Category Archives: Foreign Policy

WATCH: It’s Biblical, Zelensky: The Little Guy Must Deal With Reality; Not Bolster Hero Bona Fides

America, Argument, Ethics, EU, Foreign Policy, Morality, Natural Law

I never though I’d say this, but, if one is wedded to reality as I am—there is a place for Benthamite utilitarianism, however much natural-rights sorts like me dislike Jeremy Bentham’s reasoning.

AT ANY RATE, A LETTER IN RESPONSE TO THE YOUTUBE VIDEO I RECORDED TODAY elicited this rather utilitarian reaction from me. (I lost the letter in the posting-and-replying activity, so perhaps the viewer and writer, a critic, will be kind enough to repost it here at YouTube.)

Having covered and commented on this crisis since 2014, I will repeat the plain reality the commentary was supposed to convey and elucidate:

Ukraine is the little guy. As those Biblical examples offered were meant to vividly illustrate; the Little Weak Guy must deal with reality; not bolster his hero bona fides. For Volodymyr Zelensky, dealing with reality and discharging his duties as a leader ought to have meant engaging with Putin personally and respectfully long before the invasion.

HE CATEGORICALLY DID NOT. Instead, he played footsie with fickle America and kept baiting the Russian Bear. Now his people suffer. That’s a FAIL. The End.

WATCH THE VIDEO & SUBSCRIBE:

It’s Biblical, Zelensky: A Leader Who Fails To Negotiate For The Lives Of His People Has Failed

Columns on Ukraine:

https://www.ilanamercer.com/2022/03/true-story-russia-finds-wmd-ukraine/
https://www.ilanamercer.com/2022/03/uncle-sam-still-king-invaders-ukraine-realpolitik-wests-failure/
https://www.ilanamercer.com/2022/01/neocons-neolibs-nato-inch-us-closer-nuclear-war-russia/
https://www.ilanamercer.com/2014/02/presstitute-cultivated-ignorance-on-ukraine/

Please Subscribe to the “Hard Truth” Video Podcast, where Ukraine has been covered (and which I enjoy much more than “speaking solo to the camera“):

https://rumble.com/c/HardTruthPodcast
https://rumble.com/vx058f-true-story-russia-finds-wmd-in-ukraine.html
https://rumble.com/vw897h-russia-to-us-on-ukraine-pot.-kettle.-black..html
https://rumble.com/vtea18-neocons-neolibs-and-nato-inch-us-closer-to-nuclear-war-with-russia.html

Peace to all—especially to the poor Ukrainians, failed by the US and by their US-co-opted leaders.

FRED REED: Bear Baiting

Democrats, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, EU, Foreign Policy, FRED REED, Russia, War

It’s like ‘Elizabethan bear-baiting’: ‘Russia can’t win because even if it wins, it loses’

BY FRED REED

Today, disordered thoughts on a world allowing no other kind. We have yet another war. Always we have another war. Lousy medical care, decaying schools, but another war. Is that disordered or what? We see consequences of a government with the instincts of a menopausing wolverine but not the intelligence. We are doomed.

Ok, ok, after this I am never going to write about the Ukraine again. I promise. Or sort of promise, mostly at least. But in the Reed-Gonzalez household with Washington apparently intending to stretch the fighting out as long as possible, it is beginning to look like a generational international Super Bowl. What will happen? Will the world decently blow up? Will the bombing go on forever? Or maybe eventually come down to the two-minute warning and Tom Brady, in his early sixties, drops back and….

Hordes of people are writing that the war is the most historically gaudy,  galacto-determinative, watershed sort of thing since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Well, yeah.  Even a congressman could probably figure this out, at least with encouragement and some hints. But isn’t it the smartest bit of geopolitical jujitsu since who knows when?

I thought the first rule of strategy was to give the other guy only bad choices. So somebody smart at State (I know, I know, but weirder things have happened. Probably in Transylvania.) said Let’s push NATO into the Ukraine, and then Putin will have to surrender, a great victory for America, or start a war that he can’t win.  And that too would be a great victory for America.

Russia can’t win because even if it wins, it loses. I mean, what are the possible outcomes? Well, Russia could conquer the entire country, and all of the American-controlled world would hate Russia like poison and leave the sanctions in place while smuggling arms to the resistance to suck Russia into a Slavic Vietnam. A victory for Washington. Russia could withdraw entirely, with NATO probably moving in behind, sanctions still in place, a victory for Washington. Or it could do something else, with the same results.

