ChrisWeigant.com

Entangling Alliances

[ Posted Monday, January 24th, 2022 – 16:21 UTC ]

For the first time since the Cold War, the nightmare of direct military conflict between what used to be called either "great powers" or "superpowers" seems not to be such a remote possibility anymore. Russia and the United States are in a faceoff over Ukraine. China, meanwhile, is testing the defenses of Taiwan in an unprecedented way. So I thought today was a good day to review a little history.

The people who founded the United States of America did so almost immediately after what could today be called "World War Zero" -- the first-ever military conflict between empires that stretched over the entire globe (although, admittedly, historians quibble about this designation, but it's close enough for our purposes). Americans learn about only one "theater" of this war, the part that happened here. We call it the "French and Indian War," but schoolchildren in Canada and Britain learn about it as the "Seven Years' War." Part of why upstart America was able to defeat the English militarily was due to them having recently fought a much larger war, in fact. No matter what you call it, this war was fought between the large world powers of the day (France, Britain, Prussia, Spain, Austria, Russia) and took place not only in North America, but also in Europe, South America, Africa, India, the Philippines, and in the Caribbean. To me, that's a "world war."

For America's Founders, this was all common knowledge -- they had lived through it, after all. Which is why the United States (a very small and insignificant nation, at the time) was deathly afraid of getting entangled in alliances with any of the European powers (even France, without whom we never would have won the Revolution). Very early on in our history, the "XYZ Affair" scandal (and quasi-war) also cemented this fear of foreign intrigue.

This is why the leaders of the two American political parties at the time (which, as now, had radically different ideas as to what America should be) did largely agree upon one bedrock tenet of foreign policy. Here is George Washington, from his farewell speech: "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world." And from a few years later, Thomas Jefferson's inaugural pledge: "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations -- entangling alliances with none."

America tried to declare itself neutral, when it came to European conflicts. This was seen as the smartest way for us to survive and thrive as a young country. This thinking continued right up to World War I, in fact, and also influenced our entry into World War II. In neither conflict did America leap into action at the beginning, we only reluctantly joined in the fighting years after it had begun. Of course, our outlook changed afterwards, as we emerged as a true superpower ourselves -- but I'm getting ahead of the story.

World War I is the classic example of a war being started due to "entangling alliances." From Wikipedia:

In 1914, the Great Powers were divided into two opposing alliances, the Triple Entente, consisting of France, Russia, and Britain, and the Triple Alliance, made up of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. Tensions in the Balkans came to a head on 28 June 1914 following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Austro-Hungarian heir, by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb. Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia and the interlocking alliances involved the Powers in a series of diplomatic exchanges known as the July Crisis. On 28 July, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia; Russia came to Serbia's defence [sic] and by 4 August, the conflict had expanded to include Germany, France and Britain, along with their respective colonial empires. In November, the Ottoman Empire, Germany and Austria formed the Central Powers, while in April 1915, Italy joined Britain, France, Russia and Serbia as the Allied Powers.

Because of all this entanglement, countries that really didn't want to go to war did, and millions upon millions of people would die before it was over. To add to the world's misery, the Spanish Flu epidemic happened right smack in the middle of the war.

After both world wars were over, America and the Soviet Union faced off in a decades-long Cold War. This divided the entire world into two camps. The Soviet bloc and the American bloc waged several low-level conflicts or "proxy wars" during this period, but never actually directly faced off across a battlefield. Of course, the conflicts were certainly deadly to those who fought in them, but were deemed "low-level" because they never seriously involved the threat of nuclear weapons directed at the two home countries.

Such low-level proxy skirmishes continued, even after the end of the Soviet Union and the Cold War. Syria is probably the most recent example. But even there, if a few American and Russian pilots on both sides had been killed in direct exchanges, the two home countries still probably wouldn't have contemplated using their nuclear arsenals against each other. But it now feels like both countries seem to be inching back to the coldest days of the Cold War.

To paint as accurate a picture as possible, we've got to take into account how Russia sees things. Back in the 1950s, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was the counterweight to the Warsaw Pact. It included most of the nations of Western Europe as well as Greece and Turkey. On Wikipedia's map showing the expansion of NATO, these are all colored black or shades of blue. But look at the other colors -- the shades of yellow and green. That is what has been added since the fall of the Soviet Union. Russia has seen NATO get closer and closer to its own border with the inclusion of Poland, and then the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) -- which actually do border Russia. If Ukraine joined NATO as a full member, this would mean the addition of another enormous amount of bordering NATO territory for Russia (over 1,200 miles of it a land border). For the United States, this would be like already living with Soviet troops and/or nuclear missiles in Cuba while fearing the possible addition of Mexico to a Russian military alliance. Imagine how we would react to that development, and you can see why Russia does indeed have reason to be worried.

To America, however, Russia simply has no claim over any of its former client states and we strongly believe all of them have the right to determine their own future alliances, since they are sovereign states. NATO's expansion, we rightfully point out, is precisely because former Soviet satellites were terrified that history will repeat itself and that they would one day once again find themselves subservient to Moscow. Which they wanted to avoid at all costs -- which is why they eagerly joined NATO in the first place.

But by allowing and encouraging it to happen, we have sworn to defend each of these countries from attack. So if Estonia is invaded, American troops have already committed to fighting Russia to defend it. That's the way military alliances work.

