraine has been independent for only 23 years; it had previously been under some kind of foreign rule since the 14th century. Not surprisingly, its leaders have not learned the art of compromise, even less of historical perspective. The politics of post-independence Ukraine clearly demonstrates that the root of the problem lies in efforts by Ukrainian politicians to impose their will on recalcitrant parts of the country, first by one faction, then by the other. That is the essence of the conflict between Viktor Yanu­kovych and his principal political rival, Yulia Tymo­shenko. They represent the two wings of Ukraine and have not been willing to share power. A wise U.S. policy toward Ukraine would seek a way for the two parts of the country to cooperate with each other. We should seek reconciliation, not the domination of a faction.

      Russia and the West, and least of all the various factions in Ukraine, have not acted on this principle. Each has made the situation worse. Russia would not be able to impose a military solution without isolating itself at a time when many of its borders are already precarious.

      For the West, the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one.

      Putin should come to realize that, whatever his grievances, a policy of military impositions would produce another Cold War. For its part, the United States needs to avoid treating Russia as an aberrant to be patiently taught rules of conduct established by Washington. Putin is a serious strategist — on the premises of Russian history. Understanding U.S. values and psychology are not his strong suits. Nor has understanding Russian history and psychology been a strong point of U.S. policymakers. … more”

      • sonny says:

        Leaders of all sides should return to examining outcomes, not compete in posturing. Here is my notion of an outcome compatible with the values and security interests of all sides:

        1. Ukraine should have the right to choose freely its economic and political associations, including with Europe.

        2. Ukraine should not join NATO, a position I took seven years ago, when it last came up.

        3. Ukraine should be free to create any government compatible with the expressed will of its people. Wise Ukrainian leaders would then opt for a policy of reconciliation between the various parts of their country. Internationally, they should pursue a posture comparable to that of Finland. That nation leaves no doubt about its fierce independence and cooperates with the West in most fields but carefully avoids institutional hostility toward Russia.

        4. It is incompatible with the rules of the existing world order for Russia to annex Crimea. But it should be possible to put Crimea’s relationship to Ukraine on a less fraught basis. To that end, Russia would recognize Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea. Ukraine should reinforce Crimea’s autonomy in elections held in the presence of international observers. The process would include removing any ambiguities about the status of the Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol.

        These are principles, not prescriptions. People familiar with the region will know that not all of them will be palatable to all parties. The test is not absolute satisfaction but balanced dissatisfaction. If some solution based on these or comparable elements is not achieved, the drift toward confrontation will accelerate. The time for that will come soon enough.

        • Kissinger as always is brilliant in his analysis. Even if one could put a caveat on the Kievan Rus, as the Rus of that time were basically Vikings. The Duchy of Moscovy is a more plausible start for Russian history.

          But he does know Russia well, in fact he said that to understand Putin, one must read Dostoevsky. Indeed Putin comes from the depressed part of St. Petersburg in which a lot of depressing Dostoevsky novels play.

          Kissinger who was born and raised in Europe also knows how Americans often misread Europe, not to mention totally different cultures. Understandable as they practically have a continent to themselves, the guys up North only have a slightly different culture and those South of the Rio Grande, well they seem totally exotic. Over here one can literally drive thru several countries and hear several national languages in a single day, I wonder how long it would take to drive to Ukraine but at this time I don’t really want to know..

          • To me Germany’s initial response was sorta culture shock, Ireneo, we’ll send them helmets. Helmets no good if head explode!!! LOL!

            • kasambahay says:

              maybe there is truth in a german’s military chief lament in twitter about germany’s profound lack of war preparedness, its military resources is nearly depleted and barely able to cover bases; its military arsenal mostly neglected and unmaintained. germany is not expecting war and its military budget is not a priority of german govt.

              apparently, after the military chief lament on twitter, german govt is trying to address the lack hence; maybe, a better upgrade of military aid to ukraine.

    • Micha says:

      Thank you sonny for the Kissinger article. For perspective, that was datelined 2014 around the time of Crimean crisis but his formula for resolution still look sound and very sensible coming from someone of course whose fingerprint in the architecture of American emporium and foreign policy is all over the place.

