So, how’s your week been going?
Probably not great if you’re European. Or if you’re invested heavily in the market. Or if you’re in Joe Biden’s trash presidential administration. Or Justin Trudeau’s trash government.
Or if you’re Ukrainian. Or Taiwanese.
The whole world’s starting to go to hell, but the thing is none of what’s happening right now is even remotely a surprise.
How could it be? There are consequences to actions, you know.
And this has been Consequence Week.
This column was by no means the first or the only place you saw it written that our disgraceful bugout from Afghanistan would lead to foreign policy outcomes we don’t want. Well, Ukraine is just such an outcome.
Vladimir Putin is many things, most of them terrible. But Putin is three things that make him an exceptionally formidable geopolitical adversary.
First, he’s crafty as hell, and he strikes when he knows he has the advantage.
Second, he’s utterly ruthless. He’s like the honey badger — he takes what he wants.
Vladimir Putin knew that the time when he could take Ukraine without a peep of resistance from either Joe Biden or anyone in Western Europe had come.
And third, Vladimir Putin is, for whatever good and bad this entails, a Russian patriot. Putin couldn’t give an ice-cold damn about the “global community,” or “world peace,” or the “international system.” What Putin cares about is Mother Russia, and his idea of what serves the interest of the Rodina is an old-school one. That means conquering territory where he can, it means stealing wealth and resources where he can, and it means bullying and intimidating neighbors and trading partners where he can. Vladimir Putin comes from a tradition in which it’s much better to be a pillager than a villager, and while he runs Russia the prime characteristic of its government will be a willingness to do evil where he forecasts a positive outcome for his country.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine lacked a casus belli, but that isn’t to say it was unprovoked. It was provoked when Joe Biden bugged out of Afghanistan and when the trash administration he runs spent the rest of its time in office purging our military of warriors unwilling to take a vaccine that doesn’t work. Our military readiness is such that we are almost sure to lose the next war we fight, and Putin knows it.
So does Xi Jinping.
Not only this, but Putin also saw Joe Biden hamstring our domestic energy industry by regulating it to death and limiting where our oil and gas companies can drill. He saw us go from a net energy exporter to a net importer, and he saw Biden scrap the Keystone XL pipeline while opening the door to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would put Russia in control of Germany’s energy supply.
Putin saw not only that Joe Biden was personally weak, clueless when it came to geopolitical strategy, and actively compromised where it came to a key economic pressure point.
Oil prices shot up, the Russian treasury filled up, Biden came begging for more Russian oil to fill the domestic gap he himself created.
And Vladimir Putin knew that the time when he could take Ukraine without a peep of resistance from either Joe Biden or anyone in Western Europe had come.
So he took Ukraine.
There are talking heads claiming that the sanctions Biden and the rest of the weak leaders in the NATO alliance are touting will “cripple” Russia. But Putin has been putting cash reserves by for months, if not longer, in preparation for those sanctions. He’s strengthened his economic ties with China such that he will have markets for Russia’s raw materials and a source for capital and finished goods even in the event the West were to fully cut off trade.
Russia just did a massive deal to export coal to China.
And John Kerry, who has some bullshit government job for some reason, just came out whining that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a “distraction” from the global fixation on climate change.
Kerry, you’ll remember, was the Secretary of State when Putin first started slicing pieces off Ukraine. Kerry scolded Putin by saying he was “on the wrong side of history.”
Which was an uncommonly stupid thing for anybody but John Kerry to say. For Kerry to say it was typical, of course — the only thing hard to understand is how a below-average intellect, moral cripple, and sanctimonious gigolo like John Kerry ever managed to attain political power in a country he so clearly disdains.
Vladimir Putin knows a lot more about history than John Kerry, and certainly Joe Biden. What Putin knows is that it’s the actions of men which control history and it’s those who are victorious who get to write it.
Which he’s now done. And Putin’s gamble is this: commit enough murder early on, terrify the populace enough, shoot enough troublemakers in the head in the first few days after you’ve encircled and slaughtered Ukraine’s regular army, and there won’t be the kind of insurgency in Ukraine that there was in Afghanistan.
He won’t be wrong in that assumption unless the West is fully committed to backing Ukrainian insurgents with the kind of weaponry, and encouragement of the kinds of tactics, that make what happened in Chechnya look like a set-to with boxing gloves in the gym after school. (READ MORE: Trump Knew How to Handle Putin. Biden Has No Clue.)
Putin looks at Biden, and the ridiculous Jake Sullivan, the gelatinous face-shielded and masked blob of comorbidities Lloyd Austin, the socially confused Mark Milley, and the slovenly clown Antony Blinken, and he knows that America lacks the stomach to supply that kind of fight. And just for insurance, he threatened to nuke us if we go there.
He’s acting like a man who’s been provoked, because he has. Blood in the water provokes a shark, the smell of fear provokes a wolf, and pathetic incompetence provokes Vladimir Putin.
And Xi Jinping.
This hasn’t been a good week in Taiwan, either.
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