Ukraine, of course, has already recently been invaded by Russia. The Crimea was overrun and annexed as a part of Russia, and we sat back and watched it happen without directly getting involved. Since then, Russia has fought what might be called a "pseudo-proxy war" in the east of what's left of Ukraine, and now they're massing their own troops (or, perhaps, "their openly-declared troops") at the border -- to the east, north, and south of Ukraine (the south was made possible by the annexation of Crimea).

If no other country gets directly involved, Russia could probably easily overrun the rest of Ukraine as well. The Ukrainian forces are really no match for what Russia can field. So the outcome, if it comes to total invasion, is pretty much a foregone conclusion. America might levy crippling sanctions on Russia, but we are not going to fight them directly on the battlefield over a non-NATO country. Which Russia knows, full well.

While this is indeed a worrisome situation that could get a lot worse very quickly, what worries me most is what Russia might do next. Absorbing Ukraine and absorbing the blow of the sanctions would take some time, but eventually they're going to consider other options, if this is the course they choose. And the obvious next option is to reclaim the Baltics. Which would put our troops directly in conflict with Russian forces.

This is also relevant in Taiwan. If China decides that America is occupied elsewhere (as we would indeed be if war broke out in Europe again), then it may make the push it has been contemplating for decades and attempt to reclaim Taiwan. As with Ukraine, we do not have a formal alliance with Taiwan, but we have said all along that we will indeed defend them if the Chinese ever invade or attack. This would immediately mean our naval and air forces would likely enter the fight. If, that is -- and this is the question that China doesn't know the answer to -- we actually do decide to put American lives on the line to defend Taiwan. We might... but then again, we might not.

In both scenarios, this is just as frightening to contemplate as any Cold War nightmare. If Russia and/or China are engaged in direct warfare with the United States, people are going to start using the term "first strike" once again. "Mutually assured destruction" will also become a topic for discussion. If you're too young to recognize either term, count yourself lucky, because they are both existentially horrific to even contemplate.

The question on both sides is going to be: will America risk that, to defend Ukraine/a Baltic state/Taiwan? Because that is where the "entangling alliances" of the modern world might lead us.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

75 Comments on “Entangling Alliances”

  1. [1] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    CW et al,

    I am second generation Ukrainian-Murican with a strong background in military and political history, and like anyone of Ukrainian descent I have string opinions-- make that STRONG opinions on, like, everything. No, really, we say, "If you have two Ukrainians in the room you have at least three opinions in the room."

    At any rate, I'm going to respond to this column as I read through it, rather than the usual "taking it all in and digesting the whole thing aforehand" approach that I usually take...

  2. [2] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    For the first time since the Cold War, the nightmare of direct military conflict between what used to be called either "great powers" or "superpowers" seems not to be such a remote possibility anymore. Russia and the United States are in a faceoff over Ukraine. China, meanwhile, is testing the defenses of Taiwan in an unprecedented way.

    Nope. All kinds of nope, to wit:

    FIRST AND LAST, everybody knows that neither Europe nor us Yanks are going to fight Russia over Ukraine. Any Faux News-generated controversy over whether Joe gaffed and encouraged Russia aside, this was never ever ever going to happen. Ukrainians and the Rooskies have been struggling for dominance over the neighborhood for two thousand years now #SSDD. Our Pentagon is secretly hoping that Putin does invade -- you think Afghanistan was bitter resistance?

    Regarding China and Taiwan the PLA is years away (at least) from having enough amphibious capability to even have a credible threat of invading Taiwan. Period. No amphib equals tough titties. The Chinese know that the Yanks are still the only superpower on the planet and their wise strategy is to continue to rattle their sabers to get their Manhattan back -- think about it, Weigantia but to NOT get into a shooting war with us. Our Navy can completely cut China off from all the oil and raw materials that they MUST import.

    So...chillbabybabychill. World War Three/Four ain't happening anytime soon.
    I like the case you made for the Seven Years War, BTW.

  3. [3] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Definition of Only Superpower is,

    BOTH capable of projecting military force ANYWHERE on the planet and capable of destroying the planet.

    The United States is the only one.

  4. [4] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Because of all this entanglement, countries that really didn't want to go to war did, and millions upon millions of people would die before it was over.

    SO WHY ALL THE ALLIANCES?
    The reasons were that France, Britain and Russia feared Germany. And the Germans, likewise, feared Russia and all parties concerned decided to crush the other while they still had the chance. Just saying.

  5. [5] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    The Soviet bloc and the American bloc waged several low-level conflicts or "proxy wars" during this period, but never actually directly faced off across a battlefield. Of course, the conflicts were certainly deadly to those who fought in them, but were deemed "low-level" because they never seriously involved the threat of nuclear weapons directed at the two home countries.

    Which is the very worse case scenario if Putin invades. I think Putin will not bite off another Afghanistan-intensity conflict but seeks concessions.

  6. [6] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    For the United States, this would be like already living with Soviet troops and/or nuclear missiles in Cuba while fearing the possible addition of Mexico to a Russian military alliance.

    Very true. And worse, we could have Rooskies controlling our Manhattan just like us damned Yankees are currently controlling China's Manhattan/Taiwan. Furthermore, Russia has been invaded forever. Mongols, more Mongols, Napoleon, Hitler...after a couple millenia, can ya blame them if it's seeped into their DNA?

  7. [7] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    The Ukrainian forces are really no match for what Russia can field. So the outcome, if it comes to total invasion, is pretty much a foregone conclusion.