    • I’m sure if you asked Kissinger now, he’d say this:

      If Teddy Boy wants to stand with Ukraine, he’d send these now in crates, it will greatly boost morale I promise you…

      for sure the ROI is you’ll have a captive market after the smoke settles, for Philippine dried mangoes will be associated with freedom forever in Ukraine and the rest of Europe. a great PR stunt to boot!

      • kasambahay says:

        our european correspondent, irineo, should be able to reply to this. I heard germany and nearly the rest of eu have become quite dependent on russia for their energy supplies.

  21. Zelensky’s landmark speech to Russians mentions the 8 million Ukrainians who died defending against Nazism back in WW2. That was one reason the Soviet Union requested and got separate UN membership for Ukraine when UN was founded.

  22. Karl Garcia says:

    Since Chempo is not here, Micha can you explain how this will paralyze Russia?

    https://edition.cnn.com/2022/02/26/politics/biden-ukraine-russia-swift/index.html

    White House and EU nations announce expulsion of ‘selected Russian banks’ from SWIFT

    • SWIFT is used even at the individual level with Filipinos over here, sending money over there, bank to bank. i know there are apps to do this like Xoom, no bank to bank, but SWIFT is the foundation.

      this is Micha’s tyranny of the middle men banks. SWIFT is sorta like their blockchain, chempo first talked about this system during the Bangladesh heist, karl. i took notes.

      CBDC is one way around it; Bitcoin is superior. But the lesson should be don’t go around invading other countries, karl.

    • Micha says:

      @karl

      Significant but not total because the sanctioners are also careful how to minimize collateral damage to one of their own. Russian oligarchs have holdings and assets and have connections to London financiers as well as payment transactions of commodities to German entities.

      The main downside of this expulsion is that Russia will be forced into the side of China to fully develop their own payment system that will rival SWIFT and de-dollarize international trade.

      That will be the key to weakening the American hegemon and catalyze its precipitous decline in the world stage.

  23. Guys, this was my interview today with a Filipino FB show in Europe.

    https://fb.watch/bruvdQzwxK/

    Just so happened that some fellow Pinoys I was chatting with were impressed by the instant expertise I gained in this discussion among other things that they invited me. My debut in that kind of stuff but I didn’t look as bad as I thought I would, even as my eyebags show – they were worse in 2015, I sleep more these days, but I guess looking as old as I am gives me a certain “respectability”. 🤔

    • It is about Ukraine of course. I give geopolitical and historical background and the second half is a Filipina social worker talking about migrants there.

      She has background on how it was for Filipinos in Bosnia way back as well! 😲

    • sonny says:

      BRAVO, PiE! So glad you are the bridge, in the flesh no less, between generations of Filipinos.

      (Just a thought: Island Filipino = Diaspora Filipino? Israel Jew = Diaspora Jew?)

      • sonny says:

        BTW, my ear to the ground on the present crisis – my son has both a Ukrainian & Russian dog-walker doing this dog-chore for him. Chicago has migrants from those places.

        • Chicago is also very Polish I read, and has a history of 1930s Filipino migrants – before the Tydings-McDuffie act restricted migration in exchange for eventual independence – marrying Catholic Polish women, as mostly men migrated then.

          • sonny says:

            Polish population second only to Warsaw, Irineo. Although dwarfed by West Coast & Pac Northwest Filipinos, Minnesota, Iowa & Chicago was home to Filipino oldtimers & less harassed at job situations. There were also Filipino scholars scattered around Big Ten uiversities. The first Filipino to obtain Medical degree from Rush Presbyterian Hosp is from Kankaney tribe of Baguio.

            • Karl Garcia says:

              The family of my Auntie( married a Barinque) , the sister of my pops moved to Chicago aprox same time as you Uncle Sonny.as I told you years ago
              My Tito Boy was with the postal office my aunt was a nurse.

              • sonny says:

                It’s been a while, Neph. Our Mulanay, Quezon connection passed away (Cuasay) at the beginning of Covid pandemic. Our migrant generation is surely fading away. You, Irineo & my sons (1972, ’81) are at bat. Our ’60s version are now preparing and rooting for all of you to succeed with this brand new version. Mine your cafeteria Catholicism, every seed & kernel are there to grow & nurture & prevail.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                So sorry to hear that, Imunde3srand he was the one who helped in finding my cousins I was able to to meet one of them when she went to PH.