At the moment it looks as if the Yankee Capital gives Putin a choice of invading the cities in bloody street-by-street fighting, a victory for Washington, or face a lengthening war with increasing shipments of armaments to the Ukies, also a victory for Washington.

Even juicier, from Washington’s point of view, commercial integration of Europe and Asia will be stopped, or at least slowed, which is what the war is about.

Am I missing something? Probably. I’m just some mutt in west-central Mexico with a computer. People way smarter that I am say that the Ukraine thing is a great success for the Global South, the beginning of the dissolution of American hegemony. Well, maybe, but I figure if you believe this you must own several bridges.

Meanwhile, Washington sits back and laughs. It’s like Elizabethan bear-baiting: Have the bear tied down so it can’t really fight, and watch the dogs slowly tear it apart. For Washington, what’s not to like? They’ve got the Ruskies and Ukies doing the dying, the Ukies having their cities blown up and people starved, and Russia having its economy wrecked. Europe loses the minor amount of sovereignty it had, loses lucrative trade with Russia, and becomes yet more dependent on the Great White Father on the Potomac.

And of course, Biden gets a victorious war to distract attention from his catastrophic incompetence.  He does good Sincerity and pretty good Sternness, and these, along with his war, make him just like Churchill. In time for the midterms. Brilliant.

It is customary to say that the wily Chinese play chess while America plays checkers. This time, I figure America plays chess while Russia plays hopscotch. I mean, somebody tell me: How is Russia going to come out of this better than when it went in?

Among pointy-headed intellectuals, the Ukrainian adventure will one day be played as a conflict of leviathans, of large international forces in titanic struggle on a darkling plain, maybe even a clash of civilizations, but it is nothing of the sort. The war is the work of a small number of people, such as Tony Blinken and Victoria Nuland Kagan at State, doubtless Pompeo and Bolton barking from under the sofa and of course Biden the Occasionally Conscious. Congress will make fierce noises with an eye to reelection and try to look like a deliberative body.

It isn’t. If you asked the entire lot what countries border the Black Sea, a few might know. The statistical centerline for Congress is a mediocre shyster from the second district of Nebraska, a watermelon-farming region, whose chief political interest is insecticide legislation. He doesn’t know whether Sulawesi is north or south of Lukashenko. In fact congressmen don’t read the thousand-page legislative goody baskets they vote on. You could include a paragraph ordering that the Navy nuke a major American city on the third Friday of each month and nobody would notice.

The media? I have never seen such a gush of unembarrassed bullshit as this war is producing. The first rule of television, being used to the hilt, is to get a woman to cry and fill the frame as this pulls at instinctual strings anchored deep in limbic recesses. Next, work the children, the children, the children and their sufferings, which has the same effect. Of course without the Blinkokagans and the Pompeoboltons in the shadows behind them, there would be no war and no suffering children but the rule in politics is ignore the mind, squeeze the glands.

It is a war of contrived reality. Early on, Violeta saw video purportedly of a Russian tank rolling over an occupied Ukrainian car and crushing those within. Why, she wondered, didn’t this Russian tank look like all the other Russian tanks she proceeded to look for? Maybe it was an idiosyncratic tank, with a streak of individualism? Russian tanks were green with unit markings, the Ukie tanks being black without unit markings. The crushing tank was black without unit markings.  Perhaps it was a Russian tank in disguise, maybe on an undercover mission.

Vi has a powerful memory for images and swears that many devastated buildings presented as due to Russian artillery are in fact in Russian enclaves that Russians would not hit. On maybe CBS—anyway an American outlet—we saw that Russia is threatening to leave an American astronaut stranded in the international Space Station, utterly bogus and the station had to know it.

The Americans are winning the twaddle war hands down. To control the people, control their screens. We watch in Spanish Telemundo from Mexico, DW from Germany, Euronews, France24 from France, and Univision, none showing independence of Washington. We did watch RT, the Russian video outlet, until YouTube, meaning Washington, banned it. Why a quasi-governmental American entity has the right to decide what Mexicans can see is not something that springs to the mind. (RT Live can still be found at VK.com and RT.com, the print version, is still up, at least in Mexico. If you want the Chinese governmental point of view, globaltimes.com is it.)