    Not necessarily. [Program note: it may be some combination of ethnic pride along with the vodka kicking in, but consider...]

    Yep, Ukraine cannot win straight up.

    But first, Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country. They have deteriorating nukes, yes, to go along with a deteriorating military (Good-Morning-Afghanistan!) but these are no longer the Cold War times.

    Second, it's the resistance of the population that Russia's military fears, not the equally decrepit Ukrainian military. Remember...two thousand years of this shit...

    Third, the Western world will bring the economic pain like never before. If it's true that there's more Rubles OUTSIDE Russia than within then Putin and his Oligarch buddies are risking a huge hit to their wallets.

  8. [8] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    And the obvious next option is to reclaim the Baltics. Which would put our troops directly in conflict with Russian forces.

    This sounds very scary. Until you remember that Russia got it's ass kicked in Afghanistan, knows it cannot rival Murican military power and doesn't need to invade anybody so long as the pussy West gives him something.

    And China (syeah,
    that China, the China strategically vulnerable to US complete naval blockade) doesn't have the capacity to invade even friendly territory let alone rabidly anti-Communist Taiwan.

    So stop alarming your small, deeply disturbed following
    down here in Weigantia. You don't want to contribute to our Military-Industrial-Complex's campaign to get Murican plebes ready to start another war somewhere.

  9. [9] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    FINALLY,

    *I think it's important to account for the historical reasons that Russia fears invasion, as it keeps happening.

    *It's usually the (secretly afraid) bully whose voice rings loudest.

    *But Putin stands to lose more by military confrontation than by simply rattling what limited sabers he has.

    *China can fuck over Tibet and the Uighers but they are likely a decade away from doing much more than annoying Taiwan (and hardening anti-reunification fervor.)

    So, relax. Be happy.

  10. [10] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Okay...I had a blast reacting to your column "stream of consciousness style," CW.

    WE NOW return you to your regularly scheduled trollery...

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy!

    That was very nice - all of it! Well, except for that very last bit. Ahem.

  12. [12] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    In re that last little bit don't you think that since troll showed it's face Weigantia has kinda gone back to hell? Don't you miss on-topic discourse?

    I don't want to stereotype you as some kind of super overpolite countrywoman (although, in truth, what could be better than the whole planet acting like they're Swiss or Canuck?)

    BUT Elizabeth Miller...there isn't enough kindness in existence to cure our (and frankly, ALL) trolls paramount need for attention. It would be different if they tried to engage but they do not. What do you not "get?"

    I have not read a troll post here since 29 December. Kick and Bashi provide some laughs but otherwise I neither encourage nor discourage trollery. It's not like I have a vote. Nor do you but please don't effing encourage trollery, okay?

  13. [13] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    You know I love you Honey
    And we don't need this shit

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I don't get why you can't ignore him. :-)

  15. [15] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Vancouver.

    Coffee.

    Sidewalk cafe, with a view.

  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, YOU, get off of my cloud!

    Heh.

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Ha!

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I look forward to that!

  19. [19] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    We could do it in Cali, too!

  20. [20] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    What the heck are you doing up past bedtime?

  21. [21] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Great.

    Lucky for me, my BFF had TWO daughters and his own soul, so I got included in his SpotifyPremium 4-Pack.

    SO I'm off to listen to "Cloud" since ya just stuck it in my head...

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm listening to music, of course.

    If you have time and are on facebook, you must join Vacouver Rock Groups of the 60s to 80s ... seriously!

    I've been there for about a year now and have just begun to scratch the surface ...

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Enjoy your cloud ... :)

    Maybe you could play some next Sunday night??

  24. [24] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Re We could do it in Cali, too!
    Well yes, 'spose we could. Thing is, I live in Cali and I've been there and done that. Ain't been to Vancouver (the Paris of the the Pacific Rim?) but if you ain't done Cali (at least to your satisfaction) then we can morph this into a Left Coast Roadtripalloza. Otherwise, VC. Or whatever. I just want to suck down some jo, some quality red wine and some weed with one of my two fave Weigantia Family, you (and hopefully Kick someday. )

    Go to sleep you little babe (Go to sleep you little babe)
    Go to sleep you little babe (Go to sleep you little babe)
    You and me and the Devil makes three
    Don't need no other lovin' baby...

    O BROTHER,
    WHERE ART THOU?

    Ahem.

  25. [25] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [22]

    If you have time and are on facebook, you must join Vacouver Rock Groups of the 60s to 80s ... seriously!

    You thilly wabbit, why would I do that when I can count on you to serve me up the highlights, every Sunday Night Dance Party that trollery doesn't preclude?

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Trollery may not preclude but a certain and consistent lack of participation sure puts a definite damper on the festivities ...

  27. [27] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I"m going to bed, now.

  28. [28] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    [24],

    A threesome, perhaps?

    Ah, no. Wouldn't want to share you with anyone.

    :-)

  29. [29] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    g'nite ...

  30. [30] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    UPON FURTHER REVIEW**

    Thing of it is, EM, Sunday Nights are quite often not the times that I've felt the inclination to share whatever tune is running through my "24/7 Juke box mind." Like the music, I have no control over this.

    **WHENEVER YOU HEAR these words out of any North-American man's mouth, I PRAY THAT you recognize that these are SACRED WORDS from the most Holiest of teachings from the Church of Football. Murican football, that is. Swimming pools...movie stars.