              • sonny says:

                Neph, I was prepping for a social occasion to meet your Chgo folks & link you in, then Covid aborted that. Hopefully some day, somehow…

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I see. Thanks

      • Thanks Sonny. In fact the Kissinger article you posted here was a major input to give structure to the interview, as well as another Kissinger article Karl sent me months ago saying that Putin is best understood through Dostoevsky.

        Regarding diaspora, it is you who among others inspired me to stick to my guns in matters Filipino, as we always need to have “our Jerusalem” as you once posted. Let’s say my reputation in parts of the diaspora that led me here was also built at TSOH and via my Twitter presence that grew hand in hand with TSOH. And the discussion here in the last few days did help me get a view for various perspectives that I passed through the “flywheel”, even as a live interview is a totally different game than writing. 🙂

    • JoeAm says:

      Terrific to meet you, Irineo. My observation is that your brain works like your typewriter, hypersonic, but your speaking is more moderate, clear, informative, non-judgmental, and humanistic. Plus you are hypersonic smart, as we’ve known for some time. Thanks for sharing that.

      • NHerrera says:

        Amen.

      • Thanks Joe. It is a difficult topic as it is happening right now and the Polish-Ukrainian border is merely 12 hours drive from Munich, same distance as New York City to Chicago. Social media brings it even nearer.

        The political aspect is something we can indeed analyze and write about but it so clearly affects real people that I can’t be that distant. Talking about it is way more personal too.

    • Ireneo,

      You should do a podcast. For now just do Ukraine, history, culture, geography, etc. etc. then after all this winds down, do more East European stuff (and west Europe too). I loved hearing you talk. A lot of info to share for sure.

      FWIW you’re crowding the camera, chest up and more of the room as background. like this…

      • Thanks, good idea. Well, it was all a bit improvised with me holding my tablet up to my face, I don’t have a tripod for it (yet). I do have a YouTube account so actually making YouTube videos is a possibility. Let’s see where this goes. Everything has its own flow.

  24. Karl Garcia says:

    Chinese continued support for Russia put Chinese in Ukraine in danger, in addition to not repatriating them.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2022/02/28/china/chinese-citizens-ukraine-danger-intl-hnk-mic/index.html

    • kasambahay says:

      tit for tat yan, china is supporting russia in exchange for russia unilateral support of china in case china invades taiwan.

      male ukrainians be they chinese origin or others, of fighting age, i.e. 18yrs and over, are not allowed to leave ukraine. president zelensky has made a judgement call. only women and chidlren are allowed to leave, the rest have to stay behind and fight. just like their president is staying behind and fighting – to his last breathe!

      • kasambahay says:

        ukranian chinese ought to stop moaning and playing the hapless victim! they can stay behind and help fight ukraine’s cause. if they cannot carry guns because they hate the smell of cordite and gun oil, (I hate having grease and gun oil in my fingernails!) they can be medics and treat wounded fellow ukranians. or join the team of those fighting disinformation and russian propaganda vs ukraine. be cooks and help feed ukraine’s army, or help clean debris off the streets, etc. most of all, they be loyal to ukraine, their sanctuary and home for sometimes now.

        • Another way to help out, kb, from the comfort of your own home .

          is by writing simple to read but effective Google reviews!!!

          Use Google maps, go to Russia and scroll to a business, then write a review, but not really you are informing Russians of what’s happening in Ukraine, cuz of the censorship. keep it short simple, interesting, 4 stars good, you don’t wanna take business from them, just get the info spread. up votes reviews doing the same, then keep on reviewing.

          I would target border towns, of course Moscow area, but also businesses near military bases. other bigger cities to in hopes of inciting protests then riots against Putin.

  25. NHerrera says:

    I am somewhat nostalgic about the time when we had the simplicity of a One-Big-Problem Game. The Cold War. Most humans then — pre-smart phones and social media — though there was a possibility of nuclear destruction, led a non-chaotic life.

    Those were the days when one goes home and after the nightly TV News of the day can turn to his favorite TV sitcom with the family. No exhausting multi-tasking activity with that ubiquitous device in one’s pocket. You have the bigger device — with a screen attached to a now imagined monstrous box — but you use that in your office, and no WFH with that device then.

    But there are people like Irineo who thrive in the current environment, I must say.

  26. NHerrera says:

    Irineo, here is a news item from Bloomberg describing a “detonation” of a different kind:

    ***
    Putin Has Already Caused a Revolution in Germany
    In a historic session of the Bundestag, the German government bids adieu to decades of naivete.