Now for cosmic thought.  (FOE is that sort of column.) So: the question is what the US will do next and what the world will do about it. Is Washington going to do with Taiwan what it has done with the Ukraine, provoke a war while it still has hopes of winning? Can anyone restrain Washington?  

Not easily. America, it turns out, can cut countries off from the international banking system (Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, and part, so far, of Russia). It can confiscate national reserves (of Venezuela by England, the most submissive of its poodles, of Afghanistan; and now of Russia. It can cut countries off from semiconductors (China and Russia). It now seems that it can decide what countries are allowed to see what online. And it can largely dictate the foreign policy of the vassals as if they were trained mice.

Can the world do anything about this? Will China, Russia, and the EAEU actually come up with a SWIFT alternative? Or just talk, talk, talk. If so, will the BRICS pile on, the Global South en masse? Will the A-A-rabs accept yuan? Or will the US be the uncontested hegemon, sacking the globe in an orgy of plunderment and corruption? Stay tuned, boys and girls, for the next exciting episode….

Read Fred’s Books! Or else. We know where you sleep.

******************************************

FRED REED describes himself as [previously] a “Washington police reporter, former Washington editor for Harper’s and staff writer for Soldier of Fortune magazine, Marine combat vet from Viet Nam, and former long-haul hitchhiker, part-time sociopath, who once lived in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from the Yankee Capital.”
His essays “on the collapse of America” Mr. Reed calls “wildly funny, sometimes wacky, always provocative.”
“Fred is the Hunter Thompson of the right,” seconds Thomas E. Ricks in Foreign Policy magazine. His  commentary is “well-written, pungent political incorrectness mixed with smart military commentary and libertarian impulses, topped off with a splash of Third World sunshine and tequila.”

FRED’S BOOKS ARE ON AMAZON, HERE

FRED’S ARTICLES ARCHIVE

Killer Kink

Hardboiled is back! (The exclamation point is to arouse wild enthusiasm int the reader, a boiling literary lust.) Gritty crime fiction by longtime police reporter for the Washington Times, who knows the police from nine years of riding with them. Guaranteed free of white wine and cheese, sensitivity, or social justice.

 

UPDATED (3/23/022): Tucker Carlson’s Producers Rewarding Retread Reformed Neocon Tools Like Sohrab Ahmari

Argument, Foreign Policy, Iran, Iraq, Media, Neoconservatism, Old Right, Paleoconservatism, Paleolibertarianism, Political Philosophy, War

On the one hand, Tucker Carlson and his oft-worthy guests make the case that America’s catastrophic institutional rot (MY EXTENSIVELY DEVELOPED TERM, no theirs) is a consequence of there being no adverse consequences attached to being dead-wrong all the time.

On the other hand, the show has a tendency to reward reformed neocons such as newcomer Sohrab Ahmari, who peddles retread banalities (or stuff the Old Right—myself included—had espoused decades ago, and from the get-go, in the case of the Globe and Mail commentary below: September 19, 2002).

Rewarding conveniently reformed, politically pleasing mediocrities makes the practitioner part of the institutional rot.

PUNDITS, HEAL THYSELVES!” (Ilana Mercer, May 29, 2004) spoke to this repulsive specter:

So why are insightful commentators whose observations have predictive power generally barred from the national discourse, while false neoconservative prophets are called back for encores?

I got to thinking about the neoconservative talking twits. They’ve been wrong all along about the invasion of Iraq. They’ve consistently dished out dollops of ahistoric, unintuitive, and reckless verbiage. Yet they’ve retained their status as philosopher-kings.
Thomas Friedman, Christopher Hitchens (undeniably a writer of considerable flair and originality), George Will and Tucker Carlson (both of whom seem to have conveniently recanted at the eleventh hour), Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Mark Steyn, Max Boot, John Podhoretz, Andrew Sullivan – they all grabbed the administration’s bluff and ran with it. Like the good Trotskyites many of them were, once they tasted blood, they writhed like sharks. Compounding their scent-impaired bloodhound act was their utter ignorance of geopolitical realities – they insisted our soldiers would be greeted with blooms and bonbons and that an Iraqi democracy would rise from the torrid sands of Mesopotamia.
Their innumerable errors and flagrant hubris did not prevent the neoconservatives from managing to marginalize their competitors on the Right: the intrepid Pat Buchanan and his American Conservative; the quixotic Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. of LewRockwell.com, and Antiwar.com. (Plus this column, of course). Unfortunately for America, there hasn’t been a horror in Iraq that these prescients did not foretell well in advance.