    HAVING SAID this, I enjoyn you to Do It 'Til You're Satisfied.

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, the CWSNMFADP will resume after the pro bowl.

  32. [32] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Hosanna, Church of Football! Hosanna in the Highest!

    Blessed be the Sacramental Potion, Beer! Blessed be covering the Spread and Blessed be hitting the occasional Parlay, in Thy Mercy.

  33. [33] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    JSYK, EM.

    NOT THAT you've not been exposed to football's grip on even your very own male population (due to your especially-gonzo-think-Protestant-Version of football, for the record an aberration utterly required to get the attention of a populace that voluntarily fires hard rubber objects while sprinting on ice.)

  34. [34] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [28]

    Otay, Buh'Wheat! Let us speak not the word threesome forevermore...

    'Cept these here lyrics are still stuck in mah haid...

    ...You and me and the Devil makes three
    Don't need no other lovin' baby...

    G'Morn

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    Cad,

    BOTH capable of projecting military force ANYWHERE on the planet and capable of destroying the planet.

    Factually not accurate..

    No military on earth is capable of destroying the planet...

    Further WW III is closer than you think.. Especially with a doddering senile leader like Biden at the helm..

    When I served in both the US Air Force and the US Army during Desert Storm I had front row seats to this kind of "leadership". A weak ineffectual leader gets himself (or herself) painted into a corner and the lashes out overcompensating for their weaknes.. A desire to show how tough they are.. They poke the bear and invites a military response commiserate with their over-reaction..

    And viola.. That's how wars are started..

    You not having served in the military, your ignorance is understandable..

    Other than those error, ya'all's comments were an interesting read... Kudos..

  36. [36] 
    Michale wrote:

    @cad,

    BUT Elizabeth Miller...there isn't enough kindness in existence to cure our (and frankly, ALL) trolls paramount need for attention. It would be different if they tried to engage but they do not. What do you not "get?"

    I have not read a troll post here since 29 December. Kick and Bashi provide some laughs but otherwise I neither encourage nor discourage trollery. It's not like I have a vote. Nor do you but please don't effing encourage trollery, okay

    Here's your problem, cad...

    You define "trollery" as anything you disagree with..

    That's been a common theme your entire existence in Weigantia™, of which I have been present for..

    Every time someone proves you wrong (which is quite often) you simply attack them as a troll rather than defend your position with logic and facts..

    So, EVERY TIME, you call my comments trollery (which is every day, several times a day) what you are REALLY saying is "I concede your logical and rational argument and I have no logical and rational rebuttal"

    "The fact that you resort to name calling proves you are defensive and therefore find my opinion valid"
    -Spock, STAR TREK 90210

    Well, cad.. Once again...

    I accept your concession.. :D

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    I thought the Weigantian™ Music Fest was on Sunday nights??? :D

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pentagon Places Thousands of Troops on Standby for Deployment to Eastern Europe in Standoff With Russia

    The orders were issued to troops stationed at several U.S.-based installations

    WASHINGTON—The U.S. military has ordered up to 8,500 U.S. troops on standby to potentially deploy to Eastern Europe amid heightened tensions over Russia’s presence near Ukraine’s border, in what amounts to an escalation toward U.S. military involvement, U.S. officials said.

    The “prepare to deploy orders” were issued to troops stationed at several U.S.-based installations, the officials said, but the troops haven’t been technically activated to deploy to the region, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Monday. The troops and their families were being notified on Monday, he said.

    Most of the troops identified would join a North Atlantic Treaty Organization response force to be activated by the alliance, Mr. Kirby said. Others could be deployed for other contingency operations.

    The troops, if activated, would deploy to NATO nations in Eastern Europe like Poland or Lithuania, in logistics, medical, aviation, transportation and other areas, he said. The Pentagon could also deploy troops to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, with drones, Mr. Kirby said.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/pentagon-places-hundreds-of-troops-on-standby-for-deployment-to-eastern-europe-in-standoff-with-russia-11643051349

    PTD orders have gone out to a US QRF...

    Since I am the only Weigantian who has worn the uniform of two difference branches of our country, allow me to explain what's happening..

    Troops are gathering at their depots. They are amassing their personal gear and their equipment they will deploy with..

    PTD orders are usually issued with time frame involved, anywhere from 12 hours to 2 weeks... I have personally been involved in several recalls where our PTD status was 24 hours and a few that were about a week..

    Just hanging around waiting for our deployment orders.

    Not fun..

    The true definition of having it all together, but not knowing where to put it..

    PTD orders are not issued lightly because of all the logistics that come into play to make those orders happen... It's a massive undertaking that involves a lot of moving parts..

    If the US is at the PTD stage, shit is getting real...

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    The danger here is one extreme or the other..

    On the one hand, the danger is that Biden, being the wet blanket that he is, takes the Uber-Passive position and simply lets Russia roll all over Ukraine and simply protect the actual NATO allies in the TOP...

    But I don't think this is going to happen..

    Ya'all gotta understand that Biden has been pummeled from all sides for the last year... He is feeling trapped and must feel a need to prove himself..

    The cluster-frak that was Afghanistan is especially weighing on him.. Biden likes to think of himself as an old school man's man.. Military warrior.. Big Cheese Commander In Chief..

    After being thoroughly beaten down by Afghanistan, Biden is looking for redemption.. My guess is he is going to over-react harshly to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and, literally, poke the bear..