    If you had any sense of history and found yourself near the German Bundestag in Berlin on Sunday, you could have heard the sound of an explosion. It wasn’t a physical one, like the blasts of the bombs Russian President Vladimir Putin is lobbing at the brave people of Ukraine. It was instead the detonation of two or more decades of naive, misguided and often hypocritical foreign and defense policy.

    In a special session of parliament, Chancellor Olaf Scholz dispatched nearly every dogma Germans — notably including his own party, the Social Democrats — have stubbornly clung to for a generation to the chagrin of their allies in NATO and the European Union.
    ***

    • https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/decision-on-swiss-sanctions-on-russia-expected-monday/

      The Swiss Federal Council met on Monday (28 February) for an extraordinary meeting and decided to fully adopt EU sanctions against Russia after public criticism of the government’s previous inaction intensified.

      In a press conference after the meeting, the current Federal President and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said that the Russian aggression in Ukraine was an attack on democracy and was morally and politically unacceptable.

      “That is why the Federal Council decided today to fully adopt the EU’s sanctions,” he said, referring to the sanctions packages decided by the EU on 23 and 25 February.

      “The assets of the listed persons are frozen with immediate effect,” Cassis said, adding that the freeze would also include eventual assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

  27. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/breaking-putin-used-deadly-vacuum-26353172

    “Thermobaric bombs use different combinations of heat and pressure to produce different high explosive effects. An initial explosion produces a pressure wave powerful enough to flatten buildings or penetrate into cave or other structures. At the same time, the explosion will disperse highly flammable fuel particles around its vicinity.

    These, often aluminium-based, particles ignite a fraction of a second later and burn at very high temperatures. The two blasts combine for maximum effect. They use up all the oxygen in the surrounding air, creating a vacuum – hence “vacuum bomb”. The resulting vacuum can be powerful enough to rupture the lungs and eardrums of anyone nearby.”

  28. NHerrera says:

    I tweeted this in response to Joe’s tweet:

    From New Yorker:

    After Trump praised Putin, the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, reluctantly shared a video of the disturbing moment with Putin. “As Putin watched Trump call him smart, all the blood drained from his face,” a source said. “He was clearly shaken.” 🤣😂🤣

    Here is the link to that short note in The New Yorker,

    https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/putin-starting-to-worry-about-his-strategy-after-trump-calls-him-smart?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Humor_022822&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&bxid=5ef541c9095d1f3e670b1cac&cndid=61505508&esrc=article-newsletter&utm_term=TNY_Humor

    That link has this very interesting additional note:

    “He’s rethinking everything now, and he’s in a very fragile state of mind,” the source said. “If it comes out that Don, Jr., or Eric thinks he’s smart, that could break him.”

    • LOL! funny.

      Satire from the Borowitz Report

      Not the news.

      but funny.

      Seriously though, there’s been a bunch of Putin watchers saying he’s probably suffering from COVID brain. for 20 years plus Putins been making really good moves, got Russia from zero to hero and then some. but overnight, specifically Thursday night, he flushed all that gain down the proverbial toilet. And what just to kill some comedian, and his family?

      • NHerrera says:

        I have not come across news about Putin being infected with Covid. If he had been, though asymptomatic, there is this thing called long-covid effects, probably including its effect on the brain. We can’t rule that out, Lance.

  29. NHerrera says:

    How urgings and logical appeals in “normal” times failed to do was done in just 72 hours. Washington Post writes in an article titled,

    In just 72 hours, Europe overhauled its entire post-Cold War relationship with Russia.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/28/europe-new-era-russia-ukraine/

  30. https://fb.watch/bu8QQyfXjI/

    A Ukrainian Tiktoker gives instructions on how to drive a Russian APC.

  31. https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1498313116312080384.html

    This Twitter thread confirms Lance’s don’t believe or fear Putin advice..

    • NHerrera says:

      I read the tweet and the end part has this about Putin:

      “He’s timid, safetyist, risk averse. He’s mortally scared and looking for ways out. He’d do or give anything for physical survival.”

      I wonder if this characterization is at least 60% true. In any case, I will put that percentage as my view of the statement. It seems, too, like a trait of authoritarians — walang bayag. Reminds me of someone, but I am not supposed to go there in this blog till after the PH election.

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