….the opportunity costs associated with consumption of toxic punditry are low or non-existent.

If you didn’t have the cerebral wherewithal to be against the war on Iraq in 2002, you don’t have anything original to contribute on foreign policy and anti-war or Just War thinking now.

Younger offenders can be found agitating against Iran, or scribbling inanities for the War Street Journal and other neoconservative outlets such as Commentary, the Weekly Standard, and Foreign Policy, where Sohrab Ahmari would put out irredeemable and unforgivable content such as “The Costs of Containment.”

It’s one thing to have made a mistake as Tucker Carlson had done regarding the Iraq war of aggression. Carlson apologized profusely and humbly about his Iraq error. Moreover, Carlson had never been the consummate philosophical neocon; which Sohrab Ahmari is. According to the Militarist Monitor,

“the neocons’ favorite Iranian,” Sohrab Ahmari has been a vocal advocate of U.S.-imposed regime change in his native Iran, which he left as a teenager. Rosenberg likened Ahmari to Ahmed Chalabi, the formerly exiled Iraqi politician who curried favor with U.S. neoconservatives ahead of the Iraq War and lent an Iraqi name to the list of those supporting the U.S. invasion.[3]

I’ve watched the likes of Sohrab Ahmari work their magic in the malfunctioning media for decades. I also understand fully that Tucker Carlson has a producer, for he himself cannot research each such well-promoted phony who is resurrecting a career on the solid anti-war arguments of the dissident Old, paleolibertarian and paleoconservative Right.

* Image: Truth-teller on Twitter.

And in defense of The Tuck against mediocrity Claire Lehmann, who generated the non sequitur below: Tucker Carlson doesn’t support the Russian invasion! From the fact he argues unpopular truths–it doesn’t follow that Tucker is not a populist. Most immutable truth is unpopular. Popularity does not equal populism. This woman can’t even define the terms of debate.

The Z-Man (Zelensky) Is America’s Perfect Prototype Neocon Puppet, Down To Our National Cliches

America, Conservatism, Democracy, Egalitarianism, Foreign Policy, Globalism, Neoconservatism, Russia, War

In his cameo appearance before the US Congress, the Z-Man deftly drew on all the cliches of American life in the shallow end:

Volodymyr Zelensky vaporized about democracy [“it made us dumb“], our values [“in the classical conservative and libertarian traditions, values are private things, to be left to civil society—the individual, family and church—to practice and police“], and MLK (Martin Luther King), offering his incoherent, bizarre twist on the “I have a dream” U.S. ubiquity:

I have a dream. I have a need. I need to protect our skies. I need your help, which means the same you feel when you hear the words I have a dream.”

Translated: When the Z-Man tells you he needs your help, you should feel the same as when you hear MLK’s “I have a dream.” Or, something.

I have a dream. I have a need, too, Mr. Z. Some quid pro quo, perhaps? The following is as true as when I wrote it in 2011, during the Egyptian Lotus Revolution. This from “Frankly, My Dear Egyptians …“:

‘I know nothing so miserable as a democracy without liberty,’ wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in the mid-1800s. He speaks for me. I find myself unable to get lathered-up about democracy for others, while I live in the democratic despotism that contemporary America has become. …

…More often than not, Americans who yearn for the freedoms their forbears bequeathed to them are labeled demented and dangerous. I’ve yet to hear liberty deprived peoples the world over stand-up for the tea-party patriots. When they do — I’ll gladly galvanize on their behalf.

Zelensky is America’s perfect, prototype Jacobin puppet.

Put it this way, if the American people (an inchoate meaningless phrase I countenance here for the sake of argument) were threatened by an invasion—American leaders would hold court from their safe rooms and underground luxury bunkers and give cheery addresses (in syntax as fractured and similarly studded with non sequiturs), while the bombs fell ON US.

Churchillian they’d rate themselves.

BY ©2022 ILANA MERCER