    With tragic results..

    I am not saying WW III is a guarantee.. It surely is a bigger chance than our arm-chair general cad says it will be...

    But, due to Biden's miscalculation, American troops are going to die.. By a lot larger of a number than the 13 troops that Biden got killed in Afghanistan..

    The only possible saving grace is that someone in the chain of command recognizes Biden's failings and either publicly or surreptitiously countermands Biden's orders and keeps our troops from starting WW III...

    That's the analysis from someone who has actually served in the US Militaries and has actually seen combat...

    As opposed to the arm-chair types whose closest thing the serving in the US Military is playing Call Of Duty on the Playstation 4...

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    We don't need any further proof of how on the edge Biden is by his interaction with a reporter last night..

    During an event on Monday evening, Doocy attempted to ask Biden a question about inflation, to which the president responded by calling him a "stupid son of a bitch."
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/fox-news-peter-doocy-biden-cleared-the-air

    Biden is losing it.. This much is clear...

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Newsmax: Ukraine 'Disaster' Has Only 'Terrible and Bad Choices'

    The situation with Ukraine is a "disaster" with only "terrible and bad choices," says former ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell, and foreign leaders "smell weakness" with President Joe Biden in charge.

    "All the work we did, whether it's the border, whether it's the Middle East, and now what we're seeing in Europe is frustrating," Grenell, who served under former President Donald Trump and is now a senior national security analyst for Newsmax, said on "The Count."

    "We don't have any good choices. But the reality is that the leaders of Russia and China and a whole bunch of other places smell weakness."
    https://www.newsmax.com/newsmax-tv/ric-grenell-ukraine-russia-biden/2022/01/22/id/1053553/

    And there you have it...

    Just as I illustrated above...

    Putin KNOWS that Biden is weak... Biden has proven it time and time again..

    So, the only question is...

    Will Biden remain weak and allow Putin to bend over Ukraine and rape her..

    Or will Biden, in a vain attempt to PROVE he *isn't* weak, over-react and plunge this nation into a devastating and crippling war with a well equipped former Superpower???

    That's the question facing us today...

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Which is not to say that Putin is not facing some dicey options as well..

    Putin's best option, which is also the option that has the least likely chance of success, is to "convince" an opposition leader loosely associated with Ukraine government to issue a "plea" for "assistance"...

    With that in hand, Putin can roll Russian tanks and troops from Belarus and be in Kiev in a matter of hours...

    That is unlikely to happen... At least not successfully.. Sure, Putin might have a "plea for assistance" in hand.. But it will not have any weight of law or of the Ukrainian people as a whole behind it..

    Russia will have to expend blood and treasure for every inch of Ukrainian..

    The very real fear here is Russia's nuclear arsenal..

    No, not their aging Strategic nukes.. In that, our arm-chair general cad was accurate.. He must have actually read a book, as opposed to me who has been there and done that.. In any case, cad is correct. Russia's strategic nuclear arsenal is old and not well maintained.. The Russian bear can still lob a few hundred ICBMs over the pole, but that is compared to the TENS OF THOUSANDS that the US could retaliate with..

    No, the fear here is Russia's tactical and battlefield nuclear weapons that Russia has been building and perfecting for decades for just such an occurrence..

    Russia has micro-miniaturized tactical nukes and made them man-portable..

    Russia's inventory of tactical and battlefield nukes surpasses the US inventory by a factor of 10.. And Russia is way ahead of the US in terms of technological advancement in the area of battlefield nuclear technology..

    The old style MAD doctrine (Mutually Assured Destruction) used to keep the miniaturization of nuclear weapons in check.. The fabled FOURTH PROTOCOL...

    But in today's age, with only one remaining Superpower (the US), that calculation has changed...

    In the old days, ANY use of a nuclear weapon no matter how small would dangerously escalate and make the use of Strategic nuclear weapons all the more likely..

    But here is the thing.. Will the US respond with Strategic nukes if Russians employ a small battlefield nuke that wipes out an entire Ukrainian brigade??

    And therein lies the danger of the Biden miscalculation that I am referring to..

    A US leader in full command of his faculties and emotionally stable would rely on massive conventional weapons response or use the limited US arsenal of battlefield nukes..

    But, as I have pointed out, Biden has something to prove...

    The danger of an all out strategic nuclear war has never been closer today than it has been since the missiles of October...

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I thought the Weigantian™ Music Fest was on Sunday nights??? :D

    It is.

    But, how would YOU know anything about that? Ahem.

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Assuming the blitzkrieg from Belarus has failed or has gotten bogged down, Putin has some other options..

    Politically, they are dicey as they could bring Russian troops into direct conflict with US/NATO troops..

    If you refer to this map:

    http://mfccfl.us/Ukraine.jpg

    ... you will see what I mean..

    Russia forces (RED) get bogged down north of Kiev my Ukraine military (GREEN)...

    Russia can move ground forces out of the Crimea and naval forces in the Black Sea and take Odessa.. This will be a HUGE blow to Ukraine as it is the HQ for the Ukraine navy. It's economic necessity is beyond important.. A successful campaign against Odessa will likely cripple Ukraine beyond all hope...

    As an added bonus, Odessa is just a hop skip and jump to Moldova, which Putin also wants to claim as Russia...

    If Russia successfully captures Odessa, the war is effectively over..

