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’


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 and, the print version, is still up, at least in Mexico. If you want the Chinese governmental point of view, 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.”



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8 thoughts on “FRED REED: Bear Baiting

  1. Jokem

    I certainly do not want our boys fighting in another foreign war, but practically the rest of the world is opposing what Russia is doing.

  2. Stephen Leonard

    Whew! I’m all for conspiracy theories, but I don’t know of anyone else who thinks that at this moment in history the US has that kind of influence over what is happening in the world. The “Biden” Administration, whoever (if anyone) is running it, is stretched far beyond its level of incompetence trying to wreck our domestic economy, security, tranquility and societal cohesion. They have shown themselves to be, as Bob Gates predicted a decade ago, wrong –utterly, irredeemably wrong — about every foreign policy issue that confronts them.

    Vlad Putin does seem to have bitten off way more than he can chew, and his Ukrainian adventure will likely end badly for him, whatever happens. But Washington, paralyzed by indecisiveness, timidity and stupidity, hardly seems the likely winner, as country after country can’t find the time to answer Biden’s phone calls, and even the EU’s stalwart heroes realize they have to proceed without waiting for Joe to mumble something coherent.

    Putin will come out the biggest loser, but the USA isn’t far behind. Advantage: China.

  3. John Howard

    There really are only two problems in the world: extortion and counterfeiting, which are the two main methods providing unlimited funding to the evil of the world. By merely naming them ‘taxation’ and ‘monetary policy’, the parasites can buy whatever and whomever they need in order to endlessly torment the world.

    It is amusing to observe the sea of rhetoric and its tsunamis of hysteria over this and that evil, but nary a peep about the source of it all. Ron Paul was right; end the FED and the IRS. But, of course, we mustn’t speak of that. We mustn’t become extremists. Getting down to basics is naughty in a world that thrives on the entertainment value of each new political horror.

  4. Dennis

    I wrote this at the start of the Russian invasion –

    I don’t understand why everyone is hating Putin. Surely it is obvious that, even if he himself doesn’t know it, yet, he is carrying out US, State Dept, Pentagon policy more efficiently and quickly than the US could do. A statue of Putin in Washington can’t be far off.
    So how come? –

    After poking Putin, with pushing for NATO in Ukraine, the US got him to invade Ukraine. Now the whole world is against Putin which the US wants.
    The Nordstream 2 pipeline is kaput which the US wants.
    Russian planes blocked from flights which the US wants.
    Swift blocked which the US wants.
    Stronger sanctions which the US wants.
    Now the US can sell their expensive LPG to Europe which the US wants.
    The MIC can continue making weapons so lovely profit which the US wants.
    Peace brings problems which the US doesn’t want.
    Everyone will forget the recent US war crimes, in fact already forgotten as no one has ever mentioned them on MSM which the US wants.
    All now want the Ukraine to be in NATO which the US wants.
    A triumph for the US. What’s not to like?
    Deaths and refugees? The US has never been concerned with that – they’ve tortured and killed millions and displaced many millions – 500,000 child deaths is a price worth paying, remember? And they have even killed their own citizens by drone strikes.

    Champagne and dancing in the White House and stomach pains from excessive laughing I should think as their dreams have come true.

  5. Harley Smedlapp

    You hit the nail on the head concerning the neocons (Nuland, Pompeo, Blinky, Kagan, etc.). Their history of pushing the US into war dates back (and including) WW-II.

    But the idea that America plays chess while Russia plays hopscotch is a bit off the mark. It’s more likely the other way around. For sure, Russia will be hurt by this. But the US will be in even deeper water. Cutting Russia (or China) off from the international banking system and seizing the assets of Russia and Russians is the stupidest move they could have made. The have destroyed the confidence in the international financial system, and it will take more than a generation to restore it.

    In their supreme stupidity, the globalists have scared the countries of the western world back into nationalism. Who’s going to invest internationally when they see unilateral (and illegal) seizure of assets? Even Russia is likely to go to a two-ruble system: one for internal use, backed by gold, and one for international use, maybe backed by oil/gas…if at all.

    And on top of artificially created inflation (the worst in 40 years), the adverse economic impacts of an impending war will only exacerbate the problem. Yes, Russia will be hurt by this. But it’s hard to see how the US won’t be in even worse shape.

  6. Jokem

    Dennis – So Joe Biden is looking out for US Interests?
    Maybe he is a closet Republican?

  7. Jojo

    Fred wrote: “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.”
    It’s a great time to be an American citizen!

  8. Michael Marthaller

    History, Should the enevatable unforseen consequence resulting from efforts to “control” by those who fail to read historys lessons teaching us that “Too big to fail, ALWAYS has” leaving a path of destruction allow a post CBR, heavy on the Biological warfare world.
    The survivors, if ANY Will again at some point face a reality
    “HISTORY is two totally different WARS from foxholes side by side ”

    The desire for and perceptions of “Power” cloud men’s AND Women’s thinking leading to the enevatable collapse of civilizations

    Peace and prosperity Through RESPONSIBILITIES

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