    Another option for Putin that is even MORE fraught with peril is carving out a land bridge by taking the Suwalki Gap between Belarus and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. This would give Putin a staging area in Kaliningrad and a direct route thru Poland to Belarus and to Ukraine beyond.

    An equally risky move is Russian forces is to carve out a land bridge thru Lithuania to Belarus into Ukraine..

    These are risky moves because this would put US/NATO forces in direct contact with Russian forces as both Poland and Lithuania are NATO members.

    On the other hand, it's possible (even likely) that this is an attractive option for Putin as he knows Biden is weak. If Russia were to opt for the Kaliningrad campaign, Putin could show that world that Russia can act with impunity and the US is too weak to do anything about it..

    As I have mentioned above, the very real risk is that Biden over-reacts to show how tough he is and... BOOOM...

    World War III....

    Class dismissed....

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    But, how would YOU know anything about that? Ahem.

    I hear things.. :D

    But hay.. Yer the boss.. The Warden Of Weigantia™..

    Who am I to question, eh? :D

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "Big nations can't bluff."

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I am not joking when I say this, if you are ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot. On the spot. No ifs, ands or buts."
    -Joe Biden

    "What a stupid question"
    -Joe Biden to a news reporter that asked him a question.

    "{sarcastically}That’s a great asset, more inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch."
    Joe Biden to news reporter Peter Doocy

    Once again, the hypocrisy of the Democrat Party is plain for all to see...

    Hypocrisy.. It's not a bug in Democrat programming. It's a feature.

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    "Big nations can't bluff."

    Which is why I am saying that Putin is not bluffing..

    Is President Biden up to the task of facing down the Russian bear??

    Given what happened in Afghanistan, the facts clearly show that Biden is not up to the task..

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    @cad,

    In re that last little bit don't you think that since troll showed it's face Weigantia has kinda gone back to hell? Don't you miss on-topic discourse?

    You CAN have on-topic discourse.. There is absolutely NOTHING stopping you from having on-topic discourse..

    Me and Liz do it all the time..

    Me and JL do it all the time...

    Hell, even me and Russ do it all the time..

    Your problem is you don't want on-topic discourse on subjects you are either ignorant about or always lose...

    You can have on topic discourse if you would just be content to have on topic discourse..

    But you really don't want on topic discourse, you want an echo chamber.. You want "discourse" with ONLY the people who say "Yea, uh huh" and "ditto ditto" to your comments..

    You are awash with confirmation bias and you only want discourse with people who will feed that confirmation bias..

    Look at ALL of your comments for the past year??

    Anyone who agreed with you, you were as happy as a pig in shit..

    Anyone who disagreed with you was a troll and didn't really want to discuss anything...

    You live in your own little world of bias and bigotry..

    And you whine and cry and stamp your feet and "ignore" anyone who upsets your perfectly little mental world..

    Deal with it bud...

    There are only 2 ways to get rid of me and you simply aren't up to the task, either way...

  50. [50] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    You seem to be missing the real opportunity here (again).

    While the oligarchs are busy fighting each other over the things in your article it provides citizens here the opportunity to end the entangling alliance between the big money interests and the politicians that are destroying our country just like the colonists took advantage of the situation for our revolution against England.

    Stop being a loyalist tool supporting the oligarchs and get on the right side of history.

    TAKE THE VACCINE!

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Who said 'big nations can't bluff', Michale?

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Of course it was Biden...

    No one is bluffing here...

    I am unsure as to what your point is..

  53. [53] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn caddy (12)-
    For someone that neither encourages or discourages trollery you sure do post of lot of it.

    Every time I have engaged you in discussion you have run away and projected your refusal to engage in discussion on me. The only person you are fooling with that lie is yourself.

    Michale may not get too many things right, but he has nailed you down perfectly.

  54. [54] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (14)-
    Wrong question.

    The question should be why does Mtn Caddy refuse to engage in discussion instead of resorting to false claims about the commenters to avoid addressing a topic by trying to de-legitimize the commenter which in his mind (but not in reality) de-legitimizes the commenters opinions?

    And why can't you just ignore him? :D

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    DH,

    For someone that neither encourages or discourages trollery you sure do post of lot of it.

    "I know, right!!?"
    -Felix, WRECK IT RALPH

    Every time I have engaged you in discussion you have run away and projected your refusal to engage in discussion on me. The only person you are fooling with that lie is yourself.

    EXACTLY...

    Michale may not get too many things right, but he has nailed you down perfectly.

    Yea, exactly what... wait... whaa??? hay now... :D

    The question should be why does Mtn Caddy refuse to engage in discussion instead of resorting to false claims about the commenters to avoid addressing a topic by trying to de-legitimize the commenter which in his mind (but not in reality) de-legitimizes the commenters opinions?

    That is EXACTLY the question that needs to be asked...

    The answer is simple..

    cad is a Left Wing version of a ditto-head.. He can't address facts that disagree with the little world he has created, so he lashes out with impotence and frustration..

    Every time he attacks my facts as "trollery" (which is every day, several times a day) it's simply validation of my intellectual superiority over him..

    And why can't you just ignore him? :D

    Probably for the same reason I don't either..

    The hope that one day he sees the light, changes his ways and joins the civilized community...

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    Florida senator extorted over nude photos is taking legislative action to protect others

    Sen. Lauren Book's bill would strengthen Florida’s revenge porn law
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-senator-extorted-nude-photos-protect-others

    Reading some of the comments on that^^^^ reminds me of many of the comments here in Weigantia... :^/

    Sick and disgusting...

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sudden Shift Has Democrats on Edge to Start 2022

    At the outset of the campaign discussion in mid-2021, there was a general agreement, for example, that each party had four vulnerable incumbent senate seats, and that control of the U.S. Senate in 2022 was up in the air. Democrats were even encouraged by five retiring GOP senators.

    Now there is a shift in the discussion as pundits and pollsters are suggesting that Republicans might not lose any senate seats, and that the four vulnerable Democrats are in more trouble than before — being dragged down by the unpopular Biden and his progressive policy agenda.
    https://amac.us/sudden-shift-has-democrats-on-edge-to-start-2022/

    Things are looking worser and worser for Democrats..

    Consequently, things are looking better and better for America...

    :D

  58. [58] 
    Michale wrote:

    A recent Gallup poll indicates a dramatic shift in voter party identification in only one year. A clear lead for the Democrats at the beginning of 2021 has become a clear lead for Republicans by the end of 2021, amounting to a staggering 14-point swing toward the GOP.

    Other polls are indicating President Biden with significantly less than 50% voter approval, with many surveys finding his approval rating only in the 30s, and still falling. Voter sentiment, many generic polls say, has the GOP ahead for the Congress.

    Still another signal of massive voter shift is the entry of numerous credible Republican candidates in likely competitive races for governor and legislative seats, while Democrats lag in attracting candidates, and are seeing very large numbers of U.S. House retirees.

    How did Democrats fall so far so fast??

    Over estimating their popularity and over estimating their abilities..

    And under estimating the strength in the level or patriotism in this country...

    HATE ON AMERICA is simply NOT a good Party platform...

  59. [59] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i said hey carmen, come on let's go downtown.
    she said, i got to go, but my friend can stick around.

    https://youtu.be/N79OAlMi2nI

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now that Democratic Senators Manchin (West Virginia) and Sinema (Arizona) have stood their ground in preventing passage of radical and unpopular Biden-Pelosi-Schumer legislation, and enhanced their own political standing by doing so, it would seem likely that other more moderate senators, especially those facing re-election this year, will turn away from advocating policies that turn voters off in their states. But the more that Mr. Schumer pressures his party’s senators to cast votes, such as in this month’s filibuster debacle, the more ammunition it gives GOP challengers against Democratic incumbents in November.

    It isn’t just polling that gives Democrats warning about the upcoming mid-term elections. Voters in the off-year 2021 elections sent an unambiguous message that certain prominent Democratic issues, especially at the local and state level, were unacceptable, including defunding the police, dismissal of parental concerns about education, failure to prosecute criminals, and the handling of pandemic issues. Even in very progressive urban areas such as New York City, San Francisco, and Minneapolis there was backlash, and more moderate, or newly moderate, Democrats were rewarded by voters.

    Everywhere you look there are signs that patriotic Americans are taking back this country... :D

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    i said hey carmen, come on let's go downtown.
    she said, i got to go, but my friend can stick around.

    Take a load off Fanny
    Take a load for free
    Take a load off Fanny
    And (and) (and) you put the load right on me

    :D

  62. [62] 
    Michale wrote:

    Last year’s statewide election in Virginia can be seen as a turning point. Virginia has been a blue state in recent years, including presidential elections. A former Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe, with very high name recognition was their 2021 gubernatorial nominee, and favored to win over an unknown conservative businessman who had not previously held elective office. President Biden said parents’ concerns about education were not important, a theme echoed by the McAuliffe, campaign, and produced a grassroots backlash that contributed heavily to the GOP sweep of statewide Virginia offices. New GOP Governor Youngkin, immediately on taking office, began initiating education reforms that might well resonate in other state elections in 2022.

    Of course, sudden voter shifts can go both ways, but unless the Biden administration can figure out how to stop and reverse the burgeoning inflation crisis, the results in November will bring no celebrations in the White House or in offices held by Democrats in the Capitol building down Pennsylvania Avenue.

    The downward momentum is going to be nearly impossible for Democrats to arrest...

    It's going to be a bad bad time to be a Democrat...

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    Boston patient removed from heart-transplant list because he’s not vaccinated against COVID: report

    Hospital says its goal is to 'create both the best chance for successful operation and also the patient’s survival after transplantation'
    https://www.foxnews.com/health/boston-patient-heart-transplant-vaccinated

    Now this is a pretty shitty thing to do..

    It's akin to cops saying, "Since you don't own a gun you obviously are not interested in protecting yourself or your family. So we're not going to respond when you have an armed home invasion..."

    It's a damn shitty thing for Democrats to do...

    Why do Democrats hate Americans so much???

  64. [64] 
    Michale wrote:

    My apologies that I am not up to my usual par as far as keeping Weigantians™ of the facts and all..

    Got a lot on my mind..

    I'll try and be more attentive to my job here...

  65. [65] 
    Michale wrote:

    Biden administration weighing 'severe' Russia sanctions in case of Ukraine invasion

    Economic sanctions on Russia would have 'immediate and visible' effects, senior officials said

    "That means the gradualism of the past is out, and this time, we will start at the top of the escalation ladder and stay there," a senior administration official said. "We've made efforts to signal this intention very clearly, and I would say, a deepening selloff in Russian markets, its borrowing costs, the value of its currency market, imply default risk, reflect the severity of the economy consequences we can and will impose on the Russian economy in the event of a further invasion."
    https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/biden-russia-sanctions-ukraine-invasion

    Well, I'll believe it when I see it.. :^/

    Democrats have been buddying up to Russia for decades... Let's see if that can put any bite in their bark...

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    What Does Vladimir Putin Have on Joe Biden?

    Joe and Hunter Biden’s seedy involvements in Ukraine may have given the Russian leader all the ‘kompromat’ he needs to keep America at bay

    Vladimir Putin didn’t need the green light that Joe Biden gave Russian forces during his marathon press conference last Thursday for a “minor incursion” into Ukraine. The Russian president already knew the U.S. commander in chief couldn’t stop him even if he wanted to. Sure, Putin has seen the polling and knows foreign entanglements won’t help a Democrat hemorrhaging support from his own party.

    But that doesn’t seem to be all. You don’t need a secret dossier authored by a British ex-spy for hire like Christopher Steele to understand the possible weird real-world mirror version of Russiagate. This time, it’s basically all out in the open—or at least it was, until the press and social media scrubbed reports of Hunter Biden’s laptop from the internet in the run-up to the 2020 election. The laptop, whose provenance and contents have both since checked out beyond any shadow of doubt, give evidence of Hunter’s financial relationships with foreign officials and businesses, like the more than $50,000 per month he got for sitting on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, starting in the spring of 2014.
    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/what-does-vladimir-putin-have-on-joe-biden

    I mean, how bad of a person is Joe Biden to have raised a son like Hunter??? :eyeroll:

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    Heartbroken officers escort heroic NYPD cop murdered in line of duty as war on cops escalates

    NYPD officer dies of his injuries following Harlem shooting that killed partner

    NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, succumbed to his injuries Tuesday
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/nypd-officer-dies-harlem-shooting-killed-partner

    LEOs suffer another casualty in the Democrat Party's War On Cops... :(

  68. [68] 
    Michale wrote:

    Daily Beast columnist likens Bari Weiss’ COVID fatigue to American ‘cruelty,’ White supremacy
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/msnbc-guest-likens-bari-weiss-exhaustion-with-covid-to-american-cruelty-white-supremacy

    Get that, people??

    COVID fatigue = White Supremacy in the eyes of the Racist Democrat Party...

    I guess when yer a hammer, everything is a nail..

    When yer a racist.. EVERYTHING is racism.. :eyeroll:

  69. [69] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pelosi announces reelection bid ahead of 2022 midterms

    Pelosi previously vowed to step down as the leader of House Democrats after the 2022 election

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced she will seek reelection in this year's midterms.

    "While we have made progress much more needs to be done to improve people’s lives. This election is crucial: nothing less is at stake than our Democracy," Pelosi said in an announcement on Twitter Tuesday.
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pelosi-announces-re-election-bid-ahead-of-2022-midterms

    So... Here we have ANOTHER Democrat that lied..

    And the indignant response from Weigantians™ condemning Pelosi for her lie???

    {{ccchhhhiiiiirrrrrrpppp}} {{{cccchhhhhiiiiirrrrrppp}}}

    Par for the course.. :eyeroll:

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    OH SNAP!!!!!!

    BIDEN CONCEDES DEFEAT!!!! AGAIN!!!!!!

    Biden administration to withdraw Covid-19 vaccination and testing regulation aimed at large businesses
    (CNN)The Biden administration is withdrawing its Covid-19 vaccination and testing regulation aimed at large businesses, following the Supreme Court's decision to block the rule earlier this month.

    The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday it will be withdrawing the vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard for businesses with 100 or more employees, according to a statement on the agency's website.
    https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/25/politics/vaccine-mandate-osha-withdrawn/index.html

    MAJOR SLAP DOWN!!!!!!! :D

    I said it before and I'll say it again..

    ALL DEMOCRATS know how to do is LOSE!!!!! :D

  71. [71] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    And the indignant response from Weigantians™ condemning Pelosi for her lie???

    Tell me when she lied. Hint: read what you quoted...

  72. [72] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I am unsure as to what your point is..

    Shocking. Positively shocking.

  73. [73] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What movie is that from?

  74. [74] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    This is what I don't get about your support for the Democrat Party..

    They hate cops... For me, that's a deal breaker.. I could not support a Party that hated on cops as a party platform..

    Says the guy supporting the party whose detailed and thorough platform was tossed for a blood oath to one individual who attempted to steal the 2020 election in order to remain in power. The GOP can not list what the Party stands for because they know that Trump stands for whatever benefits him the most in that moment — and that is subject to drastically change repeatedly and without warning as his ego demands.

    And we all witnessed your party’s support for law enforcement on January 6! You know, I cannot find a single time during the George Floyd protest riots where an officer was pulled off the line by the crowd and physically drug kicking and fighting deeper into the crowd of rioters in order to be beaten worse! I cannot remember any BLM rioters disarming an officer of their tazer and using it against them multiple times. Yes, police were injured by the rioters of the George Floyd protest riots — but those were mainly injured from rocks or bottles being thrown at them. January 6th rioters did not purchase BEAR REPELLENT at the corner gas station or hotel lobby in DC!!! They came prepared to carry out violence.

    I dunno.. Maybe it's because I was actually a cop who patrolled the streets...

    Yeah, in the same delusional world where Trump won the election!

  75. [75] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    My bad…[74] was meant for Fridays posts.

    R

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